Elvis History E-Zine #8 — November 2008
It's Time for the November Issue
of Elvis History E-Zine
by Alan Hanson
This is the eighth issue of Elvis History E-Zine. If this is the first issue you've received, welcome and thanks for subscribing. If you missed them, you can easily read the first seven Elvis History E-Zine issues by clicking on the back issues link below.
Contents of Elvis History E-Zine #8
• November Anniversaries … A list of important events that occurred in November during the life and career of Elvis Presley.
• November was “Elvis Movie Month” during the King’s Hollywood career … See a list of the 13 Elvis movies that were originally released nationally during the month of November.
• Presleymania reached its peak in November 1956 … Variety reported on the craziness that went on during that explosive month in Elvis’s career.
• November Birthdays … A list of people in Elvis’s world who were born during the month of November.
• A November Quote from Elvis … Read what Elvis said in 1962 about his “most desirable characteristics in a girl.”
• What’s new and what’s coming … on Elvis-History-Blog.com
November Anniversaries in Elvis’s Life and Career
November 4 — 47th anniversary of the beginning of principal photography for Elvis’s 10th movie, Kid Galahad, in 1961 in Idyllwild, California.
November 6 — 60th anniversary of Elvis’s family leaving Tupelo and moving to Memphis in 1948. Elvis was 13 years old.
November 9 — 48th anniversary of the beginning of principal photography for Elvis’s 7th movie, Wild in the Country, in 1960 in Napa, California.
November 11 — 51st anniversary of Elvis’s final concert of the 1950s at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii in 1957. All tickets sold for $1.
November 15 — 52nd anniversary of the premiere of Elvis’s first movie, “Love Me Tender,” at the Paramount Theater in New York City in 1956.
November 21 — 53rd anniversary of Elvis signing his first contract with RCA Victor at Sun Studio in 1955.
November 21 — 52nd anniversary of RCA Victor’s release of Elvis’s recording of “Love Me Tender” in 1956.
November was “Elvis Movie Month” during the King’s Hollywood career
Throughout Elvis’s movie career, November was the month Hollywood studios most often chose to release his films to theaters nationwide. Knowing that teenagers were Elvis’s core movie-goers, the studios often chose November to take advantage of the Thanksgiving and Christmas school vacation periods. (Around Easter vacation in the spring was the second most popular time to release Presley films.) Following is a list of the 13 Elvis movies released nationwide in the month of November.
• Love Me Tender — released by 20th Century Fox on November 21, 1956.
• Jailhouse Rock — released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on November 8, 1957.
• G.I. Blues — released by Paramount on November 23, 1960.
• Blue Hawaii — released by Paramount on November 22, 1961.
• Girls! Girls! Girls! — released by Paramount on November 21, 1962.
• Fun in Acapulco — released by Paramount on November 27, 1963.
• Roustabout — released by Paramount on November 11, 1964.
• Harum Scarum — released by MGM on November 24, 1965.
• Spinout — released by MGM on November 23, 1966.
• Clambake — released by United Artists on November 22, 1967.
• Change of Habit — released by Universal on November 10, 1969
• Elvis: That’s the Way It Is — released by MGM on November 11, 1970.
• Elvis on Tour — Released by MGM on November 1, 1972.
Presleymania reached its peak in November 1956
Elvis Presley’s breakout year was 1956, as every Elvis fan knows. However, it wasn’t until November of that year, after his first two appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, that the stampede began among merchandisers to capitalize on the Presley phenomenon. On November 3, 1956, Variety detailed some of the craziness.
At the time RCA reported that sales of Elvis’s “Don’t Be Cruel”/”Hound Dog” single had reached 2.6 million copies in the U.S. alone. Over 1.8 million copies of his new single, “Love Me Tender,” had already been shipped. The record company was selling more than Elvis records in 1956, though. That November RCA started shipments of its Elvis Presley portable record player. The player featured Presley’s autograph stamped in gold on the top cover of the simulated blue denim case and could be purchased in two different packages. A four-speed model came with a two-pocket Elvis extended play record for $32.95. The second offer included an automatic 45 r.p.m. player with a three-pocket EP album for $44.95.
Variety also reported several other tidbits of Presleyana on November 3. The Leonet Corporation in New York was granted an exclusive license for the sale of Elvis Presley scarfs. Besides a silk-screened image of Elvis, they carried the titles of his hit records. An Elvis letter-writing contest run by station WAIT in Chicago drew a total of 1,099,127 pieces of mail in two weeks. Two teenagers won prizes for delivering 136,600 and 127,825 letters respectively to the station. Finally, although RCA officials denied any connection with its Presley meal ticket, the company started closing its New York 24th Street offices at 5 p.m., thus shortening their employees’ workweek by 2½ hours. Record companies with less hit records continued to work until 5:30.
November Birthdays in Elvis’s World
November 3 — Charles Bronson, Elvis’s costar in Kid Galahad, was born in 1921. He died in 2003.
November 4 — Gig Young, another one of Elvis’s costars in Kid Galahad, was born in 1913. He died in 1978.
November 4 — Annette Day, Elvis’s costar in Double Trouble, was born in 1947.
November 12 — Mort Shuman, who co-wrote two dozens songs for Elvis, including “Little Sister,” “Surrender,” and “Viva Las Vegas,” was born in 1936.
November 12 — Ina Balin, Elvis’s costar in Charro! was born in 1937. She died in 1990.
November 15 — Ed Asner, who appeared in Kid Galahad and Change of Habit, was born in 1929.
November 16 — Felton Jarvis, Elvis’s record producer from 1966-1977, was born in 1934. He died in 1981.
November 16 — Ben Weisman, co-writer of more than 50 songs for Elvis, including “Follow That Dream,” “As Long As I Have You,” and “Fun in Acapulco,” was born in 1921.
November 19 — J.D. Sumner, Elvis’s bass singer during the concert years of the 1970s, was born in 1924. He died in 1998.
November 28 — Hope Lange, Elvis’s costar in Wild in the Country, was born in 1933. She died in 2003.
An November quote from Elvis Presley
“Right now I’d like to get married, but the older I get, the more choosy I become. To me right now the most desirable characteristics in a girl are a sense of humor, understanding and loyalty. I’ve dated quite a few girls, and women with those qualities are mighty hard to find, especially understanding.” — Parade magazine, November 4, 1962.
What’s New and What’s Coming on Elvis-History-Blog.com
During November I posted my reviews of two Elvis movies on the site. They are The Trouble With Girls and Change of Habit Check them out. The movie reviews are the most read pages on the site.
Don’t forget to check out all the images posted in the Elvis Photos section. Galleries #1-5 contain photos taken of Elvis in 1957. Galleries #6-8 contain 6 photos each that I shot during Elvis’s 1976 appearance in Spokane. Gallery #9 contains a set of Elvis photos taken in the little town of Kalama, Washington, on September 4, 1962. Enlargements of all photos are available for a mere $6 each.
My next weekly blog entry will be posted on Thursday, November 6. Also, during November, I’ll finish and post my reviews of Elvis’s movies. I only have two left to go. They are Elvis: That’s the Way It Is and Elvis on Tour.
Like this E-Zine and Elvis-History-Blog.com? Pass it on! Tell your Elvis fan friends to go to elvis-history-blog.com and sign-up for this E-Zine. Consider purchasing a copy of my book, Elvis ’57: The Final Fifties Tours for yourself or as a gift for a friend. I’ll be back in your mailbox a month from now with the December issue of Elvis-History E-Zine. Until then, I’ll see you in my weekly blogs on Thursdays, and I look forward to getting your feedback. — Alan Hanson