SOFA Entertainment, with sales and distribution expertise provided by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), has tabbed Friday, May 25 as the street date for a six-strong collection of music-themed DVD releases culled from the legendary live broadcasts of The Ed Sullivan Show.
Collectors and music fans in general will have their rabbit antenna up for these stunning collections featuring three SKUs that showcase the talents of Elvis Presley, a double-disc collection spotlighting The Beatles appearances and one each for The Temptations and The Supremes.
So let’s get to it. The 3 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring Elvis is a double disc collection of all three of Elvis Presley’s show-stopping appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show — Sept. 9, 1956, Oct. 28, 1956 and Jan. 6, 1957.
Each one of these is the complete broadcast (with commercials), not just the Elvis Presley’s songs … for example, the Sept. 9 show — which was watched by an estimated audience of 60 million people (a share rating of 82.6, an all-time record) — features Charles Laughton as the guest host doing comedy stand-up to open the show, opera soprano Dorothy Sarnoff singing “Something Wonderful” from The King and I (which had opened theatrically in June), singer and actress Amru Sani (with a very checkered biography) delivered “I'm In The Mood For Love” and “My Bolero,” The Vagabonds (Pete Peterson, Al Torriere, Attilio Risso and Dominic Germano) doubled with comedy bits and a trio of songs — “The Queens Ruler,” “I Wonder” and “How You Gonna Keep Em' Down on the Farm” — and you had tap dancers (Conn and Mann) and acrobats (The Amin Brothers). It’s a wonder that Elvis was able to compete with this line-up … Ed really had the deck stacked against him!!!
Elvis delivered four numbers on Sept. 9 — “Don't Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog,” which were released as the A and B sides of a 45 in mid-July (11 week run at number one, which means “Don't Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog” were number one on the charts when they were performed live on Sept. 9) … “Love Me Tender” (would be released on Sept. 28 and rocket to number one) and “Ready Teddy” (a cover of a Little Richard hit — the B-side of “Rip it Up” released earlier in the year) were the other two songs performed that night.
That’s just one of the three broadcasts, so put The 3 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring Elvis on your DVD shopping and gift list for May 25. There are a total of 15 live broadcast song performances by Elvis in this collection.
For those who don’t want all of the other “stuff,” SOFA Entertainment and UMe have you covered with the DVD release of Just Elvis: All His Ed Sullivan Show Performances.
Regardless of which (or both) you select, a great companion release heading home on May 25 as a double-disc DVD presentation is Elvis: The Great Performances. This collection includes director/producer Andrew Solt’s documentaries, Elvis: The Great Performances, Volume One: Center Stage and Elvis: The Great Performances, Volume Two: The Man and the Music (both from 1990) and Elvis: The Great Performances, Volume Three: From the Waist Up (1997). There are also stand-alone performances and interviews with the likes of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips and contemporaries Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
The three other collections on May 25 from SOFA Entertainment and UMe are new restorations of previously released material … these are: The Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles, The Best of The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Best of The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show. If you have older editions, this might be the perfect time to upgrade your collection … and if this is all new to you, you will definitely want to check out The Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles double-disc collection on DVD.