Under appreciated Elvis Presley ballads

Elvis was known as the “king of rock and roll” a title which he never asked for and on several occasions, in response to fans yelling out or having signs of “you are the king Elvis” his response was “there is but one king and his name is Jesus Christ”. However, there is no doubt that Elvis enjoyed the success and adulation sans titles.

Elvis Presley sang ballads just as he sang Gospel and uptempo songs. He put his all into each song, as he was a perfectionist who would literally make himself exhausted (vocally, mentally, and physically) until he got the song “just right”, and as much as his fans loved the rock and roll the girls/women swooned over his ballads.

For the purpose of this post, based upon my own love and experiences for great ballads, here are ten ballads recorded by Elvis. In no specific order they are:

  1. In my way
  2. How the web was woven
  3. 500 miles (note – this song is quasi Gospel but Elvis’ recording of this song in the album “in a private moment”)
  4. And I love you so
  5. Sylvia
  6. Tender feeling
  7. This is our dance
  8. The girl I never loved
  9. Earth angel (note – this version is from a home recording in Germany circa 1959)
  10. The wonder of you (note – this version is a live version circa 1970 from the documentary “That’s the way it is”)

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Thank you again and please feel free to leave a comment. Take care and may God bless you.

 

** The videos listed below, for each song referenced, are courtesy of YouTube **

 

 

 

 

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Fathers Day 2016 – Elvis Presley as a Father

cool shirt   There are many friends, and authors who eloquently have written about this aspect of Elvis’ life, (i.e. Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West,  Alanna Nash, Billy Smith, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, etc.) who were with Elvis when Priscilla was pregnant (from May 1, 1967 to February 1, 1068) – when Lisa Marie was born – and for the 9+ years Lisa Marie was  with her Father (as he sadly died on August 16, 1977).

There is not a shred of a doubt that Elvis loved Lisa Marie from; the moment it was confirmed Priscilla was pregnant, to every kick and movement during those 9 months, to the deliver (note: back then the man was not allowed in the delivery room and they had to wait in a designated “waiting room”).

Also, in southern culture (which I know firsthand and is a prominent place of where I come from and how I look at certain things especially respect, admiration, appreciation, etc. for women) the Father was kept from seeing his wife and newborn child until both were cleaned up and “presentable”. Furthermore the Father, in this case Elvis, was given strict instructions about Priscillas expected recovery time which Elvis not only took to heart but he had a deeply held belief that God gives life through the mother and that her body is literally a sanctuary and the relationship between man and wife can change (still loving and caring but “different”) once a child is born.

Priscilla and Elvis married both wanted children but I don’t believe that Priscilla envisioned that she would become pregnant on her honeymoon. Thus, this celebratory time in their life soon turned to semi-bedrest and after the birth months of recovery.

Priscilla becoming pregnant was a great joy in Elvis’ life and he was a loving, concerned, and proud expectant Father. He doted on Priscilla and together they chose names should it be a son and/or a daughter.

1967 was a turning point in Elvis’ life as he was on the cusp of getting out of his movie contracts, that had been in place since his release from the US Army whereby Elvis starred in (approximately) three movies per year and had stifled Elvis’ creative juices and kept him from appearing before a live audience something that he truly loved…and needed,  and he was in better physcial shape.

But he, nor anyone else, had any idea that within the next two years he would catapult back into the forefront of the musical world and renew his superstardom first by his 1968 Singer TV Special (by the talented Steve Binder) entitled “Elvis” and then his successful return to live performances starting in Las Vegas.

Lisa Marie was the greatest love of Elvis’ life.

She had the best of Elvis’ features as well as those of her stunningly beautiful mother Priscilla. She was quick witted, smart, and (like her Father) seemed to be always on the move.

Thankfully, Lisa Marie has shared many of her stories/recollections about her and her beloved Father (i.e. in videos, books, interviews, photographs, etc.) which I encourage everyone to seek out and enjoy.

The photographs taken of Elvis and Priscilla in the hospital with newborn Lisa Marie show a smiling, animated, laughing, and joyously proud Elvis who took to holding, and fonding over,  Lisa Marie like he had done it his whole life. Of course Priscilla looks beautiful and her smiles are equally bright and the love she has for her daughter is evident in every breath… every movement.

Writing this blog will never do justice to the love Elvis had for Lisa Marie. I think their love was beautiful, consuming, unique, and eternal. I believed that he loved her so much and that when the marriage between Elvis and Priscilla began to deteriorate it adversely effected Elvis every moment of his life. I don’t believe Elvis ever thought that he would bring a child into this world and not be able to spend their lives together with an enduring triangle of love cemented by an ever present Mother and Father.

Lisa Marie has been blessed to have her own children who I am sure she loves greatly. Lisa Marie is a multi-talented woman who is sensitive, regal, and in so many ways strong/brave/fierce. She is married to Mr. Michael Lockwood since 2006 and by all accounts they are happy, committed, and loving parents. I wish her and her family all the best in life.

Elvis spoiled Lisa Marie with gifts, attention, freedom, etc. I believe he did this, in part, because of his childhood growing up with love but also in adjunct poverty. Also, I believe Elvis (like many of us do) had an internal clock that was known only to Elvis but precipitated his intentions and his actions.

Perhaps it was because his mother died on August 14, 1958. For whatever reasons Elvis, as he did in every aspect of his life, did what he thought best and the end result was that he raised (along with Priscilla) an  exceptional woman in her own right.

I believe that Elvis Presley was a good Father. That he showed his love to Lisa Marie and that his love has, in part, sustained her throughout her life.

Lastly, I believe that true love is not only essential but never ending. That true love is not defined by geography, time, space, or presence. That true love is the greatest gift God bestowed to us other than his son, Jesus. I believe that the love between Elvis and Lisa Marie exists to their very day and that, as it should be, it belongs between them.

** Note – though I possess many photographs of Elvis with Lisa Marie I made a decision decades ago that it is not my place to show them to the general public. That the only person who should control those moments encapsulated on film (i.e. photos and videos). I am also very appreciative to Lisa Marie for giving of her time to Elvis Presley fans worldwide and to carry on supporting worthwhile charitable endeavors as Elvis did throughout his life.

Thank for your visiting our site and please let others know about our blog, and websites, via social media.

HAPPY FATHERS DAY 2016.

Take care and may God bless you and yours…always.

 

Jeff Schrembs – 2016 All Rights Reserved

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

 

 

Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley by Jeff Schrembs

Alanna Nash is the expert when it comes to Muhammad Ali and Elvis. Not only did she write several exceptional books about Elvis Presley, and about Muhammad Ali, but she had access to those who knew these two men. I highly recommend that the professional works of Alanna Nash be sought out, purchased, read, and collected. They are, one and all, great reads. Here is a link to Alanna Nash via Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Alanna-Nash/e/B000ARBFRA Books written by Alanna Nash via Amazon

Like Alanna Nash I was born in Louisville Kentucky the birthplace of Muhammad Ali. During my childhood, and teenage years, Muhammad Ali was a divisive man due to his stance on not going into the US Military and his conversion to Islam.  Worth noting is that Muhammad Ali admired Malcolm X who (sadly) was murdered by a faction of the Nation of Islam. This is not conjecture this is fact.

Elvis Presley grew up bitterly poor. When I say bitterly poor I mean that Elvis was born into a family without monetary means. Both men were born in January. Elvis on January 8, 1935 and Ali on January  17, 1942. Elvis grew up in the throes of the great depression and WWII. Ali was three years old when the war ended. That the Presley family lived in a small two room home. There were times when they lived on the grace of others. Elvis’ mother could not read and write but she was a darling of a woman who loved her son unconditionally. Muhammad Ali was born to a working class family where his father wrote music, painted signs, played the piano and other works.

Elvis admired Muhammad Ali for his 1960 Olympic performances where Ali represented the United States using his birth name, which he would later change, of Cassius Clay a unique name for a unique man.

Elvis Presley, contrary to many “celebrities”, went into the US Army via draft from 1958 to 1960. Elvis was offered, by all branches of the US Military, the military career of going to difference bases and performing before the troops. Also, he was to use his name, likeness, singing, etc. to sell US war bonds. Elvis Presley chose to go into the US Army and be treated like every other enlisted man. This meant going to boot camp. Pulling KP. Being stationed in Germany in the freezing cold. Elvis was, at times, on military maneuvers when he crossed the Russian lines which could have resulted in his death as the breach of any “lines” could result in death or capture. The Russians had made comments about Elvis Presley and his worldwide fame including their belief that Elvis was a pawn for the United States.

Elvis watched Muhammad Ali fight in the 1970s via “closed circuit” television. Closed circuit was similar to what we now call “pay per view” but you had to go to a specific venue to watch the fight and back in the 1970s, which I know firsthand, the size and quality of the TV picture was (wholly) lacking. Those who could not pay to see the fight relied on radio a medium that most Americans had access to.

Muhammad Ali became a friend of Elvis Presley and had long admired his career and his personal life rising from poverty and at times state assistance. Ali once said of Elvis “Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you’d want to know’. ‘Elvis was my close personal friend. He came to my Deer Lake training camp about two years before he died. He told us he didn’t want nobody to bother us. He wanted peace and quiet and I gave him a cabin in my camp and nobody even knew it. When the cameras started watching me train, he was up on the hill sleeping in the cabin. Elvis had a robe made for me. I don’t admire nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you’d want to know’.

On February 14, 1973 on the eve of the Ali – Joe Bugner fight Elvis presented Ali with a custom full length sequined robe with the words on the back saying “the peoples choice”. The estimated cost of this robe was $3,000.00. Ali cherished the robe.

WM Elvis with Muhammad Ali BEST DETAIL

 

 

When Elvis Presley died on August 17, 1977 Muhammad Ali was very sad about losing his friend. Ali reached out to Priscilla and Vernon to convey his condolences. When Graceland, Elvis’ home in Memphis Tennessee, opened up to the public Muhammad Ali visited and laid flowers on Elvis grave. Ali was moved to tears as he was escorted by Jack Soden the President of EPE/Graceland.

These two men knew success on a level unknown to the vast majority. This does not make them better or worse it just shows how, if one applied their god given gifts with passion – commitment – and hard work, that success will follow. And if someone is doing a job they enjoy it makes a daily positive impact on the soul.

Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali, who died yesterday on June 3, 2016, will always be considered “the greatest” in their chosen profession. They achieved unparalleled success and worldwide fame. They had fans around the world and millions of people. through generations to come, will learn of their stories and revel in the body of works they left behind.

My prayers go out to the Ali family and those who knew Ali and loved him. The world lost a good man who had a great love for children including, private and public, charitable acts that benefited many.

Take care and may God bless you.

 

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

 

  • Jeff Schrembs has been a fan, and collector, of Elvis Presley for (6) six decades. Mr. Schrembs has numerous blogs, and his premier website of http://www.ElvisCollector.info and the (100% free with no ads, no pop-ups) Elvis Presley forum http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org, where he shares his collection, insights, firsthand accounts, photographs, videos, original articles, etc. Mr. Schrembs’s website has received numerous awards and has a ever growing following. Mr. Schrembs is an Elvis Presley expert, collector, historian and author. Mr. Schrembs has undertaken, for 4 decades, the massive commitment to the preservation of rare Elvis Presley photographs, audio files, documents, autographs, handwriting, etc.

 

The ULTIMATE Elvis Presley birthday list

 

 

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Singers Elvis Presley admired

Elvis had a unique style whether it was in his singing, his concerts, his acting roles, his voice, his mannerisms, and even the clothes he wore. Simply put Elvis was…cool.

Some of the singers that Elvis Presley listened to and/or admired were; J.D. Sumner, Blackwood Brothers, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza, Caruso, Tom Jones, Barbara Streisand (note: Elvis and Priscilla went to her concert in Las Vegas in 1969 and not only did they enjoy it but it gave Elvis some ideas about his Las Vegas act being: the room size, acoustics, audience interaction, lighting, etc. Worth noting is that Streisand did not sell out the 2,000 seat showroom and it was thought that “if Barbara can’t sell it out no one could” and yet not only did Elvis sell out every show of his 30 day run in Vegas but he did two shows a day and on rare occasions three shows a day), Andy Williams, Hank Williams, Roy Orbinson, Charlie Rich, Ronnie Milsap, the Gatlin Brothers, the Imperials, Millie Kirkland, Kathy Westmoreland, the Blossoms, the Sweet Inspirations, and others that I will detail in future posts.

Thank you for checking us out and please feel free to share this post, and others, via social media.

Take care and may God bless you.

Jeff Schrembs
http://www.ElvisCollector.info
http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

Elvis Presley requirements – September 10, 2015 edition

Welcome to the September 10, 2015 edition of Elvis Presley requirements.

What are, or is, the “Elvis Presley requirements” you say?

Well, it is my (approximately) six decades of personal experiences of  collecting, reading, etc. all things of quality concerning the life, onstage and off, of Elvis Presley.

If you want to learn intricate details about Elvis, and even after these six decades I am still learning and/or rediscovering, I have some recommendations.

First and foremost you can garner a lot of information, music, videos, etc. by visiting the official Elvis Presley website of http://www.Elvis.com. YouTube has a lot of content as well but don’t get distracted, or worse, about others that have adverse agendas and/or use attention getting subject lines that are hollow.

There are some exceptional books about Elvis. Some of the most interesting Elvis books are authored by Peter Guralnick] and some of my favorite books, which I recommend, are authored by Alanna Nash.

You can find exceptional books, articles, writings, posts, video projects, documentaries, etc. with contributions by (including but not limited to); Marty Lacker, Billy Smith, Red West, Sonny West, Jerry Schilling, Sandi Pichon, Joe Esposito, Sandie Kay Stevens, etc.

If you are looking for some great songs Elvis recorded, but are not widely acknowledged but are nonetheless exceptional, here are a few of my favorites; inherit the wind, wearing that loved on look, wonderful world, unchained melody, treat me nice, snowbird, walk a mile in my shoes, you’ll never walk alone, 500 miles, mona lisa (aka portrait of my love), trying to get to you (1968 edition), let yourself go, and edge of reality.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention http://www.ElvisCollector.info and http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org.

Until next time…

WM ARMY Elvis hair short growing out sitting head down reading papers rare scale 10 WM Elvis with Priscillla 1967 Elvis drivng his Rolls Royce rareraereare WM HORSEBACK 1969 side shot with many others getting autograph

Review of Elvis’ “If I Can Dream” rendition with the Philharmonic Orchestra

A “new” rendition of Elvis’ incomparable rendition of “If I Can Dream” has been made available on CD and/or download. There is no doubt that everyone had good intentions and put together a quality cd. Everyone of the musicians in the Philharmonic Orchestra are talented and that is a good thing. Same with the backup singers.
Over the years the estate has undertaken endeavors to have some of Elvis’ songs altered and released. I know the reasons are, in part, in order to garner some media buzz and to potentially reach new audience members who then will become Elvis fans. I have supported the estate, in many ways both publicly and privately, and I have no plans to do otherwise.
However, Elvis Presley was more than a singer. He was more than an exciting performer. He was, in every sense of the word, a music producer. Felton Jarvis, who I had the honor of corresponding with, was (at first) RCA’s record producer of Elvis’ recordings in 1966 but then went to work exclusively with Elvis until Elvis’ death in 1977. Felton readily admitted that Elvis was a perfectionist of his recordings. He “felt” the song. He was “moved” by the words and the enunciations. He surrounded himself with some of the greatest musicians, orchestra, and backup singers in the world. His songs oozed unique vocal inflections with meaning. With soul. Majestic in it’s impact. Ageless in it’s spirit.
Elvis’ performance in the 1968 Singer special entitled “Elvis” was Elvis’ first live performance in (approximately) 8 years. Elvis lost weight. He sang and rehearsed instead of having to focus on his movie contracts has he had been since 1960 where he was committed to (approximately) 3 movies per year. Elvis was saddened at the loss of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and bothered that his special man had been gunned down in Elvis’ (home) residency of Memphis Tennessee.
Steve Binder did a phenomenal job putting this special together along with “keeping it real” with Elvis. For the first time in memory someone was honest with Elvis. Binder knew that Elvis was a great talent but that the movies he had been making had diluted his impact pertaining to his recordings, impact, popularity, and ability to garner new fans. Steve Binder wanted to make Elvis’ music relevant. He wanted Elvis to lose weight and sing. He surrounded Elvis with possibilities and Elvis seized the opportunity. As an Elvis fan there are not enough adjectives, or words, to fully express how Steve Binder changed Elvis’ career and propelled him to international superstardom with a body of works to follow that will forever be among the greatest recordings ever made.
The backdrop of this was the 1960s. You had the Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Motown, Vietnam, etc. Times were changing. People were changing. There were divisions of all kinds. And yet in this Singer TV Special of 1968 Elvis rose to this occasion with a blend of rock, gospel, humor, attitude, and with an unequalled vocal range with a sweat dripping performance for the ages.
Back when I was married my wife wasn’t an Elvis fan. She liked a few of his songs. But when it came to Elvis’ career she stated that Elvis, in his 1968 Singer special, was “the most handsome and the best”. I miss her.
There is a story behind the writing of “If I Can Dream” that is very special. I encourage Elvis Presley fans to seek out the works, endeavors, and words of those who have recanted the facts about Elvis – the SInger 68 special – etc. This includes but is not limited to; Marty Lacker, Billy Smith, Red West, Sonny West, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, Alanna Nash, Sandi Pichon, Sandie Kaye Stevens, Steve Binder, http://www.Elvis.com and more.
“If I Can Dream” was a song that (initially) Elvis sang wearing black leather (not the best version but highly entertaining and moving) before a live audience and athen wearing his custom tailored white suit complete with his jet black hair, earned sweat, and bona fide emotions. He lived that song. Hearing that song left an impression long after Elvis finished and said “goodnight”. Long after the TV Special ended. In my case “If I Can Dream” was among the greatest recordings Elvis made and I have (literally) seen them all. Listened to them countless times. There is something important about Elvis singing this song. It’s not something one could easily put their finger on. Nonetheless it is apparent with every movement. Every hand gesture. Every exchange of the microphone. Every note of that brilliant song. Elvis put his talents on display and was rewarded with high TV ratings, a renewed career, options, and confidence.
As much as I respect, and appreciate, the estate’s decisions pertaining to this song I can’t help but be honest and state that Elvis’ versions recorded for the 68 Special, are exceptional and should be listened to as Elvis performed it. No duets. No fake holograms. No background singers. No changes. This performance, and the recording, can stand alone…on it’s own.
Finally, would anyone allow the Mona Lisa to be altered? The statue of David? Those are masterpieces that are appreciated for what they are. The works of a god given once in a millennium talent who, through their success and failures, were brave enough to pursue their talents. Long after they took their last breath the works they left behind are beautiful to the eye along with spawning a fawning respect.
These works of art were made by true…artists. They need no changes. For one to behold…is all that needs to happen. Elvis Presley was an artist. Elvis’ songs, including “If I Can Dream”, need to simply be…watched…and listened to…as they were meant to.
Take care and may god bless you.

Rare Elvis Presley interview -excerpts in regards to Valentines Day

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JEFF SCHREMBS – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2014