- Michael Jackson receives another posthumous honor
- The Queen of Soul is busy planning a storybook wedding
- The vinyl album is making a comeback, and classic titles are leading the way
Careful With Those Camera Angles
Ed Sullivan's variety show might have been a ratings monster without the arrival of rock and roll, a genre of music he very publicly disrespected in its infancy. In the end, however, his embrace of it provided more than a few moments where the entire nation literally stopped what they were doing to watch his show. Today in 1957 provided one of those moments, and it also provided one of the first examples of censorship in the TV medium.
The first example of trying to "remake" the biggest star in the world at that time came when he was made to appear in a tuxedo with tails on The Steve Allen Show a few months prior to his Sullivan appearance. Making him feel disrespected, the star vowed never to appear on any show on which Steve Allen was associated with again. Money talks, however, and in the 1950's, $50,000 for three TV appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show was too lucrative to pass up. Despite growing concern over his onstage gyrations and movement and contrary to urban legend, the first two of those appearances came and went with no attempt to stifle his onstage energy by Sullivan or his producers. As the protests became louder and more widespread, however, the third and final appearance would show the superstar in a very different light.
To pacify religious leaders, parents, and other advocacy groups, Sullivan ordered his cameramen to film the star from the waist up. On that final appearance, Elvis Presley would perform seven songs, and ironically, his ended his final appearance with "Peace In The Valley", a classic gospel song presumably to win over the religious critics who didn't care for the way he danced. Furthermore, Ed Sullivan went somewhat out of his way to let viewers, including the very same critics denouncing him as a menace to society, know what a pleasure it had been working with Presley. Following Elvis's final number, he told the nation he was "a real decent, fine boy". What seems G-rated now was considered borderline X-rated on January 6, 1957, but seemingly the controversy temporarily subsided when Ed Sullivan removed Elvis's legs.
From Elvis Presley's third, final, and most notorious Ed Sullivan Show appearance from January 6, 1957.......
Golden Hits Radio's Burning Question of the Day
Which legendary "girl group" opened for The Rolling Stones on their first headlining tour of the UK in 1964, leading to a fling between Keith Richards and one of the group's members?
Come back to Everything Oldies tomorrow to find the answer, and leave a Comment below with your best guess!
Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day
Paul McCartney's upcoming album of standards will be titled Kisses On The Bottom, which is a line from what classic 30's era song that was a Top 5 hit again in 1957?
Answer: "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter"