Today marks the 33rd anniversary of Elvis’s leaving the building, so to speak. Celebrations and Elvis-themed events took place all week, at Graceland and around Memphis. When I visited the Land of Elvis in May 2008, I was very impressed and the fond memories of my trip remain. While I really liked Graceland as a house, especially the outside architecture and how time stood still with all the 70’s stylish (read: tacky) decor, the thing that impressed me most was the Trophy Room at the back of the house. It was more than a room, as it had cases and cases of his outfits, many of his gold records on the wall, posters from his films, video monitors with concert footage, and much more Elvis memorabilia. Visitors walk around with small hand-held monitors and headphones to guide them through every step of Graceland. It’s a testament to the vast catalog of Elvis music, his extensive film work, and the unmeasurable influence he had on music and culture. Long live the King!
Below, is a short film about the Graceland Trophy Room, where Elvis’s jumpsuits and gold records are on display.
I saw gold records of some of Elvis greatest hits close up, and here are just a few of those songs.
Don’t Be Cruel
In the Ghetto
At the Rock & Soul Museum in Memphis, there was more Elvis memorabilia on display, including one of his guitars and, encased in plastic, the organ on which Suspicious Minds was composed. Below, pictures I took with my cell phone. Of course, visitors are instructed not to touch anything, but I could not refrain from leaning over and touching the organ for a quick second. Plus, my friend and I were the only people at the museum at the time, so I knew I probably wouldn’t get busted.
And here is Elvis performing Suspicious MInds.
When the compilation Elvis 30 #1 Hits was released in 2002, it included one “new” song, the JXL remix of “A Little Less Conversation.” It was a hit, even with the kids who perhaps had heard of Elvis, but didn’t know any of his songs.
One year later, realizing that one collection of Elvis hits wasn’t enough, 2nd to None was released, and included the Paul Oekenfold remixed “Rubberneckin’,” an attempt to re-create the excitement of JXL’s fantastic remix from the previous year. It was so-so.
Check it out below.
Friday, January 8, 2010, marks the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birthday. At Graceland, the biggest Elvis celebration yet is taking place this week.
Check out some of the events below:
Stay tuned for more Elvis!
Elvis was a true American Idol and the King of Rock and Roll and… a fashionista? Yes. Elvis perfected, or at least took, the 1970’s jumpsuit phenomenon to new levels! The jumpsuits he wore for his performances were specially made for him, and often, the idea for their designs came from Elvis himself.
At Graceland, there is a hall with Elvis’s jumpsuits and some of his other outfits on display. The one he’s wearing in the photo shown above is on display as well. His gold lamé suit and the black leather outfit from his 1968 Comeback Special can also be viewed.
Below, are some photos I took at Graceland last year. Everything was behind glass cases, so unfortunately, there’s some glare in the photos.
Growing up, Elvis knew everything about gospel music and it was the type of music he enjoyed singing the most. He was very spiritual, and you can tell by listening to his inspirational and religious songs. They weren’t all serious songs though; many were uplifting and upbeat, as lively gospel revivals were a huge form of entertainment in the South during the 50’s.
Below are a few of my favorite gospel songs performed by Elvis:
Swing Down Sweet Chariot
(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me)
Milky White Way
I’ve Got Confidence
Crying in the Chapel
For more on Elvis’s gospel and inspirational performances, click here.
Elvis Week happens twice a year. In Memphis, flocks of fans descend on Graceland to celebrate his birthday on January 8th and in August to commemorate his passing on August 16th.
Elvis Week is packed with events and tributes at Graceland and around Memphis. Here, on Adeli’s Music Blog, I do my best to entertain and inform my readers about the King of Rock n’ Roll, and to celebrate his music.
Last year, I gave you a small tour of Graceland and wrote about the different sides of Elvis (country, gospel, rock). This year, I’ll show you more of what you might see if you visit Graceland, including displays of his awards, his cars, and his famous jumpsuits, a review of the newly-released DVD of Elvis’s classic performances on the Ed Sullivan show, and of course, more music!
Let’s begin by watching a new (new to most) video (mixed with classic footage) of one of Elvis’s earliest hits from 1956.
American Idol, or rather America, chose Kris Allen as the winner. And that’s cool. He can play guitar and piano and has that singer-songwriter thing going on. He also deserves credit for showing improvements each week. He is a winner and deserves to be successful.
But, there’s no way he has the voice or the star factor of the runner-up Adam Lambert. Adam’s got the Elvis Presley look circa 1968 and a touch of the Freddie Mercury flamboyance, and when KISS joined him on stage, he held his own. So, I was disappointed with America’s decision, but realized that it was probably best Adam wasn’t chosen. He’s better off working on his own career rather than abiding by the Idol contract restraints. He’s already a star and just needed the exposure that American Idol provides.
Here he is singing Tears For Fears’ Mad World
On January 30, 1956, Elvis Presley recorded his version of Carl Perkins‘ “Blue Suede Shoes” for RCA Records. The success of his version unfortunately overshadowed Perkins’ own achievements for the rest of his career.
Let’s take a look at both. Then you can vote for your favorite of the two.
Today marks the 74th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth. Each year, at Graceland in Memphis, fans gather to celebrate with Elvis’ family – his daughter Lisa Marie and his ex-wife Priscilla.
Below, is an article on some of the Graceland events of the day.
Happy 74th Birthday, Elvis!
Some clips from today’s celebration at Graceland
And here, a few playful articles on Elvis and Graceland.
Here are some Elvis holiday classics:
This year, RCA released Elvis Presley Christmas Duets, in which female country stars, such as Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Wynonna Judd, Amy Grant, Anne Murray, and Sara Evans, sing along with Elvis on some of his holiday classics. They did a good job, and here are a few of them.
Elvis & Martina McBride – Blue Christmas
Elvis & Carie Underwood – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Elvis & Amy Grant – White Christmas
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.
Elvis Presley’s first single, “That’s All Right” was recorded on this day in 1954 at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and was released in September of that year. The song was written and originally recorded by Arthur Crudup, earlier in 1954.
On this recording, Elvis provided vocals and rhythm guitar; Scotty Moore played lead guitar; and Bill Black was on the upright “slapped” bass. It was produced by Sam Phillips, and all parts were performed at once and recorded on a single track. “Blue Moon of Kentucky” was its B Side.
More on the legendary Sun Studios -and my recent visit there-will be coming your way soon.
1957 was a big year in music. Probably the most important event of the year was the birth of American Bandstand. On August 5th, American Bandstand began its 30-year run on TV. Dick Clark helped launched the careers of many starts and got America dancing.
Also, in 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met in Liverpool, and Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel started out as the duo Tom and Jerry with their first song Hey, Schoolgirl. And on March 19 of that year, Elvis Presley purchased a mansion in Memphis and called it Graceland, the place where fans would flock to for years after his death.