|ON THIS DAY IN 1956
October 28, 2015 - HITFIX / Elvis Express Radio
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On this day in pop culture history: Elvis Presley appeared on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ for the second time
59 years ago today, Elvis Presley made his second appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” It was the first time he was on the show with the eponymous host present, as Sullivan
was recovering from a car accident. Charles Laughton guest hosted that show.
On the October 28, 1956 show, Presley performed “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Love Me Tender.” And he played a four minute-long version of his hit “Hound Dog.” (That September, he
had performed a one minute and seven seconds version of the song on the show.)
At both his first and second appearance on the show, audiences went wild for his gyrating hips. It was at his third and final appearance on the show, in January 1957, that he was
famously taped and photographed from the waist up only.
Before his first appearance on “Ed Sullivan,” the host had vowed to never allow Presley on the show. Sullivan wouldn’t consider putting the rock ’n’ roll star before a family audience,
but he changed his mind after Presley’s appearance on Steve Allen’s show crushed Sullivan’s in the Sunday night ratings.
The same day Presley taped his second appearance on the show, a 40-foot-tall figure of the rock ’n’ roll idol was unveiled at the Paramount Theatre in Times Square to promote the
upcoming release of his movie “Love Me Tender.”
EER Adds: While browsing through the readers comments after this article, we saw this well informed individual who did a great job of highlighting the great help Elvis played in
raising money for the then Urgent charity appeal. We want to say well done to Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello on a job well done for TCB-4-EAP.
Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello
The written media was anti-Elvis to the point of not even giving him the credit for great, really positive things that were the result of say, actions taken either by him or by an unknown
number of people, all Elvis fans, or their parents, amongst the fifty million television viewers glued to their sets on a cold night on January 6, 1957.
This you are not going to believe....So, Ed Sullivan with Elvis off camera, at HIS request, and after the last commercial, asks those watching Presley's third and final appearance at
his show to send their URGENT contributions to help lessen the plight and suffering of some 200,000 Hungarians fleeing the double Soviet invasion of their country, which had taken
place on both 24 and 31 October of 1956. Nikita K. ordered it, and Yuri A. the then Soviet Ambassador in Budapest, executed it. And that's why he was later KGB chief, and
ulteriorly, even Chief of the USSR. Anyways Presley appears on the screen, after Sullivan says he is dedicating "Peace in the Valley"" (an African American gospel composition ) to
them, he sings it, Sullivan praises Elvis, the show ends and then.....what happens?
Well, a week passes, and instead of nickels and dimes, the BIG money starts to roll, to the tune of US$6 million by November of 1957, the equivalent in today's dollars after
adjustments to inflation, of US$49.5 million. These are given to the International Red Cross in Geneva, which exchanged them for SFR 26 million (4,31 to the dollar, then) and starts
distributing the perishables and non perishables with the help of the US Army, until every penny is spent and the refugees are settled, take this while you are seated, in Vienna and
London. Vienna and London, for life. In the meantime, TIME magazine, which has in early 1957 named the "Hungarian Freedom Fighter" as their 1956 Person of the Year does not
a single mention make, in the next 59 years, up to today..LOL, of Presley's appeal.
Sometime in the year 2009, if I am not mistaken, the US Army issued a nice press release saying the transport plane which had made the 100 sorties, delivering that aid, namely
from New York to Weisbaden, then London and Vienna, then back to the United States, was being retired with honours. Great, I said to myself, but then when they mentioned in
passant that it was the SAME transport plane that had famously ( LOL) brought back Sgt Presley after his 18 month stint in Germany, I realized the poor General who signed the
press release was unaware that the aid those 100 sorties made possible was ALSO Presley related.
I wrote him a letter, and a reply was received at my end thanking me for the information, which they SAID they did not know anything about. We should thank TIME magazine, which
had a particular anti-Presley stance, for that, especially since they had no excuse with 100 plus staff in New York ( half of them watching the appeal, if not more) and at least 4
correspondents each in Vienna and London, the two cities where the aid was being received.
But as Presley famously once wrote on the margin of his King James bible "The truth is like the sun, you can shut it off for awhile but its always there", the folks at Budapest, in fact
the Mayor, felt Presley had to be thanked, so in 2012 they named a Park facing the oldest and most awesome bridge which unites the old traditional sectors of Buda and Pest, the
beautiful Margret Bridge, after him, and made him posthumously, a citizen of that city. This story, inspite of TIME magazine, ends well....