30 Facts About The Ed Sullivan Show


In 2002, The Ed Sullivan Show was ranked No 15 on TV Guides 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

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From 1948 through 1962, the program's primary sponsor was the Lincoln-Mercury Division of the Ford Motor Company; The Ed Sullivan Show read many commercials for Mercury vehicles live on the air during this period.

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The last original Sullivan show telecast was on March 28,1971, with guests Melanie, Joanna Simon, Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass and Sandler and Young.

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For many years, Ed Sullivan was a national event each Sunday evening and was the first exposure for foreign performers to the American public.

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The Ed Sullivan Show enjoyed phenomenal popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s.

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The Ed Sullivan Show was regarded as a kingmaker, and performers considered an appearance on his program as a guarantee of stardom, although this sometimes did not turn out to be the case.

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One Ed Sullivan Show was broadcast on August 22,1954, from the new studio, but it was mostly used for one-time-only specials such as Rodgers and Hammerstein's March 31,1957 Cinderella.

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The Ed Sullivan Show realized that to keep viewers, the best and brightest in entertainment had to be seen, or else the viewers were going to keep on changing the channel.

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The Ed Sullivan Show was basically a musical variety show, and thus members of the CBS orchestra were folded into the Ed Sullivan Show Orchestra, conducted by Ray Bloch.

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However, each member of the Ed Sullivan Show Orchestra was a specialist and more than capable of covering the complete spectrum of music.

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Unlike NBC's The Tonight Show, which celebrated the notoriety of their musicians in Skitch Henderson's or Doc Severinsen's "Tonight Show Band", the CBS producers of The Ed Sullivan Show decided to hide their famed musicians behind a curtain.

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The Ed Sullivan Show's first set, Elvis played "Don't Be Cruel" and "Love Me Tender".

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The Ed Sullivan Show hosted a second appearance by Presley on October 28,1956.

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Years later, The Ed Sullivan Show tried to book Presley again, but declined after Presley's representatives presented a demanding rider.

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The Ed Sullivan Show was intrigued, telling his entourage it was the same thing as Elvis all over again.

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The Ed Sullivan Show initially offered Beatles manager Brian Epstein top dollar for a single show but the Beatles manager had a better idea—he wanted exposure for his clients: the Beatles would instead appear three times on the show, for only a minimal fee, but receive top billing and two spots on each show.

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The Ed Sullivan Show launched the careers of many performers by presenting them to a nationwide TV audience and ignored the criticism.

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The Ed Sullivan Show included entertainers such as Frankie Lymon, The Supremes, Marian Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Pearl Bailey, LaVern Baker, Harry Belafonte, Brook Benton, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Godfrey Cambridge, Diahann Carroll, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Bill Cosby, Count Basie, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr.

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However, The Ed Sullivan Show featured "rockers", and gave prominence to black musicians "not without censorship".

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The Ed Sullivan Show presented Domino alone at his piano singing as if he were a young Nat 'King' Cole or Fats Waller, as he performed "Blueberry Hill".

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The Ed Sullivan Show is noteworthy for showcasing performances from numerous classic Broadway musicals of the era, often featuring members of the original Broadway casts.

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The Ed Sullivan Show took him up on the offer, and in retrospect believed that several advances in the treatment of mental illness could be attributed to the resulting publicity, including the repeal of a Pennsylvania law about the treatment of the mentally ill and the granting of funds for the construction of new psychiatric hospitals.

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However, at 8:39 PM as The Ed Sullivan Show went into his commercial, the folk singer hurried to the side of Ray Block, musical director, to announce that he had “changed his mind” and was going to do “Diddley Daddy.

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On May 27,1956, The Ed Sullivan Show presented an animated short film entitled A Short Vision.

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Just before CBS showed the film, Sullivan assured children that what they would see was an animated fantasy.

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The Ed Sullivan Show told the audience that "It is grim, but I think we can all stand it to realize that in war there is no winner".

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The Ed Sullivan Show cut the Crickets' act from two songs to one, and when introducing them mispronounced Holly's name, so it came out vaguely as "Hollered" or "Holland".

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The band was received so well that The Ed Sullivan Show was forced to invite them back for a third appearance.

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The Ed Sullivan Show has said that the band only pretended to agree to change the line but that Morrison was nervous and simply forgot to change the line.

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The Ed Sullivan Show apparently felt the damage had been done and relented on bands using the word "higher".

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