Elvis History E-Zine #6 — September 2008

It's Time for the September Issue
of Elvis History E-Zine
by Alan Hanson

This is the sixth 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 five Elvis History E-Zine issues by clicking on the back issues link below.

Contents of Elvis History E-Zine #6

• September Anniversaries … A list of important events that occurred in September during the life and career of Elvis Presley.

• September 1956—A Record Month for Presley Records … A look at the month Elvis swamped the music charts, both in releases and sales.

• September 1, 1957—A Unique Day in Elvis’s Concert Career … Remembering the day Elvis was in two countries and three cities, and gave two press conferences and two concerts in two different cities on the same day.

• September Birthdays … A list of people in Elvis’s world who were born during the month of September.

• What’s new and what’s coming … on Elvis-History-Blog.com.

September Anniversaries in Elvis’s Life and Career

September 3 — 39th anniversary of the nationwide opening of Elvis's 30th movie, The Trouble With Girls, in 1969.

September 5 — 46th anniversary of the start of filming in Seattle for It Happened At the World's Fair.

September 9 — 52nd anniversary of Elvis's first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.

September 9 — 38th anniversary of Elvis's concert at the Phoenix Coliseum in 1970. It was his first road show concert since 1957.

September 13 — 49th anniversary of Elvis first meeting Priscilla at his rented house in Germany in 1959.

September 26 — 52nd anniversary of Elvis's appearance at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo in 1956. Elvis had first sang there at age 10.

September 27 — 51st anniversary of Elvis's return appearance at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo in 1957.

September 30 — 43rd anniversary of Elvis's first meeting with Tom Jones on the set of Paradise, Hawaiian Style in Hawaii in 1965.

September 1956—A Record Month for Presley Records

In his 23-year recording career, Elvis Presley released a steady stream of single, EP, and LP records. Along the way he accumulated a record number of record sales, gold records, and #1 records. When it came to releasing and selling records, however, September 1956 was a record month for Elvis.

He entered that month as the hottest entertainment personality in the world. He already had three million-selling singles in “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” and “Don’t Be Cruel.” His personal appearances were drawing record crowds around the country, and he was about to make his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. But the best indication of his phenomenal success came in the record business that month.

Early in the month RCA released seven more single records available before only on Elvis LPs. They included some of his early Sun Records recordings, like “Tryin’ to Get to You” and “Just Because,” and recent RCA album cuts, such as “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Lawdy, Miss Clawdy.” By September 5 these reissue singles were all selling at the rate of 12,000 a day. By the end of the month, all six singles had gone over 100,000 in sales.

And then, after Elvis sang “Love Me Tender” on the September 9 Sullivan show, dealers all over the country were swamped were orders for the single the next day. Despite already having eight Presley singles on the market, RCA rushed to get Elvis’s new song out. An RCA ad in Billboard on September 29, 1956, proclaimed, “856,327 orders on ‘Love Me Tender’ a week before release.” A footnote added, “by the time you read this, orders will be well over 1,000,000.”

An article in Variety on September 5, 1956, reported that Elvis was due to sell around 10,000,000 records during his first year with RCA Victor. From those sales he earned about $400,000 in royalties, a record payoff for any recording artist at that time. September 1956 was indeed a special month for Elvis Presley.

September 1, 1957—A Unique Day in Elvis’s Concert Career

Another day in September was like no other in Elvis’s career as a live performer. On September 1, 1957, Elvis was in two countries and three cities. And he performed on stage in two different cities on the same day for one of the few times in his career.

He started the day in Vancouver, B.C., where he had performed the night before. A morning train took him across the border to Seattle, where he arrived at the King Street Station at about noon. After quickly checking into the Olympic Hotel, Elvis was whisked by limousine 35 miles south along Interstate 5 to Tacoma for a 2 p.m. press conference and concert. By 4:30 p.m. he was back on the road to Seattle. In his room at the Olympic, he had a little time to relax before heading to Sicks’ Seattle Stadium for another press conference and concert starting at 8 p.m. After returning late to his hotel room, Elvis grabbed a few hours sleep before catching an early train the next day for his Labor Day concert in Portland, Oregon. Even at age 22, for Elvis September 1, 1957, must have been an exhausting day.

September Birthdays in Elvis’s World

September 4 — Cynthia Pepper, Elvis's co-star in Kissin' Cousins, was born in 1940.

September 7 — Bill Black, Elvis's original bass player, was born in 1926. He died in 1965.

September 7 — Aaron Schroeder, co-writer of such Elvis songs as "A Big Hunk o' Love," "It's Now or Never," and "Good Luck Charm," was born in 1926.

September 10 — Sherrill Nielsen, a tenor backup singer for Elvis at many concert appearances, was born in 1942.

September 12 — Anne Helm, Elvis's co-star in Follow That Dream, was born in 1938.

September 14 — Hal Wallis, producer of many Elvis movies, including G.I. Blues and Blue Hawaii, was born in 1889. He died in 1986.

September 25 — Juliet Prowse, Elvis's co-star in G.I. Blues, was born in 1926. She died in 1996.

September 26 — Donna Douglas, Elvis's co-star in Frankie and Johnny, was born in 1933.

September 29 — Lizabeth Scott, Elvis's co-star in Loving You, was born in 1922.

What’s New and What’s Coming on Elvis-History-Blog.com

During August I posted my reviews of three Elvis movies on the site. They are Easy Come, Easy Go; Double Trouble; and Live a Little, Love a Little. Check them out. The movie reviews are the most read pages on the site, and the most commented on.

Also, there is a new set of Elvis photos posted in the photo gallery section of Elvis-History-Blog.com. They are shots of Elvis in the little town of Kalama, Washington, on September 4, 1962.

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 took during Elvis's 1976 appearance in Spokane. One viewer called the photos "awesome." You can purchase 8 X 10 enlargements of the photos for $6 each.

My next weekly blog entry will be posted on Thursday, September 4. Also, during September, I'll continue my weekly reviews of Elvis's movies. Next in line are Clambake; Stay Away, Joe; and Speedway.

Like this E-Zine and Elvis-History-Blog.com? Pass it on! Tell your Elvis fan friends, the members of your Elvis fan club, and everybody else you know to go to elvis-history-blog.com and sign-up for this E-Zine. Consider purchasing a copy of 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 October 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