Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or "the King". Presley was born in Tupelo and relocated to Memphis, with his family when he was 13 years old, his music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was a pioneer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. In 1955, drummer D. J. Fontana joined to complete the lineup of Presley's classic quartet and RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage him for more than two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. With a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records, he became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll.
His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, Presley made his film debut in Love Me Tender. Drafted into military service in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years with some of his most commercially successful work, he held few concerts however, guided by Parker, proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood films and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed television comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973, Presley gave the first concert by a solo artist to be broadcast around the world, Aloha from Hawaii. Years of prescription drug abuse compromised his health, he died in 1977 at his Graceland estate at the age of 42.
Presley is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music. He was commercially successful in many genres, including pop, country and gospel, he won three competitive Grammys, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Love Presley in the two-room shotgun house built by his father, Vernon Elvis Presley, in preparation for the birth. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered 35 minutes before stillborn. Presley became close to both parents and formed an close bond with his mother; the family attended an Assembly of God church. On his mother's side Presley's ancestry was Scots-Irish, with some French Norman. Gladys and the rest of the family believed that her great-great-grandmother, Morning Dove White, was Cherokee. Vernon's forebears were of Scottish origin. Gladys was regarded by friends as the dominant member of the small family.
Vernon moved from one odd job to the evincing little ambition. The family relied on help from neighbors and government food assistance. In 1938, they lost their home after Vernon was found guilty of altering a check written by his landowner and sometime employer, he was jailed for eight months, while Elvis moved in with relatives. In September 1941, Presley entered first grade at East Tupelo Consolidated, where his teachers regarded him as "average", he was encouraged to enter a singing contest after impressing his schoolteacher with a rendition of Red Foley's country song "Old Shep" during morning prayers. The contest, held at the Mississippi–Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, 1945, was his first public performance; the ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy. He recalled placing fifth. A few months Presley received his first guitar for his birthday. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family's church. Presley recalled, "I took the guitar, I watched people, I learned to play a little bit.
But I would never sing in public. I was shy about it."In September 1946, Presley entered a new school, for sixth grade. The following year, he began bringing his guitar to school on a daily basis, he played and sang during lunchtime, was teased as a "trashy" kid who played hillbilly music. By the family was living in a Black neighborhood. Presley was a devotee of Mississippi Slim's show on the Tupelo radio station WELO, he was described as "crazy about music" by Slim's younger brother, one of Presley's classmates and took him into the station. Slim supplemented Presley's guitar tuition by demonstrating chord techniques; when his protégé was twelve years old, Slim scheduled him for two on-air performances. Presley was succeeded in performing the following week. In November 1948, the family moved to Tennessee. After residing for nearly a year in rooming houses, they were granted a two-bedroom apartment in the public housing complex known as the Lauderdale Courts. Enrolled at L. C. Humes Hig
The Jordanaires were an American vocal quartet that formed as a gospel group in 1948. They are known for providing background vocals for Elvis Presley, in live appearances and recordings from 1956 to 1972; the group has worked in the recording studio, on stage, on television with many other country and rock and roll artists. The history of the Jordanaires can be traced back to the early 1940s, the original Foggy River Boys, which were made up of the Matthews brothers, all ordained ministers: Bill, Monty and Matt. In 1948, Matt and Jack left to become full-time preachers and were replaced by Bob Hubbard a minister, bass singer Culley Holt, pianist Bob Money. After three years Money was replaced as pianist by Gordon Stoker. At that time, they formed the new group as the Melodizing Matthews, in Springfield, but soon changed the name to the Jordanaires, after Jordan Creek in Missouri; this starting lineup lasted until 1949. That year and Bill Matthews left. Hawkins switched to baritone, new lead Neal Matthews was recruited.
Don Bruce came in as a new first tenor. The group narrowed with Stoker taking over as first tenor, they became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1949. They recorded for Capitol Records in the early 1950s, began providing vocal accompaniment behind solo singers in Nashville, Tennessee; the lineup changed again with Culley Holt leaving and new bass Hugh Jarrett coming in. The quartet became well known in the southern gospel realm, what made them stand out from other quartets of that time was how they would bring spirituals to a predominantly white audience. While continuing to turn out gospel albums of their own, the group become better known for the signature background harmonies they have provided on dozens of secular records. Jarrett remained until 1958. On October 3, 1954, a teenage Elvis Presley made the drive from Memphis to Nashville to make his one and only performance on the Grand Ole Opry. Debuting his high-energy brand of rockabilly with "Blue Moon of Kentucky" it was his first live performance on national radio broadcast.
He had just recorded his first record at Sun studios, That's All Right just a few weeks prior. An afternoon in 1955, the Jordanaires played a show in Memphis with Eddy Arnold to publicize their new syndicated TV series, Eddy Arnold Time, they sang "Peace in the Valley", when the show was over, Elvis Presley, an emerging singer, talked with them and said, "If I get a recording contract with a major company, I want you guys to back me up." He was on Sun Records at that time. On January 10, 1956, Presley recorded his first session for RCA with guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, drummer D. J. Fontana. "I Got a Woman", "Heartbreak Hotel", "Money Honey" were recorded. Presley asked his new label RCA Victor; the next day Gordon Stoker was called by Chet Atkins to do a session with a new young singer named Elvis. RCA had just signed the Speer Family. Atkins asked Stoker to sing with Brock Speer so he could use them; the recording session for "I'm Counting on You" and "I Was the One" was the first session Presley did with vocal background.
By April 1956, "Heartbreak Hotel" was No. 1. After having done several more recording sessions in New York with Moore and Fontana, Presley flew to Nashville on April 14, 1956, to record "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You". Stoker was called again, to sing a vocal trio with Brock Speer. After the session, Presley told him that he had wanted the Jordanaires; this time, Stoker saw to it—and Presley used the quartet on nearly every one of his recording sessions for the next 14 years. The quartet appeared in some of Presley's movies, on many of his television appearances; as Presley was about to start performing at the Hilton in Las Vegas, the Colonel's office called for the Jordanaires to work with Presley in the shows. They had 35 recording sessions booked for the dates he needed, so they could not go, they got in touch with the Imperials, who had done the background vocals for Presley's album How Great Thou Art along with them, the Imperials took the place of the Jordanaires. The group appeared on all of Cline's Decca sessions from her first in November 1960 to her last in February 1962, during which time they backed her on songs such as: The lineup consisting of Gordon Stoker, first tenor and manager, Neal Matthews, second tenor and lead, Hoyt Hawkins and Ray Walker, would be the group's most stable lineup, lasting throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
In January 1978 the group performed a medley of Presley's songs on the NBC TV special Nashville Remembers Elvis on His Birthday. The group changed again in 1982, his replacement was Duane West of Sonny James' backup group, the Southern Gentlemen. In 1990, the group provided backing vocals for Presley's former Sun Records labelmate Johnny Cash on his Mercury Records album Boom Chicka Boom; the group has cooperated with Vikingarna. The lineup remained constant for the rest of the decade, with West leaving due to an illness in 1999 and his death in 2002, his replacement was Louis Nunley of the Anita Kerr Singers. Neal Matthews died on April 21, 2000, he was replaced by new lead Curtis Young. Hugh Jarrett died at 78 on May 31, 2008, from injuries sustained in an auto accident in
Moody Blue is the twenty-fourth and final studio album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley, released by RCA Records in July 1977, four weeks before his death. The album was a mixture of live and studio work, included the four tracks from Presley's final studio recording sessions in October 1976 and two tracks left over from the previous Graceland session in February 1976. "Moody Blue" was a published hit song recorded at the earlier Graceland session and held over for this album. Recorded at the February session was "She Thinks I Still Care". "Way Down" became a hit after Presley's death less than one month after this album's release. The album was certified Gold and Platinum on September 12, 1977 and 2x Platinum on March 27, 1992 by the RIAA; as described in Elvis: The Illustrated Record, RCA was not able to obtain sufficient new studio material for a complete album, with all but two songs of Presley's studio recordings of 1976 having been used in the previous album, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Tennessee or released as singles.
The company chose to augment the remaining available works with three live songs recorded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on April 24 and 26, 1977, which were overdubbed for the album, were the final recordings Elvis would make. One of those was his version of "Unchained Melody". RCA producer Felton Jarvis had booked a recording studio in Nashville, for January 1977, to record some new tracks for this album. Presley had chosen a few songs to record with the help of Jarvis, most of them rather country and uptempo. Presley never showed up at that session, claiming that he was sick and thus staying home. Jarvis and RCA had nothing left to do but to fill the album with the live tracks mentioned above. Included is a live performance of "Let Me Be There", released three years earlier on his album Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis though, as noted, RCA had access to a unreleased live recording, "Softly, As I Leave You", which it would utilize for a single release of "Unchained Melody"; the song "Moody Blue" was released as a single in December 1976 and it reached number one on the Billboard Country Singles Chart and #31 on the pop chart.
"Way Down" was released as the album's next single during the early summer of 1977. It did not go far up the chart, but it soared to #18 after Presley's death in August It was a bigger hit on the country charts, it had risen to number one in the same week of the death of Presley; this album reached number three on the Billboard album charts after his death, although it had entered the top 40 before he died. This was the last album by Presley to reach the TOP 40. Moody Blue was a number one album on the Country Albums chart. Moody Blue was issued in July 1977, it peaked on the album chart after Elvis' death on August 16, 1977. RCA pressed the album on blue vinyl. Since colored vinyl pressings were uncommon at the time, they never occurred in a wide release, this has led to collectors mistakenly assuming that blue vinyl copies of Moody Blue are collectors' items, when in fact, the true collectables are pressings from before Presley's death on standard black vinyl.. Following Presley's death, "Unchained Melody" was released as a single, it peaked at #6 on the country music charts.
This version was not the same as on the Moody Blue LP. The single version was an overdubbed version of the song, recorded in Rapid City, June 21 1977; the original RCA CD issue contained the same tracks and cover art as the original vinyl LP. RCA reissued the album on CD again in 2000 with revised cover art including a different concert photo of Elvis and omitted the track "Let Me Be There", due to its presence on Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis, it added the complete album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Tennessee as tracks 10–19 – in effect compiling the Graceland sessions rather than reissuing the original album. In 2013 Moody Blue was reissued on the Follow That Dream label in a special edition that contained the original album tracks along with a selection of alternate takes. Elvis Presley – vocals, piano on "Unchained Melody", executive producer The Sweet Inspirations – background vocals Sherrill Nielson – background vocals Kathy Westmoreland – background vocals J. D. Sumner & The Stamps – background vocals Myrna Smith – background vocals James Burton – lead guitar John Wilkinson – rhythm guitar Jerry Scheff – bass guitar Tony Brown - piano except "Moody Blue" and "She Thinks I Still Care" Glen D. Hardin - piano on "Moody Blue" and "She Thinks I Still Care" David Briggs – piano, Fender Rhodes Ron Tutt – drums Bergen White - string and horn arrangementsTechnicalDon Wardell – executive producer, producer Chick Crumpacker – producer Dick Baxter – engineer Glenn Meadows - Original Mastering Vic Anesini - Digital Remastering Moody Blue at Discogs AFL1-2428 Moody Blue Guide part of The Elvis Presley Record Research Database AQL1-2428 Moody Blue Guide part of The Elvis Presley Record Research Database
Good Times (Elvis Presley album)
Good Times is the twentieth studio album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley, released on March 20, 1974. The album was constructed by the first pick of a session held at Stax Studios in Memphis in December 1973 and two songs, "I've Got a Thing About You Baby" and "Take Good Care of Her", which were left over from the session at Stax in July 1973; the album includes a collection of songs that vary in genre. Released the same day as the recording of Elvis: Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis was being made, the title was taken from the song "Talk About the Good Times". Many of the songs are covers of hits at the time, like "Spanish Eyes" and "She Wears My Ring". Charting low at the time of its release, it was considered typical 1970s Elvis material and was his first album to hit the "cut-out bins"; the album did have some success though upon its original release, becoming a Cashbox #1 hit and charting in the Top 50 in the UK. Original copies of the LP with the sticker on the cover are rare and sell for large amounts on auction sites.
The album released two singles, both hits: "I've Got a Thing About You Baby" rose to #4 on the Country charts, #39 pop. J. D. Sumner & The Stamps, Voice – background vocals Mike Leech – string and horn arrangements Glen Spreen – string arrangement on "I've Got a Thing About You Baby" Al Pachucki, Dick Baxter, Mickey Crofford, Mike Moran – engineers Good Times at Discogs CPL1-0475 Good Times Guide part of The Elvis Presley Record Research Database AFL1-0475 Good Times Guide part of The Elvis Presley Record Research Database Yahoo! Music page
Elvis Presley on film and television
Elvis Presley was an American entertainer who achieved initial success as a singer, expressing an early career goal of following in the footsteps of his role models James Dean and Marlon Brando to become a top dramatic actor. His manager Colonel Tom Parker's persistent lobbying of William Morris Agency president Abe Lastfogel for a Presley screen test paid off on March 26, 1956, when the singer auditioned at Paramount for a supporting role in The Rainmaker. Although not chosen for the part, he signed a contract with Paramount producer Hal Wallis on April 25 that allowed him to make films with other studios, his feature debut was in Love Me Tender for 20th Century Fox, with the commercial success of the soundtrack EP being a bellwether for the next three Presley films. Loving You, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole were dramatic storylines written around Presley in the role of a musical entertainer, he would state that King Creole was his favorite of all his films. Flaming Star and Wild in the Country were rarities in his career, non-musicals focused on dramatic storylines.
According to music historian Peter Guralnick, the sluggish financial returns of those two films became the justification for ignoring Presley's wishes and limiting him to the more profitable musical format.. It was a single shot of Flaming Star, when silkscreened by Andy Warhol which garnered, since 1998, more than a quarter of a billion dollars for auction houses and in private sales, most notably those entitled "Double Elvis", Triple Elvis and Eight Elvises. In 1963, again as these silkscreens were being printed and shown at a Warhol exhibit in Los Angeles, Presley became bitter that his hopes for dramatic roles were not coming to fruition, stating that Clambake was his worst film, he began to complain about the deteriorating quality of the films and his belief that his manager's objectives were more monetary than anything else. At the expiration of all studio contracts, he returned to live entertaining; the two concert documentaries Elvis: That's the Way It Is in 1970 and Elvis on Tour in 1972 were the final theatrical releases for Presley.
Ellroy, James. The Best American Noir of the Century. New York, NY: Mariner Books. ISBN 978-0-547-57744-9. Guralnick, Peter. Last train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley. Boston, MA: Little and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-33220-0. Guralnick, Peter. Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. Boston, MA: Little and Company. ISBN 0-316-33222-4. Guralnick, Peter. Elvis Day by Day: The Definitive Record of His Life and Music. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0-345-42089-3. Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley: A Live in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-18572-5. Lisanti, Tom. Fantasy Femmes of 60's Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker and Elvis Movies. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-0868-9. Lisanti, Tom. Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies The First Wave, 1959–1969. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-7297-0. Marsh, Dave. Elvis. New York, NY: Time Books. ISBN 0-8129-0947-X. Neibaur, James L.. The Elvis Movies. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
ISBN 978-1-4422-3073-6. Rose, Frank; the Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business. New York, NY: HarperBusiness. ISBN 978-0-88730-807-9. Templeton, Steve. Elvis Presley: Silver Screen Icon: A Collection of Movie Posters. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press. ISBN 978-1-57072-232-5.http://www.archive.org/stream/broadcastingtele51unse_0#page/n553/mode/2up
It Happened at the World's Fair
It Happened at the World's Fair is a 1963 American musical film starring Elvis Presley as a cropdusting pilot. It was filmed in Seattle, site of the Century 21 Exposition, the 1962 World's Fair; the governor of Washington at the time, Albert Rosellini, suggested the setting to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer executives. The film made $2.25 million at the box office. Pilot Mike Edwards finds himself in a dilemma, his partner and friend Danny, gambles away the money Mike had set aside to pay their debts. Since they lost their money and a $1,200 debt, the local sheriff takes possession of their plane, Bessie, a Boeing-Stearman Model 75 cropduster. If they cannot come up with the money in twelve days, Bessie will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Mike and Danny become reluctant hitchhikers, they are picked up by his niece Sue-Lin. They end up in Seattle, location of the 1962 World's Fair; when the uncle is called away on business, Danny persuades Mike to take Sue-Lin to tour the local World's Fair. It is during a visit to the doctor at the fair that Mike falls for Diane Warren, an attractive but stubborn nurse who resists Mike's advances.
He gives a quarter to a boy. Diane's supervisor convinces her to give Mike a ride back to his apartment, convinced his leg is injured. Mike and Diane dine at the top of the fair's Space Needle. However, he courts Dorothy Johnson. Complications arise. Walter inexplicably fails to come back the next day leaving her with Mike. Sue-Lin feigns illness so that nurse Diane will come to their apartment and examine her and see Mike again; when Diane discovers that Mike has no kinship to Sue-Lin, she wants to inform the Welfare Board so that Sue-Lin can be removed from Mike and Danny's apartment. There is a mysterious nightfall plane delivery for Mike's and Danny's friend Vince, smuggling valuable furs; the film ends with Diane in love. Elvis Presley as Mike Edwards, cropduster pilot Joan O'Brien as Diane Warren, World's Fair nurse and eventual love interest of Edwards Gary Lockwood as Danny Burke, Mike's gambling-addicted business partner Vicky Tiu as Sue-Lin, a young girl befriended by Mike. Tiu grew up to be the first lady of Hawaii when she married Governor Ben Cayetano Yvonne Craig as Dorothy Johnson, a love interest of Mike's H. M. Wynant as Vince Bradley, Danny's crooked associate Kam Tong as Walter Ling, Sue-Lin's uncle Edith Atwater as Miss Steuben Guy Raymond as Barney Thatcher Dorothy Green as Miss Ettinger Kurt Russell as Shin Kicker Sandra Giles as Lily Red West as Fred Joe Esposito as Carnival Man The Seattle Center, including the Seattle Center Monorail and the Space Needle, serve as backdrops for several scenes in the film.
Security officers pursue Presley and the girl through the fountains at what is now the Pacific Science Center. The hitchhiking scene with Elvis and Gary Lockwood was filmed near Camarillo, California, as were some of the flying scenes; the entire hitchhiking scene to the point where they are both picked up by Kam Tong and Vicky Tiu Cayetano in the truck is recognizable as 5th Street near Pleasant Valley Road on the South side of Camarillo. While The Elvis Encyclopedia believes that the Wilburton Trestle was shown in the movie, further evidence points to a different location, it is a trestle over the White River between Enumclaw and Buckley, now demolished. The view in the movie was taken at the intersection of Mud Mountain Road and Highway 410, looking southeasterly. Mount Rainier is visible in the background, which isn't seen at that angle from the Wilburton Trestle; the Wilburton Trestle is bigger than the White River Trestle, at six sections high. The trestle pictured in the movie is only four sections high at the road crossing.
Eugene Archer of The New York Times wrote, "Elvis Presley's budding dramatic talents have been neatly nipped in the Seattle story, which emerges as a dismal parody of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals of old. Burdened with a dozen tuneless songs and a plot requiring him to play guardian to a mercilessly cute Chinese waif, the crooner swivels ingenuously through a morass of clichés." Variety wrote that "this is apt to be tedious going for all but the most confirmed of Presley's young admirers. The 10-count-'em-10 tunes he sings may be cause for rejoicing among his more ardent followers but, stacked up proportionately against the skinny story in between, it seems at least three too many... so many warbling interruptions upset the tempo of the yarn and prevent plot and picture from gathering momentum." John L. Scott of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "it must be said that unless you're a Presley fan, the 10 songs he offers while plinking a guitar or ukulele can grow tedious, while the frivolous backgrounding story is turned on and off between tunes."
The film was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on August 7, 2007 as a Region 1 Widescreen DVD. It marked Kurt Russell's film debut. Vicky Tiu, sister of entertainer Ginny grew up to be the first lady of Hawaii when she married Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano. List of American films of 1963 Guralnick and Ernst Jorgensen. Elvis Day by Day: The Definitive Record of His Life and Music. Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-42089-6. Kirchberg and Marc Hendrickx. Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, the American Dream. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company. ISBN 0-7864-0716-6. Lisanti, Tom. Fantasy Femmes of 60's Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker and Elvis Movies. McFarland and Company. ISBN 0-7864-0868-5. Marcus, Greil. "Rock Films," The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, second edition
Elvis' Christmas Album
Elvis' Christmas Album is the third studio album and first Christmas album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley on RCA Victor, LOC -1035, a deluxe limited edition, released in October 1957, recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. It has been reissued in numerous different formats since its first release, it spent four weeks at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, was the first of two Christmas-themed albums Presley would record, the other being Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas, released in 1971. The publication Music Vendor listed Elvis' Christmas Album on their singles charts for two weeks in December 1957 – January 1958, with a peak position of #49. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Elvis' Christmas Album along with its reissues has shipped at least 17 million copies in the United States, it is the first Presley title to attain Diamond certification by the RIAA, is the best-selling Christmas album of all time in the United States.
With total sales of more 20 million copies worldwide, it remains the world's best-selling Christmas album and one of the best-selling albums of all time. The original 1957 LP consisted of six popular Christmas songs, two traditional Christmas carols and four gospel songs, released on the EP Peace in the Valley, catalogue EPA 4054, issued March 1957, peaking at number three on the Pop albums chart and at number 39 on the singles chart; the two album sides divided into a program of secular Christmas songs on side one, with two traditional Christmas carols and the gospel numbers on side two. Those included two spirituals by innovator Thomas A. Dorsey, "Peace in the Valley" and "Take My Hand, Precious Lord." Coincidentally, A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra. Released the previous month by that other 1950s singing icon, was divided into a secular and a traditional side. While most of the songs selected were traditional Christmas fare, such as "White Christmas" and "Silent Night," two new songs by regular suppliers of material for Presley were commissioned.
One was "Santa Bring My Baby Back" and the other, was a blues-based rock and roll number, "Santa Claus Is Back in Town," written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. This writer/producer team was responsible for some of 1950s rhythm and blues and rock and roll's most finely-honed satire in their work with the Coasters, as well as penning "Hound Dog" for Willie Mae Thornton and providing Elvis with some of his biggest hits, including "Jailhouse Rock" and "Don't." Elvis had asked the pair to come up with another Christmas song during sessions for the album. Titled "Christmas Blues", this slyly risqué number is given a full-throated treatment by Elvis who, aided by the gritty ensemble playing from his band, was determined to ensure that this Christmas album would not be ignored. Much of the remaining program was performed in a more traditional manner appropriate to the solemnity of Christmas, although Elvis's innate sense of occasion shone through on his left-of-centre reading of Ernest Tubb's 1949 hit, "Blue Christmas."
"Silent Night" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" were arranged by Elvis Presley. The Bing Crosby holiday perennial "White Christmas," which appeared every year on the Billboard charts from 1942 to 1962, became the center of controversy upon the album's release, with calls by the song's composer Irving Berlin to have the song, the entire album, banned from radio airplay. After hearing Presley's version of his song, which Berlin saw as a "profane parody of his cherished yuletide standard", he ordered his staff in New York to telephone radio stations across the United States, demanding the song be discontinued from radio play. While most US radio stations ignored Berlin's request, at least one disc jockey was fired for playing a song from the album, most Canadian stations refused to play the album; the controversy was fueled by Elvis's performance of the song in a style mirroring the version by Clyde McPhatter's group, The Drifters, a Top 10 hit on the R&B singles chart in 1954 and 1955. Unlike Elvis's recording, their version attracted no adverse reaction, no reported opposition from Irving Berlin.
Part of the reason that The Drifters' version of "White Christmas" was less controversial was because that version was played only on black radio stations. Elvis Presley's version brought greater attention to The Drifters' version which gained prominence with its inclusion in the 1990 movie Home Alone. Original 1957 copies of Elvis' Christmas Album were issued with a red booklet-like album cover featuring promotional photos from Elvis's third movie Jailhouse Rock. Rarer than the cover and record itself is a gold foil price tag-shaped "gift giving" sticker attached to the shrink wrap, reading "TO __________, FROM _____________, ELVIS SINGS", followed by a list of the tracks. Original copies with the gold sticker intact on the shrink wrap have proven to be among the most valuable of Elvis's albums. Adding to its high value are limited red vinyl albums and album covers with gold print down the spine. Record labels for all original 1957 pressings are black with all-silver print, the famous RCA Victor "His Master's Voice" dog logo at the top of label, "LONG 331⁄3 PLAY" at the bottom.
The other new composition on the album, "Santa, Bring My Baby Back to Me" was paired with "Santa Claus Is Back In Town", issued as a UK single concurrently with the album's release. The single reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart in November 1957. No United States singles were issued from the album until 1964, when "B