Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Texas Tea & Other Feel Good Revenge Songs

I know as much about Elvis as I do John Wayne Gacy. I can always get a laugh by prefacing a story with "Back when I worked with the Elvis band," a job I indeed held during my college years. My cousin Dennis and I exchange emails as Deke Rivers (LOVING YOU) and Lucky Jackson (VIVA LAS VEGAS), respectively, and this coming 30th anniversary of Elvis Death Day marks an incredible fifteen years since our visit. I wrote a novella called "Elviscera" for THE KING IS DEAD: TALES OF ELVIS POST-MORTEM which I consider one of my best works for the message it gives (it involves sacrificial murder) and until the cassette died, a mix of truly horrid Elvis-themed songs, the best/worst is the brilliantly horrible "Candy Bars For Elvis" by Barry Tiffin, who sobs--SOBS--his way through a story of a guy living in his pickup behind RCA Studios and Elvis gives him $20.00 to buy him some Hershey bars. Well, Elvis only ate Heath bars, from what I know; maybe Tiffin needed the extra syllable. The song ends with Tiffin wishing Elvis could come back to life if only that the homeless guy could buy Elvis some more *sob* (dramatic pause) candy...*sob* bars. This all needed to be said before I typed about Jimmy Ellis and the CD that I received in the mail courtesy of Bob Smith. I was more aware of him as Orion, a name he used as a gimmick when he started impersonating Elvis, as he was more known as this character in Kentucky and Indiana. But, Bob knew him from his rockabilly days in Georgia, by his given name, Jimmy Ellis. I am listening to the CD now, and he does a few covers besides those of Elvis, like Freddy Fender's "Before The Next Teardrop Falls," but in his early years, he never impersonated Elvis even though his voice is so similar. (The name escapes me, but remember the guy who sang "Suspicion" back in the 60s? He's that good). Ral Donner, from Chicago's SW side, could easily have become better known if he had recorded Elvis songs. He did do the Elvis voice overs in the 1980 THIS IS ELVIS documentary, and died of cancer in his late 40s. I'm very happy to have received this CD, certainly as Death Day nears. The sad thing about Jimmy Ellis is that he opened a pawn shop in his home town of Orrville, Alabama and was shotgunned at the age of 53 on December 12th 1998. "Texas Tea" is one of Bob's favorite songs on the CD mix, and I agree. Revenge songs are good. I hope the three bastards who killed him had something nice and crappy happen to them over the last decade...Wayne

Baby The Rain Must Fall

I had planned a post about a fellow named Jimmy Ellis. Bob sent me a CD of his songs to listen to (along with an actual typewritten letter! A typewritten letter that WASN'T from CapitolOne!!) But it is late, I was snookered into working a 14 hour shift and ended up with magenta toner over my jeans which somehow transferred to all the clothes in my hamper. So I am doing laundry, waiting for the rain to eventually dribble underneath our back door. Awhile back, I started another blog--THIS TIRED CITY--in which I simply post photos in the event I ever lose my hard drive, I can always find "special" photos on the blog. So as I posted the one above at the other blog, I thought, what the hell, I'll give better credence to Jimmy Ellis AKA Orion (he added cryptically) tomorrow. When my pants aren't magenta. Peter Frampton I'm not....Wayne