I’ve been busy blah blah blah. But I hadn’t heard this story before and thought I should share.
Yesterday morning I was flipping through the channels and came across an interview with the Beatles from 1963. I hadn’t seen it before so I stopped and watched. It was part of a news segment than ran on CBS News Sunday Morning in November of that year. The Beatles were largely unknown in the US at that time.
The segment was going to run again at some point as part of a late-night news show, and then that would have been the end of it. However, that afternoon John F. Kennedy was shot, and of course the news focused on that for at least 24 hours a day for several weeks. The Beatles spot didn’t run that evening, or any evening.
After a couple of weeks of JFK coverage, it seems that Walter Cronkite and the rest of CBS News were looking for something to lift the mood and ease America back into the normal run of things. I don’t know who made the decision, but that Beatles segment was chosen to run on the 6:00 news, which obviously had many more viewers than a late-night show.
CBS News received a call from a variety show host looking for information about that band that was “named after some bugs.” It was Ed Sullivan. Of course, he got the info he wanted and booked the band.
And that’s the way it was.