Business booms at SUN RECORDS as Elvis Presley’s popularity grows in “No Favors Here.” The Memphis Recording Studio is packed with people who want to be discovered, jingles that need recording, and two guys who disconnect and repossess Sam’s sound board because he’s behind two payments. You’re that close, feel like you have a little breathing room, and then the bill collectors come knocking. It’s a brutal first act. The good news is, Bob Neal, a successful promoter books Elvis in his showcase. Sam asks Bob if he’d manage Elvis, but he doesn’t sign him at first, there’s no telling how Elvis will perform in front of a big audience.
Elvis is nervous the night of the big show. Snow and Parker signed Slim Whitman and he’s a real crowd pleaser. Gladys is thrilled to see her son take the stage in front of so many people but Vernon is sour as usual and only notices the people that leave. Elvis isn’t for everybody, some don’t like his sound, others don’t like his stage act. Young women respond to his presence immediately and Elvis feels the love on stage, and leaves it there for about ten minutes.
Elvis is still wrapped around Trixie’s finger but there is a whole squad of fans drawing straws to provide Elvis with room service. He doesn’t deny his constituency, no real gentleman would, but he does tend to agonize about it later; for a good ten minutes. Sam is desperate to make more money and needs Elvis back in the studio, but he notices Elvis is distracted when he’s singing about rocking which Sam explains is really about sex. Elvis confesses he loves Trixie but is too lonely and weak to deny the road honey. Sam tells him not to beat himself up over the extracurricular, they won’t be a big deal unless Elvis makes them a big deal. Marion was right there, he should have just let her handle the issue. Sam isn’t exactly love-mentor material.
Col. Parker hears Elvis a few times, at first he isn’t impressed, he sees a certain type of crowd leaving when Elvis sings. On the other hand, he also sees a growing and faithful youthful audience. He suggest Elvis ask his label to buy him some new stage clothes. Later, he calls Gladys and makes an appointment to meet with her about protecting Elvis from the dangers of the road. Elvis tells Sam, Col. Parker suggested the wardrobe upgrade and Sam cautions Elvis that people will approach him who aren’t really looking out for his best interests. Sam does seem the most ethical of this bunch which isn’t saying much.
Becky drops in during a session and her water breaks. Elvis rushes her to the hospital where she gives birth. Sam acts like the happy daddy but we’ve seen scenes of him bored at home. Marion is a bit of a mystery here. She seems envious of Sam’s home life, but Sam constantly tries to escape that same picture. He drives by the studio late, sees the lights on and finds the door locked. He heads inside and finds Marion having sex with Earle. Way to go Marion, you deserve some proper attention, not just convenience love.
Becky isn’t the only woman on the show making babies. Johnny Cash returns from Germany and wastes no time putting a ring on Vivian’s finger. He invites her to dinner at the family ranch to meet his lovely mother and witness his a-hole papa. Later, Cash comes home late for dinner with Vivian and she announces she’s pregnant. That quick, Cash has his own bundle of joy on the way. For now, he seems happy about it, but he has no way to provide for a family. Cash gets a job selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, but he’s terrible in the room. He can’t get the thing started and he makes messes with his sales material. Even the customer suggests he look for more suitable employment. Cash is no salesman.
Jerry Lee’s world takes a few self-inflicted wounds this week. First, he gets carried away while playing piano for a group of young women at the bible institute. The man that runs it, Reverend Sutter, expels Jerry Lee from the institute and informs his father in-law. Jimmy sticks up for him but it doesn’t help. Jimmy still has Jerry Lee play hymns at his services, but Jerry Lee is distracted by young women attending the service. He flirts right in front of Peggy and her father. Later, Peggy finds him in the coat room deep into another woman. She wastes no time demanding a divorce. Jerry Lee says he just can’t help himself. He gets a job selling household cleaning brushes and mops, door-to-door. He’s better in the room than Johnny Cash but he still fails to keep his pants on. Jerry Lee, you’ve got a problem. You just can’t sex your way through the suburbs in civilized society. These last few episodes are big improvements but next week’s finale needs to deliver a compelling conclusion.
Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
Sun Records airs Thursdays at 10PM on CMT
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Eric Rodriguez | Contributor