Always On Sunday: An Inside View of Ed Sullivan, the Beatles, Elvis, Sinatra & Ed's Other Guests

Word International
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
The Beatles, Ed Sullivan and the Author

Ed first learns I have written a book when I hand him a finished manuscript. Naively, I imagine he'll be flattered, but when he reads it, he blows his stack and stops speaking to me. He's furious. I am revealing more about him, more backstage gossip and more details about the inner workings of the show than he wants made public. 


Fortunately for me and for Always On Sunday, Ed simmers down eventually and decides my unauthorized biography is "magnificent." He promotes it in his newspaper column, in interviews and in joint television appearances with me. Ed helps turn the book he initially hated into a national bestseller. 

During my 11 years on the Sullivan show, no one created more excitement than the Beatles. February 7, 1964: Kennedy Airport. Their first trip to the United States. The screaming fans! The haircuts! The sassy answers! Welcome to New York! The entire country focuses on this place and these young men. Including me. I am meeting their plane. A CBS public relations executive for years. Now the network's press representative on "The Ed Sullivan Show." 

Ed was warned not to sign the Beatles: "You're crazy! No British group has ever made it big in this country." A month before they arrive, they are still unknown in America. Every reporter I contact turns down my invitation to go with me to JFK. 

Two weeks later, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" rockets to the top of the charts. Beatlemania crosses the Atlantic, and I am besieged by thousands of ticket requests. Reporters plead to join me at JFK. 

On February 14, I greet the Beatles again, this time in Miami for a second Sullivan show. I do my best to stay out of the way but, thanks to papparazzi determined to cash in on every shot of the Fab Four, I appear in photos published around the world (including the NY Post). In the captions I am called a Beatle, a case of mistaken identity I still laugh about with my wife, best-selling novelist Ruth Harris. 

When I return to New York, Ed searches for me backstage. One stagehand is impressed. "Ed must really like you," he says. "You've only worked for him for four years, and he already knows your name." 

Ed And The Celebrities Who Loved Him -- Or Not! 

Why did Frank Sinatra take out an ad saying, "Ed, you're sick, sick, sick."? 

You'll find out in Always On Sunday.

Why did Mary Tyler Moore sue "The Ed Sullivan Show"? 

You'll find out in Always On Sunday.

Why did CBS cancel Bob Dylan's appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" -- against Ed's wishes? 

You'll find out in Always On Sunday.

Elvis' fans kissed him where? Ed was stunned when Elvis explained. What did Elvis say? 

You'll find out in Always On Sunday.

Always On Sunday  was originally published in hardcover by Meredith Press and in mass market paperback by NAL.

Keywords: Beatles, Sinatra, Elvis, Ed Sullivan, television, 1960s, 20th Century, rock n roll, Memphis, celebrities, memoir, baby boomer, showbiz,  singers, dancers, performers
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About the author

Michael Harris was a public relations executive at CBS for many years, eleven of them on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Michael was the first person to greet the Beatles on their arrival in the United States and is the author of the national bestseller, ALWAYS ON SUNDAY: An Inside View of Ed Sullivan, the Beatles, Elvis, Sinatra and Ed’s Other Guests. 

Michael’s highly acclaimed memoir, THE ATOMIC TIMES: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground, is based on a more fraught experience, the 1955 U.S. H-Bomb tests, and has been called Catch-22 with radiation! Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove! “A gripping memoir leavened by humor, loyalty and pride of accomplishment. A tribute to the resilience, courage and patriotism of the American soldier.” Henry Kissinger
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Additional Information

Publisher
Word International
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Published on
Mar 6, 2014
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Pages
214
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Performing Arts / Television / Direction & Production
Performing Arts / Television / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Michael Harris
Catch-22 with radiation.
Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove.
Except it really happened.

Operation Redwing, the biggest and baddest of America's atmospheric nuclear weapons test regimes, mixed saber rattling with mad science, while overlooking the cataclysmic human, geopolitical and ecological effects. But mostly, it just messed with guys' heads. 

Major Maxwell, who put Safety First, Second and Third. Except when he didn't. 

Berko, the wise-cracking Brooklyn Dodgers fan forced to cope with the H-bomb and his mother's cookies.

Tony, who thought military spit and polish plus uncompromising willpower made him an exception.

Carl Duncan, who clung to his girlfriend's photos and a dangerous secret.

Major Vanish, who did just that.

In THE ATOMIC TIMES, Michael Harris welcomes readers into the U.S. Army's nuclear family where the F-words were Fallout and Fireball. In a distinctive narrative voice, Harris describes his H-bomb year with unforgettable imagery and insight into the ways isolation and isotopes change men for better—and for worse. 

"A gripping memoir leavened by humor, loyalty and pride of accomplishment. A tribute to the resilience, courage and patriotism of the American soldier." —Henry Kissinger

From the author:

Three-eyed fish swimming in the lagoon. Men whose toenails glow in the dark. Operation Redwing where the F words were Fallout and Fireball. In 1956, I was an army draftee sent to the Marshall Islands to watch 17 H-bomb tests. An "observer," the Army called it. In plain English: a human guinea pig.

I knew at the time that the experience could make a fascinating book, and I wrote a novel based on it while I was still there. The problem was that Eniwetok was a security post. There were signs everywhere impressing on us that the work going on (I mopped floors, typed, filed requisitions and wrote movie reviews for the island newspaper “All the news that fits we print”) was Top Secret. “What you do here, what you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here leave it here.”

I was afraid they would confiscate the manuscript if they found it but a buddy who left Eniwetok before I did concealed the pages in his luggage. When he got back to the States, he mailed those pages to my father so I had what turned out to be a very rough draft.

What was wrong with the book? Let me count the ways. I didn’t know how to write action, plot and character. I did know how to leave out everything interesting that was happening around me. Back in the States after my discharge, I thought about writing Version #2 but for ten years, I had nightmares about the H-bomb almost every night. I survived the radiation (unlike some of my friends), but the memories were also a formidable foe. I tried to forget and more or less succeeded.

My perspective gradually changed over the years and I began to remember what I had tried to forget: 
We were told we had to wear high density goggles during the tests to avoid losing our sight but the shipment of goggles never arrived—the requisition was cancelled to make room for new furniture for the colonel's house.
We were told we had to stand with our backs to the blast—again to prevent blindness. But the first H-bomb ever dropped from a plane missed its target, and the detonation took place in front of us and our unprotected eyes.
Servicemen were sent to Ground Zero wearing only shorts and sneakers and worked side by side with scientists dressed in RadSafe suits. The exposed military men developed severe radiation burns and many died.

The big breakthrough came when enough years had passed and I had overcome the anger and the self-pity resulting from the knowledge that I and the men who served with me had been used as guinea pigs in a recklessly dangerous and potentially deadly experiment. At last I had the perspective to understand my nuclear year in its many dimensions and capture the tragedy and the black humor that came along with 17 H-bomb explosions. In addition, certain significant external realities had changed.

Top Secret documents about Operation Redwing had been declassified. I learned new details about the test known as Tewa: the fallout lasted for three days and the radiation levels exceeded 3.9 Roentgens, the MPE (Maximum Permissible Exposure). Three ships were rushed to Eniwetok to evacuate personnel but were ordered back after the military raised the MPE to 7. That, they reasoned, ensured everyone's safety. 

I made contact with other atomic veterans who told me about their own experiences and in some cases sent me copies of letters written to their families during the tests. As we talked, we also laughed: about officers who claimed Eniwetok was a one year paid vacation; about the officer who guarded the political purity of the daily island newspaper by deleting "pinko propaganda," including a speech by President Eisenhower.

By now, Ruth knew the material almost as well as I did and provided crucial perspective and detailed editing expertise.

At last, I was able to pull all the strands together. After 50 years, I was able write the book I had wanted to in the beginning.

Having struggled to write a memoir for so long and having been asked for advice by others contemplating writing a memoir, I can pass along a bit of what I learned along the way.

Make sure you have enough distance from the experience to have perspective on what happened. Exposure to radiation and the resulting reactions—anger, terror, incredulity—produce powerful emotions that take time to process.
Figure out how to use (or keep away) from your own intense feelings. In the case of the H-Bomb tests, anger and self-pity were emotions to stay away from. So was the hope of somehow getting “revenge.”
Sometimes the unexpected works. For me, finding humor in a tragic situation— the abject military incompetence in planning and executing the H-Bomb tests—freed my memory and allowed me to write about horrific experiences.
Figure out (most likely by trial and error) how much or how little of yourself you want to reveal.

Keywords:   memoir, veterans, H-bomb, US Army, army, soldier, military memoir, nuclear bombs, radiation, danger, fission, fusion, fallout, danger, suspense, atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, island, South Pacific, Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, detonation, explosions

Michael Harris
麥克.哈里斯(Michael Harris)
 還記得沒有網路之前的日子嗎?

當我們連生命中曾經屬於自己的空白時光都自願交給網路科技時,

你是否曾仔細想過:

我們究竟放棄了什麼,來交換現在這一切?

而我們還留下了什麼,給我們自己?


從沒有網路,到現在隨時能夠上網的時代,只不過區區數十年。現在只要上谷哥搜尋,就會跑出我們想要的各種資訊;只要點一下臉書或是LINE,就可以隨時看見我們親朋好友的新鮮事。但與此同時,那些對我們很重要的事物和經驗、一種人與人或人與物事的連接,實際上已從我們的生活中慢慢溜走了,無法再恢復。


現在的我們,或許還依稀記得網路出現之前的生活。我們會為了傳達思念寫出一封封動人的信、會為了課堂上不明白的事物學會去探究思考原因,甚至只是為了無所事事,而讓自己獨處,翱翔在自己的天馬行空之中。


但現在,你還曾經如此做過嗎?

作者麥克.哈里斯將80年代前後作為分水嶺。在80年代前出生的人,開始接觸網路時已是成年人,他們曾經驗網路出現前的生活模式,屬於「跨立的世代」(Straddle generation),因此能感受當中的差異,但是80年代或之後出生的人,他們將完全失去那些寶貴的經驗。麥克提出了一個至關重要的問題:我們應該留給後世什麼呢?答案是「抽離」(absence),從網路科技、從自身之外的事物「抽離」。當網上生活佔據你生活的全部經驗時,有些連接(經驗)開始一點一滴地流走,你失去了它,就難以恢復它的價值。


現在的我們就猶如過去的古騰堡時代,當時古騰堡的印刷讓宗教學家認為:「信心會減弱,法會滅亡,而聖經將湮沒無聞。」如今的網路就猶如古騰堡的印刷,大大的衝擊並改變我們的行為,甚至是思考。

如今全球網路使用量較過去十年擴大了近五倍,根據Youtube的統計數字,每分鐘用戶上傳的視訊長度高達一百小時,亦即我們每天都在過著十年般的時光。而美國的調查顯示,平均18至64歲的人,每天花三點二小時在社交網站上。


在這新古騰堡時代,麥克認為網路讓我們持續保持「連線」,卻擾亂了「思考」的本身,我們的數位設備無時無刻都在嗡嗡作響,它打斷了我們「想像」的機會,甚至是可能的新見解與發現。我們渴望上傳美食的照片到instagram上更甚於吃下美食;我們在網路上創造虛偽的自我化身來掩蓋真實的自己;我們透過數位螢幕上由點陣圖像排列而成的「我愛你」來表達自己的感情;最後,我們任由它取代我們的一切。


在這個能令我們著迷的資訊年代、什麼都能隨手可得的年代裡,我們很少思考人類究竟放棄了什麼,換來現在的一切。作者試圖重現這些在地球已經消失和缺少的特別連接,從生活的各個層面,如性愛、記憶、距離等,逐一探索,提醒我們,那沒有網路科技、只有自己的抽離時刻是人類不可缺少的部份,是值得我們保護的,也是人類獲得持久滿足感的根源。


出版社 商周出版(城邦)

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