WE LOVE ELVIS

TL 5-25 WE LOVE ELVISThings are popping in Memphis, Tennessee at Graceland!  August 8-16 is ELVIS WEEK!  There will be all sorts of events and special stuff happening.  For a full schedule and more details, click this link:

https://www.graceland.com/elvisweek/

I’ve been to Graceland and it’s such a memorable experience.  I wasn’t there for Elvis week, but I think it’d be great to be there.  The next best thing would be to hop on this link and do the live stream – yeah!  That’s my plan.

I like the idea of having the children’s karaoke – kids 17 and under are invited to sing their favorite Elvis song.  It’s weird to think that anyone doesn’t know who he was, I mean – the generation right after mine was clueless about Elvis (and most things political – but I digress…) Isn’t it a great idea to keep Elvis alive, so to speak – keep his music alive by having the little ones sing it?  That’s brilliant.

Does anyone else appreciate the “human” side of the legend?  I mean, sometimes we build up a legend until they seem almost more than just human.  I found this quote and thought I’d share it – just to remind us that while yes, Elvis is a legend – he actually was, in reality, very human.

When one of Lisa’s baby teeth fell out here, the tooth fairy left her 50 cents. Another tooth fell out when she was with her father in Las Vegas, and that tooth fairy left her $5. When I told Elvis that 50 cents would be more in line, he laughed. He knew I was not criticizing him; how would Elvis Presley know the going rate for a tooth?  – Priscilla Presley

As you know, my favorite Elvis impersonator is John Coyote.  He’s done some of my favorite Elvis songs and some funny skits.  I hope you enjoy these.

That made me hungry for shrimp…  LOL.

That made me thirsty for…  water – a glass of WATER.  LOL – you thought you caught me, didn’t ‘cha?

Enjoy ELVIS WEEK…  uh huh huh…  uh huh huh!  🙂

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (2)

Here’s John Coyote singing one of my favorite Elvis songs – “Don’t”. 

Let’s begin today’s post with a trivia question:  In which film did Elvis Presley wear a beard?

Yes…  I said a BEARD.  Do you know the answer?  Not to worry – I didn’t know which one it was either.

On this day in 1968, Elvis began filming the movie CHARRO!  It was a bust – Elvis had a beard and only one of his songs was used in the film.  It was an all-around bummer.

Of course to die-hard Elvis fans (like me), anything he did was quite alright.  Beard, no beard – whatever.  He had music in his voice and I could listen to him sing forever.  His presence on the big screen was mesmerizing.

Although 1968 seems like a very long time ago, sometimes it seems like yesterday.  I used to hear my grandparents talk about how when they were young those were simpler, more innocent days.  I didn’t know what they meant at the time they were telling me that, but now – well, I would say that 1968 was a simpler, more innocent time than 2016.

In 1968 I was 9 years old.  It was a pre-computer age and our telephones were all landlines.  There were not many “R” rated movies showing at the theater, and we had another Elvis movie to look forward to.

Elvis played Jess Wade, a man falsely accused of having stolen a cannon from the Mexican revolutionary forces.  He tries to find the real culprits, a gang of criminals.

There were no F bombs and no scenes that were uncomfortable to watch in mixed company.  I miss simplicity and innocence in films.  No, this wasn’t his best movie, but I’d still rather watch it than some of the junk that they try to pass off as entertainment these days.

By 1968, Elvis had made 28 movies – and they were all starting to run together and the plots were beginning to seem very familiar.  It seemed to be a matter of what environment they decided to put Elvis in.  By the time movie number 29 was being filmed, they apparently thought the only thing they could do to change the routine of the plot was have Elvis grow a five-day shadow.

Real fans didn’t mind the familiarity of the plot – but even we were predicting with a fair degree of accuracy the twists and turns of the movies once there were so many of them.  I head Elvis say in an interview that he wished he had spent less time working on movies and more time working on new music.  He was a great talent to be sure and could obviously do either one – and whether you think anything he did was cheesy or not, I think it’s great that he left these gifts for us to enjoy.  🙂

 

 

 

WE LOVE ELVIS

TL 5-25 WE LOVE ELVISIMG_0024

I got a photo taken in Branson on August 22, 2004 with an Elvis impersonator – it was snapped after the show, so he was not exactly spring fresh – but we get photo ops when we can.  I’ll bet he never went to a gym – doing those shows is a workout in itself.  You know what’s in my scrapbook along with this photo?  One of his scarves – or whatever you call those sweat catchers…  eeeewww.  Funny story though – I was so short there’s no way I could have caught one before all those tall girls – so my sweet hubby jumped up and got it for me – then handed it over.  Teamwork – yep!

Who thinks that real life is just overwhelming right now?  I’m raising my hand!  Seriously, there have been NO positives in the news and even though someone is running around saying America will be GREAT again, well…  never mind.  I’ll tell ya what, I’ll believe it when I see it – let’s put it that way.

So when real life gets to be too much, what do we need to do?  That’s right – we need to have fun and laugh.  And guess what I have today?  Yep – my friend John Coyote made a YouTube video – another Elvis tribute – but I gotta tell ya – this one is a hoot!  But John’s voice does have an Elvis-like quality – but the dramatics along with it are too funny!

And honestly, I didn’t even know Elvis recorded this song – I think the first time I heard The First Time (lol – that was confusing) – was when it was sung by Roberta Flack.  I had the 45 record of it, so of course that’s the one I’m most familiar with.  Of course, John would know for sure because I think he’s older than me (LOL) – yeah – he’s probably not – I’m just a music illiterate.  Don’t hit me, John! 

I think John should be an Elvis impersonator, don’t you?  They get paid pretty good, I think – and he’s certainly got the talent and that ham bone quality…  yep – I think he needs to consider a possible career move.  I don’t know if they’re hiring in Branson, but he surely should check it out.  🙂

 

 

 

WE LOVE ELVIS

TL 5-25 WE LOVE ELVIS

Elvis_Presley_Signature

What’s our friend John been up to???  Let’s find out!

Elvis was a phenomena and a trend setter.  Before we heard his music, there was no Rockabilly.  He advanced all genres of music so much.  I enjoyed his gospel music – I know that surprises you!  But when I read about the music that influenced him the most…  guess what it said?

Presley’s earliest musical influence came from gospel. His mother recalled that from the age of two, at the Assembly of God church in Tupelo attended by the family, “he would slide down off my lap, run into the aisle and scramble up to the platform. There he would stand looking at the choir and trying to sing with them.”  In Memphis, Presley frequently attended all-night gospel singings at the Ellis Auditorium, where groups such as the Statesmen Quartet led the music in a style that, Guralnick suggests, sowed the seeds of Presley’s future stage act:

The Statesmen were an electric combination … featuring some of the most thrillingly emotive singing and daringly unconventional showmanship in the entertainment world … dressed in suits that might have come out of the window of Lansky’s. … Bass singer Jim Wetherington, known universally as the Big Chief, maintained a steady bottom, ceaselessly jiggling first his left leg, then his right, with the material of the pants leg ballooning out and shimmering. “He went about as far as you could go in gospel music,” said Jake Hess. “The women would jump up, just like they do for the pop shows.” Preachers frequently objected to the lewd movements … but audiences reacted with screams and swoons.

As a teenager, Presley’s musical interests were wide-ranging, and he was deeply informed about African-American musical idioms as well as white ones. Though he never had any formal training, he was blessed with a remarkable memory, and his musical knowledge was already considerable by the time he made his first professional recordings in 1954 at the age of 19. When Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met him two years later, they were astonished at his encyclopedic understanding of the blues.  At a press conference the following year, he proudly declared, “I know practically every religious song that’s ever been written.”

Elvis_How_Great_Thou_art

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7336391

HOW GREAT THOU ART is the song that sends chills up and down my spine.  I heard that before he recorded it, he had never heard the hymn.  He did his own arrangement with no frame of reference.  To me, that takes some intestinal fortitude and confidence in your ability to arrange and perform.  He had such a great talent!

On my video called “The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley”, they said that when Elvis took a break, he and his backup singers ended up around the piano, Elvis playing – and they sang gospel songs.  I believe that is the music he loved deep down inside.  It’s the only music that had real meaning.

Amen!  HOW GREAT THOU ART!  Have a wonderful day in the LORD!  🙂

 

MY WAY DAY

TL 2-17 MY WAY DAY

Today is MY WAY DAY!!!  It’s a day to disregard anybody else’s way of doing anything and forging ahead in your own unique style.  Stop laughing – it’ll be okay!  If I want to write at 2am and sleep until 10am the next morning, I will.  How do you like them apples???

Two popular artists recorded a song called My Way – the first was Frank Sinatra in 1969.

That’s the recording my mom liked best.  She was a fan of ol’ blue eyes.  The recording I like best was done by Elvis a few years later, in 1977.

I tried to play My Way at a talent show in 1975 at my junior high school.  I practiced and was as ready as could be, but the brilliant mind who put the program together put the most gifted pianist in the whole school right before me.  His name is David and he played The Entertainer with no music.  He wowed everyone, including me.  I wanted to run away.  In retrospect, I easily could have bowed out – but at that age, you don’t realize you have those kinds of choices.

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.  – Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name

I went ahead.  I followed the most awesome pianist in the school onto the stage, put my book up on the piano and with trembling fingers, I played My Way. 

It was a flop!  I was humiliated – they booed me off and I cried as I exited the stage.  Kids are cruel – really cruel.  But I’d love to tell the person or persons who scheduled me behind the best pianist in the school just how STUPID that was!  It was like someone wanted to set me up for failure.  It made me stronger in the long run.  God doesn’t leave us in despair for long.  He loves me no matter what.  I learned how to fail forward!  I went on to perform in recitals and contests, and I was church pianist at twelve and played for both the adult and youth choirs.  I was determined to be happy in Jesus!  I let go of my way and did things His Way!  It was best for me.

No kid in high school feels as though they fit in.  The smartest thing that I ever heard anybody say about high school was that “If you look back upon that as the happiest time of your life, I don’t want to know you.”  – Stephen King

Life goes on – indeed.   I let the pain go but kept the lesson tucked away in the back of my mind.

So today, I will do things my way – it will not be the best and I know it – but it will be my personal best.  My name is not David, it is Linda and I know how to play the piano, but I’m not a performer – not by a long shot.  Never wanted to be.

There is one remnant of that day left in my music book.  The day of the talent show, my mama drew a happy face on my music and wrote “Good Luck.  I love you!”  I look at that music now and it’s a precious memory because it was from my mom.  Whether I played well or not – whether my music was memorized or not makes no difference.  My mom had faith that I could play it and do well.  That meant a lot to me.

I was telling stories on the piano long before I ever directed a movie…  I like the image of the piano player:  The piano player sits down, play, tells his story, and then gets up and leaves, letting the music speak for itself. – Clint Eastwood

Sometimes the pianist is a female…  jus’ sayin’…  I played My Way…  MY WAY.  When you’re in school, it’s important that the other kids approve of the way you play – or the way you do anything else.  But as an adult, I’m not that concerned about what others think of my “performance”.  Take me – leave me.  Whatever. 

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.  – Karen Lorimer

I would suggest that if you celebrate My Way Day, you should separate yourself from the rest of the pack.  Don’t give anyone an opportunity to compare your way to anyone else’s way.  As a young person I learned not to stay in anyone’s shadow or follow a perfectly executed performance.  It’s a painful lesson, but one that has helped me more than once.   :-/