Elvis Presley was still deeply rooted in the ways of rural Mississippi and struggling to make it as a Memphis rockabilly singer when his career skyrocketed in 1956. Yet, even then, he talked about the loneliness of stardom.
Elvis died in Aug. 1977 at 42, but in the two decades after his startling discovery he built a remarkable career as the King of Rock ‘n Roll. In 1956, he got a taste of what was to come.
In a previously unpublished 1956 interview, Elvis describes how he sometimes felt isolated and alone.
As he described it, he could feel “lonesome right in the middle of a crowd,” and he hoped that one day marriage would cure his blues.
Check out the features in the Boxed Set
CD One: Studio Recordings: 17 tracks recorded in New York, Nashville, and Hollywood, including the debut LP, Elvis Presley (‘1254’)
CD Two“: Studio Recordings: 22 tracks recorded in New York, Nashville, and Memphis
CD Three: Live Recordings: Rare remasters of shows at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas; Little Rock, Ark and previously unreleased concert in Shreveport
CD Four: Four outtakes from the first historic RCA session in January, segueing into the complete session plus the first of the interviews, including the Robert Brown New York interview in March
CD Five: Interviews by Paul Wilder, Col. Parker and Oscar Davis; plus two segments of Elvis’ rarely
Elvis Presley was still mostly rooted in rural Mississippi and still getting used to the trappings of stardom when his career exploded in 1956. Ironically, his journey began much like it ended, alone.
“I guess I haven’t met the girl yet, but I will and I hope it won’t be too long because I get lonesome sometimes,” he explained.
He married wife Priscilla 11 years later and had only one child, Lisa Marie. They divorced in 1973.
Elvis also defended his hip-swivelling dance moves, which shocked the nation at the time and were banned from being shown on television.
He said dancing was just a way for people to “get things out of their system.”
The interview is one of the bonus features in a new five-CD boxed set featuring his music from 1956, when he was young and innocent.
That year he scored No. 1 hits with “Don’t be Cruel” and “Hound Dog.”
In a classic monologue, Elvis tries to explain himself to wary fans. “Hi, this is Elvis Presley,” he says with that southern Mississippi drawl.
“I guess the first thing people want to know is why I can’t sit still when I’m singing. Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people just sway back and forth.
“I just sort of do them all together, I guess. I watch the audience and we are getting something out of our system and no one knows what it is. The important thing is we are getting it out of our system and no one is getting hurt.”
The interviews are among the special features included in “The Young Man With The Big Beat” a new five-CD boxed set that will be released by RCA on Sept. 27. The document one year in Elvis’s incredible life.
The package includes his RCA studio master recordings and outtakes in New York, Nashville and Memphis, live performances, interviews, plus an 80-page book with a timeline of his career.
Taking its name from an RCA poster campaign for his debut album, the super deluxe set includes a run of 1956 hits that dazzled and shocked the nation: Topping the list are “Heartbreak Hotel,” “I Was The One,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Money Honey,” “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” “My Baby Left Me,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog,” and “Love Me Tender.”
“Young Man With The Big Beat” will also include five rare 8×10 photographs, five original-size poster replicas, and a replica concert ticket stub.
You can pre-order the set and other Elvis collections through TheImproper at amazon.com by clicking the link above.