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"He Still Can't Sing"

Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:52 pm

I remember the review of Elvis' 1968 Special and the "observation" by a reviewer that Elvis "... still can't sing." As I have always found some of the '68 material to be somewhat screaming vocals (and many of you love that), this reviewer (as noted in Tunzi's "Elvis '69" book) assertion would likely disturb many Elvis fans. I don't know whether this reviewer heard Elvis' "How Great Thou Art" album or "From Elvis In Memphis", but I'm always surprised when I read that Elvis can't sing.

The question in my mind is, who can sing? I still haven't found anyone whose voice I enjoy more than Elvis' -- and even though it dramatially changed over the years, it is still unmistakably Elvis Presley. And I can enjoy 90% of the material he recorded, though I am aware of many recording shortcomings.

I certainly don't like the painfaul screeching I hear now where every note seems to be held for an eternity. And I couldn't believe that anyone could "create" a music I absolutely destest (Rap), but someone did.

So, if I'm to enjoy a vocalist, who would you recommend and why. Andy Williams I like -- but he gets tiring after a while -- all sounding the same. Dean Martin is cool, but again ... Many singers from the '60s (Gary Puckett, Sam Cooke) had great vocals. RIch, full, powerful.

It's been more than 35 years since Elvis left us, but he's the one I still listen to the most. I had the great joy to hear Elvis in person many, many times where I truly got to hear and experience his greatness. "America the Beautiful", "Hurt", "T-R-O-U-B-L-E", "How Great Thou Art", "Tryin' To Get To You", "One Night", and oh the horrors, I've always enjoyed "If You Love Me" and "Let Me Be There". "And I Love You So" and "Love Letters" always had me enthralled. Once the dutiful oldies were over, it was time for "my" part of the show. And of course "Unchained Melody" (even failing the last note) was a highlight for me.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:14 pm

Christopher Brown wrote:I remember the review of Elvis' 1968 Special and the "observation" by a reviewer that Elvis "... still can't sing." As I have always found some of the '68 material to be somewhat screaming vocals (and many of you love that), this reviewer (as noted in Tunzi's "Elvis '69" book) assertion would likely disturb many Elvis fans. I don't know whether this reviewer heard Elvis' "How Great Thou Art" album or "From Elvis In Memphis", but I'm always surprised when I read that Elvis can't sing.

The question in my mind is, who can sing? I still haven't found anyone whose voice I enjoy more than Elvis' -- and even though it dramatially changed over the years, it is still unmistakably Elvis Presley. And I can enjoy 90% of the material he recorded, though I am aware of many recording shortcomings.

I certainly don't like the painfaul screeching I hear now where every note seems to be held for an eternity. And I couldn't believe that anyone could "create" a music I absolutely destest (Rap), but someone did.

So, if I'm to enjoy a vocalist, who would you recommend and why. Andy Williams I like -- but he gets tiring after a while -- all sounding the same. Dean Martin is cool, but again ... Many singers from the '60s (Gary Puckett, Sam Cooke) had great vocals. RIch, full, powerful.

It's been more than 35 years since Elvis left us, but he's the one I still listen to the most. I had the great joy to hear Elvis in person many, many times where I truly got to hear and experience his greatness. "America the Beautiful", "Hurt", "T-R-O-U-B-L-E", "How Great Thou Art", "Tryin' To Get To You", "One Night", and oh the horrors, I've always enjoyed "If You Love Me" and "Let Me Be There". "And I Love You So" and "Love Letters" always had me enthralled. Once the dutiful oldies were over, it was time for "my" part of the show. And of course "Unchained Melody" (even failing the last note) was a highlight for me.



I agree with that, On some songs elvis is ''Overdoing'' elvis
Songs coming to mind are ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:24 pm

Johnny2523 wrote:
Christopher Brown wrote:I remember the review of Elvis' 1968 Special and the "observation" by a reviewer that Elvis "... still can't sing." As I have always found some of the '68 material to be somewhat screaming vocals (and many of you love that), this reviewer (as noted in Tunzi's "Elvis '69" book) assertion would likely disturb many Elvis fans. I don't know whether this reviewer heard Elvis' "How Great Thou Art" album or "From Elvis In Memphis", but I'm always surprised when I read that Elvis can't sing.

The question in my mind is, who can sing? I still haven't found anyone whose voice I enjoy more than Elvis' -- and even though it dramatially changed over the years, it is still unmistakably Elvis Presley. And I can enjoy 90% of the material he recorded, though I am aware of many recording shortcomings.

I certainly don't like the painfaul screeching I hear now where every note seems to be held for an eternity. And I couldn't believe that anyone could "create" a music I absolutely destest (Rap), but someone did.

So, if I'm to enjoy a vocalist, who would you recommend and why. Andy Williams I like -- but he gets tiring after a while -- all sounding the same. Dean Martin is cool, but again ... Many singers from the '60s (Gary Puckett, Sam Cooke) had great vocals. RIch, full, powerful.

It's been more than 35 years since Elvis left us, but he's the one I still listen to the most. I had the great joy to hear Elvis in person many, many times where I truly got to hear and experience his greatness. "America the Beautiful", "Hurt", "T-R-O-U-B-L-E", "How Great Thou Art", "Tryin' To Get To You", "One Night", and oh the horrors, I've always enjoyed "If You Love Me" and "Let Me Be There". "And I Love You So" and "Love Letters" always had me enthralled. Once the dutiful oldies were over, it was time for "my" part of the show. And of course "Unchained Melody" (even failing the last note) was a highlight for me.



I agree with that, On some songs elvis is ''Overdoing'' elvis
Songs coming to mind are ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''


I do not agree... He does not scream at all.. There is technique to sing songs like this... If he was just screaming, he would not perform anything else for the rest of the concert and probably the in the next days... "If I Can Dream" is a very good example!

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:28 pm

Johnny2523 wrote:
Christopher Brown wrote:I remember the review of Elvis' 1968 Special and the "observation" by a reviewer that Elvis "... still can't sing." As I have always found some of the '68 material to be somewhat screaming vocals (and many of you love that), this reviewer (as noted in Tunzi's "Elvis '69" book) assertion would likely disturb many Elvis fans. I don't know whether this reviewer heard Elvis' "How Great Thou Art" album or "From Elvis In Memphis", but I'm always surprised when I read that Elvis can't sing.

The question in my mind is, who can sing? I still haven't found anyone whose voice I enjoy more than Elvis' -- and even though it dramatially changed over the years, it is still unmistakably Elvis Presley. And I can enjoy 90% of the material he recorded, though I am aware of many recording shortcomings.

I certainly don't like the painfaul screeching I hear now where every note seems to be held for an eternity. And I couldn't believe that anyone could "create" a music I absolutely destest (Rap), but someone did.

So, if I'm to enjoy a vocalist, who would you recommend and why. Andy Williams I like -- but he gets tiring after a while -- all sounding the same. Dean Martin is cool, but again ... Many singers from the '60s (Gary Puckett, Sam Cooke) had great vocals. RIch, full, powerful.

It's been more than 35 years since Elvis left us, but he's the one I still listen to the most. I had the great joy to hear Elvis in person many, many times where I truly got to hear and experience his greatness. "America the Beautiful", "Hurt", "T-R-O-U-B-L-E", "How Great Thou Art", "Tryin' To Get To You", "One Night", and oh the horrors, I've always enjoyed "If You Love Me" and "Let Me Be There". "And I Love You So" and "Love Letters" always had me enthralled. Once the dutiful oldies were over, it was time for "my" part of the show. And of course "Unchained Melody" (even failing the last note) was a highlight for me.



I agree with that, On some songs elvis is ''Overdoing'' elvis
Songs coming to mind are ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''


You obviously never took singing class to say that. Elvis had the right way to do the "screaming". It is what we call DRIVE (at least in Brazil) and if it is not done correctly, Elvis would need a whole day to recover his voice. Elvis during the '68 Comeback Special was near perfection vocally. Try to do what he does on "One Night" but do not hold back a single note. You will see what I mean. It is really hard and complicated.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:05 am

Renan wrote:
Johnny2523 wrote:
Christopher Brown wrote:I remember the review of Elvis' 1968 Special and the "observation" by a reviewer that Elvis "... still can't sing." As I have always found some of the '68 material to be somewhat screaming vocals (and many of you love that), this reviewer (as noted in Tunzi's "Elvis '69" book) assertion would likely disturb many Elvis fans. I don't know whether this reviewer heard Elvis' "How Great Thou Art" album or "From Elvis In Memphis", but I'm always surprised when I read that Elvis can't sing.

The question in my mind is, who can sing? I still haven't found anyone whose voice I enjoy more than Elvis' -- and even though it dramatially changed over the years, it is still unmistakably Elvis Presley. And I can enjoy 90% of the material he recorded, though I am aware of many recording shortcomings.

I certainly don't like the painfaul screeching I hear now where every note seems to be held for an eternity. And I couldn't believe that anyone could "create" a music I absolutely destest (Rap), but someone did.

So, if I'm to enjoy a vocalist, who would you recommend and why. Andy Williams I like -- but he gets tiring after a while -- all sounding the same. Dean Martin is cool, but again ... Many singers from the '60s (Gary Puckett, Sam Cooke) had great vocals. RIch, full, powerful.

It's been more than 35 years since Elvis left us, but he's the one I still listen to the most. I had the great joy to hear Elvis in person many, many times where I truly got to hear and experience his greatness. "America the Beautiful", "Hurt", "T-R-O-U-B-L-E", "How Great Thou Art", "Tryin' To Get To You", "One Night", and oh the horrors, I've always enjoyed "If You Love Me" and "Let Me Be There". "And I Love You So" and "Love Letters" always had me enthralled. Once the dutiful oldies were over, it was time for "my" part of the show. And of course "Unchained Melody" (even failing the last note) was a highlight for me.



I agree with that, On some songs elvis is ''Overdoing'' elvis
Songs coming to mind are ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''


You obviously never took singing class to say that. Elvis had the right way to do the "screaming". It is what we call DRIVE (at least in Brazil) and if it is not done correctly, Elvis would need a whole day to recover his voice. Elvis during the '68 Comeback Special was near perfection vocally. Try to do what he does on "One Night" but do not hold back a single note. You will see what I mean. It is really hard and complicated.


I sayd i agree with his point about songs sounding somewhat like screaming, Not that it was actual screaming but overdoing some songs, Elvis treats One Night a whole lotta diffrent then how he did it on his studio record, which had a more softer voice then how he did it in 1968.. the TTWII version Is also softer then the 1968 version.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:11 am

Johnny2523 wrote: ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''



You're kidding, right!

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:22 am

The singing on the ENTIRE 68 comeback is sublime.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:30 am

jon_burrows wrote:
Johnny2523 wrote: ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''



You're kidding, right!


Sadly, I think not.

Elvis' singing -- yes, singing -- during the 1968 TV Special is not like anything he had done before. It is the sound of a man rediscovering himself, remaking his music on the spot, getting to the very essence of his soul while reclaiming his rightful place in the pantheon as the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

Elvis was not Andy Williams, nor was he Dean Martin. He was unique. At his best he took songs to a very special place, and some of them rocked like hell. In a nutshell, that was June 1968. He never sounded like that before, and he never did again. Andy and Dean did not change the world, either.

Any fan who misses this -- the sound of being truly alive -- is to be pitied.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:00 am

The 1968 special sometimes gets me depressed because he didn't have to wait til his career was in the tank to do a TV special.

He could have done a special back in 1960. "Elvis is back".

Can you imagine? That would have been really something.

Why do 20+ movies in a row and not tour or do a TV special?

Elvis on the TV special was a completely different person than one sees in "Clambake", for example.

Sometimes Elvis' career is a lesson in what not to do for the up and coming rock star.

I think in the case of "Lawdy miss clawdy" and "one night", Elvis may have beat those early studio versions.
It's a matter of taste really.
I think he beat the studio version of, "Love me tender" as well .
As far as "If I can dream", I think he knew he could never beat that version, so why even try, so he never sang it again.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:12 am

I only pity those who did get to hear and see Elvis in person. Otherwise, to each their own.

I still don't understand why a professional reviewer says Elvis still can't sing. He's heard the '50s material, he's heard IT'S NOW OR NEVER, CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE, SURRENDER, RETURN TO SENDER, ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT -- and yet he still can't sing. If Elvis can't sing, who can?

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:45 am

Christopher, in this kind of situation, all someone have to ask is: "if Elvis can't sing, who actually does?"

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:47 am

ekenee wrote:Sometimes Elvis' career is a lesson in what not to do for the up and coming rock star.

Well, many times Elvis' career is a lesson in what to do for the up and coming rock star.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:50 am

Christopher Brown wrote:I still don't understand why a professional reviewer says Elvis still can't sing.


If you can kindly provide all-important context by showing us the review in question, we may be able to understand the point being made by said "professional reviewer."

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:59 am

The review I refer to is duplicated in Joe Tunzi's book "Elvis '69" on page 8 in a "Tele Review" of the "Singer Presents Elvis" TV Special. The fifth paragraph starts with "He still can't sing. The words are still unintelligible."

I know I saw this (or one with the same comment) years ago. I don't understand. The gosepl songs sound good to me. The career medley with "Nothingville" etc. also sound very good to me. "Memories" is very nice. I'm not sure who the reviewer thinks is a good singer -- he or she does not say.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:53 am

This reviewer was probably of the Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra era of pop singing and thinking.

The reviewer's point probably was that all rock n' roll singers were talentless vocalists.

That's probably what his point of view was.

I'd be surprised if he put fourth a rational and legitimate argument that called for serious thought and debate.

You know how a lot of music critics were very dismissive of Elvis' singing in the 1950s and they thought he was without talent.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:03 am

Why even spend any time wondering why an idiot thinks what he thinks. I would have quit reading the review if I read "He still can't sing."

One Night is a stone cold classic from this special. It is a real highlight, certainly more so than Nothingville.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:40 am

Christopher Brown wrote:The review I refer to is duplicated in Joe Tunzi's book "Elvis '69" on page 8 in a "Tele Review" of the "Singer Presents Elvis" TV Special. The fifth paragraph starts with "He still can't sing. The words are still unintelligible."


Does this reviewer use a name? Where and when was it originally published?

Context, please.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:20 am

This performance of Trying To Get To You was by a man, totally in control and totally lost in the music. Check out from 2:08 to the finish, phenomenal!!

http://youtu.be/vy6DcW1esQA

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:35 am

I loved it if Elvis sang a full version of Nothingville.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:56 am

Of course nobody wants to touch the 68 special. His grunting is not as free/supported as in 57, so it sounds a little forced, but I like it. In 70 his grunt during One Night on aug 11 MS is perfect. I do think the reviewer was probably over 45 and belonged more in the Crosby/Dean Martin era.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Those who detest whole genres of music often have much in common. "That" reviewer did not like rock music, not really. Nor did he understand certain sub-genres of blues and gospel when singers howl and moan and roar: with a sensitivity often inimitable.

Not all gospel is sweet, and the Blues can be both rough, raw and beautiful at the same time. Elvis was pure genius during those shows, yet "that reviewer" only heard "screaming."

"That reviewer" could stand to listen to a wider variety and depth of music.

The reviewer from 1968? I'd say there's little hope for HIM in 2013.

Not too late for someone writing today. Dig?

rjm

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:57 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
jon_burrows wrote:
Johnny2523 wrote: ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''



You're kidding, right!


Sadly, I think not.

Elvis' singing -- yes, singing -- during the 1968 TV Special is not like anything he had done before. It is the sound of a man rediscovering himself, remaking his music on the spot, getting to the very essence of his soul while reclaiming his rightful place in the pantheon as the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

Elvis was not Andy Williams, nor was he Dean Martin. He was unique. At his best he took songs to a very special place, and some of them rocked like hell. In a nutshell, that was June 1968. He never sounded like that before, and he never did again. Andy and Dean did not change the world, either.

Any fan who misses this -- the sound of being truly alive -- is to be pitied.



perfect Doc...........((sigh))

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:06 pm

debtd1 wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
jon_burrows wrote:
Johnny2523 wrote: ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''



You're kidding, right!


Sadly, I think not.

Elvis' singing -- yes, singing -- during the 1968 TV Special is not like anything he had done before. It is the sound of a man rediscovering himself, remaking his music on the spot, getting to the very essence of his soul while reclaiming his rightful place in the pantheon as the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

Elvis was not Andy Williams, nor was he Dean Martin. He was unique. At his best he took songs to a very special place, and some of them rocked like hell. In a nutshell, that was June 1968. He never sounded like that before, and he never did again. Andy and Dean did not change the world, either.

Any fan who misses this -- the sound of being truly alive -- is to be pitied.



perfect Doc...........((sigh))


I have to agree!! Well said Doc!

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:30 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
jon_burrows wrote:
Johnny2523 wrote: ''One Night'' & ''Lawdy Miss Clawdy''



You're kidding, right!


Sadly, I think not.

Elvis' singing -- yes, singing -- during the 1968 TV Special is not like anything he had done before. It is the sound of a man rediscovering himself, remaking his music on the spot, getting to the very essence of his soul while reclaiming his rightful place in the pantheon as the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

Elvis was not Andy Williams, nor was he Dean Martin. He was unique. At his best he took songs to a very special place, and some of them rocked like hell. In a nutshell, that was June 1968. He never sounded like that before, and he never did again. Andy and Dean did not change the world, either.

Any fan who misses this -- the sound of being truly alive -- is to be pitied.



Agreed 100% :!:

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:53 pm

Anyone traveling down the road of "Elvis can't sing," with regard to the '68 Special is heading down a path strewn with ignorance.

Your journey will lead you away from one of the major centers of American musical art.

You start dismissing Elvis' work here, and pretty soon you're arguing Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith can't sing either -- and then you just sound like a fool.

Elvis' work in '68 represents some of the best R&B ever -- and to be the best at that American form, you must be very good indeed.