Below, a link to the article written by Bono about Elvis Presley:
Watch this, and you’ll agree.
If I Can Dream
Earlier this week, I requested that my readers send me their thoughts on Elvis: favorite songs, movies, memories, and/or overall impressions. And here they are:
I remember singing “Hound Dog” from the hearth of my fireplace (that was my stage) and listening to my dad’s records. My all-time favorite Elvis song is “It’s Now or Never.” My family was very connected to Elvis because my father loved him. For a few reasons: Elvis was very spiritual, had a good heart and was generous, and was Southern. My dad also grew up listening to the gospel singers that Elvis always had singing backup: Jake Hess (The Imperials), The Jordanaires, The Jubilee Four, and probably the biggest name in southern gospel music: JD Sumner and the Stamps. I remember listening to JD Sumner and the Stamps way before Elvis. I think a lot of people probably don’t even know Elvis had so many gospel singers singing with him. Lastly, I have probably listened to Elvis’s gospel music more than his mainstream music. By the way, the only 3 Grammy Awards he won were for his gospel music.
-Jeremy L. Beck (singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer)
I am not a huge Elvis fan, but I have to acknowledge him as a great performer in American popular music. Besides the fact that he was very attractive, charismatic onstage, and had an amazing voice, I think he was a very interesting person, too, and people responded to that. Not everyone knows that he had a very diverse ethnic background, including some Native American heritage, and I think that helps to make him an American icon. My favorite periods for Elvis are the very beginning of his career (before he went into the army, and then did all those movies) and later during his resurgence in the late sixties. I like some of his lesser known songs, such as his cover of the old Hank Snow country song, ” A Fool Such as I” and “Love Me.” From the later period I like “A Little Less Conversation” ” In the Ghetto,” and “Suspicious Minds.”
-Sue Bachner (singer/songwriter of Ether Park)
Elvis’ profound mark on popular music was, by most accounts, a happy accident. He was not a songwriter, and did not aspire to be an innovator. He was a kid who wanted a record deal. The result of Sun Records’ discovery was nothing less than the gift of “black music” – and essentially rock’n’roll – to the rest of the country. Elvis was the messenger – an interpreter of music considered taboo by white America. Once the secret of this sonic groove and soul was out, it could not be stopped, and it changed the world.
-Doug Hinrichs (percussionist)
I cannot remember when my fascination with Elvis began, but I have always loved him. His voice is like velvet and of course, he was easy on the eyes! Even today, I still wrap my Christmas gifts while listening to Elvis’ Christmas album….I can’t do it any other way! Below, are my top ten Elvis songs and movies.
Top 10 Elvis Songs: (in no specific order, although #1 is my favorite)
1. Kentucky Rain
2. Always on my Mind
3. Suspicious Minds
4. In the Ghetto
5. Can’t Help Falling in Love
6. It’s Now or Never
7. If Everyday was like Christmas
8. If I Can Dream
9. A Little Less Conversation
10. That’s All Right
These last 2 were hard for me to let go of…
The Wonder of You
Top 10 Movies:
1. Jailhouse Rock
2. Paradise Hawaiian Style
3. G.I. Blues
4. Blue Hawaii
5. Viva Las Vegas
6. Fun in Acapulco
7. Frankie and Johnny
8. It Happened at the World’s Fair
9. King Creole
Like many visitors are doing this week down in Memphis, I will take you on a tour of Elvis’ Graceland. Elvis purchased his home in March of 1957. Bellvue Boulevard was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard on January 8, 1972 (Elvis’ 37th birthday). To quote Paul Simon’s song Graceland: “For reasons I cannot explain there’s some part of me wants to see Graceland.” For a while, I had wanted to travel to Memphis, but I never got around to it. However, three months ago, I was turning the big 4-0 and decided that was where I wanted to celebrate. And my trip to the Land of Elvis and the Home of the Blues has lingered in my head longer than any other.
Below are some pictures I took at the mansion and at the other Elvis exhibitions on the grounds of Graceland.
Those were just a few highlights. For more on Graceland and Elvis, along with a great video tour of Graceland go here: Elvis Presley’s Graceland
For many people, songs like Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel, Jailhouse Rock, etc. are all they know about Elvis Presley. And it’s these same people who might not think too much of him or wonder what the big deal is. And of course, everyone has a right to his or her opinion. However, one of the things that really makes Elvis so extraordinary, besides his good looks and onstage charisma, is the fact that he did a great deal in a short amount of time. Yes, he started early, but he also made his departure at the relatively young age of 42. It is true that he didn’t write his own songs. But frankly, with all the acting, dancing, recording, and touring he did, I wonder if he’d ever find the time to write anything.
If someone would sit and watch his movies, listen to the soundtracks he recorded while acting and dancing in those movies, listen to his numerous gospel and country western albums, along with his mainstream rock and roll material, it would be quite exhausting. So, I would like to give him credit for all his contributions to American culture: an extensive catalog of music, memorable and pelvis-shaking live performances, and many films. His legacy is still strong, even 31 years after his last performance.
Let’s explore some of Elvis’ lesser known songs, but which still deserve some recognition.
Below, some of his country songs:
Some of Elvis’ greatest performances were his inspirational and gospel songs. Here are a few of them:
“If I Can Dream” (in my opinion, his most passionate performance)
Below, links to some Elvis performances: gospel, movie music, and more:
That’s All Right (in studio, 1970)
Rubberneckin’ (from Change of Habit)
A Little Less Conversation (from Live A Little, Love A Little)
In remembrance of the 31st anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing on August 16, 1977, it will be Elvis Week on Adeli’s Music Blog.
On August 13, 1960, Elvis’ It’s Now or Never was the Number 1 song in the U.S. and in other countries. It entered the UK charts at Number 1 and spent nine weeks at the top. This song sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, and it was Elvis’ biggest international hit. It’s Now or Never is my favorite Elvis song.
Some of my other favorite Elvis songs include:
This is a great time for my reading audience to contribute, so share your thoughts on Elvis with me. Tell me about your favorite Elvis songs, movies, live performances and so on. Email me at TheMusicReviewer@gmail.com. Please include your name, age, and occupation along with your comments. I will post all the comments this weekend. Or feel free to leave me a comment here.
Isaac Hayes was an innovator. He was a singer, songwriter, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist, and he paved the way for disco, along as serving as a role model and influence to R&B singers and rappers. He will be missed by his fellow musicians and fans.
The baritone voice and the bald head, during a time when soul singers donned Afros, made him standout. And his talent, influence, and contributions to music still live on. He is best known for the “Theme From Shaft,” which earned him both an Academy Award and a Grammy, however his legacy of work is quite extensive.
The Tennessee native started playing in local bands at an early age. When he was 21, he became a backup singer for Stax Records, the pioneering R&B label in Memphis. His first session was with none other than Otis Redding. For much of the 1960s and the early ’70s, he was a principal songwriter and performer for Stax. His writing credits include Sam and Dave’s classics “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” along with all his own tunes.
His groundbreaking 4-song album Hot Buttered Soul in 1969 brought him much success. The songs begin with vocal intros or ‘raps,’ have rich arrangements, and run 2-3 times longer than most songs. His 1971 double album Black Moses earned him much respect as a producer, arranger, and composer. Several songs are covers, however his arrangements make these songs quite impressive on their own. Hayes was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Click below for videos and/or performances of this legendary soul artist:
Isaac Hayes: Black Moses
Loverly, Cassandra Wilson’s latest release is a treat to the ears. The Mississippi native adds her smoky and special interpretations to a new set of standards. Her voice is distinctive, and her style is classy and intimate, making her -in this listener’s opinion- one of the finest singers in the jazz world today. On Loverly, she has stellar musicians accompanying her: Jason Moran on piano, Lonnie Plaxico on bass, Marvin Sewell on guitar, and Herlin Riley on drums. I’ve been a fan of Ms. Wilson for several years now, and have turned others on to her records. I was lucky enough to see her live last summer in Central Park for free, under the stars, and it was just… Loverly.
She starts things off with the Oscar Hammerstein-penned “Lover Come Back To Me.” Ray Noble’s “The Very Thought of You” is a song we’ve heard many times before, but Ms. Wilson has her way with it and it sounds like a completely different tune, making it a definite high note on this album. Other standout songs on Loverly include “‘Til There Was You,” the bluesy “Dust My Broom,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “Arere,” and “Caravan.” The song that stands out the most is “St. James Infirmary.”
Cassandra Wilson’s albums get better with each listen, and this one is no different. It’s a solid set full of emotion, masterful technique, and unique interpretation and style. It’s a must-have for fans of jazz, blues, or just good music.