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Billy Sullivan on Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon


Raspbernie

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This just in from our good friend Billy:

"We're supposed to go on within the first hour which is Sunday night West coast time between 6-7pm. That is always subject to change though. Since they put a time delay on the East coast, I'm really not sure exactly when they'll show it. I would find out when the telethon starts in your area and hit the Tivo button. Billy"

EC.com will be monitoring the Telethon and hopefully can offer up a video of Billy and Gary Lewis live on national TV. Until then, check out last year's performance HERE!

Bernie

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For us olde timers...on the New York segment of the telethon hosted by Tony Orlando...Andy Kim sang "Rock Me Gently",and Tony and Ben E. King sang "Spanish Harlem",and Tony,Andy,and Ben E. sang "Save The Last Dance For Me".

It was nice...you don't see olde acts on TV without PBS or goin' to Branson.-Ira.

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Yeow is right! Just watched the performance and I think Gary Lewis would have been better off had Billy been playing drums and guitar at the same time! That poor guitar player was just having a really bad night—and how suck-y is it when your bad night happens on national TV?!?

Bernie

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I can get you an MP3 of it, Billy, if you'd like to hear it. Aside from the fun they were making at Jerry's expense, they treated Gary Lewis pretty good! Howard played the first verse or so of your live telethon performance on the air and Artie said he loved that song but never knew it was Jerry's son. Howard said he also thought it was a great song.

Then he said Gary Lewis had another big hit but couldn't remember the title. Fred looked it up on the computer and then played the 45 of "Everybody Loves A Clown," to which Howard also said he dug. He even sang along at parts so you know he remembered the song.

They then went deeper into Gary's catalog and played a few more of the records. All good for Gary, even at the expense of his Dad.

The press came down pretty hard on poor Jerry, even though he was coming from a different generation when backstage jokes about all sorts of "blue material" was not only accepted but encouraged. I guess Jerry didn't get the Memo that that sort of behavior was no longer acceptable! Anyway, I LOVE Jerry and an innocent slip after 20+ hours of hosting a telethon in his 80s doesn't diminish that in the slightest for me!

Bernie

PS: Oh, yeah, Howard also mentioned how he thought Jerry was so powerful in show business in the '60s that he could have easily gotten Gary out of serving in Viet Nam, but didn't and that caused a rift between the two of them. Not sure any of that is true, however.

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Hey Bernie! I just heard that today for the first time on Howard Stern!! I'm not sure if the Viet Nam thing is true or not. To my understanding, Gary's and his Dad's relationship was really no different than anyone else's during that era of time {60's, 70's, drinking, drugging,etc}. The only real difference was the "celebrity" factor of not only Jerry, but Gary as well.

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I am a HUGE Jerry Lewis fan. He's a friggin' genius!!!!! The guy is 81 years old and still working his ass off for kids less unfortunate. He'll probably never get his full due, but he knows the public loves him. Gary did serve in Vietman and came out a different person. Jerry is very conservative and I believe thought Gary should serve just as men did in WW1,2, Korea, etc.....but when Gary returned home, he was a wreck!! Jerry said afterwards if he had it to do all over again, he'd ship Gary to Canada. It DID create a rift between them for a few years, but now they are as close as ever. I think any very driven person has troubled relationships with their kids....and Jerry is no different. What he has given the world in the form of entertainment and tireless dedication to his cause is unprecidented. Appreciate him or not, you have to admire his perserverance. I'll always love the guy!!!

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The release of each new Jerry Lewis movie was a major happening for kids when I was young...and before my time...."Martin and Lewis" were right up there with Elvis,Young Frank Sinatra, and the Beatles" as the four biggest pop-cultural phenomena of the 20th Century.

People crowded the streets waiting for their shows,lined up for their movies,and worshipped their appearances on the "Colgate Comedy Hour".

Bernie is absolutely correct in explaining the milieu surrounding Jerry's comments.

Before I fell in love with Top 40 60's rock and Roll....Jerry was the first one that gave me that kind of special joy that got me over the "bumps" in my childhood that music later provided and continues to provide.-Ira.

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