Around our house, whenever an MGM movie starts, if my wife doesn’t say it first, I’ll chime in: “You know, that lion came from the Memphis Zoo.” The lion’s name was Volney, by the way, and the roar was in fact recorded in the old Carnivora building at the zoo. He died in 1944.
In 1965, Memphis bands made their mark on the Billboard charts, with top 5 spots attained by Sam The Sham and the Pharaohs and the Gentrys. Elvis Presley just missed out on the top 10 with “I’m Yours” and “Puppet On A String.” Wilson Pickett came to town and teamed with the folks at Stax for “In The Midnight Hour.”
Citric acid and sodium bicarbonate react with water to produce carbon dioxide and sodium citrate. Toss in some aspirin and a healthy dose of Madison Avenue snake oil, and you have the panacea that launched some of television’s most memorable advertising campaigns.
When the Beatles came to Elvis Presley’s Bel Air home in 1965 for a meeting orchestrated by managers Brian Epstein and Colonel Tom Parker, John Lennon asked if Elvis had any ideas for his next movie project. Elvis said he would probably play a country boy with a guitar who meets a few girls and sings a few songs. Elvis couldn’t keep a straight face long after making that statement, and laughingly explained that the only time one of his films strayed from that format was the only time he came close to losing money on a movie.
For a couple of years there, Sam The Sham was the real deal. Almost in tribute to his name, Sam had the first record to be named Billboard’s number one song of the year which hadn’t actually held the number one position during the year. And it probably won’t come as a surprise that Sam wasn’t even really his name.