Beatles, Elvis, Supremes 'Ed Sullivan Show' DVDs to get upgraded video in new releases

SOFA Entertainment announced April 9 that the video quality in six of its previously released DVD sets of performances by The Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Supremes and The Temptations will be digitally upgraded in new releases to hit the streets on May 25. The six releases feature one by the Beatles, the two-DVD set "The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles," one each by The Supremes and The Temptations: the single DVD sets "The Best Of The Supremes On The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Best Of The Temptations On The Ed Sullivan Show," and three releases by Elvis Presley: the two-DVD "The 3 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring Elvis," the single DVD "Just Elvis: All His Ed Sullivan Performances" and the two-DVD set "Elvis: The Great Performances."

"The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles," as the label says, features all four shows from 1964 and 1965 when the Beatles appeared live on the show complete with all the other acts and the original commercials. Songs sung by The Beatles included “All My Loving,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Feel Fine,” “Yesterday” and “I'm Down.” One highlight is the performance on the Feb. 9, 1964 show, the night The Beatles made their Sullivan show debut, of the cast from the musical Oliver!, which included a then-unknown young actor named Davy Jones who would go on to achieve fame with The Monkees. Other performers include Cilla Black, another performer in the stable of acts under the wings of the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein; impressionist Frank Gorshin, who later became The Riddler on the “Batman” TV series; Cab Calloway, Soupy Sales; and fellow British performers Morecambe & Wise and Tessie O'Shea.

Similarly, "The 3 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring Elvis" goes back even further to 1956 and 1957 and Elvis' appearances on the Sullivan show. The first featured a somewhat uncomfortable looking Charles Laughton as guest host replacing Sullivan, who was ill. Songs include “Don't Be Cruel,” “Love Me Tender” and “Hound Dog.” Other acts on the set on the shows with Elvis included comedian Carol Burnett; magician Carl Ballantine, later of “McHale's Navy”; ventriloquist Seńor Wences and Ed Sullivan impressionist Will Jordan. Bonus materials include an early home movie of Presley performing in Houston, Texas. "Elvis: The Great Performances" features three documentary films, “Center Stage,” “From the Waist Up” and “The Man and the Music.”

The Temptations and The Supremes sets are videos of their appearances on the show featuring a selection of their hit songs. The Supremes disc has 22 songs, while the Temptations' includes their debut appearance from 1967.