August 16, 1977: Elvis was discovered dead in his home at Graceland.
I am sorry I fell off the blog. Thing is, I spent a lot of time moving into my new place, unpacking. I also started going to yoga everyday, and that seriously sedates my urge to blog.
But I had to make an entry for today, to honor Elvis’ life and legacy on the anniversary of his death. He was truly an artist, a performer, an entertainer, a heartthrob – not to mention a father, a husband, a soldier…he was brighter than a flaming star.
I wanted to include a few of my favorite Elvis songs – I listened to them earlier today after I ate peanut butter and banana pancakes.
August 6, 1955: Elvis’ single, “Mystery Train,” was released.
Elvis’ single, “Mystery Train,” was the B-side to his “I Forgot To Remember To Forget.” The song was recorded at Sun Record Studios and produced by legendary Sam Phillips, with Elvis on vocals and rhythm guitar, Scotty Moore on lead guitar and Bill Black on bass. The song hit #11 on the country charts and to this day is an enduring country/rock standard, having been covered by hundreds of artists, including but not limited to: Led Zeppelin, The Stray Cats, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, and Bob Dylan.
Take a gander at Elvis’ version of “Mystery Train,” recorded in 1955 at Sun Studios:
And below there’s a video of a live performance of the song by Scotty Moore and Eric Clapton. TGIElvis!
August 5, 1965: On-location filming began in Oahu for Elvis’ film, “Paradise, Hawaiian Style.”
This was Elvis’ third & final Hawaiian movie, and many have called it his worst. Not his worst Hawaiian film, but his worst film, period. It is a matter of little contention, however, that in this film Elvis appears to be noticeably more overweight and more out of it than he had in the good old movies. But not that overweight, and not that out of it. No more rockabilly Elvis.
The kinda sad part is the tagline: “His Newest! His Biggest!” Give up much? And who had the idea to tag it “His Biggest” when Elvis is clearly growing bigger. Anyway. Don’t be totally turned off to the movie. It’s still a rollicking good time and there’s beautiful Hawaii footage. Below, you know it, it’s a clip! A clip from the film where Elvis sings the song, “Queenie Wahini Papaya.” Spoiler alert! – Elvis is wearing some real short shorts.
August 4, 1960: Elvis was fitted for brown contact lenses for his role as Pacer Burton in his movie, “Flaming Star.”
Elvis tries his hand at a dramatic role in this film, and critics and fans alike agree that he does a “stellar” job. Quotes are mine. Elvis plays Pacer Burton, a West Texas ranchhand with a Kiowa mother (there’s the brown contact lenses) and a white daddy, and they live a typical life on the ranch. Until, that is, Kiowa tribes begin launching attacks at all the local ranches and farms. Elvis’ Pacer Burton finds himself in between two worlds – but belonging to neither of them.
The movie did not release a soundtrack for the film, as it was a serious dramatic role & film for Elvis. Did you know that Elvis’ part was originally written with Marlon Brando in mind? And that the role of older brother Clint Burton (played by Steve Forrest) was originally written for Frank Sinatra? Yeah – hey I hope it didn’t hurt when I just dropped all that knowledge on yer brain. Below enjoy the trailer for Elvis’ film, “Flaming Star.” Great theme song!
August 3, 1957: Elvis’ single, “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear,” hit #3 on the charts in the U.K.
“Teddy Bear” was one of Elvis’ four singles to hit #1 on U.S. charts in 1957. Just after “All Shook Up,” and preceding, “Jailhouse Rock,” “Teddy Bear” is one of the main attractions along the scenic Elvis hit song highway. You may recall a modified version of the song used in Teddy Grahams advertisements. Fans of the show, “Full House,” will also remember Uncles Jesse & Joey and father Danny Tanner singing “Teddy Bear” to little Michelle at bedtime.
LISTEN to Elvis’ hit single, “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear”:
I bet I got you thinking about “Full House”, didn’t I? And now you’re probably like, Oh yeah, I remember them singing that song, I wish I could see it now. Well, you got it dude! Below, you can watch a clip of the “Full House” guys singing to Michelle. Then after the song, you can hear Elvis’ version of the tune as you watch other memorable clips from the show. Don’t thank me, thank the devoted “Full House” fan/video editing aficionado who took the time to make this video for our pleasure. Happy Monday!
August 1, 1960: The East German magazine, “Young World,” declared Elvis to be Public Enemy #1.
Several days later, after a riot in the town of Chemnitz, the East German government declared Elvis to be an enemy of the people. His cultural influence was unwelcome in the young socialist East Germany. Artists at that time were expected to sing only in German, and the government tried to limit the influence of Western, anti-socialist cultures.
Below is a music video clip from Ted Herold, known as the German Elvis. Herold was born in Berlin and was heavily influenced by Western rock n’ roll music from Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, and most of all, Elvis. Here is a clip from his music video for the song, “Kuss Mich Doch,” which I think means something like, Kiss Me Now, or I Want To Kiss You Right Now, something like this. Happy Saturday!
So, it’s been over a month since MJ passed away. He totally rocked our world, but did y’all hear he was unable to grow hair? Apparently he’d been wearing a wig for years, and his head was really just covered in a delicate peach fuzz. Or, I’m trying to remember how Dave said it, something about how MJ looked like he’d just rolled around in some loose hair clippings and a few strays stuck to his head. Anyway.
But, MJ did have hair, once. Some avid fans or nostalgic Pepsi commercial rememberers might recall the Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial seen in the clip below. During rehearsals, MJ’s hair caught on fire. I know, no big deal, hair on fire, guy puts it out, take 2, right? Wrong. It was more like, hair on fire, guy puts it out, saves singed hair, sells singed hair along with Armani jacket used to put out fire, someone thinks it’s a great idea to make diamonds out of singed hair remnants. Click here for the link to the article. Below is some exclusive, “hot” footage of MJ’s hair on fire:
I think commenter rainebaby said it best: “I think its truly amazing what science can achieve today, but this strikes me as one of those scenarios that just because you can, doesn’t follow that you should.”