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Music's biggest night

CBS CMO George Schweitzer discusses the Beatles appearing on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and the Grammy Awards.

The symbiotic relationship between television and music goes back to the early days of broadcasting.

One of the most noteworthy examples happened 48 years ago this week when the Beatles made their first live U.S. television appearance on the "The Ed Sullivan Show." A record-breaking 73 million viewers--more than 40 percent of the American population at the time--tuned in for the legendary broadcast on CBS and the fab four's stateside popularity immediately took off.

The Ed Sullivan Show featuring The Beatles, performing on Sunday, February 9, 1964, from CBS' Studio 50 in New York. CBS Photo Archive

Music continues to be one of the most powerful and unifying forces in our culture, bringing people together across regions, sensibilities, and walks of life. Music plays a hugely important role in television, with soundtracks serving as a "fourth dimension" that enhances drama by further triggering our emotions. In TV marketing--as in all advertising--the music track can make or break a promotion. And television--whether it's news, sports, scripted series, advertisements, or music videos--continues to be one of the most valuable ways for musical artists to get exposure.

CBS has long recognized the relationship between TV and music. We acquired the rights to broadcast the Grammy Awards--the music industry's premier event--in 1973 and have been broadcasting it ever since. On Sunday February 12, we're excited to welcome the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. It's an opportunity for everyone in America to come together at one time, in one place, and celebrate music's greatest talents. Check out one of our promos for the event, featuring Grammy host LL Cool J beat-boxing with Taylor Swift.

Be sure to tune in Sunday, February 12, 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT for the Grammys on CBS!

Where to find the Grammys: