ELVIS – LOVING YOU
Presley’s admirers used every opportunity to see him and talk to him. During the work on the film “Loving You”, it happened that meetings with fans even moved to the singer’s private apartment in the Knickerbocker Hotel*.
One such person who managed to spend several dozen minutes with Elvis in a hotel room was the budding rockabilly singer Glen Glenn (actually Orin Glenn Troutman).
Fascinated by Presley’s work, the musician, at the time of meeting his idol, had only a few television appearances to his credit (in the programs he also appeared as Glen Trout in a duet with his guitarist, Gary Lambert, with whom they formed the band Missouri Mountain Boys) and several realized demo CDs. Gleen did not sign his first recording contract with Era Records until late 1957. In the first weeks of the following year, his debut single with the songs “Everybody Movin’” and “I’m Glad My Baby’s Gone” went on sale.
Years later, recalling to the authors of the book “Inside Loving You”, the day he met Elvis, i.e. February 7, 1957, Glenn said that when he and his guitarist, Gary Lumbert, entered the room, Presley was sitting on the couch reading the newspaper. After talking for a while, everyone sat down and listened to records for the rest of the evening. ” Elvis had – I call them dubs but they called them acetates – the ‘Loving You’ soundtrack ,” he said. “He had them all there. And he also had a small turntable which you know wasn’t very good. We sat there and listened to all those songs – ‘Teddy Bear’ and everything about ‘Loving You’. He also had ‘One Night With You’ which wasn’t in the movie but he played it to us saying over and over again ‘I love this record and I played guitar on it’. […] I wish I had these dubs today .”
Thus, dividing his time between numerous meetings with fans, working in front of the camera and participating in hours-long recording sessions, Elvis was again (as during the work on “Love Me Tender”) one of the busiest and busiest stars of the entire cast of the new film.
When in the second half of February work on “Loving You” was in full swing, Elvis’ parents also came to Los Angeles. Gladys and Vernon Presley came to Hollywood for a month’s vacation in the company of their close friends, Willy and Carla Nichols.
For the duration of their stay, both married couples were accommodated in the same hotel as the famous singer.
And since neither the Presleys nor Mr. and Mrs. Nichols had ever been to Los Angeles before, both couples decided to use all their free time to explore and shop. Several sources, including the Elvis Australia website and Peter Guralnick in the book “Last Train To Memphis”, describing quite extensively the details of Elvis’ parents’ stay in the City of Angels, reported, among others, that Gladys and her friend bought poodles, which they named Duke (in honor of John Wayne, whom Gladys liked very much) and Pierre.
In the same sources, you can also read that at the invitation of Scotty Moore and his wife, Bobbie, Vernon and Gladys took part in the recording of the television program “The Ford Show”, hosted by the popular country singer, Tennesse Ernie Ford, whose greatest the song “Sixteen Tons” recorded in 1955** brought popularity.
However, the culminating moment of the Presleys’ stay in Hollywood turned out to be a visit to the set of a film shot there with their son.
Curious about the development of the new production, they visited Elvis in Hollywood on February 21, 1957. ” (Gladys, author’s note) and Vernon came to Hollywood to spend some time with Elvis ,” director Hal Kanter recalled in an interview. “(Gladys, author’s note) She asked me if they could come to the set. To which I replied, ‘of course you can’. And they showed up with another couple – their friends from Memphis whom Vernon had introduced as decorators. Later it turned out that this man was a painter. I remember him because he was wearing a brand new hat. Without the slightest creases. Just a hat taken straight out of a hatbox. And he wore it. He also wore a white shirt buttoned at the neck with no tie. I’ve seen very few people dressed like that. I’ve never heard him say a single word either. But Gladys and Vernon were rather quiet people too .”
Upon arrival, accompanied by Elvis, the Presleys visited, among others, the film studios and met the other members of the cast of the film that was being made.
Hal Kanter, who was on the set all the time that day, decided to use these spontaneous visits for promotional purposes and, as he himself recalled years later, at the end of the visit, he proposed to Vernon and Gladys to perform together in front of the camera with Elvis. ” (Gladys, author’s note) As long as you’re still here, why don’t you go in front of the camera? ‘, the director was about to ask. ” We’ll walk a few feet away from you and you’ll all be here together – you, your son and your husband. You’ll see it in all the newspapers tomorrow .”
Gladys, who from the beginning seemed unconvinced by the idea (she came to Los Angeles after a series of tests at the Memphis hospital and, according to Presley’s biographers, she did not feel well during the visit to Hollywood. In addition, she was afraid that she would look bad in the photos ) succumbed to Kanter’s persuasions only after talking to Elvis.
The next day, as predicted by Kanter, a photo of Elvis with his parents made the most of the local newspapers.
Apparently, this short visit, as well as the joint appearance of the Presley family in front of the camera, gave the director yet another bold idea. Namely, putting Elvis’ parents in the movie. Especially in his final scene.
Thanks to this, “Loving You”, later referred to as Elvis’s “pseudobiography”, was to gain one more strong asset and a reason for viewers to have every right to believe that the story told on the screen is not entirely fictional…
So the next day Gladys and Vernon returned to the set, and Kanter placed them among a group of extras at the Grand Theater where Elvis was to perform the two final numbers – the title track “Loving You” and the thrilling version of “Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do “. ” If you have a keen eye, you’ll see that Gladys and Vernon were sitting next to each other and the two people they came with (Mr. and Mrs. Nichols, author’s note), ” recalled Hal Kanter.
Charles O’Curran, a respected Hollywood singing and dancing director, and privately the husband of Patti Page – Elvis’ favorite vocalist – was responsible for the choreography in this and all other musical scenes. ” We didn’t have any fancy dance scenes in Loving You ,” recalled Scotty Moore in the book Scotty & Elvis. Aboard The Mystery Train. ” Most of choreographer Charles O’Curran’s efforts focused on extras posing as the crowd, who had to be instructed how to sway and when to clap .” O’Curran himself recalled in The Private Life of Elvis:I was also present when Elvis was at the peak of his film career. It was the day his parents came to visit him at the studio and I suggested they take part in the filming as extras on stage. Elvis thought it was a brilliant idea. And you can imagine how he laughed when he came back to me and said, ‘Mom and Dad were teaching these extras how to clap to my beat. Maybe some of them will become movie directors!’ “.
Unfortunately, those happy moments were overshadowed by the death of Gladys (pictured left, wearing a blue suit) in 1958. To this day, it is even said that Elvis never wanted to watch his second film again because the above scene reminded him too much of his beloved mother.
A week later, on February 27, the film crew moved north from Hollywood, where the Jessup farm was located (Elvis100% claims the ranch was located in the town of Farmingdale, but the only town I could find with that name was a village in upstate New York located more than forty-two hours by car from Hollywood). The only locations for Presley’s second film were filmed there.
A few days later, on March 8, the final slap was taken on the set of “Loving You”.
1. According to elvis100percent.com, during the filming of “Loving You”, Elvis also received thousands of letters. It is said that there are even two thousand letters a day! According to the authors of the site, the singer devoted several hours a day to reply to fans and sign photos.
2. There is also information that while in Los Angeles, Elvis was supposed to take his parents to the cinema to see the Oscar-winning film “The Ten Commandments” starring Charlton Heston. At that time, they were supposed to be accompanied by actress Joan Blackman (known from the films “Blue Hawaii” and “Kid Galahad”), who, as she claimed, was filming the western “Good Day for a Hanging” in Hollywood .
It cannot be ruled out that Blackman and Presley met in 1957, but it is worth emphasizing that the shooting for the film, which was released in January 1959, took place when Presley was already on military service.
Information provided by EP Promised Land (Poland) Marius Ogieglo http://www.elvispromisedland.pl/
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