by Little Walter
Last month there were a few paragraphs deleted from this column. They dealt with Elvis’ new album Moody Blue. We mentioned the strong requests my radio program was getting, specifically for the cuts, “Little Darlin’ ” and “Pledging My Love” and how it seemed probable that Elvis would record an album of Fifties material sometime in the future. That bright prospect of the future has been taken away from us and instead we have posters, newspapers and magazines that read, “Elvis Presley 1935 – 1977.”
I doubt if there is anything that I could add to all that has been written in the last couple of months except my own feelings. The sorrow and disbelief is too deep to put into words. The commercialism of his death is enough to make me sick; the commercialism of the man has always been there and would have continued. Therefore it doesn’t bother me.
As far as the Wests’ book, they have admitted that some of it was exaggerated, and there is no doubt but that it was ill-timed. I’m convinced that it would not have been published a week later. For years, all I’ve heard about Elvis is that he never had any kind of fun, could never go out, and lived the boring life of a recluse. In a way, I hope some of the stuff in the book is true. I’m happy to hear that, when he wanted it, his life could be one big party. Granted, some of it might have gotten out of hand, but I’d like to believe he had the power to create situations whereby he could enjoy any moment of his short life to the fullest.
About the music, I hope that in my lifetime I get to hear everything he ever put down on tape. I mean everything … tune ups, out takes, conversations, live per- formances … EVERYTHING! Last month, in Art Fein’s beautifully written story, he mentions the important 1976 re-issues from the RCA vaults and “elsewhere.” I’ve heard stories and rumors of the existance of the “Louisiana Hayride” tapes (circa 1955, live recordings). Rumor has it, RCA has been offered these tapes and has turned them down. These, along with other “live,” “location” and “studio” tapes should have been offered us in record form years ago … now, they must!
Another thing, I’ve noticed that a lot of people, younger than myself, did double-takes when they saw some of the Sullivan show clips that have been recently shown. It’s hard for me to believe, but college age guys and gals had never seen them, they only heard his records. And this brings up another question. I know that kinescopes exist of Elvis’ appearances on the Sullivan and Steve Allen shows, but how about