Currently on a 10 DVD Set from Time Life is an extensive look at music with ED SULLIVAN’S ROCK & ROLL CLASSICS.
The Ed Sullivan Show was a staple variety show in family homes beginning in 1948 util 1971. Through all that time, he introduced some of the most outstanding talent. Elvis Presley hit the stage in 1956 and sent the shows rating skyrocketing. Appearing again to sing ‘Hound Dog’, he sent censors reeling with his gyrating performances. So much so they had to enact policy about how Presley would be filmed.
That same year, Fats Domino would entertain audiences with his R&B sound and ‘Blueberry Hill’ which is still a memorable song today. The next year, a very tall young man with thick black glasses from Lubbock, Texas would perform. Buddy Holly rocked with ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘That’ll be the Day’. To this day I am partial to the song ‘True Love Ways’.
In 1960, a thrilling Jackie Wilson would bring ‘Lonely Teardrops’ to music lovers and in 1964 The 4 Seasons sing ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’. Both of these songs are still played on the radio and can be found on song lists today. That’s how memorable and good they are.
The year 1964 would turn out to be one of the most fantastic with the introduction of a young Stevie Wonder playing the piano and singing ‘Fingertips Pt. II’. The world would also discover that this major talent did so without his sight. The Beach Boys would bring another summer hit with ‘I Get Around’, The Animals brought the dark and brooding ‘House of the Rising Sun’.
Also, that year, The Rolling Stones sang and played ‘Time is on My Side’ with Mick Jagger leading his group.
The world would be introduced to a very sexy Welshman with Tom Jones capturing female fans especially with his rendition of ‘It’s Not Unusual’. The girls aren’t far behind with their Ed Sullivan musical contribution with Martha & The Vandellas having us all ‘Dancing in the Streets’.
The Byrds brought the most memorable and frequently still used in movies and television shows with ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ and later played the Dylan son ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ in psychedelics.
The music starts to change with a mixture of R&B and the feel of the 60’s beginning with The Young Rascals and ‘Good Lovin’. James Brown brings historic energy to the show with ‘Prisoner of Love’. Marvin Gaye also changes things up by performing ‘This Heart of Mine’ (another of my personal favorites).
For a bit more of the 60’s vibe, The Mamas & The Papas fall into the counterculture of music and sweep with the melodic ‘Monday, Monday’ and the harmony of ‘California Dreamin’.
Lovin’ Spoonful bring a different color with ‘Do You Believe in Magic’ and Johnny Rivers ‘Baby I Need You’re Lovin’. Another psychedelic came with The Turtles singing ‘She’d Rather Be with Me’. The Temptations would bring two of their hits to Ed Sullivan with ‘I Know I’m Losing You’ and ‘My Girl’.
One of my favorite groups, The Bee Gees would croon with ‘Words’, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles agree to ‘I Second that Emotion’. The funk arrives with Sly & The Family Stone with ‘Dance to the Music’.
If you don’t know The 5th Dimension and ‘Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In’ then we might not be able to be friends. What a stunner performance. CCR or Creedence Clearwater Revival in case you don’t know performs with his ‘Proud Mary’ as Janis Joplin made sure we all got to ‘Raise Your Hand’. Steppenwolf asks us all to go on a ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ and it is so worth it.
When you want to make sure the band has a memorable name, then you name yourself The Band and bring roots to their performance of ‘Up on Cripple Creek’ in 1969. There has always been controversy around Jerry Lee Lewis, but that didn’t stop the Ed Sullivan from having him on the show to perform ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’.
The world was about to know The Jackson 5 as a young Michael Jackson and his brothers would charm and belt out the song ‘I Want You Back’. The audience did not realize but in the years that followed would, they were in the presence of the future King of Pop.
Finally, in 1970, the song that would become synonymous with memes about it and the song associated with BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID with B.J. Thomas’ ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head’. The brother and sister team known as The Carpenters put sister Karen on a set of drums and sway the audience with ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You’.
Ike and Tina Turner brought something explosive to The Ed Sullivan Show with their rendition of CCR’s song ‘Proud Mary’. The difference is that Tina Turner put her own touches on it reviving the song into a hit once again.
Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now remind of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.
What is so amazing about this 10-disc collection is what you see above is only a fraction of what this set has to offer. Inside the set is a program guide that will go into detail even more of the music we have come to love and know that we will never see again. There are more gems such as The Supremes, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Friends of Distinction, Dusty Springfield, Steppenwolf and so many more.
That is what Time Life has done for music, kept it safe and secure so generation after generation can experience the progression of where The Ed Sullivan Show started and where we are now. Giving audiences and families watching at home each week something unseen and unheard at that time, it is what Sunday nights were made for.
Take time to revisit something so special, it is worth the 10-discs and more.
In the end – these are rock & roll classics!