Ed Sullivan's Rock And Roll Classics: The 60s

Updated Thu, Feb 27, 2014 1:27 pm

Monday, March 17 • 10 p.m.

From the late 1940s until the early 1970s, the greatest music acts in the world were seen by millions of viewers of all ages each Sunday night on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Now, the My Music series presents a special of classic song performances spanning the years 1963-1968 in “Ed Sullivan’s Rock And Roll Classics: The 60s.” From the Beatles’ American television debut in 1964 to the Doors’ infamous one-time-only appearance, “The Ed Sullivan Show” served up an unparalleled roster of timeless artists.

“Ed Sullivan’s Rock And Roll Classics” focuses exclusively on full-length music performances — no plate spinners or dancing elephants — that evoke the spirit of that decade’s youth movement, including its connection to San Francisco and the summer of love and peace.

The Beatles kick things off with their million-selling #1 chart debut “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” followed by another John-Paul-George-Ringo smash, “She Loves You.” Other featured British Invasion icons are the Rolling Stones, Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Animals, Herman’s Hermits and Petula Clark with her Grammy-winning evergreen “Downtown.”

More vocal group greats who sing top hits of the decade include the Beach Boys with a pair of their gold records, “I Get Around” and “Good Vibrations,” and Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons with their chart topper from 1962, “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” “Ed Sullivan’s Rock And Roll Classics: The 60s” remembers the Mamas & the Papas, who bridged the generation gap with their soaring harmonies, with their unforgettable anthem “California Dreamin’“ and its follow-up, “Monday, Monday.”

The program includes a joyful batch of “groovy sounds” represented by such beloved ensembles as the Turtles, the Young Rascals and the Supremes, all #1 favorites still played on the radio today.

The 60s were also a time of psychedelic sounds, most famously immortalized by Jim Morrison and the Doors with their 1967 masterpiece “Light My Fire.” “Crimson & Clover” by Tommy James is another era-defining hit. Sly & the Family Stone sing their groundbreaking hits “Everyday People” and “Dance to the Music,” bringing racial equality to rock music. “Ed Sullivan’s Rock And Roll Classics: The 60s” offers audiences the chance to revisit an exciting and explosive era of musical change with a variety of sounds that remain popular today.