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Ed Bonja on September 15, 1970.  Elvis leaves Mobile at 3pm, flying home to Memphis so tha


ELVIS Prodigy of SUN Records - logo with names.png

Nine-hundred and 44 pages of reading and viewing pleasure

This 9-pounder is the best printed early Elvis travelogue since ever! And I say that with some pride to it . . . Robert and Erik worked hard on this 2-book volume. The printing is absolutely beautiful, the box cover is stunning and all photos in the book are just jaw-dropping and in excellent quality ─ It'll knock your socks off! (except for one fake, sorry). The ready-to-frame photos are a must to see, colors are right and close to the originals. 


After many years of research and gathering facts of the first 20 years of Elvis' life, this is the pinnacle of any other release, ever. A beautiful tell-it-all-book that should not be missing in your collection.

vinyl is due for April / May 2023!

Cover 1935-1954.
Cover 1955.
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ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records. Use the BUY NOW button and order your copy today! DHL requires your telephone number, don't forget to mention this. It will cause serious delays in the processing.

Flyer Sept. 2022

Many hours of research through digital libraries emerged new facts and interesting anecdotes from Elvis' early life and career dated ‘35 till ‘55. From Old Saltillo Rd., to the magic of SUN recording studios, the first Louisiana Hayride appearances and everything in between. This book is filled with a string of never-before-seen photos dated from 1935 till 1955. BUT WAIT, that’s not all ─ a 10 inch vinyl bonus LP with ten songs also comes with this release!! The early Elvis SUN recordings in the best possible sound. The world's first atomic powered singer mixed blues, pop and hillbilly/country to create an electrifying new music that was called Rock ‘n Roll and changed the influence of music in the world forever. Also 9 glossy early SUN promotional photos – suitable for framing - you’ll find with your order presented in a printed paper sleeve.


A collection of stories: many of Elvis' early childhood friends sharing their memories in these two books. Elvis' time in primary and secondary school is extensively discussed as well as his first loves (not only girls) and his roots for Gospel music. Tupeloans share their stories about their childhood friend who became the future King. A collection of jaw-dropping photos and, of course, the near to  complete story from Elvis' birth until his big break in 1955.


An unmissable reference book for all fans.

10" album cover

10" LP Prodigy of SUN Records
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ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records. Use the BUY NOW button and order your copy today! DHL requires your telephone number, don't forget to mention this. It will cause serious delays in the processing.

What can you expect of this release?

Volume 2 ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records
Volume 1 ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records

a 10-inch album with 10 songs in the best possible sound quality and many hours of reading pleasure . . .


Lorentzen has already delivered big projects in recent years but I can assure you that this release is the icing on his cake. No expense has been spared to make this travelogue a success. For you of course, the fans.

The complete overview in word and image from Elvis’ birth until he [Elvis] signed for RCA. Over 900 pages packed with unique material and documentation interspersed with beautiful photos.

Hundreds of hours of research gives an overall picture of the boy who eventually became a 'king.' Many new and/or higher/better quality photos have been purchased and distributed through these two issues. You will be amazed at the mass of information that has come to light through newspaper articles, through those who befriended Elvis over the years and much more . . .

This project is not a photo book but a "day-by-day" travelogue.

ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records Flyer Tupelo Mississippi.
ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records Flyer Lauderdale Courts.
ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records Flyer 1955
ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records Flyer 1955
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ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records. Use the BUY NOW button and order your copy today! 

ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records flyer.

comes with 9 reproduction SUN promotional cards

SUN promotional photos paper sleeve ELVIS: Prodigy of SUN Records
November 30, 1976. Anaheim, CA.  Photographed by Elaine Christan

November 30, 1976. Anaheim, CA. Photographed by Elaine Christan.



Due for April / May ─ the long awaited release written by Elaine Christan (Coons) from the diary of her mother Virginia Coons.

A superfan's personal adventure.


Virginia Coons was a super-SUPER-fan. Her interest started with Elvis’ breakthrough in the mid-fities and continued to her very last day. She has met Elvis multiple times and was the direct link between America and England (Europe). She maintained contacts and ensured that the latest releases of LPs and 45s found their way overseas. She not only had contact with Elvis but with everyone close to him including Priscilla, Col. Parker's office and RCA. There are so many fun-to-read stories its incredible.


Virginia has hundreds of memories now curated by her daughter ─ Elaine Christan ─ in a 400 page hardback book. Many personal stories summarized in a beautiful book with many high resolution photos, personal candids etc . . . made available by MEGA collector Erik Lorentzen. Erik's photo collection is known worldwide and sky high.


Elaine translated her mother's journey into writing, so many beautiful stories brought together in one book. Anyone who reads The Elvis Files magazine will be familiar the way Virginia remembered Elvis and penned her memories.

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...AND THEN THERE WAS ELVIS: Use the BUY NOW button and order your copy today! 

Virginia Coons - AND THEN THERE WAS ELVIS. The Elvis Files

  Some people tap their feet . . ,

           Some people snap their fingers . . ,

                    and some people sway back and forth . . .


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magazines and books by Erik Lorentzen

On the brink of becoming an artistic phenomenon:

Elvis Presley

On July 5, 1954, Elvis Presley, chock full of nerves and not exactly sure of what would transpire, ventured inside Sun Studio for his first official recording session with producer Sam Phillips, guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black.

After trying various songs with middling results, Phillips was ready to end the session, but Presley serendipitously began playing Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s All Right” on his acoustic guitar, fusing the bluesy number into a heretofore unexplored musical genre that ultimately became rock ’n’ roll.

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The Elvis Files magazine issue 40

Renew your subscription today. Send €64 to ─ starting with issue 40 (2023) ─ via PayPal or credit card for 4 magazines or use the friendly SUBSCRIBE AND PAY HERE . . . button above or the BUY NOW button below. Be up-to-date with the best photos and in-depth stories. The Elvis Files© is by far the best magazine ever since 2012, hailed by many fans and collectors around the world. We ship from Norway over the Northern Atlantic to Mozambique criss-cross Arabia to Russia and every country in between ─ for FREE.

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Paradise Hawaiian Style with Julie Parrish, Suzanna Leigh, Marianna Hill, bottom Linda Wong

Paradise Hawaiian Style promo photo with Julie Parrish, Suzanna Leigh, Marianna Hill, bottom Linda Wong and Irene Tsu.

ELVIS through the years

CBS Eye logo ad December 1951.jpg

Elvis Gyrates on The Ed Sullivan Show

Experienced showmen such as Ed Sullivan weren't sure the world was ready for such wild moves as the slick Elvis Presley was offering, but when Elvis proved too popular not to book, Sullivan scheduled him. Elvis made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956.

Ed Sullivan dress rehearsal September 9,
Ed Sullivan


Elvis Presley had already appeared on other national television shows (such as on Stage Show, The Milton Berle Show, and on the popular The Steve Allen Show) when Ed Sullivan booked Elvis for three shows. Elvis' pelvic gyrations during his appearances on these other shows had caused much discussion and concern about the suitability of airing such provocative and sensual movements on television.

Although at first Ed Sullivan said he would never want Elvis on his show, Sullivan changed his mind when The Steve Allen Show with Elvis as a guest had about twice as many viewers as Sullivan's show that night (they were competing for the same audience since they were in the same time slot).

After negotiating with Elvis' manager, Ed Sullivan paid Elvis the huge sum of $50,000 for appearing on three of his shows: September 9, 1956, October 28, 1956, and then on January 6, 1957.

Ed Sullivan - Ready Teddy - dress rehear
Elvis Presley during his second appearan
January 6, 1957 TV show.


For Elvis' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday night at 8 p.m. on September 9, 1956, Ed Sullivan himself was not able to host since he had recently been in a very serious car accident that left him in the hospital. In his place, Oscar-winning actor Charles Laughton hosted the show. Elvis was also not on location in New York for the show since he was in Los Angeles for the filming of Love Me Tender.


Laughton hosted from New York and then when it came time for Elvis' appearance, Laughton introduced him and then cut to the stage in Hollywood with Elvis.

TV Radio Mirror December 1956.-3.jpg
LMT publicity photoshoot by Frank Powoln
September 9, 1956. (2).jpg


Elvis appeared on a stage with large, artistic guitars as decoration. Wearing a plaid jacket and holding his guitar, Elvis thanked Mr. Laughton and the audience and then said, "This is probably the greatest honor that I've ever had in my life. There's not much I can say except that hope it makes you feel good and we want to thank you from the bottom of our heart."

Elvis then sang, "Don't Be Cruel" with his four back-up singers (the Jordanaires) followed by "Love Me Tender," which was the not-yet-released title track from his new movie.


During this second set, Elvis sang "Ready Teddy" and then ended with a portion of "Hound Dog."

Throughout Elvis' entire performance, viewers could hear girls in the audience screaming ─ especially when Elvis did his special twitch or swung his hips or swiveled his legs. Elvis appeared to enjoy himself, frequently smiling or even laughing, which made him seem friendly, sweet, and hunky — depending on who was watching.


During Elvis' first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the cameras stayed mostly from the waist up during the first half of Elvis' appearance, but during the second time he appeared that night, the camera widened out and the TV audience was able to see Elvis' gyrations.

While many have felt that Elvis was censored by only showing him from the waist up on The Ed Sullivan Show, that really only happened during Elvis' third appearance, on January 6, 1957. For some still unknown reason (although there are a lot of rumors as to why), Sullivan allowed Elvis to only be shown from the waist up during that third and final show.


Elvis' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was a major success. Over 60 million people, both young and old, watched the show and many people believe it helped bridge the generation gap for Elvis' acceptance into the mainstream.

The ManThe Myth - The Legend

That's what Is All About - Elvis Presley

The Nashville Tennessean, Wednesday Morning, Feb. 15, 1956.

Rock & Roll Set Adores Elvis Presley

It Happened Last Night.

By Earl Wilson

NEW YORK ─ “Teenagers,” 21-year-old Elvis Presley, of Memphis, Tennessee, exclaims, “I love ‘em!” “Sure,” the new idol of the Rock ‘n Roll set told me “they tear off my clothes, they scratch their initials on my cars, they phone my hotel all night. But they buy my records and they pay me to sing. I’m grateful and when they stop annoying me, I’ll start to worry.”

For the present at least, Elvis would seem  to have little to worry about. After an appearance two weeks ago on Jackie Gleason’s TV program “Stage Show,” with the Dorsey brothers, Elvis was quickly signed for another four weeks. Observers generally credited Gleason with a shrewd move.

If any singer could dent the popularity of the show’s competition, smooth, effortless Perry Como, it was probably Elvis. His fans ─ including a “few” older folks ─ have shelled out for over 100.000 of his latest record, “Heartbreak Hotel,” an almost incredible showing for a two week period. On one-night stands over a good part of the country, Elvis plays to very excited and well-packed-in throngs.

What does this kid Presley have? A couple of particularly cubey squares were asking. Well, he’s got a voice that’s very loud and full of feeling and when he sings, unlike Como, it is not effortless. Like Johnny Ray, to whom he has been compared, he writhes and contorts and suffers through a song, and the kids love it. In addition, he’s some showman. For instance. He wears his hair long, with sideburns yet.

Dorsey January 28, 1956..jpg
At CBS-TV Studio 50. Elvis Presley first performance on the Dorsey Brothers' 'Stage Show' program, New York, New York, January 28, 1956.

“I’ve got the money for a haircut.” Elvis assured me. “But this is good business. It’s important that I be conspicuous. His more enthusiastic admirers say he looks like a cross between Marlon Brando and the late James Dean. In a way, he does at that. Incidentally, he’s taking acting lessons.

Then, there’s his clothes. “I don’t think it’s right,” Elvis says, “for a fellow to dress loud. On the street that is. On stage, I want to stand out. The louder my clothes the better.” He favors combinations of red and black, usually without ties. He went to the closet and returned smiling, with a jacket that almost become his trademark. It was a flaming, screaming fire-engine red. A turquoise model is another favorite.

He has “about 75” suits. “Have you worn ‘em all?” I asked. “Most of ‘em” he said. He has 27 pairs of shoes and shirts “I haven’t taken the price tag off yet.” “You see, collecting clothes is my hobby.”

“Mam’s been speaking to me about spending too much money,” (His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Presley, of Memphis). Mrs. Presley may have had in mind his two Cadillacs, a pink one and a yellow one, back home in Memphis. He travels to his personal appearances in a standard, inconspicuous Plymouth. “Why is that?” I wondered.

“Well, I used to use the pink Caddy ─ had it especially painted, you know, but the kids got so they recognize it. They’d scratch their initials in it and walked off with my hubcaps as souvenirs. “I’m proudest and happiest, though, with my motorcycle.” With two powerful cars and a motorcycle, the accent seemed on speed. I mentioned this. “No reason to worry about that,” Elvis assured me. “I never speed. You see, I care too much about living.”

1956 Harley-Davidson KH on Getwell Rd.,
'55 Cadillac Fleetwood. August 14 - 20 1955. 2414 Lamar.
1956 Harley-Davidson KH ad.
The Enthusiast cover May 1956.jpg
The Enthusiast issue May 1956. A 1956 KH

Who Is Elvis Presley?

THAT rocket blazing a fiery trail across the musical sky these days and nights is no rocket. It's 21 year old Elvis Presley, Memphis's contribution to the world of music. Presley's rise to fame has been little short of fantastic. Some time ago, Elvis walked into the Sun Record Company in Memphis, Tenn., and recorded his voice at his own expense. Sun Record Company liked Presley's style and signed him to a contract.


Recently RCA Victor bought Presley's contract and he is on his way up. He recorded "Heartbreak Hotel". His unique style clicked at once. Now this record is a cinch to pass the million mark any day. He is in great demand for personal appearances and TV shows. More of his songs are being released. His head is in a whirl but Elvis is taking it all in stride. He appreciates his good fortune and is determined not to let it change him.

How does Elvis rate cover position in the Enthusiast? He is a Harley-Davidson rider and is shown on his third motorcycle. He started out as the owner of a 165 and at present rides the 1956 "KH." It is a red and white model and is his favorite. His new life makes great demands on him but, he still finds time to roll up some miles on his "KH". Good Luck for your future, Elvis. 

Ted Bruehl Photo ─ January 1956, Getwell Rd. Memphis, Tn.

Article of the Enthusiast® ©Harley Davidson

"Chicago International Amphitheatre"

Elvis meet the press in the Saddle and Sirloin Club - March 28, 1957.

Peter Guralnick wrote; Elvis had a press conference at the Saddle and Sirloin Club at the Stockyards Inn in the afternoon, and that night he unveiled the $2,500 gold leaf suit that the Colonel had had made up for him. The idea had come from the gold cutaway that Liberace wore in Las Vegas, and the Colonel had Nudie Cohen, Hollywood tailor to the stars (or perhaps a certain kind of star, including all the bespangled country and western luminaries), come out to the movie set in his steer—horn-decorated Cadillac to measure him for it.

The Chicago Tribune wrote;

Before opening night of his 1957 tour at the International Amphitheatre, Elvis Presley held a news conference in the Saddle and Sirloin Club, a nearby ritzy hangout for cattle executives visiting the Union Stockyards.

Flanked by a hound dog and a gaggle of reporters ahead of his first-ever Chicago stop — the first concert after his waist-up "Ed Sullivan Show" appearance — the 22-year-old Presley unveiled golden shoes, part of the custom-designed gold suit that he'd debut that night and that would become iconic.

Then came the 16-song, 47-minute performance, attended by some 13,000 rabid fans who rendered "the King" and his backing Jordanaires inaudible with their screams.

Newspaper accounts detail the pandemonium: Grown women were reduced to tears. Dozens of girls fainted. An usher from Bridgeport was cold-cocked by the purse of a fan trying to rush the stage at the arena, located at 42nd and Halsted streets.

From his rollicking rhythm and blues roots to the grandiose stage shows at now-shuttered arenas, the relationship of "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" with the city was special.

"I don't think there was a more pivotal or more important voice to younger generations at that time. They needed that beacon of energy for their generation and certainly Elvis was it," said Cory Cooper, a Nevada-based "Elvis expert."

Like most major cities in the United States, Chicago was a familiar and frequent spot for Presley, where he played both the Amphitheater and Chicago Stadium. But Presley's legacy here took a macabre turn in 1956.

Chicago's American life-size poster.
International Amphitheater Chicago. March 31, 1957.

The American of Chicago produced a series of high quality posters with blank spines except for two notations and a number on each, which have been printed on newspaper, so that they can be folded and show no ink leaks. Celebrities of the time like James Dean, Nancy Sinatra, James Cagney, James Stewart, The Beatles and of course Elvis Presley were all present. In preparation for this special Elvis Presley poster which was to be inserted in Chicago's America issue in 1968, the poster offered announced this upcoming release. Due to the fragile nature of newspapers, few of these inserted posters have survived.


Given Elvis' popularity, advertising the pending insert was a smart tactic to elicit interest and, in turn, sell more of this edition. This earlier advertisement for the poster insert is equally unusual and represents the exact image of Elvis in his gold lamé costume that would be included free with the Sunday edition of Chicago's American. What fan could resist to such a dazzling image of the singer in action to hang on his wall?

Erik Lorentzen & KJ Consulting proudly presents the ULTIMATE Elvis Files magazines and books.



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©1979 Excerpt from Alfred Wertheimer's Elvis ‘56 IN THE BEGINNING

Wertheimer - July 1, 1956. Penn Station.

I woke up in Newark, New Jersey, feeling sticky. We were fifteen minutes from New York, and with a cold shot of water on the face and my all-American breakfast of an apple, a half-pint of milk and a Yankee Doodle cupcake, I was ready to go. 

Elvis was sitting cross-legged in a compartment with D. J. and Bill. He had on the same white bucks as the night before, which were no longer quite so white, the same slate-grey suit and the same slick pompadour, which by now had a gloss that could outshine a waxed black Cadillac. 

He was reading a fan letter. D.J. studied her photograph, a wallet-sized high school picture that was so universal in kind, I was convinced there was a special camera that, no matter how it was used, would forever yield a "cheese" smile looking over the right shoulder. D.J. turned it over to read her name and handed it to Elvis, whose face was still puffy and soft from sleep. Elvis looked her over and passed into a morning daydream. 

D. J. said, "Hey, she's pretty good lookin', huh?" Elvis came back. "Yeah, pretty good lookin'." Bill looked out the window and all went black. 

We were crossing under the Hudson River into the subterranean corridors of Pennsylvania Station." 

The main concourse of the station was active with Sunday morning travelers. Elvis picked up a copy of the Sunday New York Mirror. This time he didn't stick it under his arm. In bold, two-inch type the headline read "2 Airliners Missing, 127 Aboard." I had heard he once had a close call in a chartered plane, somewhere outside of Texas. 

Wertheimer - July 1, 1956. Penn Station-
Elvis by Wertheimer - July 1, 1956. Penn

He read that news across the concourse "PHOENIX, ARIZ. June 30. Two luxury airliners, carrying an estimated 127 passengers and crew, were missing and presumed crashed in the Arizona desert ... "), up the stairs ("as darkness wrapped the desert, a vast search-rescue effort was halted for the night ... "), on the street (" ... could be the worst disaster in commercial aviation history ... ") and in the cab ("Other Major Flying Disasters") to the Hudson Theatre, site of the "Steve Allen Show." The train looked better all the time. 

Wertheimer July 1, 1956.jpg
Wertheimer July 1, 1956-1.jpg
Wertheimer July 1, 1956-2.jpg

We were back in New York. The number four Mirror Disc of the Week was "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" by Swivle Yelserp (sic). Number one was "Wayward Wind" by Gogi Grant. The frosting on the cake was one of "Nick's Snacks!!!": "It isn't what young girls know that bothers their parents ... it's how they found out." 

The cab carrying Tom Diskin, Elvis, Junior and myself drove up Forty-fourth Street, which was deserted and grey under the Sunday morning overcast. At the entrance to the theater, a young girl dressed all in white appeared, escorted by a middle-aqed gentleman. She looked about sixteen going on thirty, and wore what must have been her best white dress (its billowing folds were topped by a bow in the back), white gloves, white pumps, and hat. Her earrings were white rhinestones in the shape of hearts. Around her neck was a rhinestone cross. She looked as if she were ready for her first Communion, except for the dark glasses that she wore. 

Steve Allen Show. July 1st 1956 Hudson T

As soon as Elvis opened the door of the cab, she bravely stepped forward and with all the tentative confidence mental rehearsals bring, she asked, Elvis can I have your autograph?" 

"Sure, honey." 

She presented the pen and the book. He asked her and she told him, becoming so excited, that she could barely speak. When it finally came out, it rushed in a choking torrent. 

"I came in all the way from Long Island with my father; we've been waiting here for over one hour; "I'm so lucky I was able to see you before you went into the theater; I can't wait to see you tonight."


Elvis returned her autograph book, took a white gloved hand in both of his and smiled graciously. "It's very nice of you to come all the way from Long-Island. I really appreciate it." 

She choked again. "I'm, I'm so happy to see you I love your music. I love your voice; I've got all your records; I love "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You": I listen to it all the time; I read everything I can about you ..." 

She couldn't go on. 

Elvis spoke gently. "I'm glad you like it. I sure hope I do well tonight. You gonna watch?" 

"I sure will." 

Tom interrupted. "Elvis, it's getting to be time for rehearsal."

"I gotta go now." 

She kept it together. "Goodbye." 

As soon as Elvis entered the theater, she covered her face and wept. Her father put his arm around her, delighted that his daughter's wish had come true. I asked to take their picture. She composed for one shot, then covered her face again and burst into tears. It was true devotion. After the scene last night, I believed it. 

July !st New York City, NY.

The Hudson Theatre, the oldest legitimate showhouse on Broadway, a relic of green marble and stained glass, had been overtaken by the unforgiving progress of television and had been converted into a studio. The stage, which had been extended to accommodate both sets and television cameras, jutted deep into the seating area leaving no more than a dozen rows. The balcony had been given over to the lights. 

Elvis met Bill and D. J. outside his dressing room and they quietly walked together across the stage and up the aisle and took seats halfway from the rear. where Tom and a few of the Jordanaires sat. The Colonel was nowhere in sight. 

Elvis was instructed to sing to the dog. Without the mike, he crouched down nose-to-nose with the dog and let her know, "you ain't nothing but a hound dog." She heard that and ignored him for the rest of the song. 

Now they had a problem. Steve wanted the hound to listen to Elvis, so he suggested that they get to know each other. The top hat and bow tie were removed. Elvis leaned over, caressed her neck and whispered in her ear. She turned away. Elvis became intimate, speaking softly, touching her forehead with his hand to let her know she was the only one in his life. She didn't believe him. 

The director tried his technique, scratching her chin and speaking his own special dog language. He convinced her to put aside her feelings and be the trooper he knew she was. 


The director gave the cue. Elvis extended his hand and she leaned forward and rested her chin in his palm. He told her again she was nothing but a hound dog, and when he had her where he wanted her, his hand holding her face close to his, he told her she "ain't never caught a rabbit." Elvis tried to keep a straight face when she turned away. Scotty, D. J. and Bill rocked through the refrain. 

Elvis coiled like a runner at the starting blocks, shot his finger straight out at her and told her again. She looked right back at him and took it, and when he finished telling her, "you ain't no friend of mine," he patched it all up, hugging and caressing her, laughing as she licked his face. The audience applauded, the stagehands nodded, and Steve approved. The Memphis Flash was okay. 

Steve Allen, Hudson Theater, New York, NY.
Steve Allen, Hudson Theater, New York, N
Steve Allen, Hudson Theater, New York, N

Lorentzen's books broaden your Elvis knowledge

May 22, 1960. The NY Times

Elvis Presley Returns To Movie Maneuvers

GI Blues poster (4).jpg
GI Blues personality poster 1960.jpg


Hollywood. The tall young man with the dark, curly hair, smoothed down his soldier's uniform, rose from the bar stool and walked glumly below bright lights, out among the crowded night-club tables. Sulkily he acknowledged applause and cheers of his soldier buddies, slapping one on the back, tousling another's hair, as he moved toward the bandstand by popular request. When he neared the orchestra leader, he said to an approaching soldier:

"I thought I told you not to help." The soldier grinned and replied, "What did I do?" Whereupon the dark-haired soldier mocked, with heavy sarcasm, "What did I do," and sullenly accepted a guitar from a smiling bandleader.

GI Blues scene still

Admiration Society

There was no need for Elvis Presley to do any more than hold the guitar in this scene from "G. I. Blues," his first movie since his discharge from the Army. He had already recorded in a sound studio his eleven songs for this picture. "I liked that," Presley called across the night-club set at Paramount Studios as soon as the cameras stopped." "I liked it too," echoed Norman Taurog, the director, from beside the camera men. "We'll print that."

Mr. Taurog, who has a reputation for knowing how to work with child actors and young actors, explained that the secret of working with someone like Presley, was that "you have to like music and you have to enjoy working with young people."

Presley, he said, was obviously a natural for the movies. "There is no stiffness with this boy. This is the most relaxed boy you could want. He reminds me of Crosby and Como. He is a good listener. When you have a good listener you have a good actor."

Hal B. Wallis, the producer, approached as Mr. Taurog broke off the eulogy to confer with him. Presley returned to his bar stool to chat with his co-star, Julie Prowse, who was adorned in flesh- colored tights and beads for her role of the night-club singer besought by Presley.

Magnetic Music Man

Mr. Wallis finished his conversation with Mr. Taurog and recalled how he had signed Presley under a personal movie contract more than four years ago. "I saw him on a TV show. There was an excitement in him. His whole look had it. I could see he was not just a singer. I saw something in him more than a personality. I signed him without a screen test."

During an interval while the camera recorded crowd enthusiasm, in general and in detail, Mr. Presley withdrew to a small dressing room and discussed acting and singing. Acting, he said, was more difficult. He had heard that lots of young men and women venturing into movie work had decided to study acting. "I'm not doing any studying," he said. "At least not so far as reading or taking lessons goes. I'm learning from experience."

He denied he would sacrifice his singing career for acting. He liked singing too much, he explained. All kinds of singing. "The other night at the Milton Berle show ─ you know his night-club show ─ he put on six opera singers," said Presley. "I flipped my lid. They had great voices, great arrangements." With regret, he confessed that while he was stationed in Germany with the Army, he had not been to any opera. "I was just too tired at night to go anywhere," he said sadly.

About his own singing, he was more specific. He does not read music, he said. "I just listen to it get played a few times. No one can tell me how you should do this song or that one. I work strictly my own way. If the day ever comes when I listen to anyone else I'll get mechanical and I'm dead."

GI Blues recording sessions. April 27, 1
GI Blues recording sessions. April 27, 1
GI Blues recording sessions. April 27, 1

He could see no sense in reports that rock 'n' roll music was dying and he said it was ridiculous to think that the success of this sort of music was due solely to payola to disk jockeys who plugged rock 'n' roll records.

"Rock 'n' roll music," he said, "is getting better than ever. The sound engineers are learning more about how to handle the stuff. It couldn't have been made popular by payola alone. Too many Americans love it. Nope. I don't see why I should change my singing style right now. Seems pretty foolish to me. Of course," he added, after a pause during which he squinted carefully up at the ceiling, "if things change I'll change too. You have to. That's show business." Of the eleven songs he has done for "G. I. Blues," he said that only about three or four were rock 'n' roll. "Then I did some medium beat and some ballads."

He stretched. It was good, he said to have a car of his own instead of an Army jeep. "I get up just as early as I used to because I have to make movies."

He grinned broadly. "There's a little difference now. A little difference in tactics. A little difference in maneuvers.

GI Blues promotional photo (6).jpg
GI Blues promotional photo.jpg

TCB Band