Ed Sullivan’s Rock And Roll Classics: The Sixties
Airs Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 6 p.m. on KPBS TV
Originally published November 23, 2009 at 12:48 p.m., updated February 28, 2014 at 1:05 p.m.
From the late 1940s 'til the early 1970s, millions of viewers of all ages saw great musical acts each Sunday night on "The Ed Sullivan Show." This installment in the MY MUSIC series presents classic song performances from 1963-1968. From The Beatles' American television debut to the Doors' infamous one-time-only appearance to the Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, The Mamas and the Papas and more, the special focuses exclusively on full-length music performances -no plate spinners or dancing elephants - that evoke the spirit of that decade's youth movement.
The Beatles kick things off with their million-selling #1 chart debut “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” followed by another John-Paul-George-Ringo smash, “She Loves You.”
Other featured British Invasion icons are the Rolling Stones (“[I Can’t Get No] Satisfaction”), Gerry & the Pacemakers (“Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”), The Animals (“We Gotta Get Out of This Place”), Herman’s Hermits (“Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter”) and Petula Clark with her Grammy-winning evergreen “Downtown.”
More vocal group greats who sing top hits of the decade include The Beach Boys with a pair of their gold records, “I Get Around” and “Good Vibrations,” and Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons with their chart topper from 1962, “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
"Ed Sullivan's Rock And Roll Classics: The Sixties" remembers the Mamas & the Papas, who bridged the generation gap with their soaring harmonies, with their unforgettable anthem “California Dreamin’” and its follow-up, “Monday, Monday.”
The program includes a joyful batch of “groovy sounds,” represented by such beloved ensembles as the Turtles (“Happy Together”), The Young Rascals (“Groovin’,” “Good Lovin’”) and The Supremes (“You Can’t Hurry Love”), all #1 favorites still played on the radio today.
The 60s were also a time of psychedelic sounds, most famously immortalized by Jim Morrison and the Doors with their 1967 masterpiece “Light My Fire.” “Crimson & Clover” by Tommy James is another era-defining hit. Sly & the Family Stone sing their ground-breaking hits “Everyday People” and “Dance to the Music,” bringing racial equality to rock music.
This program offers audiences the chance to revisit an exciting and explosive era of musical change with a variety of sounds that remain popular today.
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