Elvis also performed a comedy sketch with Milton Berle acting as Elvis twin brother Melvin. It was the first time that they had performed to an all military audience. Among his selections on his second appearance was a playfully sensuous performance of Hound Dog that drove the kids in the audience wild, and the next day, has the press and some of the adult viewers appalled. It is one of his most controversial performances [extract from elvispresleymusic.com.au]
Album Liner Note
In these days of the super-sophisticated video film designed to sell instantly forgettable pop songs and singers to a mass audience, it is perhaps impossible to realise fully just how big the impact of Elvis' television appearances in 1956 must have been. Much has been written about the Colonel's crafty pulling of strings to get his boy the nationwide exposure he so badly needed to get things going in a big way and, as history has shown, as career move it worked.
|Milton Berle introduces Elvis|
|Elvis introduces his twin Brother|
Since no material has turned up substantiating the rumours that Elvis filled some guest slots in television shows hosted by Roy Orbinson and aired locally in Texas, six Dorsey, two Berle, one Allen and three Sullivan shows are all we have as far as the 50's go.
On January 28, 1956 Elvis made the first of six live appearances on Jackie Gleason's Stage Show, hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. For a fee of 1,250 dollars per show Elvis was given the opportunity to promote his RCA material., this promotion policy dictating the choice of songs an this and all subsequent television shows. The Dorseys look bewildered while Elvis lays it on, starting a trend of disdainful behaviour towards Elvis that culminates, or, rather, reaches an all time low in Steve Allen's attempt to constrain this Hillbilly by dressing him up in tails and making him sing to a dog.
|Ed Sullivan & Elvis Presley|
It wins him the ratings war, though, and it gives Elvis the chance to show how much he's learned in only nine previous shows on television and, of course, to promote his latest "escapes". The audience is the lucky third and gets to see and hear that, no matter what condescending attitude Sullivan may take, no matter how much of his stage act may be curtailed or simply not registered by the camera, Elvis is in total control by being natural.
|Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley, DJ Fontana and Bill Black -The Milton Berle Show April 3, 1956|
|April 3, 1956, the flight deck of the U.S.S Hancock|
|Elvis with Fans on the U.S.S Hancock|
The first four tracks were recorded live from U.S.S. "Hancock" (Milton Berle Show, April 3, 1956) and includes a comedy sketch between Berle & Presley (alias Presley Twins). Great sound quality and very funny indeed.
The remaining tracks comes from three separate TV performances on the Ed Sullivan Show, with varying sound quality.
Although I'm not a big Elvis fan, I can appreciate the significance of these recordings as they provide an insight into that time when Elvis was just starting to capture the attention of the world.
A1 Introduction / Shake, Rattle & Roll
A2 Heartbreak Hotel
A3 Blue Suede Shoes
A4 Comedy Sketch / Blue Suede Shoes
A5 Don't Be Cruel
A6 Love Me Tender
A7 Ready Teddy
A8 Hound Dog
B1 Don't Be Cruel
B2 Love Me Tender
B3 Love Me
B4 Hound Dog
B5 Hound Dog / Love Me Tender / Heartbreak Hotel
B6 Don't Be Cruel
B7 When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again
B8 Peace In The Valley
Elvis Presley - Guitar, Vocals
Scotty Moore - Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Double Bass
D.J Fontana - Drums
Backing Vocals - The Jordonaires
Track A1-4 Live from U.S.S. "Hancock" (Milton Berle Show, April 3, 1956)
Track A5-8 Soundtrack recordings for CBS TV, September 9, 1956
Track B1-4 Soundtrack recordings for CBS TV, October 28, 1956
Track B5-8 Soundtrack recordings for CBS TV, January 6, 1957
Elvis Presley Shock, Rattle 'N' Roll Link (99Mb)