(Radio.com) On Sunday CBS aired a tribute to arguably the most influential rock and roll band of all time, titled The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles. That night, of course, was February 9, 1964, when the Beatles made their debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
During GRAMMY week, Radio.com caught up with music icons who were around when the Fab Four hit our shores for the first time, some of whom were parked in front of the TV the night of the original broadcast. Here's what they told us about their impressions of that night, and the Beatles' role in the changing tides of popular culture.
Motown Records founder Berry Gordy: "I certainly saw them [perform] many, many times! Their impact on me was very big! First of all, they did three of our songs on their second album, so I loved them after that. Recently, Paul McCartney came to the Motown Museum, and refurbished an old piano we had." [Note: 1963's With The Beatles featured "Please Mr. Postman," "You Really Got A Hold On Me" and "Money (That's What I Want)."]
Nile Rodgers of Chic: "Of course I saw them [on The Ed Sullivan Show] ! I was a little kid, I was around 11 years old. I didn't even know who they were. But there was a girl who I had a crush on, she said we had to watch it."
Kris Kristofferson: "To me, the Beatles and Bob Dylan changed popular music to be something that you could really get into and treat it like an art." More stars reflections here.