All three discs, also covering Elvis' appearances on October 28, 1956 and January 6, 1957 (two days before his twenty second birthday) have a special features section. Now this part, on each, is an Elvis lover's dream. There they have spliced together E's songs on that night and show them back to back - no other acts or commercials!
Then there are interviews, short but some quite nice. Sam Phillips, founder of Elvis' first label, Sun Records, is the first questioned followed by others like Jerry Schilling (member of the Memphis Mafia and author of Me And A Guy Named Elvis), Gordon Stoker (of the Jordanaires, Elvis long-standing backup singers) and television host Wink Martindale. Each disc has it's own special features different than the others including home movies from Jerry's personal collection.
A fact that might have gotten lost somewhere down the road is that Mr. Ed Sulllivan himself was not the host for his own show, that first of Elvis' three performances. He had been involved in a very serious accident a month before and throughout his recovery, different popular celebrities took over for him. So, instead of Ed, the host for this premiere occasion was British actor Charles Laughton. Known primarily for his dramatic roles (like Bligh in Mutiny On The Bounty) and numerous Broadway productions, he took on this role as Emcee with great relish and dry Brit humor. I'm not quite sure if he was always that jolly, but he really looked like he was having a wonderful time. Totally makes this first disc in the set, for that September 9th show, the best of the lot.
Remember, these recordings are over 50 years old and not filmed or taped but aired via kinescope — an old process used in the beginning days of television — but the quality both audio and visual are clean and clear. The one thing that wasn't done, thankfully, was colorization. Despite the fact that all of the Ed Sullivan Show materials are in black and white, Elvis Presley transcends that medium and is spirited and as bright.
Here I am, so excited about owning this set and having more Elvis to watch whenever the urge strikes, that I almost forgot to tell you about the songs that he sings on each show and thus are on each disc. Elvis loved to perform for his fans, especially in those exciting beginning days of his career, and while there are only really only nine tunes played here, the multiple performances are none the worse for wear.