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Hello Beatles, Goodbye Jay

Ed Sullivan smiles while standing with the Beatles on the set of his CBS variety show
Ed Sullivan smiles while standing with the Beatles on the set of his CBS variety show ( Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

A little of this and a little of that on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles arriving in the United States.

John Lennon (1940 - 1980), Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, from left to right, enjoy a few moments away from the screaming fans when police smuggled them out of the side door of their hotel for a visit to New York's Central Park.
John Lennon (1940 – 1980), Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, from left to right, enjoy a few moments away from the screaming fans when police smuggled them out of the side door of their hotel for a visit to New York’s Central Park. (Keystone/Getty Images)

Yes it was on this day in 1964 that the four young men from England arrived at JFK Airport in New York and were greeted by a wild mob of about 3,000 mostly female fans. Two days later that would make their first live appearance in America on the Ed Sullivan Show and nearly 40% of the entire population of the country tuned in.

It was the most watched TV show ever at that time and still today one of the biggest non-sports programs in history. What many don’t remember is that John, Paul, George and Ringo appeared on the Sullivan show the next two Sundays as well with the first being in Miami Beach and the second was a pre-recorded segment before they returned to England.

Jay Leno found out quickly that there was no replacing Johnny Carson but throughout his 22-year stint as host of The Tonight Show he managed to hold down the fort pretty well. Leno said farewell to late-night TV last night and did so with class and tears. He will be replaced on NBC by Jimmy Fallon after the Winter Olympics.

Speaking of which…the opening ceremonies are in Sochi today although competition actually began Thursday. Russia is 9 hours ahead of us so what you will be watching during prime time NBC TV coverage has already taken place but that won’t matter to most. Of course security has been the concern of many and it will be for our family as well.

Ralph Kiner throws waves to the fans prior to throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to first base coach Mookie Wilson #1 of the New York Mets prior to the Mets playing against the Washington Nationals during the Mets' Home Opener at Citi Field on April 8, 2011
Ralph Kiner throws waves to the fans prior to throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to first base coach Mookie Wilson #1 of the New York Mets prior to the Mets playing against the Washington Nationals during the Mets’ Home Opener at Citi Field on April 8, 2011 ( Al Bello/Getty Images)

My son Brandon leaves for Russia this afternoon and will spend about 10 days there for work on behalf of one of his clients, North Face. The good news is some of his people are over there already and report no problems with the hotel they are staying in. As much as we are excited for him we will certainly be glad when he steps foot back on American soil.

The death of baseball Hall of Famer and legendary Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner truly is the end of an era. Kiner was really the last link to the days of the Amazin’ Mets going back to Casey Stengel and the 91-year old spent 51 years in the broadcast booth. Hopefully there is a place in heaven for “Kiner’s Korner.”

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