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

Clambake - Elvis Presley



Clambake - Elvis Presley A United Artists release. Directed by Arthur N. Nadel and Ladislav Smocek, and scripted by Arthur Browne Jr, it was given a national release in America on 22nd November 1967.
The original title for the movie was ‘Too Big for Texas’ and the cast included Elvis as Scott Heyward, Shelley Fabares as Dianne Carter, Will Hutchins as Tom Wilson, Bill Bixby as James J. Jameson lll, Gary Merrill as Sam Burton and James Gregory as Duster Hayward.

Elvis starred as Scott Heyward, son of an oil millionaire, who wants to find a girl who loves him for himself and not because he is the heir to a fortune. In a ‘Prince And The Pauper’ theme he swaps places with a water-ski instructor. Scott meets Tom Wilson, the ski instructor, at a hamburger stand and when a girl pays attention to Scott because of his flash red convertible he bemoans the fact that women choose him, not for himself, but because they know he’s rich. He tells Tom, “I’d like to know it’s myself, not my car, not money.” Tom says, “That’s the kind of problem I’d like to have, so anytime you want to switch places, just say the word.”

Scott takes up the offer and becomes ‘Tom’ and the real Tom becomes ‘Scott’ and begins to enjoy the wealthy life style, spending lots of money and moving into Scott’s luxury penthouse while the real Scott goes to work in the hotel as a ski instructor. There he meets Dianne, a beautiful girl who is after a rich husband.

She has set her sights on James J. Jameson, a power boat enthusiast who also owns a pyjama factory, and asks Scott to teach her to ski in her plan to ensnare the pyjama millionaire. Scott’s father, Duster, doesn’t approve of the situation with his son’s change of lifestyle but decides not to interfere. When Scott sees that Jameson has begun to take an interest in Dianne he becomes jealous.

The only way he believes he can impress her is if he beats Jameson in a power boat race. However, in his current state of penury, he just hasn’t got the cash to be able to enter. Then he meets boat builder Sam Burton who developed a new design for a power boat which, unfortunately, the previous year, literally ripped apart during the race.
Scott goes into partnership with Sam and decides to repair the craft. Scott also has expertise as a chemical engineer and invents a resin capable of holding the boat together at high speeds. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have time for a test run before the actual race, so he is taking his life in his hands by entering.

The climax of the film takes place at the Orange Bowl International Power Boat Race and, naturally, Scott wins it– and the girl. In one scene Shelley Fabares, who had appeared with Elvis in ‘Girl Happy’ and ‘Spinout’, loses her bikini top while swimming, a reprise of a similar scene with Joan Blackwell in ‘Blue Hawaii.’

Elvis was to say that Shelley was his favourite co-star out of all his movies (but what about Ann-Margret?). There is a guest appearance by Flipper the dolphin, who starred in three television series for NBC (the dolphin’s 'real' name was Susie). Jack Good, the man behind several TV shows ranging from ‘Oh Boy’ to ‘’Shindig’, appears as Mr Hathaway, the hotel manager. Although the film is set in Miami, Elvis filmed all his scenes in California.
Clambake - Elvis Presley

Clambake - Elvis Presley Shelley Fabares
There are only seven songs in the movie:

‘Clambake’, (written by Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman), sung in the opening and closing credits;
‘Who Needs Money?’ (written by Randy Starr), sung by Elvis on a motorcycle on his way to Miami Beach. He also sings it in a duet with Will Hutchins, although Hutchins lip-synched to the voice of Roy Walker of the Jordanaires;
‘A House That Has Everything’ (written by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett), sung to Shelley Fabares on a beach;
‘Confidence’ (written by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett), sung in a playground to a group of children;
‘You Don’t Know Me’ (written by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker) sung in a ski shop;
‘Hey Hey Hey’ (written by Joy Byers), sung in a ski shop;
‘The Girl I Never Loved’ (written by Randy Starr), sung on a beach.

Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman penned another number for the movie, ‘How Can You Lose What You Never Had?’ but it was cut from the final print.

The musicians were: Elvis, vocals; The Jordanaires, Millie Kirkham, backing vocals; Scotty Moore, Chip Young, Harold Bradley, guitar; Charlie McCoy, guitar and harmonica; Pete Drake, steel guitar; Bob Moore, bass; Floyd Cramer, Hoyt Hawkins, piano; D.J.Fontana, Buddy Harman, drums; Norman Ray, saxophone. The album was issued on RCA LPM-3893 on 19th November 1967 containing the seven tracks from the film, together with five bonus tracks.
Side One: ‘Guitar Man’; ‘Clambake’; ‘Who Needs Money’; ‘A House That Has Everything’; ‘Confidence’; ‘Hey Hey Hey’.
Side Two: ‘You Don’t Know Me’; ‘The Girl I Never Loved’; ‘How Can You Lose What You Never Had’; ‘Big Boss Man’; ‘Singing Tree’; ‘Just Call Me Lonesome’.
The soundtrack album reached No 40 in the Billboard chart and remained in the chart for 14 weeks. There was also a four track E.P. ‘Clambake’ issued on MTR-244 in 1968. The tracks were ‘Clambake’; ‘Hey Hey Hey’; ‘You Don’t Know Me’; ‘A House That Has Everything’.
Clambake - Elvis Presley

Also see Sixties City pages: Elvis Films





Mersey Beat Magazine 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.


Article Bill Harry 2017               Original Graphics SixtiesCity 2017

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