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© Leigh Wiener, 1964
August 10, 1964 ABC Television Center, Los Angeles, CA
This photograph was taking during the filming of a television performance which showcased Sam at the peak of his stardom.
Having just come off the amazingly successful Copacabana engagement in July, Sam returned to the West Coast and taped this, the premiere episode of Shindig, on August 10, 1964 for broadcast on September 16. Sam’s first segment is a lively version of “Tennessee Waltz,” accompanied by show regulars The Blossoms (featuring Darlene Love) and the Righteous Brothers, all of whom provide background vocals and hand clapping. Sam returns later to do a stellar version of “Blowin’ In The Wind.” With sweat dripping from his forehead, Sam walks down the wide stage and right into the audience where the first row of teenagers encircles him as he finishes the song. It is a very interesting angle as the camera is focused on his back for the last 30 seconds of the performance and we don’t see his face. Sam joins The Everly Brothers at the conclusion of the show for an upbeat version of “Lucille,” but the song is incomplete and is performed as the closing credits are run.