"Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:31 am

Just discovered this fascinating article on how intense the demand was in 1961 for new Presley material.

In some respects, these incidents were the birth of "Elvis bootlegs."


Image

Billboard - Jan 16, 1961


Obviously, this could never happen today, but it's fascinating to know fans were demanding, and DJs delivering, unissued Elvis songs on commercial radio!

RCA shortly after issued this special "Compact 33" EP to quell the demand:


Image

Flaming Star (RCA LPC 128), Apr 1961


Image

Billboard - Apr 17, 1961
LPC 128 debuts on Billboard


Of course, the soundtrack toe-tapper "A Cane and a High Starched Collar" wouldn't get to RCA vinyl until 1976, and unissued soundtrack songs "Britches" and "Black Star" would take even longer (1978 and 1991, respectively).

One fine day, I'll follow that black star...
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:36 am

Groovy stuff doctor.

Same thing used to happen with The Monkees. TV versions of things like Valleri were played on radio shows when they hadn't even been cut for record release!

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:38 am

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Groovy stuff doctor.

Same thing used to happen with The Monkees. TV versions of things like Valleri were played on radio shows when they hadn't even been cut for record release!

But Elvis was first.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:39 am

Before Elvis there was no one! oh Doc i thought you followed that " Black Star" in 08 LOL! long live Kenya!
SNG ::rocks

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:09 am

Always ironic to see Elvis on the charts, following an Elvis "sound-a-like", singing an Elvis
cover of "Girl of My Best Friend".

Nice, thought provoking post, Doc.
One wonders if industry insiders didn't try recording and releasing Elvis' tv performances in the fifties? The demand would've been just as great, especially once he went overseas.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:12 am

GREAT article find there, thanks for posting, Doc.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:23 am

Actually, the first Elvis bootleg may have been his 9/9/56 debut of "Love Me Tender" which several disc jockeys taped and subsequently played therefater. Peter Guralnick mentions this in his "Last Train to Memphis" bio. As a result of this practice, RCA rushed out "Love Me Tender" and sought to confirm 1 million advance orders. Great find, Doc!

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:23 am

Every man has a black star ,a black star over his shoulder.,

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:37 am

Many years ago I wrote an article for "Strictly Elvis" about the release of the song "Flaming Star." My source was an article in Variety, which said that originally RCA did not intend to release either track from the movie because it was intended to be a dramatic role for Elvis with the music merely incidental. The article acknowledged the illegal airplay of the title track. "Flaming Star" was the most difficult track of Elvis that I ever tried to obtain, finally buying a copy in France while in the Navy. By the time I started collecting, in 1963, LPC 128 was no where to be found or I wasn't looking in the right places. Anyway, thanks Doc for an interesting post - it brings back some really good memories.

MT

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:35 pm

I was stymied in my efforts to find Flaming Star until the "Singer" LP from later 1968. I was so happy that song was finally going to be in my collection. It was the only hole in my collection after 1966.

Steve Lecher

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:51 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Groovy stuff doctor.

Same thing used to happen with The Monkees. TV versions of things like Valleri were played on radio shows when they hadn't even been cut for record release!

But Elvis was first.


Stan Laurel was probabl;y first! Some of his 1924 films for Joe rock were filmed from the screen during a private screening and distributed with different titles in Florida!

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:49 pm

TCB TED wrote:Always ironic to see Elvis on the charts, following an Elvis "sound-a-like", singing an Elvis
cover of "Girl of My Best Friend".

Nice, thought provoking post, Doc.
One wonders if industry insiders didn't try recording and releasing Elvis' tv performances in the fifties? The demand would've been just as great, especially once he went overseas.

That seems plausible! Thanks for the nice words and the interest in the topic!


Frankie Teardrop wrote:GREAT article find there, thanks for posting, Doc.

Thanks, Frankie!


Mike C wrote:Actually, the first Elvis bootleg may have been his 9/9/56 debut of "Love Me Tender" which several disc jockeys taped and subsequently played therefater. Peter Guralnick mentions this in his "Last Train to Memphis" bio. As a result of this practice, RCA rushed out "Love Me Tender" and sought to confirm 1 million advance orders. Great find, Doc!

Interesting -- it apparently did not garner the concerns of 4 years later. Glad you liked the topic!


MysteryTrain wrote:Many years ago I wrote an article for "Strictly Elvis" about the release of the song "Flaming Star." My source was an article in Variety, which said that originally RCA did not intend to release either track from the movie because it was intended to be a dramatic role for Elvis with the music merely incidental. The article acknowledged the illegal airplay of the title track. "Flaming Star" was the most difficult track of Elvis that I ever tried to obtain, finally buying a copy in France while in the Navy. By the time I started collecting, in 1963, LPC 128 was no where to be found or I wasn't looking in the right places. Anyway, thanks Doc for an interesting post - it brings back some really good memories.

Great story, thanks for the kind words.


stevelecher wrote:I was stymied in my efforts to find Flaming Star until the "Singer" LP from later 1968. I was so happy that song was finally going to be in my collection. It was the only hole in my collection after 1966.

It's amazing, given where we're at in 2010, to know the song was so obscure!

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:42 pm

Thanks Doc!

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:55 am

We had the compact 33 issue in NZ but I undrestand that it was never released in the UK and fans there had to wait till 1968.

Is this correct?

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:26 am

Doc your treasure trove of information is amazing - thanks.
It is intestesting that the trend of recording films in cinemas and then releasing on the bootleg market continues today. I've seen a few - most disconcerting when someone's head pops up on the screen

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:15 am

Juan Luis wrote:Thanks Doc!

Anytime, JL -- you are a prince!


rickeap wrote:Doc your treasure trove of information is amazing - thanks.
It is intestesting that the trend of recording films in cinemas and then releasing on the bootleg market continues today. I've seen a few - most disconcerting when someone's head pops up on the screen

IIRC, there was a hilarious "Seinfeld" episode that investigated this phenomenon.

Thanks for the kind words. These topics are for fun, and maybe to add another piece to the puzzle.

After 33 years, it's not easy finding something "new" to discuss regarding our hero.

But I'll keep trying to deliver!

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:25 am

8) Great topic and interesting thanks Doc!~ :wink:

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:27 am

If this was the start of bootlegs.

What bootleg was it on in 1961?

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:28 am

Nice article and a good find, although I don't consider these sort of tapes as a bootleg.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:34 pm

KiwiAlan wrote:If this was the start of bootlegs.

What bootleg was it on in 1961?


The point is that it was bootlegging.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:52 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:Thanks Doc!

Anytime, JL -- you are a prince!


rickeap wrote:Doc your treasure trove of information is amazing - thanks.
It is intestesting that the trend of recording films in cinemas and then releasing on the bootleg market continues today. I've seen a few - most disconcerting when someone's head pops up on the screen

IIRC, there was a hilarious "Seinfeld" episode that investigated this phenomenon.

Thanks for the kind words. These topics are for fun, and maybe to add another piece to the puzzle.

After 33 years, it's not easy finding something "new" to discuss regarding our hero.

But I'll keep trying to deliver!


Yes. Seinfled does have a great episode on it...Jerry ends up recording "Death Blow" using a handheld camera.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:24 pm

Can you even imagine holding a hand held camera for 2 hours.

And the mic picks up the sound of people talking.

Seinfeld covered everything I think.

Concerning this, I wonder if anyone with an 8mm camera ever decided to set it up
on a tripod back in 1956 and sort make their own kinescope by filming right off the tv screen
for Berle or Ed Sullivan show appearances.

I am sure people did record he audio this way.

It has been written that Elvis bootlegs did start in 1956, but I have never seen any.

Counterfieting on the other hand, replicas of RCA product, has been going on since the 50's.

It's too bad someone didn't sneak an 8mm camera in there and record the scene for
"Summer kisses", then we would have that footage.
Last edited by ekenee on Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:56 pm

Frankie Teardrop wrote:
KiwiAlan wrote:If this was the start of bootlegs.

What bootleg was it on in 1961?


The point is that it was bootlegging.



No it was copying.

It's not a bootleg unless you sell it.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:20 am

It is a bootleg if you broadcast (without permission) an illegally recorded performance. And it is selling as well. Radio stations get higher ratings and thus make $$$$$ out of that BOOTLEG.

Re: "Flaming Star" --> The Birth of Elvis Bootlegs?

Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:50 pm

Juan Luis wrote:It is a bootleg if you broadcast (without permission) an illegally recorded performance. And it is selling as well. Radio stations get higher ratings and thus make $$$$$ out of that BOOTLEG.

Exactly.

In 1961, radio stations played officially unreleased Elvis songs on the air.

It's not too far-fetched to call these selections "bootlegged tracks." In fact, it's kind of fun!