1956, the year of Elvis Presley. This was the year he took it to a whole new level and blew up. One thing that made Elvis was TV. He was able to reach the whole country through this new technology that people were discovering. Parker was a very smart man, and used TV perfectly. I am going to discuss the different shows Elvis appeared on. Tonight I am going to start out talking about the Stage Show appearances. The Dorsey brothers hosted a variety show that came on CBS in the evening and was produced by Jackie Gleason. In late 1955 Elvis was signed to appear on the show four times. Later it would be extended to six appearances after a strong reaction to Elvis' performance. Elvis would appear on the show for the first time the last week for January.
Below is a clip from the first appearance on television by Elvis.
I love this performance of this song, and Elvis is just full of raw energy. Elvis would also appear on the show three times in February and twice more in March. Elvis gained some attention due to these performances, but nothing compared to what he would garner later on down the road. Elvis would sing Heartbreak Hotel for the first time on TV during the third appearance. The Stage Show did alright in the ratings, but was still getting beat pretty good by the Perry Como show. Elvis was still not all that well known outside the southeast. Elvis would move on next to the Milton Berle show. By the time he was done there, he would have the whole country turned upside down. I will talk in length about that in the future. Below is a clip from the fourth appearance Elvis made on stage show. It is one of my all time favorite Elvis songs. In closing I would say I would really like it if these complete performance from the shows would be released at some point. Clips from different songs scatted out among some collections on VHS or DVD but not all six in complete form. I wish they would do something for the Stage Show performances much like the did for the Sullivan shows.