From the opening scene this is something you want to watch. Elvis standing there guitar in hand with the back drop of Elvis’s in silhouette, belting out Trouble/Guitar Man. Pull out to the long shot of Elvis playing the guitar and finishing the song while standing in the iconic ELVIS sign, is amazing.
I think most people will agree, Elvis looks goooooooood. Elvis is sitting around with a few of his band members jamming, surrounded by audience members…girls…lots of screaming girls. First up Lawdy Miss Clawdy, just who is Tarnell (?) Elvis sits with the guys reminiscing about the old days and tells a few stories, nice to hear them from the horse’s mouth. Heartbreak Hotel is sung standing on the stage, and this is where we get a really good view of that outfit. Top to toe in black leather. This is the start of the high collar phase. He sounds awesome and looks, probably, better than he ever has.
This special was sponsored by Singer Sewing Machine, the actual title is Singer Presents Elvis, and Tom Parker actually only intended it to be Christmas songs, the world can thank Steve Binder for having other ideas. Where Tom Parker saw a quick buck to be made, Steve Binder saw an opportunity, an opportunity to re-establish Elvis’s career.
Many stand out moments in this special. One of the truly greatest moments is the gospel number, starting with Sometimes I Feel LIke A Motherless Child. The costumes, the dancers and the choreography are great and memorable. “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” / “Where Could I go But To The Lord” / “Up Above My Head” / Saved. I am sure these day this scene would have been filmed and edited until it was completely perfect, this is not perfect and you just gotta love it for that. Slightly out of sync singing and dancing, ah who cares if it’s not perfect, life just isn’t perfect.
Jamming with the guys, I’m Going Up, it’s just so simple and so damn good. Nice to see Elvis enjoying himself, even if he is sweating heavily, “Man, this suits hot, I’m telling ya!” Blue Christmas is working into the special, I’m guessing just to shut Tom Parker up, and the girls go wild…I think it is Charlie Hodge that yells at the girls to “give it up!” I guess they get sick of getting yelled at all the time. The guy playing the tambourine next to Elvis is Lance LeGault (also starred in the A-Team), who often doubled for Elvis in the movies and had bit parts as well.
“I think I’ll put a strap on this and stand up…” then he launches into the made up song, to the tune of One Night With You…fan-bloody-tastic (that’s Australian for: really good.) Seriously, if you haven’t seen it…why? and you should!
Now I could spend the rest of this post just naming the next song and telling you how great it is…let’s just assume that I love them all and you should too 🙂
Nothinville…kinda reminiscant of Roustabout (to me anyway). Leads into the bordello scene…Let Yourself Go. This scene was not aired and only release in 1981. Amazing and amusing. Very raunchy stuff, and boy oh boy does he look like he is enjoying himself. The outfits that the girls are almost wearing are great, all in pink, then the funny little dance that the girls do in the style of the 1920’s is so well done, all this while Susan Henning (she was also the mermaid in Live A Little Love A Little) and Elvis are playing around seductively, until the cops raid the place.
Big Boss Man number, really have to say that the people who produce and wrote this special really did a great job. Elvis had never done anything like this, it works so well. Three different shots of Trouble edited together, is so right.
Elvis ends the special with If I Can Dream…Unbelievable way to finish this iconic piece of television.
Now seriously, if you haven’t seen this special, you really need to go out and buy a copy for yourself. Watch it watch it watch it.
Co Stars Alive: D.J. Fontana YEP
Scotty Moore YEP
Charlie Hodge NOPE
Lance LeGault NOPE
My Favourite Song: Let Yourself Go/Tiger Man
Most Popular Song: If I Can Dream
Stay tuned for Day 29 (part 2) of ELVIS MONTH