Fred Wolfe was the first person to correctly answer Elvis Trivialities #2. Answering only eighteen minutes after I posed the question, Fred becomes the inaugural member of The Mystery Train’s Night Riders – a priceless honor that earns him a set of bragging rights. And the answer is…
Elvis was referring to Jackie Wilson when he said the following:
I heard this guy in Las Vegas [with] Billy Ward and His Dominoes. There’s a guy out there who was doing a take-off on me, ‘Don’t Be Cruel,’ and he tried so hard, until he got much better, boy, much better than that record of mine.”
Source: The Million Dollar Quartet, Elvis Presley, Colin Escott (liner notes), BMG Music, New York, 1990.
By 1957, Jackie Wilson had left Billy Ward’s Dominoes to pursue a solo career. He earned much success, with hits that included “Lonely Teardrops” (1958) and “Higher and Higher” (1967).
As Thomas commented yesterday, Elvis impersonating Jackie impersonating Elvis is one of the highlights of the December 4, 1956, “Million Dollar Quartet” jam session.
Elvis went on to repeat part of that impersonation when performing for the third and final time on the Ed Sullivan Show a month later. His January 6, 1957, appearance is also notable as the one where TV cameras shot him only from the waist up, a move that just increased his legend.
Thanks for playing, everyone. Congratulations to Fred.