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Will the viewership for the CBS special come anywhere near the 74 million who tuned in to The Ed Sullivan Show on Feb. 9, 1963?
BEATLES 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL AIRS SUNDAY NIGHT
A Who's Who of Artists, Celebs Comes Together to Celebrate the Fabs’ First U.S. TV Appearance

The Beatles: The Night That Changed America A Grammy Salute airs this Sunday at 8pm on CBS. Sunday’s date is Feb. 9, meaning the special will be broadcast 50 years to the day after the earth-shaking pop-cultural event referenced in the title of the two-and-a-half-hour special, as 74 million viewers tuned in to watch the group perform five songs. The show, taped the night after the Grammys, was put together by the Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS (we assume all of the principals are now enjoying a long, well-deserved vacation).

Originally slotted for two hours, the special has been expanded by 30 minutes to accommodate more of the performances at the taping, which we’re told were uniformly inspired, as well as the wealth of archival material and new interviews gathered for the event.

Along with the performers listed in full below, the tribute will feature presentations by Kate Beckinsale, Jeff Bridges, Johnny Depp, Eric Idle, Anna Kendrick, LL Cool J and Sean Penn. The house band includes Kenny Aronoff (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Chris Caswell (keyboards), Peter Frampton (guitar), Rami Jaffe (organ), Steve Lukather (guitar), Greg Phillinganes (keyboards) and Don Was (bass), who doubled as musical director.

The special will also include David Letterman interviewing Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr taped at the Ed Sullivan Theater on Feb. 4, recollections from three fans who were in the audience for the Beatles' first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and interviews with three people who were part of the show’s crew.

Here’s the full list of performers and the songs they covered:

Maroon 5:
"All My Loving," "Ticket To Ride"
John Mayer & Keith Urban: "Don't Let Me Down"
Ed Sheeran: "In My Life"
Imagine Dragons: "Revolution"
Stevie Wonder: "We Can Work It Out"
Alicia Keys & John Legend: "Let It Be"
Katy Perry: "Yesterday"
Eurythmics: "The Fool on the Hill"
Dave Grohl & Jeff Lynne: "Hey Bulldog"
Brad Paisley & Pharrell Williams w/The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil: "Here Comes the Sun"
Jeff Lynne & Joe Walsh: "Something"
Gary Clark Jr., Dave Grohl & Joe Walsh: "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Ringo Starr: "Matchbox," "Boys," "Yellow Submarine"
Paul McCartney: "I Saw Her Standing There," "Get Back," "Birthday"
All-Star Finale: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "With A Little Help From My Friends," "Hey Jude."

 

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