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Elvis Presley: We Didn’t Know Him

Switching channels late last night I found myself watching Elvis Presley’s “Clambake”. Remember that one: Presley as a Texan billionaire swapping places with a water skiing instructor to find a woman who doesn’t love him for his money and without the help of Daddy’s oil wells.

Yes it is as bad as it reads and Elvis looks awful: bloated, drugged up, somnambulistic and embarrassed on asinine “High Hope” rip off “Confidence”. BUT he does cover “You Don’t Know Me” -the Charley Pride countrypolitan song made famous by Ray Charles on Charle’s seminal Modern Sounds Of Country And Western Music. Presley doesn’t give the song his all and the background orchestration is a saccharine reworking of Charles’ transformation and none of it matters because if you give Presley material of this caliber he knows what to do with it the way we knew how to breathe and for three minutes he pulls us out of this godawful movie and into the realm of the Kingdom.

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