|late February, 2005
Currently in the news: Songy/BMG UK's release of Elvis Presley singles
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- Cher's spectacle
Review by Martin Jones
(entertainment.news.com.au, February 28, 2005)
I'M not qualified to comment on Cher's choice of costumes (and the drag-loving diva spent at least as much time changing into them as she did displaying them), but many of her musical choices for this, the first of her Australian farewell shows, were downright disappointing.
Why, for example, open a farewell tour with U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - surely if you still hadn't found it, you'd keep looking instead of bowing out? Of course, Cher's finale was always going to be more of a spectacle than, well, whatever the aural equivalent of a spectacle is. ... But the true musical low-point was Cher claiming Elvis Presley as her first true hero, and then honouring him not with one of Presley's own gems, but with her version of the atrocious 1991 Marc Cohn song (Who? Exactly!) Walking in Memphis. ...
- Sir Cliff eyeing region
By Yvette Best
(Desert Sun, February 27, 2005)
GET READY to see a living legend in a ground-breaking performance. He's thrilled audiences across the world with his special brand of pop rock for 46 years, and Sir Cliff Richard is set to make his first appearance in the region. The British equivalent to Elvis Presley has chosen to make his Caribbean debut in Barbados, where he has made a comfortable home at his plush Sugar Hill, Westmoreland, St James residence, complete with all the amenities befitting a person of his stature and enhanced by a breathtaking view of Barbados' West Coast.
Speaking to the SUNDAY SUN in his airy sitting room, which looks onto a sparkling pool and the ocean, the soft-spoken Sir Cliff admitted Elvis Presley was a major influence on him, but sidestepped the accolade, saying "nobody was equivalent to Elvis, he was the king of rock and roll". Having said that, he then spoke of his shock at being voted No.1 in a survey conducted in England to determine the person with the most sold singles. Yes, you guessed it. He even beat the undisputed king. ...
- Shoe store closing ends an era: Sam Bork Shoes has been a fixture on Palm Canyon since 1947
(Desert Sun, February 27, 2005)
Desmond's clothing store, long a downtown fixture, announced it was closing last week. And this week Sam Bork Shoes, 120 N. Palm Canyon Drive, followed suit. ... Joy Bork, the daughter of the late Sam Bork, remembers seeing Red Skelton and Lucille Ball go into an art gallery next door to noodle away the hours on a piano that its owner kept inside. She went to Elvis Presley's parties, put "skins" on the feet of Liberace's friends and kept the family's vow to keep secret Ava Gabor's shoe size. ...
- Why hairdressers find life is cut and dried
By Fiona MacGregor
(Scotland on Sunday, February 27, 2005)
"YOU try being miserable with a smile on your face," grins Jonathan Law into the mirror as he stabs the air with a pair of lethal-looking scissors to emphasise his point. We're in a smart salon in Edinburgh's Old Town where I'm hoping Jonathan - an artiste, philosopher, relationship counsellor, political commentator and hairdresser of 16 years experience - will enlighten me with the secret of true happiness. A survey of more than 1,200 employees last week revealed that hairdressers are the happiest workers in the UK. While 40% claim to be happy in their chosen career, the rest of the workforce is lagging far behind. Even among the clergy, who came second to hairdressers in the poll, just 24% say they are happy - and pity the poor architects and social workers, of whom just 2% are content in their job. ... Abandoning his client to bound across the salon and welcome me like a long-lost sister, he launches into a monologue on why hairdressers are happy before I've had the chance to take my coat off. He informs me he's a people person, which is vital for a hairdresser. "Everyone becomes their job. It's like that song by Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra, 'Life's a stage and each must play their part'."
The quote and source may be a little muddled, but the sentiment still stands. ...
- Booted Back Into The Limelight
By Andrew Gans
(CBS News, February 27, 2005)
Nancy Sinatra, who has appeared in box office smashes with Peter Fonda and Elvis Presley and who is famous for recording the hit "These Boots Are Made For Walking," is trying hard to break back into show business. And at age 64, she tells correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin in an interview for Sunday Morning, that it's harder to make a comeback than it is to break into the business. Of course, she had a little help the first time around. The oldest daughter of singing legend Frank Sinatra and his first-wife (also named Nancy), Nancy Sandra Sinatra grew up amid the bright lights of stardom. She made her first TV appearance when she was still in her teens -- with her father and no less a star than Elvis Presley. She began her acting career in 1964 and appeared opposite Peter Fonda in 1968's "Wild Angels" and opposite Elvis in "Speedway," released the same year. She has seven films to her credit, has provided music for another half dozen movies, including a James Bond feature, and has appeared in dozens of TV shows and specials. ...
- Michigan: To Do Tomorrow - Some activities to consider
(South Bend Tribune, February 26, 2005)
* SPEAKERS AND FORUMS
* Vince Vawter, an editor of the Memphis Press-Scimitar when Elvis Presley died in 1977, will speak at 2 p.m. in conjunction with the "Processing Elvis" exhibit at the Northern Indiana Center for History, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend.
- OK commuter
By Trevor Baker
(The Guardian, February 26, 2005)
Not all bands are workshy dropouts. Some, like Queens Of The Stone Age, will play more than one gig a night. ... Most music news websites managed to throw at least one exclamation mark into the headline ("Queens Of The Stone Age play twice! In one night!") and one inserted an awestruck "in the very same". It's as though we think of big American rock bands as a breed similar to Victorian poets, when in fact the gruelling process of touring in their home country turns them physically, spiritually and sartorially into something more akin to a long-haul trucker. ... But then Queens Of The Stone Age might want to remember that the only good excuse for cramming more than one gig into a night is a big wodge of cash at the end of it. This was certainly the attitude of Elvis and Colonel Parker. Neither of them were very keen on travel but to Elvis, as the world's biggest superstar, it didn't matter. You didn't go to the fans, the fans came to you. Despite the fact that he never managed to play in the UK at all, and only made it to New York for the first time in 1972, Elvis Presley managed to pack in a staggering 57 shows in 28 days at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1969 and continued with further residences there during the first half of the 1970s. People still say that it was peanut butter sandwiches that killed him. But maybe he should have realised that once a night is enough. ...
- Tales Of Music, Marriage And Meals Fit For A King
By Billy Kennedy
(News Letter, February 25, 2005)
For many country fans, books on their favourite singing stars are as much a soughtafter commodity as record albums and videos. This spring, a large number of new book titles will be out on the domain, on the lives and careers of performers passed on and some who are still with us. The list is varied and fascinating!
For Elvis Presley fans, there's: Elvis by the Presleys, from Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley (Crown, published May); Untold Gold: The Stories Behind Elvis's No. 1 Hits, by Ace Collins (Chicago Review Press, April), and; for food addicts, Graceland's Table: Recipes and Meal Memories Fit for the King of Rock and Roll, by Ellen Rolfes With Elvis Presley Enterprises (Rutledge Hill, August). ...
- Audiences can't help falling in love with Delray Beach police officer's award-winning Elvis impersonation
By Mary Thurman Yuhas
(Sun-Sentinel, February 25, 2005)
Elwood's Dixie Bar B Que on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach rocks on Thursday nights, when Elvis impersonator Scott Ringersen is there.
Ringersen, who lives west of Boynton Beach, has been performing for eight years at Elwood's, a one-time gas station that owner Michael Elwood Gochenour transformed into a funky bar 13 years ago. It attracts everyone from families to bikers. ... Ringersen has become a local celebrity. For the past two years, he was selected Best of Florida Entertainer by Florida Monthly magazine, and he's nominated again. "Everywhere I go, even up in Orlando, people say, `Hey, you're that Elvis guy that's a cop, aren't you?''' he said. ,,, Ringersen's career as a Delray Beach police officer began 23 years ago after he graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Mass., with a degree in criminal justice. Today, he lives with daughters, Jaclyn, 15, and Madison, 11, and their mixed breed dog, Elvis, who he swears his girls named. ... On or off stage, with his black hair and long sideburns, even in his police uniform and dark sunglasses, Ringersen is unmistakably Elvis. But it hasn't presented a problem.
"My two careers never collide," he said. In fact, his celebrity and appearance have helped him diffuse difficult situations, especially domestic disputes "When I walk in, it works to my advantage. I'm not a police officer, I'm an entertainer who's also a cop," he said. ...
- Lifelong love
By Elizabeth A. Katz
(Daily Tribune, February 25, 2005)
One of the first memories bluesman Billy Davis has about music is as a child, sitting in the back of a cab in Memphis with his mother Mae Belle Davis and going to see one of his aunts. He can still remember the radio in the cab and the song it was playing, the rollicking beat as Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup sang "That's Alright, Mama," a song Elvis Presley would eventually make popular. Mississippi-born Davis counts it as his earliest musical influence, not to mention other influences including Muddy Waters who he was listening to as early as 4 years old, as well as B.B. King and John Lee Hooker later on. ...
- UNEXPECTED SONGS: THE LESSER KNOWN TUNES OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
By Andrew Gans
(Playbill News, February 25, 2005)
... This past Monday evening, Robert Diamond presented an evening devised by Eddie Varley that paid tribute to the "lesser-known tunes of Andrew Lloyd Webber." Titled Unexpected Songs, the one-night-event at Joe's Pub featured direction and witty narration by Jamie McGonnigal with musical direction by Mark Hartman. ... Elaine Caswell offered a jazzy take on "The Perfect Year," which was followed by the one Lloyd Webber tune of the evening I had never heard, "It's Easy for You." Apparently one of the last songs ever recorded by Elvis Presley, the tune was well performed by Wonderful Town's Ray McLeod. ...
- What is Kenpo?
By Caroline Baker
(BellaOnline, February 25, 2005)
Kenpo is an interesting style of Martial Arts in that it shows how cultures can merge and benefit with learning from one another. ... Many people have studied Kenpo, one of the most famous is Elvis Presley, the King. Presley became acquainted with Ed Parker in 1960 and formed a friendship that lasted his lifetime. This was not Presley's first exposure to Martial Arts, nor would it be his last.
- Music helps shape personalities
By Ashley Jelliffe
(Marlin Chronicle of Virginia Wesleyan College, February 25, 2005)
If there is one thing that I've learned in my 21 years on earth, it's that music defines who we are as individuals. ... Whether you prefer Rap, Rock, Indie, Classical, Country, R&B, or Pop music, it's all relevant when defining a person's character. Don't get me wrong, in no way do I feel that one genre is superior to another; but I do feel that you can tell a lot about a person by asking one simple question: Why do you like what you like?
... While most music has been controversial at some point in time, it has molded society as a whole. In the '40s it was Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday and Frank Sinatra. In the '50s, Elvis Presley, Jack Scott and The Drifters; in the '60s the Beatles, Deep Purple, Bob Dylan, the Four Tops and Aretha Franklin took the world by storm. In the '70s, Thelma Houston, the Jackson Five and David Bowie were all the rage. In the '80s Billy Idol, Blondie and Billy Joel rocked out with a vengeance. While in the '90s it was Whitney Houston, Madonna and New Kids on the Block who taught us all about icons. ...
- Glen Campbell: From Beach Boy to 'Rhinestone Cowboy'
By WADE TATANGELO
(Bradenton Herald, February 25, 2005)
He's been the "Rhinestone Cowboy" for as long as most can remember. But Glen Campbell's professional career started years before he recorded the anthem, hosted his hit variety show "The Goodtime Hour" or recorded classics by his pal Jimmy Webb such as "Wichita Lineman." For most of the 1960s, Campbell was part of an elite group of Los Angeles-based session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. During that period, Campbell sweetened some of the greatest pop and rock recordings of the era with his supple guitar style and occasional background vocals.
... Considering the high price he paid for stardom - namely the alcohol and drug abuse chronicled in his 1994 autobiography "Rhinestone Cowboy" and in numerous interviews - it's easy to speculate why Campbell reflects on this early period with such fondness. "I remember thinking to play rhythm guitar with Frank Sinatra on 'Strangers in the Night,' Oh yes, it doesn't get any better than this," he recalled. In addition to "Strangers," Campbell is heard on classic cuts by Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Merle Haggard, and numerous Phil Spector recordings including smashes by The Righteous Brothers and Ronettes. ...
- Property Overlooking Elvis's Birthplace to Be Auctioned on EBay
(PRWEB, February 25, 2005)
After receiving much attention from Tupelo city officials, the media, and support from the public, Mr. Joey Brewer, owner of The Blue Suede Shoe Bed & Breakfast, Catering, and Gifts, is auctioning his property, located at 501 Elvis Presley Drive, Tupelo, Mississippi, on EBay, the leading internet auction site. Mr. Brewer bought the property in hopes of renovating and molding this split level home on approximately 2 acres to offer a comfortable bed & breakfast to devout fans of the departed "King." "This property is located across the street from where over 100,000 registered visitors come yearly and stand in awe of how a small Mississippian, born in a one room home, influenced the sound of music forever," says Mr. Brewer. "This place is a gold mine."
The Birthplace of Elvis is the highest visited landmark in the state of Mississippi. Mr. Brewer, knowing this fact, feels this property will appeal to anyone with good business sense, and an entrepreneur or investor will jump at the chance to purchase this property. "The new Oren Dunn Museum of the American Dream, soon to be built two lots over, will increase the traffic to this area too," Mr. Brewer explained, "adding to the expected revenues this property will realize. The
Furniture Market alone in this area requires that more unique housing opportunities are offered. There's only one other bed and breakfast in town. Not everyone can stay there due to space constraints. This will be a perfect location for a bed and breakfast and gift shop."
Mr. Brewer looked beyond the normal boundaries of the U.S. to sell this property. "This property is unique. I felt that a realtor was not going to give the exposure that this idea needs. Elvis is known worldwide, and I wanted to provide an opportunity of purchase to Elvis fans abroad," said Mr. Brewer. "That's why I chose to auction the property on EBay." Although the home has been posted on the EBay site for almost 4 days, almost 380 people have clicked on the link to the sale of this home and property. Mr. Brewer is eager that he will receive a bid on this hot spot of real estate very soon, and the next owner could be from anywhere in the world.
This property can be viewed and bid upon until March 21, 2005 07:54:35 PST at http://www.ebay.com Enter Item Number: "4359348927" or Type "501 Elvis Presley" in the Search Box.
- And the winner of Most Forgettable Song is . . . : Why do such terrible tunes win Oscars?
By Neil McCormick
(Daily Telegraph, February 24, 2005)
On Sunday, the venerable members of the Academy of Motion Pictures will award the chosen ones of their profession with the most famous little statuette in the world. Dismiss the Brits, Baftas, Golden Globes and Grammies from your mind, for The Oscars is the mother of all award ceremonies. By the time it is over it will have been watched on television by an estimated billion people and generated veritable forests of newsprint. Film critics will deliver their verdicts on the verdict, fashion pundits will wax eloquent on the gowns, the internet will buzz with backstage gossip and rumour. Yet amidst all this brouhaha, at least one category will be almost completely ignored by any but the nominees and the odd irritated music critic (like me).
I am speaking, of course, of the Oscar for Best Song, otherwise known in the music business as Name That Tune. It is a good game and you can play this at home. Simply ask your friends and family if they can hum a few bars from any of this year's Best Song nominees.
... What the Academy voters clearly don't like is anything that sounds like it might have been written since Elvis Presley wriggled his hips. Indeed, such has been the Oscars anti-rock'n'roll bias that Elvis (who starred in 31 films) never received so much as a nomination. He was in good company. The Beatles were un-nominated despite the plethora of classics on Hard Day's Night, Help and Yellow Submarine. Disco music was overlooked by the Academy throughout its Seventies heyday, with none of the Bee Gees songs from Saturday Night Fever receiving a nomination in 1977 (a year in which the Academy also somehow ignored the classic title song from Martin Scorcese's New York, New York). In the Eighties, Prince failed to impress with any of his hits from Purple Rain. I think we are getting the picture here. If it's got a pulse and shows any signs of life, then it clearly has no place at the Oscars. ...
- 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' to open soon: Show to feature hit songs from the '50s and '60s
By Jacque Wilson
(Ball State Daily News, February 24, 2005)
Not many people have heard of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. They don't dance. They don't sing. They don't own major corporations. What they do is write. Ever heard of Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" or sang along to "You ain't nothing but a hound dog?" Ever listened to the song "Stand By Me" with arms wrapped around best friends? Leiber and Stoller wrote those popular musical numbers and more. ... Leiber and Stoller started their songwriting partnership in the 1960s with the same passion for music. They were only 17. Stars such as Willie Mae Thorton and Ray Charles recorded their earliest songs. Eventually Atlantic Records signed the two to the first-ever independent production deal. Singers Presley and The Coasters picked up on Leiber and Stoller's talent and brought their songs to the top. In 1985, the two were inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame; in 1987 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1995, Smokey Joe's Cafe opened for the first time on Broadway. ...
- You Be Jammin'
By Paul A. Leone
(New Times, February 24, 2005)
Few musicians can say they transcended their craft to achieve the vaunted status of cultural icon, especially if you consider an untimely demise to be a prerequisite. John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and Jimi Hendrix may have defined their generations, but none can claim the worldwide renown of Bob Marley. In his time, Marley sparked his own movement (among other things), and this weekend's 12th Annual Bob Marley Caribbean Festival keeps the legacy of the Jah people going. This month would have marked Marley's 60th birthday. And while it's been nearly 25 years since his death, Marley remains one of the world's most influential musicians. ...
- While their guitars gently weep
By ROSS RAIHALA
(twincities.com / Pioneer Press, February 24, 2005)
Growing up in the shadow of John Lennon and Paul McCartney - two of popular music's most acclaimed songwriters - must have been daunting for George Harrison. But there's still plenty of love out there for the Quiet Beatle. After all, two live venues are paying tribute to the man Friday, on what would have been his 62nd birthday. The Turf Club is offering up a Harrison night featuring Slim Dunlap, Curtiss A, Chris Dorn, 33 & 1/3, John Ewing and Little Man. Over at First Avenue, Randy Casey's Dark Horse Review boasts members of the Honeydogs, Semisonic and Faux Jean celebrating the sometimes overlooked songwriter. To prepare for the night, here's a look at five Harrison songs well worth a tribute.
Like McCartney's "Yesterday," "Something" transcended mere pop music and blossomed into a genre-crossing modern standard. The deceptively simple love song was also the band's first chart hit written by Harrison. A standout track on the Beatles' final studio album, "Abbey Road," "Something" was joined on disc by Harrison's similarly cheery "Here Comes the Sun."
Who covered it: Harrison was initially unsure of what to do with the song and offered it to Joe Cocker, who released his version in 1969. In the decades since, a staggering number of vocalists have performed "Something," including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Shirley Bassey, Willie Nelson, Peggy Lee, Engelbert Humperdinck and Ray Charles. ...
- Tabor players prepare '60s fave, 'Bye Bye Birdie'
By David B. Boyce
(Standard-Times, February 24, 2005)
Elvis Presley's impact on the culture of 1950s America can be judged by how quickly it was reflected in other forms of art. When the Broadway musical "Bye Bye Birdie," with its book by Michael Stewart, score by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Lee Adams opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in April of 1960, it was the first musical to address the phenomenon of rock 'n' roll music and a performer like Elvis, and to incorporate the rock idiom in its score. And while it was nominated for eight Tony Awards and won six including best musical in 1961, its depiction of '50s youth culture reveals the remarkable innocence of the era, especially as judged by today's standards and mores.
The Drama Club of Tabor Academy opens its production of "Bye Bye Birdie" tonight for a three-performance run in the Fireman Center of Hoyt Hall on the school's Marion campus. ...
- The great pretender
By Craig Keddie
(Borders Today, February 24, 2005)
Is Elvis dead or alive? It's a question that has been asked over and over again, with many of the King's fans refusing to believe he's shaken off this mortal coil but is still out there somewhere doing the "Hippy, Hippy Shake". While questions may remain about his death, one thing is certain - Elvis's popularity has never diminished, a fact confirmed by the thousands of Elvis tribute acts that lip curl their way through his back catalogue. The majority of them fail to hit the mark. But for every poor Elvis wannabe there is the odd average one. And for every decent one there is a great one. Some are exceptional.
One of the tribute acts that would not have the King turning in his grave is based here in the Borders.
Robbie West, of Hartrigg Avenue, Jedburgh has travelled the world, imitating his idol in true Las Vegas-style - rhinestone jumpsuits and all. But what sets him apart from the crowd? Well, just ask Donna Presley, Elvis's cousin. "I've played at various venues in America and had some truly great experiences. For three of the 16 years on the road I lived in Memphis, performing at Elvis Presley boulevard in Graceland," begins Robbie. "It's very hard but it's also my livelihood, so I put absolutely everything I've got into it. And it's all the more worthwhile when someone like Donna Presley says to me, 'Elvis would be proud of you'." ... Robbie has been voted best Elvis sound-a-like in Britain and Ireland by PJ Proby on Greater London Radio, and manages to juggle raising two children with his career. But he says his passion for Elvis isn't obsessive, it's educational. ...
(Robbie West faces some competition for his crown from his young son Kieran)