Saturday, June 05, 2010

Thomas Chippendale, Fancy Shoes & Elvis is in the Building!

June 5, 1718 - Thomas Chippendale, England, furniture maker, was baptized. "Thomas Chippendale (probably born at Farnley near Otley) was a London cabinet-maker and furniture designer in the mid-Georgian, English Rococo, and Neoclassical styles. In 1754 he published to publish a book of his designs, titled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director. The designs are regarded as establishing the fashion for furniture for that period and were used by many other cabinet makers."

- - -

June 5, 1898: Salvatore Ferragamo, Italian shoemaker, is born. "Salvatore Ferragamo was a Florentine and Italian shoe designer. He worked with many Hollywood stars in the 1920s, before returning to Italy to found the eponymous company making unique hand-made footwear. His scientific and creative approach to shoes spawned many innovations such as the wedge heel and cage heel. Film stars and celebrities continue to patronize his company, which has evolved into a luxury goods empire spanning the world."

- - -

June 5, 1956: Elvis Presley introduces his new single, "Hound Dog", on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements. "Elvis Presley's first, apparently not very successful, appearance in Las Vegas, as an “extra added attraction”, was in the Venus Room of the New Frontier from April 23 through May 6, 1956. Freddie Bell and the Bellboys were the hot act in town, and Elvis went to the Sands to take in their show. Elvis not only enjoyed the show, but also loved their reworking of 'Hound Dog' and asked Freddie if he had any objections to him recording his own version. By May 16 Elvis had added “Hound Dog” to his live performances. The song was done as comic relief, and Presley based the lyrics, which he sometimes changed, and "gyrations" on what he had seen at the Sands. The song always got a big reaction and became the standard closer."

"Presley first performed "Hound Dog" to a nation wide television audience on The Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956, his second appearance with Berle. By this time Scotty Moore had added a guitar solo, and DJ Fontana had added a hot drum roll between verses of the song. Presley appeared for the first time on national television sans guitar. Before his death, Berle told an interviewer that he had told Elvis to leave his guitar backstage. "Let 'em see you, son", advised Uncle Miltie. Presley's movements during the performance were energetic and exaggerated. The reactions of young women in the studio audience were enthusiastic, as shown on the broadcast."

"Over 40,000,000 people saw the performance and the next day controversy exploded. Berle's network received many letters of protest. The various self appointed guardians of public morality attacked Elvis in the press. TV critics began a merciless campaign against Elvis making statements that; he had a "caterwalling voice and nonsense lyrics", he was an "influence on juvenile deliquency", and began using the nickname "Elvis the Pelvis".

- - -


"The Chippendale Period in English Furniture"
By Kate W. Clouston.
Published in London by Debenham & Freebody and Edward Arnold, in 1897.

Although somewhat dated, Clouston's book remains an important early study of the work of Chippendale, Adam, Shearer, Hepplewhite and Sheraton. Clouston’s spidery, intricate drawings perfectly mirror the furniture itself.