Elvis Birthday (January 8th)

Yeah, I know this is a day late, but I was busy all day yesterday and couldn’t put it up….. so better late than never!

In honor of the “King’s” birthday, we have a couple book reviews and a recipe. : )

Elvis_Presley_-_Modern_Screen,_June_1958

Brief Bio:

https://www.graceland.com/elvis/biography.aspx

“The incredible Elvis Presley life story began when Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.

Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager.

In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.

Here are a few Elvis Presley facts: he starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards. Among his many achievements were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges, his celebrity status might have afforded him, Elvis honorably served his country in the U.S. Army.

His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977. He was 42.

This brief Elvis Presley biography doesn’t begin to fully capture the personality of the king. For the full Elvis Presley life story and an inside look at Elvis’ life, plan a trip to Memphis for a Graceland tour!”

2740855

Blurb:

The New York Times bestseller that reveals the intimate story of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley, told by the woman who lived it.
Decades after his death, millions of fans continue to worship Elvis the legend. But very few knew him as Elvis the man. Here in her own words, Priscilla Presley tells the story of their love, revealing the details of their first meeting, their marriage, their affairs, their divorce, and the unbreakable bond that has remained long after his tragic death.
A tribute to both the man and the legend, Elvis and Me gives Elvis fans the world over an unprecedented look at the true life of the King of Rock N’ Roll and the woman who loved him.

My Review:

2 ** stars

Elvis and Me is  told from Priscilla Presley’s perspective of her life from first meeting as a 14 girl, through their marriage and divorce, until his death. With her parents consent she went to live with Elvis at his home and he provided for her education and well-being. Priscilla says he was always respectful of her, and was a virgin until their wedding night, with Lisa Marie being born exactly 9 months later. She claims that the of their marriage was due to his fame, causing him to live an abnormal lifestyle, his drug problem and womanizing. I felt she skimmed over lots of things, leaving stuff out that would have better explained if she had been a bit more explicit, thus my low rating.

elvisshrugged_9377

Blurb:

“As the title hints, it’s a parody of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Both stories look at a society where conformity is rewarded and individualism, hard work and even ingenuity are belittled, but where Atlas Shrugged looked at society as a whole, Elvis Shrugged does it via the music industry. In the 1997 of Elvis Shrugged, only one record company exists after absorbing or driving out the others -Sony/Time/Warner. Perhaps it’s a bit extreme but after real mergers like Turner and Time-Warner or Disney buying ABC, it’s not that far fetched. Under the guise of fiscal caution, Sony/Time/Warner has eradicated all music except rock. But S/T/W becomes desperate to find anyone to keep the public happy when the most innovative composers and singers began disappearing. As Jon Peters and Peter Gubers say, ‘ … we need new blood. Certainly nothing chancy or innovative. Just new faces to do the same old thing, which is what the rock industry has always been about.’ Madonna refuses to work for Sony/Time/Warner and teams up with the rejuvenated (via Austrian youthfulness treatments and bionics) Frank Sinatra to record some revolutionary music they found. But Sony/Time/Warner manages to absorb their tiny company, Madonna tries to trace the missing musicians while Old Blue Eyes fends off Colonel Parker (now a scientifically preserved floating head) and Andrew Lloyd Webber on behalf of Sony/Time/Warner. Madonna finds that Elvis is alive. After his 1970 comeback concert, Elvis broke with the Colonel’s [sic], preferring to write his own experimental music. While Elvis soul searched in Tibet, the Colonel had a clone replace him, but when Elvis discovers that the clone has become a sick parody, he engineers the clone’s death in the most embarrassing way possible. Then he enlists other musicians to the cause, the first batch of whom, like John Lennon, Roy Orbison and Sammy Davis Jr., fake their deaths and join Elvis in an island hideaway -Blue Hawaii- where they can create music without profit-driven pressure. Elvis Shrugged is a riot and the caricature art by Dave Garcia is perfect. Potshots are taken at Webber and corporate greed as well as political correctness and Spike Lee. It also parodies Atlas Shrugged very well. In Atlas Shrugged, when something goes wrong, people ask ‘Who is John Galt?’ In Elvis Shrugged, the phrase is ‘Is Elvis alive?'”–

My Review:

This is an adult graphic novel with little to no connection to the book it was pun-ily named after, Atlas Shrugged. Written in 1993, it takes place “in a time of a world gone mad”, the far-far-future of 1997.

Rock and roll is being killed off, one rock star at a time. It started with Elvis, and his untimely death that nobody wanted to believe was true. Now in 1997, rock music is suffering from a lack of rock stars. Madonna, the lead character, is looking at rock and roll in a new light after talking with a new-and-improved bionic Frank Sinatra. She decides to make an album with meaning, just her and Frank, and leave rock and roll in the past. The Time-Warner-Sony corporation controls 100% of the world’s music production, and they reject her idea on the strongest terms. When Madonna and Frank decide to do their album independently, they fall right into the massive corporation’s crosshairs.

Featuring an all-star cast of familiar faces, including John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Frank Zappa, the floating head of Col. Tom Parker, and the King of Rock and Roll himself, even a millennial is sure to recognize at least one or two of the faces characterized in this book. It was uniquely entertaining, made me chuckle here and there, and made me grimace the rest of the time.

On the negative side, it had a very anti-rock and roll message that the book got preachy about, calling it “evil”, a “pulsing, primal scream”, “openly irrational”, and “repetitive, cacophonous noise produced by drooling… drones”. Unless in reference to Yoko Ono, I think that the perspective taken in this book is completely wrong. Lumping all rock and roll together, not distinguishing between Elvis Presley and Madonna, is like saying that pizza pie and pumpkin pie are the same because they are both called “pie”.

However, I will give this book three stars, simply for the fact that the author was so creative to come up with a crazy book like this, and it did make me laugh.

Recipe:

Daisy  adapted a recipe from a Taste of Home recipe for banana squares….

I can’t wait to try it– it has been added to my recipe file!

Daisy: “This cake recipe is an old favorite of mine, and if Elvis was alive (or is still alive… Elvis lives!) and gave this cake a try, I think it would be one of his favorites, too. Since most people already know how to make a “fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, baby”, I decided that a new, special twist was in order. And so, without further ado, I would like to present…

The Elvis Presley Birthday Cake
Makes 12 servings

Banana Cake:
2 eggs
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
1 ½ cups flour
1 t. baking soda
¼ cup sour milk (put 1 t. white vinegar in bottom of ¼ cup and fill the rest w. milk)
½ t. vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix very well until smooth. Pour into a greased 10” x 10” baking pan. Bake at 350° F. for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before icing the cake.

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
3-4 T. milk
In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Gradually add enough milk to make frosting a good consistency for spreading. Ice the cake when cake is cool.

 

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