Saturday, January 30, 2010

Music: Elvis / Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Laughing Version)

Are You Lonesome Tonight? was written in 1926 and has been covered by various artists since that date. Even Al Jolson recorded it in 1950. Elvis covered it in 1960. He was reluctant but was persuaded by his manager. Colonel Tom Parker, it being one of his wife’s favourite songs. Colonel Tom was on the money: the single hit No 1 and stayed there for 6 weeks.
The lyrics are terribly cheesy:
Are you lonesome tonight?
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a bright sunny day
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
Do the chairs in your parlour seem empty and bare?
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?
I wonder if you’re lonesome tonight.
You know someone said that the world's a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playing in love you as my sweetheart.
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance
You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came act two, you seemed to change and you acted strange
And why I’ll never know.
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you.
But I’d rather go on hearing your lies
Than go on living without you.
Now the stage is bare and I’m standing there
With emptiness all around
And if you won’t come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down.
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?
All of this is introduction to the clip I want to introduce to you.
In 1969 Elvis was doing a gig in Vegas when he reached the point in his act for singing Are You Lonesome Tonight? He had a solo backing singer who has been variously identified, so we don’t need to worry about who that was.
What is of interest is that when Elvis got to the lyrics “Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?”, he changed them to “Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair?” At this point he also saw a bald man in the audience and began laughing, although there are also stories that a bald man in the audience took off his toupee.
Whatever the cause, he laughs.
The backing singer keeps singing. Without Elvis’s singing, the falsetto backing becomes wailing, touching off more laughter by Elvis to the point that he loses it, encouraging his backing singer to “sing it baby…”.
He has a great laugh and it is infectious
See if you don’t end up laughing or at least smiling.
Thank ya verry moch.

2 comments:

  1. When the link is pressed, it goes to YouTube but says it's a private video, so can't be seen.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Try:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGhmn2i4DBU

    ReplyDelete