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The relationship between Berry Gordy’s Motown label and The Ed Sullivan Show made music and television history. Soon after the Supremes’ debut on Sullivan (December 1964), it was clear that showcasing the latest Motown releases on CBS on Sunday nights (35 million viewers was average) was a way to expose the record company’s newest hits and boost the show’s ratings. Sullivan introduced nearly all the Motown acts including The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & The Pips and The Jackson 5. From Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit by way of The Ed Sullivan Show, these classic performances brought the “Motown Sound” to living rooms across America.
Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and SOFA Entertainment present Motown Gold from The Ed Sullivan Show (2 DVDs), and, in celebration of The Temptations and Supremes 50th Anniversary, The Best of The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show (1 DVD) and The Best of The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show (1 DVD). All three collections released on September 13, 2011are packed with classic Motown performances from The Ed Sullivan Show, taped live between 1964 and 1971, and are fully restored with never before released footage.
Motown performances on Sullivan were followed by a Monday morning sales spike and it was a perfect formula for mutual success. Berry Gordy’s dynamic sound aimed to appeal to America’s white teenagers and with the Sullivan stage as the entry point for his incredible roster of talent, this show business marriage remained rock solid until the show went off the air. Ed Sullivan and his producer, Bob Precht, were especially proud of the history these two iconic American institutions forged together.
One great Motown group after another was introduced on Sullivan, new releases topped the music charts and Ed’s brief chats with the artists all led to a greater acceptance of African-American R&B by white teenagers. This helped Motown to conquer America, and in time, the company became world renown as “The Sound of Young America.”
Motown Gold from The Ed Sullivan Show is a 2-DVD (3 Volume) collection with appearances by legendary Motown acts including:
- The Jackson 5 ushering in a new generation of Motown acts with a medley of their No. 1 hits “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save” and “ABC.”
- Diana Ross and The Supremes performing their No. 1 hits “Come See About Me,” “Someday We’ll Be Together” and “Love Child.”
- The Temptations doing their No. 1 hits “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.”
- The Four Tops with their No. 1 hit single “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”
- Martha & the Vandellas singing their timeless classic “Dancing in the Street.”
- Marvin Gaye’s only Sullivan appearance singing “Take This Heart of Mine.”
- Young Stevie Wonder captivating the audience with his No. 1 hit “Fingertips Pt. 2” and his classic “For Once in My Life.”
- A never-before-released performance of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles singing a medley of the hits “I Second That Emotion,” “If You Can Want” and “Going to a Go-Go.”
- And many other great Motown Performances!
Bonus material included in this collection features a special performance by Gladys Knight & The Pips of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Houston, Texas, and the Four Tops singing ”Put A Little Love in Your Heart” at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Andrew and Josh Solt, whose company, SOFA Entertainment, owns “The Ed Sullivan Show” library made the following statement about the Motown collection. “We are so pleased that after working on this project for many years, the definitive Motown on Ed Sullivan collection is now available to millions of fans who love the Motown sound. The Sullivan show featured more Motown artists than any other television show and now these timeless live performances can finally be enjoyed by fans of what many believe is the greatest music of the 60’s. A considerable amount of work has gone into making sure the sound and picture quality on the discs is optimal. We hope people will be dancing in the streets and in their living rooms when they push play on the Motown on Ed Sullivan DVD collection.”
The Best of The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show
The Supremes rose from poverty to become Motown’s most consistent hit-maker and the most popular female group of the 60’s. Along with the charmed circle of Motown singers, writers, producers and players, they rewrote the book on pop music, sang their way into the hearts of millions and made a lasting impression that continues to this day.
With a total of sixteen appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Best Of The Supremes collects some of the group’s greatest performances. Included in this DVD is their very first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in December 1964, showcasing their No. 1 hit “Come See About Me.” Other timeless performances featured are “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “My World is Empty Without You,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In The Name of Love” and “The Happening.” And, for the first time on DVD, this collection includes a full version of “Up the Ladder to the Roof” which is the only appearance by the “New Supremes” after Diana Rosswent on to pursue a solo career.
This collection of performances truly showcases why The Supremes are one of Motown’s biggest and most beloved acts.
The Best of The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show
The Temptations began their musical life in Detroit in the early sixties. With their flashy suits, distinctive harmonies and precise, split-second choreography, they popularized a refined style of performance that made them a household name. For the first time on DVD, you get the best of their Ed Sullivan Show performances. Included in this collection is the group’s very first appearance in May 1967, in which they performed a medley of hits including “My Girl” and “(I Know) I’m Losing You.” Other songs featured are the group’s No. 1 hit “I Can’t Get Next to You,” a playful version of “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” the Top Ten hit “Psychedelic Shack,” and the 1969 hit single “Runaway Child, Running Wild” with Dennis Edwards replacing David Ruffin.
Highlights of this collection include:
- The Temptations’ special appearance alongside The Supremes with each group performing a medley of the other group’s hits, including “Get Ready,” “Stop! In The Name Of Love,” and “Baby Love.”
- DVD debuting performances by The Temptations of “Hello Young Lovers,” “Autumn Leaves,” and never-before-released medleys of “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue),” “All I Need,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’ll Be There” and “My Sweet Lord.”
- The Temptations’ last appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1971 in which they performed “Get Ready” and their No. 1 hit “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me).” These tender and soulful performances were a fitting farewell to The Ed Sullivan Show.
Today, The Temptations and The Supremes continue to be an essential component of the Motown legacy. The Temptations recent DVD release, Get Ready: Definitive Performances 1965-1972, is currently double platinum, and their recent ICON CD has already sold more than 100,000 copies. The Supremes DVD release, Reflections – Definitive Performances 1964-1969 is also now double platinum. Fifty years later, original fans as well as new fans confirm with steady sales that these performers’ true artistry and talent is timeless.
For More Information Go To The Official Ed Sullivan Show Website
Mary Wilson, The Supremes and Otis Williams, The Temptations are available for interviews.