April 25 - At The Movies

Due for release on May 27, 2015 from Not Now Records is the 3 CD set "At The Movies".

(Source: Amazon)

April 24 - Sid Tepper Died

Songwriter Sid Tepper, best known for his work writing songs for Elvis Presley, died on Friday (April 24) of natural causes. He was 96.

Tepper's publicist confirmed the news to Billboard, adding that he died at his home on Williams Island in Miami Beach, Florida surrounded by his family.

Tepper wrote 45 songs for Presley, but also wrote tracks for other artists including Frank Sinatra, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Ray Charles, Louie Armstrong, Wayne Newton, Robert Goulet, Nancy Wilson, Eartha Kitt and more.

Some of his most well-known songs include "The Lady Loves Me" performed by Presley and Ann-Margret as well as "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane," "Kiss of Fire," "G.I. Blues," "Red Roses For A Blue Lady," and "Don't Come Running Back To Me."


Although Tepper and his songwriting partner Roy C. Bennett wrote extensively for Elvis, they never met him. All their Elvis songs were for his movies, including the title number for "G.I. Blues" (1960) and "The Lady Loves Me," sung as a poolside duet with Ann-Margret in "Viva Las Vegas" (1964).

By the time they wrote for Elvis, Tepper and Bennett were already established songwriters. Their first big hit, "Red Roses for a Blue Lady," was recorded by Vaughn Monroe in 1948. Over the years it was covered by Sinatra (on a radio show), Andy Williams, Paul Anka, Wayne Newton and others, including Vic Dana, who got it back on the bestselling charts in 1965.

Elvis needed the songwriting duo's kind of material.

"When Elvis started to make the movies, they needed non rock-and-roll writers, people who could come up with special material songs and ballads," Tepper said in a 2005 interview for the book "Elvis Presley: Writing for the King," by Ken Sharp.

Tepper and Bennett would be given movie scripts and asked to write for specific scenes. But they were not the only songwriters approached — others were asked to submit songs for the same scenes.

"The way it worked was that it was actually a competition," Tepper said in the Sharp interview. "To be honest, it was a little downer feeling that we had to compete with the other writers because Roy and I had a life before Elvis....

"We wrote songs for all the stars of our generation."

Tepper and Bennett, who both wrote music and lyrics, often beat out the competition. On "Blue Hawaii" (1961) alone, they have five credited songs.

They were especially good at writing for specific situations. "The Lady Loves Me" comes at a point in "Viva Las Vegas" where Presley's flirtations with Ann-Margret are getting him nowhere, though he remains supremely confident.

He sings:
I'm her ideal, her heart's desire
Under that ice she's burning like fire
To which she shoots back:
The gentleman has savoir-faire
As much as an elephant or a bear

Tepper and Bennett never had a big hit with an Elvis song — many of them were novelty numbers. For "Girls! Girls! Girls!" (1962), they wrote "Song of the Shrimp" with lyrics from the point of view of a shrimp.

Goodbye mama shrimp, papa shake my hand
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian'

The songs were in sharp contrast to the gritty numbers that made Elvis an electrifying star. But Tepper made no apologies.

"I believe that Elvis' movies and their songs made a mighty contribution to his career," he told Sharp. "They brought him to the attention of millions of people who otherwise would never have known the greatness of the King."

He said one of his favorite Elvis songs that they wrote was from "Kissin' Cousins" (1964) called "Once Is Enough."

All you got is one life
Living once can be rough
But if you live every day all the way
Once is enough

A vet of WWII where he served for the Special Services performing for the troops, he joined ASCAP in 1947. He won a BMI Award for 1 million plays of Georgia Gibbs' "Kiss of Fire." Additionally he won a Country Music Award for Eddie Arnold's version of "Red Roses For A Blue Lady." In 2002, he was honored in Memphis for his work with Presley.

Tepper was born on June 25, 1918. His wife, Lillian, died 10 years ago. He is survived by 5 children (Susan Tepper-Kopacz, Michelle Tepper-Kapit, Brian Tepper, Warren Tepper and Jackie Tepper), 7 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.


Charts

  • The “Heart And Soul” compilation drops from #19 to #25 on the Billboard Country Catalog Album Chart for the week ending May 2, 2015.
  • The “Elvis Sings…” compilation entered the Dutch Mid-price Album chart at #41 this week. 
  • The “Elvis Love Songs” compilation climbed from #89 to #78 on the Official Scottish Album Charts.

(Source: Billboard / LA Times / FECC / Brian Quinn / The King’s World)

April 23 - Elvis In Love With Vegas

Here is the cover-art of the Vinyl Passion release "Elvis In Love". This compilation comes as a double album on 180gr. vinyl and is due May 8, 2015. 

Side A: Can´t Help Falling In Love - Hawaiian Wedding Song - Fame And Fortune - A Big Hunk O` Love - Don´t Ask Me Why - Such A Night - Don´t - (Now And Then There´s) A Fool Such AS I - Have I Told You Lately That I Love You - Good Luck Charm

Side B: Are You Lonesome Tonight - Surrender - It´s Now Or Never - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You - Loving You - Love Me - Baby Let´s Play House - Blue Hawaii - Wooden Heart - Any Way You Want Me

Side C: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear - She´s Not You - As Long As I Have You - The Girl Of My Best Friend - I Love You Because - I Need You Love Tonight - The Thrill Of Your Love - That´s Someone You Never Forget - Fever - Doin´ The Best I Can

Side D: Love Me Tender - True Love - I Was The One - Pocketful Of Rainbows - Stuck On You - Young And Beautiful - One Night - That´s When Your Heartaches Begin - Wear My Ring Around Your Neck - Anyplace In Paradise

Elvis Back In Vegas


At 2 p.m. Priscilla Presley officially opened Westgate’s Elvis exhibit, “Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition, The Show, The Experience,”.

The exhibit, chapel and show are the first permanent presentations from Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises outside of the performer's Tennessee home, launching 59 years to the day that Elvis first performed in Las Vegas with a grand opening to include an appearance by Presley's daughter Lisa Marie.

Why is the date April 23 chosen to open this? The date marks the 59th anniversary of Elvis' first performance in the city at the New Frontier Hotel.

(Source: The King's World / Graceland / ElvisMatters)




April 22 - Take-off!

The city council of Memphis has just voted a few minutes ago on the Whitehaven planned development that would move two of Elvis Presley’s private jets off Graceland property to a lot at 3850 Elvis Presley Blvd., on the other side of the southern boundary of property owned by Elvis Presley Enterprises.

OKC Partnership, which owns the “Lisa Marie” and “Hound Dog 2,” has a contract with Elvis Presley Enterprises for their current display on the opposite side of Elvis Presley Boulevard from the gates of Graceland. But during contract renewal talks, EPE requested that OKC remove the jets from its property. 

Also on the council’s agenda was the second of three readings of an ordinance establishing the Graceland Tourism Development Zone tourism surcharge – 5 percent added onto anything bought on the 120-acre Graceland campus. The surcharge is to pay the debt from the coming redevelopment of Graceland, including the $90 million, 450-room 'The Guest House at Graceland' resort hotel north of the mansion.

(Source: ElvisMatters)

April 19 - Poplar Marker

Poplar Tunes was one of the record stores in Memphis to sell rock and roll records to customers, and to supply music for jukeboxes. Many young musicians signed autographs here. Also Elvis came here often after school or of his home to listen to music. The picture shows Elvis Presley at the store in 1957. A Historic Marker will be placed this August on 308 Poplar Avenue.

(Source: Elvis Matters)