Manage episode 347760126 series 2086828
Six performances on television across nine weeks in early 1956. Not only did Elvis's life and career changed so dramatically between them, but the face of America's cultural landscape, as the establishment voices of popular and country music fought the tidal wave of rock and roll on all fronts, winning some small victories like Dot Records's attempt to obliterate Little Richard's original "Tutti Frutti" with Pat Boone's atrocity, but ultimately losing the war as Elvismania takes over the nation.
When Elvis first steps on camera for Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's TV program in January, 1956, he's a novelty that can only be compared to Johnnie Ray... by the time he leaves, he's on track to being on the big screeen. Bec, Gurdip and Justin sit down to review all six Stage Show appearances, twelve songs in total, and try to unpack their significance.
For Song of the Week, Justin takes the lead first to draw attention to the last real new cut for Elvis penned by Mort Shuman, "You'll Think of Me," then Bec digs deep on the gospel classic "Lead Me, Guide Me" and its writer Doris Akers, and finally, Gurdip tries to reason out why a 1957 Elvis bothered with the moody Cole Porter ballad, "True Love," originally by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly.
Sadly, video of Elvis's Stage Show appearances are largely commercially unavailable. Some individual performances are available in documentaries like Elvis '56, This is Elvis (theatrical and extended cuts) or The Great Performances. Some fans have shared a handful of performances on YouTube and other video hosting sites sourced from old non-official products and VHS collections, but we must acknowledge that there simply is currently no one-stop shop for all of them.
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