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The Beatles on stage at the London Palladium during a performance in front of 2, 000 screaming fans. (Photo by Michael Webb/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

The Beatles: “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

The Hook: A week before their arrival in America, they were in France when they found out it had become their first U.S. number-one.

Album: Meet the Beatles

Year: Released as a U.S. single December 26th, 1963 and on album January 20th, 1964

Writers: John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Stats: Topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks

Background: The Beatles played five songs on their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show — “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There” and their number-one hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” The group was in France, along with manager Brian Epstein and road manager Mal Evans, on February 1st when they found out it was atop the U.S. charts. Paul McCartney recalls what it was like for them to get that news.

Paul McCartney on how The Beatles reacted to “I Want to Hold Your Hand” becoming their first number-one in the U.S. OC:…a week. :25

“We were in Paris one time playing The Olympia in Paris. We’re at the hotel. And a telegram came through from Capitol Records of America. Brian, he came running in the room, “Hey! You’re number-one in America!” Well. I mean, I can’t describe. We just, ‘Hey hey!’ We all tried to jump on Big Mal’s back. And I remember running around the suite on Big Mal’s back going, ‘Wha heyyyyy!’ That was it. We just didn’t come down for a week.”