THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
with ELVIS PRESLEY! The King died on August 16, 1977, but remains a global pop phenomenon, so it's worth a recap of highlights from his legendary career. For the 30th anniversary, Canada's Star-Phoenix, discussing ten important parts of Elvis history worth reliving, noted: "His was a sequined coat of many colours: '50s Greaser Elvis. Military Elvis. Hollywood Elvis. Aloha from Hawaii Elvis. Vegas Elvis. And, ultimately, Dead Fat Elvis." The BBC had friend and aide Sonny West recall life with The King.
ACTION NEWS 5 still has its local coverage from Aug. 16-17, 1977 (here, here, here and here) on the Tube, where you can also see funeral footage from the UK. Here's read the obit that ran the next day in the Washington Post. Elvis Presley News recaps the international headlines from the event and links to the eulogy at his funeral. On a happier note, check out what is likely the first footage taken of Elvis, with backstage shots of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly in 1955; shades of Walk The Line! Let's start with his performance of "Hound Dog" on The Milton Berle Show six months later, not only because it's historic, but also because Paul Miller and I often reached for it when we would stumble into our KUSR shift at the last minute -- on the broadcast, Uncle Miltie vamped for awhile, which gave us time to pull records for the show. He was also iconic in "Jailhouse Rock" that year. Elvis sang a mashup of "Love Me Tender" and "Witchcraft" with Frank Sinatra when he got back from the Army. All of his movies -- such as "Viva Las Vegas" --made money, but his musical career stalled in the 1960s until he electrified and charmed the public with his televised '68 Comeback Special (Parts One, Two, Three, Four). 1970 finds him singing "In The Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds" in the jumpsuit, though pre-bloated. I'm going to throw in "Little Sister" just 'cause I like it. Sadly, in a few short years, bloated jumpuit Elvis would be delivering a wacked-out take on "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" -- though to be fair, this audio-only version from 1969 is even more demented and he knows it. I would rather remember Jumpsuit Elvis for the signature horns that open "See See Rider." a tribute to his enduring legacy as the fact that he could hit the charts decades after his death with a remix of "A Little Less Conversation," a video subtly recalling "Jailhouse Rock," and Paul Oakenfold's remix of "Rubberneckin'". The King may be gone, but the brand lives on, making millions and recruiting new fans under the watchful eyes of Elvis Presley Enterprises and CKX, Inc.
GREETINGS FROM GRACELAND: It must be said, however, that Elvis Presley Enterprises did not have a good handle on the King's affairs in the years immediately following his death. Chicago radio personalities Steve Dahl and Garry Meier won a local emmy for their 1981 comedic look at what was then a very seedy exploitation of Elvis in Memphis. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.)
MOJO NIXON & SKID ROPER: "Elvis Is Everywhere."
LUCY DACUS plays KEXP.
ROBERT PLANT & ALISON KRAUSS return with a cover of Randy Weeks' “Can’t Let Go.”
SOFT CELL returns after 20 years with "Heart Like Chernobyl."
ST VINCENT & CARRIE BROWNSTEIN made a mocumentary; here's the trailer.
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks poetry and pandemics.
THE JOY FORMIDABLE: Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd talk disintegrating dresses, Jimi Hendrix, and Indian food.
THE BEST SONGS ABOUT WHISKEY and the whiskeys to drink with them.
WOODSTOCK: On Aug. 15-17, 1969, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in a lovely natural amphitheater in Bethel (not Woodstock), NY for "three days of peace and music," including sets from Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Who, Santana, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, Arlo Guthrie, Canned Heat, Jimi Hendrix, and the proverbial many more. BONUS: The New York Times provided extensive 50th anniversary coverage. EXTRA BONUS: Woodstock skepticism from NBC News, BuzzFeedNews, and The Federalist. TRIPLE BONUS: An assessment of Creedence Clearwater Revival's largely forgotten set.
BRITNEY SPEARS: Jamie Spears has agreed it's time to step down as conservator of Britney's estate -- he just said so in new legal docs -- and he wants to work with the court on an orderly transition.
ASHTON KUTCHER & MILA KUNIS make a bath time video.
HOME ALONE is getting a reboot.
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE is moving from September 24 to October 15.
VAL KILMER's Video Past Is Our Future.
THE CHANGING WAYS Hollywood Gets Paid.
WILD INDIAN has a trailer online.
A BIRD, sewing.
BARRY THE OWL: The passing of a bloved Central Park fowl.
ANSWER THE PHONE and use all your dogs' favorite words.