Elvis: The Ed Sullivan Show – The Classic Performances (1956/2009)
Studio: Image Entertainment ID4175XSDVD
Video: 4:3 B&W
Audio: DD 5.1, DD mono
Extras: Home movie of an early Elvis performance (silent), Interviews with record producer Sam Phillips and TV’s Wink Martindale, Sullivan show clips promoting Elvis appearances, Special Elvis moments, Home movies of Elvis & Priscilla on a film set
Length: 47 minutes
Reading currently about those of us born before 1957 not requiring the Swine Flu shot made me think of the world-changing TV appearances that this DVD collects. Those born after 1957 missed the three appearances in 1956 by Elvis on the Sullivan Show, back when most people were glued to their sets and the youngsters in Sullivan’s audience were screaming for more. The King of Rock and Roll changed pop music forever in these appearances.
Of course the big thing to look for here is Elvis’ wild hip gyrations on his very first appearance on the show. Then to compare to the later two shows, when Sullivan laid down the law to the show’s director to only shoot Elvis from the waist up! His backing chorus looks so stiff, lame and uncool today, and probably did even then. Elvis had the crowd in his hand – just a very slight smirk or smile and they would go into screaming fits. Just his standing there and doing nothing was provocative enough. The lights in those early days were super-bright and hot – even for black and white; Elvis sweats like mad. Over the three appearances he does 15 tunes. Elvis fans will go nuts over this, and all of you who only came around after 1956 will now see what all the fuss was about.
Songs Include: Don’t Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, Hound Dog, Heartbreak Hotel, Love Me, Ready Teddy, Too Much, When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again, Peace in the Valley.
– John Henry