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Should Elvis Have Appeared on Ed Sullivan Show in the 60's

Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:29 am

Just a thought: What if Elvis had made a few appearances on the Sullivan Show in the 60's between movies to promote a few of his singles? It may have helped "Memphis" , "Love Letters", and a few other songs from that era if he had plugged them on Network TV. Plus it would have been cool to see him sing "His Latest Flame" and "Good Luck Charm" on TV.

It could have changed the whole musical landscape of the 60's.

What if Elvis had performed "Memphis" and "It Hurts Me" on Sullivan the week before the Beatles made their debut? Maybe everyone would have been talking about how great Elvis sounded the week before...

Re: Should Elvis Have Appeared on Ed Sullivan Show in the 60

Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:38 am

Rtn 2 Sndr wrote:JWhat if Elvis had performed "Memphis" and "It Hurts Me" on Sullivan the week before the Beatles made their debut? Maybe everyone would have been talking about how great Elvis sounded the week before...

Maybe. But there's no stopping a tsunami.

DJC

Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:45 am

Maybe, Doc.

I hate to play the what if game, but had Elvis not been drafted and had been able to continue without interruption what he'd started, the people of the United States many have never known the Beatles. At least, not to the extent that they do now.

Of course, this is something we'll never know.

Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:09 am

Rob wrote:I hate to play the what if game, but had Elvis not been drafted and had been able to continue without interruption ...

Maybe we'd have gotten "Blue Hawaii" in 1959, and "Spinout" in 1964.

It is a dangerous game indeed.

DJC

Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:12 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Maybe we'd have gotten "Blue Hawaii" in 1959, and "Spinout" in 1964.


Is it just me or am I detecting a little sarcasm here?

Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:13 am

Maybe you do just get out of the way of a tsunami, Dr. C.

So maybe it was a good career move for Elvis to not record or release a studio album during the height of the British Invasion? And maybe the Colonel was right about all of those movies...

Nahhh....

You can't change history, and what-ifs are only for entertainment, but it is fun to speculate on how Elvis might have enjoyed the challenge of appearing on TV a few times in the mid-60's.

Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:15 am

Rob wrote:Is it just me or am I detecting a little sarcasm here?

Heh heh heh.

DJC

Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:15 am

When I think of Elvis appearing on the Ed Sullivan shown I think of 1969. Imagine Elvis singing Suspicious Minds, or In The Ghetto, or Kentucky Rain, etc. If only.................

Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:35 am

jake wrote:When I think of Elvis appearing on the Ed Sullivan shown I think of 1969. Imagine Elvis singing Suspicious Minds, or In The Ghetto, or Kentucky Rain, etc. If only.................


That would have been great. What would have been fitting would have been for Elvis to appear on the final Ed Sullivan show in 1971. CBS would have paid if the Col had let him do it.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:35 am

InMemphis wrote:
jake wrote:When I think of Elvis appearing on the Ed Sullivan shown I think of 1969. Imagine Elvis singing Suspicious Minds, or In The Ghetto, or Kentucky Rain, etc. If only.................


That would have been great. What would have been fitting would have been for Elvis to appear on the final Ed Sullivan show in 1971. CBS would have paid if the Col had let him do it.


I thought they didn't know it was the last season of Ed Sullivan? Didn't Ed expect to be back the following season, but was cancelled in the offseason?

Axe?

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:03 pm

It is really interesting if there were a T.v. gigs for the king in 61'-69'
To see Elvis sings : "Jim Said Hello...", "Devil in disguise". "Suspicioun", "Shes not you", "ask me", "crying in the chappel" ...mmm....
LIOR

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:12 pm

Money stood in the way.

Elvis could've performed on the Joey Bishop Show around '61.
He was invited to!

but Satan, er, I mean Col. Parker set a $25,000 price tag
- and not to sing, just appear and wave to the audience!
A walk-on.

No one wanted to spend that much (or more) even with Elvis (singing or not) guaranteeing viewers.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:15 pm

Axeman wrote: I thought they didn't know it was the last season of Ed Sullivan? Didn't Ed expect to be back the following season, but was cancelled in the offseason?



Ed Sullivan died.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:20 pm

At first it seems a simple question, to which the answer is yes! It would have been great to see Elvis on TV and it may have kept him in the minds of the record buying public.

Yet it is also a dangerous game to play - going head to head with the new groups may have damaged his reputation and led to Elvis being perceived as a dinosaur from another era. I think he would have had to perform better material than he recorded from 64-67 to stand a chance.

Andrew

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:26 pm

Graceland Gardener wrote:
Axeman wrote: I thought they didn't know it was the last season of Ed Sullivan? Didn't Ed expect to be back the following season, but was cancelled in the offseason?



Ed Sullivan died.


Not until a couple of years after the show ended though GG.

Andrew

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:47 pm

It was Elvis absence of recordings from non soundtrack 1964 to 1966 that hurt him..not the Beatles.

If E would have kept recording, his stats would have been a hell of a lot higher. Perhaps the 68 comeback would have come much sooner too. :lol:

Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:04 pm

So, let's say that Elvis tried to stay current and performed occasionally on Shindig, Ed Sullivan, Music Scene, and other musical variety shows.

Could he have become too familiar to the US audience, another Franki Valli or Gary Puckett, appearing in our homes 3 or 4 times a year?

Part of the magic of the 68 Special, Vegas Comeback, and American Studio recordings was that a major artist had rediscovered his roots and come back with a vengeance from obscurity and cheesie movies.

I guess things unfolded as they were meant to be.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:29 pm

It was about money, as the Col wanted to keep Elvis out of the eye of the masses to build the mystique and the desire to see him when he came to town. Problem is, he never made it to "every town".

If he performed 100 concerts per year at 10,000 people per venue, he played in front of one million people. Those shows usually had a payday of about $100,000.

A single night on television, as witnessed by 68 Singer Special and Aloha, could reach hundreds of millions. The Col couldn't get the same ratio of money per viewer as he did in person. TV couldn't pay enough to satisfy the Col's thirst.

Always wondered what an Elvis pay per view event might have generated had it been available then.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:00 pm

InMemphis wrote:It was about money, as the Col wanted to keep Elvis out of the eye of the masses to build the mystique and the desire to see him when he came to town. Problem is, he never made it to "every town".


If Colonel honestly felt that way, and I don't believe that he did, he was a fool. I don't believe the Colonel sat around and consciously plotted Elvis' mystique. Why didn't he do that in the 50's?

I agree that the Colonel wanted money, but television exposure was the biggest means to that end.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:16 pm

Years ago, I read an item in the book "Always on Sunday - Ed Sullivan: An Inside View" at the library (I read through part of this book about 20 years ago. I wished I had a copy of the book).
The book originally came out in 1968.
There was a story reported in the book that Ed Sullivan tried to book Elvis for his show in 1968 (for the show's 20th anniversary). Sullivan contacted Tom Parker. TP made all kinds of monetary demands.
Sullivan responded by saying something like "Thanks, and tell Elvis I wish him well".

Does anyone have this book??

Tom (from Ohio)

Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:23 pm

while over exposure can be dangerous, just as tom jones got burned on the tv shows he hosted, so much that he only scored 3 top 40 hits between 1973 and 2006, I believe an ed sullivan performance of in the ghetto in april 69 could have been the right thing at the right time.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:09 pm

KHoots wrote:
InMemphis wrote:It was about money, as the Col wanted to keep Elvis out of the eye of the masses to build the mystique and the desire to see him when he came to town. Problem is, he never made it to "every town".


If Colonel honestly felt that way, and I don't believe that he did, he was a fool. I don't believe the Colonel sat around and consciously plotted Elvis' mystique. Why didn't he do that in the 50's?

I agree that the Colonel wanted money, but television exposure was the biggest means to that end.


He might have been a genius fool, but that was definitely his strategy. That's why he demanded such high prices for a television appearance because he didn't want anyone to see Elvis for "free". He knew they wouldn't pay.

I saw Dick Clark, of American Bandstand, at a venue 9 or 10 years ago, and when asked why Elvis was never on AB, he said they tried for years to get Elvis, but the Col would ask an absurd amount because he knew the television companies would not pay that amount.

With the rare exceptions of the 68 Special, Aloha and the CBS Concert, if you saw Elvis perform, it cost $$. No one gets in the circus for free.

Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:18 am

It would have been neat..

Sat Feb 25, 2006 7:16 am

To me, it reached a point where EP was too big to appear on a weekly TV show anymore, not sure of when it happened, but it did.

Sat Feb 25, 2006 12:27 pm

Joe Car wrote:To me, it reached a point where EP was too big to appear on a weekly TV show anymore, not sure of when it happened, but it did.


Well, no performer is so big they don't have singles out that are in dire need of some exposure !