A Salute to Mr. Spock, Elvis Style

Mr. Spock

By now, you have probably heard that Leonard Nimoy died today at age 83, after battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was best known for playing the role of Spock in the Star Trek television series and movies. Believe it or not, a number of artists and Photoshoppers have connected Elvis with Spock.

 

Spock Elvis - 24 Karat Hits

Somebody did a great job on this fake album cover. The song titles are a Star Trek spin on some of Elvis’ hit songs. Most are pretty lame, but I kind of like “Big Hunk O Dilethium Crystal,” and “Wear My Tricorder Around Your Neck.”

 

Spock and Yvonne Craig

This is Leonard Nimoy and Yvonne Craig in a Star Trek episode.

Yvonne and Elvis in It Happened at the Worlds Fair

And here is Elvis and Yvonne Craig in It Happened at the World’s Fair. I’ve used this picture three times now in ElvisBlog articles. Guess I really like it.

 

Spock Elvis At the Mic

Mr. Spock belting out a song.

 

Spock Elvis

They got the ears right on this one, but what about the eyebrows?

 

Spock in Blue and White Jumpsuit

This looks like a combination Elvis and Spock action figure. How about them bellbottoms?

 

Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock

This is one of the most iconic photos of Elvis. It has inspired dozens of creative variations. We will end our tribute to Leonard Nimoy with this.

Spock Doing Jailhouse Rock Move

 

Rock on, Spock. Say hello to Elvis for us.

 .

 

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

 

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Elvis’ Granddaughter Riley Keough Gets Married

Elvis' Granddaughter Riley Keough

I stumbled across something on the internet while looking for interesting news out there in Elvis World. It was posted on February 15 on the London Daily Mail website.

Riley Keough on Honeymoon

The article was very short on details, so I thought I’d check out Graceland.com/news to get the full story. To my surprise, there was no news about Elvis’ twenty-five year old granddaughter getting married. Here are the news posts on Graceland.com since Riley and Ben Smith-Peterson got married in a small, private ceremony in Napa, California on February 4.

Graceland.com-news

For some reason, EPE has yet to post any news on Graceland.com/news about his first grandchild, Riley Keough, getting married sixteen days ago. Strange. They didn’t hesitate to bring her to Memphis on January 8 to hype the 80th Birthday Celebration.

Family at Graceland, Jan 8, 2015

Lisa, Priscilla, Lisa’s son Ben Keough, Riley, and in front, one of Lisa’s twins

Well, certainly Lisa Marie would consider her daughter’s marriage to movie stuntman Ben Smith-Peterson to be a newsworthy event. So, I checked out her website.

Lisa Marie Website 2-16-15

Nope. No new posts since last October. Okay, how about Lisa’s twitter page.

Lisa Marie Twitter on 2-16-15

Look at this. Lisa’s last Tweet concerns Riley. No, wait. It’s just about her getting by with no hot water or toilets. Nothing since January 20. Nothing about the wedding. What’s going on?

Well, how about grandmother Priscilla? Surely she proudly announced the marriage of her first grandchild on her website.

Priscilla Presley webpage

Nothing here, either. But if you want to buy some of Priscilla’s branded products, lots of them are just a click away. Also, you can learn all about her playing the wicked queen in the stage play of Snow White.

Priscilla Playing Wicked Queen in Snow White

Well, maybe Priscilla used Twitter to announce the marriage of her granddaughter.

Priscilla Presley Twitter 2-16-15

Nope. This is the only message on her Twitter account since February 4. Did you notice that Lisa has 118,000 followers and Priscilla has just 33,000? You can apply any meaning to that you want.

Well, how about Riley’s dad, Danny Keough? Maybe he announced something about the marriage.

Lisa marie and Danny Keough

Nope. Couldn’t find a website or Twitter presence for him, but this old picture on Google shows that Riley’s good looks didn’t come just from Lisa.

Here’s something else interesting I found on Google.

Baby Danielle Riley on People Mag Cover

Riley made the cover of People Magazine when she was born, although they called her by her first name, Danielle. I’ve never read anything about how she decided to go with Riley, her middle name.

So, what’s it all mean, this absence of any mention by Graceland and the family about Elvis’ granddaughter getting married? I don’t know, but I did think it’s curious. Let’s end with some photos of new bride, Danielle Riley Keough Smith-Peterson and her husband.

Ben and Riley

Riley and Ben met on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road. She has #6 billing in the credits as a character called “Capable.” Really.

Ben's Tatoos

Nice Tats

 

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

 

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More Posts from the Archives to Mark Elvisblog’s 10th Birthday

Happy 10th Birthday Cake

Last week, in honor of ElvisBlog‘s 10th birthday, we looked at old articles originally posted at the beginning of each new year.  That took us up to 2009.  Here’s the next five.

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Fifth Birthday:  Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlogs – 6, January 30, 2010

It’s been four months since the last Postscripts, and lots of interesting photos have cropped up that relate to earlier blogs.  Here’s a look at several of them.  Click on the titles below to see the original columns.

Elvis Birthday Cakes:  Three weeks ago, we looked at Elvis birthday cakes, including the one presented to him on the set of King Creole when he turned 23 in 1958.  Elvis was also filming a movie on January 8, 1961, when he turned 26.  Here is Elvis and the cake, along with costar Hope Lang, during the filming of Wild in the Country.

More NodNiks:  Back in December, we zoomed in on the heads of various Elvis figurines, bobbleheads and Christmas ornaments available at www.ShopElvis.com.   I was not particularly charmed by the two NodNiks, mainly because their marshmallow-shaped heads looked kind of stupid to me.  However, the promo text said they were the next big thing with young collectors.  Perhaps this isn’t just wishful thinking.  Certainly, they will have better success with these other choices.

                            


Giant Elvis Pez:  In that same blog article, I stated that my favorite little Elvis collectible was Jumpsuit Elvis Pez from the three-pack gift tin.  However, not all Elvis Pezes (Pez Elvises?) are small.  How about a three-foot tall Giant Elvis Pez?  The one on the right is available in the Cirque du Soleil Viva Elvis gift shop in Las Vegas.  The one with the TCB shield actually has a chip in it that plays an Elvis song.

                              

Mixed Media Elvis Art:  Back in August, we looked at Elvis Images constructed of various unusual materials.  Google Images picked up several of them, and the Elvis bust made of matchsticks has brought many folks to ElvisBlog.  Now we have a similar bust made from colored matchsticks:

The same article contained an Elvis Statue made entirely of butter.  Since then, we have found another Elvis butter statue which includes a hound dog.  To keep this fair and balanced, here is a butter statue of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp.

 

Again, in that old article, we looked at two Elvis images done on toast.  One was scratched out on one piece of toast; the other contained hundreds of pieces.  Here is one in between with Elvis’ face on thirty pieces of toast.

Elvis M&M Ornament for Christmas:  Prior to Christmas 2008, we looked at the wide variety of Elvis M&M Christmas tree ornaments that were available.  Now, the selection is even better, expanding to free-standing models.  Here is “A Little M Conversation” M&M Elvis.  Sorry to be a critic, but what’s with the eyebrows up on the top of the head?  Kind of looks like Groucho Marx hair, doesn’t it?  And what’s that thing he is holding in his left hand?  At $20, I’ve got to pass on this one.

 

Pick the Better Elvis Image:  Last fall, this article contained two Photoshopped pictures depicting Elvis as Superman.  Here’s one more with young Elvis as Superboy.  I still don’t know why nobody has done Elvis as Captain Marvel Jr., who was the super hero that young Elvis admired so much:

   

Look at all the things Elvis copied from Captain Marvel Jr. and his alter-ego Freddy Freeman:  the hairdo, the lightning bolt (in his TCB Logo), the cape, and the white scarves around the neck.

In Search of Historic Elvis:  This column from early December 2009 was a little short on pictures.  Here is a photo of an ancient Elvis petroglyph that could have fit right in.

Like we’ve said here many times before, Elvis is everywhere.

 

6th Birthday:   Reagan, Obama, and Elvis,  February 5, 2011

Lately, there has been much in the press about Barack Obama’s shift to the center.  He is said to be thinking and sounding a lot like Ronald Reagan.  This, plus the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birthday on February 6, has even prompted news magazines to pair the two presidents on their covers.

Current Time magazine cover featuring Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama

 

One thing the press hasn’t mentioned is that both presidents have been Elvis fans, and that they’ve worn clothing to give them that Elvis look.

               

Obama favors the young Elvis gold lamé coat from 1957.  Reagan looks great in the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii American Eagle jumpsuit.  Some clever folks did a nice job on Photoshop making these shots.

Do you know how many presidents Elvis met?  Of course there was Nixon in 1970.  Lesser known is that Elvis met both Jimmy Carter and George H W Bush – before they became presidents.

Jimmy Carter was the Governor of Georgia when he and Rosalyn visited Elvis backstage after a June 1973 concert in Atlanta.  George H W Bush was UN Ambassador when he was the guest speaker at the dinner where Elvis was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1971.

 

John F Kennedy was one president Elvis never met, but a Photoshop jockey with questionable taste did try to give us picture simulating an occasion when they got together.

 

 

 7th Birthday:   You Ain’t Nothin’ But A… Golden Retriever?, February 28, 2012

All good Elvis fans are familiar with him singing “Hound Dog” on the Steve Allen Show in 1956.  After all the fuss Elvis caused performing the song on the Milton Berle Show, Allen made Elvis dress up in a tux and sing to a hound dog wearing a little top hat and sitting on a platform.

          

Now, check out this picture. 

     Elvis and Molly

My talented friend Carol Stephens does all the graphic design for Elvis International magazine.  I am always impressed by how much her work enhances my articles published there.  Carol recently got a new dog and had the inspiration to play around with one of the photos from the TV show.  She replaced the hound dog with her doggie and sent me a copy to see how I liked it.

I loved it and immediately wrote back and asked her if she could do the same thing with my golden retriever, Molly – please, please, please.   Carol is such a sweetie.  She said yes.  My wife helped me get Molly in the right pose for a photograph, and I e-mailed it to Carol.  The picture above is the result.  It is so cool, and I now have a large blow-up of it on the wall above my desk.

Carol did one other clever thing.  The deposed hound dog is now off to the side, looking back as if to say, “Hey, what happened here?”

I know there are lots of Elvis fans who also have beloved dogs in their household.  Maybe they would also like to see their dog in this shot with Elvis.  Carol did mine for free, but she does get paid for her artistic work.  So, my gift to her will be to let anyone with any interest know they can contact Carol at Stephens@2D-CreativeDesigns.com.

If you have any other graphic design needs, you might also want to check out her website www.2D-CreativeDesigns.com.   Carol has done a lot of great work, including the ElvisBlog logo.

 

8th Birthday:   Elvis Presley’s Gold Limousine, February 2, 2013

Every once in a while I check out the “News” at Elvis.com.  Unfortunately, to find the few newsworthy items, you have to skip through a lot of what really are advertisements.  During the past week, so-called news reports have been about the new 64 gigabyte Elvis USB drives, the 2013 Elvis Presley Holy Land Tour, big saving on Valentines Day gifts at ShopElvis.com, and my favorite, a 30% discount at Graceland’s Chapel in the Woods.

However, one news item that caught my eye was this:

Elvis.com news

I immediately recognized the car as Elvis’ customized Cadillac that toured all over Australia in 1968.  It has an interesting story.  Elvis wanted to have his own classic-styled luxury limousine, so he bought a 1960 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood for $10,000, and he took it to Barris Kustom City in North Hollywood, California.  George Barris had considerable fame for producing customized cars.

Elvis and George Barris

Elvis and George Barris in 1960

Elvis told Barris what features he wanted, and Barris gave Elvis many designs, artist renderings and engineering drawings before the modifications were decided.  The price tag was $65,000, which is $487,000 in today’s dollars.

Dream Car

Exterior modifications made significant changes to the roof, the paint, and the trim.  The headlight rims and all other trim were plated in 24 carat gold, as were hand-spun hub cap bullets and flanges.  The car is painted with forty coats of translucent pearl paint containing crushed diamond dust and pure fish scales from the orient.  The top was lengthened and the rear quarter panel windows were replaced by portholes.

1960 Cadillac Fleetwood Limo-Series-75

Here’s what the rear quarter panel windows on a standard 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood look like.  In addition to the portholes, the back window above was also replaced with a smaller one.  The roof was covered with coarse grain white pearl naugahyde.

The interior modifications were even more impressive.  Keep in mind that Elvis had no intention of driving the car himself.  His concept was for a chauffer driven limousine with a yacht-inspired lounge area in the back for him.

Elvis' Seat

Elvis’ Dream Car was designed to give him the ultimate in comfort by transforming the back-seat into a plush private cabin.  The seats are done in air-foam biscuit tufted panels made from gold frieze (with pearl buttons) imported from France.  The two-tone trim is done in white pearl Naugahyde.  The side and roof panels are covered with same gold-frieze biscuit panels and white Naugahyde.  Note that the porthole has the privacy cover in place, and gold lamé drapes can be closed to cover the smaller custom rear window.  Not shown in the photo is a car-phone mounted in a console between the seats.  To the right of where Elvis sat is his private control panel.

Elvis' Control Panel

Here is a blow-up of Elvis’ control panel which contains the intercom microphone Elvis used to talk to the chauffer, as well as controls for the radio, air-conditioner and heater.

 TV, Freezer, etc

Here is a view of many of the customized features at Elvis’ disposal.  At the top is the gold lamé privacy drapes between the front and rear seats.  The gold plated color TV sits on a swivel.  To the right of the TV and clock is a closed vanity case.  Below the TV is a gold refreshment bar that freezes its own ice cubes in two minutes and a refrigerated cab unit.  On the left is the pull-out RCA record player with 10-record automatic changer.

Draem Car Accessories

This shows a different view of the center lounge.  The gold vanity case is open.  Below it is the AM-FM tuner and the open shoe buffer.  Note the TV is not on the swivel in this shot, which seems to serve as a small table for Elvis to put stuff on.  Somewhere in the panel of accessories is a pull-out bar.  The open side door window has the same gold lamé curtains used throughout the car.

Close-up of shoe buffer and white mouton fur

This close-up shows the fold out shoe buffer and white mouton fur on floor.

 

Vanity Case

This close-up shows the open gold vanity case which contains a gold electric razor, gold hair clipper, chrome brush, etc.

It is not recorded just how much Elvis used his dream car, but souvenir-seeking fans caused enough damage to the car that he ultimately stopped using it.  He sold it to RCA who used it for promotional purposes across the country from 1965 to 1967.

Caddy Tour

 

Next, the car was shipped to Australia for a tour to raise money for the Benevolent Society of New South Wales.  It made almost four-dozen stops and was viewed by almost 400,000 people.

Souvenir Brochure

 Elvis’ gold car was not just displayed at large Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne.  It also appeared in schools, shopping centers, and civic centers in many smaller communities.

Dream Car on Display

 

As the Elvis.com news report above states, the tour of Elvis’ gold Caddy raised over $110,000 ($700,000 in today’s dollars).  You all know how generous Elvis was and how much he contributed to charity.  You may not have known that his car could do that too

 

9th Birthday:   Planet Elvis, January 2, 2014

If you are a news junkie like me, you’re probably aware of the buzz about this recent New York Times Magazine cover.

 New York Times Magazine Cover

The subtitle is:

The gravitational pull of a possible 2016 campaign is bringing all the old Clinton characters into her orbit.

Well, Elvis has pulled all of us fans into his orbit for over fifty years, so I wondered if there had ever been any reference to Planet Elvis. I went to Google, the Exalted Source of All Knowledge, and did an image search for Planet Elvis.  I had to scroll down the results for many pages before coming to what I wanted, but there was some interesting stuff on the way.

 

Elvis - Prince from Another Planet

When Elvis gave his four-show block of concerts at Madison Square Garden in June 1972, there were positive reviews all over the media. The most memorable line was in the New York Times, who said about Elvis, “He looked like a prince from another planet.”

 

Planet Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii
I should have known this image would turn up in the search results. The planet is earth, and the satellite is beaming Elvis to all parts of it. This is a good concept for Planet Elvis.

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Elvis Has Left the Planet

I love this T-Shirt. What a clever twist on Al Dvorin’s classic line at the end of Elvis’ 1970s concerts: “Elvis has left the building.” The phrase has since become a popular culture catchphrase, sometimes even a humorous punch line, but this is the best adaptation so far.

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Elvis Left the Planet

You might say this is a variation on the ‘Elvis has left the planet’ idea.

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Elvis on Karaoke Planet

This sounds like fun. Has there ever been a Karaoke party where nobody sang an Elvis song? Hard to imagine.

 

Elvis on Planet Football

I never heard of Planet Football, but I’m glad Elvis lives on it.

 

Planet Elvis Cartoon

Has any celebrity been featured in more cartoons than Elvis? This one is pretty good.

 

Multi Elvis Globe

There is no text at all on this image, so how does Google Images know to make it a result in a search for the words Planet Elvis? Maybe the Exalted Source of All Knowledge is magic, too. To me, it looks more like a fortune teller’s ball than a planet. But, it’s still a nifty image.

 

Painted Elvis - Man on the Moon

The site with this image didn’t have anything much to say about it. Maybe this is the artist’s interpretation of the man on the moon.

 

Elvis and Planets

This is more like it. Here’s my interpretation: Planet Elvis with its moon circling by, earth off in the distance, and a white hot vortex sucking in all the Elvis music. What do you think?

 

Planet Elvis

Finally. I knew there had to be a picture of Planet Elvis out there somewhere. Hillary wants to be the President, but Elvis is already the king.

 

So, ElvisBlog moves into its 11th year.  Interest keeps growing, and people visited the site 179,000 times last year, resulting in 292,000 hits (page views).  Thanks to all you Elvis fans who have been reading ElvisBlog.

 

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

 

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Have You Seen This Yet?

Brian Williams and Elvis in the Army

Who knew Brian Williams served with Elvis in the Army?

Happy 10th Birthday ElvisBlog


Happy 10th Birthday Banner

I don’t know exactly when blogs got started, but I read an article in late 2004 about how popular they had become.  So, I thought I’d like to check out whatever Elvis blogs there were out there.  Guess what? There were none.

Then I looked into it and found out how to set one up.  I bought the URL www.elvisblog.net for $11, and on January 30, 2005, ElvisBlog was born.  To celebrate its 10th birthday, this post will be a retrospective of articles published on (or very close to) the anniversary date each of these ten years.

 

Year 1, The First Article:    Elvis Jukebox Rankings – 1/30/05:

Guess what is Elvis’ most successful record in terms of jukebox play?

According to the Amusement & Music Operators Association, it is HoundDog/Don’t Be Cruel from 1956, the 3rd biggest jukebox hit of all time.  This trade association of jukebox owners, operators, and suppliers compiled their list back in 1989 (100th anniversary of the jukebox).  They updated it again in 1996, and there were no changes in the top of the rankings.

So,Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel seems to be permanently locked into the #3 position.  It’s no surprise that this double-sided hit got the most play of all the Elvis records featured on jukeboxes.  Hound Dog stayed at the top of the record charts for twelve weeks, and then Don’t Be Cruel took over the next week.   That’s a long run of popularity during an age when jukeboxes were really big.

What two songs could possibly beat Elvis?  #2 is the 1979 Bob Seger hit. Old Time Rock & Roll, no doubt helped by Tom Cruise singing it in his underwear in the movie, “Risky Business.”  #1 is Crazy by Patsy Cline.  That song came out in 1962, but I’ll bet you can still find it on some jukeboxes in 2005.  Talk about staying power.  Elvis’ next best finish in the jukebox rankings is All Shook Up at #38.  Seems like it should be higher.

(Editor’s note: This premier ElvisBlog article racked up a grand total of six hits during the entire first month of the blog’s history.)

 

1st Birthday:    OK, I Finally Visited Elvis-A-Rama — February 5, 2006

Elvis-A-Rama

Thanks to my company’s annual trade show in Las Vegas, I finally got to see ELVIS-A-RAMA.  None too soon, either.  The museum will shut down for good on August 15 this year.  Do you think there’s any significance that the death of ELVIS-A-RAMA will come one day before the anniversary of Elvis’ death?  The good news is that the memorabilia will not be permanently lost to us fans.  It will be sent to Memphis, added to the extensive EPE collection, and ultimately will be part of Elvis-themed attractions in Las Vegas and other major cities.

 Elvis-A Rama Jumpsuits

I’m glad I took in ELVIS-A-RAMA, and I got my money’s worth for the $13 admission cost.  Visitors with only a casual interest in Elvis could probably blow through the exhibits in 30 minutes, but I stayed there for over two hours.  The 4 cars, 3 rings, 9 pendants, 4 guitars, 9 layman badges, 4 guns, 2 jumpsuits, and dozens of other clothes items catch every visitor’s eyes.  Plus, there were brass plaques that gave the history of nearly every significant item.

Elvis-A-Rama Wall Mural

Some folks barely noticed the wall covered with every Elvis 45 and album released during his lifetime.  Not me.  I loved the year-by-year approach, each with a plaque telling that year’s highlights in record rankings and sales figures.  Below the plaques were the releases.  I learned that Elvis’ five Sun Records singles came with printed picture sleeves.  I had never seen them before.

Blue Suede Shoes at Elvis-A-Rama 

I spent a lot of time with all the paper documents contained in eleven, tall, freestanding, two-sided display panels.  There were tickets, contracts, letters, receipts, photos and all kinds of other stuff.  I took time to read all the descriptive plaques and really studied the items on display.  Now I know that Elvis’ phone bill for the entire month of May 1963 was only $6.84, for example.  I do have one complaint.  Each side of the displays had three framed sections.  The top one was a little high for comfortable reading.  The middle one was perfect, but the bottom one was only 6 inches off the ground.  My knees were so sore after squatting up-and-down to read everything.  Several times I wished I had a flashlight, because it was tough to read the plaques when they were at the very bottom.

Elvis-A-Rama Elvis Bentley

The sources for much of the museum’s collection were revealed in the various plaques.  As mentioned in a previous Elvisbog article, some key items came form Jimmy Velvet.  Norman Taurog, who directed eight Elvis movies, provided much of the movie memorabilia.  A lot of Elvis’ personal items were purchased from Trish Henley, who was his nurse for eleven years and lived behind Graceland with husband, a guard for the mansion.

Elvis-A-Rama Elvis Pistol

Of course, there is a gift shop as part of the ELVIS-A-RAMA experience, but it’s pretty cool.  In addition to the usual coffee mugs, pocketbooks, and T-shirts, there is actual memorabilia for sale.  One of the most expensive was a shirt owned by Elvis going for $4,000.  The price includes two 1973 photos of him wearing the shirt.  I was impressed with the presentation of a ticket from Elvis’ 1956 concert in Tupelo ($1.50 face value).   For $99 you can buy it in a large framed and matted collection of photos and other mementos of the event.  A similar framed presentation was used to offer a set of five Sun Records colored-vinyl 45’s.  It is an impressive sight, but the price was $875.  That seems pretty steep for bootlegs.

Red Vinyl Elvis Sun 45

All in all, I’m glad I finally got to visit ELVIS-A-RAMA.  If you travel to Las Vegas in the next seven months, be sure to see it.

(Editor’s note:  All these pictures were just added.  ElvisBlog didn’t post photos back in 2006)

 

2nd Birthday:   Visitors to Graceland — January 28, 2007

In addition to politicians and TV stars, the list of famous visitors to Graceland includes movie stars, sports figures, models, country singers, pop music singers, and rock groups – lots of rock groups.  It seems like every music act that ever performed in Memphis also made a visit to the home of Elvis Presley.  I was especially impressed with all the heavy metal bands that came to Graceland.  You know that the music of groups like Ratt and Poison is about as far from “Hound Dog” or “Suspicious Minds” as you can get, but they still paid their respects to rock music’s seminal pioneer.  Here’s some of the bigger names in heavy metal music that checked out the Jungle Room and the rest of Graceland:

Metallica

Metallica
Judas Priest
Motley Crue
Kiss
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (Led Zepellin)
Axl Rose (Guns and Roses)

And check out this line-up of classic rock bands who made the pilgrimage to Elvis’ home:

Aerosmith

Aerosmith
Bad Company
Bon Jovi
Cheap Trick
Crosby, Stills, & Nash
Doobie Brothers
Duran, Duran
Van Halen
38 Special
Styx
Keith Richards & Ronnie Woods (Rolling Stones)
REO Speedwagon
Pink Floyd
Tom Petty
Moody Blues
Meat Loaf
Journey
Don Henley (Eagles)
John Fogerty (Credence Clearwater Revival)
Fleetwood Mac

Bruce Springsteen is listed just like everybody else on the list, but his visit to Graceland has an interesting story.  He jumped the fence and tried to get into the house before the security guards escorted him off the premises.  This was back in 1976, just after Springsteen had blasted to the top of the music scene.  His picture had recently appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek.   Memphis was a stop on his Born To Run tour, and after the concert, Springsteen took a cab to Graceland.  He noticed a light on up at the house, so he climbed the wall and ran up to the front door.  When security nabbed him, he asked, “Is Elvis home?”  They informed him Elvis was in Lake Tahoe (true).  Springsteen tried to explain who he was, but the guards apparently hadn’t heard of him yet.

Bruce Springsteen and flashing Born to Run Elvis Button 1975

If Bruce Springsteen ever decides to visit Graceland again, it’s a good bet the security guys will recognize him.

(Editor’s note: Portions of the original article have been deleted because of links to URLs that no longer work.  Also, the photos have just been added.)

 

3rd Birthday:   Fun with Elvis on Photoshop — February 3, 2008

Now that I’m retired, I spend even more time on the Internet searching for Elvis stuff.  Not just the big Elvis sites that come up on the first two Google search pages.  What I really like to find are sites where Elvis isn’t the whole deal – other kinds of sites that happen to contain some obscure Elvis content.  You find strange and wonderful stuff that way.

Like altered photos of Elvis.  I guess these are done on Photoshop or something similar, and some of them are so clever.  Like this one where Elvis looks like an Arab.  It’s pretty dark, but you can see that somebody did a great job of putting Elvis’ face inside that headdress.

image

For the past two years, every time I find a really good one of these altered Elvis photos, I copy it to a file.  There’s enough in there now to do a couple of blog articles.  Here’s another picture with a different twist.  In my photo file, I label it Melting Elvis, and you can see why.

image

Another way of doing this is to put someone else’s face on Elvis body.  Bill Clinton is a natural for this, because his election staff in 1992 called him Elvis.  Here’s what he looks like in a jumpsuit.

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While we are on Presidents, here are Bush’s that served before and after Clinton.

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Of the three presidents, I think Clinton looks the best, probably because he’s wearing a jumpsuit.  However, there is one other president who gets my prize for the best President in a jumpsuit.  Does Ronald Reagan look cool, or what?

image

Here’s one more of Reagan, but on this one he’s doing the Richard Nixon thing, and George W gets to be Elvis.  How do people come up with these ideas?

image

I wish the quality on this next one were a little better, because the concept is great:  Elvis in a gift box.  I sent e-mail birthday greetings to two female friends and asked them how they would like to open up that present.

image

Did you ever wonder what Elvis might have looked like if he had been born twenty or thirty years later and sang heavy metal Rock & Roll?  Here’s your answer.

image

I labeled the next one “Shiny Elvis” for obvious reasons.  If I knew anything about Photoshop, I put some clever phrase in that bottom right turned-up corner and send it out to my Elvis friends.

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I wish I had kept track of where I found all these photos.  Talented folks made artful creations and should be credited.  The best I can do is say thanks to all of them for having fun with Elvis while still respecting his legacy.  Well, with the possible exception of this last one.

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(Editor’s note:  Photos became a regular part of ElvisBlog posts in 2008)

 

4th Birthday:   Elvis and Buddy Holly, February 1, 2009

Tuesday, February 3 will be the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. This story will be covered thoroughly by all the entertainment media, so I won’t repeat it here. What I want to look at is the connection between Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.

Young Buddy Holly was a nineteen-year-old aspiring musician in Lubbock Texas when he first met Elvis in 1955. Buddy and his friend Bob Montgomery opened the show as Buddy and Bob, before Elvis came out and took over.

Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery Looking at Elvis

Buddy Holly also opened for Elvis later in 1955 at the Fair Park Coliseum.

Here is an interesting legend to come out of these meetings, according to Elvis – His Life from A to Z by Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius:

“According to legend, Elvis told Holly and Montgomery that if they came down to the ‘Louisiana Hayride,’ he’d get them on the show, but when they did show up, Horace Logan [ed. note: station manager at KWKH, which produced the Louisiana Hayride] turned them away, and Elvis wasn’t there.”

In spite of this, Holly has been quoted, “Without Elvis, none of us would have made it.

  

Here’s a little-known nugget. Elvis’ band, Scottie Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana, caused almost all West Texas Rockabilly bands to change their style, including the Crickets playing behind Buddy Holly, and Roy Orbison’s band.

Elvis and Buddy Holly must have liked a lot of the same songs, because they both recorded these songs by other popular singers:

Good Rockin’ Tonight (Roy Hamilton)
Reddy Teddy (Little Richard)
Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins)
Shake, Rattle and Roll (Joe Turner / Bill Haley)
Rip It Up (Little Richard)

Elvis never recorded any songs released by Buddy Holly, and Holly never recorded any Elvis songs except one. He once said, “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” was his favorite Elvis song. He recorded it as a demo during a visit to a radio station in 1956. To my knowledge, it was never released during his life.

After his death, all sort of rare Buddy Holly music was released. Because Holly’s career was cut so short, the total number of songs he recorded was much less than Elvis accumulated. But that didn’t prevent historians and record producers from finding every scrap of tape with Holly playing and singing on them. Then they put out albums like this. He was the undisputed king of the lost-basement-tapes, until they started digging for Jimi Hendrix material a decade later..

It is generally known that Waylon Jennings was part of the Crickets on that fateful night fifty years ago. He was supposed to be on the charter plane with Holly, but gave up his seat to the Big Bopper. There are few photos of Jennings with Holly, but here is one:

There is one last Elvis and Buddy Holly connection. Both Elvis and Holly are charter members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1986, when the first ten inductees to the Hall were named, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly were chosen. Two rock icons, for sure.

 

Happy 10th Birthday Balloons 2

That concludes the first five articles from the archives to celebrate ElvisBlog‘s 10th birthday.   Next week we will look at the five articles that were posted at the time of ElvisBlog birthdays in 2010-2014.

 

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

 

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The Second Auction at Graceland — Part 3

So far, we’ve looked at the big winners and the items with excessive minimum bids that nobody would pay. This post will be about the items that did way better than expected.

Viva Las Vegas Movie Poster:

lvis Viva Las Vegas Movie Poster, 1964

If you have any high-end Elvis memorabilia that you want to sell, the Auction at Graceland has quickly become the place where you want to sell it. There is no doubt in my mind that you can get more money for your stuff there than at any other auction. Maybe it’s the whole vibe associated with Elvis’ birthday celebration and Elvis Week that energizes the bidders and gets them to loosen the purse strings. Here’s an example.

This 27” by 41” poster in Very Fine condition had a minimum bid of $250, and an estimate of $4-500. This is in line with a sale of the same item in a June 2014 Heritage Auction which went for $418.25. However, twenty-two bids at the Auction at Graceland pushed the price up to $1,750, four times as much.

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Tickle Me Movie Poster:

Elvis Tickle Me  Movie Poster, 1965

This one is even harder to believe. Again, same size, condition, minimum bid and estimate as the Viva poster. However, thirty-two bids resulted in a final price of $2,500. On the Heritage Auctions website, a search for Elvis Tickle Me resulted in dozens of these posters selling since 2009, at a top price of $155 for one rated Very Fine. Come on, people. Do your research before blowing away thousands on something.

 

Special Shelby County Deputy Sheriff Badge:

Elvis' Special Shelby County Deputy Sheriff Badge

Although EPE sponsored this auction, they made it clear that all items came from private owners, not the Graceland archives. They did, however, state that they would be bidding on some items to add to their display of Elvis memorabilia.

Elvis' Law  Enforcement  Badge Collection

Part of Elvis’ Law Enforcement Badges Collection on Display at Graceland

When I saw that the badge up for auction had a minimum bid of $1,500 and an estimate of $2,500-3,500, I thought Graceland might go after it to add to their display of Elvis’ collection of law enforcement badges. Well, it went for $8,750, so I’m guessing they dropped out of the bidding.

 

Elvis Presley’s Personal Checkbook Register:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Checkbook Register

This checkbook register from 1975-76 was offered at the first Auction at Graceland last August during Elvis Week. However, nobody thought it was worth the minimum bid price of $6,000. So, what did the owner do? He brought it back this year with the minimum bid dropped down to just $1,000. After eighteen bids, it topped out at $3,750. I think this is a bargain. There are 43 pages with Elvis’ writing (not his signature) on them. The auction says, “This checkbook is a treasure trove of examples of Elvis’ generosity.” The checks totaled $89,000, and many of them went to charities and his friends.

 

Elvis Tour Jacket, 1975:

Elvis Tour Jacket, 1975

This size 46 red wool and black-leather-sleeve, varsity-style jacket had a minimum bid of $2,500, which I thought was a little high because it was not part of Elvis’ personal wardrobe. These jackets were made for his security guys so Elvis could see them from the stage. Even the Letter of Authenticity from his personal nurse, Tish Henley, states that Elvis never wore the jacket. However, it was inside Graceland one night when it was pouring rain outside as she was leaving, and he handed it to her to wear and keep dry getting to her car.

Again, it seems the bidders didn’t read the fine print in the item description, because this jacket’s winning bid was $8,125. Pretty steep price for something that Elvis merely touched.

 

Used Guitar Pick:

Elvis Used Guitar Pick

I can’t believe what this guitar pick went for. Even though it was accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity from Graceland Authenticated, there is no way it would be worth $3,125 to me. I have seen many dozens of Elvis items at auction over the years priced less than this, that I would much prefer to have.

 

“That’s All Right” 45 Record:

Elvis' Sun Record #209 45 RPM That's All Right

This record is characterized as a File Copy. I’m not sure what that means, but the item description says it has never been played and is in pristine condition. The reason is because Cecil Scaife, who worked for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, took it home and stored it safely away.

The top bid is actually not a surprise. The estimate was $7,500-8,500, and the bids stopped at $7,500. Of course, the 25% buyer’s premium meant he had to write a check for $9,375.

 

Flashing Blue Police Light:

Elvis-Owned Blue Police Light

Did you know that Elvis was an accredited Captain on Memphis’ police force? All his other badges were honorary, but the one from Memphis PD was official. Elvis took it seriously and bought these flashing blue lights to keep ready in his cars in case a situation arose where his action was needed.

This item is not a surprise with a high bid compared to the estimates. It’s just a surprise to me that it went for as much as it did without a photo of Elvis sitting in one of his cars with this light sitting on top. It went for $2,000, but if that photo had existed and been offered with it, no telling what the bidders would have forked out.

 

Red and White 7-Button Shirt:

Elvis' Red and White Shirt From Homer Gilleland

Of all the Elvis shirts I have seen sold at auction during the past seven years, this one epitomizes him the absolute least. It rates about a 2 on the Elvisishness scale. And no photo was offered of Elvis ever wearing it. In spite of this, someone shelled out $7,500 for it. I would hate for him to know about all the other cool Elvis shirts (with photos) have sold for less than that.

One other note. The item description listed the longest chain of ownership I have ever seen on an Elvis collectible. It went from Elvis to Homer Gilleland (his personal hairdresser) to Thomas B. Morgan, Jr. to the LeBonheur Children’s Hospital to the seller (unnamed before the auction), and of course, it now has the new owner.

 

Four of Elvis’ Personal Telephone/Address Books:

nside pages Elvis Presley’s Personal Address Books

This is another item that failed to generate its minimum bid ($7,000) at the first Auction at Graceland, but staged a comeback at the recent one. This time they showed samples of the open pages rather than the closed books, and it paid off. Somebody got all four of these books for $7,500. If they had been sold individually, I am sure the total would have been higher.

Elvis Address Book

The item description said, “These books are an encyclopedia of his friends, family and acquaintances — today’s equivalent of having Elvis’ iPhone contacts.” I believe showing the books open to sample listings helped make that point and juiced up the bidding.  On the pages above you can see Priscilla, Col. Parker, and Vernon Presley.  Priscilla must have moved a lot.  Note she had five different phone numbers in Elvis’ book

 

Army First Aid Kit:

Elvis Presley’s Army First Aid Kit

I think this is one of the coolest Elvis collectibles to show up at auction. If you owned it and were showing it off to other folks, you could point to the hand-printed “EP” in blue ink at the top. Then you could turn it upside down and show the stamp with Elvis’ Army service serial number “53310761.” Then you could open it up and see the red stamp on the interior stating “SP1 ELVIS PRESLEY – US53310761, 1st Med Tank Bat. 32nd Armor 3rd Div. APO 33.” If all that wasn’t enough, Elvis also signed near the stamp, “E. A. Presley” in blue ink. The supplied Letter of Authenticity from Graceland Authenticated almost seems superfluous.

Elvis’ Army First Aid Kit had a minimum bid of $3,000, but spirited bidding ran it up to $7,500. Well worth it in my opinion.

 

I had a few more items to present, but something came in the email yesterday that deserves to be noted. It came from info@graceland.com, one of four EPE related mailing lists I seem to be on.

Solicitation for next year's Auction at Graceland

Just three weeks after their successful second Auction at Graceland, they are out soliciting collectibles for the next one. They are trying to prevail against the auction houses that frequently offer Elvis memorabilia, and I believe they will be very successful.

Heritage Auctions Ad Solicitation

Here is an ad in the current issue of the record collector magazine Goldmine showing Heritage Auctions soliciting consignments for their next entertainment memorabilia auction. It shows items from past auctions, including an Elvis standee.

Gotta Have It Ad Solicitation

From the same magazine, here is a solicitation for consignments by Gotta Have Rock and Roll for their next pop culture auction. Notice Elvis’ Peacock jumpsuit at the bottom. Like I said at the top of this post, it seems like people with Elvis collectibles can realize a higher return at the Auction at Graceland. I think EPE made a brilliant move coming up with the idea of auctioning Elvis memorabilia during Elvis Week and the birthday celebrations. They will put a hurtin’ on the competition.

I see this as similar to Graceland’s move into the Elvis Tribute Artist business. For the first two decades after his death, Graceland distanced itself from the hordes of men who performed as Elvis impersonators. Actually, they went farther than that. Ever protective of his ‘image,’ EPE filed a lawsuit against the Legends In Concert in 1983 to prevent the show’s “Elvis” from looking like, dressing like, or moving like the real Elvis.

Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

But over the years, it became obvious that the fans liked the ETAs. So, in 2009, Graceland changed its tune and started the Ultimate Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis during Elvis Week. It is now an extremely popular, so I’m not complaining. But it and the auction prove if somebody is making a profit off Elvis, EPE will move in and get their share.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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The Second Auction at Graceland — Part 2

Last week, I promised we would look at the items that failed to receive the minimum bid established by the auction — overly optimistic minimums in most cases:

Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring:

Elvis' Gold Nugget-Style Diamond Ring

Dozens of Elvis’ rings have been covered in the four ElvisBlog special reports on Elvis’ Fabulous Rings (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), but only ten have sold for over $15,000. The minimum bid on this ring was $12,000, which means the buyer would have to shell out $15,000 when the 25% auction premium is added in. It’s a fine ring, with 14-karat gold weighing approximately 16 grams and four diamonds measuring approximately 0.5 carats. The problem is that no photo of Elvis wearing the ring was offered. Letters of authenticity from two previous owners of the ring just didn’t cut it.

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Crown Cake Topper:

Crown Cake Topper Gifted to Elvis

It was easy to see this wasn’t going to reach the estimate of $1,200-1,500, let alone the minimum of $500. It is just a 4 inch-wide decoration to put on top of a cake. A fan handed it to Elvis at a concert and had someone take a photo with the cake topper in front of Elvis. This is one time a photo didn’t seem to help create demand. Elvis has to do more than touch something for a few seconds to make it serious memorabilia.

 

Teddy Bear Gifted by Elvis:

Teddy Bear Gifted by Elvis

I laughed out loud when I saw what they wanted for this. As you know, lots of fans sent Teddy Bears to Elvis, even while he was stationed in Germany during his Army days. Elvis had a table full of them when an Army buddy and his expectant wife visited him. He wanted to give them a gift for their baby and asked the wife to choose a teddy bear from the table. This is the one she choose. There was not enough of an Elvis connection to make anybody cough up the minimum bid of $4,000, and the expected range of $7-9,000 was just ridiculous.

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Application for Credit for a 1964 Rolls Royce Signed by Elvis:

Application for Credit for a 1964 Rolls Royce Signed by Elvis

The auction website description tried to present this as a great glimpse at the day-to-day business dealings in the lives of Elvis and Vernon Presley. But the truth is that most of the value comes from Elvis’ signature at the bottom of the left document. But Elvis autographs sell frequently at much less than the estimate of $3,500-$5,000. And they are on more interesting items, as can be seen in the earlier ElvisBlog series So What Is an Elvis Autograph Worth? (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

 

Gold and Diamond TCB and TLC Necklaces:

Elvis' Gold and Diamond TCB and TLC Necklaces

I’m actually surprised this set didn’t sell. Sure, the minimum bid was high at $25.000, which meant the buyer would have to part with $31,250, but the tone of the auction indicated the buyers were willing to spend big bucks on the top items. Plus, a single TLC necklace with no diamonds went for $12,500 at this auction. Both pendants have twelve imbedded diamonds totaling 0.25 carats. The lightning bolts are 14k gold weighing 13 grams, and the chains are 14k gold approximately thirty inches long. I expect we’ll see these at auction again, probably with a bit lower minimum bid.

 

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Fund Original Flyer, 1961:

Elvis - U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Fund Original Flyer

While this 9-1/4 x 12-3/8 inch promotional flyer did not bring the minimum bid of $2,000, it did have the most fact-filled description on the auction website:

“Perhaps what endears Elvis Presley to his fans so much is the fact that it seemed like there was no end to his willingness to give. In December of 1960 an editorial ran in an L.A. paper about the stalled efforts to complete the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. This article was spotted by the Colonel and Elvis answered the call to duty. On January 11th, 1961, a press conference was held and it was announced that Elvis would perform a benefit concert on the condition that every penny from the concert must go to the fund. Elvis had just turned 26 and the fact that the average age of the 1,102 American seamen that died aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attack was about that same age was not lost on him. It was stated during the press conference that not only was everyone expected to pay for entry to the event but that Elvis wanted to be the one to buy the first ticket. Ticket prices ranged from $3.00 to $10.00 for reserved section seats and $100.00 for the 100 reserved “ringside” seats. The goal was set at raising $50,000 towards the effort. The concert date was set for March 25th, 1961 and 4,000 screaming fans, 15 songs and $54,000 later, Elvis left the building. As a result of the concert and the huge amount of media attention it garnered, public and private donations flooded in from all over the country and on May 30th, 1962 (Memorial Day) the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial was dedicated.”

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“Louisiana Hayride” Contract Signed by Elvis, Gladys and Vernon, 1955:

Louisiana Hayride Contract Signed by Elvis, Gladys and Vernon, 1955

The auction description of this contract correctly stated that “The significance of this contract cannot be overstated… Elvis’ weekly “Hayride” shows were instrumental in the development of his early stage presence, and were where Colonel Parker first saw Elvis perform. Producer and contract signer H.L. “Hoss” Logan coined the phrase ‘Elvis has left the building’ during this time period as well.”

But bidders must have considered the value of Elvis’ signature on the last of four pages of legalese to be less that the minimum bid of $15,000.

 

One other element of this second Auction at Graceland that was kind of interesting:

Chatroom-at-Auction-at-Graceland

Graceland.com had a link so we fans could watch a live stream of the event. In addition the screen had a column on the right for viewers to chat.

At first, it was all one big happy family:

Samantha – Hello fellow fans, hope everyone one has had a lovely Elvis day
Jill – I wish I had the money for this stuff
Kitten – If I had anything from Elvis, I would sleep with it every night and then I would be buried with it when I die.
Gayleen — “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.” A quote from Hamlet that certainly applies to Elvis.

Then, as often happens in chat rooms, there was occasional sniping back and forth:

Sue – He died from a heart attack because he was so out of shape. He had an enlarged heart and liver.. He was an accident waiting to happen
Kathy – Debbie Downer, don’t ruin this for us fans
Soul Reactivator – Why is Elvis birthday being celebrated after he died from Drugs ?
Daniel – Soul reactivator, don’t be so ignorant
Jamie – Go away Troll Trash

Auction at Graceland Live Feed - Loading

About half-way through, the live stream started having problems. Those who were still getting it okay were nice to the rest of us and gave us a running play-by-play of the results (the chat room kept going just fine):

Ellen – 8,500 for the scarf and ticket stub. omg!

Then the auction live stream seemed to go into permanent buffering mode for everybody.

Auction at Graceland Live Feed - Buffering

Nanlyn – Does anyone know how I can stop it from buffering so much. get tired of refreshing
Sherrie – Mine is still frozen. won’t even let me log out
Wayne – Yep, I’m crashed here too…at least I’ve got an excuse. I’m in Australia!!

 

At that point, I gave up and went to bed.

 

Next week we will look at the auction’s big surprises and a few other items that caught my fancy.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Captain Contest #29 — Winner

Previous winner Jean Pyle of Hawthorne, NJ came through again. Her approach is unique. Instead of just a caption, Jean takes on the challenge of reworking lyrics of an Elvis song to fit the image. She picked “Suspicious Minds” for this one.

Elvis - Hey, Look

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“Suspicious Minds”

I’m caught in a speed trap.
I can’t walk out,
Because I drove too fast, baby.

Why can’t they see
What they’re doing to me
When they don’t believe a word I say?

“We can’t go to the police station together
With your suspicious mind.
It was just peanut butter and bananas
I was racing off to find.”

Jean also worked peanut butter and bananas into this, which is appropriate since her prize is a $31 gift card from Baskin-Robbins. Their flavor of the month for January is “Peanut Butter ‘N Banana” in honor of Elvis’ 80th birthday.

Elvis Ice Cream in Cone

I’ve tried it and it’s pretty good. I even brought a hand-packed quart home.

 

I usually share a little of my ice cream cones with my golden retriever, Molly. No, she doesn’t lick it. I scoop a little into a cup for her. Well, with Baskin-Robbins’ Elvis flavor, I was able to do it a little differently. The peanut butter swirls are more like 1-1/2 inch long semi-frozen sticks. If you grab one end by two fingers, they pull out easily. I gave them to Molly and she loved them. By the way, Molly is a big Elvis fan, too.

Elvis - You Ain't Nothin' But A ... Golden Retriever

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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The Second Auction at Graceland — The Big Winners

2015 Elvis Auction at Graceland

As part of the activities for Elvis’ 80th birthday celebration, EPE promoted a large auction of his memorabilia. You have to give them credit for coming up with another reason for folks to brave the harsh winter weather in Memphis that week.

Elvis Wearing Necklace, 1957

There were 67 items up for auction, and eight were pieces of jewelry, including the necklace above. I’ve followed auctions of Elvis memorabilia for years, and this one has to be called the big daddy winner. Many items sold for much more than the pre-event estimates. Let’s look at the most expensive items in descending order.

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Elvis’ First Recording Acetate:

Elvis Presley’s First Recording Acetate, 1953

According to the description on the auction website, this is likely the most important 78 mm record ever offered. It had a pre-auction estimate of $75-100,000, but twenty-one serious record-collector bids ran it up to $300,000. One note, the winning bid was $240,000, but a 25% “Buyer’s Premium” was added to cover the cut for the auctioneer (and probably EPE, too).

The auction website had a very complete description of this item and its history.

“Elvis walked into Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service, home of Sun Records, [in August 1953] and paid the sum of $4 to record a belated birthday gift for his mother — his first ever recording. Elvis sang two songs: “My Happiness” (Side A), which is the only Elvis recording that exists of this song, and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” (Side B). Legend has it that Elvis’ friend Ed Leek convinced and accompanied Elvis to the recording studio that fateful day. Elvis was greeted by Marion Keisker, assistant to Sam Philips, who asked Elvis who he sounded like and Elvis responded, “I don’t sound like nobody.” Little did she know at the time that he was absolutely right. In these two songs that Elvis chose to sing, Marion heard something different, enough to note Elvis’ name and telephone number [on a 3×5 card] and add that he was a good ballad singer. When Elvis left the studio that day, he and Ed stopped at Ed’s parents’ house to listen to the fresh recording, as they had a modern phonograph and Elvis wanted to hear how it sounded. Elvis left his friend’s house that day without the record and this acetate is being offered directly from a descendant of Ed Leek.”

Elvis -- My Happiness Label

I can add two more things about the legend of this record. Supposedly, Elvis had no money with him this day, so Ed Leek paid the $4, and this is why the record stayed at Ed’s house. He also made some money from this record back in 1992, when RCA purchased the rights to include it in their compilation titled ELVIS The King of Rock ’N’ Roll – The Complete 50’s Masters.

ELVIS The King of Rock 'n Roll -- The Complete 50s Masters

 

Treble Clef Gold and Diamond Ring:

Elvis' Treble Clef Gold and Diamond Ring Gifted to Sammy Davis, Jr.

Elvis’ rings are always popular at the auctions, and this one is certainly fabulous. The pre-auction estimate was $20-25,000, and it hit the high end of that range. With the 25% buyer’s premium added, the total tab was $32,500. Let’s look at what the item description said about this ring:

“Elvis’ close friends were without a doubt very important to him, and one of those friends was Sammy Davis, Jr. This ring was treasured by “The Candyman” as it was one of several gifts given to him by Elvis that he kept in his possession for the remainder of his life. The offered 14-karat gold and diamond ring is designed as a bar of music with a diamond-encrusted treble clef on one side and a stacked but offset “EP” at the other end. The size 10 ring contains 11 diamonds weighing approximately 2.5 carats, with the gold weighing approximately 12.8 g. The design is reminiscent of the gates at Graceland.”

 

Elvis Presley’s First Sun Record, Signed:

Elvis Presley’s First Sun Record, 78 RPM Signed

The heirs of Ed Leek did well on another Elvis record. A year after the “My Happiness” acetate, Leek ended up with what is probably the first autographed Elvis Sun Records single. The estimate was woefully low at $10-15,000. It cost somebody $32,500 to take this prize home. Again, here is the auction description.

“This 78 RPM record of “That’s All Right” (#209) is the first Elvis song recorded at Sun Records. Elvis’ friend Ed Leek was with Elvis to witness the initial production of Elvis’ first Sun Studio record and grabbed one of the records, which Elvis signed to Ed, writing “To a good pal, Elvis Presley” on the label. Likely the first record signed by Elvis, this record has been in the same private collection as the 1953 acetate Elvis recorded for his mother. Considered by some to be the rock and roll equivalent of the “Shot Heard Round the World,” this record jump-started the unprecedented craze over this young star. The Sun label is signed in blue ink.”

 

1914 Indian Head Gold 2½-Dollar Coin and Diamond Ring:

Elvis' 1914 Indian Head Gold 2½-Dollar Coin and Diamond Ring

Records and rings dominate the list of top Elvis items at this auction. This beauty didn’t quite meet the estimate, but it still brought a winning bid of $18,750.

“Elvis had a great appreciation for jewelry and a particular like for jewelry that contained gold coins. He is known to have owned several rings with 2½ and 5 dollar gold pieces. The offered ring, with a U.S. 1914 2½ dollar Indian Head gold coin, was given to Tom Hulett, co-founder of Concerts West, in the 1969/1970 era. Tom was very instrumental in managing Elvis’ live performances in the last eight years of his concerts. Tom had great attention to detail and a knack for working well with Colonel Parker and as a result managed all of the Elvis concerts during this period. This fine example is surrounded by 26 round diamonds weighing approximately 1 carat total. The gold ring weighs approximately 18.6 g and measures a size 8 1/2.”

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RCA Award to Colonel Parker for “In The Ghetto”:

RCA Award to Colonel Parker for In The Ghetto

I’m afraid some of the bidders didn’t read the fine print on this one. Note the title above. It says “RCA Award to Colonel Parker,” not “RCA Gold Record Award to Elvis.” Here’s what the gold records at Graceland look like:

Elvis' Gold Records at Graceland

I thought the estimate of $6-8,000 sounded high, so I was blown away when it went for $16,250.

“This framed RCA Victor 45 award for “In The Ghetto” is dedicated “To Col. Tom Parker In appreciation of his contribution toward making IN THE GHETTO 47-9741 A Million Seller 1969.” The song, about a boy born and raised in the ghetto of Chicago, was written by Mac Davis and originally titled “The Vicious Circle.” The song describes the rough life of the boy and how, just as he is killed, another child is born, implying that the vicious cycle of poverty and violence will continue. Elvis made the song famous in 1969 and the song hit number 3 in the U.S. charts and number 2 in the U.K. This framed display features a 45 single above a silver colored plaque, both mounted on a black velvet background. The framed display measures 14 1/8 by 12 1/8 inches.”

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Neo Nautic Prescription Sunglasses Made for Elvis:

Neo Nautic Prescription Sunglasses Made for Elvis

This is the second time I’ve seen so-called “Neo-Nautic” style Elvis sunglasses at auction. The other one was less ornate and sold for $6,853 in 2011. Here is a photo of Elvis wearing the other pair.

Elvis Wearing Neo-Nautic Sunglasses

You don’t see many photos of Elvis wearing his shades in concert. Anyway, this better pair went for $15,000.

“These Neo Nautic style sunglasses with TCB custom embellishments on both arms were made for Elvis to wear for his concerts at Madison Square Garden by Dennis Roberts of Optique Boutique. Elvis often sent his sunglasses to Dennis for repairs and these glasses were sent in and never collected. The prescription sunglasses have three holes on each arm underneath the TCB embellishment. The arms show evidence of having been replaced, likely the reason they were sent to Optique Boutique for repair.”

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Red Velour Shirt Worn by Elvis in “Girl Happy”:

Red Velour Shirt Worn by Elvis in Girl Happy

This shirt sold previously at a Gotta’ Have It auction in 2011, and it brought in $8.216. This year it went for $12,500. However, here is a shot from the Girl Happy DVD. Seems like maybe blue should be the color to pull in this kind of money.

Elvis in Girl Happy Wearing Blue Velour

“The offered red velour pullover shirt with zippered collar opening has an orange MGM tag and an interior tag that reads “Sy Devore of Palm Springs Hollywood Las Vegas.” “E. Presley” has been written at the top of the tag. It comes from the MGM wardrobe collection and was worn by Elvis in the movie Girl Happy. Elvis can also be seen in various publicity photos wearing this red velour shirt. In his role, Elvis plays a band member hired by a Chicago mobster and club owner to watch over his daughter on spring break in Florida. This well documented shirt, worn by the man that has made many a girl happy.”

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Elvis Necklace from 1957:

Elvis-Worn Necklace, 1957

We will look at two necklaces in a row. This one is not made of a precious metal, and it has no diamonds or other jewels. However, it had 22 bids and went for $12,500.

“JD Sumner was Elvis’ bass singer in the 1970s. During performances at that time, fans would often throw tokens of their admiration for Elvis on stage at the end of each concert. Elvis would often give many of these items to JD Sumner. The offered religious pendant necklace was one such token that a fan gave Elvis. Before gifting it to JD Sumner, Elvis wore this necklace. It can be seen in images of Elvis from March 28, 1957 in Chicago meeting the press before a show [see second photo above]. The pendant with Catholic symbols on a clover-shaped design is suspended from a white metal chain and reads on the reverse ‘I am Catholic please call a priest.’”

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Gold “TLC” Necklace:

Elvis' Gold “TLC” Necklace
This necklace also went for $12,500, and there is no doubt that it is the one I’d spend my money on. It is 14K gold, historically significant, and rare.

“Elvis was known for gifting TCB (“Taking Care of Business”) necklaces to the men of his entourage and TLC (“Tender Loving Care”) to the women in his life. The offered necklace was one of only two of these necklaces made by a Beverly Hills jeweler for Elvis and this example was gifted by Elvis to Barbara Klein, wife of George, who was a member of Elvis’ entourage. The lightning bolt affixed to the TLC is marked “14k” on the reverse and the pendant is connected to a gold rope chain. The necklace measures approximately 18 inches long and the TLC pendant measures approximately 1 3/4 inches long.”

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16MM Film of Elvis Presley in Chicago, 1957:

16MM Film of Elvis Presley in Chicago, 1957

The pre-auction estimate sounded like a bargain at $1,500-2,000, but it turned out to be embarrassingly low. This film had 36 bids, more than any other item, and it topped out at $11,875. I hope the buyer puts it on a DVD and markets it, because that means someday it will be on YouTube. I would love to see footage of Elvis performing in 1957. And all those screaming fans.

Elvis on stage 1957

“Offered is a 16MM reel of Elvis Presley in Chicago in 1957. The film contains black-and-white footage of the end of Elvis’ concert in Chicago and is 5 minutes 15 seconds in length. Elvis, wearing a gold lamé suit, is singing to a packed house in the first 15 seconds of the film and then again for an additional 23 seconds around minute 1. The remainder of the film documents the phenomena of the physical reactions of fans to the King of Rock and Roll. The film pans to the first aid area of the arena and features a girl who fainted being whisked to first aid and revived by police. The film continues to feature female fans overcome with emotion, some crying, some waving, and many smiling and joyful. Several seconds of the film show the Colonel smoking a cigar and signing autographs. Many of the fans can be seen wearing large “I Like Elvis” buttons on their lapels. A fantastic peek into the raw emotions of fans after an Elvis concert. The film has no sound track and is contained in a period round metal container with a fabric tape label.”

 

Elvis’ First Driver’s License, 1952

Elvis' Driver's License

I knew this would bring big bucks, but it came in lower than I expected, and less than the $15-20,000 estimate. Still, $11,875 is nothing to sneeze at. I’ll bet the new owner puts it in a proper display frame. Wonder why the previous owner didn’t. He could have gotten more money for it.

“This significant document is the Tennessee operator’s (driver’s) license that Elvis obtained on March 24, 1952. It is accompanied by a completed form listing the same information. Both documents are signed by Elvis Presley. The license number is 1688827, with No 0197445 on the reverse, which lists no violations. The paper license (with no photo) was issued by the State of Tennessee and expired July 1, 1953. Both documents list his date of birth as 1-8-35, eye color as blue, weight as 153, occupation as student, hair color as “Bro” and height as 5’11 1/2”. The name is printed on the form and typed on the license as “Elvis Aron Presley.” The original typed address on the driver’s license is 185 Winchester, at the Lauderdale Courts public housing development in Memphis where the Presley family once lived. Penciled in next to that is an updated address of 698 Saffarans Avenue in downtown Memphis.  The operator’s license measures approximately 3 1/2 by 2 1/4 inches.

“Condition: The operator’s license is in fair condition with several tears expected from a paper document likely carried in a teenager’s wallet. The license also exhibits paper loss at edges, most notably under the “Presley” portion of the signature (leaving approximately 60% of the signature intact). The license has been covered in tape, which has caused the document to discolor severely.”

 

Next week we will look at the few losers that didn’t receive the minimum bid.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets #19

We haven’t done Mini-Nuggets since March 2014, but Elvis’ 80th birthday has provided some short subjects to report.

Record Number of Hits for ElvisBlog:

ElvisBlog Results on Google Analytics

On January 1, I checked Google Analytics to see how well ElvisBlog did for the year. 147,000 people (users) visited the site, resulting in 279,991 pageviews (hits). That’s an average of 2,800 users a week, a gain of 30% over the 2013 results. Definitely a good year.

Which makes the results in the graphic above even more remarkable. Yesterday, on what would have been Elvis’ 80th birthday, ElvisBlog had nearly 2,600 people visit the site. Wow. I hope I’m still around to see the results on Elvis’ 100th birthday.

 

Elvis’ Movie Costars Pass Away:

Mary Ann Mobley with Elvis in Girl Happy

When time permits, we will take a deeper look at two late actresses who appeared with films with Elvis. Mary Ann Mobley (Girl Happy, Harum Scarum) died on December 19, 2014.

Donna Douglas and Elvis in Frankie and Johnny

Donna Douglas (Frankie and Johnny) passed away on New Year’s Day, 2015.

Elvis’ leading ladies have been a staple for print and video interviews about him for decades. Has there ever been an Elvis Week without one or two of them being “Special Guests” for talks, panel discussions, and autograph sessions?

Donna Butterworth with Elvis Presley in Paradise, Hawaiian Style

Well, the list is getting short, and you have to wonder what authors, journalists and EPE will do when Elvis’ female costars are all gone. Now we have a hint. In celebration of Elvis 80th birthday, an article in the Boone, NC Mountain Times featured an interview with Donna Butterworth who was ten-years-old when she appeared with Elvis in Paradise, Hawaiian Style. You are going to see more of this.

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Peanut Butter ‘N Banana Ice Cream:

Baskin-Robbins Peanut Butter 'N Bananna Ice Cream

I received an email from the PR firm representing Baskin-Robbins telling me about their new flavor to celebrate Elvis’ 80th Birthday. It will be available for the entire month of January, and it is described as banana-flavored ice cream with a chunky peanut butter ribbon. They are sending me two $31 gift cards – one to use to sample it and write a review. I expect to like it, but I did have a bad experience at Elvis Week 2007 when I tried peanut butter and banana coffee, and it was lame.

The other gift card will be offered as the prize in an Elvis Caption Contest which I will post in a couple of days.

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The Elvis Auction at Graceland:

Auction at Graceland

The auction last night was a huge success, highlighted by the 1953 acetate of Elvis’ first recorded songs “My Happiness”/”That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” The pre-auction estimate was for $75-100,000, but it went for $300,000! That’s got to be the highest priced record ever. Let’s see a record by Michael Jackson, or the Beatles, or Mariah Carey top that.

There were 67 items up for auction, so it will take two or three blogs to cover all the interesting elements of this Elvis 80th birthday event, and I’ll get them posted as soon as possible.

 

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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