The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

The Beatles 50th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, February 9: 10 a.m. - Sunday, February 9: 5:30 p.m.


The Beatles first arrived in America on February 7, 1964 at New York’s Kennedy Airport, and on February 9 more than 70 million people watched the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The world would never be the same. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate this momentous occasion in rock and roll history on Sunday, February 9, 2014 with curator-led Gallery Talks in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Beatles exhibit in Cleveland, Ohio; two special film screenings in the Museum's Foster Theater: the CNN Original Series THE SIXTIES: The British Invasion and The Beatles: The First U.S Visit, as well as special interactive programs for families including a children’s activity guide and more. Take a look at the kids programming here.

In addition, the Museum will unveil John Lennon’s Rickenbacker electric guitar that he purchased to play during the Beatles second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, broadcast live from the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach on February 16, 1964.

Beatles 50th anniversary schedule of events (NOTE:  Seating is limited.  Attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.):

Forest City/RMS Theater on the Lower Level in the Main Exhibit Hall:

The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit showing continuously throughout the day; the film documents their two-week trip to the U.S. in February of 1964, featuring two full Ed Sullivan performances (February 9 in NYC & February 16  in Miami) as well as a concert in Washington D.C. on February 11.

Foster Theater Programs Include:

10:30 a.m.: Special Film Screening - CNN’s THE SIXTIES: The British Invasion

The one-hour special, THE SIXTIES: The British Invasion will premiere on CNN/U.S. on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 9 pm ET and PT.  The full 10-part episode CNN Original Series THE SIXTIES will begin in May 2014. Multiple Emmy® Award–winning executive producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman and Emmy® Award–winning producer Mark Herzog, will reignite the landmark musical revolution of 1964 in this special presentation from their CNN Original Series. 

12 pm: Album spotlight - Meet the Beatles

Meet the Beatles, the band’s first album on Capitol, was released on January 20, 1964. The Beatles U.S. albums differed from the band’s U.K. albums, including different track lists, song mixes, album titles and art. After a short presentation by Rock Hall educators about the record, visitors can listen to the album in its entirety on the state of the art sound system in the museum’s Foster Theater.

1 p.m.: Meet the Instruments! - Beatles Edition (ages 4-9)

This program gives families the opportunity to learn about the instrumentation of a rock band, discovering the low notes of the bass guitar, the pounding rhythms of the drums and percussion, the melodies and harmonies of guitars, keyboards and more. By investigating how musicians arrange the various instruments of a band, children discover how the different parts of classic rock and roll songs are created. This program includes historic video performances by the Beatles, as well as live performances and demonstrations by the Rock Hall education band, with many opportunities for audience participation.

2 p.m.: Tell Me Something Good - Beatles Edition (ages 5-10)

Many songs tell stories, describing characters and their adventures in particular places at particular times. This program looks at some of the great stories of rock and roll and examines how lyrics can establish a setting, introduce characters and develop a plot. Through exciting recorded performances by the Beatles and Chuck Berry (one of the Beatles’ main influences) children learn how stories can be developed. They will act out undersea adventures on a “Yellow Submarine” and imagine what it would be like to be “Johnny B. Goode” by drawing what they hear and read in the lyrics, all while learning to summarize and retell the stories told through rock and roll.

3 p.m.: Special Lecture - The Beatles and American Rock and Roll

NOTE:  This program will be streamed LIVE on  Click HERE to view the stream.

This special edition of the Museum’s Rock and Roll Night School program presented by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs and Dr. Jason Hanley, director of education will explore the impact of American rock and roll on the Beatles as they developed in Britain. All of the Beatles were fans of the first wave of rock and roll; artists like Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran and The Everly Brothers had a transformative impact on the band. As they developed their craft in the bars of Hamburg, Germany, in the early 1960s, they kept their ears tuned to American sounds, and incorporated early soul, Motown and girl group songs into their repertoire. Drawing on the archival recordings, film and photographs, this talk will give visitors a unique look at how the Beatles interpreted American music to create their own original sound.


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