Nearly 50 years after it aired its final episode in 1971, the legendary Ed Sullivan Show is officially headed to all streaming platforms.
From the Beatles’ debut to Elvis Presley to the Rolling Stones, iconic clips and low-resolution bootlegs of the variety show have been available for years, but this marks the first time the entire catalogue will be available digitally — thanks to a deal between UMe and SOFA Entertainment Inc.
Seven performances are available now on the show’s official YouTube channel, with new videos rolling out over the next three years. You can watch the Beach Boys’ performance of “Good Vibrations” from October 13th, 1968 above, as well as the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” from September 25th, 1966 below.
“The Supremes were on The Ed Sullivan Show 16 times,” the group’s Mary Wilson tells Rolling Stone. “One of the most exciting times was in 1966: Me, Flo [Ballard] and Diane [Ross] sang ‘You Can’t Hurry Love.’ We wore our newly acquired ‘Blue Sequined Gowns’ that we had made on our last trip to Hong Kong. Their tailors could copy anything, dress suit or whatever in a few hours, so we had them copy our gowns. Our voices were happy and you will notice Flo’s soprano voice was loud and clear on this show.”
“In the early Sixties, you never saw a lot of black people on television unless they were maids or doormen,” she added. “When we started appearing on Mr. Sullivan’s show in 1965, it was a new day for America. Black people in their elegance were now seen out front up close. Ed Sullivan brought rock & roll to white America. For the Supremes, it showed we had made it to the big time in those days. We had already begun to sell millions of records, but now we were on top of the charts. Being on The Ed Sullivan Show meant more records sales. After us, all of the Motown acts appeared.”
Other performance segments out Friday include Marvin Gaye’s June 19th, 1966 performance of “Take This Heart of Mine,” Neil Diamond’s November 30th, 1969 performance of “Sweet Caroline” and the Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next to You” from September 28th, 1969.
“The Ed Sullivan Show would book us multiple times in one year,” founding Temptations member Otis Williams tells Rolling Stone. “Besides the Supremes, that was unprecedented for an African American R&B group at that time.”
“The Ed Sullivan Show is a classic, not to be missed by this generation or the next,” he added. “He was so instrumental in shaping American entertainment culture, the effects of which are still reverberating today. Releasing full performances is long overdue, and it’s exciting that audiences of all ages can now easily access them worldwide through digital technology.”
The Ed Sullivan Show Streaming Schedule
June 12th – Marvin Gaye, “Take This Heart of Mine” (June 19th, 1966)
June 12th – The Supremes, “You Can’t Hurry Love” (September 25th, 1966)
June 12th – The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (October 13th, 1968)
June 12th – The Temptations, “I Can’t Get Next to You” (September 28th, 1969)
June 12th – Neil Diamond, “Sweet Caroline” (November 30th, 1969)
June 12th – The Jackson 5, “Stand!” (December 14th, 1969)
June 12th – Gladys Knight and the Pips, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (March 29th, 1970)
June 13th – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, “Yesterday” (March 31, 1968)
June 14th – Four Tops, “Reach Out I’ll Be There” (October 16th, 1966)
June 14th – The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (December 14th, 1969)
June 15th – Diana Ross and the Supremes, “Love Child” (January 5th, 1969)
June 16th – The Temptations, Medley: “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)”/”All I Need”/”My Girl”/”(I Know) I’m Losing You” (May 28, 1967)