Music on Mondays (3-24-14)–I’m in the Army now….

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On this date in 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the United States Army as a private at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. He went through basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, near Waco. On October 1, 1958, after training, he joined the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany. He donated his Army pay to charity, purchased television sets for the base, and bought an extra set of fatigues for everyone in his outfit.

Presley had been convinced by his manager that he should serve his country as a regular soldier rather than in Special Services, where he would have been able to give musical performances. RCA and Hill & Range had prepared for Presley’s two-year Army stint and kept up a steady stream of successful releases which resulted in ten Top 40 hits, Presley standards such as “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck”, “Hard Headed Woman”, “One Night” “(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I,” and “A Big Hunk o’ Love” which hit #1 in 1959.

Although I now have a complete discography of Elvis Presley in my music collection, I actually did not become familiar with him until August 1969; I was too into The Beatles in my formative years. August 1969 was when “Suspicious Minds” was released, and I quickly spent my weekly allowance to buy the 45 single at the Kingsville Drug Store

(smile if you ever bought a 45 single at a drug store;
laugh if you had a weekly allowance;
cry if your weekly allowance was less than 50¢ a week).

“Suspicious Minds” rocketed up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #1. It spent one week at the top position, and was Presley’s seventeenth, and last, #1 record. In December 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Suspicious Minds” #91 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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5 thoughts on “Music on Mondays (3-24-14)–I’m in the Army now….

  1. laurie27wsmith

    I love that song! No wonder Colonel Parker told him to go into the regular army, if he had gone to special services parker may have had to go on tour with him He couldn’t because he was an illegal immigrant. The great tragedy of Elvis’ career was his lack of overseas gigs.


  2. colltales

    When he died, in 1977, John Lennon said something (very much to his style), both truthful and a bit hurtful: that Elvis had already died, when he joined the Army. I too was a Beatles kid, but what Elvis did in 1956 and then in that long-go 1969 of his comeback (and of our youth) was peerless. But having got rid of the burden of filming mediocre flix in Hollywood, he felt into yet another trap, Las Vegas, and yes, Colonel Parker (who may’ve been a murderer!) both times had a handle on curtailing and minimizing his career. Good reminder, Russell.


  3. philipfontana

    Russel Ray, Many thanks for all your “Excuse Us…” activity on my website from views, to “Likes,” & “Comments.” I replied to ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are something else to spend all that time! Much thanks to you & to YOUR website!!!! Phil


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      When I visit other blogs, it’s for more than just an in and out. I like to camp out, see what people have been up to since my last visit. See which used to be my blog’s home page feature. Since January 2, 2014, though, when I started having so many WordPress problems (blogs don’t load or load too slowly, blog LIKE buttons don’t load at all on blogs whose URL ends with, and more), I don’t get to camp out as much because I just don’t have the time to wait forever to see if the blog or LIKE buttons will load. Thus, I removed my featured post and changed themes, trying to find the problem. No luck.



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