Elvis Mr. Potato Head Revisited – Part 2

This October 31, 2010 post continues the series on Elvis Mr. Potato Head.

 

Most Elvis websites and blogs noted the announcement of Elvis Mr. Potato Head back in June.  Some were actually hostile to the idea, but I liked it and said so.  I may be old, but I like my Elvis toys, and this is a good one.

In my previous ElvisBlog article, I dug a little deeper and reported on PPW Toys, the company that manufactures Elvis Mr. Potato Head as a licensee of Hasbro.  This prompted a nice comment by Dean Gorby, business development manager for PPW.  He was impressed that I understood his toy represented Mr. Potato Head dressing as Elvis and was meant as a humorous homage.

Four months later, Mr. Gorby went even further.  He sent me four images and told me I was welcome to use them on ElvisBlog.  Here they are.

This is an image you will see a lot pretty soon.  As previously announced, the second Elvis Mr. Potato Head will be dressed in black leather from the ’68 Comeback Special.  Unfortunately, it will not be available for the 2010 Christmas season, but we can get it starting in February 2011.


This is a super artist’s rendering of the final design selected for the first Elvis Mr. Potato Head dressed in a white jumpsuit.

This is a design that didn’t make it, and I think we can see why.  The optional sunglasses are a nice design, but the buck-teeth are a no-no. 

 

This is impressive – views from the front, back, both sides, top and bottom.  Elvis Mr. Potato Head may be a toy, but designing it is a serious business.

 

Mr. Gorby also advised me that there will be a third Elvis Mr. Potato Head introduced in late 2011.  To pump up interest, Hasbro/PPW will let the fans choose what iconic Elvis image will be featured.  They will offer three choices and have a vote to determine which one they will actually make.

If it works out like the other series of Elvis collectibles, these choices will be from the usual group of images – Jailhouse Rock, gold lamé, Blue Hawaii flowered shirt, etc.  I would like to propose some other options that are often overlooked.

                        

This could inspire a “Hound Dog” version, so named because this is the shirt and coat Elvis wore when he appeared on the Milton Berle Show, June 5, 1956, and introduced “Hound Dog,”  

This performance was the one that created a firestorm of negative reaction across the country.  It was a TV event just as momentous in Elvis’ legacy as the Comeback Special and Aloha From Hawaii, but his outfit never gets the same notoriety.

     

This outfit could be called either “Loving You” or “Teddy Bear” because Elvis wore it in the movie Loving You when he sang “Teddy Bear.” 

It has a part in the story line when it is a gift to celebrate Elvis moving up to co-headliner of the travelling concert troupe.  He is also wearing it when a very aggressive groupie sneaks into his dressing room and puts some moves on him.

      

The teddy bear outfit has also been featured on various CD, album and 45 record covers, but it never shows up on Elvis collectible figurines.

 

                              

This one could be called “Karate Elvis.”   I actually have a refrigerator magnet set that includes this Karate Gi as one of the clothing options.  Wouldn’t a Karate Elvis Mr. Potato Head be cool?

No matter what the choices for design # 3 are, Hasbro and PPW will have a great run of success with Elvis.  If the series continues on to additional designs, I’ll bet you’ll someday see a boxed set of mini Elvis Mr. Potato Heads.  If so, you can count me as a customer.

 

©  2010    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

Elvis Mr. Potato Head Revisited

I’m sure you all know about Mr. Potato Head being in the news lately.  The media coverage reminded me that Hasbro introduced Elvis Mr. Potato head over a decade ago, and I had come up with enough photos to create three ElvisBlog posts about it.  In the next few days, all three will be reposted here.

 

Mr. Potato Head Elvis — Yikes!

Posted June 13, 2010

I told my wife that they were coming out with an Elvis Mr. Potato Head, and she replied, “Oh God, what’s next.”  I think I have the answer to that question, but first let’s take a look at the latest in themed Elvis collectibles.

Elvis Mr. Potato Head

 

According to a report on www.elvis.com/news dated 6/9/10, Elvis Mr. Potato Head will be unveiled at Elvis Week this year.  Want to bet they will sell a lot of them – even at the inflated price of $20.

Of course, Elvis Mr. Potato Head is just the latest in a long line of Elvis figures in white jumpsuits you can buy:

 

M&M Elvis

Elvis Whisky Decanter

Elvis Teddy Bear

Bobble-Head Elvis

Pez Elvis

The news release stated that a second version of Elvis Mr. Potato Head wearing his ‘68 Special black leather outfit will be out in time for the 2010 Christmas season.  It was unstated, but you can be sure there will be other iconic themes to follow.  All the Elvis collectibles pictured above have several models, including Jailhouse Rock, Army Private Elvis, 50s Rocker, etc.  I’ll bet the third Elvis Mr. Potato Head is decked out in gold lamé.

The news release also stated:  “components such as hairstyles, costumes, faces and musical instruments will be compatible with every version so fans can mix and match the styles with hilarious results.”   That doesn’t sound so hilarious to me, but it might be if you used other available Mr. Potato Head accessories.

Party Spud Accessories

Halloween Spud Accessories

Can you imagine Elvis with buck teeth, Dracula hair, or a clown hat?

 

Hasbro Toys has been making Mr. Potato Head since 1952, and they have developed many versions over the years.  Here are a few that are pretty cool:

Santa Potato Head

Darth Tater

Princess Sweet Potato

                                       

 

Unlike these examples, Elvis Mr. Potato Head is actually produced by PPW Toys as a licensee of Hasbro.  PPW has previously developed a series of sports-themed Mr. Potato Head figures.

 

Dallas Cowboys

Atlanta Braves

Duke Blue Devils

                                                          

 

Elvis was not the first rock and roll Mr. Potato Head produced by PPW Toys.

KISS Potato Heads

 

EPE has been trying to find as many ways as possible to get youngsters interested in Elvis, and I think Elvis Mr. Potato Head will work just fine.  However, to answer my wife’s question about what’s next, Graceland should look at the latest craze with the kids — Silly Bandz.  They are wearing hundreds of different shapes on their wrists.  There are the only a few available shapes with a musical theme, so here’s a tip for EPE.  Sign up Silly Bandz as yet another licensed vendor and add this to their product line.

Musical Silly Bandz

Future Elvis Silly Bandz?

                                                                                                                            I’m too old to ever wear an Elvis Silly Bandz, but this big kid has already told his wife he wants one of those Elvis Mr. Potato Heads for Christmas.  I will put it on the shelf above my desk, right next to my set of Elvis M&Ms and my Pez Elvis.

 

©  2010    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net
.

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
 

 

ElvisBlog Pictures on Pinterest

Look what came into my email yesterday. Ever since I started searching Pinterest for Elvis photos to use in blog posts, they send me a dozen or so emails every week. Usually the email header says something like:

We think you might like these 17 ideas

Two days ago, this was the header:

Nose Jobs, Photos Of Puppies and more ideas to search for

I don’t know why Pinterest thought I would be interested in photos of nose jobs, but I did enjoy looking at the puppy pictures.

But the email I got yesterday had a very different message:

Hey, Phil Arnold! Don’t miss out on these Pins

That direct salutation to me definitely got my attention. Above, you can see the first three photos (Pins) in the scroll. I immediately recognized the one of Elvis wearing his karate Gi and nothing else as a photo I had created. It is from an Elvis refrigerator magnet set I sold last year. I scrolled down, did a little clicking, and found out that 12 of the 16 photos in this email had appeared on ElvisBlog. I don’t know why, but I thought it was pretty cool to have Pinterest presenting ElvisBlog photos in an email to the guy that is ElvisBlog.

Before we look at some of the rest, please note the altered photo of young Marilyn Monroe and young Elvis came from a post just a month ago. If my old Pinterest searches had yielded the middle picture, I would have used it in the series called, Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before. It turns out, it came from eBay.

 

All three of these pictures came from ElvisBlog. One of my sales included Elvis trading cards, and this picture shows the back of two of them. The projection TV was in a 2016 post titled like it reads below the picture: Graceland Quiz – What Room are These Items In?

On the other hand, the label under the right picture is totally wrong. That old guy was the way I envisioned the villain in my book, BIG E and the SANTA MAN. That reminds me. I should do one more promotion for it this year. There’s been a lot of new Subscribers added since the last push back in December 2018.

 

Two of these were also photos illustrating ElvisBlog sales, and the ring picture came from the series Elvis’ Fabulous Rings.

Speaking of Elvis photos from my files, check this out:

That’s a lot of numbers, but 2/3 of the way down you will see Contains: 19,884 Files. These files are pictures. I have added nearly 20 thousand photos to my collection since I began doing ElvisBlog. They are organized into 176 folders and 1,046 subfolders.

If anyone reading this has an interest in owning a flash drive containing all of these images, contact me at philarnold@charter.net, and we’ll see what we can work out.

Elvis, Nixon, Clinton, and Limbaugh

When a prominent person dies, typically I would put the person’s name plus Elvis in the Google search box to see what pictures would come up.  I tried it today after learning that Rush Limbaugh had died, and this is what came up:

This is obviously a Photoshopped picture, and someone was trying to be funny. Then writing in blue says:

Elvis tells President Nixon Billy Clinton’s “Watergate Breakin” Idea

So, three of the men are named.  The fourth is identified with an arrow as Rusty Limbo.  I wondered if this could be what Rush Limbaugh looked like as a young man, so I searched some more.

Ys, it is.

If you look back at the group picture, you can tell the original is one of the shots taken by the White House photographer when Elvis met Nixon.

So, someone replaced Sonny West’s head with Bill Clinton and replaced Jerry Schilling’s head with Rush Limbaugh.  Pretty strange.  One last look.

I wonder if Jerry Schilling has ever seen this picture.

 

R.I.P Rush

 

1,000 Posts

 

Do you think The Guinness Book of World Records would consider a category for:

The Most Blog Posts About Elvis Presley

 

I should look into getting an application. If I need to get a lot of names on a petition, can I count on you guys?

 

 

This is the second time a 1,000 milestone has been big for me. I remember how excited I was when ElvisBlog reached 1,000 hits for a month. Now it’s 9 thousand. It has been stuck at about that for the last three or four years, because I stopped doing the stuff to build up my SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. If you’re trying to monetize a blog, you care about that stuff, but that’s not what ElvisBlog has been about.

 

 

If I had the time, I could do this for a lot longer. I find each new post gives me a sense of satisfaction. Project accomplished, you know. I like doing them, and new post ideas just keep coming. So I’ll hang in for another year, but at a slower pace.

 

 

However, post # 1001 will happen soon because It’s about some more Elvis books for sale. The response on previous book sales have been great. Thank you.

 

 

When I first started out blogging, I read a couple articles outlining the basics. One thing stressed as most important was to adhere to a regular schedule of posting. Don’t let long periods go by between posts, because you will lose readers. My first tagline under the title was:

       A Weekly Column of News, History and Commentary about Elvis Presley

I committed to posting weekly right from the get go, and I’ve managed to stick with it. The tagline changed, though. It was too long and formal, and my vision for ElvisBlog narrowed to celebrating Elvis as a popular icon. So it got changed to:

All the Cool Stuff Out There in Elvis World

Much better.

 

Another strong recommendation I got for successful blogging was to answer all Comments.

 

You can see that there have been 4,443 comments over the past sixteen years. Actually, half of that number are my responses. As you can imagine, answering 2,200 comments takes up a lot of time. There should be a drop-off because posts won’t be as frequent. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing from you regular commenters. But I will no longer waste time on the ones where they say, “I found this signed picture of Elvis in my aunt’s closet after she died. What’s it worth?”

 

 

Writing this turned out to be a lot easier than I originally thought it would. The plan was to have ElvisBlog go static on the day after celebrating 1,000 posts. To be honest, I kind of miss the dramatic departure.

But, it would also have meant writing a goodbye letter. I’m glad to put that off for a year.

 

 

I guess a lot of folks have hit 1,000 posts, because there are so many cool images out there. This one is my pick for best, so I’ll end with it.

Thank you for picking ElvisBlog as a regular part of your life. I’m content knowing the stuff I pull together about Elvis is appreciated by so many people.

 

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister
2005-2021

 

Let’s Have an Auction – Update

Editor’s note:  The first bid came in at $100.  I think that is extremely generous and unlikely to be beaten.

So, this auction is over.  Thanks to all those who sent in bids.

 

You folks have really come through on the Elvis books I’ve been selling. Perhaps you’ve noticed I do research on Google and eBay to see what prices are out there I need to beat.

But I own an Elvis collectible that I can’t find on either one, or anywhere else on the internet. I did find a picture, but the item was no longer available and no price was shown. This is it:

 

 

About fifteen years ago, my sister-in-law gave “The King” to me. She secured it because her daughter worked at The New York Times and knew it was available at their Photo Archives department. Over the years, they had produced various commemorative book collections of their photos of celebrities, but this was different.

What they did was reprint every page of The New York Times that contained an Elvis article from 1956 to 2004. All sixty-eight of them.

To make it even cooler, they didn’t just print loose pages. They wove them together into two regular newspaper sections – Elvis’ life in one, and all the news he made after his death in the other. It will be easier to understand if I explain using the second one.

 

 

This is the reprint of the front page on the day after Elvis’ death. There are two articles, one by Molly Ivins, and the page where they were continued is on the backside. The next page is from August 18 and has three articles, two by Ivins, again with the continuations next. Another flip of the pages takes you to a September 1977 article about what Elvis left behind. And so on, for forty pages.

 

 

The cover of the first section was new creation, and it says at the top, “Commemorative Newspaper from The New York Times.” The cover article is written by Peter Guralnick, who wrote several Elvis books and the forward to Al Wertheimer’s huge book. The Times went out and got the best guy for the job.

The back side is the continuation of Guralnick’s essay. Then the fun starts on the next page with Entertainment Critic Jack Gould blasting Elvis’ performance on the Milton Berle Show. You read that one a few days ago with the pictures I added. That same post also mentioned The Times’ hatchet job on Elvis in Love Me Tender, and of course, that article is in this special section.

 

Just about every important event in Elvis’ life is covered in the subsequent pages. Here is an index:

 

I hope that makes it clear what we are talking about here. The first picture in this post is the front of the cardboard packaging the two sections fit into. Note that Elvis’ name does not appear on the box, but “The King” and the photo are all we need.

To me, the quality of the whole production is great, and I think the concept is brilliant. But it’s kind of a mystery why there is nothing about it on the internet. I tried about six different ways to find it on the New York Times website, but came up empty.

So, it seems that all copies of “The King” are in the hands of Elvis fans that do not want to part with them. Which brings us back to the title of this post. I have no idea what price to put on mine, so…

Let’s have an auction.

If you are interested, send your bid to philarnold@charter.net. I will update this post with the first bid and any subsequent higher ones. I will also send emails to all bidders when the top bid changes, so everybody will know where things stand.

 

 

I like the idea of trying something different, so this auction starts now.

 

Thanks in advance to you folks that send in bids.

Phil Arnold

 

POST # 999

Negative Critiques of Elvis in 1956

Here are two old posts.  The first one I originally wrote in 2006 and added pictures to it in 2016.  The second one I wrote in 2007 but never went back and added pictures.  I’m not going to do that now, either, because it would take a lot of time.  But you will still enjoy reading the story.

 

Elvis on the Milton Berle Show

 

Elvis Shaking Those Hips on Milton Berle Show

Last week the Graceland Blog celebrated the 60th anniversary of Elvis’ earth-shaking second performance on the Milton Berle Show. It was a good article with lots of photos, but there is much of the story they barely touched on.

 

Graceland Blog - Elvis on the Milton Berle Show

As the Graceland Blog explains, by 1956 standards, Elvis’ performance of “Hound Dog” on the show was scandalous. Actually, Elvis’ leg shaking and hip thrusts freaked out the entire country. The next day, a huge national backlash started, and Elvis rocketed into the entertainment stratosphere. Some day it might be fun to chronicle the worst of the press attacks on Elvis, but for now let’s start with what the New York Times had to say.

 

New York Times Review of Elvis on Milton Berle Show

Jack Gould was the king of TV critics during his 35-year career with the New York Times. He was there when the new medium was born, and he was its most notable commentator for the next two decades. Like the rest of America, he saw Elvis’ second appearance on the Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956. The next day, Jack Gould’s pen dripped with disdain for Elvis. It’s fun to look at some of his statements, line-by-line.

“Elvis Presley is currently the entertainment world’s most astonishing figure.”

So far, so good, but Mr. Gould gets no special credit for this statement. Whether people liked or disliked Elvis in early June, 1956, nobody disputed he was the most astonishing figure in show biz.

 

Milton Berle and Elvis

Milton Berle and Elvis

 

“Mr. Presley has no discernible singing ability.”

This is the first indication that Mr. Gould just didn’t ‘get’ Elvis. And, we can safely assume Mr. Gould never went out and bought any Elvis records.

 

Elvis Combing Hair Backstage at the Milton Berle Show

Elvis Combing Hair Backstage at the Milton Berle Show

 

“His specialty is rhythm songs, which he renders in an undistinguished whine.”

I don’t know. Seems like  Elvis’ whine is very distinguished.

 

Elvis during Rehearsal for a Skit on the Milton Berle Show

Elvis during Rehearsal for a Skit on the Milton Berle Show

 

“His phrasing, if it can be called that, consists of the stereotyped variations that go with a beginner’s aria in a bathtub.”

What??? Certainly not the simplest and clearest metaphor Mr. Gould ever wrote.

“For the ear, he is an unutterable bore…”

You want boring? How about “stereotyped variations that go with a beginner’s aria in a bathtub”? Maybe Elvis was a bore to Jack Gould, but he could make the girls cry at his concerts. Elvis was anything but boring.

 

Elvis and Milton Berle walking on his Ankles

Milton Berle Doing His Ankle Walk Routine

 

“From watching Mr. Presley, it is wholly evident that his skill lies in another direction. He is a rock-and-roll variation on one of the most standard acts in show business: the virtuoso of the hootchy-kootchy. His specialty is an accented movement of the body… identified with the repertoire of the blond bombshells of the burlesque runway.”

At the end of “Hound Dog” on the Berle Show, Elvis sure did do some classic bump-and-grind. Mr. Gould’s loquacious pontification took a long while to get to Elvis’ moves, but, you will note, he didn’t say he disliked them.

 

Blue Coat Colorized Version of Elvis Doing “Hound Dog” on Milton Berle Show

Blue Coat Colorized Version of Elvis Doing “Hound Dog” on Milton Berle Show

 

“The gyration never had anything to do with the world of popular music and still doesn’t.”

Boy, did Mr. Gould get that one wrong. It’s a good thing he passed away before music videos showed up on MTV. He’d probably roll over in his grave if he saw one now. Today’s popular music is synonymous with sensual gyrations.

 

Elvis and the Band on Milton Berle Show

Elvis and the Band on Milton Berle Show

 

Jack Gould was a middle-aged man when he watched Elvis perform on TV on June 5, 1956, so he can be excused for ‘not getting it.’ But millions of American teenagers saw the show and got it. Got it big time. Elvis’ career shot into overdrive, and all of the bad press from TV critics and others could not stop it.

 

Shots of Elvis on Milton Berle Show

 

In fairness, Jack Gould did not accuse Elvis of poisoning the minds of America’s teenagers as did many other entertainment critics, clergymen, disk jockeys, and high school administrators. He didn’t rant that Elvis would create a nation of juvenile delinquents.

Elvis’ performance of “Hound Dog” on the June 5, 1956 Milton Berle Show has become one of the most iconic events in Elvis’ career.

 

Love Me Tender

 

Earlier this year, we had fun looking back at the 1956 New York Times review of Elvis’ first movie Love Me Tender. To say the least, the reviewer, Jack Gould, didn’t like it. Do you think Elvis fared any better in the review published in Time Magazine? Of course not.

For some reason, the unnamed writer begins the review with a description of Elvis’ body. Considering that Pat Boone said Elvis looked like a Greek god, and Carl Perkins called Elvis the best looking man he had ever seen, it’s hard to figure out how Time could say this stupid line:

“Is it a sausage? It is certainly smooth and damp-looking, but who ever heard of a 172-lb. sausage 6 ft. tall?”

This was the opening lines of the review in America’s leading news magazine. It sounds like a fourteen-year old wrote them. Give me a break. They refer to Elvis as “it” and say he looks like a sausage.

“Is it a Walt Disney goldfish? It has the same sort of big, soft, beautiful eyes and long, curly lashes, but who heard of goldfish with sideburns?”

These lines are just as stupid, but at  least there is praise for Elvis’ eyes and lashes. What Disney goldfish was he referring to, anyway?

“Is it a corpse? The face just hangs there, limp and white
with its little drop-seat mouth.”

OK, lets summarize: The Time reviewer thinks Elvis’ Greek god face looks limp and damp and white and just hangs there. I’d like to know what this guy thinks a handsome face looks like.

Next, the reviewer describes Elvis’ body motions as he sings.

“But suddenly the figure comes alive. The lips part, the eyes half-close, the clutched guitar begins to undulate back and forth in an uncomfortably suggestive manner. And wham! The midsection of the body jolts forward to bump and grind and beat out a low-down rhythm.”

This is a fine description of Elvis’ live performances in 1956, but it in no way describes his motions in the movie Love Me Tender. There were only four songs, and two were ballads, and Elvis is very restrained doing them. I guess the writer just had to get in some well-crafted lines whether they fit in a movie review or not.

Then it was time to describe Elvis’ singing voice.

“As the belly dance gets wilder, a peculiar sound emerges. A rusty foghorn? A voice? Or merely a noise produced, like the voice of the cricket, by the violent stridulation of the legs?”

Now, I like a good simile as much as the next reader, but that’s the dumbest comparison I’ve ever seen. Can you visualize Elvis rubbing his legs together to produce a sound like a rusty foghorn? Awful. And the Editor left it in the piece.

The review continues:

“Words occasionally can be made out like raisins in cornmeal mush. ‘Goan…git…luhhv…’ And then all at once everything stops, and a big, trembly tender half smile, half sneer smears across the CinemaScope screen. The message that millions of U.S. teenagers love to receive has just been delivered.”

How about that. Despite the knock on his diction (going, get, love), Elvis does get a begrudging compliment. And he’s right abiut Elvis getting that message out.

At this point in the review, there were only four lines left, and neither the movie nor Elvis’ acting had been discussed yet. Here is all they printed:

“In his first screen appearance, with a secondary role as the hero’s little brother, in an 000otherwise routine western, Elvis Presley all but steals the show from such better known players as Richard Egan and Debra Paget.”

Finally, a full-fledged compliment. Then the reviewer predicted Love Me Tender would be a box-office bonanza. At least he got that right.

 

 

©  2021    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Post # 998

 

The End of ElvisBlog – Part 4

It looks like ElvisBlog will continue on beyond 1,000 posts after all.

Three weeks ago, I wrote about my plans to retire from ElvisBlog. I said;

My blog platform expires on January 31, and I’m changing www.elvisblog.net to a static site. No new posts will be added, but the old ones will still be accessible.

It appears I have some good news for those of you who have expressed sadness about no more ElvisBlog. Last September, I had a phone conversation with the man who owns and runs my blog platform. I explained what I planned to do and asked what the cost would be.

He was feeling generous because I had been with him for 16 years, almost right from the inception of his business. He said “I’ll cover you.”

I found out today that he actually gave me credit for another year of full posting. That helps. It has cost me a lot of money over the years to bring ElvisBlog to you. I kept my site clean – without any pop-ups or other advertising. In retrospect, that was probably stupid.

But there is another factor more important than the money. It is the time it takes to put together each new post. If you wonder what’s involved that requires so many hours each week, let’s just say it’s a lot.

The other time demand on me is as a caregiver for my wife. She has lymphostatic colitis which causes very bad abdominal pain. Her esophagus basically stopped functioning two years ago, so now I have to feed her three times a day through a feeding tube. She is no longer able to share the household responsibilities, so it’s all me.

That’s okay. I do it happily because I love her. But I really have to cut back on the time I spend on ElvisBlog. I’ll still be active for a while selling off the rest of my Elvis stuff. I seem to keep finding more around the house.

New posts will probably stretch out to once a month, or maybe they will just pop up at random.

 

So, this is ElvisBlog post # 997. Onward to #1,000 and beyond.

 

Thank you, thank you very much.

 

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

Elvis, Marilyn, and Photoshop

This is a combination of three old posts from 2018 and 2015.  It is very long, so expect to be on here a while.

 

Elvis and Marilyn - Do Not disturb

Pairing up Elvis and Marilyn Monroe seems to be a favorite thing for Photoshop jockeys. I have almost 50 Elvis/Marilyn pictures in my files. I like the pairing of the world’s two biggest pop culture icons because the photos are fun. I felt there was no intent to trick people into believing they are real.

Then I saw this one.

 

Young Elvis Photoshopped with a young Norma Jean

Somebody felt it was a smart idea to pair up eleven-year-old Elvis with a young Norma Jeane Mortenson, who later became known as Marilyn Monroe. Why? What’s the point?

 

Let’s Deconstruct THIS Photoshopped Elvis/marilyn Picture:

 

First, the original Elvis photo.

Elvis and Magdalene Morgan - 1946

 

This is a photo of Elvis with twelve-year-old Mary Magdalene Morgan. It was taken in 1946 shortly before Elvis’ family moved from Tupelo to Memphis.   Go back to the first picture and note that Elvis has been flipped from this original shot .

 

And, now, the original Marilyn photo.

 

1942 Norma Jeane Mortenson Before She Became Marilyn Monroe

And here’s young Norma Jeane. She got flipped side-to-side, too, and other modifications were made with her arms.

 

Although I have an appreciation of this clever concept and skill to do it, I think it’s pretty crummy that people are now messing with kid pictures of Elvis.

 

 

That being said, I love the pictures of older Elvis and Marilyn together.  I know that Marilyn was nine or ten years older than Elvis, and they never met, so I just go with the flow and don’t worry about the pics being fake.  It’s just fun.

 

So let’s take a look at:

The Elvis / Marilyn Photoshop Awards — Part 1

 

Elvis and Marilyn Cheek Kiss

For the past ten years, I have been collecting images of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe together. She was born nine years before him (and died fifteen years earlier), and there is no record of them ever meeting, let alone having any romantic liaisons.

However, Photoshop jockeys and artists love to morph these two pop culture icons into fun pictures. I have my collection of them sorted into five categories, and just for kicks I rated the images in each group. So here are my rankings in ascending order.

Head Shots:

Elvis and Marilyn Back View

This one is okay, but I’m not crazy about seeing the back of Elvis head or the streaks of gray in his hair. I realize others might disagree.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Washed-out Sketch

This is too pale and washed out to suit me.

 

Andy Worhol hanging tapestries of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe

This Andy Warhol wall-hanging tapestry is probably worth a ton of money, but Elvis looks really bad.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Strange Colors

Even weirder colors on this one.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Color Head Shot

Good color here, but Marilyn looks better is so many other images.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Black and White Head Drawing

I like this, but I wish it was in color.

 

Elvis and Marilyn plus Original Photo

This is interesting, because it shows us the original Marilyn Monroe picture before Photoshopping.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Double Head Shot

The images are starting to get very good now.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Rings

First runner-up. This was a tough choice to make, because this is really good.

 

Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe

My choice for best head shot of Elvis and Marilyn. I like him smiling and she looks sweet. By a very small margin, that nudges out the brooding and sexy one above. Feel free to disagree.

 

A Little Bit More:

 

Elvis and Marilyn 3

This one is okay, but what is that weird thing in the sky in the background?

 

Elvis and Marilyn Love Me Tender Photoshop

Serious Elvis fans will recognize that the original photo came from Love Me Tender where Elvis hugged Debra Paget.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Stamp

The artist that drew this Montserrat stamp did a good job on Elvis, but Marilyn looks terrible.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Happy Valentines Day

There are a couple of these Happy Valentine’s Day images, but I prefer Elvis and Marilyn without messages.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Neck Hug

Good artwork, but it would have been better in color.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Singing Together

I like the idea of having Marilyn and Elvis singing into a mic.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Happy Valentine's

Here’s the other Valentine’s Day image.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Red and Red

And here’s the same Marilyn picture used with a different Elvis.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Cowboy Hat

I wish someone had found a photo of Marilyn in a cowboy hat to use here.

 

Elvis and Marilyn 4

Now we’re getting to the really good ones. This looks like a beautiful young couple out on a date.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Shoulder Lean

Great picture. Love it.

 

Cosmic Elvis and Marilyn

My big winner. That cosmic background is so cool.

 

Like the first image in this group says:

Elvis and Marilyn – Stars Forever.

 

Next we have three other categories:  Full-Body Shots; Elvis, Marilyn, James Dean, and Humphrey Bogart, and Clever Combinations. All part of:

 

The Elvis / Marilyn Photoshop Awards — Part 2

 

Marilyn Holding Elvis Photographs

 

Last week we looked at the Elvis and Marilyn images in two categories of my collection – Head Shots and A Little Bit More.  Now we will get into the other three categories, again ranking them in ascending order.

Full Body Shots:

 

Elvis and Marilyn in Gold Outfits

There wasn’t not much talent needed to show them both side-by-side in gold outfits.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Dark Cigar Shot

This could have been better if they had brightened it up.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Fur Coat

Good concept, but the picture cuts off Elvis’ head and it is too fuzzy.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Hanging Stars

Why did they put a polka-dot necktie on Elvis?

 

Elvis and Marilyn Air Grate -- Jailhouse Rock

This had to be pretty easy to put together, but I do like seeing their two most iconic photos together.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Metro Goldwyn Meyer

An older Elvis and an older Marilyn than on most of these images.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Kissing her Arm

I found this on an Italian website. I’m pretty sure that is Elvis’ head on somebody else’s body.

 

Elvis and Marilyn on Bench

This image just doesn’t impart much connection between Elvis and Marilyn.

 

Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley The Beast in Me

Study Elvis in this. Doesn’t it look like the scene in Jailhouse Rock when he told Judy Tyler “That ain’t tactics, Honey. It’s just the beast in me.”

 

Elvis and Marilyn Back End of a Car

Great artwork. As before, I’d like more color, but there is probably something deeper I am missing.

 

Elvis and Marilyn On Roof Top

This must be the most familiar of all the Elvis/Marilyn images. I found it all over the internet.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Tough Pose

The big winner. I love the pose, but it has to be someone else’s body with Elvis’ head. I have never seen a photo of him in that position.

 

Elvis / Marilyn / James Dean / Humphrey Bogart:

 

Elvis and Marilyn Mt. Rushmore

There are a bunch of drawings of these four icons together in bars, diners, and other scenes. For my collection, I have cropped out Dean and Bogart, but I couldn’t do that with this one because it would ruin the coolness of the Mt. Rushmore image.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Pink Caddy

Marilyn and Elvis just seem to be plopped into this picture. No real connection.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Sitting on a Bumper While Playing Guitar

Better. Elvis is singing to Marilyn, and she is swooning to his music.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Legends of the Silver Screen

First runner up. I couldn’t cut out Humphrey Bogart, but I love Elvis checking out Marilyn.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Gabling

The big winner. Elvis has Marilyn on one side and a pile of money on the other.

 

Clever Combinations:

 

Elvis and Marilyn With Caddy

An interesting combination of images and design.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Big Photo

This is clever. I wonder what Marilyn was holding in the original.

 

Elvis and Marilyn State Police

Do you think Elvis and Marilyn had enough star power to get the police to buzz off?

 

Elvis and Marilyn Eiffle Tower

Young lovers in Paris. I particularly like the rose.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Double Mirror

How cool is this? Hard to believe this didn’t rank in the top three.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Leaning

Outstanding, but I have one little quibble. Why didn’t they align the original pictures so Elvis was taller than Marilyn? Still, second runner-up.

 

Marilyn and Elvis Lying on Stage

This one is a bonus, not part of the ranking.  I made it wuth Windows Paint, and I wanted it to appear right after the one that inspired it.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Bunk Beds

First runner-up. In spite of it not being a sharp image, I am very impressed with this pairing of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Powerful.

 

Elvis and Marilyn Double Exposure

This is the grand winner in the Clever Combination group. And I created it by mistake. While watching a YouTube video that had a sequence of Elvis / Marilyn images morphing from one to the next, I clicked on Screen Grab a little late. So, two images were captured together. I love the result and gave myself the prize.

 

Elvis and Marilyn – Stars Forever:

 

Editor’s Note:  Several other websites and blogs lift articles from ElvisBlog to put on theirs.  I’m sure somebody will take this one.

 

 

© 2021 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
.
.
 .
ElvisBlog Lip Logo
.

.

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Coffee Table Elvis Photography Books

In Elvis Books, Part 1 we had groups of Elvis books at cheap prices. In Part 2 we had four titles from the Top 10 books for a basic Elvis library. Today, in Elvis Books, Part 3, I am offering three outstanding volumes of Elvis photo books.

Images of Elvis

 

Editor’s Note:  Images of Elvis  has been sold.

 

This is a British publication that measures 11” by 11” and contains 218 pages of Elvis photographs with accompanying text about each one. Unlike some books, there are no pages with multiple small pictures. Every photo in Images of Elvis is 3/4 page, full-page, and even double page.

A brand new copy from Amazon is $50.28 plus $3.99 shipping. Lowest price from Amazon for very good condition like mine is $32.29 plus $3.99. Or buy it from me for $25 delivered.

 

Elvis Presley: Unseen Archives:

 

Editor’s Note:  Elvis Presley – Unseen Archives has been sold.

 

Both Images of Elvis and Unseen Archives were compiled by the same person – Marie Clayton. Somehow, she got access to enough Elvis photos so that there is no duplication. Elvis: Unseen Archives measures 9” by 11”, weighs over four pounds, and contains 358 pages of great pictures. I have two copies, one from 2002 and the other from 2009, but the only difference is the picture on the dust-cover.

Unfortunately, there are many copies of this book on Amazon at a wide range of prices for like-new copies, so I guess I have to beat the lowest price which is really low-ball. You can buy Elvis: Unseen Archives on Amazon for $19.16 plus $3.99. You can buy it from me for $20 delivered. This is a real bargain.

 

Elvis at 21:

Editor’s Note:  Elvis at 21 has been sold.

 

This is the crown-jewel of Al Werheimer books of Elvis photographs. It is huge, measuring 11-1/2” by 14-1/4”, and it weighs over six pounds. It contains 249 pages of outstanding Elvis photographs and substantial text by Al giving the stories about the pictures. It has forward written by Peter Guralnick, the famous author of two Elvis books I’ve sold in the past week. But, the best news is that my copy of Elvis at 21 is autographed by Al Wertheimer

If you’ve read all my ElvisBlog posts about him, you know I wrote a long article for Elvis the Magazine. Al was very pleased with the article, and sold me this copy of Elvis at 21 at a discount. He autographed it as follows:

To Phil Arnold, a wonderful, talented writer and human being, who knows more about Elvis than anyone I know. Be well, A. Wertheimer.

I know some of you may be wondering how I could part with this incredible book with complimentary praise for me written by the most famous Elvis photographer. The answer is that Al contacted me a few years later to write the forward on his newest book, Elvis: The Early Years.

In addition to getting paid for my forward, I got a copy of the book with even more praise from Al. This is the book I am keeping.

The Amazon price for new copy of Elvis at 21 is $86.00 plus $3.99, and for a like-new  copy (like mine) the price drops to $75.57 plus shipping. I am willing to sell this autographed, like-new copy for $50. You will love this book.

 

Okay, If you like any of these books and would like to purchase them, let me know by email at philarnold@charter.net. Please don’t put it in Comments. These offers are for delivery to USA locations only.

Please indicate if you want a PayPal invoice, and I’ll get one right out. If you’d rather pay by check, let me know, and I’ll hold your selection for you until it arrives.

Thank you so much for your support.

 

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

ElvisBlog Logo