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

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:03 am

I've always regarded The Impossible Dream as an odd choice to perform at MSG.Personally I wsh he never would have touched it.Elvis was still a vibrant and relevant artist at the time.I think that song just didn't suit him.To me it's like Elvis is cruising along and hits a speed bump.Not a bad song if you're Goulet or Jack Jones.Not for the King at the Garden in 72.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:18 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:For the many here who fail to see the manner in which Las Vegas shaped Elvis' musical world, and not for the better, I have found an apt example. No doubt the same minority will find some reason to besmirch my effort, but it is no matter. In the end, the truth always prevails.


Elvis - 1950s (pre-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (January 1958 studio master)


Elvis - 1960s (pre-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (June 1968 live vocal over studio backing track)


Elvis - 1970s (post-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (August 1973 live performance)


The aesthetic has completely changed. In the '70s, Vegas arrangements rule.

Case closed.


Not at all. Presley was nearing 40 by the time of the last Trouble, and his rebel image had disappeared in 1960. That Binder managed to resurrect it for the Comeback is all credit to him, but even in that show Elvis was playing to the crowd. He was no more a rebel in the 68 Comeback than Perry Como. He may be playing the rebel, with his leather suit and his snarl to the camera in the opening number, but it's all play by this point - as his asides during the sit down shows, and self-deprecating humour throughout the programme shows. Rebels don't make a joke about themselves. Presley had yet to play Vegas (except for 1956) and yet the gospel medley, and even the road medley, was full of the various elements people have cited as "Vegas".

As Greg states:

I don't buy the rock world critique of MOR acts, Las Vegas or even Elvis. That is a legitimate perspective
but ultimately one of many.


In other words, there is no right or wrong here, just opinions of what is and isn't good, and opinions of what songs were and were not right for Elvis - and yet we still see the Doc trawling out those favourite words of his "truth", "fact", "reality". There is the constant insinuation that his own view is based on more knowledge or is somehow more credible than those who take an opposing view.

As for your research, you really don't need to spend an hour trawling through your Engelbert collection to tell us what songs he and Elvis shared. Most of us already know, and many of us, frankly, don't care. It adds nothing to your argument whatsoever - not least because we know Elvis got his inspiration for his versions from other people. He recorded half a dozen songs that Duke Ellington recorded, but unless he was influenced by those recordings, or based his own versions on those recordings, it doesn't matter.

If anyone wants to look for Engelbert's influence just check out half a dozen tracks on Love Letters, an album which was actually made to sound like a Humperdinck record due to the overdubs. But for the most part, Elvis sang songs his way. Other than Jones's version of Lovin' Feelin' being a solo rendition, there is really very little in common with Presleys own version. He sure as hell didn't base his version on it. And the same goes for Danny Boy. Jones singing it is a coincidence. There is nothing remotely linking his version to Presley's. And the same can be said for most others on your list. You state that Elvis returning to Love Letters in 1970 was somehow linked to Engelbert, when it's well known that he did so as a concession to Briggs.

You seem to be so busy trying to prove that what you are saying is a truth rather than an opinion that you have lost all sight of what actually matters within your argument.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:29 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Speaking of horn sections, many hear "Vegas" when they hear horn sections but many a legit R&B / soul and
blues acts added horns in the '60s and '70s (often to excess, I'll admit) but it seems one more way to dismiss a whole era / genre / and sensibility.

Yes they did. But how they were used them is an important factor here. Many R&B/soul artists used the horns as an integral part of their music that was often used delicately and subtlely as a crucial element of the music as important as the guitars, drums and piano. The way Guerico used horns was too amplify and "punch up" songs that really didn't need any horns or never had horn parts to begin with.

I have never said that Elvis' show was completely Vegas or schlock--but certain areas. Guerico could have easily gone too far with the Vegas fanfare but he obviously chose specifically places to insert it, leaving many of the older stuff ("Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel", "All Shook Up," etc...) for the TCB band to take care of by themselves. So things could have been much worse.

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Justin: as with many people who dismiss "Las Vegas" (to me, I think of the great Sammy Davis, Jr.; Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, etc.), they throw around
words like "cheesy" but what they really mean is that they either just don't like it, don't know it, etc.

It's simply a different sound and sort of music. Name some of your favorite acts: I'm sure I could figure out a way to say they "stink" of Deep Purple,
or Kurt Cobain or "Rush" or whatever it is you champion. It strkes me as a generational issue, as well, and usually a bit of a cheap-shot.

I'm a Frank Sinatra fan so it's not like I've not been exposed to the "Vegas" sound before. Frank and his orchestra use the big sound to their advantage, with more care and focus. Guerico's use of the horns, I feel, was lazy and completely optional.. He used them very superficially: just to be showy--which is obviously the very root of Las Vegas: an excuse to be showy. It's hard to defend these musical choices when it was never for the benefit of the music but rather the attempt to manufacture enthusiasm because of the venue/environment. There is a difference between writing music parts for the song and writing parts for the stage.

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I rather like Elvis' cover of "Impossible Dream" but I agree he was probably barking up the wrong tree. But he pulled it off. Especially in NYC, as the
show otherwise is very well-paced, exciting and samples a lot of his legacy, as opposed to the more ballad-heavy, recital-like ALOHA in '73.

He does a fine job, no doubt. But as I revisit the MSG shows with these new amazing sets, I'm seeing things slightly clearer than before. With the wonderful commentary on the DVD and booklet by Lenny Kaye, he reminds us just how important this event was for Elvis--and New York City. 1972 was a prime year for rock and roll and there's no denying that Elvis was one of many legendary acts to pass through the legendary Madison Square Garden. No doubt the thousands of rock and roll fans that poured into MSG thought the very same thing and had certain expectations. It's not a huge deal where I am dismissing Elvis but there is no need to get huffy if someone labels portions of Elvis' show as "Vegas schlock." Parts of it were.

jak wrote:I've always regarded The Impossible Dream as an odd choice to perform at MSG.Personally I wsh he never would have touched it.Elvis was still a vibrant and relevant artist at the time.I think that song just didn't suit him.To me it's like Elvis is cruising along and hits a speed bump.Not a bad song if you're Goulet or Jack Jones.Not for the King at the Garden in 72.

+1

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:11 am

was engelbert and tom as big in the vegas years 70's as Elvis??

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:16 am

To class Vegas as "an excuse to be showy" simply shows a viewpoint which is no less ridiculous than someone on here saying heavy metal is "an excuse to be noisy". That some performers "put on a show" when performing shouldn't be held against them. If you think that of Vegas, what do you think of the arena tours that music artists do now with their huge set, laser shows etc? Or the rock acts that elongate a song by some five or ten minutes when on stage through unncessarily long guitar solos etc? Surely that's just being showy? Or a jazz singer scatting their way through 20 choruses of How High The Moon? That's being showy too. Singers are meant to perform and to entertain. As Sammy Davis said, "if you just want to hear me sing, buy my records". In other words, there is more to being on stage than singing. Sadly we don't have performers any more, we simply have singers for the most part. Not every singer needs to take themselves so damned seriously.

How about the slow burlesque ending of Hound Dog on the Milton Berle Show? That was an excuse to be showy too.

Many people in the 50s and 60s and 70s went to Vegas to perform, and many of them kept their credibility. To suggest that the jazz singers and people like Sinatra went there and somehow titivated their act to make it more showy is a ludicrous suggestion, and yet you are suggesting that kind of thing was happening. Sinatra's show didn't change no matter where he performed - whether it was Vegas or the Royal Albert Hall. Sure, he might have chatted a bit more in Vegas, or been a bit more informal - but that's all. The differences are minute (the 1974 tours are an exception to the rule). Bobby Darin performed the same show in Vegas as he did elsewhere, with his act invariably ending with an acoustic folk section. Anyone would think that every performer in Vegas had shows with long legged dancers strutting their stuff behind the singer. Many performed there and kept their integrity completely.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:26 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:For the many here who fail to see the manner in which Las Vegas shaped Elvis' musical world, and not for the better, I have found an apt example. No doubt the same minority will find some reason to besmirch my effort, but it is no matter. In the end, the truth always prevails.


Elvis - 1950s (pre-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (January 1958 studio master)


Elvis - 1960s (pre-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (June 1968 live vocal over studio backing track)


Elvis - 1970s (post-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (August 1973 live performance)


The aesthetic has completely changed. In the '70s, Vegas arrangements rule.

Case closed.

I understand what you're saying here and I agree. And I don't think the '73 performance is an improvement over the '68 performance nor is the '68 recording an improvement over the 1958 studio master. But, a comment I would make in regard to the these three examples is: Isn't this what made Elvis Presley more interesting, unique and entertaining than any other performer?

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:39 am

elvis-fan wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:For the many here who fail to see the manner in which Las Vegas shaped Elvis' musical world, and not for the better, I have found an apt example. No doubt the same minority will find some reason to besmirch my effort, but it is no matter. In the end, the truth always prevails.


Elvis - 1950s (pre-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (January 1958 studio master)


Elvis - 1960s (pre-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (June 1968 live vocal over studio backing track)


Elvis - 1970s (post-Vegas entrenchment)

phpBB [video]


"Trouble" (August 1973 live performance)


The aesthetic has completely changed. In the '70s, Vegas arrangements rule.

Case closed.

I understand what you're saying here and I agree. And I don't think the '73 performance is an improvement over the '68 performance nor is the '68 recording an improvement over the 1958 studio master. But, a comment I would make in regard to the these three examples is: Isn't this what made Elvis Presley more interesting, unique and entertaining than any other performer?

Thanks for agreeing. You are a wise man.

To answer your rhetorical query -- well, in regards to the 1958 and 1968 performances, yes indeed.

And I would argue his vocal on "Trouble" in 1968 cannot be beat.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:46 am

Justin, you make some fine points and I can agree about Guercio a bit.

But I grew up hearing live '70s Elvis and have a lot of fondness for all eras, so my memories surely
affect any deeper critique. I am a "glass half-full" kind of guy - especially when it comes to someone
who brought so much joy to this fan and others.

But I like 'Peter's rebuttal as well. Well said.( "You are a wise man," right?). The excesses of rock and punk
and rap get a free generational pass with some exceptions, but casual dismissals of a prior generation's
pop music still somehow is supposed to be an automatic high-five commentary.

'Peter wrote (earlier):
"Elvis didn't become "schlocky Vegas", he took what he wanted from it: the sense of the theatrical and the showmanship (as Greystoke said on the My Way thread), and he added it into the huge melting pot of styles and genres that already made up his music and live shows. Presley's Never Been To Spain isn't Vegas, it is Vegas and rock and gospel and blues. All in one. And that's something which is not true of performances of that or similar songs by Humperdinck or Wayne Newton, for example."


Excellent point, as well. I haven't had a chance to watch all those clips, but there are a lot of cringe-worthy moments to go around from the '60s and '70s even among critical darlings. At their best, Jones and Humperdink were quite moving and even beautiful vocalists.

I also like that we have a broad group of eras and templates to enjoy Elvis. I accept his '70s voice and even his
'70s arrangements. I don't expect it to be 1958 in '68 or '77. Surely we know which version is best but
why try to pin this down repeatedly?

How about we post about 5 or 6 absurdly showy , "cheesy," examples from those worlds of rock, grunge, punk, hip hop, etc? They exist but it's easier to pick on a genre that's long faded and with a fan base that's long gone or very aged
with present company excepted.

It's an extension of the same old "bully-boy let's put down 1977" over and over that has made FECC (at its most repetitive and worst) so hard for many fans to stomach.
Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:07 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:It's an extension of the same old "bully-boy let's put down 1977" over and over that has made FECC (at its most repetitive and worst) so hard for many fans to stomach.

Oh, please.

Nothing could be further from reality, but if intelligent discourse makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you should rethink whether you wish to be here.

And speaking of your lament of "bully-boy" attitude, you entered this topic doing exactly that.

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:You have obviously never seen a major artist perform in Las Vegas. It is artistic death. Period.



And the Wizard has spoken.... :lol:


Be careful in that glass house.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:36 am

That's rich, Doc. You found me out: "intelligent discourse" makes me head for the hills. And your passive aggressive reference to thinking about whether I should be here is laughable. I regularly praise what's right about FECC (including you at your best) but reserve the right to note this trend - and I'm not the first.

You regularly ride anyone who doesn't share your opinion on music. The forum would benefit from you
finally realizing that you're not the only "intelligent Elvis" fan with a deep musical knowledge and that we all come at it form different angles and perspectives.

My wizard comment surely referred (at the very least) to your attempt make broad declarations that we are supposed to accept
as the Wisdom. To me, you're just another Elvis fan (of a score of intelligent and well-verseed ones, at that) who is sitting at a computer, writing what he thinks that or that should be. I'm just as interested in what Kylan, Curtis Simpkins, or Minkahed, or for that matter, Rob, have to say as the West Coast Elvis Oracle.

Serously, your contributions are apparent as is your deep knowledge and commitment to Elvis Scholardom. But this lofty attitude? It's not worth it.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:48 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:or for that matter, Rob, have to say.....

What are you trying to say?

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:40 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:That's rich, Doc. You found me out: "intelligent discourse" makes me head for the hills. And your passive aggressive reference to thinking about whether I should be here is laughable. I regularly praise what's right about FECC (including you at your best) but reserve the right to note this trend - and I'm not the first.

You regularly ride anyone who doesn't share your opinion on music. The forum would benefit from you finally realizing that you're not the only "intelligent Elvis" fan with a deep musical knowledge and that we all come at it form different angles and perspectives.

My wizard comment surely referred (at the very least) to your attempt make broad declarations that we are supposed to accept as the Wisdom. To me, you're just another Elvis fan (of a score of intelligent and well-verseed ones, at that) who is sitting at a computer, writing what he thinks that or that should be. I'm just as interested in what Kylan, Curtis Simpkins, or Minkahed, or for that matter, Rob, have to say as the West Coast Elvis Oracle.

More falsehoods, mischaracterizations, spin and put-downs -- I must have really pushed a button.

Really, give it a rest. I don't appreciate it a-tall.

And I can only imagine how bad Rob feels to be lumped in with Kylan and Curtis Simpkins.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:53 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:. . . And your passive aggressive reference to thinking about whether I should be here is laughable.
You regularly ride anyone who doesn't share your opinion on music.
My wizard comment surely referred (at the very least) to your attempt make broad declarations that we are supposed to accept as the Wisdom. To me, you're just another Elvis fan . . .

drjohncarpenter wrote:. . . I don't appreciate it a-tall.


phpBB [video]

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:07 am

It's what you do when you're not at your best, Doc: push buttons, constantly.

The Claude Rains routine afterwords, however, is comedy gold.

As for the beloved Rob, he must surely know that was all in jest.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:20 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:It's ...

Enough with the mischaracterizations and put-downs, although that seems to be what you do.

Either post on-topic -- as I have done several times already -- or move on.

Thank you.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:23 am

Doc: you just hate to be called on anything. How about YOU give it a rest?

You seem unable to process the notion that others might have another point of view on
this and other subjects.

I've asked you to acknowledge that your point of view on '70s Elvis and "Vegas" might
encompass those with a different vantage point. That's totally on-topic.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:31 am

Case closed. Thanks Peter and Gregory. Period.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:35 am

poormadpeter wrote:To class Vegas as "an excuse to be showy" simply shows a viewpoint which is no less ridiculous than someone on here saying heavy metal is "an excuse to be noisy". That some performers "put on a show" when performing shouldn't be held against them. If you think that of Vegas, what do you think of the arena tours that music artists do now with their huge set, laser shows etc? Or the rock acts that elongate a song by some five or ten minutes when on stage through unncessarily long guitar solos etc? Surely that's just being showy? Or a jazz singer scatting their way through 20 choruses of How High The Moon? That's being showy too. Singers are meant to perform and to entertain. As Sammy Davis said, "if you just want to hear me sing, buy my records". In other words, there is more to being on stage than singing. Sadly we don't have performers any more, we simply have singers for the most part. Not every singer needs to take themselves so damned seriously.

How about the slow burlesque ending of Hound Dog on the Milton Berle Show? That was an excuse to be showy too.

Many people in the 50s and 60s and 70s went to Vegas to perform, and many of them kept their credibility. To suggest that the jazz singers and people like Sinatra went there and somehow titivated their act to make it more showy is a ludicrous suggestion, and yet you are suggesting that kind of thing was happening. Sinatra's show didn't change no matter where he performed - whether it was Vegas or the Royal Albert Hall. Sure, he might have chatted a bit more in Vegas, or been a bit more informal - but that's all. The differences are minute (the 1974 tours are an exception to the rule). Bobby Darin performed the same show in Vegas as he did elsewhere, with his act invariably ending with an acoustic folk section. Anyone would think that every performer in Vegas had shows with long legged dancers strutting their stuff behind the singer. Many performed there and kept their integrity completely.


This is quite the trenchant point, particularly about the modern superstar rock n' r&b shows. Everything that Elvis did in the 1970s is now the accepted norm- trebled. Many acts put on such a spectacle that they even choose to lip synch because the act is so elaborate. Even the merchandising that made Elvis' shows sometimes seem a little cheap is by far the norm now. It's not a superstar concert experience without the obligatory t-shirt to commemorate the experience.

To your other point, rock culture in the 1960s and early 1970s created kind of a phony standard of authenticity as if wearing torn jeans was somehow more authentic than dressing to please the audience. It, of course, is just as much as a show as gold lame' tuxedo. Hey Led Zeppelin, you're millionaires, wearing torn jeans doesn't put you on the same ground as your audience. See if they kick out the TV screens in their hotels, they would be out a month's pay. But oh yes because you have the jeans on, you're still living the same life.

The irony of irony with Elvis is that he did the rock aesthetic which is to do your own thing and he gets condemned for it. The rock fans want him to repeat the same formula into the ground. Instead he mixed up. Why can't Elvis stay the same why the Beatles put out such non-rocking numbers as "Eleanor Rigby," "Yesterday," etc. Why is it growth with them, regression with Elvis? It's a double standard perpetuated in arguably the most self-important era in rock criticism.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:10 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
ML4EP wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:They have a lot to do with each other, actually.

The arrangements are very close, especially the interplay between Tom and the Blossoms, quite similar to Elvis' version with the Sweets.

Some of Tom's vocal lines are echoed on the Elvis renditions.

Tom's is the first solo male vocal approach to the song in more than three years. Elvis paid close attention to things his friend did on record or in concert.

Hope this helps.

Note: The video you present is from the final episode of "This Is Tom Jones," which aired in March 1971 (UK) and September 1971 (US). His studio recording, as noted, pre-dates Elvis' by nearly a year.

phpBB [video]



Actually it doesn't help at all. If indeed this is March 1971 then any similarites are Tom copying Elvis not the other way around. Tom's musical arrangement is VERY similar to the Righteous Brothers, in fact as presented it's a little too tepid for my taste--there are alot of things Tom does well, this isn't one of them. Elvis' version is a very ballsy, in your face presentation. From the opening thunder of Jerry Scheff's bass line they are as different as night and day. One is asking "do you think we'll be having intercourse this evening," the other is asking "do you wanna F@#$?" Attitude is everything...

You are not paying attention.

Tom was performing this song in concert around the end of 1969, and released his studio version on an April 1970 LP.


700400_PAS 71037_Tom.JPG
Tom Jones, Tom (Parrot PAS 71037, April 1970)
Billboard US Pop #6, May 30, 1970.


The album was another big success, making Billboard US Pop #6 in May 1970. Presley could not have missed the effect this single male vocal version had on the audience, either through TV viewing or seeing a show. And he likely had the LP as well. Elvis' August 1970 recording was issued near the end of the year. You have an unsophisticated ear to miss the similarities in the two arrangements.

Again, the point is that Elvis absorbed both indirectly and directly the influence of Las Vegas stalwarts Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. The evidence is undeniable and overwhelming. And for those who rightfully believe that Elvis spending thousands of hours in Las Vegas doing hundreds of shows was detrimental to his unique artistry, this is simply more fuel for the fire.


Unsophisticated ear my ass. Jones version opens almost exactly as the Righteous Brothers, Elvis does not, period. The bridge to both are different, period. Tom Jones sounds like a purring Saturday morning cartoon in the beginning of the song, Elvis doesn't. That was always one of the biggest knocks against Jones is that some of his performances are silly for a grown ass man. I don't care how much research, blood, sweat tears you put into your argument, I'm not buying your doctoral dissertation...your opinion is just that, opinion and conjecture. However; I seem to recall your gushing over someone's post here in a song by song review of the Aug 12th 1970 midnight show, where the writer glowingly referred to YLTLF as a powehouse, etc, Polk Salad Annie as the first orgasm, Suspicious Minds as the second. What happened since then...we're talking about the same song/performance. Elvis did record some songs he should not have, that's a fact. Lots of albumn filler here and there to meet his contract requirements. I personally do not care for The Impossible Dream, I think Bridge or How Great would have been a much better fit for his MSG shows. But he may have also been trying to showcase he is not a one trick pony and can cover different genres, thus a nod to Broadway. Somebody else mentioned Steamroller Blues...IMHO Elvis' version of Steamroller is awesome! Very powerfully done, whereas James Taylor's original sounds like a stoned folk singer on a bad LSD trip. James is a talented man, but that's one song of his I have never liked. What does Charlie Watts do when he isn't playing with the Stones...plays jazz doesn't he? How dare him!! He sold out too, I guess.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:29 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:But I grew up hearing live '70s Elvis and have a lot of fondness for all eras, so my memories surely
affect any deeper critique. I am a "glass half-full" kind of guy - especially when it comes to someone
who brought so much joy to this fan and others.


So did I 8)

poormadpeter wrote:To class Vegas as "an excuse to be showy" simply shows a viewpoint which is no less ridiculous than someone on here saying heavy metal is "an excuse to be noisy". That some performers "put on a show" when performing shouldn't be held against them. If you think that of Vegas, what do you think of the arena tours that music artists do now with their huge set, laser shows etc? Or the rock acts that elongate a song by some five or ten minutes when on stage through unncessarily long guitar solos etc? Surely that's just being showy? Or a jazz singer scatting their way through 20 choruses of How High The Moon? That's being showy too. Singers are meant to perform and to entertain. As Sammy Davis said, "if you just want to hear me sing, buy my records". In other words, there is more to being on stage than singing. Sadly we don't have performers any more, we simply have singers for the most part. Not every singer needs to take themselves so damned seriously.

How about the slow burlesque ending of Hound Dog on the Milton Berle Show? That was an excuse to be showy too.

Many people in the 50s and 60s and 70s went to Vegas to perform, and many of them kept their credibility. To suggest that the jazz singers and people like Sinatra went there and somehow titivated their act to make it more showy is a ludicrous suggestion, and yet you are suggesting that kind of thing was happening. Sinatra's show didn't change no matter where he performed - whether it was Vegas or the Royal Albert Hall. Sure, he might have chatted a bit more in Vegas, or been a bit more informal - but that's all. The differences are minute (the 1974 tours are an exception to the rule). Bobby Darin performed the same show in Vegas as he did elsewhere, with his act invariably ending with an acoustic folk section. Anyone would think that every performer in Vegas had shows with long legged dancers strutting their stuff behind the singer. Many performed there and kept their integrity completely.


This back and forth with you is so tedious but since you insist on focusing on these details thereby ignoring the bigger ideas just so you could ramble on and on...let's continue then....

Go back and read what I had to say about Sinatra and his use of his musicians. I make it completely clear how different Sinatra used his orchestra during a show compared to how Guerico used them. It was an integral part of Frank's music that was written for the song. Guerico's parts were written for the stage. Can't recognize the difference?

Peter, we will never see eye to eye on this. You are unable to look at this with any kind of unbiased eye since most of the music you love contain these ingredients anyway: grand arrangements containing horns and string instruments. You take great offense when I say that parts of Elvis' show were in fact cheesy/schlocky because you equate that to think that I'm knocking all your favorite jazz/Vocal-pop artists that you love such as Sinatra or Darin. Truth is, each artist have a specific set of rules to follow that they themselves had set. You may wish to ignore genres but they exist for a reason. Sinatra, Martin and Darin (and then Tom Jones) all have created a specific sound that they all followed. It was there since the beginning of their careers and never went away. You make it sound like in 1956 Elvis' big hit was "Witchcraft" or "Lady is A Tramp" and that his gradual move into the Vegas/MOR sound was natural. I suppose you also thought his Olivia Newton-John covers later in his career were also top shelf stuff?

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:41 pm

Justin wrote:This back and forth with you is so tedious but since you insist on focusing on these details thereby ignoring the bigger ideas just so you could ramble on and on...let's continue then....

I feel your pain. ;-)

Justin wrote:Go back and read what I had to say about Sinatra and his use of his musicians. I make it completely clear how different Sinatra used his orchestra during a show compared to how Guerico used them. It was an integral part of Frank's music that was written for the song. Guerico's parts were written for the stage. Can't recognize the difference?

Peter, we will never see eye to eye on this. You are unable to look at this with any kind of unbiased eye since most of the music you love contain these ingredients anyway: grand arrangements containing horns and string instruments. You take great offense when I say that parts of Elvis' show were in fact cheesy/schlocky because you equate that to think that I'm knocking all your favorite jazz/Vocal-pop artists that you love such as Sinatra or Darin. Truth is, each artist have a specific set of rules to follow that they themselves had set. You may wish to ignore genres but they exist for a reason. Sinatra, Martin and Darin (and then Tom Jones) all have created a specific sound that they all followed. It was there since the beginning of their careers and never went away. You make it sound like in 1956 Elvis' big hit was "Witchcraft" or "Lady is A Tramp" and that his gradual move into the Vegas/MOR sound was natural. I suppose you also thought his Olivia Newton-John covers later in his career were also top shelf stuff?

Another razor-sharp post, helping to put a lid on all the bs we're seeing on this topic!

Thank you.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:03 pm

Justin wrote:
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:But I grew up hearing live '70s Elvis and have a lot of fondness for all eras, so my memories surely
affect any deeper critique. I am a "glass half-full" kind of guy - especially when it comes to someone
who brought so much joy to this fan and others.


So did I 8)

poormadpeter wrote:To class Vegas as "an excuse to be showy" simply shows a viewpoint which is no less ridiculous than someone on here saying heavy metal is "an excuse to be noisy". That some performers "put on a show" when performing shouldn't be held against them. If you think that of Vegas, what do you think of the arena tours that music artists do now with their huge set, laser shows etc? Or the rock acts that elongate a song by some five or ten minutes when on stage through unncessarily long guitar solos etc? Surely that's just being showy? Or a jazz singer scatting their way through 20 choruses of How High The Moon? That's being showy too. Singers are meant to perform and to entertain. As Sammy Davis said, "if you just want to hear me sing, buy my records". In other words, there is more to being on stage than singing. Sadly we don't have performers any more, we simply have singers for the most part. Not every singer needs to take themselves so damned seriously.

How about the slow burlesque ending of Hound Dog on the Milton Berle Show? That was an excuse to be showy too.

Many people in the 50s and 60s and 70s went to Vegas to perform, and many of them kept their credibility. To suggest that the jazz singers and people like Sinatra went there and somehow titivated their act to make it more showy is a ludicrous suggestion, and yet you are suggesting that kind of thing was happening. Sinatra's show didn't change no matter where he performed - whether it was Vegas or the Royal Albert Hall. Sure, he might have chatted a bit more in Vegas, or been a bit more informal - but that's all. The differences are minute (the 1974 tours are an exception to the rule). Bobby Darin performed the same show in Vegas as he did elsewhere, with his act invariably ending with an acoustic folk section. Anyone would think that every performer in Vegas had shows with long legged dancers strutting their stuff behind the singer. Many performed there and kept their integrity completely.


This back and forth with you is so tedious but since you insist on focusing on these details thereby ignoring the bigger ideas just so you could ramble on and on...let's continue then....

Go back and read what I had to say about Sinatra and his use of his musicians. I make it completely clear how different Sinatra used his orchestra during a show compared to how Guerico used them. It was an integral part of Frank's music that was written for the song. Guerico's parts were written for the stage. Can't recognize the difference?

Peter, we will never see eye to eye on this. You are unable to look at this with any kind of unbiased eye since most of the music you love contain these ingredients anyway: grand arrangements containing horns and string instruments. You take great offense when I say that parts of Elvis' show were in fact cheesy/schlocky because you equate that to think that I'm knocking all your favorite jazz/Vocal-pop artists that you love such as Sinatra or Darin. Truth is, each artist have a specific set of rules to follow that they themselves had set. You may wish to ignore genres but they exist for a reason. Sinatra, Martin and Darin (and then Tom Jones) all have created a specific sound that they all followed. It was there since the beginning of their careers and never went away. You make it sound like in 1956 Elvis' big hit was "Witchcraft" or "Lady is A Tramp" and that his gradual move into the Vegas/MOR sound was natural. I suppose you also thought his Olivia Newton-John covers later in his career were also top shelf stuff?


I have no problem with how you view these ingredients, but I have a problem with the fact that you somehow see my view as wrong and yours as right. I see Elvis as someone who changed tack as he got older and can appreciate that, and accept it, and have no problem with that - as long as the results were good in the genre that he was performing at the time. You still see him as rock artist who sold out.

What's more your question about the Olivia Newton John covers in an earlier post is a great example of how you view this situation. You see them as inappropriate for Elvis because Olivia Newton John got to those first songs rather than because they are bad songs. Let Me Be There is not a bad song. Elvis didn't like it because John sang it, but because he heard a song that he liked and thought he could do something with. Elvis took that song and turned it (in the early 1974 versions) into a crossover country song for an arena audience - over a decade before Garth Brooks became those types of performances his trademark. If You Love Me is another case entirely. It's a dull, derivative song that Elvis brought into his act and did absolutely nothing with. The arrangement (what there is of it) is bland and unexciting and Elvis's vocals echo this, failing to bring the song to life at all. Is it is a bad song choice for Elvis because of its association with Olivia Newton John? No, it's a bad song choice because it's a poor song.
Last edited by poormadpeter on Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:51 pm

Blue River wrote:
Justin wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:. . . whine, whine, whine, blah, blah, blah, cry, cry, cry, blah, blah, blah. . .

This back and forth with you is so tedious but since you insist on focusing on these details thereby ignoring the bigger ideas just so you could ramble on and on ...

No matter what the topic, he's like a turd that won't flush.


Another wonderful example of your never-ending contribution to the board.

And change my posts within one of your quotes again at your peril.

PS. Another report. If you insist on misusing the boards in order to give out personal attacks, then perhaps this time the mods might eventually see fit to just throw you off completely.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:19 pm

Just a small note: To put a great artist like Engelbert Humperdink down shows that the TS doesn't know anything what real entertainment (or for that matter " a great artist/entertainer ") is all about.

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

Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:40 pm

moffringa wrote:Just a small note: To put a great artist like Engelbert Humperdink down shows that the TS doesn't know anything what real entertainment (or for that matter " a great artist/entertainer ") is all about.


Ah, but we can't regard him as a great artist because he sings in the wrong genre! :wink: