Source: The Paley Center for Media

Updated: Top Luminaries in Music and Television Joined The Paley Center for Media at The Paley Honors: A Gala Tribute to Music on Television Presented by Verizon

Historic Evening Celebrated the Most Memorable Music Moments on Television

New York, NY, May 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On May 15, The Paley Center for Media brought together dozens of luminaries and icons for an unforgettable evening to celebrate the groundbreaking musical moments and performances throughout the history of television at The Paley Honors: A Gala Tribute to Music on Television Presented by Verizon. Additionally, the Paley Center feted the creation of the Music Collection within the renowned Paley Archive, the nation’s largest publicly accessible archive of television and radio programming, and announced a second major event celebrating music on television to take place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on October 25, 2018.

Tonight’s star-studded event brimmed with images and stories told by a wide array of presenters representing both the music and television industries. The night’s participants included J Balvin, Connie Britton, Alejandra Espinoza, Jimmy Fallon, Fergie, Art Garfunkel, DJ Khaled, Wynton Marsalis, Mandy Moore, and Paul Shaffer.

“Music on television allowed us to place faces to the voices,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President & CEO. “Can you imagine how different the way we experience music would be if we hadn’t seen the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show tell teenagers across America, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.  And it was, of course, magical to hear Michael Jackson sing “Billie Jean,” but to watch him sing the song and moonwalk across the stage on the Motown 25 special. That truly was a transcendent television moment that changed music and TV history.”

Among the many special moments from the evening are the following remarks made by some of the participants of The Paley Honors: A Gala Tribute to Music on Television Presented by Verizon including:

Jimmy Fallon on the legacy of Ed Sullivan: “Ed Sullivan broke ground in many ways including giving black artists a national platform at the dawn of the Civil Rights era; bringing rock and roll into our living rooms when people were burning records because they thought they were the “devils music;” and showcasing everything from show tunes to jazz to classical music, all from his stage and into our homes. From one of Elvis Presley’s first national TV performances where he swung his hips, to bringing us Diana Ross & the Supremes and Stevie Wonder and Barbra Streisand, Sullivan brought us literally every type and genre of popular music you can imagine. He literally reflected popular culture in one “really big show.”

Art Garfunkel on the uniting power of music on television: “One of television’s most impressive functions is its ability to bring masses of humanity together in real time to share a moment, either in celebration or mourning. Be it a sporting championship, humanitarian appeal or response to great tragedy, music on television has been the medium with the power and reach to unite a vast audience in common feeling and sense of purpose.”

Paul Shaffer on the impact of television theme songs: “Unlike a hit song on the radio, a TV theme might take up only half a minute or less of your time. Jonathon Woff’s themes for Seinfeld and Will and Grace accomplish in a few seconds what much longer compositions do – they have a way of burrowing into your brain for your lifetime. Want to know who can turn the world on with her smile? Everybody knows it’s Mary Tyler Moore. “Movin’ On Up” wasn’t just a lyric in the theme from The Jeffersons, it was a social statement. These compositions serve as “souvenirs” of the shows they were written for, a way to instantly connect to some of the best-loved series of all time.”

DJ Khaled on the impact of music videos: “The music video has allowed artists to express their creativity in new ways – think of Beyonce’s Visual Album, Lemonade, on HBO, which chronicled her journey of self-knowledge, healing and it’s a powerful mix of visuals, spoken word, confessions and lyrics. And most recently, Childish Gambino held a mirror to our faces with this incisive video, This is America.

Alejandra Espinoza: “As music has played an important role in my television career on Univision, I am so proud to be here tonight to celebrate this art form. It’s truly inspiring to see the influence music on television had and continues to have on society and in all of our lives.”

Verizon served as Presenting Sponsor. “I am so honored to be here with you as we celebrate tonight, said Alex Wallace, Head of Entertainment for Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon. “The future of entertainment is here. Since its inception, entertainment has always broken barriers and the iconic voices in this room tonight know what that is like.”

The funds raised from the Paley Honors will support the creation of the Paley Center’s Music Collection, which will become part of the Paley Archive, the world’s largest publicly accessible archive of TV and radio programming, as well as the Paley Center’s ongoing Education Programs.

Hearst and 21st Century Fox served as Co-chairs. Benefactors, Patrons, and Supporters included: A+E Networks; AMC Networks; Judy Hart Angelo; CBS Corporation; City National Bank; Country Music Association; Deloitte & Touche, LLP; HBO; Interpublic Group; ION Media; The Estate of Michael Joseph Jackson; The Latin Recording Academy; The Madison Square Garden Company; Major League Baseball; McKinsey & Company; Mutual of America; National Basketball Association; NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises; Pepsi; SESAC; Showtime Networks, Inc.; SONY/ATV Music Publishing; Sun Capital Partners Parners; Tishman Speyer; Universal Music Group; Univision Communications Inc.; Viacom and BET Networks; The Walt Disney Company; and Warner Music Group.

Paley Center President & CEO Maureen J. Reidy and Executive Vice President of Programming Diane Lewis led the production team. The evening’s program was curated with the assistance and counsel of special advisors Gabriel Abaroa, Barry Adelman, Tammy Genovese, Nelson George, Rick Krim, and Lee Rolontz.


Media Contacts:

Teresa Brady | The Paley Center for Media | | 212-621-6697


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About The Paley Center for Media

The Paley Center for Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms. Drawing upon its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community, the Paley Center examines the intersections between media and society. The general public can access the Paley Center’s permanent media collection, which contains over 160,000 television and radio programs and advertisements, and participate in programs that explore and celebrate the creativity, the innovations, the personalities, and the leaders who are shaping media. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Previously known as The Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley, a pioneering innovator in the industry. For more information, please visit


About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, generated $126 billion in 2017 revenues. The company operates America’s most reliable wireless network and the nation’s premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated solutions to businesses worldwide. Its Oath subsidiary reaches about one billion people around the world with a dynamic house of media and technology brands.

Teresa Brady
The Paley Center for Media