Adeli’s Music Blog

Elvis: The Ed Sullivan Show Classic Performances

Posted in music by adeli on August 14, 2009

Elvis Presley’s early TV performances, with his hip gyrations, high energy, and soulfulness, fascinated young people and shocked the adults of a repressed nation. Elvis changed the world with his historic performances on The Ed Sullivan Show; his first performance on September 9, 1956 drew an unprecedented record-breaking viewing audience of about 72 million. His style of singing and performances were revolutionary at that time. For all these reasons, and many more, Elvis: The Ed Sullivan Show – The Classic Performances DVD is a great treat to watch.

On the DVD, you’ll get all three of Elvis’s headlining performances from September 9, 1956, October 28, 1956, and January 6, 1957, each provoking more ecstatic screams from the ladies in the audience. His movements on the stage were considered indecent at the time and, unbeknownst to him, he was only filmed from the waist up during his third appearance. Elvis performed his hits of the time: Don’t Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Heartbreak Hotel, Too Much, Love Me Tender, When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again, Love Me, along with the gospel song (There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me).

During his performances, Elvis’s sense of humor shines through, as he doesn’t know what to make of the hysterics from the audience. Between songs, Elvis is the humble Southern gentleman many people have said he was by thanking the audience in the studio and at home for “the success you’ve let us have” and for the 282 Teddy bears he had received from fans.

This 47-minute DVD is packed with Special Features, including an Ed Sullivan bio, home movies from Presley’s friend Jerry Schilling, interviews from Sam Phillips (Sun Studios’ head, where Presley first recorded), Marlo Lewis (Ed Sullivan Show producer), Wink Martindale (TV host), and George Klein (a DJ and Presley’s high school classmate) and more. This collection of Elvis performances and commentary is an excellent way to get a feel for what he was like as a performer early in his career and during the start of the Elvis frenzy. His performances are in black in white, while many of the extras are in color..

The world had never seen or heard anyone quite like Elvis before. No one had that look or that voice that could sing rock and roll, love songs, gospel, or country. Elvis was so unique that his music and his persona still live even thirty-two years after his passing. This DVD is a great way to remember the King of Rock and Roll.

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