suspicious minds (just how good can one record be?)

Elvis LasVegas 1969 black outfit 1500 crop

DO I WANT TO OPEN THIS ARTICLE by making a state­ment (“Elvis pops up in the most un­ex­pected places”) or by asking a ques­tion (“Just how good can one record be?”)? Last night we slipped the Coen Brothers’ In­tol­er­able Cru­elty into the DVD player and sat back to enjoy George Clooney as Miles Massey (hand­some, charming, amoral) match wits with Catherine Zeta-Jones as Mar­ilyn Rexroth (beau­tiful, in­scrutable, equally amoral). READ MORE

an alternative Back In Memphis album

Elvis Memphis press conference 1969 6 1500 copy

ELVIS PRESLEY’S FUTURE hung on the de­ci­sion he made in early 1969 on where he should make his next records. He could re­turn to the com­fort­able con­fines of RCA’s Studio B in Nashville, home to most of his big hits of the early ’60s. But then he risked falling back into the pat­terns that led to the dis­ap­pointing hits of the past few years. READ MORE

best answer ever given by elvis to a journalist’s question

Elvis Memphis press conference 1969 1 1500 crop

ELVIS HELD A RARE PRESS CONFERENCE on Au­gust 1, 1969, to cel­e­brate his re­turn to live per­forming. The get-together was held at the In­ter­na­tional Hotel in Las Vegas, where Elvis had played the night be­fore to an invitation-only au­di­ence that in­cluded Ed Ames, Paul Anka, Burt Bacharach, Shirley Bassey, Pat Boone, Dick Clark, Petula Clark, Angie Dick­inson, George Hamilton, Wayne Newton, and former flame Ann-Margret. READ MORE

on the edge of reality with the pseudo-psychedelic elvis

Elvis LiveALittle shaving 1500

IF I CAN DREAM, I’ll have this ar­ticle fin­ished be­fore I find my­self sit­ting on the edge of re­ality. You know—where life’s dream lies dis­il­lu­sioned and dark shadows follow me. (But that’s an­other story for an­other time.) Each year on this day I try to write some­thing about my ex­pe­ri­ence of being an Elvis fan since I was in grade school way, way back in the ’50s. READ MORE

when elvis was a top-secret agent for the cia

Elvis psychedelic art HarumScarum 1500

I HAVE BEEN DISTRACTED OF LATE, working on my pub­li­ca­tion on Medium, Tell It Like It Was. I have also been spending a lot of time working on the in­ternal work­ings of my web­sites. I re­placed a few plu­gins and jet­ti­soned a few others. When you call up this one you may no­tice that it loads a hell of a lot faster than it ever has. READ MORE

from elvis on thomas street, memphis, tennessee

AmericanSoundStudio 1500 crop brown

BY JANUARY 1968, a new Elvis single was suc­cessful if it merely reached the Top 40 and sold 300,000 copies. This was a far cry from three years be­fore when a new single reached the Top 20 and sold at least a half mil­lion copies. And that was a far cry from the dizzying heights of 1960 when a Presley hit sold in the mil­lions!


on a cold and gray chicago morn another love child is born

Elvis Vegas 1969 karate pose 1500 crop
THE WORLD IN 1968 looked like it was on its way to perdi­tion. In the United States, the as­sas­si­na­tion of Martin Luther King Jr in April led to the Holy Week Up­rising. This was the greatest civil un­rest in the country in more than a hun­dred years! In June, “they” as­sas­si­nated Pres­i­den­tial hopeful, Robert Kennedy. In Au­gust, the Chicago po­lice ri­oted at the De­mo­c­ratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion.

what in tarnation are the “haircut sleeves” of the sixties?

Elvis IndescribablyBlue PS a 1500 crop 1

IN THE SUMMER OF 1966, I heard Elvis’s new single on the radio and hur­ried to the record store to buy a copy. I al­ways tried to buy new sin­gles as soon as they came out so that I could find a copy with a pic­ture sleeve. Upon seeing the sleeve for this new Elvis single, Spinout / All That I Am, I was con­fused: Elvis’ face was puffy and round and he had the most ridicu­lous, un-hip hairdo imag­in­able. READ MORE

caught in a trap with john and lew at the tell it like it was a-go-go

MiracleMets 1969 WS 1500 crop

TELL IT LIKE IT WAS, my new pub­li­ca­tion on Medium, fea­tures a list of every record to make it to #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 chart from the be­gin­ning of 1960 through the end of 1969. Each title is linked to a recording of that song on YouTube. For each entry, John Ross and Lew Shiner and I went about com­menting on the record, the artist, the times, and, even­tu­ally, one an­oth­er’s com­ments. READ MORE

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