The Night That Changed America: CBS salutes the Beatles

Night That Changed America Ryan Berenz

The Night That Changed America: CBS salutes the Beatles: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the most historic moments in music and television, CBS is airing The Beatles: The Night That Changed America — A Grammy Salute exactly 50 years to the day and time of the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. On Feb. 9, 1964, 74 million people tuned in to watch the Beatles perform five songs during the variety hour, and it became a monumental event in the history of music and television. The special features archival footage from that broadcast, as well as presenters offering commentary and historical context to the events and the impact of the Beatles’ legendary performance. The Beatles: The Night That Changed America — A Grammy Salute airs Sunday, Feb. 9, from 8-10:30pm ET/PT on CBS.

UPDATE 2/12/14: CBS will be re-airing The Beatles: The Night That Changed America on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 8:30pm ET/PT. The initial Sunday airing averaged 13.95 million viewers, peaking at nearly 14.8 million during the final half hour.

Night That Changed America

CBS announced that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will perform in the special. McCartney will perform “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Get Back” and “Birthday.” Starr will perform “Matchbox,” “Boys” and “Yellow Submarine.” Paul & Ringo will unite for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends/Hey Jude.”

Current performers will cover the five songs that the Beatles played on their first Ed Sullivan appearance, as well as other classics. Artists include:
Alicia Keys & John Legend “Let It Be”
Dave Grohl & Jeff Lynne “Hey Bulldog”
Ed Sheeran “In My Life”
Eurthymics “The Fool On The Hill”
Gary Clark Jr., Dave Grohl & Joe Walsh “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
Imagine Dragons “Revolution”
Jeff Lynne & Joe Walsh “Something”
John Mayer & Keith Urban “Don’t Let Me Down”
Katy Perry “Yesterday”
Maroon 5 “All My Loving/Ticket To Ride”
Pharrell Williams & Brad Paisley “Here Comes The Sun”
Stevie Wonder “We Can Work It Out”

Night That Changed America

Also in the special, David Letterman interviews Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at the Ed Sullivan Theater, home to Letterman’s Late Show and site of the Beatles’ appearance of The Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago.

Night That Changed America

Here’s the full list of presenters and performers from CBS:

The all-star lineup for this historic event features performances and presentations by: The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, Kate Beckinsale, Jeff Bridges, Gary Clark, Jr., Johnny Depp, Dave Grohl, Eric Idle, Imagine Dragons, Alicia Keys and John Legend, Anna Kendrick, David Letterman, LL COOL J, Jeff Lynne, Maroon 5, John Mayer and Keith Urban, Katy Perry, Brad Paisley and Pharrell Williams, Sean Penn, Ed Sheeran, Joe Walsh, Stevie Wonder, and a one-night-only reunion of Eurythmics’ Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. The house band for the event includes notable musicians Kenny Aronoff (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Chris Caswell (keyboard), Peter Frampton (guitar), Rami Jaffe (organ), Steve Lukather (guitar), Greg Phillinganes (keyboard) and Don Was (bass), who also served as musical director.

Ed Sullivan Show: Credit: CBS Photo Archive. Neg. Code: 27399-frame32. ©1964 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved
McCartney/Starr: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved
Letterman: Jay Johnson/Worldwide Pants Inc. ©2014 Worldwide Pants Inc. All Rights Reserved


  1. I wish they could have done this when John and George were still alive! I miss John very much! At least Yoko will be there with Sean.

  2. CBS…Ya just couldn’t keep it about the Beatles could ya. Have to have all the hapless artists of today playing their music.

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About Ryan Berenz 2107 Articles
Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife