About the song

Elvis Presley’s “Shoppin’ Around” (1960), from the film G.I. Blues, isn’t just a catchy tune; it’s a delightful snapshot of a bygone era.

This song arrived at a pivotal moment in Presley’s career. He’d already established himself as a heartthrob with a voice that could melt glaciers, but “Shoppin’ Around” showcased a playful, almost vaudevillian side that hadn’t been fully explored before.

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The context is key. G.I. Blues was Presley’s second feature film, released amidst his mandatory military service in West Germany. The movie itself is a lighthearted affair, following a charismatic soldier named Tulsa McLean (played by Presley, of course) navigating the joys and challenges of army life. “Shoppin’ Around” perfectly complements that tone.

The song opens with a jaunty piano riff, immediately establishing a playful mood. Presley’s vocals are pure sunshine, delivered with a wink and a smile. The lyrics themselves are a delightful romp, following Tulsa as he embarks on a shopping spree for a special someone back home. He’s looking for all the right things: a “shimmy livin’ dress,” some “high heel shoes,” and even a “pretzel necklace” (a popular accessory at the time).

What makes “Shoppin’ Around” so much fun is the sheer exuberance Presley brings to the performance. He throws himself into the character, channeling the wide-eyed innocence and infectious enthusiasm of a young soldier on leave. The backing vocals, courtesy of the Jordanaires, add a layer of sweet harmony, further emphasizing the song’s good-natured spirit.

It’s important to remember the cultural landscape of 1960. Rock and roll was still a relatively young phenomenon, and “Shoppin’ Around” embodies the genre’s raw energy and rebellious spirit. Presley’s performance is electrifying, his voice brimming with a youthful confidence that would inspire countless musicians to come.

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Beyond its historical significance, “Shoppin’ Around” remains a timeless classic. It’s a song that puts a smile on your face and gets your toes tapping. It’s a reminder of a simpler time, a celebration of youthful exuberance, and a testament to the enduring power of Elvis Presley’s charisma. So, put on your blue suede shoes and get ready to be charmed – “Shoppin’ Around” is a journey you won’t want to miss.