American Legends: The Life of Ed Sullivan

ISBN: 9781495378652
*Includes pictures.
*Includes in depth accounts of Elvis Presley and The Beatles' historic performances on The Ed Sullivan Show.
*Includes Sullivan's quotes about his life and his famous show.
*Includes a bibliography for further reading.

"Open big, have a good comedy act, put in something for children and keep the show clean. I believe in getting the best acts I can, introducing them quickly, and getting off." – Ed Sullivan’s explanation for the success of The Ed Sullivan Show

"Ed Sullivan will be around as long as someone else has talent.” – Fred Allen

A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history’s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors’ American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America’s most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.

From the day television existed as an entertainment medium, giant companies have battled each other for viewers, but in the history of television programming, no show was as consistently excellent in the ratings as The Ed Sullivan Show, a variety show that brought on all kinds of acts, from dancers to artists and singers. It was the longest running show to maintain one time slot, and today it is widely remembered for introducing the nation to the likes of Elvis Presley and The Beatles. When Elvis was on the show in 1956, over 82% of the nation’s entire television audience tuned in, a rating that would make even the Super Bowl blush. Indeed, being booked on The Ed Sullivan Show became so important for performers that Aretha Franklin once noted, “And I was booked once to go on 'Ed Sullivan' and I got bumped and ran out the back door crying.”

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