Elvis in November

Elvis in November — November was definitely movie month in the career of Elvis Presley. Thirteen of his films were released nationally in November. In addition, Elvis was often making movies in Hollywood during November so that they could be released in the coming summers. Also during November, one of his most well-known songs, “Love Me Tender,” was released as a single. During the 1970s, Elvis was often on the road during November. Whether he was making movies or appearing live in concert during November, when the month came to a close, he almost always headed home to Memphis to spend the holidays with his family.

• Elvis in November: A list of important events that occurred in November during the life and career of Elvis Presley

November 6, 1948 — Elvis’s family left Tupelo and moved to Memphis. Elvis was 13 years old.

November 21, 1955 — Elvis signed his first contract with RCA Victor at Sun Studio in Memphis.

November 15, 1956 — Elvis’s first movie, Love Me Tender, premiered at the Paramount Theater in New York City.

November 21, 1956 — RCA Victor released Elvis’s recording of “Love Me Tender.”

November 11, 1957 — Elvis performed his final concert of the 1950s at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. All tickets sold for $1.

November 9, 1960 — Principal photography began for Elvis’s 7th movie, Wild in the Country, in Napa, California.

November 4, 1961 — Principal photography for Elvis’s 10th movie, Kid Galahad, began in Idyllwild, California.

• 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 movies 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.

• Elvis in November: Anecdote #1
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 it 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 scarves. 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.

• Elvis in November: Anecdote #2
Mother Laughs Off Stabbing After Elvis Show

There were many stories printed about couples arguing over Elvis back in the 1950s. This next one, printed in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on November 11, 1957, has got to be one of the most bizarre.

“A 40-year-old Kaneohe mother of two is in Queen’s Hospital today after her husband stabbed her Saturday night when she kidded him about going to Honolulu to welcome singer Elvis Presley. Asked if she wanted to press charges against her 50-year-old husband, the woman laughed and said, 'It was just a family argument,' police said.”

• Elvis in November: Birthdays of Prominent People 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. He died in 2007.

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 21 — Ina Ballin, Elvis's costar in Charro!, was born in 1937. She died in 1990.

November 28 — Hope Lange, Elvis’s costar in Wild in the Country, was born in 1933. She died in 2003.

• Elvis in November: A 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.

Alan Hanson

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A compilation of important dates, events, birthdays, and anecdotes from the month of November during the life and career of Elvis Presley