"Picture of the Week" (1957)

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We'd like to write a short review about the performances of Elvis on Ed Sullivan in 1957. (There is no particular item released with the title above as far as we know). Actually our favorite performance is "Ready Teddy" from the first Sullivan Show, when Sullivan was absent due to a serious car accident. The contribution of Gordon Stoker on piano and the tempo of the song made it perfect and it was pure Rock and Roll.

On the final show they suddenly realised that they had to shoot Elvis from the waist up. It was very odd, cause they did not handle that way on the previous ones. After the introduction we can hear the medley of three Elvis' hits: Hound Dog, Love Me Tender and Heartbreak Hotel... They were short, of course, but good enough.

Elvis' outfit was more flashy compared to the previous ones... He made a short speech after the medley. The jokes were not spontenous, we think... He sang then "Don't Be Cruel"... The Jordanaires were very good again and Elvis's movements at the end made the girls scream a lot...

"Too Much" was another song he performed. During the guitar solo you can hear the girls scream again. At the end of the song, while saying "you're the most", we think,  he addressed the audience with his hand gestures. Afterwards, he thanked people for sending so many Teddy Bears at Christmas time and for his birthday...Then he sang "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again", we notice that he gave no chance to Scotty for a guitar break although he already had started to play...

After the speech of Sullivan, Elvis sang "Peace in the Valley".  This time we see that he changed his costume and wore a jacket, maybe because it was a gospel number. He sang it heartfully, showed his emotions and at the end of the song he gave a salute to the viewers ...

At the end of the show Sullivan said that Elvis was a decent, fine boy...But if you look at the face of Elvis you may realize that he did not forget that Sullivan had not wanted him at the start. In 70's the jokes he made about Sullivan showed he resented a little bit. Sullivan Shows made it very clear to TV viewers that Elvis was the biggest and a new era had begun and the mass hysteria was not without a cause...

(by Korkmaz Ulucay)



1972, MGM

After his tiresome days between movie sets in 60's, Elvis Presley made a glorious return to stage. His fans were satisfied with the first documentary about him prepared by MGM in 1970: "Elvis-That's The Way It Is". In 1972, MGM made the second concert movie "Elvis On Tour". Unlike the first movie recorded in Las Vegas, this movie included concerts in 15 different cities in April and some rehearsals.

There are rehearsals made in Hollywood at the end of March in the movie. Presley mostly sang gospel songs in these rehearsals. ‘Lead Me, Guide Me’, ‘Rock My Soul’ were completely added to the movie. In addition to this, the song ‘Lighthouse’ by JD Sumner & Stamps Quartet was performed in the rehearsal. 'I, John' recorded during the tour and Johnny B. Goode (at the beginning of the movie) are other rehearsals in the movie. Furthermore, studio recording of Elvis' new song 'Separate Ways' was added to the movie.

The tour started in Bufallo on April 5 and ended in Alburquerque on April 19. Most of the songs in the movie are from the concerts in Virginia on April 9, in Greensboro on April 14 and in San Antonio on April 18. Shows included the dialogs between Elvis and audience, his dances and the jokes of Elvis and the band with each other. Jackie Kahane, who amused the audience before Elvis concerts for a while, adds color to the movie.

The first song in the movie, See See Rider, is from the concert in Virginia on April 9. The atmosphere can be vividly seen by the short-cut camera showing Elvis entering the stage, the reactions of the audience and the flashes of cameras. Songs that have an important place in Elvis discography like ‘Polk Salad Annie’, ‘Burning Love’, ‘Never Been To Spain’, ‘Proud Mary’, ‘American Trilogy’, are a must-see. Some of the old-time hits are added to the concert too, such as ‘Love Me Tender’, ‘I Got A Woman’, ‘A Big Hunk O’ Love’ and ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’.

Reactions of audience
Like in 'That's The Way It Is', Elvis audience's comments can be seen in the movie. Some interesting scenes of the movie are people waiting for the King before the concert hall, screaming at shows and welcoming the King at the airport. Finally, it is wonderful to see that the audience got crazy with ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ performed by Elvis at the end of the show.

Elvis' dances and accessories
The glorius customs that Elvis wear during the tour charm everybody who watches the movie. ‘Lionhead Suit’, ‘Burning Love Suit’ and ‘Blue Nail Suit’ can be seen mostly. Of course, cloaks are complementary for the customs. The rings, used by Elvis at that time, are dazzling. Another important point in the movie is karate figures of Elvis on the stage. These scenes, not so much included in TTWII, excite us.

Early years and interviews
There are some photos, songs and appearances of Elvis from 50's in the movie. In addition to 'Readdy Teddy' from Ed Sullivan Show, original cuts of 'Mystery Train' and 'That's Alright Mama' are added in. There is an interview with Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, about the early years of the King. A short part of the dialog between Elvis and the director (Elvis is talking about his singing church songs at his childhood) is also added. The dialogs between Elvis, his vocalists and friends have a big part in the movie. The most interesting of them is the time when they sing ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’ and ‘For The Good Times’ in the car after the concert.

Unused scenes
The scnenes that are not included in 'Elvis On Tour' were used in two important works. First of them is a biography made in 1981, 'This Is Elvis'. In this movie, there are 'American Trilogy' and some backstage scenes both from Virginia concert. 'Lost Performances' made in 1992 includes more materials. ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’, ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’, ‘Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel’ are some of the songs featuring. Maybe the most important point about 'Elvis On Tour' is that it won the Best Documentary Golden Globe Award in 1973. Like TTWII, we would like to have an official DVD and special edition of this movie.

Song List:

(by Ahmet Gülen, translation: Görkem Köroðlu)


1982, Harmony Books / Roy Carr and Mick Farren

One of the most useful books ever written about Elvis Presley…We bought the book in Istanbul in 1986 and since then it has been like a guide-book for our record collection. There was no internet back then and to have such a book was very important to get to know the original catalog of Elvis’ records. If you are a collector, first of all you need to have the knowledge about the things you want to collect. Otherwise, you may buy unnecessary things, sometimes you pay higher prices or you’ll never know the worth of what you own.

The LP-size book contains 192 pages. There are more than 300 pictures inside and some of them were never published before. Most of the pictures are black and white. There is another edition of the book, released with another cover (with the picture used on the cover of “50’s Masters Box Set”).

The authors Roy Carr and Mick Farren are well known in music world. Mick Farren was also known as the co-author of the books “Elvis-In His Own Words” and “Elvis and the Colonel”.

The book includes a complete Elvis discography and discusses all of his movies. It is consisted of five main parts. The records and films are given in chronological order considering Elvis’ career. Of course, the important events in his life are mentioned, too. First part covers the years 1954-58, the second 1958-60, the third 1960-68 and the fourth 1969-77. In the last part, there is a general overview. At the start of each part, they made a summary of what happened during those years. As said before, the chronological record-catalog (in the United States) plays the biggest role in the book. So you can find the records released for every year, the track lists, the songwriters, the musicians, the numbers for each song given by RCA and recording studios. Besides, the films, the soundtracks, the players are given in a very detailed way. The book gives that kind of information till 1982, the year that it was pressed, i.e. it includes some of the King’s posthumous record releases.

“RCA Gold Standard Series”, “Spoken Word Records”, “Bootlegs”, “Mail Order Records” and UK discography were also enclosed. Obviously, these parts are very precious for the collectors.

Not Much To Criticize
It would be better, if they had printed the covers of the records in color. On the other hand, the comments are very solid, the mistakes are only a few. On page 158, the recording studio was printed as Nashville instead of Hollywood and on page 175 the last track of the album “Guitar Man” should be “I’m Movin’ On” (not “Help Me”).

Well, we still look at it now and then, ‘cause it really captures Elvis’ musical and movie career.

(by Korkmaz Ulucay)


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