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Sundays with Sullivan: How the Ed Sullivan Show Brought Elvis, the Beatles, and Culture to America Hardcover – December 16, 2008
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From the Publisher
For twenty-three years, from 1948 to 1971, The Ed Sullivan Show was America's premiere variety show, airing live every Sunday night. Sullivan used the one-hour program to bring stars of the entertainment world into living rooms across the nation, turning acts such as the Beatles and Elvis Presley into household names. But Sullivan certainly didn't limit his show to rock musicians. The performers featured on The Ed Sullivan Show were an eclectic array of talent that included everything from opera singers to dancing bears, high-wire walkers to classical violinists.
This book is an inside view of The Ed Sullivan Show and the unusual story of one of the most unlikely television stars who played host to such diverse talents as Van Cliburn, Rudolf Nureyev, Robert Goulet, Richard Pryor, and the Rolling Stones. With his distinctive nasal voice, Sullivan regularly promised audiences a "really big show" and delivered by offering up virtually every form of twentieth-century entertainment.
Bernie Ilson, one the most famous publicists in the field of public relations, and the press representative for the final eight years of The Ed Sullivan Show, gives the reader a unique inside view of the amazing newspaperman and television host, Ed Sullivan, who anticipated the interest of 35 million viewers each Sunday and presented them with the greatest talent in show business, week after week, for almost a quarter of a century. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
A great gift - filled with terrific photos.
The book is derived from the author's PhD thesis, and at times reads like that, with lengthy interview extracts that should have been edited to make them more pertinent to the story being told. And perhaps that's where the main problem with the book lies, author Bernie Ilson may have been Ed Sullivan's top public relations guru, but, based on this book, he is not a natural story teller. The narrative is very disjointed and makes sudden jumps without explanation. In fact big chunks of the story are missing. Most of the book's interest hinges on Ilson's own personal anecdotes of encounters with various guests and celebrities rather than any explanation or real examination of the show's growth and ultimate demise as the networks and advertisers shifted towards a younger target demographic ( a point raised and discussed by a TV network executive in one of the tacked on interviews rather than by the author himself in the main body of the text.)
By the end of the book I didn't really know much more about Sullivan himself that I hadn't gleaned from other sources. I would have expected a more in depth examination of his drives and methodology from someone who worked alongside him for so long.Read more ›
Week after week, from 1947 to 1971, Ed Sullivan presented the American TV audience with an eclectic mix of popular music, comedy routines, novelty acts--dancing dogs, ventriloquists, acrobats, Broadway performers, classical musicians, Russian ballet, and opera stars. He brought "high culture" to rural America in 3 to 4 minute segments; an aria here, a violin solo there, nestled among less heady stuff more familiar to the hoi poloi. In the midst of the cold war, he was somehow able to raise the Iron Curtain long enough to let dancers and puppeteers slip underneath and entertain the western world. He insisted on a full dress rehearsal every Sunday afternoon, before a live audience, and then tweaked the acts as he deemed necessary to create a dynamic live show at 8:00. Live TV...with finicky performers and sometimes animals. Week after week Sullivan did what no one else, not even his worthy rivals Steve Allen or Milton Berle, tried to do. Chapter after chapter, Bernie Ilson makes the point that this is what Ed Sullivan did.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent look back at one of the best television shows of all time. Many people have forgotten how popular and influential The Ed Sullivan Show was.Published 17 months ago by Marc leichter
How can you believe any TV history book that's first sentence of the first chapter is, "Ed Sullivan was the most powerful man in television." Seriously? Read morePublished on July 20, 2011 by Mediaman
While I had high hopes for this book, it failed to measure up with better histories of the Ed Sullivan Show. The author admits that the book grew out of his Ph. Read morePublished on April 7, 2010 by D. Brian Youens
Being an unabashed fan of the Ed Sullivan Show and its history, I was disappointed that this "insider's" account of the Ed Sullivan Show was so superficial. Read morePublished on March 24, 2010 by John Hourigan
Its here. I'm looking forward to reading it. It arrived in excellent condition.
A UNIQUE AND PENETRATING PORTRAIT:
Two of the previous reviewers are very unfair to Bernie Ilson's superb book
about Ed Sullivan, "Sundays With Sullivan. Read more
This is light fluff compared to "Impresario".
Written by Sullivan's press agent, "Sundays" has the same depth of a press release - short, with little depth. Read more