This Song Changed Popular Music Forever
In January of 1964, Bobby Vinton became the last American to have a number one record before the British Invasion began. The Beatles had already sold millions of records on EMI’s Parlaphone label by then. However, that was in England. Capitol Records was EMI’s American company and decided against releasing the Beatles first four British singles. A label executive at Capitol told Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, “We don’t think the Beatles will do anything in this market.” How could anyone have been more wrong?
I Want To Hold Your Hand entered the British charts on December 5, 1963 and went to number one hit the next week. Capitol finally got the message and released the single on December 26. It debuted on the American charts on January 18, 1964. By the week of February 1, it was the number one song in the USA.
The Beatles’ She Loves You took over the top spot in March and was followed by Can’t Buy Me Love in April.
It wasn’t until the week of May 9th that another name claimed the number one title (Louis Armstrong’s Hello Dolly).