The single with which The Beatles arrived in America, I Want To Hold Your Hand was released on Boxing Day 1963 by Capitol Records.
Capitol Records had previously been unconvinced by The Beatles’ prospects in America, and it took all Brian Epstein’s persuasive powers to convince EMI’s Stateside counterpart that the group could be a hit. The Beatles’ previous singles had been issued by the relatively minor labels Vee-Jay and Swan.
The single had the serial number Capitol 5112, and the b-side was ‘I Saw Her Standing There’.
With a promotional budget of $40,000, Capitol originally intended to release the single in January 1964. However, airplay by Carroll James, a DJ on Washington, DC station WWDC, led to the release date being brought forward to cope with public demand.
In the first three days after its release, 250,000 copies had been sold; 10,000 were reportedly sold every hour in New York City.
Also on this day...
- 1967: Magical Mystery Tour is premièred on BBC 1
- 1965: Paul McCartney has a moped accident in Liverpool
- 1965: George Harrison pays a surprise visit to his family
- 1964: Live: Another Beatles Christmas Show
- 1963: Live: The Beatles’ Christmas Show
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1961: Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.