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YouTube Gold: The Band

The Band was one of the most talented, tightest bands to ever perform

Bob Dylan And The Band - The Tour 74
PEMBROKE PINES FLORIDA, January 19: The Band’s Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson perform during Bob Dylan and The Band - The Tour 74’ at The Hollywood Sportatorium in Pembroke Pines, Fl. on January 19, 1974
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

The Ed Sullivan show ran from 1948 to 1971 and while on the one hand it was of its age, with jugglers and magicians and the like, Sullivan had a knack for putting surprising musical acts on his show.

He had Elvis Presley, the Beatles, The Who, Bo Diddly, Buddy Holly, The Rolling Stones the Doors, The Supremes and many others.

Some of them didn’t work out too well. Bo Diddly and the Doors were banned from the show for not doing what was expected. Comedian Jackie Mason was accused of giving Sullivan the finger at the end of his act (he disputed this and sued over the allegation). Holly and Sullivan really didn’t like each other and he might have been banned had he lived long enough.

One of the acts that he had near the end of his run, in 1969, was The Band. They came to prominence as the silliness of the psychedelic era was coming to a close and their tight, roots-oriented rock n roll had a huge influence on popular music.

On this Sullivan show clip, they do Up on Cripple Creek. It was a very tight and talented group that would fall apart a few years later, with guitarist Robbie Robertson fed up with life on the road and with a lot of bitterness about who owned the rights to the music, among other things.

Robertson and drummer Levon Helm only reconciled when Helm was on his deathbed in 2012.