Tuesday, 3 December 2013

C is for Costello

The other Elvis, who has never made studio recording of a Presley song. 

He has played them, live, though. As of autumn 2013, he has done Little Sister at more than forty-five shows. On at least one occasion, he introduced it as something by ‘an unknown singer from Tupelo, Mississippi’. He’s played (Marie’s The Name Of) His Latest Flame in at least forty-eight shows, dating back to 1983. Mystery Train, he’s done even more regularly, sixty-seven times since the first time in 1989, and with all kinds of other people and guests — Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Nick Lowe, The Lovell Sisters. (It's not the EP original, he performs, though, but the Band's partial rewrite of it — which goes some way to explaining the mystery of the mystery train which  In 2008, on TV, he did a version of Baby, Let’s Play House, in honour of Bill Clinton, an acknowledged Presley fan.


EC has also used some of the same musicians as EP. Guitarist James Burton, keyboard player Larry Knechtel, bassist Jerry Scheff and drummer Ron Tutt formed the Confederates, who appeared in live EC shows of the late 1980s and on 1987’s King Of America album. Scheff played on 1989’s Spike. Burton, Scheff and Knechtel appear on 1995’s Kojak Variety. And Tutt is on 1985’s The People’s Limousine which EC recorded under the pseudonym of the Coward Brothers (with T-Bone Burnett).

EC’s father, Ross MacManus (1927–2011), also performed many EP songs. As the singer with the Joe Loss band in the 1950s, Mr MacManus would cover whatever was a hit that week. He even recorded some EP songs, for cheap cover-version EPs for sale only in Woolworth’s stores (1909–2008).

Tomorrow Drugs and how not to take them.

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