After the assassination of President John Kennedy America found itself in a deep state of mourning and melancholy ran rampant. In a country that defined itself by its invulnerability to harm, everything was lost that moment (Schaffner 32). After the assassination, the American people wasted so much to find a reason to be excited again, a diversion from a morbid tragedy. Just as those in their forties and fifties remember where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, it is likely they remember at one point in time being transfixed to the television when the Beatles made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show (edsullivan.com). .
During their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964 they sang 5 songs: All my Loving, Till There was You, She Loves You, I saw her Standing There, and I Want to Hold Your Hand. Among the 700 in attendance screaming for just a touch of a band member there were the 50,000 plus outside just anticipating a view of one of them. The ratings reached 73 million viewers that night (neilsenmedia.com). Also that night it seemed that America was put to a standstill. Any activity during their performance was put to a hold until the performance was over and right there Beatlemania was born. There had never been an English Act that had developed a prolonged reputation or any type of career in America pre-Beatles, pre-1964.
The Beatles had built a fan base from the Baby Boomer generation. Out of this generation, the Beatle audience was described " as the most powerful group of teens, America has seen."(Bedford) This generation had the money to buy merchandise, the desire for a creative outlet and the need for idols.
According to David Szatmary, the Beatles" popularity in the United States was constructed around their ability to take several American music, styles such as jazz, blues and rock, and reassemble them in order to create music.