I have never watched cable channel TV Land, but a little checking revealed that its programming consists of classic old shows like “Bonanza,” “I love Lucy,” “Gunsmoke,” “Andy Griffith” and “Mash.” So, I’m not sure why they decided to have Elvis Month, but I am very glad they did.
Between August 3 and August 26, TV Land will feature twenty Elvis movies, concerts, and documentary videos. Especially cool is the weekend line-up. At 8PM every Saturday and Sunday night in August, we can watch Elvis concerts and other specials. Also, on the big day, August 16, we can catch four different shows: “Elvis, His Best Friend Remembers,” “Elvis By The Presleys,” “Ed Sullivan Rock & Roll Classics,” and “Myths and Legends – Elvis.” And, if you can take long lunch hours from work (or are happily retired like me), there are four noon movies next week and three more the following.
The weekend concert videos of course include the big ones, “Aloha From Hawaii” and the “68 Comeback Special”. I’m more interested in some I haven’t seen so recently or frequently: “The Great Performances-1, 2 and 3,” and “Elvis On Tour.” I’m also looking forward to “Elvis and Me, Parts 1 and 2.”
The movies are a mixed bag. By the time this article is posted, the one evening movie, “Love Me Tender” will have already been shown at 8PM, Friday August 3. After that the sequence is “Wild In The Country” (I like Tuesday Weld in this one, but I like he even better in the 1988 movie “Heartbreak Hotel.”), “Fun In Acapulco” (I’ll never believe the bit about Elvis climbing up that cliff.), “Roustabout” (Elvis looks great on a motorcycle), “Girl Happy” (One of my favorites. And, I love Shelly Fabares.), “Paradise Hawaiian Style” (Perhaps the record holder for the most girls in bikinis in an Elvis movie.), “Easy Come, East Go” (Elvis singing a duet with Elsa Lanchester has to be a low-point in Elvis movie soundtrack songs.), and “Live A Little, Love A Little” (Another favorite. See the June 3, 2005 Elvisblog article).
In addition to all this cable content, TV Land has a bunch of good Elvis stuff on their website at http://www.tvland.com/specials/elvis/. A complete schedule of their August Elvis programming is available to print out and keep by your favorite TV-watching chair.
TV Land and the city of Honolulu unveiled a life-sized bronze statue of Elvis last Thursday, July 26. I recommend you take four minutes and watch the dedication ceremony on the website’s Video Gallery. The statue is in front of the building where Elvis performed the “Aloha From Hawaii” concert in 1973. Naturally, the Elvis statue is wearing the famous American Eagle jumpsuit, but bronze sequins don’t look near as good as rhinestones. For a selection of close-up photos of the Elvis statue, click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqAb2bMxnvM and watch an excellent slide show posted on YouTube by regular Elvisblog reader Ryan Ozawa.
Another nice feature on the TV Land website is their Video Gallery, which shows the original theater trailers for all the Elvis movies they will present – almost. The trailer for “Easy Come, Easy Go” is missing, and “Speedway,” which is not on the viewing schedule, is included. Some movies have two different trailers, and “Speedway” has four. Don’t worry about clicking on each one to view them. They all run automatically in sequence. I also liked TV Land’s Photo Gallery, which included pictures of the statue ceremony, shots from Blue Hawaii, and other random Elvis photos.
Another unusual feature on TV Land.com is the link to Radio Interviews. There are two of them, both conducted by iconic Hawaiian DJ and celebrity Tom Moffatt. In the summer of 1959, Moffatt interviewed Elvis in Germany by phone. In the spring of 1960, Moffatt did another phone interview with Elvis and the Colonel. Elvis was in Hollywood working on the movie GI Blues at the time. I was struck by how natural and comfortable Elvis sounded on both interviews. Just a regular, humble guy. Good interviews.
So, explore all the Elvis stuff on the TV Land website and enjoy all the Elvis movies and videos on the channel in August. I know I will.