Anything about Elvis
More than 30 Million visitors can't be wrong

Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:33 am

I first want to begin by stating that I have been visiting this site for quite awhile now, purely to read about Elvis. I have joined the site, and this is my first post. I wanted to inquire about the famous "laughing version" of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"? From what I can recall, he sang this version in August of 1969, at the International, during his first tour back since the '68 Comeback? I could be wrong about that, but that is what I remember The exact date escapes my mind; though during the song, as the title would suggest, Elvis started laughing uncontrollably about something, though I have read conflicting reports as to what that may have been. I once read that there was a bald man in the audience with a wig, which shifted during the performance, to which Elvis took amusement to, thus changing the lyrics to, "Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair?" I have also heard that this was apart of a running gag between himself and Charlie Hodge, in which they would try to make the other one laugh, often in a public manner. Nonetheless, whatever it was that caused Elvis' lighthearted mood, perhaps he was just excited, I was wondering if any video has ever been found of the performance? I will attach a link to the video, so that all of you can experience this as well, as it truly is Elvis in his most playful and fun mood, in my opinion. Thank you all for any help you may be able to provide as to finding a video of the performance, if it exists, that is. Regardless, thank you for reading and have a fantastic day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvo6UVayW3U

Logan

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:44 am

There is no video of this performance known

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:03 am

That's what I thought, there was probably not any known footage. It was worth asking though, thank you so much for your quick response!

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:26 am

Welcome! Post away! smt189

rjm

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:39 am

Always enjoy hearing the laughing version. Thanks for posting. :)

Besides Elvis' playful side, there is much to appreciate. The professionalism of the performers around Elvis is amazing. They pick up on his mood and amplify/exaggerate their parts to comedic perfection. Their "serious" approach - juxtaposed with his nearly out-of-control rendition - creates a unique situation that makes the performance a classic.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:11 am

I'e read about this many times and the most consistent story is Elvis started laughing at the bald guy that you mentioned and then tried to regain his composure, then lost it when one of the Sweet Inspirations was singing that high soprano part. He says something to her; I forget what, but you hear what he says on the audio. When I'm in a bad mood I listen to this, and feel better.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:17 am

thekingtcb wrote:I wanted to inquire about the famous "laughing version" of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"? From what I can recall, he sang this version in August of 1969, at the International, during his first tour back since the '68 Comeback?


August 26, 1969, Midnight Show, at showroom of International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. :smt006

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:41 am

LAURAW wrote:I'e read about this many times and the most consistent story is Elvis started laughing at the bald guy that you mentioned and then tried to regain his composure, then lost it when one of the Sweet Inspirations was singing that high soprano part. He says something to her; I forget what, but you hear what he says on the audio. When I'm in a bad mood I listen to this, and feel better.


Millie Kirkham I believe is singing the high backing. Long time backing singer. Kathy Westmoreland took over from her when she left. Elvis says 'Sing it Baby'. I suspect he was just lost in a fit of giggles at that stage, and was clutching at anything to get back to form.

As to the reason Elvis started laughing.. I've heard numerous stories regarding baldness, and bald men, and wigs, in the audience, over the years. I could be wrong, but I think I've heard Elvis use a similar 'bald head' line in a different performance of Are You Lonesome Tonight, from around the same period. I don't have my CDs to hand just now so I can't check.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:42 pm

KevinK wrote:
LAURAW wrote:I'e read about this many times and the most consistent story is Elvis started laughing at the bald guy that you mentioned and then tried to regain his composure, then lost it when one of the Sweet Inspirations was singing that high soprano part. He says something to her; I forget what, but you hear what he says on the audio. When I'm in a bad mood I listen to this, and feel better.


Millie Kirkham I believe is singing the high backing. Long time backing singer. Kathy Westmoreland took over from her when she left. Elvis says 'Sing it Baby'. I suspect he was just lost in a fit of giggles at that stage, and was clutching at anything to get back to form.

As to the reason Elvis started laughing.. I've heard numerous stories regarding baldness, and bald men, and wigs, in the audience, over the years. I could be wrong, but I think I've heard Elvis use a similar 'bald head' line in a different performance of Are You Lonesome Tonight, from around the same period. I don't have my CDs to hand just now so I can't check.


Elvis sang the 'bald head' part during his August 12th 1970 M.S. performance. I love Elvis' vocal on this one:
phpBB [video]

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:09 pm

"Are you lonesome tonight?" actually "lost" it`s hair as early as 1961 :wink:

phpBB [video]



And again in 1968
(4:33)

phpBB [video]

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:33 pm

elvisa wrote:"Are you lonesome tonight?" actually "lost" it`s hair as early as 1961 :wink:

phpBB [video]



And again in 1968
(4:33)

phpBB [video]



And for the last time in Omaha in 1977. I won't add the clip to avoid EIC discussions, but it is out there...

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:03 pm

After the sublime studio master my favourite version. Helped me a lot of times to get out of a bad mood too.

I'll never forget hearing this version for the first time on a sunday morning on german radio in 1980, at the age of five. My dad taped it and wrote "Elvis laughs" on that cassette. I still recall the wonderful emotions I experienced back then. Precious memories.

In 1987 I finally bought the single, backed with "Beyond The Reef".

What do y'all think is the best audio quality for that performance? I still prefer the "original mix" as found on the single and the Elvis Aaron Presley box set.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:05 pm

The anti-Elvis man, radio personality Howard Stern played this years ago on his show trying to show just how stoned and out of it Elvis was in concert. Every fan knew this was not the case, but Stern's hatred for Elvis gave him a reason to degrade this performance as drugged and anti-professional. I will never understand how Lisa Marie went on his show after he moved to satellite radio. He has said some real nasty stuff about Elvis over the years. I never heard the LMP interview since I don't have satellite. Anyone know if he kissed her a@#?

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:51 pm

The best sources i found are .......

disc 3 of Collectors Gold
FTD "All Shook Up" [may be the best]
18 Uk No.1's Complete Singles Box [GREAT VALUE]
AND
HITSTORY 3CD SET ..........

Here for u, i reworked the FTD version ...

plus there is a version with a tad of FX on the vocal, because the FTD is very dry .......... enjoy ........

http://en.packupload.com/NA4LJZ0KL25

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:46 pm

Thanks for your effort dennyelvis, sounds good. Although the best sounding source, I never really cared too much for the dry sound on the "All Shook Up" FTD.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:07 pm

I heard it and I've enjoyed it. It's funny but for me, it's now an old joke I don't need to hear again. I would prefer one of the good, professional versions he did at this stint.

BTW, I'm pretty sure Millie Kirkham was not at this engagement. IIRC, she was a temporary fill in at the August 1970 stint only.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:12 pm

stevelecher wrote:BTW, I'm pretty sure Millie Kirkham was not at this engagement. IIRC, she was a temporary fill in at the August 1970 stint only.


That I did not know. Since seeing her in 'That's The Way It Is', I'd always assumed it was her from July '69 until Kathy Westmoreland took over.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:25 pm

Cissy Houston was the soprano singer for the '69 engagement from July 31 - August 28th.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:51 pm

I saw Lisa Marie on Howard Stern. He repeatedly talked about sleeping with her and her mother. She didn't react much, but I can't imagine why she went on that show. I can't comprehend why anyone does, though.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:22 am

Thank you all so much for all your find welcoming and insightful information! :D

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:00 am

Are You Lonesome Tonight is a great Elvis song...., in the studio, and some times on stage. The master studio version of this song is awesome! When Elvis sang it serious in concert it was a gem. For example, the 1969 live recordings, the version from "On Tour," and the version which I heard Elvis sing on 11/08/1971, were wonderful. I just can't understand why such a beautiful song, which Elvis could peform so well, was reduced to a comedic moment often in concert. The particular version in question on this thread may just have been spontaneous laughter, but there is a part of me which suspect's that it was less than spontaneous.

rlj

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:44 am

Just imagine what the results would have been like had Cissy been performing with Elvis on 6/19/77.

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:26 am

It is hard to believe that this ensemble was newly put together. It sounds aggressive and tight without sounding (over-)rehearsed. I like to think that the songs that were played this season was how Elvis wanted them to sound. To me, this was without a doubt his best season. It is comforting to think that Elvis was already changing lyrics of his songs early on in his career as documented on his various live recordings and Are You Lonesome Tonight? is no exception.

Rlj, what are you hinting at?

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:48 am

rlj4ep wrote:Are You Lonesome Tonight is a great Elvis song...., in the studio, and some times on stage. The master studio version of this song is awesome! When Elvis sang it serious in concert it was a gem. For example, the 1969 live recordings, the version from "On Tour," and the version which I heard Elvis sing on 11/08/1971, were wonderful. I just can't understand why such a beautiful song, which Elvis could peform so well, was reduced to a comedic moment often in concert. The particular version in question on this thread may just have been spontaneous laughter, but there is a part of me which suspect's that it was less than spontaneous.

rlj


"Less than spontaneous"? How can anyone fake that kind of laughter? Name one scene from the film of your choice, where any actor is broken up laughing like that? Crying might be easy to "fake," but laughter, that kind of laughter, is another kettle of fish.

But if you've ever seen it, I would like to see it.

rjm

Re: Laughing version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight"?

Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:07 am

I like very much the version (complete with the spoken part) from the Elvis on Tour movie (Hampton Roads?) and I dislike completely the 1977 routine version of the song performed with Charlie Hodge. This one is absolutely embarasing to watch or listen to it.