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1950s Television

Elvis and Andy Griffith

The passing last week of Andy Griffith led Phil Arnold, who runs ElvisBlog, to post an item on the links between the two icons. He described an appearance of Presley and Griffith on The Steve Allen Show in 1956, which apparently is well known. He noted it was not the first time the two shared a stage:

But, how many fans know that Elvis worked with Griffith a year before they appeared together on the Steve Allen Show?  Early in his career, Griffith had some success as a singer.  He took his singing and comedic talents on the road headlining his own show.  Starting on July 25, 1955, Elvis joined Griffith and other performers for a series of nine concerts in Ft. Myers, Orlando, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, and Tampa, Florida.  Look at the line-up for these two July 31, 1955 shows at the Ft. Homer Westerly Armory in Tampa.

There are some very interesting graphics at the site.

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.