'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

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'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby PiersEIN » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:36 am

Respected Elvis author (Reconsider Baby) has written this great article for EIN.
'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956'
It's over 3000 words but is a cracker read.

‘Every girl watching him sees herself as Elvis’ partner in his fantastic writhing orgy’: Elvis Presley and the Press in his Breakthrough Year.

By the beginning of 1956, everything was in place for Elvis Presley to burst onto the national and international music scene. Since July 1954, his recordings for Sun and his exciting live performances had brought him regional fame, and Presley was rewarded for his hard work at the end of 1955 when he was signed to the major label RCA. Within weeks, he would record Heartbreak Hotel, his first single for RCA and his first to reach number 1 in the U.S. charts, and then, at the end of January 1956, he would appear on national television for the first time.

Despite all of the success that 1956 would bring Elvis, with three singles and two albums reaching the top spot in the U.S. charts (and that’s without mentioning the release of Elvis’s first film), the year would also prove to be a difficult one when it came to his treatment in the national and international press. So, let’s go back in time and examine how a single television performance in June 1956 resulted in a change of attitudes towards Elvis within the media from little more than curiosity about the new phenomenon to downright hostility and revulsion.


Image
Elvis on his first national TV appearance, January 28th 1956, Stage Show

Elvis Presley’s first national TV appearance was on the January 28th 1956 edition of Stage Show (CBS, 1954-1956), hosted by big band leaders Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Rather strangely, Elvis didn’t perform Heartbreak Hotel, his first RCA single, until his third appearance on the series. By this point, he appeared to be causing little controversy beyond a few raised eyebrows. The trade journal Motion Picture Daily referred to him in advance of his fourth appearance as ‘an abandoned performer who plays and sings in a manner that Marlon Brando should, and doesn’t’ – no doubt a dig at Brando’s vocalising in the previous year’s film Guys and Dolls (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1955). What is interesting (and largely forgotten) is that viewing figures for Stage Show did not significantly increase during Elvis’s six appearances.



Go here for the full article..
http://www.elvisinfonet.com/Spotlight-P ... Brown.html

It also leads nicely into a follow-up article on 'Steve Allen and Elvis' where Shane Brown has discovered some interesting facts that challenge the usual Steve Allen Myths.

My thanks to Shane for his hard work and his fine investigations.
Enjoy the read ..
Cheers
Piers

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Mountain Mist » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:24 am

I know this is just fun article, but I have to say, noooooo to this, lol:

Every girl watching him sees herself as Elvis’ partner in his fantastic writhing orgy’
"Hi Jim, it's Jamie at the police impound, they picked up your car again, lately they've been driving it more than you have."

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby elvislady » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:39 am

Thanks piers, I enjoyed this article, Looking back elvis stayed humble throughout the rest of his life, When your born with nothing, you appreciate the finer things in life and want to share them. My favorite bit of the article.
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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby cadillac-elvis » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:43 am

There may not have been significant increases in the viewing numbers on those Dorsey shows, but
the difference between the first four appearances and the 5th appearance is very noticable.
the reaction of the live audience has changed. It's no longer polite or nervous applause, they are losing it and letting themselves go.
Elvis must have felt the difference too. Of course by this time, he had his first real national hit on the charts as well.

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Lawrence » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:32 am

Thanks for posting Piers, made for a nice little read on a rainy Sunday morning.


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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Mojo Filter » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:45 am

cadillac-elvis wrote:There may not have been significant increases in the viewing numbers on those Dorsey shows, but
the difference between the first four appearances and the 5th appearance is very noticable.
the reaction of the live audience has changed. It's no longer polite or nervous applause, they are losing it and letting themselves go.
Elvis must have felt the difference too. Of course by this time, he had his first real national hit on the charts as well.

Yes, the Dorsey shows did have quite a stir by the 5th appearance for the reason you state, but if I remember correctly, there are some screams and reactions starting from the second appearance. Of course, the first show Elvis was an unknown, outside the south anyway, so the reaction was going to be moderate from a national point of view because they didn't know who he was, even though by that point he'd already caused sparks in the south with his unique brand of music that caused the initial change in music by future musicians while he was at Sun, and now he was spreading that change even more nationally by TV exposure. But even the first show you can bet that people started talking "who the hell's that?"or "he's weird" because he so different from all previous entertainers before him, certainly this would be the case outside the south. Elvis' regional fans were probably watching him from the first Dorsey show.

But the second Dorsey show did cause enough stir and interest from Hal Wallis to give Elvis a screen test for Paramount in March 1956 when someone told him, "switch onto the CBS program and watch this guy". As a result, Wallis was impressed and admitted that the boy "had something" that could result in something special for the big screen.

The Dorsey shows may not have had the TV ratings of Berle or Sullivan but they certainly did send ripples throughout America, and the very reason he was booked for the Berle show.

The reason the Berle show caused such controvsey was because of his "stage act". If you study Elvis' stage act from Jan '56 to '57, by television footage and concert footage from both years, you can see that it progressed wilder and wilder as time moves forward. For instance, the Dorsey shows basically has him just shaking his legs (and I must point out that the cameras on the Dorsey shows don't really show all of his legs and in some cases not even below the waist, it's only when it comes to Scotty's solos that the camera moves back a little and even then not past the knees sometimes) and playing the guitar which he does all the way through the song except for "I Was The One" where he removes the guitar. So that's the difference between the Dorseys and the Berle the stage act was a little wilder on the Berle show. And "Heartbreak Hotel" plus his first album were massive sellers before he even hit the Berle show and part of the reason for its success was his appearances on the Dorsey that boosted the sales no doubt.

In later performances, TV or Concerts, the guitar is virtually not being used and giving Elvis more freedom to move around because he knows it's his stage act that is causing the mayhem so he does it more and more and exaggerates his moves and this is what is captured on the Berle Show and people couldn't believe it.

But his act gets even wilder, particularly in concerts as '56 is nearing its end where he starts to lie all over the stage, dragging the mic across the stage floor, dropping to his knees. Unfortunately not much of this is caught on film except for the 57 Tupelo footage, which is a shame really.
Last edited by Mojo Filter on Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Colin B » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:46 am

The author referred to, whose name Piers doesn't reveal in full, is: Shane Brown.
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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby cadillac-elvis » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:08 pm

Mojo Filter wrote:
cadillac-elvis wrote:There may not have been significant increases in the viewing numbers on those Dorsey shows, but
the difference between the first four appearances and the 5th appearance is very noticable.
the reaction of the live audience has changed. It's no longer polite or nervous applause, they are losing it and letting themselves go.
Elvis must have felt the difference too. Of course by this time, he had his first real national hit on the charts as well.

Yes, the Dorsey shows did have quite a stir by the 5th appearance for the reason you state, but if I remember correctly, there are some screams and reactions starting from the second appearance. Of course, the first show Elvis was an unknown, outside the south anyway, so the reaction was going to be moderate from a national point of view because they didn't know who he was, even though by that point he'd already caused sparks in the south with his unique brand of music that caused the initial change in music by future musicians while he was at Sun, and now he was spreading that change even more nationally by TV exposure. But even the first show you can bet that people started talking "who the hell's that?"or "he's weird" because he so different from all previous entertainers before him, certainly this would be the case outside the south. Elvis' regional fans were probably watching him from the first Dorsey show.

But the second Dorsey show did cause enough stir and interest from Hal Wallis to give Elvis a screen test for Paramount in March 1956 when someone told him, "switch onto the CBS program and watch this guy". As a result, Wallis was impressed and admitted that the boy "had something" that could result in something special for the big screen.

The Dorsey shows may not have had the TV ratings of Berle or Sullivan but they certainly did send ripples throughout America, and the very reason he was booked for the Berle show.

The reason the Berle show caused such controvsey was because of his "stage act". If you study Elvis' stage act from Jan '56 to '57, by television footage and concert footage from both years, you can see that it progressed wilder and wilder as time moves forward. For instance, the Dorsey shows basically has him just shaking his legs (and I must point out that the cameras on the Dorsey shows don't really show all of his legs and in some cases not even below the waist, it's only when it comes to Scotty's solos that the camera moves back a little and even then not past the knees sometimes) and playing the guitar which he does all the way through the song except for "I Was The One" where he removes the guitar. So that's the difference between the Dorseys and the Berle the stage act was a little wilder on the Berle show. And "Heartbreak Hotel" plus his first album were massive sellers before he even hit the Berle show and part of the reason for its success was his appearances on the Dorsey that boosted the sales no doubt.

In later performances, TV or Concerts, the guitar is virtually not being used and giving Elvis more freedom to move around because he knows it's his stage act that is causing the mayhem so he does it more and more and exaggerates his moves and this is what is captured on the Berle Show and people couldn't believe it.

But his act gets even wilder, particularly in concerts as '56 is nearing its end where he starts to lie all over the stage, dragging the mic across the stage floor, dropping to his knees. Unfortunately not much of this is caught on film except for the 57 Tupelo footage, which is a shame really.


Also note, and I think this is significant is that Elvis was originally signed to do 4 Dorsey shows with an option to add 2 more.
but the first 4 appearances were done in consecutive weeks. But, after the 4th appearance on
Feb. 18th, he didn't appear again on the show until Mar. 17th. So, for another 4 weeks, after that 4th appearance, "Heartbreak Hotel" was allowed to climb the charts. so, when he comes back on Mar. 17th, he was allowed to do the song, like it sounded on the record, rather than the ill-fated orchestra version from the third appearance on Feb. 11th. And it's obvious people knew who we was, and he had found new "friends".

On the last Dorsey show, which was also great, but he cut out one verse of "Heartbreak Hotel".

When he comes aboard the Navy Ship to do his first appearance on the Berle show, it doesn't seem like he had the impact he had on
the Dorsey shows.
It looks like the audience is all adult and mainly service men and woman.
I don't think there was much controversey with this show, and audience reaction is not
on the level of the 5th and 6th Dorsey shows.
Then of course comes the second Berle show that the stir began, the whole Elvis is vulgar campaign got it's start.
When he slowed down the ending to "hound dog", when his movements were quite outrageous for the time,
he got quite a bit of negative publicity, but that was great for his popularity.
And of course by then he had his 7 year movie contract and he was on a roll that wouldn't stop.

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Mister Moon » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:36 pm

PiersEIN wrote:Respected Elvis author (Reconsider Baby) has written this great article for EIN.
'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956'
It's over 3000 words but is a cracker read.

‘Every girl watching him sees herself as Elvis’ partner in his fantastic writhing orgy’: Elvis Presley and the Press in his Breakthrough Year.

By the beginning of 1956, everything was in place for Elvis Presley to burst onto the national and international music scene. Since July 1954, his recordings for Sun and his exciting live performances had brought him regional fame, and Presley was rewarded for his hard work at the end of 1955 when he was signed to the major label RCA. Within weeks, he would record Heartbreak Hotel, his first single for RCA and his first to reach number 1 in the U.S. charts, and then, at the end of January 1956, he would appear on national television for the first time.

Despite all of the success that 1956 would bring Elvis, with three singles and two albums reaching the top spot in the U.S. charts (and that’s without mentioning the release of Elvis’s first film), the year would also prove to be a difficult one when it came to his treatment in the national and international press. So, let’s go back in time and examine how a single television performance in June 1956 resulted in a change of attitudes towards Elvis within the media from little more than curiosity about the new phenomenon to downright hostility and revulsion.


Image
Elvis on his first national TV appearance, January 28th 1956, Stage Show

Elvis Presley’s first national TV appearance was on the January 28th 1956 edition of Stage Show (CBS, 1954-1956), hosted by big band leaders Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Rather strangely, Elvis didn’t perform Heartbreak Hotel, his first RCA single, until his third appearance on the series. By this point, he appeared to be causing little controversy beyond a few raised eyebrows. The trade journal Motion Picture Daily referred to him in advance of his fourth appearance as ‘an abandoned performer who plays and sings in a manner that Marlon Brando should, and doesn’t’ – no doubt a dig at Brando’s vocalising in the previous year’s film Guys and Dolls (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1955). What is interesting (and largely forgotten) is that viewing figures for Stage Show did not significantly increase during Elvis’s six appearances.



Go here for the full article..
http://www.elvisinfonet.com/Spotlight-P ... Brown.html

It also leads nicely into a follow-up article on 'Steve Allen and Elvis' where Shane Brown has discovered some interesting facts that challenge the usual Steve Allen Myths.

My thanks to Shane for his hard work and his fine investigations.
Enjoy the read ..
Cheers
Piers


Thanks, Piers and Shane. That was an interesting read.

May I say... "Heartbreak Hotel" was not "his first single for RCA" - the label had reissued the five Sun singles before that. It was, indeed, the first one with new material.

Also, Elvis did not enjoy just "three singles (...) reaching the top spot in the U.S. charts" in 1956. All four main single releases in 1956 topped the charts, and the last Sun single, which was simultaneously available in both labels, did also reach number one in the c&W charts.

Looking forward to the article on Steve Allen.


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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby cadillac-elvis » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:40 pm

Mister Moon, I don't think they count "I want you, I need you , I love you" as a number one.
It didn't quite make it. Number 3 if I recall without looking it up.

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Mister Moon » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:58 pm

cadillac-elvis wrote:Mister Moon, I don't think they count "I want you, I need you , I love you" as a number one.
It didn't quite make it. Number 3 if I recall without looking it up.


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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby cadillac-elvis » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:17 pm

Oh, the country chart. I understand.
I usually only think of the pop/rock chart for comparisons.

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Mister Moon » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:20 pm

cadillac-elvis wrote:Oh, the country chart. I understand.
I usually only think of the pop/rock chart for comparisons.


To me, there were three main charts - pop, r&b, and c&w. That's why, for example, it is often mentioned that "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins was the first ever record to top all three charts. The following one was "Heartbreak Hotel", if I'm not mistaken.

It's not like "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" was the best selling record in x city, or the most played by x, etc. It was the best selling c&w record in the USA, in that given week, at least (I haven't checked further).

But I can understand others taking the pop chart as the measuring stick, Maybe that's why Shane wrote that.

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Jukebox » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:43 pm

cadillac-elvis wrote:When he comes aboard the Navy Ship to do his first appearance on the Berle show, it doesn't seem like he had the impact he had on the Dorsey shows. It looks like the audience is all adult and mainly service men and woman.

It was outdoors in front of a military crowd (as you mentioned).
Their reaction was good and they seemed to enjoy Elvis... and his band! :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PeZ-JKJ81w

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Re: 'Orgies and Orgasms: Presley In The Press 1956' - article

Postby Mister Moon » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:30 pm

Jukebox wrote:
cadillac-elvis wrote:When he comes aboard the Navy Ship to do his first appearance on the Berle show, it doesn't seem like he had the impact he had on the Dorsey shows. It looks like the audience is all adult and mainly service men and woman.

It was outdoors in front of a military crowd (as you mentioned).
Their reaction was good and they seemed to enjoy Elvis... and the animated Bill Black! :)


That first Berle performance is fabulous, but it is somewhat overshadowed by the June appearance.

Elvis does fantastic versions of "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Blue Suede Shoes". The latter, like the one he did on March 17 on "Stage Show", is superior to the January studio cut, much closer to the 1955 Carl Perkins unbeatable Sun original.



560403 Shoes.jpg





Here's the entire broadcast, in case someone has not watched it yet. Elvis appears between the 17:00 and 25:30 points. Oh, and don't miss Elvis' 10 second version of "Shake, Rattle And Roll", sung during the show's introductions, and as yet officially unreleased (2;14 / 2;27) :



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMlU8K9h-rw&t=131s
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