Thursday, February 28, 2019

February 28 - Record Store Day At The International Hotel

Due for release from CMG / Sony Legacy for Record Store Day 2019 is the double LP "Elvis Presley - Live At The International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV August 23, 1969" featuring a previously unreleased Dinner Show set, the first of many engagements at The International Hotel. 

Following his triumphant comeback special for NBC at the end of 1968, Elvis Presley made a highly-publicized return to live performance in 1969, booking an exclusive engagement at The International Hotel in Las Vegas. Elvis treated audiences to a raucous rock set inspired by the recent sessions to his just-released studio album "From Elvis In Memphis", backed by vocal groups The Imperials and The Sweet Inspirations as well as an early version of his famed TCB Band. Live In Las Vegas 1969 showcases this incredible, important phase in Elvis' career with a previously unreleased Dinner Show set from the first of many engagements at The International Hotel.

Side A: 1. Blue Suede Shoes 2. I Got A Woman 3. All Shook Up 4. Love Me Tender 5. Jailhouse Rock 6. Heartbreak Hotel 7. Hound Dog
Side B: 1. Memories 2. Mystery Train/Tiger Man 3. Monologue
Side C: 1. Baby What You Want Me To Do 2. Runaway 3. Are You Lonesome Tonight 4. Yesterday/Hey Jude 5. Introductions
Side D: 1. In The Ghetto 2. Suspicious Minds 3. What’d I Say 4. Can’t Help Falling In Love

(Source: FECC / Record Store Day UK)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February 27 - Jukebox Magazine

The March 2019 edition of the French Jukebox magazine is out and contains a reprint of the "Elvis Mensuel", magazine originally published July 1966, containing "Dix ans de r├Ęgne en Angleterre - pictures from "Frankie and Johnny", "Loving You - Les Night  Rockers de Bruxelles" and more.

(Source: UEPS)

Monday, February 25, 2019

February 25 - Made in New Orleans

The UK based Memphis Recording Service released the 4 CD / book set “Made in Germany – Private Recordings” which features the best of the remastered private recordings Elvis Presley made whole stationed in Germany. The set appears almost two weeks prior to the originally announced release-date.  

King of Vinyl

The Vinyl Lovers label released the “King Creole” soundtrack on vinyl. This re-issue comes with three bonus tracks from the "Jailhouse Rock" soundtrack.

Tracks: King Creole / As Long As I Have You / Hard Headed Women / Trouble / Dixieland Rock / Jailhouse Rock (Movie Version) / Treat Me Nice (Movie Version) / Don't Ask Me Why / Lover Doll / Crawfish / Young Dreams / Steadfast, Loyal And True / New Orleans / I Want To Be Free (Movie Version) /  Young And Beautiful.

Elvis Presley's fourth movie, King Creole, is by most critics' assessments his best. It was the last movie that Elvis made before he entered the army in the spring of 1958 – it was also his last film in black-and-white, as well as his final effort directed by a serious old-time filmmaker (Michael Curtiz, who also directed Casablanca). 

A good script, a strong supporting cast and an outstanding soundtrack contributed to provide Elvis with his best opportunity at serious film acting, and the King rose to the occasion. The legendary songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller contributed three songs to King Creole, among them the title track and "Trouble," a number Presley would reprise with tremendous success during his 1969 comeback television special. "Hard Headed Woman" is the soundtrack's biggest hit (it stayed atop the Billboard pop chart for two weeks), but the songs are uniformly strong throughout, and Presley sings with the mastery and dynamism characteristic of nearly all of his 1950s recordings. 

King Creole takes its name from a New Orleans night club where success as a singer comes to Danny Fisher, a rebellious young man on the verge of becoming a hood. Incidents and characters of the original novel are distorted, but the plot stands up well and the dialogue is salty and emotion-packed. Variety’s 1958 review stated that the film “shows the young star as a better-than-fair actor.” What all of Presley’s singing does accomplish, though, is to periodically break up what is a slow moving plot. Take out Elvis’s music from King Creole, and what you have left is a serious dramatic story that moves steadily forward, but with very little action until the film’s final 20 minutes. 

The bottom line, though, is that 50 years later, King Creole is still considered by most critics and Elvis fans alike as his best film. Why did it work so well for a young man who was still essentially an actor-in-training? It was more than Elvis’s acting job, good as it was. A number of factors came together to make King Creole an effective vehicle for Presley. In United States, the soundtrack album entered Billboard’s album chart on September 6, 1958, and reached #2. The United Kingdom’s first album chart appeared in November of 1958 and features Elvis’ Golden Records and King Creole at #3 and #4 respectively.

2019 Movieguide Award Winners

The HBO documentary “Elvis The Searcher” was nominated for a Movieguide Award in the category “Epiphany Prize for Inspiring Movies & TV”. This award is awarded to popular, entertaining movies and television programs that are wholesome, spiritually uplifting, inspirational, redemptive and moral.

The documentary didn’t win, it lost to the production “When Love Calls Heart”. 

(Source: Amazon / UEPS / Movie Guide Award)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

February 24 - Elvis Week 2019

Graceland / EPE shared the logo and details for Elvis week 2019. Elvis Week is a celebration of the music, movies and legacy of Elvis Presley. Join fans from around the world in Memphis as we remember the King of Rock 'n' Roll on August 9-17, 2019.
The Elvis Week schedule features panels and concerts that celebrate Elvis' American Sound Sessions and 1969 Return to Vegas, plus a gospel brunch, Fan Celebration Event and, of course, the Candlelight Vigil.

(Source: Graceland) 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

February 23 - More Record Store Vinyl

As mentioned February 19, the French VPI record label announced the release of the vinyl LP "I Sing All Kinds” and “Elvis in Paris: 60th Anniversary” with March 13, 2019 (Record Store Day) as the release-date. 

The “Elvis in Paris - 60th Anniversary” album celebrates Elvis Presley’s visit to the city of light in 1959. This title comes on colored red white and blue vinyl, the colors of the French flag, and with a 12 page booklet and is limited to 1000 copies. 

Side A: 1. King Creole (Take 18) / 2. I Need Your Love Tonight (Take 10) / 3. Don't (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller) / 4. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (Take 22 Undubbed) / 5. My Wish Came True / 6. I Got Stung (Take 10) / 7. One Night / 8. A Big Hunk O' Love (Take 2)

Side B: 1. I Beg Of You (Take 11 - 13/1/57) / 2. (Now And Then There’s) / A Fool Such As I (Take 3) / 3. Doncha' Think It's Time (Take 40) / 4. White Christmas / 5. Hard Headed Woman / 6. Tonight Is So Right For Love (Take 9) / 7. Almost Always True (Take 5) / 8. Can’t Help Falling In Love (Take 13) / 9. Extract Of Press Conference 1958 / 10. Press Conference 1959.

The “I Sing All Kinds” release comes with remastered content on white 180 Gr. vinyl. 

Side 1: 1. That’s All Right (Take 3) / 2. Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Take 9) / 3. Rip It Up (Take 17) / 4. Old Shep (Take 5) / 5. Let Me (Solo) / 6. I’ll Be Home For Christmas / 7. True Love / 8. New Orleans

Side B: 1. (Now And Then There’s) A Fool Such As I (Take 5) / 2. Like A Baby (Take 2) / 3. The Girl Of My Best Friend (Take 6) / 4. Wooden Heart (Take 1) / 5. I Believe In The Man In The Sky (Take 1) / 6. Surrender (Take 9) / 7. Follow That Dream (Take 4) / 8. Hound Dog (Live, December 15th, 1956).

Live At The International Hotel

Due for release April 12, 2013 - one day before Record Store Day - from the RCA Records label is the double LP "Live At The International Hotel" containing a performance from August 23, 1969. More information when available.

(Source: Amazon / The Elvis Shop London /

Friday, February 22, 2019

February 22 - Charts (Updated 25/02)

The weekly Elvis Presley chart update from around the globe. The “The Best of the ’68 Comeback Special” makes it's global chart debut on the Official UK Physical Album and official Scottish Album charts while the "Love Songs" compilation dropped off three UK charts the week after valentine's day.

US Billboard charts:
  • US Billboard Top Country Album chart: “Heart and Soul” re-entry at #49.
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart: “Heart and Soul” climbed from #7 to #6.
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” climbed from #13 to #12.
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” re-entry at #20.
  • US Billboard Top Christian Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” climbed from #23 to #18.
  • US Billboard Christian Album Sales chart: “Where No One Stands Alone” dropped from #19 to #20.
  • US Billboard Artist chart: Elvis Presley made a re-entry at #97.
The “The Best of the ’68 Comeback Special” album sold 12,182 units in the US. This sends it to the #49 position in the Top 200 Albums in the US for next week. Also, since of those 12,182 units some 7,172 were physical sales, the album enters at #17 in the corresponding Billboard Albums sales chart. 

Official UK Chart Company
  • Official UK Physical Album chart: “Love Songs” dropped off the chart from last week’s #60 spot.
  • Official UK Album Sales chart: “Love Songs” dropped off the chart from last week’s #66 spot.
  • Official UK Independent Album chart: “Love Songs” dropped off the chart from last week’s #13 spot.
  • Official UK Physical Album chart: “The Best of the ’68 Comeback Special” new entry at #56.
  • Official UK Album Sales Chart chart: “The Best of the ’68 Comeback Special” new entry at #61.
  • Official UK Streaming Album chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” climbed from #84 to #78.
  • Official UK Music Video Chart Top 50: “Elvis The Searcher” dropped from #4 to #9. 
  • Official UK Gospel and Christian Album chart: “Where No One Stands Alone” remained steady at #7.
Official Scottish charts:
  • Official Scottish Album chart: “The Best of the ’68 Comeback Special” new entry at #54.
Irish IRMA charts:
  • Irish IRMA Music DVD chart: “Elvis The Searcher” dropped from #2 to #3.
  • Irish IRMA Music DVD chart: “The Elvis Collection” re-entry at #5.
  • Australian ARIA Music DVD charts: '68 Comeback Special (50th Anniversary Edition) re-entry at #2 (probably re-entry as ARIA links it to the original DVD release).
  • Australian ARIA Music DVD charts: "Elvis The King of Rock and Roll" re-entry at #28.
Greek charts:
  • Official IFPI Charts Top-75 Albums Sales Chart: “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits” re-entry at #67.
(Source: UK Mix / Official Chart Company / IRMA / Martin)

February 22 - Loving Rock 'n' Roll

The HooDoo Records label released the CD "Rock 'n' Roll No 2. + Loving You" containing two classic UK Elvis Presley releases and six additional bonus tracks.

The Not Now Music label released the 3 LP set "Elvis In The '60s". This 48 track set comes on red colored vinyl, packed in a gatefold sleeve.

(Source: Amazon) 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

February 21 - Blue Hawaii Splices Takes

The CMT import-label announced the release of another volume in their "Spliced Takes" series; "Blue Hawaii - Spliced Takes". 

From the press-release
New splices and edits give you a feeling you have a complete new album! “Can’t Help Falling in Love" has been made just like the master with the “reprise”, “Slicin’Sand" includes 3 different guitar solos and rocks the sand out of your speakers! “Ito Eats” has a very different ending. We could go on, but “No More" ... 

(Spliced) Tracks: Blue Hawaii - Spliced take 1, 2 , 3, 5, 3 / Almost Always True - Spliced take 2, 3 / Aloha Oe - Spliced Take 6, 1 / No More - Spliced take 4, 8, 15 / Can't Help Falling in Love - Spliced take 24, 24, 26 / Rock A-Hula Baby - Spliced take 1, 2, 3 / Moonlight Swim - Spliced take 1, 4, 4 / Ku U I Po - Spliced take 6, 7 / Ito Eats - Spliced take 1, 2, 5 , 5, 5, 5 / Slicin' Sand - Spliced Take  8, 3, 5, 14 / Hawaiian Sunset 6, 2, 3, 3, 3 / Steppin' Out of Line - Spliced take 11*, 15 *, 8 # / Beach Boy Blues - Spliced take 3, 3, 3 / Island of Love - Spliced take 2, 9, 9, 9 / Hawaiian Wedding Song - Spliced take 1, 2, 2.

(Source: FECC)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

February 20 - Nominated for Most Inspiring TV Program of 2018

The “Elvis Presley - The Searcher” documentary has been nominated for the 27th Annual Movieguide Awards in the category “Epiphany Prize to the Most Inspiring TV Program of 2018” by Hallmark. This award honors ‘family friendly awards”. 

(Source: FECC / Celebrity Page)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February 19 - Fun with Follow That Dream

The Follow That Dream collectors label announced the release of the "Fun in Acapulco" 3 CD set. Together with this set the previously announced book "Through the Lens of Phillip Harrington", a cooperation with Flaming Star Books, wille be released. This book includes more than 350 photos. Over 150 unpublished from the original negatives of Phillip Harrington. A bonus CD features Elvis live at Robinson Memorial Auditorium, Little Rock, Arkansas, May 16, 1956. 

From the press-release:
CD This is the ultimate "Fun In Acapulco" 3-CD set: includes more than an hour of previously unreleased false starts, break downs, and complete takes! All tracks have been recently remixed and mastered from the original 3-track session tapes. The 8 x 8 inch slipcase replicates RCA Victor’s vault-stored session reel box. The 28-page booklet includes rare photographs, memorabilia, session data, Movie Trivia and an updated overview of the movie by Alan Hanson. The 3-CDs are housed in a CD carrier adorned by original tape box documentation.

CD 1 - The Original Album:
Fun In Acapulco - Vino, Dinero Y Amor - Mexico - El Toro - Marguerita - The Bullfighter Was A Lady - (There’s) No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here - Bossa Nova, Baby - You Can’t Say No In Acapulco - Guadalajara
Bonus Songs: Love Me Tonight - Slowly But Surely

Bossa Nova, Baby (Take 1 - 2) - Bossa Nova, Baby (Take 3) - Bossa Nova, Baby (Take 4 - 5) - Bossa Nova, Baby (Take 6) - Bossa Nova, Baby (Take 7 - 8) - Bossa Nova, Baby (Take 9) - Bossa Nova, Baby (Take 10 & 11/M) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Take 1) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Take 2 - 5) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Take 6 - 7) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Take 8 - 9) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Splice Of Take 10 And One Line From Take 7/M - Record Version) - Mexico (Take 1 - 2) - Mexico (Take 3 - 4) - Mexico (Take 5/M)

CD 2 - Outtakes:
Mexico (Take 6) - Mexico (Take 7 / Alternate Master) - Mexico (Instrumental - Take 1 - 2 & 3/M) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 1 - 3) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 4 - 6) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 7) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 8 - 9) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Splice Of Take 9 & 7/M - Record Version) - Marguerita (Take 1) - Marguerita (Take 2 - 6) - Marguerita (Take 7 & 8/M) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (Take 1) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (Take 2 - 3) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (Take 4) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (Take 5/M) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (The Amigos - Cafe Version - Take 1) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (The Amigos - Cafe Version - Take 2) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (The Amigos - Cafe Version - Take 3) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (The Amigos - Cafe Version - Take 4/M) - Vino, Dinero Y Amor (The Amigos - Boat Version - Take 1 - 2 & 3/M) - (There’s) No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car (Take 1/M) - Fun In Acapulco (Take 1/M) - El Toro (Take 1) - El Toro (Take 2) - El Toro (Splice Of Take 2 & 1/M) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Take 11 - 13) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Take 14 - 15) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Take 16 - 18) - I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Take 19)

CD 3 - Outtakes:
I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Splice Of Take 19 & 18/M - Movie Version) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 10) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 11 - 14) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 15 - 16) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 17/M - Movie Version) - Malaguena (Track, Take 1) - Malaguena (Track, Take 2 - 10) - Malaguena (Track,  Splice Of Take 6 & 10/M) - You Can’t Say No In Acapulco (Take 1 - 4) - You Can’t Say No In Acapulco (Take 5/M) - Guadalajara (Track, Take 1 - 2) - Guadalajara (Track, Take 3 - 4) - Guadalajara (Track, Take 5) - Guadalajara (Track, Take 6 - 7) - Guadalajara (Track, Splice Of Take 1, 5 & 7/M) - Guadalajara (V.O. Take 1 - 2) - Guadalajara (V.O. Take 3 - 4) - Guadalajara (V.O. Take 5 - 6) - Guadalajara (V.O. Take 7 - 10) - Guadalajara (V.O. Splice Of Take 6 & 2/M)

Graphic designer Jimmy Carpenter posted on his Facebook page
I am very happy to announce my design work for the upcoming Sony Music/FTD deluxe boxed set of Elvis' "The Fun In Acapulco Sessions." My design and layout work consists of the outer slipcase box, tri-fold disc portfolio, 28-page booklet and the CD disc faces/labels. 

I restored an early "first proof" version of the original album sleeve for the front of the booklet with the album's title in a light magenta (changed at the request of Colonel Parker's office at the time), along with an alternate sleeve design for the "Bossa Nova Baby" single for the back, as well as the two original RCA record store window album and single streamers that are featured inside the booklet. 

My CD faces/labels replicate an original RCA Victor LP label for Disc 1, the Argentinian "Al Rojo Vivo" single label for Disc 2 (used for that country's "Slowly But Surely/Mexico" 45), and the Brazilian label for their original pressing of the album on Disc 3. A highlight of the set will be the inclusion of the instrumental backing track for "Malaguena" (Elvis did not record a vocal).

Deleted titles

The FTD label also announced it deleted the titles: "Flashback (book), "An American Trilogy", "Sold Out", "Stay Away Joe" and "Hits Of The 70's". 

The '68 Comeback Special DVD

Released today is "The '68 Comeback Special" DVD. This re-issue is a newly remastered companion DVD to the NBC Elvis All-Star Tribute" that aired February 17, 2019 celebrating The King of Rock 'N' Roll's unforgettable 1968 television special.

New Elvis Vinyl

The French VPI record label announced the release of the vinyl LP “Elvis in Paris: 60th Anniversary” with March 13, 2019 (Record Store Day) as the release-date. The label also announced the release of the LP "Elvis Presley - I Sing All Kinds”.

(Source: FECC / The Elvis Shop London / Facebook / Elvis Club Berlin)

Monday, February 18, 2019

February 18 - Return To Sender - The Summer Of '76

The Audionics import-label announced the release of "Return To Sender - The Summer Of '76", their first release for 2019. This CD, containing the August 1st, 1976 concert performance, is presented in 3-panel digipack. Due to the lack of quality photographs from the Hampton Roads concert concert shots from the summer of 1976 have been used. 

From the press-release:
Elvis first played Hampton Roads, VA on April 9th, 1972, two shows in a day. It was the beginning of his phenomenal April tour and the Hampton Roads evening show was filmed by MGM for the "Elvis On Tour" documentary. Elvis returned to Hampton Roads Coliseum on March 11th, 1974, and then again in 1976, for two shows on July 31st and August 1st matinee. It was his final appearance there.
1976 was a special year for the United States of America. The Bicentennial Year, the two-hundredth anniversary of this great nation. Most Americans wanted to show their patriotism in some way. Elvis wanted to spread a positive message about his country throughout this special year, and so he decided to add "America The Beautiful" to his set-list.

The August 1st, 1976 concert has often been described as a rather poor Elvis show - not because he was "out of it" or medicated - but because his voice was far from its best. Admittedly, it is true that his voice sounded tired, a bit hoarse and even flat in places, but still, Elvis did a solid job on several songs and his audience definitely enjoyed the show.

Nevertheless, there's no need to deny the fact that Elvis' vocal was far from perfect. It's equally obvious that Elvis was aware, too, because he told to his audience almost apologetically, "We had a late show last night, and I only got two hours of sleep" and "Good afternoon! God that sounds strange 'good afternoon'... I just got up!" Yup, the August 1st concert was a 2:30 PM show, which was unusual as there was no 8:30 PM show that day. Actually, the infamous Houston, August 28th, 1976 show was also a 2:30 PM matinee, and after these shows, management decided not to program any afternoon shows in the future. 
The Hampton Roads show has one saving grace: Elvis decided to respond to the audience request for "Return To Sender", which was an impromptu performance, and a true live rarity. Elvis sings it reasonably well and it was the highlight of the concert. 

This show was originally released by the "Fort Baxter" label in 1995 and then re-released by "Gravel Road Music" label in 2012). "Gravel Road Music" label used the original Fort Baxter CD as a source.

For this ultimate reissue, the Audionics team worked directly from a first generation soundboard tape transfer (RCA tape T0199) and made significant improvements to the audio. Both previous releases suffer from too much of reverb and compression. Audionics was able to work from the unprocessed and complete recording, which gives a more nuanced view of the concert. The original release on Fort Baxter label was heavily compressed, which made Elvis' voice sound worse. We're not saying that this is now a fabulous concert, but the truth has many nuances, and this more natural sounding tape shows that despite some challenges, Elvis did a solid job and entertained the crowd that afternoon. 

Both previous releases were slightly incomplete, a part of Elvis' introduction of The Stamps was edited out, and the Closing Vamp was faded out very early. Our new release is the first to present this recording 100% complete as recorded, and the Closing Vamp is now also complete, including the after show announcements: certainly proof that we went back to the original tape. Most important, the sound is now far more natural too, and with much better dynamics.

As a bonus, Audionics decided to add small collection of songs recorded during 1976 Summer tours. Tracks 29 and 30 were previously released on "The Final Homecoming" 2CD (by Audionics, 2009), track 31 was released on "Houston We Have A Problem" CD (again Audionics, 2013). All bonus tracks were newly restored and mastered from scratch.

Tracks: 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. All Shook Up - 08. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - 09. And I Love You So - 10. Jailhouse Rock - 11. Fever - 12. America The Beautiful - 13. Return To Sender - 14. Introductions by Elvis of singers, musicians - 15. Early Morning Rain (John Wilkinson) - 16. What'd I Say (James Burton) - 17. Johnny B. Goode (James Burton) - 18. Drum Solo (Ronnie Tutt) - 19. Bass Solo (Battle Of New Orleans theme, Jerry Scheff, with Elvis sing along) - 20. Piano Solo (Tony Brown) - 21. Electric Piano & Clavinet Solo (David Briggs) - 22. Love Letters - 23. School Day (Joe Guercio Orchestra) - 24. Hurt (with reprise) - 25. Hound Dog - 26. Funny How Time Slips Away - 27. Can't Help Falling In Love - 28. Closing Vamp / Announcements.

Bonus tracks: 29. One Night - 30. That's All Right - 31. Polk Salad Annie - 32. Mystery Train / Tiger Man - 33. Fairytale.

Tracks 29 and 30 recorded July 5, 1976,8:30pm, The Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN.
Track 31 recorded August 28, 1976, 2:30pm, The Summit, Houston, TX.
Track 32 recorded August 31, 1976, 8:30pm, Macon Coliseum, Macon, GA.
Track 33 recorded September 6, 1976, 2:30pm, Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, AL.

(Source: FECC)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

February 17 - Elvis Tribute Night

The music industry’s biggest stars, including Yolanda Adams, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Alessia Cara, Mac Davis, John Fogerty, Josh Groban, Adam Lambert, John Legend, Little Big Town, Jennifer Lopez, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Pistol Annies, Darius Rucker, Ed Sheeran, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, took the the stage for NBC’s “Elvis All-Star Tribute”.

The two-hour program, hosted by Blake Shelton, paid tribute to Elvis Presley’s “’68 Comeback Special,” recreating the iconic night with musical performances, a showcase of rare footage and interviews with Priscilla Presley and Steve Binder, the director of the original special, plus a special appearance from Lisa Marie Presley.

The NBC Special "Elvis All-Star Tribute" (0.6 rating in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall from 9-11 p.m. ET), for its second hour from 10-11 p.m., won the time-slot among ABC, CBS and NBC in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and total viewers. The telecast earned one of the top 5 highest ratings for any program in its time slot (Sunday,8–10 pm ET, a 3% share with an audience estimated by Nielsen at 6.3 million viewers). The video of “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood entered the iTunes Music Video chart at #1. 
There's also been an increase of 1.8 million listeners to Elvis on Spotify from the week prior to NBC’s All-Star Tribute. 

Musical performances included:
• “Trouble”/”Guitar Man” – Blake Shelton
• “Hound Dog” – Shawn Mendes
• “Burning Love” – Keith Urban
• “Baby, What You Want Me to Do” – Keith Urban & Post Malone
• “Jailhouse Rock” – John Fogerty
• “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Ed Sheeran
• “Always on My Mind” – Kelsea Ballerini
• “Heartbreak Hotel” – Jennifer Lopez
• “One Night” – Darius Rucker
• “Suspicious Minds” – Blake Shelton
• “Love Me Tender” – Alessia Cara
• “Memories” – Mac Davis
• “A Little Less Conversation” – John Legend
• “Are You Lonesome Tonight” – Little Big Town
• “Blue Suede Shoes” – Adam Lambert
• “Love Me” – Pistol Annies
• Hits Medley (“That’s All Right,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Blue Suede Shoes”) – Mac Davis, Post Malone, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker & Blake Shelton
• Gospel Medley (“How Great Thou Art,” “He Touched Me,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – Carrie Underwood & Yolanda Adams
• “Little Sister” – Dierks Bentley
• “It’s Now or Never” – Josh Groban
• “If I Can Dream” – Elvis Presley, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood.

The Elvis '68 Comeback comeback

John Beifuss reviewed the show for the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Like some sort of Grammy-powered Super Friends, Post Malone, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Shelton, John Legend and more than a dozen more of what NBC touted as the “greatest stars of our time” joined forces Sunday for a prime time television special titled “Elvis All-Star Tribute.”

The two-hour "landmark televised music event" (to again quote NBC) doubled the original broadcast time of its inspiration, the so-called “‘68 Comeback Special,” a ratings blockbuster that helped rejuvenate Elvis Presley's career when it was broadcast on NBC on Dec. 3, 1968. (The special's actual title was "Singer Presents... Elvis," named for the show's chief sponsor, the Singer Corporation, known for its sewing machines.)

“I’m here tonight because 50 years ago a King returned,” announced country star Shelton, host of the program and — not coincidentally — a judge on the hit NBC vocal competition program, “The Voice.”

Shelton said the original special was "often imitated but never surpassed" and "changed the game forever in music and television."

The special may prove to be something of a game changer itself for Post Malone, the platinum-selling rapper/musician whose hit 2018 album “Beerbongs & Bentleys” obviously was not aimed at adult Elvis fans.

Auditioning for the mainstream audience-of-all-ages that now embraces the post-meat dress Lady Gaga, Post Malone — joined by Keith Urban on guitar — wore sparkly silver cowboy boots and a banana-colored Nudie-style suit embroidered with images of feathers, eagle claws and barbed wire to perform a faithful cover of Jimmy Reed’s blues classic, “Baby What You Want Me to Do.” He was affable and apparently happy and proud to have been invited to join the party.

The union of Post Malone and Urban demonstrated that — for Elvis Presley Enterprises, at least — the show's mission, in large part, was to affirm the idea of Elvis' universal appeal. The roster of performers — working alongside musicians recruited by the show's big-beard music director, Don Was, a totemic onstage presence — included rock, pop, R&B, country and gospel "All-Stars."

Shot on a Universal Studios sound stage in October, the "Elvis All-Star Tribute" more or less recreated the format of the original special by presenting performers in what "'68 Comeback Special" director Steve Binder called "a boxing ring without ropes": a small square stage surrounded by fans, creating a fairly intimate setting for the straightforward (some might say conservative) interpretations of the songs. Sometimes, performers were backed by a recreation of the famous sign from the original special that spelled out "ELVIS" in giant red-light-bulb letters

For Shawn Mendes' performance of "Hound Dog," a drummer beat his sticks on a closed guitar case, just as Elvis' drummer, D.J. Fontana, did on the original special. Meanwhile, some singers distinguished themselves from the 1968 special with their wardrobe choices. Adam Lambert wore a blue suit and blue suede shoes during (what else?) "Blue Suede Shoes," while Jennifer Lopez went full J.Lo during "Heartbreak Hotel," which she performed while zipped into a tight spangled cleavage-baring catsuit while a wind machine blew back her hair. 

Fathom Events Wisely, producer Ken Ehrlich and director Leon Knoles (both veterans of Grammy telecasts and programs showcasing such major artists as Elton John and Stevie Wonder)  were not stingy with footage from the original special, using vintage Elvis moments to restart the show after each return from a commercial break.

For the opening number, a medley of "Trouble" and "Guitar Man," Shelton's "cover" was intercut with footage of Elvis' performance from 1968, creating a sort of call-and-response duet. The "If I Can Dream" finale also was edited so that Elvis traded verses with various "All-Stars."

In addition, brief on-camera testimonials from Binder and Priscilla Presley, discussing the power of Elvis and the impact of the 1968 special, were placed strategically throughout the show, like garnish on a dinner plate.

A highlight of the broadcast — which ran from 8-10 p.m., Central Standard Time — was Mac Davis' solo rendition of "Memories," a song he wrote (with the late Billy Strange) for the Elvis special. As host Shelton said, when introducing Davis: “You know what’s cool? Singing great Elvis songs. You know what’s even cooler? Writing great Elvis songs."

Davis, 77, the elder statesman of the "All-Star Tribute" performers (beating John Fogerty by four years), shared a poignant memory of holding the infant Lisa Marie during a visit to Elvis' Bel Air home. He later was joined by John Legend, who sang a Davis composition that has emerged as one of Elvis' biggest posthumous hits, "A Little Less Conversation."

Others on the show included Darius Rucker, Ed Sheeran, Kelsea Ballerini, Alessia Cara, Josh Groban, Pistol Annies (a trio) and Little Big Town (a four-member band). Lisa Marie Presley did not perform, but introduced a gospel medley segment featuring Carrie Underwood and Yolanda Adams; similarly, actress Riley Keough, Lisa Marie's daughter, introduced Dierks Bentley, who contributed the rocker, "Little Sister."

Airing opposite TNT's NBA All-Star Game and ABC's George Lucas all-stars (a broadcast of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), the "Elvis All-Star Tribute" marked the culmination of a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the "Comeback Special," which helped inspire Elvis to return to meaningful music-making after years of increasingly irrelevant movie soundtracks. Books, a box sets, a remastered Blu-ray and other "'68 Comeback Special" products all have been issued during the past year.

The latest such product is the 19-track RCA/Legacy album, "The Best of the '68 Comeback Special," which includes 14 Elvis performances from the 1968 production, plus various singles and the "If I Can Dream" group effort from the new special.

(Source: Elvis The Music / Memphis Commercial Appeal / FECC)

Friday, February 15, 2019

February 15 - If I Can Dream Preview

Sony Legacy released the “The Best Of The '68 Comeback Special” album as a new companion album to the NBC star-studded tribute special celebrating "The King of Rock 'N' Roll's" 1968 television special. 

It contains a selection of tracks from the original album, three classic hits as bonus tracks and a new duet with Carrie Underwood, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton on “If I Can Dream”. 

When you buy the album at Walmart you get a 2 disc set with the original special on DVD as a bonus. 

TV Special Previews

Here is a preview of the upcoming NBC All Star tribute to the network's iconic 1968 special that put Elvis Presley back on the map. 

From Ken Ehrlich, veteran executive producer of the Grammy Awards and a multi-Emmy Award nominee, the two-hour special will feature an all-star group of music superstars who will pay tribute to Elvis, recreating the spectacle - even the staging - of that legendary night. Elvis' December 3, 1968 special was his first live television performance since 1961 and a monumental television event. 

The all-star group of music superstars performing include Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes, Adam Lambert, and Kelsea Ballerini. Also joining them are the established names of Blake Shelton, John Fogerty, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Groban, John Legend, Darius Rucker, Pistol Annies, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, and Mac Davis.

The PR for the tribute show has been picked up by Billboard, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Boston Globe, People, ET, etc..

Listen to “If I Can Dream” performer by Elvis Presley, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood and have a behind-the-scenes look how the special was recorded. 

(Source: NBC / YouTube / Amazon / Vevo / FECC / Elvis on CD)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

February 14 - The White Collection

After the recent announcement of the release of the vinyl compilation "Elvis Presley - The Black Selection" follows the announcement for the follow-up release  "Elvis Presley - The White Selection". More information when available. 

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February 13 - Charts (Updated 17/02)

The weekly Elvis Presley global chart update: 

The US Billboard charts:

  • US Billboard Country Catalog Albums chart: “Heart and Soul” climbed from #12 to #7.
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Albums chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” dropped from #10 to #13.
  • US Billboard Top Christian Albums chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” dropped from #22 to #23.
  • US Billboard Christian Albums Sales chart: “Where No One Stands Alone” climbed from #28 to #19.
UK Charts:
  • Official UK Streaming Album chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” climbed from #86 to #84. 
  • Official UK Christian and Gospel Album chart: "Where No One Stands Alone" remained steady at #7.
  • Official UK Physical Album chart: “Love Songs” climbed from #75 to #60. 
  • Official UK Albums Sales chart: "Love Elvis" climbed from #90 to #66.
  • Official UK Independent Album chart: "Love Songs" remained steady at #13.
  • Official UK Music DVD Chart: "Elvis The Searcher" climbed back from #7 to #4.
Irish Charts:
  • Irish IRMA Music DVD Chart: "Elvis  The Searcher" remains steady at #2.
Australian Charts:
  • Australian ARIA Music DVD chart: "Elvis The King of Rock and Roll" dropped off the chart from last week's #22 spot.
(Source: UK Mix / Martin / FECC / Official Chart Company)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 12 - New CD Box-sets

Two new CD-sets have been announced. “8 Classic Albums” is a 4 CD box-set which is due from the Reel to Reel (H’Art) label on March 8, 2019. It contains the albums “Elvis Presley”, Elvis”, “Loving You”, “Christmas Album”, “King Creole”, “Elvis is Back”, “G.I. Blues” and “How Great Thou Art”. 

Elvis at the Movies” is due March 29, 2019 from the Big 3 (H’Art) label and contains 60 tracks from the movies Love Me Tender", "Loving You", "Jailhouse Rock", "King Creole", "G.I. Blues", "Flaming Star", "Blue Hawaii", "Follow That Dream" and "Girls! Girls! Girls!".

Details “Elvis at the Movies”:
Rock 'n' Roll sensation Elvis Presley was not content in producing just singles and LPs for hs fans, he wanted the whole world to see him perform so he carved out a new career in Hollywood, making a series of memorable films that always contained him singing a selection of his songs. Here we present 60 fine examples, including many that became huge hits for "The King".

CD 1: Love Me Tender - We're Gonna Move - Mean Woman Blues - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear - Loving You - Got A Lot Of Livin' To Do - Hot Dog - (Let's Have A) Party - Young And Beautiful - I Want To Be Free - Don't Leave Me Now (1) - Treat Me Nice - Jailhouse Rock - (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care - Crawfish - Lover Doll - Trouble - Dixieland Rock - Young Dreams - New Orleans.

CD 2: King Creole - Hard Headed Woman - Don't Ask Me Why - As Long As I Have You - Tonight Is So Right For Love - What's She Really Like? - Frankfort Special - Wooden Heart - G. I. Blues - Pocketful Of Rainbows - Shoppin' Around - Didja' Ever - Blue Suede Shoes - Doin' The Best I Can - Flaming Star - Wild In The Country - I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell - Blue Hawaii - Almost Always True - No More.

CD 3: Can't Help Falling In Love - Rock-A-Hula Baby - Moonlight Swim - Ku-U-I-Po (Hawaiian Sweetheart) - Slicin' Sand - Hawaiian Sunset - Beach Boy Blues - Island Of Love - Hawaiian Wedding Song - What A Wonderful Life - Follow That Dream - Angel - King Of The Whole Wide World - Home Is Where The Heart Is - Girls!, Girls!, Girls! - I Don't Wanna Be Tied - Earth Boy - Return To Sender - Because Of Love - We're Coming In Loaded.

(Source: Amazon)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

February 10 - 1964: The Year That Changed America and Me

Due for release from Joseph Tunzi's JAT Publishing is the book "1964: The Year That Changed America and Me". 

According to the JAT Publishing website it should contain over 200 unpublished photo's of Elvis Presley, Muhammed Ali and The Beatles. 

George Klein Laid to Rest

Legendary Memphis DJ, and life-long friend of Elvis Presley, George Klein was laid to rest at the Memorial Park in his hometown Memphis. During the service several people like Priscilla Presley and Jerry Schilling shared their memories. During the service the Elvis performances of the classic songs "Peace In The Valley", "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace" were played. George Klein was buried at the Memorial Park at Poplar Avenue. 

(Source: JAT Publishing)

Saturday, February 09, 2019

February 09 - Vintage Rock

Elvis Presley is featured in volume 40 of the Vintage Rock magazine with “Rockabilly is go!” as the main theme. The magazine looks at "Elvis in the 70's". 

The newest issue of Vintage Rock brings you a rockabilly celebration. A "rollercoaster of the big names of rockabilly", but also a scurry through the hooting’ and hollerin’ weirdo’s, oddballs, one-hit and no-hit wonders that cut some of the most remarkable music of the 1950s. But whether you’re a newbie needing a primer on legendary cuts and the sharpest of stars, or a seasoned rockabilly who wants some rarer fare to add to your collection, it’s a good place to start. 

The magazine takes a look at Elvis in the 70s, during a time that much focus was on his personal deterioration. Find a different take on the later reign of the king as BBC DJ, super-fan and author Matt Shepherd reminds us of the decade that still showed just how great an artist Elvis could be.

(Source: Vintage Rock Magazine / ElvisMatters)

Friday, February 08, 2019

February 08 - Black Vinyl Selection

Due for release on March 08, 2019 is the limited edition LP "Elvis Presley - Black Selection". More information when available. 

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin)

Thursday, February 07, 2019

February 07 - Elvis Chart Update (02/13)

The weekly Elvis Presley chart-update: 

US Billboard Charts:
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” climbed from #12 to #10.
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart: “Heart And Soul” dropped from #12 to #10.
  • US Billboard Top Christian Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” climbed from #23 to #22.
  • US Billboard Christian Album Sales Chart:"Where No One Stands Alone" dropped from #21 to #28.
Official UK Charts:
  • Official UK Independent Album chart: The "Love Songs" compilation climbed from #29 to #13. 
  • Official UK Album Sales chart: The “Love Songs” compilation is a new entry at #90.
  • Official UK Physical Album chart: The “Love Songs” compilation is a new entry at #75.
  • Official UK Streaming Album chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” compilation  climbed from #90 to #86.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: The “Elvis: The Searcher” DVD remained steady at #7.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: "Elvis Lives – The 25th Anniversary Concert" dropped off the chart. 
  • Official UK Christian and gospel Album chart: “Where No One Stands Alone”  climbed from #11 to #7.
Irish Charts:
  • IRMA Irish Music DVD chart: "Elvis The Searcher" climbed from #4 to #2.
Australian Charts:
  • Australian ARIA Music DVDS chart: “Elvis The King of Rock and Roll” dropped from #16 to #22.
(Source: Martin / UK Mix / Official Chart Company)

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

February 05 - A Radio Star Died

George Klein, the deep-voiced radio personality who became friends with Elvis Presley in high school and stayed close to the King of Rock 'n' Roll throughout his career, has died. He was 83.

Marian Justice Cocke, Elvis Presley's former personal nurse posted on her Facebook page the following message: "I regret to inform you that George Klein passed away just moments ago. At this time, I have no further information to pass on, however I will keep you informed ASAP.
Rest In Peace my dear fr iend ; I love you my dear friend
God Bless and TLC".

Presley's former wife, Priscilla Presley, told The Associated Press that Klein died Tuesday at hospice in Memphis, Tennessee. Priscilla Presley said Klein had been suffering from illness, including pneumonia, for about two weeks. She said she had been in constant contact with Klein and Presley's other close friends, including Jerry Schilling and Marian Justice Cocke, while Klein was ill. 

Graceland posted: 

"Priscilla, Lisa and all of us with Elvis Presley Enterprises are deeply saddened that we have lost our dear friend George Klein. Elvis and George met at Humes High School in Memphis and formed a lifelong friendship. Elvis stood up as George’s best man at his wedding and George remained a close confidant throughout Elvis’ life. After Elvis’ passing, George continued as a great friend and supporter of Graceland, Lisa and Priscilla and continued to honor Elvis’ legacy through sharing stories and memories with fans around the world as a DJ on Elvis Radio at Graceland. Our hearts are with George’s family, friends and fans – as we celebrate his life and his important place in the history of Memphis music".

Klein met Elvis Presley in 1948 at Humes High School in Memphis and they were close friends until the rock 'n' roll icon died in 1977. Klein was part of Presley's entourage, known as the "Memphis Mafia," and enjoyed telling stories about the times he and Presley spent together.

Priscilla Presley said her former husband liked Klein's outgoing personality, his loyalty, and his sense of humor. She called their friendship a "guy's thing," with their own inside jokes and "their own language." Elvis Presley used to affectionately call Klein "GK."

"Their friendship was golden, truly golden," she said in a phone interview from Los Angeles on Tuesday night. "I don't think I've ever heard George say anything bad about anybody."

Presley served as Klein's best man, and Klein was a pallbearer at Presley's funeral. Klein appeared in his friend's film, "Jailhouse Rock." When Presley was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Klein made the acceptance speech.

"Personally, Elvis was a great friend to me," Klein said in the speech. "You know, I never saw Elvis refuse an autograph. I never saw Elvis refuse a handshake. I never saw Elvis refuse to take a picture with anyone."

Klein hosted a radio show featuring Presley's music on Sirius XM. He had also hosted radio and television shows in Memphis dating to the 1960s. Klein was known throughout the city, speaking at charity events for no pay, Priscilla Presley said.

"He has been an unbelievable ambassador for the city, for Graceland, for Elvis Presley and his family," Calipari wrote.

In recent years, several friends of Elvis Presley -- Scotty Moore, Red West, D.J. Fontana -- have died. Priscilla Presley said she has thought about that, and calls it "a reality check." "It hits home," she said. "He's the last of our history, in many ways."

(Source: Marian Justice Cocke / FoxNews / Graceland)