Tag Archives: May Music et al

Elvis Presley Album Elvis

Elvis Presley Album Elvis

Hits #1 on May 5, 1956
Happy Anniversary
Elvis Presley album Elvis
album cover photo by William V. “Red” Robertson
Elvis Presley album Elvis

Elvis on the cusp

In early 1956, Elvis’s popularity was, like the Beatles seven years later, about to run wild. No one had coined a term like Elvis-mania, but it could have been that.

Elvis’s 1955 singles (“Baby Let’s Play House” and “I Forgot to Remember to Forget”) with Sam Phillips Sun Records had done well on the country charts.

Elvis Presley album Elvis


Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s new manager, had grand plans and the chutzpah to carry them out. His first move was to have RCA records buy Elvis’s contract from Phillips. It cost RCA $35,000 and with the omniscience of retrospect, we might say that that was quite a good deal for RCA. At the time it was an expensive risk.

Rock and Roll, derived some many sources, was just beginning to make mainstream headway despite mainstream suspicions.  Editorials suggested that the music was immoral, that the music turned teenagers into juvenile delinquents, and that the music was simply devil music. These phobic fears did more to entice than dissuade young people.

On September 9, 1956, Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. The appearance marked, as the Beatles in 1964, a huge step in Elvis’s success. It was on that show that the cameras kept the image above Elvis’s swaying waist.

Elvis Presley album Elvis

Elvis Presley

RCA had released his first album, Elvis, on March 23, 1956. The album had 12 songs, some that Elvis had done with Sun Records before moving to RCA as well as with RCA after the move. Elvis composed none of the songs. In fact, a different person or group wrote each song.

The album hit #1 on May 5, 1956, the first rock and roll album ever to make it to the top of the charts.

Side one:

  1. Blue Suede Shoes
  2. 2. I’m Counting on You
  3. 3. I Got a Woman
  4. 4. One-Sided Love Affair
  5. 5. I Love You Because
  6. 6. Just Because
Side 2:

  1. Tutti Frutti
  2. Tryin’ to Get to You
  3. I’m Gona Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)
  4. I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’)
  5. Blue Moon
  6. Money Honey

The entire album clocked in at 28:03 seconds (the Beatles “Meet the Beatles” album totaled 26:43). Unlike what the Beatles would begin to do with pop albums with their 1965 Rubber Soul, much more a unified album, Elvis Presley became a collection of singles. That’s where financial success was.

And the album was a success.

Elvis Presley album Elvis


             According to Wikipedia The album spent ten weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart in 1956, the first rock and roll album ever to make it to the top of the charts and the first million-selling album of that genre. In 2003, it was ranked number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.  

Elvis Presley album Elvis

Hoboken Division Nancy France

Hoboken Division Nancy France

Arts  & Crafts

Hoboken Division Nancy France

 I should know better because I’ve leaned the lesson too many times: if an album cover is really good (and Arts & Crafts is!), then buy it!

My wife and I were in Strasbourg, France. I saw a record store…

Hoboken Division Nancy France

…and walked in. Not enough time to browse, but Hoboken Division’s Arts & Crafts album caught my eye. I took a picture. At least I’d remember the name.

Hoboken Division Nancy France

Luckily for me (in so many ways) it was 2016 and locating the band on Facebook was easy as well as finding…

         …its web site

         …or its Twitter feed

          …was easy. And of course, the band has a video presence on YouTube…

Hoboken Division Nancy France

Hoboken Division

Who is Hoboken Division? The duo of Marie Rieffly and Mathieu Cazanave is from Nancy, France (Non inultus premor) and, like bands from all over Europe have done for decades, fell in love with American Delta blues. And like good bands everywhere, they’ve taken that sound, added their own fine musical sensibilities, and created something that sounds both now and then.

This is straightforward music.  No gimmicks. Cazanave’s guitar can slide and growl. Rieffly’s voice does either as well. She’ll boost in harmonica, too. The music can be thick, but not lumpy; smooth, not slick. 

Mix a taste of RL Burnside,  a splash of Left Lane Cruiser, a dollop of Iggy Pop, a teaspoon or two of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and a bucket of unbleached organic Hoboken Division. Don’t be shy. 

Hoboken Division formed in 2011 and have played gigs throughout France and the rest of Europe since then. Fingers crossed that they’ll get across the pond to American shores someday soon.

Until then, check out their music on YouTube or, better yet, support their music through their site. And the next time someone clichés that “they don’t make music like that anymore,” tell them that you have two words for them:

Hoboken Division Nancy France

Non inultus premor

BTW…The motto Non inultus premor is Latin for “I’m not touched with impunity”—a reference to the thistle. Perhaps we can describe Hoboken Division’s music the same way.

Hoboken Division Nancy France

How Hoboken

In a 2014 interview with the It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine  Marie explained the origin of the band’s name:  When we decided to get serious with this band affair we wrote dozens of random cool words and names on a piece of paper.  It was covered with words that we liked for their sound, or with places that could refer to something…  In the middle there was “Hoboken Railroad Division”, which we both loved.  ‘Railroad’ only lasted a few weeks before we realized nobody here in France, ourselves included, was able to pronounce it correctly!  The name is a reference to the Hoboken terminal in New Jersey, where through out history thousands of people have met and mixed, people from the south running away from the Dustball in the early century were put in there when they arrived, people coming from Europe…  It was also was a port of departure for he GI’s during both World Wars.  They had this maxim: “Heaven, Hell or Hoboken for Christmas”.  We like to think that they brought the blues to Europe!  We really like the history of the place and it’s a powerful symbolic place for the music we love.

Hoboken Division Nancy France


Their second album release was the The Mesmerizing Mix Up of The Diligent John Henry. Les Disques de la Face Cachée released it on on November 10th, 2017.

Check out “All Them Black Crows.”

A review from the Rock Made In France site said (google-translated):  …it breathes the hot breath of the Delta and the grease of the funds of garage. The bottleneck wipes the handle in long, rough come and go beaten by a tribal rhythm and enhanced by a female voice never vulgar, always inhabited. 

Hoboken Division Nancy France

And while working on a third album, the band released “Cookies and Milk” single in December 2019.

Hoboken Division Nancy France