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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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