Tag Archives: Aloha from Hawaii

Planet Elvis

If you are a news junkie like me, you’re probably aware of the buzz about this recent New York Times Magazine cover.

 New York Times Magazine Cover

The subtitle is:

The gravitational pull of a possible 2016 campaign is bringing all the old Clinton characters into her orbit.

Well, Elvis has pulled all of us fans into his orbit for over fifty years, so I wondered if there had ever been any reference to Planet Elvis. I went to Google, the Exalted Source of All Knowledge, and did an image search for Planet Elvis.  I had to scroll down the results for many pages before coming to what I wanted, but there was some interesting stuff on the way.

 

Elvis - Prince from Another Planet

When Elvis gave his four-show block of concerts at Madison Square Garden in June 1972, there were positive reviews all over the media. The most memorable line was in the New York Times, who said about Elvis, “He looked like a prince from another planet.”

 

Planet Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii
I should have known this image would turn up in the search results. The planet is earth, and the satellite is beaming Elvis to all parts of it. This is a good concept for Planet Elvis.

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Elvis Has Left the Planet

I love this T-Shirt. What a clever twist on Al Dvorin’s classic line at the end of Elvis’ 1970s concerts: “Elvis has left the building.” The phrase has since become a popular culture catchphrase, sometimes even a humorous punch line, but this is the best adaptation so far.

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Elvis Left the Planet

You might say this is a variation on the ‘Elvis has left the planet’ idea.

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Elvis on Karaoke Planet

This sounds like fun. Has there ever been a Karaoke party where nobody sang an Elvis song? Hard to imagine.

 

Elvis on Planet Football

I never heard of Planet Football, but I’m glad Elvis lives on it.

 

Planet Elvis Cartoon

Has any celebrity been featured in more cartoons than Elvis? This one is pretty good.

 

Multi Elvis Globe

There is no text at all on this image, so how does Google Images know to make it a result in a search for the words Planet Elvis? Maybe the Exalted Source of All Knowledge is magic, too. To me, it looks more like a fortune teller’s ball than a planet. But, it’s still a nifty image.

 

Painted Elvis - Man on the Moon

The site with this image didn’t have anything much to say about it. Maybe this is the artist’s interpretation of the man on the moon.

 

Elvis and Planets

This is more like it. Here’s my interpretation: Planet Elvis with its moon circling by, earth off in the distance, and a white hot vortex sucking in all the Elvis music. What do you think?

 

Planet Elvis

Finally. I knew there had to be a picture of Planet Elvis out there somewhere. Hillary wants to be the President, but Elvis is already the king.

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Top 10 Elvis Songs — A Contrarian View

A few years ago, my friend Alan Hanson listed Elvis Presley’s 20 Greatest Recordings on his Elvis-History-Blog.   This past August, another Elvis-blogger-buddy Troy Yeary presented his picks for the top 100 Elvis songs on his Mystery Train Elvis blog.  I noticed only two songs were on both of their top 10 – “Jailhouse Rock” and “Reconsider Baby.”  These two guys are genuine Elvis fans and they really know their stuff, but their opinions differed greatly.

So, I thought about what songs would be on my Elvis Top 10 list.  Rather than trying to make a subjective analysis, my list would just be my favorites.  My personal prejudices would certainly show up.  I grew up in the late fifties and strongly believe Elvis made his best music in the years before going in the Army.  I really don’t care for much of Elvis’ music from the seventies – not really rock and roll, too many horns and fancy arrangements.  And, I have become a great blues fan for the past twenty years, so I have sought out Elvis’ blues offerings over his career and made a playlist out of them.  And finally, I have listened to some Elvis hits so many times that I’ve grown tired of them.

With all that explained, here are the selections for my personal Top 10 Elvis songs

#10:    I Was The One

This song has been a favorite since I was a teenager in the late 50s.  We had lots of parties, and we played records and danced to them for hours.  We’d stack up seven or eight 45s on those little record players.  When the last 45 dropped down and finished playing, we would pick up the whole stack and flip them over.  So, in addition to listening “Heartbreak Hotel,” we would also slow dance to the flip side, “I Was The One.”  I remember getting close and lovey with girls while dancing to this song, an important prequel to the make-out sessions that followed later.  To this day, whenever I hear ‘I Was The One,” I get all warm and fuzzy.

#9:    Santa Claus Is Back In Town

Like most fans, I pull out the CDs of Elvis Christmas songs every December.  There is one song that always stands out for me, “Santa Claus is Back in Town.”  I’m so glad the Christmas season gives me a chance each year to reconnect with this song.  I just love it.

 

#8:    Reconsider Baby

Elvis and Boots Randolph performing “Reconsider Baby” at Pearle Harbor, Hawaii, March 25, 1961

I have always liked this song no matter which artist was singing it.  But my special affection for it began in 2004 during the “Good Rockin’ Tonight” concert at Elvis Week.  I was a gofer for all the singers and players that night, and I got to sit off to stage right with Boots Randolph before he went on for his segment of the show.  He was so nice and friendly, and I couldn’t believe he talked so much to a nobody like me.  Then he went on stage to perform three songs, including “Reconsider Baby.”  Although he was 77 years old, Boots absolutely knocked out the audience with his soulful sax wailing, and he was rewarded with a huge standing ovation.  It was electrifying.  Boots died three years later, but Elvis’ version of the song carries on.  Now, whenever I hear “Reconsider Baby” by Elvis, I flash back to that wonderful evening.

 

#7:    I Want To Be Free

I have admitted that I’ve loved blues music over the last twenty years, so my Elvis top ten list is slanted toward his blues offerings.  The next time you watch Jailhouse Rock , really listen to “I Want To Be Free.”  Maybe it will grow on you like it has on me. Normally, I would never think of the Jordanaires as a group that would fit in a blues song, but they did a great job here.  Of course, Elvis did too, showing off that wonderful vocal range he had.

 

#6:    Steamroller Blues:

Like I said, I don’t care for much of the Elvis’ music from the 70s, but this song from 1972 is an exception.  Elvis never recorded “Steamroller Blues” in the studio, but who can forget him singing it in Aloha From Hawaii?   You’ve got to love a song with lyrics like, “Well, I’m a cement mixer, a churning urn of burning funk,” and “I’m gonna’ inject your soul with some sweet rock ‘n roll and shoot you full of rhythm and blues.”  Elvis at his baaadest.

 

#5:    I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water

This is the other exception to my indifference for Elvis’s 70s music.  Elvis recorded “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water” in 1970, and a short version of it was included on the album Elvis Country.  But, the version I like is on the 1996 CD A Hundred Years From Now.  It goes on for five minutes and sounds just like what it is – a free-wheeling jam session.  You can’t possibly listen to this song without getting revved up.

 

#4:    Lawdy Miss Clawdy

I have been a fan of this song ever since Lloyd Price released it in the mid-fifties.  I liked Elvis’ version on his first album, Elvis Presley, and I liked his unplugged version during the ’68 Comeback Special even more.  But what really turned me on was watching Elvis nail “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” on the theatrical showing of the restored Elvis On Tour.  In fact, when the song began, there was a noticeable stirring among the theater audience, so I wasn’t the only one it got to.  Kudos to Glen D. Hardin for an outstanding piano part on the song.

#3:    Tryin’ To Get To You

Elvis recorded this song at Sun Records in 1955, but it was first released on the RCA album Elvis Presley in 1956.  Later that year, it was released as a single, but it did not chart.  However, it must have been a favorite of Elvis’ because he sang it during the filming of the ’68 Comeback Special.  Unfortunately, it was left on the cutting-room floor.  Only a few lucky folks like me who own the bootleg album The Burbank Sessions have heard this terrific raw version of “Tryin’ To Get To You.”  I can’t believe they edited it out of the special.

 

#2:    (You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care

I have mentioned this song numerous times on ElvisBlog as a big favorite.  Why it was never released as a single is a mystery to me.  You will remember “Baby, I Don’t Care” as the song Elvis sang during the swimming pool scene in Jailhouse Rock.  Some people consider the dance sequence with the movie’s title song as the forerunner to the modern music video, but I think it’s a tie.  Same thing goes for “Baby, I Don’t Care.”

#1: Like A Baby

 

If you thought my other selections were a little strange, this one should blow your mind.    Do you even know this song?  You should if you listen to the 1960 album Elvis Is Back.  This album is on just about everybody’s top 5 Elvis album list.  It is rated his best album by many, including me.  The reason it’s so good is because it contains a number of blues songs (including “Reconsider Baby” mentioned above).  For many years “Like A Baby” was my favorite Elvis blues song, but after thinking about it for this article, I’ve decided it really is my favorite Elvis song, period.

Like they say, opinions are like a** holes; everybody’s got one.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my choices.  If you strongly disagree, please comment below.

 

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Who Is This Guy?

Look at this picture for a moment and try to guess who it is.  Maybe a young Leonard Nimoy?  Maybe a bad guy in a movie you saw recently?

The answer may surprise you.  It’s Elvis.  Or, at least it’s supposed to be, but it doesn’t look much like him, does it?  Here’s what’s confusing:

This an original ticket for “ELVIS –  Aloha From Hawaii,” the concert broadcast around the world on January 14, 1973   The ticket was the latest addition to the Image Gallery on the official Elvis Insiders’ website, so it we assum it’s the real deal.  The guy on the left is definitely Elvis.  But, the guy on the right sure doesn’t look like him.

It may be difficult to see, but under the pink ELVIS, it does say “Aloha from Hawaii – Via Satellite.”  At the bottom left, it says the concert was a benefit for the KUI LEE Cancer Fund.  Above that, it says the concert was at the Honolulu International Convention Center.

There’s one other interesting thing about the ticket.  Look at the time of the concert – 1:00 A.M.  At first, I assumed that was so the show would be seen during primetime for folks back in the mainland.  But then I did some research.  The sixty-minute live concert, broadcast by satellite on December 14, went only to countries in the Pacific: Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, South Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and a few other small nations in the Far East.  The next day, the concert was rebroadcast to twenty-eight countries in Europe.

However, Americans did not see the show until almost two months later on April 4, 1973 on NBC.  The telecast was expanded to ninety minutes with additional footage of Elvis’ arrival in Honolulu added for the opening sequence.  Also, Elvis had recorded four extra songs after the audience had left the Convention Center.  These were edited into the program in a format that would later be called a music video.

 

This is the schedule for the production of “Aloha from Hawaii.”  There are some technical terms and abbreviations on it, but you can pretty much figure out what’s going on.  Elvis had dinner at 8:30 and went to make-up and wardrobe at 11:30.  There was a warm-up act and audience shots until 12:30 A.M. when Elvis came on stage and performed for an hour.

 

And this is what he performed.  The website where I found it doesn’t say if it written by Elvis, but he usually worked out concert playlists himself.

So, “ELVIS – Aloha from Hawaii” was a really big event in Elvis’ history.  It was watched by more than one billion people.  It represented a big break-through in satellite broadcast technology.  It was produced on a budget of $2.5 million.

 

Editor’s note:  Thanks to alert reader David, the ticket mystery has been solved.  He states in the comment below:

“I believe the other photo on the Aloha From Hawaii ticket is Kui Lee, the songwriter who died of cancer and who wrote, I’ll Remember You, and who the concert is dedicated to and the proceeds were to go to the cancer fund in his memory.”

And this is from Wikipedia:

Kuiokalani Lee (July 31, 1932 – December 3, 1966) was a singer-songwriter, and the 1960s golden boy artist of Hawaii. Lee achieved international fame when Don Ho began performing and recording Lee’s compositions, with Ho promoting Lee as the songwriter for a new generation of Hawaiian music.

 

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.