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Category Archives: Elvis

Oh, and the music is great too…

On top of thoroughly enjoying The Help book and movie, the music was scrumptous as well. Of course, I’m a sucker for early ’60s tunes, but whoever chose the soundtrack really hit the nail on the head.

Mary J. Blige contributed a moving and lovely song about struggle and triumph, The Living Proof, but other than that, the soundtrack is vintage “Camelot”.

My Johnny Cash love is well documented, but knew I was going to enjoy the movie when the first song of the movie was Jackson

Then, there’s the rockabilly I Ain’t Never by Webb Pierce. You can just feel young couples dancing at the Friday night dance.

There’s a strong “faith” message within the story, so naturally, Dorothy Norwood’s Victory is Mine fits perfectly and brings some triumphant spirit to the film.

To bring the message home in a big way, we have Mavis Staple’s Don’t Knock:

Other ’60s staples that help to set the mood and timeframe:

Sherry, Frank Valli & The Four Seasons

The Wat-Watusi, The Orlons

Personality, Lloyd Price

Let’s Twist Again, Chubby Checker

The eclecticness of the soundtrack is demonstrated by some real R & B via Ray Charles and Bo Diddley:

Hallejuah, I Love Her So, Ray Charles

The Road Runner, Bo Didley

And finally, as if escorting us into the coming change, Mr. Bob Dylan:

Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)

A pretty good finish…

The only conspicious absence on this soundtrack is Elvis, who was literally a God in early 1960′s Mississippi — among both races. And, it was the height of Elvis movies…

Something like Follow That Dream…jus’ sayin’. ELVIS!! Unh!

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in at the movies, Elvis, Movie Soundtracks

 

How Do I Love Thee…?

Let me count the ways.

Ah…l’amour. Thrilling, euphoric, tragic and agonizing. No more complicated emotion, but truly the “essence of life”.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

— 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

For your Valentine’s Day enjoyment, the Music Maven VD play list:

All You Need is Love - The Beatles
I Love You for Sentimental Reasons - Sam Cooke
Prisoner of Love - Billy Eckstine
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning - Frank Sinatra
Chapel of Love - The Dixie Cups
Crazy Love – Poco
I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You - Elvis Presley
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Carole King & James Taylor
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman - Bryan Adams
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling - The Righteous Brothers
When I Fall in Love - Nat King Cole
Trust in Me - Etta James
Have a Little Faith in Me – John Hiatt
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Elvis, Etta James, frank sinatra, holidays, love

 

Happy Birthday, E!

The "real" Elvis -- sans black hair dye

76 yesterday. Man, I miss Elvis. Six foot of steel and sex appeal…

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2011 in Elvis

 

On This Day…1977

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No mention on the news.  No acknowledgement that I’ve seen today.  However, today is the 32nd anniversary of the death of Elvis. One place that never, ever forgets Elvis is his home town of Memphis.  Death Week festivities culminate with the “vigil”, each August 15th.  Having witnessed this firsthand during our six year stint in Memphis, I must say that seeing the thousands upon thousands standing silently with candles and moving through the gates of Graceland is quite touching.

My Elvis love has been well-documented in several posts, here, here, and here.  As I reflect on the death of Les Paul and his dramatic impact on modern music and Rock & Roll, in particular, I can’t help but also think about Elvis’ significant influence.  These people made HUGE changes to their worlds.  Makes me wonder….just where are this generations change agents?  Miley Cyrus?  The Jonas Brothers?  Where are the new “originals”?

In this age, where non-conformity is the norm, it is hard to appreciate just how odd and different Elvis was.  Coming out in the Deep South, where good, upstanding citizens listened to clean cut white boys in the vein of Pat Boone, Elvis’ loud clothes, swiveling hips, provacative dance moves, and strong R&B leanings were not exactly embraced by the adults of the South (or otherwise).  But, the kids got it and they LOVED it.

America loves an original, and Elvis was definitely original.  In the thirty odd years since his death, I’ve often thought about what Elvis would have done, had he lived.  Would he have joined the fitness revolution and slimmed down?  Would he have realized that overuse of prescription drugs IS drug abuse and checked himself in to Betty Ford?  Would he have made a big comeback?  And, just WHAT would he look like at 74?  Well, wonder no more…

ElvisPresleyAgeProgression 

Oh, to go back to when Elvis was Young & Beautiful….

 
 

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Another King is Dead…

The King of Pop, 1958 - 2009

The King of Pop, 1958 - 2009

They shared more than a close connection to Lisa Marie.    Parallels in life and death abound between Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.  One was the King of Rock, the other the King of Pop.  Both had a profound, deep and lasting affect on the music scene.  Both struggled with self image, relationships and health.  Both were talented on a level that few can comprehend, yet hid a flipside of “mad” genius.  Both died tragically young.

Just as Elvis stormed the music scene in the ’50s, Michael ruled the ’80s.  Elvis shocked with the “hip thrust”, Michael wowed with the Moonwalk.  When Elvis died tragically in 1977, Michael Jackson began his ascent.  He used MTV, revoluntionary dance videos and ground-breaking R&B that changed the genre forever.

I was 13 when Elvis died.  It was shocking and profoundly sad.  Such a waste of a talent whose star was quenched much too soon.  I was aptly affected.  While I loved Elvis in the movies and all of his old music, I was also deeply entrenched in The Jackson 5 and knew every word to Rockin’ Robin, I’ll Be There, One Bad Apple, Easy as ABC, Ben and countless others. 

  I Want You Back

When he went solo in ’79, I wore out Off the Wall

  Workin’ Day & Night

Then came the pivotal Thriller, that catapulted Michael to unfathomable fame…

  Billie Jean

  Beat It

Then, things started to get really weird.  Dozens of plastic surgeries, skin lightening, dalliances with young boys, a sham marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, Neverland Ranch, children with another sham wife, veils and balcony dangling…it never seemed to end.

After losing everything and a brief exile to Bahrain, Michael was reportedly rehearsing heavily for his greatest comeback tour in Europe.  While many will refuse to recognize his genius because of his controversial private life — and maybe justifiably — his musical imprint is wide and long.  There is no denying that.

At 44, the familar feeling of loss of such a large cultural figure that was so integral to my generation is painfully reminiscient of that awful summer 32 years ago when another king departed much too soon.

Perhaps Michael will finally accept The Man in the Mirror. 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2009 in Elvis, memorials, motown, music legends, the king

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

This is my Mother.  Despite popular belief that I was hatched from some quasar during a particularly spectacular Libra Dragon season, I was actually conceived and delivered the normal way by two pretty great parents.

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At 77, my Mother is in seriously good shape for her age.  (And, if you need confirmation, just ask her.  ;) )  She’s been through polio at 2 years old, leaving her with a paralyzed left arm, her oldest child was found to be deaf at 9 months old, she had a major brain surgery in her early ’50s that would have killed a weaker person, and she watched her loving husband of 57 years suffer extreme pain for over ten years and die an agonizing death.  She’s been rich, poor and in between, but she never lost faith nor wavered in her love of life….and of her children.

At an early age, she instilled a love of music in me that I’m eternally grateful for.  My childhood was filled with wonderful harmonies and encouragement to sing and play musical instruments.  I never did have the patience to master piano and guitar, but I was definitely given the opportunity.  The house was always filled with tuneage growing up, either from the radio in my nursery (the ’60s version of white noise) or the actual “live” music with friends on Friday nights.

There are several songs that, for me, are forever linked to my mother.

  All I Have to do is Dream, The Everly Brothers

Many times, in the car, driving around, I’d beg my mother to sing “Dream” with me.  She taught me the harmonies and it is one of my favorite and most indelible memories of my mother.

  Prisoner of Love, Billy Eckstine

A family favorite, Prisoner of Love still holds a special place in my heart.   My Godmother, her daughter, my Mother and I all have sung this song 100 times — in four part harmony.  Those times are among my favorite memories.

C C Rider, Elvis Presley

Another memory from those Friday night “jam sessions”, C C Rider seemed to be my Mother’s “riscque” song.  Must say, she sang it with conviction.

  A Good Man is Hard to Find

My Mother and Godmother actually worked out the Cajun French version of this…Et Bon Homme et Deur a Trouvier.  I mastered both versions before my 13th birthday.  To this day, it is Mr. D’s favorite song.

  Whole Lotta Shakin’, Jerry Lee Lewis

My Mother adores piano and piano players.  Since “The Killah” is from Ferriday, Louisiana, he is/was like a local god for the Cajun folks in the 50s and 60s.

I am her baby, the youngest of three.  For years, I denied my obvious resemblance and now I’ve come to realize that it’s an honor.  While she is the most aggravating person I have ever come across, she is also the most loving and endearing.  She is passionate and caring, independent and sensitive.  And, I’m sooooooo glad that she’s still here.

To my wonderful Mother and all the Mothers out there, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Mother’s Day with the peace that you are loved unconditionally by your children. 

And, Mamma, thanks for the music.

 

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A Most Excellent Weekend…

Must say that this weekend was superb. 

On Saturday, we headed out on our maiden voyage in our new boat.  Mini-DD and Mr. D fished while I took pictures and listened to my “Boat” playlist CD on the on-board CD player (pretty cool).

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Mini-DD fishing near Dog River Bridge

 

Mr. D giving instruction

Mr. D giving instruction

 We were on the water early and the scenery was just extraordinary. 

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I can get used to this. 

Today, we decided to pick up some steamed seafood from one of the local seafood houses.  It was crabs and crawfish abound….

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A few days ago, my friend, Pat from Cocoderie (Amy’s Dad) made me aware of an old song from Elvis’ homage to New Orleans’ King Creole.  Knowing that I’m a huge fan of ‘The King’, Pat passed along this song from the movie.

  Crawfish, Elvis Presley

I absolutely love this clip.  The street scene is so vintage New Orleans and that street basically looks the same today. 

Very cool.

I hope you all had as great a weekend as I did.

 

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Big Easy Azaleas in Black & White

St. Louis Cathedral - New Orleans, LA
St. Louis Cathedral – New Orleans, LA

Since KD announced a mini-”photo” challenge  over at her blog, A Half Hour A Day, regarding flowers in black & white that had a quick turnaround, I figured I’d capture some spring foliage on my woman’s weekend in New Orleans.  So, in between good eats and great company, I managed to find the patron plants of the Deep South, Azaleas.

Technically, Azaleas are Rhododendrons, and are mainstay plant material in beds of virtually every Southern homeowner.  My father was a Nurseryman for over 45 years and was actually a field grower of Azaleas, so I have special kinship with the “belle of the South”.  Ironically, Mobile is actually called the “Azalea City” because of the proliferation and varieties found here.  But I digress…

The point of the challenge was to use black & white to show character of the flowers, in particular textures of petals, stamins, and leaves.  I’m not sure if I captured it exactly, but I gave it a good shot.  The New Orleans azaleas were soft pink, but taking the color out really does draw your eye to different facets of the flower, particularly the veining in the petals.

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Truthfully, I have never noticed the “ink stains” on the top petals before and likely wouldn’t have without putting these in black & white.  While this isn’t part of the challenge, I think it’s important to show the same picture in color to really get the perspective of how the subject is changed when converted to black & white.

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More of my “series” from New Orleans:

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 And, here are a couple of different varieties that are actually in my yard.  This one is red:

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This one is purple:

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I think I still prefer the soothing that color brings when it comes to flowers, but black & white definitely “pops” texture and depth. 

And, just to bring it around full circle, here is the King to lay some New Orleans on ya (in black & white, of course).

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2009 in Elvis, New Orleans, photography

 

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Colette’s Corner: Money, It’s a Gas…

 money

Recent months have exposed the dire straits that the country’s monetary situation is in.  While we can look back on “irrational exuberance”, gluttonous behavior and irresponsible squandering of cash flow, it doesn’t change the nauseousness of the wild roller coaster ride of down 554, up 890, down 411, up 553, down 427, down 445 and up 494.  Add falling home values, lack of available credit, massive lay-offs, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.  America has faced Recessions and Depressions before, but this one seems particularly heinous due to the advent of 401k plans 25 years ago that wraps many Americans long-term savings into a struggling stock market.  Now, talk about “bottoms” and derivatives, GDP and bailouts are common around the water cooler.

I’ve been assured that this is just a cyclical correction.  Yes, it’s going to be bad before it gets better.  Yes, we should all be thankful for health and family.  No, money is not the real secret to happiness, however it can be the source of real problems.  So, what do we do?  Well, for now, sit tight, don’t panic, have a drink, and listen to some music.  Isn’t that a generally good cure for what ails?

Here’s Colette’s contribution on the necessary evil of MONEY:

In this time of financial meltdown, it’s difficult to stay optimistic about one’s own bank account let alone the entire economy.
 
So what to do?
 
That’s where music comes in.  It won’t pay the rent or keep the wolf from the door.  But when its cool, sly and soulful, music can lift your spirits — even songs about cold, hard cash.
We begin with a classic ode to moolah  from the Holy Grail of Monty Python:
 
– “Money Programme” — Monty Python
 
A similar sentiment, voiced by Liza Minelli and Joel Grey in the Broadway musical “Cabaret”
 
 –  “Money” from the movie of “Cabaret”
 
Elvis weighed in on the subject too, in his sizzling hot 1950s cover of the popular Eddie Cochrane tune:
 
 –  “Money Honey” — Elvis Presley
 
One can get very carried away with the pursuit of the almighty buck, however.  Even when times are tough, let’s not take it extremes like Randy Newman does in one of his classics:
 
 — “It’s Money That I Love” — Randy Newman
 
And money isn’t everything, right?   How about love?  The late, great Ella Fitzgerald reminds us of that in this sterling standard:
 
  – “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” — Ella Fitzgerald
 
And in this great old blues and country standard,   Ben Harper and the fabulous 5 Blind Boys of Alabama make it clear that some things are more precious than gold:
 
   – “Satisfied Mind” — Ben Harper & 5 Blind Boys
 
Of course, there’s always way to get your hands on some cash, but it can be a little shady — as Ricki Lee Jones lays it down in this sultry little jumpin’ blues:
 
– “Easy Money”  — Ricki Lee Jones
 
People singin’ about this subject a long, long time.  Here’s The Boss with a really rousing rendition of an old folk song – performed  here  live and Cajun-style in a really fun house-party-style  record session for The Seeger Sessions, with a lot of voices, accordion, trumpet and other stuff:
 
  – “Pay Me Money Down” — Bruce Springsteen
 
Well, all we can do is hope this economic mess gets straightened out before we’re all out on the streets selling pencils and apples.  Remember that eventually the Great Depression ended, and Hollywood escapism helped:
 
 – “We’re in the Money” — Ginger Rogers, from the movie “Golddiggers of 1933″
Thanks, Colette. 

I personally bend to Pink Floyd’s Money (click on picture caption above), and might be able to score two tickets to paradise from the great, Eddie Money.

While money does help to make the world go ’round, perhaps we can find solace in a Pocket Full of Rainbows (and maybe a few kittens)?

Love that man.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2008 in colette's corner, Elvis, that's life

 

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Happy Birthday, Big E

elvisbd.jpeg

That’s right! My dear Elvis Presley would have been 73 years old yesterday.  I was so caught up in the jubilation of the Tiger’s National Championship that it slipped my mind.

For more about Elvis…click on these links:

My Favorite Elvis

August 16,1977

Elvis Goes to the Movies

The King is Dead….Long Live the King

If I Can Dream…Holy Carp!

……there’s only ONE King.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on January 9, 2008 in Elvis

 
 
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