06/3/2021 11:46 pm  #1

Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

Greg Van Beek has spotted this very rare clip. See (1) Bing Crosby "True Love" on The Ed Sullivan Show - YouTube


07/3/2021 4:27 am  #2

Re: Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

Nice. Don’t think I’ve seen that ‘rug top’ on Bing before. Quite a wave like I used to have last century.


07/3/2021 7:22 am  #3

Re: Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

Here's a bit more background to that appearance on November 11, 1956.

"The big hoopla, of course, and a rarity in the area of “live” tv, was the Crosby appearance and soloing of his “True Love,” with an enforced reprise hitched to a Sullivan wager that it’ll register second only to “White Christmas” in disclicks. “Love” was done to a Bing turn, but it was in the banter division, chiefly with Phil Silvers, that the Crosby personality asserted itself as of old." (Variety, November 14, 1956). 

"In preparation for an appearance by Bing Crosby singing “True Love,” he [Ray Bloch] decided that a small cabaret orchestra would play up on the stage, but off camera, while accompanying Bing. We had our music taped to the floor so that just in case the camera did pan over and see us playing, it would all appear to be very casual. During the rehearsals, we found it extremely difficult to watch Ray, who was conducting us and at the same time, read our music that was taped on the floor. He would not listen to our problem. The plan was that Bing and Ed would have a little chat out in front of the curtain and on a certain cue, we would start the musical intro of the song. Then the curtain would rise and Bing would sing. Good idea?—Not really. When we got on the air, we started the intro as we had rehearsed, but when the curtain was supposed to rise, it got stuck! And that was just as I started the solo cadenza. Ray Bloch was in a dither. All of us backstage could hear Ed and Bing adlibbing and trying to make light of this unexpected hang up. All the while, I just kept on playing and improvising while chaos was going on all around me. Finally the curtain did rise, and just before Bing started to sing, he paused for a moment, turned to me and said, “Thank you, Mr. Paganini of the accordion.” Ray Bloch was much more cordial to me in our subsequent meetings. Little did I realize at the time that years later, Bing and I would meet again and work together many more times." (Nick Perito, writing in his book “I Just Happened to Be There”, page 129)

Last edited by Malcolm Macfarlane (07/3/2021 7:24 am)

     Thread Starter

07/3/2021 3:19 pm  #4

Re: Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

What a great find, Greg and Malcolm! While I know of radio programmes where a disc got played more than once by an enthousiastic announcer, I have never heard or seen an encore asked for and performed live on tv. Another Crosby first?

Thanks for spotting this on YouTube and the extra background information!

Last edited by frans (07/3/2021 3:20 pm)


07/3/2021 5:01 pm  #5

Re: Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

Those three-and-a-half minutes have made my day..! Thanks, Malcolm and Greg.


10/3/2021 3:26 pm  #6

Re: Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

That is a great clip! Thanks for sharing it.

All the best,
Paul M. Mock

19/3/2021 4:30 am  #7

Re: Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

That's a beaut clip. Thanks Greg and Malcolm which reminds me that I tried to find a copy of Nick Perito's book but no library in Australia has a copy.


26/5/2021 6:30 am  #8

Re: Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

Another clip which has just surfaced on the Ed Sullivan channel is Bing singing "Alexandra's Ragtime Band" in May 1969. Go to Bing Crosby & Peter Gennaro "Alexander's Ragtime Band" on The Ed Sullivan Show - YouTube

     Thread Starter

17/6/2021 7:08 am  #9

Re: Bing on the Ed Sullivan show

Thanks Malcolm. I wonder if Bing enjoyed looking at the dancers as much as I did.


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