Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Memories From The Sofa!

More great Ed Sullivan memories and milestones ... shared today in Forgotten Hits!
One of my fond memories of the Ed Sullivan Show is from a Sunday in January 1965 ... I had been watching the show regularly for nearly a year, since the Beatles' appearances the previous February. On this night, I looked at the TV listings to see who would be on and was disappointed to see no music artists or groups listed, only "Jerry Lewis and his drummer son Gary." Assuming that meant some little kid was going to get a chance to show off his drumming skills only because he was the son of a celebrity, I wasn't planning to watch the show and was in another room (not in front of the TV) when it started. Soon, I was amazed to hear some great-sounding music coming from the TV, and I ran into the room just in time to hear "This Diamond Ring" for the first time -- and of course the song was soon in heavy rotation on the radio and became one of my favorites of that year.
-- Randy Price

While I can't really consider myself a fan of the show, I think you ought to mention a record that featured Sullivan: "It's A Really Big Show Tonight" by the Kirby Stone Four featuring Ed Sullivan (Boy Singer) from 1958:
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

You asked for it!  First of all, in the summer of '69, I was going to Coast Guard Radio School (8 hours of Morse code daily) on Governor's Island in New York City and we could get off the Island on weekends only.
Well, one Saturday,  I stopped in to a USO Center in downtown NYC and they said "Hey, if you'd like to go to 'the Ed Sullivan Show' let us know and we'll give you some tickets, but you MUST wear your uniform."  Well, like all of us, I grew up watching Ed and jumped at the opportunity. So I was handed two tix and this was the Saturday Night before the show. Anyway, come Sunday, I'm in my uniform and went to the Ed Sullivan Theatre on Broadway (Home of David Letterman now). I had called my parents (in Denver) and told them to watch because, someway, somehow I would show up on "live" TV!  To make a long story short the music guest that night was Mason Williams, doing his hit "Classical Gas" (from his Greatest HIT CD), of course.
As Ed always did, he introduced people in the audience including Sonny Liston and a number of other semi-famous people. Well, I thought when Ed said ... "And here's Sonny Liston ... stand up, Sonny", I stood up waving wildly at the crowd hoping the cameraman would be confused and put ME on national TV. I stood up every time Ed introduced anyone, but never got on TV. But what a kick in the ass being at the Ed Sullivan Show LIVE!
Let's move forward to 1993, KWNZ in Reno Nv, I was the most listened to Morning Guy in Reno with a 27 Morning Share and one guy that listened to my insane program each morning (unbeknownst to me) was Doug Clifford (original drummer of CCR).  He lived then and still to this day in Lake Tahoe. Anyway, one day Doug called the show and asked if he could come down ... I said "HELL YEAH"!
Doug was in studio the next day and related story after story about the early days of CCR, one being about their first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. He said they had a dress rehearsal Sunday afternoon with a fill in for Ed, because Ed was across the street having a "few" cocktails ... (I guess he was a pretty heavy drinker). So CCR did "Proud Mary" and then Ed was going to introduce each band member and they would all individually come up and shake Ed's hand. Come to find out all went well at the rehearsal (with the stand in Ed), but during the LIVE Show, apparently Ed was still a little shit-faced and said "Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, here's the bass player of CCR, John Fogerty", and John walked up, shook Ed's hand and said he played lead, not fazed, Ed then said "and now the drummer, Stu Cook" ... Stu came up and said he played rhythm guitar ... Ed was not fazed, "and now lead singer and guitarist Doug Clifford" et al. Doug said it was hilarious, but what a thrill it was to be on the World Famous Ed Sullivan Show going out to everyone in America.
One more quick story (doesn't involve Ed though) ... Doug said it was their first time in New York (doing the Sullivan Show) and Frank Sinatra was a HUGE fan of CCR's and offered up his living quarters when he stays in NYC to CCR, it was apparently at the top floor of one of the best hotels and Frank had the entire floor. Well in these living quarters was an antique pool table that Frank absolutely loved. (More on that later)
Long story short, the Doors were in town to do some concerts and found out where CCR was staying and the "Lizard King" himself somehow got ahold of them and asked if he could visit. They had NEVER met Jim Morrison but jumped at the chance to do so. Well, the Saturday before the Ed Sullivan Show, Jim arrived at the hotel early in the afternoon with two bodyguards and they let him up to Frank's suite. Jim, as usual, had a big open bottle of Jack Daniels with him, but appeared to be okay. They all sat around and talked music a bit, (Jim heavily imbibing the Jack) and now grabbed a handful of "red pills" and swallowed them. About 20 minutes later, (Jim, totally out of control) wanted to play pool on Frank Sinatra's Antique Pool Table. They started playing and Jim takes a pool cue and rips the felt on the pool table big time. The guys from CCR were mortified ... what would Frank think??? By now Jim is slurring his words, has fallen down twice and is "out of it".  Finally Jim passes out and his two bodyguards literally dragged him out. CCR never had any contact with Jim or the Doors ever again. TRUE STORY! Hence my memories of Ed and NYC!
"Wild" Bill Cody


You'll find quite a few Beach Boys / Ed Sullivan tracks available in the Ed Sullivan / iTunes Store:
Click here: iTunes - Music Videos - I Get Around (Ed Sullivan Show Live 1964) by The Beach Boys  

We were faithful watchers of The Ed Sullivan Show. Never missed a show! I have so many memories ... it's hard to know where to begin.
The most memorable:
** Of course, the first appearance of the Beatles on February 9, 1964, is at the top of the list. I remember thinking how clever Ed was to put them at the very end thus ensuring all the other acts on the show would be watched. I also remember how annoying all the screaming was. LOL ... and I was in all of sixth grade at the time.  My husband (who was 7 years old at the time) wasn't allowed to watch Ed that night in his household, and remembers having to watch Walt Disney instead. I think he still holds a grudge against his father to this day.
** The Rolling Stones performance of "Let's Spend the Night Together" and how they had to change the words to "Let's Spend Some Time Together" for the censors.
** Herman's Hermits singing Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter and falling in love with Peter Noone on the spot 
** The Mama and the Papas singing California Dreaming - I remember how shocked I was at seeing Mama Cass for the first time live and in person ... (seems so silly now)
Mostly, it was the joy of seeing our teen idols live and in person. You could always count on Ed Sullivan to have it all. He truly catered to all age groups, young and old. I loved every act on his show.
"Good night Eddie ..."
Thanks Kent!
Moochas smoochas....
DJ Scarlett Hayze
Revolution Radio
Lots of Mamas and Papas videos available, too ... they were always one of Ed's favorites!  (Anybody remember the time they strung him up with love beads?!?!?)  lol

A few Herman's Hermits clips, too ... and, of course, the special tribute volumes featuring EVERY appearance EVER by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones!  (kk)
Click here: iTunes - Music Videos - California Dreamin' (Ed Sullivan Show Live 1967) by The Mamas & The Papas

Here are a couple of clips from my radio show with Ed Sullivan references.
This first cut is with Marilyn McCoo  and Billy Davis Jr. 

I also found a couple of British Invasion clips from my show.  They are both memories of New York and the atmosphere then.  The Gerry Marsden clip is from about 1994 when a British Invasion tour came through here.  The Mike Smith cut is a live recording from my show that promoted his solo show in Dubuque Iowa.  That may be the best show that I have ever seen.  Too bad he got hurt later that year.  In the cut he mentions the swarm of fans and it ends with a reference to playing on TV in front of 70 million people.


I thought you might enjoy hearing some of these as they tie in perfectly with the Salute To Ed Sullivan that you're currently running in Forgotten Hits.
Phil Nee - WRCO

Thanks so much, Phil ... it's GREAT to hear these stories!

The Fifth Dimension appeared on The Sullivan Show numerous times in the late'60's and early '70's ... and they were always a delight to see.  You'll find several of their live Sullivan videos available on iTunes:
Although The Dave Clark Five appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show a dozen times, you'll be hard-pressed to find video available of any of these performances.  (Most likely these are tied up by the iron-clad licensing agreements of Dave Clark who has made virtually ALL of The DC5 material unavailable for the past four decades!!!)  There IS a clip on the website however ... short as it may be ... of The Dave Clark Five performing their Top Five Hit "Catch Us If You Can" ... but  (for right now anyway!) that seems to be about it!  (We featured this clip yesterday ... scroll back and check it out if you missed it the first time around!)
Gerry and the Pacemakers were amongst the British Invasion acts that Sullivan helped bring to America.

One more personal favorite from the British Invasion / Sullivan years ... and one of the artists we had hoped to hear from for this series ... Billy J. Kramer performing the Lennon and McCartney-penned "Bad To Me" ... live on The Ed Sullivan Show, circa 1964!
Click here: iTunes - Music Videos - Bad to Me (Ed Sullivan Show Live 1964) by Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

As we pointed out earlier in this series, Ed Sullivan and The British Invasion were very good for each other in the 1960's.
Forgotten Hits Reader Jersey John just sent us THIS classic photo:

I guess after Ed featured British music artists on his TV show, he felt he could stand a new hairstyle ... LOL!
Jersey John