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Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:17 am

likethebike wrote:The problem with this thread is that there has been solid, logical reasoning as to why performing in Las Vegas would be destructive to one's career other than that said fans don't care for ballads and MOR type material. More specifically there hasn't been any evidence presented whatsoever why Vegas would be destructive to Elvis specifically other than that he played their for a very long time.

The first problem is you miswrote your first sentence, but your second sentence is an even bigger problem, in that it makes clear you willfully ignore anyone who dares to shatter the tiny world that your idea of "Elvis Presley" lives in.

Now you're defending Las Vegas as a classy place where Elvis thrived. Dear, sweet Kirk Kerkorian...

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:08 pm

The style with big orchestra and many backgroundsingers is something Elvis really liked. Nothing to do with Vegas.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:38 pm

Scarre wrote:The style with big orchestra and many backgroundsingers is something Elvis really liked. Nothing to do with Vegas.


Yes, wasn't it the Colonel who warned others off using the orchestra in LALLAL and the 68 comeback because Elvis wouldn't like it, only for the opposite to be true?

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:37 pm

Yes I did make a typo on my first sentence. Gasp. This is a message board, you know fun stuff, not my job. I should be more careful because it confuses my points, but again this is for fun.

I've appreciated all the points you've made RJM including about Elvis' isolation. The thing is that I haven't seen the connection to Vegas as a venue. From the start, Parker worked to isolate Elvis. He wasn't a man about town in the 1960s either. In the 1950s he was involved in a great partnership with L&S and Parker did everything he could to cut that off.

It's just hard to make that connection specifically to Vegas. Always liked big ballads. Always attracted to maudlin tunes. As a teen, Dean Martin, one of the Kings of the strip, was a hero. Always isolated. Always bored easily. There's just not that final connection to the city. If anything, getting out to see Chuck Berry and Tom Jones once in awhile, he was a little more active in Vegas than he would be elsewhere. Vegas like most cities was, sadly for Elvis, largely his suite of hotel rooms. Looking at the totality of his career, it's very hard to make the connections that are some making.

And in rock n' roll, there sometimes is this sense of cultural superiority. If Elvis was a lounge singer, it doesn't matter to me as a long as he was a good one. If you break it down at the end of the day, when I hear a Bennett or a Sinatra or a Crosby, it's hard for me to say why a Rolling Stones made more significant music. They're both great in their own ways.

But I would never say Elvis was a lounge singer because to me, and this never changed, he worked in his own genre. As I said, too much gospel, too much twang to be a lounge singer but he's not a gospel or country singer either. He's part rock n' roll, part blues, part country, part easy listening, part folk. He's all those things. And he was always all those things.

PS- On the small crowd in '68, you have to appreciate the difference between making a television show and a true live concert appearance. Making the television show, you can afford a smaller crowd and you can afford to let people in for free (which is how most live TV is done) because your goals are very different from a live concert. Some of the people in the '68 crowd were Elvis fans. Some were off the street. The goal was to allow Elvis to convey for the camera some of the energy that went into his off the cuff jam sessions buoyed by the energy of the audience. In a concert, you want the people who want to be able to see Elvis to be able to see Elvis and the magnitude of Elvis' stardom was such that it mandated arenas and massive Vegas showrooms to accommodate that audience.
Last edited by likethebike on Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:12 pm

likethebike wrote:Yes I did make a typo on my first sentence. Gasp. This is a message board, you know fun stuff, not my job. I should be more careful because it confuses my points, but again this is for fun.

I've appreciated all the points you've made RJM including about Elvis' isolation. The thing is that I haven't seen the connection to Vegas as a venue. From the start, Parker worked to isolate Elvis. He wasn't a man about town in the 1960s either. In the 1950s he was involved in a great partnership with L&S and Parker did everything he could to cut that off.

It's just hard to make that connection specifically to Vegas. Always liked big ballads. Always attracted to maudlin tunes. As a teen, Dean Martin, one of the Kings of the strip, was a hero. Always isolated. Always bored easily. There's just not that final connection to the city. If anything, getting out to see Chuck Berry and Tom Jones once in awhile, he was a little more active in Vegas than he would be elsewhere. Vegas like most cities was, sadly for Elvis, largely his suite of hotel rooms. Looking at the totality of his career, it's very hard to make the connections that are some making.

And in rock n' roll, there sometimes is this sense of cultural superiority. If Elvis was a lounge singer, it doesn't matter to me as a long as he was a good one. If you break it down at the end of the day, when I hear a Bennett or a Sinatra or a Crosby, it's hard for me to say why a Rolling Stones made more significant music. They're both great in their own ways.

But I would never say Elvis was a lounge singer because to me, and this never changed, he worked in his own genre. As I said, too much gospel, too much twang to be a lounge singer but he's not a gospel or country singer either. He's part rock n' roll, part blues, part country, part easy listening, part folk. He's all those things. And he was always all those things.


great post LTB, that sums him up for me

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:19 pm

Johnny Mild wrote:Indeed. I often wonder if Presley music isn't a genre all of it's own.

Yes... and I certainly wouldn't compare him to the likes of Engelbert or Tom Jones... these guys worshiped Elvis... not the other way around... although as far as from what I've read, Elvis did appreciate their music and did spend personal time with TJ. Elvis had some great years in Las Vegas... 1969, 1970 and early 1972... past that he was relatively comatose... he was bored with the Las Vegas experience and should have bailed once he realized that. I think the Las Vegas of the 50', 60's and 70's is not the Las Vegas of today... many performers played Vegas during that period but didn't necessarily make it the permanent residence it had become with Elvis. Take a look at any video/film of Elvis performing live from 1969 to 1972 and tell me he wasn't the coolest human being on earth... how many people can you say that about?

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:04 pm

I think the key thing here, and one that runs throughout many fine posts in this thread, is that Elvis remained Elvis even during what has commonly become known as the "Vegas" years. He didn't turn into a performer churning out slick, bland renditions of songs such as the ones linked to at the start of this thread. As I have said before, he took the "show" and the "theatre" of Vegas and incorporated it into his act - he didn't replace his act with the show and the theatre. The fact that his performances got worse over the years had little do with how much Vegas he had incorporated into it, but much more to do with his own boredom, ill health and dependencies. Yes, the time in Vegas had something to do with that, but it wasn't a result of Vegas itself but how much time he was forced to spend there due to the contracts that he had signed. In fact, the first three seasons showed that Elvis thrived there.

Presley's Proud Mary is nothing like the kitsch glitz of the Tom Jones rendition from youtube. Presley clearly takes elements of Vegas (most notably the big finish), but he seamlessly mixes it with gospel music to make the song his own. Never Been To Spain clearly mixes the original version with Vegas and the blues and gospel music. Likewise, Presley adds the dynamic shape of a Vegas big ballad performance to Bridge Over Troubled Water, but that doesn't turn it into a cliched performance, because the Vegas element is mixed with gospel and blues once again.

The suggestion here is that Vegas itself and the Vegas style artistically killed Elvis. But nothing could be further from the truth. In the early 70s, Vegas wasn't using Elvis, Elvis was using Vegas and taking exactly what he wanted from it for his own show. Elvis's music was always a huge melting point of all kinds of random and disparate elements. He may have been the King of Rock n Roll in the 1950s, but he still took time to record a song by Cole Porter (True Love) in a session in 1957, and was even recording Rogers & Hart in 1954.

There are accusations here that Vegas somehow turned Elvis into a middle of the road performer and an easy listening artist. Even if this were true (and I don't think it is), I don't see that as a bad thing as long as he did it well. Easy listening didn't really exist in the sense we are talking about during the early 60s (those big ballads came later), but Elvis was already recording the then-equivalent during the Something For Everybody and Pot Luck sessions. How easy listening/MOR can you get other than the ballads Just For Old Times Sake and I Feel That I've Known You Forever - songs that would have fared just as well in the hands of Doris Day or Dinah Shore? And one can imagine Dean Martin on stage in Vegas singing There's Always Me, a song with a climax as indicative of a Vegas-style ending as any Elvis used later in his act. And let's not forget how much effort was put into having Elvis viewed as an all-round entertainer embraced by the establishment in 1960 - including a TV show which also featured four members of the Rat Pack as well as Nancy Sinatra.

Presley said he sang all kinds, and the key thing is that he treated all those different kinds with the same amount of respect. This is something which some people on these boards cannot do. It is impossible to compare Elvis singing Paralyzed in 1956 is better than Elvis singing My Way in 1972. The performances are just as good, but they are in wildly different genres. Yes, it is fair to compare their relevance or Presley's relevance, but we need to look beyond that. Yes, Elvis changed the world in 1956 - but we should get over the fact that he wasn't still doing it 15 years later. And we should get over the fact that his tastes changed slightly, or that he sang in a different style.

But we see this with other performers too. Look at the backlash that Dylan suffered when he went electric, or when he made his trilogy of gospel albums. There were accusations that he was selling out, betraying his audiences, and so on. And yet, taken on its own merits, Slow Train Coming is a wonderful album, it just wasn't going to change the world in the way Times They Are A-Changing did. If we see Slow Train Coming and That's The Way It Is as somewhat unexpected changes of direction, the only thing wrong with that is that each album was followed by less than inspired follow-ups. The new genres embraced by Dylan and Elvis isn't the problem, it's the quality of the recordings that followed. What's more, in Presley's case, had there not been pressure to record three or more albums a year, the quality no doubt would have held up for a long time to come. As various "what-if" threads on here show, fine albums could have been made year after year from Presley's output - the problem was that RCA insisted in releasing every last scrap and earning every last dime for its artist. But even from the wildly uneven 1971 recordings, a fine album the equal of That's The Way It Is could have resulted had the crap not been used to fill up two or three albums.

Vegas isn't what killed Elvis artistically, it was the sheer volume of work he was forced to do. Three albums a year, and 2 seasons in Vegas a year, plus tours. Elvis was simply worn out artistically. As the movies had shown, you cannot create art when you are involved in a production line. The best you can hope for is more of the same.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:04 pm

However one would like to describe it, you can't help but scratch your head when it came to a few of Elvis' song choices during his live shows. Even while listening all week to my new MSG reissues, a song like "The Impossible Dream" pops up and you can't help but wonder what the hell those folks at MSG were thinking when Elvis launched into that one?

Elements of Vegas creep its ugly head throughout Elvis' entire show: 1) the jumpsuits 2) the song choices and most of all 3) the huge orchestra (specifically the horns, which unfortunately adds to a lot of the "Vegas shlock" that gets hurled at Elvis). The horns actually work in certain areas "An American Trilogy" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water"...to name a few but in all other areas...the horns stick out like a sore thumb and it reeks of Vegas. It's one thing to have sophisticated arrangements prepared for the horns as for the two songs I mentioned, but to drop them into songs to attempt to "accentuate" or "punch up" the music absolutely does nothing for the song and is a typical Vegas technique to add manufactured enthusiasm. Adding the horns to help end songs ("Blue Suede Shoes", "Hound Dog" etc etc) with a loud, blaring final note as Elvis swing his arms to finish a song---all Vegas fanfare; it's empty calories that does nothing to the music accept to simulate a musical "ta-da!!" that seems to be more fitting to use after a magician makes the rabbit disappear (Very cheap and sort of insulting, if you ask me.). Having horns accompany the band during "Reconsider Baby"....like nails to a chalk board. Thank goodness it was kept to a minimum but the fact that Guerico would clutter up a simple 12-bar blues with trombones and tubas boggles the mind.

Elvis was clearly oblivious to this because beyond these particular issues he never adjusted his setlists to accommodate audiences on the road. Some songs simply work better in a Vegas showroom than they do in an arena. The energy level is completely different in an arena than a showroom--did he or Charlie even consider changing the pacing of the show to accommodate that? Nope. Sure, they kind of made it work regardless of all that, but it just looks to me that no one--including Elvis--took the time to realize these issues. Either they never considered them at all, or they were too lazy to make changes.

As for the "schlocky Vegas" label that is often applied to Elvis...he is definitely guilty of it. Elvis never got to be that dramatic actor that he yearned to be so his only outlet were these dramatic (sometimes inflated) ballads that would take him and his audience away from the rebel music he was known for. The problem seemed to be that he took those detours just slightly too often in his shows and it became very heavy-handed and not anymore a cool diversion/escape into the "other side of Elvis." He seemed to be a self-indulgent type (the jumpsuits and jewelry hint to this) so it's no surprise that he chose to self-indulge even with on-stage dramatics. But that does not give him a "pass" that he didn't do shlock. The schlock was there but audiences were tricked into it because it was stuffed in the show amidst other electrifying performances that rocked the house. The secret ingredient, I believe, that kept the music grounded away from being complete schlock was the TCB Band--that combination of Jerry, Ronnie and James--made it impossible for the entire show to be completely written off as Vegas schlock. There were moments--definitely. But as a whole...it was a weird Frankenstein of different things fused into one overwhelming 60 minute show.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:28 pm

elvis-fan wrote:
Johnny Mild wrote:Indeed. I often wonder if Presley music isn't a genre all of it's own.

Yes... and I certainly wouldn't compare him to the likes of Engelbert or Tom Jones...

I certainly would, and do.

Jones and Humperdinck are valid comparisons because Elvis worked the same turf, and considered them rivals, if not peers.

And, even more so, both clearly wielded a HUGE influence on Presley's music, stage and studio, starting with Jones immediately after Presley was blown away by his stage act in April 1968 at the Flamingo in Las Vegas (that city again!), and not long after, Humperdinck.


680406_w Jones and Beaulieu_Flamingo_Las Vegas.JPG
With Tom Jones and Priscilla Beaulieu after his debut at the Flamingo Hotel, April 6, 1968
Elvis led the standing ovations for Jones.


720500_w Humperdinck_Riviera_Las Vegas.JPG
With Engelbert Humperdinck at the Riviera in Las Vegas, May 1972
Are they twins?


Here are single and album tracks issued by Tom and Engelbert between 1966 and 1973.
Every single one appeared by Elvis as a studio or live master (or both) after these releases:

Tom
"Green, Green Grass of Home"
"I'll Never Fall in Love Again"
"He'll Have To Go"
"Pledging My Love"
"I Can't Stop Loving You"
"Any Day Now"
"Funny How Time Slips Away"
"Danny Boy"
"Let It Be Me"
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
"The Impossible Dream"
"My Way"

Engelbert
"Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)"
"There Goes My Everything"
"Gentle On My Mind"
"Love Letters"
"Help Me Make It Through The Night "
"It's Impossible"
"For The Good Times"
"Put Your Hand In The Hand"
"Girl of Mine"
"And I Love You So"

Coincidence? No way.

Should Elvis have been so slavish in his devotion to these talented singers?

Well, hey, Las Vegas is a classy place to play, right?

Thank you.

::rocks
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Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:35 pm

Justin wrote:However one would like to describe it, you can't help but scratch your head when it came to a few of Elvis' song choices during his live shows. Even while listening all week to my new MSG reissues, a song like "The Impossible Dream" pops up and you can't help but wonder what the hell those folks at MSG were thinking when Elvis launched into that one?

Elements of Vegas creep its ugly head throughout Elvis' entire show: 1) the jumpsuits 2) the song choices and most of all 3) the huge orchestra (specifically the horns, which unfortunately adds to a lot of the "Vegas shlock" that gets hurled at Elvis). The horns actually work in certain areas "An American Trilogy" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water"...to name a few but in all other areas...the horns stick out like a sore thumb and it reeks of Vegas. It's one thing to have sophisticated arrangements prepared for the horns as for the two songs I mentioned, but to drop them into songs to attempt to "accentuate" or "punch up" the music absolutely does nothing for the song and is a typical Vegas technique to add manufactured enthusiasm. Adding the horns to help end songs ("Blue Suede Shoes", "Hound Dog" etc etc) with a loud, blaring final note as Elvis swing his arms to finish a song---all Vegas fanfare; it's empty calories that does nothing to the music accept to simulate a musical "ta-da!!" that seems to be more fitting to use after a magician makes the rabbit disappear (Very cheap and sort of insulting, if you ask me.). Having horns accompany the band during "Reconsider Baby"....like nails to a chalk board. Thank goodness it was kept to a minimum but the fact that Guerico would clutter up a simple 12-bar blues with trombones and tubas boggles the mind.

Elvis was clearly oblivious to this because beyond these particular issues he never adjusted his setlists to accommodate audiences on the road. Some songs simply work better in a Vegas showroom than they do in an arena. The energy level is completely different in an arena than a showroom--did he or Charlie even consider changing the pacing of the show to accommodate that? Nope. Sure, they kind of made it work regardless of all that, but it just looks to me that no one--including Elvis--took the time to realize these issues. Either they never considered them at all, or they were too lazy to make changes.

As for the "schlocky Vegas" label that is often applied to Elvis...he is definitely guilty of it. Elvis never got to be that dramatic actor that he yearned to be so his only outlet were these dramatic (sometimes inflated) ballads that would take him and his audience away from the rebel music he was known for. The problem seemed to be that he took those detours just slightly too often in his shows and it became very heavy-handed and not anymore a cool diversion/escape into the "other side of Elvis." He seemed to be a self-indulgent type (the jumpsuits and jewelry hint to this) so it's no surprise that he chose to self-indulge even with on-stage dramatics. But that does not give him a "pass" that he didn't do shlock. The schlock was there but audiences were tricked into it because it was stuffed in the show amidst other electrifying performances that rocked the house. The secret ingredient, I believe, that kept the music grounded away from being complete schlock was the TCB Band--that combination of Jerry, Ronnie and James--made it impossible for the entire show to be completely written off as Vegas schlock. There were moments--definitely. But as a whole...it was a weird Frankenstein of different things fused into one overwhelming 60 minute show.



A few comments. He chose the songs he wanted to sing, simple as that. There is no big surprise that he sung "The Impossible Dream" at the MSG. In the benefit concert in 1961 he sang "Swing Down, Sweet Chariot". The horns were already there at the American Studios, just as the big orchestra was there at the 68 comeback. The jumpsuits? You just might have a point there...Don´t really care for them, but that doesn´t really matter as I´m in it for the music...

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:40 pm

We're going to have to disagree, Justin. What you call "Vegas schlock", others would call showmanship.

You cite the jumpsuits, and yet in 1957 Elvis was wearing a gold lame suit. If the jumpsuits shout Vegas to you in the 70s, then in 1957 Elvis was trying to be Liberace.

To cite one of those costumes as example of Vegas and not the other would be ridiculous. The presence of that suit alone shows that vegas-style elements were in his shows from the very beginning.

What's more, a Dorsey Brothers TV appearance included the horns back in 1956. Perhaps even more importantly, those "big endings" that people have been talking about can be found in virtually all of Presley's live recordings from 1956 onwards. No, the horns weren't present, but each song still had "this is the ending, you can applaud now" finishes. Listen to the Little Rock concert - it's there at the end of every single song.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:43 pm

Justin wrote:However one would like to describe it, you can't help but scratch your head when it came to a few of Elvis' song choices during his live shows. Even while listening all week to my new MSG reissues, a song like "The Impossible Dream" pops up and you can't help but wonder what the hell those folks at MSG were thinking when Elvis launched into that one?

Elements of Vegas creep its ugly head throughout Elvis' entire show: 1) the jumpsuits 2) the song choices and most of all 3) the huge orchestra (specifically the horns, which unfortunately adds to a lot of the "Vegas shlock" that gets hurled at Elvis). The horns actually work in certain areas "An American Trilogy" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water"...to name a few but in all other areas...the horns stick out like a sore thumb and it reeks of Vegas. It's one thing to have sophisticated arrangements prepared for the horns as for the two songs I mentioned, but to drop them into songs to attempt to "accentuate" or "punch up" the music absolutely does nothing for the song and is a typical Vegas technique to add manufactured enthusiasm. Adding the horns to help end songs ("Blue Suede Shoes", "Hound Dog" etc etc) with a loud, blaring final note as Elvis swing his arms to finish a song---all Vegas fanfare; it's empty calories that does nothing to the music accept to simulate a musical "ta-da!!" that seems to be more fitting to use after a magician makes the rabbit disappear (Very cheap and sort of insulting, if you ask me.). Having horns accompany the band during "Reconsider Baby"....like nails to a chalk board. Thank goodness it was kept to a minimum but the fact that Guerico would clutter up a simple 12-bar blues with trombones and tubas boggles the mind.

Elvis was clearly oblivious to this because beyond these particular issues he never adjusted his setlists to accommodate audiences on the road. Some songs simply work better in a Vegas showroom than they do in an arena. The energy level is completely different in an arena than a showroom--did he or Charlie even consider changing the pacing of the show to accommodate that? Nope. Sure, they kind of made it work regardless of all that, but it just looks to me that no one--including Elvis--took the time to realize these issues. Either they never considered them at all, or they were too lazy to make changes.

As for the "schlocky Vegas" label that is often applied to Elvis...he is definitely guilty of it. Elvis never got to be that dramatic actor that he yearned to be so his only outlet were these dramatic (sometimes inflated) ballads that would take him and his audience away from the rebel music he was known for. The problem seemed to be that he took those detours just slightly too often in his shows and it became very heavy-handed and not anymore a cool diversion/escape into the "other side of Elvis." He seemed to be a self-indulgent type (the jumpsuits and jewelry hint to this) so it's no surprise that he chose to self-indulge even with on-stage dramatics. But that does not give him a "pass" that he didn't do shlock. The schlock was there but audiences were tricked into it because it was stuffed in the show amidst other electrifying performances that rocked the house. The secret ingredient, I believe, that kept the music grounded away from being complete schlock was the TCB Band--that combination of Jerry, Ronnie and James--made it impossible for the entire show to be completely written off as Vegas schlock. There were moments--definitely. But as a whole...it was a weird Frankenstein of different things fused into one overwhelming 60 minute show.

Justin, your post confirms at least some members here get it. Phew! Your thoughts are spot-on, and mirror my feelings.

As far as your query about "The Impossible Dream," take a peek at my previous post to see the massive influence Vegas had on his music in the 1970s (Jones, Humperdinck examples).

The facts are there, and they are undeniable.

::rocks
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:07 pm

Doc, some of your songlist just doesn't make sense. To suggest, for example, that Presley's Danny Boy has anything to do with Jones's midjudged attempt is ridiculous. We all know that Elvis had been toying with the song since 1959 and probably before. What's more Presley's version is certainly not inspired by Jones's - far from it. And it is quite clear that Gentle on My Mind came from Glen Campbell's rendition - not least because the album of the same name also included Mary In The Morning and It's Over, which Presley would also record. That Jones and Engelbert recorded the songs, does not mean Presley was influenced by their versions in any way - or that even heard them.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:15 pm

poormadpeter wrote:Doc, some of your songlist just doesn't make sense. To suggest, for example, that Presley's Danny Boy has anything to do with Jones's midjudged attempt is ridiculous. We all know that Elvis had been toying with the song since 1959 and probably before. What's more Presley's version is certainly not inspired by Jones's - far from it. And it is quite clear that Gentle on My Mind came from Glen Campbell's rendition - not least because the album of the same name also included Mary In The Morning and It's Over, which Presley would also record. That Jones and Engelbert recorded the songs, does not mean Presley was influenced by their versions in any way - or that even heard them.

It is a fact that Elvis had their records, and made great effort to see their concert performances.

To find nearly two dozen songs these men officially released before Elvis put his name to them in his later period is undeniable evidence of the influence of Las Vegas, and of two singers who plied their trade there for years and years and years.

That's the point. Enjoy the research!

::rocks

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:18 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Doc, some of your songlist just doesn't make sense. To suggest, for example, that Presley's Danny Boy has anything to do with Jones's midjudged attempt is ridiculous. We all know that Elvis had been toying with the song since 1959 and probably before. What's more Presley's version is certainly not inspired by Jones's - far from it. And it is quite clear that Gentle on My Mind came from Glen Campbell's rendition - not least because the album of the same name also included Mary In The Morning and It's Over, which Presley would also record. That Jones and Engelbert recorded the songs, does not mean Presley was influenced by their versions in any way - or that even heard them.

It is a fact that Elvis had their records, and made great effort to see their concert performances.

To find nearly two dozen songs these men officially released before Elvis put his name to them in his later period is undeniable evidence of the influence of Las Vegas, and of two singers who plied their trade there for years and years and years.

That's the point. Enjoy the research!

::rocks


Who recorded what songs and when is of little interest. Who influenced Presley's performances is of considerable more interest. And, in many cases, it wasn't these men.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:21 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:It is a fact that Elvis had their records, and made great effort to see their concert performances.

To find nearly two dozen songs these men officially released before Elvis put his name to them in his later period is undeniable evidence of the influence of Las Vegas, and of two singers who plied their trade there for years and years and years.

That's the point. Enjoy the research!

::rocks


Who recorded what songs and when is of little interest. Who influenced Presley's performances is of considerable more interest. And, in many cases, it wasn't these men.

Again, you miss the point. And you're rude to boot.

But no one can say I did not try to help you.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:53 pm

Johnny Mild wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:What's more, a Dorsey Brothers TV appearance included the horns back in 1956. Perhaps even more importantly, those "big endings" that people have been talking about can be found in virtually all of Presley's live recordings from 1956 onwards. No, the horns weren't present, but each song still had "this is the ending, you can applaud now" finishes. Listen to the Little Rock concert - it's there at the end of every single song.


Yeah, that type of ending is fairly common right throughout the Rock world... and beyond! Nothing unusual about it at all.

Gotta hand it to ya, fella: you know your stuff! ;-)

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:57 pm

Johnny Mild wrote:Yeah, keep paying attention and maybe even YOU can learn something, old fella. :wink:

Keep dreaming. Dreaming is free!

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:10 am

Johnny Mild wrote:Yeah, I guess so. Looks like my words of wisdom ...

"Words of wisdom"? Where are they? So far, you're 0-for-24. ;-)

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:50 am

Johnny Mild wrote:Blind as well as deaf. It aint looking good.

Then again, in your case, it aint looking anything!!! :smt003 :lol: :smt006

Yes, indeed, it aint looking good.

0-for-26.

Adjust your diapers and keep rolling, little troll. You won't be here much longer. ;-)

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:54 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Justin, your post confirms at least some members here get it. Phew! Your thoughts are spot-on, and mirror my feelings.

As far as your query about "The Impossible Dream," take a peek at my previous post to see the massive influence Vegas had on his music in the 1970s (Jones, Humperdinck examples).

The facts are there, and they are undeniable.

::rocks


Thanks very much Doc.
It's clear how much these guys borrowed from each other musically. Amazing to see just how many songs they all shared amongst each other. Thanks for compiling them.


Scarre wrote:He chose the songs he wanted to sing, simple as that.

Very true. Elvis had a voracious appetite for various types of music across many genres. There's no harm in admitting that among the rockn'roll, blues, country, folk and adult contemporary he loved to perform there was also a few things in his repertoire that were a bit showy and bloated--which is the very definition of Vegas schlock. I make clear in my earlier post that we are not labeling his entire show as schlock but only certain elements. I am unsure why there are a few members in this thread are in denial regarding that?

poormadpeter wrote:We're going to have to disagree, Justin. What you call "Vegas schlock", others would call showmanship.

You cite the jumpsuits, and yet in 1957 Elvis was wearing a gold lame suit. If the jumpsuits shout Vegas to you in the 70s, then in 1957 Elvis was trying to be Liberace.

To cite one of those costumes as example of Vegas and not the other would be ridiculous. The presence of that suit alone shows that vegas-style elements were in his shows from the very beginning.

What's more, a Dorsey Brothers TV appearance included the horns back in 1956. Perhaps even more importantly, those "big endings" that people have been talking about can be found in virtually all of Presley's live recordings from 1956 onwards. No, the horns weren't present, but each song still had "this is the ending, you can applaud now" finishes. Listen to the Little Rock concert - it's there at the end of every single song.


I don't know of any other town that specializes in "showmanship" more than Las Vegas does, so your difference in definitions between "schlock" and "showmanship" really are synonymous to me. I suppose that is where we differ.

Elvis wore the gold lame suit a total of three times. Elvis wore various different white, sequined and jeweled jumpsuits for nearly every concert during his concert years. The gold lame suit never carried the same stigma as the jumpsuits.

The horns may have been there since the early days but that is NO EXCUSE for them being crammed into particular songs that have no place for them. "Reconsider Baby'" from MSG barely hangs on as a down and dirty blues because of James and Jerry-- but one can't not furrow their eyebrows when those horns come in to help "punch up" the song. It's one thing to have horns accentuate a song for a strong emotional response; it's another thing to add them a song that does not require it thereby spoiling the original intent of the song. It obviously doesn't bother many people. But for fans of the genre who especially take it seriously---we took notice.

Johnny Mild wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:What's more, a Dorsey Brothers TV appearance included the horns back in 1956. Perhaps even more importantly, those "big endings" that people have been talking about can be found in virtually all of Presley's live recordings from 1956 onwards. No, the horns weren't present, but each song still had "this is the ending, you can applaud now" finishes. Listen to the Little Rock concert - it's there at the end of every single song.


Yeah, that type of ending is fairly common right throughout the Rock world... and beyond! Nothing unusual about it at all.


Please provide examples where this would occur "throughout the Rock world."

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:01 am

Justin -- your posts are a pleasure to read. You elevate discourse on this forum.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:25 am

Justin wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Justin, your post confirms at least some members here get it. Phew! Your thoughts are spot-on, and mirror my feelings.

As far as your query about "The Impossible Dream," take a peek at my previous post to see the massive influence Vegas had on his music in the 1970s (Jones, Humperdinck examples).

The facts are there, and they are undeniable.

::rocks


Thanks very much Doc.
It's clear how much these guys borrowed from each other musically. Amazing to see just how many songs they all shared amongst each other. Thanks for compiling them.


Scarre wrote:He chose the songs he wanted to sing, simple as that.

Very true. Elvis had a voracious appetite for various types of music across many genres. There's no harm in admitting that among the rockn'roll, blues, country, folk and adult contemporary he loved to perform there was also a few things in his repertoire that were a bit showy and bloated--which is the very definition of Vegas schlock. I make clear in my earlier post that we are not labeling his entire show as schlock but only certain elements. I am unsure why there are a few members in this thread are in denial regarding that?

poormadpeter wrote:We're going to have to disagree, Justin. What you call "Vegas schlock", others would call showmanship.

You cite the jumpsuits, and yet in 1957 Elvis was wearing a gold lame suit. If the jumpsuits shout Vegas to you in the 70s, then in 1957 Elvis was trying to be Liberace.

To cite one of those costumes as example of Vegas and not the other would be ridiculous. The presence of that suit alone shows that vegas-style elements were in his shows from the very beginning.

What's more, a Dorsey Brothers TV appearance included the horns back in 1956. Perhaps even more importantly, those "big endings" that people have been talking about can be found in virtually all of Presley's live recordings from 1956 onwards. No, the horns weren't present, but each song still had "this is the ending, you can applaud now" finishes. Listen to the Little Rock concert - it's there at the end of every single song.


I don't know of any other town that specializes in "showmanship" more than Las Vegas does, so your difference in definitions between "schlock" and "showmanship" really are synonymous to me. I suppose that is where we differ.

Elvis wore the gold lame suit a total of three times. Elvis wore various different white, sequined and jeweled jumpsuits for nearly every concert during his concert years. The gold lame suit never carried the same stigma as the jumpsuits.

The horns may have been there since the early days but that is NO EXCUSE for them being crammed into particular songs that have no place for them. "Reconsider Baby'" from MSG barely hangs on as a down and dirty blues because of James and Jerry-- but one can't not furrow their eyebrows when those horns come in to help "punch up" the song. It's one thing to have horns accentuate a song for a strong emotional response; it's another thing to add them a song that does not require it thereby spoiling the original intent of the song. It obviously doesn't bother many people. But for fans of the genre who especially take it seriously---we took notice.

Johnny Mild wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:What's more, a Dorsey Brothers TV appearance included the horns back in 1956. Perhaps even more importantly, those "big endings" that people have been talking about can be found in virtually all of Presley's live recordings from 1956 onwards. No, the horns weren't present, but each song still had "this is the ending, you can applaud now" finishes. Listen to the Little Rock concert - it's there at the end of every single song.


Yeah, that type of ending is fairly common right throughout the Rock world... and beyond! Nothing unusual about it at all.


Please provide examples where this would occur "throughout the Rock world."


Remember that it was the doc who suggested that the big endings were due to a vegas influence - and yet were present in 1956.

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:09 am

poormadpeter wrote:Remember that it was the doc who suggested that the big endings were due to a vegas influence - and yet were present in 1956.

Cool. But I'm also discussing the use of the horns in other parts of the show, particularly in the blues songs. No thoughts on that?

Justin wrote:The horns may have been there since the early days but that is NO EXCUSE for them being crammed into particular songs that have no place for them. "Reconsider Baby'" from MSG barely hangs on as a down and dirty blues because of James and Jerry-- but one can't not furrow their eyebrows when those horns come in to help "punch up" the song. It's one thing to have horns accentuate a song for a strong emotional response; it's another thing to add them a song that does not require it thereby spoiling the original intent of the song. It obviously doesn't bother many people. But for fans of the genre who especially take it seriously---we took notice.


Johnny Mild wrote: What a load of pompous, self-aggrandizing bollocks.

Why such hostility?

And where are those examples of other acts "throughout the Rock world" using horns to embellish the final note of a song?

Re: I actually found schlocky Vegas---it wasn't Elvis!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:29 am

The use of the horns in Reconsider Baby in 1972 is something I have no thoughts on. Compared to the earlier versions, Presley's vocal is half-hearted anyway, and I have always assumed the song to be an ad hoc, late addition to the setlist in the afternoon. It certainly wasn't a regular part of the act and so no proper arrangement would have been worked up to incorporate the horns or anything else.

As for "fans of the genre", I would think that they would be spending their time bemoaning the fact that Elvis never completed a blues album or fulfilled his promise in the genre rather than pulling to bits a relatively pleasant but unremarkable performance of a blues song we have in a number of other versions - all of which show Presley in far better blues form than at MSG, with or without the horns. To take one song and suggest it is typical of the Presley show is taking things a little extreme.