Fresh Air Celebrates The 50th Anniversary Of The Beatles' Arrival

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Members of The Beatles play in the snow outside Washington, D.C.'s Coliseum where they were scheduled to perform before a sell-out audience in 1964.

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 7, 1964, The Beatles touched down at JFK airport. Two days later they broke TV viewing records and changed music, fashion, history — and basically an entire generation — when they appeared live on The Ed Sullivan Show.

For the anniversary of the Beatles' first weekend in the U.S., Fresh Air listens back to a 1995 interview with Ringo Starr and a 2001 interview with Paul McCartney.

An estimated 73 million people saw that first Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, says TV critic David Bianculli. "The Beatles were a blast of fresh energy from overseas, and America was eager to embrace them."

Click the audio link above to hear Fresh Air's interviews with Starr and McCartney.

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