Tag Archives: Love Me Tender

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 85 – 50 Years Ago Today & Other Tidbits

[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!]

 

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September 9, 1956 – Elvis performed “Love Me Tender” for his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show “Toast of the Town.” He was shot from just the waist up during the performance. Elvis would make a total of three appearances on the show.  Record stores were swamped with requests for the record, which had not been released yet.

Songwriter Ben Weisman has the honorable distinction of having written more songs for Elvis than any other songwriter. Guess how many? That’s right…57!! (See how much faith I have in you?) Elvis called him The “Mad Professor.”

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On Elvis’ right, Sid Wayne, on his left, Ben Weisman

Some of my favorites he’s written are: “Slowly but Surely” – “As Long as I Have You” – “Fame and Fortune”

Here is As Long as I have You from King Creole. Very sad moment 😦

Quote from Ben:

“I approached writing for Elvis differently than I did for any other artist. The songs had to have a combination of blues, country, rock and pop [what came to becalled ‘rockabilly’]. It was like walking in his musical shoes. With each new Elvis movie, more of my songs were being recorded. It became more and more exciting, for I was becoming the only songwriter to have so many songs recorded by him.”

And, finally, just a random quote I love:

Elvis was the only man from Northeast Mississippi who could shake his hips and still be loved by rednecks, cops, and hippies.
– Jimmy Buffett

Have a wonderful weekend!

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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.

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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

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Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part XIX  –  Rare Recordings, Duets, and Remixes

Elvis released hundreds of songs over his career, and in the nearly forty years after his death, his songs are still being released. Many are never before heard recordings, some are remixes, some are alternate takes, and some are duets. I am not crazy about most of the remixes and duets. I like the pure, original sound of Elvis’ music. Below I’ve listed some of my thumbs up and thumbs downs.

 

EP Blue

Thumbs up:

Any song Lisa Marie records of her father’s. I think it’s awesome that she is a singer, and that she loves and respects her father so much. The songs she records with him are beautiful. I’m not certain how many she has done, but I know of a handful: In the Ghetto, Don’t Cry Daddy, and I Love you Because.

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I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone, the alternate version – This is an alternate version that was recorded by Elvis in the early years. It’s better than the one that was released. It’s moody and bluesy and gives me chills. They should have released this version, not that there was anything wrong with the one they did release, but this one is phenomenal. Do yourself a favor and listen to it.

 

This is a rare home recording of Elvis at a friend’s house in 1958 singing Happy, Happy Birthday Baby. Can you imagine sitting around a living room with Elvis while he belted out songs and played the piano?

 

Thumbs Down:

Lisa Loïs Duet of Love Me Tender – While this is a beautiful version, and the girl has an amazing voice, it gets a thumb’s down simply because when I hear the first few notes as I’m listening to Elvis radio, I can’t help but be disappointed that it’s not an ‘original’ Elvis.

Barbara Streisand Duet of Love Me Tender – The woman has a fantastic voice, and there’s no doubt she’s a superstar, and I love that she and Elvis had a mutual respect and admiration for one another, but to me, she tampers with the pure sound of the original arrangement. And, I’m not sure what those extra lyrics are at the beginning, but they’re not needed.

 

 All of the remixes – Although these releases did well, I don’t care for the addition of the Techno sound to Elvis’s songs. I’m not sure how many were done that way, but a few I know about are Rubberneckin’, Little Less Conversation, and Bossa Nova Baby. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like them okay if I hadn’t heard the true versions, but Elvis didn’t need the Techno sound added. His music was timeless and perfect in its original form.

How about you? Do you agree, or am I way too picky when it comes to Elvis? 🙂

 

 

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Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 10 – The Movies 1-4

Elvis made four films before going into the army. His earlier works were more serious, more dramatic than the ones that would follow after he returned. Ironically, in the media, and in the movies, he was portrayed as this rebellious troublemaking hothead, but in reality, his costars raved about how polite and kind he was.

The first four movies were:

  • Love Me Tender 1956

About: Elvis plays Clint Reno, the youngest of four brothers in the civil war era. His older brothers come home after the end of the war and the oldest, Vance (who the family had been told died), finds Clint married to the girl he loves.

Side note:  When word leaked that Elvis died at the end, fans were so distraught that the studio decided to add an image of him singing “Love Me Tender” on screen as the movie was ending with the scene of his loved ones walking away from his grave.

My favorite song from the movie: Let Me

One of my favorite scenes: When he’s on the porch singing We’re Gonna Move. He was so cute, with his adorable smile and the way he interacted with his family.

 

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  • Loving You: 1957

About: Elvis plays Deke Rivers, an orphan who is discovered by an ambitious woman in the music business. She launches Deke to stardom. Deke thought he’d found true friends after a lifetime of searching, but he is crushed to learn she only cares about success.

Side notes:   Elvis’ parents, Gladys and Vernon, were visiting the set and the director put them in the movie as audience members in the final scene. A year later, Elvis would be in the army, and five months after that, Gladys would pass away. Dolores Hart, who played Susan, also co-starred in King Creole. She would eventually become a nun. Elvis’ band, Scotty Moore, Bill Black, DJ Fontana, and the Jordanaires appeared in the movie.

My favorite song from the movie: Mean Woman Blues

One of my favorite scenes: Deke is in a café and this a-hole is giving him a hard time, insists he sing. Deke does, then he asks the guy what he does for a living. The guy tells him he works for his old man installing seat covers. Deke says, well, I normally get paid to sing. How about you do for me what you do for a living and go out there and put a set of seat covers on my car. The guy says sure, I bet your color is yella. Deke proceeds to beat the crap out of him and knocks him into the juke box. The guy is unconscious, leaning back against the juke box and Deke hooks a foot under his leg and tugs, and the guy slides to the ground. I loved Elvis’ fight scenes, and I thought that one was so cool.

 

Loving you

  • Jailhouse Rock: 1957

About: Elvis plays Vince Everett. Early in the movie, he kills a man in a fistfight and is sent to prison, where he meets a washed up country singer who plants the seed of Vince singing professionally. When Vince gets out of prison, he meets a young woman in the music business who helps launch his career, and Vince becomes famous. The fame goes to his head and he ends up hurting the people he loves. (But, it has a happy ending :))

Side note:   Elvis’ co-star, Judy Tyler, and her husband were killed in an automobile accident on the drive home from Hollywood to New York after filming.

My favorite song from the movie: Don’t leave Me Now

My favorite scene: One of my favorite scenes in any Elvis movie. Watch the clip.

 

 

  • King Creole 1958

About: Elvis plays Danny Rivers, a young guy from a poor background whose mother passed away when he was young, and his father fell to pieces and lost one job after another, launching the family into poverty. Danny sees his father as a weakling, and he wants to make something of himself. He gets involved with Maxi Fields, a crime boss, and falls for Maxi’s girl.

Side note:   This was the only movie Elvis was really proud of. He did an amazing job, and it was a phenomenal film. He admired actors like James Dean and Marlon Brando, and had hopes of becoming a serious actor, but the roles he was given afterward were pretty much all fluff (However, they were ‘fluff’ that I loved, and he still did a great job in them).

My favorite song from the movie: Don’t Ask Me Why or Young Dreams or As Long as I Have You.

One of my favorite scenes: Danny is in the club sweeping up and these guys are being mean to Roni, who, as it turns out, is Maxi Fields’ girl. They insist Danny sing and he does, then they ask him what he does for an encore. He ignores them and is leaving when the one guy slaps Roni. Elvis turns around and grabs her and is taking her out when the guys start to rush him. He grabs two beer bottles off a table and breaks off the bottoms and brandishes them at the guys. One of the men says, “You’re a pretty fancy performer, ain’t ya kid?” and Vince says, “Now you know what I do for an encore.”

 

KC

 

Elvis made 31 feature films and I have seen each one of them umpteen times. I’m watching them again, as a refresher, and I think I’m enjoying them now more than I did back then. I only own 26 of the 31 on DVD, but will soon have them all. 🙂

 

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Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan, Part 3 – The Music

Obviously, I can’t say everything I want to say about Elvis’ music in one post, so there will most definitely be more, so stay tuned. 🙂

In twenty-three years, Elvis recorded almost a thousand songs, although the number that was actually released during his lifetime was just over seven-hundred. Thanks to Elvis radio, I have the opportunity to hear a lot of those rare recordings and outtakes where Elvis was himself, and he was human, and having fun with the guys. I love the ones where he is laughing–his adorable, sexy, infectious laugh. The people who worked with him said he had a talent for arrangements and was a perfectionist, who would keep at it until he had the recording just the way he wanted. They also say he could memorize lyrics more quickly than anyone they’d ever known. It’s funny that, even with Elvis’ unparalleled fame and popularity, the only music he ever won awards for was his gospel. I’ve never been able to figure that out.

One thing I love about Elvis music is that it spanned so many genres. With blues, country, rock, pop, soul, and gospel, there’s something for everyone. I have three children, who all ‘like’ Elvis, but my twenty-one-year-old son, Presley, LOVES Elvis. I didn’t force it on him, even with the name, I promise. 🙂 He actually could have grown up resenting me for the name, but he is proud of it, and truly loves Elvis. He’s on a cruise right now, and he called me last night to ask me about the lyrics to Jailhouse Rock. He wasn’t sure he could remember them all. I remembered them, but not exactly in order. (I know, it’s shameless, but we only had a few minutes to talk, and I was under pressure to hurry, and that song has a lot of short verses. It’s hard to remember the correct order.) Presley was a finalist in a Karaoke contest (in which he’d earlier sung Suspicious Minds) and was going to be singing Jailhouse Rock in the finals. After we hung up, a memory came to me of when he was around fifteen months old, and he was slapping his little hand on the stereo saying ‘Wock, wock,’ wanting me to play Jailhouse Rock. I did, and he started dancing and bobbing his head and snapping his fingers. SO freakin’ cute! (I have it on home video. It’s precious!)

Oddly, some of my favorite Elvis songs are the lesser known ones; many of them only a true Elvis fan would have heard. I re-discovered this one recently, and was struck once again by just how beautiful his voice really was. It gave me chills.

 

 

This is one of my favorites of Elvis’ early recordings, Love Me. There’s something about the way he starts the song, that first line, that makes me weak all over. 🙂 Enjoy this adorable video of him singing the song on the Ed Sullivan show.

 

 

Over the years, Elvis’ music had brought me a great deal of joy. It sounds odd, but if I’m stressed or upset, I can listen to his music, and it makes me feel better.

I have a confession to make, though. I don’t ‘love’ every song Elvis ever did. Even some of his most popular ones were not my favorites; such as Love Me Tender, Hound Dog, Blue Suede Shoes. I know, I know, I should be ashamed. 🙂 However, there were plenty of his songs that I DO love, obviously. I could list them, but we don’t have all day, right?

What about you? What are some of your favorite Elvis songs?

 

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