pop culture locations from movies, music, tv & more...

ed sullivan theater

from elvis presley, the beatles, the doors posted in music by donkeyoti

Running from 1948 to 1971, The Ed Sullivan Show was a variety TV show hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. The host was a bit of a king-maker, and a group or artist could say they "made it" if they played the show.

Bill Haley and His Comets performed their then-current hit "Rock Around the Clock" in early August 1955, marking the first televised performance of a rock and roll song.

On September 9, 1956, Elvis made his first of three appearances on the show. The myth of having to shoot Elvis from the waist up is false. Elvis's full body gyrations can be seen throughout the performance.

The Beatles appeared on three consecutive Sundays in February 1964. The February 9th performance is considered the beginning of the British invasion. By the third performance, 73 million viewers were tuning in (breaking the record at the time).

Today, The Ed Sullivan Theater is the filming location for The Late Show with David Letterman.

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sun studios

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Sun Studios is a legendary recording studio opened by Sam Philips on January 3, 1950. Known initially as Memphis Recording Service, it was in the same building as Sun Records, and would later shorten its name to Sun Studio.

Philips recorded Ike Turner's "Rocket 88" here in 1951. The speaker cone of the amp had been damaged, so they stuffed newspaper in an attempt to repair it. This is probably the first instance of guitar distortion, and arguably the first rock and roll song.

On July 18, 1953, Presley walked into the offices of Sun to "record a song for his mother." The young singer was trying to get discovered for his talent.

On July 5, 1954, Elvis was finally in the studio trying to record some tunes. All the songs were coming out flat and uninteresting. They were nearly finished when Elvis started jumping around doing "That's All Right, Mama." Bill Black, the bass player, started joking around, then guitarist Scotty Moore. The song became a hit.

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elvis presley’s birthplace

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Elvis Presley was born at this location in Jan. 8, 1935, in the house that his father built for $180. Although the family moved occasionally, they lived mostly in the Tupelo area until 1948 when they left for Memphis.

The city of Tupelo bought the house and land with money from a 1956 Elvis concert, who wanted a park for neighborhood children. Today, the birthplace is part of the 15-acre Elvis Presley Park. On the grounds include the house where he was born, a museum, and a chapel.

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bessie smith car accident

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Bessie Smith, sometimes called The Empress of the Blues, was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s and 30s. Signed with Columbia Records, she made 160 recordings for the label, and became their best-selling recording artist at the time.

On September 26, 1937, Bessie Smith was critically injured at this location in a car accident.

She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

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riverside hotel

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This former hospital in Clarksdale, MS is a music landmark. The owner, Frank "Rat" Ratcliff, is part proprietor/part blues historian and is happy to disclose all of the famous musicians who have been through.

On September 26, 1937, Bessie Smith died in Room #2 of this building after a car accident when it was a hospital. It was converted to a hotel in 1944.

In the early months of 1951, Ike Turner practiced with his band here, and worked out the song "Rocket 88" during rehearsals in the basement. Released under the band name Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (Jackie was the saxophone player and vocalist on the track), "Rocket 88" is considered by many to be the first rock and roll song ever recorded.

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