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'Black Star': David Bowie's Connection to Elvis Presley

By: Elvis Australia
Source: ElvisPresley.News / The New York Times
January 16, 2016 - 4:18:18 AM
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Like most children of the 1950s, David Bowie considered Elvis a mythic figure. The pair, who would go on to share a record label, RCA, in the 1970s, also happened to be born on the same day. In an interview with Q in 1997 Bowie said of the date: 'I couldn't believe it', he was a major hero of mine. And I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something'.

Following Mr. Bowie's death on Sunday, the search for meaning in his own final works - the album 'Blackstar', which arrived on Friday, his 69th birthday, and the musical 'Lazarus' - has led back to Elvis. On this week's New York Times Popcast, the philosopher Simon Critchley, whose book 'Bowie' was released in 2014, points to the rare Elvis song 'Black Star', an alternate version of 'Flaming Star' from the 1960 Western of the same name.

Could it be ... at the very least, it's a fitting cosmic coincidence.

The lyrics speak for themselves:

Every man has a black star
A black star over his shoulder
And when a man sees his black star
He knows his time, his time has come

Black star don't shine on me, black star
Black star keep behind me, black star
There's a lot of livin' I gotta do
Give me time to make a few dreams come true, black star

In 1960, Elvis Presley recorded 'Black Star'. It was intended to be the title track for a film, but when the film's title changed to 'Flaming Star', the song was ditched and re-recorded with the new title, and wasn't released until the Nineties.

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Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.

Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.

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The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.