Elvis Week’s Best Kept Secret — 2015

Elvis '56

Last year, ElvisBlog shined a little light on a wonderful Elvis Week event that didn’t seem to be getting much promotional push. It was the Fan Reception at the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center. Click here to read about that event and here to see what they have going on this year.

If you are going to Elvis Week 2015, there’s a good chance you’ll be there on the 14th. It’s a Friday night – party time. So, what are you going to do?

Elvis Week Main Stage

Well, you could take in the Elvis in Vegas Tribute Concert at the Graceland Main Stage Pavilion. It stars Terry Mike Jeffrey. I’ve seen him at three Elvis Week shows over the years, and he is great. But, if you’re interested, you better hurry up. All the VIP seating is sold out, but as of now there are still $45 seats available.

 

Beale St. Memphis

But perhaps you would like to head down to Beale Street. Lots of bars, shops, and restaurants.

And right in the middle of everything on Beale Street is the New Daisy Theater.

New Daisy Theater at Night

I took in the Midnight Blues Concert at the Daisy back at Elvis Week 2002. When I walked in, I said, “This place is a dive,” but when I walked out, I said, “I love this place.” Old, funky, intimate, it was such a fun venue for a concert. Well, this 1941 theater is still alive and well today, a down-and-dirty honky tonk of the first order.

 

Inside the New Daisy Theater

The New Daisy Theater has been under new ownership since last year, and they have sunk some money into the place. Here you can see that theater seats have been replaced by platforms to accommodate table seating.

 

Lighting System at the New Daisy Theater

Even more important, they put in new sound and light systems. Of course, there is an open bar. Are you starting to get the idea the Daisy might be a terrific place for an Elvis Week concert? Especially on Friday night. May I suggest:

World Premier -- Elvis'56

If your interest in Elvis is primarily the 70s jumpsuit period, this show isn’t for you. But if you like the young, raw and wild performer of the early years, Elvis ’56 is perfect for you. And ElvisFestival.com has picked the right tribute artist to headline the show.

Cody Slaughter Rocking Out

Cody Ray Slaughter has an impressive resumé. Although he is one of the youngest top-drawer Elvis Tribute Artists, he has been perfecting his act since he was thirteen. When Cody was just seventeen, he was the featured entertainer for a year at The Tennessee Shindig in Pigeon Forge, TN. In 2008, Cody won the People’s Choice Award at Elvis Week.

Three years later at Elvis Week, EPE named him the winner of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition.

Cody Slaughter Winning 2011 Ultimate Elvis Competition

In October 2011, Cody took on the roll of Elvis Presley in the road tour of the hit theatrical production The Million Dollar Quartet. It was here that Cody developed his acting chops to go with his uncanny ability to sing like Elvis. All of these talents will be on display in Elvis ’56. It’s a show, not just a concert, that tells the story of Elvis’ rise in 1956 from Hillbilly Cat to the King of Rock and Roll.

Million Dollar Quartet

As the poster above states, Cody will be backed by a period appropriate three-piece band called the Hillbilly Katz. You get a little bonus here, because the drummer is David Fontana, DJ’s son. I checked DJ’s touring schedule to see if he would be in town and might drop by to sit in and drum with David. Unfortunately, DJ won’t be at Elvis Week this year. What a shame.

 

Samantha Arrowood Chamblis

If you remember Elvis’ concerts in the 50s, they all opened with a comedian. So, Elvis ’56 will feature Samantha Arrowood Chambliss. She does a comedic song and dance routine reminiscent of the Louisiana Hayride days. She and David Fontana will share the MC duties.
If you are thinking this all sounds like a show you’d like to take in, here’s the seating arrangement and prices.

Daisy Seating and Ticket Prices for Elvis 56

These six-people tables come at three different price levels depending on location. I can assure you that you will feel close to the action even in the $49 gold area (including the rows of chairs in front of the bar). I never sat in the balcony, but I bet it’s a very satisfactory experience up there, too. Click here to go to the website for availability and purchasing of tickets.

Cody Slaughter

If I were going to Elvis Week this year, I would definitely get down to the New Daisy Theater and take in Cody Slaughter’s performance in Elvis ’56. His website say his fans have crowned him the new “Prince of Rock and Roll”. What a fine way to highlight your trip to Memphis to honor the “King of Rock and Roll.”

 

 

© 2015 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.

.

ElvisFestival.com also has a whole week of interesting shows lined up at the New Daisy Theater. For five hours each afternoon, Monday the 10th and Wednesday the 12th, you can see the Images of the King competitions. For six hours on Friday, you can watch the finals plus a showcase of past champions. Other afternoon shows are Ben Portsmouth: Acoustic Elvis on Tuesday, and Jukebox LIVE: A tribute to Rock and Roll History on Thursday. If you remember how blistering hot it has been at past Elvis Weeks, a nice long show in air-conditioned comfort might be a good idea.

Sunday and Monday nights have concerts featuring outstanding ETAs Shawn Klush, Cody Slaughter, Dean Z, Ben Portsmouth, and Jay Dupuis. And Wednesday night, Elvis Meets the Beatles sounds like a really fun show. For ticket information, click here.

ElvisFestivals

Some Interesting Results at the Latest Elvis Auction

Gotta Have Rock and Roll Website

Except for the two Auctions at Graceland, there haven’t been any sizeable selections of Elvis goodies at auction this past year. Finally, some good stuff showed up at the Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction that closed late last week. There were no rings or other jewelry, but three items of clothing fetched significant bids.

 

1970’s Custom Made Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket:

Elvis' 1970’s Custom Made Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket

This is a nice combo – black bell bottom pants with red kick pleats (not visible in this picture) and a black corduroy jacket. Both were custom made by IC Costume Co, and the jacket bears their label.

Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket

In addition to the photo of Elvis wearing the outfit, both items came with letters of provenance. The projected bid price was $6-8,000, and it went for a little more at $8,860. Please note that all buyers had to pay an additional 20% service charge to all sell levels mentioned in this article.

 

Lansky’s Custom Made Black Wool Jacket:

Elvis' Lansky Custom Made Black Wool Jacket

The next two items came from Elvis’ favorite clothier in Memphis, Lansky Bros, and the coat above sported both the Lansky label and the “Styled for Elvis Presley” custom-made label.

Elvis' Lansky Bros Custom Made Black Wool Jacket - Label

But what makes this black fleck woolen jacket especially desirable is the accompanying photo of Elvis wearing it.

Lansky's Custom Made Black Wool Jacket - Elvis Wearing

The estimated selling price was $5-7,000, and this turned out to be accurate. The most spirited bidding on any Elvis clothing item brought in $7088 (plus that extra 20% for the auction house)

 

1950’s Lansky Custom Made Stage Suit:

Elvis' 1950's Custom Made Stage Suit

Unlike the first two items, Elvis wore this outfit when he performed on stage (according the auction website description). If so, I’m surprised none of the previous owners has been able to find a photo of Elvis wearing it. Still, there is the Styled for Elvis Presley custom Lansky label on both the royal dark blue jacket with black velvet lapel trim and the blue-grey pants. The winning bid came in at $8860, just over the high estimate.

 .

Porcelain Monkey From Graceland:

Elvis' Porcelain Monkey From Graceland

This is the first of several items that have interesting stories. When I saw the pre-auction estimate of $2-3,000, I said, “No way.” For that kind of money, I’ve seen dozens of other Elvis collectibles I’d rather own.

Elvis' Porcelain Monkey From Graceland in TV Room

However, this photo showing the monkey in the TV room at Graceland and a letter of provenance from Charlie Hodge persuaded somebody to part with $1,612 to own it.

 

15 Priscilla Presley Original 2 x 2 Color Transparency Slides:

Priscilla Presley Original Transparency Slides

I guess there weren’t any Priscilla Presley fans following this auction, because nobody even bid the $25 minimum. I’ve never seen any of these pictures before (and I’ve downloaded many dozens of Priscilla photos over the years).

Priscilla Presley and Bull

This seems like a missed bargain – picking up fourteen rare pics of Priscilla for $25

 

Three Photographs of Elvis:

3 B&W Elvis Photos

Now, here’s some photos that really appealed to the bidders. The pre-auction estimate was $50-100, but I knew that was way low. I have never seen the two pictures on the left, and I’ve seen literally thousands of Elvis photos. Sure enough, these three 8 x 10 black and white original photographs had more bids than any other item in the auction (18) and brought in $541.

 

10th Anniversary Half-Ounce Fine Silver Coins:

Elvis Presley 10th Anniversary half ounce fine silver coins

These ten coins brought in $80, which is not that much of a premium over the price for their weight in pure silver. Maybe if the owner had bothered to polish them up before offering them….

 .

1957 Civic Center Concert Poster Reproduction:

1957 Elvis Concert Poster Reproduction

It is a mystery to me why the pre-auction estimate on this was $2-300. The auction website clearly says REPRODUCTION. Nobody thought this fake was worth the $100 minimum bid. No surprise.

 

Elvis Presley Special Edition Graceland Gift Set:

Elvis Presley's Graceland Special Edition

Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set Box

The auction website has one short sentence describing this item: “Recreate your own personal Graceland with this Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set.” Plus the two pictures above – and this:

Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set Inside

What is all that stuff? I couldn’t figure out what they were offering, and apparently the bidders couldn’t either. Nobody would cover the $200 minimum bid.

Box Elvis Presley's Graceland

So, I looked it up on eBay and the photos and description there made it very clear. This box contains a miniature Graceland at Christmas set — lighted ceramic Graceland building, 1955 Pink Cadillac Fleetwood, wrought iron gate, the original Christmas lawn decorations, and six mylar twinkling trees. Look at the first photo again to see it all put together.

Inside Box - Elvis Presley's Graceland

With this picture you can see some of the listed items. This set was introduced as a limited edition in 2000 and retired on January 8, 2001. A few are currently available on eBay for $2-300. I’m sure it would have sold at this auction if the owner had bothered to describe what he was selling.

 

We will take a look next week at something I’ve never seen offered before at one auction – collections of seven different Elvis magazines.

 

 

© 2015 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.

The New Elvis Stamp — Let the Merchandising Begin

Elvis Presley Forever CD

At first glance, you might think that’s a picture of the new Elvis stamp above. Nope. It’s the front cover of a CD the US Postal Service is selling online.  New stamps don’t have a price on them anymore, so the word FOREVER appears instead. Because they used the stamp picture on the cover, the Postal Service has cleverly named this CD “Elvis Presley Forever.”

Song List for Elvis Presley Forever CD

This track listing may appeal to new fans, but everybody who owns other Elvis CDs probably has the songs already, except for the last two. These previously unreleased versions may spark some interest, and the $10 price is not prohibitive.

Forever Elvis Collection Inside

The Postal Service used a similar name on another collectible they call the “Forever Elvis Collection.” For $24.95 you get:

-One mint 1993 Elvis Presley stamp pulled from the U.S. Postal Service vault.

-A sheet of 16 new 2015 Elvis Presley stamps.

-A bold 8 x 8-inch cachet [whatever that is] with an affixed 2015 Elvis Presley stamp and exclusive postmark printed in metallic gold and black inks. (I guess this is in the center behind the sheet of stamps))

-The collectibles are housed in a handsome [USPS lingo] six-panel folio with a die-cut slipcase. The folio panels contain photographs of Elvis shot by Alfred Wertheimer during 1956, as well as a narrative on the 1993 stamp, the 2015 stamp, and the life and music of The King himself.

The Forever Elvis Collection - $24.95

This is the front cover of the “Forever Elvis Collection.” In my opinion, a less washed out photo would make it more handsome.

 

One other note. The Forever Elvis Collection can be purchased at USPSstamps.com, same as all the stamp options covered last week. The CD is not listed there, just at store.usps.com.

 

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album

The idea of a commemorative folio containing Elvis stamp memorabilia was also used in 1993. The folio above was designed to look like a gatefold 33rpm album. Same exact size.

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album Contents

When you opened it up, you could see part of a wonderful color booklet through the die-cut hole.

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album Contents

Here’s the cover of the 16 –page booklet.

Inside 1993 E;vis Stamp Booklet

And this is an example of the content. It is very well done. In addition to the booklet, this collection contains:

10 Elvis stamp sheets in original sealed sleeves

Elvis stamp limited edition print

“First Day” ceremony program

I have seen the whole set listed several places on eBay. Used ones go for $25 and still sealed ones are asking $100-125.

 

Elvis Stamp T-Shirt

Back in 1993, to tied in with the 1993 Elvis stamp release, a new ShopElvis.com catalog showed up containing 28 items featuring the image of the stamp. I bought the above T-shirt, which I still have (in pretty good shape, because I seldom wear white T-shirts). Here are the other items I purchased.

.

Elvis Stamp Beach Towell

Beach Towel

.

Elvis Stamp Baseball Cap

Baseball Cap

.

Elvis stamp Refrigerator Magnet

Refrigerator Magnet

.

Elvis Stamp Key Chain

Key Chain

.

Elvis Stamp Watch.

I didn’t buy the Elvis stamp watch. My wife gave it to me the following Christmas.

.

Here are a couple of other items with the stamp picture on it that I did not buy. Not my kind of Elvis collectible.

Elvis Stamp Bear

Gold Lamé Bear

.

Elvis Stamp Collectible Plate

Elvis Stamp Plate

1993  Elvis Stamp Mug

And what would a Graceland merchandising theme be without a coffee mug?  They have put out so many different ones over the years.  If I had pictures of them all, I could do a whole blog post on them.

.

I’m sure EPE has worked out some kind of deal with the Postal Service to market all kinds of stuff with the new Elvis stamp on it. There will be another Graceland catalog out before Elvis Week, so we will see pretty soon.

Unfortunately, I’m not as enthused about purchasing anything with the new stamp picture on it. It’s a black-and-white photo, dull compared to the 1993 drawing in brilliant color. But I’ll bet lots of folks will still buy them.

 

 

© 2015 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.

The New Elvis Stamp – Part 2

Sheet of 16 Elvis Stamps- $7.84

If demand for the new Elvis stamp is anywhere close to the Postal Service’s expectations, they are going to sell a lot of them.

And, if you are thinking you would like to have some for your collection of Elvis goodies, they offer many options for you on their website USPSstamps.com. Like the sheet of 16 above.  It sells for $7.84.  The stamps don’t have a price on them anymore, just the word Forever.  We’ve gone from a 1993 Elvis stamp that cost 29¢ to one that costs 49¢ in 2015. (16 x 49¢ = $7.84)

 

Back of the New Elvis Stamp Sheet

To make the sheet of 16 Elvis stamps even more attractive, the postal Service puts this Al Wertheimer photograph on the flip side of the slick backing paper.  A very nice touch.

Elvis In Concert July 4, 1956

Here’s the original uncropped photo taken on July 4, 1956 while Elvis performed at Russwood stadium in Memphis.  As long as they were messing around with the picture anyway, I wish they had put the color back into Elvis’ right pants leg.  Looks a little weird on the flip-side picture.

 

Elvis Stamp First Day Cover - 93 cents

Of course, you can’t buy a single stamp, but you can buy one on an envelope that has a First Day of Issue postmark.  These are called First Day Covers and the price is just 94¢.  Seems like a pretty good deal, but it sure isn’t as flashy as the 1993 stamp First Day Covers.

1993 Elvis Stamp First Day Cover 2

1993 Elvis Stamp First Day Cover 1

These are beautiful in full color and the postmark is the gates of Graceland.  I believe there were five different choices available.

 

However, if you want something a little flashier in 2015, there is only a slight variation available for $1.64.

Digital Color Postmark Fibearing an affixed Elvis Presley stamp cancelled with an official First Day of Issue pictorial postmark - $1.64

For the extra 50¢ you get the big gold crown on the First Day of Issue DCP (Digital Color Postmark – Postal Service lingo).

 

First Day Cancelled Full Sheet of Elvis Stamps

Here’s an upgrade from the first stamp sheet at the beginning of this article.  You will note there are three bulls-eye postmarks (that’s what they call them).  Each is centered over a block of four stamps.  The remaining four are postmarked with portions of Elvis’ signature.  Also visible are the words MUSIC ICONS and a small black crown.  I like this one and think it’s worth the $10.34 they are asking.

 

There’s some text at the bottom of these stamp sheets, but it is too small to read here.  It says,

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was one of the first true stars of rock and roll.  The singer, guitarist, musician, and actor combined country, gospel, and rhythm and blues to create a unique sound that lives on today.  Through his music, the King of Rock and Roll helped break down social barriers in the 1950s and in the process helped change American pop culture forever.

Well written I think, but come on – “One of the first true stars of rock and roll.”  It should say, The first true star.

 

There is one other thing worth noting on both these stamp sheets.  The square shape is the same size as an old 45 rpm record sleeve.  See that black sliver of a circle at the top?  That is to simulate the top of a record sticking out of the sleeve a bit.  The design people at the Postal Service got pretty creative on this.

 

DCP Keepsake - Sheet of 16 Elvis Stamp & Digital Color Postmark First Day Cover - 9.95

Here’s a little combo package they call the DCP Keepsake (remember what DCP stands for?)  It combines the $7.84 sheet of 16 stamps and the $1.64 First Day Cover.  They are asking $9.95, but it’s actually cheaper to buy each item separately.

 

21.25 x 21.25-inch press sheet without die-cuts, containing nine panes of 16  stamps positioned three across by three - $70

If you want to get a lot of Elvis stamps, this one might appeal to you.  Disregard the single stamp image superimposed over the so-called “press” sheet.  There are nine of the 16-stamp sheets together measuring 21.25” x 21.25”.  The cost is $70.56.

 

 

According to the Washington Post, the Postal Service sold over 500,000,000 of the 1993 Elvis stamps, and reported later that 124,000,000 of them were never used for postage.  Fans held on to them as collectibles.

1993 Elvis Stamp

 

It’s my guess that not many of the 2015 Elvis stamps will ever be stuck on an envelope.

2015 Elvis Forever Stamp

.

ElvisBlog has covered the Elvis Stamps for years.  To read more, click on:

The New Elvis Stamp – Posted July 3, 2015

The Elvis Stamp Has Not Left the Building – Posted March 1, 2014

Gladys and Elvis — A Mothers’ Day Commemorative Stamp?Posted October 1, 2011

Voting for the Elvis Stamp – Posted January 15, 2008

The Elvis Stamp Revisited – (From the January  2003 issue of Elvis International Magazine)

 

©  2015    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.

 

The New Elvis Stamp

Elvis Forever Stamp

Graceland.com announced yesterday that the US Postal Service has revealed the new Elvis stamp that will be issued in August. Unlike the 1993 Elvis stamp, the image is a photograph, not a drawing, and it is in black and white not color.

Stamp Picture

The shot they chose for the new stamp was taken by professional Memphis photographer William Speer, and there is an interesting story about the photo session. I pieced it together from two old website posts. Much of it is quotations made by Speer or his wife Vacil, but there were no acknowledgements of where these originated. There is also some confusion whether the photos were shot on November, 1954 or March 1955.

During that period, local DJ and concert promoter Bob Neal acted as Elvis’ manager.

Elvis and Bob Neal

Neal decided Elvis needed some publicity stills to help launch his budding career, so he sent him over to William Speer’s studio. Elvis wore a maroon shirt and a white sport coat, but he did not bring any other change of clothes.

The first two shots were taken with Elvis wearing the coat, one a close-up of his face, and the other incorporating part of his chest.

William Speer - Elvis Photo for Stamp

This appears to be the photo chosen for the new stamp. However, you will notice there is a shadow from Elvis’ hair on his forehead. This is because Speer used what he called “Rembrandt lighting” with an overhead spotlight casting shadows downward.

Now go back and look at the stamp again. The shadows have been Photoshopped out. They should have left them in.

Speer felt the bright white color of the coat gave Elvis’ face a washed-out look. What do you think? I can’t see it, and it certainly didn’t deter the stamp selection committee.

Next, Speer tried three shots with the white coat off, just Elvis in his maroon shirt.

William Speer - Three Photos of Elvis in Maroon Shirt
At this point, Speer figured he had taken all the photos he could and the session was finished. However, his wife was mesmerized by Elvis and disagreed. She boldly urged Elvis to try “something different” – a few shots with his shirt off. She has been quoted, “We went this far, might as well take the shirt off too. He didn’t look real happy about it, but he obliged.”

Three William Speer Photos Of Bare-chested Elvis

When Elvis saw the shirtless proofs a few days later, he laughed and said, “These have got to go.”

Two William Speers Photos of Bare-Chested Elvis

 

In a 1987 column in the New York Daily News, columnist Liz Smith called one of the brooding shirtless poses “the most beautiful photo ever taken of Elvis.” I’m guessing she referred to the last one above.

Here are a few quotes by William Speer and his wife Vacil about the memorable photo session with Elvis.

William: “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but what a place and what a time! I’d never heard of him to tell you the truth, but as soon as I sat him in front of the camera I knew he had it.”

Vacil: “It felt like an electrical charge in the room, an animal magnetism. You can tell the famous ones or the ones who are going to be famous. They stand out in a room without you even knowing who they are.”

William: “When he first stepped in front of the camera, I told him, ‘You sure would make a wonderful actor.’ [Elvis] looked like Burt Lancaster. He could have played his brother in the movies. He came off that dead film like dynamite. Either you’ve got it or you haven’t.”

Vacil: “There he stood in the doorway, long, lean, with big blue eyes and soft full lips. “I opened the doors and it was magic. I checked him head-to-toe and said ‘Wow.’”

William: “Even though he was shy, it was obvious Presley liked being photographed.”

Vacil: “Somebody said, ‘Why didn’t you take his pants off while you were at it?’ I could have been worth a fortune by now.”

.

Congratulations to the folks who chose William Speer’s photo for the new Elvis stamp. ElvisBlog will present Part 2 of the stamp story next week.

 

 

© 2015 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.

 

This Post Will Self-Destruct in One Week

Elvis and Confederate Flag 1

A last look before these images disappear.

.

Elvis and the Confederate Flag 2

.

Elvis and the Confederate Flag 3

.

Elvis and the Confederate Flag 4

.

Elvis and the Confederate Flag 5

.

Elvis and the Confederate Flag 6

.

Elvis and the Confederate Flag 7

.

Elvis and the Confederate Flag 8

.

Elvis and the Confererate Flag 9

.

.

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Elvis in the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame

Graceland Announcement

This is the total content of a recent Graceland.com news item. There is no Read More link to click on. The print may be too small for you to read, but the last paragraph says, “The hall of fame was established in 2010 and is based in Clarksdale, Mississippi.”

The third paragraph lists the 2015 induction class:

Elvis
The Bar-Kays
Al Bell
Willie Clayton
Millie Jackson
Dorothy Moore
Sam Moore
Little Richard
Bobby Rush
Stax Records
The Mad Lads
Ike Turner
Muddy Waters
Radio station WDIA

There are some folks on here whom I don’t know. In addition to Elvis, I’m glad to see Sam Moore (Sam and Dave), Little Richard, Ike Turner, and Muddy Waters on the list. I wondered why Little Richard was not already in, not a charter member like he is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Who had they already inducted prior to Little Richard and Elvis being recognized? So, I clicked on the only link in the news release and went here.

 

R&B Hall of Fame Website Homepage.

This is where I started to get confused. Why would a Hall of Fame based in Clarksdale, MS have museums in two other cities? So, I clicked on the Museum tab and here’s what they are calling museums:

The 20 Grand in Detroit

This is a juke joint and restaurant in Detroit. The website states, “The 20 Grand Juke Joint Rhythm & Blues Restaurant will give you that old historic feeling of the juke joints of yesterday with pool tables, juke boxes and rhythm & blues memberilia from posters and showcases with outfits from The O’Jays, The Temptations, The Whispers, Gene Chandler, Chubby Checker, James Brown etc.”

That sounds like a long way from a museum to me. Also, how unimpressive is anyone who spells memorabilia wrong? Memberilia?

 

National Blues Music Experience Center - Memphis

Well, at least the logo for their Memphis museum is pretty cool. The National Blues Music Experience Center website says it “will tell the history of blues music from the beginning of its unsung heroes to its legends. The story will be told thought a timeline of photos, music, virtual reality and hologram exhibits.”

Note the wiggle words will tell and the story will be told. Apparently, this center does not yet exist. There is no address, hours of operation, or ticket prices listed.

 

So, I started to have some doubts about the R&B Hall of Fame and did some more looking around on the site’s links. This came up.

R&B Hall of Fame 2015 Induction - Clarksdale

Okay, a poster for the 2015 induction ceremony. There’s Elvis at the top on one side of the Highway 61 sign, Muddy Waters on the other. You can see little Richard there, too.

A couple of things on the poster are interesting. It looks like the only place in Clarksdale to buy tickets was at Delta Keepsakes down on Yazoo Ave. The other point is that the date of the ceremony was this past June 6. So Graceland waited until eleven days later to mention the ceremony in their news feed. A strangely late and surprisingly brief announcement.

Anyway, I clicked around on the site some more and found the lists of the first two classes of inductees. Here are the highlights – from my perspective, anyway.

2013: James Brown, Sam Cooke, Four Tops, Otis Redding, Supremes, Temptations, and Jackie Wilson.

2014: Michael Jackson, B.B. King, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Chubby Checker.

All worthy folks, but after three years of inductions, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Chuck Berry are still not in. I don’t get it. Maybe they are trying to save some big names to hype with future induction ceremonies.

I continued to click on things on the R&B Hall of Fame website. What I found next totally blew my mind.

R&B Hall of Fame 2015 Induction - Detroit

Wow, here’s a poster for a second 2015 induction ceremony – next October in Detroit. I guess it’s an effort to generate more money for the Hall. But strangely, Elvis, Muddy Watters, and Little Richard aren’t featured on the poster. Instead we see Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Chuck Jackson, and Jerry Butler. Not one of these singers were on the list of those chosen in 2015, nor any year for that matter.

So, I’m starting to guess why Graceland gave such belated and minimal press to Elvis going into the R&B Hall of Fame. The website does not even list biographical material on the inductees. The other music halls of fame Elvis is in do it very nicely. Here is a taste of what they’ve got to say.

 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

Elvis Bio - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

This biography goes on for another three long paragraphs.

.

Country Music Hall of Fame:

Elvis Bio - Country Music Hall of Fame

This is less than 1/3 of Elvis’ bio on the Country Music Hall of Fame website.

.

Rockabilly Hall of Fame:

Rockabilly Hall of Fame Elvis Picture

Before he was the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley was a country musician known as “The Hillbilly Cat from Memphis.” But the transition wasn’t easy. In his first appearance at Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry, the producer told him, “If I were you, I’d just go back to driving a truck and forget about being a singer.” Crushed, Presley might have quit if he hadn’t been given a second chance at a slightly less prestigious country radio show called the Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana. Presley tweaked his country and gospel roots with rhythm and blues, even adopting a rhythmic swagger in his hips. Growing up in the Memphis region of the Mississippi Delta, he played and recorded with many black musicians. In general, country music from that region had more influence from jazz and blues than from other parts of the South. When the producer of the Louisiana Hayride first heard Presley’s tape, he pointedly asked the talent manager who’d brought it if the singer was black or white. “Oh, he’s white all right,” the manager replied. “He’s just got a different sound, that’s all.” That different sound came to be called “ROCKABILLY,” a true mutt of music–a blend of everything from bluegrass to western swing to pop crooning. Rockabilly meant working-class boys ready to rock, decked out in checkered suits and bow ties, juiced on rhythm and blues. Rockabilly and “the Hillbilly Cat” were among the central influences of early rock ‘n’ roll, and both came directly from country music.

.

Blues Hall of Fame:

The Blues hall of Fame did not have a bio, but the Elvis link included this Certificate and a wonderful quote:

Elvis Certificate - Blues Hall of Fame

“They say, The Blues had a child and they called it Rock n Roll.
Elvis Presley personifies this Rock n Roll child.”

.

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

50th Anniversary Movie Pictorials — Tickle Me

Tickle Me Movie Poster

Tickle Me premiered nationally on May 28, 1965.

As I said last month in the Girl Happy article, I now rewatch each movie on my laptop to get inspiration for these 50th anniversary posts. I make heavy use of pause, single frame advance (or reverse), and screen grab. You can discover a lot of fun shots this way.

 

Elvis -- 4 Film Favorites

First, let me give a word of praise for the DVD four-pack above. You can get a used copy for under $5 on Amazon, and I consider it the best deal on Elvis movies out there. I love all four of these movies and can watch them over and over again. Yes, I know Live A Little, Love A Little is stupid and far-out, but to me, it’s so bad that it’s cool. And they’re all fun.

 

Women Oogling Elvis in Tickle Me

Here is an example of one thing that makes Tickle Me work for me. This shot happened when Elvis first arrived at the Circle Z Ranch. I could have selected another fifteen or twenty similar pictures of beautiful girls ogling Elvis from other scenes in this movie.

 

Shot from Clambake

Oops, this one is from Clambake. How’d that get in here?

 

Jocelyn Lane's First Look at Elvis in Tickle Me

Okay, back to Tickle Me. This is Elvis’ love interest, played by Jocelyn Lane, one of my favorite Elvis costars. This is how she first sees Elvis as he starts work at the Circle Z health ranch.

 

Elvis Enjoying the View - Tickle Me

And this is a few seconds after he first sees her. Don’t the students usually face the instructor when doing exercises? Oh, well, that wouldn’t be as much fun.

 

Elvis Falling Over Table

The view gets Elvis so shook up he tumbles over a patio table. It’s one of the best physical humor bits Elvis did in his movies. There wasn’t a stunt double. He did it.

 

Elvis Singing in Local Bar - Tickle Me

In addition to Jocelyn Lane and a bevy of beautiful women, Tickle Me also has pretty good music. Elvis is backed up by three different bands, including this one in a bar the night before he reports to the ranch.

 

Elvis - Band at Ranch Party

Then there is this band at a luau at the ranch. Elvis must have liked that jacket. He wears it in a lot of scenes.

 

Elvis - Band in the Saloon

And finally, Elvis is backed by these guys in a dream sequence. Actually, it should be called a joint-daydream sequence, because both Elvis and Jocelyn are wide awake and see the same flashback to a saloon a hundred years earlier. This is not the only wonderfully ludicrous element of the film.

 

Elvis -- Another Song with Invisable band

Like this scene where Elvis sings and an invisible band provides the musical accompaniment.

 

Lovely Girls Following Elvis - Tickle Me

Same deal here. Lots of sound coming from that invisible band again.

Here’s an interesting tid-bit about the music in Tickle Me. Elvis did not record any new songs for it. Instead, the movie featured songs culled from these old Elvis albums: Pot Luck, Something for Everybody, and Elvis is Back. Probably some kind of cost saving idea of Col. Parker’s.
So, in addition to girls and music, what else does Tickle Me have to offer? How about bad guys in creepy-looking masks:

Monster at Door - Tickle Me

Monster in Window - Tickle Me

Donkey

Actually, this is a real donkey. He apparently lives in the ghost town where Jocelyn (alone, and later with Elvis) looks for her grandfather’s hidden gold coins.

 

Ghost Town in Tickle Me

See the donkey? Once Elvis and Jocelyn get to the ghost town, the sort-of plot kicks in, but so does a bunch of silliness.

 

Restored Hotel in Tickle Me

Like the hotel supposedly restored by the State Historical Society. The doors are not locked, no one is there to welcome visitors, and it has hot running water and wooden chests full of clothes to change into.

 

Jocelyn Wet and Mad at Elvis - Tickle Me

Which worked out well for Jocelyn after she got caught in a thunderstorm. She does an excellent job of being wet and mad at Elvis in this scene.

 

Elvis Giving Quick Spank to Jocelyn - Tickle Me

But Elvis calms her down once he gets her inside.

 

You don't Mind Kissing your Boss Do You

Elvis also had to calm down the beautiful ranch manager. When she asked him something like, “You’re not afraid of a little kissing with your boss, are you?” Elvis looks directly at the camera and winks. A nice touch. I don’t remember Elvis doing it in other films.

 

Red West and Elvis Fighting - Tickle Me

There’s one thing I always look for in Elvis movies. It’s the fight scene with Red West. Someday I’ll tabulate how many of them there are and do a blog post on them.

Red West Before Swinging at Elvis - Tickle Me

Here’s Red pulling his date away after she threw herself at Elvis.  Gee, we’ve never seen that before, have we?

 

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 1 - Tickle Me

As usual, we will end this pictorial essay with Elvis kissing his leading lady.

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 2 - Tickle Me

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane kissed four times in Tickle Me. That might be a record. I don’t know.

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 3 - Tickle Me

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 4 - Tickel Me

Strangely, they did not kiss when they found the gold, or when they got married, or when they took off on their honeymoon. Too bad. That certainly would have set the movie record for Elvis kissing his love interest.

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

Elvis T-Shirt Review — Summer 2015

Graceland University of Rock Raglan  T-Shirt

For the sixth year in a row, ElvisBlog is happy to present its annual Elvis T-Shirt Review.  In years past, all the winners and losers came from ShopElvis.com.  Now that Graceland.com is selling T-Shirts (and everything else in their on-line store, ShopGraceland.com), this year’s picks come from both sites.

ShopElvis.com

ShopGraceland.com

 

WINNERS

 

 Graceland University of Rock Raglan T-Shirt:

University of Rock

One reason I picked the shirt at the top is because I am partial to the raglan sleeve design.  Another reason is the great silhouette of Elvis.  However, the theme is especially clever – UNIVERSITY OF ROCK.  Same for Home of the King and Founded 1954.

You will note GRACELAND at the bottom of the design.  This is becoming a trend in the new shirts offered on ShopGraceland.com.  Twenty out of their thirty-seven designs have the word Graceland on them (many with a picture as well).  None of the forty-seven designs on ShopElvis.com have anything about Graceland.  I don’t know what that means, but it is curious.

 

 Elvis on Tour in Japan T-Shirt:

 Elvis on Tour in Japan T-Shirt

This shirt makes the Winners List because it is so bizarre.  Elvis never toured Japan, and Elvis on Tour in Japan does not appear on the shirt, so the title is a puzzler.  But this is probably the only Elvis T-Shirt with hot chicks in bikinis on it.  And it certainly is the only one featuring Japanese letter symbols.

 

Elvis Presley Boulevard / Lonely Street T-Shirt:

 Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street

I am always partial to black T-Shirts with colorful designs.  This design is fairly subdued, but it works.  I like the street signs showing the intersection of Elvis Presley Boulevard and Lonely Street.  Same for the profile of Elvis. But check out the long-distance perspective down the street toward Graceland with Elvis’ shadow right in the middle.  Very cool.

 

Elvis The Legend Rolls On MotorcycleT-Shirt:

Elvis the Legend Rolls on Motorcycle T-Shirt

I’m a sucker for any T-Shirt design featuring an Alfred Wertheimer photograph.  I also like The Legend Rolls On and the vertical spelling of E-L-V-I-S.  I’m not sure I understand why they felt they needed to add the white streaky stuff to the left of his name, because it obscures so much of Elvis’ Harley.

 

Elvis Presley American Classic Motorcycle T-Shirt:

 Elvis Presley American Classic Motorcycle T-Shirt

Here’s another Elvis motorcycle pic worked into a T-Shirt design.  There is a lot here if you look closely.  From the top, we have a crown, The King of Rock & Roll, ELVIS PRESLEY (in a nifty font), Elvis and the Harley, eagle wings, the TCB logo, and AMERICAN Classic.  The only thing missing is Graceland.

 

Elvis Presley Fueled By Rock ‘N Roll T-Shirt:

Elvis Presley Fueled By Rock 'N Roll T-Shirt

Graceland isn’t missing on this one.  The ’54 pink Caddy has been on a number of Elvis T-Shirts over the years, but this view is the best yet.  Add this to the list of clever titles or tag-lines:  ELVIS PRESLEY – Fueled by Rock & Roll.

 

Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street Guitar T-Shirt:

 Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street Guitar T-Shirt SG 22

Well, if Elvis Presley Boulevard/Lonely Street was a good idea for one T-Shirt, why not use it on another?  This concept is totally different, but the use of the guitar neck as the pole for the street signs is clever.  I could have done without the Graceland on the neck, but still a good shirt.

 

TCB Distressed Foil T-Shirt:

Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street Guitar T-Shirt

I have this same design on a baseball cap I wear all the time.  Every once-in-a-while, a stranger will notice it, smile, and say “Elvis fan.”   It’s almost like a secret code.  You can proclaim that you are an Elvis fan, but only other fans get it.  The rest of people don’t have a clue.

ShopGraceland TCB

The shirt above is offered by Graceland.com.  I’m not real crazy about the distressed-foil design.  It just makes the TCB logo look crappy, so what’s the point?  However, ShopElvis.com has a similar design.  It’s cleaner and the lightning bolt isn’t compressed so much.

ShopElvis TCB

 

 

LOSERS

 

Elvis Stage Presence T-Shirt:

Elvis Stage presence T-Shirt

Stupid name.  What does this image have to do with “Stage Presence”?  And look at this blow-up of the picture.

Elvis and Cat in Oval Office

That’s Elvis in the Oval Office shaking hands with a cat, not President Nixon.  Stupidest idea for an Elvis T-Shirt I ever saw.

 

Elvis Presley US Army T-Shirt:

 Elvis Presley U.S. Army T-Shirt

Two things force this shirt onto my Loser List.  Maybe the Sergeant strips on the sleeves work for some folks, but they are a total turn-off for me.  Just tacky.  And why is the front design crooked?  This shirt looks like it is a second, but ShopGraceland.com is asking $22 for it.

 

Elvis V8 Ambition:

 Elvis V8 Ambition

Another confusing name.  Ambition is clear enough, and if you look closely, you can see V8 Engine above Elvis’ signature.  But you’d have to be real close to someone wearing this shirt to see the full tag line: AMBITION is a Dream with a V8 Engine.  This is just not a very desirable T-Shirt.

 

Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii Ukelele T-Shirt:

Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii Ukelele T-Shirt

There aren’t many red Elvis T-Shirts, so I wanted to like this.  But when you look close, lots of stuff are turn-offs.  For one, Ukulele is spelled wrong in the name (I didn’t actually catch this, but Spell Check did).  I’m good with guitars on Elvis T-Shirts, but ukes don’t do anything for me.

Elvis in a Uke

But, look at this blow-up.  Over Elvis’ face and body, they have superimposed Aloha from Hawaii Live Via Satellite.  Those splotches of red on his face are just unacceptable.

 

Official Elvis Insiders Conference 2005 T-Shirt:

Official Elvis Insiders Conference 2005 Men’s T-Shirt

As you can imagine, this shirt did come from the Close-out section.  They’ve been trying to sell the last of these for ten years.  It’s about time to realize nobody wants them.  Give them to charity and move on.

 

Elvis American Legend T-Shirt:

Elvis American Legend T-Shirt

I guess this is an Elvis shirt you either love or hate.  It’s hard to believe it is being offered by the folks that are so concerned about protecting Elvis’ image.

Elvis Wearing TCB Glasses

Imagine this image on a circular pendant swinging slowly back and forth.  “You are getting sleepy, very sleepy.”

 

 

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2014

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2013

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2012

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2011

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2010

A New Name in the History of Elvis’ Teenage Girlfriends

Sandy, Mac, Brenda - Copy

Brenda Lee, Mac Davis, Sandy Martindale

On May 20, Graceland announced the special guests for Elvis Week 2015. Very little was said about each guest, and none was needed for Brenda Lee or Mas Davis. But, what about that the third name on the list – Sandy Martindale? All the press release said was “she used to date Elvis.”

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on Elvis’ girlfriends, but I had never heard of Sandy Martindale. So, it was time to do a Google search and see what her story is. I found four good references from 1997, 2004, 2008, and 2014, plus a few photos, mostly of her and long-time husband Wink Martindale.

Sandy and Wink Martindale

It turns out Sandy Ferra was fourteen when she first met Elvis, many years before she met and wed his friend Wink Martindale. This makes her one on a long list of teenage girls Elvis is known to have dated. Let’s look at the more notable ones in chronological order, followed by some detail about Sandy Ferra Martindale.

 

Elvis and Regis at Senior Prom 1953

Regis Wilson: 14 when Elvis took her to the Prom in 1953.

.

Barb Pittman

Barbara Pittman: Three years younger than Elvis when they met in high school and started dating. She later recorded a few songs at Sun Records.

.

Dixie Locke and Elvis 1955

Dixie Locke: 15 when Elvis started dating her in 1953 after he had graduated from high school. Dated him for a year or two.

.

Elvis and Barbara Hearn

Barbara Hearn: Met Elvis through her friend Dixie Locke. Started dating him when he and Dixie broke up.

.

June Jaunico and Elvis

June Juanico: 17 when she met Elvis on June 26, 1955. In March 1957 she said goodbye because “I couldn’t wait in the wings while Elvis got on with his career.”

.

Natalie Wood and Elvis

Natalie Wood: 18 when she met Elvis in Hollywood in 1956. Elvis was 21.

.

Young Priscilla Beaulieu

Priscilla Beaulieu: 14 when Elvis met her in Germany in 1959. Elvis was 24.

.

Sandy Ferra with Elvis - 1960

Sandy Ferra: 14 when she met Elvis in Los Angeles in 1960. He was 25.

Soon after Elvis got out of the Army in 1960, he went to Los Angeles to film G.I. Blues at Paramount Studios. One night, he went to The Cross Bow nightclub in Panorama City in the San Fernando Valley. While in the club owner’s office, Elvis was bowled over by a photo of Sandy, his fourteen-year-old daughter.

He told Mr. Ferra he’d like to meet his daughter, so the man called her at home. Mom got on the line and told Elvis she would not drive Sandy back to the club because she was only fourteen and it was a school night. So, Elvis said he would be back the next week and he asked if Sandy could meet him then. In the meantime, her dad came home and told her that Elvis was a ‘gorgeous guy,’ because at the time, she didn’t even know who Elvis Presley was.

So, the next week her mother drove her to the club. Sandy wore a frilly dress and had her hair in a ponytail, while Elvis showed up with a beautiful actress. Sandy just sat there and stared at him because he was so good looking. He held her hand and kissed her on the cheek, and as Sandy has revealed, “That was it. I was hooked.”

Later Elvis called and told her mother he wanted to date Sandy, and her mother said, “I don’t care if you’re King Farouk; my daughter’s only fourteen and she can’t go out with you.” So Elvis said to her mother, “Well, you can come on the date.” In fact, she came on their first three dates.

Elvis was staying at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, so Sandy and her mother went there and enjoyed pizza, hot fudge sundaes, banana splits, as well as watching television, talking, and dancing. Then, after the first three dates, Elvis promised her mother that he’d be a ‘gentleman’ and ‘take good care’ of her, if she said it was okay for Sandy to go out with him unchaperoned. According to Sandy, “He stuck to his word and was a perfect gentleman. He loved and respected my parents and was a wonderful part of my life.”

The only thing Sandy has revealed about their romance is, “We kissed a lot. We did a lot of necking. Elvis was the best kisser.” There are some media reports stating that Elvis once asked Sandy’s mother if she and her daughter would consider moving to Graceland, where he would “raise” Sandy as his future wife, but Sandy’s parents refused. In 1962, another young lady Elvis had met when she also was fourteen moved into Graceland. Could Priscilla be considered Plan B?

According to these same reports, Elvis and Sandy were an item, on and off, for the next six years — right up until he married Priscilla.

According to a July 4, 2008 article on www.elvis.com.au, Sandy said, “I danced in six of his movies because I was going with him. In Viva Las Vegas that’s me with Ann-Margaret and Elvis dancing at the roulette table.” (actually a huge roulette wheel painted on the stage)

Sandy Ferra Dancing in Viva Las Vegas
Sandy Ferra during “What’d I Say” dance sequence in Viva Las Vegas.

If you go to Elvis Week this year and attend the Graceland Insiders Conference, you will hear Sandy Ferra Martindale talk about this and a lot more. I’m not going this year, but if I was, I’d be sure to take in that event.

.

Sandy Martindale

 

.

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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