A British-invasion Time Line


September 19: Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, an act put together by the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, releases its fourth single of 1964 to crack the Top Forty. Three of them, including “Bad to Me,” were written by Lennon and McCartney.

September 20: The Beatles finish their month-long U.S. tour.

October 24: The Kinks’ single “You Really Got Me” enters the Top Forty singles chart and will ultimately crack the Top Ten.

November 1: The Dave Clark Five appear on “Ed Sullivan,” shouting their hit “Glad All Over” while Ed beams his approval over their cleancut looks.

November 7: “She’s Not There,” by the Zombies, a Hertfordshire band, enters the Top Forty and stays at No. 2 for a week.

December 4: The Beatles for Sale album is released in the U.K.

December 19: “Downtown,” by Petula Clark, enters the U.S. charts. By the end of January 1965, it will be the No. 1 song in the country. Clark will produce five more Top Ten hits, including “I Know a Place.” “Love Potion Number Nine,” the Clovers’ 1959 R&B classic, now covered by the Searchers, enters the Top Forty today, destined for a No. 3 finish.

December 31: The Beatles’ single “I Feel Fine” and their album Beatles 65 are certified gold, meaning sales of one million units for each. In 1964 British acts held the No. 1 spot on the American singles chart for twenty-four weeks (eighteen of them by the Beatles).


January 12: NEC-TV’s “Hullabaloo” musical variety show premieres. In a segment shot in London, Brian Epstein presents the American debut of the Zombies and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

January 20: The Rolling Stones and the Kinks debut on “Shindig,” along with the Dave Clark Five, Petula Clark, and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

February 12: Donovan, a Scottish folksinger who is compared to Bob Dylan in the U.K., is signed by Pye Records; his first U.S. hit, “Catch the Wind,” will four months later enter the Top Forty.

February 28: The Kinks’ “Tired of Waiting for You” becomes the No. 1 single in the U.K.; an American tour is planned.

March 1: Petula Clark’s “Downtown” goes gold, with sales of one million records. Freddie and the Dreamers appear on “Hullabaloo.” Two weeks later the British band’s first single, “I’m Telling You Now,” will appear on American charts, eventually climbing to No. 1 for two weeks in April, the high-water mark of Freddie’s American impact.

March 5: The Yardbirds (with Eric Clapton) release “For Your Love” in the U.K. It will become their first Top Ten hit in the U.S. when it is released later that spring.

March 13: The Kinks’ “Tired of Waiting for You” begins its climb to the Top Ten, eventually reaching No. 6.

March 20: “Game of Love,” by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, enters the Hot Hundred U.S. singles chart on its way to a No. 1 spot later in the year.

April 10: Freddie and the Dreamers hit No. 1 with “Fm Telling You Now.” Their follow-up novelty single, “Do the Freddie,” will hit No. 18 on the pop chart.

April 13: The Grammy goes to … the Beatles’ “Hard Day’s Night” for Best Performance by a Vocal Group; the Fab Four are the Best New Artist of 1964. The judges cite “Downtown” by Petula Clark as the “Best Contemporary (Rock & Roll) Recording of 1964.” Go figure.

April 16: The Hollies open their first U.S. tour on the strength of a low-charting single, a cover of “Just One Look.” The band, with shifting personnel, will go on to chart a dozen Top Forty singles in the States.

April 23: The Stones open their third North American tour in Montreal, Canada.

April 29: Gerry and the Pacemakers arrive in New York for a month-long American tour as their single “Ferry Cross the Mersey” heads for the Top Ten.

May 1: The Brits continue their domination of the charts with Herman’s Hermits No. 1 recording, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.” In fact, Herman’s Hermits sell more singles in 1965 than any group except the Beatles.

May 6: In Clearwater, Florida, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards can’t sleep. He wakes up singer Mick Jagger in the middle of the night to play for him the riff that will soon become “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Mick likes it.

June 4: “Satisfaction” enters the U.S. charts, hitting No. 1 stateside before it does in the U.K.

June 14: The album Beatles VI is released in the U.S.

June 16: “Mrs. Brown” goes gold.

June 17: The Kinks arrive in New York City for their first American tour, with three U.S. hits to their name.