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(YouTube)   The Great Big Mama Thornton sings "Hound Dog", demonstrates how Elvis Presley was little more than a preening poseur   (youtube.com ) divider line
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1852 clicks; posted to Music » on 18 Jun 2009 at 8:12 PM (7 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



47 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2009-06-18 05:09:30 PM  
Elvis & The Rolling Stones, two of the most successful cover bands/performers ever.
 
2009-06-18 05:12:25 PM  
BlazeTrailer :Three: you forgot Led Zeppelin^.
 
2009-06-18 05:22:36 PM  
i79.photobucket.com
Son, if you ever say another derogatory word about Elvis Aron Presley in my presence again, I will kick the living shiat out of you
 
2009-06-18 05:26:52 PM  
What a farking asshole. The King brought Big Mamma Thorton more money then she had ever seen. Hey look I get pissed when root artist/songwriters aren't given their due but your assumption is shiat.
 
2009-06-18 05:43:41 PM  

sepuku2: What a farking asshole. The King brought Big Mamma Thorton more money then she had ever seen. Hey look I get pissed when root artist/songwriters aren't given their due but your assumption is shiat.


Holy farking shiat, THIS!

strangeguitar: Son, if you ever say another derogatory word about Elvis Aron Presley in my presence again, I will kick the living shiat out of you


AND this.

Elvis was a decent singer and guitar player, but nothing special. Elvis's excellence, like Garth Brooks (also a marginal musician), lies in his showmanship. However, he was part of a bigger dynamic with folks like Cash, Orbison, Lewis, etc. They brought black music into white houses in the 1950s. Pure and simple, that's what they did. They turned R&B into rock and roll.

Hell, if not for Elvis et al., civil rights would probably have had to wait another generation or two. If many (not all) white kids had not been interested in the black community's music, they would never have come face-to-face with the black community, and likewise would not have viewed them as actual people for some time.
 
2009-06-18 08:16:20 PM  
Eh. No major news that Elvis copied black people.

Who's that playing guitar? I know the face, but I can't place the name.
 
2009-06-18 08:16:33 PM  
Buddy Guy on guitar...and actually sounding like Buddy Guy!
 
2009-06-18 08:18:24 PM  
This is kinda the opposite, the songwriter taking back her song:

(YMMF)LaNW (new window)

note: Carole King wrote it
 
2009-06-18 08:19:28 PM  
Hell, if not for Elvis et al., civil rights would probably have had to wait another generation or two. If many (not all) white kids had not been interested in the black community's music, they would never have come face-to-face with the black community, and likewise would not have viewed them as actual people for some time.

Soooo....a WHITE guy kicked off the Civil Rights struggle?

Man, I know that's not what you mean, but still...

Anyway this version kicks Elvis's to the curb, flicks a cigarette butt at it and then pours some Night Train on top for good measure.
Great. Uust great and this is the first time I've heard it.
 
2009-06-18 08:23:29 PM  
rocinante721 2009-06-18 08:18:24 PM
This is kinda the opposite, the songwriter taking back her song:

(YMMF)LaNW (new window)

note: Carole King wrote it


Hmmmm...after decades of hearing Aretha sing it, I don't think Carole has quite the gravity to pull it off. It is a good song, though and KIng's version is pretty good, especially 'live'.

btw is that the guy from Black Eyed Peas playing bass?
 
2009-06-18 08:47:27 PM  

mfaby: ... Anyway this version kicks Elvis's to the curb, flicks a cigarette butt at it and then pours some Night Train on top for good measure.
Great. Just great and this is the first time I've heard it.


This performance is from the American Folk Blues Festival DVD collection. If you liked this, you might also enjoy Magic Sam ^, Howlin' Wolf ^ and many others. This set is the best DVD investment I've ever made.
 
2009-06-18 09:32:42 PM  
Yeah, but Elvis got more tang than the cafeteria at NASA.
 
2009-06-18 09:42:25 PM  

sepuku2: What a farking asshole. The King brought Big Mamma Thorton more money then she had ever seen. Hey look I get pissed when root artist/songwriters aren't given their due but your assumption is shiat.


I was about to say that she likely never saw a dime of that money, but I had to try to verify it first. This link made me smile as wide as the video.

Most sources say she only got $500 from Elvis' version of the song.
 
2009-06-18 09:46:40 PM  
I like Elvis, but his version of this song makes no sense. Not sure how Elvis made her any money, either. That song was Leiber/Stoller. Would have liked to see Elvis give this line from the original recording a go: "You ain't lookin' for a woman/All you lookin' is for a bone"
 
2009-06-18 09:50:29 PM  
Y'all know that Big Mama Thorton didn't write the song, right? Why would Elvis owe her money or for it or anything else? It's a Lieber/Stoller song. If Elvis was 'ripping off black people', was Big Mama ripping off teenage Jews by recording what they wrote for her?
 
2009-06-18 09:58:22 PM  
It's an impossible argument.

Elvis was the origional Hamburgular.

Ice, Ice baby..

Any MAN would have been ashamed to cover this joint.
 
2009-06-18 10:07:39 PM  
It's amazing how white people can defend these thieves of black music with a straight face.
 
2009-06-18 10:12:10 PM  
elvis is an overrated redneck.
 
2009-06-18 10:16:14 PM  

Jksim2008: It's amazing how white people can defend these thieves of black music with a straight face.


They made a great deal of money by doing so.

How can you fault them?
 
2009-06-18 10:18:00 PM  
Elvis was a diaper-wearing buffoon and a drug snitch.

That is all.
 
2009-06-18 10:29:01 PM  
Subby, if you were trying to make a point, you would've been better off using Pat Boone's rendition of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti".

Calling Elvis a poseur is just ignorant.
 
2009-06-18 10:43:50 PM  

gamacrit: I like Elvis, but his version of this song makes no sense. Not sure how Elvis made her any money, either. That song was Leiber/Stoller. Would have liked to see Elvis give this line from the original recording a go: "You ain't lookin' for a woman/All you lookin' is for a bone"


Epic fail.
 
2009-06-18 11:14:07 PM  

Midnight Rambler: Subby, if you were trying to make a point, you would've been better off using Pat Boone's rendition of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti".

Calling Elvis a poseur is just ignorant.


Elvis's Blue Suede Shoes would have fit a bit tighter if Carl Perkins had not suffered a car accident.

Elvis was a hero to most,,,but he never meant shiat to me
 
2009-06-18 11:37:22 PM  

T.M.S.: Midnight Rambler: Subby, if you were trying to make a point, you would've been better off using Pat Boone's rendition of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti".

Calling Elvis a poseur is just ignorant.

Elvis's Blue Suede Shoes would have fit a bit tighter if Carl Perkins had not suffered a car accident.

Elvis was a hero to most,,,but he never meant shiat to me


I know what your talking about, and Perkins owns it.

But what does that have to do with Elvis' music having no value simply because it re-interpreted great black music for an audience that had little access to it?

You couldn't make money in the 1950s trying to sell Big Mama to teenage America. Elvis, on the other hand...

But some people in this thread are dismissing him as worthless because he derived his style of music from another. That is idiotic.
 
2009-06-18 11:59:24 PM  

NeauxFear:
Elvis was a decent singer .


No. Elvis was an exceptional singer. I'm not even a huge fan of his music but his voice is amazing.
 
2009-06-19 12:21:10 AM  
I'm more partial to Bear Cat (new window)
 
2009-06-19 12:33:26 AM  

mfaby: Soooo....a WHITE guy kicked off the Civil Rights struggle?

Man, I know that's not what you mean, but still...


Of course folks like Douglass, DuBois, etc., were the real pioneers, but they are more valuable as historical sources and role models than the real soldiers like MLK and Malcolm. However, my real point is that no PERSON, white or black, helped actually change racial attitudes on the street until the significant merging of black and white music styles.

It was the music, and everything that it entailed, that changed attitudes throughout our society.
 
2009-06-19 02:00:35 AM  
Well, the Beatles owed it all to him, and they said so.

Poor Aunt Mimi was driven half nuts by the non-stop Elvis records wailing from young Johnnie's room.
 
2009-06-19 06:24:48 AM  

Jksim2008: It's amazing how white people can defend these thieves of black music with a straight face.


I suppose your going to tell me next that Pat Boone didn't do Tutti Frutti first.
 
2009-06-19 06:36:28 AM  
i42.tinypic.com
Ha ha! You sound like a bunch of "squares," if you can "catch my drift!" Ha ha!
 
2009-06-19 07:40:12 AM  

meatofmystery: elvis is an overrated redneck.


Jesus man. What did I ever do to you?

/oblig
 
2009-06-19 07:59:49 AM  

BlazeTrailer: Elvis & The Rolling Stones, two of the most successful cover bands/performers ever.


Spoken by someone who does not understand that back then very few pop musicians wrote their own material. Labels didn't want it and people didn't care.

So, fail.
 
2009-06-19 08:03:44 AM  

Jksim2008: It's amazing how white people can defend these thieves of black music with a straight face.


It's amazing how people don't know this song was written by two young Jewish guys from the east coast.

/ and that does not diminish its greatness by even 1%
 
2009-06-19 09:04:37 AM  

Jksim2008: It's amazing how white people can defend these thieves of black music with a straight face.


Because unless they did it that style of music would not have made it to the mainstream and therefore never been truly popular.

I don't recall Elvis ever stating or even implying that he wrote any of these songs anyway.
 
2009-06-19 09:51:20 AM  
Somebody probably wrote something like this already, so sorry about that. I once interviewed Colonel Parker about Elvis, and asked him about this topic. He said that Elvis never put himself above the original artists, but instead was the exact opposite. He had a deep love and respect for the music he covered. When I asked Al Dvorin the same questions, without telling him about the Colonel interview, Dvorin said the exact same thing.

When interviewed, Public Enemy frontman Chuck D supposedly said, "Elvis was a door, a gateway through to the roots. In the beginning of his career Elvis admitted where the roots came from, but did anybody care?" Chuck D was critical of the music industry at the time, but not really critical of Elvis.
 
2009-06-19 09:54:10 AM  
Why is there an argument about Elvis owing her money for the song? It's not her song. She was the original artist to cover it and some might say the best, but she didn't own it. It was written specifically for her by Leiber & Stoller, who then went on to write an assload of hits for Elvis, among many, many others.
 
2009-06-19 10:15:42 AM  

Midnight Rambler: Subby, if you were trying to make a point, you would've been better off using Pat Boone's rendition of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti".

Calling Elvis a poseur is just ignorant.


This, or maybe Bill Haley & His Comets. They would take motown records the day they came out, and have their "white" versions ready by the end of the week, with much much bigger distribution.

Check out Shake Rattle & Roll by Turner vs. Haley to see what I mean by "white".

It was a terrible practice. But as someone mentioned, the whole "white guys doing black music" did encourage acceptance of blacks in white kids. I remember reading an interview with (I think) Little Richard saying how white kids started turning up to his shows, then more, until it was half and half but segregated. But then they started dancing, mixing together, and it blew his mind that the racial segregation could take a holiday like that.
 
2009-06-19 10:29:56 AM  

knifefish: hey would take motown records the day they came out, and have their "white" versions ready by the end of the week, with much much bigger distribution.


What Motown songs did Bill Haley ever record?

And the crimes against black musicians were not other artists recording their songs. The crimes were 1) stealing authorship and publishing from less-than-sophisticated artists (see Chess, Leonard, and Freed, Alan) and 2) radio stations not playing superior versions of the same record because of the artist's race.

You might be thinking of the above hotlinked artist, Pat Boone.

/I have long stated my fantasy of kicking Pat Boone in his nuts.
// I once drunkenly sent him an email telling him he was a talentless hack who we never would have heard of if it wasn't for racism.
/// He responded with a one line email "I love gay people" and a long cut and paste of an article he had written.
//// No, I'm not, not that there is anything wrong with it
 
2009-06-19 10:35:04 AM  

knifefish: Check out Shake Rattle & Roll by Turner vs. Haley to see what I mean by "white".


Wiki:

Although musical revisionists and American media tried to paint Turner as a victim of the music industry due to Haley's covering of the song, in fact Haley's success helped Turner immensely although Turner was a well-established performer long before "Shake Rattle and Roll". Listeners who hear Haley's version sought out Turner's. The two men became close friends, and performed on tour together in Australia in 1957. In 1966, at a time when Turner's career was at a low ebb, Haley arranged for his Comets to back the elder musician for a series of recordings in Mexico, although apparently Haley and Turner did not record a duet version of "Shake Rattle and Roll".

The Haley version also made a ton of $$$ for it's African-American author, Jesse Stone (under the pseud. Charles E. Calhoun).
 
2009-06-19 11:16:17 AM  
Forget all the stolen stuff the simple fact is that the song works light-years better when sung by a female then a male - and especially one as good a BMT.
 
2009-06-19 11:43:57 AM  
Big Mama claims she wrote Hound Dog, but lost the court battle gainst Lieber & Stoller.
She was a damn fine harp player too
 
2009-06-19 01:18:59 PM  

Courtney Cox-Zucker: sepuku2: What a farking asshole. The King brought Big Mamma Thorton more money then she had ever seen. Hey look I get pissed when root artist/songwriters aren't given their due but your assumption is shiat.

I was about to say that she likely never saw a dime of that money, but I had to try to verify it first. This link made me smile as wide as the video.

Most sources say she only got $500 from Elvis' version of the song.


That was a great article. I want to be her. Not the being dead part though, the other stuff.
 
2009-06-19 02:30:53 PM  
Love Big Mama, but I was struck more by the kickass drumming for 1952.
 
2009-06-19 04:38:15 PM  
Anyone who bags on Elvis never saw the 1968 comeback special. That's as genuine as it gets for big-name entertainment.
 
2009-06-20 09:07:41 AM  
Why do black, fat, female singers all sound the same? With that being said, what the fark makes Aretha so special?

/Aretha is nothing but a glorified church girl. I hear a different one every Sunday.
 
2009-06-20 10:04:51 AM  

Tumunga: /Aretha is nothing but a glorified church girl. I hear a different one every Sunday.


Your ears... they are broked.

/ ps if you gotta ask you will never know
 
2009-06-20 06:58:25 PM  
That was farkin' awesome!
 
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