What Do Chubby Checker and George Thorogood Have in Common?

They’re coming to Graceland.

More precisely, they’re coming to the Graceland Soundstage in Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

SoundStage A ( Now Graceland Soundstage)

Since renamed Graceland Soundstage

Perhaps EPE’s plan in the beginning was to show Elvis movies at the Soundstage, and to have events there during Elvis Week and the Elvis Birthday Celebration.

But now they are going after more than just Elvis fans to fill the seats. After all, they do have a concert venue holding up to 1,500 people, and there are a lot of good touring acts out there who perfume in front of crowds like that.

 

I’m not sure about this, but I think the only Memphis concert venue of similar size is the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street.

New Daisy Theater

I went to a midnight concert at the New Daisy Theater during Elvis Week 2002. It featured two young tribute artists named Shawn Klush and Ryan Pelton. Klush went on to win the first Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition in 2007, but he still came back to the New Daisy years after that.

 

Shawn Klush at the New Daisy Theater

 

So, the Memphis roster of concert venues has improved with the addition of the Graceland Soundstage. It’s got state-of-the art sound and graphics, lots of parking, and a bonus perk that’s pretty cool. Concert ticket holders get free admission to Elvis Presley’s Memphis from 3pm on, so they can spend 4 or 5 hours in there before going into the concert.

A dozen artists are lined up so far to perform at the Soundstage this spring and summer. But Chubby Checker.is the one I want to write about.

Young Chubby Checker

I have always liked Chubby Checker. He is originally from Philadelphia, and so am I. I saw him once back in 1959 before he became a huge star with his hit, “The Twist.” He was one of several local singers that performed in an open pavilion at Willow Grove Park. At that time he had a minor novelty hit called “The Class.” In it, the students were supposedly Elvis, Fats Domino, the Coasters, and the Chipmunks, and Chubby sang a few lines in each of their voices.

He is 78 years old and still performing. Here he is in 2014.

Chubby Checker in 2014

 

While searching for a current photo of him, I found something that made me laugh.

Chubby Checker Penis Measuring App

Chubby Checker had sued the makers of an app that estimated the size of a man’s penis, called The Chubby Checker, for $500 million over “irreversible damage and harm”. He claimed that the app tarnished his name.

I wonder how much he got in the settlement. Not so much for him to finally hang up those twisting shoes for good. No, he’s coming to Graceland on June 22. The top tickets go for $99.50.

Chubby Checker’s act has always included lots of dancing with the fans, not just on the stage, but also down in the aisles sometimes. I’ll bet he puts on a great show at Graceland.

 

 

And I like the new option we fans now have. Elvis wasn’t the only music we liked. We had other favorite singers and bands over the years. If one of these gets booked at the Soundstage, it could spark a trip to Graceland for a connection with two of your favorites. A Chubby Checker/Elvis Presley weekend at Graceland sounds like a fine idea to this old fan.

 

Here’s the rest of the lineup coming to this concert series now named Graceland Live.

Graceland Live

These artists are listed without comment for now. Click here to see a wonderful website that tells you everything about them.

Bret Michaels – Saturday March 23 – All tickets are Standing $49.50

George Thorogood  – Saturday, April 13  – Top ticket is $101.50

Buckcherry –  Friday, April 19 – All tickets are Standing $25

Frank Turner – Saturday, April 27 – All tickets are Standing $27.50

Allman Betts Band – Friday, May 3                 ditto

Violent Femmes and X – Thursday May 16 – All tickets are Standing $39.50

Stryper  – Sunday, June 2 – All tickets are Standing $25

Boz Scaggs – Sunday, June 16 – Top ticket is $124.50

Chubby Checker – Saturday, June 22 – Top ticket is $99.50

Pat Benetar,  Saturday July 26 – Top ticket is $124.50

Brian Setzer,  Wednesday, Aug 21 – Top ticket is $99.50

Hot Tuna – Sunday, Sept 1                        ditto

 

That’s an interesting variety of performers. And there’s lots of room for more additions.

Here’s some stuff off that website I told you about

Graceland Soundstage State of the Art

Premium Bars

 

I also want to write about another performer that I’d love to combine with Elvis on a weekend at Graceland: George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

George Thorogood

 

George Thorogood’s current tour is named the “Good To Be Bad Tour – 45 Years of Rock”

He started his career in 1974, back when music was on records. I bought four of his albums, and I picked up a couple of his cassettes at garage sales. Now I’ve got 16 George Thorogood songs on my playlist.

Here’s what the Graceland Live website says about him.

George Thorogood Gut-busting Music

That’s quite a list of adjectives they used to describe George Thorogood’s music. To me, It’s just really good blues-rock. Nothing like Chubby Checker or Elvis music, but I like all three.

 

Here’s another connection I have with George Thorogood. One of his songs is the ringtone on my cel phone, and it’s not any of those listed above. It’s called “If You Don’t Start Drinkin’ (I’m Gonna Leave)”. I picked it because it starts with a very loud repetitive guitar lick. I need it loud if I’m going to hear the phone ring in my pocket with my crummy hearing.

 

Graceland Live Alt Logo

This is a nice image, but unfortunately, Elvis won’t be performing at Graceland Live.

 

Remember when Dorothy said to Toto, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Well, “Graceland isn’t just Elvis anymore.”

 

Two Giant Screens at Graceland Soundstage

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Remembering Elvis-A-Rama

 

Every trip to Graceland now includes a visit to the new Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. Same thing for Presley Motors Automobile Museum. Everybody takes in those two during a trip to Graceland.

Presley Motors

 

Did you know that hundreds of the items displayed in these venues were featured in the Elvis-A-Rama Museum in Las Vegas fifteen years ago?

Front Elvis-A-Rama

Back in 2005, I did an ElvisBlog article on Elvis-A-Rama. This was two years before I started adding photos to the posts, so it was all text. Like this information I found on the internet:

Named one of the “Top 3 Attractions” in Las Vegas by The Travel Channel

Voted “The Best Museum” in the city by the Las Vegas Review Journal

Elvis-A-Rama has been on the cover of USA Today, People, and Forbes magazines

It contained over 2000 artifacts valued at over $6 million (in 2005 dollars)

From this you can see that Elvis-A-Rama was a large, high-quality exhibit not to be missed by Elvis fans.

 

Here are the key exhibits that were noted in the 2005 research I did.

Elvis’ 8-passenger 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood limo

The “Peacock” and “Cisco Kid” jumpsuits

Elvis-A Rama Jumpsuits

Elvis’ 1962 Glastron powerboat

A pair of blue suede shoes autographed by Elvis and valued at $1 million

Elvis Blue Suede Shoes at Elvis-A-Rama

The famous gold lame’ suit

A 1975 purple Lincoln Mark IV

Every commercially released 45, EP and LP ever recorded by Elvis

In addition, there were guitars, piano, handwritten lyrics, personal clothes, outfits from the movies, furniture, army stuff, various papers, and lots more.

Elvis Displays at Elvis-A-Rama

 

I got to see Elvis-A-Rama in April 2006. And that was good timing, because it was closing for good in a couple of months. Elvis-A-Rama had been purchased by Elvis Presley Enterprises the preceding November… and they were moving out all the stuff.

So, I kind of slid in under the wire and got to see it all. I spent half a day in there. Read every word on the plaques and other signage. Sat through a show by an ETA in a little theater. Browsed the gift shop thoroughly.

I loved my lucky visit to Elvis-A-Rama.

Welcome Elvis-A-Rama

I like their tag line: Experience the King as if He Never Left the Building.

At first I didn’t think “Elvis-A-Rama” was a very good name, sounding kind of schlocky. Then I found out it was originally the name of the largest display — a magnificent 10-foot tall, 85-foot long mural that celebrated Elvis’ life and career.

Section of Elvis-A-Rama Wall Mural

A portion of the Elvis-A-Rama mural

 

It incorporated Elvis’ music, synchronized to clips of his television appearances, scenes from his movies, and concert footage. It also contained a signature board with thousands of personal notes to Elvis, many of them by famous celebrities.

The Elvis-A-Rama mural had been created in 1979 by songwriter Mitchell Torok (If you’re old like me, you may remember his 1959 hit “Caribbean”), and it was on display for 18 years, first in Nashville, and then Branson, before being sold and moved to Las Vegas.

But there was something else factoring into that sale. The mural had a solid trademark for a name that had Elvis in it.  That meant its new owner could use it as the name for his new Las Vegas museum, and he did. Elvis-a-Rama was now the whole show, not just the mural.

More in Part 2.

 

Fans in front of Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum

I have never been to the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. But some of you readers have. Please tell me in Comments if there is a 10 feet high, 85 feet long mural in there.

If not, do you think it’s in safe storage, waiting to be brought out to great fanfare in a few years?

I hope so.

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

New Arrivals at the Internet Elvis Stores

Image - ELVIS MOTORCYCLE TCB CROSSBODY HANDBAG

How do you like this Elvis picture? I love it, and I can barely believe it was Graceland that brought it to us. This striking design is actually on a handbag that just arrived at Store.Graceland.com.

ELVIS MOTORCYCLE TCB CROSSBODY HANDBAG

According to the website, you can:

“Show off your inner Rock ‘n’ Roll rebel with the Elvis Motorcycle Flames Crossbody Bag! This flaming hot carry-all features an image of Elvis perched on one of his beloved motorcycles surrounded by a gold tone TCB flame pattern.”

That’s a pretty cool handbag for an Elvis fan. It can be yours for $45.

 

Graceland Big, Elvis Small on T-shirt

OK, this is a new one I don’t like. Can you see what’s bothering me? Let’s make it easier to see.

Graceland Big, Elvis Small - Copy

Who thought it was a good idea to put a little Elvis Presley down at the bottom, and a big Graceland at the top? I wish they wouldn’t do that.

 

ELVIS PRESLEY GRACELAND GUITAR WATERCOLOR 3-4 SLEEVE WOMEN'S

The design is more balanced on this ¾ sleeve woman’s T. So is the name: Elvis Presley Graceland Guitar T-shirt. That pretty much covers it all. The shirt goes for $24.99.

They’re getting a lot of use out of the image. It’s also on totes, magnets, cozies, key rings, travel tumblers, and regular T-shirts.

 

WHERE ELVIS LIVES WOMEN'S DOLMAN T-SHIRT

But, that’s nothing compared to all the stuff they put this image on. It’s on all the items just mentioned plus zip hoodies, shot glasses, frosted pint glasses, and coffee mugs. The Where Elvis Lives T-shirt is also $24.99.

 

I think they are missing the boat by not putting the Elvis Flaming TCB Motorcycle image on all that kind of stuff.

 

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII 45TH ANNIVERSARY WOMEN'S DOLMAN

At first glance, I thought these were marijuana leaves. This Aloha from Hawaii T-Shirt has been recently discounted 1/3 to $38.50.  Probably because the 45th anniversary of Aloha from Hawaii was last year.

I just wonder how close you have to be to someone wearing it to make out that it’s a tiny silhouette of Elvis on the front.

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII 45TH ANNIVERSARY Blown Up

 

Sorry. I like Elvis big on T-Shirts, not small.

 

There were also new arrivals at ShopElvis.com, including one I don’t like two things about.

 

VEGAS MEOWVIS PAWSLEY T-SHIRT

The concept is okay, I guess, and the art work is pretty well done, but cat Elvis looks like he has a broken neck. The head needs to be moved three inches to the left to look right. The other thing that bugs me is the name they gave it: Vegas Meowvis Pawsley T-Shirt. Yuck.

 

3 ELVIS MOON T-SHIRT

 

This shirt appeals to me a lot. The background has a tie-died appearance. That feature is on a lot of the new arrivals, so it must be some kind of technology they have now, and a good one. The moon is a nice touch, and I like the three Elvis images. Plus it is only $19.95.

 

One thing I’ve noticed is that shirts from ShopElvis.com never have the word Graceland on them, or an image of it. May be part of some agreement between EPE and ShopElvis. But I especially like Elvis shirts with big images of him and few words, and they have lots of them.

 

I’ve been doing Elvis T-Shirt reviews on ElvisBlog for ten years, and I have slammed some bad ones. But a new offering from ShopElvis.com is the worst Elvis T-Shirt I have ever seen.

ALL HAIL THE KING T-SHIRT

The drawing of Elvis sucks so bad. It doesn’t look like a crown for the King of Rock and Roll over his head. It looks like Jughead’s cap.

I can’t believe anybody would buy this shirt. You can expect this loser to be discounted soon when sales don’t happen.  ShopElvis could drop it to $2, and I still wouldn’t be buying.

 

Here is one other item in their Elvis apparel selection that I can’t make up my mind about.

TCB Socks

 

Wow. Bold TCB socks for men or women. $19.95 a pair. What do you think ladies? Does this work for you?

 

ELVIS JUMPSUIT CAPE on sale for just $17.95

And here’s the deal of the day. The Elvis Jumpsuit Cape. Marked down from $30 to $17.95. It’s a nice size, coming down your back for 24 inches, and it has a red satin lining. Seems like some folks could have a lot of fun with it at parties or Elvis events.

.
© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Eye Candy for Elvis Fans

Eye Candy Definition

Well, you’re not going to find anything intellectually demanding on this ElvisBlog post, but there is some superficially attractive and entertaining stuff you might like.

 

Giant Floating Elvis Head

Like a giant floating Elvis head.

 

Elvis Look-a-like with a Walker

Or the winner of the Ultimate Geriatric Elvis Tribute Artist Competition.

 

PEZ Elvis Close-up

How do you like this face? It’s a decent replication of Elvis. Any guesses what this is?

Jumpsuit Elvis Pez Close-Up

This angle should give you a clue.

All Three PEZ Elvis

Did you guess PEZ Elvis? With the high white collar and the shades, jumpsuit Elvis blows away the other guys. Poor Army Elvis in the center. He doesn’t look anything like Elvis.

 

PEZ Elvis Collection

Here’s the three of them inside the metal display box. Two packs of PEZ candies and a playable CD are behind them. Blue PEZ guy in the middle doesn’t look like Elvis, either, so here is the altered PEZ Elvis showcase I came up with.

 

Jumpsuit Elvis Pez Display

Much better.

But I did find a good way to use the other two guys.

Pez Elvis Profiles

 

 

Elvis and Bikini Girls in Spinout

Have you ever seen this shot of Elvis attracting a crowd of lovelies in bikinis? He probably could have pulled it off in real life, but this is from a movie. Do you know which one?

 

Clinton / Elvis Stamp

This combo stamp of Bill Clinton and Elvis came from the republic of Chad in Africa. Chad produced all kinds of Elvis stamps a couple of decades ago. They were targeted toward the collector market, not for mailing letters. There were so many different ones that one pundit joked that Elvis stamps had become Chad’s number one export.

 

Elvis Silver Lame Suit

You all know about Elvis’ famous gold suit. How do you like this silver one?

 

Elvis in Mount Rockmore

Here’s an interesting variation on Mt. Rushmore: Elvis, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Jimmy Hendrix. If it was up to me, I would take out Marley and replace him with Eric Clapton.

 

Lisa with Preggo Bump

Does anyone know why Lisa decided to pose for this photograph?

 

Elvis Toilet Paper

Elvis toilet paper is a pretty strange collectible, but keeping it in a glass display is just bizarre.

 

Elvis Shrugged -- Vol. lll

The third and last issue in the Elvis Shrugged comic book series. Elvis on steroids wearing jumpsuit pants and belt. I own this one, and the artwork inside is really lame compared to the cover.

 

Attack of the Midget Elvii

I like the bug-eyed bald guy telling the ELVII to attack. I’m not so sure about Tinkle! Crash!

 

Elvis Flintstone

I snapped this photo from a T-shirt I owned for 25 years. I sold that Elvis Flintstone T-shirt to a lady in Canada. But I got a bum mailing address from PayPal, and the package never got delivered to her or returned to me. I’m resigned to the fact that the shirt is gone forever, so I’m glad I at least have this picture.

 

The movie clip of Elvis with all those girls at the pool was Spinout. Here’s another good shot.

Elvis and Babes in Spinout

Elvis gets to check them out one by one as they go into that tent. That definitely moved the plot forward.

 

Please let me know if you like Eye Candy for Elvis Fans or not. They’re pretty easy for me to put together, so there may be more to come.

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Graceland Introduces After-Parties

Elvis Week 2019 Schedule of Events

I’ve been studying the schedule of events for Elvis Week 2019. It will be a nine-day affair, covering two weekends – Friday, August 9 through Saturday, August 17.

august-2019-calendar

Now, you can imagine that most folks thinking about going to Elvis Week would prefer being there that last weekend. There’s always some pretty good events scheduled… and it’s special to be there around Graceland on the 16th , even if you don’t do the candlelight vigil.

Candlelight Procession

 

So, how does EPE plan to attract folks to come on those real early dates — that first weekend? A year ago, the first night’s happening was a “Special Event with Lisa Marie Presley.” I have no idea what that involved, but afterward, there was an “Exclusive Photo and Autograph Opportunity” with her. I don’t know. Maybe that did pull in a lot of folks.

But I do know that what’s coming this year on that first weekend is a winner.

 

Ultimate Elvis Week After-Party

 

They are throwing an After-Party at Elvis Presley’s Memphis on the first three nights of Elvis Week 2019. There will be cash bars and food stations along the streets. There will be a stage set up outside in front of Vernon’s Smokehouse, and according to the press release, “many of your favorite Elvis tribute artists will be jamming.”

Vernon's Smokehouse in Elvis Presley's Memphis

 

Sounds like a pretty good party, doesn’t it?

 

Inside Elvis Presley's MemphisJust imagine its night and the streets are full of people

 

To ensure a festive atmosphere, there will be a host named Jeff Lewis up on the stage introducing the acts and interacting with the visitors. He sent me something to acquaint you with him.

“I started the Elvis Tribute Artist jam idea back in 2012 at the Hard Rock Cafe.  I did it after the Ultimate the year Ben Portsmouth won.  It was really great seeing all the guys on stage just jamming, singing, laughing, and not taking the contest stuff too seriously, instead, they were all remembering why we were there, to celebrate Elvis and his incredible music and legacy.  It really took off from there.  We continued to have the After Parties every year at the Hard Rock.  I was so honored when EPE reached out to me and wanted to know if I’d work with them and have the parties at EPM.  I think it is really going to be cool and a lot of fun.”

I agree.  You can’t go wrong when you bring on an experienced Hard Rock Cafe party manager.  Congrats to EPE for such a good choice.

Jeff Lewis at One of His After-Parties

Jeff Lewis at One of His After-Parties

 

So, picture it. A big outdoor party until midnight in a closed-off mini-village called Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

Street in Elvis Presley's Memphis

 

I think EPE has come up with a great concept that could entice fans to come to those three early days of Elvis Week. Folks can go to the After-Parties and listen to Elvis music, hang out with friends, have drinks from the cash bars, get a late snack from street vendors, wander around and go in some stores or exhibits. I can see myself doing this and enjoying it very much.

Obviously, this is a wonderful set-up for fan clubs and other groups travelling together. How much fun would these parties be if you were there with a bunch of friends?

 

Okay, the After-Parties sound really good…. But what are they after?

 

 

The three nights of After-Parties are an added bonus for the fans attending the Ultimate Tribute Artist competitions or a special concert featuring former contest winners.

Friday, August 9: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Semifinal Round

Saturday, August 10: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Final Round

Sunday, August 11: The Ultimate Return

These concerts are in the Graceland Soundstage and run from 7 to 9 or so. By the time these concerts conclude, Elvis Presley’s Memphis will have closed down and all the folks have been asked to leave. Then, the Soundstage doors open, and the concert-goers pour out into the streets. The band on that outdoor stage cranks it up, and the party is on.

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competitions need no explanation, but what is The Ultimate Return? Think of it as a showcase for past winners, which Graceland calls an “incredible live concert.” It will be hosted by Dean Z who won back in 2013. He will have his own solo performance the next night in the Soundstage.

Other announced performers so far include:

Shawn Klush – winner of the first competition in 2007

Cody Slaughter (2011)

Ben Thompson – title holder from last year’s 2018 competition

And the show will start with whoever is the newly crowned 2019 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist

 

2019 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition

 

So, the only question is… what does it cost? The Semifinal Round is the cheapest at $50, $40, $30, depending how close you want to be to the stage. The Soundstage seats are on a level floor, so I wouldn’t want to be too far back. The Finals and the ETA show are ten dollars more: $60, $50, and $40.

 

Soundstage Seating chart

The three sections farthest from the stage are the ones priced above. The Green, white and yellow seats are reserved for people buying different kinds of ticket packages ranging from $160 to $1,500. Of course, they get to go to the After-Parties, too.

It should be noted that there are side sections of seats with similar distribution not shown here. Potential audience size could be up to 1,500 people.

 

So, if you pop for the best seats available on the two EPA competitions, you’d be paying $220 for you and your sweetie. If you’ve never seen these, be assured that the best of the Elvis Tribute Artists give remarkable performances. These shows are great entertainment.

For the ETA finals and the Ultimate Return concert, your cost would be $240. Compared to the ticket prices at Elvis Week last year, these are pretty good deals, and you get the After-Parties as a bonus

 

I’ve been to Elvis Week four times, always during the last three or four days. If I were going this year, I’d give that first weekend a try. I’d wear an ElvisBlog T-shirt at the After-Parties and see if anybody comes up and says, “Hey, I read your blog.”

 

Elvis Week 2019 Logo

 

Click here to see all the events and  ticket prices. It takes some study to grasp all the different options they offer, but at least you already know plenty about the After-Parties.

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

My Picks for Best and Worst at the Elvis All-Star Tribute

Elvis All-Star Tribute

I thought three performances shined above the others Sunday night on the tribute to Elvis’ 68 Special.

Keith Urban and Post Malone — “Baby, What You Want Me to Do

Keith Urban and Post Malone

Urban nailed this song with a little help from Post Malone. I had no idea Keith Urban was such a great guitar slinger. Just a wonderful job on one of my favorite Elvis songs.

 

JENNIFER LOPEZ — “HEARTBREAK HOTEL

Jennifer Lopez

Wow, what a performance. Jennifer Lopez had that skin tight body suite, the wind machine blowing her hair, and just the right amount of attitude. I loved the lip curls, and I could have watched a whole lot more of her shaking her booty. Very hot.

 

Darius Rucker — “One Night”

Darius Rucker

This man started out in rock ‘n roll with Hootie and the Blowfish, now he is a country star, and if he wanted to, he could be a blues master. He did just a perfect amount of howlin’ on “One Night.”

 

I also like the production they put together for the opening number TROUBLE/Guitar Man. The way they started with the original footage of Elvis, then seamlessly switched to Blake Shelton, and back again several times. Very well done.

Blake Shelton

 

And I like the Elvis photo montage they showed while Mac Davis sang “Memories.”

I did not like Shawn Mendes’ version of “Hound Dog.”

And I was disappointed with the version of “Love Me” done by Miranda Lambert and the other two ladies introduced as the Pistol Annies.

Pistol Annies

“Love Me” is another of my favorite Elvis songs, and he set a high standard. I’m sorry, but they just didn’t measure up.

 

Elvis All-Star Tribute Sign

All in all, I enjoyed the concert and look forward to watching it again when it shows up on YouTube.

If you have different favorites, please put them on comments.

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

A Belated Goodbye to George Klein

Yesterday I checked back with Graceland.com to see if the ticket prices for Elvis Week had been announced, but they weren’t. While there, I clicked on the News tab, and was surprised to learn that Elvis’ buddy George Klein had passed away. For those of you who have not read that post, here is what EPE had to say:

Graceland.com - Remembering George Klein

Nicely done. George Klein was one of the good guys. Unlike the others in Elvis’ Memphis Mafia, George was never on the payroll. He had his own career as a radio DJ. When he hung out with Elvis at Graceland or traveled to movie sets with him, George did it because they were buddies.

Elvis, Larry Geller, George Klein, Alan Fortas.

Elvis, Larry Geller, George Klein, Alan Fortas.

 

So, I did a search to see what I had written about George Klein on ElvisBlog over the years. He has been mentioned dozens of times, but I never wrote an article just about him. The closest I did was a funny story in a post about Elvis and Ann Margret. Here it is from August 28, 2005, just seven months after the blog was launched (and years before I started adding pictures).

Elvis and Ann-Margret ElvisBlog Post

Here is the rest of that article:

One night, during the filming of Viva Las Vegas in 1963, Elvis invited Ann-Margret over to his house. He specifically told all his buddies to disappear before she arrived, but Alan and George Klein asked if they could stay if they promised not to leave their rooms. Elvis agreed, but he should have known better.

After Ann-Margret had been there awhile, Alan and George snuck on to the patio and peeked into the den. According to Alan, “They were dancing and cuddling and talking, and George and I were going crazy.”

Then, Elvis left the room to get something and walked around to another part of the house. From this vantage point, he could see the two spies plain as day. When Alan and George realized they had been caught peeping, they panicked. George tried to run off and slammed right into the glass patio door, nearly breaking his nose.

 Alan Fortas, Lamar Fike, George Klein, and Elvis

Alan Fortas, Lamar Fike, George Klein, and Elvis

 

 

This is George Klein’s autobiography. The text above the big ELVIS is a quote by Priscilla, “You told your story with class, mister. Elvis would be proud.” I agree. This is not a tell-all of bad stuff about Elvis. If you haven’t read it, you should. My copy has a cover price of $29.95 on it, but you can get a copy for as low as $6 on Amazon. A great book at a low price.

The photo on the book’s cover was taken at George’s wedding to Barbara Little. Here are some other pictures of this event from my files.

Elvis at George Klein's Wedding 1970

I liked this one because Elvis is holding a gun to George’s head. Please note he does not have his finger on the trigger.

 

The Presleys and the Kleins

The Presleys and the Kleins. I have read often that Elvis didn’t smoke, but there are quite a few pictures around showing Elvis with a stogie in his mouth.

 

This photo is both good and bad. I like the shot of George and Barbara’s hands on their Certificate of Marriage. However, the certificate showed up for bid at auction a few years ago, probably because it had Elvis’ signature on it. Kind of sad.

 

1954 Humes High School Class Officers

As the press release said, George Klein and Elvis became friends at Humes High School. The above picture from their 1954  yearbook shows that George was senior class president.

 

George Klein Text about Elvis

George is not in this picture, but the text has an interesting quote from him.

 

Elvis Palbearers Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, George Klein, Lamar Fike, Billy Smith, Charlie Hodges, Gene Smith, and Dr. Nick

This shot had a caption identifying Elvis’ pallbearers as Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, George Klein, Lamar Fike, Billy Smith, Charlie Hodges, Gene Smith, and Dr. George Nichopoulos. I believe George is the second on the right. He had longer curly hair in 1977.

 

George Klein and Elvis 1957

The tag on this simply says 1957. Backstage at a concert? Or maybe on a movie set?

Speaking of movies, George Klein had bit parts in at least four Elvis movies.

George Klein in Elvis movies

 

Here are a few other photos of Elvis and George Klein.

George Klein and Elvis Leaning on Car

 

set of Speedway- Standing – Jerry Schilling, Marty Lacker, Larry Jost (sound department), Elvis, Don Sutton, and Richard Davis. Kneeling – George Klein and Joe Esposito

On the set of Speedway. George with Elvis, four Memphis Mafia buddies, a sound guy, and baseball pitcher Don Sutton (second from right).

 

Elvis on train to NY to embark on the SS Randall for Germany. The train stopped briefly in Memphis which is why George Klein is in the picture. Elvis is kissing a fan

This strange shot was taken in 1958 when Elvis was on the train to NY before embarking on the SS Randall for Germany. The train stopped briefly in Memphis which is why George Klein is in the picture. Elvis is kissing a fan.

 

Red West And George Klein with Elvis first guitar

Red West and George Klein with Elvis first guitar. This photo was taken just two years ago.

 

 

George Klein - Elvis Presley's Friend

 

Good bye, George Klein. We’ll miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
.
.

.

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

Elvis Goodies from the Fuzzy Room – Part 6

It’s been almost three months since I last posted a group of Elvis collectibles for sale on here.  I need to get back to it, because the time to move and down-size is steadily approaching. Thanks for helping me find new homes for the Elvis stuff I’ve collected for decades and displayed in my Fuzzy Room.

 

Please Note:  The prices are for delivery to USA destinations only.  Postal rates to other countries are just prohibitive and mailing to them is way more hassle.  Sorry.

 

A 3-Pack of Elvis-Related Movie DVDs:

Three Elvis-Related Movie DVDs

All three of these are definitely worthy of watching.  Here’s what they’re about.

Elvis Has Left the Building.  Kim Basinger looks terrific as a travelling cosmetic sales woman who inadvertently kills an Elvis impersonator and goes on the run.  Lots of strange stuff ensues, including a cameo by Tom Hanks.  The finale with all those Elvis impersonators up on the roof of the casino is classic.

Finding Graceland.  This one is more surreal but very satisfying.  If you can’t imagine Harvey Keitel in a jumpsuit performing Elvis songs, you are in for a pleasant surprise.  Within the context of this story, he is achievement of this goal is very believable.

ELVIS – The Mini-Series:  This was an eight-episode TV series back in 2005 that’s been packed into 173 minute video. Johnathan Rhys Meyers won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Elvis in it. He had the Elvis voice down well, but fortunately he just apes it to the real Elvis on the songs. Be sure to check out his outstanding moves wearing the famous gold coat. Trivia:  Robert Patrick plays Vernon.  That’s quite a transformation going from T-1000 in Terminator 2 to Vernon Presley fourteen years later. This is a duplicate of the original DVD, but it plays great.

The price for this combo is $15 delivered to US destinations.

 

Elvis Forever TV Guide Issue:

TV Guide - 25th Anniversary Elvis Issue

TV Guide did a big-time celebration of the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death in this issue.  They glued a hologram picture on the cover, and devoted 14 pages to Elvis.  There’s an interesting article written by William F. Buckley with a few facts you might not already know.  Then, there’s a story about how the movie Loving You “mirrored the dramatic rise of the legendary performer.”  Finally, there were remembrances by some people who you might not expect to have connections with Elvis: Danny Glover, Mimi Rodgers, Melonie Griffin, Wynona, and others.

This special TV Guide issue is just $8 delivered.

 

Elvis Trading Cards Encased in Protective Plastic:

 

Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.

Elvis Trading Cards

This is not the complete set of 66 Elvis trading cards issued in 1978.  However, these 32 cards are in perfect shape inside heavy plastic sleeves.  You can slide the cards out if you want to examine closely.

Elvis Trading Cards - Back

As you can see, there are fun facts on the reverse sides.

Just $9 delivered for this collection of laminated trading cards.

 

Copies of Elvis International Magazine with Autographs by Elvis’ Musicians and Contemporaries:

 

50th Anniversary of Rock and Roll Issue:

Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.

 

Elvis International Magazine

This is a great collectible just for its 10 rare full-page photos and dozens of smaller ones. Plus, the magazine is crammed full of good articles like:

The Beginning: Scotty Moore

Genuine American Music Legends: (written by me)

Still Taking Care of Business: (about the TCB Band also written by me)

Collecting the King

The Legends: (also written by me)

Meeting Elvis: (first impressions by Ike Turner, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Waylon Jennings, Skeeter Davis, Etta James, and Jerry Lee Lewis)

Roots of Rock and Roll

D.J. and Bill, Unjustly Excluded from Hall of Fame: (written by Max Weinburg, drummer in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band)

Elvis on Cover of Rolling Stone: (written by Bono of U2, but somehow proofreading failed to catch it spelled Bobo one time)

Elvis and Rock ‘n Roll

Recognition for Elvis at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial: (an intriguing story about the prominent proclamation recognizing Elvis’ roll in making the memorial a reality – but was removed 28 years later)

 

In my opinion, this is the biggest and best issue of Elvis International magazine ever.  But the copy I am selling has autographs by these special people.

Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Gordon Stoker, Ray Walker Autographs

Elvis’ Original Bandmates

Scotty Moore

D.J. Fontana

Jordanaires who recorded and toured with Elvis

Gorgon Stoker

Ray  Walker

Elvis' TCB Band Autographs

TCB Band

James Burton

Ronnie Tutt

Jerry Scheff

Glen D. Hardin

Boots Randolph, Millie Kirkham Autographs

Recorded with Elvis in the 60s

Boots Randolph

Millie Kirkham

Bob Moore

Plus

Ronnie McDowell

Red Robinson

Eddie Miles

Billy Swan

Stan Perkins (Carl’s son)

Lee Rocker

Nancy Black (Bill’s daughter)

I was backstage for two concerts presented by Darwin Lamm, the publisher of Elvis International.  I took this copy of the magazine around to everybody and got them to sign on the pages where there were articles about them and photos of them.

Someone else took around an acoustical guitar and got all the same signatures.  It sold at auction for several hundred dollars.  My magazine is going for just $50.

 

70th Birthday Tribute Issue:

Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.

Elvis International Magazine 70th Birthday Tribute

This issue has a large lineup of great articles:

Elvis’ Influence on Music Has Been Profound

Global Moment in Time – July 5, 1954, Sun Records… 50 Years Later

Backstage with 21 Music Legends (I wrote this.  It’s when I got all those autographs)

Collecting the King

Christmas to Remember (written by Joe Esposito)

Meeting Elvis (first impressions by Tony Curtis, Liberache, Mamie Van Doren, Glen Campbell, and Tammy Wynette

Elvis – The Mini-Series

Elvis Art – Elvis Week Art Contest

Al Dvorin Remembered (The man who coined the phrase, “Elvis has left the building)

Memories of Elvis

At the Hayride

Richard Davis Remembered

Elvis on Film – Mr. Rock ‘n Roll

 

Joe Esposito Autograph

As you can see, I got Joe Esposito to autograph the article he wrote.  That should make this very good issue worth $12.

 

ELVIS 24th Anniversary Collector’s Edition:

Elvis International Magazine 24th Anniversary Collectors Edition

Sorry, my camera made some light distortions in this picture.

 

When I first started writing for Elvis International magazine, I didn’t realize that I could have some say in what photos accompanied my articles.  So, I was very surprised when two Al Wertheimer pictures showed up in an article titled, “Does VH1 Hate Elvis – Or Are They Just Stupid?” The photos had absolutely no connection to my story, but I was fine with that.  I’ll take two Al Wertheimer pictures any time.

Al Wertheimer Autographs

So, when Al commissioned me to write the forward to his book, ELVIS, The Early Years, I sent him a copy of the issue and asked him to autograph it.   He actually autographed both pictures, and as a bonus, he noted the date when each was taken.  And on the one on the right, he wrote, “No More Paper Towels,” the title he used when he first published the photo.

So, this is a great Al Wertheimer collectible.

 

In addition, this issue of the magazine contains the only Elvis fiction ever published in Elvis International.  It is, “The Bootleg Album,” written by me (and containing a picture of the wrong album)

 

All in all, this double autographed Al Wertheimer issue is easy worth $20.

 

ELVIS – The Ed Sullivan Shows 3-DVD Set

Editor’s note: This item has been sold.

Elvis Presley - Ed Sullivan Shows

Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show three times .  This set has the complete shows including the ads.  Here’s the Elvis Songs you get on each one.

DISC ONE: Sept 9, 1956

Don’t Be Cruel

Love Me Tender

Ready Teddy

Hound Dog

Three hits and a Little Richard cover.  When Scotty goes into his guitar riff in Ready Teddy, Elvis does some serious shaking.  I wish Scotty had jammed on even more, and we could have seen what other moves Elvis had to give us.

Elvis Doing Ready Teddy on Ed Sullivan 09-09-56

DISC TWO: October 28, 1956

Don’t Be Cruel

Love Me Tender

Love Me

Hound Dog

Seven weeks later, Elvis does three of the same songs again.  His hit songs not only went high on the charts, they stayed there for really long times.  Love Me is a great song anyway, but seeing Elvis sing it is a special treat.  My favorite of this show.

DISC THREE: January 6, 1957

Medley: Hound Dog / Love Me Tender / Heartbreak Hotel

Don’t Be Cruel

Too Much

When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again

Peace in the Valley

This show had a variety of songs.  The big three, Don’t Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, and Hound Dog were back again; four months after Elvis did them on his first Sullivan show appearance. There was his latest hit, Too Much. There were two songs never released as singles – When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again and Peace in the Valley. They were on four-song EPs, and both made it to the charts.  Elvis did his first TV medley, but the songs were too short to really enjoy..

The highlight of this DVD for me was Don’t Be Cruel. Ed Sullivan had Elvis filmed from the waist up on this show, but Elvis still found ways to generate excitement. On Don’t Be Cruel, Elvis toyed with the young girls in the audience by doing hand motions, mouth movements and exotic looks with his eyes. I had fun using pause and single-frame advance to capture his intensity.

Elvis Doing Don't Be Cruel on Ed Sullivan Show 2

Elvis Doing Don't Be Cruel on Ed Sullivan Show

Elvis had some powerful eyes.

Buy this three-DVD set for $15 delivered and you will be glad you did.

 

OK, to summarize, these are the Elvis goodies I am parting with:

A 3-Pack of Elvis-Related Movie DVDs — $15

Elvis Forever TV Guide Issue — $8

32 Elvis Trading Cards Incased in Protective Plastic — $9

50th Anniversary of Rock and Roll Issue loaded with Autographs — $50

70th Birthday Tribute Issue – Joe Esposito — $12

ELVIS 24th Anniversary Collector’s Edition – Al Wertheimer — $20

ELVIS – The Ed Sullivan Shows 3-DVD Set — $15

 

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

If you want an item, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net.  (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.)   As usual, first come, first served. I would prefer payment using PayPal, but checks will work, too. When I get your email, I will initiate billing on PayPal.  You approve it and I send the item right out to you.  With a check, it’ll take a little longer.

 

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005-2019)

 

 

 

 

Graceland Vocabulary Now Includes After-Party

 

Elvis Week 2019 Schedule of Events

I’ve been studying the schedule of events for Elvis Week 2019. It will be a nine-day affair, covering two weekends – Friday, August 9 through Saturday, August 17.

Now, you can imagine that most folks thinking about going to Elvis Week would prefer being there that last weekend. There’s some very good events scheduled… and it’s special to be there around Graceland on the 16th , even if you don’t do the candlelight vigil.

 

So, how does EPE plan to attract folks to come on those real early dates — that first weekend. I think they have come up with a great idea.

______________________________________________________

And I had planned to tell you all about it, but I’m stuck until Graceland posts the ticket prices.

So far, it looks good for the fans, but if the prices are crazy high, maybe it won’t seem so great.

 

Here’s one more tease to hold you until we get those Elvis Week prices and I can finish this post.

Ultimate Elvis Week After-Party

 

They are throwing an After-Party at Elvis Presley’s Memphis on the first three nights of Elvis Week 2019. There will be cash bars and food stations along the streets. There will be a stage set up outside in front of Vernon’s Smokehouse, and according to the press release, “many of your favorite Elvis tribute artists will be jamming.”

Sounds like some pretty good parties, doesn’t it?

To be continued…

 

 

©  2019    Philip R Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

LipLogo_thumbnail - Copy

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

 

 

 

Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 10

Elvis getting served Milk

I like this because it showed Elvis drinking milk. Then I noticed that his jacket looked familiar. Before I tell you, do you want to guess where he wore it?

 

The answer is Elvis‘ first appearance on the Milton Berle Show, April 3,1956.

Elvis and Milton Berle walking on his Ankles

According to ELVIS: From A to Z:

[Elvis] and Berle did a brief comedy sketch, with Berle playing his “twin brother,” Melvin Presley. During the sketch Berle mistakenly referred to Elvis as “Elvin.”

I’ve never read that Elvis made a stink about the lack of sensitivity with the twin brother bit and Berle screwing up his name. Elvis had better manners than that.

 

Elvis Jailhouse Rock

I’ve seen lots of posters for Jailhouse Rock, but this is new to me. I like it because of the big four actions that we’ve never seen like this before:

SINGING
FIGHTING
ROMANCING
DANCING

There were only two movies before Jailhouse Rock — Love Me Tender and Loving You, so is this claim true?

Love Me Tender rates lower in singing, for sure. Fighting, too, because we’re talking about swinging fists, not getting shot and dying. Love Me Tender also had zero romancing and dancing.

Loving You had some great singing, but not the equal of Jailhouse Rock. Pretty much the same with fighting. Loving You had little romancing and no dancing.

Looks like the ad called it right. We hadn’t seen Elvis in action like this before Jailhouse Rock.

 

Ruffled Elvis

Isn’t this an interesting shot? You don’t often see Elvis’ hair look like that.

 

SpectraVision Video discs of Elvis' Movies

These are SpectraVision Video Discs of three Elvis Movies. If you are too young to remember video discs, here’s how far back they are in the evolution of watching movies at home. Before Blu-Ray, DVD, VHS, and BetaMax, there were video discs. But they’re a good Elvis collectible because they’re rare and have big color pictures on them.

 

Priscilla and Elvis getting ready for a motorbike ride in LA, 1965-66.

The tag on this picture said, “Priscilla and Elvis getting ready for a motorbike ride in LA, 1965-66.” I have read quite a few times that Elvis didn’t like wearing blue jeans because they reminded him of his poor upbringing. However, I keep seeing pictures like this covering a long time period showing him wearing them, so I don’t know.

 

I didn’t know Elvis ever had a green jumpsuit. I thought I had something unique in my book when Big E wore one.

Big E in Green Jumpsuit

 

Elvis in Shirt Tied at the waist

This was taken between July 9 to 19 in 1956 when Elvis was on vacation with family and a few close friends in Biloxi and Ocean Springs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A lot has been written about Elvis as a fashion icon, so I wondered what my friend Zoey Goto, famous fashion reporter, would think about this outfit.

I asked her, and she sent back this:

For me,. the way Elvis styled his shirt – knotting it at the front to expose both his chest and navel would have been very shocking within the context of the time, when gender stereotypes were more rigid.

But I actually feel Elvis was so ahead of the curve, that we still haven’t quite caught up with his style. Menswear is still pretty conservative and wary of appearing too “feminine” by putting men in pink or exposing the male body. Elvis just didn’t care about this rule book. He had such confidence within himself, he managed to wear these risky outfits in the ’50s, and later the body skimming bejeweled jumpsuits, and was still seen as a very macho and desirable man.

This outfit in particular, topped off with the sailor’s hat, would end up looking camp on pretty much every guy apart from Elvis!

 

Thank you Zoey.

I’ve plugged her book before when she gives me insightful stuff to use in the blog, but also because it is totally different than any other Elvis book. Please check out Elvis Style

 

Elvis Linda Joe and Dick Grob

This is probably a fan photo. How cool would it have been to get that close to Elvis strolling through a parking lot and snap a photo of him?

 

Elvis and Cissy Houston

This is Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston’s mom. She was a member of the Sweet Inspirations, but left the group in August 1969.

 

Aloha from Hawaii Concert

This shot was taken during the filming of Aloha from Hawaii. I love the cameraman out on the end of that crane. This was a big-time production.

 

Elvis Peeled Back

There was some text on this picture, but I took it off. I like the image of a shiny metallic surface being peeled off to reveal Elvis.

 

Elvis Speedway Poster

Usually Elvis movie posters are full of exclamatory phrases, but this has just two words, Speedway and Elvis. I don’t think any other movie poster had a larger image of Elvis’ costar than him, but having him dancing on top of the race car is pretty clever.

 

Elvis TCB Money Clip

Elvis owned and gave away a lot of lightning bolt TCB jewelry. But his custom made money clip here has an interesting variation on the design. I think I like it better. The clip sold for $20,755 at auction.

 

Elvis - TV room before 1974

This is the downstairs TV Room as it looked before 1974. Here it is after remodeling.

Elvis TV Room after 1974

Three TVs now, gold records are gone, much more modern. I’ve never read anything that said what percentage of his time Elvis spend in the various rooms of Graceland. But I’ll bet he spent a lot of good times down here.

.

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

LipLogo_thumbnail - Copy

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