The Ed Sullivan Show (1956-1957)

Elvis Colonel Ed

“I don’t want him on my show, I don’t care what anyone says about him – how great a talent he is – he just won’t be in m show and that’s that”

– Ed Sullivan, 1956.

On July 1st, 1956, Elvis appeared on The Steve Allen Show. He sang Hound Dog, to an actual basset hound named Sherlock, and I Want You, I Need You, I Love You. After him singing to the basset hound, Elvis had said that was the most embarrassing moment of his career. Elvis even did a skit with Steve Allen and comedienne Imogene Coca. The show went so well that The Steve Allen Show beat Ed Sullivan in the ratings that week.

Hound Dog – The Steve Allen Show 1956

Ed Sullivan contacted the Colonel on July 2nd to discuss terms of Elvis being on the show. Elvis heads to New York and on September 9th, 1956, he makes his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. An estimated 54 million people watched as Elvis sang Don’t Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Teddy Bear, and Love Me Tender. The ratings were through the roof. Ratings would not be this high again until The Beatles performed in 1964.

Love Me Tender

Elvis appears for the second time on October 28th, 1956. He drew in large ratings once again while performing Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, and Love Me. After his performance, Ed Sullivan presented Elvis with his 5th gold record for Love Me Tender.

Hound Dog

On Elvis’s final performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, he sings seven songs including Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel, Too Much, When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again, and Peace in the Valley. The final appearance took place on January 6th, 1957.

Don’t Be Cruel

His performance of Peace in the Valley was dedicated to the people of Hungary who were currently in the wake of the October 1956 anti-Soviet revolution. With this, Ed Sullivan joined with Elvis’s efforts and asked the viewers to donate to the Hungarian relief efforts.

Peace in the Valley

Though Ed Sullivan did not want Elvis on his show, during his final appearance, he made a statement about the singer.

Elvis Ed

I wanted to say to Elvis Presley and the country that this is a real decent, fine boy, and wherever you go, Elvis, we want to say we’ve never had a pleasanter experience on our show with a big name than we’ve had with you. So now let’s have a tremendous hand for a very nice person

– Ed Sullivan, January 6th, 1957

I have this collection on DVD. I remember the first time I ever watched this. Elvis was absolutely beautiful. Who else could look as flawless on such a picture? Peace in the Valley still gives me chills. Such an amazing performer.


Little Sister

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply David Maybee September 21, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I believe I have an old moody blue show. Tou bus it is a 1949 prevost and in faint paint I can see the moody blue show

  • Leave a Reply