TV History! A True Guitar Pioneer! A Soul Legend! Wicked good stuff for this Wednesday edition of your Coffee Break Calendar...

Ernie Ball
Ernie Ball playing pedal steel guitar, c 1958. (Paramount Pictures/Getty Images)

9/09/1956 (64 years ago today) - Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on "The Sullivan Show" live from the CBS-TV studios in Los Angeles, performing "Don't Be Cruel", "Love Me Tender", "Hound Dog" and "Ready Teddy". Weird but true facts from this night: Actor Charles Laughton filled in as host since Ed was recuperating from an auto accident -- Elvis had actually been on TV twice before and contrary to popular belief, during those guest spots The King was seen full-screen/head-to-toe/singin' and dancin' away on those first two appearances -- It wasn't until this third-go-round that the censors decided to only show Elvis from the waist up for his debut on The Sullivan Show.

9/09/2004 (16 years ago today) - U.S. guitar maker Ernie Ball passed away after a long illness -- Truly one of a guitar players best friends ever, Ernie opened up a music store in Tarzana, California, back in the late 1950's -- Not Your Ordinary Music Store Either -- Ernie was a pioneer because his place exclusively sold guitars. Just guitars. Think about it, back then...a store with nothing but guitars!?!? He also developed guitar strings called "Slinkys" that were specifically designed for rock 'n' roll electric guitars. Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney, Angus Young, John Mayer, all use Ernie's stuff, making Mr. Ball one certified/undeniable cool dude...

9/09/1941 - Born on this day, Otis Redding: yes, it's no secret he was one of America's all-time great soul singers, but Otis was also a songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout who (almost) single-handedly established the Stax record label as a force to be reckoned with -- Fact: to help his family make ends meet, Otis quit school at age 15 to join Little Richard's touring band! -- Besides "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay", you've got "These Arms Of Mine", the original version of "Respect", plus "I've Been Loving You Too Long", "Try A Little Tenderness", "That's How Strong My Love Is"...mind-boggling to think that Otis was just 26 years old when the plane he was a passenger in crashed into Lake Monona, Wisconsin. Only one member of his backing band The Bar-Kays survived.

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"I'll be the moon when the sun goes down/Just to let you know that I'm still around...", xoxo!

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