Fans Show Their Love for Elvis with Flowers

Each year, the fans bring a ton of flowers to Elvis’ grave in the Graceland Meditation Garden. This is a photo taken in 2009, but it doesn’t approach the overwhelming amount of flowers and Elvis remembrances of that accumulate by August 16 every year.

 

Like this. The photo appeared in a 2017 Billboard Magazine on-line article about the fans being upset that EPE was charging $27.85 for doing the Candlelight Vigil up to Elvis’grave.

 

This photo appeared in a New York Post on-line article about the same topic. Either the Post or Billboard was using an older photo, because the flowers and remembrances are different.

 

Fans started bringing flowers to Elvis’ grave 42 years ago when he was entombed at the Forest Hills Cemetery.

 

However, his casket was not put in the ground. It went into a crypt inside the huge granite and marble mausoleum.

 

This photo of the pallbearers carrying the casket on August 18, 1977, does not show the size of the mausoleum or the blanket of flowers around it. This one does.

 

Wow, that’s a lot of flowers. I don’t know how the florists in Memphis kept up with the demand for all the bouquets.

 

Here is the flower-covered coffin before it was carried into the crypt.

 

This is the crypt where Elvis was first entombed. The flowers you see were not those put there in 1977. They actually were in a 2012 photo when the crypt was put up for auction. I did not follow up to see how much it went for. I just don’t like the whole idea.

 

There are hundreds of on-line photos of flowers at Elvis’ grave, but very few give the year. Here are some I could find.

 

According to a posting on eBay, this slide photo was taken in 1978. I wonder. Graceland wasn’t opened up to the public until 1981.

 

1999

 

2004

 

2006

 

This 2016 photo was taken from a different perspective that shows the grave sites of Gladys, Vernon, Elvis, and his grandmother Minnie Mae.

 

Here’s a blow-up of the inscription on Elvis’ grave. I thought you might like to read it.

 

 

Elvis fans have created some heart-felt remembrances to place in the Meditation Garden. Many of these have flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floral tributes to Elvis on August 16 take place all over the world.

 

These flowers were placed at the Elvis monument in Bad Nauheim, Germany in 2017.

 

This Elvis memorial was created in Melbourne, Australia in 1977, and is still bedecked with flowers to this day.

 

 

 

We miss you, Elvis. Hope you liked all your flowers.

 

 

© 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.

 

Eye Candy (4) for Elvis Fans

I think this is a very cool image, but you’ll never guess where it came from. It is a Christmas tree topper. I blanked out the spiral wire thing that attaches it to the tree.

 

 

We started the last Eye Candy with Fozie Elvis, Now it is Gonzo’s turn. There are more Muppets/Elvis to show someday.

 

I wonder if Scotty Moore’s wife knew he climbed on the roof of her car to tie down gear for road trips. I’ve read that this was primarily for Bill Black’s bass, but I don’t see it here. It looks like DJ is the one in the white shirt, but is the third guy Bill Black or Gordon Stoker?

 

This is the first of a three-picture sequence. We can see the Graceland music room in the background, then the living room, and an open front door. Now let’s step back a whole lot and get a long view.

 

You can easily see that this image was taken from the far end of the dining room. At the other end of the shot, it’s a little hard to see, but you can pick up the piano and stained-glass peacocks of the music room. We really can’t see the living room because of all the boxes in front of it. Here’s what the Graceland foyer looks like without them.

 

The boxes in the previous picture are Christmas decorations, presumably brought in from off-site and stacked in the foyer. I’m sure a crew of many folks got right to work getting Graceland into the Christmas spirit.

 

Speaking of Christmas, this is a very obscure holiday video done in Claymation style. It’s VHS, but I still have a player hooked up and watch every year without fail. The reason I like it so much is that the “Reindeer who saved Christmas” is named Elvis. And he sings in a group of three reindeer. There’s even a scene that seems to have been inspired by the weird dream sequence in Live A Little, Love A Little.

 

In Follow That Sleigh, a little boy looks into Santa’s sack of toys and falls in. And, like Elvis did, he freefalls and has a bunch of weird stuff going on when he lands. If you can find this video, buy it. It’s a trip.

 

 

This is stupid. A company makes a dish towel with Elvis’ image on it. That’s bad enough.  Then they market it with a picture of the towel not flat and smooth, and Elvis looks like his face is melting or something. Yeah, that’s gonna entice Elvis fans to buy it.

 

Here’s a way we’d rather see Elvis. Although, I wished they had Photoshopped the crown on an older Elvis. He looks more like a Prince here.

 

Another Elvis the King image. This looks like graffiti on a brick wall, but it’s actually cropped off a T-shirt. I won’t have another Elvis T-shirt review until next summer, so I’m using it here.

 

From bad to good to bad. This came from an old issue of Mad magazine. Here’s another Mad image relevant to Elvis fans, but at first glance, you will say “What????”

 

This was an illustration from a 1956 story about riotous rock and rollin’ teenagers. Elvis is in the top left corner.

 

 

There are two swooning fans with Elvis messages on their shirts.

 

And there are two Elvis records with slightly altered titles (to keep them out of copyright trouble, I guess).

 

 

How do you like this Elvis Kaleidoscope image? My dad used to make kaleidoscopes and sell them at craft fairs, but I never thought to ask him if he could make an Elvis one.

 

We’ll finish with a shot from 1961 that shows how the area across from Graceland has changed drastically (twice).

 

This is the original guard house. It’s certainly not the kind of structure Graceland has now with hundreds of thousands of people visiting every year.

 

©  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.

Graceland Introduces Elvis Unplugged

It’s hard to believe that Elvis Week starts next Friday. Festivities kick off on August 9 and continue until Sunday, August 18. That’s a long 10-day week, and I’m always interested to see what EPE comes up with to lure fans to come to that early first weekend.

 

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest semis and finals in the Graceland Soundstage now seem to be a permanent early fixture of Elvis Week. And last year, Graceland made them even better with the addition of After-Parties on the streets of Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

So, this year, the challenge apparently was to schedule something new and appealing during those afternoons. I think they have come up with a winner… ELVIS UNPLUGGED. I saw a long-haired hippy-looking guy named Julio at Elvis Week 2002 do this, and it was a nice change from the full band treatment.

 

2002 was the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death, so Graceland planned some big-time stuff for the celebration. Including an incredible concert experience in the Pyramid.

 

The first Elvis in Concert was amazing and a fitting end to the week. I have no idea what they had at the beginning because I came for all the late stuff.

But now EPE has made it worthwhile for the fans to come earlier, which brings us back to:

ELVIS UNPLUGGED

 

In 2002, Graceland had little use for Elvis Impersonators. This year, there is hardly a day that doesn’t have one or two events starring ETA’s. And Graceland presents only the best of them during Elvis Week.

Here is the list of winners of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

2007 Shaun Klush
2008 Brandon Bennett
2009 Bill Cherry
2010 Justin Shandor
2011 Cody Ray Slaughter
2012 Ben Portsmouth
2013 Dean Z
2014 Jay Dupuis
2015 David Lee
2016 Dwight Icenhower
2017 Gordon Hendricks
2018 Ben Thompson

The names in bold are the six champions who will participate in the Elvis Unplugged shows this year. Both nights will be hosted by Dean Z, who has been called “the best entertainer in our business,” by Jeff Lewis, originator of the After-Parties and a man who has seen them all.

Dean Z in Jailhouse Rock Prison Uniform

 

Dean Z working out on stage

 

Dean Z will be joined on Saturday night by Jay Dupuis and Shawn Klush.

Four shots of Jay Dupuis as Elvis

 

Shawn Klush off stage

I have written about Shawn Klush a few times in ElvisBlog. I saw his act at Elvis Week 2002 in the funky New Daisy Theater. It was the last event of a long day and it was called the Elvis Midnight Blues Jam. It is where I saw that fellow Julio do the Elvis unplugged act I mentioned earlier. I don’t know where his career went, but Shawn Klush certainly moved on to better things. Five years later he was crowned the first Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist winner, and his career has been on a roll ever since.

For the Sunday night Elvis Unplugged concert there will be four Ultimate ETAs on stage. Dean Z will be joined by Ben Thompson, Cody Ray Slaughter and Dwight Icenhower.

Dwight Icenhower

 

Cody ray Slaughter also has his own show on the first night, Friday August 9. He will be backed by the David Fontana Band.

 

David Fontana is DJ’s son, and of course, that’s him on the drums.

 

Ben Thompson

 

Here is Ben Thompson on stage with Jeff Lewis (right), the MC of the After-Parties. Jeff expressed this sentiment about the After-Parties being moved to the Graceland Exhibition Center this year, “Thank God we’ll have air conditioning!” Other benefits may be a lot more table seating for the party-goers, and a better dance floor surface. It sounds like it will be a wonderful night-club set-up to me.

The Elvis Unplugged shows will also have air conditioned comfort inside the Guest House Theater. This seems the perfect small venue for a show billed as:

Live Elvis music and personal stories. An intimate acoustic experience among friends sharing music, laughter and fun.

 

The price of these unplugged concerts is just $25, which seems a bargain for Elvis Tribute Artists of this caliber. The Saturday, August 10 show sold out early, and the Sunday, August 11 will probably be by the time you read this.

If I could pull it off, I would love to be in Memphis on that Saturday night, and go to the Elvis Unplugged concert at 2:00 at the Guest House Theater, The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist finals at 7:00 at the Graceland Soundstage, and the After-Party at 9:00 in the Exhibition Center. What a nice dream, but for some lucky Elvis fans, it will be a reality.

 

 

 

© 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 Pseudo-Stamps with Bonus Artwork

Not many Elvis stamps from foreign countries have featured a picture of Elvis this cool. This looks like it could be real with a country of origin (Republic of Central Africa) and a postage amount. But it’s not. It’s made of embossed 24kt gold making it impractical use in mailing an envelope. So, they are offered not as stamps but as “tributes” in a 1995 brochure promoting them.

 

 

I found this flyer in the Elvis stuff I’ve been saving for decades. Here’s the picture from the brochure containing the pseudo-stamp.

 

 

The combinations of the tributes and the Elvis artwork on the backing cardboard are referred to as “issues”. There are six of them in this set. Here is the art on this one blown up.

Elvis appears to be wearing his famous white suit from the ’68 Comeback Special. There’s a big jukebox behind him and a bunch of 45s floating around leaving trails of smoke behind. There’s a lot other stuff in there, but I can’t make out what any of it is. I guess it is all intended to look groovy, in late-60s lingo.

 

Here are the rest of the issues.

 

 

Let’s take a look at that “highly detailed, intricate embossing” close up.

Look close and you can see three Elvis images. There’s the big head shot in color, plus in the embossed part, there is Elvis’ body with the mike up to his mouth, and a larger frontal face. They weren’t kidding about that “highly detailed, intricate embossing.”

 

I love the big Elvis face dominating this one, but I’m unclear what the drag racer car or the Saturn rocket relate to.

 

The embossed image on this one is simpler and easy to make-out

 

 

The accompanying text says this issue features five images from three Elvis movies. Well, the two on the stamp are clearly identified as from “Easy Come, Easy Go.”

 

The artwork shows “G.I. Blues” Elvis wearing the helmet. “Spinout” is nicely represented by the other two. Overall, I like this image a lot..

 

I’ve shown these last two issues in the same sequence they appear in the brochure. I guess that both being from Mali makes them companion issues. Or maybe it’s the repetition of the five picture/three movie theme.

 

I’m glad the stamp identifies the two Elvis images are from “Girls, Girls, Girls,” because I might not have figured it out.

 

This is not one of my favorites in this set, mainly because of the blue Elvis on the right. I don’t know if that is supposed to be from “Viva Las Vegas” or “Tickle Me.” The other two are easy to place.

 

 

I can’t see the connection to “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold.” The jalopy looks similar to the one in the movie “Loving You.”

 

This is the second stamp from the Republic of Central Africa. I never heard of this country, so I looked it up.

 

Well, the name certainly fits the location.

 

This would be my least favorite artwork in the set. It would be better with more Elvis and less hot rod.

 

 

They should have left off the chin cleft, because Elvis never had one.

 

Wow, could you cram any more American Pop Culture into one picture than they did here? Besides Elvis, there is popcorn, a hot dog, soft ice cream, big red tail fins, and stacks of 45s. I’m not sure I get the inclusion of a bottle of champagne or the bird on the right. What is that just below the popcorn? Looks like a mushroom. ?????

 

The price on the full set was $68 back in 1995. I never bought it, but now I kind of wish I had. These stamps with bonus artwork just might be worth something today. It seems to me that this original Elvis art could have been utilized in other ways for us fans to enjoy.

 

 

© 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.

 

Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 13

This is a nice picture of Carl Perkins and Elvis surrounded by fans wanting autographs. Carl certainly wasn’t blessed with outstanding hair like Elvis.

 

But Carl Perkins’ hair looked considerably better in 1982 in this photo with Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.  They sure look like they are having fun.

 

How do you like this strong picture of Elvis? Believe it or not, it came from an online catalog image of a double-sided blanket throw. Very nice artwork.

 

Young Elvis in a wistful mood.

 

This is interesting. Somebody found these two photos and put them together on Pinterest. Tommy Dorsey blows the trombone with Frank Sinatra and Elvis decades apart. Very clever.

 

This photo makes me sigh. It does not look like the best of times for Elvis. I guess it was taken at the racquetball court because he is in a jump suit. Maybe not. Anybody know?

 

Definitely better times for Elvis in this picture. Wow. Of course, it is from the bordello scene in the ’68 Comeback Special.

 

That’s Elvis’ right hand behind his head. Look what some joker did with this picture.

 

 

The caption on this one said it was taken on July 1, 1966 at the MGM Studios in Culver City, CA. Elvis looks younger than his 31 years. In fact, he struck me as a college student carrying books across campus. That reminded me I had a couple of similar photos of Elvis in other collegiate-looking wardrobes.

 

This is Elvis on his 22nd birthday.

 

Here he looks absolutely preppy.

 

And in a role reversal, Elvis is now the teacher for a group of teenagers

 

The first thing that attracted me to this photo was Elvis’ big eyes. But just for fun, we could say that fellow in the bottom left was taking a selfie of himself and Elvis.

If selvies had been around during Elvis’ time, he would have been in a ton of them.

 

I’ve already posted my favorite picture of Scottie Moore and Elvis. This one of James Burton and Elvis is excellent because they are both atypical. James is not playing the guitar, and Elvis is playing the piano. That’s a nice smile on James, while Elvis shows the emotion he is putting into the song.

 

I couldn’t find out the story behind this. You can see there is an Elvis timeline in the background, so the original must be much bigger for people to be able to see the images, and especially to read the text.

.

This came from a trading card. It appears to be colorized, so we don’t know whether Elvis really had brown hair when it was snapped. But he does look good.

 

Well, Movie Life magazine got this one wrong. I would love to read all the bogus stuff they had to say about Elvis and Ann Margret being married.

 

Let’s end with a bonus picture on the 50th anniversary of the USA landing on the moon.

 

It’s hard to believe I’ve found enough new pictures to do this 13 times.   I like doing these posts, and it seems like you readers like them, too.

 

© 2019 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.

 

Celebrating National Hot Dog Day with Elvis

The TV news I watch in the morning likes to point out some of these unusual “National Days.” If I can find a few pictures connecting Elvis with them, I like to put them on ElvisBlog.

 

This is actually a picture disc. “Hot Dog” was one of the songs in the movie Loving You. It was the song Elvis was singing when his female manager engineered a riot. I don’t know why “Hot Dog” deserved a picture disc. It was a fairly weak tune in the movie compared to the title song and rockers like “Teddy Bear”, “Mean Woman Blues”, and “Got A Lot of Living To Do.”

In the song, Elvis is not talking about food. Hot dog is a happy exclamation about how his baby is coming home to him. Hot dog is mentioned 12 times in the lyrics.

 

I have this book, but soon it will be available the next time I offer some more stuff from my Fuzzy room for sale.

Actually, that is not a hot dog on the cover. It is a Brat, but that’s close enough.

 

 

Have a great National Hot Dog Day.

The Good, the Bad, and the Mildly Amusing

One of the things taking up space in my Fuzzy Room of Elvis stuff is a stack of old ShopElvis.com catalogs.

 

I don’t know what motivated me to save them, but they are headed to the recycle bin now. Before they go, I thought it would be fun to feature some of the more interesting offers here on ElvisBlog.

 

SUMMER 2007

 

The Good:

Although this light is pretty expensive, it is very cool. Turn it on and have the red lights blink in sequence while “Don’t Be Cruel” plays. Perfect for a party.

 

The Bad:

 

This is just pathetic. The sunglasses look fine, but those phony sideburns hanging down from the temples are lame. I’d be embarrassed to wear this. The wig sucks, too.

 

The Good and Bad:

I like the bottom plate because of the good color picture of Elvis and the simple clear message. The top one is stupid. RCK N’RL just doesn’t work, and the Elvis picture isn’t near as good.

 

The Mildly Amusing:

This shirt is pretty dark and hard to read, but that’s part of its appeal to me. Say you’re walking toward someone wearing this shirt; the first thing you could make out is FREAK. “Hmm, what’s this?” Then Stone Cold Natural comes into focus. “Hmm, who is it?” And finally, you see the answer is Elvis. Okay!

Non-fans have no idea that “Stone cold natural freak” is part of an Elvis quote from his August 1, 1969 opening night at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. He was actually relating to his audience what they might be thinking about his return to live concerts.

“Hair flying everywhere, he’s gotta be a weirdo, man, I’ll tell you. Stone cold natural freak, man. That’s why he ain’t been in public nine years.”

I can’t believe Graceland ever authorized an Elvis T-shirt that calls him a freak.

 

FALL 2007:

 

 

The Good:

I own this book; bought it when it was first offered. It’s wonderful, filled with terrific jumpsuit photos. A real bargain. If there was a catalog Hall of Fame for good Elvis stuff, this book would be the first inductee.

 

The Bad:

Notwithstanding the history of this design, I think it’s way low on eye appeal. It looks like Elvis had Charlie or one of the guys iron white letters onto  blue T-shirts. And what does having “ElvisInsider’s.com” on the back add?

Here’s the shirt’s design history. Elvis Presley Enterprises sponsored a football team in the early 60s. Elvis is circled, and you can easily find Red West. If anyone knows that other players were Memphis Mafia, put it in Comments.   [Frequent commenter Gerard Montz has identified Alan Fortas to Red’s left, and on the opposite end of that row Sonny west.]

 

The Mildly Amusing:

This is amusing because it is both good and bad. The price of $115 is pretty steep. The big problem is that it’s terrible as a cookie jar. You would have to use both hands to pick up the lid. The good part is that probably nobody will ever put cookies in it. It’ll look fine on a shelf.

 

More Good:

$22 sounds like a very good deal for 3 CDs of Elvis Karaoke songs. In a tin, no less. They did a good job picking out the three photos. I never bought this set, and now I kind of wish I had. I’d play them while doing stuff like house cleaning, just singing away.

 

SUMMER 2008, Vol 2

 

 

The Good:

This item makes no pretense of being a simulated real gold record award, but they have done a good job creating a pseudo one. This plaque would look great hanging on a wall with other Elvis stuff. The record is gold-plated, the photo is colorful, everything is nicely arranged, and the matting is first class. I think it justifies the high $150 price tag.

 

The Bad:

I can’t figure this one out. Does the salt and pepper come out end of the guitars’ necks? If so, could there be room for more than one hole? That would take a whole lot of shaking to get anything out. How do the guitars stand up? Not worth $30 to me. We have looked at other Elvis salt and pepper shakers on ElvisBlog before, and they were all better than this set.

 

The Mildly Amusing:

The main item here is the Elvis shower curtain, and for some reason, I like it. My wife would never allow it, though. I wonder if you ladies would be intimidated by having Elvis in the room while you are undressed…or maybe not. If you want something a little less in-your-face, maybe the Elvis soap dispenser is more your speed.

The one part of this set I totally dislike is the Elvis trash can. It’s made of clear plastic, so a pile of used tissues and other junk will frame Elvis’ picture. Please, no. EPE failed to meet their own standards for objectional use of an Elvis image. I can’t believe many people bought a trash can with Elvis on it.

 

More Bad:

I’m sure my dog wouldn’t care if his collar had pictures from Elvis movie lobby cards on it. And his fur would cover them up so much I couldn’t see them, anyway.

The collar is made of leather and the images are not bad. Maybe they should just make it longer and market it as a belt for people.

 

SUMMER 2008, Vol 3

 

 

The Good:

The photo of this wallet in the catalog is about 1” by 1-1/4” so you could barely make out the embossed image of Elvis. But in actual size it is pretty good. $40 doesn’t seem outrageous for an Elvis leather wallet, so this one works for me.

 

The Bad:

I like the idea of a leather Elvis duffel bag, although the $500 price is way too much. But what ruins this item for me are the images of Elvis that are screen-printed onto it. Here’s a blow-up.

The one on the left is just bizarre. There is an Elvis head coming out of the top of another Elvis head. That’s bad enough, but the distended hand freaks me out. That’s just about the ugliest Elvis image I’ve ever seen. The other one is better, but the S in Elvis is part cut off. What genius came up with these two losers?

 

The Mildly Amusing:

I don’t know how ShopElvis figured people would choose the socks based in these tiny catalog pictures of them. Today, everything is sold online, and you can get a big image with just a click. Much Better.

As I studied these socks, several were just a jumble of shapes and colors I couldn’t make out. I wondered what “Comic Elvis” really looked like, so I blew it up.

To me, this should be called “Angry Elvis.” It probably wasn’t a big seller. I sort of like the socks with the white suit from the ’69 Comeback Special.

 

FALL 2008

 

 

The Good:

I have stated in here many times how much I like Joe Petruccio’s artwork of Elvis. There just doesn’t seem to be any end to the wonderful images he creates. And, Graceland has been very liberal using them on all sorts of products. I think using them on flasks is a great idea. My favorite would be the Sundial Jumpsuit back view – the one Elvis wore at his last concerts.

 

The Bad:

Now that I’ve said good things about Joe Petruccio, I hope he won’t mind if I criticize one of his paintings. Sorry, but I just don’t find this image of Elvis attractive. Maybe in those big poster reprint he sells online the image will show better.

 

The Mildly Amusing:

When I first saw this, I said, “Hey, that’s a good idea, and $60 seems reasonable.” Then I realized with two of these designs your butt would be sitting on Elvis. Maybe that wouldn’t turn others off, but for me it would have to be a set of the signature bar stools.

 

More Good:

You know about the “Elvis Presley Boulevard” street signs that came out decades ago. Here’s a nice alternative. $13 sounds like a good deal for a 24” long sign. If I had one it would be installed over the doorway to my Fuzzy Room of Elvis goodies.

 

More Bad:

There are a number of die-cast models of different cars Elvis owned out there. I’m fine with that. But why did they do a 1957 Chevy station wagon? Elvis never owned one of them. Sometimes, they just go overboard trying to think of new Elvis stuff to sell us.

 

So that’s it. The first five ShopElvis catalogs in my stack. There are lots more, so we will do this again.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Happy 4th of July, Elvis — Once Again

I posted the first “Happy 4th of July, Elvis” pictorial back in 2009, and repeated that topic regularly through 2014. Then I had trouble finding pictures that hadn’t already been used, so I skipped the next three years, did one in 2017, and skipped last year. I would like to reuse a picture from 2012 to start this year’s post.

 

 

The folks who have created these images usually include fireworks, bald eagles, the American flag or combinations of these patriotic symbols.

 

 

I have many other images of Elvis with the American flag that don’t specifically mention the 4th of July. Here are some of the more interesting ones.

 

 

 

This is the first Elvis figurine I’ve ever seen with him holding a small American flag. Nice touch.

 

 

I’m not sure why the artist put all that dark shading on the left side of Elvis’ face here.

 

 

 

 

This is very clever.

 

This wonderful creation was done by the outstanding painter Betty Harper. It’s just one of her many Elvis works.

 

Here’s another terrific Betty Harper painting of Elvis and the flag. Do yourself a favor and check out her website.  https://bettyharper.com/

 

I like the flag around Elvis’ face, not over it. This is a bit much for my taste

 

This is a little weird, but there is no problem seeing that this minimalist depiction is Elvis. I kind of like the curvy flagpole.

 

This is really outstanding.

 

Here’s some more great artwork, but I can’t make out the artist’s name. Did you notice the American eagle cleverly included?

 

This could have been a pretty good picture, but why does Elvis’ hair look green?

 

We all know that Elvis was such a patriotic American, and we salute him for that.

 

If Elvis was alive today, you know he would wear a pair of these with pride.

 

 

We’ll end by reusing a picture from the July 4th 2011 post.

 

 

 

©  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.

ElvisBlog’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Snub List

I have subscribed to Goldmine magazine for over three decades. In recent years, it has morphed into more of a music lover’s magazine, but that’s fine with me. There are great articles in every issue, and a few of them gave me ideas for ElvisBlog posts. It happened again this month.

 

As you may know, the latest class of inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was announced recently. That inspired one of the best Goldmine writers, Mike Greenblatt, to post an article on their website about singers and groups worthy of induction that have been passed over time and again.

From top left, they are Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Harry Nilsson, Little Feet (lead singer Lowell George shown). Willie DeVille, and Warren Zevon. For some reason, Greenblatt’s other choice, The Doobie Brothers, is not included in the picture montage.

I can see his point on all of them except Willy Deville. In fact, I was into classic rock from the late 60s on, and I owned albums by Jethro Tull, Harry Nilsson and Little Feet. However, Greenblatt overlooked something — something that the Hall of Fame voters have ignored for years…

 

It’s as though the Hall voters think, “Well, those 50s acts have been eligible for so long, surely all the good ones are inducted by now.” The last 50s singer to be inducted was Brenda Lee in 2002. Not one 50s act in the last 17 years. This is just wrong, and it motivated me to make the ElvisBlog Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snub list.

First, here’s a little history of the induction of 50s acts.

1986

Elvis Presley
Chuck Berry
Little Richard
Jerry Lee Lewis
Everly Brothers
Buddy Holly
Fats Domino
Sam Cooke
Ray Charles

1987

Carl Perkins
Clyde McPhatter
Ricky Nelson
Bill Haley
Eddie Cochran
Jackie Wilson
The Coasters

1988    The Drifters
1990    The Platters
1991    LaVerne Baker
1994    Duane Eddy
1998    Gene Vincent, Lloyd Price
2000    The Moonglows
2001    Ritchie Valens
2002    Brenda Lee

As you can see, over the past thirty years, only eight 50s acts have made it to the Rock Hall, and none since 2002. I believe they don’t even consider them anymore.

 

Here are four that I contend deserve recognition, too — my own Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Snub List

Pat Boone:

 

I have read articles saying Boone does not belong for two reasons. One, he stole lots of his earliest hits from genuine R&B singers and groups. Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame,” The El Dorados “At My Front Door,” the Flamingos’ “I’ll Be Home,” Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally,” and Ivory Joe Hunter’s “I Almost Lost My Mind.”

That argument has always bothered me because Elvis did the same thing at the start of his career. Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right,” and “My Baby Left Me,” Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” Joe Turner’s “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman,” Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train,” Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy, Miss Clawdy, and Little Richard’s “Tuitti Fruitti.”

The other beef some folks have about Pat Boone is that he wasn’t really a rocker because his biggest hits were ballads like, “Love Letters in the Sand,” “April Love,” and “Don’t Forbid me.” This doesn’t make sense. The Platters hits were all ballads, and that didn’t keep them out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I can add a personal note here. I was around in the late 50s, and I listened to rock and roll music on my favorite AM radio station. To us teenagers, everything we heard on that station was rock and roll, because that was their format. We totally accepted the Platters, Little Richard, Pat Boone, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Flamingos and everyone else we heard as rock and roll stars. Fast songs, slow songs. — it was all rock and roll to us.

Because the teenagers and the disc jockeys of the 50s considered Pat Boone to be a rock and roll star, the Hall voters should give this man a break and vote him in before he leaves this earth.

 

Connie Francis

 

I make frequent searches into the Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Guess how many Top 40 hits Connie Francis had? Thirty-five, including four #1s: It’s strange, but her most enduring hits, “Who’s Sorry Now” and “Lipstick on Your Collar” made it to only #4 and #5 respectively.

A Goldmine magazine article said, “This New Jersey teenager was the first female superstar of Rock & Roll, her success laying the groundwork for every following young lady who wanted to become a Rock & Roll recording star. That she has maintained her icon status and remains, even today, a successful force in the industry is a tribute to her enduring talent.” Mighty high praise, and well deserved.

Connie Francis’ career spanned the late 50s and early 60s. Her hit production in either decade alone would justify induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. How can someone with thirty-five hits be ignored like this?

 

Chuck Willis

 

Chuck Willis was the embodiment of a fifties dance craze called the Stroll. At every high school dance, when his hit “C.C. Rider” came on, we would immediately form long double stroll lines. Couples would take turns “strolling” down between the lines.

Dancers could keep it simple or could show off their spin moves. Everybody loved “C.C. Rider,” and I couldn’t believe it when I looked it up in that Top 40 book and saw that it topped out at number 12.

Chuck Willis had two more stroll hits, then a faster one, “Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes,” that turned out to be prophetic. Although he was just 30 years old, he failed to survive an operation in early 1958. He had recorded the song a few weeks before, and it was released posthumously.

I guess Rock Hall voters have bypassed Chuck Willis because he had just four hits. That doesn’t make sense. Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran had only three hits each, and they’re in the Hall of Fame. But the big issue to me is how someone who originated a rock and roll dance craze could be ignored.

 

The Diamonds

 

The Diamonds are best remembered for their huge hit, “Little Darlin’,” but they had fourteen other Top 40 records. Their second biggest hit was, “The Stroll.” As I’ve already said, the Stroll was a huge dance craze in the late 50s, and The Diamonds jumped right on the bandwagon.

There is some interesting trivia about “Little Darlin’.” It stayed at #2 on the charts for eight weeks. Do you know what song was lodged at #1 and kept it out of the top spot? It was “All Shook Up,” by Elvis.

Perhaps the knock against The Diamonds is that they too, began their career with covers of songs that were already hits for black R&B artists. Frankie Lymon’s “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” The Willows’ “Church Bells May Ring,” The Rays’ “Silhouettes,” and others. Honestly, I don’t like this PC nonsense when it comes to voting for rock stars. If a singing group scores 15 Top 40 hits, they belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Period.

 

Maybe someday the Rock Hall will have something like baseball has for the MLB Hall of Fame. It’s an old timers committee that looks back to see what worthy players have been passed over and finally gives them the recognition they deserve. I think the four acts on my snub list would prime candidates.

 

I have one more singer to mention. He’s not a 50s star because he made his mark in the early 60s. But, I have been a lifetime fan, so I’ll toot his horn, too.

 

Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker has been eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame since its very first induction year 1986. I can’t believe the selection voters have skipped Chubby for 43 straight years. He is the only rocker to have the same song reach #1 two separate times, first in 1960 then again in 1961. That incredible accomplishment alone should get him in the hall.

Chubby was lucky to live and record in Philadelphia, because that was the home of American Bandstand. When “The Twist” was released, Dick Clark was happy to book Chubby for multiple appearances, and that led to other TV shows. He did live concerts everywhere. But he didn’t just sing on TV or the stage. He danced. To quote Goldmine magazine again, “His constant appearances, his good looks, his winning smile and his personable nature – not to mention his dancing prowess – made even adults want to twist… Following his lead, the world soon was twisting.”

By what logic has Chubby Checker been denied recognition by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?  He wasn’t just a one-hit act. In addition to “The Twist” Chubby had 17 other hits, and a total of seven Top 10 songs. This man does not deserve such shabby treatment.

Yea, Chubby.

 

© 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.

 

Fun with Gold Lamé — Part 3

For the first three years, ElvisBlog was all text. Then in 2008, one of the first posts with photos was Fun with Gold Lamé. I had lots of images in my files to use. In fact, there were so many, I did a Part 2 less than a year later. Here’s my favorite picture from it.

This came from Star Wars — Return of The Jedi. Someone has replaced Luke Skywalker with Elvis. Of course, Star Wars superfans know that these space creatures are henchmen of Jabba The Hut, who has sentenced Luke to die. The gang plank is on a desert skiff, not an ocean ship, and they are pushing Luke into the Sarlaac Pit, where he will be breakfast for a sand-dwelling monster. Why someone thought to put Elvis wearing his gold suit in this shot is a mystery to me.

 

I’ve accumulated more Elvis gold lamé suit photos over the past ten years, so let’s take a look at some.

 

This is Elvis with the RCA Records mascot Nipper during a bizarre moment on stage. You can just imagine how worried Col. Parker must have been that Elvis would wear the gold of his coat’s elbows. He had already worn it off the knees of the pants.

 

Betty Harper has done dozens of terrific paintings of Elvis. I was thrilled when Elvis International magazine used one of them to illustrate an article I had written. When Betty painted Elvis in the gold suit, she could have made the pants less baggy than they really were. But Betty stayed true to real life. Note the gold shoes. They don’t show up too much in photos.

 

I love Elvis in this shot. I’m surprised he doesn’t have more rings on his fingers.

 

I know I’ll get comments for showing this one. I’ll say sorry in advance.

 

This reverse-angle shot shows Elvis performing in the gold coat and black pants. I don’t know where this arena is, but these girls aren’t showing the kind of crazy enthusiasm we expect when looking at crowd shots from Elvis concerts.

 

Did you know that Pat Boone did an album of Elvis songs? What genius thought that it would sell? At least they had the good sense to make the gold pants slim and trim.

 

Doesn’t Elvis look great in this shot? I have six photos on him performing on his knees wearing the black pants. If I can get some more, I’ll put them together in a new post.

 

This is pretty cute. Blue Elvis Teddy Bear in Gold Lamé. It was for sale years ago at an auction, and I’ve never run across it since.

 

Is this spectacular, or what?

 

This is one of the worst Elvis products ever. The website calls the Elvis Gold Lame model the last in a series of Elvis rubber ducks. You mean there’s more? Yukkkk. They also say that it’s weighted for great upright floating. It ought to be weighted for great sinking.

 

Even though Elvis preferred to perform wearing black pants with the gold coat, he can be seen in several photos wearing the gold pants during casual activities backstage. Maybe he was trying to wear them out quicker.

 

This photo was taken on December 5, 2005 when the Rolling Stones invited Scotty Moore backstage before their concert in Memphis. Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood joined Scotty around a cardboard stand-up of Elvis in the gold suit. I printed out this picture and got Scotty to sign it at Elvis Week 2007. I don’t guess I’ll ever get Keith and Ronnie to sign it.

 

We’ll close by adding another wonderful Joe Petruccio painting of Elvis to those that have appeared in this blog. I love his work.

 

 

© 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.