The Rolling Stones release full performance from the band’s 2016 concert film Olé Olé Olé!:
Credit: CBS

See The Rolling Stones make their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in colour for the first time

The iconic footage of The Rolling Stones is, to some degree priceless. It offers us a glimpse into our pasts and lets us grasp the hysteria that Mick Jagger and The Stones caused during some of their wildest days.

No better is that seen than in their performances on the iconic Ed Sullivan show. The host welcomed the band to his studios for a mammoth six times between 1964 and 1969. Now, thanks to Colouring The Past, we can look back at a very special moment for the band in full colour as they make their Ed Sullivan Show debut in 1964.

We’re very excited to bring you two previously never seen before clips which shows The Rolling Stones making their Ed Sullivan show debut in 1964—in colour for the first time. As well as their follow-up performance in 1965.

When The Rolling Stones arrived in America in the autumn of 1964 things had turned a little hysterical. Following their disappointing arrival earlier in the year, a run of chart hits had ensured the band were the talk of the town and were met at JFK by a hoard of fans screaming “we want The Stones”. They sold out two nights in New York and were being asked to appear everywhere they could. One such appearance was for the illustrious Ed Sullivan Show. Things were never going to be sane again.

The Rolling Stones took to a highly-charged studio full to the brim with screaming fans all desperate to catch a glimpse of one of the hottest bands on the planet. The curtain raised to reveal a fresh-faced Mick, Keith, Brian, Bill and Charlie staring back at their adoring crowd. They performed the Chuck Berry classic ‘Around & Around’ with Jagger doing his swashbuckling best, flanked by Keith and Brian to deliver a memorable performance.

Now, for the first time, you can see that footage in brilliant colour. The track playing in the clip below is ‘Time Is On My Side’ as The Rolling Stones closed the show on their debut Ed Sullivan appearance and brought the house down.

Soon enough they were back. The date was May 2nd, 1965 and saw Sullivan welcome Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts to perform two songs for his baying audience. The scene was set, the teens were ready to lose their cool and The Stones were arriving as red hot stars.

It was the group’s second appearance on the show and Sullivan was clearly prepared to not be heard as soon as he mentioned the band’s name. Sullivan learned from their first appearance, there’s no use trying to fight it, one may as well go with it. That he did when he welcomed the group on for a larger than usual set.

The group took on ‘The Last Time,’ ‘Little Red Rooster,’ ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ and, as the end credits rolled, ‘2120 South Michigan Avenue.’ But it was the first track that we, and Colouring the Past, were most interested in.

That’s because it is the first time a Keith Richards and Mick Jagger composition was ever played on the show and marks the band’s progress in songwriting. They channel the delta blues and add a little shimmy in the mix. Et Voila! ‘The Last Time’ comes swaggering through the airwaves.

But in 1965, those airwaves would have been in analogue black and white. It wouldn’t dampen the experience for the audience at home but it did, for those looking back, somewhat restrict our pleasure. There’s something joyous about understanding the colour clothes, and costuming they wore, what particular guitar they were using at the time etc. It all builds up to a lot we’re missing out on.

Well, we can all be thankful then for Colouring The Past who has done a high-quality job of colourising both pieces of footage for us all to enjoy in 2020. So, sit back and watch a moment in history as The Rolling Stones take to Ed Sullivan’s stage… now! in colour!

Subscribe to our newsletter
Delivering curated content