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Elvis Presley Interviews and Articles by By David Adams
Interviews and articles about Elvis Presley by By David Adams.
Interview with Hal Kanter, screenwriter and director for the Elvis Presley movie Loving You
. Previously Hal had written for variety shows, graduating to screenplays and specializing in comedies. He wrote for Bob Hope as well as the comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Over the years, Hal Kanter received six Emmy Award nominations, winning the last two for his writing on the annual Academy Awards telecast. He also wrote the script for Elvis Presley's 1961 hit film Blue Hawaii
, which garnered him a 'Best Written American Musical' nomination from the Writers Guild of America.
The connections between Elvis Presley and Australia are few. He never visited us. He never expressed any particular interest in the land 'down under' He was essentially a Memphis boy who, apart from his brief stint in the army in Germany, liked to stay in the Deep South and to spend his time in Graceland. It therefore comes as a pleasant surprise to learn that Larry Muhoberac, the man who played keyboards for Elvis for ten years, is an Aussie citizen and currently lives in a delightful home overlooking a valley full of gum trees on Sydney's northern beaches.
The Memphis Recording Service (MRS), the producers of the 'Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD, boldly state on the front cover that never before have we ever had live film footage (i.e., with synchronized sound) of an Elvis concert from the 50's ... until this time. Well, we certainly do now! 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.
MRS has ingeniously coordinated licensed, professionally shot black and white newsreel footage (taken at the afternoon September 1956 Tupelo homecoming concert) with the amateur recording made of the concert (which has previously appeared on the Elvis Presley Golden Celebration LP/CD box sets) and it blows you away! Not because of the quality of the footage and audio, but because of the combination! You will hardly believe your eyes and ears!
- The DVD Audio section gives you sound quality superior to CD
- The DVD Video Section Contains both Video Film and synchronized Sound
The first time I saw Elvis in person I knew he was special. Number one he was the prettiest man you ever saw in your life. He was really beyond handsome. There was something electric about him. Coming along when he did, moving the way he did, jumping around the way he did plus the fact that every woman was totally mesmerized by him. And if they said they weren't they were lying. Everything came to standstill when you saw Elvis. This was when he was 19 and again when he was 30. I saw him at both instances and there was the same reaction both times. You couldn't have wiped the smiles off their faces with a hand grenade. It was unbelievable every time he performed. He was just a great looking guy and he was very confident.
While it is well known that Elvis Presley and Sammy Davis Jr. were good friends, first meeting in the 1950s, maintaining a friendship through the years, now, we have a fantastic photo via a news paper clipping from Jet magazine, February 27, 1958 showing Sammy in full swing imitating Elvis, and what's more, the clipping tells us that Elvis was sitting in the front row, roaring with laughter. Imitations were a big part of Sammy's shows and Elvis was not left out in this regard, with Sammy singing Hound Dog in concert.
One of the most recorded guitar players of all time, Reggie Young has played on hundreds of hit songs in multiple genres. His career spans over 50 years and between the years 1967 thru 1971 alone his guitar was on 120 Top 40 pop and R&B hits. He's recorded with Elvis and opened for The Beatles
along with playing guitar on several hundred different artists recordings, playing rockabilly, R&B, rock, pop, country and jazz with some of the greatest of all time: ... Do you have a special memory with Elvis? Well, it's all a special moment. But especially American, the one on one, when we were just sittin' around talking and you know, after the fact I look back and say, man I was just sittin' around talking to Elvis.
In the course of her remarkable recording career, Patti Page has sold approximately 100 million plus records, making her one of the biggest, if not the biggest selling female recording artist in history. She has 15 certified gold records and her recording of 'Tennessee Waltz', at ten million sold, remains, the biggest selling single ever recorded by a female artist.
Susan Henning was born in North Hollywood, raised in the San Fernando Valley, the blonde, tan, blue-eyed California girl epitomized the Healthy All American girl. She won 'Miss Teen USA' in 1965. Susan appeared in Elvis' movie, 'Live A Little, Love A Little' and says her all-time favorite was the 1968 'Elvis Special' where 'Elvis and I came together again igniting our chemistry to thrill the fans'.
I must admit to finding that the 1969 'Fantasy' concert is a remarkable work that should have broad appeal - a big surprise. My initial skepticism was quickly overcome. This concert DVD should appeal to any Elvis fan that likes Elvis music to start with. With full quality normal audio, from CD, anyone can play this via their DVD player preferably then with the audio output via a stereo system. [And this is no diversion from what the format is] This DVD is well worth consideration for inclusion in your Elvis library for several reasons.
Well, he couldn't get out, he tried to get out one time, and walk down Hollywood Blvd. and he got all the people recognized him and pretty soon he had a mob down there and they had to call the cops to get him back to the Knickerbocker. And, one night, it must have been about 10 or 11 o'clock, where the Pantages Theatre, it's around the corner from the Knickerbocker. And, across the street from the Knickerbocker was a car, I mean a parking lot. So, people would park their car there and go to the movies at the Pantages Theatre. So, all the people were walking down Hollywood Blvd. and they'd walk across the street to go to their cars, so they wouldn't actually walk right past the Knickerbocker.
Interview with Steve Wynn, bother of Kenny
who we recently featured an interview with.
Interview with with Anita Wood, Elvis' girlfriend during the whirlwind late 50's. Anita talks about meeting Elvis for the first time WHPQ radio television in Memphis 1957, dating, Elvis being drafted and his mothers reaction, Hollywood, Elvis Presley Jr, Natalie Wood and more.
Elvis was gonna perform at the Armory and my friend and I, we were so excited to go and we went and everybody was screaming and all the girls and everything and then my friend wanted me to go back stage to get his autograph and I wouldn't go and she goes, 'Are you crazy?' and I go, 'I don't want to'. She goes, 'Why not?' I said, 'Because I'm gonna go to Hollywood and he is gonna be my friend' ... And she goes, 'You're crazy ...', because my name Aidieme, 'You're crazy Aidieme, you're never gonna be a movie star and you should go back. At least you get to see him in person'. And I wouldn't do it.
Somehow, I scraped together enough money to buy every new Presley release so that I could play them in the privacy of my bedroom - all the better to study his unique singing style.
There's a photograph of you and Elvis here that looked like a plaque. Can you tell us a little background about what happened there? Well, Elvis and I took a picture together, because we wrote a song called 'I'll Be Back', which was voted in the top ten in the motion picture category.
Interview with Ray Walker of the Jordanaires
. We were looking the other way when Elvis came in. When I turned around, he stuck his hand out and said, 'I'm Elvis Presley'. I said, 'I know who you are. I'm Ray Walker'. Elvis replied to me, 'And I know who you are'. We stood there and talked, and the minute I looked in to his face all his fame left. I saw one of the nicest guys. I'm not really one to keep my mouth shut most of the time, as long as I know there's no harm, so during that all-night session I said to him, 'You know, your heart's going to take a beating in this business. And I've only been in it three weeks'. (Laughs) I really liked him right off. There was just an aura about him, he was one of the most impressive people I have ever met in my life.
A Touch of Gold Lamé is a 450+ page Hardcover book by Erik Lorentzen author of the Elvis Files books and is the same size and weight (3.5kg/ 7.7 pounds) as these classic releases (i.e. HUGE) and will cover all you could want to know about Elvis and his 1957 concerts featuring the famous Gold Lame Suit. The wealth of material in this book is stunning with 420 pages of glorious photographs and articles of Elvis on tour!
The man who brought it all into focus and made the world catch on fire with rock and roll was Elvis Presley. He also generated those fires in me and my friends. We all thought we could be like him.
On stage during the filming of 'Elvis: That's The Way it Is
' Elvis joked and teased the 'Sweet Inspirations' that you would bring in the Supremes, with Mahalia Jackson singing lead. He did not have to go that far, he had an ideal group in front of him (as Elvis fans know), but the person to bring in, or rather bring back was the groups founder, Cissy Houston
. Emily 'Cissy' Houston was the real killer feature of the group, certainly when listening to this CD, and she was backed by three very competent singers in Myrna Smith
, Sylvia Shemwell and Estelle Brown who managed a great mix of a gospel sound and Atlantic soul music.
Interview with Richard Davis a longtime member of Elvis' Memphis Mafia. Richard started working for Elvis after Elvis returned from the Army and continued to work for him until 1971 as a body guard, a stand-in in 23 movies and eventually a wardrobe manager. He remained friends with Elvis until the end. Known among the other Memphis Mafia members for his quick wit and for being a bit of a prankster he once dropped a water balloon on Elvis' head as he walked out of his trailer in fresh makeup for a movie shoot.
Richard Davis : There's so many things it's hard to pinpoint. Well I got one thing. I don't remember what year it was. And one thing that happened is back in the dressing room before he went on one night, somebody came back and told Elvis, 'Muhammad Ali
is in the audience and he would like to meet you'. And Elvis said, 'Oh, yeah, yeah, bring him on back', 'cause Elvis loved Muhammad Ali. So Muhammad Ali comes back there and he's got his entourage with him and -- big old guys, man. You know, and big bodyguard guys.
Well, my first meeting with Elvis was the pre-production meeting. I got a call from Tom Diskin who was the Colonel's associate, and he said they were thinking about me conducting the show for Elvis Presley. And someone had preceded me there for the first show.
Freddy Bienstock is not a household name, he is famous to many as the music publisher and plugger for Elvis Presley. But still, even to Elvis fans, he is something of a mystery figure. We know about James Burton
, Scotty Moore
, Red West
and Colonel Parker
, but who can tell you much about Freddy Bienstock? And yet look in the index of any Elvis Presley biography
and you will find references to him. He runs through Peter Guralnick's definitive biographies, and, quite clearly, he is an essential component in the Elvis story. Just how important becomes clear when he said, quite matter of factly, 'For the first 12 years of Elvis' career with RCA, he wouldn't look at a song unless I had seen it first'.
Interview with Sheila Ryan who was was Elvis' girlfriend after Linda Thompson. Sheila was the Oct.'73 Playboy cover girl and married James Caan in '76 (divorced in '77). Elvis had qualities that no other human being has, had, will have. Some of them are so hard to describe because the charisma, the qualities that he had were almost not of this world, you know. They were, a lot of times, angelic. He knew things before I knew things. He knew things that I was feeling before I was feeling them.
Interview with Myrna Smith, one of the Sweet Inspirations, the backing group who sang with Elvis in concert from 1969 to 1977. 'His voice was a lot more remarkable than it ever came off on record. He was just a much better singer than could ever be captured, some great singers voices are just too big.
For six years, Donnie Sumner toured with and was a close personal friend of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. His father was a Pentecostal preacher, and his uncle, J.D. Sumner, was a legendary musical figure. Listen to a private recording where Elvis sings 'Let Me Be The One'.
For me, it was a horrible scene, Just horrible. But Elvis turned it all around. I did a Hollywood gossip column for a fan magazine called Teen Scene. You may remember it. Well, Dad had known Elvis' manager, Col. Tom Parker
, and his wife, Marie, for many years. So Dad was able to get me an interview with the great Elvis who had just come back from Germany and had come out to the West Coast to make movies. The interview was going to take a place on the set of GI Blues
. It really was a fantastic break for a kid like me. I knew it. I bought new shoes. I chose a new dress. I got an appointment with an expensive hairdresser. I was shaking but I was going to look sharp and make a great impression on Elvis.
wrote the song, It Keeps Right On A Hurtin'
early in 1962 inspired by the terminal illness of his father. He recorded the song himself and it became one of his biggest hits, reaching # 3 in the US pop chart and becoming the first of his records to make the country music charts, where it peaked at # 4. It earned him his first Grammy nomination, for Best Country & Western Recording, and was later recorded by over 100 performers including Elvis Presley in 1969 at his legendary American Sound Studios Sessions
Jackie DeShannon is an American singer/songwriter with a string of hit song credits from the 1960s onwards. 'I was lucky enough to first meet Elvis at his house in Bel Air and he used to invite different artists, singers and musicians, to come and jam with him at his house. And in the lower room, we had a jukebox and just played records and sang together and just had a great time'.
Interview with Bill Belew, who has the distinction of having designed Elvis Presley's costumes and personal wardrobe from 1968 until 1977.
When I was with Voice, those were moments when I was actually in there. You sit on the couch around in the house with Elvis. And he'd come and we'd gather around the piano. We'd sing old spirituals and stuff. And he'd play -- he loved to play the piano. And he actually played pretty good. I learned from being in Voice what kind of a guy he really was which is basically just a good southern guy who happened to be really handsome and really could rock the world, you know.
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.
+ Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
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.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.