Friday, January 8, 2010
I always think of GIRL HAPPY on Elvis's birthday. In the film, he plays Rusty Wells, a lounge singer who tricks the club owner to let his band head down to Ft. Lauderdale during spring break to keep tabs/fall in love/get slapped in the face on/with/by Shelley Fabares, who starred in three Elvis films. Bill Bixby appeared in two, but this is a tale for another century. See, I like it because the beginning of the film, before the opening song, zooms in on a blonde's butt, the announcer stating this was Ft. L, and giving the chick's mesaurements, and taking his damn good time about it as the cameraman/stalker keeps getting a closer shot. Then it cuts to snowy Chicago, and we see a dame going into a club with the Rusty Wells marquee, again the announcer reminds us of where we are, rubbing salt in the wound by having fake snow falling, mentioning that the doll that just went through the doors had the same measurements as the babe in Floridsa, then he adds "but...how can you tell?" And cue the Elvis song before I want to punch the TV out on general principals. Of all the crappy--that is, any that were not filmed in B&W--Elvis films, this really is the most fun. But enough of that. Its never bikini weather here on Elvis's birthday.
Bob knows all about Jimmy Ellis and his sad end, gunned down in a store he and his wife owned in later years. Trent Carlini, who came out of the Midwest to end up in Las Vegas, doing what is arguably the best version of the King circa 1973 running. Ral Donner never performed as Elvis, but he sure could have, he had the 50s thing going. He was content to not try and rip the guy off, and when the David Wolper documentary THIS IS ELVIS was filmed in 1980, Ral provided the voice-over of young Elvis, Johnny Harrah the older, bloated Elvis. Ral was also from the Southwest side of Chicago, having gone to Quigley South HS, not far from my old home. Sadly, he died of cancer in, I think, 1984. He was in his mid-40s. Then there's Rick Saucedo, who I used to see at the old Field's Restaurant in Oak Lawn when I worked with the Elvis band. Saucedo was one of a handful impersonators who performed regularly while Elvis was still alive, and he put on a pretty big show. Gigs aren't what they used to be, and so when I've seen him perform now, its at the Polish church over on State Road. I spent the day posting some of my favorite songs from YouTube over on Facebook. I also posted the photo of me with the bottle of Elvis Sweat, or so I would want everyone to believe.