The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles will be recorded on Jan. 27 (the day after the GRAMMYs), and will be broadcast exactly 50 years to the day, date and time of their Ed Sullivan appearance: Feb. 9 from 8-10 p.m. (EST/PST) on CBS.
The press release announcing the show promises “today’s top artists” performing Beatles songs. No names have been mentioned, but when the GRAMMY performers and presenters are announced, that’s a good hint of who you’ll probably see.
The show will also include footage from the Beatles’ first appearance on Sullivan, a broadcast that remains one of the most-watched television events ever. Seventy-four million people tuned in to watch the then-new group play five songs.
The performance came after weeks of “The Beatles Are Coming” hype, with the media treating their arrival at New York’s Kennedy Airport as a news event. Their performances on Sullivan were met with roars and frantic applause, both in the Ed Sullivan Theater and certainly in front of the millions of televisions that tuned in; the event took on a “where were you when…” type of importance to anyone who saw it. The band’s popularity has only waned slightly since then (they no longer make teenagers lose their collective minds), so expect some of the biggest names in music to line up to pay tribute during the CBS special.