Elvis Presley, charismatic icon

Elvis Presley Is Back! The King sizzles in this circa March 19, 1960 candid at the Rainbow Skating Rink in Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Is Back! The King sizzles in this circa March 19, 1960 candid at the Rainbow Skating Rink in Memphis, Tennessee
Image Credit: For Elvis CD Collectors messageboard user Bripet56

Honorably discharged from the Army two weeks earlier after enduring two years in Germany steering tanks in the 3rd Armored Division, former Sgt. Elvis Presley sizzles in this circa March 19, 1960, candid at the Rainbow Skating Rink on Lamar Avenue in his adopted hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. The black shirt with two white bars descending towards his breastbone was last seen in 1954 when Elvis was a greasy-haired punk kid struggling to be heard plunking rhythm guitar at the Eagle’s Nest nightclub alongside the Blue Moon Boys. Elvis attended his first recording session of the decade the next evening, digging in at Nashville’s RCA Studio B with Gibson guitar-endorsing Scotty Moore, dual drummers D.J. “Sticks” Fontana and Buddy Harman, the Jordanaires, Floyd “Last Date” Cramer, Hank “Sugarfoot” Garland, bassist Bob Moore, co-producer Chet Atkins, and golden-eared engineer Bill Porter.

“Stuck on You” b/w “Fame and Fortune,” ultimately delivered onstage by the suave tuxedo-clad superstar on the 60-minute Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis black and white ABC special, gave him his 13th number one. The feel-good, fluffy tune, co-written by proven Elvis hitmaker Aaron Schroeder, resided at the top of the heap for a month, while the oft-neglected B-side ballad rose as high as No. 17. Four other tunes were waxed on March 21 — “It Feels So Right” [chosen as the B-side of “Such an Easy Question” belatedly in 1965; a No. 55 mini hit], “A Mess of Blues” [the B-side of “It’s Now or Never” which climbed into the Top 40 at No. 32], “Make Me Know It,” and “Soldier Boy.” Before April was over he had completed the first masterpiece album of his career — Elvis Is Back! — and was ensconced in Hollywood shooting his fifth movie — G.I. Blues — among the Top 20 highest earning films of the year. Not even a team of wild horses could tear Elvis’s career apart at the dawn of the swingin’ sixties.

© Jeremy Roberts, 2020. All rights reserved. To touch base, email jeremylr@windstream.net and mention which story led you my way. I appreciate it sincerely.

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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