Monday’s Music Moves Me: Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Can you believe it? Tomorrow would be Elvis Presley’s 84th birthday… To celebrate, our mystery conductor has asked us to play an Elvis song followed by songs by artists who were active when he was. Since that includes half of the ’50’s, all of the ’60’s, and most of the ’70’s, that gives me a lot of leeway… but I stuck with artists who were from the ’50’s and early ’60’s. Elvis was first recorded on Sam Phillips’s Sun Records label, along with a few other names you’ll recognize, so the first half of the list are the Sun artists.

  1. Elvis Presley, “Mystery Train” As long as we have a mystery comnductor… From 1955, recorded on a 78 rpm record. Reached #10 on the country chart.
  2. Carl Perkins, “Matchbox” Recorded in 1956 as the B side to “Your True Love,” which went to #13 on the country chart. One of his more popular tunes.
  3. Johnny Cash, “Cry, Cry, Cry” The Man In Black’s first single, it reached #14 on the country chart in 1955.
  4. Jerry Lee Lewis, “Breathless” From 1958, it reached #7 on the pop chart, #4 on the country chart, and #3 on the R&B chart.
  5. Roy Orbison, “Ooby Dooby” The original from 1956, it didn’t crack the Top 40. Creedence Clearwater Revival covered it practically note-for-note on Cosmo’s Factory.
  6. Little Richard, “Keep A-Knockin'” from 1958, went to #13 on the pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart.
  7. Chet Atkins, “Canned Heat” I included this because around the same time Elvis came to RCA Records, Chet was put in charge of the Nashville studios.
  8. Fats Domino, “Blue Monday” Reached #9 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart in 1956. Fats was also a Sam Phillips discovery.
  9. Ricky Nelson, “Hello Mary Lou” Evidently Ozzie Nelson had more than a little trouble with his son mimicking the King. From 1961, it only reached #9, but James Burton’s guitar solo influenced many guitar players. Burton later played with Elvis as a member of the TCB Band.
  10. Bill Haley & The Comets, “Rockin’ Thru The Rye” Only reached #78 on the Hot 100, but reached #3 in the UK, and probably had Harry Lauder spinning in his grave.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 7, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Two for Tuesday: Elvis Presley

I’ve made an executive decision that this will be the last post in this particular series of Two for Tuesday. Don’t know what the next series will be. Maybe it’ll just be randomness, or maybe a couple of months of reposts. Actually, that sounds like a pretty good idea…

I saved Elvis Presley for the end of the series, because he was the biggest name of the Baby Boom era. He sold more records than anyone, had more #1’s than anyone, was big in Pop and Country music, had a bunch of #1’s in the UK. He was a draw at the record store, at the movies, and on TV. He was the deciding factor in Billboard renaming its primary chart the Hot 100. And for all the talk about him being a bad influence, he was a gentleman, a patriot, loved his parents, feared the Lord, and treated everyone with respect, regardless of race, color or creed. As I often say, his Mama raised him right. He appeared frequently on The Ed Sullivan Show in the ’50’s. This clip features Elvis singing “Peace In The Valley” with The Jordanaires, and it shows the high regard that Ed had for him.

I did profile Elvis in one of the first Two for Tuesdays, so let’s just get into the tunes.

“Don’t Be Cruel”: From 1956, it was his first #1 on the Hot 100, the Country chart, and in the UK. The record was certified four times Platinum.

“All Shook Up”: From 1957, it also went to #1 on the Hot 100, Country chart, and in the UK. Certified double Platinum.

“It’s Now Or Never”: From 1960, this went to #1 on the Hot 100 and was certified Platinum. The melody was based on the Italian song “O Sole Mio.” Elvis heard another song based on the melody, Tony Martin’s “There’s No Tomorrow” from 1949, while he was in the Army and told his publisher, who hired Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold to write new lyrics. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B chart in the US. The UK release was delayed due to rights issues, and when those were resolved it sold so many copies in advance that it entered the UK chart at #1.

It seems everyone has a favorite Elvis song; what’s yours? Mine is “Kentucky Rain.”

Elvis Presley, your Two for Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me 2: Elvis Songs From Movies

Well, that’ll teach me. I usually put these posts together on Sunday afternoon, and always check X-Mas Dolly’s blog for the theme for that week. Now, I knew that last week was a “freebie,” meaning there’d be a theme for this week, too. HOWEVER, when I went to Dolly’s page yesterday at 2 PM, it still said this week was a freebie, so I went with that. Imagine my surprise when I get up this morning to a bunch of M4 posts all going with the official “Elvis Songs” theme.

Well, I already had a M4 post done, and I briefly considered just going with that, but I just couldn’t. I had seen nearly everyone’s post and saw that The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s greatest hits had been covered pretty well, so I went instead with songs from some of his movies. WLS-TV in Chicago (the ABC station) used to have a “3:30 Movie” every day, and Elvis Presley and Jerry Lewis movies were popular (probably because they could hack them to pieces to fit all the commercials in), so I’ve seen a lot of them, though I can’t remember much about them.

Wooden Heart (from G. I. Blues, 1960) The melody is that of “Muss I Den,” a German song. I knew it sounded familiar.

No More (from Blue Hawai’i, 1961)

Bossa Nova Baby (from Fun In Acapulco, 1963) I had an acquaintance when I was much younger (probably around the time this song was released) who loved this song.

Gotta Lotta Living To Do (from Loving You, 1957)

Trouble (from King Creole, 1958)

And that’s your second Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 3, 2016.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Stacy, Cathy, and Naila Moon, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Hound Dog” Results


So, in my last Battle of the Bands, I chose Lieber and Stoller’s “Hound Dog” as the song and two artists, Big Mama Thornton and Elvis Presley, who had #1 hits with it. Big Mama’s version topped the R&B chart in 1953, Elvis topped the Pop chart in 1956.

No surprise on the final tally:

Elvis Presley: 11
Big Mama Thornton: 6

The vote tally includes my vote, for Big Mama Thornton. I had never heard her version of the song before my Lieber & Stoller post, and as great as Elvis’s version is, I thought hers was more fun to listen to.

Anyway, congratulations to Elvis, and I’m sure both these artists will be contestants in a future battle.

The next battle is Tuesday, September 1, and it will mark one year since I started doing Battle of the Bands. Be sure to join me then.



I’m writing this on Sunday, right after putting together my Two for Tuesday featuring the music of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller.

Both Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton and Elvis Presley had #1 hits with Lieber & Stoller’s “Hound Dog.” Big Mama’s reached #1 on the R&B chart in 1953; Elvis’s reached #1 on both the pop and R&B charts in 1956. I know you’ve heard Elvis, but you might not have heard Big Mama’s, so… your challenge is to tell me which of the two artists did a better job.

CONTESTANT #1: Big Mama Thornton

CONTESTANT #2: Elvis Presley

Now, time to vote…

So, did you like Big Mama’s version of this better, or Elvis’s? Let me know in the comments which you liked better, and why. They’re both outstanding, I think, but let’s hear it from you.

And, when you’ve voted in this battle, how about visiting some of the other people running battles this week as well?

Tossing It Out
Far Away Series
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
This Belle Rocks
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Women: We Shall Overcome
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

Voting is open until Thursday night, and I’ll announce the winner next Friday, August 21. Enjoy!