A performance by 1960s chart regulars Gary Lewis and the Playboys of their greatest hits on The Ed Sullivan Show is among the latest additions to the venerable show’s official YouTube channel.
The medley is from the edition broadcast on December 4, 1966, which also starred the Supremes and Canadian comedy duo Wayne & Shuster. Lewis and the group had first appeared on Sullivan in March 1965, soon after their first hit “This Diamond Ring” had spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. They had also performed their subsequent Top 10 single “Sure Gonna Miss Her” in a February 1966 edition, and would return in October 1968. The frontman’s comedian father Jerry Lewis was also a frequent visitor to the show, notably in the early 1960s.
As the December 1966 show aired, Lewis and the Playboys were releasing their latest Liberty single “Where Will The Words Come From,” which would reach No.21 on the US chart early in the new year. It was their first chart single not to make the Top 20, after seven initial Top 10 hits and two more Top 20s. The only other group to place seven consecutive singles in the Top 10 in the 1960s were the Lovin’ Spoonful.
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Lipsynching to audible enthusiasm from the audience, the group’s hit medley opens, naturally, with “This Diamond Ring,” moving on to snatches of “Green Grass” and “She’s Just My Style.” Lewis then introduces “our latest recording,” “Where Will The Words Come From,” which ends the clip.
Viewers wondering about the significance of the “Bye Bye Gary” artwork at the back of the set will be interested to know that it denoted Lewis’ imminent departure after being drafted into the US Army. At the end of his tour, he and the group reconvened, enjoying one more US Top 20 single with a remake of Brian Hyland’s “Sealed With A Kiss.”
Watch all the latest archival videos from The Ed Sullivan Show on the program’s official YouTube channel.