Watching an Ed Sullivan “Classic Performances” the other night on a public broadcasting station, we were struck by the authenticity of the performances. There was no big show, it was about the music, and each song and its performer/s showed true individuality. Petula Clark, The Mamas and the Papas, The Beatles, The Four Lovers….How could it not be so, when it was nothing but the performer on a bare stage—singing, not lip synching, or rarely, since Sullivan wanted the music to be live— and in black and white to boot? Such clarity of focus, of the song, of the artist. “That performance was just stunning,” said Scott of “Down Town.” No, Ed truly appreciated the unique. And through him gave a lot of people their first break.
We need an Ed Sullivan for the wine world. Someone not afraid to step out there and discover new, singular talent. Writing a piece for TheDailyMeal.com about the International Wine Style, it made me wonder, “If Ed were resurrected, and had wine producers on his show, who might he have these days?” Would he have given in to the masses and opt for a bunch of Britney Spears-like lip- synchers who simply go through the motion, mastering the art of dazzling through performance? Or would it be Petula Clark-esque, a sole singer on a stark stage where the song/wine is so much a part of the singer, that you can’t tell where one begins and the other ends and the whole performance belongs to that person alone, never able to be replicated? It’s really hard to know. We would hope Ed would appreciate us, and not for our singing!