Let’s Take A Moment Day 298

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Shakespeare music

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today is the 86th birth anniversary for the man crowned “The King”. But this month two other key events took place in history that helped Elvis Presley earn that title. January 5, 1923 is the day Sun Records founder Sam Phillips was born in Alabama. And January 2, 1950 is the day he opened the Memphis Recording Service in TN which became Sun Studio two years later. Not only did Elvis start there, but so did Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, amongst others. Is it any wonder why Memphis is the country music capital?

If you want to pinpoint the moment rock & roll changed American culture forever, look no further than “The Milton Berle Show” broadcast on June 5, 1956. Elvis sang today’s song that night which he would not record until a month later. It was during this appearance that he stood behind a microphone for the first time without his guitar (supposedly at Berle’s suggestion) leaving The King’s gyrating hips and pelvic thrusts in full view. This caused a nationwide swoon of nearly every young girl who was watching him. But their parents were watching, too, and many of them were not happy about what they saw. The complaints flooded in which is why when Elvis went on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in September & October that year and for his third and final time on January 6, 1957, he was censored. But anyone who saw Berle’s show knew why the girls in Sullivan’s audience were screaming. Life & music as the country & the world knew it was over. Elvis was now in the building.

So in honor of the day The King was born, let’s go back to where his reign began, on Berle’s show in 1956. Part of this clip is the one Mrs. Gump & Forrest watched from a store window in the film. She may have thought he was “not for children’s eyes” but anyone who understands music knows Elvis could do no wrong. All hail The King! And thank you, Sam Phillips, for showing him the door to the throne.

Yeah, they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Yeah, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
And you ain’t no friend of mine
“.

Sam and Elvis

Sam Phillips (L) with Elvis Presley at Sun Records circa 1954. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Hound Dog” (Live performance on “The Milton Berle Show” broadcast on June 5, 1956. Song recorded July 1956. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 275

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Dec 16

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

On October 15, 1957 Elvis Presley released his first Christmas record, Elvis’ Christmas Album. It contained two covers pertaining to the colors of the season-“Blue Christmas” (first recorded in 1948 by country singer & actor Doye O’Dell) & “White Christmas” along with Gene Autry’s “Here Comes Santa Claus”, amongst other holiday songs. But it is the first track of the album-another homage to Santa Claus-they gets my heart going. Written by the legendary songwriting team of of Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller (the geniuses behind “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock” and a slew of others), it is a rocking, bluesy, fiery tune that features a great Fats Domino-like piano arrangement (played to the heavens by Elvis’ longtime band member Dudley Brooks), killer back-up vocals by The Jordanaires and a tempo so strong you can almost visualize The King’s hips vibrating in front of you. The song is just magic.

Two months later on December 16, the album hit the #1 spot in the country. Elvis put one more Christmas record out during his career (1971’s Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas followed by several posthumous holiday releases), but for me and a lot of other fans it is this album, which was at the top of the charts 63 years ago today, that all the other ones would have to measure up to. As of this date, it remains the best selling holiday album of all time. All hail The King.

Well, it’s Christmas time pretty baby
And the snow is on the ground
Well, you be a real good little girl
Santa Claus is back in town
“.

Elvis

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” (1957, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 165

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Bruce quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

When I was growing up my dad used to listen to a doo wop show on the radio which introduced me to the voices of that genre.  One of my favorites belongs to Dion DiMucci.  Originally he was the lead singer of Dion & The Belmonts in the 1950’s who gave us songs like “I Wonder Why”, “A Teenager In Love” and “Where or When”.  They appeared on the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour that proved to be the final appearances for Buddy Holly, Richie Valens & The Big Bopper, J.P. Richardson.  DiMucci was offered a seat on the plane that killed the three artists but declined due to the cost of the ticket, which was $36.

By 1960 he wanted to record more rock & roll oriented songs, so he parted ways with The Belmonts to start a solo career.  His hits included “Donna The Prima Donna”, “The Wanderer”, and “Runaround Sue”.  With music changing in the late 1960’s, DiMucci reinvented himself with the release of the introspective, “Abraham, Martin & John”.  DiMucci, who hails from my old stomping grounds of The Bronx, NY has also influenced one of my great musical loves, Bruce Springsteen.  He has had DiMucci on stage with him several times for collaborations on both of their songs and in 1992, DiMucci recorded a remarkable acapella version of Springsteen’s “Should I Fall Behind”.  Earlier this year DiMucci released a new album, “Blues With Friends” featuring Springsteen, his wife Patti Scialfa, fellow E Street bandmate Steven Van Zandt and several other artists.  I love when my musical worlds come together.

I heard this song on the radio last weekend and it brought back a thousand memories.  DiMucci recorded it in 1963 with The Del-Satins providing backup vocals.  It is not as popular as the other tunes written by the legendary songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller (“Kansas City”, “Hound Dog”, “Searchin'”), but it is one of my top picks from their fabulous catalog.  And my absolute favorite Dion song.

Well, my buddy come to see me to give me a tip, tip, tip
I said now listen here friend, I tell ya I’m hip, hip, hip
Why don’t ya mind your own business, close your lip, lip, lip
I know when my girl’s gimme me the slip, slip, slip“.

Dion DiMucci circa 1960 (L) and today (R).  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Dion:  “Drip Drop” (1963, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 109

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Kerouac

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today’s song is from my favorite Elvis Presley movie.  He made it in 1957, the year before he was drafted.  That year was also the last time he appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” censored for what was considered his use of “obscene” hip shakes.  After his incredible dance moves to today’s song in the movie, I am not surprised he never made it back to the Sullivan show.  Audiences saw all they needed to see in the film and just kept coming back for more.

Sad sack was sittin’ on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone
The warden said, “hey, buddy, don’t you be no square
If you can’t find a partner, use a wooden chair.”

Elvis

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley:  “Jailhouse Rock” (1957, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

The King And I

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!!!

800px-Elvis_Presley_Jailhouse_Rock2[1]

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.

elvis-presley[1]

Source:  vagalume.com

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!!!