Wednesday 24 January 2024

 Elvis Grammy Award Songs



Elvis, the King of Rock 'n' Roll, won only 3 Grammy Awards for his music. All for Gospel. How can that be? 

The Grammys were founded in 1958. Elvis' heyday was from 1956-1957. Easy to see how he missed out on some possible major Rock 'n' Roll Grammys.  In total Elvis received 14 Grammy Nominations, of which 6 were for Singles. 

If we dive into his Single Nominations, we found that he received 2 Grammy Nominations each in the 50s, 60s and 70s, covering the R&B, Pop, Gospel and C&W genres. Once again, no Rock 'n Roll nominations in sight.

Elvis' 6 Grammy Nominations for Singles:


In 1959 A Fool Such As I received a Grammy Nomination for Record Of The Year, and A Big Hunk O' Love received a Grammy Nomination for Best R&B Performance, as well as Best Top 40 Artist Performance.

In 1961 Are You Lonesome Tonight? received 3 Grammy Nominations in the following categories: Best Pop Single Performance, Best Male Vocal Performance and Record Of The Year. To top off the nominations for the 60s, in 1969 Elvis received a Grammy Nomination for You'll Never Walk Alone for Best Sacred Performance.

On to the 70s. In 1975 Elvis received a Grammy Nominations for How Great Thou Art (Live) for Best Inspirational Performance, and WON! The only Single Nomination win, and part of the only 3 Gospel wins he received. In 1979 Elvis posthumously received his last Grammy Nomination for a Single, namely for  Softly, As I Leave You (Live) for Best Male C&W Performance.

Saturday 1 July 2023

 


Elvis Live on CD (1971)

Via FTD we previously had two live 1971 Elvis concerts:

1. Dinner Show, 28-10-71, Las Vegas, NV, (The Impossible Dream CD) 

2. Evening Show, 28-11-71, Boston, MA, (Elvis As Recorded at Boston Garden CD)

As part of its ongoing live on tour series, the label has released Elvis: Live In Vegas '71 as a 3-CD 5" digipak, featuring three 1971 shows recorded in Vegas, respectively on Jan 27-29.

FTD refer to this release as "having imperfections", but "the historic importance and rarity of these recordings were prioritized". I've read these words before. It is code for "some of the sound quality might be poor."

To buy or not to buy...

CONS:

1. Some of the sound quality might ruin the listening experience.

PROS:

1. The shows come directly from the original master tapes, i.e. have the best possible sound

2. The shows include rare live songs

3. Elvis treats the songs with the respect they deserves.

THE FINAL VERDICT seems to be a toss up between quality and rarity.

EVEN if these shows are of more historical importance than anything else, finally we have at least 5 concerts from 1971, making it no longer a "missing year!"

Friday 2 June 2023


Thanks to Bill Porter

In November 2022 The Elvis Collector's label, FTD Records, released Elvis: Live In Vegas '71Turns out the initial recording engineer was Bill Porter

How did Bill cross paths with Elvis?

After the '68 Comeback Special, Elvis recorded some songs at the beginning of 1969 to get into the charts again and cemented his comeback. There was a mixing problem on one of the songs, Suspicious Minds, around the unusual fade out. Elvis' record producer Felton Jarvis asked sound engineer Bill Porter to help. Bill helped and left.

A few months later Elvis returned to live performances in Vegas. Afterwards he called Porter and asked him to help fix the sound in the main showroom as he could not hear himself and a new Vegas run was scheduled for the beginning of the next year. 

When Elvis started rehearsals in January 1970 Porter attended and fixed the sound by replacing the stage monitors (that the hotel's engineers could not get working) with his own sound equipment and laying the column speakers on their sides on the lip of the stage, propping them up to aim at Elvis, who was very happy with the result.

For the first time EVER Elvis could hear himself on stage.

Elvis insisted that Porter mixed the sound of these January 1970 shows (even though the sound engineer had no previous experience recording live sound). Bill quickly learned about acoustic feedback during the first song but backstage after the show film stars and musical artists kept complimenting Elvis that Porter's sound was "just like the album."

From then on Bill Porter mixed all Elvis' live concerts.  

Wednesday 24 May 2023


Jailhouse Rock


Last Saturday afternoon we got together to watch, listen and talk Elvis! We had great fun. The film Jailhouse Rock was spotlighted in the series The Elvis Award Nominated Films. 

Did you know this beloved film has received 2 honours?

1. An ASCAP for Most Performed Feature Film Standard for the title song (1991)

2. An induction into the National Archives Film Registry as a film of Cultural/Historical/Aesthetic significance (2004)

Tuesday 18 April 2023


The Jordanaires

The book The Jordanaires: The Story of the World's Greatest Backup Vocal Group (as told by Gordon Stoker) is currently available online at Loot.

The synopsis includes the following:

The greatest backup group in the history of recorded music undoubtedly was The Jordanaires, a gospel group of mostly Tennessee boys, formed in the 1940s, that set the standard for studio vocal groups in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. In their 65-year career, from 1948 through 2013, the recordings they sang on have sold an estimated 8 billion copies.

They sang on about 260 Elvis recordings, including most of his biggest hits. They were in 3 of his best-known movies, appeared with him on most of his early nation-wide TV shows, and toured with him. Throughout Elvis' early career, they were his most trusted friends.

How did The Jordanaires come to sang backup for Elvis?

Well, one hot August night in 1955 The Jordanaires were in the Ellis Auditorium in Memphis appearing on a bill with Eddy Arnold. That night they were approached backstage by Elvis Presley, then a struggling singer who had had some success and was hoping to make it big.

In his book, Gordon remembers:

I guess the first thing I remember about him was his shirt. Men just didn't wear pink shirts in those days. He also was a little dirty around the neck. He was polite and had a warm smile. So, when he approached me, I took the time to hear what he had to say.

What he said was, "I'm a big fan of y'all's. I'm a singer myself. I'm on the Sun label right now. That's a local Memphis label. I'm trying to get a deal with a major label. If I do, I'd like you guys, the Jordanaires, to sing with me on my records. 

The rest is history.