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Elvis Presley The Fifties Interviews (LP)

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​(1989/Magnum Force) 10 tracks - All interviews were made between May 1955 and Auhust 1956,... more

Elvis Presley: The Fifties Interviews (LP)

​(1989/Magnum Force) 10 tracks - All interviews were made between May 1955 and Auhust 1956, featuring instrumentals by 'Johnny & The Roccos'

The Liveblood of those on the road to stardom is publicity. Of course, there are other factors to consider. but central to them all is publicity — and lots of it, irre spective of whether it's good or bad. Indeed, some would argue that there's no such thing as 'bad' publicity. And in the early days Elvis, contrary to popular myth, was no differ-ent from other aspiring stars. For, not only did he co-operate fully with radio and newspaper journalists (in sharp contrast to the sixties and seventies, when access to him was almost nil), but, as several of these interviews illustrate, he actively sought them out. Now the fact that his willingness to be available petered out to virtually nothing later on (something attributed to Tom Parker's desire to maintain Elvis' mystique) is a regrettable, but differ-ent, story; our concern on this album is to offer you some of the interviews Elvis held in 1955 and 1956, the year when Elvis' name was splattered from one end of the USA to the other — and then beyond! And I say 'some' advisedly, for it is clear that there were LOTS more interviews. One day, perhaps, we will be privileged to hear them all. Meanwhile sit back and listen, in chronological order, to pop history in the making.

The legend runs that when Elvis was first inter-viewed in July, 1954 by Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips on his WHBQ 'Red Hot and Blue' radio show, having just been playing both sides of Elvis' first release, `That's All Right'/'Blue Moon of Kentucky', he was advised just to answer honestly, but warned, 'Don't say nothin' dirty'! Well, he didn't — publically — then or later in any interview. On the contrary, he was in-variably polite, co-operative, as honest as his man-agement and the 'company' would allow, and dis-tinctly non-threatening, in sharp contrast to his image and public persona as built up by the press. Certainly on stage he was arrogant, outwardly confident and supremely in control, but off stage he usually adopted a passive, deferential role, even with two-bit DJs who were not only unfit to lick his blue suede shoes but who were desperately ill-in-formed and clumsy in their questioning of him. Elvis though — The Cool King' as Ger Rijff's recent book calls him — remained cool but in a different sense.

The opening track on the album is not, in fact, an interview at all, nor is it in date sequence as the others are. We have included it here for two rea-sons: first because it is not an interview — it is a promotional item — and secondly, because we cannot date it accurately. In all probability it dates from mid- to late 1956. It was obtainable as an in-clusion to an American magazine — obviously a teen magazine as the contents indicate — and eventually made available in the UK in March, 1957, through a magazine called Weekend Mail. The 6" 78 rpm shellac record would have cost you 1s 9d in those days! Undoubtedly the idea behind the release was for Elvis to speak calmly and rationally to the fans (and maybe their parents) about such things as his stage movements, his love of cars, the nail he received, his statement that he didn't drink or smoke, his yearning for a settled home life — but not yet! — and his gratitude to his fans, DJs, etc., etc. It was quite clearly an attempt to 'answer' some of the venemous attacks on his character and the effects he was said to be having on the nation's youth.

The first 'interview' included here though pre-dates this by more than a year. On May 13th, 1955, Elvis (as part of the Hank Snow tour) did a show in Jackson ville, Florida, playing to 14,000 fans. From late July, 1954, Elvis had been working steadily in and around the South, covering thousands of miles and attracting larger and larger audiences. The big time — in terms of major hit records and mega-bucks —was still more than six months away. But, as his interviewer on this occasion predicted, big success would come before long. Mae Boren Axton, who, if for nothing else, will be remembered for her part in co-writing Elvis' first major hit, 'Heartbreak Hotel' recorded and released in January, 1956, coun-selled the young star to be patient.

Even at this stage it was evident that Elvis was aware of the limitations of being with Sam Phillips' Sun record label, for he refers to the distribution of his records as being 'not as good'. Six months later he would end his 16-month period at Sun and sign for RCA Victor. From then on he had no more distribution problems! Axton, though, clearly liked Elvis (and he her) and both paid tribute to the fine work provided by Scotty Moore and Bill Black. Elvis dispelled the rumour that he had started back in high school. Reportedly, in November, 1955, Axton let Elvis hear `Heartbreak Hotel' (on which he was given a third writer credit) which he went on to record in Nashville on January 10th, 1956. It apparently did quite well for all concerned...

The next track was recorded on August 31st, 1955, at WMPS in Memphis. For years this has always been listed as being recorded on May 6th, 1955. But this is simply not true, as the evidence shows. On May 6th, Elvis was in Birmingham, Alabama, as part of the Hank Snow Jamboree. By August 31st, 1955, Elvis had signed a one-year contract with Colonel Tom Parker, thus replacing Bob Neal as his mangager. Neal, though, was still closely involved in the promotion of Elvis, but in an advisory capac-ity. And this interview was unashamedly a promo-tion for the forthcoming shows on Friday 2nd Sep-tember at the Arkansas Municipal Auditorium. Barely ten days previously Elvis had been involved in the making of the now famous and mysterious movie short, 'The Pied Piper of Cleveland', along with people like Bill Haley and Pat Boone. No mention was made of it here, though. Instead, Bob jokes with Elvis and the boys (Scotty and Bill) and asks if 'Maybellene' will be included, along with his latest single, 'I Forgot to Remember to Forget', released on August 6th. Finally, references to moving out of the area to play the West Coast confirm not only the May date as wrong (as must the reference to 'I Forgot...') but indicate how things were starting to hot up. Elvis was no longer just of local interest.

The next interview featured takes us firmly into 1956 and Elvis into the major star category. This interview was taped on April 13th, 1956 (not the 10th as is often thought), in Wichita Falls, and was conducted by Jay Thompson. Elvis was now BIG. Not only was he playing a different place every night, but he had played his last date on The Louisiana Hayride the previous Saturday (he would, however, return and do a final show as a benefit concert for the Shreveport YMCA on December 16th, 1956, by which time he was a movie star as well). He had a number one record nationwide, had signed a seven-year deal to do movies for Hal Wallis on April 6th, while on April 1st he had done his screen test forthe Burt Lancaster movie, 'The Rainmaker'. He had completed the six Dorsey shows for national televi-sion, while on April 2nd he had appeared on Milton Berle's TV show also. And two days before doing this interview he had narrowly escaped possible death in an aeroplane incident, yet had gone on to Nashville to record what would be his next number one record, 'I Want You, I Need You, I love You'. All in all a breathtaking and punishing schedule.

By May 14th, 1956, when he appeared in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, at the Mary E Sawyer Auditorium, the record had sold well over half a million copies and topped the charts shortly after. On this occasion, incidentally, he sang the Platters' Only You' — a song never officially recorded by him. This interview was conducted between shows by a particularly clumsy and dumb interviewer, who actually said: '...very controversial question: how old are you?' By this time, though, it became known that Elvis would not appear in 'The Rainmaker'. His recent stint in Las Vegas (late April through to May 9th) was discussed and Elvis admitted to being 'scared stiff'. His second appearance on the forthcoming Milton Berle Show on June 5th was also mentioned.

Two days Iaer, having travelled about 700 miles back to Memphis on May 15th, Elvis appeared in Little Rock, Arkansas, at The Robinson Memorial Auditorium. Again interviewed in between the two shows, Elvis listed several people — Kim Novak, Brando, James Dean and Richard Widmark — as his favourite stars. 'I Was the One' was his own personal favourite at the time, but he admitted to liking all different kinds of music. And, reminiscent of his Vegas shows and tours in the seventies, he admitted to not changing his repertoire much. All in all this interview proved more revealingthan had the LaCrosse one.

By June 20th, 1956, Elvis had notched up yet another dozen personal appearances in places various, had number one records on three charts (pop, country and r&b) as well as taping his second performance on the Milton Berle Show, before earning a short rest from this extraordinary sched-ule. It was during this break (on the 20th) that Elvis was interviewed in Memphis by local DJ, Wink Martindale. Despite his unprecedented success Elvis, while being taken aback by his good fortune, admits that his success may not last. Indeed, commenting on his luck he said, quite disarmingly, `I didn't expect to get out of Humes High School...'.

The next two interviews, both held in New Orleans while Elvis was vacationing, cannot be dated accu-rately, yet all the evidence points to them being held sometime between July 5th and July 13th, AFTER his July 4th concert at Russwood Park in Memphis and BEFORE the release of 'Hound Dog'/'Don't Be Cruel' on July 13th. These interviews warrant par-ticular close attention, for Elvis states clearly that he is on vacation, refers to the flak his July 1st appearance on Steve Allen's show has caused, mentions his recent visit to New York where he met Gene Vincent, but denies recording 'Hound Dog' on July 2nd, 1956. So why the apparent deception? Sure his schedule was busy, but he can't have forgotten doing it! I suppose it's anyone's guess —maybe RCA/The Colonel wanted it kept under wraps. Who knows? Whatever, these interviews deserve special attention, I believe, for undoubtedly he was having a long break 'off for three more weeks', was with June Juanico (about whom he speaks, denying rumours about their marriage or engagement), shrugs off success of his current number one record, 'I Want You, I Need You, I Love You' and goes on to talk about his up-coming tour of Florida in August, 1956.

Finally, the last interview included here was held in St. Petersburg in August 7th, 1956, hosted by Bob Hoffer. Of special note is the reference to his not getting much sleep (a problem which was to recur later in his career with very serious consequences for him), and the fact that by now he had four gold discs. Possibly preoccupied by the awful thought of having Elvis on his show we also hear that Ed Sullivan (a Nixon lookalike) had been injured in a car accident! Dear, oh dear.

And that, as they say, is show business. Two weeks later Elvis reported to the 20th Century Fox studio in LA where he started filming his first movie 'Love Me Tender' on August 23rd. Elvis the singing star became Elvis the movie star also. Never again would the press be allowed to photograph or inter-view him with such ease. From this point on the Presley camp took almost complete control of the publicity machine. The rest, as I am sure you know, is history.
Gordon Minto, November 1989 (co-author of 'Elvis UK". feature writer for 'Now Dig This' and 'Elvis - the Man and His Music').

Article properties: Elvis Presley: The Fifties Interviews (LP)

  • Interpret: Elvis Presley

  • Album titlle: The Fifties Interviews (LP)

  • Year of publication 1989
  • Label MAGNUM

  • Genre Rock

  • Geschwindigkeit 33 U/min
  • Vinyl Size LP (12 Inch)
  • Record Grading Mint (M)
  • Sleeve Grading Mint (M)
  • Artikelart LP

  • EAN: 5099882117413

  • weight in Kg 0.21
Presley, Elvis - The Fifties Interviews (LP) LP 1
01 The Truth About Me - Monologue 1956
02 Jacksonville, Florida - May 13th, 1955
03 WMPS, Memphis - August 31st, 1955
04 Wichita Falls, Texas - April 13th, 1956
05 LaCrosse, Wisconsin - May 14th, 1956
06 Little Rock, Arkansas - May 16th, 1956
07 KLAC-TV, Memphis - June 20th, 1956
08 New Orleans(1) - July 1956
09 New Orleans(2) - July 1956
10 St. Petersburg, Florida - August 7th, 1956
Elvis Aaron Presley - The King of Rock'n'Roll (January 8, 1935, Tupelo, MS – August... more
"Elvis Presley"

Elvis Aaron Presley - The King of Rock'n'Roll

(January 8, 1935, Tupelo, MS – August 16, 1977, Memphis, TN) 
 
Elvis Presley (full name Elvis Aaron Presley) is the most outstanding personality in showbiz ever since, and the most popular entertainer the world has ever seen! His musical influence within music history and its following generations of musicians is still unbroken. His huge 'Blast-Off' in the mid-1950s, the rising star from a simply called 'Hillbilly Cat' (at Sun Records) to a lascivious Rock'n'Roll singer with charisma, a male sex symbol (then at RCA Victor) soon popularized him as "The King of Rock'n'Roll" or simply "The King".
 
His first cut within his tremendous career happened between October 1958 and March 1960 while Elvis was on duty with the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany. It was there in 1959 when he met his later wife Priscilla Beaulieu at age 14. Elvis and Priscilla married on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas (divorce in 1973). Elvis evolved into an all-around entertainer after his Army service and started starring in Hollywood films. 33 movies in total, including the two concert documentaries 'That's The Way It Is' and 'On Tour'. He again shook the world with his 1968 NBC Comeback TV Special after his movie period without any stage appearances.
 
This TV special included the first ever unplugged session presented together with musicians from the early days such as Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana. 1973 saw THE TV mega event at all: Elvis Presley, 'Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite'! Elvis' Honolulu appearance, the first time that a show was broadcasted worldwide via satellite! He was ahead of his time! Elvis Presley had 148 US single chart hits, including some so-called double-sider when A- and B-side both hit the charts like his 1956 smash 'Don't Be Cruel b/w Hound Dog', plus 15 EP hits between 1956 and 1977. Two billion of sold media and sound carriers by Elvis Presley is the estimated number! He received 14 Grammy nominations until 1978 and three Grammy for his Gospel interpretations. Elvis was the youngest artist when honored with the Bing Crosby Award (Lifetime Achivement Award) in 1971.
 
He is presented in 5 Halls of Fame (Rock'n'Roll, Rockabilly, Country, Blues and Gospel). Six of his song interpretations are collected in the Grammy Hall of Fame. On top of it all Elvis Presley got the most gold and platinum records and a Diamond-Award. He definetly is the 'Best selling solo artist in U.S. History' (RIAA – Record Industry Association of America)! Elvis Presley CD albums, vinyl records as LPs or singles at 45rpm - Bear Family offers a huge number of various Elvis Presley CDs, vinyl-LPs and 45rpm singles, vinyl- and CD box sets, books and mags, DVDs, unique and extraordinairy memorabilia! Let's say it in the words of one of Elvis sixties album title: There is "Something For Everybody"! And hey, you name it! Elvis Presley is the King of Rock'n'Roll, the biggest icon in showbusiness, and a great person who lives on forever!
Bear Family Records treats his legacy with the most respect and an optimum capacity of expert knowledge.

 

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