Elvis '56, In The Beginning
There's certainly no shortage of Elvis videos, but it can be argued that there is none finer than this outstanding documentary,
originally released in 1987 by Media Home Entertainment. Through extraordinary still photos by Alfred Wertheimer and historic
TV appearances hosted by the Dorsey Brothers, Milton Berle, Steve Allen (who tried to tame "The King" by having him don a
tuxedo to serenade an actual hound dog) and Ed Sullivan (including the notorious censorship of Elvis's pelvis), all the glory of
Presley's national breakout year is documented, complete with fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes and details. Elvis is at his
youthful best, looking and sounding lean and mean while accompanied by his original band - guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill
Black and drummer D.J. Fontana - before schmaltzy arrangements and background singers began to clutter his sound. As narrator,
The Band's Levon Helm adds invaluable credibility to this restoration of Elvis's image as a primal rock 'n' roller.
Elvis '56, In The Beginning was re-released on DVD in 2002 by BMG, in a box set titled Elvis in the '50s, The set also contains a DVD with the documentary Elvis in Hollywood.
Video - Elvis '56, In The Beginning - 1987 - Media Home Entertainment