Watch the moment Paul McCartney sings ‘Yesterday’ so tenderly that hysterical Beatles fans fall silent

2 July 2020, 16:14 | Updated: 2 July 2020, 16:22

Paul McCartney was performing on The Ed Sullivan Show with The Beatles in 1965
Paul McCartney was performing on The Ed Sullivan Show with The Beatles in 1965. Picture: Youtube

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

Imagine writing a song so beautiful it can utterly silence a crowd of screaming Beatles fans.

Well, that's exactly what happened the first time Sir Paul McCartney ever sang 'Yesterday' in 1965.

The Beatles were on their second tour of the United States when they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York at the height of Beatlemania.

Filmed on August 14, the Fab Four had played five songs live in front of a studio audience, before slowing down the set.

Read more: The inside story of why The Beatles really broke up

George Harrison then took to the microphone announcing Paul McCartney was going to sing a song from their new album, Help!.

Paul then took centre stage and started to sing 'Yesterday' for the first time.

The crowd can be heard screaming and shouting as Paul smiles through the first part of the song, but they quickly fall silent to listen to the haunting lyrics.

Read more: Ringo Starr says The Beatles were meant to record another album

The Beatles also played 'I Feel Fine,' 'I'm Down,' 'Act Naturally,' 'Ticket To Ride,' and 'Help' during the TV showcase.

The show was filmed the day before the band played Shea Stadium in New York, the highlight of the 1965 Beatles tour a concert which set world records for attendance and revenue.

"Over 55,000 people saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium," Promoter Sid Bernstein confirmed after the event.

Read more: The Beatles' Penny Lane 'in danger of being renamed if slavery link proven', says Liverpool city mayor

"We took $304,000, the greatest gross ever in the history of show business."

The performance happened in New York in August 1965 when Beatlemania was at its peak
The Beatles were huge in America in the 1960s and huge crowds turned out everywhere they went. Picture: Getty
The performance came at the height of Beatlemania. Pictured, police hold back fans from crashing into the Warwick Hotel, the Beatles' New York residence
The performance came at the height of Beatlemania. Pictured, police hold back fans from crashing into the Warwick Hotel, the Beatles' New York residence. Picture: Getty

'Yesterday' went on to become one of The Beatles most famous songs and even though it was credited as having been written by Lennon-McCartney, it was actually all Paul's creation.

McCartney is said to have composed the entire melody in a dream while staying at the Wimpole Street home of his then girlfriend Jane Asher, when he was just 22-years-old.

Read more: The Story of... 'Yesterday' by The Beatles

When he woke up, he quickly ran to a piano and played the tune to make sure he didn't forget it.

However, he was worried that he had subconsciously plagiarised another song.

Paul McCartney has gone on to become the most successful musician of all time. Pictured on October 15, 2016 in Indio, California
Paul McCartney has gone on to become the most successful musician of all time. Pictured on October 15, 2016 in Indio, California. Picture: Getty

He said: "For about a month I went round to people in the music business and asked them whether they had ever heard it before.

"Eventually it became like handing something in to the police. I thought if no one claimed it after a few weeks then I could have it."

Sir Paul McCartney went on to become the most successful singer-songwriters of all time.

With his Beatles royalties and highly successful solo career, it is estimated he has fortune of $1.2 billion.

Read more: Who are the top 20 richest singers in the world?