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Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:02 pm

591219_w Priscilla Beaulieu.JPG
At Sportheim restaurant, Hauptsraße 102, Bad Nauheim, Germany - Saturday, December 19, 1959



Of the many songs Elvis did at home for personal pleasure, this memory from Priscilla Beaulieu of their first meeting in September 1959 always confused me a bit:

He sang "Rags to Riches" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and then with his friends singing harmony, "End of the Rainbow." He also did a Jerry Lee Lewis impersonation, pounding the keys so hard that a glass of water he'd set on the piano began sliding off.

Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, ‎Sandra Harmon, Elvis and Me (New York: Putnam, September 19, 1985)




600108_w Priscilla Beaulieu.JPG
At his 25th, sharing cake with friend Priscilla Beaulieu - Friday, January 8, 1960



Well, there is apparently no song from 1959 called "End of the Rainbow."

But … a bit of research reveals the number Presley actually sang at the piano that first night: "(At) The End (Of A Rainbow)."

Released by Earl Grant on the Decca label in September 1958, it would make Billboard Hot R&B Sides #16 on November 3, and Honor Roll of Hits #6 on November 10. Note that Grant sings very much in the style of Nat "King" Cole on this hit single.



580908_Decca 30719_Earl Grant.JPG



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Earl Grant, "(At) The End (Of A Rainbow)" (Decca 30719, September 8, 1958)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_(Earl_Grant_song)



An even better rendition was waxed by Presley vocal hero Roy Hamilton in 1961:



610911_Epic 3807_Hamilton.JPG



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Roy Hamilton, "(At) The End (Of A Rainbow)" Only You (Epic 3807, September 11, 1961)



Roy's fantastic recording closes out his album and really sounds Elvis-like, right down to the crescendo and finale. In any event, "The End" is such a sweet little tune.

Sadly, after being officially discharged from active duty in March 1960, Elvis never returned to the gentle Krondes and Jacobson ballad on stage, or tried it out in the studio, even though it's clear he would have nailed it!
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:35 am

Very interesting and informative post. Thanks !!

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:41 am

Interesting stuff.

Nancy Sinatra did a nice version titled 'The End'

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Last edited by mike edwards66 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:44 am

Interesting topic.

Re. Hamilton's stellar version: this appeared as the closing track on his 1961 LP Only You (Epic-LN 3807).


Roy Hamilton - Only You LP.JPG


mike edwards66 wrote:Interesting stuff.

Nancy Sinatra did a nice version titled 'The End'

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I remember this being used on a TV commercial a few years back.
So ethereal, and so damn good!
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Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:23 am

I am thinking he would have nailed Rags to Riches in 1959.
It's interesting how many songs he eventually came back to later on.

Would be cool if a home recording surfaced of that song or the Rainbow tune.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:32 am

Elvis loved Earl Grant very, very much!

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:18 am

elvisalisellers wrote:Interesting topic.

Re. Hamilton's stellar version: this appeared as the closing track on his 1961 LP Only You (Epic-LN 3807).


Added this to the topic -- thank you!

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:39 pm

'Sportheim' is actually a sports hall, not a restaurant, that Elvis hired 3 times, once was for his 'over the hump' party (which celebrated his being halfway through his army service), and another time was for the end of his army service, where this pic was taken
Here is that pic which is on the wall of the sports hall, and some pictures of the inside and outside of it today.
GERMANY11.jpg

GERMANY12.jpg

GERMANY13.jpg
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Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:30 pm

elvisalisellers wrote: I remember this being used on a TV commercial a few years back.
So ethereal, and so damn good!



Yes indeed, however, I should have added that Nancy Sinatra's version was from much later (1966). It was on her album 'Nancy in London'.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:37 pm

Cool stuff . At The End of The Rainbow is a great song and it would have been a great one for Elvis to record in the early 60's. By the 70's it may have been given the overblown treatment and ruined.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:41 am

Mister Moon wrote:Very interesting and informative post. Thanks !!


Glad you enjoyed it!

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:11 pm

Nice topic, Doc. Not heard the song before. Good research, Doc. Wasn't too impressed with the Earl Grant version, but Roy's was great. You can hear so much of Elvis in that song...Elvis obviously admired Roy and you can hear so much vocal mannerisms that Elvis got from Roy.

I agree with r&b, this would've went down perfect in the early 60's on an album like "Something For Everybody" or "Pot Luck". Had he tackled the song in the 70's on stage or on an album, it would've been overblown. I was never impressed with Elvis' over the top operatic voice in the 70's.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:55 pm

mike edwards66 wrote:Interesting stuff.

Nancy Sinatra did a nice version titled 'The End'

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That is a pretty version, and the shortened title was used by Earl Grant for the LP release in 1958, and later pressings of the single.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:36 pm

ekenee wrote:I am thinking he would have nailed Rags to Riches in 1959.
It's interesting how many songs he eventually came back to later on.

Would be cool if a home recording surfaced of that song or the Rainbow tune.


There are still some home tapes out there, maybe one or both of these will be on one of them.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:45 am

I think the end of Roy Hamilton's version is over the top. Nancy's version is nice.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:02 am

r&b wrote:Cool stuff . At The End of The Rainbow is a great song and it would have been a great one for Elvis to record in the early 60's. By the 70's it may have been given the overblown treatment and ruined.


Well, the 1970 Presley studio version of "Rags to Riches" comes off relatively unscathed. But had he done it in March or April 1960, it would really have been something special!

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:04 pm

Many thanks for this topic close to home, Doc! And thanks a lot to you Tony.. for providing the pictures! ::rocks

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:54 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:Nice topic, Doc. Not heard the song before. Good research, Doc. Wasn't too impressed with the Earl Grant version, but Roy's was great. You can hear so much of Elvis in that song...Elvis obviously admired Roy and you can hear so much vocal mannerisms that Elvis got from Roy.

I agree with r&b, this would've went down perfect in the early 60's on an album like "Something For Everybody" or "Pot Luck". Had he tackled the song in the 70's on stage or on an album, it would've been overblown. I was never impressed with Elvis' over the top operatic voice in the 70's.


"The End" was not a tune I was familiar with at all, which is why reading Priscilla's 1985 memory of her first evening at his house was so intriguing. No way do details of such a night get forgotten, so Elvis must have sung something with "rainbow" in the lyric. Luckily, I found it, and even more so, found the original hit and the terrific Hamilton cover uploaded on YouTube.

These are, of course, little pieces of the puzzle, but still fascinating for anyone who cares about Elvis Presley, artist. And when I find one, FECC is the place I like to share it. Thanks for the kind words.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:01 pm

Tony.. wrote:'Sportheim' is actually a sports hall, not a restaurant, that Elvis hired 3 times, once was for his 'over the hump' party (which celebrated his being halfway through his army service), and another time was for the end of his army service, where this pic was taken ...

the sportheim in the haupstr. 102 is actually a restaurant with (extra) room(s) for events and two bowling alleys in the basement.
the restaurant is more than 100 years old and hasn´t changed that much from the outside.
the original sports hall/turnhalle was built in 1893, but today it´s no sports hall anymore. originally the sportheim was called turnhalle, but it looks as if the restaurant has been there ever since.

Image

from the 80s on (and maybe even before) the sportheim restaurant played host for elvis events and parties, mostly organised by the german fan club epg e.v.
i was there, but didn´t know then, that the man himself had been there before.

the continued existence of the old building was unclear in 2010. fortunately, the city bad nauheim - who was the previous owner - sold it to the bad nauheimer wohnungsbaugesellschaft mbh, so it looks as if the historic restaurant will linger on.

Image

the sportheim restaurant is alive and well today; they even have a website and - you guessed it - mention elvis in the category historie:

sportheim-badnauheim.de wrote:die turnhalle wurde nach dem 2. weltkrieg nicht mehr als solche genutzt.
nach dem krieg fanden im großen saal filmvorführungen statt.
weihnachten 1959 hat das us-bataillon, dem auch elvis presley angehörte, die weihnachtsfeier in der turnhalle abgehalten. hier zeigte sich elvis zum ersten mal mit seiner späteren frau priscilla.

translation:
the gym was no longer used as such, after the 2nd world war.
after the war, film screenings were held in the great hall.
on christmas 1959, the u.s. battalion, which elvis presley belonged to, held their christmas party in the gym. here, elvis appeared for the first time in public with his future wife priscilla.


source: http://www.sportheim-badnauheim.de

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:00 am

Thank you for the excellent post Doc, and for introducing us to that sublime recording by Roy Hamilton. It completely erases the original, and reminds me for the thousandth time how undercelebrated Hamilton was in life and death.

drjohncarpenter wrote:Well, the 1970 Presley studio version of "Rags to Riches" comes off relatively unscathed. But had he done it in March or April 1960, it would really have been something special!


But the 1970 version is already something special.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:15 am

Interesting! Cool topic, doc. Good work. Thanks.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:02 pm

luckyjackson1 wrote:Many thanks for this topic close to home, Doc!


My pleasure!

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:33 am

Revelator wrote:Thank you for the excellent post Doc, and for introducing us to that sublime recording by Roy Hamilton. It completely erases the original, and reminds me for the thousandth time how undercelebrated Hamilton was in life and death.


So nice to see you posting here! You are most welcome.

Hamilton was a deeply felt singer, and I'll wager he was a riveting performer as well. It is not in any way a surprise that Presley adored his talent so much. I hope someday a quality anthology will be collected for the many fans of Roy.

Revelator wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Well, the 1970 Presley studio version of "Rags to Riches" comes off relatively unscathed. But had he done it in March or April 1960, it would really have been something special!


But the 1970 version is already something special.


Yes, but you cannot deny what a wild ride Elvis might have given it during the Elvis Is Back ! sessions.

Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:25 am

I know the general concensus is that Roy Hamilton's version was best, but the more I hear Earl Grant's the more I like it.

Nice audio.
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Re: Elvis --> "The End" in Germany, September 1959!

Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:56 am

epf wrote:Interesting! Cool topic, doc. Good work. Thanks.


Thank you for the kind words.