Daily Archives: August 29, 2010

Two More Elvis Record Oddities

The recent Ultimate Elvis Auction in Memphis contained a treasure trove of delightfully odd Elvis records.  In an article a couple of weeks ago, we covered two that paired Elvis with other singers  Here are two more, and they both have origins with Elvis movies.

Flaming Star on Blue Vinyl:

Elvis’ 1960 movie Flaming Star went through a series of title changes:  Flaming Lance, Flaming Heart, Black Heart, Black Star and finally Flaming Star.  On August 8, 1960, Elvis went into Radio Recorders studio in Hollywood and recorded the title track, which at that time was “Black Star.”  Sometime within the next two months, the title was changed to Flaming Star, so a new title song needed to be recorded.  It was a simple matter for songwriters Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards to change the lyrics of “Black Star.”  Within the Indian mythology of the film, either a ‘black star’ or a ‘flaming star’ worked as a vision some Indians claimed to see as a sign of impending death. 

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So, the producers had the new song they needed for Elvis to record, but they still had a bigger obstacle to contend with — Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker

When they met with Parker, they quickly realized he had them boxed.  They needed a rerecorded title song, and it had to be done in a big rush.  Well, if you know Col. Parker very well, you can appreciate his next move.  He asked for more money.  According to different reports, he demanded either $5,000 or $10,000.  Either way, that was a lot of money fifty years ago.

Col. Parker called it his ‘late fee’ — and they paid it.  Elvis recorded “Flaming Star” at Radio Recorders studio on October 7, 1960.   When he finished, the studio gave a 45 RPM copy of the song to Parker.

In addition to the title cut on the A-side, the B-side is “A Cane and a High Starched Collar.”  This song was sung in the family’s cabin during the first few minutes of the film.  From that point on, there was no more Elvis singing.

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“Flaming Star” Title Song on Blue Vinyl

As you can see, the record is blue vinyl with no printing other than Elvis’ name and the song title.  Recently this record failed to sell at the Ultimate Elvis Auction, because no one met the minimum starting bid of $1,500 ($1,792.50 including auctioneer’s fee.)  It seems like it would be worth more than that, because it is the only known copy, and likely the only copy in existence.

 

Record Sleeve Movie Prop:

 

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This looks like this could be the picture sleeve for an Elvis 45 RPM single, but that’s not his name on it.  So, who is Guy Lambert?  He is the lead character in Elvis’ 1967 movie Double Trouble.  In the movie, Elvis plays Lambert, a singer who travels the world with his band Georgie and his G-Men. 

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In the movie, Elvis/Guy goes into the Peca Records studio, and records the song “Could I Fall in Love.”  One night, Guy is with his girlfriend in her apartment, and as a surprise, he puts his record on the turntable.  Then he proceeds to sing a duet with himself.  It must have soothed her, because she was asleep on his shoulder at the end.

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Guy Lambert Putting His Record on Turntable

 

Although the picture sleeve appeared on screen for just five seconds, the MGM prop people created a very real looking fake record to use in the movie. The disc inside was just a generic 45, because it wasn’t seen close-up in the scene.  As far is known, just one copy of the sleeve was made.

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Close Up of Record in the Movie Double Trouble

This phony record sleeve has changed hands a few times, most recently at the Ultimate Elvis Auction in Memphis.  Because it was presented as a one-of-a-kind item in mint condition, the high bid was $5,000, plus the auctioneer’s fee of $975.50.  How about that?  $6,000 for an empty, phony 45 record sleeve.  Only with Elvis.

I did equally bad predicting how the bidding would end up on these two records with movie origins.  I never thought the picture sleeve would bring so much, and I figured the only copy of blue vinyl “Burning Star” would top out over $3,000.  Shows how much I know.

 

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