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2004 VITA Award Winners
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PITTSBURGH, PA - Long unseen performances by many of rock and roll’s biggest and brightest stars are featured on a new PBS special “Rock ‘N Roll Forever: Ed Sullivan’s Greatest Hits.” The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and Janis Joplin headline this hour-long celebration of America’s ultimate Sunday night host.

Narrated by Michelle Phillips (of the original Mamas and the Papas), “Rock N’ Roll Forever” is presented on PBS by WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh. The show is part of WQED’s American Classics series and is the centerpiece of a virtual pledge event starring Ms. Phillips taped live in WQED Multimedia’s studios.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share with PBS audiences across America a showcase program of rock and roll's greatest legends and their historical break out performances on the Ed Sullivan Show,” said Robert Petrilli, senior vice president and COO of WQED Multimedia. “We welcome back host Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas to take us on this journey back in time.”

For more than two decades, Ed Sullivan brought entertainers from around the world into American living rooms. For many viewers, their first glimpse of what would become some of the century’s biggest stars occurred during that Sunday night program. “Rock ‘N Roll Forever: Ed Sullivan’s Greatest Hits” takes viewers back to those magical broadcasts and the breath taking talent seen on the Sullivan stage.

Combining rare archival footage and beautifully restored program tapes, “Rock ‘N Roll Forever” features:

§ Elvis Presley, whose hip-wiggling so worried CBS censors that they shot this famous clip from the waist up.

§ The Jackson Five, on their first Ed Sullivan appearance, featuring an unbelievably talented young Michael Jackson.

§ The Doors in the controversial performance that resulted from the show’s producers asking them to change the lyrics to “Light My Fire.”

§ Ray Charles and his orchestra performing one of the most rocking versions of “What’d I Say” ever recorded.

From rock’s golden era to the psychedelic sixties, fifteen great acts are showcased on “Rock N’ Roll Forever: Ed Sullivan’s Greatest Hits” coming soon to PBS.

WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2004, provides educational, cultural and informational programming, products and services for local and national audiences. WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh is Telling America's Stories with the American Classics, All-American Documentaries, American Soundtrack and America's Home Cooking series. It is the parent company of WQED tv13, WQEX–America’s Store, WQED fm89.3, WQEJ fm89.7/Johnstown, a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH magazine, local and national television and radio productions, and the WQED Education Resource Center

Complete Song List

§ The Jackson Five - “I Want You Back”
§ Bill Haley & The Comets - “Rock Around the Clock”
§ Elvis Presley - “Don’t Be Cruel”
§ The Doors - “Light My Fire”
§ Ray Charles - “What’d I Say”
§ Jackie Wilson - “Lonely Teardrops”
§ James Brown - “Please, Please, Please”
§ Roy Orbison - “Oh Pretty Woman”
§ The Beatles - “I Saw Her Standing There”
§ The Supremes & The Temptations - “(I Know) I’m Losing You”
§ The Lovin’ Spoonful - “Do You Believe in Magic”
§ The Mamas and The Papas - “Monday, Monday”
§ Creedence Clearwater Revival - “Fortunate Son”
§ The Young Rascals - “Good Lovin’”
§ Janis Joplin - “Maybe”

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