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Bob Hoffer interview - St. Petersburg, 1956

Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:16 am

I just love listening to those early Elvis interviews. They always leave you wishing for more, for questions you would have asked. But they are priceless documents of an era, and almost each one of them contains a precious little detail.

Like that interview in (I think) San Antonio, 1956, where you can hear the screams of fans in the background saying "We want Elvis!". Or the one in New Orleans, 1956, where he tells about his meeting with Gene Vincent. Stuff like that.

The interview with Bob Hoffer, done in St. Petersburg, August 7, 1956, also has its moments, like Elvis asking Hoffer at the beginning of the interview : "Is that your wife on the corner ? - WOW !!!".

Browsing through the internet, I found a photo of the original 10", 33 1/3 RPM acetate which preserved the interview during decades for us to enjoy, a photo taken during the actual interview, and also a 1952 photo of Hoffer doing his job. The first two are well-known. The other one, although it doesn't feature Elvis, is pretty obscure, I think.
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Last edited by Mister Moon on Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:29 am

The Hoffer interview has a nice, breezy quality to it, and he seems not at all worried that wife Joanne is being so complimented (note that what Elvis says to Bob is "Is that your wife over in the corner?"). It's funny to hear Presley correct him about the number of gold records accumulated by August 7 -- it was four, not three, as Hoffer claimed.

The many 1956 Presley interviews are important because management would soon reduce access to the star.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:39 pm

One of the few 1956 Elvis interviews I don't like is the Hy Gardner one.

When "This Is Elvis" was premiered, and later issued in extended form as a home video, it was one of the highlights. This incredible kinescope of Elvis talking by phone in the magic year of '56 was almost as tantalizing as seeing him perform on Berle or Sullivan.

But I came to dislike the interview, because it sounds phoney, too staged. There are instances in the kinescope where you can see Elvis handling paper sheets, and I would bet anything that the questions / answers were already set-up.

Not that it should surprise anyone, knowing where Elvis was inmersed at the time, but content-wise this kinescope could as well be silent and we wouldn't be missing too much, I think.

About the New Orleans interviews from mid July '56, there's a curious moment when the interviewer complains to Elvis that he couldn't find (the record of) "Hound Dog", and Elvis answers "I haven't made it yet". Now we know this was a lie, but why couldn't he say something like "we made it two weeks ago, and it's gonna be out one of these days" ?

All in all, too much diplomacy for my liking. But these are exceptions. Most of those early interviews sound spontaneous, and that's one of the reasons why I like them so much.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:48 pm

Mister Moon wrote:One of the few 1956 Elvis interviews I don't like is the Hy Gardner one.

When "This Is Elvis" was premiered, and later issued in extended form as a home video, it was one of the highlights. This incredible kinescope of Elvis talking by phone in the magic year of '56 was almost as tantalizing as seeing him perform on Berle or Sullivan.

But I came to dislike the interview, because it sounds phoney, too staged. There are instances in the kinescope where you can see Elvis handling paper sheets, and I would bet anything that the questions / answers were already set-up.

Not that it should surprise anyone, knowing where Elvis was inmersed at the time, but content-wise this kinescope could as well be silent and we wouldn't be missing too much, I think.

About the New Orleans interviews from mid July '56, there's a curious moment when the interviewer complains to Elvis that he couldn't find (the record of) "Hound Dog", and Elvis answers "I haven't made it yet". Now we know this was a lie, but why couldn't he say something like "we made it two weeks ago, and it's gonna be out one of these days" ?

All in all, too much diplomacy for my liking. But these are exceptions. Most of those early interviews sound spontaneous, and that's one of the reasons why I like them so much.


The Hy Gardner interview is significant, and definitely not scripted, although the "phone call" set-up is a bit of a contrivance. Both interviewer and guest are actually live in the same New York studio. The New York Tribune columnist asked Elvis some interesting questions, and to hear the singer admit he is missing sleep and "all mixed up" because "everything has happened so fast" is a foreshadowing of what was to come. And Elvis has only just finished his appearance on the "Steve Allen Show" a few hours earlier, the one TV shot he most hated, and spoke poorly of in retrospect. Of course, Elvis is gracious about the experience when asked by the newsman, but in reality he was embarrassed by the way his music was presented by Allen, and the succinct reply to Gardner's query about wearing a tuxedo is a clue. That "Hy Gardner Calling!" is only a local broadcast out of WABD-TV New York makes it doubly fortunate a kinescope was preserved.

In both WNOE Radio interviews (July 10, July 16) Elvis is only disingenuous about having recorded "Hound Dog." Otherwise he indicates it will be his next single, and out soon. Obviously, management instructed him to keep mum about the July 2 RCA New York session. Why? It seems a matter of business. The previous session in Nashville (April 14) had gone poorly, and management clearly had no intention of returning there anytime soon. They needed to get their business done! In fact, Elvis would not cut another Nashville session until he was on an army furlough in June 1958, a gap of more than two years.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:06 am

In my original post to this thread, I mentioned "the original 10", 33 1/3 RPM acetate which preserved the interview during decades for us to enjoy".

Well, I think I was wrong. I have found an article signed by Hoffer, and published 12 days after the interview was made, where he talks about LP copies of his interview with Elvis being given as prizes for a benefit contest. It looks like several copies were made of that unique record, so the one pictured in my original post could be one of them, and maybe not, as I thought, THE original item containing the interview.

Anyone has more information about this rare record ?.

Thanks.

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Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:59 pm

And here's the winner:
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Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St. Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:00 pm

Thanks a lot, hilton22000, for this priceless post !

Do you have the date for this "St. Petersburg Times" clipping ?

Regarding the record itself, judging from the relative size of it in the photo, it looks indeed like a 10 incher, rather than a 12 incher. Also, the photo of the record you include is different from the one included in my original post - Hoffer's signature is different.

It would still be interesting to know if any of those -at least- six records has survived, or any possible additional information about them.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:27 pm

Do you have the date for this "St. Petersburg Times" clipping ?


Sunday, September 16, 1956


Mississippi

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:51 pm

Thanks a lot, Mississippi !

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:54 pm

You're very welcome!
No, i don't know the date of this clippings, i'm sorry, this is from Heritage Auction site and this item isn't in their archives anymore.

Updated: now i saw the date, 2 posts above :) I reply without refreshing the page first...
Last edited by hilton22000 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:56 pm

Never mind. Mississippi has already posted the date (see above).

Thanks again for posting the article, and the photo of the record, hilton22000 !

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:00 pm

Thanks soooooo much, Hilton...for a fanstastic find! Very interesting article. If any of these recordings have survived...would fetch a pretty price IMO.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:47 pm

Mister Moon wrote:I just love listening to those early Elvis interviews. They always leave you wishing for more, for questions you would have asked. But they are priceless documents of an era, and almost each one of them contains a precious little detail.


Great post MM and absolutley agree. I always loved this interview.
All of them actually, each for different reasons, but most of all for their historical content.

Interesting observation on my part over the years is the large number of Elvis fans that claim to "know just about everything there is about elvis" as far as when it comes to the music & reading hundreds of books, yet they admit to never paying much attention to his interviews. Almost makes me twitch LOL.
I can't take anyone serious that dismisses the importance and intimacy that, in most cases, can Only come from an interview.

As 2 of the words you used .. "priceless" ... and "precious" they are indeed.

I remember reading quite a while back (somehwere on this here big ole internet) a newspaper interview around the same time as this Hoffer interview. It was by a reporter (I can't believe I remember her name) Anne Rowe, and I think was the 6th. She makes reference at the beginning of walking in room to a nervous Elvis who had a broom in his hand and was sweeping the floor of cigarette butts and other debri before they got started. That article may very well be somewhere here on this forum also.

That always created such a great visual for me. If only someone would have got a picture of that moment. I remember she wrote after he was done sweeping he struck a pose with broom stick singing a line or 2 from Don't Be Cruel. Classic!

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:43 pm

You're welcome, glad you liked it.

1Sixstring wrote:I remember reading quite a while back (somehwere on this here big ole internet) a newspaper interview around the same time as this Hoffer interview. It was by a reporter (I can't believe I remember her name) Anne Rowe, and I think was the 6th. She makes reference at the beginning of walking in room to a nervous Elvis who had a broom in his hand and was sweeping the floor of cigarette butts and other debri before they got started. That article may very well be somewhere here on this forum also.

That always created such a great visual for me. If only someone would have got a picture of that moment. I remember she wrote after he was done sweeping he struck a pose with broom stick singing a line or 2 from Don't Be Cruel. Classic!


Thanks to Francesc López's excellent website, we can read it ! :

http://www.elvisconcerts.com/newspapers/press165.htm

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:07 pm

Yep Mister Moon that's the interview I was thinking of, thanks.
We were on the same mission at the same time. I went looking for the interview and found a different source. Although the link you posted makes for much easier reading, the link I found shows the actual newspaper clipping with original article. It's from Scotty Moore website that one of our own forum members James V Roy helps to run.

http://scottymoore.net/images/FTHomer/S ... 560806.jpg

Thanks for the elvisconcerts.com website link

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:17 pm

Thanks for posting the actual newspaper image. I searched for it, but couldn't find it. I didn't know James' great site featured it.

Great, classic photos in that article.

Some more here :

http://www.elvisechoesofthepast.com/hot-times-in-florida-1955-1956/

Thanks again !

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:12 pm

Thanks, great site Mister Moon.
On the elvisechoesoftepast link you shared there's a great interview of Scotty Moore and Carl Perkins in one of the comments at bottom of the page. If you have never watched it you may enjoy their reminiscing.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:19 pm

1Sixstring wrote:Thanks, great site Mister Moon.
On the elvisechoesoftepast link you shared there's a great interview of Scotty Moore and Carl Perkins in one of the comments at bottom of the page. If you have never watched it you may enjoy their reminiscing.


Thanks for reminding me this, 1Sixstring.

I saw this video, but haven't watched it yet.

I will definitely enjoy it. Thanks again !

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:54 pm

1Sixstring wrote:Yep Mister Moon that's the interview I was thinking of, thanks.
We were on the same mission at the same time. I went looking for the interview and found a different source. Although the link you posted makes for much easier reading, the link I found shows the actual newspaper clipping with original article. It's from Scotty Moore website that one of our own forum members James V Roy helps to run.

http://scottymoore.net/images/FTHomer/S ... 560806.jpg

Thanks for the elvisconcerts.com website link


Thanks for the plug 1sixstring, but for the record, I don't help run it, I run it. In addition to the picture, its transcribed and read as easily there also http://scottymoore.net/FtHomer.html#ANNEROWE


You can also hear the Hoffer interview through a link on the St Pete page http://scottymoore.net/StPete.html
or just go direct to the source at http://www.elvis.net/interview/StPetersburg-08-07-56.html

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:20 pm

JamesVRoy wrote:
1Sixstring wrote:Yep Mister Moon that's the interview I was thinking of, thanks.
We were on the same mission at the same time. I went looking for the interview and found a different source. Although the link you posted makes for much easier reading, the link I found shows the actual newspaper clipping with original article. It's from Scotty Moore website that one of our own forum members James V Roy helps to run.

http://scottymoore.net/images/FTHomer/S ... 560806.jpg

Thanks for the elvisconcerts.com website link


Thanks for the plug 1sixstring, but for the record, I don't help run it, I run it. In addition to the picture, its transcribed and read as easily there also http://scottymoore.net/FtHomer.html#ANNEROWE


You can also hear the Hoffer interview through a link on the St Pete page http://scottymoore.net/StPete.html
or just go direct to the source at http://www.elvis.net/interview/StPetersburg-08-07-56.html


Sorry JamesVRoy, I misread other posts on here in the past thinking you were a contributor to that site. I certainly don't want to discredit your involvement so I apologize. It is absolutely one of my favorite sites to visit whenever I feel like reading well put together, interesting info of those Sun years and beyond for Scotty, Bill and Elvis

Thanks for the extra added links also

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:27 am

1Sixstring wrote:
JamesVRoy wrote:
1Sixstring wrote:Yep Mister Moon that's the interview I was thinking of, thanks.
We were on the same mission at the same time. I went looking for the interview and found a different source. Although the link you posted makes for much easier reading, the link I found shows the actual newspaper clipping with original article. It's from Scotty Moore website that one of our own forum members James V Roy helps to run.

http://scottymoore.net/images/FTHomer/S ... 560806.jpg

Thanks for the elvisconcerts.com website link


Thanks for the plug 1sixstring, but for the record, I don't help run it, I run it. In addition to the picture, its transcribed and read as easily there also http://scottymoore.net/FtHomer.html#ANNEROWE


You can also hear the Hoffer interview through a link on the St Pete page http://scottymoore.net/StPete.html
or just go direct to the source at http://www.elvis.net/interview/StPetersburg-08-07-56.html


Sorry JamesVRoy, I misread other posts on here in the past thinking you were a contributor to that site. I certainly don't want to discredit your involvement so I apologize. It is absolutely one of my favorite sites to visit whenever I feel like reading well put together, interesting info of those Sun years and beyond for Scotty, Bill and Elvis

Thanks for the extra added links also


no apology necessary. Just clearing up a minor insignificant point. Thanks for the kudos, glad you enjoy the site. "Like" it on facebook if you have it, we're revisiting some of the former pages somewhat chronologically and also posting new content when it goes up there.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:32 am

Great thread! Almost too packed for a quick reading; I need some time with it.

A couple of observations: one, James's work running scottymoore.net is neither minor nor insignificant; he is far too modest. It's what they used to call "Best of the Web" and deserves an award. Truly.

Next, while it may be that Gardener let his guests know the general run of what to expect, I am curious as to where you saw any paper. It may just be, if it's there, that Elvis jotted something down to help himself get through it. It was an extremely difficult night, and it shows. I am glad it is documented. He was clearly exhausted, and I think he was still very upset about the events of earlier that evening.

It gives us a glimpse into all the "stuff" he needed to exorcize the next day, in a most fortuitous recording session.

If he looked unhappy during the interview, he looked like a new person during and after the session. (We have Alfred Wertheimer to thank for that.)

I wonder where Al was at the time of the interview? ?

Thanks again!

rjm

Sent From My Phabulous Galaxy Note II Phablet Using Tapatalk 4

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:01 pm

rjm wrote:I am curious as to where you saw any paper. It may just be, if it's there, that Elvis jotted something down to help himself get through it.


Trust me, it's there. Just check the video again. :wink:

Not that it matters too much, but we'll never know what those papers were. Maybe it was some fan mail.

Or maybe it was the sheet music for the next day's session.

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:56 pm

Mister Moon wrote:Some more here :

http://www.elvisechoesofthepast.com/hot-times-in-florida-1955-1956/

Thanks again !

This is a great topic. Thanks to all who particpated!

A second interesting Anne Rowe article about Elvis was published in the St. Petersburg Times on August 8 (two days later).
I will add it soon to Ger's topic on Echoes!

:smt023

Re: Bob Hoffer interview - St.Petersburg, 1956

Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:17 pm

Bob-Holland wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Some more here :

http://www.elvisechoesofthepast.com/hot-times-in-florida-1955-1956/

Thanks again !

This is a great topic. Thanks to all who particpated!

A second interesting Anne Rowe article about Elvis was published in the St. Petersburg Times on August 8 (two days later).
I will add it soon to Ger's topic on Echoes!

:smt023


Glad you liked this stuff, Bob !

Here's some more St. Petersburg-related items :

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79612

Should you want to use any of those clippings for your great site, please do not hesitate to do it.

Thanks !