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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.
More About the Author
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 ›
Two of the previous reviewers are very unfair to Bernie Ilson's superb book
about Ed Sullivan, "Sundays With Sullivan." As Sullivan's press
representative, Ilson had personal access to him and creates a human and
insightful portrait of the genius behind TV's longest running variety show.
Ilson provides cultural context, perspective and personal insight into the
reasons for Sullivan's extraordinary impact despite his wooden TV
personality. His program opened up opportunities for a mix of both popular
and operatic artists, acrobats, jugglers and the greatest actors of the
theater, and for the Beatles and Robert Merrill, the Rolling Stones and
Rudolf Nureyev, Richard Pryor and Jimmy Durante. Strolling together around
the Manhattan he loved with Ilson while carefully planning each show,
Sullivan captured the cultural heartbeat of the times, creating a time
capsule that will be forever valuable. Ilson was the consummate show
business insider, and his portrait of an enigmatic and powerful, tough and
generous figure who had the vision and sense to combine "high" and popular
art in an updated vaudeville setting, is unique and penetrating. Ilson gives
Sullivan the recognition he has long deserved. This is the definitive
portrait of Ed Sullivan. It explains his enduring impact on American culture
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 14 months ago by Marc leichter
I ordered this book for my 88 year-old mother who spent every Sunday for YEARS watching "The Ed Sullivan Show". Read morePublished on November 24, 2012 by Denise Isacson
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
Sundays with Sullivan (subtitled "How the Ed Sullivan Show brought Elvis, the Beatles and Culture to America") was written by a publicist who handled press relations for the Ed... Read morePublished on April 23, 2011 by laytonwoman3rd
Its here. I'm looking forward to reading it. It arrived in excellent condition.
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