You may have noticed the mention here and there over the past few days that February 9th of this years marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Here is what some critics had to say. (Thanks to Robert W for pointing this out to me.)
I remember watching the show; I guess the word had already gotten out. I remember my mother saying that they were undoubtedly wearing wigs. Their first LP release in the U.S., Meet the Beatles, came out around the same time. I'm pretty sure I never bought it. I liked what I heard of them on the radio, but I was more interested in folk music--I was a bit snobbish about it, actually--and my first few album purchases were in that vein: Ian and Sylvia's self-titled first album, I think.
What strikes me now is how very rapidly things changed. Three years later, the Beatles had produced Rubber Soul and Revolver and were working on Sgt. Pepper, and the hippie phenomenon, existing only in or around a couple of big cities in 1964, was appearing everywhere.
 Actually, Meet the Beatles was preceded by ten days in the U.S. by Introducing...the Beatles. But it's Meet the Beatles that most people think of as their first.)