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Posts Tagged ‘Elvis

“We all have hometown appetites”*…

 

Lebanon: fatoush (tomato salad), pita bread, and parsley

As part of a promotion for the Sydney International Food Festival, the advertising agency WHYBIN/TBWA designed 18 national flags using foods for which each country is commonly known…

United States: hot dogs, ketchup, and mustard

China: dragon fruit and star fruit

Japan: tuna and rice

 

See other prandial pennants at Marvelous. [Grateful TotH to reader @krasney]

Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, I suppose, any more than we can enjoy theirs. It is not strange; for tastes are made, not born. I might glorify my bill of fare until I was tired; but after all, the Scotchman would shake his head and say, ‘Where’s your haggis?’ and the Fijan would sigh and say, ‘Where’s your missionary?’
-Mark Twain, Roughing It

* Clementine Paddleford (quoted in Charles Wysocki’s Americana Cookbook)

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As we ask for extra mayonnaise, we might recall that it was on this date in 1960 that Elvis Presley was honorably discharged after two years in the U.S. Army; he left with the rank of sergeant.  Presley, whose career had been carefully stoked with banked material during his service, went right back to work: within a month he recorded and released a single, “Stuck on You,” that went straight to Number One, the ballads “It’s Now or Never” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, and the rest of Elvis Is Back!, which went straight to Number Two on the album chart.  And he hit the sound stage as well, making G.I. Blues in time to release it that summer– and watch it climb to Number Two on Variety‘s box office chart.

Elvis entertaining King Mehendra and Queen Ratna of Nepal on the set of “G.I. Blues”

source

 

Written by LW

March 5, 2014 at 1:01 am

The Midas Touch…

 

In 1980 American Express teamed up with John DeLorean for a Christmas promotion, offering a limited edition of 100 24-karat gold-plated DeLoreans for $85,000 each. The response to the promotion, as to the car itself, was underwhelming:  only two were sold– though a third gold-plated car was assembled in 1983 with spare parts that were required by American Express in case one of the other two that were built were damaged.

But in fact there was a fourth golden DeLorean.  Michael Feldman, who’d paid $28,000 (including an early delivery premium) to get the first production model, decided that he’d do the plating himself.  He found an electro-brushing facility and had his car gold-plated, panel by panel, to a 24-karat luster.  The process cost him an additional $8,000– not chump change, but a comparative bargain.  Still, a golden car wasn’t the most practical vehicle in the world; Feldman sold it in 1981 to the first a series of subsequent owners.

The Golden DeLorean (note John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce in the background)

Feldman’s story in full here (whence the photo above); the promotion flyer, via Dangerous Minds, to whom, TotH.

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As we keep our eyes peeled for Doc and Marty, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that “Heartbeak Hotel” earned Elvis Presley his first Gold Record.  Presley’s first million-seller (and his first release on RCA, after moving from Sun), the record sat at number one on Billboard‘s Top 100 chart for seven weeks, topped the Country and Western chart, and reached number five on the R&B chart.  It continued to sell– it was eventually certified Double Platinum– and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995.

 source

 

Written by LW

April 11, 2013 at 1:01 am

Play on…

 

A selection of entries from Music History in GIFs

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As we tap our toes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1946– on his 11th birthday– that Elvis Presley received his first guitar.  Elvis had coveted a bicycle or a rifle, but his protective mother (“She never let me out of her sight,” Elvis later said) took him to the Tupelo Hardware Store and convinced him to accept a $7.75 Kay guitar instead.  The rest is, as they say, history.

 source

 

Written by LW

January 8, 2013 at 1:01 am

“Collecting is my passion”*…

 

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8482/8239430619_3bf409954f_z.jpg

Girls on Donkeys #0117

The collector: Lisa Wood, artist and jewellery designer, San Francisco.

The collection: Photo postcards of girls on donkeys.

The story behind the collection…

This collection started about 5 years ago when I came across my first photo postcard of a young girl on a donkey taken around 1910. She was clothed in a beautiful dress, a big bow in her hair and shiny black boots that buttoned up the side. I loved the juxtaposition of the girl dressed in her Sunday best on a seemingly stinky old donkey…

One of the many labors of love on display at Obsessionistas, a showcase for unique and evocative collections.

We believe that in a world of homogeneous ‘me too’ lifestyles, products and brands, individuality can at least in part be expressed through our particular obsessions and what we seek out, keep and collect.

More on Ms. Wood’s collection here.

* Ursula Andress

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As we dust our shelves, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that serendipity yielded one of the coolest collectibles ever:  rockabilly legend Carl “Blue Suede Shoes” Perkins was recording at Sam Phillips’ Sun Records in Memphis; Perkin’s buddy Johnny Cash, a Sun artist and a country star by virtue of his recent hits “I Walk The Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues,” was hanging out in the booth; and soon-to-be-famous Jerry Lee Lewis was playing piano (for a $15 dollar session fee– “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” was set for release a few weeks later).

A couple of years earlier, Phillips had launched Elvis Presley with “It’s Alright Mama”; but in 1955, as Elvis’ career exploded, Phillips had sold his contract to RCA, and Elvis moved on.  But The King was back in Memphis that fateful day; he stopped by Sun to say hello… and an impromptu jam ensued.  Phillips had the presence of mind to order his engineer, Jack Clement, to roll tape– a tape that was promptly shelved, forgotten, and unheard for 20 years.  The recordings of what was arguably the first “supergroup” were found in 1976 and finally released in 1981… since when, they’ve been treasured by fans– a new crop of which has emerged with the success of the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8200/8239430651_733906291d_o.jpg source

Written by LW

December 4, 2012 at 1:01 am

So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star…

Hooktheory, a system for learning to write music, analyzed 1,300 popular songs for how chords were used.

First we’ll look at the relative popularity of different chords based on the frequency that they appear in the chord progressions of popular music. Then we’ll begin to look at the relationship that different chords have with one another. For example, if a chord is found in a song, what can we say about the probability for what the next chord will be that comes after it?…

It will surprise no one who has done time playing rhythm in a band that the most common chords used overall were G, F, and C.

[TotH to Flowing Data]

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As we reach for the Rickenbacker, we might recall that it was on this date in 1968 that Elvis Presley took the stage for the first time in over seven years to record the NBC television special Elvis, remembered now as “the ‘68 Comeback Special.”  The King’s informal jam session, recorded that night in front of a small audience, was the inspiration for the “Unplugged” concept, later popularized by MTV.

(The chords that ran through the repertoire fit Hooktheory’s pattern precisely; c.f., “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”)

Elvis in his ’68 Comeback Special

source

Written by LW

June 27, 2012 at 1:01 am

The man who made the clothes that make the man…

 Nudie Cohn, perched on one of his 18 custom cars (source)

Nuta Kotlyarenko immigrated to America from Kiev at age 11, and bought into the American Dream big time.  After kicking around the country as a shoeshine boy and a boxer (and indeed, he claimed, as a companion of Pretty Boy Floyd), Kotlyarenko– by then, “Cohn”– and his wife opened a New York lingerie store, Nudies for the Ladies, specializing in custom-made undergarments for showgirls.

In 1947, after relocating to Los Angeles– and taking “Nudie” as his given name– Cohn persuaded a young, struggling country singer named Tex Williams to buy him a sewing machine with the proceeds of an auctioned horse; in exchange, Cohn made clothing for Williams.  The creations were so popular that Nudie opened a North Hollywood store to feature his chain-stitched and rhinestone-studded creations.

Over the years, Nudie gave dozens of performers their signature looks, from Elvis’ $10,000 gold lame suit to the costumes of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.  But his specialty was country (and country rock) singers: e.g., Porter Wagoner (a peach-colored suit featuring rhinestones, a covered wagon on the back, and wagon wheels on the legs), Hank Williams (a white cowboy suit with musical notations on the sleeves), and Gram Parsons (the suit he wears on the cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers album The Gilded Palace of Sin, featuring pills, poppies, marijuana leaves, naked women, and a huge cross).  John Lennon was a customer, as were John Wayne, Gene Autry, George Jones, Cher, Ronald Reagan, Elton John, Robert Mitchum, Pat Buttram, Tony Curtis, Michael Landon, Glenn Campbell, Hank Snow, and numerous musical groups including “that little band from Texas,” ZZ Top.

Nudie with The King in “the Suit” (source)

Nudie died in 1984; the store (which remained open under the management of his daughter) closed in 1994.  But his work remained prized–  Porter Waggoner reckoned, just before he died in 2007, that he had 52 Nudie Suits, costing between $11,000 and $18,000 each (and worth by then much, much more).

And Nudie’s legacy remains strong.  His glittering garments were a bright stab at the conformity of their times… and set the precedent (if they didn’t in fact lay the foundation) for the Culture of Bling that has erupted out of Rap and Hip Hop into life-at-large.

For more wonderful photos of Nudie, his creations, and his cars visit Nudie (“the official site”) and check out the wonderful pictorial essay at The Selvedge Yard.

As we smile at the irony of a clothier named “Nudie,” we might wish a tuneful Happy Birthday to James Henry Neel Reed, better known simply as Henry Reed; he was born on this date 1884, in the Appalachian Mountains of Monroe County, West Virginia.  Reed was a master fiddler, banjoist, and harmonica player whose repertoire consisted of hundreds of tunes, performed in several different styles.  But beyond his importance as a performer, he became, in effect, the Ur Source for academic research into the history of U.S. fiddle music.  (Learn more about Reed, and hear him play, at the Library of Congress’ Henry Reed Collection.)

Henry Reed (in street clothes), 1967 (source)

Pencil it in…

source

“I’m known as the pencil guy,” laughed Dalton Ghetti, 49. “I don’t mind that at all.”

The Bridgeport artist creates impossibly detailed miniature sculptures on the tip of a pencil.

He shuns a magnifying glass and uses simple tools like razor blades and needles to create delicate little figures – from a tiny, jagged handsaw to a minibust of Elvis in shades…

Readers can find the full, photo-laced story in The NY Daily News (and more in The [U.K.] Daily Mail); and readers in the Northeast can see the Brazilian-born carver’s work at the New Britain Museum of American Art, as part of its “Meticulous Masterpieces” exhibit, through this Sunday.

(Many thanks to reader PL.)

source

As we ponder altogether new meanings for “sharpen my pencil,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1940, at the New York World’s Fair, that the world’ first Parachute Wedding was conducted.  Arno Rudolphi and Ann Hayward, were married on the Parachute Jump, a 26-story high ride created for the World’s Fair (though now working on Coney Island). The entire wedding party– minister, bride, groom, best man, maid of honor & four musicians– was suspended aloft until the newlyweds completed their vows.

The Parachute Jump in operation at the World’s Fair

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