Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ed Sullivan, February 9, 1964

So, you may have heard of this day before, kids.

LEGENDARY in Rock history.

(No, seriously!)

(And for the sake of historical accuracy, I will admit that when you talk to MOST people, they will tell you it was the day the Beatles Appeared On the Ed Sullivan Show. Which cheered everyone up immensely from the assassination of President John F.Kennedy, which had occurred that previous November.  The Friday before Thanksgiving.  Imagine national shock and mourning.  Plus, there were only 2 tv channels.  A bleak winter indeed.)

But for Monkee fans, it was the day that Davy first performed live on national TV.

Once upon a time, if you wanted to see who was the biggest and best act, you had to wait until a Sunday night, and then crowd your whole family around something called a television set and turn on something called "The Ed Sullivan Show".  From the years of 1948-1971, it was THE variety show to be on if you were an up and coming performer.  Everyone appeared on that show, and it was known for cutting Elvis-the-Pelvis off at the hip, and for making the Rolling Stones sing a song called "Let's Spend Some Time Together"  (instead of "Let's Spend the Night Together").

Davy Jones appeared as the Artful Dodger, a role he was performing 8 times a week on Broadway.  He originated the role there, and got a Toy Nomination for Best Actor Featured in a Musical.  Originally, the show "Oliver!" had started out in London in the West End.  Eventually, the production was  made into a movie in 1968.   There was also the book, Oliver Twist, written by Charles Dickens.

Watch Davy perform "I'll Do Anything"!!!

So the funny thing is, the number is called: "I'd Do Anything"  (Lyrics here.)

The song in particular was about a pickpocket who was teaching a bunch of kids how to work for him.  And here they are essentially pledging loyalty.

The rest of the story goes that although his number went over well, it could not match the screaming reception that the Beatles got from their fans.  DJ remembered watching from the wings and thinking that he needed to get in on that.  And then Judy Garland took him to the roof and pointed to all of Manhattan and told him that the city was his.  (See his bio).

The song's title seems prophetic for a young man of talent and ambition.  I wonder what associations he made with that performance and his later career.  Based on contemporaneous interviews with those who had known him, he was a gracious performer who was always willing to give a full performance (no matter how many people in the audience) and often stayed after the concert until the last fan got an autograph.  Be careful what you wish for. ;)

Full Links:

DJ's Performance:

Lyrics to "I'd Do Anything"

Oliver movie:

Ed Sullivan Show

Oliver Twist Novel

Charles Dickens

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