Elvis Presley was on fire in 1956. After three years in the music business, he scored his first pop number one hit with "Heartbreak Hotel" following its January release. A string of more number ones followed that year, including "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog," and "Love Me Tender," all of which have been certified multi-platinum.
There was a huge factor that played a part in helping Elvis' 1956 singles achieve such high levels of popularity. That factor was the Ed Sullivan Show, which Elvis appeared on twice in 1956 and once in 1957.
At the time, The Ed Sullivan Show was one of the most-watched television programs in America. The show was responsible for exposing some of the world's greatest artists to a vast audience, including Elvis. After appearing on Ed Sullivan, these artists' popularity would skyrocket. Such was the case for "The King."
Elvis made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 8, 1956. The gig changed his career forever, after approximately 60 million people tuned in to watch him perform. His popularity soared through the roof after that first appearance, leading to a second and third.
"The King" appeared on the show for the third and final time on January 6, 1957. He performed a total of seven songs that day, including his smash hit "Don't Be Cruel."
Elvis gave his performance his all, and made sure to leave everything out on stage. A short clip from the performance shows him working his charm on the crowd, which clearly paid off. At several points in the clip you can hear the women go crazy over a simple look from Elvis or a slight change in the style of his voice.
Clearly Elvis was getting a kick out of all of the attention, as he could be seen smiling and laughing in reaction to the crowd's screams. All these years later, and people still lose their minds whenever they watch old footage of Elvis singing.
We're sure you'll go crazy for the clip below of Elvis singing "Don't Be Cruel" during his final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show!
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