black velvet - alanah myles

Posted in the Elvis Forum

lalala_lalala

Ukraine

#1 Apr 17, 2007
hi there

i was wondering if someone could help me understand the meaning of the song and its relevance to elvis.(i know the song is about him). for example, what is the meaning of black velvet? whats it got to do with the king?
ita

Asker, Norway

#2 May 3, 2007
I wondered this myself too.
The lyrics "little boy's smile," and "slow southern style," whose song, "love me tender, has 'em cryin' in the aisle" makes a very vivid depiction of Elvis, I think. The maker of the song also said that the line "a new religion that will bring you to your knees" was crucial, because he compared Elvis a lot to Southern fundamentalist preachers.
From what I've gathered, the "black velvet" is referring to black velvet paintings.
Black velvet paintings are very common in rural America and there are a lot of black velvet paintings depicting Elvis. My own opinion too, Elvis' voice is a little like "black velvet", I've always thought black velvet could also be referring to his voice ^-^;
daddy

Philadelphia, PA

#3 Nov 22, 2007
black velvet is also a drink
myself

Greece

#4 Dec 29, 2007
Modern artists revitalize the kitsch tradition of black velvet painting.

Garish images of Elvis, voluptuous pin-up girls, jungle fantasies and religious scenes are common themes in black velvet paintings, a kitsch tradition that gained popularity from the 1950s to the 1970s. Frequently fluorescent and often seen as the ultimate in bad taste, these paintings, peddled at border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico, are the focus of a new art exhibition in Los Angeles at Self Help Graphics. "Black Velvet Kruise" brings together black velvet classics, as well as new works on black velvet by an influential group of contemporary artists. Artists from Mexico, as well as Anglo artists from Los Angeles, are ironically reclaiming the art of black velvet painting and flaunting its kitsch appeal in modern reinterpretations, including some digitally generated works. The paintings are for sale, and range from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars.

Though it's often omitted from art history, curator Christina Ochoa says black velvet painting goes back to the 14th century, when Marco Polo found samples of velvet paintings in Kashmir. The popularity of American black velvet painting can be traced to the work of one man known as the "American Gauguin" -- Edgar Leeteg, a native of Sacramento, California, who lived and painted in Tahiti from 1933-to-1953. Leeteg's vast output of thousands of black velvet paintings served as the inspiration for imitators who flocked to create a vast industry churning out a form of art that would be indelibly associated with tourism. Many of Leeteg's works were purchased by navy personnel based in Hawaii, who would return to San Diego, bringing Leeteg nudes and commission Mexican painters in Tijuana to make similar portraits of their girlfriends in black velvet.

But why would contemporary artists choose a medium considered by some to be so tacky? Ochoa says that many artists appreciate the lush texture and depth of contrast of black velvet, which makes paintings seem to "glow" with an inner light. In addition, many contemporary artists, like Los Angeles artist Christina Parducci, enjoy the "low-brow" kitsch appeal of velvet. Parducci has five paintings in the show, all of which resemble tiny fragments of Old Master works by painters like Velasquez, Caravaggio, de Vinci, and Sergeant, which have been blown up in scale. Each of her paintings features a baroque and intricately rendered gold frame, which she has painted illusionistically, meaning painting that deceives the eye directly, on the velvet. Parducci uses velvet because she wants the frames to "pop off the page and seem hyper real. I want the fakeness to work so the viewer thinks it's real, then realizes it's fake."

Daniel Marquez, from Juarez, Mexico, started out as a black velvet painter who specialized in Elvis paintings, sometimes cranking out as many as ten in one day. Now an established artist, he paints on all kinds of different surfaces, but recently started to show his contemporary images on black velvet. Internationally-known artist Sandow Birk began painting on black velvet in the late '80s, after traveling extensively in Latin American and seeing lots of works on black velvet. Since he was painting images of Mexico and Latin America, he decided it would make sense to paint images of Mexico and Latin America using the techniques of Mexican velvet painting. When he returned to LA, he continued to use the medium because he says it worked perfectly for painting nighttime images of Los Angeles, including gas stations, 7-11s, drive by shootings, drug deals, bars, and other nighttime scenes. Birk's paintings in the "Black Velvet Kruise" show include a 10-foot across LA street scene called "LA Drive By," and two paintings of local bar scenes.
pjotr

Germany

#5 Nov 14, 2008
Song Information
The words "black velvet" refer to either Elvis himself (as his likeness is usually painted on a black velvet canvas) or his voice. Black velvet is described as a "new religion that'll bring y'all to your knees". The chorus talks about "black velvet in that little boy's smile; black velvet with that slow, southern, style" and the end of the first verse claims that "The boy could sing, knew how to move, everything, " and that "he'd leave you longing for [black velvet]".

While the first verse discuss the beginning of Elvis' career - "Mama's dancing, baby on her shoulders" - the second talks about the height of his career - "Mama's baby, in the heart of every schoolgirl; Love Me Tender leaves 'em crying in the aisles". The final verse references his death - "in a flash he was gone; it happened so soon".
jebiz86

Okotoks, Canada

#6 Apr 10, 2009
ok some of you guys are way off! Black velvet is refering to a shirt that was given to Elvis by the director shortly after shooting his first movie. Those who knew Elvis personally said that velvet sport shirt was one of his favorites and wore it quite often.

You guys were right though, the song does tell the story of Elvis. Menphis being the place he lived...
Lee

Los Angeles, CA

#7 Apr 23, 2009
ita wrote:
I wondered this myself too.
The lyrics "little boy's smile," and "slow southern style," whose song, "love me tender, has 'em cryin' in the aisle" makes a very vivid depiction of Elvis, I think. The maker of the song also said that the line "a new religion that will bring you to your knees" was crucial, because he compared Elvis a lot to Southern fundamentalist preachers.
From what I've gathered, the "black velvet" is referring to black velvet paintings.
Black velvet paintings are very common in rural America and there are a lot of black velvet paintings depicting Elvis. My own opinion too, Elvis' voice is a little like "black velvet", I've always thought black velvet could also be referring to his voice ^-^;
I think "black velvet" was a reference to his beautiful black hair.
jonathan

Cape Town, South Africa

#8 Aug 17, 2009
i heard its about a mother that was a stripper and her boy walked in on one of hr shows ?
Nikki

Fort Smith, AR

#9 Dec 23, 2009
I think that Black Velvet could possiably mean many differnt things his Hair the black velvet paintings I didnt hear the shirt one but its a good one I think when you think of Elvis me Personally think of his Hair and the paintings so when I hear Black velvet in the song knowing its about Elvis pictures of him Painted on the Black Velvet and his Jet black mind I say PERFECT hair pops into my head Great song love it so much!
Karen

Baton Rouge, LA

#10 Aug 28, 2010
I thought the term,"Black Velvet", had a reference to Elvis's mother.
Elfan Philadelpa Pa3474

Philadelphia, PA

#11 Nov 8, 2010
I believe "Black Velvet" is in referance to his voice Love me tender leaves them crying in the aisles, a referance to the movie, when he dies at the end, we were all left crying in the aisles of the theater at the death of our idol, in a flash it happened so soon, his untimely death at 42.
Charley29

Hove, UK

#12 Apr 21, 2011
Black velvet was the name of his guitar
nina

Ottawa, Canada

#13 Jun 21, 2011
Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell
Jimmy Rogers on the Victrola up high
Mama's dancin' with baby on her shoulder
The sun is settin' like molasses in the sky
The boy could sing, knew how to move, everything
Always wanting more, he'd leave you longing for

Chorus:
Black velvet and that little boy's smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that'll bring ya to your knees
Black velvet if you please

Up in Memphis the music's like a heatwave
White lightening, bound to drive you wild
Mama's baby's in the heart of every school girl
"Love me tender" leaves 'em cryin' in the aisle
The way he moved, it was a sin, so sweet and true
Always wanting more, he'd leave you longing for

chorus

Every word of every song that he sang was for you
In a flash he was gone, it happened so soon, what could
you do?

(Solo)

chorus repeats 2x

If you please, if you please, if you please

__________

Jimmy Rodgers was Gladys' favorite singer, she was also locally known for her own sensual dance style, so this verse is self evident

Black velvet is a reference to several things, in particular that Elvis on black velvet would symbolically stand for anything low class and tasteless, also the whiskey - many think the family left Missippie because Vernon was moonshining, also references Elvis voice, silky and sultryness

the song emphasized that Elvis came from humble low socio-economic beginings and became luxurious and desirable, velvet being something largely afforded by the rich

The song also references Elvis's performance style, that he never gave encoures and that he died young

https://ntrygg.wordpress.com/category/elvis-p...
Alex

United States

#14 Jan 6, 2012
At first th song reminded me of love between a man and a women a passion and longing she had for him nothing to do w elvis i beleive like a tattoo u take the picture and give it a meaning so... The song means whatever u feel it means in your heart the hell w elvis thats all history
Lee

El Dorado Hills, CA

#15 Feb 18, 2012
lalala_lalala wrote:
hi there
i was wondering if someone could help me understand the meaning of the song and its relevance to elvis.(i know the song is about him). for example, what is the meaning of black velvet? whats it got to do with the king?
Black velvet was his beautiful black hair. Isn't that obvious?

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