Thursday, December 13, 2012

Elvis Decks the Halls in Blue!

Hi rockabilly fans...I'm back to try my hand at a second post. And, who better to feature at this festive time of the year than the King himself!  Elvis was not only a rockabilly icon, but, he could easily croon the blues.  Although his early influences stemmed from Gospel music and hillbilly music, Elvis was a fan of the blues.

He frequented a Tupelo radio station, possibly at the age of 12 or 13, and became acquainted with the star of the show, Mississippi Slim.  There was a Saturday afternoon show on the station called WELO Jamboree.  Mississippi Slim taught Elvis some guitar chords, and, also backed Elvis up while he sang.  Slim was a major influence on Elvis, giving him guidance and some valuable experience, setting a path for the future King of Rock and Roll. 

  One of Elvis' first successes came from the likes of  Big Mama Thornton, who was well known for her performances of the ever-famous blues song 'Hound Dog'.  As we all know, Elvis took that song to a whole new level, and sent the world on a tailspin!  He had seen it performed by Freddie and the Bellboys at the Venus Room in Las Vegas in 1956, and asked them if they had any objections to him recording the song.  Elvis quickly added 'Hound Dog' to his live performances.  He was also a fan of  Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.  So, even though he didn't have much of a Blues background, Elvis patterned himself after some pretty influential Blues icons.

As most of you know, the song 'Blue Christmas' goes way back to the late 1940's, where it first became popular.  Ernest Tubb recorded the song in 1950, and, it quickly became a Christmas staple.  Elvis took out one verse of the song in 1957, I learned, and recorded it on his Christmas album.  However, it didn't become a marketable single until 1964...quite a few years later.  Elvis' Blue Christmas single didn't even chart in the U.S., but made it to the number 11 spot for the week of Christmas in the UK.  

The Beach Boys recorded the song on their Christmas album in 1964, and, it charted at #3 in the U.S.  Go figure!!!  And, I'm sure you've all heard Porky Pig's version of 'Blue Christmas'...oink!  Well, enough badgering for now.  

Have you heard the BEST of 'Blue Christmas' this year?

Well, I think I can grant your wish!  Merry Christmas to all!  

Have a safe holiday...remember, Elvis (I mean Santa) is watching!
Stop by and say hello anytime!