Moody Blue. It was the last album released by Elvis Presley on July 19th, 1977 and it included tracks he had recorded in February and October of 1976 and April of 1977.
It included a mixture of live concert recordings with earlier studio work. The B-side tracks were recorded during his Graceland sessions of 1976.
As RCA was scrambling to find some studio tracks to put on the album, Elvis had hand picked a few songs to record for it. They were up-tempo country songs. Unfortunately, when it came time to record them, Elvis was a no show, claiming to be sick. This was a trick used by the King in the '60s to get out of recording bad songs for his movies soundtracks.
RCA decided to fill in the rest of the album with live tracks. “Let Me Be There” recorded on stage in Memphis, Tennessee; “Unchained Melody,” “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” and “Little Darlin’” all recorded while on tour in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1976.
The rest of the tracks were from the Graceland sessions: “He’ll Have To Go” which is the only studio recording on side A, “Way Down,” “Pledging My Love,” “Moody Blue,” “She Thinks I Still Care” and “It’s Easy for You.”
The album was originally released on black vinyl, a month later when Presley died they had the album pressed on blue vinyl to go with the title track. It went Gold and Platinum in September of 1977 and Platinum in 1992.
The CD release of the album had a different concert photo, removed the track “Let Me Be There” and added the complete previous album “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee.”
Hound Dog. In the early 1950s, teenage songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote one of the most iconic songs in the history of rock n’ roll. It started with Leiber pounding a beat on the roof of his car, when the two boys got home, Stoller hammered out the music on his piano. This song was presented on a brown paper bag.
Blues singer “Big Mama Thornton” recorded the song in 1953 and it became an immediate hit for her. In her version, she sang “You told me you was high class, but I can see through that.”
In 1956, Elvis heard the song for the first time being performed by his opening act. A group from Las Vegas called “Freddie Bell and the Bell Boys.” He then went to the recording studio and went through 31 takes of the song. He had changed a line “You said you was high class, but that was just a lie” and also added a line “you ain’t never caught a rabbit, and you ain’t no friend of mine.” To which Leiber had complained “That was inane…it doesn’t mean anything to me.” The final version that made it on the record was version #28.
Leiber and Stoller both initially disliked Presley’s version, stating that it sounded “terribly nervous, too fast, too white..” but they got over their disappointment when the record started selling over eight million copies.
It was this song, after performing it in front of over 40 million viewers on the Milton Berle show that he got the name “Elvis the Pelvis” because of his gyrations. He took heavy criticism which also gave the song more appeal from teenagers.
“Hound Dog” was the B-side song of “Don’t Be Cruel,” but has been redone by more artists since then than any of his other songs, including the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Lennon, The Who and Robert Palmer.
Lisa Marie Presley. Listening to 45s in her bedroom and singing into a hairbrush in front of a mirror, 3-year-old Lisa Marie Presley is caught hamming it up by her father: the King of Rock 'n’ Roll.
After traveling down the road of being the daughter of one of the most iconic figures in music history, Lisa Marie cuts out a niche all her own. From her gold-certified album “To Whom It May Concern” where she reached the top of the charts with “Lights Went Out” in 2003 to her Billboard Top 10 album chart in 2005 with “Now What.”
She has returned to her bluesy roots with the help of T Bone Burnett in her newest album “Storm and Grace.” While she has enjoyed the songs of her previous work, this album has been a labor of love. She feels at home with the Memphis sound backing her up.
“Over Me” is the opening track and you can feel the blues laden rhythm that echoes not only the beginning of the sound of Memphis, but also trademark of Burnett’s work.
Her hit single “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” has touches of blue grass and soul. Rich with Appalachian gravy. Its been hailed as something “down home” as if played on the back porch of an old Tennessee cabin.
Finally, after running the junket of the music business, trying to find herself in spite of her legacy, Lisa Marie can finally say she’s home and comfortable in her skin. This is the epitome of the Princess of Rock N’ Roll.
Elvis Fans. This year Elvis fans were asked to vote on their favorite Elvis song and submit their photos to Elvis.com. This was a worldwide promotion and features input from fans as far away as New Zealand, Europe, Asia and South America.
A CD is being released that was compiled from the results of the voting of worldwide fans. The playlist goes like this:
Plus, participating Elvis fans will be treated to a 24 x 30 commemorative poster of the cover which is a mosaic made up of all the fan photos that were sent in for this promotion.
This is a first ever Elvis fan-created album and is titled appropriately “I Am An Elvis Fan.” 250,000 plus votes were counted to bring you this compilation and will be available in stores at the end of July.
If you’ve missed this promotion, you can still have your pride heard and seen at Elvis.com by sending in a creative photo of you wearing an official “I Am an Elvis Fan” T-shirt to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be put in the fan gallery.
To order your “I Am an Elvis Fan” T-shirt or upcoming CD, go to ShopElvis.com.
Saw the ghost of Elvis. In 2007, the fans of the show American Idol and television viewers everywhere were awestruck when Celine Dion stepped out on stage and did a duet with Elvis Presley. They performed his 1968 hit “If I Can Dream,” which was more than appropriate for the show and the event.
Like most viewers, I wondered how in the hell it was accomplished. It seemed so real that it gave me goosebumps. Many were saying it was a holographic image and others said it was an impersonator, and even some said it was a combination of both.
It had been explained later by an alleged crew member of the show that it was all done in the editing room with a technique known in the Biz as Rotoscoping. The image and song was taken from the masters of Elvis’ ’68 comeback show and was mixed in the editing room for the television broadcast. An Elvis double was used to give Celine a reference point. It is much like the technique used when Lisa Marie did a duet with her dad on the song “In the Ghetto.”
Now, with the dawn of holographic technology bringing late rapper Tupac Shakur back to life and to tour, can an Elvis hologram be far behind? Elvis Presley Enterprises has kept quiet about it, Lisa Marie Presley has given her blessing on it as long as it’s done in taste, but there is no official word.
Elvis is already on tour selling out venues with his current tour in which his TCB band plays on stage with a giant image of the King on a large screen. So to put Elvis in hologram form on stage and on tour would be extremely lucrative from a business stand point, and a welcome and refreshing treat from a fans standpoint.
The Coachella Tupac tour involved taking Tupac’s image, and manipulating it digitally and projecting it on stage. It is all original movements and doesn’t involve archive footage of the artist giving the audience a real feel.
One can only “dream.” This could open up a whole new innovation in concert performances, bringing back legends like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson just to name a few.
With the sad funeral of Whitney Houston this weekend, we are reminded of the epic role that an entertainer can have in the lives of the fans. Yes, there is the deep personal mourning for those who knew the dearly departed celebrity the best. There is also a sort of personal mourning when an icon has entered the hearts of his or her admirers.
Elvis Presley is also a star whose death left a deep void in the lives of his most devoted fans. Music has a power to heal and to transform our lives. When a singer or musician is in the spotlight giving us wonderful music for years on end, it’s not surprising that we feel a bond with them. These artists put into words and set to music our deepest feelings. Presley’s music had a lot of heart, and that is one of the reasons that he is still so beloved even by fans who were not born when the iconic singer passed away.
Another reason that we still adore Elvis is that he had the courage to put it all out there. He did have his private life, of course, but he was honest in a way that few are with his music and in the way that he lived his life. Even when he was ridiculed for his size and habits, he was there performing for his fans and sharing through his art. He was a genuine person as well as a genuine artist.
Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie, and his ex-wife, Priscilla, have carefully preserved the memory, legacy, and legend of Elvis with the museum at his home of Graceland and the careful releasing of his music through the changing mediums that we use through the years to enjoy those classic songs that will be playing over and over again for many, many years to come. That is the power of the love listeners of the music of Elvis have for his artistry.
Lisa Marie Presley went to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, this past week to celebrate her birthday. She was born February 1, 1968, to Elvis and Priscilla, and she was immediately a daddy’s girl. Elvis doted on his new daughter, and they enjoyed a close bond. It has even been celebrated in both his music and her own musical career.
Sadly, Elvis passed away when she was only a little girl; she was only 9 years old. Lisa Marie has said in the past that her mentality after her father’s death was rather tortured. She became very lonely and full of deep questions about life that she found no immediate answers to, such as the answer to what life and death really are. Now 44, Lisa Marie is all grown up and paying tribute to her beloved dad.
One of the reasons Lisa Marie chose to celebrate her birthday in Graceland this year was to open a new special exhibit at the former family home of Elvis, Priscilla, and Lisa Marie that now serves as a museum. This new grand exhibit is called "Elvis... Through His Daughter's Eyes." The special exhibit includes her first ever record player and her baby shoes.
Another father-daughter related exhibit that’s on display at Graceland? A private jet that belonged to Elvis that he named Lisa Marie after his adored daughter.
The most vivid image of Elvis that is ingrained in the pop culture mindset is a vibrant Elvis in his early twenties moving his hips and singing his heart out to his vast collection of hits. Elvis Presley was, of course, not always the King of Rock and Roll. With the celebration this month of what would have been his 77th birthday, let’s take a look back to his early years.
He was born Elvis Aaron Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. The proud parents were Vernon and Gladys Presley. Vernon was then only 18, while Gladys was 22.
Elvis had a twin brother, Jessie Garon, who was stillborn. His parents never had another child after this birth so Elvis essentially only knew the life of an “only child.”
The future star grew up in that humble two-room house that his father had built. He was very close to his parents, especially his mother. He went to East Tulepo Consolidated for elementary school and Lawhon Junior High School in the early 1940s. He started entering singing contests as a child, and he excelled in them.
In 1948, when he was 13, Elvis moved with mom and dad to Memphis, Tennessee. This is a city that would greatly influence his later artistry, and he embraced it as home. He frequented clubs that played R & B on Beale Street in Memphis as a teen. He also loved gospel music at his Assembly of God church.
Elvis graduated from Humes High School in Memphis, and he then began his career in the city in 1954 when he started working with visionary Sam Phillips at Sun Records. .
Do you embody the King? Tired of the karaoke scene and want to really want to hit the stage and pay a nationwide homage to Elvis Presley? Then sign up for the 2012 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at the “Fill The Blue Suede Shoes” contest in Ocala, Florida March 3rd, 2012!
You must be at least 18 and submit a demo of you doing your best Elvis tribute. If your demo is picked by the panel of judges you’ll be invited to compete against other tribute artists at the Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala, Florida.
The top finalists will compete in the Final Round that evening for winnings over $4,500 in cash and other swag. Plus you’ll have the opportunity to go on to the semi-finals in Memphis, TN during Elvis week in August.
Participants and winners of past contests have gone on to star in movies, television, and in the concert even “Elvis Live”. A tribute to the King staring Elvis in different stages of his life; backed by the original musicians that shared the stage with him and also an Ann Margaret tribute artist.
So buff out those blue suede shoes, bedazzle that sportcoat, bust out the rhinestone jumpsuit. Pomp up the pompadours and shake out the kinks of your hips and register to show your tribute to the King of Rock and Roll.