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Heartbreak Hotel

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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Staff Writer | March 15, 1993
When George Kelly took over the helm of the Peabody Court last August, he inherited a business that might have been more accurately named Heartbreak Hotel.The grand Cathedral Street hotel, which set a new standard for luxury in Baltimore when it opened in 1985, was clearly down on its luck.Two owners had tried and failed to operate it at a profit, and Mr. Kelly's company had just bought it from a bank that had no interest in operating a hotel. Maintenance had been neglected since the award-winning $12 million renovation that transformed it from an apartment house and gave it the most acclaimed -- and most expensive -- restaurant in the city, The Conservatory.
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NEWS
By Glenn Gamboa and Glenn Gamboa,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 16, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Elvis Presley is crooning over a synthesized dance beat. Again. "A little less conversation, a little more action," he sings, as another van filled with tourists rolls off toward the Graceland mansion. The song blares all around Memphis. It greets guests checking into Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel -- which is, of course, down at the end of Lonely Street. It greets shoppers cruising the Graceland Crossing for discount souvenirs. It greets diners at Elvis Presley's Memphis Restaurant, where it helps the Elvis-approved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches go down a bit easier.
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FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | July 31, 1997
What if Elvis Presley had stayed Elvis Presley and never become Elvis, the Vegas headliner who frittered away gobs of talent to become a kitsch icon? That's the question asked in "Heartbreak Hotel" (noon-2 p.m., USA), a surprisingly effective little film that's purely, and unabashedly, a fantasy.David Keith plays Elvis, and the plot has him kidnapped by high-schooler Johnny Wolfe (Charlie Schlatter), who's convinced a real-life encounter with Elvis is the only thing that will shake his mom (Tuesday Weld)
NEWS
October 22, 1999
Thomas Durden,79, who wrote the lyrics to one of Elvis Presley's early big hits, "Heartbreak Hotel," died Sunday at home in Houghton Lake, Mich. Mr. Durden met Presley as a result of the song. Presley called him "sir" and sent him Christmas cards to show his appreciation, said his stepson, John White.He co-wrote "Heartbreak Hotel" with Mae Boren Axton of Nashville, Tenn., who died in 1997. For reasons never explained, Presley also was given writing credit even though it was the work of the others.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | August 16, 1997
Gosh knows, there's been enough Elvis on TV this week to keep all but the most rabid fans happy. But if you've managed to avoid the deluge so far, or if you're trying to decide which is the best program to watch today, set your dials to MPT.The documentary "Elvis '56" (8 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., Channels 22 and 67) captures the King at his undisputed best, at the beginning. Elvis in 1956 was practically an unstoppable force: At 21, he had his first No. 1 hit ("Heartbreak Hotel") and his next four ("I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog" and "Love Me Tender")
NEWS
October 22, 1999
Thomas Durden,79, who wrote the lyrics to one of Elvis Presley's early big hits, "Heartbreak Hotel," died Sunday at home in Houghton Lake, Mich. Mr. Durden met Presley as a result of the song. Presley called him "sir" and sent him Christmas cards to show his appreciation, said his stepson, John White.He co-wrote "Heartbreak Hotel" with Mae Boren Axton of Nashville, Tenn., who died in 1997. For reasons never explained, Presley also was given writing credit even though it was the work of the others.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | September 27, 1993
"Elvis died the day he went into the army."That was John Lennon's reaction to the news of Elvis Presley's death. But in a sense, it also encapsulated the way most rock and roll fans felt about Presley's work after 1958.Until that point, Elvis clearly was king. From the time he first entered the national charts, in 1955 with "Baby Let's Play House," he made complete hash of the dividing lines built into the music marketplace. "Heartbreak Hotel," for instance, topped both the pop and country listings, and climbed to No. 5 on the R&B charts.
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | May 9, 1997
YORK, Pa. -- Elvis sat here -- on this black leather seat on this red-and-white 1956 Harley-Davidson that he bought in Memphis a few days after recording "Heartbreak Hotel." Elvis gripped these very handlebars and rode around Memphis innocent of the strange notion that a motorcycle he bought for a few bucks down and $43 a month would be displayed under glass in a museum like an Egyptian sarcophagus.On cue and with television cameras rolling, four Harley-Davidson guys -- splendid in abundant facial hair, black leather and tattoos -- roll the bike into position in front of a black curtain, a spot suitable for the "Pieta."
NEWS
By Glenn Gamboa and Glenn Gamboa,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 16, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Elvis Presley is crooning over a synthesized dance beat. Again. "A little less conversation, a little more action," he sings, as another van filled with tourists rolls off toward the Graceland mansion. The song blares all around Memphis. It greets guests checking into Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel -- which is, of course, down at the end of Lonely Street. It greets shoppers cruising the Graceland Crossing for discount souvenirs. It greets diners at Elvis Presley's Memphis Restaurant, where it helps the Elvis-approved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches go down a bit easier.
NEWS
January 1, 1998
Floyd Cramer, 64, who played piano on Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and popularized the distinctive "slip note" style on instrumental hits such as "Last Date," died yesterday in Nashville, Tenn.1989 Mr. Cramer was diagnosed with cancer six months ago, said his longtime manager, Gerald Purcell.He recorded more than 50 solo albums and in 1960 had a hit with "Last Date," which became an instrumental classic. Other hits included "San Antonio Rose," "Fancy Pants" and "On the Rebound."With guitarist Chet Atkins, saxophonist Boots Randolph and others, Mr. Cramer is credited with helping create the "Nashville sound," a smooth style sometimes called "countrypolitan," that helped lure pop audiences to country music in the 1950s and 1960s.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | August 16, 1997
Gosh knows, there's been enough Elvis on TV this week to keep all but the most rabid fans happy. But if you've managed to avoid the deluge so far, or if you're trying to decide which is the best program to watch today, set your dials to MPT.The documentary "Elvis '56" (8 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., Channels 22 and 67) captures the King at his undisputed best, at the beginning. Elvis in 1956 was practically an unstoppable force: At 21, he had his first No. 1 hit ("Heartbreak Hotel") and his next four ("I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog" and "Love Me Tender")
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | July 31, 1997
What if Elvis Presley had stayed Elvis Presley and never become Elvis, the Vegas headliner who frittered away gobs of talent to become a kitsch icon? That's the question asked in "Heartbreak Hotel" (noon-2 p.m., USA), a surprisingly effective little film that's purely, and unabashedly, a fantasy.David Keith plays Elvis, and the plot has him kidnapped by high-schooler Johnny Wolfe (Charlie Schlatter), who's convinced a real-life encounter with Elvis is the only thing that will shake his mom (Tuesday Weld)
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | May 9, 1997
YORK, Pa. -- Elvis sat here -- on this black leather seat on this red-and-white 1956 Harley-Davidson that he bought in Memphis a few days after recording "Heartbreak Hotel." Elvis gripped these very handlebars and rode around Memphis innocent of the strange notion that a motorcycle he bought for a few bucks down and $43 a month would be displayed under glass in a museum like an Egyptian sarcophagus.On cue and with television cameras rolling, four Harley-Davidson guys -- splendid in abundant facial hair, black leather and tattoos -- roll the bike into position in front of a black curtain, a spot suitable for the "Pieta."
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | September 27, 1993
"Elvis died the day he went into the army."That was John Lennon's reaction to the news of Elvis Presley's death. But in a sense, it also encapsulated the way most rock and roll fans felt about Presley's work after 1958.Until that point, Elvis clearly was king. From the time he first entered the national charts, in 1955 with "Baby Let's Play House," he made complete hash of the dividing lines built into the music marketplace. "Heartbreak Hotel," for instance, topped both the pop and country listings, and climbed to No. 5 on the R&B charts.
BUSINESS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Staff Writer | March 15, 1993
When George Kelly took over the helm of the Peabody Court last August, he inherited a business that might have been more accurately named Heartbreak Hotel.The grand Cathedral Street hotel, which set a new standard for luxury in Baltimore when it opened in 1985, was clearly down on its luck.Two owners had tried and failed to operate it at a profit, and Mr. Kelly's company had just bought it from a bank that had no interest in operating a hotel. Maintenance had been neglected since the award-winning $12 million renovation that transformed it from an apartment house and gave it the most acclaimed -- and most expensive -- restaurant in the city, The Conservatory.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | May 16, 1993
Los Angeles--The taps pour real beer. But the stuff in the glass on the bar in front of where Norm sits and drinks and drinks and drinks is the non-alcoholic kind.The yellow-and-red Wurlitzer jukebox plays real tunes: "The In Crowd" by Dobie Gray, "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" by the Platters and "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline. But the stairs behind it are fake and go nowhere. There is no Melville's fine seafood restaurant upstairs, as the sign promises.
NEWS
April 11, 1997
Mae Boren Axton,82, who co-wrote the Elvis Presley hit "Heartbreak Hotel" and was the mother of singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton, died Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. Her songs were recorded by such country stars as Patsy Cline, Faron Young, Conway Twitty and Hank Snow.She also was widely known in Nashville as a guardian angel to struggling songwriters and musicians, helping to find them a record or publishing deal.Among those she helped early in their careers were Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Mel Tillis.
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