Aired on Treasure Island Oldies – Sep 10, 2023
It’s no secret that Elvis Presley was a movie buff. In fact one of his first jobs saw him working as an usher in a movie theatre so he could watch his favorite films and actors over and over again.
Elvis seamlessly blended his film and music careers, topping music charts and selling out box offices in features films with other big-name stars. He even contributed songs to the soundtracks of many of the 31 movies he starred in. Too bad he didn’t enjoy watching himself on the big screen …
Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley, wrote a lengthy article for Good Housekeeping Magazine in 1978, the year after the star’s death. In the article, he commented: “Elvis hardly ever watched the movies he made because he didn’t like most of them.”
In the beginning of his career, Elvis clearly and repeatedly stated his desire to be a serious actor. Unfortunately that never happened and Elvis’ became typecast as a musical comedy performer.
Don Siegel, the director of Elvis’ 1960 dramatic film, Flaming Star, blamed Presley’s disappointing acting career on the star’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who negotiated the 14 studio contracts that guided his client’s work in Hollywood from 1956-1969. The Colonel learned the ropes in Hollywood quickly and was able to keep Elvis at the top of the charts at the same time.
Songs associated with the titles of many Elvis’ movies did quite well on the Billboard Hot 100 with two of them making it to #1 – “Love Me Tender” in 1956 (his first film) and “Jailhouse Rock” in 1957 (his third film).
Elvis’ formula movies were the rage in the 60s – the plots were weak but there were plenty of beautiful girls for Elvis to hold and sing to. A good example of this was a 1964 release that had Elvis playing an Air Force officer with dark hair and his look-alike hillbilly distant cousin with blond hair.
The movie concludes with Elvis successfully negotiating a lease of a mountain top in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee for the government while meeting two beautiful girls who turn out to be his cousins – “Kissin’ Cousins” and that makes it alright … and it’s this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.