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Broadway to Main StreetHow Show Tunes Enchanted America$
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Laurence Maslon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199832538

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199832538.001.0001

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Hymn for a Sunday Evening

Hymn for a Sunday Evening

Television and the Mythology of Broadway

(p.123) Chapter 9 Hymn for a Sunday Evening
Broadway to Main Street

Laurence Maslon

Oxford University Press

Ed Sullivan dominated Sunday night primetime television for a quarter of a century with his extremely popular and inclusive variety show (first called Toast of the Town, then The Ed Sullivan Show). A former (and concurrent) Broadway columnist, Sullivan adored the mythology of Broadway and promoted its history—in song and performance—on practically every broadcast. Expanding on the reach of radio, television allowed for millions of Americans to get their first glimpse of Broadway magic through Sullivan’s promotion of current shows and tributes to giants of the past. The musical Bye Bye Birdie paid homage to the great impresario of the television age by writing him into the show. Sullivan’s domination of the airwaves also nearly parallels the so-called Golden Age of the Broadway musical.

Keywords:   Ed Sullivan, The Ed Sullivan Show, Bye Bye Birdie, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Camelot, Julie Andrews, Alan Jay Lerner

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