BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 10th, 2019 – 2:00 PM
HOMEWOOD LIBRARY – 1721 OXMOOR ROAD 35209
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY, APRIL 14th, 2019 THE SECOND SUNDAY
Don’t forget that we ‘Spring Forward’ this Sunday, March 10th. Be sure to set your clocks ahead 1 hour Saturday night as you prepare for bed. If you’re like me you have at least one clock around the house that doesn’t set itself.
THIS MONTH’S MEETING
Thanks to John and Don for last month’s program, the interesting and informative video, ‘The Last Day’, a film about the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. It included so many interviews that I had never seen before. If you have not seen it you can find it on youtube under the title ‘Buddy Holly – The Last Day’. The video is in 4 parts and are listed as 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4. A total of about 46 minutes.
This month we have a special guest. Larry Graves, BRC Hall of Fame member (The Premiers) will speak about the evolution of music in the Birmingham area as we moved from the early stages of R&R, mid-1950’s into the early 1960’s and into the British Invasion. I know he will provide us with many insights since he was part of the music scene during that time. Be there and bring a friend.
ELVIS MOVIES AND THE MUSIC
Writing down my thoughts last month about ‘The Day The Music Died’ I mentioned that Elvis’ recordings had soften just a little bit. Part of this was due to the movies he was now making and some of his hits were coming from those soundtracks. There were a lot of songs that were written for the movie and these were not songs that were going to get air-play on the radio. I thought I would take a look at the movie soundtracks and pick out some of the songs that I enjoyed at the time, some being played on the radio and some not.
Elvis made 31 movies from 1956-1969. There were LP soundtracks released for 17 of the movies. Of the remaining fourteen, eight would have an EP released, four would have songs released as singles, one would have the title song released as a B-side (Charro!), and one (Stay Away, Joe) would have songs released two years later on the budget LP, ‘Let’s Be Friends’. Depending on space I will cover a many LP’s as possible. I’ll take a look at the EP’s and singles later.
‘Loving You’ was the first movie LP and reached #1 on the charts. It had quite a few good songs on the soundtrack but only two charted, the title song and ‘Teddy Bear’. The songs that I like include ‘Mean Woman Blues’, ‘Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do’, ‘Party’ ‘I Need You So’ and ‘Don’t Leave Me Now’. His cover of ‘Blueberry Hill’ is a very good one with a bluesy piano backing him.
‘King Creole’ also reached #1 on the LP charts but only two songs charted. Both of these from the same 45, ‘Hard Headed Woman’ / ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’. But the soundtrack had was loaded with good rock and ballads. I particularly liked ‘King Creole’, ‘Hard Headed Woman’, ‘Trouble’ and ‘New Orleans’. ‘Young Dreams’ and ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ both had good melodies and ‘Dixieland Rock’ let Elvis get back to some fun rock & roll.
Another LP that went to # 1 on the charts was ‘G. I. Blues’ but no songs from the LP charted. ‘Wooden Heart’ did make it to # 1 in the UK but not in the states. I think this may the first soundtrack that most of the songs are ‘made for the movie’. I enjoyed ‘G. I Blues’ and ‘Shoppin’ Around’ but that about does it. The others are OK but are too ‘made for the movie’ for me.
The longest # 1 charted LP Elvis had was ‘Blue Hawaii’. It was at #1 for twenty weeks. But with all that success it also had only 2 songs chart. ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ and ‘Rock-A-Hula Baby’. Probably having Hawaii as the background for the movie, two songs that I believe people enjoyed but were not released as a single and the two songs that charted helped with the popularity of the movie and LP. The songs I mentioned that were not released as single were the title track and ‘Hawaiian Wedding Song’. I wonder how often that song was used and has been used at weddings. Again the songs were too much ‘movie songs’ for me but I enjoyed ‘Beach Boys Blues’ and ‘Slicin’ Sand’. Not the lyrics so much but the music.
‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’ would only make it to # 3 on the LP charts and had only one charted 45, ‘Return To Sender’ / ‘Where Do You Come From’. These charted at # 2 / # 99 respectively. The title track was a fun one and ‘I Don’t Want To Be Tied’ had its moments. For me the best song on this soundtrack was ‘Return To Sender’.
The soundtrack from ‘It Happened At The World’s Fair’ was again full of songs made for a movie scene and not much else. Now don’t get me wrong, if a person enjoyed Elvis’ voice, as I did, the songs from all movies were fun to listen to but they didn’t have the energy that his early stuff did. From this LP came again only one single to chart – ‘One Broken Heart For Sale’ / ‘They Remind Me Too Much Of You’. Neither broke the top ten, # 11 / # 53 respectively.
Elvis’ final LP release before the arrival of The Beatles was the soundtrack from ‘Fun In Acapulco’. The songs were full of the Mexican horn sound and to me corny lyrics and titles, such as ‘El Toro’, ‘The Bullfighter Was A Lady’, and (‘There’s) No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car’. But ‘Bossa Nova Baby’ was a good one. It charted at # 8 but the strange thing about that single was the flip. It was a song that wasn’t in the movie or on the soundtrack – ‘Witchcraft’. There were two bonus tracks on the LP and one, ‘Love Me Tonight’ was a very nice Elvis ballad.
I’ve always enjoyed the song, ‘Kissin’ Cousins’ and as far as the songs in the movie goes, the others were a little lame but even Elvis could make them OK to listen to. ‘Tender Feeling’ was a good ballad and ‘Once Is Enough’ has a good rock sound but still has that ‘movie’ feel. Other than the title track I would say the best songs from the LP were not in the movie. One being ‘Anyone (Could Fall In Love With You)’. Again, only one single reached the charts – ‘Kissin’ Cousins’, making it to # 12. The flip was ‘It Hurts Me’ (# 29) which was not a song form the movie nor the LP.
After 4 straight soundtrack LP not making # 1 , ‘Roustabout’ did it. Although a number of the songs fit the ‘made for the movie’ theme, I had quite a few from this one I enjoyed listening to. The title track was a good one. ‘Little Egypt’ was one I liked a lot. Being a cover from an old Coasters song, it wasn’t just a movie song. ‘Hard Knocks’ was a fun rocker that was a good one. Two nice ballads were ‘It’s A Wonderful World’ and ‘Big Love, Big Heartache’. And you can throw in ‘One Track Heart’ and although it had a corny title, ‘Carny Town’ (although it was only 1:10 long) as favorites of mine from the LP.
‘Girl Happy’ made the charts at # 8. Two songs charted, ‘Do The Clam’ (#21) and ‘Puppet On A String’ (#14). The strange thing about the two is that ‘Do The Clam’ was released when the movie was, March, 1965 but ‘Puppet On A String’ didn’t come out as a single until November that year. ‘Do The Clam’ had a flip that was on the LP but not in the movie and ‘Puppet…’ had ‘Wooden Heart’, from ‘G I Blues’ as the flip. These two were recorded 4-5 years apart. As far as the songs go, the title track was a fun, faster song, ‘Startin’ Tonight’ had promise but the lyrics weren’t that good. ‘Cross My Heart And Hope To Die’ kept my attention. The bonus track on the LP was ‘You’ll Be Gone’ and it was similar to ‘Surrender’ and was written by Elvis and two of his good friends.
Well, that’s all I have room for. That leaves seven soundtracks. I’ll check those out next month along with the EP’s and singles that were released.
Don’t forget to check out all the new internet radio shows the club has on its website. Go to http://www.birminghamrecord.com/brc/ and click on ‘RADIO’. New shows added weekly.
Elvis – from the movie Roustabout