Aired on Treasure Island Oldies – June 2005
The date: August 12, 1956. Comedian Phil Silvers hosts The Ed Sullivan Show, filling in for an ailing Ed Sullivan who is recuperating from a car accident. Much of the show is a tribute to the New York Yankees and their wives, many of whom appear live on the show.
During the telecast, one of the more prominent players on the Yankees is featured doing a duet with pop singer Teresa Brewer …
In 2002, The Ed Sullivan Show was ranked #15 in TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. Originally called The Toast of the Town, it became a must-see show on CBS, spanning four decades from 1948 – 1971 and holding down the 8:00 – 9:00 pm time slot on Sunday nights.
A true variety show, it featured all types of entertainment from comedians to circus acts to popular recording artists. If you made it on the show, you were a somebody and it would enhance your career – just ask the Beatles who made their North American debut on this show on February 9, 1964, in front of an estimated 73 million viewers.
Prior to hosting his own show, Sullivan was a sportswriter in New York City. Throughout his TV career, he often honored or recognized sports celebrities who were sitting in the audience. How ironic that he was not able to host that August 1956 show.
At the time, Teresa Brewer was at the peak of her career with four Top 10 songs including two #1 hits (“Music! Music! Music!  and “Till I Waltz With You Again” ). Her duet that evening was a tribute tune that she had co-written that summer after attending a Yankee baseball game. She even convinced a Yankee ballplayer to participate in the recording of it. Today this single is one of the most collectible of all Brewer’s records.
That Yankee who was part of the onstage duet was Mickey Mantle, who probably would have preferred to be standing at the plate readying himself to hit a fastball rather than being part of this performance. But he endured, as Teresa Brewer paid tribute to him with her light-hearted novelty tune, “I Love Mickey.”
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.
Epilogue: For you sports buffs, Mickey Mantle went on to have one of his best years in 1956, winning MVP honors and the Triple Crown of baseball by leading the league in batting average (.353), homeruns (52), and runs batted in (130). The Yankees would go on to win yet another World Series that year.