In 1974, the International Music Council declared that on October 1 every year, International Music Day would be celebrated. This special day was created to encourage people to actively appreciate and enjoy the power of music that brings people together from all around the world. Similar to International Music Day, The Ed Sullivan Show brought people together to appreciate each other’s art, talent, and music. To commemorate this special day we’ve compiled some of the world’s most celebrated musicians that showcased their talent for the world to see.
Ed Sullivan was known for hosting the biggest variety show in the world and having an impeccable eye for talent. Throughout the entire run of the show, Ed was always looking for the next big thing. Ultimately, to appeal to a larger audience one must reach outside of the U.S. and bring different cultures and sounds together, and that’s exactly what Ed did.
When it comes to Latin America, many artists traveled from far to New York City to make their big television debut. From Mexico, a young and talented Carlos Santana came with his band to perform hits such as “Jingo” & “Persuasion.” Other Latin American artists include the Mexican Boys Choir, light-heavyweight boxing champion, Jose Torres, guitarist Jose Feliciano, Xavier Cugat and Charo, Marta Pérez, Lucecita Benitez, and Los Tres Panchos.
When it comes to the European music scene, many artists made their own way to the States. However, The Ed Sullivan Show also traveled overseas to countries such as Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and France in search of talent. France’s international star Edith Piaf, appeared on the show many times with other renowned singers performing tributes to her on the show.
In addition from France, song stylists including Maurice Chevalier, Jean-Paul Vignon, Patachou, Genevieve, and rock ‘n’ roll star, Johnny Hallyday all made notable appearances. Within the Italian circuit, a fan favorite and frequent performer was Mr. Sergio Franchi. Not only did Sergio have a solid friendship with Ed, he also had great relationships with many of Sullivan’s guests singing duets with The Kessler Twins from Germany, Nancy Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and Stiller & Meara. Other Italian singers include tenor Franco Corelli, Renato Carosone, Rita Pavone, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Caterina Valente, and Silvio Francesco. Now, we can’t talk about Italy, without mentioning one of Ed’s all-time favorites, little Topo Gigio, who sang many memorable songs throughout his 50 appearances on the show.
As for the rest of the world, artists literally came from nearly every continent and many countries. Miriam Makeba from South Africa performed her biggest hit “Pata Pata” on the show while Harry Belafonte brought his Caribbean roots along in his Billboard hit “Jamaica Farewell.” Additionally, Australian artists include Frank Ifield, Lana Cantrell, The Seekers, and the one and only, Bee Gees.
Apart from all the singers on the show, several guitarists also made appearances such as Spain’s Andrés Segovia, Nepal’s Yul Brynner, and Indian sitarist, Ravi Shankar. Last but not least, various children’s choirs performed and dazzled viewers everywhere. These choirs include the German, Obernkirchen Children’s Choir, Hungary’s Budapest Children’s Choir, and Korea’s World Vision Korean Choir.
With all of these international artists stepping onto The Ed Sullivan Show stage, it showed viewers that no matter where you’re from, music brings people together. Music is an international language and
Ed’s message continues today in spreading the goodwill of music. With that being said, don’t forget to subscribe to The Ed Sullivan Show YouTube channel, and sign up for our newsletter for new music performances from around the world!