The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” is released in the USA.
This was the first Beatles song to catch on in America. In 1963, the Beatles became stars in England, but couldn’t break through in the US. They couldn’t get a major label to distribute their singles in America, so songs like “Love Me Do” and “She Loves You” were issued on small labels and flopped, even though they were hits in England. By February 1964, America finally took notice of The Beatles and bought this single in droves, giving them their first US hit. It sold better in the first 10 days of release in the US than any other British single, and remains the best-selling Beatles single in the United States, moving over 12 million copies.
The Beatles celebrated madly when they found out they were #1 in America. They came to America for the first time in February 1964, a week after this hit #1, and having the top single gave them a huge boost. Conquering the US was, and still is, a big deal for British bands. Many groups that are huge in the UK (Oasis, Blur) never really catch on in America.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.