“Following the ascension of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to #1 in early February, the Beatles held the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for three and a half solid months—longer than any popular artist before or since.
Over the course of those months, the Fab Four earned three consecutive #1 singles (a record); held all five spots in the top five in early April (a record); and had a total of 14 songs in the Billboard Hot 100 in mid-April (yet another record).
But just when it seemed that no homegrown act would ever stand up to the British invaders, one of least likely American stars imaginable proved himself equal to the task.
On May 9, 1964, the great Louis Armstrong, age 63, broke the Beatles’ stranglehold on the U.S. pop charts with the #1 hit “Hello Dolly.””
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