Unit 3 - Unit 3 The First Appearance on The Ed Sullivan...

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Unit 3 The First Appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show The winds of change had shifted and popular music was now set on a radically new and different course. Rock and roll would, in the coming months, come to dominate popular music — and popular culture — in a way that was unimaginable only a short time earlier and Elvis Presley would be the agent of that change and the catalyst for what would grow into a cultural revolution. Elvis made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday September 9, 1956. Sullivan himself was absent due to a recent automobile accident and actor Charles Laughton hosted the show. Elvis was in Hollywood already at work on his first film and his two segments were to be broadcast live from the CBS Studios in Los Angeles, while Laughton hosted from the studio in New York. Elvis sang four songs — “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Ready Teddy,” and his upcoming release, “Love Me Tender.” “Hound Dog” / “Don’t Be Cruel” was in its third week at Number One on the pop charts and “Love Me Tender” was slated to go into release later in the month. “Ready Teddy” had been recorded at a session a week earlier for Elvis’ second album, Elvis , which would be released in early October. Obviously, all of the song selections were made for promotional purposes. A remarkable 82.6 percent of the viewing audience tuned in to The Ed Sullivan Show that evening — an estimated 53 million people — the largest audience in television history up to that point. In the eighteen months that followed his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show , Elvis Presley came dominate American television, popular music, and motion pictures as no artist in history had before…or would again. Twelve of the single recordings released during this period would sell over one million copies and five would reach Number One on the pop charts. Each of his first four albums went to Number One on the album charts and each sold well in excess of one million copies. At one point, five of the Top Ten recordings in America were Elvis Presley records and he managed to capture the Number One spot, simultaneously, on the country, pop, and R&B charts not once, but three times in 1957. For all intents and purposes, Elvis Presley was popular music between September of 1956 and March of 1958. Although he would only make two more appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and on television in the 1950s — on October 28, 1956 and January 5, 1957 — Elvis would, each time, set new records for the size of the television audience. Remarkably, the record set by his final appearance in January would stand until 1964, when the Beatles made their first appearance on American television, again on The Ed Sullivan Show .
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Although television, as Col. Parker had planned, would prove to be the most important factor in making Elvis Presley the biggest star in American history, it was the motion picture industry that held the greatest personal attraction for Elvis and would prove to form the central aspect of the
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This note was uploaded on 02/03/2010 for the course INART 200 at Penn State.

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Unit 3 - Unit 3 The First Appearance on The Ed Sullivan...

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