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Jackie Wilson on the Sullivan Show

I guess I was around 12 when my dad took me to see the ED SULLIVAN show live in NYC on a Sunday Night. In many ways I was more interested in how it was staged, the cameras etc... that I felt would be in my future. I remember being fascinated by a pyramid of TIDE boxes in various shades of grey that would turn up on the TV as a black and white rendition of the real box. I also noticed the curtain Ed stood in front of was only about 4 feet wide hanging on the side of the stage. Unfortunately that night the musical act was Al Hurt and his Dixieland Band, I had hoped for some Rock and Roll. Which brings me to JACKIE WILSON'S first performance.

 

Ed was Socially Conservative, and not happy about the new music trends sweeping the Nation. His resistance to the BEATLES and STONES is well known, but before them were Pop Black Acts. At this time one of the Biggest Black Entertainers in the country was Jackie Wilson with one hit after another on both Black and Pop radio stations. Live Jackie was dynamic and he had gotten so big that Ed felt forced to put him on. Scott had sent me another clip of Jackie later on, but I found this rare Kinescope of his first time on the show, doing 3 hits in a row: To Be Loved, Lonely Teardrops, & Alone At Last.

 

What is so interesting to people today showing what race relations were like in the 50's, is in Ed's introduction, in which he mentions: "His People Love Him," and other platitudes to calm mom and dad out in the boonies to the fact that there was about to be a black man on their 17" Motorola. How did it turn out? See for yourself. Btw, his lip-syncing is masterful.     @therealdonrocks

 

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