Elvis T-Shirt Review – Summer 2019

The Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer, and that means it’s time for the 9th annual ElvisBlog review of the new arrival Elvis T-shirts. We’ll also look at some recently discounted shirts at ShopGraceland.com. It’s interesting to note what made them a hard sell.

New ones first.

 

ELVIS 68 SPECIAL BLACK LEATHER WOMEN’S SUBLIMATED T-SHIRT:

 

This is an excellent one to start with. Elvis looks great in the ’68 black leather. There’s a million shots of that around, but this one also shows the heads of the girls around the pit for the acoustic set. Nice touch. I don’t know what sublimated means; same with the red tonal graphic background it has, but they work just fine. Here’s a bonus — the design is on the back, too. $29.99

 

JOE PETRUCCIO JUST PRETEND MEN’S T-SHIRT:

 

I love all of Joe Pertruccio’s paintings of Elvis, and ShopGraceland was smart to use several of them on new T-shirts. This is the Sundial jumpsuit Elvis wore on his last concert in 1977. I can’t figure out why this pose is called “Just Pretend,” but it I love Elvis with his back to the crowd and disappearing into the shadows of the stage. $29.99 and worth it.

 

ELVIS KISSING GUITAR WOMEN’S SUBLIMATED T-SHIRT:

 

The website said this was a promotional photo from the early days, and it’s a good choice. I like the way the blue background varies from dark at the shoulders to brighter around Elvis. Of course, those floating hearts are supposed to be emanating from Elvis as he is lovin’ on that guitar, but I think hearts near Elvis’ head is a super concept for a women’s T-shirt. $29.99

 

ELVIS PRESLEY HEARTS PROFILE WOMEN’S SUBLIMATED T-SHIRT:

 

Or, if you don’t want to be subtle with the hearts, here is a beauty for you. Great graphics. And this one is double sided, as well. $29.99. Go get one, ladies.

 

ELVIS PRESLEY FOLLOW THAT DREAM COLD SHOULDER WOMEN’S T-SHIRT:

 

This is the first Elvis T-shirt to feature cold-shoulder cutouts. Unfortunately, the three-word cursive graphic isn’t very eye-catching. Hopefully we’ll see more of this style with better designs. $29.99

 

ELVIS PRESLEY KING OF ROCK N ROLL T-SHIRT:

 

I like red T-shirts, and this is not bad. It would be better if the image of Elvis was blown up about three times. $24.99

 

ELVIS PRESLEY SILHOUETTE COLLAGE 3/4 SLEEVE WOMEN’S T-SHIRT:

 

It looks like most of the best new arrivals are for women. No surprise. I like this one because of the different way they presented the Elvis silhouettes. The 3/4 sleeve and long tail give it a pretty unique appearance. Take another look at the Elvis silhouette on the right. It’s coming up soon on a shirt I do not like.

 

Next are three discounted shirts with numbers on them..

 

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII 45TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM T-SHIRT

 

Well, it’s colorful and all, but this is just weird. There is fine print that says Aloha from Hawaii 1973-2018, but who can see it? That big blue 45 is what jumps out at you. All of these anniversary T-shirts get discounted the next year, and this went from $24.99 to $12.50.

 

ELVIS PRESLEY 41 LOGO T-SHIRT:

 

The website says, “2018 will be the 41st year of Elvis fans from around the world coming together to commemorate Elvis’ life and career.” I guess that’s the politically correct way of saying the 41st anniversary of his death. The out-of-date shirt has been cut from $24.99 to $12.50.

 

JOE PETRUCCIO ELVIS IS BACK 50 WOMEN’S T-SHIRT:

 

Okay, can you figure out what the 50 is all about? Elvis in his ’68 black leather suit should give you a clue. It;s a shame to see any Joe Petruccio arywork get used on a shirt that will be obsolete in a year and discounted.  This went from 29.99 to $20.99.

 

How about a couple I really don’t like?

 

GRACELAND ROCK GUITAR FRAME RAGLAN:

 

The website says this one is sold out, so somebody must like it. The raglan-cut long sleeve design is a plus. My big complaint is one I have voiced here before. Too much Graceland, not enough Elvis. It costs $29.99. Why bother when that much money will get you some great shirts that feature Elvis?

 

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII 45TH ANNIVERSARY WOMEN’S T-SHIRT:

 

The large silhouette in this design is the one I told you to keep in mind earlier. However, here it looks like a raging Godzilla, mostly because the overlaid concert photography that makes him look scary. Here’s a blow-up.

Then there’s the little silhouette over his neck. That looks like Elvis is getting a radioactive charge that’s about to crumble him to the floor. This T-shirt is a complete mess. It used to be priced at $29.99, now reduced to $15. Good luck.

 

ShopGraceland also has a selection of $14.99 shirts – the original price, not a discounted one. I wondered if there were any pleasant surprises. No. I should have known why they were cheap.

 

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There are several more of these uninspired designs that feature Graceland with very little Elvis. If you had $30 to spend, what would you rather have two Graceland T-shirts or one good Elvis T-shirt? Like the one below.

 

JOE PETRUCCIO TAKE MY HAND MEN’S T-SHIRT:

 

I saved my favorite for last. It’s another Joe Petruccio painting, this time of Elvis in the ’68 black leather. The addition of the marquee stage sign with the lights in white, not red, is masterful. This shirt is no frills, but still packs a big punch. $29.99

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 12

Elvis on his Knees - 1st April 1957 - Buffalo NY

This photo shows why Elvis had to ditch the gold lame pants. He liked getting down on his knees while performing, but after a while, the gold started to wear off. According to the tag on this picture, it was snapped on April 1, 1957 in Buffalo NY.

 

1957 Elvis Seattle concert

Here’s Elvis at it again later that year in Seattle.

 

Elvis' Smalest Crowd Ever

I labelled this one, “Elvis’ Smallest Concert Crowd.” To be honest, I screen grabbed it from an Elvis movie. Do you know which one it was?

 

Elvis Presley TCB Band

I’ve had fun trying to figure out who is who here. The easy ones are Charlie Hodge – top right, Ronnie Tutt – bottom right, John Wilkinson – bottom left, and James Burton top left,. I’m pretty sure that’s Jerry Scheff in front of Burton. So, that leaves the two guys in the middle. Any ideas? I did some research, and one of them has to be Larry Muhoberac, the keyboard player for less than a year before Glenn D. Hardin joined the group.

 

Two Elvis bootleg LP's that featured the Elvis Ed Sullivan recordings

This is the cover of a bootleg album. It featured the songs Elvis performed on the three Ed Sullivan shows.

 

Elvis and Mary Ann Mobley

Obviously, this shot didn’t appear in the movie Girl Happy, but Elvis and Mary Ann Mobley seem to be enjoying themselves during a break in the filming..

 

Elvis And Eddy Arnold

This is Eddie Arnold with Elvis. Neither one seems to be enjoying this encounter. Both have their arms folded, and Elvis is looking away.

 

Elvis Blocking the Light

I like to put photos of young Elvis into these pictorials. Unfortunately, the tag said nothing about where or when it was taken.

( Thanks to two reader comments, we now have the uncropped photo and an explanation of what is going on.)

This is cousin Gene Smith with Elvis on May 27, 1956. in Dayton, Ohio. They are playing a made-up game they used to play when they were bored to pass the time. It was possibly a truth or consequence type, where the loser would get smacked on the forehead when they answered wrong.

Thank you Sandy and Leon’a for providing this.

 

3AM Concert Labor Day, September 2, 1973

In the second Eye Candy for Elvis Fans post, I showed a poster for his 3am performance at the Las Vegas Hilton on September 3, 1973. Here is a photo that is supposed to be from that concert, but I don’t believe it. The audience is too big for a hotel ballroom.

3AM Concert Labor Day, September 2, 1973 - Blowup of Stage

I enlarged and cropped to get this view of the stage. It might hold Elvis and the band, but where would the Stamps and the Sweet Inspirations fit? The background is too plain for a classy hotel venue. This has to be somewhere else.

 

Dirty Elvis in Jailhouse Rock

This is the dirtiest you will ever see Elvis. It was on the screen in Jailhouse Rock for a just a couple of seconds, so you hardly had time to notice it.

 

Charlie Hodge, Lamar Fike, Elvis and Rex

The caption under this is hard to read, but it says, “Charlie, Lamar, Elvis and Rex (laughing) in front of the house with a dog.” Charlie Hodge, Lamar Fike, and Rex Mansfield were Elvis’ buddies when they served together in Germany. However, I don’t see a guy laughing.

Anyway, the house mentioned in the tag is this one:

Elvis' Home in Germany

 

 

Elvis in front of Jukebox - Warrior Hotel, Sioux City, Iowa, May 23, 1956

Elvis enjoying free time before performing at the Warrior Hotel, Sioux City, Iowa, May 23, 1956. Guess he hadn’t gotten into big, expensive watches yet.

 

Elvis Army Photo

Think about this. Your brother gives you an autographed Elvis photo he got while they were in the Army. Then a friend of yours who doesn’t like Elvis tears it up. That would make her an ex-friend in my book.

Reader Kathy Kessel says the other fellow in the picture is not her brother and wonders who he is. It’s a long shot, but does anyone have an idea?

 

Elvis in front of Gold Curtain

Let’s end with a splash. How do you like that gold curtain? I didn’t know that Elvis made curtain calls.

 

 

(Note: The movie with Elvis’ smallest concert crowd is Loving You, and he sang the title track.)

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

Colorful Elvis Modern Art

I’ve been collecting images of different artist depictions of Elvis for years, and I finally got almost enough modern art pictures for a blog post. So, I did the Google thing and found some more good ones. Enjoy.

Elvis by Dean Russo

This is a painting from artist Dean Russo. After looking at this unnamed print several times, I think I could do with less shapes, especially the worm over Elvis’ left eye and the small sharks teeth scattered about. Nice use of color, though. If this strikes your fancy, click here.

 

Elvis Painting by Fabian Charreno

I can see elements of Elvis, John Lennon and Donald Trump in this one. However, you know how I much I talk about Elvis’ eyes. Artist Fabian Carreno really didn’t capture them, in my opinion, but it doesn’t distract too much from the other good work. Click here if interested.

 

Elvis on Bike

I like this Elvis print on dhgate.com because it shows his full body, not just his face. This is one of my favorites in this selection. For some reason, they didn’t give the artist’s name. Click here if interested

 

Elvis Painting by Potrebbero Piacerti

According to the website, one of the best places to display this painting is the baby room. I don’t know about that, but it sure would look good in the living room. I think artist Potrebbero Piacerti did an excellent job of using bold colors to enhance a wonderful image of Elvis. Click here to find out more.

 

Elvis - Good Eyes by adisetia72

Now here is an image that does capture Elvis’ intense eyes. Painted by adisetia72, it is for sale on many online sites that feature modern art prints, and I would imagine it sells well. Very fine job. Click here.

 

ELVIS KING OF HEARTS T-SHIRT

This isn’t a print. It’s actually the image on a T-shirt titled Elvis – King of Hearts. It’s a little too washed-out for my taste, but I can see how it might appeal to others.

 

The King Elvis by Istikhar on Deviant Art

There are way more Elvis paintings with him facing to the right than left, so that’s one reason why I like this one. Also, please note that all the colored parts of Elvis’ face are straight-line shapes — no brush strokes. The painting is by Istikhar on the Deviant Art website. Check it and other goodies here.

 

Elvis King of the Sea by Doug Auld

This is a serigraph (whatever that is) signed by the artist, Doug Auld. It’s too weird for my taste, by I am impressed with his ability to pull off an Elvis image using fish. Appropriately, it is titled “ELVIS – King of the Sea.” Click here if you like it and have over $400 to spend.

 

Elvis - Suspicious Minds by Lobo

This print by the artist Lobo is titled “Suspicious Minds”. I guess it is okay to take an Andy Warhol concept and take it to another level. The more I look at this, the more I like it. Click here for more info.

 

Elvis Painted by Oleg Cameira

There are brush strokes galore on this painting by Oleg Cameira on Saatchiart.com. I see a touch of sadness, probably because of all the blue colors. Nicely done, but not one of my favorites. Click here to learn more.

 

Elvis Painting on My Pop art

I found this image on Pinterest a while ago and traced it back to the website for My Pop Art. Now, I can’t find it on there to give you a link. That’s a shame, because this one is top of the line when it comes to Elvis Pop Art.

 

I hope you enjoyed this little Elvis art gallery.

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

What It Was Like Discovering Elvis in 1956

Last week, frequent ElvisBlog commenter Katgirlblue wrote,

”Wow! You were a teenager in 1956?!! You actually witnessed the early explosion of rock ‘n roll and the Elvis revolution!? I can only imagine how great that must have been…. I’m so jealous.”

That reminded me I had written an article that touched on this subject in the Winter 1999 issue of Elvis International magazine.

Elvis International Article

 

The article went back to the year when I discovered Elvis. Of course, everybody discovered Elvis that year. He blasted into stardom and took us teenagers along for the ride.

However, 44 years later (back in 1999), I couldn’t remember exactly when I first connected with Elvis. So, I watched videos of all of Elvis’ 1956 TV appearances to find clues.

Elvis 56

It was pretty fun research to do, and it paid off. I was able to make an exact determination of my Elvis epiphany and wrote about it.

For this ElvisBlog post, I scanned the article, cut it up, and pasted it in sections. I stuck in relevant pictures to break up the long blocks of text. I hope you enjoy my personal Elvis story.

 

Joe Niagara

 

Elvis With Dorsey BrothersElvis with Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey

 

 

(Magazine format changed from 2-column to 3-column at this point)

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s an interesting endeavor for a writer to critique something he wrote twenty years ago.  I am disappointed in myself for for the double that year.  The folks at Elvis International didn’t catch it either.

As I read it today, this story seems to wander a bit. It starts out about the Artist of the Century, and then goes into my search to determine when I discovered Elvis. It was seeing him on the Milton Berle show, but then I continued to describe his appearances on the Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan shows. And finally, because Sullivan showed him from the waist up, I explained how Elvis used his eyes and hands to connect with us fans.

If I had been writing ElvisBlog back then, I would have had enough subjects for four different posts.

 

Anyway, in spite of the wandering narrative, I hope you enjoyed this.

 

 

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

 

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

 

National Pretzel Day — Elvis Style

Did you know that April 26 is National Pretzel Day? I didn’t, until I saw it on the news this morning, and that worked out well for me.

I’ve been putting together a new post that has come along much slower than expected, pushing its posting beyond this weekend. I needed something to plug the gap, and a quick Google search provided a few connections between Elvis and pretzels.

 

Round Elvis Frosted-Pretzel Tin

There have been all sorts of food items capitalizing on Elvis’ popularity, including Bar-B-Q sauce, hot chocolate, candy, and wine. The above tin contains frosted pretzels, although the website did not include a photo of them.

 

Elvis Guitar-Shaped Pretzel Tin

Same thing here – frosted pretzels in a guitar-shaped tin, and no picture of them.

 

Elvis with Pretzel Hair

I used to think the worst hair on an Elvis picture was the little green leaves that grew on Chia Elvis, but pretzel hair is equally bad.

 

Pretzel Elvis

And someone has drawn a pretzel Elvis. I can’t figure out why they went with a blue pretzel.

 

I had to change my Google search to pretzel Elvis, rather than Elvis pretzel. That one brought up a tribute artist named Elvis Pretzel. I’ll spare you the picture of him.

 

Happy National Pretzel Day

 

 

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

 

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

Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlog Articles

Vegas Meowvis Pawsley-T-shirt

Do you remember the t-shirt I panned because the cat Elvis looked like he had a broken neck? Well, it turns out you get something good if you crop the picture just right.

Incredible Cat Elvis

How difficult is the challenge to draw recognizable elements of both a cat and Elvis in one picture? To me, the artist totally pulled it off. Over the years, I have posted concert pictures showing the intensity of Elvis’ eyes while performing. These eyes here are more subtle, but they are good, half-looking over the iconic Elvis shades. Please note the lip snarl on the cat. I don’t know why anyone would want to create a Cat Elvis, but I am impressed by the results.

 

Memphis Grizzlie Blocking Elvis Taking a Basketball Shot

Just last week, I posted this picture of a Memphis Grizzlie blocking an Elvis’ shot. That bear would have a lot tougher time against this Elvis.

Dunking Elvises

Notice the angled trampoline and the double landing pads. I guess these guys do flips before dunking the basketball. Anybody know who they are?

 

2012 ElvisBlog post about Jailhouse Rock Image

It’s been seven years since I did this post showing a lot of variations folks had created from the most favored pose on the right.

Elvis and Rock & Roll

This is pretty cool. It connects Elvis with early Rock ‘n Roll. You’ve got the 50s diner floor tile and the old album on the wall. Well done.

 

Chubby Checker

Do you remember the post about Chubby Checker performing on the Graceland Soundstage on June 22? Well, check out what that has morphed to:

Fabulous 50s Weekend at Graceland

Fabulous 50s Weekend sounds great to somebody like me who actually lived through the 50s. My four years of high school ran from 1956 to 1960, so I was a teenager during those most wonderful years of early rock and roll. I would love to go to this weekend if I could.

Here is more detail on all the good stuff they’ve planned for the Fabulous 50s Weekend:

Fabulous 50's Weekend Events at Graceland.

Note where I’ve marked the Graceland Exhibition Center. Last week I was searching for this venue, and now it shows up here. Those are three good-sounding exhibits.

I told you I’ve been  searching for it on Graceland.com/news since February, and still no pictures of the Graceland Exhibition Center have showed up. Can’t be long now.

 

One more thought on the Fabulous 50s Weekend. Chubby Checker was not a 50s rocker. His song “The Twist” entered the Billboard Top 40 in August 1960. One month later I started college at Penn State. We did an incredible amount of twisting my freshman year. “The Twist” reached #1 and stayed on the charts for 15 weeks.

However, “The Twist” had a second life. According to Billboard:

“’The Twist’ was the only single to be No. 1 twice on the Hot 100, in two different chart runs. After topping the chart in 1960, the dance caught on with the older generation. Checker was invited to perform “The Twist” on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Oct. 22, 1961, prompting a re-release of the single and a full-page ad in Billboard that proclaimed, “‘The Twist’ dance rage explodes into the adult world!” The grown-ups bought enough copies to send the song back to No. 1 in early 1962.”

But, who cares if Chubby Checker is really a 60s rocker. He’s going to put on a great show at Graceland.

 

Mount Rockmore

The first Eye Candy post featured this design called Mt. Rockmore. From left to right, we have Elvis, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Jimi Hendrix.

Tiki Gods of Rock

Some fool tried to do a different version on Tiki poles. And they did a horrible job on Elvis. Makes him look like a criminal.

Mount Hollywood by Renato Casaro

Elvis looks way better on this, called Mt. Hollywood. Actually, they all look pretty good.

 

Alternate Kid Galahad (Pugno Proibito) posters from Italy

Two weeks ago, I noted how this Italian poster for Kid Galahad made it seem like Charles Bronson, not Elvis, was the star of the movie. I said he must have been really popular in Italy in 1962 for them to manipulate things like they did on this poster.

Then I heard from regular reader cc rider who said, “The Italian poster is a release made in the 70s. Bronson was very famous in Italy after he made Sergio Leone‘s “Once Upon a Time in the West”, in 68.”

So, it seems they re-released Kid Galahad in Italy in the 70s to capitalize on his fame.

Kid Galahad Italian Poster Forbidden Fist

This is also an Italian poster for Kid Galahad, but it must be from 1962 because Elvis is clearly the lead character, and Charles Bronson has fifth billing. The movie’s title translates to Forbidden Fist.

Kid Galahad Spanish Poster - Floor of Canvas

Charles Bronson must have been hot in Spain, too, in the 70s. He still gets fifth billing, but his two pictures are much more the focus than the two of Elvis. The title translates to Floor of Canvas, which refers to a boxing ring, but that seems like a stupid title to me.

 

A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.

I posted this shot of a mob of Elvis fans two weeks ago. Regular reader Sandra Van Horne advised that the photo was on Scotty Moore’s website with this caption: “Stage Door Glimpse of Elvis Starts Riot – Aug. 3, 1956 Miami.” Sandra also sent the text of a Miami Daily News article that read:

“After the first Olympia Theater appearance of the shouting shake-dancer, known to teenagers as “The Pelvis,” a crowd estimated at 2,000 became hysterical, tried to break a police line in rush for the SE 2nd Avenue stage entrance when Presley was seen briefly at an upstairs fire escape door. Police, losing to waving fans later regained ground in a big push back to the sidewalk line at the barber pole (top right in photo). The street was blocked off. What’s all the fuss about? Fans wanted just a signature or sign from the vaudeville Valentino.”

I’m not crazy about the lame snake-dancer or vaudeville Valentino references. But the fan hysteria mentioned in the press report had another result as shown in this photo.

Elvis with Ripped Pants after 1956 Miami Concert

That’s right — the fans ripped off one leg of Elvis’ pants. Miami has been the home to another rock star and pants episode. It’s where Jim Morrison dropped his pants on stage and got in all kinds of trouble.

 

Thanks to cc rider and Sandra Van Horne for their help in making this post.

 

 

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

 

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Searching for the Graceland Exhibition Center

Wall Street Journal Article on Graceland Trying to get Tax Breaks from Memphis

This is an article in the April 8 issue of the Wall Street Journal. The title is wrong. It should say, “EPE Pressures Memphis to Dig Deep to Keep Graceland.”

For two years EPE has been trying to get tax breaks from the city of Memphis to help pay for another $100 million in expansions. It worked four years ago when the city gave EPE $79 million in tax incentives. The timing would suggest this helped the Guest House and/or Elvis Presley’s Memphis become realities.

But it’s tougher to get the money this time. Part of the expansion EPE is doing is a 6,200 seat performance arena, and there is a dispute because of a deal the city has with the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team and the FedEx Forum where they play.

Memphis Grizzlie Blocking Elvis Taking a Basketball Shot

The Memphis Grizzlies’ have a strange lease agreement with the FedEx Forum that says city funding can’t be used for a new venue that seats more than 5,000 people and would compete with the Forum.  Why would a basketball team care about that?  FedEx is the one benefiting from this provision.

Last October, EPE filed a suit in U.S. District Court that alleged a delay in the Land Use Control Board’s consideration of the Graceland expansion plan was meant to punish EPE. Apparently that suit hasn’t been enough, so Joel Weinshanker, EPE managing partner, has thrown out the most amazing negotiating chit.

Wall Street Journal Article on Graceland Trying to get Tax Breaks from Memphis - Blow Up

What a ballsy move. He is threatening to disassemble the Graceland mansion and rebuild it in Dubai or somewhere. He’s got to know that wouldn’t work. The Guest House and Elvis Presley’s Memphis would be headed toward closure without Graceland mansion as the draw.

However, I am impressed by the move. It got lots of press in Memphis and actually might speed a resolution.

 

But what’s this about a 6,200 seat arena?

Graceland Expansion Projects

 

This picture came from memphisdailynews.com. It is the site plan EPE submitted with their application for the tax breaks. Down at the bottom center you will recognize Elvis Presley’s Memphis. The biggest building in it is the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. But compare that to the size of the three buildings in yellow on the left.

According to news reports, they are the 6,200-seat concert arena, an 80,000-square-foot exhibition center, and a manufacturing factory that would make tourist souvenirs, Americana crafts and other items. The factory is touted as potentially employing 1,000 people. That could be a sweetener EPE included to help get city approval.

It certainly should cause some of the companies with licenses from EPE to start worrying whether they will be renewed once Graceland gets into the souvenir making business.

Take another look at the site plan above. The oval around the top building in yellow shows my guess which one is the concert arena. I tried to blow up the picture to read the text on the buildings, but I couldn’t make them out. However, you will notice a covered entrance from the parking lot, which is a pretty good clue. There will certainly be a big announcement about the concert arena coming soon, so we’ll know where it is and what it looks like.

Similar information about the 80,000-square-foot exhibition center should come out even sooner — possibly this weekend. The reason is that in five weeks a big event will be held there.

Hallmark Wedding Weekend at Graceland

The schedule for the Hallmark Channel’s June Wedding Celebration was released earlier this week. There are big events planned for the Graceland Soundstage, the Chapel in the Woods, and in the open area of Elvis Presley’s Memphis. But there are also a number of events scheduled in something called the Hallmark Channel Lounge… located in the Graceland Exhibition Center.

These include “All Day Drop-In Activities” from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on both days. There are also two autograph sessions each day, and a “Lucky in Love” game show hosted by D J Argo of SiriusXM Elvis Radio on Saturday. On Sunday, there is an “Early Riser Bagel and Bingo party.

This is a pretty good way to open a brand new facility. It’s coming soon, so we can expect plenty of press releases announcing the new Graceland Exhibition Center.

I first saw mention of it back in late February when the schedule for Elvis Week 2019 was announced.

Elvis Week Music Pavillion

The all-new TCB Pass for $28.75 is a very good deal, and it includes unlimited access to the Music Pavilion… located in the Graceland Exhibition Center. No more “Entertainment Tent” this year. Now you get inside air-conditioned comfort with food and beverage stations.

This early mention of the Graceland Exhibition Center caught my eye. I Googled it hoping to see a picture of what it looked like. Nothing came up. I tried on Graceland.com/news, and there was nothing there either.

I checked again today, and there are still no pictures of the Graceland Exhibition Center. That is about to change.

 

 

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

 

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

 

Eye Candy (2)….for Elvis Fans

Eye Candy Definition

 

You’re not going to find anything intellectually demanding on these Eye Candy posts, but there will be some superficially attractive and entertaining stuff you might like.

 

Kurt Russel as Elvis Shooting TV

This is Kurt Russell on the ABC TV movie titled Elvis that aired on February 11, 1979. Fortunately, it was later released on DVD, and I have a copy. It might still be available out there, and if you can find it on line for cheap, and still have a player, you ought to get this one. It’s definitely one of the better Elvis bio-flicks.

If you thought this scene was the one where Elvis shoots the TV, you’re right.

 

Smiling Gladys Presley

The tagline says it all, except how nice it is to see Gladys smiling. There’s not many photos like that, and this one is really good.

 

New Frontier Hotel Postcard

You probably have seen this postcard’s photo before, but I found the message on the reverse side interesting:

The new “Out of this World” hotel, where the spectacular Venus Room nightly offers the finest of stage show productions. The hotel’s Cloud 9 Lounge and Planet Room are unique and indescribably beautiful.

Originally, the hotel had a western theme and was simply named the Frontier Hotel. Then they redid it with a space-age theme and changed the name to New Frontier. I wonder why they still had the dead tree in their landscaping. Looks more like the old west.

 

Alternate Kid Galahad (Pugno Proibito) posters from Italy

This looks like a poster for a Charles Bronson movie, doesn’t it?. I looked up the Italian-to-English translation of the title, and it is “The Executioner of the Ring.” And the subtitle translates to “Forbidden Fist.” Both sound like what you would expect for a Charles Bronson movie.

But look at the bottom left where the co-stars are listed as Elvis Presley, Gig Young, and Lola Albright. Hey, this movie is actually Kid Galahad where Elvis is the star and Charles Bronson was a co-star. He must have been really popular in Italy in 1962 for them to manipulate things like they did on this poster. I’m sure the ticket buyers were thrilled to sit through eight Elvis songs.

 

Metal Elvis -- Raw and Rockin'

Did you know there was a band called Metal Elvis? The guy who looks like Elvis has the mic, so he must be the singer. There’s a guitar player that looks like Slash from Guns ‘n Roses, and a drummer doing the KISS thing. I can’t even tell if the other guitar player is a guy or a girl. Well, we’ll give them good marks for creativity, but if they’ve had any hits, I’m not aware of them

 

Elvis Made by a 3D Printer

This is a plastic Elvis made by a 3D printer. I can’t figure out what’s up with his left arm and hand.

There’s been all kinds of strange Google searches that brought people to ElvisBlog, but never Mutant Plastic Elvis. There was Black Midget Elvis one time, though.

 

3AM Concert Labor Day, September 2, 1973

This is a poster for an Elvis concert at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1973. What caught my eye is the time of the concert. 3 AM. Is there any other entertainer in history who performed at 3 in the morning?

This was the closing show of Elvis’ Summer Festival appearances at the Hilton. An article on elvispresleymusic.com.au says the concert is now considered by many as the most remarkable and unusual concert that Elvis ever performed.

I’m pretty sure he had performed two shows earlier at the regular times. So, that would be three complete concerts in an eight or nine-hour period. That’s impressive. Elvis must have still been in good health in 1973 to get through that.

 

Elvis Presley's Memphis

The current Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Graceland is actually the second time the name has been used. It was a restaurant that EPE opened in 1997 in the old Lansky Bros. clothing store building on Beale St. Supposedly, it was sub-par food wise and lost millions. It closed in 2003.

 

Bassoon Player in Elvis Jumpsuit

Nothing makes a bassoon player stand out more than performing in an Elvis jumpsuit. The music is no better, but he is more interesting to watch.

 

Pentatonix - I can't Help Falling in Love With You

I never heard of Pentatonix, but I found a video of them singing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” on YouTube. Whoever wrote the above quote must really like five-part acapella harmonies. It’s different than Elvis’ version, but not better to my ears.

 

3 Muppet Elvises

Are you familiar with the Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Elves and the Shoemaker? It is an 1806 story about a poor shoemaker who gets much-needed help from elves.

The Muppet Classic Theater once did an adaption of the story featuring Kermit the Frog as the shoemaker, who makes shoes so ugly that nobody will buy them. The banker demands that he and his nephew Robin pay half of what they owe him the next day. Robin wishes for a miracle, and three elves come and make blue suede shoes that people will buy.

Check out the Muppets version of the three elves… or should we say Elvises.

 

 

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Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 11

I haven’t done this in three months, and my files are full of stuff to show you.

Elvis Performing on a Flat-bed Truck

This is obviously from the very early days. Elvis and the guys are performing on a flat-bed truck. I especially like the picnic table right in front. Elvis definitely paid his dues. Can anybody identify this show?

 

Elvis and the Teen Town Singers

I can’t say that I ever heard of the Teen Town Singers. But how could they miss with those cool hats?

 

Elvis and 7 Chicks

Here’s some nice artwork. I think it’s a Italian poster for an Elvis movie. Let’s see, there’s Elvis and seven girls in bikinis. Could it be Clambake or Spinout? No, Bagnino means lifeguard in Italian, so the movie had to be Fun in Acapulco.

 

Elvis on location in Florida with co-star Anne Helm from Follow That Dream.

This is Elvis with Anne Helm, his costar in Follow That Dream. You’ve probably read the same stuff I have that says there was some serious kissing between these two off screen.

 

Well It's 1 for the Money

Well It's 1 for the Money - Copy

This is clever.

 

Speaking of Blue Suede Shoes, how do you like this picture?

Elvis Presley Autographed Facsimile Signed Blue Suede Shoes Poster 24 x36

This is a 24 x36 poster with a wonderful shot of Elvis. That is a fabricated signature at the bottom.

 

Elvis Taking A Break - Flaming Star

Here is Elvis taking a break from filming Flaming Star. He’s got the Indian make-up on his face and neck, but the rest of his body looks pretty white.

 

Elvis with Fans in Las vegas

This is Elvis with fans in Las Vegas. How do you like that coat? How do you like that hairdo?

 

Elvis Disco

The Elvis Disco was alive and well in 2018.

All Visual – All Night – Elvis Presley – Done Right…. OK!!

 

1960-04-20 train to California - Elvis with Joe, Charlie and Sonny

This was taken on April 4, 1960 during a train ride to California. With Elvis are Joe, Charlie, and Sonny. Don’t they all look young?

 

Elvis Presley and Scotty Moore between shows in the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton - May 27, 1956.

If you’ve been reading ElvisBlog for a while, you know I’m a big fan of Scotty Moore. This is a nice candid shot of Elvis and Scotty working on a song backstage before a performance at the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton on May 27, 1956.

 

Elvis Performing on May 27, 1956

Here is another photo from that show. But check out this.

Scotty Moore and Elvis Floating in Space

I love this version for the way Scotty and Elvis are lifted off the background, and they just seem to be hovering in space while Scotty is playing guitar and Elvis is dancing. I think this is the best picture there is of the two of them together.

 

Elvis and Bobby Dick

The small print in parentheses says, “Bobby’s the short one.” He’s also the one with the worst last name. The kids back in high school must have given him a lot of grief about that.

 

Elvis Presley and Carolyn Jones . She holds a cup of tea.

It looks like Carolyn Jones was drinking a cup of tea when Elvis moved in on her. Do you think she spilled any? If that had been you Elvis was smooching, could you have kept from spilling the tea?

 

Elvis is the air - Blue hawaii

So what do you think? Is this Photoshopped or could Elvis actually jump that high?

 

May 26, 1955 - Elvis Presley with Jimmie Rodgers Snow on Elvis´ pink Cadillac Fleetwood in Meridian, Mississippi - Jimmie Rodgers Festival parade....

The website where I found this shot had this tagline:

May 26, 1955 – Elvis Presley with Jimmie Rodgers Snow on Elvis´ pink Cadillac Fleetwood in Meridian, Mississippi – Jimmie Rodgers Festival parade.

Jimmy Rodgers Snow was Hank Snow’s son. Elvis said he bought this pink Caddy for his mom, but she didn’t drive, so he obviously had other motivations. This looks like a pretty good use for the car to me.

 

A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.

The tagline for this photo said: “A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.” I wish there had been more information. It is a legit photo because you can see one girl holding up a picture of Elvis and a couple of folks are wearing those Elvis hats the Colonel sold at every concert. Can anybody identify where it occurred?

The photo certainly paints a graphic picture of the impact Elvis had with teenagers early in his career. Pretty impressive.

 

 

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

 

 

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What Do Chubby Checker and George Thorogood Have in Common?

They’re coming to Graceland.

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

SoundStage A ( Now Graceland Soundstage)

Since renamed Graceland Soundstage

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

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

 

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

New Daisy Theater

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

 

Shawn Klush at the New Daisy Theater

 

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

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

Young Chubby Checker

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

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

Chubby Checker in 2014

 

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

Chubby Checker Penis Measuring App

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

Graceland Live

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

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

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

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

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

Allman Betts Band – Friday, May 3                 ditto

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hot Tuna – Sunday, Sept 1                        ditto

 

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

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

Graceland Soundstage State of the Art

Premium Bars

 

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

George Thorogood

 

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

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

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

George Thorogood Gut-busting Music

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

 

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

 

Graceland Live Alt Logo

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

 

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

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

 

Two Giant Screens at Graceland Soundstage

 

 

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

 

 

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