Thursday, March 25, 2010

Take This Tune - The "Caught in a Trap" Version

Jamie from Duward Discussion also hosts Take This Tune which - generally speaking - is a Monday meme wherein she gives us a video prompt and then we are to write whatever pops into our little old heads in regards to the prompt.  It's a pretty cool meme and as it's related to music, I thoroughly enjoy it but - to be honest - Mondays are tough for me what with that whole working-16-hours-on-Sunday thing.  I've tried being organized enough to do the post ahead of time on Saturday being that the prompt is up on the previous Friday but alas, the ducks that I used to have in a row have scattered all over the place and I can't seem to get my blact (that's blogging + act in the Queen's Blenglish) together.  Hence the reason you get a Monday meme on Thursday.  Ah well, the world's not blerfect, is it?  And bletter blate than blever, right?

Alright then, enough foolishness!  This week's video prompt came courtesy of Alannah Myles belting out Black Velvet in tribute to the King and not the whiskey - Elvis Presley himself.  Now I suppose that by all counts I could be old enough to be one of those girls who thought Elvis was all that and a bag of chips as well as several different sides of dip but truth be told, I don't recall ever being gaga over the guy.  His first single Love Me Tender came out in 1956 when I wasn't even a twinkle in my mother's eye and by the time he made his big comeback television special in 1968 I was still only ten years old and more interested in Little Joe on Bonanza (Michael Landon was totally dreamy when he was younger!) than I was about the guy with the swivel hips who shocked and rocked a nation.

That's not to say the fella didn't have songs that I liked as he did - Can't Help Falling in Love, She's Not You, A Little Less Conversation, and my all-time favorite - Suspicious Minds. Leave it to me to be enamored of a song about being trapped in a mistrusting and dysfunctional relationship!

Suspicious Minds, written by Houston songwriter Mark James, aka Frank Zambon, was widely regarded as the single that jump-started Presley's career after that comeback special that I mentioned above. Elvis hadn't been doing live stage performances during most of the 60's as he was concentrating mostly on Hollywood movies and soundtrack albums but in 1968 he re-energized his career with the help of the Singer Sewing Machine Company who sponsored his '68 Comeback Special on NBC. The show led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours including the first concert broadcast globally via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii, which was seen by approximately 1.5 billion viewers - I was not one.

Elvis recorded Suspicious Minds along with at least another two hit singles that are on my "List of Elvis Songs I Like" - In the Ghetto and Kentucky Rain - during the 13-day recording span (the so-called "Memphis Sessions")  in February of 1969 at American Sound Studio in Tennessee.  The song was first performed at the Las Vegas Hilton on July 31st, 1969 and the 45-rpm single was released that fall.  It reached number one in the United States the week of November 1st and stayed there for just that one week before it was booted off the top spot by The Fifth Dimension's Wedding Bell Blues on November 8th.  Ah yes, another song right up my alley with dual themes of adoring love and frustrated lament. ... sigh ...  Anyhow, Suspicious Minds would be Presley's final number-one single in the U.S. before his death in August of 1977 due to a compromised health system from prescription drug abuse - talk about being caught in a trap and can't walk out.


Ah well, as the song goes "If there's a rock and roll heaven, you know they've got a hell of a band" ...

11 comments:

  1. A very long time I came to the conclusion that 'this boy just ain't right'. Lots of weird stuff went on in his life - his strange relationship with his mother, Priscilla, his friends. A strange enigma was he.

    I loved his gospel music more than any of the rest.

    Big hugs xo

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  2. Some great shots of Elvis, Linda! I have a post up for Take This Tune too! Wasn't the 68 concert on TV just the best? :)

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  3. he was so incredibly handsome!

    I love the Black Velvet single by Alannah, she never did a lot did she? she has a great voice

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  4. Whee you and the Queen doing the same meme in the same week. Who says Elvis has left the building?

    Just for the record as printed on the Take This Tune page, while the official day is Monday, you may sign in and post any day up until the next Friday when the song changes.

    I hope lots and lots more folks will join in because everyone's take on a song is completely different.

    Of the later songs, I think Suspicious Minds and Kentucky Rain are my favorites ... must be the songs to be dysfunctional and deserted by aspect. :-)

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  5. My mother loved Elvis. She was devastated when he died.

    Have a terrific day Linda. Big hug. :)

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  6. Oh be still my heart! I've been a huge Elvis fan ever since I was a little girl and have quite the collection on him that spans 40 years:-) That video really showed him at his best, he was so very handsome. Suspicious Minds is also one of my favourite songs of his!! xoxo

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  7. Kentucky Rain is my fav..maybe cause an old beau used to sing it to me. You can have the rest.

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  8. You always do such a great job of packing so much information in your essays. I really enjoy that!

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  9. My Mom loved Elvis.

    And I learned something new, I never knew that Black Velvet was about Elvis. Really interesting :)

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  10. Yep, I'll go along with bletter blate than blever. I'm here late..It's Saturday.

    He was a good lookin' guy. What a sad ending to his llfe.

    Ralph always says he never should have gone in the Army..that's where his drug addiction started. He left way too young.

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  11. Yep, I'll go along with bletter blate than blever. I'm here late..It's Saturday.

    He was a good lookin' guy. What a sad ending to his llfe.

    Ralph always says he never should have gone in the Army..that's where his drug addiction started. He left way too young.

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