Interesting Items at the 7th Auction at Graceland

January 7, 2017 Auction at Graceland
I started covering auctions of Elvis memorabilia in March 2010. Over the next 4-1/2 years, ElvisBlog had 25 posts covering auctions from Heritage, Julien’s , Sotheby’s, Gotta Have It, and Michaan’s auction houses.

Then in August 2014, EPE sponsored the first Auction at Graceland in Memphis during Elvis Week.

August 14, 2014 Auction At Graceland

Since then, half of the 14 auctions containing sizeable selections of Elvis collectibles have been the Auctions at Graceland. In addition to on-line bidding, the items were on display prior to the in-person bidding in Memphis. These were logical attractions for the folks coming to Elvis Week and the Elvis Birthday celebrations.

In 2016, a third auction was added to add more pizazz to the opening of the new Guest House at Graceland.

October 29, 2016 Auction at Graceland

 

As I have stated before, EPE made a brilliant decision to get involved with auctioning of Elvis memorabilia. They are gobbling up much of the available items, and from what I can tell, they are bringing higher prices for the sellers.

The latest Auction at Graceland closed on January 7 and had 165 items for bid. We’ll probably look at the rings, autographs, and clothing in the future, but here are some other items that caught my eye for one reason or another.

Boxing Gloves Elvis Wore in Kid Galahad:

Elvis - Boxing Gloves used in Kid Gallahad

These boxing gloves were one of the surprise successes of the auction. Although this was just one of several pairs Elvis wore during the filming of Kid Galahad, it attracted 15 bidders. They ran the price way past the minimum bid of $2,500 and topped out at $11,875 (including the 25% auction premium). However, this is another example of something I’ve been reminding folks with an Elvis collectible to sell. Spend some money on a proper display. It will pay off. If it had just been two loose boxing gloves as shown above, the top bid would not have been so high.

Elvis - Display of Boxing Gloves used in Kid Gallahad

However, the top bidder actually got a nice framed 25’ x 25” display that included a shot from the movie and the six-song soundtrack EP, both showing Elvis wearing boxing gloves. The case is 5 inches deep with protective glass over it.

And here’s something you may find interesting. The previous owner said this about the boxing gloves, “I held them and could feel the Elvis vibes.” Good for her.

 

Shirt Signed by 30+ Elvis Presley Co-Stars and Friends:

eBay Shirt Signed by 30+ Elvis Presley Co-Stars and Friends

This is one item that may have fared better on a general entertainment auction than on one for just Elvis collectors. Only four bids came in and the winning one for $750 fell well below the estimate.

There are fourteen autographs on the front. Perhaps you can make out these Elvis co-stars: Anne Helm (Follow That Dream), Stella Stevens (Girls! Girls! Girls!), Cynthia Pepper (Kissin’ Cousins), Deborah Walley (Spinout), Celeste Yarnall (Live a Little, Love a Little), Julie Parrish (Paradise, Hawaiian Style), Diane McBain (Spinout), Joan Blackman (Blue Hawaii, Kid Galahad), and others. Notable co-stars on the back and sleeves include Julie Adams (Tickle Me), Marilyn Mason (Trouble with Girls), and Mary Ann Mobley (Girl Happy, Harum Scarum).

It doesn’t say so on the auction website, but I believe all these signatures were obtained over time at Elvis Weeks when all the special guests sit at tables signing publicity photos, etc. About ten years ago, I saw someone moving down the line with an acoustic guitar getting autographs by many musicians from Elvis’ past. It later sold at auction for well over $750.

 

Colt “Police Positive Special” .32 Caliber Pistol:

Elvis Presley Owned and Used Colt “Police Positive Special” .32 Caliber Pistol

What would an Elvis auction be without one of his guns? As the auction website says, Elvis had a personal arsenal. Here’s one with two interesting stories.

Elvis acquired this Colt .32 caliber pistol in the 1970s at Tiny’s Gun Store in Palm Springs, California. Tiny, the owner of the gun shop, admired one of Elvis’ rings, and Elvis asked him if he wanted to trade for it. Tiny said yes and offered several items for the trade. Elvis decided on this gun and others and made the deal.

However, after using it, Elvis gave it to his bodyguard Dick Grob. His reason for this was that it didn’t have much fire power, very little noise and almost no recoil. Definitely not enough bang to suit Elvis.

But the Colt pistol had enough appeal to bidders to run the $2,000 minimum bid up to $10,625

 

Mike McGregor’s Handcrafted “TCB” Necklace in Elvis Presley Style:

Mike McGregor’s Handcrafted “TCB” Necklace in Elvis Presley Style, Circa 1980

We could also ask, “What would an Elvis auction be without a TCB pendant?” So many of them have changed hands over the last seven years. However, this is not one that Elvis owned and wore. It is not one he gave to friends. In fact, it was made three years after his death.

Mike McGregor was a blacksmith and leather craftsman who met Elvis in the 1960s at the Western shop where Mike worked crafting saddles. Elvis hired Mike to work at the Circle G Ranch taking care of the horses. Mike and his family lived at Circle G and then moved to Graceland, where he continued making leather goods and jewelry for Elvis.

In 1976 McGregor opened his own jewelry shop in Mississippi where he made this silver pendant modelled after the Elvis style. Apparently, this is a close enough connection for the high bidder pay $687.50 for it.

 

Water Pistol from the May 8, 1976 Sahara Tahoe Squirt Gun Fight with Elvis:

Rockin’ Robin’s Squirt Gun from the May 8, 1976 Sahara Tahoe Elvis Presley Squirt Gun Fight

I didn’t think I would ever see a squirt gun at an Elvis auction, let alone bringing in a $625 top bid.

On May 8 1976 at the Sahara Tahoe, Elvis performed for nearly 90 minutes, sang more than 25 songs and was engaged throughout. Then, several fans near the stage began a water fight with squirt guns after he sang “Love Me.” One of them was “Rockin’ Robin” Rosaaen, a fan of some renown at that time.

Label on Squirt Gun from the May 8, 1976 Sahara Tahoe Elvis Presley Squirt Gun Fight

This plastic squirt gun was what she used during the skirmish. Her accompanying letter with the water pistol says, “During the show I gave Elvis this large green machine gun-sized squirt gun, and he then proceeded to shoot his back-up singers, thinking he had the only squirt gun. Later, as he stood center stage, we opened fire! Elvis thought it was too much fun, and the next night talked about it, saying ‘Ladies and gentlemen, you should have been here last night—it was like a gun fight at the OK Corral”

 

Platinum Record Award for Elvis Presley’s Album Aloha from Hawaii:

Platinum Record Award for Elvis Presley’s Album Aloha from Hawaii

Lots of Gold and Platinum Record Awards have shown up at auction. However, these are often the ones awarded to Col. Parker, or RCA, or others. Or they are awards presented by other entities than the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). However, this is the actual official one awarded to Elvis. It’s a surprise that this one is not already part of the huge awards display at Graceland.

Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii Platinum Record Award.

The minimum bid was a ridiculously low $500. Fifty bids later, it topped out at $9,375. That doesn’t mean fifty different people bid on it. Probably two or three collectors battled it out to win the prize. In any event, I have never seen an item of Elvis memorabilia receive fifty bids.

 

23 Private Photos and More:

Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii Platinum Record Award.

This is a treasure trove of mostly never-seen-before photographs from the estate of Trude Forsher. From 1956 until 1961, Forsher served as secretary for Col. Parker and Elvis. Here is a photo of her and Elvis in 1956.

Trude Forsher and Elvis in 1956

As you can see, Graceland Auctions now puts a watermark over the photos posted on the auction website. It took them a while to figure that out. There is no mention of why Elvis is is that unusual position.

Trude Forsher Archive Showing Elvis at Rehersal

Here’s a photo taken at a Los Angeles recording session in 1957. Cousin Gene Smith, the Jordanaires, and Bill Black join Elvis.

This collection had a total of 42 bids and finally went for $6,250. Seems like a very good deal for all these photos and other stuff

 

1950s Original 35mm Negatives of Elvis Presley Jam Session with Scotty Moore

35mm Negatives of Elvis Presley Jam Session with Scotty Moore

For the same price of $6,250, someone bought a set of just six Elvis pictures (not shown – a near duplicate and one shot that doesn’t include Elvis). According to the auction website, the pictures were taken at a rehearsal in 1955. They do not say this was at Sun Studios, but the folks who placed 35 bids must have thought so. Why else would the winner have paid such a high price?

 

Union 76 Gold Cards:

Elvis Union 76 Gas Gold Card

Elvis credit cards show up from time to time. This one went for $3,375. Wow.

 

1966 Tennessee License Plate:

Elvis Presley’s 1966 Tennessee License Plate

This license plate went for $3,500, thanks in part to the nice display. However, the auction website said the plate was originally on Elvis’ 1967 Lincoln Continental. I don’t think that is the car in the picture.

The plate was originally owned by EPE, but they put it up for auction back in 1999 Graceland Archives Auction in Las Vegas. They sold a whole bunch of stuff then. I wonder if they wish they had it back now that they are about to open the new “Elvis: The Entertainer” museum at Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

 

March 4 2017 Auction at Graceland

Speaking of Elvis Presley’s Memphis, the new, state-of-the-art entertainment complex, which will have its grand opening on March 2-5. Yes, there will be another Auction at Graceland as part of the festivities. I’ll bet they will have no trouble finding another 165 or so new memorabilia items to bid on.
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© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis the Football Fan

Elvis and Football

Happy Birthday, Elvis

happy-birthday-blingee

Most years when holidays come up, I search in Google for Photoshopped pictures that incorporate Elvis and the holiday.   There a few talented folks out there who have made dozens of these Elvis images and usually mark them with their name along the bottom.

One of the most prevalent names I came across was Blingee.  For years, I mistakenly thought Blingee was somebody’s handle or pseudomym, but I wondered why the style of the images varied so greatly.  Some were fairly simple, but others were loaded up with glitter, sparks, and stuff that flashed or spun around.  Here is an example that I found last week while looking for Happy New Years Elvis images.

best-wishes-blingee

Let’s see, we have an Elvis photo in front of a clock.  There is a big champagne glass on one side and two smaller ones on the other.  Happy New Year is expressed in text three different ways.  There are those four blinking pink things in the corners and gold confetti hanging down from the top.  Notice the two calendar pages on the right and the blinking musical notes under them.  Look at Elvis’ hair for a few seconds and you will see little blinking stars.  Look at his chin and wait for the pink heart that flashes on and off.

So, I wondered how this Blingee person could do much good work but still make the occasional cluttered mess.  Then, last week I discovered that Blingee is actually an internet website that gives you everything you need to make your own images.  The Happy Birthday, Elvis image above was my first attempt on Blingee.  The cake spins around and the word ELVIS flashed like a neon sign.  Other than that, it’s pretty restrained.

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black-guitar-happy-birthday

To make an Elvis Blingee, you start with your own picture or one from their library (which are called Stamps).  Then you add other Stamps to complete your design.  Believe it or not, there are 15 stamps in the above birthday greeting.  By my count, there are at least ten that blink or move.  Here are a few of these stamps.  The checkerboard backgrounds disappear when you apply them to your design.

bouncing-ballons elvis-script

black-guitar

fireworks

Sorry these are so small.  You can enlarge the sizes after you’ve added them to your Elvis picture.  Of course, you can move them around to any location you want.

Blingee also makes it easy for you to send your completed design as an email or ecard, or to post it on Facebook, etc.

If you’d like to try your hand at creating an original Elvis image, click here to go to Blingee.com.  You can jump right in and figure it out as you go like I did.  But it will save you some time if you click on Need Help? and watch the two how-to videos.

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2979-elvis-stamps

This is pretty incredible.  Blingee has almost 3,000 images of Elvis.  I can’t wait to go through all of them.

search-elvis-stamps

In spite of the abundance of Elvis images available on Blingee, I used a rare photo from my files for my first attempt.  It was taken in 1957 when Elvis sailed on the USS Matsonia to Hawaii.  I’m going to dig into my files and find another cool Elvis picture to use in a another Happy Birthday greeting.

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Happy Birthday Elvis

Yeah, it’s another simple one.  I don’t see the need to clutter it up.  The photo may be one you haven’t seen before, but the message is shared by all Elvis fans.

So, Happy Birthday, Elvis.  We miss you.

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© 2017 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.

 

Musings on Elvis–Happy New Years Images

Elvis Characacture Happy New year

When New Year’s Eve gets close, I search for Elvis Happy New Years in Google to see if any new images have been posted since I checked the previous year. This weird one is new and I kind of like it.

 

Elvis - Happy New Year

This is one I posted years ago without accreditation. Today, I thought I’d search for it on Google Images to see where I had found it. The picture came up right away. When I clicked on “Visit Page,” guess what came up? ElvisBlog. So, sorry, but I can’t praise its creator.

 

Elvis and Exploding Champagne Cork

Did you notice the champagne glasses in the previous picture? Champagne is synonymous with New Years, so it shows up in a lot of the Elvis-New Years images. I especially like this one with the cork exploding out of the bottle.

 

Elvis saying Cheers

Although this image contains no text about New Years, it is still found in the Google Images category with the ones shown above. Elvis looks especially cool holding up that glass. Probably making a toast to the folks in the audience at a Vegas concert. Everybody said, “I’ll drink to that,” and created a great memory.

 

Elvis and Bill Black - Happy New Year

How’s this for maximum simplicity? I’m glad Bill Black is in it. He was a party guy, for sure.

 

Elvis - Happy New Year in Blue

This one goes in the other extreme. I like Elvis in the early fringed jumpsuit. The cityscape with fireworks exploding above it is very nice. But, I think the clock is overkill. The picture would look better without it.

 

Elvis - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

This is an image you could post earlier than the others because it includes an ornament-loaded Christmas tree. It would work for over a week.

 

Elvis and crowd - Happy new Year

Staying with young Elvis, this uses a shot of Elvis from behind entertaining a bunch of teens. A bolder font would show the text better.

 

Elvis - Happy Near Year and Welcome 2014

I normally don’t post a greeting from a previous year, and it bugs me you almost can’t read the text at the top of this one. – Happy New Year and Welcome 2014. But it is good for pointing out the Blingee name at the bottom. I’ve seen the name on dozens of Elvis composite pictures, and you probably have, too. This is a still snap of the original which blinks repeatedly. Next week, we’ll look at what I learned about Elvis and Blingee while working on this post.

 

Elvis Arms raised - Happy New Year

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I second the motion. Have a great 2017, everyone.

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Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

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© 2016 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.

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Some Elvis Christmas Images You Might Not Have Seen

ELvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe Christmas

There have been dozens of drawings of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe together, but until today I had never seen this one. I found it first on a T-shirt design, then Googled the shirt name “Elvis and Marilyn Christmas,” and up it came. I love it with both of them wearing Santa outfits and Elvis sitting on a car bumper picking and singing to her.

 

'Hello, is that the temp agency?

There are many cartoons based on the similarity of the words Elvis and elves. If anyone objects to me posting this one, I will delete it and add one of the others.

 

Christmas Tree Decorated with Elvis Figurines

How about a Christmas tree completely decorated with Elvis figurines and guitars for ornaments.

 

Elvis in Santa Hat

Elvis looks pretty good in this Santa hat doesn’t he?

 

Elfish Presley

And not too bad in an Elf hat.

 

Elvis and Two babes Around Christmas Tree

Speaking of looking good in a Santa hat. Let the party begin.

 

Elvis Buys his Tree Here Every Year

Clever marketing.

 

The 4th King

Believe it or not, I found a couple of other 4th King cartoons.

 

Priscilla on Staircase at Graceland

We’ve all seen the pictures of the stairs at Graceland decorated with poinsettias at Christmas, but have you ever seen this one with Priscilla sitting on the steps as well?

 

Elvis in White Jumpsuit at Christmas

There are dozens of Photoshop pictures with Elvis in a Christmas scene. I picked this because I like his smile. But I can’t place this jumpsuit with the fancy shoulder treatment. Anybody know its name?

 

Six Billion Fans

I just love this one. Very clever. The dog reminds me of mine.

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

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Elvis Merry Christmas Greeting

 

Elvis’ Special Christmas Radio Program

Elvis Special Christmas Program Reel-to-reel Tape

Do you know what this is? Until this week, I had never seen it, so it was a surprise to me. Here’s a newspaper clipping that will give you an idea.

 

3,00 Stations Carrying Elvis Special Christmas Radio Program

The year was 1967, and Col. Parker dreamed up the idea for the Elvis Presley Special Christmas Program. A year later, Elvis would present his famous TV special, but this one was for radio. The picture above is a reel-to-reel tape recorded by RCA that Parker had sent to radio stations all over the country.

 

At this point, Elvis had recorded just one album of Christmas music: Elvis’ Christmas Album in 1957:

Elvis' Christmas Album

 

For the special, they used six of the twelve songs on it:

Here Comes Santa Claus
Blue Christmas
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Silent Night
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
I Believe

 

In June 1966, Elvis recorded the single If Every day Was Like Christmas, and it also appeared on the Special Christmas Program:

Elvis Presley - I wish Every Day Could be Christmas

 

The radio special also included the title songs of these two albums:

Elvis Presley - How Great Thou Art

 

Elvis Presley - His Hand in Mine

 

But the special had more than just songs. Here is the sequence as shown on the box came in:

Elvis Special Christmas Program Sequence

Everything was planned out: a five-second musical intro, then the disc jockey talks for 27 seconds, then a song, and so on.

 

Elvis Special Christmas Program Season's Greetings from Elvis

This is the front page of the complete DJ script for the special. Here are the rest.

Elvis Special christmas Programming Script Page 1

Elvis Special Christmas Program Script Page 2

Note that the tape included a long message from actor Dale Robertson for Christmas Seals.

1967 Christmas Seals

 

The script frequently reminds listeners to buy those Elvis Christmas and sacred albums at their local record dealers.

Elvis Special christmas Program Script Page 3
There were no breaks for regular ads, but the DJ script got in plugs for Elvis records and even his current movie Clambake. I believe Col. Parker wrote this script, and he got his name into the text twice. He also was clever to allow one minute at the end of the program for local public-service announcements.

 

Elvis Special Christmas Program Poster

This is a poster that went out to record stores to promote the special. It says “more than 2,000 stations” but the news article above says 3,000. I guess the number was hard to determine because airing the special was up to the stations. However, to help motivate them, Col. Parker sent station managers 100 Elvis Presley Christmas cards, fifty 1968 Elvis Presley calendars, a package of Christmas Seals, and catalogs of Elvis albums and 8-track tape cartridges. That would have motivated me.

Graceland is big on celebrating anniversaries of all things Elvis. Maybe next year they will present a 50th Anniversary edition of this radio special. With today’s technology, they could have George Klein do the DJ part and offer it as a new download available through an app to our smart phones. That would be cool, too.

 

 

© 2016 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.

 

One Last Pitch

Big E and the Danta Man

Christmas is fifteen days away, but Amazon promises six days or better delivery on my book, so you can still get it in time.

Sales have really picked up this past week, so lots of folks must have decided they’ll take a chance on what I call the perfect Christmas present for Elvis fans.

They won’t be disappointed, at least not according to these happy readers:

 

“I bought Big E and the Santa Man for myself, being an Elvis lover… But… my kids and grandchildren enjoyed it as much as I did. A nice fun read!!”

Robert Devenney, Harvey Cedars, NJ

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“This book affirms what all fans of the ‘King of Rock ’n’ Roll’ know to be true—that the spirit of Elvis Presley will live on forever. Every Elvis fan, young and old, will enjoy reading Big E and the Santa Man this and every Christmas season to come.”

Alan Hanson, Spokane, WA

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“This book is a little masterpiece, and believe me there are not many books able to make the reader dream like Big E and the Santa Man did. All the Elvis fans and others must read Big E and the Santa Man.”

Francis Mauge, Tonneins, France

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Santa Reading Big E and the Santa Man

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“Only a fertile imagination could conceive of pairing two of the world’s greatest legends together in a Rock & Roll Christmas fable. Big E and Santa hit it off right from the start, and a good thing, too, for Scrooge is back with a cadre of Santa’s rejected elves determined to spoil Christmas for everyone. I know I loved it, and am moved to tell the author, “Thank you, thank you very much.”

Bob Strother, Greenville, SC

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“I loved the whole thing…so exciting to read. Phil Arnold has a fantastic imagination. I would like to see it animated on TV, because it would show the kids all the goodness in Elvis. And he makes a great hero.”

Shirley Romitz, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

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“Because Big E and the Santa Man is ‘A Rock & Roll Christmas Fantasy,’ anything that can be imagined can happen … and does. I give Big E and the Santa Man a big ‘E’ for Entertaining.”

Jerry Osborne, Port Townsend, WA

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Back Cover -- Big E and the Santa Man

Back Cover — Big E and the Santa Man

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Big E and the Santa Man is an entertaining, creative story. Phil Arnold weaves together old, familiar Christmas names with fun and imaginative new characters. Secrets of the North Pole are revealed! As I read the book, it was as if I could hear the voice of Elvis telling me the story himself. With a space ship and a flying car, Big E and the Santa Man brings Santa and Scrooge into the modern world.

Carol Stevens, Canoga Park, CA

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“Phil, I truly believe that this wonderful story would be both perfect and magical as an animated version you aspire to!! I certainly hope you attain this dream, for we will benefit with a wonderful Christmas delight.”

Clementine Moriarty, St Louis, MO

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“I purchased a bunch of Big E and the Santa Man last year thinking they would make terrific Christmas presents for friends, family & me. I thought the copies of this fun book would be read and put away by the recipients. BUT NO — I was mistaken. Phil’s book is on display and read YEAR ROUND. I SO recommend giving this cheery book. It’s an all year HO, HO, HO!”

Jean Pyle, Hawthorne, NJ

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In the Kingdom of Rock & roll

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Big E and the Santa Man is a fantastic world that Phil Arnold has created. Taking two magical characters and bringing them together works in this very imaginative story. Elvis always loved Christmas and I am sure he would have enjoyed this tale.”

Red Robinson, Vancouver, BC

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“Great Table Book. Phil Arnold brings his smooth, witty writing style to two of our favorite things — Elvis Presley and Santa! A great read for fans of all ages. Can’t wait for the next one.”

Carol Austin, Memphis, TN

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“I just finished reading Big E and the Santa Man today, and I must say, I absolutely loved it. It is a good prospect for an animated Christmas special. I can totally see that. It would be pretty cool if that happened.

Gerard Montz, LaPlace, LA

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Big E and the Santa Man -- Authors Message

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Big E and the Santa Man tells the tale of where Elvis really went – the North Pole. Who else but Elvis could teach the elves to play rock and roll music, turn Santa’s sleigh into a red rocket Cadillac, and save Christmas from evil Scrooge? This lighthearted tale had me chuckling all through the book. Phil Arnold’s style and spot-on Elvis characterization made this quite an enjoyable read for all fans of Elvis – and Santa Claus.”

John Migacz, Ware Shoals, SC

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“I read this book, and all I can say is ‘I loved it.’ I can easily see it as an annual Christmas movie. Very, very, interesting.”

Darwin Lamm, Palm Springs, CA

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“Phil Arnold has written a witty and insightful Christmas fantasy… a good read you will enjoy this Christmas and each one to come. In chapter after chapter of Big E and the Santa Man, the characters, the dialog, and the surroundings become more vivid. The exchanges involving “Big E” convey Elvis’ mannerisms, his good heart, and his vocal Inflections, and in doing so breathe life into the pages.”

Jeff Schrembs, Virginia Beach, VA

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Big E and the Santa Man

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Okay, that’s the last pitch until next Christmas season.

Click here to buy the book. You’ll be glad you did.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

Merry Christmas

 

Phil Arnold

Original Elvisblogmeister

 

My sincerest appreciation goes out to all the folks who emailed me these nice comments or posted them on Amazon. Thank you so much.

 

Elvis and Pearl Harbor

Ticket to Elvis Concert for USS Arizona Memorial Concert

The 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor was observed this week. On December 7, 1941, more than 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,178 were wounded in the surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

All Elvis fans know he performed a benefit concert as part of the fundraiser for the memorial to the USS Arizona, which was sunk at the Pearl Harbor attack. 1,177 crewman on the Arizona died.

Newspapre Article on Elvis Performing at Pearl Harbor

 

As I started writing this post on December 7, I remembered that back in March this year, Graceland.com presented a Gates of Graceland video blog in remembrance of the 55th anniversary of Elvis’ concert at Pearl Harbor. I went back and viewed it again, and I recommend that you do as well.

Then, I checked into Graceland.com/news to see what they posted on the 75th anniversary of the attack. Sadly, nothing. This was the news post of the day.

graceland-com-news-post-on-dec-7-2016

Okay, the 60th anniversary of the Million Dollar Quartet is a pretty memorable event, and they did do the Gates of Graceland blog, so we’ll cut them some slack.

Over the years, I have accumulated a lot of pictures on Elvis’ Pearl Harbor concert, and there’s no better time than now to put them on ElvisBlog.

 

Elvis wearing gold Lame jacket at Pearl harbor Concert

Here is Elvis performing. Yes, he wore the famous gold lame jacket.

 

100% Benefit Performance

Elvis’ performance can be considered a patriotic action, because every cent of the concert proceeds went to the USS Arizona Memorial Fund. Elvis bought the first ticket for $100, and required all members of his travelling party to do the same.

 

Elvis' Travelling group for the USS Arizona Memorial Concert

Here is a list of that travelling party. It’s interesting to study the names of the Elvis group flying on Pan Am to Honolulu. Cousin Gene Smith was up in first class with Elvis, but the other four members of the Memphis Mafia are back in economy. Red West’s ticket was obviously issued in his real name Bob.

Hal Wallis was the producer on Elvis’ movie, Blue Hawaii. Production had begun a few days before the Pearl Harbor concert, and filming with Elvis began a few days after. Country comedian Minnie Pearl appeared in the concert as a warm-up act for Elvis.

Tom Diskin was Col. Parker’s number one assistant. Parker probably had arrived in Hawaii earlier to be there when work on the movie started. I believe Freddie Birkenstock was representing RCA Records.

The last group on the list included the Jordanaires and the members of the band, including special guests Boots Randolph and Floyd Cramer. The photo above shows Bob Moore playing bass guitar behind Elvis, but he is not on the list. He probably sat in one of those five extra economy seats mentioned at the bottom of the list.

 

Elvis Presley and His Show Album

This is an album of Elvis’ Pearl Harbor concert. I think it is a bootleg. With all the screaming by the audience, I’d be surprised if the sound is any good.

 

To The Memory

Priscilla, Elvis, Charlie and Joe at Pearl Harbor Memorial

Here are Priscilla, Elvis, Charlie Hodge, and Joe Esposito observing the list of the Americans who died at Pearl Harbor.

 

Elvis at Bell Shaped Wreath at USS Arizona Memorial

1,177 carnations were used in this bell-shaped wreath, one for every serviceman who lost his life aboard the Arizona. The sash says, “Gone But Not Forgotten.”

 

Elvis Greeting Fans Before USS Arizona Memorial Concert

Elvis arrived in Honolulu at 12:20 in the afternoon and had his concert at 8:30 that night. In between that and viewing the memorial, he had time to hold a press conference.

Elvis Press Conference at Pearl harbor

 

 

Polish Picture of Elvis at Pearl Harbor

This is an interesting photo, made in Poland, no less.

 

The poster below has the Sears logo on it, because their stores in Hawaii sold tickets to the show.

Sears Poster for USS Arizona Memorial Concert

 

Elvis’ concert raised $62,000 for the USS Arizona Memorial. This is the equivalent of $496,000 in today’s dollars.

 

Our nation paused this week to remember those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago. Here is Elvis doing the same thing in 1961.

Elvis Presley at USS Arizona Memorial

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

 

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A Pitch about Quality

I got my first Amazon check today (actually a direct deposit) for BIG E and the SANTA MAN. The response to my book has been most gratifying, and I thank all of you who bought a copy.

Minions Holding Big e and the Santa Man

It’s been fun coming up with entertaining ways to pitch the book here on ElvisBlog. There’s been four posts so far, and I’ve tried to keep them interesting so people would read all the way through.

 

On this post, I’d like to get more serious, so I hope I don’t lose you. Even though the sales of the book are good, there’s lots of potential readers who might still be unconvinced. Over 12,000 visitors come to ElvisBlog each month, so what’s holding some folks back? I think it might be three things.

Elvis He is Alive

 

The whole premise of the novel is that Elvis didn’t die in August 1977. Instead, he went off to a remote, but very special place, to start a new life – living with Santa Claus at the North Pole. I know some Elvis fans are totally turned off by what they call the Elvis is Alive nonsense. Okay, fine, but this story says right on the cover that it is a Rock & Roll Christmas FANTASY. If you lighten up and just go with the premise, BIG E and the SANTA MAN is wonderful fun story.

Perhaps another thing causing doubt is a concern that the book is just too weird to be any good.

Elvis living with Santa – ridiculous
Scrooge converted to a mad scientist in a space craft – get real
A flying 1959 Cadillac jet sled – impossible

All I can say is that the story was conceived as an animated TV Christmas special, and people who have read it say they can see the drama, and action, and humor playing out on the screen. They started reading with an open mind and loved the story. Although it is the strangest Christmas story ever written, it is not too weird to be any good. No, it is very good.

Joe Biden Holding Big E and the Santa Man

 

The third possible stumbling block for some people may be their doubt that the host of a blog could craft a good piece of fiction on his first try. Actually, it is my second novel.

Elvis Claus Cover

Elvis Claus is what I wrote first to hone my fiction writing skills. I plan to publish it next year. It might be even harder for folks to get beyond the Elvis is Alive premise on this one, because it’s not a fantasy, it’s a love story.

Writing fiction is a lot more challenging than writing non-fiction, but my extensive production of magazine articles has contributed to a sound grasp of grammar, punctuation, and other factors that can make your work look amateurish if you don’t get them right. BIG E and the SANTA MAN is clean, very professional looking.

Elvis International magazine winter 1999

For what it’s worth, I have written 54 articles for Elvis International magazine, including “Artist of the Century” in this issue.

 

ELVIS The Early Years

I am very proud of the quality of my writing. I was hired by famous Elvis photographer Al Wertheimer to write the forward for his book ELVIS: The Early Years.

 

ELVIS He Touched Me

The author of Elvis: He Touched Me hired me to write two chapters and the “About the Author” section.

 

Okay, that’s enough proving I’m a good writer. You get the idea. I just wanted to emphasize any way I could that BIG E and the SANTA MAN is a quality work of fiction.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN

I am also very proud of the book’s cover. I engaged a top-notch graphic artist to create it, and she came through big time. She also did the cover for Elvis Claus. Scroll back and look at the outstanding job she did aging Elvis. She also did the Joe Biden and Minions pictures above.

 

So, that’s my pitch about quality. I truly believe this is the perfect Christmas present for Elvis fans. All you need to do is tell someone to type BIG E and the SANTA MAN into the Amazon search box, or click here and buy it yourself.

Amazon Page Big E and the SANTA MAN

If you want a signed copy, and you have a PayPal account, send an email to philarnold@charter.net, and I’ll take care of the rest.

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Santa World Cover

I would like to end by paraphrasing the message in the above picture.

Who is this Big E guy?
And will he be under your Christmas tree?

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Thank you,

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

 

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Remembering Joe Esposito

Joe Esposito

Joe Esposito died the day before Thanksgiving, so this post is unfortunately late. Blame it on the time demands of getting through one holiday and getting ready for another.

It saddens me to do these memorials to friends and musicians from Elvis’ world. The circle keeps getting smaller. Since ElvisBlog began 11 years ago, we’ve remembered Charlie Hodge, Lamar Fike, John Wilkinson, Gordon Stoker, Millie Kirkham, and Scotty Moore.

 

Graceland Remembering Joe Esposito

Like every other Elvis website, Graceland.com posted a memorial to Joe Esposito, but is was surprisingly brief. It did mentioned that Joe served as Elvis’ road manager, but omitted other functions he performed – bodyguard for a while and sometimes assisting in the bookkeeping.  Joe was also co-best man at Elvis’ wedding to Priscilla.

(Editor’s note: I did not copy the “Remembering Joe Esposito” title that Graceland.com used. That’s been the way I memorialized all the folks mentioned above, and this continued the pattern.)

 

Elvis and Joe Esposito riding a bike

 

Joe esposito and Elvis at memphis Airport

One interesting factoid about Joe Esposito is mentioned the book ELVIS: His Life from A to Z – “It was Joe Esposito who arranged females for Elvis to date.”

 

Elvis and Joe Esposito at Set of It Happened at the World's Fair

 

Did you know that Joe Esposito had bit parts in eight Elvis movies?

Joe Esposito in Elvis Movies

You can see him through the windshield in this shot taken during the filming of Spinout.

Elvis and Joe esposito on Set of Clambake

 

One thing I found out about Joe Esposito while doing research is that Google has way more images of him in his later years than during his time with Elvis. Here’s a good one of him having some laughs with Linda Thompson. Everyone says he was a great guy, fun to be around.

Joe Esposito and Linda Thompson

 

I got to know Joe just a little bit. Here I am at Elvis Week 2007 at a book signing table outside the venue for a concert presented by Darwin Lamm, Editor/Publisher of Elvis International magazine. I got to play pseudo-bodyguard protecting Joe and DJ Fontana from any pushy or unruly fans. Fortunately there weren’t any.

Phil Arnold, Joe Esposito, DJ Fontana

I will forever be grateful to Darwin for giving me the opportunity to hang out back stage with these two men plus Scotty Moore, Gordon Stoker, and Millie Kirkham.

 

Here is a picture of Joe with Elvis two months before Elvis died.

Joe esposito with Elvis Two Months Before He Died

 

And here’s a photo of Darwin vising with Joe Esposito two months before his passing.

Joe esposito and Darwin Lamm

Joe was an important earlier contributor to Darwin’s magazine, and the two have been friends for decades.

 

Joe esposito

 

We’ll miss you, Joe. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

 

© 2016 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.