sábado, 22 de enero de 2011

Inside The Blue Hawaii Recording Sessions part 1

Inside The Blue Hawaii Recording Sessions part 1



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Freddie Tavares (1953 - 1985) Ukulele
Freddie Tavares was perhaps the most admired and revered person in the early days
of the Fender Guitar factory. Longtime veteran Bill Carson said of him, "He was the
greatest man in both musical talent and personal integrity that I worked with at Fender."
Affable and modest, the Hawaiian-born Tavares always had a ready smile and a joke to
share, and he often composed songs for employees and serenaded them on their
birthdays. Freddie was an accomplished artist in both the Hawaiian Steel and Spanish
 styles. With his musical skills, engineering intuition, Hollywood connections, and
workbench know-how, he played a pivotal role in helping Mr. Fender translate the
evolving needs of musicians into workable designs. Humble by nature, Freddie
deflected any credit for his accomplishments, and yet he made invaluable contributions
 to some of Fender's most historic products, including the Stratocaster® and the four-10
 tweed Bassman® amp.Also know as rendering the steel guitar glissando on the
Looney Tunes cartoon theme song


Bernie Lewis
Bernie Kaai Lewis (1921-1984) Ukulele
His full name was Bernal Keoki Kalaauokalani Kaai. Lewis was a hanai (adopted)
name from the laukea Lewis family of Kona, and Bernie has written of his birth and
childhood at Hakalau near Hilo, on the Big Island. He was already composing
music by the age of 14 . He became one of the youngest arrangers ever to work on
 the staff of HBC, San Francisco, and he composed a number of major works,
 "California Panorama", "Hawaiian Suite" and "Hawaiiana", which have been
performed at the Hollywood Bowl. He has conducted and arranged for symphony
orchestras as well as working with many of the leading West Coast Hawaiian
musicians, as steel guitarist, guitarist or singer, Bernie became a member of
ASCAP . He was also a long-time associate of bandleader/singer/composer
Paul Rage, and for a number of years served as musical director for the Grammy
Awards. ln the mid-1970s he was musical director for Don Thorup of Kolapa Productions,
 who put out a series of fine Hawaiian albums, several of which included Bernie. while his
 steel guitar playing had an extraordinary fluidity and originaliry. Sweet as honey it could
 swing HARD! "Steel Guitar Boogie", one of his many compositions, comes from what
appears to be his very first recording session in 1946.


The Surfers' :Left to Right Bernie Ching,Pat Sylva,and Clay also known as Clayton,
 Naiuai and his brother Alan,also known as Al Naiuai.

Through the intervention of executives at Decca Records, Decca signed them
after their HIFI records contract ran out (and for some unknown reason, changed
their name to 'The Hawaiian Surfers') The label's parent company was MCA
Corporation, which also controlled Paramount Studios, and Paramount was the
 company that produced Blue Hawaii, Elvis' eigth movie.

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Alvino Rey(stage name)Steel guitar
Alvin McBurney (July 1, 1908 [1]- February 2, 2004),
The innovative sounds of the father of the pedal steel guitar, Alvino Rey,died aged 95,
 influenced guitarists as disparate as Duane Eddy and Jimi Hendrix, and bands like the
Ventures and the Shadows. In the late 1930s, working with the Gibson company, he
had helped to develop the Electroharp pedal steel guitar, which he called his console,
 using six pedals to bend the steel strings.

From 1944 to 1945, Rey served with the US navy, but after the war returned to the
charts with Cement Mixer, his guitar providing appropriate sounds. His signature tune,
 Blue Rey, featured Luise's vocals fed through his guitar amplifier, a trick well ahead
of its time. When big bands declined

at the end of the 1940s, he played in small combos with his brother-in-law, organist
Buddy Cole. He returned to the limelight as Alvino Rey And His Talking Guitar on
The King Family ABC-TV variety show (1965-71). In the 1980s he led an orchestra at
 Disneyland. formed a quintet that played around Salt Lake City. In 1996, he made his
final appearance, with Luise singing, at the Utah centenary celebrations.

George Fields Harmonica
The Harmonica Gentlemen was a "TRIO" consisting of George Fields (chromatic harmonica),
Leo Friedman (chord harmonica), and Don Ripps (bass harmonica). They are largely
 remembered now for recording with The Andrews Sisters and Danny Kaye. George Fields
 had a solo career as harmonicist and is best known for his harmonica solo "Moon River"
in Henry Mancini's score for Breakfast at Tiffany's.


Ray Siegal Bass (Post Scoring) : 'Blue Hawaii was a tremendous movie,we did so much recording,and
so much work on it,and it went over very well, it was very beautiful.***

Charles O'Curran points out to Elvis the 'Mount Kenya Safari Club' logo on his suit

Paramount Music meeting , March 20th,1961
Music meeting took place at 10.30am in Hal Wallis' office,Hollywood.
Those at the meeting were, alongside Elvis and Mr.Wallis, Paul Nathan (Associate Producer/Movie),
Charlie O Curran (Paramount Musical Choreographer),Freddy Bienstock(Music Publisher) and
Tom Diskin (Colonel Parker's right hand man, Parker was already in Hawaii , preparing for the
Hawaiian Benefit concert). A schedule of songs for the movie was developed for the recording
session(Starting on the 21st of March, at Radio Recorders studio in Hollywood). Songs,instruments
and singers that would be required,were discussed,alongside final demo playbacks. Joseph J. Lilley
(Conductor/music score) submitted his final order of the musical numbers for the movie,with the input
 of Bill Stinson (Head of the music department at Paramount)Elvis then went to Radio Recorders for
Juliet Prowse remarked in a newspaper article dated March 22nd,"I did 'G.I. Blues' with Elvis last
 year and you remember in that he sang about 10 songs, he kept bursting into song,are you
ready for this? In this picture he has 16 songs". This confirms that 'Playing With Fire' was part
of the song line-up at this point,and was dropped at the above mentioned meeting on the 20th,
which then left 15 songs including 'Steppin Out O f Line' which was then cut from the film later.
Note : It's been well documented that Juliet Prowse was the original choice to star alongside
 Elvis in Blue Hawaii,and had already attended make up and wardrobe tests before making
demands which in the end Hal Wallis did not approve.

Script dated 17th of March 1961,where 'Playing With Fire' can be seen to be still part of the song
line-up.The above meeting on the 20th is most likely the time when the number was dropped.
The photographs from the recording studio,seen below,are most likely to be from the rehearsal's
 on the Monday afternoon of the 20th of March,as the studio publicity department would on most
 occasion's such as this, take the photo's on the first visit to the studio.As can be seen,many are
of poor quality - and I would be grateful if anyone had either new or improved photo's from this time.


Radio Recorders - Hollywood, California
Soundtrack Session for "Blue Hawaii"
Paramount Producer : Joseph Lilley
Engineer : Thorne Nogar

Backup Vocals:
The Surfers : Pat Sylva; Bernie Ching; Clay Naluai; Al Naluai
The Jordanaires : Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Ray Walker

Guitar : Hank Garland
Guitar : Scotty Moore
Guitar : Hilmer J "Tiny" Timbrell
Bass : Bob Moore
Drums : DJ Fontana
Drums : Hal Blaine
Percussion : Bernie Mattinson
Piano / Celeste : Dudley Brooks
Piano : Floyd Cramer
Harmonica : George Fields
Saxophone : Homer "Boots" Randolph
Ukulele : Bernie Lewis
Ukulele : Fred Tavares
Steel Guitar : Alvino Rey

Monday, March 20th 1961, Hal Wallis' Office,Paramount Studios,Hollywood
10.30 -12.00am Meeting (see above)
1.00 - 6.00pm ,Radio Recorders - Hollywood, California

Tuesday,March 21st 1961,Radio Recorders - Hollywood, California
1.00pm - 11.50pm

Hawaiian Sunset
Aloha Oe (Section 2)
No More
Slicin' Sand


Wednesday,March 22nd 1961,Radio Recorders - Hollywood, California
1.00 - 6.55pm

Blue Hawaii
Ito Eats
Ito Eats (Tag for Movie)
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Island Of Love
Steppin' Out Of Line
Steppin' Out Of Line (Movie Version)
Almost Always True
Moonlight Swim


Thursday,March 23rd 1961,Radio Recorders - Hollywood, California
09.00 - 12.00 noon

Aloha Oe (The Surfers)
Aloha Oe (Composite)
Can't Help Falling In Love (Movie Version)
Can't Help Falling In Love
Beach Boy Blues
Beach Boy Blues (Movie Version)
Rock A Hula Baby


Hal Blaine - background left of Elvis' shoulder,Scotty Moore front left,Elvis,Joseph Lilley and Charles O'Curran in the centre,with Alvino Rey on steel pedal guitar on the right.



Left To Right - Charles O'Curran,Elvis,The Jordanaires,Freddie Travares and The Surfers.

The Jordanaires left of frame,Bernie Ching from The Surfers,Elvis and Freddie Tavares sat down on the right
playing the Ukulele.Charles O'Curran right of frame.

The Jordanaires,The Surfers,Elvis and Freddie Tavares,Charles O' Curran and Joseph J. Lilley.

The Jordanaires,The Surfers,Elvis and a slightly tired Freddie Tavares.

The Jordanaires,The Surfers,Elvis and Freddie Tavares.
Clayton Naluai from The Surfers : On the soundtrack recording, they wanted to have an authentic Hawaiian
 sound, So they asked us if we'd be willing to do the soundtrack album with him. We spent three days in
the studio..that's how long we spent working on that soundtrack. We had a great time doing it! Elvis was
 a nice, nice guy. He wasn't a prima donna. If he walked anywhere, he'd be mobbed! He had this entourage
of guys that went around with him, just to keep him company, otherwise, he'd have been a very, very lonely man*
Bob Moore on upright guitar(masked)Elvis,Scotty Moore sat with his guitar. Hal Blaine in the background
and Charles O'Curran right.

Elvis looks over a lyric sheet with Charles O'Curran,and Scotty Moore on the right of frame.

Charles O'Curran : I remember in Blue Hawaii where he had his inevitable brawl and went to jail. There he
sang 'Beach Boy Blues' in which he referred to his pineapple-growing family and his predicament in these
words-'I'm a kissin' cousin to a ripe pineapple and I'm in the can!' He several times completely broke up
while we were recording that one!' It was my job, in fact, to study the script and the songs and make
sure they merged without slowing down the storyline. First we would record all the songs in a recording
studio,and then on the set playback the tapes as the visual part of the picture was filmed. This often meant
 that I had to make Elvis - who did not need to sing but just move his hips in time to the recording - look
 as if he was singing.

Sometimes I had to coax him along like a cheer leader - leaping about behind the camera and telling him
 to mimic me. Can you just imagine it - a middle aged man jumping about showing the man they called
'Elvis the Pelvis' how to shake,rattle and roll! Ah,the secrets of film-making.


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