"Crimson and Clover" entered the U.S. charts on December 14, where it stayed for 16 weeks on Billboard Hot 100 and 15 weeks on Cash Box Top 100. Following a performance of the song on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 26, it became number one on February 1, 1969, a position held for one week on Cash Box Top 100 and two weeks on both Billboard Hot 100.
The single has sold 5 million copies, making it Tommy James and the Shondells’ best selling song. In 2006, Pitchfork Media named it the 57th best song of the 1960s.
Tommy James and the Shondells on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969.
Tommy James(bornThomas Gregory Jackson) turned 69 in April.
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.