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Making the Right Moves

In 1956 the greatest sensation on TV was when Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. At that time Ed Sullivan booked Elvis for three shows and for these appearances Elvis was paid $50,000. The shows aired on September 9, October 28, and on January 6. The interesting thing about his first appearance was that on September 9, 1956, Ed Sullivan was laid up in the hospital after a car accident and the show was hosted by actor Charles Laughton. Not only was Sullivan unable to be in the studio but also Elvis. He was in Los Angeles, California filming the movie “Love Me Tender”.

What resulted was that Laughton hosted from New York and when it was time for Elvis to perform they showed him on a stage in Hollywood. Elvis sang “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Love Me Tender” which at that time was the unreleased title track of his new movie.

During his first appearance Elvis was mostly shown from the waist up but the second time the cameras caught his gyrations as he sang “Ready Teddy” and “Hound Dog”. His appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was a major success as more than 60 million people stayed glued to their TV screens mesmerized by Elvis Presley.

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  1. Elvis making his appearance on the Ed Sullivan show happened before I was born. However I have heard many stories of Elvis making a huge impression of his fans by being on one of the top rated variety shows of that era.

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