Friday, January 28, 2011
Elvis And Bill
When asked how I became an Elvis fan I always answer that it all started with Bill Haley. You see, my mother had an EP record with Bill Haley that I discovered when I was about eight years old. One of the songs on it was "Shake, Rattle And Roll" and I played it over and over. In fact, so much that I got a Bill Haley LP for my 9th birthday. I still have it, and looking at it right now, I can tell it spent it's fair share on the turntable as well.
From Bill Haley I guess the step wasn't very far to Elvis Presley, so when one of my brothers bought a double LP called Elvis Forever, I quickly "adopted" it. Bill Haley had to step aside as Elvis became my new favorite, a position he's successfully defended ever since.
But yesterday I got reacquainted with Bill Haley again, thanks to my other brother, who's also an Elvis fan (the one who bought Elvis Forever isn't). Turned out he'd ordered a box set featuring Bill Haley's music from the 60's. Being the nice brother he is, he'd put together a compilation CD from the set, and sent it to me. I imported it to my iPod and spent an enjoyable morning listening to it on my way to work.
And would you believe it had some interesting Elvis connections? I was pleasantly surprised to suddenly hear "Stop, Look And Listen" followed by "The Meanest Girl In Town" (titled "Yeah, She's Evil!"). Calling my brother on the phone in the evening, he told me they were recorded in 1964. So the versions that Elvis did for use in his two movies Spinout and Girl Happy, are actually Bill Haley covers. I didn't know that. And they sound pretty cool, too.
Now I'm only hoping that someday Elvis' version of "Rock Around The Clock," reportedly recorded during one of his Louisiana Hayride performances, will turn up. And by the way, did you know that Elvis recorded "That's All Right" on Bill Haley's 29th birthday?
Bill Haley and Elvis Presley crossed paths on a number of occasions (Elvis Australia)