Elvis Presley appeared live on ‘Ed Sullivan’ in 1956 to perform ‘Love Me Tender.’ Elvis begins with his signature phrase, “Thank you very much.” Then, he takes a pause and says, “Thank you, ladies,” which gets a big laugh from the ‘Sullivan’ audience.
He continues, “This is the title of my brand new 20th Century Fox movie, and it’s also my newest RCA Victor escape, release.” Elvis stumbles between the words ‘escape’ and ‘release,’ and the audience laughs again.
Elvis says, “With the help of the very wonderful Jordanaires, a song called Love Me Tender.” Elvis begins singing, and after the first line, he removes his guitar. Elvis gets ‘Oohs’ and ‘Ahhs’ from the audience as he stares into the crowd with his handsome looks.
He wears a plaid suit jacket with an open-collared shirt in the black-and-white footage from 1956. His hair is slicked back in his iconic 1950s look. Elvis knows how to work the crowd and captivates them with his stare and smile.
He sings ‘Love Me Tender’ from the movie of the same name. The melody is from a Civil War ballad titled, ‘Aura Lea.’ The song went to number 1 on the Billboard and Cashbox charts in 1956.
The 1956 movie was an American musical Western, and Elvis made his acting debut. It was the only time in his career that he didn’t receive top billing in a film. His co-stars were Richard Egan and Debra Paget.
The movie was initially titled ‘The Reno Brothers,’ but after advanced sales of Elvis’ record passed one million, the film’s title was changed to ‘Love Me Tender.’ The song and the movie helped solidify Elvis as a major movie star, and he went on to star in 33 films.