Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

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Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

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THE DAY NO ONE WANTED ELVIS - but me
An article by Fred Danzig from the July 1959 issue of Movie Stars TV Close-ups magazine.

Is this the manuscript copy Guralnick mentions in the notes of his book Last Train To Memphis?

Where and when was Danzig´s original 1956 story first published? Does someone have that article?
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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

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The last two pages...
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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

Post by hilton22000 »

Well, what can i say? This is an extraordinary article, very rare!! I read about this interview in Guralnick's book "Last Train to Memphis" , see below:

"On the second day of recording a young wire reporter named Fred Danzig showed up for an interview, the first fruits of Anne Fulchino’s publicity campaign. Danzig watched the Dorsey show on TV and showed up at Fulchino’s office at 11:00 a.m. She took him down to the recording studio where he found, he later wrote, “a tall, lean young man standing in the hallway waiting for us.” He was wearing a shirt the likes of which i had never seen before. It was a ribbon shirt, light lavender in color. Elvis said it cost $70. I also noted that his blue alligator loafers were scuffed and worn-down at the heels. He had on a gray sports jacket and dark gray slacks. His fingernails were chewed down to where there was no biting room left." His presence was compelling, Danzig said, "just for that face alone. If you saw him on the street, you’d say, ‘Wow, look at that guy.' " They went into the control room to do the interview. In response to a question about his music, the boy started naming blues singers with whom Danzig was somewhat familiar but who “obviously meant a lot to him. I was very surprised to hear him talk about the black performers down there and about how he tried to carry on their music. He talked about how he wanted to buy his parents a house and make life easier for them. I asked him about the shaking and the wiggling, and he told me they hadn’t wanted him to jump around so much on TV but that he had told them it was the way he had to perform, it was just the way he did it. He showed me his leather-covered guitar and explained that there was only one other leather guitar case like it. Hank Snow had given him the idea, he said. ‘It keeps the guitar from getting splintered when I swing it around and it hits my belt buckle.’" They talked about the movies and how he "wanted to go out to Hollywood and become the next James Dean. And I thought, ‘Yeah, well, come on, kid…’ But that was obviously his goal. We talked for about twenty or twenty-five minutes - he wasn’t the most articulate kid in the world, but he answered all the questions - when Steve Sholes came in and said they were ready to begin." Elvis invited Danzig to stick around and watch him work, and the first number they tried was "I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry" a 1954 r&b number for Roy Hamilton (it was the B side of Hamilton’s smash inspirational hit, “You’ll Never Walk Alone") "

I don't know where the original interview first appear, but it's clear the source for Peter's book. I wish to have that article, too.
But i'm very happy with this article, so thank you very much, The Fool, great find :smt006


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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

Post by drjohncarpenter »

The fool wrote:THE DAY NO ONE WANTED ELVIS - but me
An article by Fred Danzig from the July 1959 issue of Movie Stars TV Close-ups magazine.

Is this the manuscript copy Guralnick mentions in the notes of his book Last Train To Memphis?

Where and when was Danzig´s original 1956 story first published? Does someone have that article?




I don't have the answer, but I must say this is a well-written piece, with only a few small errors. Fred Danzig's attention to detail is acute, right down to getting the names of all the musicians assembled at RCA New York on 1-31-1956 (Tue) correct.

It seems some of this work was used in Last Train To Memphis, which again proves the value of these magazines as research tools.

I love how we find out Elvis' favorite female singer at the moment was Gogi Grant. She put a single out that would hit number one in June 1956, supplanting "Heartbreak Hotel," and stay at the top for 6 weeks.




560407_Era 1013_Wayward_Gogi Grant.JPG






Gogi Grant "The Wayward Wind" (ERA 1013, April 1956)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wayward_Wind





Danzig passed away last year, on April 28, 2011, at the age of 85. He moved on from feature writing for UPI, joining Advertising Age in 1962 as senior editor in the New York bureau, becoming executive editor in 1969 and editor-in-chief in 1984. He remained there until his retirement in 1994.


Prior to coming to Ad Age, Mr. Danzig was a reporter for UPI. He was the first entertainment reporter to interview Elvis Presley, when Mr. Presley early in his career made a trip to New York, and he amassed an extraordinary collection of the singer's early 45s. Perhaps because of Mr. Danzig's experience as a TV and entertainment reporter, he injected a pop-culture sensibility into Ad Age when he arrived in 1962.

"He was so good at pointing out popular-culture trends and how they might affect the advertising business," Mr. Crain said.


http://adage.com/article/news/longtime-ad-age-editor-fred-danzig-dies-85/227306/


Thank you so much for sharing this.
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

Post by hilton22000 »

I must correct my post: the source for Peter Guralnick's book was not the original interview, he had two sources: an interview with Fred Danzig from 1993 and a manuscript copy of "The day no one wanted Elvis - but me" article.



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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

Post by pjgrisar »

Hello! New to the forum. Fred Danzig was my grandfather. I'm doing a bit of research on him for a story (I too chose journalism). I can confirm that the scanned copies of this article are the same as the manuscript Peter Guralnick used. I'd have to look carefully for any changes between the manuscript copy and what actually made the jump to print, but at a glance any differences are negligible and it's quite possible that the one I have is final.

Now to track down whoever owns the copyright for this long-defunct magazine to see if I can have permission to reprint it in an article of my own!


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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

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pjgrisar wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:53 pm
Hello! New to the forum. Fred Danzig was my grandfather.
Hello! Very nice to see you here. Your grandfather wrote a very important article on Elvis.


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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

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Looks like the graciousness that grandfather Fred Danzig exuded in his Elvis interview did not survive generations.

Grandson PJ Grisar gives the FECC forum, this topic and your personal upload not a single syllable of credit.

He did manage to "borrow" one of your scans for his article on "Papa Fred."



Image





Stay classy, PJ!


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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Hey, look what just appeared by a crazy FECC member:


Just A "Hick" at the Hickory House --> New York '56!
https://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=113069


(Had the info for a while, good ol' PJ motivated me to share it now)


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Re: Fred Danzig interview on January 31st, 1956

Post by drjohncarpenter »

The fool wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:09 am
Where and when was Danzig´s original 1956 story first published? Does someone have that article?




Did some more digging and found the 1956 article.

It was syndicated by the agency he worked for, United Press, and the earliest date I could find was in May:




560515_Amarillo Globe-Times_p24.jpg


Still Biting His Fingernails

ELVIS HAS ARRIVED -- AND HE'S 'SCARED'


By FRED DANZIG
United Press Staff Correspondent


NEW YORK (UP) -- Comedians are starting to make jokes about Elvis Presley and his "rip-'em-up" style of singing. Someone chalked this note on a New York sidewalk recently: "Elvis Presley, Go Home." In short, Presley has arrived.

Wherever he appears , screaming crowds of teenage girls make his entrances and exits a test of strength, and the young rock-n-roll hillbilly, or "rockbilly," invariably ends up minus a jacket, shirt and tie.

At present, RCA Victor's recording star has one of the top-selling albums In the business. His "single" record releases are among the best-sellers in every popular music category -- including rhythm and blues and country and western.

And he's just a growing boy of 21.

When performing, Presley is like a steam engine. One moment, the fires are banked. The next moment, he's tearing up a soundtrack. His legs begin to shake. He jumps. His head snaps up and down. His hair whips the air. He jiggles his leather-covered guitar like a bartender working a cocktail shaker.

THE PRESLEY STORY began in Memphis, Tenn., when he played his guitar and sang for high school audiences. He enjoyed performing for his classmates, but figured he would do better by becoming an electrician.

To earn money for this career, Elvis became a truck driver. One day, however, the urge to make a record got the better of him and he walked into the office of the Sun Record Company, a leading independent country label.

Elvis, an admirer of the Ink Spots' style, recorded "If I Didn't Care" at his own expense.

"After that, I went home and put away my guitar," he said. "I didn't touch it again until about a year later when Sam Phillips called me up and asked if I'd like to make more sides -- at his expense."

Phillips, the 32-year-old guiding light behind Sun Records, took the boy Into a studio and concentrated on bringing out the current Presley style.

AFTER A BATCH of hit records for Sun, Elvis tried to land a spot on the Arthur Godfrey "Talent Scouts" TV program. He was turned down.

He went back to Memphis, but by this time RCA Victor had seen the smoke and was on his trail. Six months ago, his contract was purchased for the phenomenal sum of $40,000.

He recently passed a screen test for Paramount, and he has been kept busy with a full schedule of night club, theatre and TV dates. All this hasn't helped him shake the fingernail-biting habit.

"It's all happening so fast," he said, "that some nights I just can't fall asleep. It scares me, you know. It just scares me."


Amarillo Globe-Times - Tuesday, May 15, 1956
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/23494283/
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