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Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:47 pm

For anyone curious, I was interviewed by Jeremy Roberts at the Examiner regarding my book, 1950s Radio in Color. Here's part II:
http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-national/on-the-brink-of-becoming-an-artistic-phenomenon-elvis-meets-tommy-edwards

Jeremy conducts an awesome interview, check out this outstanding one with James Burton, one of the best I've ever read, the kind of questions real fans want answered:
http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-national/25-years-ago-this-week-james-burton-s-tribute-to-a-legend-rick-nelson

He's done many more excellent features, on the Beach Boys as well.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:56 am

Thanks you for this! That interview segment was terrific, and fun.

It seems there will be three parts, let us know when the third is up. Here are the others:

Deejay Tommy Edwards captured the rock 'n' roll explosion: Chris Kennedy speaks
http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-national/deejay-tommy-edwards-captured-the-rock-n-roll-explosion-chris-kennedy-speaks-1

On the brink of becoming an artistic phenomenon: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards
http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-national/on-the-brink-of-becoming-an-artistic-phenomenon-elvis-meets-tommy-edwards

You discovered Elvis around the same time I did. I also must agree that "Tickle Me," for all its limitations, is one of Elvis' most enjoyable Hollywood vehicles. Not only is the soundtrack stellar, but Jocelyn Lane is perhaps his most beautiful co-star of all. Did you know that Presley, in the midst of recounting on tape to MGM director Robert Abel the horror of his cinema career in the 60s, cited "Tickle Me" as one of the few movies he felt was good entertainment? True!

I hope the word on your marvelous, essential photo history, 1950s Radio In Color: The Lost Photographs of Deejay Tommy Edwards, is getting out. Every true rocker should have a copy. On a side note, are there any other images of Elvis in the 1,600 you did not use? And do you have any new leads on the "Pied Piper" film?

This shot of 20 year-old Michael Landon from July 1957 is indeed too cool for school:
570700_Michael Landon.JPG


Finally, when you get a chance, post up on Off Topic some tunes from Ruth Ruth or Ultra-V.

My hat is off to you for following your dreams.
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Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:12 am

Hey Doc,
I always appreciate your kind words, it means a lot.
Part III went up today:
http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-national/1950s-radio-color-author-chris-kennedy-places-the-spotlight-on-tommy-edwards
I used all the Elvis photos Tommy had taken in the book.
I did not know that about Tickle Me, its cool to know that he felt that way.
I've been working with Bill Randle's family on the Pied Piper research, and, incredibly, there's some more investigation that needs to be done.
I have a "never give up the hunt" attitude on the Pied Piper, so I'll keep on the hunt.
That's nice of you to ask about my music, I'll post something in OT.
Best,
Chris

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:18 am

Fabulous. All fabulous!

Really great info about how they Elvis "broke" into the rest of the country, and when, and by whom. Super.

I wonder how many kids discovered Elvis initially (well, you had a little bit of preparation at a very early age) from watching a film; I did. It was "Jailhouse Rock." I finally connected the name to the person and the sound, which I had never heard before. (It was very violent for me at the time: 1969, so while I never, ever forgot it, I kept my distance for a while. Then something happened.)

Anyway, this is fascinating and great!! You rock, Chris Kennedy, in more ways than one! (Must look up your band on Wiki, too.)

All the best,
rjm
P.S. -- After just spending a lot on "A Moment In Time" -- the FTD photo book, of '56, I'm a little tapped out, but as soon as possible, I will get your book!!

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:33 pm

Hey all, reading your comments about the interview has made New Year's Day way more special to me. I interviewed Chris Kennedy, and he didn't refuse any questions. I would encourage anyone to pick up the coffeetable book. Amazon has a good price going.

It's not just photos -- all feature half to full-page captions, including new interviews with the subjects or their families. Also 6 to 7 pages covering each year Tommy took photos, including what was happening to Tommy at that given time & how trends in pop culture affected the deejay.

Chris' writing style is very engaging and witty. He has an amazing knack for encapsulating an artist's career. And he used data from the T.E. (Tommy Edwards) Newsletters to ensure accuracy. Several of the newsletters are included with the book, too.

My scanner is terrible, so I took my Canon PowerShot 10 MP camera & snapped the Michael Landon pic. Took awhile to get best lighting, but surprised it turned out so well. That one stood out to me. For the last interview installment (Tommy Edwards with San Quentin LP, Tina Louise from Gilligan's Island, Conway Twitty, & Grandpa Jones), all the photos were snapped by my camera from the book's pages. They look much better in the book btw.

I also never knew Elvis said that about Tickle Me. I always liked the movie, especially when the bad guy runs at Elvis, finds thin air instead, and crashes down into the mud (Elvis was hanging on the other side of the door).

It's been an enlightening, but not always easy, process doing these pop culture interviews and writing articles. Been at it professionally for maybe 18 months, so I'm always learning. I try to always be curious, ask stuff that I would wanna ask if I was a reader/fan, and simply listen. Hopefully, you'll read much more from me this new year.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:22 pm

GuyLambert wrote:Hey Doc,
I always appreciate your kind words, it means a lot.

Part III went up today:
http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-national/1950s-radio-color-author-chris-kennedy-places-the-spotlight-on-tommy-edwards

I used all the Elvis photos Tommy had taken in the book. I did not know that about Tickle Me, its cool to know that he felt that way.

I've been working with Bill Randle's family on the Pied Piper research, and, incredibly, there's some more investigation that needs to be done.
I have a "never give up the hunt" attitude on the Pied Piper, so I'll keep on the hunt.

That's nice of you to ask about my music, I'll post something in OT.
Best,
Chris

Thanks for the kind words and reply. It's great having you on the team.

Part three: GREAT!

Please let me know if I may assist on the Bill Randle research.

This disc has much of the legendary July 1972 MGM interview for "Elvis on Tour":

Image

All That I Am (Mystery Train, 2002)

Track Listing
01. Hiring The Stamps Quartet : 31-3-72
02. Musical Roots : 31-3-72
03. Wild Early Years : 7-72
04. Entertaining Fans : 7-72
05. Assembling Singers And Musicians : 7-72
06. Live Performances : 7-72
07. Jaycee Awards Speech : 7-72
08. First Talent Contest : 7-72
09. His Famous Sideburns : 7-72
10. Humes High Annual Minstrel Show 1953 : 7-72
11. Driving A Truck And Sun Records : 7-72
12. From The Waist Up : 7-72
13. Drafted : 7-72
14. Jealousy And Acceptance : 7-72
15. Trapped In Hollywood : 7-72
16. His Entourage : 7-72
17. Tour Preparation : 7-72
18. Backstage Discussion : 15-4-72 Macon
19. With Denise Sanchez : 19-4-72 Albuquerque
20. Funny Time How Slips Away
21. It's Over

Tracks 3 to 19 were previously unreleased on CD.
Track 15 is where he cites "Tickle Me."
---
Incidentally, these are the top five Presley interviews, 1955 to 1972 -->
August 1955, Memphis, TN (Neal)
August 1956, Lakeland, FL (Wilder)
August 1957, Vancouver, Canada (Robinson, et al.)
September 1962, MGM Studios, Culver City, CA (Shearer)
July 1972, MGM Studios, Culver City, CA (Abel)

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:27 pm

jeremylr wrote:Hey all, reading your comments about the interview has made New Year's Day way more special to me. I interviewed Chris Kennedy, and he didn't refuse any questions. I would encourage anyone to pick up the coffeetable book. Amazon has a good price going.

It's not just photos -- all feature half to full-page captions, including new interviews with the subjects or their families. Also 6 to 7 pages covering each year Tommy took photos, including what was happening to Tommy at that given time & how trends in pop culture affected the deejay.

Chris' writing style is very engaging and witty. He has an amazing knack for encapsulating an artist's career. And he used data from the T.E. (Tommy Edwards) Newsletters to ensure accuracy. Several of the newsletters are included with the book, too.

My scanner is terrible, so I took my Canon PowerShot 10 MP camera & snapped the Michael Landon pic. Took awhile to get best lighting, but surprised it turned out so well. That one stood out to me. For the last interview installment (Tommy Edwards with San Quentin LP, Tina Louise from Gilligan's Island, Conway Twitty, & Grandpa Jones), all the photos were snapped by my camera from the book's pages. They look much better in the book btw.

I also never knew Elvis said that about Tickle Me. I always liked the movie, especially when the bad guy runs at Elvis, finds thin air instead, and crashes down into the mud (Elvis was hanging on the other side of the door).

It's been an enlightening, but not always easy, process doing these pop culture interviews and writing articles. Been at it professionally for maybe 18 months, so I'm always learning. I try to always be curious, ask stuff that I would wanna ask if I was a reader/fan, and simply listen. Hopefully, you'll read much more from me this new year.

Jeremy, your interviews are thorough and engaging. I just finished all 5 parts of the Steve Cox interview. His journey uncovering the life of Larry Fine (Three Stooges) is a terrific read.

As for Chris' interview, here are a couple of Vince Wayne tracks I found on You Tube:

phpBB [video]


Vince Wayne - Take a Chance

phpBB [video]


Vince Wayne - I'm Sorry (If I Made You Cry)

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:10 pm

Doc, The Larry Fine/Steve Cox interview is definitely in my Top Ten, probably higher. It turned out especially well. It was the first interview of mine where I tracked down the author via his old college alumni records. He simply didn't maintain much of an online presence.

Listening to Vince Wayne since "Take A Chance" was difficult. Listening to the instrumental track alone is the best bet on that one. Thanks for digging up those performances. Wayne falling off a stage mid-performance and dying soon after of a brain aneurism left an impression on me. He definitely went out with a bang.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:26 am

jeremylr wrote:Doc, The Larry Fine/Steve Cox interview is definitely in my Top Ten, probably higher. It turned out especially well. It was the first interview of mine where I tracked down the author via his old college alumni records. He simply didn't maintain much of an online presence.

Listening to Vince Wayne since "Take A Chance" was difficult. Listening to the instrumental track alone is the best bet on that one. Thanks for digging up those performances. Wayne falling off a stage mid-performance and dying soon after of a brain aneurysm left an impression on me. He definitely went out with a bang.

Tiny Tim died on stage as well.

http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/onstage.asp

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:24 am

jeremylr wrote:Hey all, reading your comments about the interview has made New Year's Day way more special to me. I interviewed Chris Kennedy, and he didn't refuse any questions. I would encourage anyone to pick up the coffeetable book. Amazon has a good price going.

It's not just photos -- all feature half to full-page captions, including new interviews with the subjects or their families. Also 6 to 7 pages covering each year Tommy took photos, including what was happening to Tommy at that given time & how trends in pop culture affected the deejay.

Chris' writing style is very engaging and witty. He has an amazing knack for encapsulating an artist's career. And he used data from the T.E. (Tommy Edwards) Newsletters to ensure accuracy. Several of the newsletters are included with the book, too.

My scanner is terrible, so I took my Canon PowerShot 10 MP camera & snapped the Michael Landon pic. Took awhile to get best lighting, but surprised it turned out so well. That one stood out to me. For the last interview installment (Tommy Edwards with San Quentin LP, Tina Louise from Gilligan's Island, Conway Twitty, & Grandpa Jones), all the photos were snapped by my camera from the book's pages. They look much better in the book btw.

I also never knew Elvis said that about Tickle Me. I always liked the movie, especially when the bad guy runs at Elvis, finds thin air instead, and crashes down into the mud (Elvis was hanging on the other side of the door).

It's been an enlightening, but not always easy, process doing these pop culture interviews and writing articles. Been at it professionally for maybe 18 months, so I'm always learning. I try to always be curious, ask stuff that I would wanna ask if I was a reader/fan, and simply listen. Hopefully, you'll read much more from me this new year.

It is a great article and being from Cleveland originally it sparked my interest. Jeremy did a great job on an article about some of my upcoming work too. http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in- ... ach-boys-1
Hope nobody minds me posting it again.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:53 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
jeremylr wrote:Doc, The Larry Fine/Steve Cox interview is definitely in my Top Ten, probably higher. It turned out especially well. It was the first interview of mine where I tracked down the author via his old college alumni records. He simply didn't maintain much of an online presence.

Listening to Vince Wayne since "Take A Chance" was difficult. Listening to the instrumental track alone is the best bet on that one. Thanks for digging up those performances. Wayne falling off a stage mid-performance and dying soon after of a brain aneurysm left an impression on me. He definitely went out with a bang.

Tiny Tim died on stage as well.

http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/onstage.asp


Very sadly, Jackie Wilson was on stage when he collapsed. He remained semi-comatose for nearly 8 years.

rjm
P.S. He died not long before the 1984 Grammy Awards. Only one artist remembered to pay tribute. Elvis would have been proud of him.
Do go to this Wiki entry and hit "Tributes and Legacy":
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Wilson

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:15 pm

Mike
I'll be buying your book. Brian and the Beach Boys were my inspiration to begin writing music. Again, another great interview by Jeremy. Thanks for posting again, I didn't know about the book. Best, Chris

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:19 pm

GuyLambert wrote:Mike
I'll be buying your book. Brian and the Beach Boys were my inspiration to begin writing music. Again, another great interview by Jeremy. Thanks for posting again, I didn't know about the book. Best, Chris

No problem. I hope to have news about a publisher soon. Thanks again to Jeremy for doing such fine work.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:47 am

Thanks as always for those complimentary remarks, guys. Sometimes it's tough to take a compliment, but they're definitely well-appreciated.

Up above, Doc made a remark that he would be happy to assist with any Bill Randle / Pied Piper of Cleveland research. I'm sure Chris would be happy to have your help, but he'll have to answer...

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:18 pm

jeremylr wrote:Thanks as always for those complimentary remarks, guys. Sometimes it's tough to take a compliment, but they're definitely well-appreciated.

Up above, Doc made a remark that he would be happy to assist with any Bill Randle / Pied Piper of Cleveland research. I'm sure Chris would be happy to have your help, but he'll have to answer...

If I live long enough to see and hear Elvis, Scotty and Bill doing "Mystery Train" in 1955, I will die happy.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:26 pm

Your book is great Chris - I bought it back in August. Thanks for putting it out. My 73 year old father also enjoyed many of the photos in the book - it brought back memories of when he was a teenager.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:34 am

Thanks, Paul, your words mean a lot to me. C

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:45 am

Recently I revisited the author's fantastic, totally essential photo history, 1950s Radio In Color: The Lost Photographs of Deejay Tommy Edwards and enjoyed it even more. Some of Chris Kennedy's prose is actually kind of bitchy, in a good way ;-)

Anyhow, if you truly love rock 'b' roll, find the book and order it! You will NOT be disappointed.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:03 am

Ha ha, thanks Doc. Yes, I was trying to set up the "in the moment" scenarios of each photo, and have some fun too.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:07 pm

Just got your book for x-mas, Chris. I waited, but I finally got it and it was worth it! Thank you!! I am still enjoying it.

Best,
rjm

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:55 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
jeremylr wrote:Thanks as always for those complimentary remarks, guys. Sometimes it's tough to take a compliment, but they're definitely well-appreciated.

Up above, Doc made a remark that he would be happy to assist with any Bill Randle / Pied Piper of Cleveland research. I'm sure Chris would be happy to have your help, but he'll have to answer...

If I live long enough to see and hear Elvis, Scotty and Bill doing "Mystery Train" in 1955, I will die happy.

...and that goes for me too.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:35 pm

rjm wrote:Just got your book for x-mas, Chris. I waited, but I finally got it and it was worth it! Thank you!! I am still enjoying it.

Best,
rjm

Thanks so much rjm. I'm glad you like it and thank you for buying it.
C

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:23 am

GuyLambert wrote:Ha ha, thanks Doc. Yes, I was trying to set up the "in the moment" scenarios of each photo, and have some fun too.


I am not kidding -- your book ain't just another coffee table photo book.

The color photos are stunning, a world unto themselves, but the stories behind them is worth twice as much. In the end, you tell a tale of success and heartbreak, dreams fulfilled and ambitions thwarted, and at the heart of it is this crazy, weird new thing called rock 'n' roll. Each page makes you want to read the next. It is quite an accomplishment, and you are still a (relatively) young man ;-)

Now, please, find "A Day in the Life of a DJ" before I die.

Re: Elvis meets Tommy Edwards - On the Brink

Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:04 pm

GuyLambert wrote:Hey Doc,
I always appreciate your kind words, it means a lot.
Part III went up today:
http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-national/1950s-radio-color-author-chris-kennedy-places-the-spotlight-on-tommy-edwards
I used all the Elvis photos Tommy had taken in the book.
I did not know that about Tickle Me, its cool to know that he felt that way.
I've been working with Bill Randle's family on the Pied Piper research, and, incredibly, there's some more investigation that needs to be done.
I have a "never give up the hunt" attitude on the Pied Piper, so I'll keep on the hunt.
That's nice of you to ask about my music, I'll post something in OT.
Best,
Chris


If you ever find the Elvis footage from "Pied Piper of Cleveland", I will personally award you £500 when the proof is offered by way of a copy and I'm still alive. It's in writing.