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 Biographical Highlights of Elvis' Life

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PostSubject: Biographical Highlights of Elvis' Life    Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:07 pm


January 8, 1935: Elvis is born, in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Summer, 1953: Elvis records a demo acetate at Memphis Recording Service.

July 5, 1954: Elvis records a song that is widely recognized as the birth of rock' n 'roll - "That's All Right (Mama)"

August, 1955: Colonel Tom Parker signs up as Elvis' manager.

November, 1955: Signs a record deal with RCA for $35000. Shortly afterwards Elvis has a number 1 hit with the song "Heartbreak Hotel".

August 1956: "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" released as a double-sided single.

November, 1956: Presley makes his acting debut with the movie "Love Me Tender".

March, 1958: Elvis gets the call and is drafted into US Army. He gets stationed in Germany where he meets Priscilla Beaulieu.

August 14, 1958: Elvis' mother Gladys Presley dies at Methodist Hospital in Memphis.

March, 1960: Elvis is discharged from US Army after two years service.

May 1, 1967: Elvis marries Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas.

February 1, 1968: Daughter Lisa Marie Presley is born in Memphis.

July, 1968: Taping of the NBC special begins, named "Elvis", but popularly referred to as "The '68 Comeback Special". The show airs in December of the same year.

July, 1969: Presley opens at Las Vegas.

December, 1970: Elvis meets President Richard Nixon at the White House and receives a "Special Agent" badge.

Early 1972: Priscilla and Elvis separate.

January 14, 1973: Aloha From Hawaii concert.

October 9, 1973: Priscilla and Elvis get divorced.


August 16, 1977: Elvis dies at Graceland Mansion, Memphis.

January 23, 1986: Elvis Presley is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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PostSubject: 20 TRIVIA FACTS ABOUT ELVIS    Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:12 pm

1. Elvis’ income dropped from $400,000 a month to $78 a month after he was drafted into the U.S. Army on Dec. 19, 1957.

2. The King’s entourage were known collectively as the Memphis Mafia. All sported diamond and gold rings, given to them by Elvis, on which a thunderbolt and the letters TCB had been imprinted. TCB stood for “Taking Care of Business”.

3. The Beatles visited Elvis at his home in California on Aug. 27, 1965, joining him in an informal jam session that, tragically, wasn’t recorded.

4. Elvis called milk “butch”.

5. Elvis gave away so many cars – including Corvettes, Cadillacs and Lincolns – that nobody has ever been able to come up with an accurate count.

6. The King’s last car was a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado which sported gold-plated hubcaps, TV – and a bar.

7. Elvis’ concert jumpsuits were given names. They included: Peacock, White Prehistoric Bird, Flame, Gypsy, Mad Tiger and King of Spades.

8. The King’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, made more than Elvis. He got 50% of what the star made from 1967 on and then earned extra pay as a technical adviser on Elvis’ films.

9. The King’s first guitar cost $12.95.

10. Football was The King’s favorite sport and the Cleveland Browns were his favorite team.

11. Elvis’ favorite movie was James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause, which he memorized line by line.

12. Some of Elvis’s bejewelled jumpsuits weighed more than 25 pounds.

13. The first country to honor Elvis on a postage stamp was the Caribbean island nation of Grenada.

14. Elvis owned 37 guns and liked them so much that he wore a two-shot derringer during live performances in the 1970s.

15. Elvis’ natural hair color was blond, but he dyed it black.

16. Elvis was awarded two medals while serving in the Army, one for expert marksmanship and the other for sharpshooting.

17. Elvis wore a cross, the Hebrew letter chai, and a star of David around his neck. “I don’t want to miss out on heaven due to a technicality,” he said.

18. Elvis recorded more than 600 songs in his music career, but didn’t write a single one of them.

19. Elvis’ favorite meal: Pork chops with brown gravy and apple pie for dessert.

20. Among the many nicknames Elvis went by were: E, Big E, Big El, The Bopping Hillbilly, The Cat, The Chief, Mr. Dynamite and, of course, The King.

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PostSubject: Review -'On Stage' Sony Legacy -40th Anniversary Release   Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:28 pm

Back in 1970 'On Stage' was an all-important step in Elvis’ live album releases. While the previous ‘Elvis In Person’ marvelously captured the stunning dynamite of a resurrected Elvis LIVE in concert it was still basically an album of old rock-n-roll hits, a stunning look-back with a slight look forward.

‘On Stage’ in comparison was UNIQUE featuring a totally different message. Here was an album of Elvis in concert which featured NO Elvis oldies and hits!

It cleverly demonstrated that Elvis really was musically & professionally growing, recording an album that showcased original material from new songwriters and which no longer had to depend on his own greatest-hits.


- And compared to the punk-rock feel of the stunning ‘In Person’ release, it was obvious that ‘On Stage’ still patched a punch but in a smoother, more-professional way.

Elvis showed that he could find great country-funk-rock songs, like the stunning ‘Polk Salad Annie’ and ‘Proud Mary’, while at the same time put his very soul on-line with an amazing ‘Release Me’ and ‘Let It Be Me.’

Elvis even made the classic Everly’s 1960 hit seem contemporary, while at the same time the only real “Oldie” was ‘See See Rider’ which most fans would not have been familiar with.

Elvis’ vocal and new arrangements not only suited the new material but also showed a deeper, richer style and a real progression from his last In-Concert album that was less than 12 months old!

If this was the “new” Elvis revitalized, and a pattern that would hopefully continue, then fans in 1970 could hardly fathom what excitements lay in store for them in the future.

Sadly of course this wouldn’t happen and we would become a little disappointed, as every future live album by Elvis would always follow the “Greatest-Hits plus few-new-songs” formula.



Looking back it is hard to remember that in 1970 ‘On Stage’ was THAT unique!

This new 40th anniversary Legacy edition of ‘On Stage’ contains the original 10 tracks (the one disappointment at the time was that it was a little short) plus three excellent Bonus Tracks, along with the full afternoon rehearsal of ‘The Wonder Of You’ released here for the very first time.

The second CD also includes Elvis’ ‘In Person’ live album plus six Bonus tracks. While serious Elvis fans will already own these songs from the last year’s ‘In Person’ FTD Classic Album, the presentation here is different with an alternate selection of ‘Bonus tracks’.


Since these Legacy releases are aimed at the General Public I can see the point of including ‘In Person’ here.

Hopefully they will not see too much similarity between this release and the stunning 2007 ‘Viva Las Vegas’ compilation that was also aimed at the same market and featured a similar 1969 performance.

DESIGN

It’s a top-notch presentation with some fine photos – many taken from Ken Sharp’s excellent book ‘Elvis Vegas 1969’ but also including new photos from 1970.


It’s no real complaint but I do wonder why there is a 1969 Elvis photo behind DISC 1 (which is the ‘On Stage’ album) yet a 1970 image behind 1969’s DISC 2?!



The liner notes nicely comment on Elvis’ on-stage progression for the February 1970 performances and features quotes from the musicians and songwriters including…


... “Backstage, Elvis was a twitching ball of nerves, pacing the dressing room like a panther. Elvis and the Colonel were both nervous wrecks before the show.

"It was his first live show in eight years and it was a big challenge coming back," affirmed James Burton. "He'd been doing movies for so long and was very insecure about how his fans would accept him. Elvis came up to me right before the show and said, 'James, I'm so nervous, I don't know if I can do this.' I said, 'Elvis, when you walk out there and the curtain goes up, after the first two or three songs it'll be like sitting at home in your living room.'" Rhythm guitarist John Wilkinson remembered, "When the curtain was ready to go up, he was visibly shaking but he was ready."

Opening with a raucous rendition of Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes," Elvis, dressed in a stylish jet black Bill Belew designed outfit, grabbed the mike and sang the song's opening couplet, "Well, it's a one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready" and boy did that cat go. "When he walked out on that stage it was magical." enthused Priscilla Presley. "The energy was incredible. He was like this tiger on stage that was unchained. It was like watching an animal unfold in front of your eyes with this magnetism that drew everyone in. I'm sitting there in the first row seeing him perform and my mouth dropped open, 'My God, it's a totally different Elvis."'

During the press conference that followed opening night, Elvis fessed up that he indeed was nervous "for the first three songs or so, before I loosened up. Then I thought, 'What the heck. Get with it, man, or you might be out of a job tomorrow."'

Inside the packed 2.000 seat showroom, pandemonium ensued. "The audience was so incredibly loud - stompin', screaming and beatin' on the tables. The crowd was goin' nuts," remembered James Burton.”



The Content

The audio has been Re-mastered by the great Vic Anesini and similar to his work on ‘Elvis LIVE’, ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and ‘In Person’ these recordings have never sounded better. The album now sounds like the original vinyl release but with a stunning new clarity and deep, rich sound.

The audio has the “traditional” mix with drums left channel, Backing Vocals & James Burton guitar on the right and with Elvis and Jerry Scheff’s bass in the centre. This gives the concert a rich bass sound driving the concert along and with a new spatially open stereo mix it has a great feel.
(It has the same great mix as featured on Vic Anesini’s excellent 2006 ‘Elvis LIVE’ budget CD.)

Dennis Ferrante’s BMG 1999 ‘On Stage’ version was more compressed, less spatial, and with Elvis’ vocal often more buried in the mix. Elvis’ between-track talking was also changed by Dennis Ferrante.
One prime example is the sensational version here of ‘Let It Be Me.’ On the 1999 release even though the song is a Glen Hardin arrangement his piano was buried in the audio mix. The compression also lessened Elvis’ vocal track, which for some reason also had extra echo added to it, creating a far muddier mix. Here ‘Let It be Me’ shines like never before.

So to the album itself...

DISC 1 (46 minutes)
Kicking off with the great ‘See See Rider’ it’s interesting to note that in February 1970 Elvis did not start his concerts with this classic number as he would from 1972 onwards. The jump straight into the song without the usual TCB intro-vamp seems quite shocking! You can immediately tell that the audio here has been Remastered with the drums placed back on the left channel as they were originally. This audio mix worked very well on Vic Anesini’s ‘In Person’ FTD remaster and the placing sounds great here.

With little or no overdubs (and little orchestra) you can really hear the TCB band rock out on this excellent February 18th Midnight Show number. The Sweet Inspirations add the right amount of soul to the mix and the overall feel is of a more tightly working unit than on the earlier ‘In Person’.

Elvis sets the scene and tells the audience, “We’re recording a live album here tonight” which for some reason was missed from the 1999 version!

‘Release Me’ - If anything represents the fascination of this new “February 1970 season” Elvis it has to be his comment at the beginning, “You’re gonna like this. Let’s play it hard now.” - What a Classic Elvis comment!

While never fan of the 1967 Englebert Humperdinck smash hit (It was actually originally published in 1946!) -Elvis managed to transform this fairly innocuous country song into a rockin’ ballad full of Southern Soul.

His comments mid-chorus like “Yeah Baby” at 01.30 are SO Elvis, they always bring a smile to my face.

Not only does Glen Hardin start the song with a cute piano intro but his finger-work also really drives the song along, which was somewhat lost on the 1999 release. The new audio Master here gives the song an even richer, powerful, soulful feel.


It is also worth noting that Elvis was pretty sick with the flu/cough during this engagement (See FTD ‘Polk Salad Annie’ review) and it is surprising just how good his voice sounded.

Also note that this even track begins with Elvis coughing!

‘Sweet Caroline’ follows with an acknowledgement to at-the-time fairy unknown songwriter Neil Diamond.

Elvis performs it with a real passion (and of course you can imagine the performance from the film ‘That’s The Way It Is’ that would follow six months later.

Del Shannon’s ‘Runaway’ follows (more great “Yeah Baby”s) and if it sounds a little less professional in its arrangement than the other songs here, we of course now know that it was in fact from the previous year.

It is a crying shame that RCA (Felton Jarvis) never decided on ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ or ‘Kentucky Rain’ instead since they would have suited the album’s overall feel so much better.

‘The Wonder Of You’ – What more can one add about this stunning UK #1 single?

I love Elvis’ comment beforehand, “Everybody ready?”* Who could imagine that Elvis could record such a stunning single when he was only rehearsing it that very afternoon!


The very first on-stage version performed and never bettered.
* Interestingly the 1999 ‘On Stage’ release also featured Elvis extra words, “Watch me goof it up now, see!” which were not on the original album.

‘Polk Salad Annie’ – “Some of you never been down South too much!” What a brilliant introduction and so stunning swamp rock from the TCB Band.

This one deserves cranking up loud. The rumble of Jerry Scheff’s bass along with the tight Ronnie Tutt drumming provides the perfect rhythm section – along with Gospel responses from The Sweets (“chick-a-bomb-chick-a-bomb” indeed!) and an excellent horn arrangement.

(The Nashville credited arranger Bergen White is acknowledged on the sleeve cover since he arranged Tony Joe White’s original version) .

As Tony Joe White says in the sleeve notes,

"Elvis' producer Felton Jarvis explained to some journalist
'Elvis is gonna cut 'Polk' live,"' recalled White. "They flew us out to Las Vegas to see Elvis perform it.

It was weird because I was doing Elvis' early stuff in my early days and now all of a sudden he was doing mine. I was totally in awe of the whole thing.

Elvis connected with 'Polk Salad Annie' because he had eaten Polk and he understood it plus it was a great rocker for him.

He put all his moves and dancing into it. He really just got down with it. It seemed like he worked that song harder than anything."
........................................

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