Here’s an ElvisBlog original.
Apologies to Bradley Cooper.
And special thanks to John Migacz for the photo magic.
Here’s an ElvisBlog original.
Apologies to Bradley Cooper.
And special thanks to John Migacz for the photo magic.
The US Postal Service issued the famous Elvis stamp twenty-one years ago, so you wouldn’t expect it to be back in the news today. However, last week, the Washington Post blog leaked news about the images to be featured on future commemorative stamps. These selections are made by the independent Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee. What image will be on future stamps is kept top-secret, in part so postal officials can create a buzz when they announce new subjects. Without explaining how they got the information, the Post trumpeted their scoop of this news.
The Post revealed that upcoming stamps in 2014 include, among other subjects:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Then they said: “Some of the highlights for 2015 – soul singer James Brown, late-night TV host Johnny Carson, and a reissue of Elvis Presley, the Postal Service’s top-selling stamp, released with a value of 29 cents in 1993.”
I wondered how they could reissue a stamp that said 29¢ on it. Maybe they would remove the price and replace it with “Forever,” the way they now designate stamps no matter what the rate gets raised to.
The Postal Service has already messed with the Elvis stamp once before. After selling 129 million of the stamp with ELVIS on it, they came back with one that had ELVIS PRESLEY on it.
You couldn’t buy that one individually, only as part of a 35-stamp-sheet they called the “Legends of American Music Collection: Rock & Roll – Rhythm and Blues.”
However, reading further in the Washington Post blog, I came to the complete list of new stamps for the next two years. Please note the two items I have underlined.
The two items I’ve underlined are interesting. At the bottom, in red, it says Music Icons: Elvis Presley. Now look at the top underline. It says Red = In Design Development. So, maybe the Washington Post misinterpreted their top-secret scoop when they said a reissue of the 1993 stamp was coming
Here’s something to think about. Back in 1992, the Postal Service held a contest to see which of two very different Elvis images was the most popular with the public.
This poster was prominently placed in every post office in the country, as well as in the April 13, 1992 issue of People magazine.
Voting for your favorite required you to go to the Post Office and ask for ballots. They were self-addressed postcards showing the two competing drawings, with boxes to check for your choice. I got ten ballots, sent in seven (voting for choice A), and kept three as collectibles.
So, what if this current “design consideration” is just a code to hide the fact they are going to use the alternate image they already own the rights to? After all, the Postal Service is losing millions every year, and this would save the money they’d have to spend on a new drawing.
The winner (taking 75% of the vote) back in 1993 was called the “Young Elvis” stamp, and unfortunately, the other was derisively called the “Older and Wider Elvis” or even worse, the “Fat Elvis” stamp. That really wasn’t fair. John Berkley, the artist who painted it, drew Elvis very similar to a shot from the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii TV special.
Here’s what artist John Berkley said about the Elvis he painted. “As a matter of fact, he weighed 160 pounds and was 38 years old at the time. That’s not fat and that’s not old.”
If the Postal Service wants to bring back the Aloha Elvis (or whatever appropriate name they want to call him), I’m all for it.
It’s fun to do this kind of speculation, although my track record is not so good. I predicted that the planned Elvis show by Cirque ‘du Soleil would be called either “E” or “TCB,” but they picked “Viva Elvis.”
So, to improve my chances of making an accurate prediction on the new Elvis stamp, I’ll add another one. If the Postal Service is soliciting new Elvis images to use for the 2015 stamp, here is my favorite.
Let’s see the skeptics try to call this Old Elvis or Fat Elvis. Do you think the fans would buy 129 million of a new bad-ass black leather Elvis stamp?
This month marks the ninth anniversary of ElvisBlog. The number of Elvis fans visiting the site continues to grow, and the inspirations for blog topics keep coming, so ElvisBlog will plug along into its tenth year.
One thing I learned over the years is to include a good picture early in the post. Don’t open with a whole bunch of text pushing the first photo way down and off the reader’s screen. ElvisBlog is supposed to be fun, not a literary journal. The first image now also shows on my Facebook page in the thumbnail tease from the NetworkedBlogs link. It really pays to have an interesting first photo.
By the way, this shot was used in Caption Contest #13 back in 2009 with the winning caption “Elvis tries out a new way to pick up girls.” There hasn’t been a new caption contest is a long time. I need to do some.
This 2007 ElvisBlog homepage shows what it looked like for the first few years. Obviously, it needed to be jazzed up a bit. The tag line to the right of the title may be too small for you to read, but it said:
Nuggets of news, history and commentary posted every Sunday
That had to go. I make a serious effort to post a new blog every weekend (Friday – Sunday, sometimes Monday), but you can’t pin yourself down to a specific day. Also, the tag line worked originally when the posts were all text, but as pictures become a prominent part of the mix, the trend went toward more fun topics. Thus, the change in 2011 to:
All the Cool Stuff Out There in Elvis World
Thanks to endless hours of searching on Google Images, I have collected a bottomless treasure chest of cool Elvis images. Until now, this picture has never been used on ElvisBlog, mainly because it didn’t fit in any of the themes. I have one set of pictures that I am saving until the last post, whenever that is. It will surely anger the folks at Graceland, but it will be too late then for them to put the muscle on me.
If you scroll back up, you will note that the title of that 2007 post was “Fool’s Gold,” referring to the huge sandwich containing a jar of peanut butter, a jar of grape jam, and a pound of bacon on an Italian loaf split down the middle. Elvis had such a craving for it that he flew from Memphis to Denver to get one.
Early on, I delighted in other catchy titles like:
Virtuoso of Hootchy-Kootchy – This title came from Jack Gould, entertainment critic for the New York Times. It was the only semi-favorable opinion in his brutal article about Elvis’ second appearance on the Milton Berle Show.
A Jug of Corn Liquor at a Champagne Party — This post was a look at Elvis’ 1956 appearances at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. The line came from a Newsweek magazine review.
Is It A Sausage? No, It’s A Rusty Foghorn – This title came from two phrases in a 1956 New York Times review of Elvis’ first movie Love Me Tender. The reviewer said Elvis looked like a smooth, damp-looking sausage, and his singing voice sounded like a rusty foghorn.
My favorite title of all was Turgid, Juicy and Flamboyant, from another New York Times review, but it has the same problem as the others above — the word Elvis was not in the titles. I learned that to grow your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Elvis needed to be in the title, so now it is whenever possible. Check out the titles of the eight most recent ElvisBlog posts, top of left column.
This is just another photo to break up the text. And an example of how the Photoshop jockeys love altering Elvis. ElvisBlog has posted photos of Presidents Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, Bush (43) and Obama in Elvis jumpsuits. I did get some negative feedback when I posted Osama bin Laden in one.
After a few years of emphasizing the fun side of Elvis, a logo was added to the ElvisBlog homepage.
Hopefully everyone recognizes the famous Elvis lip curl. That was one inspiration for it. Here is the other:
One last thing about the February 2007 ElvisBlog homepage shown above. Under Recent Articles, the list included “Happy Birthday ElvisBlog.” Back then, after two years of existence, the number of hits per week was up to a little over 1,000. Today it is over 5,600. So, thanks to all you folks who keep coming back.
As long as I’m able, ElvisBlog will continue to bring you all the cool stuff out there in Elvis World.
Original Elvis Blogmeister
Did you see the news that The LEGO Movie topped the box office results with $129 million in receipts the past two weeks?
Before I saw clips from the movie on the news, I wondered how you could make a movie about little interlocking bricks. Then I learned it’s about these little plastic characters that have been a big part of the LEGO brand for some time. This inspired a little investigative work.
It turns out that the company began including small, plastic, articulated (movable joints) figurines in the LEGO construction sets in 1978. Some of these minifigures are inspired by specific characters (such as Star Wars), or of LEGO’s own creation, but many are designed simply to fit within a certain theme (such as police officers, astronauts and pirates). Believe it or not, over 3,655 different LEGO minifigures (or minifigs, as the collectors call them) have been introduced, and total production has now reached nearly 4 billion. (that’s billion, with a B) With popularity like that, no wonder they made The LEGO Movie.
It should come as no surprise that there is an Elvis/LEGO connection. Back in May 2010, ElvisBlog showed this photo of an Elvis bust at the LEGOLAND Park in San Diego, California. Kind of old school with Elvis actually made out of the little bricks. Here’s another, with Nathan Sawaya, the artist/builder, standing next to a full-body Elvis statue to give a sense of how big it is.
It looks to me like the artist got a little bit of Abe Lincoln into his Elvis image.
What I find more intriguing are the number of different LEGO Elvis minifigs out there. They seem to have become a very popular collectible. In addition to the official LEGO models, it seems like some other companies have made their own LEGOish creations. Let’s look at some of the best, regardless of where they came from.
This one is a genuine LEGO product. Note the clunky feet like the minifigs in the movie trailer. I called this one “Red Cape LEGO Elvis” until finding out LEGO calls it the “Las Vegas Edition.”
This what I call a LEGO Elvis Minifig Impersonator. The legs and feet look better, but the legs don’t seem to have the articulated joints. Kids probably don’t care – he looks fine riding in their space rocket or pirate ship. How about the full-length cape. Elvis tried one like that once, but it was too heavy for comfortable maneuvering around on the stage.
Back to the typical LEGO legs and feet for this one. But what’s up with the collar? It looks like the one worn by Ming the Merciless, Flash Gordon’s main villain. And that looks like a college sweater he’s wearing. I guess there are no rules for pseudo LEGO Elvis minifigs.
This one has the mic and the Elvis sunglasses, and the jumpsuit appears to be a simplification of the Sundial design Elvis wore on his last concert in May 1977.
This image is a little fuzzy, but it is the only photo of a LEGO Elvis minifig holding a guitar.
This is a weird outfit design – not a gold lame suit and not a jumpsuit. I think a good name would be Liberace LEGO Elvis.
This one is a little scary. They made Elvis look like a mad scientist. Not Cool.
Hey, who let these guys in? If you don’t recognize this as a homage to Abbey Road, you aren’t a Beatles fan.
Do we really need a zombie LEGO Elvis?
This is an impressive way to display your Storm Trooper LEGO Elvis.
The popularity of LEGO minifigs has led to expansion into other areas of artistic expression.
Just what every kid needs – a LEGO Elvis key ring.
How about a parody of Elvis’ first album using a LEGO minifig.
This is even better. Clever title.
A lot of artists have painted Elvis, but this guy painted a LEGO Elvis minifig.
All of this leads to the conclusion expressed on ElvisBlog many times:
The above picture shows 13 Year old Irene Katz holding a sign on Feb. 9, 1964, the third day of the Beatles’ blitz of America. She was outside the Plaza Hotel in New York City, along with hundreds of screaming young girls, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Beatles.
Unless you live in a cave, you are well aware the recent media buzz about the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America and appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show.
No question about it – the Beatles were hot during their two-week stay in the ‘states’ in February 1964. And, unfortunately, Elvis was not. Let’s take a look at the stature of Elvis’ career fifty years ago during the Beatles’ invasion.
Elvis had a Top Ten hit, “Bossa Nova Baby,” at the end of 1963, and in March 1964 “Kissin’ Cousins” was released, eventually moving up to # 12. But Elvis had absolutely nothing on the charts in February 1964.
On the other hand, that month was huge for the Beatles, who had three hits going at once: “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” I Saw Her Standing There,” and “She Loves Me.”
Elvis fared better here — briefly. Elvis’ Golden Hits, Volume 3 came out in late September 1963. It had a twenty week run on the Billboard Top 40 Album Charts, which carried it into the first two weeks of February 1964.
So, technically, that topped the Beatles. Their first US album, Meet the Beatles, was released on their second day in the country, February 8. After that, it probably outsold the Elvis hits album by a about million to one, but it wasn’t until the following week that those sales were reflected in the chart rankings.
This was another lull period for Elvis. Fun in Acapulco opened in very late November 1963 and was gone from the theaters by the following February.
It’s too bad Viva Las Vegas didn’t premier two months earlier than it did, or Elvis would have had one big success going for him while the Beatles were here.
What Elvis Did While the Beatles Ruled:
He took an extended vacation to Las Vegas, bringing several Memphis Mafia buddies with him: Joe Esposito, Alan Fortas, Richard Davis, Billy Smith and Marty Lacker. Plus wives and girlfriends. Elvis and this large group took in many shows, including Fats Domino, Della Reese, Don Rickles and Tony Martin.
Colonel Parker probably was back in Tennessee, but he had the good sense to send the Beatles a congratulatory telegram signed by Elvis & The Colonel.
So, while the Beatles took America by storm, Elvis laid low. He would continue making movies for four more years, but then he started his famed resurrection. First, the ’68 Comeback Special. Then the landmark recording sessions at American Sound Studios that produced huge hits like “In the Ghetto,” “Suspicious Minds,” and “Don’t Cry Daddy.” And the biggest factor of all, his return to live performance in August 1969 at the Las Vegas International Hotel.
A year later, the Beatles broke up, but Elvis continued to set attendance records in Las Vegas and on tours around the country. So, Elvis wasn’t really dead in 1964, and the Beatles didn’t live that long.
Did you catch the Super Bowl halftime show featuring Bruno Mars? You probably noticed his hairdo was strongly reminiscent of the early Elvis look. But, there’s an even bigger connection. Bruno Mars started out as an Elvis Tribute Artist at the tender age of four.
Bruno Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez on October 8, 1985, in Honolulu. His mother was a singer and dancer, and his father performed Little Richard music. Mars’ uncle was an Elvis impersonator, and encouraged three-year-old Bruno to perform on stage as well.
Mars also performed songs by artists such as Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, and The Temptations. At age four, Mars began performing five days a week with his family’s band, The Love Notes, and became well known on the island for his impersonation of Elvis.
In 1990, Mars was featured in MidWeek, a weekly tabloid shopper and advertisement periodical in Honolulu, and it dubbed him “Little Elvis.”
The previous three pictures came from a 1990 UK documentary called Viva Elvis, hosted by Jonathan Ross.
Bruno Mars’ fame as Little Elvis led to him having a performance cameo in the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicholas Cage (who ten years later would marry Lisa Marie Presley).
All of the above facts come from Wikipedia, so hopefully it’s all accurate. Wikipedia also says the time Bruno Mars spent impersonating Elvis had a major impact on his musical evolution and performing technique.
I think we can all agree that Bruno Mars’ time spent doing Elvis also really paid off.
Maybe he’ll put on a jumpsuit someday and do his Elvis thing again.
If you are a news junkie like me, you’re probably aware of the buzz about this recent New York Times Magazine cover.
The subtitle is:
The gravitational pull of a possible 2016 campaign is bringing all the old Clinton characters into her orbit.
Well, Elvis has pulled all of us fans into his orbit for over fifty years, so I wondered if there had ever been any reference to Planet Elvis. I went to Google, the Exalted Source of All Knowledge, and did an image search for Planet Elvis. I had to scroll down the results for many pages before coming to what I wanted, but there was some interesting stuff on the way.
When Elvis gave his four-show block of concerts at Madison Square Garden in June 1972, there were positive reviews all over the media. The most memorable line was in the New York Times, who said about Elvis, “He looked like a prince from another planet.”
I love this T-Shirt. What a clever twist on Al Dvorin’s classic line at the end of Elvis’ 1970s concerts: “Elvis has left the building.” The phrase has since become a popular culture catchphrase, sometimes even a humorous punch line, but this is the best adaptation so far.
You might say this is a variation on the ‘Elvis has left the planet’ idea.
This sounds like fun. Has there ever been a Karaoke party where nobody sang an Elvis song? Hard to imagine.
I never heard of Planet Football, but I’m glad Elvis lives on it.
Has any celebrity been featured in more cartoons than Elvis? This one is pretty good.
There is no text at all on this image, so how does Google Images know to make it a result in a search for the words Planet Elvis? Maybe the Exalted Source of All Knowledge is magic, too. To me, it looks more like a fortune teller’s ball than a planet. But, it’s still a nifty image.
The site with this image didn’t have anything much to say about it. Maybe this is the artist’s interpretation of the man on the moon.
This is more like it. Here’s my interpretation: Planet Elvis with its moon circling by, earth off in the distance, and a white hot vortex sucking in all the Elvis music. What do you think?
Finally. I knew there had to be a picture of Planet Elvis out there somewhere. Hillary wants to be the President, but Elvis is already the king.
Back in 2011, ElvisBlog took a four-part look at a big scrapbook compiled by a loyal Elvis Fan. Recently, I came into possession of another Elvis scrapbook.
Like the earlier one, this scrapbook had all sorts of pictures and small newspaper clippings posted on the pages. However, it also had numerous larger newspaper articles (mostly published in the first few years after Elvis’ death) stored in the back of the book. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting elements of this scrapbook.
This is a pretty busy page, but the best thing to me is the letter to Dear Abby at the top left, which is exactly what the title says – an advertisement for a date with Elvis. Here are the key parts:
“DEAR ABBY: Please don’t think I am some kind of kook. I am an attractive 24-year-old, level-headed girl who would like to know if there is a way I can get a date with Elvis… I know there must be at least five-million other girls who would like to date him, and he has to date someone, so why not me? I honestly believe I could show him a good time.”
Hmm, it sounds like ‘date’ and ‘good time’ might be a code words for something else, but it must have cleared Dear Abby’s guidelines.
“Please print this and maybe, just maybe, Elvis will realize he might be missing the chance of a lifetime if he doesn’t meet me.”
More code words? In any event, the writer convinced Abby to assist in her effort.
“Keep my name and number, Abby, but don’t publish it. If Elvis wants it, he can get in touch with me through you.”
WAITING FOR ELVIS IN LOUSIANA
Who knew anyone sent questions about Elvis to Dear Abby. I wish the scrapbook fan had included the reply.
The “Always Elvis” in the title refers to a wine of the same name. Years ago, I picked up a point-of-sale poster for it.
Here’s the history of Always Elvis wine as explained in the article. E.J. Weiferman ran a little winery named Frontenac Vineyards in Paw Paw, Michigan. Its two main labels were Purple Plum and Bahama Mama. With this sound footing in quality wines, Weiferman decided to import a low-alcohol mix of sweet Italian Asti Summate and fruity German Moselle. He called it Blanc D’Oro, which means white gold in Italian.
It’s hard to determine whether Weiferman or the article’s writer used the strangest lines. To justify putting Elvis’ name and likeness on a wine, Weiferman said, “Have you ever seen a blue nun? There’s no reason why we can’t have an Elvis Presley.
The reporter mused, “If two star-crossed lovers share a glass, they can’t help falling in love. Then, he ratcheted down the praise with, “After polishing off a bottle, anyone will feel like a hound dog. Then, he showed his real skepticism, “Don’t worry, it won’t etch your plastic glasses or keep your gasoline from freezing.”
This is actually a paper poster that had to be folded twice to fit in the back of the scrapbook. I have no idea where it came from, but one guess is that it might have been an album insert.
These two things were on separate scrapbook pages, but it makes more sense to show them together. The ad says these dollar bills are real U.S Currency with the face of George Washington replaced with Elvis. It also says that this is completely legal. (Sure doesn’t seem like it would be.) Apparently the scrapbook fan ordered an Elvis bill for $3.99 and received one with a different Elvis face than either of those shown. It comes in a heavy duty clear-plastic cover, so you can touch it, but is well done and looks great. I’d pay $3.99 for one, too.
There are three notable points on the article. First, the AP drawing of Elvis leaves a lot to be desired. The second is about the content in the center box. On the Saturday after Elvis died, the Anderson (SC) Independent published their Elvis Presley Memorial edition. Apparently, someone (or several folks) went around collecting the papers from people’s driveways. The publisher posed an open apology for those subscribers victimized by the widespread thefts.
The third point concerns that crummy hatchet-job book Elvis: What Happened? by Red West, Sonny West and Dave Hebler. It came out fifteen days before Elvis died, and is thought by many to be a contributing factor. Originally, Ballantine Books published 400,000 copies, but within six hours of Elvis’ death, they ordered another 250,000 more. Even that was not enough, and Ballantine kept the presses going full blast, cranking out 3.5 million copies in the next week. K-Mart alone ordered 2 million copies.
The main things that sticks out on this page is the horrible picture of Elvis. It appeared in the Anderson Independent after Elvis died, and it seems the purpose was to present him in the most unflattering way. The caption underneath says FAT and Frustrated. One thought: Did Elvis ever wear his hair like that?
This article came from that dubious tabloid MIDNIGHT sometime in 1974. It starts out well, saying, “Each year, members of the Elvis Presley Flaming Star Fan Club in Seattle celebrate their hero’s birthday, complete with cake, candles and choruses of “Happy birthday, dear Elvis…”
Then it focused on one member of this fan club who spent $500 to fly with the group to Las Vegas and see Elvis perform. “That’s a lot of money, considering that she and her husband live on his monthly Social Security check,” said the article. The woman paid for it by babysitting and pawning her wedding rings. This near obsession was the result of meeting Elvis at the Seattle Center Coliseum on April 29, 1973. “He put his hands on my shoulders, bent over and kissed me gently on the cheek… it was the biggest thrill of my life. I was shaking like a leaf.”
On one hand, it was a nice story of a dedicated Elvis fan and the sacrifices she made to see him perform. On the other hand, it seems awful close to hinting that Elvis fans are a bunch of pathetic fools.
Step right up and get your very own copy of Elvis Presley’s 14 page will for just $3.00. If our scrapbook fan actually ordered from this ad, she didn’t include the will in the book.
This page is a real hodge-podge of stuff. The print may be too small for you to read the title of the article to the left of the lowest Elvis picture. It says “Ransom Planned for Elvis’ Body. This is not some junk from MIDNIGHT or National Enquirer. This is an AP story.
It’s about a 26-year old man who planned to steal Elvis’ body from the Memphis Funeral Home and demand $10 million ransom for its return. However, heavy police security prompted him to change his plan to a break-in at Elvis’ mausoleum (this was before the body was moved to the Meditation Garden at Graceland). The man was arrested for trespassing near Elvis’ crypt, and actually admitted his plot to a policeman who told AP. What was that about pathetic fools?
The scrapbook contained other article about Elvis funeral and several about the first few years of the annual August 16 celebrations in Memphis. We’ll take a look at them in a future article.
Elvis looks pretty good on the cover of this 1969 Rolling Stone issue, doesn’t he? He’s been on four others that I could find, plus several more featuring collages of rock artists. Of course, the magazine didn’t start until 1967, so it missed the years when Elvis ruled the world and was on the cover of all sorts of magazines.
Rolling Stone has also published dozens of articles about Elvis, many of them timed to mark a significant birthday or anniversary of his death. And, Elvis has shown up on ten of the famous Rolling Stone lists, like this one they got completely wrong:
100 Greatest Singers of All Time:
By the looks of this cover, you’d think Elvis was selected #1. Maybe he is #1 for helping sell copies of the magazine, but Rolling Stone actually voted him just the #3 greatest singer of all time.
Granted, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles are great singers, but putting them ahead of Elvis is just not right. The thumbnail photos are small, so in case you can’t make out the rest of the top ten, they are:
!00 Greatest Artists of All Time:
Okay, now the category includes groups as well as singers, so the Beatles move into #1 and the Rolling Stones into #4. Elvis stays at #3, but how does Bob Dylan move from #7 singer to #2 artist? Elvis should be at least #2 on this list, and many folks will argue #1. And what made Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles slide down so far? The only answer I can figure is that the lists were selected a few years apart, and maybe they had different judges.
Look at this cover. Ray Charles has slid completely out of the ten artists shown. Pretty shabby treatment for the guy they voted the second best singer of all time.
500 Greatest Albums of All Time:
Granted, Elvis had a better track record with singles than albums. Here are the only three Elvis albums they picked in the top 500:
#11 Sun Sessions
#56 Elvis Presley
#190 From Elvis in Memphis
What about Blue Hawaii that stayed at number one on the Top 40 for twenty straight weeks? What about Elvis is Back which is considered Elvis’ best album by many fans and experts?
100 Best Debut Albums of All Time:
I guess it all depends on what the criteria for best is. Seems like record-breaking sales dwarfing every other album before it would be a big factor. Seems like the degree of hysteria for the artist when it was released would be another. #79 is ridiculous. Rolling Stone magazine just blew this one. If you care, the top spot went to Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys.
Bruce Springsteen’s 25 Biggest Heroes:
These aren’t ranked, so there is nothing to quibble about. Rolling Stone did something similar about Elvis’ biggest influences, but it was an article, not a list.
500 Greatest Songs of All Time:
This list really bothers me. Here are the eleven Elvis songs that made the top 500. No Elvis songs in the top ten, and none higher than #19.
#19 Hound Dog
#45 Heartbreak Hotel
#67 Jailhouse Rock
#77 Mystery Train
#91 Suspicious Minds
#113 That’s All Right
#200 Don’t Be Cruel
#361 All Shook Up
#403 Can’t Help Falling in Love
$430 Blue Suede Shoes
#441 Love Me Tender
Gimme a break. “All Shook Up” at #361. Unbelievably stupid. For what it’s worth, they picked the top 3 songs as:
Like a Rolling Stone — Bob Dylan
Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
Imagine – John Lennon
Top 25 Teen Idol Breakout Moments:
These weren’t ranked, but if they were, the top spot surely would have to be Elvis or the Beatles. The rest don’t come close.
25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time:
I think Rolling Stone got this one right. Phil Spector: A Christmas Gift for You is an outstanding album. We graciously accept Elvis in second place.
40 Essential Christmas Albums:
This doesn’t make sense. Elvis’ Christmas Album is the second greatest of all time, but only the fifth most essential Christmas album. Believe it or not, #1 is Ella Wishes you a Swinging Christmas by Ella Fitzgerald.
22 Weird Creatures Named after Superstars:
I guess after years of doing so many lists, all of the good topics have been used up. Rolling Stone scraped the bottom of the barrel when they came up this one. Here’s what they had to say about the bug named after Elvis: “Gall wasps never had as much swagger as this one. Scientists created a new genus, Preseucoila, based on the name “Presley” – and just to make things extra clear, they named the species Imallshookupis after one of the King’s signature hits.”
I Googled Preseucoila Imallshookupis to see what it looks like. A few bug pictures came up, but they turned out to be something else. This is the best I could find.
Recently, the official Elvis Presley website presented their selections for The Top 12 Moments for Elvis Presley’s Graceland in 2013.
Some of the selections had nothing to do with Graceland, such as Encore Presents the Elvis Movie Collection in May, that came in #6. But there were also notable events that actually occurred at Graceland last year. Top of the list was the voting by USA Today picking Graceland the #1 Iconic Tourist Attraction. Coming in at #5 was Lisa Marie Performs in the Jungle Room.
But, my favorite was #4 – Sir Paul McCartney Visits Graceland for the First Time.
Paul had an interesting visit. He left behind his personal guitar pick, “So Elvis could play his guitar in heaven.” I guess Paul thinks someone there at Graceland has a way to get the guitar pick up to Elvis in heaven. Paul also received a rare special private tour of the Graceland archives. That must have been really cool. Finally, he played Elvis’ famous 1956 Gibson 1200 guitar while humming the “Loving You.”
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered once seeing a YouTube video of Paul McCartney singing “Loving You,” so I searched it out. I found it – plus eight other videos of him doing Elvis songs. Here they are, for you to enjoy, too.
Loving You: I guess you still call it a video, even if there is nothing shown but a photo of Paul and Linda McCartney. However, we can hear Paul do a simple version of the song with acoustic guitar.
Lawdy Miss Clawdy: This is quite different. Paul is wearing a black leather jacket and he rocks out with a full band. Great piano work, similar to the way Elvis’ song sounded on This Is Elvis.
Let’s Have A Party: I have to admit this performance mirrors Wanda Jackson’s version of the song more than it does Elvis’. The footage is from some sort of BBC program. Joining Paul on stage are David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and Ian Paice (Deep Purple, Whitesnake). Can you imagine Elvis singing with that kind of back-up crew? I love you Scotty, but Gilmour is just an incredible guitarist.
That’s Alright Mama: I like this one because someone has spliced footage of Paul singing the song into Elvis’ ’68 Comeback Special performance. What tickles me is that Scotty and DJ are on both clips. Well done.
Heartbreak Hotel: We’ve all seen singers do an acoustic versions of songs, accompanying themselves on guitar. But for this video, Paul does it on bass. In fact, it is Bill Black’s original upright bass. Paul tells a story about it and then sings a far too short version of “Heartbreak Hotel.”
Blue Moon of Kentucky: This is another too-short video, but it is a treat to see and hear George Harrison and Ringo Starr join Paul on an Elvis song.
Blue Suede Shoes: You will note that Paul properly dedicates this song to Carl Perkins. However he does mention Elvis’ version of the song. The video was filmed in 1999, and the caption credits it to the RockHall Jam Band. You can enjoy Eric Clapton and Robby Robertson (The Band) do their guitar solos. Look closely and you can spot Bonnie Raitt, Paul Shaffer (David Letterman bandleader) and other people you may recognize.
All Shook Up: We will end with another BBC screamer featuring Paul McCartney and David Gilmour. Rock on.