Calling Elvis is a 70-minute CD gives the listener a comprehensive overview of all the Elvis telephone conversations that are currently known to exist, including several that have not been released previously. Very interesting is an un credited addition of 'Poor Man's Gold' at the end of the last track. Whereas previously the 9 seconds of 'of lead vocals' that Elvis put on tape has been released, here it has been added to the full backing track. Now this may sound a bit strange, but it comes across to me as a 'full' performance. After all we have instrumentals released so why not an instrumental with a small vocal contribution from Elvis, the music is nice, and made more so with the vocals, if all but brief. Seriously I have found a new Elvis 'song', better said as performance of course to listen to!
It seems that the telephone medium made Elvis 'open up' more than in regular interview situations. Just compare the Hy Gardner interview – which can be heard in its entirety for the first time on this CD (longer and in better quality than on the Elvis - Word For Word 5 CD-set) – with any other interview from that landmark year, and listen to how he openly talks about being homesick in the five telephone conversations recorded during his tour of duty in Germany. Included among these five calls are all three conversations with Dick Clark ('American Bandstand'), including the very rare third call from January 8, 1960, as well as the ultra-rare interview with Hawaiian discjockey Tom Moffet from January 9, 1959 (neither of which are available on 'Word for Word' or any other CD's). Moffet got to talk to Elvis again two years later, on March 19, 1961, where Elvis talked about his love for Hawaii in some detail, and that interview is included too. The private telephone conversations with Arlene Cogan and Ron Pietrafeso from respectively 1970 and '71 were recorded without Elvis' knowledge, and both offer us offer us fascinating glimpses into the private life of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
Calling Elvis - Inside Deluxe Gatefold Cover.
The bonus-tracks include a never-before-released (not even on import), mega-rare radio broadcast about Elvis' first concert in Canada on April 2nd, 1957. That concert took place in Toronto, and this great CBC report makes you feel like you are in the audience. Reporter Bill Beaty describes the concert live in wonderful detail, while you can hear thousands of screaming teenagers in the background. You can even hear the finale of the show, a fragment of a wild 'Hound Dog'. A stunning piece of Presleyana!
Another recent discovery is an August 9th, 1975 radio-broadcast from Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, where sports commentator Harold Johnson was reporting on an American Football game. Johnson spotted Elvis and immediatly asked him what he thought about the game. This clip was first released a couple of weeks ago on Elvis Touchdown, but the sound-quality is much better on Calling Elvis.
From the same year is a charming recording of Elvis receiving the 'Sun Collection' LP from a fan in the audience (Las Vegas, December 13, 1975). On the FTD release Dinner At Eight you could only hear Elvis' comments, but on this alternate soundboard source you can hear the full dialogue between Elvis and the fan that gave him the LP! Yet another surprising discovery from Rock Legend!
The recording of a July 4, 1976 'End of Tour Party' concludes our release. On this hilarious recording you can hear 'Elvis' (producer Felton Jarvis) being interviewed by comedian Jackie Kahane, and Elvis/Felton answers questions about various bandmembers and members of the entourage. Felton does a great parody of Elvis, and despite the rather crude humor you get some interesting insights about life on the road.
More than a quarter century after his death, The King of Rock 'n' Roll still speaks to our imaginations. Fresh and hitherto unknown information deepens our understanding of this very complex man, and Calling Elvis does just that. Because of the intimate nature of the telephone conversations, the listener gets unique insights into the man behind the legend, while the remarkable bonustracks offer us charming and amusing glimpses into his talent and personality.
All tracks were digitally remastered by the Czech audio wizard Otto Meszaros, who used more than 30 hours for the improvement of these tracks. Therefore, even those tracks that have been released before are now much better quality.
Just like its two predecessors, Calling Elvis is packaged beautifully in a deluxe, full-colour digipack with two 'wings'. The packaging complements the CD very well, as it contains 18 rare photographs of Elvis -- from different stages in his career -- holding a telephone! It's a true piece of art, courtesy of young Dutch designer Ron Landheer.
Calling Elvis is truly a 'different' kind of release, as that it really gives you the chance to experience the REAL Elvis Presley... the man, not the legend. It's a CD that you cannot afford to be without!