Shane Paterson as 'Elvis': Clean Up Your Own Back Yard

“Clean Up Your Own Back Yard” is one of my favorite Elvis songs, if I was really pressed to start naming them. It’s a song that was composed by Mac Davis and Billy Strange for the movie “The Trouble With Girls,” recorded by Elvis in Los Angeles in late October of 1968. The movie was Elvis’ second-to-last scripted movie. Mac Davis had started contributing songs, by himself or co-written with Billy Strange, with “A Little Less Conversation” back in March, for the soundtrack of “Live A Little, Love A Little.” Over the next year he wrote a few songs for Elvis, culminating in “In The Ghetto.”



In this clip I am playing guitar, as Elvis did in the movie, but I am wearing a different outfit than what he sported in that film, because it applied to the next song I performed, another track from “Live A Little, Love A Little” in which Elvis performs a quasi-psychedelic song in a pair of stylized pajamas, the production number being a dream sequence precipitated by the female lead drugging him. Both movies, suffice it to say, featured slightly more mature themes than the average Elvis movie from the ‘60s, as did the other two movies that rounded out his final four scripted films. The soundtracks were a lot stronger, too. Certainly, this song would have been worthy of a regular RCA recording session, like those he held in Nashville in 1967 and 1968. Before long, though, Elvis — who had completed work on his now-legendary 1968 TV special a few months earlier — had other plans in mind, returning to the stage in Las Vegas, for his first live performances since 1961, less than a year later.

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