Tag Archives: Mary Ann Mabley

Random Thoughts on Encore’s Elvis Collection — Part 5

For the second week in a row my new laptop spent four days in Data Transfer Hell at Geek Squad.  It’s back home now and almost everything is working.  So, let’s continue with the random thoughts on Encore’s Elvis Collection.

Movies Presented in the Past Week That I Liked:

Follow That Dream Lobby Poster

Follow That Dream — I will always be thankful to my buddy Alan Hanson over at the Elvis-History Blog for pointing out the subtle nuances of this film.  The more I watch it, the more I like it – especially the courtroom scene where Elvis utterly charms the judge and outsmarts the spiteful child protection lady.  And I just love the end where Anne Helm transforms into a woman and nuzzles Elvis into realizing his feelings for her.

In many of his movies, Elvis plays characters with various flaws.  Here he is initially presented as a country bumpkin, but he comes out on top in every situation.  I found his character thoroughly likeable.  On a similar note, I usually dislike the cutesy child actors in Elvis’ movies, but Eddie and Teddy in this were kind-of cool.

 

Easy Come Lobby Poster

Easy Come, Easy Go — My reasons for liking this probably wouldn’t sway the folks who slam Elvis’ later movies when he was pretty much just going through the motions.  For one thing, I hadn’t viewed it a bunch of times, so it seemed kind-of fresh.  The second reason I liked it was that Pat Priest spent half her screen time in bikinis.  She was hot as Marilyn Munster, but she is something else in this movie.  And finally, there was a song I really enjoyed: “You Gotta Stop.”  After some of the dogs Elvis had to sing in his 1967-68 movies, it was a pleasant surprise to find a good one.

The Movies I’m Tired of Watching:

Clambake Lobby Poster

Clambake – I’ve watched this one a lot, mainly because I like Shelly Fabares so much.  However, she is much better in Girl Happy, where her character was more likeable than the spoiled rich girl she played in Clambake.  So, I amused myself watching for Elvis’ Memphis Mafia buddies in bit parts.  Did you notice Charlie Hodge giving Elvis’ character’s dad a shave early in the movie?  You could hardly miss Red West as the ice cream vendor.  You had to look pretty close to spot Jerry Schilling and Richard Davis at the clambake-themed pool party.

Hey, this movie takes place in Florida.  Where'd the mountains come from?

Hey, this movie takes place in Florida. Where’d the mountains come from?

My favorite scene in the movie is when Elvis moves down the line kissing all the pretty women who helped put the hardening goop on the racing boat’s repaired body.

 

It Happened  at the Worlds Fair Poster

It Happened at the World’s Fair – As I said a month ago in the 50th Anniversary Movie Pictorial, “By this time, Col. Parker and the producers had given up any pretense of putting Elvis into quality movies, and this one was a real stinkeroo, in my opinion.  The plot was very thin, there was way too much of five-year-old Sue-Lin, and the songs were weak (especially the four Elvis sang to Sue-Lin).

 

Harum Scarum Lobby Poster

Harum Scarum – This is one I wish I could like more, because I am a big Mary Ann Mobley fan.  At least she got better treatment from Elvis compared to all the double dealing he subjected her to in Girl Happy.

 Harum Scarum - Elvis and Mary Ann Mobley

Unfortunately Harum Scarum doesn’t get better with repeated viewings.  Mighty weak plot.  I did notice something watching it again – by the time the movie was fourteen minutes old, Elvis had already sung four songs.  And they were all very forgettable.  The scene with the little girl doing a belly dance for Elvis totally freaks me out.

 

Repeat Showing — Already Discussed:

This Is Elvis

King Creole

 

Coming Up:

Sunday, May 26 – Girl Happy:

 Girl Happy Lobby Poster

My third chance to see Shelly Fabares, and this is the best one.  I love watching her sing “I’m Evil.”

I'm Evil

I also get a kick out of Elvis escaping from jail in drag.

 

Monday, May 27 — Change of Habit

Tuesday, May 28 — G.I. Blues

Wednesday, May 29 — Jailhouse Rock

Thursday, May 30 – Roustabout

Friday, May 31 — Kid Galahad

©  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.

 

The Tease

Did you know that Elvis had his own little private trailer village tucked away in the far reaches of his 163 acre Circle G Ranch in Mississippi?  His foray into cowboy communal living is an interesting story, especially because spring 1967 may well have been the happiest period of his life.

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I received an e-mail from a member of The Circle G Foundation who asked if I could write a story on ElvisBlog about their efforts to get the ranch purchased and save it from slow destruction.  It sounded like something I could do, and it might help, so I said sure.  Then, I realized I knew almost nothing about Elvis’ Circle G Ranch in Mississippi.

After two weeks of research, I now know enough to write a three-part ElvisBlog series.  I’ve found so much information on the web and in books I own, and Lesley Pilling of the Circle G Foundation has been very helpful.

But I need time to get it all together.  So, this week, all you get is that first paragraph tease.   Instead, we are going back in the archives again to find old stories that would improve the most with photos added.  Here is one from 2007 that really improved.

 

 

The Women Who Loved Elvis

 

That enticing title graced the cover of the August 2007 issue of the Ladies Home Journal.  As soon as I read the first line of the subtitle, “Very Private Confessions,” I knew this was prime material for an Elvisblog article.

A good many Elvisblog readers probably missed the Ladies Home Journal article by leading Elvis writer Alanna Nash.  It featured seven lovely ladies associated with Elvis in a variety of ways.

The subtitle “Very Private Confessions” turned out to be quite a stretch.  I looked specifically for them and have listed below my best guess at each woman’s “Confession.”

 

June Jaunico:   Elvis’ girlfriend for over a year in 1955/56.

June 4

“We got so wrapped up in kissing on our very first date – nothing too sloppy, it was marvelous – a little pecking here and there, a little nibble here and there, then a serious bite.”  (This one is a very sweet confession, but wouldn’t a real confession have been about what she and Elvis did on date number five or six, not on the first one?)

 

Wanda Jackson:   sang in concerts on tour with Elvis and was his girlfriend in     1955/56.

Wanda Smiling and Elvis

“In the early part of ’56, he gave me one of his rings… We stood by his car and he asked me to be his girl… I had a crush on him, and being able to know him and know his heart made me admire him a lot.  So, I said I’d be his girl.”  (Good move, Wanda)

 

Raquel Welch:     had a bit part in the 1964 movie Roustabout.

Raquel Welch

  “One of his guys came over and said, “Elvis is having a little party at the house, and if you’d like to come up…” I had a very strict upbringing, and I didn’t like the setup, so I didn’t go.”  (Big mistake.  Bet you wish you had that one to do over again, Raquel.)

 

Mary Ann Mobley:   appeared in Girl Happy and Harum Scarum

Mary Ann Mobley

“Elvis and I felt a common bond, coming from Mississippi.  He thought I understood him… This is an odd thing to say about Elvis Presley, but it was like I was working with my brother.  We never dated.”  (Sorry, but there is nothing else remotely approaching a confession in Mary Ann’s section.)

 

Jo Smith:   wife of Elvis’ very close cousin Billy Smith

Jo Smith

“He loved you to talk babytalk to him, and we had to take care of him and cater to him like a small child… He liked to be put in bed and be told good night.”  (You have to assume this took place in the time after Priscilla and before Linda Thompson.  Can’t see Jo Smith tucking Elvis in bed when either of them was around.)

 

Linda Thompson:   Elvis’ girlfriend from 1972-76.

Linda Thonpson in Jungle Roon

“But I think it’s wonderful if you can be all things to each other.  And he and I were.  He called me ‘Mommy.’  And he was like my father at times.  And we were like brother and sister at times, and we were like lovers at times.  (Looks like they played ‘cowboys and Indians’ at times, too.)

 

Kathy Westmoreland:   recorded and toured with Elvis in the 70s.

Kathy Westmoreland 2

“My last in-depth conversation with Elvis was just a few weeks before he died.  I remember he said, ‘Kathy, what’s it all about?’  And I said, “I think that is for you to find out for yourself.’”  (Kathy’s section in the article was very short and mostly about sad topics.  This is about the most upbeat thing she said.)

Here is a selection of other interesting quotes by some of the ladies.

June Jaunico didn’t hear from Elvis for a while after that first date.  “It turned out he was calling and my older brother wasn’t bothering to tell me.  Finally, he said, ‘Some guy with a hillbilly accent called.’”

Wanda Jackson and her dad were backstage on the first stop of a tour with Elvis in 1955.  “All of a sudden my dad and I started hearing screaming.  My daddy said, ‘I wonder if there’s a fire or something.  Let me go look.’  I started getting my things, and he came back and said, ‘No, relax.  But you’ve got to see this for yourself.’  He took me to the wings, and there was Elvis singing and moving and gyrating, and all these girls standing at the foot of the stage, screaming and reaching for him.”

Raquel Welch had a revelation about how sexy a guy could be when she saw Elvis in concert for the first time.  “Like many adolescents of the 50s, I had been completely gaga over Elvis.  I saw him live in San Diego in one of his early shows.  It was my first rock ‘n’ roll concert ever.”

A Linda Thompson quote seems to dispute reports that Elvis knew he would die young.  “I think it’s terrible for people to say they couldn’t imagine Elvis growing old.  Everybody has that right, even if they are a sex symbol. He wanted to live to be an old man.”

And, we sure wish he had.

 

Remember, lots of good stuff coming up the next three week on the Circle G Ranch.

 

 

©  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.