Elvis Presley made his second appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and sang, “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Love Me Tender.” After Señor Wences’s ventriloquism act, Elvis returned to perform “Love Me.” During this song the camera moved in for a close-up of Elvis’ face, and then, as if on cue, he smiled and snarled his upper lip. The studio audience went wild. Elvis closed with another performance of his hit, “Hound Dog.” Again viewers were shown a head-to-toe Elvis.
Following the broadcast, which again enjoyed huge ratings, Elvis was burned in effigy by angry crowds in Nashville and St. Louis. The popular press was also critical of his style and movements. Rock and roll was increasingly attacked and there was growing opposition to its supposedly negative influence on America’s youth. The more the establishment pushed back, the more Elvis’s support grew from millions of teenagers.
According to the documentary History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Ben E. King had no intention of recording the song “Stand By Me” himself. King had written it for The Drifters, who passed on recording it.
The song went to No. 1 on the R&B charts and was a Top Ten hit when it peaked at no. 4 on the charts. "Stand by Me" was ranked 122nd on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 1999, BMI named it as the fourth most-performed song of the 20th century, with about seven million performances.
Benjamin Earl King(September 28, 1938 – April 30, 2015)