Video Interview with Billy Strange
In this 2010 video interview with Billy Strange [to celebrate his 80th birthday], Billy talks about his friendship with Elvis, writing songs for him with Mac Davis. Writing Memories, discussing the lyrics with Elvis in the process of writing the song, A Little Less Conversation and about that songs mega success in 2002. Working with Elvis on the song Viva Las Vegas, 'I was playing guitar on Viva Las Vegas ... he liked what I did'. On their friendship he talks about Elvis calling him up 'to his house' and them 'playing with the baby, Lisa Marie for hours. Billy also talks about working with Nancy Sinatra and her hit, These Boots Were Made for Walking and much more.
Video interview by Jan Derrer
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Billy Strange co-wrote several songs for Elvis Presley with Mac Davis, including A Little Less Conversation for the movie Live A Little, Live A Little, which, while only a minor success on release in 1968, became a worldwide hit after it was heard in the 2001 film 'Ocean's 11' and then remixed by Junkie XL's for Nike and public demand made it an obvious choice for a single release which went number one worldwide in 2002.
Other notable Elvis Presley songs co-written by Billy Strange and Mac Davis are, Memories and Nothingville from Elvis' '68 Comeback Special, Clean Up Your Own Back Yard [The Trouble With Girls] and Charro! [Charro!] all written in 1968. Billy first played guitar on the soundtrack for Elvis' movie, it Happened At The Worlds Fair then on Viva Las Vegas and Roustabout. He received music director credits for Elvis' movies, Live A Little, Live A Little and The Trouble With Girls. Elvis asked Steve Binder to hire Billy as musical director for 'Elvis' known today as the'68 Comeback Special, however he was replaced by Billy Goldenberg.
Billy Stange and Elvis Presley : 'Elvis', The '68 Comeback Special.
Strange collaborated with renowned singer Nancy Sinatra for her 1967 James Bond theme You Only Live Twice and also arranged music for Somethin' Stupid - a duet with her father Frank Sinatra. One of his most famous and captivating performances is on Nancy Sinatra's version of Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). The tremolo-heavy arrangement of the song had been critically acclaimed, but it wasn't until the song featured in 'Kill Bill' that it became world-famous. He had maintained a long working relationship with Sinatra, including arrangements on her hit These Boots Were Made for Walking. Nancy Sinatra who was heartbroken after learning about the death of her longtime collaborator posted on social networking site, 'My dear friend, the legendary guitarist/arranger Billy Strange passed away this morning in Nashville. My heart is shattered'.
The Rockabilly Hall of Fame and Musicians Hall of Fame inductee also collaborated with other rock legends like Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Willie Nelson, Beach boys and Nat King Cole.
Video interview by Jan Derrer
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.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
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.