Forty years ago today, the Beatles arrived in America to launch their music revolution.
Little did they know that one precocious teenager had paved the way, CBS News Correspondent Serena Altschul reports.
In December 1963, the CBS Evening News broadcast a report on a phenomenon that was taking Britain by storm – the rock 'n' roll sounds of a group of mop-tops calling themselves the Beatles. On this side of the pond, one juvenile was watching.
Fourteen-year-old Marsha Albert of Silver Springs, Maryland, liked what she heard – so she made a request to her local radio station.
"I couldn't get it out of my mind and I wanted to hear more," Albert said in an exclusive interview with CBS News. "I just said that I think we should have this music here in the U.S., and could you please try to get one - get the record."
Not only did they get the record, but the DJ also brought Albert into the studio to introduce it on the air.
"He wrote down for me what to say," said Albert.
And how did she announce the arrival of the Fab Four to American ears?
"Ladies and gentlemen – for the first time on the air in the U.S., here are the Beatles singing 'I Want to Hold Your Hand.'"
And the rest is history. Three weeks before the Beatles set foot on U.S. soil, the song Albert introduced had already climbed to number one. She saw the band play live at a show in Washington D.C., a performance featured on a new DVD called "The Beatles First U.S. Visit."
"It was like a white noise. Total absence of being able to hear anything," Albert told Altschul.
But she did get to meet them, up-close and in-person.
A woman who guards her privacy, Albert sees herself as an unlikely candidate to have jump-started the screaming hoards – not much of a rock 'n' roll fan then or now.
She declined many TV interviews and only agreed to speak to CBS, the network that first brought her the Beatles.
Albert is now a mother with two grown children – but she enjoyed her moments in the spotlight.
"I guess I was a minor celebrity, but after that I was back to old Marsha, Marsha Albet," she said.
Copyright 2004 CBS. All rights reserved.