As we begin to finish the year strong, we’d like to thank all of our subscribers, fans, and viewers of The Ed Sullivan Show for the amazing support we received in 2022. This year we hit 500,000 YouTube subscribers and over 320 million channel views. Both the support and growth have been amazing thus far and we cannot wait for what’s ahead. In preparation for the New Year, we want to share the Top 10 most popular videos in 2022.
10. Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” (September 9, 1956)
On September 9, 1956, Elvis made his debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. That day, neither Elvis nor Ed were in the Ed Sullivan Theater for filming. Ed had injured himself in a car accident and was at home recuperating, while actor Charles Laughton filled in for him in the studio. But Elvis wasn’t in New York City, where The Ed Sullivan Show was traditionally filmed. Instead, he was being broadcast from CBS studios in Hollywood, where he was in the middle of filming Love Me Tender. Despite these challenges, the show was a massive success with 60 million people, or 82.6% of the entire television audience, tuning in to watch Don’t Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, Ready Teddy and a few verses of Hound Dog.
9. The Animals – Don’t Be Misunderstood (January 24, 1965)
On January 24, 1965, The Animals made their second appearance on the show. The group were the show’s headliners that also included Allen & Rossi, George Kirby, Shari Lewis, Birgit Nilsson, and many more. In an interview with The Examiner, The Animals lead singer Eric Burdon recalls The Ed Sullivan Show as “Long hours of continuous rehearsals, but if you didn’t do the show, you went nowhere. It seems like he liked us. We were invited back to the show many times. Six appearances in all.”
8. Lesley Gore “It’s My Party” and “She’s A Fool” (October 13, 1963)
On October 13, 1963, teenager Lesley Gore made her debut on the Ed Sullivan stage. That night a young Lesley, wearing a sleeveless but conservative full length silk dress, performed her hit singles It’s My Party and She’s a Fool. Following her sensational debut, Gore made three more appearances throughout the show’s run. During her career, Lesley Gore was a role model to young women in the 1960s with song hits that expressed the frustrations of being a teenager. It’s My Party remains popular to this day and is a Karaoke favorite. Check out our TikTok that has taken the world by storm!
7. The Jackson 5 “Who’s Loving You” (December 14, 1969)
Ed Sullivan began to take notice of The Jackson 5 when their debut single started climbing the charts quickly after appearing on the ABC variety show, Hollywood Palace. As a big supporter of Motown, Ed knew he had to book the brothers on his show. He and Jackson 5 manager, Berry Gordy came to an agreement and The Jackson 5 was booked to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show on December 14, 1969. That evening they performed a medley of their hits, Stand, Who’s Loving You and I Want You Back.
6. Muppets “Mahna Mahna” (November 30, 1969)
On November 30, 1969, The Muppets made their way to The Ed Sullivan Theater for their 17th appearance on the show. The group performed one of their all time hits, Mahna Mahna. This song was written by Piero Umiliani for the Italian movie Sweden: Heaven and Hell (Svezia, inferno e paradiso). It contains nothing but made-up words and scattered singing which for audiences, delivers a fun and catchy song to sing along to. This song and performance remains a fan favorite.
5. The Mamas & The Papas “Monday, Monday” (December 11, 1966)
On December 11, 1966, The Mamas & The Papas made their way to The Ed Sullivan Theater for the first time. That evening they performed their number one hits, Monday, Monday and California Dreamin’ as well as Words of Love. As soon as their performance ended, the group knew their careers would never be the same. Michelle Phillips attributed the majority of their success to Sullivan when she said, “The minute we started doing Sullivan, people started buying those records.” It was Sullivan’s openness to new talent that Phillips believes helped theirs and many others’ careers succeed.”
4. Neil Diamond “Sweet Caroline” (November 30, 1969)
On November 30, 1969, Neil Diamond made his first and only appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. He showcased his hit single Sweet Caroline while sitting on a stool in front of a packed theater. After a brief intermission and re-introduction by Sullivan, Diamond returned to sing Holly Holy on top of a multi-colored pyramid. These smash records were Neil Diamond’s two biggest hits that year. Sweet Caroline was on the charts for 12 weeks and peaked at #4. Holly Holy also spent 12 weeks on the charts and peaked at #6.
3. Tom Jones “Delilah” (April 21, 1968)
On April 21, 1968, Ed introduced the Welshman with the line, “While every American kid starts playing baseball when he is about 6, every Welsh youngster starts singing when he is about 6.” Jones opened with his signature It’s Not Unusual before singing the old Irish ballad Danny Boy. Before performing the song, Jones jokes, “I’m Welsh myself, but I’m not prejudiced.” He concluded the appearance with his UK chart-topping hit Delilah.
2. Elvis Presley “Hound Dog” (October 28, 1956)
On October 28, 1956, Elvis Presley made his highly anticipated second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Following an innocent act by an Irish children’s choir called The Little Gaelic Singers, Elvis Presley took the stage and sang a medley which included, Don’t Be Cruel and Love Me Tender. After Señor Wences’s ventriloquism act, Elvis returned to perform Love Me. During this song the camera moved in for a close-up of Elvis’ face, and then, as if on cue, he smiled and snarled his upper lip. The studio audience went wild. Elvis closed with an extended version of his hit single, Hound Dog.
1. The Jackson 5 “I Want You Back” (December 14, 1969)
On December 14, 1969, The Jackson 5 made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan introduced the brothers as a new sensation and the boys took to center stage for a memorable three-song set. Their first song was a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s Stand, followed by Smokey Robinson’s Who’s Loving You. For their finale, the J5 sang their first single, I Want You Back. In this last song, little 10-year-old Michael set himself apart where viewers could catch a glimpse of the future King of Pop. The Jackson 5’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show skyrocketed the brothers to nationwide fame!
From everyone here at The Ed Sullivan Show, we wish you a very happy and safe holiday season! Once again, we appreciate all the support and can’t wait to share what we have in store for you in 2023!
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