Elvis Presley sings ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ on ‘Sullivan’ in 1957

‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ welcomed the biggest star in 1957 when Elvis Presley took the stage. No one was rising to stardom quicker than Elvis, and his stage presence, coupled with good looks, drove the audience wild.

Elvis appears on stage, and the crowd screams, as he says, ‘Thank you very much.’ Music notes are in the background, and Elvis’ hair is slicked back while he wears a sparkling vest with a collared shirt.

He has 3 male background singers wearing shirts and ties with plaid jackets. The entire clip is in black and white footage. Once the crowd finally settles down, Elvis addresses them in a heartfelt speech with some humor.

He says, ‘Ladies and gentleman, uh, we’d like to the song that was my very biggest record last year. I mean it was no bigger than the rest of them.’ He holds his hands up to make the shape of a record to make the joke, and the audience laughs.

Elvis continues to say, ‘And we’d like to tell you that to all the people watching and all you people that are here tonight that we really are thankful for all the success that you made us have and everything. This is my biggest record, and it goes something like this.’

Elvis sings ‘Don’t Be Cruel,’ and the girls scream wildly whenever he makes the slightest motion. He toys with them, lifting his hand but not shaking. Then, finally, on the last line, he really starts moving and snapping while the audience freaks out.

The camera only shoots him from the waist up because they know he’s likely to swivel his hips. After the fantastic performance, Ed Sullivan says, ‘Oh, I wish I were young again. No fooling, that’s wonderful to be that way.’