Fri, 08 Jun 2012 00:07:41 GMT | By Sean Plummer
Most shocking moments in music

Elvis plays the Ed Sullivan Show



Elvis plays the Ed Sullivan Show (© Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive;)
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  • Photo of Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, with the Grateful Dead, performing live onstage (© Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
  • Singer Sinead O'Connor rips up a picture of Pope John Paul II October 3, 1992 on the TV show "Saturday Night Live". (© Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
  • British punk-rock group the Sex Pistols. Left to right: Glen Matlock, Johnny Rotten (aka John Lydon), Steve Jones and Paul Cook. The Sex Pistols were formed in 1975 by Malcolm McLaren, the owner of a clothes shop called Sex, who touted the group as the 'latest teen craze called 'Punk Rock'. (© Express/Getty Images)
  • Britney Spears shaves her head (© AP Photo/KABC-TV)
  • Jimi Hendrix (© REUTERS/COPYRIGHT AMALIE R. ROTHSCHILD/THE BETTMANN ARCHIVE)
  • Elvis plays the Ed Sullivan Show (© Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive;)
  • David Bowie says "I'm gay" (© Getty Images/Redferns/Getty Images)
  • Live Aid politicizes pop (© Mark Allan/AP Images)
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Although he had previously announced that he would never allow Elvis Presley to perform on his "shew," allegedly because of The King's obscene performance style, TV host Ed Sullivan caved in after rival Steve Allen trounced him in the ratings with his Presley performances. The controversy that accompanied Presley's third Sullivan performance, in January 1957, where the singer was mostly only shot from the waist up, allegedly to hide his gyrating hips, is overstated given that Presley was mainly performing ballads that night. Rumours that Presley dangled a small Coke bottle from his groin under his pants have never been confirmed.

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