- Ann-Margret up for adventure at Caesars
By DAVID J. SPATZ
(northjersey.com, June 25 2009)
Compared to her body of work as an actress and stage entertainer, the studio recordings of Ann-Margret barely rate a footnote in a durable career that's earned her Oscar and Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe awards. In fact, it wasn't until last year that the actress and singer discovered her only hit single, "I Just Don't Understand," caught the attention of The Beatles.
In 1963, two years after her song peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard music chart, The Beatles covered the haunting tune on a BBC special titled "Pop Goes the Beatles." Other than the radio broadcast, there was no studio recording of the song by the Fab Four.
"I was driving down Sunset [Boulevard] one day last year and suddenly I heard my voice coming from the radio," Ann-Margret recalled during a recent phone call from her Beverly Hills home. "It was so exciting just to hear that, but then they played [The Beatles'] version and I was just so amazed. All those years, and I had no idea they had [performed] the song."
She had originally recorded it for her debut album, "And Here She Is: Ann-Margret," in Nashville, featuring some all-star support behind her: Chet Atkins on guitar, saxophone legend Boots Randolph playing the haunting alto refrain, pianist Floyd Cramer and backing vocals by the Anita Kerr singers and the Jordanaires, Elvis Presley's backup vocalists.
The Beatles' cover was a more stripped-down version with just the four musicians and John Lennon handling the lead vocals.
Ann-Margret returns to Atlantic City on Friday for the first time in six years as part of Caesars Atlantic City's 30th anniversary celebration. On June 26, 1979, Ann-Margret cut the ribbon to officially open what was then known as Caesars Boardwalk Regency Hotel Casino. ...
- Partying with the King tops Yates's customers wish list
By Jack Williams
(heraldandnews.com, June 25 2009)
Elvis would be the number one birthday bash guest. Elvis Presley has topped the list of guests young people would like to invite to their birthday party, according to a poll by pub group Yates's. The King of Rock and Roll was closely followed by family members, mothers and stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and Beyonce.
Yates's chose to celebrate its 125th birthday by asking customers who they would most like to see at their own birthday parties and what their ideal presents would be. ...
- Panel Hears Plans For Promoting Barbershop Museum
By LEE JUILLERAT
(Arkansas News, June 24 2009)
When Elvis Presley fans gather in Memphis next August to note the birthday of "The King," they will be exposed to information on Presley;s military history in Arkansas.
Carolyn Joyce, tour and travel sales director for the Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Advertising and Promotion Commissioners on Tuesday the CVB is working with Elvis Presley Enterprises to participate in marketing efforts related to Elvis Week, Aug. 8-15 in Memphis.
On the inside cover of the Elvis Week Event Guide, Joyce said a half-page cover ad will promote the Barbershop Museum at Chaffee Crossing, the location of Presley's first military haircut. Joyce said the promotion, being conducted in cooperation with the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, will also include posting in the news section of the Elvis.com Web site and on the Elvis Insiders message board.
Barber James B. Peterson cuts Elvis Presley's hair at Fort Chaffee in 1958
- Music spun in reverse in Oregon Cabaret Theater's 'History'
By LEE JUILLERAT
(heraldandnews.com, June 24 2009)
Early rock and roll singers, from Elvis Presley and Pat Boone to the Beatles and Rolling Stones, took songs originally done by black performers and created "cover" hits. In some cases the often provocative lyrics and rhythms were sanitized, or "whitinized" of sexual references. Other songs, such as "Hound Dog," were refashioned.
In "A Brief History of White Music," the fall production at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre in Ashland, the musical turntables are spun in reverse. A trio of black singers takes music written and made popular by white artists and spice them up with a touch of soul and rhythm and blues.
... "Love Me Tender/Can't Help Falling in Love," two Elvis hits, are merged into a soulful tune. But it's "Blue Suede Shoes," as done by Berry, that takes on entirely new trappings as a sizzlingly sensual torch song.
"Brief History" reinterprets moldy oldies by singers and groups from an increasingly distant past - Connie Francis, the Mamas and Papas, Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, Buddy Holly, Petula Clark, Lulu, and Manfred Mann ("Do Wah Diddy"). The reinventing of oldies doesn¹t always work - there could be more touches of Aretha Franklin, and less of the Fifth Dimension.
"A Brief History of White Music" is the fall offering at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre in Ashland. Directed by Christopher George Patterson, "History" was conceived by Dee Dee Thomas and David Tweedy with revised musical arrangements by Rick Seeber. It is performed Thursdays through Mondays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 1 p.m. through Nov. 2. For ticket and dinner reservations call (541) 488-2902 or visit their Web site at www.oregoncabaret.com.
- Tribute to Elvis to take place this weekend
By MARIANNE PATON
(Pine Island Eagle, June 23 2009)
On June 27, singer/performer Mark Shelton will present ³At the Gates of Graceland,² a tribute to the gospel music of Elvis Presley. The performance will take place at Jesus Christ Ministries in St. James City.
Who: Mark Shelton
What: "At the Gates of Graceland"
When: Saturday, June 27, 7 p.m.
Where: Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ Ministries, Doug Taylor Circle
Elvis will be "in the building" next weekend when Jesus Christ Ministries will host a special concert to honor the King. Beginning at 7 p.m., award-winning vocalist Mark Shelton will present "At the Gates of Graceland" featuring at tribute to the gospel music of Elvis Presley.
Hailing originally from Vermont, Shelton recorded and released his first CD "Radical" in 2002 followed by his second CD "Tribal Nation" with several of his songs played regularly on Christian radio stations and on Internet sites throughout the United States and Canada, as well as 154 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia.
A co-founder of of the International Ministry Wings of Worship, Shelton has made it his mission to present the gospel of Christ through his music.
Shelton's work has found him not only portraying the legendary Elvis, but he also can be seen donning the costume of the professional wrestler he calls "Archangel" exciting crowds with his performances as pirate captain Radical and as part of "Swimming Frog" an interactive children's theater.
When performing his popular Sock Hops, Shelton incorporates music from the '50s and '60s in his act.
... The concert presented by Shelton will take place at Jesus Christ Ministries located at 5100 Doug Taylor Circle in St. James City, just south of the center. The show will take place on Saturday, June 27 beginning at 7 p.m. This concert is open to the public and is free of charge. For more information, call Jesus Christ Ministries at 283-0412 or visit bodyofourlord.org
- Cirque founder sues over book
By NORM CLARKE
(lvrj.com, June 18 2009)
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte has had better weeks. Instead of basking in the glow of accomplishment on the 25th anniversary of Cirque's megasuccess, Laliberte is mounting a legal battle against a tell-all book.
Unhappy that he's portrayed as a bed-hopping scoundrel, Laliberte, 49, is suing publishers of the unauthorized biography titled "Guy Laliberté: The Fabulous Story of the Creator of the Cirque du Soleil," which came out this month. Laliberte's former girlfriend, Rizia Moreira, who had three of Laliberte's children, told author Ian Halperin that Laliberte was a serial cheater.
... Cirque du Soleil has six shows in Las Vegas: "Mystere," "O," "Zumanity," "KA," "Love" and "Criss Angel Believe." A seventh, based on Elvis Presley's music, will open at CityCenter late this year. ...
- Old Hound Dogs Leiber & Stoller up to new tricks
By Dean Goodman
(news.yahoo.com / Reuters, June 18 2009)
If Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller had not become two of the most influential songwriters in pop music, they could have earned a decent living as a stand-up comedy duo. Almost 60 years after an awkward first meeting that set them on the road to vast fame and fortune through such tunes as "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Stand By Me" and "Poison Ivy," the pair have developed a finely honed routine.
Stoller supplies the anecdotes, and Leiber, the lyricist, injects the spicy wit. The system worked well for their new memoir, "Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography," in which the boogie-woogie boys trade old war stories. ...
- Coach Bowden And Elvis Presley's Stepbrother To Speak At Abba's House
(chattanoogan.com, June 17 2009)
Legendary Florida State Football Coach Bobby Bowden will be the guest speaker for the 10:30 a.m. service at Abba's House on July 5. Rick Stanley, well known for his years spent at Graceland with Elvis as a stepbrother, will be the special guest speaker for the morning and evening services at the Hixson church on Father's Day, June 21. ...
- Elvis fans create film wedding
(news.bbc.co.uk, June 15 2009)
An Elvis Presley impersonator married his long-time love at a seaside town by recreating the wedding scene from one of his idol's films.
Steve and Barbara Caprice were married 15 years ago in the USA but renewed their vows at Porthcawl, near Bridgend, in a Blue Hawaii-themed ceremony. A church minister from Yorkshire, Mr Caprice is known as Rockin' Reverend and regularly officiates at weddings. Around 40 Elvis impersonators were due to attend the reception. ... "This is where we hold the annual Elvis Presley festival so it seemed like an ideal venue. With the hot weather and the beach it could almost be Hawaii."
The ceremony was followed by a reception for 200, and several guests joined in the fun by dressing in Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts with garlands of flowers.
Steve and Barbara Caprice with their Elvis tribute wedding guests
Steve Caprice (centre right) is joined by his best man and Elvis tribute wedding guests as he renews his vows with Barbara Caprice in Porthcawl
- Chart-topping music legend Neil Sedaka tells Laurence White why he has penned his last pop song
(belfasttelegraph.co.uk, June 15 2009)
At an age when most people would be thinking of a happy and well-earned retirement, singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is about to embark on a new career. Having spent nearly 50 years as one of the great iconic pop stars, writing more than 1,000 songs and having his work performed by such legends as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, Neil, now 70, is going back to his first love, classical music. ...
- Essentials for every pop music historian
By Pocholo Concepcion
(Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 15 2009)
"The Essential Limited Edition 3.0," a series of compilation albums that Sony Music released recently, are mostly expanded versions of previous reissues of career-spanning works by some very big names, among them Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, John Denver, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Heart and Journey.
Collectively, they represent some of the most passionate, romantic, energizing, soothing, painful, soulful, rebellious and life-affirming emotions expressed by such a talented bunch of artists.
... Though "The Essential Elvis Presley" misses out on some very exciting tunes that were part of 2002's "30 #1 Hits," it still succeeds as a document of the history of rock 'n' roll, of which The Pelvis was king. From the very first track, a cover of Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right," recorded in 1954, Presley emerges as an artist who was at the right place and time when pop music needed his mark of dangerous excitement.
There's also his brooding, gospel-influenced side here, as well as tunes he did in the movies and Las Vegas, which purists dismiss as crap. But everything Presley sang turned to gold and every fan, or would-be fan, should have a great time listening to this set. ...
- Tupelo Elvis Festival turns profit: Event Nets $13,000 More Than Last Year
(wapt.com / AP, June 15 2009)
The King's hometown festival is staying in the black. The Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival, which lost $46,000 three years ago, made $92,944 this year -- almost $13,000 more than it made last year, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. ...
- Got An Elvis Story? Graceland Wants To Hear It
Contributor: Jeannine Gallenstein
(kypost.com / AP, June 15 2009)
Managers of Elvis Presley's Graceland are looking for people with personal stories to tell about the king of rock 'n' roll -- people like John "Bull" Bramlett who played touch football with Presley in the 1950s.
Though Bramlett, who went on to play professional football, remembers Elvis as a "great guy," he also recalls that "he was just an average athlete." "I thought he kind of ran like a girl," Bramlett said. "It was just a funny way that he ran."
Graceland is gathering stories from former Presley friends, associates and fans for an oral history enterprise called the Elvis Presley Legacy Project. The stories are being videotaped and will become part of Graceland's archives. Examples can be found on the Graceland Web site.
"If you encountered Elvis and have a story to share with the world, we would love to include you in this project," Graceland says on the site, which has a "submit your story" link.
The project is scheduled to run through Jan. 8, 2010, which would have been Presley's 75th birthday. He died on Aug. 16, 1977 at age 42 at Graceland of heart disease that was worsened by drug abuse .
On the Elvis Web site now are example video clips with people like Gene Autry Turner who presented Elvis with a sheriff's badge from Tupelo, Miss., in 1971; Lowell Hays, Presley's jeweler in the 1970s, and Lorena Conrad, who met Elvis when she was in high school and was best friends with Dixie Locke, one of his first girlfriends.
Turner, who was named after cowboy movie star Gene Autry, says on his clip that he could hardly contain his glee when he went to Graceland to give Presley the badge. "When I told him my name was Gene Autry, he said, 'Gene Autry can't sing.' I said, 'No but Elvis can, can't he,"' Turner said. "And he got tickled. He said, 'Yea, I think I can a little bit."
Bramlett, who was six years younger than Presley, said Elvis nicknamed him "Little Bramlett" when they both were part of a group of guys who often played touch football together. The games were held near the old Lauderdale Courts, the downtown Memphis housing project were Presley lived while in high school. Bramlett went on to become a football standout at Humes High School, Elvis' old school, and Memphis State, now the University of Memphis. He was in the National Football League for six years. Bramlett said he was with Elvis and a group of friends at a Memphis theater in 1954 when Presley got word that his first recording, "That's All Right," was being played on the radio.
Two years later, Presley recorded his first hit with RCA, "Heartbreak Hotel," and was on his way to stardom.