He Touched Me
January 24, 2011 1:06 PM   Subscribe

He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley -- Where other documentaries have focused on the early rock-and-roll of the Sun years, the Memphis Mafia, or the fat, drugged Elvis of the Las Vegas era, this documentary focusses on a side of Elvis many people may not be familiar with, and does a convincing job showing that it was early Southern gospel groups (both black and white) which were his true love and the main musical influence throughout his life. Filled with wonderful archival footage and revealing, and rather tender interviews from his band and his backup singers. (Part One) 1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9::10::11::12 (Part Two) 1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9::10::11 And here is a clip of Elvis singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic section from his American Trilogy, used to good effect in the Bazooka & Jetpack Scene from the movie Kick Ass. [This post dedicated to "The King" of Metafilter music, the mighty mighty flapjax at midnight]
posted by puny human (13 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Good stuff. I suspect I am not the only atheist here who loves him some good gospel. Listening to it felt a little strange at first, but if you want to take a serious interest in American popular music you can't get around the huge importance of gospel music, and the church as a breeding ground for future musicians.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:31 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't think any convincing needs to be done. If you pay attention to what he said and did, and if you watch "Elvis on Tour" and the performance of "Sweet Sweet Spirit" that the Stamps Quartet does -- and how Elvis reacts onstage during that segment -- that's all you need to know.
posted by blucevalo at 1:31 PM on January 24, 2011

About half the songs recorded by the Million Dollar Quartet in their session for Sun Records were gospel songs. I posted Farther Along on an earlier thread, so here's Just A Little Talk With Jesus.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:49 PM on January 24, 2011

God bless you.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 1:49 PM on January 24, 2011

I think this section from part one does a nice job refuting the rumor (snopes) that Elvis was a racist. Repeated in Fight the Power by Public Enemy.
posted by puny human at 1:51 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

One thing is for sure. This won't be the title of the Michael Jackson Documentary.

I have a love/hate relationship with Elvis. But I'm looking forward to digging through these links. Thanks for posting.
posted by Sailormom at 1:59 PM on January 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

When I listened to the CD of the "million dollar quartet" (Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and, inaudibly, Johnny Cash) what touched me the most was seeing what songs all of them spontaneously knew. Mostly bluegrass and gospel.
posted by acrasis at 3:00 PM on January 24, 2011

Hey, thanks for the dedication, puny human, that was very kind of you!

I look forward to checking this doco, sounds good.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:13 PM on January 24, 2011

Bob Dylan speaking: "Here's the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don't find it anywhere else. Songs like 'Let Me Rest on a Peaceful Mountain' or 'I Saw the Light'-that's my religion. I don't adhere to rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that. I've learned more from the songs than I've learned from any of this kind of entity. The songs are my lexicon. I believe the songs." (Newsweek October 6, 1997)
posted by Faze at 3:30 PM on January 24, 2011 [5 favorites]

The Bazooka and Jet Pack scene from Kick Ass? Not one of the film's finest moments.

There's always time for Elvis though.
posted by panboi at 3:37 PM on January 24, 2011

Amen Faze, amen.

Here is a bit from
Gael Greene's memoir
(restaurant critic, Top Chef, groupie) on sleeping with Elvis.
posted by puny human at 3:44 PM on January 24, 2011

You'll Never Walk Alone.

(Sounds like gospel, but from the crazy Rogers & Hammers' musical Carousel).
posted by ovvl at 8:36 PM on January 24, 2011

The top artists in country and gospel music gathered Monday night to help enshrine Johnny Cash into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Elvis was inducted in 2002.
posted by Sailormom at 1:19 PM on January 25, 2011

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