Jim Beck, sound man

One of the unexpected highlights of Walk A Lonely Street is the list of fascinating incidental characters who walk in and out of the larger story. These people often play small but essential parts as they interact with the key cast members, or sometimes they are featured to establish a precedent or theme that will repeat throughout the saga. One such character is Jim Beck, a well-respected sound engineer/producer/studio owner based in Dallas, Texas. During the 1950s Beck recorded hundreds of singers and bands, who dreamed of hitting the big time. Some did, some didn't, but Jim Beck always gave them his best attention behind the sound desk. He worked with some brilliant artists (Charlene Arth

Elvis Presley, odd man out

One of the first and most obvious signs that the pre-fame Elvis Presley was going to be different to everyone else in the country & western field was the way he looked and the way he dressed. The standard fare for hillbilly singers during the 1940s and 1950s was to effect some form of cowboy look (ten-gallon hat imperative), with rhinestone-patterned jackets, string ties, and high-heeled boots. Since the age of sixteen, long before he stepped into a recording studio, Presley had favoured the more hep-cat approach to his clothing: pink shirts, pegged trousers, bright green sports jackets, and two-tone shoes. He wore his hair in what he called the "Tony Curtis" style and grew his sideburns as

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