Friday, June 19, 2009

ROCK Sex: Bill Monroe > Elvis Presley > The Marcels

For you new folks, ROCK Sex is my euphemism for how culture is not static but fluid, not exclusive but inclusive of each person's new take.

An example of this progression is how a song takes on new life in different hands.

Today I'm using two songs with similar names to make the point...


Bluegrass artist BILL MONROE wrote and recorded the waltz "Blue Moon of Kentucky" in 1947...

BILL MONROE -"Blue Moon Of Kentucky" (1947)

His Mississippi acolyte put some new rocking zest in it on the flipside of his first single in 1954...

ELVIS PRESLEY -"Blue Moon Of Kentucky" (1954)

That phrase must have boded well for Elvis because he then did an interpretation of "Blue Moon", a 1930s Rogers & Hart standard that many people had covered, bringing a particularly eerie and intimate confessional quality to it:

ELVIS PRESLEY -"Blue Moon" (1956)

The Doo Wop group THE MARCELS had a hit with it all over again with their inspired and upbeat revamp. Many people don't even realize it's the same song!

THE MARCELS -"Blue Moon" (1961)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

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