THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Wednesday, December 4, 1968
Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednesday, December 4, 1968
Elvis on TV: A humble appreciation of 'The King'
ENDS: DIAL i
By FRED LaBOUR
"Once you got it, you never lose it."
Elvis Presley still has it.
Last night the King blazed onto the nation's television screens
for the first time in eight years in the most exciting special ever
programmed and he proved again that he wrote the book of rock
Some of us have hoped for some time that a new voice, a
voice that knows what it is to be simple but not condescending,
a refreshing voice would soon hit the scene and breathe some life
into the stagnate pop world. It wasn't the Beatles on their new
album because of too many apparent hang-ups, ansi it hasn't
developed out of the surge of interest in country music.
Maybe it's Elvis. He was there last night in all of his glory,
simple, overwhelming and it just might be that the man who
revitalized the pop scene in 1956 will do it again 13 years later.
Most of last night's special, sponsored by Singer sewing
machines and crafted under the ubiquitous hand of the legendary
Col. Parker, was devoted to Elvis doing his stuff like only he can
do it. The King's incredible performance was complemented beau-
tifully by some really nice camera work and sets and clothes de-
signed by somebody who hasn't forgotten what the '50s taught
us about garishness.
The show opened with a production number of "Guitar Man"
with Elvis dressed in leather from head to foot with two leather
bracelets ,on each wrist. He may be past 30, married, and all of
that jazz, but he still knows his roots brother, and he hasn't for-
gotten how to mesmerize an audience with his body.
Then he got together with his musicians in a square in the
middle of an audience and played and sang a medley of "Heart-
break Hotel," "Hound Dog," and "All Shook Up," and he loved it
as -much as the peoples who cried and clapped to see him again.,
"Been a long time baby," he'd say as he paced around. "What a
gig," a friend would chuckle. He rapped with his friends and rapped
with the audience and even borrowed some girl's hanky to wipe
the familiar sweat from his brow.
He wailed out "Jailhouse Rock" and the place went wild with
applause. He gave 'em "Love Me Tender" (beefed up a little with
some choral work, to be sure), still retaining the essence that
killed the people back in '57.
That was the freedom which made the show so nice. Col..
Parker was smart enough to let Elvis be himself, to leave his hair
messy and a little greasy, to be pleasantly obscene, and to be free
to say his own stuff.
Elvis spoke a little about the changes rock 'n' roll has been
through in the last ten years and he said he liked a lot of "these
newer groups, like the Beatles," but that rock came from "rhythm
and blues and gospel." He then launched, together with some
spade chicks beating on tambourines, some frenzied choreography
and a garish red stage, into a ten minute gospel medley. It was
easily the most energetic, exciting number produced on television
in recent memory.
But the high point was still to come. He picked and sang his
way through "One Night,5' which has always been my personal
favorite, but it was topped by "I'm Evil." The script had Elvis in a
series of rather incoherent vignettes during this song, but he rose
above them magnificently and completely destroyed any doubts
that the contemporary scene could survive without him.
Then, in his white suit, standing on a shiny stage with the
name ELVIS in red lights behind him, he sang his last song, said a
simple "Thank you, g'night," and it was over. The fastest hour I've
Elvis has not had to gloss himself over the way, say, Dion did
in order to re-establish himself. But Elvis also has not had to
re-establish, because Elvis was never gone. In England, for example,
a pop music weekly sponsored a reader's poll and "U.S. Male"
was picked as the outstanding single of 1968.
But for some reason, the United States has preferred to judge
him on his 29 movies and the avalanche of raunch publicity that
alienated him from every "decent" kid back then, and not on his
most valid facet: his music.
He still has his sweet voice and the outrageous phrasing that
horrified our English teachers. He still can make you feel like he's
singing it just for you no matter how silly or trite his lyrics are.
And his guitar picking has improved immeasurably as evidenced
particularly on "Guitar Man" and "Blue Christmas."
Why is his music important and why should we take pains to
recognize it for the power it has? Because here we all were worry-
ing about whether or not to like the new Beatles album or worry-
ing about finals or term papers or worrying about some new
girlfriend when all of a sudden up pops this country boy and kicks
the bad crap right out of our heads.
In the words he sings, Elvis is perhaps most accurately appre-
ciated and defined. "I'll never be more than what I am," he says,
"a swinging little guitar man.'
He's still the King.
"MR. HULOT'S HOLIDAY"
CRAZY WORLD OF LAUREL & HARDY
One Show Nightly - at 7:20
Now for the
Winner of 3 Academy Awards! 1-3:45hos0-9a
(Continued from Page 1)
inantly black and Puerto Rican
district and to assure the rein-
statement there of a group of
union .teachers was part of the
terms that ended the recent series
of strikes by the UFT.
As the. day progressed, there
were some two-score arrests-in
every borough except Staten Is-
Some high schools reported ab-
senteeism as high as 50 per cent.
In Queens, a group of students
surged onto the subway platform
of- an elevated line and tied up
service for 45. minutes by pulling
an emergency cord on a waiting
train, and by climbing onto the
A fire in a clothes closet dis-
rupted classes for 5,000 students at
George Washington School in up-
pern Manhattan. Damage was
About 450 youths gathered at
Washington Square in Green-
wich - Village. Several hundred
others marched outside Mayor
John V.. Lindsay's home but he
was vacationing in the West In-
to punish bi
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (IP) - The
American Medical Association, in
an unprecedented move, yesterday
set up a mechanism to expel any
sate medical society found re-
peatedly guilty of barring mem-
bership to applicant doctors "be-
cause of color, creed, race, relig-
ion or ethnic origin."
And the chairman of the AMA's
Judicial Council, which was char-
ged with responsibility for making
expulsion recommendations if the
facts warranted it, told a report-
er there would be nothing "wishy-
washy' about the council's actions
on any such cases.
The move constituted the
strongest action against racial and
other discrimination ever taken by
the 216,000-member AMA, th e
world's largest organization of
physicians and surgeons.
Hitherto the AMA condemned
such discrimination but had not
spelled out what type of disciplin-
ary action might be taken against
The action came in the form of
a 170-to-69 vote by the AMA's
policy-making House of Delegates
during the Association's 22nd clin-
The House of Delegates approv-
ed a proposed amendment to the
AMA bylaws providing that, if
the Judicial Council. determines
any allegations of discrimination
are true, "it shall admonish, cen-
sure, or - in the event of repeat-
ed violations - recommend to the
House of Delegates that the state
association involved be declared to
be no longer a constituent mem-
ber of the American Medical As-
There is no review today of
last night's American premiere
of Czech playwright Ivan Kli-
ma's "The Castle," due to the
illness of one of the cast mem-
bers. It was agreed among the
variousnewspapers planning to
review the production that any
reviews would be postponed un-
til the cast is at full strength.
The play runs through Satur-
day at Lydia Mendelssohn
Theatre, sponsored by the Pro-
fessional Theater Program,
December 7, 1968
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Sat., Dec. 7
"Perhaps the iost beautiful
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I Sun., Dec. 8
"A marvelous movie."
-The New Yorker
Mon., Dec. 9
But A Man
"A great movie. A revolution
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Tues., Dec. 10
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DONALD HALL--reading and discussing his own
DAVE SIGLIN and PAT REYNOLDS-singing old
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HERB DAVID--Classical Guitar
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Wed., Dec. 11
"SEASONS CHANGE"-The Battle of Chicago
feature length, revolutionary
(Mobilization's and A.C.L.U.'s answer to
Mayor Daley's telecast!!)
Not to be shown on T.V. in this area
ALSO ON THE SAME PROGRAM:
"OH DEM WATERMELONS" by Robert Nelson
Highly acclaimed film that turned thousands on to the Underground
Film movement. An examination of stereotyped Negro sensuality.
"PORTRAIT OF LYDIA"-lst Prize '64 Cannes Festival
A succession of sexual images and symbols
"A must for any Art Lover"-M.M.
"KENNY'S FIRST VACATION"-by John Marier
Recommended for liberal minded adults
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