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No Man Is An island: Others Influencing Elvis

Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:46 pm

what would Elvis had been like / sounded like / looked like

without the influence of

Tom Jones

B.J. Thomas

Tony Curtis



These 3 guys, for example, had an effect on what Elvis sang, or where he sang, or how he looked.



(Tony Curtis I just don't get - that guy was a Hollywood hasbeen by the mid-60s. He had Black Hair? So what? Elvis wanted to be him ?!?)

Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:00 pm

Elvis would have looked, sounded and been like Elvis......period.

Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:18 pm

Matthew wrote:Elvis would have looked, sounded and been like Elvis......period.


ok - nice blanket statement.

But would he have played Vegas 69-70 without Tom Jones' existence?

Would he have sung "I Just Can't Help Believin" without Thomas' existence?

Would have dyed his hair black without Curtis' existence?

Whether someone else's influence was a minor one or major one on Elvis, others did affect Elvis.

no man

Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:30 pm

Where does BJ Thomas comes in? He had as much influence on Elvis as Perry Como, zip zero. Tom Jones? I regret to admit Jones had a certain influence on E when he used some of Toms stage movements as seen in TTWII [ Stranger in the Crowd , crappy song and very un- Elvis like body twists ] Why Elvis choose these over the top body jerks Jones style, while being one of the Great Original stage performers since 1955 himself heaven knows? Elvis was a far superior "mover " on stage than Jones ever was or ever will be. And yes E copied some of Jones over dramatic singing style. Elvis must have been a insecure person at times copieng parts of Jones who had started his career copieng Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis... Weird! Tony Curtis? Surely a very handsome lad, good actor, great hair, poor background, and enourmsly populair in the early 50s.

Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:33 pm

Those were not any main influences on Elvis. You should instead have mentioned Roy Hamilton, Jacky Wilson and some of the Gospel Groups Elvis listened to (the Statesmen and others). These had a real impact on Elvis' style.

Yes, Elvis studied T.Jones' show in order to get up to date with live acts in the late 60's, but Elvis' live act was something completely different than Jones'. Jones could never move like Elvis, neither perform a rock song.

Elvis was influenced by others, of course. His early recording were a mix of other styles, but that mix was Elvis' style. The same goes for his live act in hte 70's. It was mix of different genres, but it was till Elvis' mix. His band and vocalists was a mix, but it was Elvis' unique mix. Who else had that many background vocalists live on stage in the 70's? I don´t think anyone else would have thought of combining the Sweets with the Imperials or Stamps - from one perspective they don´t mix together. But Elvis did it and it worked. That was also his mix and a part of his genius.

I think it´s unfair to say that Elvis was influenced by B.J Thomas due to the fact that he covered one his songs.

Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:37 pm

Dean Martin immediately comes to mind, when mentioning artists with influence on Elvis.

Br
Kristian

no man

Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:37 pm

Hmmm... somehow I have the feeling I might have misunderstood your Question... Lets talk Dutch!

Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:45 pm

There's probably alot of other names to mention.

But I don't intend to spend all day typing.


If Elvis had lived longer, would Kenny Rogers have been an influence?

Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:09 pm

samses wrote:Those were not any main influences on Elvis. You should instead have mentioned Roy Hamilton, Jacky Wilson and some of the Gospel Groups Elvis listened to (the Statesmen and others). These had a real impact on Elvis' style.


Not to mention Ivory Joe Hunter.

Jules

Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:24 pm

Gotta add Tony Joe White to the mix.
Engelbert for the muttonchops.
Beatles for Something.
Del Shannon for Runaway.
BeeGees for Words.
Chuck Berry for JohnnyB.
Frankie Lane for Mountain.

I don't think he copied the above performers ... he simply sang songs that he loved to sing, and that he thought his audience would enjoy, and that his band could pull off live.
He added that magic spark of charisma and pulled it off, so well in fact, that we're discussing these events almost 4 decades later.

Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:06 pm

No Mac Davis.....no In The Ghetto

No Jerry Reed.....no Guitar Man


No Hal Wallis......no Elvis movies ?

No Andres Von Kujik.....no Elvis ?

Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:39 pm

Graceland Gardener wrote:
Matthew wrote:Elvis would have looked, sounded and been like Elvis......period.



But would he have played Vegas 69-70 without Tom Jones' existence?

Would he have sung "I Just Can't Help Believin" without Thomas' existence?

Whether someone else's influence was a minor one or major one on Elvis, others did affect Elvis.


It wasn´t Tom Jones´ idea to have Elvis opening the International was it...? :? Elvis enjoyed Jones´ version of Green Green Grass Of Home, true, but he never had any real influence on the way Elvis progressed. On the other hand, and like most artist before and after him Elvis was most likely (so he said) influenced by the artists he heard on the radio; blues, gospel, country and church music. I don´t think he ever heard anything with Tom Jones on the radio in Tupelo or Memphis when he was young...!


Sincerely MB280E

Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:44 pm

Jackie Wilson
Mario Lanza
Bobby Darin
James Dean
Marlon Brando
Liberace
Frank Sinatra


OK.......Liberace's a joke! :wink:

no man

Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:05 pm

Boobie Darin? Frankie Sumatra !? Please explain, Delboy...

Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:59 pm

:roll:

Re: no man

Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:11 pm

Tallhair AKA Ger Rijff wrote:Boobie Darin? Frankie Sumatra !? Please explain, Delboy...

While hardly a major influence it's well known that Elvis was a huge Darin fan and some of the early sixties songs that have a light, breezy quality about them (Judy, Almost Always True etc) have a Darin like feel. Elvis of course gave Darin a nod later with 'I'll Be There' and 'You're The Reason I'm Living'.

Sinatra is more of a link to Elvis' personal set-up with his cronies, his own 'Rat-Pack', the guns etc. Still an influence on his life though. Not all influences have to be musical. :D

Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:57 pm

Tony Curtis definitely had an influence on Elvis' early appearance which was an important part of his appeal. It wasn't a total influence though as Curtis never had sideburns.

I'm not sure of the influence Jones had, I think it worked far more the other way. Elvis may or may not have been influenced by Jones' stage show. I don't know, I didn't see Jones in the late '60s. It is quite credible that Elvis took something from a performer his own age who was successful in Vegas. The main source for this point though is Albert Goldman (who with his usual lack of attribution) claimed that Elvis stole Jones' entire act. I find it funny that for most of Goldman's book, Elvis is this near retarded country bumpkin but when it comes to time to be a thief he is one of the most insidious minds of his time.

I don't see a whole lot of Jones' singing style in Elvis' at any point in his career. Even at his most unsubtle Elvis never hung over a note for that that extra emphasis that Jones did and he was never as careless with his use of vibrato. He might have found some material due to Jones. He learned "Without Love" from Clyde McPhatter but "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" he most probably took from Jones and Jones' version of "Green Green Grass of Home" awakened Elvis' appreciation of the tune although Elvis' version is different.

Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:16 pm

He may have been influenced by artists that were not that well known at all, per example from the Gospel & Blues scene. It was maybe his fate that he could not get good audience reaction when he did his particular favourites, so he took little pieces from them and made it part of his regular songs.

..

Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:08 am

Just because he sang a song originally recorded by someone else, that doesn't mean that he was influenced by that other performer. I have a very hard time believing that B.J. Thomas was an influence on anyone, much less Elvis. If memory serves me, right before Elvis sang I Just Can't Help Believin', he referred to Thomas' new record by stating that "I don't particularly like it... It's his own thing."

Re: ..

Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:06 am

2001 wrote:Just because he sang a song originally recorded by someone else, that doesn't mean that he was influenced by that other performer. I have a very hard time believing that B.J. Thomas was an influence on anyone, much less Elvis. If memory serves me, right before Elvis sang I Just Can't Help Believin', he referred to Thomas' new record by stating that "I don't particularly like it... It's his own thing."


I don't necessarily believe in that notion...

Elvis was like a human sponge when it came to Music as artisitic expression.

Elvis soaked up "All Kinds" and this diversity shone thru his whole
musical career. To say that none could have influenced Elvis,
musically or acting wise, is to shortchange Elvis' great ability to acknowledge other artists talent and enjoy their work.

And that lil "I don't particularly like it...He (B.J. Thomas) does
his own thing
" line from the movie That's The Way It Is,
I think, is totally tongue in cheek on Elvis' part and you can clearly
see this when Elvis grins as he turns around back to the audience... :!:
Last edited by minkahed on Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:12 am

samses wrote:Yes, Elvis studied T.Jones' show in order to get up to date with live acts in the late 60's, but Elvis' live act was something completely different than Jones'. Jones could never move like Elvis, neither perform a rock song.


Jones is more steeped in R&B music than his 'Green Green Grass of Home' reputation suggests. He can certainly cut it singing bluesy rock when he puts his mind to it. It doesn't stop him being incredibly annoying of course :)

Re: ..

Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:12 am

minkahed wrote:
2001 wrote:Just because he sang a song originally recorded by someone else, that doesn't mean that he was influenced by that other performer. I have a very hard time believing that B.J. Thomas was an influence on anyone, much less Elvis. If memory serves me, right before Elvis sang I Just Can't Help Believin', he referred to Thomas' new record by stating that "I don't particularly like it... It's his own thing."


I don't necessarily believe in that notion...

Elvis was like a human sponge when it came to Music as artisitic expression.

Elvis soaked up "All Kinds" and this diversity shone thru his whole
musical career. To say that none could have influenced Elvis,
musically or acting wise, is to shortchange Elvis' great ability to acknowledge other artists talent
and enjoy their work.

And that lil "I don't particularly like it...He (B.J. Thomas) does
his own thing
" line from the movie That's The Way It Is,
I think, is totally tongue in cheek on Elvis' part and you can clearly
see this when Elvis grins as he turns around back to the audience... :!:

Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:42 am

Graceland Gardener wrote:No Mac Davis.....no In The Ghetto

No Jerry Reed.....no Guitar Man


No Hal Wallis......no Elvis movies ?

No Andres Von Kujik.....no Elvis ?



No Vernon....no Elvis.


Ain't this a silly thread...anyone with even a superficial knowledge of Elvis knows where his musical influence stems from.

And it ain't no Welsh impersonator.

..

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:59 am

minkahed,
I think you're right, the That's The Way It Is remark about BJ Thomas was just Elvis joking around with the audience. But, he does add that bit about it being "his (BJ Thomas) own thing." If nothing else, that kind of statement distances Elvis from BJ Thomas' style as he implies that it's different from what he has to offer. As a result, I just can't see how he would have been influenced by B.J. Thomas.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:59 am

Genius RAY CHARLES comes to my mind.

Also other black artists like Ivory Joe Hunter, Big boy Crudup, Jackie Wilson and Gospel groups like Golden Gate Quartet.

Jno