Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

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Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

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Is Elvis Presley a Phony?
as revealed by Dick Kleiner
TV people, December 1956
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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

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And the last page...
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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by JimmyCool »

Great article, thanks for sharing! :)


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by George Smith »

Fascinating as always, thank you.

Thoughts:

a) The cover date is December but the text would suggest an earlier date: the recent one-song session must surely be the April Nashville visit; "Love Me Tender" isn't mentioned by name and that was common knowledge by late summer.

b) I'd love to know who the quoted insiders are.

c) I can't believe for a moment that Elvis wasn't a big live draw in 1956

d) The distinctive use of the word "blooming" in the text would suggest a UK based writer



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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by Mississippi »

Many thanks!


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

George Smith wrote:Fascinating as always, thank you.

Thoughts:

a) The cover date is December but the text would suggest an earlier date: the recent one-song session must surely be the April Nashville visit; "Love Me Tender" isn't mentioned by name and that was common knowledge by late summer.

b) I'd love to know who the quoted insiders are.

c) I can't believe for a moment that Elvis wasn't a big live draw in 1956

d) The distinctive use of the word "blooming" in the text would suggest a UK based writer
Agree totally about the Elvis and his drawing power in 1956.

This is a most amusing article from "ace reporter" Dick Kleiner. Despite the UK affectations, Kleiner was a thirty-five year-old American journalist based in New York, covering Broadway happenings since 1949.

Dick Kleiner
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Kleiner

The condescending piece appears to have been written in late July-early August 1956, catering to the "I hate Elvis" crowd (read: parents), and it's a hoot to revisit in 2013. Obviously, rock 'n' roll was an anathema to him. Elvis is "putting on an act." Um, OK.

But look at all the Al Wertheimer photos!

Observations:
- Who is the "RCA executive"?
It doesn't sound at all like Nashville's Steve Sholes. It has to be one of the New York executives, like vice-president and general manager of RCA's Record Division, Larry Kanaga. He would leave the company in less than a year.

Billboard May 27 1957 p17.JPG
Billboard - May 27, 1957


- "At the last recording session, we only got one decent side in a three-hour session."
My guess is the executive (perhaps Kanaga) may be speaking of "Any Way You Want Me," from New York on 7-02-1956, another indication the executive is based there. Note he says "one decent side," which plays into the idea that the Presley game is an "act" and songs like "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" are gimmicks.


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by JimmyCool »

drjohncarpenter wrote:"At the last recording session, we only got one decent side in a three-hour session."
My guess is the executive (perhaps Kanaga) may be speaking of "Any Way You Want Me," from New York on 7-02-1956, another indication the executive is based there. Note he says "one decent side," which plays into the idea that the Presley game is an "act" and songs like "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" are gimmicks.
When I read that I thought about "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" - April 14, 1956 (9:00am - 12:00pm).


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

JimmyCool wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:"At the last recording session, we only got one decent side in a three-hour session."
My guess is the executive (perhaps Kanaga) may be speaking of "Any Way You Want Me," from New York on 7-02-1956, another indication the executive is based there. Note he says "one decent side," which plays into the idea that the Presley game is an "act" and songs like "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" are gimmicks.
When I read that I thought about "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" - April 14, 1956 (9:00am - 12:00pm).
That's what George Smith feels as well.

However, if one subscribes to the timeline of late July-early August 1956, the statement being "one decent side," not "only one side," and the fact that the whole thing comes from New York, then my theory fits far better.


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Here's a corrected view of the 7-02-1956, Al Wertheimer, full-color (?) cover shot:

561200_TV People_corrected view.JPG
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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by George Smith »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
JimmyCool wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:"At the last recording session, we only got one decent side in a three-hour session."
My guess is the executive (perhaps Kanaga) may be speaking of "Any Way You Want Me," from New York on 7-02-1956, another indication the executive is based there. Note he says "one decent side," which plays into the idea that the Presley game is an "act" and songs like "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" are gimmicks.
When I read that I thought about "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" - April 14, 1956 (9:00am - 12:00pm).
That's what George Smith feels as well.

However, if one subscribes to the timeline of late July-early August 1956, the statement being "one decent side," not "only one side," and the fact that the whole thing comes from New York, then my theory fits far better.
Yeah, I can go with that.

Good digging, John.



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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

George Smith wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:However, if one subscribes to the timeline of late July-early August 1956, the statement being "one decent side," not "only one side," and the fact that the whole thing comes from New York, then my theory fits far better.
Yeah, I can go with that.

Good digging, John.
Thanks very much George Smith! Do you have any thoughts on my guess on Larry Kanaga as the RCA source?


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

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drjohncarpenter wrote:Thanks very much George Smith! Do you have any thoughts on my guess on Larry Kanaga as the RCA source?
It's possible: could also be Jack Burgess ("general sales and promotion manager of the Victor single records division") or maybe field rep Brad McCuen (he did see Elvis in the South in May 1955).

Either way, it's a queer business because, bearing in mind EP was shifting records like crazy at this time, it's a clear case of biting the hand that feeds.



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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

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George Smith wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Thanks very much George Smith! Do you have any thoughts on my guess on Larry Kanaga as the RCA source?
It's possible: could also be Jack Burgess ("general sales and promotion manager of the Victor single records division") or maybe field rep Brad McCuen (he did see Elvis in the South in May 1955).

Either way, it's a queer business because, bearing in mind EP was shifting records like crazy at this time, it's a clear case of biting the hand that feeds.
Well, they "needed" him, but they didn't want him, or love him. ;)

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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

George Smith wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Thanks very much George Smith! Do you have any thoughts on my guess on Larry Kanaga as the RCA source?
It's possible: could also be Jack Burgess ("general sales and promotion manager of the Victor single records division") or maybe field rep Brad McCuen (he did see Elvis in the South in May 1955).

Either way, it's a queer business because, bearing in mind EP was shifting records like crazy at this time, it's a clear case of biting the hand that feeds.
My thought is it would have to be someone close enough to have possibly been around for the 7-02-1956 studio session at RCA New York.

Also, it's worth remembering what Elvis defiantly said at the Russwood Park show in Memphis just two days after the session:

"You know, those people in New York aren't going to change me none.

I'm gonna show you what the real Elvis is like tonight!"


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by George Smith »

drjohncarpenter wrote:My thought is it would have to be someone close enough to have possibly been around for the 7-02-1956 studio session at RCA New York.

Also, it's worth remembering what Elvis defiantly said at the Russwood Park show in Memphis just two days after the session:

"You know, those people in New York aren't going to change me none.

I'm gonna show you what the real Elvis is like tonight!"
And isn't that a great quote!

I've always associated the phrase more with the Steve Allen debacle, to be honest, but I don't doubt that the Big Apple came to be one of Elvis' less favourite cities.

Just thinking about it, he really didn't like the early Nashville set-up, New York wasn't a positive experience, the "Love Me Tender" recordings were painful ... no wonder he came to love Radio Recorders and Thorne Nogar.



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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

George Smith wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:My thought is it would have to be someone close enough to have possibly been around for the 7-02-1956 studio session at RCA New York.

Also, it's worth remembering what Elvis defiantly said at the Russwood Park show in Memphis just two days after the session:

"You know, those people in New York aren't going to change me none.

I'm gonna show you what the real Elvis is like tonight!"
And isn't that a great quote!

I've always associated the phrase more with the Steve Allen debacle, to be honest, but I don't doubt that the Big Apple came to be one of Elvis' less favourite cities.

Just thinking about it, he really didn't like the early Nashville set-up, New York wasn't a positive experience, the "Love Me Tender" recordings were painful ... no wonder he came to love Radio Recorders and Thorne Nogar.
Great point. And Nogar liked him, appreciated his work.

Yeah, the "New York" comments may be directly linked to the Steve Allen show and resultant fan protest the next day, but nasty columns from New York critics like Jack Gould, and perhaps a bit of a "feeling" from the Big Apple executives from RCA, also played into the declaration made in Memphis.

Even years later, Elvis would speak derisively of "New York" engineers, such as when he heard mix-downs of the 1975 Today session tapes that he absolutely hated.


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by George Smith »

drjohncarpenter wrote:Great point. And Nogar liked him, appreciated his work.

Yeah, the "New York" comments may be directly linked to the Steve Allen show and resultant fan protest the next day, but nasty columns from New York critics like Jack Gould, and perhaps a bit of a "feeling" from the Big Apple executives from RCA, also played into the declaration made in Memphis.

Even years later, Elvis would speak derisively of "New York" engineers, such as when he heard mix-downs of the 1975 Today session tapes that he absolutely hated.
And if you add the failed Arthur Godfrey audition from '55 to the list it's probable that he really didn't like New York at all.

Which must have made his atomic bomb of a weekend in the Garden taste all the sweeter.

Like a prince from another planet indeed ...



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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by ian »

There's something really familiar regarding that magazine cover, :smt017 which is really great by the way! 8)


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by ian »

The fool wrote:Is Elvis Presley a Phony?
as revealed by Dick Kleiner
TV people, December 1956
Awesome!!!!! 8)


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

George Smith wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Great point. And Nogar liked him, appreciated his work.

Yeah, the "New York" comments may be directly linked to the Steve Allen show and resultant fan protest the next day, but nasty columns from New York critics like Jack Gould, and perhaps a bit of a "feeling" from the Big Apple executives from RCA, also played into the declaration made in Memphis.

Even years later, Elvis would speak derisively of "New York" engineers, such as when he heard mix-downs of the 1975 Today session tapes that he absolutely hated.
And if you add the failed Arthur Godfrey audition from '55 to the list it's probable that he really didn't like New York at all.

Which must have made his atomic bomb of a weekend in the Garden taste all the sweeter.

Like a prince from another planet indeed ...
New York was not a hell of a town for Elvis, at least until summer 1972.


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Re: Is Elvis Presley a Phony? (mag article)

Post by hilton22000 »

Very good article, very pro-Elvis. Thank you so much, you have an amazing collection :smt007

Can you please post the pages IMG2_0001 and IMG2_0002 a little bigger? You know me, i love a bigger scan...and these are new photos from Steve Allen show (new to me)
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