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E P. should have been Conrad Birdie


gagman66
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I was thinking about this last week. I just have got to believe that BYE, BYE, BIRDIE would have been allot better if Elvis had actually been in it. This Jessie Pearson guy couldn't sing, couldn't dance, couldn't play a guitar, and above all was just plain ugly! I don't care if he originated the role on the stage or not. On screen he's a Dud!

The Colonol made a mistake not letting Elvis do the part. Plus he would have had another film with Ann Margaret{font:Arial}. Opinions?

The film is not horrible, I really do like the movie for what ever reason, but Pearson just didn't cut it. I don't think this would have been a blow to Elvis at all. Much worse were the routines in LET'S MAKE LOVE. Those made him look absurd.
















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Well, yeah gagman, I suppose that would have been better, and years later in hindsight, would have made for additional interest of the film in question. But then again, "Colonel" Parker pushed poor Elvis into a whole lot of really lame movie roles, and years before Brando made it "fashionable" to parody one's self in 1990's *The Freshman*.

 

Now, there may have been an earlier instance of this before Brando doing it (which might make for some additional interesting conversation in this thread, btw), but basically my point here is that while nowadays many established stars might jump at the chance to parody themselves, I would guess back then in the '60s, the general opinion would have been that doing that might amount to "professional suicide".

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I would be against it for two reasons:

 

1. It takes away the joke.

2. Then it would have had to have a lot more scenes with Birdie. And he would have had to win Kim McAfee at the end. And they wouldn't have shown him having a glass jaw. And it would push the Albert-Rose story into oblivion, and it was already pushed back from the original Broadway production where Albert and Rose are the main characters, And Birdie would have not have been a lout.

 

I like the movie as it is. And Ann-Margret is just perfect.

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I completely agree with filmlover about E.P. as Birdie. But the films Elvis would have been great in instead of the singing stars they got { as has been discussed in other threads } are "Rio Bravo" and "True Grit".Elvis as Colorado helping John T Chance and Dude take on the Nathan Burdette clan and as La Boeuf tracking down Tom Chaney and "Lucky", Ned Pepper with Rooster Cogburn..... A whole new ballgame........

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fred, I like your choices. And one more just came to me...an unbilled, unannounced guest star role in "Diamonds Are Forever" in the Jimmy Dean role as Willard Whyte. It would be ironic to play Whyte, the somewhat King of Las Vegas. And he certainly could give the part more acting chops than Dean. Can't you just hear Elvis saying, "Baja? We don't have anything in Baja." He would be more humorous and more acceptable.

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You hit the nail on the head. Part of the theme of the movie was the basic question of 'what is it about this guy that all the teens girls love him', and the answer is that it is just marketing and hype.

 

It would make no sense for an actual, highly regarded musician or actor, during the peak of their career, to take on that role.

 

 

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Dargo's mention of the Colonel's involvement rings true. I don't know if Elvis had even been considered for the part, but if he had, Parker would have put the kaibosh on it. Why?

 

Because "Bye, Bye Birdie" wasn't ABOUT Conrad Birdie. Conrad was an amalgam of different idols and their stereotypes, and the stage musical and subsequent movie was no doubt inspired by Elvis' own entry into the Army. I'm willing to bet Parker held a certain amount of animosity for it because HE didn't come up with the "One Last Kiss" idea. Plus, "Birdie" wouldn't have made a "proper" Elvis soundtrack LP.

 

But because Birdie wasn't the main focus of the story, Parker, who had too much control over Elvis' film choices, wouldn't go for it. I DO believe Elvis would have LOVED the part where he could have poked fun at himself. He'd have probably laughed at the notion of getting punched out by Bobby Rydell, and play it up better.

 

The movie always struck me as a statement at the silliness surrounding the teen girl reaction to the pop idol. Also the opportunist attitude of those idol's handlers, (which also Parker wouldn't like) the reaction to it all by the overwhelmed and befuddled parents, and the reaction of the teen girls' boyfriends. Throw in the mama's boy by VanDyke and the love interest of Janet Leigh, and Conrad mostly gets lost in the shuffle. Oh, and Elvis fans would have been irate because he wouldn't have been the main star.

 

Sepiatone

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Col. Parker wasn't the only one that ruled Elvis's film career. The other man was Hal Wallis, who signed Elvis to a movie contract at Paramount and between Parker and Wallis they and not Elvis ran his film career. They were also neighbors in Palm Springs, so they had plenty of time to devote to his films.When Elvis first started out , drama coaches said he was a natural dramatic actor, but his singing made the studio millions and they were not about to change the formula and it seemed Elvis wouldn't go against Parker or Wallis. Too bad.....,.

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> {quote:title=finance . . .}{quote}

{font:Arial}You are absolutely correct! The character of “Conrad Birdie” was mainly based upon the real life of Rock & Roll singer, the late Conway Twitty. Of course, the background of the character’s induction into the armed forces was the only connection to Elvis. The rest of the “Conrad Birdie” character was definitely Twitty. Certainly, if one knows of Twitty’s early career and imagery, it all fits the bill. Twitty had a somewhat arrogant personality off stage and while he was on all counts a good performer, it wasn’t so easy to deal with his ego. Some say he was just “doing his thing” of trying to be overly “cool” and create an image that was hip than most and one that fans would remember. When his career declined, due in large part to the British Rock Music invasion of the 1960’s, he turned to revamping his career as a County/Western singer. The changed really worked in his favor. He became as big, if not, a bigger star in the switch of leaving behind his Rock Music persona. Still, at various times, there continued a crossover to Rock tunes as part of his overall repertory. This was probably expected and would keep him popular, right up to the time of his death in 1993. Before his death, he gave a television network interview and it was during that session, he admitted openly that the “Conrad Birdie” character and he were connected in certain ways to how his career in Rock Music unfolded. Throughout his career, Twitty never gave any mention of Elvis towards any possible influence. It was believed his influences were “The Big Bopper,” Gene Vincent and the great Eddie Cochran. Most of the time, a majority of singers just didn’t want to feel they owed anything to Elvis. This attitude was in a technical way a means of attempting to show one’s own style of originality. Yet, upon merely checking a singer out, it simply didn’t work or fool anybody; meaning nearly all successful solo Rock & Roll singers were perceived to have some connection to the King of Rock & Roll. So, for that early period in the history of pop music, Elvis would always remain the central starting point for a vast majority of fans and all others to follow.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}In speaking of Elvis and his imagery, there is no real logistical connection in terms of the personality of “Conrad Birdie. Elvis simply didn’t act or speak like the character in the musical, but Twitty is reliably close to what composers Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, together with what script writer Michael Stewart had in mind for the musical. When the show was about to open on Broadway, Twitty made it publicly known he wasn’t so pleased about the spreading rumors that “Conrad Birdie” was based upon him. This easily came about, due to the similarities of the names, as much as the imagery projected about the character in the show. Twitty likely feared a bit of ridicule to his career. Only the few fans or those who knew something of the whole Twitty emanation of his style realized for sure, who the character in the musical came close to symbolizing. Once the show became a huge hit, the somewhat hostile attitude towards the musical changed and then Twitty got on board what world wind of success he could ride from the musical. He was at one point even asked if he might consider playing the “Conrad Birdie” role with one of the touring companies! He refused any offers and wisely this worked in his favor, once he left his Rock & Roll roots behind to pursue a different sort of career in the Country/Western music field.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}It might be so easy to feel that Elvis could have played the role for the film. But this is without question a very stupid and illogical idea. By 1963, he was one of the top ten stars, making one million dollars a picture. The role of “Conrad Birdie” was a secondary one and doesn’t appear until about midway into the storyline. If by any remote chance Elvis would have been in the film, the whole concept of the character, as well as the entire storyline would have to have been totally changed!! So, the logistics for Elvis simply don’t equate with considering him to be in the movie, playing a role that has some similarity to who he was in real life. Amazingly, the following year, Ann-Margret, who was one of the stars of “Bye Bye Bride,” would end up appearing opposite Elvis in the highly successful Rock Musical, “Viva Las Vegas.” No doubt, Ann and Elvis must have joked about “Bye Bye Bride.” Also, in another striking point pertaining to"Viva Las Vegas" is the film being directed by George Sidney, the director of "Bye Bye Bride!" Rumor had it that Sidney was in love with Margret and wanting to guide her career. This led to a now well known controversy of Sidney during filming focusing more attention on his lovely protege than Elvis. It wasn't until Colonel Parker stepped in and demanded a change in the director's format. Later on, Elvis and Margret would be alleged to having had their own love affair. Whatever the case, Elvis and Margret remained close friends, right up until the time of The King's tragic death. {font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}There is one very striking issue in “Bye Bye Bride” that I believe needs clarification. This has to do with the now famous golden motorcycle suit worn in by “Conrad Birdie.” During the period of the Broadway show and then three years later when the film version was released, Elvis never wore an outfit as flashy as seen in the musical; he still had another four years to go before we would see him in some outrageous attire! The reason for the outlandish jump-suit is because “Conrad Birdie” lives, eats and sleeps by his bike! It was never intended to be seen as a performing costume. While the golden jump-suit is the signature piece that presents the character, its origins emerge from the whole issue of his beloved motorcycle. Even Twitty has no connection to this ornate outfit worn in the musical. It’s about the only original aspect to the character created specifically for the musical. Yet, some historians do believe that the “Conrad Birdie” hubbub of his jumpsuit, might have led to what we would later see among some of the Rock stars of the late 1960’s, including Elvis. However, in the case of Elvis, he didn’t start to wear his own flashy clothing, until around 1970, during his now world famous live tours and especially in {font}{font:Arial}Las Vegas{font}{font:Arial}, where this issue actually all began for him!{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}How Elvis came to wear his gaudy, cape ridden costumes were from a most unlikely source! It began one evening, while Elvis was on tour performing in Vegas and he decided to take a spin around town. With his entourage, Elvis came upon the small singing act of Wayne Cochran, who was just getting his music career underway. Cochran is best remembered for two appearances. The first was on the Saturday night, live telecast of the “Jackie Gleason Show.” Jackie introduced Cochran to a national audience; it was the biggest break Cochran would ever have! His act was more or less patterned from the explosive James Brown. Cochran even copied the spins, whirls and shuffling of Brown, making him appear as a Caucasian version of the mighty African American legendary performer. The second major occurrence for Cochran came, when he appeared, as himself, with his singing group in the now cult favorite movie “CC Rider,” that starred football player Joe Namath and once again Ann-Margret.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}When Elvis caught Cochran’s act, he was more impressed by the wild and elaborate outfits Cochran shrouded himself in. This was especially the case with the various rhinestone capes that adorned Cochran. Elvis was said to have been looking for a possible new image he might consider and in no time, Cochran and The King became good friends, during there sprint in Vegas. The biggest surprise of all about how Cochran helped reshaped the image of Elvis occurred, when The King asked him on that first meeting, “Man, who does your gear?” Cochran looked at The King and replied with a sly smile, “I do it all myself . . . I don’t have a wardrobe manger.” It was then Cochran revealed to The King his little secret of having gone to such places as “Woolworth’s,” “Sears,” “J.C, Penny” and the smallest of places on the outskirts of Vegas, where he found items easy enough to make them seem so dazzling. During their first meeting in Cochran’s cramped back-stage dressing room, Cochran gave Elvis a white belt he had purchased at a local discount store! This belt ended up being worn by Elvis for many years. The white belt of Wayne Cochran had led the way for a whole new maker-over of Elvis and his notorious Vegas era began in a big spangled way. In no time, Elvis would have the best stylists available to take heed to what he wanted from the foundation laid down by Cochran to him. The reason why I can tell of this story is because I know Wayne Cochran and today he is a minister of a church in {font}{font:Arial}South Florida{font}{font:Arial}. He and I go way back to those days when he made good in {font}{font:Arial}Miami Beach{font}{font:Arial}, to later head out on a quest to possible stardom that unfortunately wouldn’t happen. However, {font}{font:Arial}Wayne{font}{font:Arial} is proud of having had a close liaison with The King of Rock and Roll. In his office, are pictures and scrapbooks of his career and Elvis is very much part of his collection. {font}{font:Arial}Wayne{font}{font:Arial} also hangs in his office, the same white belt he first gave to Elvis. It was obviously a replacement for the one he gave away. It’s a bit worn for wear and a few of the rhinestones are missing. The belt is so symbolic of something special to a chance meeting that changed the course of Elvis Presley’s career. Now that’s something Wayne Cochran (who most of you probably never heard of) can be so proud of having achieved. And, that’s how it goes in my old world show business . . . {font}

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Professor, most folks I know never even HEARD of Conway Twitty until his country singing career started taking off. It wasn't until his death that I read in his obituary that record label suits first intended him to be THEIR label's answer to Presley. They groomed him with a similar look and worked to get him to SOUND a bit like him. But it didn't work. Labels did this with a lot of singers. Orbison was supposed to be another Elvis, too. When the Beatles came along and started changing everything, look how many groups, British OR American, came out with the same look and a similar sound. Besides, you gotta admit...Conway Twitty is a PERFECT country singer name!

 

I don't know if it was because close friends didn't want to besmirch his name and reputation after his too early and tragic death, or if it all was really true, but from what all those who were close to Elvis said, he sounded as if he wouldn't have minded doing the role of Birdie as written. He supposedly didn't take himself all that seriously, and most of the movie parts he DID do were seen by him to be stupid and silly.

 

I always thought that Elvis' entry into the Army was the inspiration for "Birdie". The hugely loved Rock'n'Roll idol going into the armed forces and how can we make the last big bucks off of this guy for a while gimmick just in case he's forgotten while he's gone. You know...a "what if" scenario.

 

And do me a favor? PLEASE don't call "Viva Las Vegas" or ANY movie Elvis did once out of the Army a "Rock Musical"! "Viva Las Vegas" is NOT Rock'n'Roll. "Blue Hawaii" is NOT Rock'n'Roll. "Kissin' Cousins" is NOT Rock'n'Roll!

 

Sepiatone

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> {quote:title=Sepiatone you mention: . . .}{quote} most folks I know never even HEARD of Conway Twitty until his country singing career started taking off.

Well, at least for that first generation of Rock & Roll fans, Conway was famous, for about six years. He made regular appearances on various television shows to give him about as good exposure as most of the other Rock & Roll stars of the era. Conway seemed to have a bit of trouble throughout his entire career. Despite his never really achieving super-stardom or a long lasting career in Rock Music, his success during his Country Music days was marred by bad investments, lawsuits and tax evasion. With Conway, it was sometimes he was up and other times he found himself down and out. His whole music career was something of a struggle that regardless of any notoriety and fortunes made, he never was without an abundance of controversy.

 

> {quote:title=And . . . You ask:}{quote}

> And do me a favor? PLEASE don't call "Viva Las Vegas" or ANY movie Elvis did once out of the Army a "Rock Musical"! "Viva Las Vegas" is NOT Rock'n'Roll. "Blue Hawaii" is NOT Rock'n'Roll. "Kissin' Cousins" is NOT Rock'n'Roll!

I have to concede on that point. I guess I'm too caught up in what he once came to represent, only to later on lose it all in a bevy of mostly low-rated materials and film projects. You're right, these crop of films he made after his stint in the Army had nothing to really do with Rock & Roll music. They were just, routinely produced studio musicals.

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Yep Swithin, that's true alright, however do me a favor here and watch Elvis' pelvis is this trailer for *Love Me Tender* .....

 

 

...and THEN tell me if WHY there was all that commotion stirred up by him swingin' those puppies around like that in 1956 on the Sullivan Show, and YET why wouldn't the local constabulary 90 years earlier in 1866 have IMMEDIATELY thrown his ENTIRE body into the hoosegow for gettin' all those young women in the audience there so excited with all those gyrations o' his there, HUH???

 

(...I guess we'll just have to chalk THIS all up that a "little" anachronistic license was taken in this whole thing, huh!) ;)

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Well, prof, I HAD heard some of Conway's Rock tunes, and they weren't all that great. I also heard several of his country hits, and that genre seemed better suited for him. At least every **** in the plant where I worked had high praise for him. Myself, not being a country music aficiando, will have to take THEIR word for it.

 

Sepiatone

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}With a name like Conway Twitty, what else should he have been but a c&w singer?

Oh, I don't know. Just a wild guess here finance, but possibly a close relation to a certain cartoon character who was constantly under attack by a pussycat with a speech impediment???

 

(...but like I said, that's just a wild guess!) ;)

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To reply to gagman's query about Jesse Pearson: Pearson was in one of the subsequent professional companies of Bye Bye Birdie, but the role was originated on Broadway by Dick Gautier. Director/choreographer Gower Champion saw Dick Gautier performing in a New York nightclub and asked him to audition for the role of Birdie.

 

Gautier is still alive and kicking, he is also an artist and has a website.

 

Sadly, Jesse Pearson died at age 49.

 

Sandy K

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Conway Twitty had 55 number one hits and his record was broken by George Strait--Mr Country and Western.

 

I'm a card carrin' cracker, **** who knows who Conway Twitty is and I can ensure you many Southerners know who he is, too.

 

There is more to this country than just American Idol and Hollywood.

 

Jake in the the Heartland

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There is more to this country than just American Idol and Hollywood.

 

Jake, you'd be hard pressed to convince the idiots who have made Sooki a national hero of this fact, but you're welcome to try. In the meantime, take comfort in the fact that there are more than a few citizens who aren't morons.

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