Title: All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
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BobbyCratchit
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:10/20/2012 07:41)

The mention of Mannheim Steamroller in another thread prompted me to see where they stand in Chip's Top 300 list.  I think the first two albums were the best.  In fact, some of my all-time favorite Christmas songs include "Stille Nacht (Silent Night)" and "Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabella" from the first album and "Still Still Still" and "The Holly and The Ivy" from the second.  I haven't liked the later material from recent years as much.  It seems too over-produced or something.

Anyway, I see three Mannheim Steamroller albums are on Chip's Bubbling Under the Top 300 list.  Since these are three of the very few contemporary albums on Chip's list, I was wondering what Chip thinks of the Christmas albums by The Carpenters and Anne Murray.  They seem to get a fair amount of airplay on the radio.

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Christmas Music Guru
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:10/20/2012 14:49)


As you know by now, I am not partial to contemporary Christmas music, but rather Christmas music from its Golden Age of the 1950s and '60s. There are a few contemporary Christmas albums in my
Top 300, but almost all of them reside in my 3rd Tier or my "Bubbling Under The Top 300" list. There are other contemporary Christmas albums that are good, but because of the vast array of superior classic Christmas albums, there is just no room for them in the Top 300.



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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:10/20/2012 16:08)

I too like Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas music, but that's about it for Contemporary artists.  I prefer like Chip, the Christmas music from The Golden Age of Christmas Music the 1950's and 1960's and a little from the very early 1970's.  It's not worth wasting money of music where they artist doesn't put their heart into the music or they stretch out the lyrics which ruins the songs.

There are some good artists out there today, but in comparison, there is none.  Nothing can beat the Christmas music from the 1950's and 1960's.
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Susan

MichiganNSX
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/27/2012 09:59)


I would like to add the two Elvis Christmas Albums as well as "O Tannembaum: Christmas on the Rhine" by Werner Muller to the list.

Two of these were "classic" Christmas albums and Elvis' first one actually went to #1 on the Pop charts - quite an achievement for a Christmas album.

I would also be interested to see Chips opinion of the Goodyear Great Songs of Christmas sets.  They are some of my favorites - the first 9 all being in my personal top 20 list.  I know a lot of artists on the album are on his top 300, but I would enjoy his opinion on the actual compilations.

There is also a sevice that sells (legally) burned CD versions of the Goodyear Albums (and many others as well - including the full Firestone series set).  I have all of the Goodyear and Firestone sets on CD now (and ripped them into my iPod and Computer). For anyone interested in them, their website is http://www.christmaslpstocd.com/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=catshow&ref=Goodyear.  I am not associated with them in any way.

(Chip - if I have violated some board rules by posting this link, please feel free to delete that part of this post)
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Christmas Music Guru
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/27/2012 14:50)


Dan,

I surmise that you didn't read my preface notes introducing my Top 300
where, among other things, I discus the great collector's series compilation albums. I will re-post the pertinent paragraph below; however, please Click Here to read my entire introduction.


With only one exception, the great collector's series compilation albums (Goodyear, Grants, etc.) are not as a general rule included in my Top Play, as it would have been unfair to deny a space in my Top Play to an artist’s album of original material for a compilation. That one aforementioned exception is the great 1966 RCA album, Music To Trim Your Tree By (album #51). This phenomenal album is the only compilation of previously released material that was awarded the distinction and honor of not only being included in my Top Play, but the 1st Tier. There are four other compilation albums in my Top 300; however, they were all compiled of original material. These albums include A Christmas Gift For You (album #121) by various Philles Records recording artists; Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (album #242) by various Reprise Records recording artists; Christmas With Arthur Godfrey (album #266) by various Columbia Records recording artists; and Merry Christmas To You (album #275) by various Capitol Records recording artists.


As for the three albums you mentioned which are not in my Top 300, the second Elvis Christmas album bubbles under my Top 300.
Click Here and scroll down to my "Bubbling Under The Top 300" section. As for all other albums not included in my Top 300, please read the following excerpt which is also from my introductory preface notes:


By the way, all of the albums that did not make my Top Play (1st, 2nd, or 3rd Tier) reside in my archives -- and that number, I might add, far exceeds the 300 albums in my Top Play.






*[Edited 06/14/13 to restore hyperlinks]


(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 06/13/2013 22:00)
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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/27/2012 15:06)

Dan,

Christmas on the Rhine is a wonderful album.  Also I like all of Elvis' Christmas Albums.  I have an anniversary edition of one of his Christmas albums that also had several pictures in it.  I don't have the album in front of me to check it, but if my memory is correct, I think the original was done or red or green vinyl and I think the Anniversary edition is also done on red or green vinyl, but i have seen regular vinyl too.  Then I have Elvis' Christmas Album, with the blue cover.  Again, I don't have immediate access to it, but I'm sure everyone is familiar with it.  It was reissued a few time.

As for the sites that are selling CDR's of Goodyear and some of the other's.  Technically, you are supposed to own the vinyl in order to get them on CDR's from these companies.   I also have seen this done with The Value/True Value Hardware Store Series.  I have all 25 Volumes that were released on Vinyl, and then 26 - 40 were released on CD and Cassette, but not sure if Volume 40 is available on Cassette and I have most of the Volumes from 26 to 40 on Cassette, but do have a couple CD's though I don't care for them o nCD, it is the only way to have the complete series.

I have a blog that I don't do anything with anymore, and because the music was long out of print and the record companies had no desires to release them again, and all pre-February 1972.  Someone downloaded all my files and posted them on their own sites claiming it was from their own personal collection, and some were also selling CDR's of these albums and I was the one getting DMCA Complaints, so I don't do much with the blog anymore and it is just for informational purposes now.  I spent days removing the files so if I missed editing out a link, it won't work.

But yet, there are blog's out there that are pre-sharing unofficially released CD's by today's artists and also sharing other currently available CD's on their blog's and the DMCA people don't bother them, but the music that is out of print and copyright has basically expired, they go after us.

I do have a rather extensive collection of Vinyl records and maybe 3,000 Christmas albums and a few thousand other Genre.  And though my collection is probably larger than an average person's collection, it is just a drop in the bucket compared the what "Chip" has, and I strive to make sure I have the original release and not a reissue.  But often when I find that what I do have is a reissue I wil look all over until I find the original release either online or at thrift stores.  Being a collector, even though the music is the same on a reissue, the original release is what really counts.

{EDITED by Christmas Always to give Dan a "Heads Up"}

Dan,

You're welcome.

If nobody has responded to the post you did after mine that I have just edited, the you should just go in and "Edit" you post to add what you were going to but didn't have time to do now.  Otherwise, that would be considered "Double Posting" and then Chip would have to go in and edit you post to combine them into one, being you are continuing your topic and there isn't anything from anyone else.

But if someone has responded, then I believe you could continue what you wanted to say earlier, after whomever responded to your post.  Chip, if I am out of line, I apologize.  I'm just trying to help out where I can.



(Message edited by Christmas Always On 11/27/2012 16:39)
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Susan

MichiganNSX
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/27/2012 15:20)

Thanks for the responses! 

Chip:I surmise that you didn't read my preface notes introducing my Top 300 where, among other things, I discus the great collector's series compilation albums.

I DID read your preface and introduction.  I know you didn't include the Goodyear series in your top 300 and I understand the reason why.

But I'm sure you own those records and I was just wondering about your opinion of them.  The selection, arrangement, pacing, artwork, etc...  Is there another thread on the board where you (and others on this board) have discussed these albums in detail?  I did a search for Goodyear but didn't come up with much.

As for the three albums you mentioned which are not in my Top 300, the second Elvis Christmas album bubbles under my Top 300, coming in at #301

I also saw that.  You are perhaps the only person I have ever talked to who preferred the 1971 Elvis Album to the 1957 one.  Personally, I love both of them.  I was just interested in your opinion on the three albums I mentioned.

Susan:

I'm glad you like the Christmas On The Rhine LP.  I grew up on that album around Christmastime.  I also really like the cover artwork.  I purchased a CD from the same folks from whom I acquired my Goodyear CDs.

As for the sites that are selling CDR's of Goodyear and some of the other's. Technically, you are supposed to own the vinyl in order to get them on CDR's from these companies. 

Yep - I knew that.  The site I linked to states as much, and if you tell them you do not own the Album, they will sell you a copy along with your CD. (I happened to own all of the albums already - but wanted cleaned up CD versions.  They did a great job cleaning up the recordings)



(Message edited by MichiganNSX On 11/27/2012 17:31)
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Christmas Music Guru
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/27/2012 21:40)


The great
retail store sponsored custom-made limited edition 'collectors series' compilation LP releases of the 1960s and '70s have been discussed many times in many threads here on the message board over the years.

And I have stated many times previously that the very best of these Christmas compilations (in terms of songs, artists, album cover artwork, etc.) were the albums that were released by Goodyear and Grants. They are essential listening during the Christmas holiday season for me. Other great compilation releases were those from A&P, B.F. Goodrich, Firestone, J.C. Penny and True Value Hardware.

As for the Elvis Christmas albums, I have known many folks over the years who prefer his 1971 album to the 1957, including a very good friend of mine who is an Elvis buff.



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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/29/2012 17:07)

I too prefer Elvis' Christmas Album from 1971 over the earlier one.  I believe I mentioned this in another thread, but I think I said from the 1970's being I didn't have the album in front of me to reference and I just said the blue background.  But  I do love the pictures from his earlier Christmas Album, and though I don't have the original, but instead an Anniversary reissue, musically, it's just as good as the original, but still the 1971 Christmas album is much better.  There is another Elvis Christmas Album I can't think of right now, but I believe I have an original of that one too.

I just wish I could think straight right now and it's so frustrating being ill.  I am usually quite good at remembering certain  albums, especially from Elvis Presley.   But for the life of me I can't think of them right now.
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Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/29/2012 20:22)


Susan,

Elvis only had two Christmas albums: the 1957 LP (The Elvis Christmas Album) and the 1971 LP (Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas).

The other album that you mentioned with the blue cover is a reissue of the 1957 LP. My friend Ethel Gabriel (the legendary RCA Records producer) repackaged the 1957 LP for release on her budget Camden label in 1970. For this 1970 reissue LP, she removed the four gospel tracks (that were originally from the Peace In The Valley EP) and replaced them with two previously released tracks: If Every Day Was Like Christmas and Mama Liked The Roses. This 1970 reissue LP was later released by Pickwick Records in 1975.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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MichiganNSX
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/30/2012 07:40)

What Chip said.

Also, since Elvis' passing there have been many repackaged versions of the Christmas material.  There was an album called "Memories of Christmas" that had a few unreleased takes of songs.  There was also "If Every Day Was Like Christmas" which was a combination of the two original albums along with a few more unreleased takes.  There is also the album "Christmas Duets" with Elvis singing "artificial" duets with female country music stars.  These ladies recorded their parts many years after Elvis died and they were combined in the studio.

Finally there is, on the FTD label, "Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas".  FTD (Follow That Dream) records is a collector series label for Elvis Presley music only.  These albums contain remastered versions of the original material plus MANY outtakes/alternate takes.  Below is the track listing for this album.

Disc 1
The Original Album
1. O Come, All Ye Faithful
2. The First Noel
3. On A Snowy Christmas Night
4. Winter Wonderland
5. The Wonderful World Of Christmas
6. It Won't Seem Like Christmas (Without You)
7. I'll Be Home On Christmas Day
8. If I Get Home On Christmas Day
9. Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees
10. Merry Christmas Baby
11. Silver Bells

Bonus Song
12. I'll Be Home On Christmas Day : remake master

First Takes
13. It Won't Seem Like Christmas (Without You) : takes 1-3
14. If I Get Home On Christmas Day : take 1
15. I'll Be Home On Christmas Day : takes 1-3
16. Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees : takes 1, 2
17. Silver Bells : takes 1, 2
18. I'll Be Home On Christmas Day : remake takes 1, 2

Disc 2
1. I'll Be Home On Christmas Day : take 4
2. If I Get Home On Christmas Day : takes 2, 3
3. Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees : take 3
4. I'll Be Home On Christmas Day : remake take 3
5. It Won't Seem Like Christmas (Without You) : takes 4, 5
6. O Come, All Ye Faithful : take 2
7. If I Get Home On Christmas Day : take 5
8. The Lord's Prayer
9. I'll Be Home On Christmas Day : takes 5, 6
10. Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees : take 4
11. It Won't Seem Like Christmas (Without You) : take 6
12. Merry Christmas Baby : take 1 (unedited version)
13. I'll Be Home On Christmas Day : remake takes 4-9
14. If I Get Home On Christmas Day : take 7
15. Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees : take 5
16. Winter Wonderland : takes 7, 8


(Message edited by MichiganNSX On 11/30/2012 07:44)
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Christmas Always
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/30/2012 08:58)

Thanks Chip,

Being I didn't have the albums in front of me for reference, I couldn't think of the 1971 album and I could picture the album in my head from 1971 "Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas" with decorations printed on the cover.  I believe I was referring to another 3rd. album being the 1970 Reissued on Camden didn't have all of the original songs from his 1957 original album and I was also thinking of the Anniversary release of the 1957 Elvis Christmas Album with several pictures of Elvis from the time of the album.  I "Borrowed the pictures below from eBay, and the Blue "Elvis Christmas Album" and being there were 2 releases with a different picture of Elvis, the album I have is the one on the right of "Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas" in the first picture and the second picture is the Anniversary reisse of the 1957 original, but still had all the pictures included in the jacket.

3 Elvis Christmas Albums RCA 12" Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas ELVIS' CHRISTMAS ALBUM Commemorative replica issue of the original 1957 RCA LP

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Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/30/2012 15:17)


Susan,

That Elvis Christmas album that you alluded to was the very first reissue of the '57 LP; it was released by RCA Records in 1959 (catalog LPM-1951).


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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Christmas Always
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/30/2012 21:23)

Chip,

I was aware of that, the the album I was referring to from 1957 is the Red Jacket and the original catalog number is LOC-1035.   I know mine is the 50th Anniversary and the catalog number is AFM1 5486, also, on the back of my jacket, in the lower left corner, it clearly shows "1957" But also in the pictures from the eBay auctions of the original LOC-1035 and it also has "1957" on the lower left corner of the back of the jacket.  So, I'm not sure which album you are referring to where you said

"Susan,

That Elvis Christmas album that you alluded to was the very first reissue of the '57 LP; it was released by RCA Records in 1959 (catalog LPM-1951)."

Are you referring to the album in blue with Elvis' arms folded or the second blue jacket in the first picture?  If it's the second blue jacket I was aware that it was the 1959  reissue of he 1957 release.  I've had it since the 1960's.  I am aware that the folded arms is the Camden reissue from 1970.  And for 1971 was "Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas"

I don't know if maybe the way I worded my previous post was misinterpreted or what, but I just reread it and it seemed clear to me or maybe I misinterpreted your follow-up comment and you were just letting me know that my LPM-1951 was the first reissue and from 1959 and I may not have known that.

Also for clarification the AFM1 5486 50th Anniversary is not the 50th. Anniversary of his 1957 album, but instead, the 50th. Anniversary of the year he was born.  The 50th Anniversary Edition came out in 1985.  Also, I borrowed what is in the paragraph below from ElvisRecords.us  If anyone is interested, the artwork is viewable there.

There are several significant differences in the artwork for the front cover of this release versus that of the original LOC-1035. From the original cover, the title Elvis' Christmas Album is below the gold box with green ribbon on the left side, where this release the title extends above the gold box with green ribbon. The word "new" was removed from the "plus an album of new full color photos" statement and right justified. There are also differences in wrapping paper and bows used throughout.



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Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:11/30/2012 22:50)


Susan,


Sorry, I misinterpreted your post to say that you thought the King had more than two original Christmas albums.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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Christmas Always
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:12/01/2012 01:09)

It's OK Chip,

I guess I gave you the idea because I did mention a 3rd album but it was when I was referring to the Camden reissue and also the Anniversary Release.  I didn't word it correctly, so I guess that is where you might have thought that I figured there was a 3rd. original Elvis Christmas Album.  I know they have reissued The Elvis Christmas album a number of times and changed the jacket to a picture of Elvis inside a wreath with red ribbon and it was in the Pickwick Record Label.
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Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:12/01/2012 02:42)


Susan,

That picture of the King that was used on the 1970 Camden reissue LP that Ethel produced was taken from his 1968 motion picture Speedway, which he starred with Nancy Sinatra. The later 1975 Pickwick cover used the same picture, but it was cropped. How can you crop Elvis? Posted below is the original full shot of the picture.






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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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Christmas Always
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:12/01/2012 08:51)

Thanks for that bit of information.  I had actually thought that it might have been from the same photo shoot for the cover of the 1959 reissue, and that they just used a different background, but then looking at his hair from the 1959 reissue and the Camden release, his hair is totally different and longer and they superimposed his image over a Christmas background for the Camden release, and he was 9 years older in the picture from "Speedway"

They did in a way "Crop" him on TV being some shows wouldn't let him be shown below the waistline because of his hip shaking.  They thought it was too indecent to be shown on National Television.

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Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:12/01/2012 14:01)


Actually that's only partially true, Susan. Despite folklore, it was only on the Ed Sullivan show that Elvis was filmed from the waist up -- and moreover, only on his third appearance on January 6, 1957. For the King's first two appearances on September 9, 1956 and October 28, 1956, he was not censored.

Ironically, it was on that show on January 6, 1957, that Elvis sang (for his final number) Peace In The Valley, which, after becoming a hit EP single in the spring of 1957, was later used on his Christmas album released later that same year in the fall of 1957.


Ethel Gabriel told me that she never understood what all the fuss was about back then. By the way, she had accompanied her boss at RCA, Steve Sholes, along with RCA legal executive, H. Coleman Tilly, to sign Elvis to his RCA contract in November 1955. She became very close to Elvis during his ensuing career at RCA and Elvis is one of the artists among her 15 certified Gold Records. She speaks very fondly and affectionately of him to this day and still misses him. She took it very hard when he died. I last spoke to her a few weeks ago and she is as energetic as ever, doing great and still going strong.




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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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Christmas Always
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:12/01/2012 18:09)

I do remember on one of the Ed Sullivan Episodes that Ed referred to Elvis as a fine, decent young gentleman. (paraphrasing) and now that you mention it, I remember it was The Ed Sullivan that filmed him from the waist up.

Then I think there was this DJ from Florida, I can't remember for sure, but I remember them burning all Elvis Presley records because they thought his movements were vulgar.   I don't remember it factually though.  I would have to check some of my DVD's.  I think I have some that were the Elvis Presley appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.  It could be on the 3 DVD set of Elvis 1968 Comeback Special and they included a couple taping's for what was actually aired on TV and I think there was a scene where he was in this boxing ring  for lack of what it really was and he was explaining about censorship and then he took, I think his pinky finger and was wiggling it in all directions and singing  "You Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog" So that might be where I am remembering that he was censored on The Ed Sullivan Show.

They were so strict on The Ed Sullivan Show, that when Jim Morrison and The Doors were appearing on the show, they were told they couldn't sing Light my Fire because the verse. "Girl, we couldn't get much higher " was thought to be inappropriate for TV because it refers to drugs.  But they sang the song the way it was written, and the producer came to them after and told them that they would never appear on The Ed Sullivan Show again, and Jim said "We just did The Ed Sullivan Show" or something along those lines.

Censorship has really changed a lot since then, and there really isn't any censorship on TV anymore, except maybe in Prime Time, but on Late Night, I have heard words that would normally be bleeped out and they let them make it on the air.

Getting back to Elvis' dancing and swaying those hips, it wasn't any worse than the Charleston, but no one thought The Charleston needed censorship.  If you look at the scene in the movie "It's A Wonderful Life" There is a guy pulling a girl between his legs if I remember correctly, and that was OK with the censors.

The girls really went crazy when Elvis would sway those hips.  And despite of what some people thought of him, he was a very Religious man.

Oh well, we should get back on topic, but again this is an example how one thing brings up another.
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Susan

MichiganNSX
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RE:All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums
(Date Posted:12/03/2012 07:28)

I'll never complain when a thread gets hijacked towards an Elvis topic. :)
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