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ELVIS ON TOUR: A MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

A follow-up to the 1970 release Elvis: That's the Way it Is, another musical documentary, this film followed Presley as he embarked on a 15-city tour of the United States in April 1972. Elvis on Tour also contains vintage footage of Presley's famous 1956 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and pre-tour rehearsal footage. It also includes footage of enthusiastic fan reactions scattered throughout the film.

Also included are portions of a forty-minute interview that Elvis gave about his life and career before filming began. Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was unhappy with the inclusion of a scene which mocked Presley's acting career by showing screen kisses taken from a number of his previous films. According to the producers, it was a tongue-in-cheek dig at the repetitiveness of these films by changing the background "but the plot stays the same".

Among those working on this film were Martin Scorsese, who supervised montage sequences, and David Draper. The film was directed by Pierre Adidge and Robert Abel.

The concert film reached #13 on the Variety National Box Office Survey. In general, documentaries were very rarely box office successes. However, despite costing upwards of $1.6 million to produce, most of which was Presley's $1 million fee, the film recouped its production costs after just three days in theaters.

As well as being a financial success, Elvis on Tour proved to also be a critical success by winning the 1972 Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary, making it the only Elvis film to win an award of any kind.

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Elvis performing See See Rider and a clip of Proud Mary.

Elvis performing Love Me

Interview with Vernon Presley and George Klein for Elvis On Tour

A DATE WITH ELVIS: MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

A Date With Elvis was released in July 1959 and contains material previously unreleased from an August 1956 recording session at 20th Century Fox Stage 1, Radio Recorders in Hollywood and sessions from Sun Studio.  The Album reached #32 on the Billboard Top Pop Album Chart.  This original vinyl album folded out to be a calendar for 1960

Here are some audio tracks from the latest FTD release "Elvis: For LP Fans Only" Disc 2 that contained a majority of home recordings.

 

ELVIS ALBUM: ELVIS COUNTRY - SIDE "A"

Elvis Country "I'm 10,000 Years Old" was Elvis 11th studio album and released on January 2, 1971.  It reached #12 on the Pop Charts and #6 on the Country charts receiving Gold status by the RIAA in December of 1977

Segments of the song "I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago" are used to link the songs together in the album.  Recorded June 4, 1970 the song was released in its complete form on the LP Elvis Now in February 20, 1972.

The first song on the album on side one was Snowbird written by Canadian songwriter Gene MacLellan.  Although this song was recorded by many performers it was best known through Ann Murray's 1969 recording which was released as a single in 1970. Elvis was fond of Ann Murray's singing and would record the song on September 22, 1970.  Here is the song that influenced Elvis own recording by Ann Murray and his first take of the song during recording.

Listen to Elvis rehearsal and first take of Snowbird as well as the master recording.

 

Tomorrow Never Comes was a song written and performed by Ernest Tubb and released on Decca records in 1945.  Elvis moody interpretation of the song is greatly in contrast with Tubbs original version.

Listen to Elvis' first take of the song which has a soft feel compared to the master version where he has full force grit and emotion in the song.  Recorded June 7, 1970

 

Little Cabin On The Hill was written and recorded by Bill Monroe in which his title was "Little Cabin Home On The Hill".  Elvis first recorded version was on December 4th, 1956 in which he imitated Monroe during the Million Dollar Quarter recordings.   

Elvis would record the song on June 4, 1970.  In many ways he stays true to the original recording.  Listen to take 1 and the master recording.

Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On is widely known as a Jerry Lee Lewis song in which he recorded in 1957.  However the first recoring was two years prior by Big Maybelle.  A very cool but raunchier version of the songs.  

Elvis recording from September 22, 1970 adds more of the country version with Elvis' vocals feeding off the drum beat. Hear Elvis having fun with the Memphis Mafia boys and leading the recording session.  Also listen to the master recording.

The classic Funny How Time Slips Away was written by Willie Nelson but first recorded by Billy Walker on April 21, 1961. On July 1954 Walker along with Slim Whitman were headlining a show at the Overton Shell in Memphis along with newcomer Elvis Presley.  This was Elvis' first professional appearance after his recording of "That's All Right Mama.

Elvis recorded the song on June 7, 1970 and performed this song during his life performances in the mid 1970's.  Below is the master recording along with a version from a 1972 concert and the live performance by Billy Walker on the Opry.

 
 

The last song on Side A is a beautiful song written by Howard Barnes and Don Robertson called I Really Don't Want To Know in which they produced a demo in 1953. A year later the song was professionally recorded by Eddie Arnold. Elvis recorded the song on June 7, 1970 and released as a single December 8, 1970 where it peaked at #21 on the Pop Charts and #23 in the country chart. Below is the undubbed version from the album along with Eddie Arnold's recording and a live performance during one his final concert tours.

 
 

Don't forget to check out our look at SIDE B of Elvis Country

ELVIS ALBUM: ELVIS COUNTRY - SIDE "B"

As we flip the record to Elvis Country "I'm 10,000 Years Old" to Side "B" the first song is a song written by Dallas Frazier called There Goes My Everything. First released by Ferlin Husky in 1966 on his I Could Sing All Night LP.  The song came well known on a recording from Jack Greene's recording where it was voted Single and Song of the Year in 1967 at the 1st Country Music Association Awards.

Below is the Jack Greene version along with a live performance from Elvis in 1970.

Elvis recorded the song on June 8, 1970 and song was released as a single on December 8, 1970 where it reached #21 on the Pop charts and #23 on the Country charts.  Listen below to take 1.

 
 

The next song was It's Your Baby, You Rock It.  Written by Shirl Milete and Nora Fowler the song was first recorded by Jesse Brady who used that as a stage name but later returned to his real name Allen Wright.

Elvis recorded the song on June 5, 1970 and below is Take 3 in which Elvis discusses the guitar intro. Take 3 has no back ground vocals a noticible difference to the master recording with the full background vocals and instrumentation.

Next up on Side B is The Fool a song originally recorded by Sanford Clark in 1956.  Elvis recorded this song originally at his home in Bad Nauheim, Germany and then officially for this country album.  Listen to Clark's original version in which Elvis keeps his version very similar too.

Elvis official recording took place on June 4, 1970.  Below is the first original home recording as well as Take 1 from the recording session.

I Washed My Hand In Muddy Waters is a Joe Babcock written tune from 1964.  Babcock did studio work with the Jordanaires and formed the vocal group the Nashville Edition.  He sang on more than 10,000 recordings including Elvis' Kentucky Rain and Suspicious Minds.  The song was recorded by Stonewall Jackson and can be heard below.  Elvis did the song while rehearsing for the movie That's The Way It Is and was available on The Lost Performances.  

Elvis recorded "Muddy Water" on June 7, 1970 with a much faster tempo than the original Stonewall Jackson version and even more so than his impromptu rehearsal version above.  

 
 

The final song on the album was a popular country song composed by Hank Cochran in 1963 called Make The World Go Away.  The original version of the song was recorded by Ray Price that same year and it was a top 40 song for Timi Yuro (1963), Eddy Arnold (1965) and Donny & Marie Osmond in 1975.  Elvis recorded the song June 7, 1970 and utilize the song in his concert performances in the early 70's.

Below is Elvis recording the song in the studio along with the master recording.

 
 
Check out info on the SIDE A of the album Elvis Country

Jailhouse Rock: A Media Perspective

Elvis third movie was Jailhouse Rock a film about a young man sentenced to prison for manslaughter who is mentored in music by his prison cellmate who realizes his musical abilities. After his release from jail, while looking for a job as a club singer, the young man meets a musical promoter (Judy Tyler) who helps him launch his career. As he develops his musical abilities and becomes a star, his self-centered personality begins to affect his relationships.

The production of Jailhouse Rock began on May 13, 1957, and concluded on June 17 of that year. The dance sequence to the film's title song Jailhouse Rock is often cited as "Presley's greatest moment on screen".

Before pre-production began, songwriters Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber were commissioned to integrate the film's soundtrack. In April, Leiber and Stoller were called for a meeting in New York City to show the progress of the repertoire. The writers, who had not produced any material, toured the city and were confronted in a hotel room by Jean Aberbach , who locked them into their hotel room by blocking the hotel room door with a sofa until they wrote the material. Presley recorded the soundtrack at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on April 30 and May 3, with an additional session at the MGM Soundstage on May 9. During post-production, the songs were dubbed into the films scenes, in which Elvis mimed the lyrics.

Jailhouse Rock premiered on October 17, 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee and was released nationwide on November 8, 1957. It peaked at number 3 on the Variety box office chart, and reached number 14 in the year's box office totals, grossing $4 million. 

 
 
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