Liza’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show came on April 21, 1963. She opened with the song “Somebody Loves Me.” Afterward, Ed Sullivan told the audience about his introducing Judy Garland at Madison Square Garden when she was just 14. Liza was back later in the show to perform the production number “Just a Joint with a Juke Box” from Best Foot Forward. By the end of the song and dance, she was lying on the floor, giggling adorably. This would be the first of many appearances by Liza Minnelli on The Ed Sullivan Show.
In 1964, following her success in Best Foot Forward, Liza was invited to join Judy’s show at The London Palladium. Although at times there was a sense of competition between mother and daughter, they brought out the best in each other on-stage. The show was well received and would later help Liza launch her concert singing career. That same year, on May 24th Liza returned to The Ed Sullivan Show and sang “Together (Wherever We Go)” and a medley of “Good Bye Blues,” “Midnight Choo-Choo,” and “Alabamy Bound.”
On May 23, 1965, Liza Minnelli made another memorable appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. She was now starring on Broadway, and performed “All I Need is One Good Break” with the cast from the musical Flora, Red Menace. Then she performed the solo “Sing Happy” from the same show. Liza absolutely dominated the stage with her radiance, enthusiasm, and energy. She would go on to win a Tony Award for Best Actress in the play. Liza’s cheerful and stunning performances were a constant on The Ed Sullivan Show. Ed liked Broadway and his audience liked Liza. Seeing that she had such appeal, he kept on inviting her back. Liza Minnelli ended up appearing almost a dozen times on The Ed Sullivan Show throughout the 1960s, performing pop hits like “Who’s Sorry Now”, rock songs like The Beatles‘ “Hey Jude” and Broadway numbers like “Frank Mills” from Hair.
Liza Minnelli, coming from six generations of entertainers, was destined to be a star. After her Sullivan appearances, she continued to find show business success. She has been honored with an Oscar (for “Cabaret”), 3 Tonys, a Grammy, an Emmy, and 2 Golden Globe Awards. With such accolades it is clear to see why she was a Sullivan favorite.
Check out our Liza Minnelli playlist to see full performances from The Ed Sullivan Show!