If Elvis’ Planes Leave Graceland, What Replaces Them?

Entrance to Graceland Planes

I assume every Elvis fan has heard by now about EPE telling OKC, the company that actually owns the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog 2, to make arrangements to remove them from the property by April 26, 2015. This has sparked such a furor on the internet, and I’ve followed it all with interest. Everybody has a theory. The most common being that it’s just two big companies fighting over money. Let’s look at some facts you probably haven’t seen on the other Elvis websites.

 

Graceland Platinum Ticket Package

This is least expensive of three Graceland Ticket Packages. Note that the tour of Elvis’ two airplanes will be dropped from this package as of August 9, just before Elvis Week kicks in this year. Seems like curious timing doesn’t it? After that, if you want to see the planes on your visit to Graceland, the Tour # 2 option includes them for an additional $5.

When the planes were available on all three packages, there was no definitive way to judge how much revenue could be credited to the planes. Under this new pricing arrangement, EPE has established the value of the planes as $5 per ticket sold. Pretty good deal, huh. Yes, if you are a ticket buyer. But not for OKC that owns the planes and gets a percentage of the ticket revenue under the licensing agreement for Graceland to exhibit them.

 Lisa Marie Plane Entrance

 

In an ElvisBlog article last year, we looked at the Graceland tour prices back in 1993 when each attraction could be ticketed separately. Inflation plus the additional upward creep of all Graceland ticket prices would increase these numbers to 2014 levels.

So, we have an approximate price to compare to the new $5.00, and see the plane owners will face a revenue loss of approximately 60%. This adds support to one of the theories expressed on website comments – EPE dropped the bomb on OKC about their take being cut, OKC called their bluff by threatening to remove their planes, and EPE countered their bluff by saying: OK, get the planes out of here. Might have been a smart move. Realistically, where could OKC set up the planes and attract as many customers as they get at Graceland?

 Long View Lisa Marie

EPE’s letter to OKC also stated that all costs of removing the planes would be at the planes’ owners’ expense. Look at the size of the Lisa Marie. This is a big four-engine jet. To move it to a new location, portions of the wings would have to be removed so it could travel down the highway (as it did to get it to Graceland in 1984).

Lisa Marie Going Down the Highway.

To move it to another city, a new engine would have to be purchased so it would fly. Three engines are in storage, the other was donated to a trade school years ago. So, OKC would face some huge moving expenses in addition to questionable ticket revenue at any location other than Graceland.

So, basically, it looks like EPE’s bluff is going to work. However, some commenters go farther and argue that EPE is trying to force OKC to sell the planes to them. Gee, do you think EPE would actually use strong-armed tactics to get control of something it wanted?

 

Graceland Guesthouse

This picture is for the start of my theory that much more is going on here. It is the recently announced $70 million Guesthouse at Graceland, a 450-room luxury hotel to be built just north of Graceland on the same side of the street. It will have meeting rooms and other amenities for conventions.

 Graceland Guesthouse Public Hearing

There was a public hearing where the Guesthouse was introduced to the Memphis movers and shakers. On the screen is an aerial view drawing of the twenty-five acre project. Here is a look of the area as it now exists.

Yellow lines around Hotel, Red Lines Around ...

The guesthouse project will be inside the yellow lines. It replaces an old apartment complex and a used car dealership. Happily, very little of the tree cover will be removed.

Now look across the street at the area inside the red lines. In the top right we can see the Lisa Marie. To the left of that is the L-shaped Graceland Crossing building.

Graceland Crossing

This is an old, not very appealing strip center with three stores (Harley Davidson, Everything Elvis, and Souvenirs of Elvis) and two exhibits (Private Presley and ’68 Special). Suppose EPE wanted it gone. It would be easy to move the gift shops to spaces in the new Guesthouse hotel. The two exhibits could easily be rotated into the new Graceland Archives Exhibit (see the item above the box in the Platinum Ticket Package above).

Heartbreak Hotel Sign

The U-shaped building below Graceland Crossing in the photo is Heartbreak Hotel. It is also quite old and contains only 128 rooms. Several websites report they have information that EPE plans to tear down Heartbreak Hotel.

Heartbreak Hotel Lobby

Heartbreak Hotel Lobby

So… what if the planes, Graceland Crossing, and Heartbreak Hotel were all gone. It’s not such a crazy idea. Wouldn’t EPE want something equally special just across the street from their fancy new hotel?

As far back as 2006, then EPE owner Robert Sillerman proposed an entertainment complex, restaurants, shops, an outdoor amphitheater and a spa. Maybe plans for this idea are still on the boards.

 Map of Graceland

Here’s another look at all the space that could be available for such an entertainment complex. But, isn’t there some way to do it without Elvis’ airplanes going away? Well, look behind Heartbreak Hotel on the map. See the arrow pointing to the Graceland RV Park and Campground?

Graceland RV Park and Campground

The RV Park and Campground sit on nineteen acres. Suppose they took five acres away and put the plane exhibit there? When you think about it, how much revenue can they be getting from space rentals for tent camping? Not anything close to what the planes would generate. And moving them to a new location on site would be a piece of cake. Just pull them with a tractor.

Map of Graceland RV Park and Cabins

Map of Graceland RV Park and Cabins

Of course, the fans would have to walk a bit farther to see the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog 2. I wouldn’t mind. How about you?

So, that’s my theory. EPE gets ownership of the planes, Graceland Crossing and Heartbreak Hotel get torn down, and the planes are moved to a portion of the RV Park and Campground. Then a huge entertainment/dining complex is built across from the luxury hotel.

If you have a different theory, put it in Comments.

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We’ll see what happens.

 

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

 

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Happy 4th of July, Elvis

Elvis Red and Gold 4th of July

Back in 2009, I posted the first ElvisBlog pictorial salute to Elvis on the 4th of July. It was supposed to be an annual thing, but I notice I skipped last year for some reason.

Notice how Elvis has on his American Eagle jumpsuit in the above picture, and there is an image of a real eagle, too. Over the years, four other of our Elvis 4th of July pictures have also contained eagles. Of course, the American Eagle jumpsuit shows up in many of these patriotic pictures, including three this year.

 

Elvis in4th of July Hat

This one is more fun. It looks like Elvis has been invited to an Alice in Wonderland tea party.

 

Lisa in Red White and Blue

I love this photo. Look at little Lisa all dressed up in red, white and blue.

 

Soldier Elvis 4th of July

These designs with Elvis in uniform could work with several holidays, but it says “Happy 4th of July,” so it belongs here.

 

Elvis 4th of July Kaleidoscope

Another good use of the American Eagle jumpsuit in this busy, but colorful, kaleidoscope design. This must have taken a lot of time to put together.

 

Elvis Happy Fourth of July

I kind of like the simplicity of this one.

 

Elvis 4th of July Penant Flag

I think this is one of those hanging pennants you can buy. It should last forever if you bring it out just once s year for a few days.

 

Red White and Blue Graceland

How about Graceland decked out in red, white, and blue? I hope it’s not going to be like the Christmas decorations that stay up until January 8. Too long.

 

Elvis God Bless America

The last American Eagle jumpsuit in the 4th of July tribute to Elvis. (The last picture of Elvis, too)

 

Rockin 4th of July

From ElvisBlog to all the Elvis fans out there

 

Previous Happy 4th of July, Elvis pictorials:

2012     2011     2010     2009

 

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

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Winners and Losers at the Latest Elvis Auction

Sotheby's - A Rock and Roll History

Perhaps you saw something on the news last week about Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to “Like a Rolling Stone” selling for $2 million dollars at auction. It happened at the Sotheby’s auction shown above. Many of the news reports also mentioned some of the other big ticket items, including Elvis’ Peacock jumpsuit (design close-up shown in the box above).

There were ten Elvis items offered in this auction – five sold and five did not reach the minimum required bid. Let’s take a look at the losers first, followed by the winners.

1957 Multnomah Stadium Concert Poster:

Elvis Multnomah Concert Poster

This is the worst case of overpricing an Elvis collectible, I have ever seen. It’s hard to figure how the owner of this poster for Elvis’ September 2, 1957 concert in Portland thought it would bring between $25,000 and $30,000. For that price you could buy several items of Elvis clothing or a couple of his rings. The poster is not very big, just 11” by 14,” and it has some stains at the top. It is supposed to be very rare, but I guess Elvis poster collectors have been able to buy earlier ones for much less, so they passed.

 

Concert Ticket Signed by Elvis, Scotty and Bill:

Elvis Concert Ticket

The autographs of the three rock pioneers are on the back of this 2” x 4 ½” picture ticket for an April 19, 1956 appearance at the Oklahoma Municipal Auditorium. I guess the bonus of Scotty’s and Bill’s autographs doesn’t add much value to that of Elvis’ alone. Elvis’ concert tickets from the 50s typically bring a few hundred dollars, and Elvis autographs sell for $600 to $1,400, so it is surprising that no one was willing to make the minimum bid of $1,000 for the combo.

 

“Softly As I Leave You” Original Handwritten Manuscript:

Elvis' Spoken-Word Lyrics for Softly As I Leave

All Elvis fans are familiar with the spoken word part in the middle of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” but less known is the similar treatment he did on “Softly as I Leave You.” This two-page auction item is Elvis’ hand-printed lyrics to use during his performance of this song at his last Las Vegas stage show. Certainly, it has value, but expecting bidders to shell out $6-8,000 for it was way too optimistic.

 

America’s New Singing Rage!!! Poster:

Elvis Poster from 1956l

The auction website says this poster is from February, 1956, but how can you tell? It is totally generic – no date, no time, no venue. Plus, it is small, just the letter size. You can practically envision Col. Parker travelling with a suitcase of them and posting them around numerous venues. So in spite of the triple exclamation point adorning the title, and the two Elvis pictures, this poster never motivated bidders to shell out the $1,250 minimum bid. Not a good auction for Elvis concert posters.

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Autographed Publicity Photo:

Elvis Publicity Photo

Autographed Elvis items always bring more when they are presented in a nice frame. This 1955 item won’t work well that way because Elvis’ signature is on the back. Plus, the 8” x 10” photo has a few deep creases and a thumbtack hole. Possibly not a bad value at $500, but collectors must have been looking for better quality piece that could be properly displayed.

 

Okay, that takes care of the losers. It’s more fun to see the items that surpassed the minimum bids and found new owners.

 

Cream-White Soft Wool Jacket:

Elvis' White Jacket

There was no photograph supplied to verify Elvis wore this coat, but it does have labels saying “Lansky Bros, Men’s Shop on Famous Beale St. Memphis” and “Styled for Elvis Presley.” The cream colored jacket has white satin lining and has red speckling (barely visible in photo). It is in excellent condition. The estimate of $7-9,000 was right on the money, as the jacket went for $8,750 including the 25% auction premium.

 

Las Vegas Set List:

 Elvis Set List from International Hotel Show

This is an envelope from the International Hotel in Las Vegas where Elvis performed in 1969 and 1970 (after that, the name changed to Las Vegas Hilton). On it, Elvis hand-printed his selections for one night’s set list of songs to be performed. I was surprised that the pre-auction estimate was so high at $4-6,000, but somebody thought it was worth that and ponied up $5,000.

 

Red Knit Shirt from Kissin’ Cousins:

Elvis' Kissin' Cousins Red Jacket

This shirt was worn by Elvis Presley during production of the 1964 MGM film Kissin’ Cousins. Inside are two tags: “MGM STUDIO. Culver City” (with the handwritten Elvis Presley and size, production number), and “Sy Devore of Palm Springs.” It is in excellent condition and sold for $12,500. So, why did this shirt go for $4,000 more than the white coat above?

 Elvis Wearing Red Shirt on Kissin' Cousins Album

It is because Elvis is shown wearing the red shirt on the Kissin’ Cousins original soundtrack album. The seller included a copy of the album. Smart move.

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New Scofield Reference Bible:

Elvis' Bible

This bible has everything going for it except good condition. The photo shows that Elvis studied it repeatedly. Printed in 1967 by the New York Oxford Press, the Bible has “Elvis Presley” stamped in silver gilt in lower left.

Insert from Elvis' Bible

The estimate was $8-10,000, but Elvis’ Bible sold for $25,000. Why the big ticket? The thing that probably made the difference were the frequent notes that Elvis wrote in it. This is more than a collectible. It is a look into Elvis’ mind and his thinking on religious topics.

 

Peacock Jumpsuit:

Elvis Peacock Jumpsuit at Sotheby's Auction

It is tempting to call this the big winner among Elvis items in the Sotheby’s auction because it went for $245,000. After deducting the 25% auction premium from this price, the net to the seller was $196,000. Still pretty good, you say? Not if we look back to an ElvisBlog article dated December 8, 2008. This same jumpsuit sold at a Gotta Have Rock & Roll auction, and the buyer shelled out $300,000. If he netted only $196,000 selling it this time, he took a bath of over 100,000 on it. So, this big winner was actually a big loser. Yikes.

Peacock Jumpsuit Back Insert

There is one other interesting thing about this famous Peacock jumpsuit. The picture above is from the Sotheby’s Auction website. The one below is from the 2008 ElvisBlog article.

Peacock Front - Close-up

Note they are not the same. Are there two Peacock jumpsuits? No. The answer is that the design on the suit’s back is different than the front.

peacock jumpsuit back

 

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There’s another rock and roll memorabilia auction coming up on July 16. The previews make it sound like they’ve got some cool Elvis goodies. Stay tuned.

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

 

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Getting the Elvis Photos Organized

Elvis Wearing Eyeliner

filed in “Young Elvis Photos”

During 2008, the third year of ElvisBlog’s existence, photos became a major part of each new post. There are literally zillions of Elvis photos on the internet, and if you spend the time to search for them, it is easy to amass a nice collection.

The shot of young Elvis above is purported to show him wearing eye-liner. Unfortunately, it was discovered years after posting an ElvisBlog article titled “Eye-Liner Story,” but I went back and added it to the story.

At the time, I didn’t file it in a specific file, just the big general one. There are dozens of others in there that need to be filed, as well. So, I’m doing that right now – and writing a blog article about the more interesting ones as I go.

 

Elvis Wearing Eyeliner

filed in “Products”

This one will go into the “Products” file. I should probably create a new one called “Crappy Elvis Products”, because this hideous thing really qualifies. Please note some of the fine print: Handcrafted Elvis Head. Right. None of that inferior poured-into-a- mold stuff here. But the best line is Looks Just Like Real Hair. Hey, we can see the picture on your box. Curly little green leaves do not look like Elvis’ hair.

 

Elvis on Walk of Fame, Hollywood

filed in “Misc”

This is Elvis’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I think the reason I didn’t originally put it in a file, is that I didn’t know where to put it. Still don’t. So, it goes in the “Misc” file, but I hate that file. It’s like you’re surrendering in the challenge of getting organized.

 

Elvis and Memphis Mafia Members

filed in “Memphis Mafia”

I don’t know why this wasn’t filed under “Memphis Mafia” from the beginning, where it obviously belongs. Can you name the guys: Joe Esposito, Elvis, Red West, Vernon, and Jerry Schilling. Don’t know who the guy in the white coat is.

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Elvis Crop Drawing

filed in “Images”

This must have taken someone a lot of time to do. Elvis is way more interesting than crop-circles, and they did a great job of getting Elvis’ image right. I’m not sure that humongous mic in front of his mouth was needed. This will be one of the most unusual pictures in the “Images” file.

 

Bill Murray at Crossroads Festival

filed in “Elvis Impersonator Losers”

This is Bill Murray at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival in 2009, I think. He is getting filed in “Elvis Impersonator Losers” in a sub-file named “Celebrities”. That may be unfair because most of them look pretty good in a jumpsuit. Especially Britney Spears. I’m getting enough celebrities in the file to do an ElvisBlog post on them.

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Bill Murray at Crossroads Festival

filed in “Collingwood”

If you want to go to a great Elvis Festival, you need to check out Collingwood, Ontario. I’ve been to it twice and had a ball both times. This is their beloved street dance, but no dancing takes place. Instead, folks bring their own chairs and enjoy eight hours of tribute artists and a dynamite band doing Elvis songs. You can see old Elvis, fat Elvis, young Elvis, kid Elvis, female Elvis, and a lot of really good ones. This picture will go to my personal files under “Collingwood,” but “Really Fun Times” would work, too.

 

Elvis versus Godzilla

filed in “Misc”

This stupid Photoshop product tickles me a lot. How do you like this line?

At last! The King’s Final Most Captivating Role

Another pic to go in “Misc.” Seems appropriate.

 

Bill Randall Lost Elvis Footage

filed in “Lost Elvis Footage”

This is a 1993 article in Time magazine. I copied it so I could save the text of the article. It tells how the mythical Lost Elvis Footage from June 1955 finally showed up and was sold to Polygram Films for $2.2 million. Well, it is now twenty-one years later, and we still haven’t seen the footage released for us fans. I don’t think the film exists anymore. Still, I am starting a new file named “Lost Elvis Footage,” and adding this and several other pictures to it. It’s pretty certain there will be a future ElvisBlog article on the whole topic.

 

Elvis with Arms Crossed Over Guitar

filed in “Strong Elvis Pictures”

Almost every Elvis photo goes right into a file, but this one never did. I don’t think there were many other shots taken where Elvis had an electric guitar hanging down like this. He looks good. This is a natural for the “Strong Elvis Pictures” file.

 

What You Can't Do to Elvis

filed in “Misc”

This is so clever. I wish I had thought of it, but congrats to whoever did. Maybe I should start a “Clever Elvis Stuff” file and put this in it. It’s just too good to be in “Misc.”

 

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

 

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Graceland Opened to the Public 32 Years Ago

Graceland Opening Flyer

As you can see in the above poster, Graceland opened to the public on June 7, 1982. Last Saturday was June 7, 2014, thirty-two years later, and my original plan was to post an ElvisBlog article on that day commemorating the anniversary. Then, my cat nearly died and it took three days for her to get out of danger. So, this post is a week late.

 

Crowd on Opening of Graceland June 7, 1982

When I first saw this photo, I thought it was a shot from Elvis Week. But it was taken on the day Graceland’s gates opened and let the public inside for the first time. Look at that crowd. What a pent-up demand the fans must have had to get a look into Elvis’ world.

 

 Graceland-Aerial-View-June-7-1982

This is an aerial view taken on opening day. The tree cover is so heavy that you can barely see Graceland mansion in the upper right-hand corner. What you can see is the crowd massed at the gate, continuing down along the fieldstone wall, continuing beyond the property line down the street and then around the corner into a residential street for a considerable distance.

 

Aunt Delta and Jack Soden at opening of Graceland, June 7, 1982

This is Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Soden is still in that position and has overseen many changes at Graceland and especially across the street at the welcome center.

The woman in the picture is Elvis’ Aunt Delta Mae Biggs (Vernon’ sister). She and her mother Minnie Mae were living in Graceland when Elvis died, and the estate allowed them to stay there as long as they lived. Minnie Mae died in 1980, and Aunt Delta passed away in 1993. She had occupied Vernon and Gladys’ former bedroom, so it was not part of the tour when Graceland opened. After her death, the room was converted back the way it was when Elvis’ parents lived there. It and the kitchen were then added to the tour.

Elvis' Parents' Bedroom at Graceland

Bedroom occupied by Vernon and Gladys before Aunt Delta.

 

That’s about it for pictures relating to the opening of Graceland to the public, but there are some other unusual ones in my Graceland file, so let’s look at some.

 

Newspaper Article about Elvis Buying Graceland

This newspaper article makes it clear that there was no veil of secrecy surrounding Elvis’ interest in buying Graceland. One paragraph in it is interesting. Elvis had been very impressed with comedian Red Skelton’s home in Hollywood. While filming a movie, Elvis had apparently seen Skelton’s hilltop house with a mile-and-a-half drive from the gate and garages for his eleven cars. Elvis is quoted in the article: “This is going to be a lot better than Red Skelton’s house, when I get it like I want it.”

 

Original 1957 Graceland Mailbox

This is interesting, too. It is the original mailbox dating back to when Graceland was built in 1939 on Highway 51.. Of course, the address is now 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard.

 

Graceland Farms cattle auction 1942

Although the Graceland house was built much later, the original 500 acre property was a working farm dating back to Civil War times. You can see that as late as 1942, registered Hereford cattle were raised and sold on the property.

The first owner was S.E. Toof, and he named the estate (the house did not yet exist) after his daughter Grace. Her niece and husband built the house, and their daughter sold it and 13-3/4 acres of land to Elvis.

 

Map of Graceland

There have been several versions of this Graceland map over the years. For example, Graceland Crossing in the upper right-hand corner was not there when I last visited Graceland. Formerly, it was a nondescript shopping center of independent merchants.

Now, go back to the map again. What’s the most prominent feature? It’s not Graceland, which is squeezed into a little space along the right edge. It doesn’t show the pool, Meditation Garden, Vernon’s office, the racquetball building, the horse barn and other things that make the fan experience of visiting Graceland special. What the map does show in detail is Graceland Plaza across the street.

Graceland Corners

The map lists a total of fourteen stores and three restaurants in Graceland Plaza and Graceland Crossing, but just seven attractions (Graceland plus six exhibits/museums). Something just seems out of balance with this.

Next time I get to Memphis, I’ll take in the newer exhibits and probably have a meal at Rockabilly’s Diner, but the main attraction to me will always be this.

Graceland at Sunset

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis Movies 50th Anniversary Pictorial – Viva Las Vegas: 1964

Viva Las Vegas on Screen Title 

Since October 2009, ElvisBlog has run 50th Anniversary Pictorials each time an Elvis movie reached that historical milestone. Looks like EPE saw the value of these tributes and decided to celebrate Viva Las Vegas themselves. The picture below is from the News Feed at the website Graceland.com, a spin-off of Elvis.com.

 Graceland.com 50th Anniversary of Viva Las Vegas

 

The Elvis Insiders email newsletter of May 23 announced the release of a new Premium Blu-Ray Digibook version of Viva Las Vegas.

Elvis Insiders Announcement May 23, 2014

Also, you can go to a link to see photos of some sites used for the filming of the movie, or to an exhibit of original Viva Las Vegas posters in various languages.

Viva Las Vegas Film Locations and Posters

And finally, Graceland.com offers a look at the original preview trailer for Viva Las Vegas.

Graceland.com Viva Las Vegas Preview

Wow, after a blitz like that from EPE, it seemed like something more than the usual ElvisBlog movie pictorial was in order. So instead we will do a retrospective of blog posts done over the years that featured Viva Las Vegas. There were sixteen starting back in 2005, the first year for ElvisBlog. Here are the best.

 

Viva Las Star Wars: Posted July 8, 2008

A very original post on The Film Frontier website compared the similarities of the race scenes in Viva Las Vegas and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. My friend Troy Yeary graciously allowed me to reproduce his very time-consuming analysis on ElvisBlog. Troy matched up frames from Elvis racing in the Las Vegas Grand Prix and young Anikin Skywalker at the controls of a pod racer in the Boonta Eve Classic podrace in the Tatooine desert.

 

Elvis and Anikin Skywalker

Here’s our two racers. Although these photos don’t show it, both vehicles were silver-grey while their mail rivals had orange-red.

Supporters watching races with mounting dred

Here are shots of supporters of the two racers looking on with mounting dread.

 

Elvis at the Clinton Presidential Library: Posted May 3, 2012

From its beginning over a decade ago, the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock has always contained dozens of Elvis items. They were accumulated over the years by Bill Clinton, a self-proclaimed lifelong fan of Elvis. Then in 2011, a large exhibit of Elvis memorabilia from the Graceland archives was loaned to the library. The framed lobby poster below was one of three Viva Las Vegas items.

Viva Las Vegas Poster at Clinton Library

The other two shown below are the original script and a red shirt Elvis wore in the movie.

Viva Las Vegas Shirt and Script

 

Dancing Elvis (In the Movies): Posted March 11, 2012

This pictorial essay showed photos of Elvis dancing with a number of leading ladies in his movies. This one from Viva Las Vegas is probably my favorite, as you can see by the comments under the photo.

Elvis and Ann-Margret Dancing

 

Elvis Clothing at the Most Recent Auction: Posted May 8, 2011

The auction mentioned was the March 2012 Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction from Gotta Have It Auctions. It was loaded with articles of Elvis clothing and thirteen were featured in the blog article.

Red Jacket Black Pants from Viva

Note: Even though the colors are the same, this is not the item on display at the Clinton Library. However, the yellow version of this jacket is worn in the dancing picture above.

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Turner Classic Movies Delivers an Elvis Bonanza on August 16: Posted August 10, 2012

As a treat for fans during Elvis Week 2012, cable channel TCM offered fourteen consecutive Elvis movies. I thought it would be interesting to show the rankings and comments for each in the book Hollywood Rock by Marshall Crenshaw.

Hollywood Rock

Here’s the book’s ratings for Viva Las Vegas in three categories, plus its choice for the favorite scene in the movie.

Ratings for Viva Las Vegas in Hollwood Rock

According to the total of the multiple stars rating system, Viva Las Vegas tied Kissin’ Cousins tied for the highest rating. ElvisBlog agreed, but said Viva should have four stars for Music.

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Elvis Movie Bloopers: Posted June 16, 2012

The inspiration (and many of the photos) for this blog post came from the wonderful website Too Much Monkey Business. There were two bloopers from Viva Las Vegas, including this one with Elvis wearing that yellow coat again.

Bandaid on Elvis' Finger

Bandaid on Elvis' Finger

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Strange Google Searches that Brought People to ElvisBlog: Posted April 26, 2009

The original blog platform for ElvisBlog had a neat feature. It enabled you to trace back to Google and see what people were searching for when they clicked on the link to ElvisBlog. There were several about Viva Las Vegas, and this one seemed too stupid to be true.

Strange Google Searches on Elvisblog

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The Elvis / Star Trek Connection: Posted August 23, 2009

This blog post featured actresses that appeared in both Star Trek episodes and Elvis movies. Teri Garr starred in Star Trek episode # 55 titled “Assignment Earth.” For years before this she was a dancer trying to break into acting. She appeared in six Elvis movies, including Viva Las Vegas.

Teri Garr Viva Las Vegas

Can you pick her out? Second girl from the left.

 

Fans Speak Out on Product Tie-Ins: Posted July 29, 2007

I regularly read the News link on Elvis.com, and frequently the news is about new Elvis tie-in products. It is sometimes interesting to read the thoughts of Elvis fans on Comments, such as these concerning the commercial where the Elvis’ famous song lyrics were changed from “Viva Las Vegas” to “Viva Viagra.”

Teri Garr Viva Las Vegas

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Caption Contest # 4 Winner: Posted December 8, 2008

This is probably my favorite shot from Viva Las Vegas.

Elvis Caption Contest #4 Winner

 

Bonus Picture:

I found this on the internet recently. It was new to me, so it may the same for other fans.

Ann-Margret With Gun

 

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed our 50th anniversary tribute to Viva Las Vegas.

 

© 2013 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.

 

Elvis T-Shirt Review — Summer 2014

Elvis That's All Right T-shirt

It’s here already. The Memorial Day weekend and the de facto start of summer. So, for the sixth year in a row, it’s time for the annual ElvisBlog review of the new Elvis T-shirts. As usual, all the shirts reviewed are from www.shopelvis.com. We’ll start with ten winners and finish up with five we could probably do without.

 

The Winners

 

Sun Records Elvis That’s All Right 60th:

Sun Records Elvis That's All Right 60th T-shirt

This shirt gets a bonus award for the longest name. Of course, EPE has chosen the 60th anniversary of “That’s All Right Mama” as the 2014 theme for Elvis celebrations, so this shirt could sell well at Elvis Week. I like it because of the bright yellow against the black background. The picture of Elvis is pretty good, and I love how he rises out of the hole in the Sun Records 45.

Elvis Crowd Pleaser:

Elvis Crowd Pleaser T-shirt

At first I thought this shirt was overly-busy and a little washed-out looking. However, the kicker here is that it is a two-sided design. For some reason, ShopElvis calls that sublimated. Seems like the visitors to the site would understand two-sided better.

Elvis Crowd Pleaser T-shirt - Back

It’s kind of clever that the back side of this shirt shows an image of Elvis from the back. The price on Elvis Crowd Pleaser is $30, above the $23-27 range of the other shirts, but worth it.

 

The Sun Years:

The Sun Years T-shirt

Sun Records seems to be a popular inspiration for Elvis T-shirt designs, and this is the second to make the 2014 top ten. I like the variety of colors on a black shirt, but why change the Sun label from the familiar yellow to light blue? Still a good shirt.

 

Elvis TCB King:

Elvis TCB King T-shirt

TCB and the lightning bolt have been used many different ways on Elvis T-shirts, but you have to look to find them here. The image of Elvis here in gold and white is outstanding. They should have just called this shirt “King Elvis.”

 

2014 Graceland:

2014 Graceland

As I said last year, I like Elvis to be the subject of T-shirt design, not Graceland. But this shirt combines both. With the year 2014 also in the mix, this one should sell very well to folks who visit Graceland this year. It’s hard to see, but there is a Graceland logo in the center that says “The Home of Elvis Presley” and “Memphis, TN.” I tried to find a bigger picture of the logo on Graceland.com, but no luck. Nothing on Google, either.

 

Elvis Guitar Legend:

Elvis Guitar Legend T-shirt

The name of this T-shirt is a complete fabrication. Elvis has never been considered a guitar legend. However, the shirt reads “The King of Rock and Roll,” not “Guitar Hero,” so it doesn’t matter. The design concept has been used before on shirts for other performers and themes, but it looks fine here, adding color and interest around a B&W photo of young Elvis.

 

Elvis King Sunglasses:

Elvis King Sunglasses

Well, they haven’t run out of new ways to incorporate Elvis’ signature sunglasses into T-shirt designs. This one is pretty clever, but it would be improved if Elvis’ face was in color.

 

Elvis TCB Rhinestone Black Babydoll:

Elvis-TCB-Rhinestone-Black-Babydoll

I have no idea what the babydoll designation means, but this is one you ladies should jump on. The design is good, it is covered with rhinestones, and the price is only $7.

 

Elvis That’s All Right:

Elvis That's All Right T-shirt

My favorite of the new Elvis T-shirts for 2014. The reasons: black shirt, funky graphics on ELVIS, two good color pictures of Elvis, and the Sun Records label.

 

The Losers

Elvis POW:

Elvis POW! T-shirt

This is a ladies T-shirt, so it isn’t the pale pink color that turns me off. And, I love the ELVIS text graphics. It’s the Elvis image that’s wrong. If you want to show him as a boxer, use a shot of him standing with his dukes up, not sitting on a stool. Better yet, show a picture of him beating the crap out of Red West from any of a dozen movies.

 

Elvis Graceland Repeat:

Elvis Graceland Repeat T-shirt

I don’t get this shirt. Why would anybody buy a Graceland shirt when dozens of Elvis shirts are available? Boring, stupid… no way.

 

Muhammad Ali and Elvis:

Elvis and Muhammad Ali T-shirt

I don’t have anything against Mohammad Ali, but I don’t want him on my Elvis T-shirt. Plus, I don’t like any shirt that just has a reproduction of a photo, or album cover, or poster as the art work. Come on, get creative.

 

Elvis Larger Than Life:

Elvis Larger Than Life Sublimated T-shirt

Uh, oh. Another photograph, and this one is huge. The description on the website says this is a two-sided shirt, but no image of the back is shown.

 

The King’s Golden Tuxedo:

The King's Golden Tuxedo

No, no, no! This is simply hideous. Maybe it would work at a Halloween party, if you arrive after everybody has had lots of drinks. However, I will say that the back of this shirt looks pretty cool.

The King's Golden Tuxedo T-shirt - back

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Booby Prize

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For some reason, there were only nine shirts in the Winners section. Here’s a bonus pick to make up for the short count.

2006 Elvis Insiders Conference:

2006 Elvis Insiders Conference  T-shirt

Obviously, this shirt didn’t sell out in 2006, and they are still trying to unload the last of them eight years later. Just give the things to charity and move on. But here’s the kicker. The website listing says the sale price is $11.49, regularly $7.00. Huh?

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Actors Playing Elvis

Buz Luhrmann To Direct Elvis Movie

Two weeks ago, the website The Wrap reported that Australian director Baz Luhrmann is negotiating to do an Elvis movie biography for Warner Brothers. If you are not familiar with his name, Luhrmann’s credits include The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge. Supposedly, the script has already been written by Kelly Marcel, the screenwriter of Saving Mr. Banks.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Two days later, the website DNA reported that Leonardo DiCaprio was the director’s first choice to portray Elvis. Oh, boy. I hope this never happens. DiCaprio is a great actor, but I just can’t see him as Elvis. Please, find somebody else.

Eric Bana

A few years ago, Eric Bana was touted as the next actor to play Elvis in the movies. As stated in a November 5, 2011 ElvisBlog article, I was much more positive about this choice.

 

The topic of actors portraying Elvis has been covered by Wikipedia, and believe it or not, they have a list of 37. Here are some of the most significant.

 

Kurt Russell – Elvis, The Movie (TV movie) – 1979:

Kurt Russel in Elvis the Movie

My vote goes to Kurt Russell for the best portrayal of Elvis. Shelly Winters does a great job as Gladys. Susan Hubley played Priscilla. I guess the role didn’t do much for her career.

Kurt Russel in Elvis the Movie-DVD

If you ever get a chance to see Elvis, the Movie, be sure to watch it.

 

Don Johnson – Elvis and the Beauty Queen (TV Movie) – 1981:

Don Johnson in Elvis and the Beauty Queen

Kurt Russell had the most successful acting career of anyone who played Elvis, but Don Johnson didn’t do too bad either, later starring in the hit TV show Miami Vice.

Elvis And The Beauty Queen DVD Cover

I’m not too crazy about the image they chose for the DVD cover. Stephanie Zimbalist did well after playing Linda Thompson, starring in the TV series Remington Steele for six seasons.

When Don Johnson Was Elvis

While Don Johnson didn’t look just like Elvis, he had the facial features that made him believable as The King.

 

Johnny Harra – This Is Elvis – 1981:

Johnny Harra as Older Elvis

In this movie, four different actors played Elvis at various stages in his life, but Johnny Harra got the role of the older, fatter Elvis.

This is Elvis DVD

Johnny Harra seems to be the only actor who portrayed Elvis in a significant movie that also made a living as an Elvis Tribute Artist.

Johnny Harra in Car

 

Dale Midkiff – Elvis and Me (Four-Hour TV Miniseries) – 1988:

Dale Midkiff as Elvis

Dale Midkiff had a few other acting rolls during his career, but Elvis and Me seems to be the highlight of his career.

Elvis and Me Book

This movie was based on Priscilla’s 1985 book of the same title. Susan Walters portrayed Priscilla in her first major roll. It didn’t seem to do much for her career.

elvis-and-me-1988-tv-miniseries

The love scene in this movie (where they don’t actually make love) is rather interesting. Check it out.

 

David Keith – Heartbreak Hotel – 1988:

David Keith in Heartbreak Hotel

All movies mentioned so far are biographies. However, Heartbreak Hotel is a fictional story about Elvis being kidnapped by a teenager for a present to his mom.

DVD Cover Heartbreak Hotel

I love this movie. David Keith does a great job as Elvis, and Tuesday Weld is superb as the mom with a crush on Elvis.

Tuesday Weld in Heartbreak Hotel

If you haven’t seen Heartbreak Hotel, you’re missing a good one. I highly recommend it.

 David Keith in Heartbreak Hotel

 

Michael St. Gerard – Elvis (Ten-Episode TV Mini-series) – 1990:

Michael St. Gerard as Elvis

Michael St Girard actually had experience portraying Elvis prior to getting this role. He appeared in the Jerry Lee Lewis bio-pic Great Balls of Fire the year before.

Elvis the Series 1990

Thirteen half-hour episodes were filmed, but the series was cancelled after just ten due to declining ratings. I stayed with it until the end, and thought it was pretty good. It covered just 1954 and 1955, so there was no Col. Parker or Priscilla, but a lot of Scotty, Bill and DJ. It deserved a better fate.

Michael St. Gerard  and Elvis

Michael St. Girard had a few more acting rolls, then gave it up and became a preacher.

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Rick Peters – Elvis Meets Nixon (Made-for-Cable Movie) – 1997:

 Elvis Pulling Gun in Doughnut Shop  - Elvis Meets Nixon

This movie played for laughs, and it certainly succeeded. Rick Peters’ twist on Elvis was such a gas. This is another movie about Elvis I would recommend.

Elvis Meets Nixon DVD Cover

The whole story about Elvis’ trip to see President Nixon is so bizarre anyway, it didn’t take much exaggerating in parts for comedic effect.

Elvis Meets Nixon - Smoozing the Srewardesses

I don’t think any other movie showed Elvis smoozing the ladies like this one does, and Rick Peters nailed it. Too bad his acting career didn’t take off after this role.

 

Bruce Greenwood – Bubba Ho-Tep – 2002:

Bruce Campbell as Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep

Bruce Campbell is a delight as a cranky old-geezer Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep.

Bubba Ho-Tep DVD Cover

This is another fictional movie about Elvis, and if you haven’t seen it, you should. Yes, it is kind of strange, and there is a bit of horror in it, but Elvis is portrayed as a hero. When you finish the movie, you will be very proud of Elvis.

Young Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep

This is how Bruce Campbell looks in a flashback about Elvis in his younger days.

 

Jonathan Rhys Meyers — Elvis – The Mini-Series (CBS) – 2005:

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Elvis

I guess two two-hour segments are enough to call it a mini-series, but this was more like a two-part movie. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is an English actor, which seems a strange choice to portray Elvis, but he pulled it off fairly well. He has had an active career since.

Elvis, the Mini Series DVD cover

I’ve had the opportunity to watch this a second and third time, but I limited it to part 1 only. I know conflict is essential to great movies, but I just don’t care to dwell of Elvis and Priscilla’s troubles, or his decent into prescription drug problems.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Elvis with Ann-Margret

No other Elvis movie delves into Elvis’ relationship with Ann-Margret like this film does. A highlight of the film.

 

Robert Patrick – Lonely Street – 2009:

Lonely Street - Robert Patrick as Elvis

This is another fictional movie about Elvis as a senior citizen. Thanks to hours in the make-up chair, Robert Patrick looks very believable as 75 year-old Elvis.

Lonely Street  DVD Cover

Lonely Street was a minor movie at the time, but it’s another one I recommend. It has comedy, mystery, and Elvis is a hero again.

Robert Patrick as T-1000 from Terminator 2

Robert Patrick has had a substantial acting career, but none of his rolls are more memorable that playing T-1000 in Terminator 2.

Lonely Street - Elvis Holding Young Hottie

One of my favorite scenes in Lonely Street is when Elvis totally charms a hottie one-third his age.

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So, that’s the Elvisblog Top Ten list of actors playing Elvis. I never thought about it before, but I seem to prefer the fictional movies about Elvis more than the bio-pics. Maybe that’s because Elvis’ history is a familiar story that has been told many times. And it looks like it will be done again soon. Hopefully, without Leonardo DiCaprio as Elvis.

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Now, the Winners from the Most Recent Elvis Auction

Last week we looked at eleven Elvis items that received no bids at Heritage Auctions’ April 27 Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction. However, there were over sixty items that found new owners, and here are some of the most interesting.

Full-Length Coat with Fur Trim and Cape:

 Elvis' Full-Length Coat With Fur Trim and Cape

The auction website description of this coat used the words dazzling and fantastic, but they put a minimum opening bid of only $5,000 on it. I knew immediately it would easily pass that, but I didn’t think it would go for $30,000 (including 25% fee for the auction house).

Elvis Wearing Full-Length Coat With Fur Trim and Cape

Three bidders battled it out to get this coat, and one reason for its appeal must be the inclusion of two photographs of Elvis wearing it (plus a Letter Of Authenticity from Elvis’ wardrobe valet and friend Richard Davis).

Elvis in Full-Length Coat With Fur Trim and Cape

But I think this coat had one more thing going for it – the “cool” factor. Compare it to the Lansky Bros. blue suit shown last week that didn’t get a bid at $10,000 minimum. The suit had major historical significance, as Elvis wore it during his performances at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas in 1956. However, it wasn’t flashy or funky, just a conservative business suit. If money was no problem, what would you rather have displayed as the centerpiece of your Elvis collection – a blue suit or a cool full-length red coat with a fur cape? Funky wins.

 

Light Blue Suit:

Elvis' Light Blue Suit Given to Bob Luman

Here is a blue suit that did sell, but just barely. One bidder thought it was worth the $7,500 minimum opening price (plus service fee). The website description is a little cryptic, but it seems Elvis wore this suit on the Louisiana Hayride before giving it to country artist Bob Luman. The suit has spent time in the Country Music Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and in the Stars of Country Music Museum travelling exhibit.

Elvis in Light Blue Suit on Album Cover

A LOA was furnished, but the clincher probably was that Elvis is shown wearing the suit on the cover of the posthumous Time-Life CD release, The Elvis Presley Collection.

 

Professional Makeup Case:

Elvis' Make-up Case - closed

Here’s an item the auction seriously undervalued. Estimated to bring $800 and up, it went way up – to $3,750. Elvis gave this expanding make-up case to his buddy Charlie Hodge, who provided the LOA.

Elvis' Make-up Case Open

When closed, this “EP” initialed case measures 9″ x 11.5″ x 7.5″, but when opened, the three stair-stepping trays extend to a height of 13”. According to Hodge, Elvis used the compartments for makeup, jewelry, prescriptions, etc. Included in the auction lot were Elvis’ used bottles of cologne, Jovan and Hai Karate, plus a blue scarf with “Elvis Presley” printed on it, the same type of scarf Charlie kept on stage and handed to Elvis to give to his fans.

Elvis-Make-up-Case-Sonny-West-Carrying

The above photo is kind of dark, but it shows Sonny West carrying the case as he walks behind Elvis. So, this is a strong collectible – “EP” monogrammed make-up case, stage scarf, two bottles of Elvis’ cologne, LOA from a Memphis Mafia buddy, and a supporting photo of a different buddy carrying the case. No wonder it sold for seven times the low minimum bid.

 

Black Velour Bathrobe:

Elvis' Black Velour Bathrobe

This regal bathrobe by Christian Dior is interesting, because more people bid on it than any other Elvis item in the auction. Seven people battled it out, but the robe topped out at only $3,000, including auction house service fee. It has the “cool” factor covered, but no photo of Elvis wearing it was provided, keeping a lid on the price. However, Elvis’ private nurse Letitia (“Tish”) Henley provided the LOA. She worked at Graceland from 1968 to 1977, actually living there with her husband for the last four years.

 

Elvis’ 1962 Financial Statement:

Elvis' 1962 balance sheet

The auction description calls this an extraordinary document, but it’s not a collectible I’d spend my money on. One collector did make the minimum bid and got it for $2,500. Elvis’ 1962 financial statement, prepared by CPAs Spain and Fisher details a few interesting things. His income was evenly split between movies and records, and totaled $13 mllion in 2014 dollars.

Elvis' 1962 balance sheet - net worth

Photos of some of the included exhibits were shown on the auction site. This one shows Elvis’ Total Assets, Total Liabilities, and Net Worth as of 1962. One last thing to note, the Certificate of Authenticity came from The Estate of Elvis Presley at Graceland. I guess EPE didn’t think it was worth keeping.

 

Stage Worn Guitar Strap:

Elvis' Stage Worn Guitar Strap

Here’s another item with a LOA from Charlie Hodge. Elvis possibly gave more clothing and other items to Charlie than any of his other buddies. As the auction website states, Charlie was part of Elvis’ inner circle from 1958 until 1977, and he did many functions. In addition to passing scarves to Elvis on stage, Charlie also sang harmony, acted as stage director, and served as Elvis’ personal assistant while on tour. In the latter capacity, Hodge took care of Elvis’ guitars, periodically changing the straps. According to Hodge, this strap was worn during the filming of Elvis – That’s the Way It Is in 1970.

Elvis on Stage Wearing Guitar Strap

The minimum bid price of just $1,000 seemed low, and bidding confirmed this as the guitar strap topped out at $4,062.

 

Leather Jacket:

Elvis' Leather Jacket

According to the auction website, this light brown leather jacket with coyote fur collar trim is pure Elvis. It must be, because even without a photo of Elvis wearing it, seven bidders ran the price up to $6,875. Elvis’ friend and clothing valet, Richard Davis, provided the LOA, in which he stated, “Elvis liked this style so much that he had it made in different colors.”

Labels in Elvis' Leather Jacket

The other thing this jacket has going for it is the Lansky Bros. label and a separate label that reads “Custom Tailored for Elvis Presley.”

 

Complete Set of Elvis’ Sun Records 78s:

Elvis Presley Sun 78s Complete Set

Most of us think of Elvis’ five releases on the Sun label as 45s, but the older 78 RPM format hadn’t died out yet, and Sun issued them on this format, too. Collectors of Elvis’ records must have seen this as a rare opportunity to purchase all five of the Sun 78s in one fell swoop. The winning bid came in at $2,500. I’m a record collector, too, and I’ve never even seen all five of them together, so this is impressive.

 

Chief Deputy Badge for Lee County Mississippi:

Elvis' Chief Deputy Badge For Lee County Mississippi

This badge is pretty cool, but I didn’t think anybody would bid the high opening minimum. Well, one bidder did and took it home for $6,250 including the auction house service fee. The story behind how the former owner got the badge is interesting. Here’s what the auction website said:

“On September 30 and October 1, 1974 Elvis played in South Bend, Indiana on the campus of Notre Dame University. He and his entourage stayed at the Royal Inn where Anna Niles, worked as a housekeeper, assigned to take care of the King’s room and any associated housekeeping needs. Generous as ever, before he left the hotel Elvis personally thanked the housekeeping crew and signed autographs. Upon his departure, Mrs. Niles discovered a monogrammed leather wallet containing Elvis’ Chief Deputy badge from Lee County, State of Mississippi.”

Wallet for Elvis' Chief Deputy Badge For Lee County Mississippi

“Lee County was the locale of Elvis’ birthplace and childhood home of Tupelo. The wallet also contained Elvis’ Police Officer’s Association membership card from Palm Springs, CA. dated 11/30/70. Mrs. Niles attempted returning the wallet to Elvis, but in response to her letter, she received only a fan club Christmas postcard, postmarked November 29, 1974, which is included here.”

So, somebody on Elvis’ staff blew it, and Mrs. Niles got to keep one of Elvis’ cherished law enforcement badges. Forty years later, her husband was able to turn it into some big-time cash.

 

Custom Embroidered Long-Sleeved Shirt:

Elvis' Embroidered Long-Sleeved Shirt

 We will close with this one last item of clothing, because it has a tender story.  After Elvis purchased this gold shirt, his grandmother, who he called Minnie Mae, embroidered an “E” and a “P” on the shirt pocket, with a 45 record image in-between the two initials.

Custom Embroidery by Elvis' Grandmother Minnie Mae

Can you image how many hours Minnie Mae put into this labor of love for her grandson?

Vernon, Minnie Mae, and Elvis

Vernon, Minnie Mae, and Elvis

The monogrammed shirt sold for $3.750, but we can bet Elvis considered it priceless.

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis Auction Items That Don’t Sell

Mis-Pressed 45 Sun Single Milkcow Blues Boogie

Since 2010, ElvisBlog has posted features on twenty-one different auctions containing significant offerings of Elvis memorabilia. Typically, we look at the items that bring in the most money, but this time we will look at some items that nobody chose to bid on. Like the Sun Records 45 pictured above, offered at the recent Heritage Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction in New York.

 

Mis-Pressed 45 Sun Single “Milkcow Blues Boogie” (Sun 215, 1955)

I never thought this record would have any trouble getting the minimum starting bid of $1,200. Of the five Elvis Sun releases, “Milkcow Blues Boogie” is the rarest and most valuable. In Near-Mint condition, a copy of this record should bring between $1,200-1,800, according the collectors price guides. However, this copy is graded VG5, several notches down the scale.

On the other hand, it has two features that make it extremely rare oddity and therefore worth more. First, the labels are mismatched. The “Milkcow Blues Boogie” side actually plays “You’re a Heartbreaker,” and vice versa. The other anomaly is that the big 45-size hole did not completely punch out. You can see the mark where the punch started but didn’t go through. According to the auction website, they contacted Elvis experts, but none had ever seen a similar specimen before.

If I owned this rare Elvis record, I’d keep offering it for sale on EBay or at auction. Someday, a well-healed collector of Elvis records will want this for his collection and will pay the $1,200.

 

Blue-Wash Denim Suit:

Elvis-Worn Blue Washed Suit

There were three Elvis suits offered at this auction, and two of them didn’t sell. He wore this leisure suit in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the condition is very good. It features a large pointed collar and wide bell-bottoms. However, it failed to attract the minimum opening bid of $4,000.

This supports the theory advanced here before that you won’t get top dollar selling Elvis clothing unless you provide a photo of him wearing it. I’m sure the owner thought the Letter of Authenticity from Ed Parker, Elvis’ friend and Karate instructor, would be enough to justify the price. Plus the inside suit pocket has a Tony Alamo label that says, “Custom Tailored for Elvis Presley.”

Elvis Blue Washed Denim Suit Label

But without a picture of Elvis wearing this suit, bidders shied away. My suggestion is that everyone wishing to sell an item like this should join TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS: The Elvis Forum. Then post a photo of the item and ask if anyone has ever seen a picture of Elvis wearing it. Some of the guys in this forum are like detectives and have incredible resources to find stuff. They seem to love the challenge and will probably come through, but if not, one more Elvis fan will be introduced to this incredibly interesting site.

 

Indian Head Ring:

Elvis-Gifted Indian Head Ring

There were also three Elvis rings included in this latest auction, but the one above did not sell. I’m not surprised. The reason – Elvis never wore it. For the other two rings, the titles of the item descriptions say “Elvis Owned and Worn“, but this ring was just “Elvis Owned” The description notes that the ring was given to Elvis by Felton Jarvis, who produced most of Elvis’ records from the mid-1960s until his death in 1977. But perhaps Elvis thought the ring with an American Indian design featuring polychrome enamel was ugly. I do. Anyway, it must not have meant much to Elvis, who then gave the ring to Sheila Ryan, a girl he dated for a while (who later married actor James Caan).

It didn’t mean much to Elvis memorabilia collectors either, and they passed on the minimum opening bid of $3,000.

 

Rare “Old Shep” Promo Mailing Envelope (1956):

Elvis Old Shep Promo Mailing Envelope

This item really caught my eye when the auction items were first shown. This is not a picture sleeve for the 45 single titled “Old Shep.” It is a mailing envelope. In 1956, RCA produced a one-sided promo-record and sent copies out to radio stations on December 21, 1956. So far, this is the only mailing envelope known to survive. However, that did not make it worth the minimum bid of $2,000.

According to the record collectors’ price guides, the “Old Shep” 45 inside is worth $700 to $800, so maybe $2,000 is a bit rich for the mailing envelope alone. So, the seller should offer this again at a more reasonable price – or get a copy of the record and see what the whole package would bring.

Elvis Fans know “Old Shep” was significant as the first song Elvis performed in public as a 10-year old in 1945. It was never commercially released as a single. However, it was part of the four-song EP Elvis, Volume 2, and it received enough airplay to reach #47 on the Billboard charts.

 

Custom-Made Metal Scrapbook (1969):

Elvis Metal Scrapbook - Cover

Several Colonel Parker items have appeared in the lots of Elvis auction items, but they never seem to do very well. When I saw the minimum bid price of $2,500 on this scrapbook commissioned by Col. Parker, I said “no way,” and I was right.

Elvis Metal Scrapbook -Inside

Sample Inside Pages

Here’s what the auction description had to say about it. “This large (12″ x 22″) scrapbook was one of only four that Colonel Tom Parker commissioned as an in-house display to promote and commemorate Elvis’ triumphant return to live performances on the heels of his legendary NBC-televised “Comeback Special” of 1968. It features a custom-made metal cover with Elvis’ image and logo, with 17-pages chockfull of press clippings from an exciting, pivotal era in The King’s career. In 1969 Presley began a series of sold-out concerts at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.”

The seller would be lucky to get $500 if he puts this collection of newspaper clippings back on sale someday.

 

 

Silk-Rayon Shirt:

Elvis Silk-Rayon Shirt

This long-sleeved shirt with a Sy Devore label had a modest minimum bid price of just $1,000, but it still did not sell. The item description says “Elvis Owned,” not “Elvis Owned and Worn.” Elvis probably did wear the shirt, but there is no photo showing him wearing it to support this.

Also, there is a LOA from David Turner, a man who bought the shirt from the Salvation Army after Vernon donated a number of Elvis’ wardrobe items. Turner never saw Elvis wear the shirt, so of course he couldn’t verify that Elvis ever wore it.

 

UK version of the EP Loving You:

Elvis UK EP Loving You

 In addition to a twelve-song album titled Loving You, Elvis had two 45 RPM EPs (Volumes 1 and 2) with the same title and cover picture. The EPs each had four songs. But RCA did something unusual with the UK version of the EP. They put all eight songs on a 10’ disc that played at 33-1/3. Who knows why they didn’t just put all twelve songs on a 12” record and issue it as the standard album?

So, we have a rarity that seemed like it would bring the $400 minimum bid, but it didn’t. Possibly the reason is that it graded VG-6, a couple of notches down from the preferred Near Mint grade.

 

 Suit Worn at Frontier Hotel Shows:

Suit Elvis Wore at Frontier Hotel Performances

The results on this suit really surprised me.  It seemed like it had so much going for it that bidding would blow past the minimum bid of $10,000 and go for much more.  First, the suit is historically significant – Elvis wore it during his 1956 performances at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas.

 Frontier Hotel Suit - Elvis Wearing

Second, there are numerous photos of Elvis wearing the suit, including one of the cards in the 1956 Topps Elvis series.

Elvis in Frontier Hotel Suit

And finally, the suit bears the famous Lansky Bros. label plus a special one:

Elvis Frontier Hotel Suit - Custom Label

I can’t figure out why no Elvis collector bid $10,000 for this suit. Even excluding jumpsuits, there have been many Elvis clothing items going for more than this (including a coat at this auction that sold for $30,000). If the seller brings this suit back at auction again, I think he will get his price.

 

Fantasia Fiberoptic Lamp:

Elvis-Gifted Fantasia Fiberoptic Lamp

This is just stupid. Elvis gave this spikey lamp to Al Strada, one of his security guys in the 70s. It is unlikely that Elvis even paid for it, because a plaque at the bottom states, “Las Vegas Hilton Elvis Presley August 1975″. When I saw the minimum opening bid of $1,000, I laughed. Try $100 next time and maybe it’ll sell.

We will take a look at the big winners at the Heritage Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction next week.

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 


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