Beatles + Sullivan = Revolution: Why Beatlemania could never happen today

How did The Beatles’ appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” change America? Check out coverage of “The Sixties: The British Invasion.”

Story highlights

50th anniversary of Beatles on "Ed Sullivan Show" is February 9

Event was most-watched entertainment program of its time

Beatles' performance helped kick off cultural revolution

CNN  — 

The hair. The girls. The screaming.

The jolt created by The Beatles’ invasion of America couldn’t happen today. We’re just too connected.

In today’s world, the Fab Four’s frenzied Hamburg and Cavern concerts would be all over YouTube. Twitter would be abuzz about this new group with the funny hair and the screaming fans. Countless cell phones would be raised in glory at their every move.

There would be no element of surprise, no sense of unveiling.

But 50 years ago, it was revelatory.

5 things to know about Beatlemania

On February 9, 1964, The Beatles made their U.S. debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Sullivan was a Sunday night staple, one of the great variety shows, a TV version of vaudeville with comedians, acrobats and song-and-dance acts.

Into this staid carnival came four fresh-faced Englishmen with their hair and guitars.