Listen to the Fab 4 each weekday at 4pm!
The Beatles' releases in the United States were hindered for over a year, but Capitol began to issue the material in December 1963, compiling distinct US albums from the band's recordings and issuing songs of their choosing as singles. American chart success began after Epstein arranged for a $40,000 US marketing campaign and secured the support of disk jockey Carrol James, who first played the band's records in mid-December 1963, initiating their music's spread across US radio.
This caused an increase in demand, leading Capitol to rush-release "I Want to Hold Your Hand" later that month. Released 26 December 1963, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" sold a million copies and was a number one hit in the US by mid-January, with the band's previously scheduled debut there just weeks away.
The Beatles left the United Kingdom on February 7, 1964, with an estimated four thousand fans gathered at Heathrow, waving and screaming as the aircraft took off. At New York's John F. Kennedy Airport they were greeted by another uproarious crowd estimated at three thousand. They gave their first live US television performance two days later on The Ed Sullivan Show, watched by approximately 73 million viewers in over 23 million households, or 34 percent of the American population.
The next morning critical consensus in the US was generally against the group, but a day later their first US concert saw Beatlemania erupt at Washington Coliseum. Back in New York the following day, the Beatles met with another strong reception during two shows at Carnegie Hall. The band then flew to Florida and appeared on the weekly Ed Sullivan Show a second time, before another 70 million viewers, before returning to the UK on 22 February.
Listen to The Beatles on iHeartRadio.