Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Beatles

Music History Monday: Still Number One in Our Hearts

I was just two years old – and therefore too young to notice or remember – when Elvis Presley made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956. More that sixty million people tuned in to watch, a number that dazzles to this day. (In fact, they saw neither Elvis nor Ed Sullivan in Sullivan’s New York Studio. Presley was filming his first movie in Hollywood, so he performed from a local CBS studio. Ed Sullivan was on medical leave, recovering from a head-on collision suffered a few weeks earlier. It was the Oscar-winning English actor and director Charles Laughton who subbed for Ed Sullivan that evening. He introduced Elvis by saying, “Away to Hollywood to meet Elvis Presley.” The scene shifted to Elvis, wearing an absurd plaid jacket that made him look like a used car salesman. After acknowledging that being on the Sullivan show was “probably the greatest honor I have ever had in my life,” he began his mini-set with a performance of “Don’t Be Cruel”.)  So I missed out on Elvis’ spectacular national premiere. But I was old enough to watch and remember the next epochal event to occur on the Ed… 

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