Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Night At The Liberal Curmudgeon: Elvis Presley Live

Elvis Presley died 37 years ago today, at age 42, in Memphis. Above, "The King of Rock and Roll" performed "Hound Dog" on the Milton Berle Show, June 5, 1956. "Hound Dog" was written by the famed songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and originally recorded by Big Mama Thornton in 1952. Scotty Moore, cited by Rolling Stone as 29th in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists, accompanies Elvis. Elvis's gyrations during this performance outraged conservative opinion and led to his being dubbed "Elvis the Pelvis." I recommend Peter Guralnick's two-volume biography, "Last Train To Memphis" and "Careless Love," covering Elvis Presley's rise and decline, as well as the birth of rock and roll.


Michael J. Mand said...

And I recommend the Off-Broadway production of 'Piece of My Heart (The Bert Berns Story)' by The Signature Theatre Company. Relegated to being a rock and roll footnote due to a business dispute with Atlantic Records' Jerry Wexler, Berns was a significant participant in the works of Lieber and Stoller, including "Hound Dog". An even more accurant account of Berns contribution to rock and roll can be found in Joel Selvin's 'Here Comes the Night (The Dark Soul of Bert Berns)', a veritable encyclopedia of R & B and rock and roll of the late 50s and early 60s.

Jeff Tone said...

Putting it on my list. Thanks!