Beatles back in ’64: Local link to legacy

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles made their American debut at the legendary Ed Sullivan Theater attracting nearly 60 percent of Americans to their television sets. A Fort Wayne family remembers watching because one of their family members met the Beatles through her work with Ed Sullivan and developed a relationship with the budding pop group.

Ann Marston was an Archery World Champion in the 50s and 60s and was the first woman to ever be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. However, she was also the cousin and childhood best friend of Pamela Wood, who currently lives in Fort Wayne. Both Marston and Wood are British. At the time, Wood worked for the England-based company that produced all of the Beatles’ records while Marston was in America, a regular on the Ed Sullivan Show, and a fan of the Beatles.

“She worked with Ed Sullivan back in the late 50’s into the 60s,” Wood said. “She heard about the Beatles coming here to this country, and she got the ticket but didn’t use it because she went backstage,”

Marston met the Beatles through Ed Sullivan. Sullivan also gave her a ticket to the Beatles’ 1964 concert in Detroit.  After Marston passed away at an early age, Wood got all of her memorabilia. She said she has around 15 tubs filled with pictures, letters, films, and scrapbooks, including photos of Marston with Ed Sullivan and many pictures of her with the Beatles.

Wood has two of her cousin’s unused Beatles’ concert tickets because every time Marston went to see them she ended up backstage. Wood also said she has letters somewhere in her tubs that Marston, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr wrote to each other.

A special program commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan’s show premiered tonight at 8 o’clock on WANE.

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