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Paul McCartney, Ed Sullivan and Doo Wop Set For PBS

Music, the backbone of most PBS fund drives, returns this August with new programs featuring performances on the Ed Sullivan Show and a new Doo Wop special. Then, in September, the network's Great Performances series looks at Paul McCartney's latest album.

Up first on August 11 (check your local listings as PBS affiliates notoriously schedule these shows on different dates and times) is Ed Sullivan's Top Performers, a sequel to the very popular Ed Sullivan's Rock and Roll Classics.  The special concentrates on performances on the variety show from the 60's.
Among the highlights are a pair of chart-toppers from both The Beatles ("I Want To Hold Your Hand," "She Loves You") and The Rolling Stones ("Ruby Tuesday," "Paint It, Black") plus top-ten hits by The Turtles ("She'd Rather Be With Me"), The Mamas & The Papas ("Creeque Alley"), Tom Jones ("It's Not Unusual") and Johnny Rivers ("Baby I Need Your Lovin'").

The psychedelic side is represented by the million-selling 1969 smash "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" by The Fifth Dimension while The Association offers the soft-rock standard "Never My Love" as well as the breezy "Along Comes Mary." Creedence Clearwater Revival closes out the decade with their rock anthem "Proud Mary."

"This special takes you back to the original moments of the artists and songs when they first broke," says oldies music expert TJ Lubinsky, "with a focus on the late '60s, this collection of rock and roll classics exemplifies the defining backbeat in the soundtrack of our lives."

The companion CD set – ROCK, POP & SOUL – features over 100 original 1960s recordings from the original stars, including: "My Generation" (The Who), "Dedicated To The One I Love" (The Mamas & The Papas), "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (The Beach Boys), "Up, Up & Away" (The Fifth Dimension), "The Letter" (The Box Tops), "Sooner Or Later" (The Grass Roots), "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" (Jackie DeShannon), "Summer In The City" by The Lovin' Spoonful and "Brown Eyed Girl" (Van Morrison).
On August 11 and 12, the new My Music special Doo Wop Love Songs will have its premier.
Headlining the romantic rhythms are the immortal Little Anthony & the Imperials with their timeless top-10 tune "Tears on My Pillow" and "Two People in the World."

Among the doo-wop pioneers who reunite in this historic special are the Tokens with their 1961 smash "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" Cleveland Still & the Dubs reprise their 1957 spine-tingler "Could This Be Magic," and the program features a touching tribute to one of the golden voices of Doo Wop, Johnny Maestro of the Brooklyn Bridge and Crests, who passed away in 2010. Johnny sings "The Worst That Could Happen" and the timeless anthem "16 Candles" in his last television performance recorded for PBS.

The Original Drifters with founding singer Bill Pinkney, united with R&B legend Ben E. King, Charlie Thomas and Bobby Hendricks, all original members of the Drifters hit 50s and 60s recordings gather to sing the inspirational "Stand By Me". Sadly, this was also Bill Pinkney's final performance recorded for television; he passed away on July 4, 2007.

Frankie Lymon's Teenagers revive their most famous recording, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," along with "I Want You to Be My Girl." More ballads with a beat are heard from the Demensions, who offer the wistful evergreen "Over the Rainbow," the Safaris with their evocative "Image of a Girl," which charted top 10 in 1960, and the Mystics, who serenade softly with the lilting "Hushabye."

The PBS special offers the all-new "DOO WOP ROMANCE" 7-CD Collection, offering 130 original recordings by the original artists. It's the most comprehensive set of doo wop-era ballads ever released, including such beloved favorites as "Earth Angel" by The Penguins, "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby & The Romantics, "Donna The Prima Donna" by Dion, "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes, "Come Go With Me" by The Del Vikings, "You Belong To Me" by The Duprees, "Blue Moon" by The Marcels and "Heart & Soul" by The Cleftones.
Finally, on September 7, PBS will premier Great Performances: Paul McCartney's Live Kisses. The special was recorded on February 9, 2012 (the 48th anniversary of the Beatles debut on the Ed Sullivan Show) at the famed Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.
A few hours after the long awaited addition of McCartney's star to the Hollywood Walk of Fame drew a traffic-stopping throng to pack the stretch of Vine Street in front of the famed Capitol Records building, McCartney took his place behind the same microphone that had captured so many of the most magical voices of the past several decades, while the core team that backed McCartney on his debut turn on Kisses, prepared to reprise their roles in this one-time-only concert event. McCartney and the assembled musicians had never performed this material live adding to the evening's electricity.

The reunited all-star entourage included Grammy-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt in the control room, musical director Diana Krall at the piano, and Kisses players John Clayton, Karriem Riggins, John Pizzarelli, Anthony Wilson, Mike Mainieri and conductor Alan Broadbent.

McCartney eschewed his usual tools of bass, guitar and piano to focus solely on his vocal interpretations of this material. In exclusive interview segments with Paul and Kisses On The Bottom collaborators Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Krall and LiPuma, among others, Live Kisses offers new insight into the conception and creation of the Kisses... album, the McCartney family gatherings that introduced a young Paul to much of the material, the Fats Waller line from Live Kisses opener "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter" that gave Kisses On The Bottom its title, and more.

Live Kisses' highlights include "Home," "More I Cannot Wish You," "Always," "Bye Bye Blackbird" and McCartney harmonizing with his longtime live drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. on "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," "The Glory of Love" and "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive." There are spontaneous moments such as a flubbed first take on "My Very Good Friend the Milkman." Paul's rendition of his new composition "My Valentine" receives acoustic guitar punctuation courtesy of Joe Walsh (who contributes another outstanding turn in a completely different mood on "Get Yourself Another Fool").


Paul McCartney said…
McCartney eschewed his usual tools of bass, guitar and piano to focus solely on his vocal interpretations of this material.Great stuff