When Elvis Presley appeared on ‘The Sullivan Show’ in 1956; Remembering the legendary music icon

This day, 9th of September, 2019, marks the 63rd anniversary of Elvis Presley’s first-ever appearance on The Sullivan Show in the year 1956. Presley’s performance at the show is marked in gold letterings in the history of rock music. At the show, Presley had performed hits like Love Me Tender, Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel, Ready Teddy and others.

But do you know, the show host Ed Sullivan had once said that Presley was ‘not my cup of tea’. Initially, he had denied an offer to Presley for USD 5000. However, later he ended up agreeing to shell out for an unprecedented amount USD 50,000 for three appearances.

In fact, there were also reports that Sullivan was already in negotiation with Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker when he had made the ‘not my cup of tea’ statement.
Presley made his debut on the season premiere of the show. Sadly, neither Sullivan nor Presley was in the New York studio on the big night.

Sullivan was then recovering from an August car accident while Presley was in Hollywood filming his debut movie. The star of Mutiny on the Bounty, Charles Laughton hosted the show in the absence of Sullivan. On the other hand, Presley sang for the show from the CBS studio. Because of this, Laughton also remarked on the show, hailing his guest, ‘Away to Hollywood to meet Elvis Presley’.

The three nights long show was eventually a good success. It helped Presley gain American adult fans too. The show is often referred to as a bridge between the first rock ‘n’ roll generation and their parents.