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The Beatles in DC: A New Exhibit in Maryland Looks Back on Early Beatlemania

The National Capital Radio & Television Museum celebrates the anniversary of the Fab Four's WWDC interview

The Beatles with WWDC Disc Jockey Caroll James in 1964. Photograph courtesy of WWDC.

On February 11, 1964, WWDC DJ Caroll James—the first DJ to play the Beatles on the air in the US—chatted live with a young British band called the Beatles ahead of their first-ever concert in the United States at the Washington Coliseum. Sixty years later to the day, the National Capital Radio & Television Museum in Bowie will debut a mini-exhibit to commemorate the interview and larger moment in music history. 

The museum’s collection is centered around the history of broadcast and electronic media, with a particular focus on preserving artifacts from the DC-Baltimore area. 

Its new exhibit “The Beatles’ First US Radio Interview” transports visitors back to the early days of Beatlemania. The star of the show is the original microphone used in the WWDC radio interview, which was donated to the museum by a private citizen late last year. A restored 1955 television set allows visitors to flip through three “channels” of photos and audio from their US trip: the original radio interview, the band’s Washington Coliseum performance, and their historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show just two days before they arrived in DC.


The original microphone from the 1964 interview. Photograph courtesy of the National Capital Radio & Television Museum.

To learn more about the Liverpool band’s first trip to the States, reserve a tour with one of the museum’s trained docents.


Omega Ilijevich
Editorial Fellow