Sixties City presents a wide-ranging series of articles on all aspects of the Sixties, penned by the creator of the iconic 60s music paper Mersey Beat
1967 MGM film, directed by Norman Taurog and produced by Judd Bernard and
Irwin Winkler. Elvis’ 24th movie was based on a novel by Mark Brandel and
scripted by Jo Heims. Although the film was set in London and Amsterdam,
it was actually filmed entirely on MGM’s Culver City back lot. Elvis starred
as Guy Lambert, a singer who is touring Europe with his band. While appearing
in London he meets a young heiress, Jill Conway (Annette Day), who falls
for him. Her shifty uncle, Gerald Waverly (John Williams) is after her inheritance
and, wishing to break up his niece’s romance with Guy, sends her off to
Amsterdam without realising that the city is Guy’s next port of call with
his band. Waverley also has an accomplice, Claire Dunham (Yvonne Romain),
who tries to romance Guy with ulterior motives. While Guy and Jill find
themselves on the same boat crossing the English Channel, they become embroiled
in further problems. Two jewel thieves hide their loot in Guy’s luggage
and three trench-coated detectives then pursue him and Jill.
Despite the attempted murders and robberies, the film was something of a comedy. It was also a spy spoof, which led Elvis to comment, “I wasn’t exactly a James Bond in this movie, but then no-one ever asked Sean Connery to sing a song while dodging bullets!” The movie’s working title was ‘You’re Killing Me.’
Co-producer Judd Bernard found the 18-year-old Annette Day working in her parents' antique shop in the Portobello Road and hired her to co-star with Elvis, even though she had never acted before. This was also to be her only film appearance. Elvis presented her with a white Mustang convertible that she had to leave behind with her brother in America when she returned to England.
The other romantic interest, Yvonne Romain, was the wife of songwriter Leslie Bricusse and her first American film was ‘The Swinger’ with Ann-Margret. The two jewel thieves were Australian Chips Rafferty as Archie Brown and Liverpool actor Norman Rossington as Arthur Babcock. Rossington became the only actor to appear in films by both Elvis and The Beatles as he originally appeared in The Beatles' debut movie ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ The three comic detectives are played by Harry, Herbert and Sylvester Wiere.
‘Double Trouble' opened in April 1967, co-billed in America with ‘Three
Bites of the Apple'. Nine songs were recorded for the film, but only eight
were used, with ‘It Won’t Be Long’ cut from the finished print. The songs
'Double Trouble' (by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman), featured in the opening credits and performed by Elvis is a London nightclub.
'Baby If You’ll Give Me All Your Love' (by Joy Byers), also performed in a London nightclub.
‘Could I Fall In Love’ (by Randy Starr), sung to Annette Day in an apartment.
‘Long Legged Girl (With The Short Dress On)', (by J. Leslie McFarland and Winfield Scott), sung on a ship between Britain and the Continent.
‘City By Night’ (by Bill Grant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye), sung in a night club in Bruges, Belgium.
‘Old MacDonald’ (arranged by Randy Starr), sung in the back of a pick-up truck crowded with chickens.
‘I Love Only One Girl’ (by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett), sung at an Antwerp street festival.
‘There Is So Much World To See’ (by Sid Tepper and Ben Weisman), sung to Annette Day in an Antwerp hotel.
The number recorded, but not used, was ‘It Won’t Be Long’ by Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman.
The soundtrack album of ‘Double Trouble’ was issued on RCA LPM 3787 in June 1967 and, while all previous Elvis albums had entered the top twenty, this release only reached No.47 in the Billboard chart. Elvis himself was aware of how lacklustre this particular soundtrack was and, disappointed, he made a point of turning up late for the sessions at Radio Recorders.
A colleague pointed out, "Being forced to record 'Old MacDonald' was the final indignity, and Elvis left, forcing the movie company to use an incomplete, seventh take as the master".
The musicians were:
Elvis Presley (vocals), Scotty Moore, Tiny Timbrell, Mike Deasy (guitars), Pete Drake (steel guitar), Bob Moore (bass), D.J. Fontana, Buddy Harman (drums), Floyd Cramer (piano), Charlie McCoy (harmonica), Boots Randolph (sax), Michael Henderson, Butch Parker, Richard Noel (horns), The Jordanaires (backing vocals). A soundtrack CD, with bonus tracks, was issued in October 2004.
|Bill Harry attended the Liverpool College of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon and made the arrangements for Brian Epstein to visit The Cavern, where he saw The Beatles for the first time. Bill was a member of 'The Dissenters' and the founder and editor of 'Mersey Beat', the iconic weekly music newspaper that documented the early Sixties music scene in the Liverpool area and is possibly best known for being the first periodical to feature a local band called 'The Beatles'. He has worked as a high powered publicist, doing PR for acts such as Suzi Quatro, Free, The Arrows and Hot Chocolate and has managed press campaigns for record labels such as CBS, EMI, Polydor. Bill is the critically acclaimed author of a large number of books about The Beatles and the 60s era including 'The Beatles Who's Who', 'The Best Years of the Beatles' and the Fab Four's 'Encyclopedia' series. He has appeared on 'Good Morning America' and has received a Gold Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.|
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