Fortunately for me and for Always On Sunday, Ed simmers down eventually and decides my unauthorized biography is "magnificent." He promotes it in his newspaper column, in interviews and in joint television appearances with me. Ed helps turn the book he initially hated into a national bestseller.
During my 11 years on the Sullivan show, no one created more excitement than the Beatles. February 7, 1964: Kennedy Airport. Their first trip to the United States. The screaming fans! The haircuts! The sassy answers! Welcome to New York! The entire country focuses on this place and these young men. Including me. I am meeting their plane. A CBS public relations executive for years. Now the network's press representative on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
Ed was warned not to sign the Beatles: "You're crazy! No British group has ever made it big in this country." A month before they arrive, they are still unknown in America. Every reporter I contact turns down my invitation to go with me to JFK.
Two weeks later, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" rockets to the top of the charts. Beatlemania crosses the Atlantic, and I am besieged by thousands of ticket requests. Reporters plead to join me at JFK.
On February 14, I greet the Beatles again, this time in Miami for a second Sullivan show. I do my best to stay out of the way but, thanks to papparazzi determined to cash in on every shot of the Fab Four, I appear in photos published around the world (including the NY Post). In the captions I am called a Beatle, a case of mistaken identity Ruth and I still laugh about.
When I return to New York, Ed searches for me backstage. One stagehand is impressed. "Ed must really like you," he says. "You've only worked for him for four years, and he already knows your name."