Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles!

February 9th is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. I’m too young to have actually watched it on TV, but I did go through a HUGE Beatles phase in 8th and 9th grade. I knew all the songs, had all the albums and even made my own trivia/board game about The Beatles.

I’m still a Beatles fan, though perhaps not so fervently. I quietly note when it’s a member’s birthday (July 7th, June 18th, October 9th, February 25th) and sprinkle Beatles’ songs into my music listening. “For No One” is still one of my favorite tunes ever. All that knowledge comes in handy for pub quizzes and Trivial Pursuit nights, too.

So what does this have to do with photos? Well sometimes as a photo editor your job and your personal interests overlap nicely. Earlier this week I was asked to choose some photos for our coverage of the 50th anniversary of their Ed Sullivan Show appearance. Suddenly I had an excuse to dig through Associated Press archive photos from 1964. After years of only seeing black and white video of the performance, it was surprising to see some color photos from the show.

In this Feb. 9, 1964 file photo, The Beatles perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York.   Ringo Starr plays drums and playing guitars from left are Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon. An estimated 73 million Americans tuned in, the largest ever for a TV show at the time, or three times the amount of people who watched the latest "American Idol" finale, according to the Nielsen Co. (AP Photo, file)

In this Feb. 9, 1964 file photo, The Beatles perform on the CBS “Ed Sullivan Show” in New York. Ringo Starr plays drums and playing guitars from left are Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon. An estimated 73 million Americans tuned in, the largest ever for a TV show at the time, or three times the amount of people who watched the latest “American Idol” finale, according to the Nielsen Co. (AP Photo, file)

The British rock and roll group the Beatles talk to Ed Sullivan at CBS Studio 50 before their live television appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in New York, Feb. 10, 1964.  From left to right are, Sullivan, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, holding a cigarette, and Paul McCartney.  (AP Photo)

The British rock and roll group the Beatles talk to Ed Sullivan at CBS Studio 50 before their live television appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in New York, Feb. 10, 1964. From left to right are, Sullivan, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, holding a cigarette, and Paul McCartney. (AP Photo)

Perhaps most surprising is this photo of Paul McCartney looking so very young. He was 21 years old at the time.

Paul McCartney, bassist for the Beatles, is shown on the set of the Ed Sullivan Show, Feb. 1964. (AP Photo)

Paul McCartney, bassist for the Beatles, is shown on the set of the Ed Sullivan Show, Feb. 1964. (AP Photo)

As I was looking through photos, I kept thinking how excited 13-year-old me would have been to have this chance. Looking through Beatles photos for your job? A dream come true.

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A picture may be worth a thousand words, but there is often more to say about a great photograph. The York Daily Record's award-winning visual staff offers a peek behind the lens and into the process of capturing, editing and publishing their most interesting photographs, video stories and more.
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