Beatles, The - The collective nickname for
British rock musicians John Lennon, Paul
McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr
(Richard Starkey), a.k.a. "The Fab Four" who
made their television debut on the CBS Network
on February 9, 1964 during a musical segment of
the ED SULLIVAN SHOW.
The Trendex popularity poll calculated that
73,700,000 viewers watched The Beatles' historic
debut on American television.
The Beatles' thirteen and a half-minute
performance included the songs "All My Loving,"
"Till There Was You," "She Loves You," "I Saw
Her Standing There," and "I Want to Hold Your
The Beatles returned on February 16, 1964
with similar ratings results. Their performance
helped change the attitudes of Americans to
accept Rock and Roll as more mainstream
entertainment rather than the music of
rebellious teens and helped divert the American
public from the tragedy of President Kennedy's
Copies of this historic performance are
available to the public at the Museum of
Broadcasting in New York City. Of the 25,000
plus recorded programs available to view at the
museum, the Beatles debut is consistently the
most requested videotape recording.
The popularity of The Beatles got them a gig on
their own Saturday morning cartoon series THE
The series (26 animated color episodes in 30
minute format) was created by Al Brodax and
Each five minute episode featured the
performance of two Beatles songs as our lovely
British lads had numerous adventures, including
an ocean cruise; a trip to Paris; rehearsal in a
haunted caste; an encounter with a leprechaun in
a Dublin Ireland cottage; being kidnapped by a
mad scientist; a visit to a Texas ghost town; a
safari in Africa; a trip to an Indian
reservation; a visit to a museum in New York;
and a party in Greenwich Village, a vacation in
Bavaria and the Swiss Alps, and a picnic in
The voices of the Fab Four were provided by
Paul Frees as John and George and Lance Percival
as Paul and Ringo.
Ringo, John, Paul and George
Years later, the NIKE footwear company used the
group's song "Revolution" (the fast version) on
one of their 1987 commercials. This was the
first time a Beatle's song was used on
television to promote an advertiser.
At the age of 43, Ringo Starr was the first
Beatle to appear in a US TV commercial. He
starred in the 1987 TV ads touting the Sun
Country Wine Classics in head-to-head
competition with the Bartles & Jaymes wine
cooler commercials. The spots were filmed in
Nassau in December, 1986.
Ringo later starred in the PBS children's
program SHINING TIME STATION as a tiny train
conductor who lived inside an enchanted train
In 1989-90, Paul McCartney went on a world tour.
He was seen on a Visa Card commercial which
promoted the tour.
In 1995 Ringo Starr resurfaced in commercials
for both a Discover "Private Issue" designer
credit card and a Pizza Hut spot where he fools
the audience into believing the Beatles are
planning a reunion. Of course, the musicians who
show up are none other than Davy Jones, Peter
Tork and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees.
Surprised, Ringo remarks "The wrong lads!"
And finally, but sadly, it must be remembered
John Lennon was shot to death in 1980 by a
crazed fan across the street from his home at
the Dakota in New York City. A stone memorial
displaying the single word "Imagine" now rests
in an area of Central Park known as Strawberry
TRIVIA NOTE: Before "The Beatles" were the "The
Beatles" the group went though a number of name
changes. They began as the Black Jacks, then
they were the Quarry Men, Johnny and the Moondogs, the Beatals (a play on Buddy Holly's
Crickets), the Nerk Twins (John and Paul duo),
the Silver Beetles, the Silver Beats, the Silver
Beatles and finally they settled on name that
would gain them international fame...The
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