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Elvis Hawaii ‘61

By ElvisNews.com / KeesAug 11, 2006
Join Joe Tunzi and Elvis on a sunny benefit trip to Hawaii.

Design

The book is done in the same fashion as Joe Tunzi’s other picture books; a colorful cover, a lot of black and white images and a color section as the last chapter. This all on semi-glossy paper with an introduction chapter containing all the text.

Content

There was a time when Joe Tunzi’s books took a few years before the first announcement until holding it in your hands, but recently his production company “JAT Productions started popping out books. After the “Sessions III” book we got “The Documentaries”, “Charro” and now “Hawaii ‘61” with another title “Elvis Starring in Oklahoma” already announced.

This book deals with Elvis’ ties with the sunny islands of Hawaii, with a main focus on Elvis’ ’61 Hawaiian benefit concert for the USS Arizona Memorial. The book is dedicated to the 1,177 sailors that died in the Pearl Harbor attack.

It is mainly a photo book, but opens with a few informative pages with backgrounds on Elvis’ ties to Hawaii through his performing, filming and soundtrack recording.

The book opens with the recording session for the “Blue Hawaii” soundtrack. Always interesting to see Elvis at work in the studio, unfortunately too few images of the man at work are available.

After that we go to Hawaii where the showman is greeted by the fans getting the typical flower welcome. Funny to see a young Al Dvorin (producer of the benefit show) in the back ground during the press conference images.
The main part of the book covers the actual concert with many great pictures of a “golden” Elvis with his fifties stage and studio entourage, including Homer “Boots” Randolph, Floyd Cramer, and Hank Garland and of course Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana and the Jordanaires. In front of the stage we see The Colonel looking at the crowd, not his boy. We have seen many pictures before, but presented here as a complete story is a good addition to the collection, especially knowing this was his last appearance for a few years. We only get one image of Elvis visiting the memorial he helped build, while more images are available.

From the benefit to the big screen with images from the filming of “Blue Hawaii” on and off the set and shooting publicity shots. From there the book takes a strange corner, presenting a bonus section with pictures of Elvis performing in Buffalo, New York, again great pictures of a young Elvis on and back stage. This section ends with a 1957 picture of Elvis performing in Hawaii.

One minor is that this book only contains a few color pictures; guess there is no more material available. The other minor is the lack of “Aloha From Hawaii” pictures. That concert is one of the few complete and classic Elvis concerts known to the whole wide world as it was beamed to them through satellite putting Elvis and the islands of Hawaii in the spotlight.

As a bonus we get a reproduction of the concert ticket stub and a CD with Elvis talking about himself and people’s views on his (pelvis) act. It also contains the presentation of an Award to Elvis as a token of appreciation of his contribution to the memorial.

Conclusion

A good book on Elvis’ 1961 Hawaiian benefit show from start to end with some additional bonus material linking Elvis to Hawaii.

Joe Tunzi agreed to participate in an E-mail interview with the readers of ElvisNews and For Elvis CD Collectors. It is up to you to come up with that question you always wanted to ask Joe Tunzi. >> just e-mail us << your question and we'll make sure Joe Tunzi gets it.

The interview is not limited to just the theme of his latest Hawaii book or his upcoming DVD project "Hot Shots and Cool Clips Volume 2" and the announced book "Elvis Starring In Oklahoma", so feel free to ask Joe Tunzi whatever you always wanted to ask him.

The book is available through Joe Tunzi's JAT Publishing website.
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Reactions

Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 9, 2006report abuse
I'm sensing that someone has a problem with shots from "Blue Hawaii," period! I don't have the book just yet, but from all shots I've seen, it's a great looking cover, capturing the relaxed, fun, "Hawaiian" feel of the movie and album. It's time we embraced "Blue Hawaii" as the popular movie and soundtrack that it actually was.
untamedhawk (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 20, 2006report abuse
OK Kilburn Tony, I was scared to death that it was another CD Cover pulled from the imagination of an 8 year old. I still can't say I'm at all impressed with it being a book cover though. I guess it's marketing is aimed wrong for me. A little strange that it differs from book to CD.
Tony C (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 18, 2006report abuse
Don't judge a book by it's cover. I received my copy yesterday, and found it very interesting. There are some great photographs. The CD is only a freebie that does not really relate to the contents of the book, except for the award presentation originally released on "A Legendary Performer Vol.2". The other tracks are various interviews, all previously released.
untamedhawk (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2006report abuse
Please hire me to do the cover art for this one............... My God!!! For a serious label, this apeals more to children. I GOT IT! How about a picture of Elvis in Concert 1961 WOW! I'm a genius lol. All jokes aside, If someone is reading this that has some input on this cover - Thumbs down. Make it look professional, and marketable. This is a great concert for the sound engineering that was available, and it deserves archivable artwork, not cotton candy cardboard.

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