58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

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MikeFromHolland
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58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by MikeFromHolland »

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According to "Elvis Day By Day", researched and written by Peter Guralnick and Ernst Jorgensen, Dolores Hart gave a birthday party on February 22, 1958 for Jan Shepard. Jan played Elvis' sister in King Creole. The party was held at Dolores' Mother, Harriet Gordon's, house.

Elvis gave Jan Shepard a movie camera for her birthday with which this now well-known piece of footage was filmed:

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According to IMDB ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0791629/ ) Jan Shepard was born on March 19, 1928 in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA as Josephine Angela Sorbellpo. So we can consider this as an early birthday party. If the date in the book is correct. Is the date correct, she will turn 88 today:


Happy birthday Jan!

But I guess I'm a month to early.



A few pics from the party:
1958 02 22 01.jpg
1958 02 22 02.jpg
1958 02 22 03.jpg
1958 02 22 04.jpg

And an interview by MeganMMurphy with Jan Shepard (from 2011) about Elvis and Dolores Hart:

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Gunter
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Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by Gunter »

Happy times.
I saw this footage numerous times, but didn't exactly know the story behind it. Thanks for posting!


You know, that version of "Dixie" and uh, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," it's so beautiful!
The band he's put together is so over-the-top, and only Elvis would have that kinda spending power, and just audacious craziness. Choirs, and orchestras, and a great rhythm section, maybe another gospel group on the side. None of it makes sense until you suddenly hear something like that, and they're all playing a role in that, and it's very moving music. That's the pure joy of music in the man. You know, that's when I see everything stop.

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drjohncarpenter
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Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Lovely moment in time.

Assuming IMDb is correct, the birthday party was likely done on February 22 because the cast of "King Creole" was about to go on location in New Orleans, and the film would likely be wrapped by March 19.

Elvis brought the stuffed tiger you see in some of the photos as a gift for Jan Shepard, plus a home movie camera with film, and a light bar. Shepard had been asking him for photos, so she could show her neighbors that she really was working with him. There would be no home movies of this party if he hadn't brought this as a gift. Note that the last third of the home movie in the YouTube video is running in reverse (Elvis strumming the guitar, Dolores Hart laughing at the camera).

The video also claims the party was at Hart's mother's house, which is not quite correct. It was Dolores' home, too, located on Hazeltine Avenue in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles. She didn't find her own Hollywood apartment until after "King Creole." Having just landed a role in the film "Lonelyhearts," she was pressed for time. With the assistance of producer Paul Nathan, Dolores was allowed to live temporarily at her Paramount studio dressing room before finding a flat on Flores Street in West Hollywood.

You'll find many of these party images and more information here:

Jan Shepard Birthday Party -> February 22, 1958
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=38004


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epf

Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by epf »

Nice footage. Elvis already has the big ending movements at the piano, it seems. Cool stuff. Thanks Mike and Doc for the follow up.



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Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by drjohncarpenter »

epf wrote:Nice footage. Elvis already has the big ending movements at the piano, it seems. Cool stuff. Thanks Mike and Doc for the follow up.
I'm now pretty sure at least half of that footage is running backwards. I wish someone could fix it.

Another interesting note is that Jan Shepard and her husband, Ray Boyle (who you also see at this party), are apparently still together today. She's almost 88 and he's 90. How wild is that?


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epf

Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by epf »

Doc, you think Elvis isn't having a bg ending on the piano?



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Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by drjohncarpenter »

epf wrote:Doc, you think Elvis isn't having a bg ending on the piano?
That segment may be correct. One portion for sure running backwards is when Elvis is seen strumming the guitar. Very irritating.


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Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by MikeFromHolland »

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Corrected.

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Last edited by MikeFromHolland on Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by drjohncarpenter »

You may want to delete that image you just uploaded, where he's holding a pack of Salem cigarettes:
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=38004&p=1464954#p1464954


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Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by Steve Morse »

I'm fairly certain I've seen it before, but what a gorgeous interview with Jan Shepard !


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Re: 58 years ago today: Jan Shepards birthday party

Post by MikeFromHolland »

Steve Morse wrote:I'm fairly certain I've seen it before, but what a gorgeous interview with Jan Shepard !
Fully agree, Steve.


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