A new documentary was shown on the New York Public Service Station Tuesday night. This means no commercial breaks but plenty of pauses for donations to be pledged. Although it ran two hours, much was taken up by this. Should I tell you about the jump suited impersonators shown taking phone calls that were so full of themselves that if the pledges didn't roll in, you knew why?
OK back to Elvis. Yes it was something new, some unseen clips, many times reverting back to his younger days. It was a real pleasure to watch ,some of the clips went wisking by, some like the Milton Berle Show and Stage Show given a little more time to be enjoyed. It seemed to have no set pattern. Every once in a while they threw in Elvis giving a few words here or there regarding some point that they brought up. For instance, a sentence here and then later again from Madison Square Garden interview. Glen Campbell spoke, and Sam Phillips got all excited again talking about his part of Elvis' rise to fame. DJ Fontana talked about Louisiana Hayride and Elvis meeting Colonel Parker who got him to NYC. and a contract for RCA.
It then showed Elvis' outstanding, outrageous rendition of Hound Dog on the Milton Berle and then showed the subdued version on Steve Allen's show, almost humiliated in white tie and tails singing to a live dog. Then Ed Sullivan ,short clips of each of the shows. And then on to Hollywood. Hy Gardner spoke to Elvis about
wishing to be another James Dean in his acting. Jerry Shilling told us how King Creole was being written for James Dean, the lead was a fighter. After James Dean was killed in an accident, the part was changed and geared to a singer, with Elvis as the star. Anita Woods and George Klein spoke a few times on Elvis' wish for a good part in a good movie to show his acting abilities. Charlie Hodge and Joe Esposito spoke of the shock of him being, drafted. Soon after entering the army ,the passing of his mother was noticebly too unbearabearable because he shipped out to Germany right after. It was hard for him to hide his grief, and Charlie told of his heartbreak at night in the bunk above when he thought no one could hear. They went on to say he did his job well in the army, without complains. More 'not often seen clips' of post army interviews. Then two songs on Frank Sinatra homecoming TV show.
Out to Hollywood, for eight long years of doing movies he didn't want to do, singing songs he didn't want to sing. Co stars comments on the boredom. Priscilla arriving at Graceland , Elvis still the ladies man in Hollywood. Then along came Ann Margaret and Viva Las Vegas. They were hot both on screen and off. Joe Esposito admits that they were in love. Jerry Shilling and Myrna Smith proclaim them a perfect couple, in love but 'career defeated' for a perfect match made in heaven. They talk of Elvis' marriage to Priscilla, the birth of Lisa Marie and the apparent happiness in Elvis' life.
The craving for a live audience finally being satisfied with the hugely successful 68 Comeback TV show. Steve Binder and Terri Garr speak. Back to old clips again of the beginning days. Money Honey in full and also Heartbreak Hotel. Clips of Kenny Rodgers ,Connie Stevens, Sherri North ,Tony Orlando and Barbara McNair throughout make their feeling known. The film shows us a few songs from Aloha, and On Tour. What stood out tremendously were comments about Elvis' excitement and happiness when Barbara Streisand came to offer him "A Star Is Born". Then the sad rejection he felt when the Colonel turned it down. The slump in his enthusiasm was evident in more pills, more medication. Someone, I forgot who, said they were a band-aid for his hurt. Marion Cocke and Dr Nick spoke a bit.
The program ended saying there will be Elvis Forever and remarked that 25 years later, America the Beautiful hit # 6 on Billboards Chart.