[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]
On June 28, 2016, Scotty Moore passed away. He was Elvis’ original lead guitarist and played behind him on the big hits of his early career, such as “Hound Dog,” “That’s All Right Mama,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” etc. To me, one of the songs that showcased his guitar skills the best is Mystery Train. He almost makes the guitar sound like a train coming down the track. You can listen here:
Scotty was also Elvis’ first manager. He tells a story about how he and Elvis were talking one day and he told Elvis he was going to make it big. Elvis said that when he did, he would give Scotty 50% of his earnings. Scotty insisted that was too much and they finally settled on 1%, I believe. Then, when The Colonel took over Elvis’ career, he refused to honor the agreement. I wonder how different things would have been had Scotty remained Elvis’ manager. Probably quite different, the question is, would it have been better or worse?
It’s sad that another of the people from Elvis’ history is gone, but of course, they’re all getting up there in years. Fortunately, and especially thanks to Elvis Radio, we were able to listen to Scotty recount stories about his time with Elvis. Here is the story of their first meeting when Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Studios where Elvis famously got his start, asked Scotty to call Elvis and have him come over and play for him and see what he thought. Scotty said this about that meeting:
“…[Presley] was dressed a little strange for the times. He had on a — it was either a pair of pink pants or black pants with a white stripe up the leg, you know, and a lace, see-through shirt and, of course, his famous ducktail. But, you know, he was very clean, very polite, and we kind of, you know, just hit it off right from the start.
“He sang some Marty Robbins songs, some Hank Snow songs, some Roy Hamilton some of the current R&B hits at the time… a little bit of everything really. So Sam then did call him and set a time for us to go into the studio the following night. It was just me and Bill and all intended to be to fill up a background just to give us an idea of how he would sound like on tape. Well the rest ofcourse is history. The audition turned into the actual first session and out of that came “That’s all right mama”. We went in and went through several different songs and nothing was really happening because you know it was an audition and then we were taking a break, sitting around drinking coffee. Elvis started clowning around, he picked up his guitar and started dancing around and started singing “That’s all right mama”, and Bill picked up his bass, started slapping it, just more or less clowning and I joined in and that’s it … really it’s just one of those things.”
Scotty was a phenomenal guitarist and was a role model/hero to some of the most famous rock and roll musicians in the world. Keith Richards was quoted as saying: “When I heard Heartbreak Hotel, I knew what I wanted to do in life. It was as plain as day. All I wanted to do in the world was to be able to play and sound like that. Everyone else wanted to be Elvis, I wanted to be Scotty Moore.”
I completely give Scotty Moore his due for being such a remarkable guitarist, but it’s unlikely he would have made his mark the way he did had it not been for Elvis.
Elvis wanted his band with him in all his movies, but the producers wouldn’t allow it. However, Scotty played backup for Elvis on screen in the movie Jailhouse Rock. Here’s a photo from that scene:
The last time Elvis and Scotty played together was when Elvis reunited with Scotty and D.J. Fontana (The third member, Bill Black, passed away in 1965), for the ’68 Music Special. It was Elvis’ first time in front of an audience after years away from live performances during his years of making movies. They held an informal jam session that turned out to be one of the most well-loved and critically acclaimed, one of the most spectacular and unique performances of all time. Afterward, when Elvis was beginning his stint in Vegas in 1969, he wanted Scotty and D.J. to join him. But, they had other obligations and the engagements were six weeks, and they did not want to be gone for that length of time.
Scotty was indeed a musical legend, and he will be missed. Rest in peace, Scotty. I hope you and your pal Elvis are playing together again.
Thank you for stopping by…have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!
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Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.
Learn more here, including how to donate:
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On Elvis’ 80th birthday, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.
All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?