The Beatles Sing ‘Yesterday’ on Ed Sullivan: Watch

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George Harrison introducing Paul McCartney on The Ed Sullivan Show

On Dec. 15, 2017, the day The Beatles unexpectedly released a live performance of “Yesterday,” from their August 14, 1965 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show at CBS TV’s Studio 50 in New York City.

The first brief shot shows screaming teenagers and then quickly cuts to the four band members. George Harrison steps to the mic and, as the lights dim, says: “Thank you… thank you very much. We’d like to carry on now with a song from our new album in England and it’ll be out in America shortly. And it’s a song featuring just Paul and it’s called ‘Yesterday.'”

The lights dim again and it’s just Paul McCartney on guitar at the microphone.

Watch McCartney’s solo performance (with pre-recorded strings) of the beloved song

The Beatles performed six songs on Sullivan that day in 1965. (The episode didn’t air until four weeks later, on September 12.)

The legendary U.S. television variety show host first witnessed Beatlemania on October 31, 1963, when he and his wife were on their way home from a European talent scouting trip, changing planes at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The Beatles – who had three chart-topping U.K. singles earlier in the year: “Please Please Me,” “From Me to You” and “She Loves You” – were arriving back from a tour of Sweden. They were greeted by hundreds of screaming teenage girls and a crowd of journalists. Sullivan saw the commotion.

The Beatles first appeared on Sullivan’s top-rated Sunday night CBS-TV show on February 9, 1964. They ultimately appeared on the program four times. Sullivan died on October 13, 1974 at age 73.

Related: 10 rocking performances on The Ed Sullivan Show

The Beatles had a busy itinerary during that August 1965 visit. Also on their calendar was a live concert the next night in front of more than 55,000 screaming fans at Shea Stadium, the home of the New York Mets in Flushing, NY. For that performance they chose not to take the Number 7 subway from Times Square as many baseball fans do. Instead, they arrived to the ballpark by helicopter.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. Ed Sullivan
    #1 Ed Sullivan 18 December, 2017, 09:21

    The strings were not pre-recorded, as the local musician’s union prevented such on-air blasphemies. They were performed by the stage orchestra while Paul was singing.

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