Friday, February 17, 2023

February 17 - Vinyl, Vinyl and More Vinyl (Updated)

The Not Now Music record label announced the April 14, 2023 re-release of the 'King Creole' soundtrack on 180 gr. transparant vinyl and the 'Blue Hawaii' soundtrack on 180 Gr. electric blue colored vinyl. 

Description: 'King Creole' was the fourth of Elvis Presley’s Hollywood movies, released in June 1958. Loosely based on Harold Robbins’ novel A Stone For Danny Fisher, about a struggling young Boxer. Producer Hal Wallis decided it would make a perfect vehicle for Elvis Presley, and so the lead character became a Singer instead of a boxer, and the whole project was promptly transformed into a musical. 

It’s one of the best of the Presley soundtracks opening with the title track King Creole penned by Leiber & Stoller, followed by R&B number Crawfish, and the contrasting Rock’n’Roll track Dixieland Rock which is reminiscent of Jailhouse Rock. Sadly, it was to be the last truly dramatic role Elvis was ever given, and Presley himself would always cite King Creole as his personal favorite out of all the films he made.

Side A: 1. King Creole / 2. As Long As I Have You / 3. Hard Headed Woman / 4. Trouble / 5. Dixieland Rock 

Side B: 1. Don’t Ask Me Why / 2. Lover Doll / 3. Crawfish / 4. Young Dreams / 5. Steadfast, Loyal And True / 6. New Orleans.

Description: 'Blue Hawaii' was Elvis’ 8th film, and on its release in 1961 became one of that year’s most successful titles at the box office. It remained one of the singer’s all-time favorite movies, and began a love affair with the island, which had become America’s 50th state in 1959. 

'Blue Hawaii' was the usual Elvis mix of exotic locations, beautiful girls and lots of songs. The soundtrack of 'Blue Hawaii' did not disappoint - the sleeve boasting “14 Great Songs”. The title track was a perfect introduction, while the Hawaiian setting meant that space was found for the atmospheric 'Hawaiian Sunset' and 'Island Of Love (Kauai)'. Room was also found for two other island-related songs - 'Aloha Oe' and 'Hawaiian Wedding Song', both of which had been hits for Bing Crosby back in the 1930s. 

But where 'Blue Hawaii' really scored for fans was the inclusion of the boisterous 'Rock-A-Hula Baby' and a song which would go on to become one of the singer’s best-loved ballads, 'Can’t Help Falling In Love'. Based in part on an 18th Century French melody, for many years this became Elvis’ in-concert finale.

Side A: 1. Blue Hawaii / 2. Almost Always True / 3. Aloha Oe / 4. No More / 5. Can’t Help Falling In Love / 6. Rock-A-Hula Baby / 7. Moonlight Swim.

Side B: 1. Ku-u-i-po (Hawaiian Sweetheart) / 2. Ito Eats / 3. Slicin’ Sand / 4 Hawaiian Sunset / 5. Beach Boys Blue / 6. Island Of Love (Kauai) / 7. Hawaiian Wedding Song.

Stella Stevens Died

Stella Stevens, a Memphis kid who became a celebrated Hollywood sex symbol and successful comedic and dramatic actress, died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 84.

The Golden Globe winning actress, and former Playboy model, starred opposite Elvis in the 1962 movie 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' in which she played the role of Robin Gantner.

She only agreed to do the film because she was promised a Montgomery Clift movie if she did it. According to Stevens, it was a miserable six days of filming due to director Norman Taurog’s temper. 

In an 1994 interview Stevens said that Elvis was very pleasant to work with. Although they were both from Memphis, they didn't relate to each other much and Stella only worked on the film for a few days. 

When speaking to Roger Ebert in 1968, Stella remarked that Elvis was a nice guy, although she apparently asked him why he does "this crap". To which Elvis replied, "don't knock its success". Which she subsequently admitted was true, given how difficult it is to get anywhere in the movies. 

Cowboys and Indians Movie Awards

The boldly stylish 'ELVIS' biopic dominated the voting by readers of the Cowboys and Indians magazine. They cast their their ballots for a tribute to The King. 'ELVIS', director Baz Luhrmann’s stylistically audacious biopic about legendary entertainer Elvis Presley, scored multiple-category wins for Best Picture, Best Director (Luhrmann), Best Actor (Austin Butler as Presley), Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hanks as Col. Tom Parker, Presley’s manipulative manager), and Best Screenplay (Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner).

Good to see that Tom Hank's work  and contribution to the success of this movie was recognized too.

Platinum Single Award

The British Phonographic Industries awarded Elvis Presley his second 2023 B.P.I. Award. A Platinum Single Award for the 'In The Ghetto' (re-released November 17, 2004) for selling over 600,000 copies since 17/11/2004 (streams plus digital downloads plus physical sales).

(Source: Pascal Matteo / Not Now Music / BPI / Phoenix Elvis Forum / Cowboys and Indians Magazine)