Girl Happy

Elvis Presley

RCA, 1965

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Girl Happy remains, for me, the most memorable movie in the Elvis Presley catalogue. Why, you ask?  Sometime during my fifteenth year on this earth, I conjured up the courage to actually ask a girl out on a date. The gods must have been in a good mood that day, as she agreed. What better place to go than to the newest Elvis Presley movie playing at the Park Movie House in Woonsocket, R.I.? The movie was Girl Happy. While the girl, whom I would take to my prom several years later, and the Park are long gone, Girl Happy retains a wonderful place in my memory bank of life.

This album, and the accompanying film, was an excellent outing for Elvis. The movie actually made sense; Elvis was a singer who was sent to Florida to look after his boss’ daughter, who was there for spring break. Shelley Fabares played the daughter, and while the chemistry between her and Elvis may not have been of the Ann-Margret caliber, I do consider her to be number two on my list of Elvis’ romantic movie interests. Shelley could act, she could sing, and she looked fabulous. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The soundtrack from the movie was issued March 1, 1965 and reached number eight on the national charts, earning Elvis another gold record award. The music is strong and works well within the context of the film and on its own as a standalone album.

The title track is a fine, uptempo pop number that still makes a person smile forty-plus years later. Elvis is in fine vocal form, as he belts out what could have been a successful single release. It is vocals that like this one by which Elvis should be remembered.

In the film, “Spring Fever” was a duet between Shelley Fabares and Elvis. The album release contained just an Elvis vocal. However, the duet was superior and did not surface as an official release until it was added as a CD bonus song decades later.

Four more tracks conclude the first side of the original LP release. “Startin’ Tonight,” “Wolf Call,” and even “Fort Lauderdale Chamber Of Commerce” are acceptable pop songs. Elvis seems to be inspired and really trying; the vocals are crisp and the tracks are well-produced. “Do Not Disturb” is an excellent ballad in the Presley tradition. All in all, this six song set remains one of the best on any of his movie soundtracks.

There were two singles released from the album, and both probably deserved better than the reaction they received from the record buying public. “Do The Clam” barely reached the top twenty for Elvis. But the song is not as bad as its title implies. It was a bongo (yes, bongo) driven, uptempo song that nevertheless managed to work. It even came with a picture sleeve that is quite rare today. “Puppet On A String” may not have been as strong but was certainly better than many of the mid-‘60s songs that graced Elvis’ soundtrack albums. Elvis slows the tempo down and just allows his smooth baritone voice to carry the cut along.

Girl Happy remains one of the better Elvis Presley movies, ranking just below Viva Las Vegas. The soundtrack is also excellent throughout and holds up well. So for an enjoyable evening, grab some popcorn and watch Girl Happy. Better yet, find a date and watch it together.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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