It’s always amazing how music takes us back to memorable times in our lives. And this particular performance of The Highwaymen’s “Standing By The Gate” on The Ed Sullivan Show on August 16, 1964, did just that for some viewers on YouTube.
As I sit down to write about this iconic performance, I can’t help but take a minute to reflect on what was happening in America in 1964. It was the year of The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and the start of the British Invasion that would change American music forever. The Vietnam War was raging on, but we will not mention it for the sake of this article. Instead, let’s talk about how much a gallon of gas was going for (about 30 cents, for those curious minds).
Now, back to the performance that brought us all here. The Highwaymen’s “Standing By The Gate” was a classic bluegrass tune that showcased their impressive vocal harmonies and instrumental skills. The song was a perfect fit for the group’s style and was well received by the audience. Speaking of the audience, it’s worth mentioning the positive reactions from the crowd, the applause, and the smiles on their faces as they enjoyed the performance.
As I watched this performance, I couldn’t help but feel transported to that moment in time. The personal touch of the first person point of view, the subjective language, and the deep knowledge of music and American culture conveyed in writing made me feel like I was experiencing it all for the first time. The upbeat and favorable personal opinions and emotions expressed in the writing helped paint a picture of a time and place I wish I could have been a part of.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to watch this performance of The Highwaymen’s “Standing By The Gate” on The Ed Sullivan Show, August 16, 1964. Please share it with your friends and family because it’s a piece of American music history that should not be missed.