jueves, 2 de marzo de 2017

Flaming Star


  Flaming Star took two and a half years and many title changes to get to the screen. It was originally announced in April 1958 that The Brothers of Broken Lance by Cliff Huffaker was to be published by Random House. Twentieth Century - Fox bought the movie rights before the book was published. One month later Random House said that it might change the title of the book to the probable movie title, The Brothers of Flaming Arrow. On May 27, 1958, it was announced that Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra were set to play the roles of the two brothers. Filming was to have begun on June 16, 1958, but negotations with the two stars broke down. In the meantime the title was changed to Flaming Lance
   Two years later, on June 12, 1960, it was announced that Elvis had signed to star in Flaming Lance. Before the cameras rolled on August 16, 19609. the title was again changed, this time to Flaming Heart, and then to Black Star. During filming, the title became Black Heart.
Finally, on September 2, 1960. Flaming Star was chosen as the films title.

The origin for The Trouble With Girls

The origin for The Trouble With Girls can be traced back to June 1959. At that time it was announced that Don Mankiewicz was going to write a screenplay based on an unpublished story by Mauri Grashin, Day Keene and Dwight Babcock. The film was titled Chautauqua. A year and a half later, in December 1960, MGM announced that Glenn Ford was to star and Edmund Grainger was going to produce Chautauqua. The Hollywood trade papers stated that Elvis was slated to co-star with Glenn Ford, Hope Lange and Arthur O'Connell in February 1961. Three months later it was reported that Valentine Davis was writing the screenplay for the film, which was due to begin production in the fall of 1961.
  In July 1961, it was announced that Elvis was to star in and Edward Gerainger was to produce a film titled Chautauqua.
  In August 1964, Dick Van Dyke was scheduled to star in  Chautauqua. Blanche Harris was writing the Screenplay based on the book, Merrily We Roll Along, by Gay MacLauren. Three months later it was reported that Richard Morris was writing the screenplay.
 MGM sold the property to Columbia Pictures in May 1965. Dick Van Dyke was still the star, but Elliot Arnold was now scripting the film ( retitled Big America ) and Sol C. Siegel was producing .
 Finally MGM got the rights back in April 1968. Chautauqua was now an Elvis vehicle. It was later renamed, The Trouble With Girls.

sábado, 10 de diciembre de 2016

December 7, 1956 WDIA Goodwill Revue at Ellis Auditorium in Memphis


Elvis and B.B. King -
Rufus Thomas, Elvis - 
Walter Bailey, Junior Parker, Elvis and Bobby Bland - 

Brook Benton, Elvis -


domingo, 3 de julio de 2016


  • Jeffrey Schrembs, Elvis Presley historian, expert and collector (as published in www. ElvisCollector.info on March 26, 2009)

Having watched Elvis onstage during his entire career, I was always amazed how Elvis was able to adapt to his audience and always rise to the occasion. Elvis was the most exciting stage performed who ever sat foot on a stage. He never allowed his music to be "manipulated" and his "light show" consisted of a handful of color lights masterfully choreographed by Lamar Fike. He had the vocal mastery to take a contemporary iconic song such as "Bridge Over Troubled Water"´ ( starting in 1970), and make it is his own. As of 1971, for instance, he would pour out his heart out onstage and could go from the buildup of "2001 A Space Odyssey" to "Johnny B Goode", to the gospel song "How Great Thou Art" and, before the audience could recover from the emotional experience of hearing/seeing Elvis perform these songs with vocal excellence, he would turn to singing one of his hits such as "Suspicious Minds". He surrounded himself with the best of the best, pertaining to the orchestra to the band, to the backup singers etc., and everyone who worked with him has confirmed that Elvis' vocal range has never been equalled. Even when Elvis' health problems were the most dramatic (i.e. visually, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.), he sang his heart out and if you listen to the "CBS 1977 Concert", which aired after Elvis died sadly, Elvis' talent and vocal range is almost a "spiritual experience", touching something wonderful inside of our soul and leaving its imprint for all time. Hence, our ears after hearing the exceptional talent of Elvis' voice long for the time when Elvis sang live and/or put out a new album, and hearing him sing was a true blessing. (In fact), not a day goes by that I don't' miss Elvis Presley as a performer - as a Father to his daughter - and as a charitable man - and as a beloved friend surrounded by lifetime friends (i.e. Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West, Lamar Fike, Billy Smith, etc.), leaving us three decades of exceptional music. Elvis Presley took the talents that God gave him and shared them with the world, gave us his time and did so with grace. These are lessons that all of us can learn from and celebrate from generation to generation.

miércoles, 22 de junio de 2016

Elvis’s Pet Names For Special Women in His Life

Elvis's Pet Names
For Special Women in His Life

Elvis and his guys had some kind of pet name for each other and for almost anybody else who spent some time around him. Below are nicknames given to 10 women in Elvis's life. They range from relatives to girlfriends to movie costars. First, check out the list below and see how many you can identify. Then read on to see how you did.
"Satnin" / "Little" / "Dodger" / "Foghorn" / "Nungen" / "Ooshie" / "Thumper" / "Mommy" / "Gingerbread" / "Josephine"
Unless otherwise stated, most of the following information comes from either the 1992 book, Elvis: From Memphis to Hollywood by Alan Fortas, or the 1995 volume, Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia, by Billy Smith, Marty Lacker, and Lamar Fike.
Elvis Presley and June Juanico "Satnin": Gladys Presley, June Juanico, Priscilla Presley
Elvis liked this nickname so much that he used it for three women in his life. His mother was the first. Then there was June Juanico (right), a 1956 girlfriend from Biloxi, Mississippi. Finally, he used "Satnin" as a pet name for Priscilla.
The origin of the term "Satnin" is in dispute. Elvis's cousin, Billy Smith, claims, "Satnin' meant a real condensed round of fattening, and Aunt Gladys was always heavy. Elvis would pat her on the stomach and say, 'Baby's going to bring you something to eat, Satnin'."
However, in her 1997 book, Elvis: In the Twilight of Memory, June Juanico said "Satnin" had a different origin. It was while on a date in Memphis in May 1956 that Elvis first called June, "My beautiful little Satnin." When she asked where the term came from, he explained: "She (his mother) used to sing to me when I was little. You remember the song, 'Mammy's Little Baby Loves Shortnin' Bread'? Well, she used to sing 'mama's little baby has satnin skin.' You know, June, skin soft as satin."

Elvis Presley and Anita Wood "Little": Anita Wood
George Klein introduced 19-year-old Anita to Elvis in 1957, and she remained his preferred girlfriend until his induction into the army a year later. She remembers the last thing Elvis said to her before he went overseas: "I love you, Little …" Even after Elvis met Priscilla in Germany, he continued to call Anita and send her presents. She was still in the picture when Elvis returned from the army, and it wasn't until 1962, when she found out about Elvis and Priscilla, that she ended her relationship with Elvis.
Years later she saw his show in Las Vegas and met him backstage. She says Elvis told her, "Little, I wondered if we made a mistake." She responded, "No Elvis, we didn't, you wouldn't have Lisa and I wouldn't have my children and my husband." She never saw Elvis again after that night.

Elvis Presley and Minnie Mae Presley "Dodger":
Minnie Mae Presley
Minnie Mae Presley was Elvis's grandmother and the mother of Vernon Presley. Her husband Jessie deserted her in 1942, and after Elvis became wealthy, he gave her a home for the rest of his life. She even lived with Elvis during his army stint in Germany. Minnie Mae outlived her famous grandson, dying on May 8, 1980.
Lamar Fike described Minnie Mae as a, "tough old bird. Tall, skinny, and peppery. Elvis called her 'Dodger' because he threw a ball once and it missed her face by a fraction of an inch."

Elvis Presley and Elisabeth Stefaniak "Foghorn":
Elisabeth Stefaniak
Elisabeth was German-born but as a teenager became an American citizen through her stepfather, a American soldier. She was 19 in 1958 when she met Elvis at the base movie theater in Germany. After they dated a few times, Elvis convinced her parents to let Elisabeth move in with him as his personal secretary. She answered Elvis's fan mail for the remainder of his time in Germany. Privately, the two continued their personal relationship.
When he left Germany and the army in March 1960, Elvis took Elisabeth back to Memphis with him to continue as his personal secretary. In Elvis the Soldier, which she co-wrote, Elisabeth recalls that one day at Graceland, Elvis told her, "Foghorn (a nickname he had always called me because of my low voice), I'm going to take you for a motorcycle ride." Soon afterwards Elisabeth left Graceland to marry Rex Mansfield, Elvis's closest friend during his army hitch.

Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley "Nungen": Priscilla Presley
"They'd baby-talk back and forth," recalls Lamar Fike of Elvis and Priscilla. "He called her 'Nungen,' which was Elvis for 'young one.' But he also started calling her 'Satnin' since Gladys was gone."
Alan Fortas remembers that "Fire Eyes" was one of Priscilla's pet names for Elvis. "Elvis, with his history of baby talk, already had four hard-to-take nicknames for Priscilla," Fortas added. "'Nungen,' which was an affectionate twist on 'young one,' 'Cilla,' 'Little One,' and the one he began using with increased frequency, now that its former owner didn't need it anymore: 'Satnin.'"

Elvis Presley and Ursula Andress "Ooshie": Ursula Andress
Marty Lacker remembers seeing a picture of Elvis and Ursula gazing into each other's eyes on the set of Fun in Acapulco. "Like they're ready to gobble each other up. But that wasn't any real big romance. He just enjoyed being with her. She came to visit him on the Roustabout set later on. Her nickname was 'Ooshie'."
Alan Fortas said the guys had a lot of fun when Ursula was around, but Elvis wasn't interested in her romantically because she was married to John Derek at the time. Still, Elvis and Ursula flirted with each other, according to Billy Smith, and she would call Graceland occasionally. "She wouldn't ask for Elvis," Billy says, "because she knew Priscilla was there. So she'd ask for Alan … and Alan would call her back, and Elvis would get on the phone."

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret "Thumper": Ann-Margret
"I believe Ann-Margret really did care a lot for Elvis," said Alan Fortas in his book. "And I think she truly wanted to marry him, even though she knew full well about Priscilla, and used the code names 'Scoobie' and 'Bunny' when she telephoned him at Graceland. (The guys joked that 'Thumper' would be more appropriate.)"
Marty Lacker remembers another nickname the guys had for her. "Ann genuinely liked people, and she liked every one of us. I think she also respected us. We used to have a lot of fun with her. She had a terrific sense of humor. We called her 'Rusty' because that was her name in the movie and because of her red hair."

Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson "Mommy":
Linda Thompson
In the summer of 1972, George Klein introduced 22-year-old Linda Thompson to Elvis at the Memphian theater. She soon became his live-in girlfriend and primary caregiver for the next four years. Eventually, Elvis's bizarre behavior became too much for Linda to handle, and she finally left Elvis in November 1976.
"Linda was the best woman he had ever been with," judged Marty Lacker. "He called her 'Mommy,' and she called him 'Little Baby Buntin'.' She cared about him. She wouldn't fall asleep at night until after Elvis did. If something happened while he was sleeping, she'd be up in a minute."

Elvis Presley and Ginger Alden "Gingerbread":
Ginger Alden
George Klein, Elvis's main girlfriend-finder through the years, introduced 19-year-old Ginger Alden to Elvis at Graceland in November 1976, shortly before Linda Thompson's relationship with Elvis ended. "I don't know that there was any way that relationship could work," noted Marty Lacker. "Ginger wanted to go out and party all the time and show Elvis off. And she wanted him to socialize with her group of friends—all sorts of things that Elvis wouldn't do."
Elvis's pet name for his last girlfriend was "Gingerbread." Billy Smith's alternate nickname for her, however, reflected how much the guys disliked her. "Elvis didn't know it," says Billy, "but I always called her 'Gingersnatch.' And I didn't stop there. I called her sister Rosemary 'Poundcake.' Which was really crude of me, but I couldn't help it. I was so pissed off at that family."

"Josephine": Jo Smith
Billy Smith's wife Jo deeply resented Elvis for taking her husband away from her and their children for long periods of time to make movies. Still, toward the end of Elvis's life, she moved into a trailer with Billy on the Graceland grounds because she knew how close the two cousins were to each other.
"After we'd been back with him a little while, my feelings about Elvis changed," she recalls. "He called me Josephine. That's not my name. But every single time he came down the steps, he sang that Fats Domino song to me, 'Hello, Josephine.' And he'd give me a big bear hug. He told me, "I'm going to make up for all the pain I put you through."

"Record 100,000 Pay Ecstatic Tribute To Presley In Triumphant Florida Tour"


"Record 100,000 Pay Ecstatic Tribute
To Presley In Triumphant Florida Tour"

The above headline appeared on the front page of the Tampa Sunday Tribune on August 12, 1956. The day before Elvis Presley had completed a 9-day, 7-city, 25-show barnstorming tour of Florida, from Miami in the south to Jacksonville in the north. It was the most intense and exhausting tour during Elvis's breakout year. In his article, Tribune writer Paul Wilder tried to put the wild Presley tour of Florida into perspective.

Elvis Presley Miami 1956 When Elvis arrived in Florida, he was coming off a month's vacation from his hectic 1956 touring schedule. He spent most of July relaxing in Memphis and visiting girlfriend June Juanico in Biloxi, Mississippi. Following his July 1 appearance on the Steve Allen Show, Elvis was not due back on TV until the Sullivan show in the fall. Things were relatively quiet for Presley on the record charts, as well. Having finished its run at #1, "Heartbreak Hotel" was slowly sliding down the "Top 100." His second 1956 single, "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," had reached the top 10, but stalled at #3.
But August ushered in another round of Presleymania. The new single, "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel," exploded onto the Billboard charts, and Elvis took his raucous road show into Florida.
After 7 shows at Miami's Olympia Theatre on August 3-4, Elvis headed northwest, zigzagging across the state like an out-of-control twister. Two shows at the Armory in Tampa on the 5th were followed by 3 shows at Lakeland's Polk Theatre on the 6th and three more at the Florida Theatre in St. Petersburg on the 7th. The next day he played 2 shows at Orlando's Municipal Auditorium. Then it was back again to the east coast for 2 shows at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach. The Florida tour ended in Jacksonville with 6 shows on August 10-11.
Elvis became the talk of the state
Wilder detailed the trail of excitement and controversy that followed Presley's path through the state that week. "No matter what radio station you turned to, you would hear Presley's off-beat voice wailing some sloppy gush like Heartbreak Hotel or Don't Be Cruel," the writer noted. "No matter what newspaper you looked in you would find reports of near-riotous conditions prevailing when he was appearing in that town." TV Guide had an interview scheduled with Elvis in Tampa, but things got so wild there that it had to be put off until the next day in Lakeland. Even then, Presley could only give the magazine a half hour of his time.
Elvis Presley Miami 1956 In homes and on the streets, Elvis became the state's main topic of conversation that week. "There is nothing in Florida entertainment history to compare him with," declared Wilder, "and the startling impact of Presley's sway over Florida's teen-agers—and many adults, too—is something unique in the state's social, economic, and entertainment life."
Wilder provided a Presley "box score" as his initial step in measuring Elvis's influence on Florida. He listed total attendance in each city: Miami … 14,000; Tampa … 10,000; St. Petersburg … 6,500; Lakeland … 5,500; Orlando … 7,000; Daytona Beach … 5,000; Jacksonville … 15,000. That added up to 63,000 "screaming, howling people" who saw Presley perform in Florida's theatres and auditoriums. To that total Wilder added a few thousand more who crowded around to see him outside the venues and others who got glimpses of him in local restaurants and riding around city streets in his white Lincoln Continental. "You might say that Presley was seen in person by 100,000 persons in Florida in the last week," Wilder concluded, "a record approached by no other entertainer in Florida's history."
And how much cash did Presley make in Florida that week? Wilder couldn't get Colonel Parker to tell him the amount, so he calculated the ticket take on his own. Conservatively taking the lowest ticket price for Presley's Florida shows ($1.50) and multiplying by the estimated number of admissions, Wilder came up with a Florida appearance tour gross conservatively at $100,000 for Elvis. "Ever hear of anyone else making $100,000 a week in Florida, in the entertainment or any other business," Wilder asked his readers.
• Fans kept away but Elvis still mobbed by professionals
Excitement and controversy flared up wherever Presley appeared in Florida. In Tampa, while security forces kept teenagers away from Elvis, he was mobbed backstage by reporters, photographers, DJs, and friends-of-friends as they fought to get a word from him or a photo taken.
In Jacksonville, a juvenile court judge, who threatened Elvis with arrest if he didn't tone down his act, attended Presley's show to make sure his warning was heeded. Elvis and Colonel Parker both denied that the stage show was changed in any way. According to Wilder, "Presley was willing to face arrest and decide once-and-for-all whether his performances were vulgar or obscene." Elvis made it through his 6 Jacksonville shows without being arrested.
Presley faced another threat in Jacksonville. Al Fast, representing the American Guild of Variety Artists, came to town to issue Elvis an ultimatum—either join the Guild or the union would pull the band from the show. Fast's demand could have backfired. Wilder explained, "If the Guild got in a knock-down-drag-out fight with America's teen-agers, who are Presley's main support, the teen-agers could pull a strike on the union—quit going to hear any of the union bands."
Elvis Presley Miami 1956
Some Presley fans saw multiple shows, even following Elvis from town to town. St. Petersburg teenagers Anne Muncy and Nila Shea were first in line to see Elvis in Tampa, Lakeland, and Orlando. In their own town, however, they showed up at 4:30 a.m. for Presley's 3 p.m. show, only to find two other girls had beaten them to the gate by 15 minutes.
The show Wilder saw in Tampa was reprised in all the other Florida venues. "While on-stage, Presley was the utmost in action," the writer observed. "His dynamic, forceful movements, including jumping, running, bending, twisting, foot-jerking, leg-jerking, hip-jerking, head-jerking, arm-waving and in one act his whole body went into motion in series of sustained shivers that even had his hair flipping back and forth. When he got through singing over one microphone he dashed to another and sometimes threw the mike stands down on the floor when he was through."
There was, however, one stage incident unique to the Tampa show that Wilder saw. "Once he let-go a microphone suddenly and it rocked—then bounced back and hit him on the head—without visible slow-down effect."
The frenzied pace of the Florida tour took a toll on Presley. Wilder saw it between shows. "Backstage, he is completely different. He appears exhausted, listless, colorless, washed out. Yet even as almost a caricature of a beat-up Dead-End Kid—the girls still scream at his sight, moon and worry over his condition." A reporter in Lakeland thought Elvis was about to die. "I feel terrible," he heard Presley moan, as he grabbed his forehead with both hands and swayed back and forth.
• Presley played it up with his Florida female fans
During his Florida press conferences, Elvis used "sir" and "ma'm" when addressing older interviewers, but often teased young females who asked him questions. "Every woman interviewer of near his same age was trembling when in his presence," Wilder noticed, "but he rewarded them with gentle pats on the shoulders, or hugs, or occasionally a kiss—to give them a thrill, and something to write about."
One young woman asked Elvis if he were looking for an ideal girl. "Yes, and I found her," responded Elvis. "Who?" returned the breathless girl. "You," he answered. "She nearly dropped her microphone," Wilder reported.
Elvis's 9 p.m. show on August 11 in Jacksonville closed out his frenetic 1956 swing through Florida. Amazingly, though, the tour was not over. Elvis still had afternoon and evening shows in New Orleans the next day. After that, he took an extended break from touring, making only one public appearance over the following two months. He didn't have much time to relax, though. On August 16, Elvis flew to Hollywood to make his first movie.




Blue Moon: Elvis Presley’s Most Unlikely Song


Blue Moon:
Elvis Presley's Most Unlikely Song

 I experienced an epiphany concerning this unusual Presley song. It happened in 1990, when my wife and I were watching the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, Joe Versus the Volcano, at a local theater. I was amazed when Elvis's recording of Blue Moon was used in the soundtrack. My whole attitude toward the song changed that night. Part of it was psychological. If some producer thought the recording was worthy enough to use in a major Hollywood movie, then it must be better than I thought. And I had to admit that the song sounded much better in the theater that evening than it ever had on my record player. It still isn't my favorite Elvis song, but I now enjoy listening to it and have come to appreciate Elvis's interpretation of it. Elvis Presley Blue Moon picture sleeve
• It's hardly a rockabilly tune
The Rodgers and Hart number was certainly an unlikely song for Elvis to record back in his Sun Records days. While he was crafting his rockabilly style in 1954-1955 with songs like That's All Right, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Good Rockin' Tonight, and Milkcow Blues Boogie, how did something like Blue Moon get into that mix? The Broadway song-writing team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart originally composed the song while under contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1933. Over a two-year period, Hart wrote three different sets of lyrics for MGM, but the song never clicked in any of the three films for which it was intended.
Finally, in 1934 Rodgers, who always liked the melody, prevailed upon Hart to write a fourth, more romantic, set of lyrics so the song could be released commercially. That's when Hart changed the title to Blue Moon and came up with the familiar lyrics that have been recorded numerous times over the past 75 years. Those who recorded it over the years include Louis Armstrong, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Vinton, Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton. Before Elvis's, only Mel Torme's version of Blue Moon made one of Billboard magazine's charts, reaching #20 on the "Best Seller" list in April 1949.
As a teenager in Memphis, Elvis probably heard multiple recordings of the song on the radio. He obviously liked the pop ballad, as, according to biographer Peter Guralnick, Elvis was already singing the song when he first hooked up with Sun Records in 1954. In fact, Guralnick believes that Elvis, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black tried to record it in July 1954 as a possible flip slide to That's All Right.
• Elvis's recording an "eerie, clippity-clop version"
However, the first and only verified recording session for Blue Moon took place at Sun Studio on Wednesday night, August 19, 1954. The only musicians at the session were Scotty and Elvis on guitar and Bill on bass. Sam Phillips was in the control booth. Guralnick describes the session and its results as follows:
Elvis Presley Blue Moon picture sleeve "On August 19 they spent hours doing take after take of 'Blue Moon,' in an eerie, clippity-clop version that resembled a cross between Slim Whitman's 'Indian Love Call' and some of the falsetto flights of the r&b 'bird' groups (the Orioles, the Ravens, the Larks). After it was all over, Sam wasn't satisfied that they had anything worth releasing, but he never uttered a word of demurral for fear of discouraging the unfettered freshness and enthusiasm of the singer."
Take 4 that evening, the one that RCA would eventually release two years later, reveals Elvis's unusual interpretation of the song. Music historian Colin Escott describes it thus: "Elvis skips the bridge and the final verse that contains the happy ending, neatly transforming the 32-bar pop classic into an eerie 16-bar blues." Hart's original lyrics describe a man whose longing for love is finally rewarded. Elvis used only the following two opening stanzas, repeating and separating them with falsetto moans (that's how I categorize the sound now):
Blue moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue moon
You knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really did care for
Elvis left out the following bridge and final verse:
And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper, "Please adore me"
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold
Blue moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Certainly, the extremely slow tempo and melancholy delivery of lyrics would not have worked with the happy outcome described by the bridge and final verse.
• Discarded Sun tune released by RCA
Elvis's version was never released on Sun Records. It was among the unused Presley recordings turned over to RCA when it purchased Elvis's contract in late 1955. It was released, along with three other discarded Sun cuts, on Presley's first RCA album in March 1956. In September that year, RCA released Blue Moon as a single backed with another Sun recording, Just Because, as part of a mass singles release. In listing all the titles in its "Review Spotlight" column on September 8, 1956, Billboard labeled them, "Fourteen tunes, formerly available on Presley's LP's or EP's, now available on seven singles, within reach of any kid with 89 cents."
Elvis Presley Blue Moon picture sleeve It soon became apparent that of the seven singles, Blue Moon/Just Because was selling the best. In its September 22 issue, Billboard listed that single in both its "Coming Up Strong" and "This Week's Best Buys" lists. "This disk, with emphasis on 'Blue Moon,' is stepping out and starting to move," Billboard reported.
Elvis's version of the song entered Billboard's "Top 100" chart at #87 on September 29, 1956. It's chart performance ranks as the most unusual among all of Presley's chart records during his career. While it had a very respectable 17-week run on the "Top 100," it didn't follow the normal chart pattern of steadily rising to a peak and then falling steadily back down the chart.
Instead Elvis's recording went on a chart roller coaster ride. It rose to #55 in its third week, and then fell back to #84 two weeks later. Then it rose back into the '60s for two weeks before falling back into the '90s, where it stayed for 6 weeks. Then it went back up again to #60; then back down to #97 for a couple of weeks. Twice during its up-and-down chart movement the song fell off the "Top 100" completely, only to resurface one or two weeks later. Finally, on February 9, 1957, it exited the chart for good.
• Elvis's first rock 'n' roll version of the song
During its 17 weeks on the "Top 100," Elvis's version of Blue Moon never reached higher than #55. Still it was on the chart longer than I Was the One and Blue Suede Shoes, both of which were top 25 hits for Elvis that year.
Elvis's rendition of Blue Moon is considered that song's first crossover into the rock 'n' roll genre. The song's biggest splash in rock history, however, came in April 1961, when the Marcels' doowop version sold a million copies and knocked Elvis's Surrender off the #1 spot on Billboard's "Hot 100."
A few years later, Elvis had one more obscure connection with the tune. In his 1964 film Viva Las Vegas, while Elvis checks out the chorus girls at the Tropicana Hotel, about 10 seconds of an instrumental version of Blue Moon plays in the background.
And say, what is a "blue moon," anyway? It must have some significance, since Elvis recorded three songs with that term in the title. (Blue Moon of Kentucky and When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again are the other two.) Well, technically "blue moon" is the term for a second full moon in a single calendar month. ("Once in a blue moon," then, usually means once a year.) So a "blue moon" really isn't blue, unless, of course, you're the unrequited lover voicing the Richard Rodgers lyrics of the song. Then every moon might seem a little "blue."
Alan Hanson