Elvis Presley

The Elvis Tapes

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This 49-minute interview album presents two press conferences held by Elvis Presley, the first in August 1957 in Vancouver and the second in February 1961 in Memphis. In both, Presley is polite and low-key, addressing his questioners mostly as "sir" (though there's a "honey" in there, too) and answering simply and directly. The questioners also are polite, though in the first session Presley fields questions about his frantic performing style and is encouraged to tone it down. (He says he can't.) The subject matter is remarkably similar in the two sessions, though they come four years apart--even sideburns are mentioned in each, though Presley dispensed with them in between. In '57, with only a few movies under his belt, Presley rates himself "pretty bad" as an actor, saying he needs experience to improve. Four years and several movies later, he still thinks experience stands between him and the "dramatic" roles he covets, though he acknowledges that all his movies will be musicals for the forseeable future. Many of the questions in the '61 conference are inaudible, making the answers sometimes meaningless. But the two interviews provide a great deal of information about Presley's career and show him to be a helpful interview subject.

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