Why Elvis’ ‘Rock-A-Hula Baby’ Is Embarrassing


Elvis Presley’s “Rock-A-Hula Baby” was launched alongside one among his most well-known songs. “Rock-A-Hula Baby” suffers by comparability, but it surely additionally fails by itself

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Elvis Presley‘s “Rock-A-Hula Baby” was released alongside one of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll‘s most famous songs. “Rock-A-Hula Baby” suffers by comparison, but it also fails on its own. It’s an odd fusion that by no means fairly comes collectively. Right here’s a have a look at why it a B-movie actor wrote the observe.

Elvis Presley’s ‘Rock-A-Hula Baby’ was a part of a forgotten development

Elvis’ Blue Hawaii typified a particular level in American historical past. Hawaii turned a state in 1959. Round that point, the remainder of america confirmed a powerful curiosity in Hawaii. The late Nineteen Fifties and Sixties gave us Gidget Goes Hawaiian, the Christmas music “Mele Kalikimaka,” and numerous cheesy tiki bars. Elvis jumped on the bandwagon with a trio of films: Blue Hawaii, Women! Women! Women!, and Paradise, Hawaiian Fashion.

Based on Elvis Australia, songwriter Ben Weisman revealed the origin of “Rock-A-Hula Baby.” “Music for the film Blue Hawaii was a challenge,” he mentioned. “Because of the locate, I thought the music should have a Hawaiian flavor, but with a rock beat. At the time, the twist was very hot, and I found that the twist and the hula were perfect together.” That sounds good in concept, but it surely didn’t work in observe.

“Rock-A-Hula Baby” sounds just like the form of imitation Hawaiian music one may hear at “It’s a Small World.” It’s kitsch, via and thru. Is it rock? Solely the widest attainable definition of the music would make it qualify. There’s some guitar method within the background of the observe, however that’s additionally true of loads of different songs that aren’t rock ‘n’ roll.

Elvis Presley put out ‘Can’t Assist Falling in Love’ on the similar time

Greater than something, the explanation “Rock-A-Hula Baby” fails is as a result of it was clearly penned by songwriters who thought the mere concept of including some rock to an imitation Hawaiian music was sufficient to make a music good. It’s not. Elvis was probably the greatest vocalists ever, however he’s barely making an attempt right here.

What makes the music appear worse is that it was launched alongside “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” That ballad is timeless, which is why numerous singers throughout numerous genres have coated it. “Rock-A-Hula Baby,” in distinction, is the results of a short-lived development.

A B-movie actor ‘Rock-A-Hula Baby’

The observe was co-written by Dolores Fuller, an actor from of Ed Wooden motion pictures who additionally gave us different embarrassing tracks like “Do the Clam.” Throughout an interview with Elvis Australia, she was requested what it was mislead work with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “Well, you didn’t really work with Elvis,” he mentioned. “For those who have been fortunate, I used to be invited to the set, after they have been capturing one among my songs. And Elvis was very effectively mannered, he known as me ‘Ma’am.’ And he would come over to me and typically invite me over to some social gathering that was occurring, when he lived over in Bel Air. And typically I’d have lunch with him on the commissary. 

“But mainly you just worked with the publisher,” she mentioned. “And all these teams of writers would submit their songs, and I’m lucky enough to have gotten 12 movies. ‘Rock-A-Hula Baby’ was probably the most important.” Fuller mentioned she tried to make her Elvis songs enjoyable.

With all due respect, the music couldn’t be much less enjoyable.

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