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Hawaiian Benefit 61 shows - Managerial Negligence??

Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:47 pm

Given that Elvis had secured a place in music history by 1961 and that he was the worlds biggest star surely it was managerial negligence not to document the Hawaiin Benefit shows on film and record?

Does this lack of astonishing managerial foresight mark the beginning of Col Parkers negligent management of Elvis’ career??

Consider that Elvis’ live performances had been televised with astonishing success and that the technology to document Elvis’ early benefit show was more than adequate by 1961.

Also consider that the launch of Elvis’ movie career was very successful and up until March 1961 of a high standard or quality.

Thoughts ??
Last edited by LesterB on Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Hawaiin Benefit 61 shows - Managerial Negligence??

Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:35 pm

LesterB wrote:Given that Elvis had secured a place in music history by 1961 and that he was the worlds biggest star surely it was managerial negligence not to document the Hawaiin Benefit shows on film and record?

Does this lack of astonishing managerial foresight mark the beginning of Col Parkers negligent management of Elvis’ career??

Consider that Elvis’ live performances had been televised with astonishing success and that the technology to document Elvis’ early benefit show was more than adequate by 1961.

Also consider that the launch of Elvis’ movie career was very successful and up until March 1961 of a high standard or quality.

Thoughts ??


No, it's a shame it was not recorded or filmed professionally, but I don't think its managerial negilgence. Remember, the Colonel tried to the picth to concert to NBC as a television special, but the technology just wasn't their yet to do what the Colonel wanted to do with it.

Should the show have been professionally recorded by RCA? Absolutely!! It would have been wise for them to record these and the 2 shows in Memphis. But, I am sure the Colonel, trying to limit how much product RCA had, nixed any chance of them recording the show.

Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:50 pm

Why did The Colonel not have Elvis in a movie with dinosaurs? They are very popular. He could have hired Raquel Welch as co-star.

Re: Hawaiin Benefit 61 shows - Managerial Negligence??

Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:52 pm

Mike C wrote:
LesterB wrote:Given that Elvis had secured a place in music history by 1961 and that he was the worlds biggest star surely it was managerial negligence not to document the Hawaiin Benefit shows on film and record?

Does this lack of astonishing managerial foresight mark the beginning of Col Parkers negligent management of Elvis’ career??

Consider that Elvis’ live performances had been televised with astonishing success and that the technology to document Elvis’ early benefit show was more than adequate by 1961.

Also consider that the launch of Elvis’ movie career was very successful and up until March 1961 of a high standard or quality.

Thoughts ??



Should the show have been professionally recorded by RCA? Absolutely!! It would have been wise for them to record these and the 2 shows in Memphis. But, I am sure the Colonel, trying to limit how much product RCA had, nixed any chance of them recording the show.


In other words, managerial negligence by Parker.

Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:09 pm

Just had a private message informing me Hawaiin is spelt Hawaiian -whoops didn't see that - although it does sound like that in South East London :D

Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:24 pm

Don't ever make that mistake again, Lester, or you're outta here for good! (Do people really send pm's over crap like that?)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:25 pm

Yeah, i noticed that but didnt wanna say anyfin', you know wha' i mean, being from Souf' London meself like'.

Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:47 pm

KHoots wrote:Don't ever make that mistake again, Lester, or you're outta here for good! (Do people really send pm's over crap like that?)


Thanks :lol: but I think the PM was to save a public dressing down :oops:

However - I am a little disappointed that SPELLBINDER didnt pull me up on that :(

Re: Hawaiian Benefit 61 shows - Managerial Negligence??

Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:06 pm

LesterB wrote:Given that Elvis had secured a place in music history by 1961 and that he was the worlds biggest star surely it was managerial negligence not to document the Hawaiin Benefit shows on film and record?

Does this lack of astonishing managerial foresight mark the beginning of Col Parkers negligent management of Elvis’ career??

Consider that Elvis’ live performances had been televised with astonishing success and that the technology to document Elvis’ early benefit show was more than adequate by 1961.

Also consider that the launch of Elvis’ movie career was very successful and up until March 1961 of a high standard or quality.

Thoughts ??


Agree, but let's get the big picture here..
It's a complete management failure RCA didn't record a single Elvis concert in the 50s (and early 60s)

To me it's a mystery Elvis' management didn't see the big opportunity to capture a groundbreaking event such as an Elvis concert in the 50's..

Cheers, RJ

Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:13 pm

It is easy in hindsight to look back at events and concerts that should have been filmed and recorded. But at the time, these were a couple of benefit concerts. No one knew that Elvis would not perform in concert for over 8 years and that he would never perform with that fantastic band again. So there was no real pressing reason to document those gigs. Parker even wanted RCA to back a large-scale concert tour of America in the 60s which unfortunately did not materialize. So it isn't like Parker had already planned to keep Elvis off the concert stage after 1961.

Secondly, live recordings were tricky back in 1961. Live albums which are known today were almost unheard of in contemporary music/Rock N Roll in the early 60's. Sam Cooke and Otis Redding recorded some live albums a couple years later, but the sound wasn't overly stellar. A lot of Jazz artists were recording live albums, but these were recorded in clubs. Setting up the proper microphone system in large auditoriums/venues for recording purposes would have been a much more complicated and uncertain undertaking. Granted it would have been nice to have some sort of professional recording of one of these benefit shows, but it isn't like Parker and/or RCA dropped the ball.

Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:16 pm

To me it's a mystery Elvis' management didn't see the big opportunity to capture a groundbreaking event such as an Elvis concert in the 50's..


It is doubtful that anyone ever thought an Elvis concert was a groundbreaking event back in the 1950's. He was seen as a fad and a musical/cultural phenomenon, not a legendary and historic figure.

Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:54 pm

Colonel wanted a concert tour in 1962, thta's why only 2 pictures were made, to acomodate the tour, that would have taken place in september-december. Thta's why Guralnik says in his book

Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:02 pm

LesterB wrote:
KHoots wrote:Don't ever make that mistake again, Lester, or you're outta here for good! (Do people really send pm's over crap like that?)


Thanks :lol: but I think the PM was to save a public dressing down :oops:

However - I am a little disappointed that SPELLBINDER didnt pull me up on that :(


I assumed it was just a typo and I don't correct typos.

Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:46 pm

LesterB wrote:Just had a private message informing me Hawaiin is spelt Hawaiian -whoops didn't see that - although it does sound like that in South East London :D


I saw a letter from Elvis once where he spelt it wrong !

Re: Hawaiian Benefit 61 shows - Managerial Negligence??

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:24 am

LesterB wrote:Given that Elvis had secured a place in music history by 1961 and that he was the worlds biggest star surely it was managerial negligence not to document the Hawaiin Benefit shows on film and record?

You're making a lot of assumptions.

In March 1961, Elvis' career was not even 7 years old, and that includes almost 24 months off for army duty. "Rock and roll" did not have the secure and honored spot in society it does now, so virtually no one thought about their "place" in its history, least of all Presley's management.

And in 1961, concert documentaries were few and far between. Who knew there might be an audience for such a thing? Again, certainly not Presley's management.

Tom Parker and his cronies had many flaws, one of the biggest being their "make the money now" ideology. There was never much thought towards the future, and it's likely Parker still found rock a "fad" that might die out in a few months.

All that said, it's possible that some of the concert was filmed by local media, or even by the U.S. Navy. And the entire show exists on tape, albeit in average quality. The FTD release might improve the experience somewhat -- that's something to look forward to!

Re: Hawaiian Benefit 61 shows - Managerial Negligence??

Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:02 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
LesterB wrote:Given that Elvis had secured a place in music history by 1961 and that he was the worlds biggest star surely it was managerial negligence not to document the Hawaiin Benefit shows on film and record?

You're making a lot of assumptions.

In March 1961, Elvis' career was not even 7 years old, and that includes almost 24 months off for army duty. "Rock and roll" did not have the secure and honored spot in society it does now, so virtually no one thought about their "place" in its history, least of all Presley's management.

And in 1961, concert documentaries were few and far between. Who knew there might be an audience for such a thing? Again, certainly not Presley's management.

Tom Parker and his cronies had many flaws, one of the biggest being their "make the money now" ideology. There was never much thought towards the future, and it's likely Parker still found rock a "fad" that might die out in a few months.

All that said, it's possible that some of the concert was filmed by local media, or even by the U.S. Navy. And the entire show exists on tape, albeit in average quality. The FTD release might improve the experience somewhat -- that's something to look forward to!


Dr, John, I am surprised you didn't touch on the fact the Colonel tried selling a TV special around the show to NBC in early 1961, as noted in Guralnick's "Careless Love."

Re: Hawaiian Benefit 61 shows - Managerial Negligence??

Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:47 am

Mike C wrote:Dr, John, I am surprised you didn't touch on the fact the Colonel tried selling a TV special around the show to NBC in early 1961, as noted in Guralnick's "Careless Love."

Mainly because it never got past the idea stage, whereas Parker's direct and concerted interest in a TV special took hold begining in 1965.

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:03 pm

I think everyone has some very interesting and valid points.

I think the fact that a 50s concert wasn't recorded is more than understandable (reasons covered in this thread) but is a terrible shame.

Given the massive impact that Elvis had in the USA during 56 -58 - namely the speed at which records sold, the sheer amount of hit records in such a short period of time, record breaking TV appearances, audience hysteria surpassing Sinatra’s audience, hit films and the triumphant return from the army - it can argued maybe stated as fact? that up until that point in history nobody had made such a successful career debut. Therefore his place in history was secured might be reasonable?

So by the time we get to the beginning of 1961 surely the expense of filming and recording just one of the concerts and somehow making a profit from them was a no-brainer - especially if your job is to manage the biggest star in the world.

There can be no doubt now with the luxury of looking back in time that Elvis' career management ended up as negligent.

Elvis addiction to drugs can be dated back to his army days - fact. In the same way can we date the birth of Elvis’ career managerial negligence from not documenting these 1961 concerts or does it start with, say, Kissin' Cousins?

Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:43 pm

Fact is, 65,000 people sitting in a stadium know better how to play football than the 22 players and 1 referee actually playing the game.
Or 50,000,000 million Elvis fans know better how to manage Elvis than the man who made him a worldwide star.......

Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:03 pm

Luuk wrote:Fact is, 65,000 people sitting in a stadium know better how to play football than the 22 players and 1 referee actually playing the game.
Or 50,000,000 million Elvis fans know better how to manage Elvis than the man who made him a worldwide star.......


I do like these comparisons because they are very effective at making a point. However, I could not disagree more with this statement - let me start off with why did Parker not make anyone a worlwide star before of after Elvis.

Without Elvis nobody would have heard of Parker - without Parker everyone still would have heard of Elvis. Surely the fact that Elvis did not do a European Tour after the army is actual CRIMINAL managerial negligence.

Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:06 pm

I think that Elvis would still have been as big, if not bigger, if Hank Snow would have managed Elvis.
That is what Hank Snow wanted to do but Parker, who worked for Hank, got to Elvis first.

Hank certainly would have let Elvis perform outside of the US,which is without a doubt, the biggest mistake that Parker ever did by keeping him performing the same old tours , year after year, in the US.

Not only was it CRIMINAL managerial negligence not performing outside of the US but it would have stopped Elvis from passing away at such a young age,i believe.

Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:33 pm

Who did Hank Snow ever manage? Saying that Snow would have been a more effective manager is quite a stretch. It is hard to argue that anyone could have managed Elvis better in the 1950's than Parker. Whether fans want to admit it or not, Parker was a pioneer of contemporary music/rock music management back in the 1950's. Not that he was the only guy that influenced future managers and business arrangements, but he did play an important role in how music management developed. Yes, Elvis would have "made it" without Parker, but it is impossible to truly speculate as to how is career would have materialized. The real flaws in Parker's management philosophies became apparent in the early-1960's and by the mid-1960's is was obvious Elvis needed new direction and guidance.

Parker never told Elvis he couldn't tour oversees. He didn't want Elvis to do it and made it seem very unappealing and difficult. He certainly contributed to the decision. But ultimately, Elvis could have demanded a tour of Europe/Asia if he really wanted to do it. Everyone knows Elvis' weaknesses and insecurities. Elvis didn't tour oversees because of Elvis. And in the end, Parker had contacted Peter Grant about overseeing a tour of Europe for Elvis in 1978, so Parker was aware that it was a step that needed to be taken. Of course, it is hard to imagine Elvis being in the proper physical and emotional condition to embark on such a tour in 1978, had he survived.

Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:47 pm

I do agree that Parker was the best manager for Elvis in the 50's and i also agree that Elvis should have got rid of him in the mid-60's.

Parker was a very clever man and had total control over Elvis and could pull any stunt to pursuade Elvis to do what he wanted.

Elvis did what he was told by Parker.Elvis never toured overseas because of Parker.

Yes, there was rumour that a World Tour was gonna happen in 1978 but what Elvis needed was a couple of years rest instead of that.

Parker was losing millions of dollars in the Vegas casinos which is why he convinced Elvis to take 50% of Elvis's earnings towards the end of his life.

A ridiculous percentage.

Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:50 pm

Granted - Parkers management in the 50s was revolutionary but soon afterwards any other manager could have done the job as well.

Elvis didn't tour europe because of Parker - Parker could have easily got a passport - so why didn't he - another topic covered previously. Either way Elvis not touring outside the USA was criminal managerial negligence - :evil: :D

Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:01 pm

LesterB wrote:Granted - Parkers management in the 50s was revolutionary but soon afterwards any other manager could have done the job as well.

Elvis didn't tour europe because of Parker - Parker could have easily got a passport - so why didn't he - another topic covered previously. Either way Elvis not touring outside the USA was criminal managerial negligence - :evil: :D


Absolutely- I dont think anyone would disagree with that.

After the Mid-60's, Elvis's career should have been DIF-FER-ANT!!!!!

Maybe Sam Philips should have taken over from Parker. :wink: