For the past year, the YouTube channel The Ed Sullivan Show has been issuing video performances from Ed’s long run on broadcast television, 1948 to 1971. The selections include Louis, the Everly Brothers, Mort Sahl, Richard Pryor, and a multitude of stars from every genre. Sullivan was particularly even-handed about having African-American artists on his show, which is a great gift to us. In this case, we get to see Jo Jones at his explosive accurate fiery best — from two angles — while Illinois Jacquet performs his great hit, FLYING HOME. It amuses me to watch this and consider how nervous Elvis Presley made Ed — if this isn’t a Doinysiac ecstasy on nationwide television, I don’t know what is. It’s frankly astonishing. Watch and marvel.
And as if that were not enough . . . here are Pearl Bailey and Hot Lips Page, performing BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE — their hit record — on October 4, 1949:
If anyone wants to complain about the implications of the song, go right ahead — but not here. And if someone else wants to note imperfections in Lips’ delivery of the lines, I invite you to, but (as before) not here. Lips, like Jo, is one of my deities, and anything less than rapturous gratitude strikes me as heresy. I exercise my imperial right to leave such comments in the dark.
Hot Lips Page on nationwide television! (Although a clip exists where Lips plays trumpet, it hasn’t been made accessible, so let us savor these minutes.)
I am so delighted that these video performances survived and are being shared with us. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel so the people in charge know there is an eager audience and will offer us more head-spinning surprises.
May your happiness increase!