Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More Rock 'n' Roll on The Ed Sullivan Show

Yesterday I wrote a post on how Ed Sullivan featured many rock 'n' roll acts on The Ed Sullivan Show and embedded videos of some of the more historic performances. I was not able to feature as many as I liked, however, so I thought I would include a few more today.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, The Ed Sullivan Show was the first national show to feature a rock 'n' roll performance. That particular performance was Bill Haley and His Comets playing "Rock Around the Clock". It aired on 7 August 1955. Here is a portion of that performance.

Among the most popular and frequent artists seen on The Ed Sullivan Show were The Supremes. The trio appeared on the show fourteen times. What is more, The Supremes not only performed their own hit songs, but Broadway show tunes, old standards, and other pop songs as well. They were clearly one of Ed Sullivan's favourite acts to ever appear on the show. The Supremes first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on 27 December 1964, performing their hit "Come See About Me"

While The Supremes were one of Ed Sullivan's favourite acts, it is safe to say that The Doors definitely were not. The Doors appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 17 September 1967 and performed their hit "Light My Fire". CBS Standards and Practices objected to one line in the song, "Girl, we couldn't get much higher," on the grounds it could be construed as a drug reference. CBS's censors wanted to change the line to "Girl, we couldn't get much better." Not surprisingly, when The Doors performed the song lead vocalist Jim Morrison sang the original line, "Girl, we couldn't get much higher." Since The Ed Sullivan Show aired live, there was nothing the network whatsoever the network could do about it. Ed Sullivan was very angry with the band. In fact, The Doors were told they would never appear on The Ed Sullivan Show again, and they didn't. Jim Morrison's response when he was told they would never be invited back was simply, "Hey man, we just did the Sullivan show." Here is that famous performance.

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