Daily Archives: September 14, 2009

Elvis Commentary Mini-Nuggets — # 15

 

A Name Suggestion for Cirque du Soleil:  While researching the upcoming Cirque show celebrating Elvis, I noticed something about the six permanent Cirque shows in Las Vegas.  They all have one-word (or one-letter) names.


 

So, you have to figure they will stay with that theme when they name the Elvis production.  I have two suggestions: “E” and “TCB.”  If they already have on “O,” why not an “E”?  That was, after all, what Elvis’ best buddies called him. Seems like a pretty good title for a show that celebrates his life.

Of course, “TCB” stands for Taking Care of Business, which has become synonymous with Elvis.  And, it already has a ready-made logo with Elvis’ design of the famous pendant.  I’ll stick my neck out and predict Cirque du Soleil will choose either “E” or “TCB” as the name of their new Elvis show in Las Vegas.  If you have any good suggestions, add them using Comments below.

The Real Guitar Man:  Country music star Jerry Reed died just over a year ago.  You may know he wrote two songs Elvis recorded:  “U.S. Male” and “Guitar Man.”  There is a good story about why Reed also played the guitar part on the latter.  The studio musicians were unable to duplicate the sounds Reed had laid down on his own earlier recording of “Guitar Man.”  Producer Felton Jarvis advised Elvis, “Well. You’re gonna have to get Reed in here to play on it, then.  He’s a fingerpicker, and these guys don’t have any idea what he’s doing because he does all this weird stuff, anyway.  He tunes them strings so weird.”

After Reed was quickly summoned to the Nashville studio, he turned the E-string down and the B-string up and nailed the intro in his easily identifiable personal style.

Elvis Column Takes Back Most Popular Spot From Michael Jackson:  On July 28, I posted an article titled “Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie.”  I knew his death that day would pique people’s interest, so I assumed the article would do well on Google and bring lots of hits to ElvisBlog.  Boy, was that right.  For the next two months, more folks linked to the site because of that article than any other.  After a while, this started to bother me, because ElvisBlog was created for Elvis fans, not Michael Jackson fans.  Finally, on August 26, order was restored and an old Elvis article took back the top spot as the favorite ElvisBlog article.  It was “Another Chance to Vote on Elvis Images,” originally posted on June 29, 2008.  I think I’ll do a Part 2 on that topic and see if we can push Michael Jackson even farther down the list.

We Missed Col. Parker’s 100th Birthday:  One thing very big in Elvisworld is the celebration of anniversaries.  For example, the 50th anniversary of his first recording, or the 40th anniversary of the ’68 Comeback Special.  Graceland uses the anniversaries to draw more visitors, magazines cover them right on schedule, and ElvisBlog uses them as inspirations for new stories.  So, how did I miss the 100th anniversary of Col. Parker’s birthday?  Maybe, I just didn’t care.  Nobody else did either, it seems.  (For the record, he was born on June 26, 1909).

Elvis’ manager was never a real Colonel, and his real name was not Tom Parker.  He was born Andreas van Kujik, and he illegally immigrated to the USA from Holland at age seventeen. He quickly joined the US Army (Can you do that when you’re an illegal alien?).  

After leaving the Army, he took the name of a commanding officer, Tom Parker.  Sixteen years later, he was well established as Tom Parker and was promoting Country singer Eddy Arnold, when he got Governor Jimmy Davis of Louisiana to give him the honorary title of “Colonel.” 

Here’s a short story that is so typical of Col. Parker.  When Elvis toured Canada in 1957, Parker sold “I Love Elvis” buttons to the adoring fans.  However, there were plenty of Elvis detracters around, so he covered all bases by selling “I Hate Elvis” buttons, too.

Just Plain Ol’ Elvis:  As filming began in 1961 on the movie “Kid Galahad,” Elvis’ buddies presented him with a director’s chair.  Stamped on the back was Mr. Presley.  Elvis hated the formality of it, even though the Director assured him that it was “only the best for our star.”  Elvis wanted to be treated like one of the boys, and the chair destroyed that image.  Soon, a new chair replaced it.  In bold print on the bright red canvas back were the words JUST PLAIN OL’ ELVIS.  He liked that one a lot.

I Stand Corrected:  Back on December 7, 2008, I posted this in Elvis Commentary Mini-Nuggets # 13:

Frank Sinatra Quotes about Elvis:  Look how Frank Sinatra changed his opinion of Elvis over the years.

1956 – “His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac.  It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people.”

1977 – “There have been many accolades uttered about Elvis’ talent and performances over the years, all of which I agree wholeheartedly.  I shall miss him dearly as a friend.  He was a warm, considerate and generous man.”

The comparison was intended to provide a little ironic humor, but it appears I may have been guilty of spreading mis-facts about Elvis on the internet.  My friend and fellow Elvis blogger Alan Hanson called me on this in his August 13 article on Elvis-History-Blog.com.  He presents a pretty good case that the 1956 quote was not accurate.  Alan backed up his assessment by reproducing two paragraphs of Frank Sinatra quotes from the October 28, 1957, edition of the Los Angeles Mirror News.  Here is a portion of that:

“…Naturally I refer to the bulk of rock ’n’ roll.  It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people… It is sung, played and written for the most part by cretinous goons… this rancid-smelling aphrodisiac I deplore.”

So, Sinatra actually slammed all of Rock & Roll.  I guess he gave Elvis a pass and didn’t include him with those cretinous goons.

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