"The Trouble With Girls (and How to Get into It)"

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“The Trouble With Girls (and How to Get into It)”

Elvis starring the film “The Trouble With Girls” on October ,1968. It was released  on June 1969 in Dayton (Ohio), and  September 1969 in Los Angeles. Directed by Peter Tewsbury.

 “The Trouble With Girls” was Elvis’ penultimate film. His contract with Hollywood would end that same year with “Change of Habit”

During this time, Elvis was in a great moment of rebirth artistic and professional , after what meant for him the recording of the TV program “Elvis: Comeback Special”.

It is based on the 1960 novel “Chautauqua” by Day Keene and Dwight Vincent Babcock.

In a small Iowa town in 1927, a traveling “Chautauqua ” company arrives. A traveling school that offered education and entertainment.

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The story of the film unfolds around “Chautauqua”, which was founded in 1874 by Lewis Miller.  Its original purpose was to provide education for adults in the summer and for Sunday school teachers.  With the success of its activities, it evolved to include academic subjects, music, art, and physical education.  In the early 1900s, the Chautauqua program traveled across the country by train bringing its lectures, entertainment and culture to the entire community (This is the Chatauqua moment depicted in ‘The Trouble With Girls’).  With the advent of movies and radio shows, travel stopped.  Today, the Chautauqua Institution is an educational center with an average of 150,000 visitors each summer.

MGM hired actress Marlyn Mason to co-star in the film.  Marlyn had previously participated in famous television series such as Perry Mason, Bonanza or Ironside.  She had also appeared in the 1960 film “Because They’re Young” but in an uncredited role, thus her official film debut could be considered to be in The Trouble With Girls, playing Charlene, the “Story Lady” of the company.

 Elvis left us in this fun and engaging film, for all types of audience, unforgettable songs and a personal image of Elvis with overwhelming beauty and elegance.

 The recording sessions took place at United Artists Recorders in Hollywood, October 23, 1968. The musical conductor was Billy Strange.

Soundtrack :

 – “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” (Billy Strange and Mac Davis)

 – “Swing Down Sweet Chariot” (traditional spiritual song, arranged by Elvis Presley)

 – “Signs of the Zodiac” (Buddy Kaye and Ben Weisman, Duet with Marlyn Mason)

 – “Almost” (Buddy Kaye and Ben Weisman)

 – “The Whiffenpoof Song” (Ted Galloway, Meade Minnigerode, George Pomeroy).  This song was not used in  film.

 – “Violet (Flower of NYU)” (Steven Dueker and Peter Lohstroh).  This song would be the second adaptation in Elvis’ career of the American Civil War song “Aura Lee” from 1861. The first being the song “Love Me Tender”.

The song “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” by songwriters Billy Strange and Mac Davis, was their fourth successful performance for an Elvis soundtrack.  It was the only one released concurrently with the film’s release, in 1969, as single, peaking at # 35 on the Billboard Hot 100.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCgMuUPVyPs]

 “Almost” would appear in 1970 on the “Let’s Be Friends” album, the only other movie track to be released during Elvis’ lifetime.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SNr-w_ZqwU]

 His new version of the song “Swing Down Sweet Chariot” which was originally released on the 1960 “His Hand in Mine” album, would not be released until 1983.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbBdBL3XGdE]

 The other songs would wait to be released until the RCA soundtrack compilations of the 1990s.

A nice movie to have a good time, learn about the history of Chautauqua, and review the America of the twenties.  With a soundtrack that left us some great songs.

Here is the trailer for the movie.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANi_lG21lPY]

Information provided by “ELVIS.  El Chico De Tupelo”.



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