I can still remember the first time I saw Elvis Presley on TV. (No, it was not his now infamous “Ed Sullivan” appearance. I was too young for that.) My mother was watching “Jailhouse Rock” one afternoon and I sat down to watch it with her. I was not too happy the movie was in black and white, but when I remembered “The Addams Family” was also, along with certain reruns of “Bewitched” I rolled with it.
My mother began to explain the movie to me (“Elvis was not a bad man. He just tried to help a woman stay safe from a man who was bad except the judge did not believe Elvis…”). However, before I heard the rest of the story this beautiful but not bad man with the high hair and unbelievably great voice started to sing: “The Warden threw a party in the county jail…”. Sa-woon!!! OK, I was only 6 or 7 so I did not know the meaning of that word then, but now that I do trust me, it fits!!!
Publicity photo from the movie “Jailhouse Rock” (MGM Inc)
Before I knew it, the not bad man slid down the pole and was doing his hip-shaking, walk-dance amongst the other inmates. I was mesmerized. I remember saying to my mother, “Wow, what a great song” to which she replied, “Just wait until you hear him sing a slow song”. And such was my introduction to Elvis Aaron Presley, not to mention the phenomenal songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Years later, I watched Presley’s film “Change of Habit” with my grandmother. I could not believe his co-star was my beloved Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) as a nun!!! But I digress.
Thanks to my mother’s love for Presley, I grew up listening to albums like “Elvis’ Christmas Album” (I still swoon over “Blue Christmas“), “A Date With Elvis”, “For LP Fans Only”, “Blue Hawaii”, and the rest of the soundtracks. As much as I love his rock & roll songs, my mother was right: his ballads are beyond beautiful. My personal favorite is “Can’t Help Falling In Love“, my mother’s favorite was “Love Me Tender“, but let’s not forget “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, “Crying In The Chapel“, “The Wonder Of You” or “In The Ghetto” just to name a few more. I also love the version his daughter Lisa Marie Presley did in 2007 as a duet with her father.
I am profoundly sad to report that my mother’s records were lost when we moved into our house on Long Island. Sigh. But I have amassed my own collection of Elvis’ recordings with CD’s and vinyl whenever I am lucky enough to find the latter at garage and estate sales. And on March 18, a limited edition 60 disc set of Presley’s recording will be released to honor the 60th anniversary of his first album release. The box set will include three CD’s of rarity recordings and a 300 page book. I am saving my pennies now. If that is too much of an investment for your budget, try “Elvis 30 #1 Hits“.
In the meantime, enjoy the King’s performance from “Jailhouse Rock” as we remember him on what would have been his 81st birthday.
I do not own the rights to anything nor have I been sponsored in any way for this post. I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.
Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!