yabbadabbadoo, thankyouverymuch
January 8, 2010 9:27 PM   Subscribe

For the 75th birthday of Elvis Presley (yesterday in most time zones), here is an Elvis Impersonator doing famous TV theme songs: The Flintstones, The Partridge Family, Rawhide, WKRP (opening theme, wish he'd try the end theme), Danger Man (Secret Agent Man, the full-length Johnnie Rivers version), The Brady Bunch, The Love Boat and Cheers (maybe next time Frasier's 'scrambled eggs song'?).

Other wacky musical repurposing from the same silly singer includes David Bowie (celebrating his 62nd birthday on the 8th) doing Elvis' Viva Las Vegas.
posted by oneswellfoop (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Holy crap, I'd totally forgotten about the end theme to WKRP. From the faith-based encyclopedia:

"The closing theme, WKRP In Cincinnati End Credits, was a hard rock number composed and performed by Jim Ellis, an Atlanta musician who recorded some of the incidental music for the show. According to people who attended the recording sessions, Ellis didn't yet have lyrics for the closing theme, so he sang nonsense words to give an idea of how it would sound. Wilson decided to use the words anyway, since he felt that it would be funny to use lyrics that were deliberately gibberish, as a satire on the incomprehensibility of many rock songs. Also, because CBS always had an announcer talking over the closing credits, Wilson knew that no one would actually hear the closing theme lyrics anyway.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:53 PM on January 8, 2010

Elvis would be rolling over in his grave if not for the fact that he is still alive and living in Peoria.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:19 PM on January 8, 2010

Mate I'm no Elvis fan - far, far from it - but yesterday they were showing footage of a concert [post war "comeback" concert if the TV journos are to be believed] and the guy was fucking tearing it up.

And to think it was 40-45 years ago. I'm reminded of the scene from Back to the Future where Michael J. Fox grabs the guitar and rips it up, leaving the crowd in opened mouthed silence.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:38 PM on January 8, 2010

From the faith-based encyclopedia:

Wait, seriously? That particular anecdote is footnoted and links to a website where the same information is written by Ellis himself, which you could have verified with a couple of mouse clicks.

In fact, Wikipedia is making great strides toward having most of its facts footnoted and linked. I while I know that some dispute the veracity of its contents due to its "can be edited by anyone" nature, I don't think that this particular moment of snark is accurate or called-for.

posted by hippybear at 10:45 PM on January 8, 2010

New wine in plastic bottles modeled from other old wine bottles.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:53 PM on January 8, 2010

they were showing footage of a concert [post war "comeback" concert if the TV journos are to be believed] and the guy was fucking tearing it up

the '68 Comeback Special is pretty objectively awesome.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:12 AM on January 9, 2010

Can't leave out Eilert Pilarm, the worst (but most enthusiastic) Elvis impersonator in the world.

Wikipedia describes him thusly:
A Swedish Elvis impersonator whose fame (such as it is) stems from his striking lack of resemblance to Elvis Presley, both vocally and physically; his shaky command of the English language in which he sings; and his apparent absence of enough musical talent to recognize that he is usually out of tune and inaccurate with the timing of his singing.
posted by Iteki at 3:23 AM on January 9, 2010

Come as you are
posted by Damienmce at 5:13 AM on January 9, 2010

The guy who's doing the TV themes is using a mostly "late Elvis" voice, with a few early Elvis intonations. In that, he is actually better than the real Elvis, who's pretty much not worth listening to after 1964. I've never read or heard it confirmed by any insiders, but just listening to Elvis's records, you can tell that at some point in the early or mid-sixties he started getting professional vocal training (I imagine the Colonel put him up to it, hoping to preserve Elvis's voice, and his own cash cow). That's around the point where you hear Elvis "covering" his voice and placing it further back in his head. It pretty obvious that he couldn't have gone on long singing in either the "smooth" early Elvis voice, with its multitudinous inflections whipcracking through his larynx, or the "rough" early Elvis (you don't get a chance to do many takes of "Jailhouse Rock" or "Hound Dog" without doing permanent damage to the vocal chords). Unfortunately, this voice-preserving strategy killed most of what was creative and distinctive about his voice production, giving us the hollow, "no-fun" Elvis of later years. (Regarding the over-praised 1968 "comeback" special: To many Elvis fans at the time, the special was not a "comeback" but the final nail in the coffin. He looks uncomfortable. His singing is stiff and forced. He doesn't "swing" -- not even singing the old Sun Records songs. The energy is the energy of a man whose handlers are desperate to create some kind of excitement. But by 1968, Elvis had long lost access to the divine spark, and become a herky-jerky, zombie version of his glowing, liquid, thrilling early self. And he looked like an idiot in that corny leather suit... )
posted by Faze at 5:51 AM on January 9, 2010

posted by raysmj at 7:43 AM on January 9, 2010

You've got cloth ears.

Elvis did loads of good stuff after 64 and the 68 Comeback Special is great.
posted by the cuban at 11:03 AM on January 9, 2010

I like singing commercial jingles in an Elvis voice. Like the "Lowenbrau" jingle, or "We're the one for you New England, New England Telephone." This gets down to how I wish I sounded when I play the Elvis game. "Monchhichi, Monchhichi, oh so soft and cuddly..."

I also like to play the Johnny Cash game: "Just like a good neighbor, State Farm is there..."
posted by not_on_display at 5:47 PM on January 9, 2010

Thanks for the links!

Post war... I meant post army. Sheesh.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:17 AM on January 10, 2010

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