Author Archives: support

Elvis Presley Jumpsuit History

Elvis Presley died in 1977, but the iconic image of him performing, as the still undisputed king of roll and roll in his jumpsuit stage costume, remains instantly recognizable all these years later, not just in America but also all around the world.

Perhaps the myth that Elvis still lives on has some truth in it, in that his many impersonators are often to be seen still performing their Elvis tribute shows in most cities of the world today. Almost invariably, they choose to wear a copy of his jumpsuit stage costume.

In fact Elvis adopted his jumpsuit style of stage costume quite late in his career. It was after his 1968 comeback television concert that his singing career resumed, and his main base for performing shows became Las Vegas from around 1969. He wanted to distinguish his rock and roll style from that of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and the other tuxedo wearing crooner-style singers who played often in Las Vegas at that time. A tuxedo was not his style, and he needed a fresh look for his stage costume.

Elvis turned to leading designer Bill Belew for ideas, who designed a two piece costume inspired by the interest Elvis had in the martial arts. This concept soon evolved into a one piece jumpsuit in wool gabardine, with a high collar, flared legs, pointed sleeve cuffs and a very deep “V” neckline that partially bared Elvis’ chest.

This basic outfit remained the signature stage costume for Elvis from around 1969 through to his death in 1977. However, there were many embellishments through this time, with accessories and elaborate decorations added in numerous variations.

The color of the jumpsuits varied. While the white version was often favored to show up the brightly colored embellishments and to stand out on stage, there were also a variety of other colors used.

A cape was popular with Elvis for a few years early on, but was rarely seen from around 1974. A scarf was often added. A broad belt with a large buckle took over from the karate style of tied belt used at the start. Rhinestones, metal studs and other decorative designs were used increasingly, and elaborate embroidered patterns followed. The workmanship of Gene Douchette was an important influence on the many decorative variations on successive jumpsuits, drawing inspiration from many concepts, ranging from peacock feathers through to the American eagle.

These richly decorated stage costumes were striking in appearance, and often cost thousands of dollars to make.

Source by Shelby Wright

Music History – Hip Hop, Rap, R&B

In the early 1970s, the cultural movement of hip hop music was born. Hip hop’s fast paced music style is made of two parts; the rhythmic delivery of rap and the use ofinstrumentation by a DJ. Hip hop music also brought with it a fashion of its own, the fashion helped to represent this newly created music.

Hip hop music has its roots from West African music and African-American music. The first rap song to be put onto a vinyl record was, “Rapper’s Delight”, a song by the Sugarhill Gang back in the 1970s. This is when block parties started becoming the norm in New York City, which gave hip hop and rap the chance to explode in popularity. Hip hop’s instrumentation came from funk, R&B, and disco, when combined together make this dynamic type of music. When the DJs at these block parties learned what the people liked, they began mixing these vinyl records and created music that played continuously with amazing transitions between

songs. Hip hop was actually created by a DJ named Kool Herc, a Jamaican that had moved to the United States with a style that consisted of mixing music by using two copies of the same record. Many of the poor Jamaican’s in the town could not afford vinyl records, so huge stereo systems were set up so that many could here the rhythmic beats. These stereo systems were the kick-off for the beginning of the

evolution of block parties. So with the musical talent of these amazing DJs, with the use of vinyl record mixing, the culture of hip hop and rap music was born.

History of R & B

R&B, which stands for Rhythm and Blues, was the greatest influence on music around the world for most of the 20th century’s second-half. Rhythm and Blues is a term with a broad sense, but typically recognizing black-pop music. This type of music was introduced to the world by artists’ combining the music styles of jazz and blues. R&B is actually what was later developed into what we know as rock and roll. In the 1970s, the term R&B was being used to describe soul and funk music styles, which today we know it describes Rhythm and Blues. Along with being influenced by jazz and blues, R&B also had influences from gospel and disco music. Disco’s downturn in the 1980s opened the door for R&B to truly take-off in popularity.

Source by Matthew Kellmer

The Rock and Roll Wisdom Of Spinal Tap Quotes

When it comes to quotable endeavors rock and roll is not very high up on the list but oddly, a rock and roll movie, 1984’s This Is Spinal Tap, is very much quoted. Probably the most quoted line is from a scene where Spinal Tap lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) demonstrates to documentary film director Marty DeBergi (Rob Riener) how much more powerful his amplifier is than that of other bands. The volume control of amplifiers range from a setting of 0 to a high of ten but Nigel’s custom amp has volume knobs that go to eleven. “These go to eleven “has been quoted many times by musicians over the years and not just to brag about how loud they can get but for a wide assortment of things and activities where more is best.

When Spinal Tap manager Ian Faith (Tony Hendra) lobs a derogatory sexual term at a hotel clerk (Paul Benedict), he calmly responds, “I’m just the way God made me,” invoking the nature verses nurture argument. One of my personal favorites occurs when the band runs into an acquaintance played by Howard Hesseman in the lobby of the same hotel and are told, “we’d love to stand around and chat, but we’ve gotta sit down in the lobby and wait for the limo.” In other words, I’d rather do nothing and wait then continue to speak with you guys. This line clearly demonstrates the brotherhood among professional musicians. When told by their record label their choice of album cover art was rejected due to its inappropriateness, Nigel and band mate David St, Hubbins (Michael McKean) reflect on the observation that “it’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”

When I was in high school Columbia Studios shot a low budget motion picture at my school that had the shooting title; The Young Graduates. Several of my friends and I appear as extras in the film playing high school students, as I am a Method actor. One of the stars of the film was a young Bruno Kirby who appears in This Is Spinal Tap as their rudly ignored limo driver. He takes their lack of interest in his personal hero, Frank Sinatra, in stride and explains to Marty DiBergi, ” When you’ve loved and lost the way Frank has, then you know what life’s about.” Indeed.

One of the final notable quotes in the movie and one of the greatest rock and roll quotes of all time is drummer Mick Shrimpton’s (R.J. Parnell) brutally honest confession; “As long as there is, you know, sex and drugs, I can do without the rock and roll.” This is especially poignant if you’re a rock musician as a great many of the drummers you’ll meet invariable will tell you they’re really into playing Jazz. Sex and drugs are fine but if that’s all I wanted and didn’t care about music, I’d just become a pimp.

Source by Neal R Warner