I was a member of the 2nd Army Major Command Chorus in 1959-'60, Right after returning from furlough, we were informed that the Chorus had been chosen to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show and naturally, we were super excited. We were housed in a fine hotel in NYC for a full week of rehearsals. I met Steve Lawrence and Peter nice guys. I remember Jack Larson as we both appeared in a military Army Goes Rolling On that Sunday, my mom had everyone in my home-town of Danville, Ky. (pop. 8,000) watching. At the end of the show, I remember Ed Sullivan was standing next to me and whispered, "Son, don't move until the red light at the bottom of the camera goes It's a Sunday I shall remember for the rest of my life. I was 23 at the time, and next week I will celebrate my 78th birthday.
I was an Iowa Farmers Son and as a young teenager I dreamed of doing the Ed Sullivan Show. Now how does an Iowa farm boy get to New York and the Ed Sullivan Show. The Old joke is "practice" Well I did that and at 17 I found a way...I joined The Army
At rehearsal, Ray Block and his orchestra struck up my music and I didn't recognize it right away.I was used to Piano, Base, and drums behind me. Wow! I realized at that moment that it's a lot easier to sing with a 50 piece orchestra. Steve Lawrence was just an Army buddy then, and he already had that incredible voice. He did a great job that Sunday in August, as did all the performers. They were all top flight or they wouldn't have been there. I certainly was happy to be among them. I did my impressions under My given name, Jack Larson. I'm still in the Biz under the name of Larrs Jackson. The Jack Larson who played Jimmy Olson, the cub reporter on the superman TV series, joined SAG before I did so I had to change my name. I didn't mean to write my life story here. I just wanted to say. "What a great Memory"
I was a puppeteer in the Army talent contest and was informed that I would have been used on the show if a civilian ventriloquist had not perviously been booked. We rehearsed all week without Mr. Sullivan. He came in for dress rehearsal and gave extra time to a female gyposy dancer cutting most of the Anry performers times. We never got to rehearse the new times. It made for a rather disjointed show. I could not watch his shows after that without wondering who he had treated badly.
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