Hey Rock n' Rollers! This Saturday night we will remember the early days of television. An appearance by a musical act would almost guarantee an even greater amount of record sales. Hear snipits from previous Those Were The Days interviews with the likes of Dick Clark and Steve Allen and musical acts like the 5th Dimension and Tommy James and the Shondells about appearing on the Ed Sullivan show. We will also feature great music and special features from the 1950s through the 1980s until Midnight on WRCO FM 100.9. I have vivid memories of watching for my favorite artist or group on a tv show. In the 70's The Midnight Special featured a wide array of talent live on stage. Saturday afternoons I would always try to catch American Bandstand. From 1948 until early 1971 the Ed Sullivan show was a showcase for plate spinners, dancing elephants, comedy acts, and the top musical artists of the day. My friend Kent Kotal has been featuring memories of the Ed Sullivan show on his site Forgottenhits.com. He has been collecting memories of the Sullivan show from all over the world. This is what I wrote.
Thanks for featuring a tribute to Ed Sullivan. I would have more money in my pocket if I had a dollar for every local, regional, or national artist that has told me that they got into music after seeing the Beatles on Sullivan. I was very young, however, I remember my mother exclaiming "look at their hair" each time they were on. Ed's friend Topo Gigio was what I liked to see at that age. I remember being excited the first time I saw the Jackson Five appear. While in high school I won the part of Mr. MacAfee in the musical Bye Bye Birdie and got to sing Hymn For A Sunday Evening (We're Gonna Be On Ed Sullivan). While we had fake television cameras and a make believe set, I remember thinking how nervous the Sullivan guests must have been to be on a show that so many people watched.
To me the Ed Sullivan show was a lot like Top 40 radio was in those days. It was a variety show. If you didn't like what you were hearing or seeing, you waited five minutes and something would come on that you liked. You were exposed to so much entertainment and styles of music that many times you grew to appreciate. It is not like today's ipod, me pod, TiVo, generation that we live in.
Ed Sullivan was often imitated but never equaled. He does deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I hope someday that happens.
Phil - WRCO
I hope you will listen to Those Were The Days this Saturday night. I will talk with you soon.