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Beatles special marks 50 years since band first sang on 'Ed Sullivan'

  |   Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:26 PM
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- CBS says it plans to air a special marking the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' debut on the U.S. variety program "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Featuring contemporary artists covering Beatles songs, the 2-hour special is to be taped Jan. 27, the day after the 56th annual Grammy Awards presentation.

"The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles" will be broadcast exactly 50 years to the day, date and time of the original event, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m., CBS said. The program will include footage from the rock 'n' roll group's historic appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," which was seen by 74 million people at the time, as well as other archival material about the band.

"That night 50 years ago on the 'Ed Sullivan' stage, the Beatles delivered a momentous performance, and America witnessed a historic television event and the beginning of a new era in music," Jack Sussman, CBS Entertainment executive vice president of specials and events, said in a statement Thursday.

"We are thrilled to honor these music legends with performances from amazing Grammy-winning artists who were influenced by the Beatles' unforgettable music through the years and that incredible performance in 1964."

"The Beatles are one of music's most iconic groups, who won their first two Grammys, including one for Best New Artist, in 1964 -- the same year they took America by storm," said Neil Portnow, president and chief executive officer of the Recording Academy. "As the Grammy Awards are music's biggest night, it's only fitting that we recognize this milestone moment in music history and pay tribute to this larger-than-life group and their enduring music and legacy."

Tickets to the taping of this event will be available for sale to the general public. Additional details will follow in the coming weeks, CBS said.

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