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Origins of Elvis' sideburns

Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:38 pm

I would love to know where Elvis got his idea to grow his now legendary sideburns - I know that he dyed his hair black because Tony Curtis (one of his favorite actors) had black hair - but where did Elvis get the idea to grow his sideburns (which suited him very, very well)?

Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:48 pm

Elvis might have mentioned it once that he dyed his hair to look like Tony Curtis but i dont think he did it for that reason.He just ,proberly, wanted his hair black.
He dyed his hair whilst making 'Loving you' .You can tell certain scenes in that film his hair was different.
As for his sideburns, i think he just wanted to look older than he was.

Sean

Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:36 pm

Hi!

Actually, Elvis started dying his hair black much earlier than "Loving You". In the end scene for Love Me Tender which was refilmed in New York Junco Studio on Oct 29, 1956 Elvis has black hair.

In some of the pics from his Oct 11-14, 1956 tour of Texas it also looks like he´s already dyed his hair black.

Sincerely
Brian Petersen

Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:44 pm

Maybe because he looked better with black hair in the TV...that´s what I´ve always known..

Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:57 pm

Jth -

I always understood he grew the sideburns to look older like his idols of the time, the truck drivers around Memphis.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:03 pm

bripet56 wrote:Hi!

Actually, Elvis started dying his hair black much earlier than "Loving You". In the end scene for Love Me Tender which was refilmed in New York Junco Studio on Oct 29, 1956 Elvis has black hair.

In some of the pics from his Oct 11-14, 1956 tour of Texas it also looks like he´s already dyed his hair black.

Sincerely
Brian Petersen


Hi Brian,
If you look at the first clips of 'Loving You' ,its obvious his hair is NOT black.But his scene ,like just before he sings 'Mean Woman Blues' and Teddy Bear, his hair is jet black which is why i assumed he dyed his hair whilst making 'Loving you'.
Sean

Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:21 pm

Colin is correct. As a teenager, Elvis thought those Southern truck drivers looked pretty damned cool with their long hair and sideburns and sought to emulate them. Worked well for him, too, if I recall.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:30 pm

They looked great on the man for years...then 76 came

WIDE be god,why? go that way after having them look kinda cool?.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:54 pm

Kev, it is because in the mirror head on Elvis' face appeared to be narrower than the puffed out one he had when he covered most of it up with burns.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:58 pm

Didn't they originate at the top of his ears? :twisted: :wink:

Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:40 pm

Delboy -

I toyed with the idea of giving an answer like that.

Then I decided it was too trite, too banal, and too juvenile to contemplate.

Leave it to someone even sadder than you are, I thought.

That's it.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:46 pm

Sometimes they got pretty wide in the fifties, too:

Image

I couldn't find a good example, but in some
shots in the '70s, the burns glimmer and move around
like they are ferrets or something:

Image

By '76, you're right: they are long and pointy and almost
want to join his mouth in the singing :shock: :

Image

Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:02 pm

Sean!

You´re probablu right about Loving You, haven´t watched the movie in a long time.

However, there are lots and lots of pics from late 1956 where it is very clear that Elvis dyed his hair jetblack.

But maybe it was the kind that disappeared after he washed his hair a few times and he had to dye it again.

Sincerely
Brian Petersen

Wed Aug 31, 2005 7:26 pm

There were sideburns that I thought were extremely sharp in a full length photo taken from either Feb 19th or the 21st of 1977, anybody have that photo available?

Wed Aug 31, 2005 7:30 pm

How about December '76 in Vegas: :shock:

Image

Wed Aug 31, 2005 7:50 pm

Image

He could have done with this bit of "burn-surgery" though:

Image

Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:27 pm

Pretty neat, Keggy' ! Subtle, too. Shades of '70.

Still, I find his "Aloha" apprearance to be among his most iconic.
Almost every still shot is perfect.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:51 pm

I read somewhere that Elvis' influence for the sideburns might have been Marlon Brando in the movie "The Wild One" shot in 1953.

Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:36 am

I reckon he looked really cool in Aloha!
Just my opinion though....

Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:44 am

"It's really simple, but no one seems to understand it. When I was a boy, I used to think that sideburns and a moustache would make me look older. I couldn't grow the moustache, so I settled for sideburns."

Found this in an Elvis In Art book that I have. But I don't know the origins of the quote or the time frame, although I would guess it's from the 50's.

Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:58 am

LovingYou wrote:"It's really simple, but no one seems to understand it. When I was a boy, I used to think that sideburns and a moustache would make me look older. I couldn't grow the moustache, so I settled for sideburns."

The thing is when you do get older sideburns make you look older than you are, and Elvis should have trimmed them carefully from '70 onwards. Thanks to modern technology Keggyhander gives a fine example.

Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:23 pm

bripet56 wrote:Sean!

You´re probablu right about Loving You, haven´t watched the movie in a long time.

However, there are lots and lots of pics from late 1956 where it is very clear that Elvis dyed his hair jetblack.

But maybe it was the kind that disappeared after he washed his hair a few times and he had to dye it again.

Sincerely
Brian Petersen


Now Elvis' hear was jet black on January 6th, 1957 when he performed on the Ed Sullivan show. Shooting on Loving You began in mid-January, so it seems unlikely he would have washed the dye out. Plus, doesn't Jorgensen and Guralnick's Day by Day note that Elvis had his hair dyed just prior to the movie.