The King Finds His Voice | July 5, 1954
By Josh Tyrangiel - Time
Phillips asked two trusted session musicians—guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black—to provide backup, and at 7 p.m., after a few minutes of small talk and nervous laughter, Phillips arranged the trio in a circle. Then he asked Elvis what he wanted to play. There was more nervous laughter; Elvis knew only a few songs, and most of those he couldn't play from start to finish. Somehow, the group fumbled through the mawkish 'Harbor Lights,' which had been a 1950 hit for Bing Crosby. From the control room, Phillips drawled, 'That's pretty good,' although it wasn't. Elvis sounded boring, mechanical. Phillips called for a break.
With the formalities suspended, Elvis picked up a guitar and started goofing around, playing an old blues song by Arthur (Big Boy) Crudup called 'That's All Right'. Except Elvis wasn't singing the blues. He sounded almost euphoric, and the rhythm was all wrong—far too frenetic. There were no drums, so Black was slapping his bass to keep time while Moore's guitar leaped in and out of the melody line. Phillips knew immediately. He stuck his head out of the control room and told the threesome to pick a place to start and keep playing. Two nights later, 'That's All Right' was played on Memphis radio, and the era of rock 'n' roll roared into being.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.