Monday, August 1, 2011
Always on Sunday: An Inside View of Ed Sullivan, The Beatles, Elvis, Sinatra...and Ed's other Guests by Michael Harris
"Always on Sunday" takes readers on an inside look into the life of Ed Sullivan, both personally and professionally, as well as his weekly variety show, originally titled “Toast of the Town” and later renamed “The Ed Sullivan Show.
When I was growing up it was called “The Ed Sullivan Show” and was pretty much coming to the end of the road. I know it more from re-runs and clips I’ve seen over the years (mainly The Beatles and The Jackson Five/Michael Jackson). The line up of guests he had over the years is truly amazing – a “who’s who” of Hollywood.
I didn’t realize what a huge part Sullivan played in the makings of the show and the guests who appeared on it. I always tend to think the stars themselves have little to do with the actual bookings of guests. As it turns out, Sullivan was very much involved and also had a few feuds going on as well. I never thought he was a colorful person, but it seems as if he was.
This book was originally published in 1968 when Ed Sullivan was still alive. According to the author, Mr. Sullivan didn’t want this published at first, but then he put his seal of approval on it. I’m glad he did as it’s very interesting to learn the ins and outs of what goes on behind the scenes of a TV show.
"Always on Sunday" gives us an inside look into some of these feuds, but it’s not a “tell all” type of scandalous book. It simply tells it like it happened. The author was the head of CBS’ public relations way back when and shares an insider’s look backstage.
I’m not sure the younger crowd would find it to their taste, but anyone growing up during this time would find it enjoyable. It’s a fast-paced book, written very well and with fascinating anecdotes. I would have liked to see more stories about Sullivan’s interactions with his guests, but perhaps that would be a reason for a follow up book.
FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.