Join Joe Tunzi and Elvis on a sunny benefit trip to Hawaii.
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.
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.
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.