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Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 65 – Elvis Refurbished with the Philharmonic Orchestra

(Sorry I missed last week. The past few weeks have been insane. It’s the first week I’ve missed in the more than a year since I started this weekly blog. I didn’t even do a re-post :()

A new Elvis album is releasing October 30th with several of his recordings reworked to include the Philharmonic Orchestra. I have mixed feelings about this, but for the most part, I don’t enjoy it. I was going to blog on another Elvis related topic, but when I got into my car this morning and turned on Elvis Radio, Priscilla was a guest DJ and they were playing tracks from the soon to be released ‘If I can Dream.’

Before I knew that’s what the program was about, the first thing I heard was the last part of ‘In the Ghetto,’ except something was a little off. It didn’t hit my ear right. For one, the song ended with female back up singers singing several repetitions of the words in the ghetto. I didn’t care for it, and I knew that wasn’t they original version. Then, I understood when I heard Priscilla and the regular DJ, Argo, explain that it was a track from this new release.

elvis early 70s97729cd47f5510b256f6

Don’t get me wrong, some of the songs are great, although I can’t say they’re an improvement, not by any means. As I’ve mentioned before, Elvis had a knack, an ear for arrangements and he knew how to make his music the best it can be. The Philharmonic Orchestra is phenomenal, no doubt about it, but Elvis music is ALREADY the best it can be. They just aren’t needed. Elvis loved the Joe Guercio orchestra, and he hired them to play for him. If they were good enough for him, they are good enough for me.

joeep003

I would have liked to listen to the entire show, but was unable to. I think it’s repeating at 9 p.m. this evening, but not sure if I’ll be able to hear it then. I will have to say, I did enjoy Priscilla’s comments when she introduced ‘Steamroller Blues.’ She said Elvis’ performance of the song was sexy, sex appeal, sexy, sexy. She said he was ‘naughty’ all the way through. (I paraphrase, but that was the gist). She sounded almost giddy. 🙂 See, he has that kind of impact, even over his ex-wife after all these years. 

December 1969, Beverly Hills, California, USA --- American rock legend Elvis Presley with his wife Priscilla. --- Image by © Frank Carroll/Sygma/Corbis

Here are a few samplings from the album. In this one, ‘What Now, My Love,’ to me the orchestra drowns out his voice:

This is ‘You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling’ and here, they are not as intrusive as they are on some. Just look at that sexy performance, though. I love the way it starts out with Elvis’ back to the audience…

Here is a complete list of the tracks:

Disc: 1
1. Burning Love
2. It s Now Or Never
3. Love Me Tender
4. Fever (Duet With Michael Buble)
5. Bridge Over Troubled Water
6. And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind
7. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
Disc: 2
1. There’s Always Me
2. Can’t Help Falling In Love
3. In the Ghetto
4. How Great Thou Art
5. Steamroller Blues
6. An American Trilogy
7. If I Can Dream

All in all, while I love that the world is keeping Elvis’ music alive and going strong, although actually, the music itself could do that, I wish they would remaster his original versions simply by using whatever new technology they have for sharper, clearer sounds, but leave them unaltered. After all, why try to improve on perfection?

What do you think? Am I over-protective and way off base, or do you agree? 🙂

 

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EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, 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.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

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?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

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Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 64 – Elvis and His Instruments

While Elvis was not known for being a musician, he actually could play a few instruments. Of course, he did not need that talent. His phenomenal voice, charisma, stage presence, and incredible knack for entertaining were plenty. Not to mention his acting and his talent for producing. (He had a big part in producing his music and had an ear for picking out the perfect songs)

Some Elvis instrument facts…

In the recordings for the movie, Jailhouse Rock, when Elvis sang ‘Baby I Don’t Care,’ he was the one playing electric bass. Bill Black played only the upright bass and didn’t feel comfortable yet with the electric.

 

jailhouse_rock_sessions_elvis_with_electric_bass

Elvis only knew a few guitar lead licks, but he played a unique rhythm guitar. He had so much rhythm in his body, and it transferred to his hands when he played guitar. His special brand of rhythm guitar can be heard on songs like Blue Christmas, One Night, and Reconsider Baby. He did play a little bit of lead in the ’68 special.  Johnny Cash once said that Elvis didn’t really know a lot about the technique of guitar playing, but he was great and Johnny could ‘listen to Elvis play rhythm guitar all day long.’ 

 

elvis_68_black_trousers

(Black leather and a sweaty chest…oh my…)

One very unique guitar skill that Elvis displayed was when he would turn it over and slap the back of it, almost like a drum or bongo sound. He did this in the recordings of “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck,” “Treat Me Nice,” and it can really be heard in “Don’t Be Cruel.” (video of the recording below)

ElvisGuitarSlap2

 

He also could play the piano quite well.

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Finally, a very little known fact, while this was one area that Elvis definitely did not excel, he played a little drums.

 

elvis_playing_dj_fontanas_drums_3

Elvis and Dolores Hart from “Loving You” playing a few drum licks

Drums-with-Boots

Elvis and Boots Randolph

 

Of course, when you sing, dance, and look like he did, and have the star power he had, those other skills are not necessary. They’re just icing on the cake for a man who was the whole incredible, amazing, delightful package. 🙂

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, 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.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

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?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

Leave a comment

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment