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"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Elvis Presley Meets His Match! The King Faces His Toughest Competitor in a Knock-Down, Drag 'Em Out, No Holds Barred Rockabilly Rumble!













Anyone who thinks Elvis Presley's best recordings begin with RCA needs to back up a little and listen to his rockabilly Sun sessions. For his first single release on Sam Phillips' label, Elvis took a song by country blues singer Arthur Crudup, gave it a rockin' beat, and made it his very own.

 "That's All Right" - Elvis Presley 
 (July 1954, uncharted) 

Too much of a good thing is never enough and I never get tired of listening to my favorite Elvis song "Too Much." The King recorded it in September of 1956, first performed it on
Ed Sullivan early in 1957, released it on a single, and scored a chart topping million seller that spring.

 "Too Much" - Elvis Presley (April 1957, 
 highest chart position #2) 

Nearly a decade before the Rolling Stones created a stir with "Let’s Spend The Night Together," controversy surrounded the Elvis Presley top 5 charting single "One Night." The song had been recorded three years earlier by New Orleans blues man Smiley Lewis with the lyrics, “One night of sin is what I’m now praying for.” Realizing audiences of the Eisenhower 50s weren’t ready for such suggestive language, Elvis had the song rewritten as “One night with you…”

 "One Night" - Elvis Presley (February 1959, 
 highest chart position #4) 

Elvis Presley's recording career was put on hold during 1958 and 1959 while he was abroad serving in the U.S. Army. Honorably discharged in March of 1960, Elvis returned to the states and picked up where he left off, releasing high quality records that sold like hot cakes. (Both quality and sales would begin to slip as the 60s unfolded.) "I Gotta Know,"
the killer bee on the back of the smash hit ballad "Are You Lonesome Tonight," is another hip shakin’, butt kickin' Elvis rocker that became a million seller even though it barely made the top 20.

 "I Gotta Know" - Elvis Presley 
 (January 1961, highest chart position #20) 

Just as there are records that prove my theory that an artist’s earlier work is better, there are some notable later career exceptions. Knocked for a loop in 1964 by the Beatles and their English comrades, Elvis fought back. He returned to his 50s rock and roll roots with "Ain’t That Loving You Baby" a rambunctious single that plowed through the glut of UK releases on the chart and finished respectably in the top 20.

 "Ain't That Loving You Baby" - Elvis Presley 
 (Dec. 1964, highest chart position #16) 

Here's the unreleased faster version of the song that was recorded in June of 1958 during Presley's last studio session of the 1950s before his induction into the Army.

 "Ain't That Loving You Baby" - Elvis Presley 
 (unreleased Twist tempo version recorded 
 in June 1958) 

"Ask Me," the tender ballad released as the B side of Elvis Presley's 1964 single "Ain't That Loving You Baby," performed slightly better on the chart. Radio stations and record buyers seemed to prefer the kinder, gentler side and so did I. Had the Beatles not come along to spoil the party, both sides of this Elvis single would surely have placed closer to the top.

 "Ask Me" - Elvis Presley (December 1964, 
 highest chart position #12) 

"Little Sister" was the official A side of my last featured Elvis 45. "(Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame," the B side on the American release, was the designated A side in the UK and went all the way to #1. Both sides of the record missed the top spot in the USA and settled for a top 5 finish. It’s argued that RCA made a mistake in placing two strong up tempo songs on the same single because it resulted in confusion and split radio play. In 1987 rising country music star Dwight Yoakam recorded a version of "Little Sister" that rivals Elvis Presley’s. Both the single and Yoakam’s album Hillbilly Deluxe became major crossover hits. Here's the Elvis original.

 "Little Sister" - Elvis Presley 
 (November 1961, highest chart position #5) 

 Can anybody steal the crown 

 from Elvis the King? 

There's one artist who comes mighty close and I'll introduce the worthy challenger in my next post!  Drawing a blank?
I'll help you pick an answer by offering a multiple choice.

 When it comes to rockin' and rollin' 

 and reelin' with the feelin'..... 

 who's as good or better than Elvis? 

 A. Disco Tex & the Sex-O-Lettes 
 B. Tiny Tim 
 C. Milli Vanilli 
 D. The Singing Nun 
 E. Soupy Sales 
 F. Napoleon XIV 
 G. All of the above 
 H. None of the above 

 Elvis meets his match in Thursday's post.  


Have a Shady day!


  1. My answer is none of the above! And please pass me a dunce cap if I'm wrong. I'll gladly sit with my friend Desiree.
    I love each song today! Currently trying to type to the beat of Little Sister and now I have to sign off and dance!

  2. My answer is also None of the Above (and I hope that's right)! None of those other folks you mentioned held a candle to Elvis.

    I think his talent is even appreciated better now that he's gone.

    I read somewhere that one of his grandsons has musical talent to rival his grandpa's. I hope w'll be hearing from that fellow in the future.

    I wish he had kept his life under control so we could have enjoyed many more years of what he had to offer.

    Really, though, I don't think there will ever be anyone to rival Elvis!

    Thank you, friend, for such an interesting post and all the music to go with it- as always, excellent!

  3. I also would add none of the above. This was a super treat as I have always loved listening to Elvis and you have included quite a few that I never remember hearing which was a real treat. Have a wonderful Sunday my friend.

  4. Jenny - As per Thisisme I went ahead and ordered a bulk shipment of Dell Dunce Caps which should be arriving any day now. You can wear yours along with knees and paws and an elephant's trunk :) I'm happy to know that my Elvis picks had you typing to the beat and dancing. I hope you didn't spill your coffee on the keyboard! I wish I could spill the beans and tell you the artist I'm profiling on Thursday but that would spoil the fun. "Little Sister" and "Too Much" are my two favorite Elvis songs but I love all that I posted here and there are many more great ones as you know. Thank you very much for coming by for a visit, dear Jenny. Have a peaceful Sunday, my friend!

    Shelly - How's that for an attention grabbing post title? (LOL) It's so true. Many great stars burn themselves out before their time leaving us wondering "what if?" Elvis Presley's death has been called "a great career move." Gallows humor aside, that statement holds true for Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and other iconic "candles in the wind" who left us too soon. Decades after death their legend lives on and sales of their merchandise remain brisk. Thank you very much for coming over this morning, dear friend Shelly, and have a great week ahead!

    Odie - Three votes for "none of the above." I think I see a pattern emerging! (LOL) How about that "twist tempo" version of "Ain't That Loving You, Baby?" I admit that it was new to me until I discovered it on YouTube while hunting for the slower original. Great artists like Elvis and Connie Francis left many excellent recordings unreleased and fortunately companies are locating the rare tracks and releasing them. Thanks for your visit and comment, Odie, and hustle back here on Thursday to meet and greet the worthy contender!

  5. I would have to say none of the above - I love Elvis!

  6. Hey, Kristina! Golly gee! That's 4 votes for "H" (none of the above). Four votes, that's enough. Disco Tex, grab your torch, the tribe has spoken, time for your to leave Tribal Council immediately! (LOL) It's always a pleasure to welcome you over here, dear friend Kristina. Now that you've come this far (all the way from Colorado) please stick around to see who will take on Elvis "The Pelvis" on Thursday. Have a great week, Ms. K!

  7. Is there anybody out there who doesn't love the King? When I hear the beginning of "Love Me Tender" I still get chills to this day. What a voice. Long live the King!

  8. BB - Hello, dear friend! If you've heard of Elvis Presley then you are disqualified from wearing the official Dell Dunce Cap. :) I wish Elvis could have maintained the quality of his recorded work throughout his career but as you know he started to release goofy dance songs pulled from the soundtracks of his low budget, quick and dirty 1960s movies. His late 60s comeback was impressive but the Elvis I prefer to remember is the early rockabilly/rock 'n' roll Elvis, not the later Vegas jumpsuit incarnation. Thank you very much for coming to see me, Barb. Now get out there on Myrtle Beach. The sun and surf are waiting!

  9. I don't believe it. I just typed out a long comment, and Blogger lost it all! Jeepers creepers!! That was a truly brilliant post today my friend. I just love Elvis, then and now, and still listen to his songs all the time. He had such a unique voice, and, my oh my, he was such a good looking young man, wasn't he?! My two very favourite Elvis hits were "She's Not You" and "You Were Always On My Mind." I get shivers every time I listen to them! I sincerely hope that the answer to your question is "None of the Above", because, certainly, none of the names you mentioned there could hold a candle to The King!! Really enjoyed this one. You certainly hit the right button with me today my friend.

  10. Thisisme - I'm sorry you lost your comment the first time around. I hope it was a fluke and won't happen to you again. I was wondering if you might have a tune or two by Elvis on your home jukebox. Your vote for "H" (none of the above) has been recorded. Now I must ask you to return on Thursday to meet the artist that I believe DOES hold a candle to The King. I can't wait to find out if you are familiar with this performer. Thank you very much for your visit and kind words, dear friend Thisisme. I hope you had a delightful Mothering Day. I wish you a restful night and a fabulous week ahead!

  11. I love Elvis and to me he is the King of rock n' roll. I don't think anyone was equal or better, so I will also say, "None of the above."

    I thought I had heard all of Elvis' hits, but I don't remember 'I Gotta Know' and 'Ain't that Lovin You Baby'. 'Too Much' is one of my favs too, Shady. I guess my favorite of all Elvis songs is, 'I Can't Help Falling In Love with You.' His daughter said he used to sing that to her each night when she went to bed. I even liked a lot of his other movies and the songs. One movie I bought is so cute and funny. It's called, 'Follow that Dream'. I'll always love watching 'Blue Hawaii'. Thanks for giving us Elvis today, Shady!

  12. 1. In the previous post's comments re: The Pointer Sisters, I was thinking of The Elvin Bishop Group. I knew you would know! Do you remember the Tower of PowerLP "Bump City?" So, so good... I had a whole crate full of LPs that were mine that included so much music, and I gave it to my daughter and son in law. They moved to Puerto Rico and gave it all to someone else. I could kick myself now...
    2. I guess I am the one person who is not an Elvis fan. His early stuff is definitely better and more pure than the later goofy stuff he put out in the Vegas years. I guess by the time I was listening to music there were so many other distractions, like the Beatles. Elvis just wasn't doing it for me. Maybe if I'd been about 4 years older? But fun post all the same - you have such great rock and roll knowledge it's fun to read up even if we don't always love the same stuff! And I always learn something, which is fun.

  13. Hi, Belle! If you like Elvis ballads, how about "Are You Lonesome Tonight" which includes the dramatic spoken passage? I remember going to see the 1969 movie Change of Habit which turned out to be the last feature film Elvis made. It's memorable because Mary Tyler Moore co-starred as a nun and the picture dealt with serious subject matter, a departure from the "hunk meets girl, hunk chases girl, hunk gets girl" formula used in other Elvis movies. Ed Asner also had a role in Change of Habit and a year later he became Mr. Grant on the popular and long running Mary Tyler Moore Show. Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear friend Belle, and have a wonderful week!

    Hi karen (small "k")! I'm glad you checked out my reply to your comment on the previous post and saw my answer to your brain buster. Please don't give me credit for knowing so much about music. The truth is I don't know much about the Pointers at all. I went to Wiki and followed the Pointer Sister links trying to come up with the right answer for you. If you like Tower of Power I have a little something of theirs coming up this spring. I wish I hadn't sold my vinyl record collection in the early 90s! I had many minty fresh albums that would be prized collectibles today. I foolishly sold them for a fraction of their worth. I find it fascinating that there seems to exist a generation gap between people in their early 60s and people ten or more years younger. People in their 60s tend to relate more to pre-Beatles artists while baby-baby boomers have tastes similar to 20 and 30-somethings. If you aren't too jazzed about Elvis maybe you'll like the competitor that I introduce on Thursday. I hope to see you then, my dear friend. Have a great week in the O.C. Lil' k!

  14. 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' wasn't a favorite. I'm not sure why. I remember going to the theater to see 'Change of Habit'. My sister Chloe dragged me to it because she wouldn't go alone. I liked it and Chloe thought it was wonderful because it was different than his usual movies. She was crazy for Elvis and I went to almost every one of his movies with her. I have read that Elvis was offered some serious roles but he turned them down as he didn't think he was a good enough actor.

  15. Hi, Belle! I didn't know that Elvis turned down serious roles because he doubted his acting ability. Maybe he believed the negative reviews of his movies and critics who called his acting wooden. I appreciate actors and actresses who have a limited range and come across as wooden because they resemble real people. That type of actor is ideal for a serious role. I'm glad to know that you are familiar with Change of Habit and I thank you very much for the follow-up. Have an excellent week in Canada, dear friend Belle!

  16. Yay! I have been waiting for this post! I love Elvis so much, and I love all the songs you have chosen to put on here, Tom! My answer would be none of the above! No one could even come close to Elvis, haha! :D

  17. Hello hello hello, dear Presley! I'm so glad you saw my salute to Elvis and enjoyed my song selections. I don't expect you to know Disco Tex or the other people on my multiple choice list but I can assure you that those names are only for laughs. However I think somebody like you might appreciate the artist that I will introduce on Thursday as a worthy competitor. I hope you'll join me when I reveal who that is because your opinion is of great interest to me. I am delighted that you stopped by, dear friend Presley. Have a safe and happy week in Tennessee!

  18. My Mother was crazy about Elvis. His records were always playing,I think I like him all because of her, giggle. Hugs my friend!

  19. Hi, Katie! My parents bought Pat Boone records and I listened to them during boyhood. My brother, ten years older than me, bought Elvis records and I listened to them also. Even at the tender age of 6 I could tell which artist was "the real deal" and which one was sanitizing it for the masses. I'm so happy to see your smiling face, dear friend Katie. I hope your week's off to a great start. Come again soon!

  20. Hi, Tom!

    First of all, I enjoyed all the Elvis songs you played here, plus dozens of those you left out! I hadn't realized most of Elvis's early songs were black blues, sung by a white man! Duh! I guess he maybe surpassed B. B. King in sales of the blues. Ya think? And I thought Led Zepellin were the first caucasians to do black blues so that I lilked it. "Are You Lonesome Tonight" is the consummate ballad that EP did. I also favor several others of that time period, "Surrender", "Little Sister", "Return to Sender", "It's Now or Never". John Schneider did that as well as Dwight Yoakum did "Little Sister". I've learned the earlier songs mostly in the last ten to twenty years and they are dynamite (TNT!). I'm recalling the Elvis movies I enjoyed at the Trail Drive-In before Russ Meyer's films supplanted them. "Flaming Star", "Jailhouse Rock", "Wild In The Country", "Charro", and they had much better songs in them than later movies. I recall reading that the reason for the schlocky movies with many mediocre songs was Colonel Parker's idea, according to Priscilla Presley (I believe in the book, "Elvis and Me".) And Elvis didn't exactly like being under control by him either. That may well be what Elvis was trying to escape. And, put me down for 'H' also. If you're talking about "reelin' and rockin'", I'm looking for a set of 88's also. Great job, buddy!


  21. Hi, Ron! You're voting "H" too? Didn't you ever see that clip of The Singing Nun and her pumping piano shredding "Rip It Up" in the movie Can't Stop the Rock? (LOL) I know Belle doesn't like it very much but I'm glad you agree with me that "Lonesome Tonight" is a great ballad. Good info in your comments tonight. I wasn't aware that the Trail Drive-In screened Elvis pictures before the Russ Meyer nudies became standard fare. The first Russ Meyer movie I remember seeing down there at the passion pit was Mudhoney which starred Hal Hopper as lowlife Sydney Brenshaw. Little did I know at the time that Hal was a prolific composer, songwriter and author and the uncle and guardian of Jay "Dennis the Menace" North. Thanks for the memories, Ron, and I'll be seeing you in Dueling Doo-Wops one week from now!

  22. rockabilly! my favorite! elvis always reminds me of my gran, driving around in her old car or sitting on her floral couch. ahh thanks for the tunes shady, hope you're doing great!

  23. Hello, dear Alabee! It's so good to see you back here again. I've been thinking about you and missing you. For many of us this Elvis post brings back memories of childhood and of family members loved and lost. I'll never forget how it was when Elvismania swept the world leading many young men to the mistaken conclusion that they too could become rock 'n' roll idols if they dressed the part, wore their hair the same way, curled their lip and shook their hips. "Heartbreak Hotel," "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," "Too Much," "All Shook Up," "Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear" and "Jailhouse Rock" all became monster hits during the first year-and-a-half of the Elvis phenomenon. Your visit makes my day, dear Alabee. I hope you are well and I urge you to come back again soon!

  24. I love that you included Thats All Right" on this list. That is by far my favorite Elvis song and not a lot of people are familiar with it. His early stuff really rocks my socks :) I'm equally smittened with Little Sister (another fave of mine, I used to sing that song with my uncle on guitar will I was little) and Aint that Loving You Baby (which I hadnt heard until just now). Thanks for the great tunes this morning!

  25. Hello and good morning, Amber! I love it when the music I present rox your sox. With Elvis as the rocker and you as the rockee how could I miss? I am delighted to know you're familiar with his Sun sessions and appreciate that raw, unpolished sound as much as I and many others do. I do hope you'll be back for my next post on Thursday. The challenger who will compete in a spin-off against Elvis for the rockabilly crown, is one that you, Amber Blue Bird, included in one of your Friday play lists months ago. Have a terrific week, dear Amber, and I hope to see you back here for the grudge match on Thursday!

  26. I'm going with H too. This posting had such great info. Oh and I LOVE that first picture of him. He sure was handsome ;)

  27. Hi, Elisabeth! I'm happy to see you again, my friend! "H" it is, then. Your vote has been recorded and you can find out who battles Elvis for rockabilly supremacy two days from now. Thank you very much for taking the time to drop in for a visit, dear Elisabeth, and I hope to see you again soon!

  28. Who's the RAT that would dare try to find a match for Elvis? ...just kidding... Loved this post and all the songs, except I prefer the faster version of 'Ain't That Lovin You Baby'. I love Little Sister and Marie's the Name-great tempos and lyrics for both. And, on the slower side, 'One Night With You' is fantastic! I have to say, I agree with all the other 135% of your CAN'T DO IT! I know, I've tried, and I came back to 'E'. Love Dwight Yoakum-he has covered some of the best!

    Now, if blogger will only let me get this on here. Problems lately, you know. And horrible storms in the Lone Star state last nite! This was great Shady...all the right moves! See you soon, my friend!

  29. Hi, Susan! Could you please send some of your Texas storms across the Gulf to me? It's been bone dry here in Central Florida! Is that a typo, dear friend, or are you really choosing "E" (Soupy Sales) as the artist you consider to be a match for Elvis Presley? (LOL) Susan Susan Susan, when are your technical problems going to end? I despise having to use the double word verification for people to leave comments but if I don't I get spam. Thank you for getting your message through to me. I appreciate your visit and I hope you'll come back Thursday and meet The King's stiff competition! (It ain't Soupy Sales.)

  30. I'm with you Shady...don't like the double word thingy either, but, I have gotten a couple of undesirable blokes making 'unrelated' comments, and, would rather screen the messages too! So, hey-can't wait to see who you pick...hmmm, not Michael Jackson? Or could it be Wilson Pickett! He was great! Quade was pretty good impersonating Jerry Lee! Well, my thinking cap is starting to quiver. Will wait until then! And, I will make a special wish to turn the tide toward Florida. Happy evening Shady!

  31. Susan - Thanks, kiddo! I'll give you a hint if you promise not to be a spoiler. The artist I'll be introducing on Thursday was born and raised in the same general region where you grew up. That's all I'm telling ya! :) (No, not Chuck Berry.) You'll just have to wait and see!

  32. Hmmm...I'll be thinking of who it could be all nite. Couldn't help myself...just had to let you know, my maiden name is 'Berry'! lol ♫♫


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