Thursday, April 30, 2009
Michele Jarrett was barely 10 years old when Elvis died, but nevertheless she's one of the very few people who can rightfully claim that The King really sang about her - a claim that even his ex-wife Priscilla or his daughter Lisa Marie cannot make. It's even more remarkable when you realize that Elvis never met Michele nor even knew about her existence.
So what's the story behind this? Well, Michele is the daughter of songwriter Michael Jarrett, who wrote a.o. 'I'll Be Home On Christmas Day' for Presley. Jarrett often used his personal life as an inspiration for his writing, and he wrote this melancholic song on Christmas Eve 1969, right in the middle of a painful divorce. He was completely alone and missing his family, when the words came to him.
On the original demo that Michael recorded for Elvis, there was a verse about his children: "Been so long since I've seen little John, Michele, Christine and Kelly; And I almost forgot with all the presents, that I bought a purse for little sister to carry".
When Elvis' version of 'I'll Be Home On Christmas Day' was released in late '71 on 'Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas', Michael was not surprised to find out that Elvis had skipped that verse. After all, it was a very personal verse about Michael's kids, and he understood that Presley could not relate to it.
Imagine Michael's surprise 30 years after Elvis' death, when he heard an outtake of the song where Elvis did sing the 'missing' verse! The first thing he did was call his daughter Michele, who was completely flabbergasted. "It's so crazy", she says today, "I remember it was shortly after my mom passed away, and my dad sent me a clip of it. Talk about a wild thing! I played it for my family, and we were all just looking at each other like, is that really what I'm hearing!".
Both Michael and Michele Jarrett are part of 'The Original Elvis Tribute 2009' (www.elvisnews.dk), which will be touring Europe in May. "I have always been so proud of my dad", she says, "and I'm so excited for this tour. I know this will be an amazing trip for him, as well as everybody on the tour. I know I'm so thankful to be a part of it!".
Now, is that a great story, or what? Imagine hearing Elvis singing about you and your family. I too, have three brothers and sisters, but as my dad didn't write any songs I guess it's highly unlikely I will ever hear the King singing about me. Michele, I envy you!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Whatever happened to the Memphis Recording Service? I'm talking about the UK based company headed by Elvis collector Joseph Pirzada.
MRS put out some excellent releases during 2004-2007. My personal favourites are the two SUN volumes The Beginning Of Elvis 1953-1954 and The Rise of Elvis Presley 1955, as well as the sensational Tupelo's Own, which included footage of Elvis performing live 1956 - with sound!
The MRS site still exists, but the strange thing is, all the material about the dance remix of "That's All Right" has been removed. In fact, the first thing that meets the eye is an announcement for the New York RCA Studio 1 – The Complete Session release, which was the second to last release.
Also, there is no mentioning about future projects or information about why no new releases have seen the light of the day. Maybe it has something to do with this. There is an e-mail address, though. I'm gonna send Memphis Recording Service a letter right now and ask them what happened.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Also, according to the Essential Elvis blog, the album would be released with a colour booklet and in cooperation with a forthcoming multimedia box set from another label.
Now, imagine if FTD had a website up and running. Then all the fans could visit it and read that, yes, this is the next release and no April fools joke. Come to think of it, there wouldn't be any speculations in the first place because the information about the upcoming double CD would've already been posted on the official site.
Such a website would also be the perfect platform for Ernst or Roger where they could elaborate in more detail on why the set is "released in cooperation with the forthcoming multimedia box set release by Bud Glass and Pray To Me Publishing."
- FTD seems to have finally understood the need for a booklet together with a soundboard.
- The 5" digipack series is becoming more and more of a soundboard label.
- The cover is exactly the same as the one used on the bootleg Across The Country Vol. 2 (featuring the Huntsville May 31 Evening Show).
- Only one of the shows has been released by Madison, the June 1 Evening Show has not.
- Why not a box set with all the shows, or at least the four that definitely exist?
- Am I imagining things, or is FTD looking (and thinking) more and more like Madison?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Earlier postings about the Original Elvis Tribute 2009 shows:
Sunday, April 19, 2009
But maybe something is about to happen. On the For Elvis CD Collectors forum a guy from the Netherlands shared the following address: www.followthatdream.com.
I immediately visited the site and found some nice pictures, many obviously taken from FTD covers, followed by the message "new site currently under construction."
The administrator is no other than a certain Roger Semon, so maybe the site is soon up and running. On the other hand, maybe not, as it was created in 2002 and last updated on 8 January, 2008 (according to this).
Be that as it may, here are the advantages of an official FTD website as I see it:
- The newsletters from FTD could be posted here and not only sent to fan clubs and Elvis sites.
- Fans could ask questions.
- FTD would have a way to reach all fans and at times set the record straight.
- Information, such as documents shown in booklets, could be published in full.
To sum up, the FTD website would be the first place fans visited to find out about releases, read about decisions being made and why, and contributed with questions and thoughts.
But I don't hold my breath. I realise there would be a lot of unkind words (if FTD would allow comments to be made on the site) and that there's no way Ernst or Roger could muster the time or energy to handle that. A Follow That Dream website would be a one way affair, but if interesting documentation was published as well as newsletters, that would be a lot better than nothing. What do you think?
PS: This is the 200th posting on Elvis Today. I think I'm gonna celebrate by listening to the album that the blog is named after. After all, "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" has always been a favourite of mine!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
According to an article in the Boston Herald titled Elvis pal Red West discovers ‘Solo’ stardom at age 72 "West plays a man ready to end it all. He hires Sengalese taxi driver Solo to drive him to a local mountain spot in two weeks. Solo can't accept what William intends and moves in with him to change his mind."
The first thought that came to mind when I viewed the trailer, was that this is miles from the role he played in Clambake as an ice cream vendor (in the awful "Confidence" scene). Goodbye Solo and West's acting in it seems like serious stuff.
I for one think Red West is entitled to some acting fame after 40 years in the business. Not only because of his uncredited bit parts in 17 of Elvis' movies, where he often fell on his ass after being knocked by Elvis in the obligatory fighting scene. But also because he has appeared in films such as Roadhouse (1989), Natural Born Killers (1994) and Glory Road (2006).
I'm looking forward to seing Goodbye Solo, which from what I understand is his most critically acclaimed role so far. I bet Elvis would've been proud of his old friend.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The first song I found out about is a production number from Girls! Girls! Girls! In the "Behind The Scenes" section of the booklet accompanying the classic album release it says that even though "I Don't Want To" didn't make it into the movie, the movie trailer included a portion of the song. And true enough, when I viewed the trailer on YouTube yesterday, there was Elvis on his beloved sailboat, poring his heart out:
The second song is "Lonely Man" from Wild In The Country. Both that one and "Forget Me Never" never made it into the final print of the movie, but according to the "Behind The Scenes" section "a scene showing Elvis singing "Lonely Man" in the garage sequence was used in a trailer for the film." Not finding that particular trailer on YouTube, I dug out my DVD copy of the film, took a close look at the trailer and found out that FTD had their facts right, again.
I gotta admit these two songs being filmed made me curious and I would love to find out the answers to the following questions:
1. The two trailers only shows portions of the songs being sung by Elvis. Does the complete footage exist?
2. Were any of the other songs that were recorded by Elvis but then cut from the movies also filmed? Here are those that comes to mind:
King Creole: "Hard Headed Woman" and "Danny"
Flaming Star: "Britches" and "Summer Kisses, Winter Tears"
Blue Hawaii: "Steppin' Out Of Line"
Kissin' Cousins: "Anyone (Could Fall In Love With You)"
Harum Scarum: "Animal Instinct" and "Wisdom Of The Ages"
Paradise, Hawaiian Style: "Sand Castles"
Clambake: "How Can You Loose What You Never Had"
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
And returning to strange things, why are so many of the live tracks on disc 1 being faded out so quickly after the ending? "Hound Dog" even starts to fade out during the last notes of the song!
Monday, April 6, 2009
One such micro-blog service (and also the biggest) is Twitter.com, where I've created an account. Luckily, the name Elvis Today was available, and I've spent some time customizing the design and learning what Twitter is all about.
So why do I want to micro-blog? It's simple, really. Sometimes I haven't got the time to write on my "real" blog, but a short update on Twitter can't be that time consuming. Also, although not a day goes by without Elvis taking part in my life in some way or the other, maybe some days a short message tells it all.
This doesn't mean I will be abandoning my blog Elvis Today. I see micro-blogging as a complement, and also as an experiment. Maybe I quit soon. Maybe I don't. I for one hope you choose to follow Elvis Today on Twitter as well.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Not living in Stockholm anymore I can't say I'm all that saddened by the news. Still, thinking about Mega Store and what it used to mean to me brings back some nostalgic memories.
The strongest memory I have is from the day when Walk A Mile In My Shoes - The Essential 70's Masters was released in 1994. I can still see that table on the first floor of the store, stacked full with copies of the box set and nothing else. What a great feeling it was, having waited for the set for months, finally holding it in my hands.
I also remember Mega Store's predecessor Skivakademin that was located on the other side of the famous Sergels Torg (a big square in the center of Stocholm). That was the place where I spent my hard earned pocket money on Elvis LP's, before CD's were invented or the Internet existed!
It was there I paid 67 Swedish crowns for Raised On Rock (the price tag is still there on the cover). Isn't it funny that I have a distinct memory of sitting on the buss on my way back home looking at the LP wondering what it would sound like?
And how come I still remember the moment I bought Speedway, showing one side of the cover to the sales cashier where the price tag said 39 crowns, as opposed to the other side where another tag stated that the price was 45 crowns? (Those tags are still there as well!)
My one sad memory is that I didn't buy the sampler LP for the Golden Celebration box set. Why I didn't, I don't remember!