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50 Years Ago Today, Where Were You When the Beatles Came to America?

by Stephanie Colombini
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50 Years Ago Today, Where Were You When the Beatles Came to America?

Provided by Marvin Scott

WFUV's Stephanie Colombini talked with two people who witnessed the beginnings of American Beatlemania first-hand.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States.  

Television reporter Marvin Scott was standing on the tarmac at New York's JFK airport when the Beatles first touched American soil on February 7, 1964.  He recalls their shock at the chaos of press and fans greeting them. 

Scott says he was not much of a fan himself at the time.  But he says he enjoyed the band's sense of humor.

"Ringo was asked, 'So how do you find America?'  And he shot back, 'You turn left at Greenland!'  Broke us all up."

Scott says it's the crowd he remembers most.

"The doors opened, the Fab Four, they stood on the platform -- and the screeching!  I have to tell you, fifty years later, the screams still ring in my ear to this day."

Patty Nazzaro of Saddle River, New Jersey says she hears those same shrieks.  She spent her 10th birthday front and center at the Beatles' first performance on the Ed Sullivan show, when 73 million Americans tuned in from their living rooms to watch them play.  But Nazzaro says she was not one of the screechers.

"I wanted to hear what they sang.  When Paul started singing "All My Lovin'" and "Til There Was You," I was like, "Oh my God, I could cry!"

Both Nazzaro and Scott say the Beatles owe a lot of their success to good timing.  But they think it's their powerful music that created such a lasting legacy.  

 

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