Saturday 9: Just Because (1956)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
"Just Because" is one of the last songs Elvis recorded at Sun Studio in
Memphis. TripAdvisor recommends a Sun Studio tour as one of the top
things to do in Memphis. Have you ever been to Memphis? If yes, what did
you do? Yes. I've been to Memphis three times, and consequently have visited Graceland three times. BTW, the first time I went to Memphis, in 1987, I toured Sun Studio. Back then, it was still a working recording studio (don't know if that's still the case) and tours were still a new thing. My friend and I just showed up and even though it wasn't a specified tour time, the engineer working there said he'd take us through. It was just my friend and me -- two women traveling alone; I wasn't yet 30 and she was 38 or 39. As he took us through (it's really very small) he had to leave us a minute to take a phone call. So she and I were alone in the room where Elvis recorded this week's song, as well as "That's All Right, Mama" and "Good Rockin' Tonight." I took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and went up to Elvis' mic stand and, um, slid down it like a stripper pole. (Hey! Elvis was known for his suggestive moves. I like to think he'd appreciate mine.) After he finished the call, the engineer informed us that the mirror was two-way and he was watching us while he was on the phone. Instead of chastising me, he invited us to a party.
Oh, yes I did.
Elvis left Sun for RCA, a much bigger record label. As part of the
deal, RCA negotiated for the rights to all his unreleased Sun songs.
"Just Because" is one of them, and it was included on Elvis' first RCA
album. Have you gotten a good deal on anything lately? Not yet. But I have a BOGO coupon for Boston Market that I'm using this afternoon. I love Boston Market.
5) In 1956, when "Just Because" was released, non-stick cookware was first introduced. Do you have any Teflon in your kitchen right now? I don't know if it's Teflon, but my George Foreman Grill has a non-stick grilling surface.
6) Elvis thought peacocks were beautiful and commissioned stained glass peacock panels for his living room. Do you have any stained glass in your home? Nope. But here's a photo of those Graceland panels.
He tried to keep peacocks at Graceland. One of the birds saw its
reflection in Elvis' gold Cadillac and started pecking, ruining the
car's expensive paint job. Elvis donated the peacocks to the Memphis
Zoo. Have you ever had a bird as a pet? When I was very young, we had a blue parakeet. My mom had him before I was born, and she kept him in my bedroom because I liked him and having him there helped me sleep. One day he and his cage were just gone. My mom tried to explain to me that he'd died, but I was quite confused.
Elvis decorated the long Graceland driveway for the holidays with blue
lights. His father teased that with the airport nearby, pilots might
confuse their driveway with a runway. What airport is nearest your home? O'Hare (or ORD, as the tags on my luggage say).
9) When Elvis was alive, he kept the holiday lights up until January 9, the day after his birthday. That tradition continues at Graceland today. Conventional etiquette tells us Christmas decorations should go up the day after Thanksgiving and come down before January 6 (the 12th day of Christmas). Do you think it's ever too early, or too late, for Christmas decorations? Ah, my parents argued about this every damn year. My dad was very "day after Thanksgiving to New Year's Day." My mom would have kept the tree up until Easter if he'd let her. I think everyone should do as they want.