The King of Rock and Roll started his film career with 1956’s Love Me Tender. Earlier that year, his first RCA single “Heartbreak Hotel” became a number one hit in the United States, catapulting him to fame. This 1956 recording of the artist captures him during the whirlwind of his early successes.
As we just wrote, 2001 director Stanley Kubrick had a love of gadgets — particularly tape recorders. The filmmaker owned several, unlike New Yorker writer Jeremy Bernstein, who interviewed Kubrick in 1965. Kubrick took over the chat by grabbing one of his own recorders and started taking. It’s a rare portrait of a private artist as he discusses his childhood, working relationships, and more.
In 1961, Judy Garland performed the Larry Shay, Mark Fisher, and Joe Goodwin standard “When You’re Smiling” at her famous Carnegie Hall concert — once dubbed “the greatest night in show business history.” But she apparently recorded her signature song (one of them, anyway) in 1951 for CBS Radio.
This one’s for you, King Kong fans:
This historically significant and extremely rare audio recording was made by one of the early pioneers of documentary filmmaking: Ernest B. Schoedsack, co-director of KING KONG (1933). Schoedsack was considered one of the finest cameramen in early Hollywood. His “tape letter” was made for film historian George Turner sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s. (This is an edited version of it. I do own the complete transcript.) This fascinating oral document gives us a firsthand account of the Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack adventures. It also benefits from the contributions of Schoedsack’s wife, Ruth Rose, and actor Robert Armstrong, who tells an anecdote about the making of Kong.