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Rockin' TV: From Elvis to the Monkees

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0197
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The Beatles with Ed Sullivan,1964 (PD/wikipedia/ published in the United States between 1927 and 1977 inclusive, without a copyright notice)

Beginning in the mid-1950s, rock music found a surprising home on mainstream television. Programs hosted by Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and especially Ed Sullivan featured a wide variety of musicians including Bill Haley & the Comets, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, and especially Elvis Presley, who appeared on all three shows to galvanic response. Afternoon dance programs like “American Bandstand” played a role as well in bringing rock to large and eager teenage audiences.

Then, in 1964, the appearance of the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” would change the face of pop culture, leading to an explosion of televised rock, from prime-time rock variety shows like “Shindig” and “Hullabaloo,” to the sit-com rock antics of “The Monkees,” and the jubilant renewal of Elvis Presley in the “Comeback Special” of 1968.

Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University, presents a lively survey of the fascinating history of how rock and television grew up together.

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