Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30 - Follow That Sad Film Update

EPE released a 35th Anniversary Commemorative Edition of the 'Official Guidebook' for the 35th anniversary year 2012. 

From the ShopElvis site:
Take a tour of Elvis' beloved Graceland in this brand new 35th Anniversary Commemorative Edition of the Official Guidebook. Stroll through beautiful images of Elvis and his family, Graceland and the exhibits that comprise the Graceland tour experience. This latest edition has an updated commemorative front and back cover as well as a 12-page insert which includes an array of Elvis facts. Hardback edition includes bonus DVD with footage from two Elvis interviews.

12 Year Update

Earlier this month we reported news that one Tupelo resident had an old film which shows local Children leaving a School, which would be Milam Junior High School if the film contains footage of a 12 year old Elvis amongst the kids in the film. EPE did take a trip down to Tupelo in order to view the said footage. Asked for a reaction their comment was: "We cannot confirm if it is actually Elvis."

Follow That Dream

Follow That Dream Records announced that the new releases 'Promised Land', 'The Wonderful World Of Christmas', the book 'A Moment In Time' and the vinyl edition of 'Elvis Is Back', are ready to be shipped to the dealers. Click on the banners on the right to order your copy!

Nathan Tutt Died

Nathan Tutt, son of Donna and Ronnie Tutt has sadly passed away. Our hearts go out to Donna and Ronnie and all of their family. TCB Band just wrote the following on their facebook page:
"It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce this sad, sad news. Yesterday on Nathan's blog it was stated that Nathan was in hospital in Reno, Nevada and unstable YET he was still holding on but his body wasn't. We heard early this morning Nathan's battle ended after the bravest of fights to defeat this disease later that evening. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with Donna, Ronnie, Hilary, Gavin, Gipsy and the entire Tutt/Campbell family at this time. We would like you all to join us in letting them know we are here for them and have our continued support and prayers always.

Soundscan Sales-figures U.S.

These are the latest figures by Soundscan, showing how the seven top selling Elvis albums did last week. As was the case the previous week, three of them will show up in Billboard's Top 200 albums list, tomorrow, most significantly "Elvis Christmas" at #106, "It's Christmas time", at number #115 and "An afternoon at the garden" at #175. "An Evening Prayer" and "Elvis Rock" drop out of the Top 200. 2,659 were required in sales to make the chart.

Sales this week:
- Elvis Christmas: 12037 (in total 543,112)
- It's Christmas Time: 11491 (in total 1,319.0 92) 
- An Afternoon In The Garden: 7492 (in total 377,945)
- Christmas Duets: 5367 (in total 465.369)
- Best Of Love: 3647 (in total 193184) 
- Elvis Country: 2863. (in total 64.432) 
- Blue Christmas: 2781 (in total 729,250)

Totals for these 7 albums alone exceed 45,000 copies, or an increase of 13,000 over last week and this in spite of the fact that this was achieved with data available from only 7 of his albums (2 less than last week), as "Elvis Rock" and "Elvis Gospel" and "An evening prayer" yielded results below those made available by the Top 200 catalog chart. They may have sold 1,000 each. In fact, even if we only add the sales of these 7 albums, Elvis tally for the last month is in excess of 123,000 units, or what could be the equivalent of about 4,000 copies per day.

New SoundScan totals:
The sales for the 'An Afternoon In The Garden' registered it's highest weekly tally since the album entered the Catalog chart this year. The 'Christmas Duets album is close to a Gold Certification. 
- It's Christmas Time - 1 319 092 
- Elvis' Christmas - 543 112 
- An Afternoon In The Garden - 377 945 
- Best Of Love - 193 184 
- Elvis Country - 64 432
- Christmas Duets - 465 369
- Blue Christmas - 729 250

(Source: Elvis Express / UEPS / TCB Band / EPE / Mael / FECC)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29 - Flaming UK Chart Campaign

The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain started a campaign to try and get Elvis into at least the Top 10 UK Charts for Christmas.

The plan:
The song selected to head up the campaign is the classic  'Blue Christmas' and what they are asking fromis from the 1st of December to buy a digital download of this song from one of the UK Chart eligible on-line stores like iTunes, HMV, Amazon or Play. Lets  try to get Elvis into the Top 10 of the UK Charts for the Christmas season. 
The estimation is that around 30,000 downloads are needed to get Elvis into the UK Top 10. The UK Fan Club will announce a specific period during which fans can all download at the same time - usually a week's time frame.

Flaming Star #68

The Norwegian Flaming Star fanclub shipped volume 68 of their self-titled glossy fan club magazine tot their subscribers. 

Three New Graceland Exhibitions

Graceland is excited to announce three new exhibits that will be opening in 2012 to commemorate the 35th anniversary year. These three new exhibits will explore various sides of the king.

Elvis on Tour Exhibit
Take an in-depth look at "Elvis on Tour," the 1972 Golden Globe award-winning documentary about Elvis’ multi-city tour during April of that year. This limited-time exhibit features artifacts such as the producer’s Golden Globe award, jewelry and stage clothing worn by the king during the concerts, rarely-seen photos, video and more. This exhibit is located at Graceland Crossing. Opens January 5 at Graceland Crossing

Elvis...Through His Daughter's Eyes. This special exhibit highlights the relationship between Elvis and his only child, Lisa Marie. Through numerous items, including family photos and home movies, guests will be able to explore Lisa Marie's experience of growing up at Graceland and the relationship she had with her famous father. Artifacts in this exhibit include Lisa Marie's baby foot prints, clothing, childhood tricycle, record player, crib, gold ID Bracelet given to her by her father, and much more. Opens February 1 as part of the Graceland VIP Tour

Icon: The Influence of Elvis Presley Exhibit. Celebrate Elvis’ status as a music pioneer and icon who paved the way and influenced many of today’s artists and celebrities through this exciting 2012 exhibit. The exhibit will feature many artifacts on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, in addition to items from the collections of many of today’s biggest names in music. Some of the featured items include: Bono’s “MacPhisto” suit from U2’s Zooropa performances; Sammy Hagar’s Yamaha Red Rocker custom guitar and outfit from his 2004 Van Halen tour; one of Bill Clinton’s saxophones;  and clothing from James Brown, Elton John, Wanda Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Ringo Star, among others. Opens March 1 at Sincerely Elvis.

(Source: Elvis Express / Flaming Star / EPE)

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28 - Graphic Elvis #35

The Belgian / Dutch ElvisMatters fan club shipped volume 35 of their 'Elvis' magazine to their members all over the world!. This edition features exclusive interviews with Linda Thompson, Donna Jean-Thatcher, Norbert Putnam, Diane McBain and others, exclusive pictures and news. The Gold-members get a free 6 track CD, with an unreleased X-mas wish by Elvis.

Graphic Elvis Limited Collector's Hardcover Edition

On Amazon a Limited Collector's Hardcover Edition of 2500 copies of the previously announced 'Graphic Elvis' book by authors Stan Lee, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Pope, Greg Horn, Paul Gulacy and Mukesh Singh appeared. Liquid Comics will publish this 140 pages book on December 15, 2011. 

Book description:
As seen in USA Today and limited to 2,500 copies worldwide! Inside the mind of history's greatest rockstar from today's greatest graphic artists commemorating the 2012 35th anniversary of his death, "Graphic Elvis" is an illustrated homage to Elvis'' lifelong appreciation of comic books. In the same way comic books inspired Elvis, this book will enable today''s premiere comic book artists to find inspiration from Elvis'' treasured archives at Graceland, creating a unique visual experience for his millions of fans. Beyond original illustrations and stories, the book also features Elvis'' hand-written notes and reflections on life. A new way to experience the greatest rockstar the world has ever known. The perfect gift.

(Source: ElvisMatters / Elvis Information Network / Amzon)

Return The Favour

The Mystery Train blog was so kind to mention this Elvis Day By Day blog, besides several other insightful blogs, in an article entitled 'Around The Elvis Web In 80 Seconds'. Troy Y wrote:
"A daily blog on everything Elvis Presley. Finally, I want to mention Elvis Day By Day, a news blog that has been tracking events in the Elvis world since January 2010. As someone who struggles to get a half dozen decent blog posts up a month, I can tell you that trying to compile a daily news blog is much tougher than it looks. It’s not a challenge I would want to take on, I’ll say that. Elvis Day By Day does a fantastic job of compiling news from various sources, doing a service to Elvis fans by giving us a quick, at a glance view of what is going on each day. Highly recommended".

Return The Favour: 
Troy is an experienced fan and author who took the plunge as a blogger in March 2010 after writing for other web-outlets like The Film Frontier, Elvis Australia and the Elvis Today blog. The articles on his blog clearly show a fan's personal enthusiasm and knowledge about the man and his music. This makes good reading. 
The recent review he did with the Elvis Today Blog on the FTD release 'Forty Eight Hours To Memphis" in a simultaneous post entitled 'From Sweden To Richmond/From Richmond To Sweden: A Little More Conversation' show both the fan and the original approach to writing about Elvis. Or as the blogger puts it; 'Elvis is still there providing the soundtrack to my life – and I still have a lot to say about him. That’s why I’m here. Hold on tight, and enjoy your ride'.

You can visit both the Mystery Train and Elvis Today blogs by clicking on the names or through my favorite blog list in the right menu of this site which shows the latest postings from these blogs.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27 - Sunday Bay Blues

The Audionics import label announced the release of the CD 'San Francisco Bay Blues' containing Elvis Presley's San Francisco November 28th, 1976 show, as taken from the mixing desk. The CD has an approximate running time of 72:30. 

From the press-release:
14 years after the first release of this show, Audionics delivers a slightly more complete version of Elvis Presley's San Francisco November 28th, 1976 show, as taken from the mixing desk. Elvis first played San Francisco on October 26th, 1957, two shows on one day, near the very end of his final fifties tour. He would not return to the legendary "City by the Bay" until almost exactly 13 years later, on November 13th, 1970, at the legendary Cow Palace.
Presley made his final two appearances in the same building on November 28 and 29, 1976. Unlike most tour shows earlier in the year, Elvis was in fine form, and the shows were well received by the San Francisco crowd. 
For the San Francisco Bay Blues reissue, Audionics worked directly with a first generation, DAT copy of the original soundboard tape and made some improvements to the audio. It was a painstaking process of repairing and enhancing the original binaural recording, and then the sound was mixed down to genuine stereo.
Originally, the left channel consisted of all vocals and nearly all the instruments, while the right channel featured only piano (Tony Brown) and rhythm guitar (John Wilkinson). To give the listener an idea of how this sounded, four digitally-restored, binaural bonus tracks are included. Unfortunately, the original tape ends during "Hound Dog" (previously unreleased), missing the show's closing tracks "Hawaiian Wedding Song", "Blue Christmas", "That's All Right" and "Can't Help Falling In Love".
San Francisco Bay Blues is presented in a neat-looking digipack filled with photographs taken during the November 28th Cow Palace concert. 
Here's your chance to listen to San Francisco Bay Blues - for the first time as complete as originally recorded. 

01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. C.C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me - 05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. Jailhouse Rock - 08. It's Now Or Never - 09. All Shook Up - 10. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - 11. And I Love You So - 12. Fever - 13. America The Beautiful - 14. Polk Salad Annie - 15. Introductions by Elvis of vocalists, band - 16. Early Morning Rain (John Wilkinson) - 17. What I'd Say? (James Burton) - 18. Johnny B. Goode (James Burton) - 19. Drum solo (Ronnie Tutt) - 20. Bass solo (Jerry Scheff) - 21. Piano solo (Tony Brown) - 22. Electric piano solo (David Briggs) - 23. Love Letters - 24. School Day (Joe Guercio Orchestra) - 25. Hurt - 26. Hound Dog (incomplete). 
Bonus (binaural): 
27. America The Beautiful - 28. Polk Salad Annie - 29. Early Morning Rain (John Wilkinson) - 30. Hurt. 

(Source: FECC)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26 - Sales

Last week, Elvis Presley sold more catalog albums (32,609) than any other artist in the US (based on the Top200 Catalog album chart). Elvis also had the most titles listed on this chart, nine.

#1 Elvis Presley 32,609
#2 Susan Boyle 21,219
#3 Adele 18,512
- Pink Floyd 13,457
- Michael Jackson 11,209
- Frank Sinatra 8,455
- Johnny Cash 8,262
- Beatles 4,609

(Source: FECC)

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25 - Sold Out Charts

Sold Out!

The Follow That Dream book / 2CD release 'Fashion For A King' featuring an extensive overview of The King's stage out-fits, was 'sold out'. 
There is no information if this book will be reprinted. 


The Billboard charts for the week Chart for the week ending December 3, 2011. 
  • The 'An Afternoon In The Garden' CD drops from #140 to #156 on the Billboard Top 200 Album 
  • 'It's Christmas Time' rises from #82 to #78 on the Top 200 Album Chart and rises from #11 to #10 on the Catalog Album Chart. It drops from #16 to #18 on the Holiday Album Chart. 
  • 'Elvis Christmas' rises from #109 to #96 on the Top 200 Album Chart and rises from #17 to #16 on the Catalog Album Chart. It drops from #19 to #24 on the Holiday Album Chart.
The Dutch Chart
The Spankox remix of Elvis' 'A Pocket Full Of Rainbows' dropped from #34 to #58 on the Dutch Mega Top 100 Singles Chart.
The "Chirstmas Duets" album on which Dutch artist duet with several international artists, including a duet between Elvis Presley And Guus Meeuwis, was a new entry at #28 on the Combined Album Top 100 Chart (artist albums combined with compilations).

(Source: Elvis information Network / Dutchcharts)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24 - Viva Elvis Not Re: Loaded

While still riding the Dutch charts with 'A Pocket Full Of Rainbows' the next single from the firtcomming remix album 'Re: loaded' was released. Spankox 'reloaded' the classic 'Blue Suede Shoes'. Shortly after Spankox also released his version of 'Didja Ever'.

No More Viva Elvis
MGM Resorts has asked Cirque du Soleil to replace its show “Viva Elvis” at the Aria by the end of 2012, citing poor ticket sales. The move is the first time that the Canadian company, which has come to dominate the big-production showrooms on the Strip, has been asked to shut a show since arriving here in 1993 with its first permanent show, “Mystere” at Treasure Island.
“As attendance levels have not been meeting expectations, we have asked our partners at Cirque du Soleil to replace the show,” a company statement said. “We will work closely with Cirque as we explore future entertainment options.”
An internal Cirque du Soleil memo was sent to the cast of “Viva Elvis” on Wednesday afternoon announcing MGM’s intentions. “Viva Elvis” has played 900 performances at the Aria resort at CityCenter, to nearly 1 million people.

In a letter to the cast and crew, Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre said: “All of us are saddened we may have to bring ‘Viva Elvis’ to the end of its journey. The artistic merit of the production is exceptional ... We were given the notice by our partners there. We respect the decision as ticket sales have not met expectations ... I am proud of our work on this show and understand that this is simply a business decision.”
Lamarre said in an interview, “We will now take the appropriate time to focus on redeploying as many of the show’s employees as possible, when the time comes, and evaluating next steps for exploring the many possibilities for creative content.”
MGM Resorts spokesman Alan Feldman said the show simply had not met business expectations. “I think it’s a terrific show, but it’s not selling the tickets we want it to sell. There’s a point in time where we’re in a position to ask them to put in a different show.
“Cirque has a very long planning cycle with its cast, and we don’t want people to not know what’s going on in their lives,” Feldman said.

“Viva Elvis” is the newest of the seven Cirque du Soleil shows along the Strip — its 1,840-seat, acoustically refined showroom costing an estimated $100 million.
The show was previously scheduled to go dark for a 90-day retooling in January and reopen in early spring. A top Cirque official told the Sun Wednesday evening: “The extended dark period for a full revamp of the show will now not take place. It will just be the regular dark period from Feb. 4-11, but we will make previously planned artistic adjustments ... We will also be integrating the Banquine act from our ‘Zed’ show for sure.”
“Zed” is a Cirque production that opened in Tokyo on Oct. 1, 2008, and will close this New Year’s Eve as a result of the economic effects of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake this year. The Banquine number “highlights the extraordinary agility of the human body as the troupe mystifies the audience by performing acrobatics and human pyramids in a series of dramatic movements and perfectly synchronized crossings that depend on the artists’ absolute trust.”

“If the Presley show was suddenly to achieve a 100 percent sold-out rate in the next months, it could live on longer,” the Cirque executive said. “However, that is unlikely.”
Wednesday’s news comes just 10 days before the French Canadian entertainment giant Cirque opens the highly anticipated “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” for a four-week run at Mandalay Bay. A permanent Michael Jackson resident show is scheduled to open in 2013 at Mandalay Bay.

King Creole + Blue Hawaii

The Disconform (Musikvertrieb) budget label announced the release of 'King Creole + Blue Hawaii" on one single disc on January 13, 2012.

L'intégrale de 1960

The RDM Edition budget label released the double disc compilation 'Elvis Presley : L'intégrale de 1960'. 

(Source: FECC / ElvisMatters)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23 - No German Legacy

Sony released the 'Legacy Edition' of Elvis' debut album 'Elvis Presley' in Japan.

Young Man of the Nation

JAT Productions released the special limited edition DVD 'Elvis: Young Man of the Nation' containing a complete unedited documentary of this event.

Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956

The UK based Memphis Recording Service, in association with  JAT Productions, released 'The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956' Deluxe Book / CD package. It contains the recent discovery of Elvis' last performance on the Louisiana Hayride from December 1956. All of the 29 tracks therein are re-mastered using the most sophisticated technology. 

And here's the next Elvis Auction...

There seems to be no end to the 2011 Fall auctions. Experts predicted months ago that this would happen. Not only is the Elvis "35 years after" year 2012 coming up, many collectors are forced (no thanks to the economy) to sell their most precious items. Next in line is Heritage Auctions on December 11th. Besides some rare records and movie memorabelia one of the highlights of the auction catalogue is this 1956 shirt that Elvis bought at Lansky's and wore for this well known photoshoot.
Elvis Presley Heirs Lose Lawsuit In Germany
The legal heirs of Elvis Presley lost a lawsuit Wednesday in Germany claiming a fortune from Sony Music Entertainment Germany for what they called the exploitation of the king of rock and roll's greatest hits. Munich judges mockingly quoted one of Presley's lyrics, 'Money, honey, if you want to get along with me,' as they threw out a claim by Elvis Presley Enterprises for a share of the record company's profits over the past 40 years. 
Presley signed away to RCA Records in 1973 the rights to 1,000 hits, including Heartbreak Hotel and Jailhouse Rock, for a lump sum of 5.4 million dollars. Sony later acquired the rights. The singer's estate argued the package was now worth 130 million dollars thanks to German copyright extensions. They partly based their claim on a 2002 provision in German rights law that ordains a top-up of royalties for unexpected best-sellers. 
But judges disagreed. Christian Czychowski, the lawyer for Elvis Presley Enterprises, in which the icon's daughter Lisa-Marie Presley holds a 15-per-cent stake, said his client would appeal.

(Source: Elvis World Japan / Elvis Australia / ElvisMatters / Associated Press)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22 - Elvis The Identical

The Topmaster/Power Station budget label re-issued their 2007 'The Christmas Album' compilation with a new cover in germany. This edition comes with five bonus tracks by other artits. 

Finnish Christmas

From the Finnish Pulu label came the Christmas compilation 'Joulumielta' containing 24 Christmas and Gospel redcordings.

The Identical

Earlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that 'The Identical' was one of four films in various stages of development about the Mississippi-born singer. Here's more news on thie project: Howie Klausner, screenwriter for 'Space Cowboys,' wrote the script for 'Identical.' The new film, 'The Identical,' is set to examine this gospel-influenced side of one of the best-known performers who has ever stepped onto a stage or made a recording. The $3 million independent project from Nashville's City of Peace Films will star Ryan Pelton, who is a real-life Elvis impersonator and does an entire show based on the iconic entertainer's gospel influences.
As everybody knows, Elvis loved gospel music and often called band members and backup singers to his suite after a performance to sing the music he learned as a child. Those impromptu sessions often lasted into the wee hours of the morning as the King led guests through rousing renditions of everything from 'Amazing Grace' to the latest gospel tune he had heard and loved.

(Source: Elvis Presley Gesellschaft / ElvisMatters)

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21 - Press-release For A Living King?

A new 2012 DVD-release was announced by Studio Highway 61; 'Elvis Found Alive'. The disc, running two hours, should be available January 24, 2012. 

Elvis has been found, alive! After visiting Graceland, Director Joel Gilbert made a Freedom of Information Act request for US government files on Elvis Presley. Incredibly, documents arrived from the FBI revealing an address for Federal Agent ""Jon Burrows,"" Elvis' 1970's alias, in Simi Valley, California. After a brief confrontation, Elvis agreed to chronicle the secret history of his life and "death" in an exclusive interview. More information

Press-release Elvis Country: Legacy Edition

Sony released the official press-release for the legacy Edition of 'Elvis Country' which is coupled with the 'Love Letters From Elvis' album. 

Elvis Presley Returns to Nashville On Elvis Country: Legacy Edition November 21, 2011

The Elvis Presley series of Legacy Edition multi-disc packages continues its focus on important phases of the king’s recording career at RCA Records.  Forty years after its release in 1971, Elvis Country, an LP that found him getting back in touch with the Nashville country music mainstream, is the lynchpin for ELVIS COUNTRY: LEGACY EDITION, the newest entry in the series.  The deluxe two-CD package will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting January 3rd through RCA/Legacy, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

Elvis Country: Legacy Edition is the first Elvis release of 2012, a year which marks the 35th anniversary of the artist’s passing and a year-long celebration of his life and legacy.  A full schedule of catalog reissues and compilations are planned by longtime Elvis archivists/co-producers Ernst Mikael Jørgensen and Roger Semon.   

Included in the new package on CD one is the original 12-song Elvis Country (subtitled “I’m 10,000 Years Old”), which debuted January 23, 1971, on the Billboard 200 album chart.  The album peaked at #12, spent 21 weeks on the chart, and was certified RIAA gold.  Three bonus tracks are drawn from the original recording sessions of June and September 1970 (more info below).  On CD two, from the June sessions, comes the original 11-song Love Letters From Elvis (chart debut June 26, 1971, peak position # 33, 15 weeks on the chart), also with three bonus tracks from the original sessions.

In his liner notes to Elvis Country: Legacy Edition, writer Stuart Colman calls the original Elvis Country “a pivotal release, in that it served to maintain the momentum generated by the ‘’68 Comeback Special,’ the breakthrough in Las Vegas and Elvis Presley's long overdue return to touring.”  Colman, a veteran British rock musician since the ’60s, is also a prolific album notes writer and compilation producer, with a special interest in roots rock, rockabilly, and early R&B.

Upon Elvis Country’s original release, future Presley historian and biographer Peter Guralnick wrote in Rolling Stone, “[he] has come out with a record which gives us some of the very finest and most affecting music since he first recorded for Sun almost 17 years ago.”  The idea of inserting excerpts of “I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago Years” (a track that did not appear on the original album but does appear on this Legacy Edition as a bonus track) in between the album tracks gave the LP a conceptual feel that had never been encountered before.  And the songs, from the high-energy rock of “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (which gives Jerry Lee Lewis a run for the money), to the big ballads that were becoming an Elvis trade¬mark (Eddy Arnold’s “I Really Don’t Want To Know” and Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” among them) were some of Elvis’ greatest performances ever.

The songs chosen for Love Letters From Elvis from the June 1970 sessions included an inspired coupling of Muddy Waters’ rollicking “Got My Mojo Working” with “Keep Your Hands Off Of It” (“a peculiar combination of hypertension and soul,” as popularly characterized by Guralnick).  It was offset by the ballads that were chosen as singles, “Rags To Riches” (the Tony Bennett hit of 1953), the inspirational “Only Believe,” and “Life.”  The latter was one of three cuts from up-and-coming songwriter Shirl Milete covered at the June sessions, along with “When I’m Over You” and “It’s Your Baby, You Rock It.”

Elvis Country was a breath of fresh air for most of his millions of fans, and signaled a renaissance of his creative energies.  Prior to Elvis Country, his last album of original studio material (non-movie soundtrack material) was in 1969, when he recorded in Memphis at American Studios with producer Chips Moman.  The result of those January and February hometown sessions was the landmark LP From Elvis In Memphis, and a year-long string of ‘comeback’ hit singles that reestablished Elvis: “In the Ghetto,” “Suspicious Minds,” “Don’t Cry Daddy” and “Kentucky Rain.”  

Three factors contributed to the totally reinvigorated image of Elvis Presley in the new decade of the 1970s:  1) the impact of the “’68 Comeback Special” (i.e. the NBC broad¬cast of December 1968 that featured Elvis dressed in black leather); 2) the string of Memphis-recorded hits that began in the spring  of 1969 (chronicled on From Elvis In Memphis: Legacy Edition, issued in 2009); and 3) Elvis’ return to public performing which began in Las Vegas that summer and continued into January-February 1970 (as chronicled on On Stage: Legacy Edition, issued in 2010)

Those three factors over¬lapped the release of Change Of Habit in November 1969, the final (31st) Hollywood movie in Elvis’ lifetime.  In fact, prior to the Elvis Country studio sessions of June and September 1970, and the International Hotel recordings in Las Vegas before that, the last time Elvis had set foot in any recording studio was in March 1969 to cut a handful of tracks at Decca Universal for Change Of Habit.  After 1969, Elvis would no longer be saddled with movies he did not believe in, and movie soundtrack songs he believed in even less.

Into 1970, Elvis was performing two shows a night at the International Hotel during January-February, and then checked into the Houston Astrodome for a weekend (six shows) that netted a record-breaking gross with over 250,000 people in attendance.  After a well-deserved break, he finally arrived in RCA’s Studio B in Nashville the first week of June 1970. 

The last time he had recorded there was in January 1968 when he cut some tracks for that year’s movie, Stay Away, Joe.  It marked his final studio sessions with his own long-time bandmates (guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana) and the original Nashville ‘A-team’ that had served him so well: guitarists Chip Young and Jerry Reed, pianist Floyd Cramer, bassist Bob Moore, drummer Buddy Harman, Pete Drake on steel guitar, Charlie McCoy on harmonica, and of course the Jordanaires.

By the time he returned two and a half years later, for the five nights of sessions (Thursday, June 4th through Monday, June 8th) that are discussed here, producer Felton Jarvis had assembled a whole new ‘A-team’ (with Young and McCoy the only hold-overs).  The new band had the feel of the Memphis hitmakers of 1969, mainly because their core members were part of the original Muscle Shoals sound which put that town on the map: bassist Norbert Putnam, pianist David Briggs, and drummer Jerry Carrigan.  Add in masterful guitarist James Burton – who had become indispensable to Elvis after the two recent Las Vegas residencies – and the scene was set.

There were inevitable contrasts to the tightly structured Memphis sessions, but it ended there.  In Nashville, once the song-pluggers put in their suggestions, the rest was up to Elvis, who never ceased to surprise all who were present   He laid down first and second takes with ease, and then turned around and initiated impromptu studio jams that kept the musicians firing on all cylinders.  

It all came to a head on the fourth night.  After a couple of warm-ups (including Eddy Arnold’s “I Really Don’t Want To Know”), they thought back to the country tunes they’d already recorded, and the idea of a country album began to take shape.  In short order, Elvis laid down Bob Wills’ western-swing standard “Faded Love” and Ernest Tubb’s “Tomorrow Never Comes.”  After cutting Hank Cochran’s barroom weeper “Make The World Go Away” (via Eddy Arnold), Elvis and crew moved on to Willie’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” and then “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water,” familiar to rock and roll fans of Johnny Rivers, but originally a big country hit for Stonewall Jackson.

The whole crew reconvened for one night in September, a productive session that yielded “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and ultimately the opening track on the Elvis Country LP, a cover of “Snowbird.” Anne Murray’s debut hit from that summer ’70 was written by Gene MacLellan, composer of “Put Your Hand In the Hand,” another Canadian hit that Elvis covered.  (The other two tracks from the session showed up later in ’71 as the single, “Where Did They Go, Lord” b/w “Rags To Riches.”)

Barely five months separated the releases of Elvis Country and Love Letters From Elvis in 1970, and the two albums have always been regarded together in the Elvis canon.  In mid-1971, Elvis returned to Studio B for a solid week of recording in May, and three follow-up nights in June, resulting in some 40-plus masters.  Much of them were heard later that year on Elvis Sings the Wonderful World Of Christmas, and the following year on his gospel LP, He Touched Me.  Ironically, Elvis never recorded again in Nashville’s RCA Studio B.

In every way, Elvis Country: Legacy Edition tracks a seismic change in his recording career.  It came at a moment which turned out to be a true turning point for him.  “Elvis seemed inspired, singing with a passion and soulfulness that recalled Memphis,” wrote Jørgensen in his essential research guide, Elvis Presley: A Life In Music (St. Martin’s Press, 1998).  “The band fell in with equal feeling, their confidence and expressiveness growing along with his.  Both singer and band were performing out of genre, improvising their own rhythms and phrasing on the spot, challenging each other.”  To paraphrase Jørgensen, “they had something to be proud of.”

Elvis Country: Legacy Edition (RCA/Legacy 88697 90439 2)

CD One: Elvis Country – Original Album (originally issued January 1971, as RCA 4460)  Selections: 1. Snowbird • 2. Tomorrow Never Comes • 3. Little Cabin On The Hill • 4. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On • 5. Funny How Time Slips Away • 6. I Really Don’t Want To Know • 7. There Goes My Everything • 8. It’s Your Baby, You Rock It • 9. The Fool • 10. Faded Love • 11. I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water • 12. Make The World Go Away • Bonus tracks: 13. I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago • 14. A Hundred Years From Now (studio jam) • 15. Where Did They Go, Lord (single, Hot 100 #33).

CD Two: Love Letters From Elvis - Original Album (originally issued June 1971, as RCA 4530)  Selections: 1. Love Letters • 2. When I’m Over You • 3. If I Were You • 4. Got My Mojo Working/Keep Your Hands Off Of It • 5. Heart Of Rome • 6. Only Believe • 7. This Is Our Dance • 8. Cindy, Cindy • 9. I’ll Never Know • 10. It Ain’t No Big Thing (But It’s Growing) • 11. Life • Bonus tracks: 12. The Sound Of Your Cry • 13. Sylvia • 14. Rags To Riches (single, Hot 100 #33).

Musique Et Photos

Sony Music Catalogue released the double CD 'Musique Et Photos' in France.

Press-release On Stage - Legacy Edition

The backdraft import label published a press-release on the faulty CD-R in their recent ‘On Stage – The Ultimate Edition’'. 

Backdraft would like to inform all Elvis fans that the new ‘On Stage – The Ultimate Edition’ CD Album with the new factory pressed CD’s have now arrived with dealers. All customers who have bought the Special Edition digipack can now get their CD’s from dealers at no charge and keep the factory CD-R’s. All customers who have not yet bought Backdraft’s Special Edition of this CD album can now do so and will ALL get 2 CD’s. 1 factory pressed silvered disc for your collection and 1 factory pressed CD-R for your car at no extra cost. 
We at Backdraft would like to apologise to fans for this error and thank fans who have very patently waited for their extra factory pressed CD. The next Backdraft release will be next year with big surprise. 

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / Sony / FECC / Amazon)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Novmber 19 - Elvis At 12 Movie Preview?

This is a preview of the upcoming 'Elvis In Vegas' book by Paul Lichter. 

From the press-release:
“Paul Lichter's Elvis In Vegas is like no other Paul Lichter book. It has taken 4 years of my life and I am extremely proud of the finished product. The best way to describe it is that Elvis In Vegas is a combination of The Boy Who Dared To Rock, EP In Concert and Peter Guralnick's wonderful first Elvis biography on steroids. 
The text, which is a few hundred pages, is concise and direct to all events that occurred in Elvis' life both on stage and behind the scenes. I interviewed hundreds of people and believe that I have presented an accurate heart warming and loving story. Elvis In Vegas is unique because it is also a photo book that contains almost 300 photographs. Although the theme and main story is of Elvis' time in Las Vegas the book also features wonderful stories about the '68 TV Special, Aloha and does not end with Elvis' December 1976 final Vegas appearance but instead concludes on August 16, 1977.

Elvis At 12 On Film?

Rumour has it that a never before seen film became available which is claimed to feature a 12 year old Elvis as he leaves Lawhon School in Tupelo. The film is said to be of Children leaving the School and the young Elvis is said to be seen for only a fleeting moment. If this the real thing, it will be an amazing piece of early Elvis history. EPE confirmed that they had met with an individual who showed them the film, but at this time they had not been able to examine the footage in any great detail. To be continued.

Elvis In Denmark

Elvis in Concert, will be heading for Denmark as Elvis hits the concert screen with his live band at the 'Forum', in Copenhagen on Saturday March 24, 2012. Tickets to go on sale November 28th 2011.

Dutch Charts

Spankox's remix of 'A pocket Full Of Rainbows' dropped on the Dutch Single Top 100 from #32 to #34.

(Source: Elvis Information Network / Elvis Express)

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18 - Rarities

An yet unknown import label announced the release of two volumes entitled 'Elvis Rarities'
By the looks it appears to be the same label that announced the release of 'Welcome To My World', 'Come On Everybody', 'Having Fun On Stage With Elvis' and 'I Was The One'. All of the tracks on these two volumes have been available before, both officially and unofficially.

Tracklisting Elvis Rarities 1:

An American Trilogy (Live - 25.02.1972) - Kentucky Rain (Live - 16.02.1970) - Trying To Get To You (Live - 21.06.1977) - Jailhouse Rock (Live - 29.06.1968) - Thanks To The Rolling Sea (Take 10) - Long Tall Sally (Live - 06.05.1956) - Hi-Heel Sneekers - Fool - I'll Take You Home Kathleen - Unchained Melody - Little Sister / Get Back (Live - 13.08.1970) - They Remind Me Too Much Of You (Take 1)
Bonus Songs:
I'll Be There (Take 6) - It Keeps Right On A Hurtin' (Undubbed Master) - After Loving You (Unedited Master) - Inherit The Wind (Strings And First Breakup Overdub, Alternate Vocal) - In The Ghetto (Backup Overdub / Unrepaired Master) - I'm Movin On (Brass And Backup Overdub) - You'll Think Of Me (Take 14 - Without Fade Out) - Mama Liked The Roses (Vocal Overdub Alternate Version) - Any Day Now (Take 2) - A Dog's Life (Take 4 - 6) - Datin' (Take 6 - 8,  11 - 12)

Tracklisting Elvis Rarities 2:
Are You Lonesome Tonight (Live - 26.08.1969) - In The Ghetto (Live - 24.08.1969) - Heartbreak Hotel (Live - 06.05.1956) - Such A Night (Live - 25.03.1961) - Blue Suede Shoes (Live 06.0.1956) - Money Honey (Live 06.0.1956) - I Will Be True - I'm Leavin - Beyond The Reef - It's Only Love
Bonus Songs:
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (Live - 07.08.1970) - Can't Help Falling In Love (Take 24) - Seeing Is Believing (Unedited Master) - Are You Sincere (Take 2) - Help Me (Overdubbed Master With False Start) - Promised Land (Take 6 - Vocal Harmony By Elvis - Unedited Version) - Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues (Take 8, Without Fade Out) - Early Morning Rain (14.01.1973) - My Boy (Unedited Overdubbed Master) - Blowin' In The Wind (Homerecording 1966) - Yesterday (Live - 24.08.1969) - My Way (Live 25.04.1977)

Real Rarities

This month's Record Collector magazine features an article on the world's rarest album sleeves. The well-known "Parlophone execs" Sgt Pepper album is the world's most sought-after.
Elvis Presley's 1957 New Zealand Christmas album RCA Victor LOC 1055 is also listed as one of the rarest albums around. The alternate NZ album cover is a classic, but buyers beware as several bootleg versions were also printed and are often seen for sale at inflated prices.

Graceland Kicks-Off The Holiday Season

If you can't visit Memphis during the holiday season, you can still enjoy Graceland holiday lights by visiting the Graceland LiveCam each evening.
Elvis Presley's Graceland kicked-off the holiday season tonight with the annual Graceland Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Special guest Lauren Alaina, "American Idol" Season 10 finalist, joined by children of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, flipped the switch to light the holiday decorations at Graceland Mansion and grounds. 

(Source: Elvis Australia / EPE / Elvis Information Network / Record Collector)