As we get ready to jump into the New Year, we can’t look ahead without looking back at some of our biggest moments of the year. Here’s a list of our Top 10 most viewed videos of 2021!
10 . The Animals “House Of The Rising Sun” (October 18, 1964)
The Animals made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 18th 1964. The British band took to the stage with young girls screaming their lungs out as they played I’m Crying followed by their #1 hit House of the Rising Sun. The audience got so out of control that Sullivan had to calm the audience down. In the early 2000’s, Eric Burdon described being on the show as, “Long hours of continuous rehearsals, but if you didn’t do the show, you went nowhere. It seems like he (Ed Sullivan) liked us. We were invited back to the show many times. Six appearances in all.”
9. 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.”
8. The Mamas & The Papas “California Dreamin’” (September 24, 1967)
On September 24th, 1967 The Mamas & the Papas performed their hit songs, Twelve Thirty, Monday, Monday, I Call Your Name & California Dreamin. Following their performance, Cass Elliot told the audience that it was an absolute pleasure to perform on the show. Sullivan returned the praise and love, and asked the group for their autographs for his daughter, Betty, who was a big fan.
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 boys 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 December 14, 1969. That evening they performed a medley of their hits, Stand, Who’s Loving You and I Want You Back.
6. 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 joked, “I’m Welsh myself, but I’m not prejudiced.” He concluded the appearance with his then UK chart-topping hit Delilah.
5. 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 on the show. 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!
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 two records ended up becoming 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. Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” (January 6, 1957)
Elvis’s third and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show took place on January 6th, 1957. During this episode he shared the stage with impressionist Will Jordan, ventriloquist Arthur Worsley and a rising comedian, Carol Burnett. Elvis performed a number of songs that night including Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel, Too Much, When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again, and a gospel favorite, Peace in the Valley. At the end of the show Ed Sullivan went out of his way to compliment Presley, “I wanted to say to Elvis Presley and the country that this is a real decent, fine boy, and wherever you go, Elvis, we want to say we’ve never had a more pleasant experience on our show with a big name than we’ve had with you. So now let’s have a tremendous hand for a very nice person!”
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, we’d like to send our sincerest thank you’s to all of our supporters. 2021 brought us some great memories, and we have even greater ones in store for 2022! Have a very happy holiday season, and be ready for next year because we’re going to have a really big show!