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Blue Moon Boys: The Story of Elvis Presley's Band

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Boasting never-before-told stories of life on the road with a young Elvis, this comprehensive guide to Elvis' band gives an insider's view of how the band worked with him onstage, in the studio, and in movies, and features the first comprehensive look at their post-Presley lives and careers. Band members Scotty Moore, D. J. Fontana, and Bill Black created the Sun sound with Elvis, which has influenced such legendary performers as Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Fogerty, and Charlie Watts. Based on interviews ...

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2006 Hardcover Updated_Month1|0 New *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to ... return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

Boasting never-before-told stories of life on the road with a young Elvis, this comprehensive guide to Elvis' band gives an insider's view of how the band worked with him onstage, in the studio, and in movies, and features the first comprehensive look at their post-Presley lives and careers. Band members Scotty Moore, D. J. Fontana, and Bill Black created the Sun sound with Elvis, which has influenced such legendary performers as Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Fogerty, and Charlie Watts. Based on interviews with Moore, Fontana, and the family of the late Bill Black, this resource provides first-hand insights that have never before seen print, as well as several previously unpublished photographs. Extensive coverage of the entire history of the band makes this book is a must for Elvis fans, rockabilly aficionados, and anyone interested in the early history of rock 'n' roll.

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Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"Offer[s] substantive info about the boys whose rock made Presley roll."
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
" 'The Blue Moon Boys' offers priceless glimpses of its human, all too human, subjects, making the reader feel he or she actually knows these men, in both their personal and professional lives."
Third Coast Music
"Very well-written and constructed, it [The Blue Moon Boys] actually delivers what all Elvisiana promises, hitherto untold stories."
Publishers Weekly
It was in 1958 that Elvis Presley and his backing band cut "That's Alright Mama" with Sam Philips at the legendary Sun studios in Memphis. For Elvis, the rest is history he went on to become the king of rock and roll. For his backing band, the Blue Moon Boys (bassist Bill Black, guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana), the story went differently. In this exhaustively researched and well-written book, journalist Burke (Blue Suede News) and Griffin, a producer who later worked with Moore and Fontana, present a vital piece of rock history. Burke and Griffin adeptly recount the band's vital role in creating Elvis's success, from Black's signature enormous stand-up bass lines (one promoter was amazed to learn the band was only a three-piece) and Moore's lilting guitar to Fontana's energetic beats, which fueled Presley's hypersexual performances. Eventually, superstardom on an uncharted scale led to squabbles over everything from egos to credit, and of course money (at one point, while Elvis was making "millions," the band was making just a few hundred dollars per performance). Elvis fans will enjoy this fascinating history, but more than that, Burke and Griffin offer a glimpse at the crucible in which rock and roll was fired. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Burke (Country Music Changed My Life) and Griffin, a record producer and concert promoter, tell the complete story of bassist Bill Black, guitarist Scotty Moore, and drummer D.J. Fontana, the musicians who backed up Elvis Presley on recordings from the first several years of the singer's career. The importance of these three in establishing and popularizing the rockabilly style is well documented, as are the dynamics of the trio's working relationship with Presley and manager Col. Tom Parker. Since Moore and Fontana were active far longer than Black, the book's last part is devoted to their work in the rockabilly renaissance of the past couple of decades. While the authors make no secret of their admiration for Presley and the so-called Blue Moon Boys, the ups and downs and personal foibles of these and other music industry figures of the past half-century are all included. Finely written and researched, this does not duplicate the plethora of Elvis books out there. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.-James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556526145
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Burke is a contributing editor for Blue Suede News, has written for dozens of magazines, including Blues Access, Country Music Live, Country Standard Time, and Goldmine, and is the author of Country Music Changed My Life. Dan Griffin produced Scotty Moore and D. J. Fontana's Grammy-nominated album All the King's Men and the film The Return of the Blue Moon Boys. He has toured with the Rolling Stones and Elton John, produced a PBS documentary on Sun Records, and directed the documentary 200 Cadillacs. Brian Setzer is a current member of the Brian Setzer Orchestra and former member of Stray Cats.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Scotty Moore 1
2 Bill Black 17
3 The Sun Days 33
4 D.J. Fontana 51
5 The RCA Days 69
6 The Movie and Army Years 95
7 The Bill Black Combo 129
8 Fading into the Shadows 153
9 The Return of Scotty and D.J. 175
10 Nearly All the King's Men 199
11 Dead Elvis Week 217
12 The Graying of Rock 'n' Roll 235
Appendix Those Pesky Elvis Influences 259
Index 267
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