A Day in Music History- February 7th Beatlemania in America

Stepping off of Pan Am flight 101 onto the tarmac of JFK International airport, four British singers had no idea they were about to change the world.

It was on this day in 1964 that Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison arrived in the United States of America for the first time, ready to show Americans what Brits had been losing their minds about for the past year or so.

As they stepped off the plane, 5,000 Beatles fans (mostly teenage girls and young women) screamed their heads off.

Beatlemania had arrived.

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When the Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show just a few days later, their fame solidified, changing music forever. Their unique sound introduced America and the world to a style of music that infused the rock n roll popularized by Elvis Presley with a pop sound all their own.

Americans went crazy for the four young men with moptop haircuts, filling up stadiums and buying merchandise faster than suppliers could produce it. Fans were practically hysterical whenever they stepped out onstage, showcasing behavior never before seen, not even for Elvis Presley.

No one really has an explanation for why female hysteria around the Beatles was so intense, but the leading theory is that simply there was more young fans as a result of the post-WWII baby boom that were ready to immerse themselves in the infectious music the band had to offer.

Even after the conclusion of their touring careers in 1966, Beatlemania still permeated every facet of music culture, and it continues to do so today as fans both young and old are introduced to the iconic sound of the Fab Four.

-Kathleen Frost

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