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"The King proves he's right all along"

Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:23 pm

"The King proves he's right all along". I read this interesting article on the Elvis History.com website from May 15 1977 written by John Milward from the Chicago Sun Times and I found it very chalenging. It appeard in Memphis Commercial appeal. Unfortunately I have not a scanner and I cannot post the article here because the page cannot be coppied. The article focuses a lot about the Elvis and Beatles golden years.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:49 pm

jurasic1968 wrote:"The King proves he's right all along". I read this interesting article on the Elvis History.com website from May 15 1977 written by John Milward from the Chicago Sun Times and I found it very chalenging. It appeard in Memphis Commercial appeal. Unfortunately I have not a scanner and I cannot post the article here because the page cannot be coppied. The article focuses a lot about the Elvis and Beatles golden years.


John Milward is a long-time rock critic whose work has been published in magazines like Rolling Stone. Recently, he's posted an online blog here:

John Milward's Page - No Depression Americana and Roots Music
http://www.nodepression.com/profile/JohnMilward

Despite the promising headline, Milward's essay reads as a selfish, cynical look at Presley's music and career. It dismisses everything Elvis did past 1958, including the "1967 [sic] television special." What a convincing argument.

As noted, the article comes from Memphis Commercial Appeal, Milward's syndicated column back then likely originating from Chicago. It is possible that Elvis could have read it. He was at home that Sunday. It would have bummed him out.

Here's the scan:


770515_Memphis Commercial Appeal_Milward_p20.JPG
Memphis Commercial Appeal - Sunday, May 15, 1977
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:53 pm

Here's the article!! Just grab a screenshot. Enjoy!! :D

thekingproveshesrightallalong.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:29 pm

I think it's cynical and maybe the author was a Beatles 200% fan and dismissed Elvis after 1958, like many others. But it is interesting to read, in a hystorical point of view, how many critics despised Elvis Presley from 1956 to 1977. I think Elvis was the most criticized man in show biz so every time he "had a mountain to climb"

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:24 am

Doesn't it make sense why many rock critics have always criticized Elvis in some way or another.

If your favorite type of music is rock n' roll and you loved Elvis in the 50s you wouldn't have liked him as much afterwards because he stopped recording the music that you love.

Elvis became an all around entertainer and the the rock n' roll lovers of the world didn't like it.

I believe that's the main point of criticism for Elvis from rock critics when you get right down to it.

Nothing beats Elvis singing rock n' roll and blues music.

Although i think rock critics and fans of Elvis from the 50s exaggerate things because he still did do some good work in rock n' roll after the army.

I would have liked to have seen more of them acknowledge that.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:56 am

I think alot of the thinking was,
"Could Elvis still rock"
"Did the army change him".
"Was he all washed up"

From the time Elvis went into the army, that is a natural time dividing line.
Even as a true fan, I can see that something was different.

He didn't rock as hard as he did.
You could see the change.
But he wasn't all washed up.

I believe the post army career was the beginning of the colonel involved, Elvis the all around entertainer era.

Although, it started off real strong, it was a gradual decline none-the-less.

"It's now or never", "Are you lonesome tonight", and "Surrender", proved he had changed his style.
But it was too much of a change for some fans.

You can't dismiss it, just because it wasn't the same as "Jailhouse rock" or "Hound dog", but it clearly was a different path.
And of course the less raw Elvis music, led to the less raw Elvis the actor.

and we all know the rest.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:36 am

jurasic1968 wrote:I think it's cynical and maybe the author was a Beatles 200% fan and dismissed Elvis after 1958, like many others. But it is interesting to read, in a hystorical point of view, how many critics despised Elvis Presley from 1956 to 1977. I think Elvis was the most criticized man in show biz so every time he "had a mountain to climb"


Milward does not appear to be a "Beatles 200% fan." And I'm at a loss to name a single major critic who "despised Elvis Presley from 1956 to 1977," save Albert Goldman. I also don't agree that "Elvis was the most criticized man in show biz."

Hope you enjoyed the article upload.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:39 am

Yeah, this guy's a cynic about everything: Beatles, whomever. What a joyless individual. And I think he maybe copped that line about Elvis The Greaser who seemed like the kind of kid who he was afraid would beat him up. Saw it somewhere else, but can't recall at the moment.

Not worth worrying about. Very few critics at the time were so completely dismissive. And he contradicts himself. And there are glaring inaccuracies.

Thanks for the upload, Doc.

rjm

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:55 pm

Jack Gould of the N.Y. Times was also very critical about Elvis.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:55 pm

Sorry, I made a mistake, Doc, because English language is not my native one. I wanted to say that Elvis Presley was far more criticized in his career than The Beatles, just to name the Fab Four. Elvis was criticised by many in his entire career, not all the time, of course.But after I read so many reviews beginning with the 50's (Jack Gould is the star here), comtinuing to his movies evaluation in the 60's and more of his concerts in the 70's (what I read in elvisconcerts.com website) I wonder if ELvis was the most criticized singer in the show biz.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:05 pm

jurasic1968 wrote:Sorry, I made a mistake, Doc, because English language is not my native one. I wanted to say that Elvis Presley was far more criticized in his career than The Beatles, just to name the Fab Four. Elvis was criticised by many in his entire career, not all the time, of course.But after I read so many reviews beginning with the 50's (Jack Gould is the star here), comtinuing to his movies evaluation in the 60's and more of his concerts in the 70's (what I read in elvisconcerts.com website) I wonder if ELvis was the most criticized singer in the show biz.


No, he's not. But popular stars get more reviews, good and bad.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:36 am

I tend not to pay much attention to reviews like this,after all it's only a persons opinion,no more or less important than yours or mine. What DOES make my blood boil is when reviewers spout bile that Joe Public wouldn't know to be untrue. Around the time of the 30th anniversary I read in a UK Sunday tabloid an "apology" as such from a jumped-up little twerp by the name of Joe Mott...he must have recieved a barrage of emails about a piece he wrote the week previous because he made reference to fans contacting him to tell him just what they thought of what he had written and he then begrudgingly wrote something along the lines of "ok I admit Elvis did have SOME talent..."etc etc.
I didn't read the piece he wrote but having seen other nasty remarks he has made about EP, I can pretty well guess some of the rancid,ill-informed cliches he no doubt used. Young people with little knowledge of EP will takes what he writes as gospel, assuming that he is a music journalist,he therefore knows a lot about all music,including Elvis . At the time of Michael Jacksons death, Mott wrote "In a way I'm glad Michael didn't go onstage at the O2 and make a total fool of himself like his idol(?)Elvis did in his final performances.." Now I would put money on Mott never having heard,let alone seen, a complete show from 1977,yet he obviously thinks he has the right to describe Elvis's condition. At best, he MIGHT have seen A.Y.L.T and My Way from This Is Elvis. OK rant over lol.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:17 am

I would take some exception to Doc in that Elvis rec'd a vast amount of criticism that was outsized even given his popularity. In the 50's it was the establishment that savaged him-look no further than the human refuse that was Steve Allen humiliating him and Milton Berle mocking his roots. Later the criticism came because he wasn't hip enough. I have said this before- the disdain heaped on Elvis was the reflected disdain for his fans. Just not cool enough for the Rolling Stone- you know folks with families and jobs and faith- folks that just weren't with it. Frankie Valli contrasted the fan base of the 4 Seasons and the Beatles similarly a few years ago. There was and still is a culture war being fought. Elvis generally found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time culturally. But his fans ignored the geniuses who arbitrated what was good. That his return to NY was so positively rec'd really drives home the point of how truly remarkable he was in 72.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:16 am

fn2drive wrote:I would take some exception to Doc in that Elvis rec'd a vast amount of criticism that was outsized even given his popularity. In the 50's it was the establishment that savaged him-look no further than the human refuse that was Steve Allen humiliating him and Milton Berle mocking his roots. Later the criticism came because he wasn't hip enough. I have said this before- the disdain heaped on Elvis was the reflected disdain for his fans. Just not cool enough for the Rolling Stone- you know folks with families and jobs and faith- folks that just weren't with it. Frankie Valli contrasted the fan base of the 4 Seasons and the Beatles similarly a few years ago. There was and still is a culture war being fought. Elvis generally found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time culturally. But his fans ignored the geniuses who arbitrated what was good. That his return to NY was so positively rec'd really drives home the point of how truly remarkable he was in 72.


Your post is off the mark in several places. Yes, Steve Allen did not show any respect for Elvis' music, but the host was no fan of the genre in general. Many other examples of this may be viewed in archival kinescopes, such as him reading the lyrics to "Be-Bop-A-Lula" as if they were lines of Greek poetry, or having his crew throw chairs back and forth across the stage behind Jerry Lee Lewis, while the rocker pounded out "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On."

Milton Berle, on the other hand, was no stranger to controversy over a wild TV appearance or behavior. It was how he got to be "Mr. Television." It's clear he innately understood Elvis' popularity, and genuinely enjoyed having the singer on his program. In both the April and June 1956 appearances, Elvis and his group look to be having a terrific time with Berle.

Using Rolling Stone magazine as an example of the culture gap, being "too hip" for Elvis and "arbitrating what was good," is completely misleading and false.

When Rolling Stone launched Issue #1 on November 9, 1967, and for at least a dozen years after, it was clearly the top rock-oriented publication, with sharp, seriously dedicated writing on music, politics, and all manner of popular culture. But the magazine did not neglect Elvis. As soon as Presley began his creative renaissance, he made the cover and granted an interview:

On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66735

Barely a month later, the editors selected his latest album, From Elvis In Memphis, as the lead review, and it was fulsome in its praise:

From Elvis In Memphis: "And Now The Secret Is Out"
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=52806

One might have assumed, as Presley settled into his Vegas engagements in the '70s, the "too hip" editors would have gone after him, but the opposite was true. Perhaps the most positive Elvis concert review ever published in a major magazine appeared in Rolling Stone in 1971:

In Praise Of Elvis Presley (1971) -- Complete!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=50886

The 1972 live album from Madison Square Garden also got a wonderful write-up:

You CAN Always Get What You Want --> RS Rave of MSG '72!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66754

Even about a year before Presley died, a honest review of a 1976 gig, with a flattering photo from 1975, could be found in the pages of Rolling Stone:

Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=50887

In the years since Elvis passed away, Rolling Stone has continued to publish some great things about our hero:

Elvis Lives --> Rolling Stone Reviews The 50s Box (1992)
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53946

Great Southern Masters --> Rolling Stone Reviews The 60s Box
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54017

TTWII --> One of "The Greatest Albums Ever Made"
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54133

So perhaps you need to rethink who exactly are the good guys and the bad guys in the "culture war" still being fought.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:50 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
fn2drive wrote:I would take some exception to Doc in that Elvis rec'd a vast amount of criticism that was outsized even given his popularity. In the 50's it was the establishment that savaged him-look no further than the human refuse that was Steve Allen humiliating him and Milton Berle mocking his roots. Later the criticism came because he wasn't hip enough. I have said this before- the disdain heaped on Elvis was the reflected disdain for his fans. Just not cool enough for the Rolling Stone- you know folks with families and jobs and faith- folks that just weren't with it. Frankie Valli contrasted the fan base of the 4 Seasons and the Beatles similarly a few years ago. There was and still is a culture war being fought. Elvis generally found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time culturally. But his fans ignored the geniuses who arbitrated what was good. That his return to NY was so positively rec'd really drives home the point of how truly remarkable he was in 72.


Your post is off the mark in several places. Yes, Steve Allen did not show any respect for Elvis' music, but the host was no fan of the genre in general. Many other examples of this may be viewed in archival kinescopes, such as him reading the lyrics to "Be-Bop-A-Lula" as if they were lines of Greek poetry, or having his crew throw chairs back and forth across the stage behind Jerry Lee Lewis, while the rocker pounded out "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On."

Milton Berle, on the other hand, was no stranger to controversy over a wild TV appearance or behavior. It was how he got to be "Mr. Television." It's clear he innately understood Elvis' popularity, and genuinely enjoyed having the singer on his program. In both the April and June 1956 appearances, Elvis and his group look to be having a terrific time with Berle.

Using Rolling Stone magazine as an example of the culture gap, being "too hip" for Elvis and "arbitrating what was good," is completely misleading and false.

When Rolling Stone launched Issue #1 on November 9, 1967, and for at least a dozen years after, it was clearly the top rock-oriented publication, with sharp, seriously dedicated writing on music, politics, and all manner of popular culture. But the magazine did not neglect Elvis. As soon as Presley began his creative renaissance, he made the cover and granted an interview:

On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66735

Barely a month later, the editors selected his latest album, From Elvis In Memphis, as the lead review, and it was fulsome in its praise:

From Elvis In Memphis: "And Now The Secret Is Out"
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=52806

One might have assumed, as Presley settled into his Vegas engagements in the '70s, the "too hip" editors would have gone after him, but the opposite was true. Perhaps the most positive Elvis concert review ever published in a major magazine appeared in Rolling Stone in 1971:

In Praise Of Elvis Presley (1971) -- Complete!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=50886

The 1972 live album from Madison Square Garden also got a wonderful write-up:

You CAN Always Get What You Want --> RS Rave of MSG '72!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66754

Even about a year before Presley died, a honest review of a 1976 gig, with a flattering photo from 1975, could be found in the pages of Rolling Stone:

Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=50887

In the years since Elvis passed away, Rolling Stone has continued to publish some great things about our hero:

Elvis Lives --> Rolling Stone Reviews The 50s Box (1992)
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53946

Great Southern Masters --> Rolling Stone Reviews The 60s Box
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54017

TTWII --> One of "The Greatest Albums Ever Made"
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54133

So perhaps you need to rethink who exactly are the good guys and the bad guys in the "culture war" still being fought.


Excellent! Not read any of the above topics before.
Thank You.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:58 pm

Doc thanks for the list of articles- years since ive seen many of them,. I wasn't saying that the Rolling Stone dumped on Elvis. I was simply using it as the comparative for general hip-ness. No doubt Rolling Stone itself was more charitable than he deserved at times . i still stand behind my basic point that demeaning Elvis fans was one of the plot devices to demean Elvis eg Dennis Sanders and catwoman, granny etc and the reverse. Thanks again for the list.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:17 pm

That article was pretty accurate to me. I hope Elvis read it, but I doubt he did. The MM kept such articles from ever reaching Elvis.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:27 pm

fn2drive wrote:Doc thanks for the list of articles- years since ive seen many of them,. I wasn't saying that the Rolling Stone dumped on Elvis. I was simply using it as the comparative for general hip-ness. No doubt Rolling Stone itself was more charitable than he deserved at times . i still stand behind my basic point that demeaning Elvis fans was one of the plot devices to demean Elvis eg Dennis Sanders and catwoman, granny etc and the reverse. Thanks again for the list.


Your comments strongly implied Rolling Stone was at the forefront of undue criticism towards Presley. I'm glad my examples helped clear that up.

It should be said that "demeaning Elvis fans" is not always analogous to criticism of Elvis Presley.

And there is no doubt a lot of Elvis fans -- then and now -- are well off-point.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:49 am

Doc, there was also a pretty flattering review of the Today album in 1975. It wasn't without criticism, but it was more than fair and the writer was not a hater. Thanks for the other fine articles.

Re: "The King proves he's right all along"

Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:53 am

stevelecher wrote:Doc, there was also a pretty flattering review of the Today album in 1975. It wasn't without criticism, but it was more than fair and the writer was not a hater. Thanks for the other fine articles.


Thanks. I might have that review. I'll check my archives.