Grammys will celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first TV performance with a two-hour special. To air on February 9 at 8 P.M. ET on CBS, "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles" will commemorate the time the legendary British band appeared and performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show".
Exactly 50 years before, at the same time and same station when the special will air, the Fab Four played five songs, including "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You", on the variety show. It was watched by 73 million viewers, more than one third of the nation's population. According to Nielsen, it was the largest audience that had ever been recorded for an American television program.
"The Beatles are one of music's most iconic groups, who won their first two Grammys, including one for best new artist, in 1964, the same year they took America by storm," Neil Portnow, president/CEO of the Recording Academy, says in a statement. "It's only fitting that we recognize this milestone moment in music history and pay tribute to this larger-than-life group and their enduring music and legacy."
Presented by the Recording Academy AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS, the program will be filmed on January 27, the day after the annual Grammy Awards ceremony. It will feature "today's top artists" performing the songs the group played on the "Ed Sullivan" broadcast and the band's other classics.
Presenters, who will be announced later, will provide commentary and context about the group's impact at the time. The show will also include clips and footage from the "Ed Sullivan" show.