TIME Music

The Beatles Take America, 1964

On the anniversary of the Beatles' first performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964, a selection of photos from the group's arrival on America's shores

When John, Paul, George and Ringo first made it across the pond in 1964 to play before their adoring, screaming fans in the States—including, famously, performances on The Ed Sullivan Show that mark, for many people, the true beginning of rock and roll’s British Invasion—LIFE photographers capture the Liverpool lads’ wry spirit, their charm and their youth. (Were they really ever that young?)

Here, then, a short selection of pictures from 1964, when a quartet of mop-topped Brits landed on America’s shores and changed the pop-culture landscape forever.

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