Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Few More Of Your Recent Sullivan Comments

We're still getting mail about our highly popular Ed Sullivan Series 
(now running right up to Thanksgiving due to such a great response from our readers!)

Here are just a few more recent comments:

Here are some responses we received after sharing the news of the recent Ed Sullivan / Motown DVD releases from SOFA Entertainment and Universal Music: The Best of The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show,  The Best of The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show and Motown Gold from The Ed Sullivan Show (2 DVD set).  
We asked the musical question:  Why do people say that The Ed Sullivan Show launched the career of most Motown artists?

Neil Russo, the oldies but goodies
Simply because the hugely popular Ed Sullivan Show gave them a national platform to show-off their talents. Without Ed Sullivan, the Motown singers may still have gained fame, but not as quickly as they didIt would be similar to book author appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show, making the book an immediate best seller.

Lauren Castro, performing arts teacher
One great Motown group after another was introduced on Sullivan, new releases topped the music charts and Ed Sullivan's brief chats with the artists all gave way to a greater acceptance of African-American R&B by white teenagers. There's this Motown DVD collection that recently came out, which features all Motown acts from the Ed Sullivan Show:
It's a great collection, I definitely recommend this set, if you're a Motown fan, a music lover or simply appreciate a good piece of entertainment like The Ed Sullivan Show.

Ed Sullivan was a huge promoter and advocate of Motown artists and his show gave them a national platform to share their talents. Motown artists have, without a doubt, contributed to the world of music immensely and to this day they continue to captivate millions of hearts with their timeless music. The Jackson 5, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, just to name a few, were all part of the incredible roster of Motown acts who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

-- submitted by Bob Merlis / M.F.H.

Here's the scoop on these hot new releases one last time ...  
Motown stars on Sullivan..
This 2 DVD set features Motown's greatest artists including The Jackson 5,
The Supremes, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations. Enjoy 58 classic songs
by Motown's most belovedmusicians. 

The Supes were super on Sullivan..
The Supremes made 16 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show - more than
any other Motown artist or group. This DVD features 22 classic hits including
"You Can't Hurry Love," "Love Child,""Come See About Me" and "Love Is Like
An Itching In My Heart." Enjoy an incredible collection that has never been  
released on DVD and honors the 50th anniversary of The Supremes! 

"Get Ready" for the Temps on Ed Sullivan..
The Temptations set a very high bar for R&B groups with their distinctive
harmonies, flashy suits and dazzling choreography. The Temptations 
stepped into the Sullivan spotlight for the first time on May 28, 1967 and
went on to perform numerous hits which can be found on this DVD including:
"Just My Imagination," "My Girl," "Psychedelic Shack," and "I'm Losing You."
Enjoy this incredible DVD featuring 21 classic songs on a single DVD for the
first time. It's time to honor the 50th anniversary of The Temptations! 

Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and SOFA Entertainment present Motown Gold from The Ed Sullivan Show (2 DVDs), and, in celebration of The Temptations' and Supremes' 50th  Anniversary, The Best of The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show (1 DVD) and The Best of The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show  (1 DVD). All three collections are packed with classic Motown performances from The Ed Sullivan Show, taped live between 1964 and 1971, and are fully restored with never before released footage.
One great Motown group after another was introduced on Sullivan, new releases topped the music charts and Ed's brief chats with the artists all led to a greater acceptance of African-American R&B by white teenagers. This helped Motown to conquer America, and in time, the company became world renown as "The Sound of Young America."
Motown Gold from The Ed Sullivan Show is a 2-DVD (3 Volume) collection with appearances by legendary Motown acts including:    
The Jackson 5 ushering in a new generation of Motown acts with a medley of their No. 1 hits “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save” and “ABC.” 
 Diana Ross and The Supremes performing their No. 1 hits “Come See About Me,” “Someday We’ll Be Together” and “Love Child.”
The Temptations doing their No. 1 hits “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.”
The Four Tops with their No. 1 hit single “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”
Martha & the Vandellas singing their timeless classic “Dancing in the Street.”
Marvin Gaye’s only Sullivan appearance singing “Take This Heart of Mine.”
Young Stevie Wonder captivating the audience with his No. 1 hit “Fingertips Pt. 2” and his classic “For Once in My Life.”
A never-before-released performance of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles singing a medley of the hits “I Second That Emotion,” “If You Can Want” and “Going to a Go-Go.”
And many other great Motown Performances!
Bonus material included in this collection features a special performance by Gladys Knight & The Pips of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Houston, Texas, and the Four Tops singing ‘’Put A Little Love in Your Heart” at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The Best of The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show
The Supremes rose from poverty to become Motown’s most consistent hit-maker and the most popular female group of the 60’s. Along with the charmed circle of Motown singers, writers, producers and players, they rewrote the book on pop music, sang their way into the hearts of millions and made a lasting impression that continues to this day.
With a total of sixteen appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Best of The Supremes collects some of the group’s greatest performances.  Included in this DVD is their very first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in December 1964, showcasing their No. 1 hit "Come See About Me." Other timeless performances featured are “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “My World is Empty Without You,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In The Name of Love” and “The Happening.” And, for the first time on DVD, this collection includes a full version of “Up the Ladder to the Roof” which is the only appearance by the “New Supremes” after Diana Ross went on to pursue a solo career.
This collection of performances truly showcases why The Supremes are one of Motown’s biggest and most beloved acts.
The Best of The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show
The Temptations began their musical life in Detroit in the early sixties.  With their flashy suits, distinctive harmonies and precise, split-second choreography, they popularized a refined style of performance that made them a household name. For the first time on DVD, you get the best of their Ed Sullivan Show performances.  Included in this collection is the group’s very first appearance in May 1967, in which they performed a medley of hits including “My Girl” and “(I Know) I’m Losing You.”  Other songs featured are the group’s No. 1 hit “I Can’t Get Next to You,” a playful version of “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” the Top Ten hit “Psychedelic Shack,” and the 1969 hit single “Runaway Child, Running Wild” with Dennis Edwards replacing David Ruffin.
Highlights of this collection include:
    The Temptations’ special appearance alongside The Supremes with each group performing a medley of the other group’s hits, including “Get Ready,” “Stop! In The Name Of Love,” and “Baby Love.”
DVD debuting performances by The Temptations of “Hello Young Lovers,” “Autumn Leaves,” and never-before-released medleys of “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue),” “All I Need,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’ll Be There” and “My Sweet Lord.”
The Temptations’ last appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1971 in which they performed “Get Ready” and their No. 1 hit “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me).” These tender and soulful performances were a fitting farewell to The Ed Sullivan Show. 

That story by Scott Paton about his experiences with Art Hannes at the "Hollywood School of Broadcasting" (really the KIIS Broadcasting Workshop) certainly hit home, as I, as I've noted before, was Operations Director of the place from it's inception in 1974 until I left to go work with Bill Drake at Drake - Chenault Enterprises in 1976.  As I had mentioned in my previous piece, the two founders of the Workshop only constructed it as a profit-making facade, as Art and I learned almost immediately after we were hired to staff it.  Mr. Hannes and I immediately set about turning it into a real school of broadcasting, writing the complete curriculum ourselves out of what we had wished WE had been told before we got into radio and learned the ropes the hard way.  Our goal was to try to impart as much insight and broadcast knowledge as possible into the studies -- in other words, give the students everything they would need to know in order to succeed except the one thing we could NOT give them: years of hands-on experience.  They'd still have to spend time working at small stations in the boonies honing their acts, but hopefully they'd spend LESS time there than they might otherwise before moving into major market radio.  We brought in top pros from many L.A. stations to share pointers, tips and advice and we did manage to launch quite a lot of our students into long lasting, successful broadcast careers.  I still hear from some of them.  While the KIIS Broadcasting Workshop was considered a profit center by its founders (who grew even more greedy after Art and I left), to us what we did there was a labor of love.   While my college girlfriend had always planned to be a teacher, I had never considered that road for myself.  However, I enjoyed guiding the students at the KIIS Broadcasting Workshop so much that I later taught music, broadcasting and entertainment history at UCLA.  
What Scott wrote about Art being far more interested in encouraging talent that simply selling someone a course perfectly captured the Art Hannes that I came to know and admire.  As I've noted, the motivation which drove Art and I during that period was the polar opposite of the Workshop's founders.   That's why the Workshop succeeded -- at least in it's early years when Art and I were there along with other pros who cared -- such as Ken Levine (see photo caption below).
Art Hannes, by the way, had a very deep, resonant voice -- as did several of the top announcers at CBS Radio and TV.  He told me about one time in the CBS elevator when a number of them challenged each other to hit deeper and deeper bass notes.  Finally Art simply laid down on the elevator floor.  "Look at me," he said.  "I can get lower than any of you."
Gary Theroux

attached photos: 
1) Art Hannes at the KIIS Broadcasting Worskhop. 1975

2) Gag photo of Gary Theroux (left) and Ken Levine at the KIIS Broadcasting Workshop, 1975.  Ken had been a popular DJ in San Diego under the name "Beaver Cleaver."   While teaching at the Workshop, Ken began writing sitcom scripts with a friend, David Issacs, and soon sold one to "The Jeffersons."  That led to Emmy winning success for the both of them crafting scripts for "M*A*S*H," "Cheers," "Fraiser" and other series.  Today Ken teaches sitcom writing.

I guess I was hooked early on when I watched family friends who were on the show in the fifties.  Joe Bennett and The Sparkletones were on The Ed Sullivan Show  two times. Sullivan was a show you could get your parents to watch because of the variety. Then us kids would get to see the latest musical groups perform. I don't think I missed many shows. This was the show of the week to watch. One of my best shows was when Vanilla Fudge did You Keep Me Hanging on! Yes, I loved The Beatles, the Stones and all the British Invasion ... but Fudge was from The USA and blew me away so much that I had to drive from South Carolina to North Carolina to see them in concert! I wish they would release all the musical groups from the show on DVD. Some have been released but there is still a ton that hasn't been.
Hail to the Greatest Show of Shows!
Mickey Cooksey
I don't know that they'll EVER release ALL of the musical performances ... too many licensing issues ... but an appearance by Vanilla Fudge (singing "You Keep Me Hangin' On") IS available on The Rock And Roll Classics 12-DVD Set:  
You'll also find "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and The Vanilla Fudge version of "Shotgun" available on iTunes for downloading to your personal collection.
And, believe it or not, that landmark performance of Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones performing THEIR big hit "Black Slacks" is available thru iTunes, too!
Click here: iTunes - Music Videos - Black Slacks (Ed Sullivan Show Live 1957) by Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones 

In fact, we'll be sharing an Ed Sullivan Memory from Joe Bennett himself next week ... so stay tuned for that!

Speaking of which ... 

We've save the best for last ... artist testimonials FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SCREEN ...
Forgotten Hits has received one-of-a-kind memories from several of the artists who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show ... and we'll be sharing them with our readers all week long.
Don't miss the exciting conclusion of our VERY Special Tribute To The Ed Sullivan Show ... wrapping up JUST in time for the long Thanksgiving Weekend!

And be sure to check out our "Today's Forgotten Hit" selections next week, too ... each and every one from an artist who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in The Swingin' '60's!!!