Monthly Archives: January 2014

Planet Elvis

If you are a news junkie like me, you’re probably aware of the buzz about this recent New York Times Magazine cover.

 New York Times Magazine Cover

The subtitle is:

The gravitational pull of a possible 2016 campaign is bringing all the old Clinton characters into her orbit.

Well, Elvis has pulled all of us fans into his orbit for over fifty years, so I wondered if there had ever been any reference to Planet Elvis. I went to Google, the Exalted Source of All Knowledge, and did an image search for Planet Elvis.  I had to scroll down the results for many pages before coming to what I wanted, but there was some interesting stuff on the way.

 

Elvis - Prince from Another Planet

When Elvis gave his four-show block of concerts at Madison Square Garden in June 1972, there were positive reviews all over the media. The most memorable line was in the New York Times, who said about Elvis, “He looked like a prince from another planet.”

 

Planet Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii
I should have known this image would turn up in the search results. The planet is earth, and the satellite is beaming Elvis to all parts of it. This is a good concept for Planet Elvis.

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Elvis Has Left the Planet

I love this T-Shirt. What a clever twist on Al Dvorin’s classic line at the end of Elvis’ 1970s concerts: “Elvis has left the building.” The phrase has since become a popular culture catchphrase, sometimes even a humorous punch line, but this is the best adaptation so far.

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Elvis Left the Planet

You might say this is a variation on the ‘Elvis has left the planet’ idea.

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Elvis on Karaoke Planet

This sounds like fun. Has there ever been a Karaoke party where nobody sang an Elvis song? Hard to imagine.

 

Elvis on Planet Football

I never heard of Planet Football, but I’m glad Elvis lives on it.

 

Planet Elvis Cartoon

Has any celebrity been featured in more cartoons than Elvis? This one is pretty good.

 

Multi Elvis Globe

There is no text at all on this image, so how does Google Images know to make it a result in a search for the words Planet Elvis? Maybe the Exalted Source of All Knowledge is magic, too. To me, it looks more like a fortune teller’s ball than a planet. But, it’s still a nifty image.

 

Painted Elvis - Man on the Moon

The site with this image didn’t have anything much to say about it. Maybe this is the artist’s interpretation of the man on the moon.

 

Elvis and Planets

This is more like it. Here’s my interpretation: Planet Elvis with its moon circling by, earth off in the distance, and a white hot vortex sucking in all the Elvis music. What do you think?

 

Planet Elvis

Finally. I knew there had to be a picture of Planet Elvis out there somewhere. Hillary wants to be the President, but Elvis is already the king.

 

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

 

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Elvis Scrapbooks — Part 5

Back in 2011, ElvisBlog took a four-part look at a big scrapbook compiled by a loyal Elvis Fan. Recently, I came into possession of another Elvis scrapbook.

Elvis Fan Scrapbook Cover

Like the earlier one, this scrapbook had all sorts of pictures and small newspaper clippings posted on the pages. However, it also had numerous larger newspaper articles (mostly published in the first few years after Elvis’ death) stored in the back of the book. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting elements of this scrapbook.

 

Dear Abby - Date with Elvis

This is a pretty busy page, but the best thing to me is the letter to Dear Abby at the top left, which is exactly what the title says – an advertisement for a date with Elvis. Here are the key parts:

“DEAR ABBY: Please don’t think I am some kind of kook. I am an attractive 24-year-old, level-headed girl who would like to know if there is a way I can get a date with Elvis… I know there must be at least five-million other girls who would like to date him, and he has to date someone, so why not me? I honestly believe I could show him a good time.”

Hmm, it sounds like ‘date’ and ‘good time’ might be a code words for something else, but it must have cleared Dear Abby’s guidelines.

“Please print this and maybe, just maybe, Elvis will realize he might be missing the chance of a lifetime if he doesn’t meet me.”

More code words? In any event, the writer convinced Abby to assist in her effort.

“Keep my name and number, Abby, but don’t publish it. If Elvis wants it, he can get in touch with me through you.”

WAITING FOR ELVIS IN LOUSIANA

Who knew anyone sent questions about Elvis to Dear Abby. I wish the scrapbook fan had included the reply.

 

Always Elvis Wine

The “Always Elvis” in the title refers to a wine of the same name. Years ago, I picked up a point-of-sale poster for it.

Always Elvis Wine Poster

Here’s the history of Always Elvis wine as explained in the article. E.J. Weiferman ran a little winery named Frontenac Vineyards in Paw Paw, Michigan. Its two main labels were Purple Plum and Bahama Mama. With this sound footing in quality wines, Weiferman decided to import a low-alcohol mix of sweet Italian Asti Summate and fruity German Moselle. He called it Blanc D’Oro, which means white gold in Italian.

It’s hard to determine whether Weiferman or the article’s writer used the strangest lines.  To justify putting Elvis’ name and likeness on a wine, Weiferman said, “Have you ever seen a blue nun? There’s no reason why we can’t have an Elvis Presley.

The reporter mused, “If two star-crossed lovers share a glass, they can’t help falling in love. Then, he ratcheted down the praise with, “After polishing off a bottle, anyone will feel like a hound dog. Then, he showed his real skepticism, “Don’t worry, it won’t etch your plastic glasses or keep your gasoline from freezing.”

 

Elvis Album Insert

This is actually a paper poster that had to be folded twice to fit in the back of the scrapbook. I have no idea where it came from, but one guess is that it might have been an album insert.

 

Elvis Dollar Bill

These two things were on separate scrapbook pages, but it makes more sense to show them together. The ad says these dollar bills are real U.S Currency with the face of George Washington replaced with Elvis. It also says that this is completely legal. (Sure doesn’t seem like it would be.) Apparently the scrapbook fan ordered an Elvis bill for $3.99 and received one with a different Elvis face than either of those shown. It comes in a heavy duty clear-plastic cover, so you can touch it, but is well done and looks great. I’d pay $3.99 for one, too.

 

Sales Figures on Elvis What Happened

There are three notable points on the article. First, the AP drawing of Elvis leaves a lot to be desired. The second is about the content in the center box. On the Saturday after Elvis died, the Anderson (SC) Independent published their Elvis Presley Memorial edition. Apparently, someone (or several folks) went around collecting the papers from people’s driveways. The publisher posed an open apology for those subscribers victimized by the widespread thefts.

The third point concerns that crummy hatchet-job book Elvis: What Happened? by Red West, Sonny West and Dave Hebler. It came out fifteen days before Elvis died, and is thought by many to be a contributing factor. Originally, Ballantine Books published 400,000 copies, but within six hours of Elvis’ death, they ordered another 250,000 more. Even that was not enough, and Ballantine kept the presses going full blast, cranking out 3.5 million copies in the next week. K-Mart alone ordered 2 million copies.

 

Elvis - Bad Hair

The main things that sticks out on this page is the horrible picture of Elvis. It appeared in the Anderson Independent after Elvis died, and it seems the purpose was to present him in the most unflattering way. The caption underneath says FAT and Frustrated. One thought: Did Elvis ever wear his hair like that?

 

Dedicated Elvis Fan

This article came from that dubious tabloid MIDNIGHT sometime in 1974. It starts out well, saying, “Each year, members of the Elvis Presley Flaming Star Fan Club in Seattle celebrate their hero’s birthday, complete with cake, candles and choruses of “Happy birthday, dear Elvis…”

Then it focused on one member of this fan club who spent $500 to fly with the group to Las Vegas and see Elvis perform. “That’s a lot of money, considering that she and her husband live on his monthly Social Security check,” said the article. The woman paid for it by babysitting and pawning her wedding rings. This near obsession was the result of meeting Elvis at the Seattle Center Coliseum on April 29, 1973. “He put his hands on my shoulders, bent over and kissed me gently on the cheek… it was the biggest thrill of my life. I was shaking like a leaf.”

On one hand, it was a nice story of a dedicated Elvis fan and the sacrifices she made to see him perform. On the other hand, it seems awful close to hinting that Elvis fans are a bunch of pathetic fools.

 

Elvis Will Order Form

Step right up and get your very own copy of Elvis Presley’s 14 page will for just $3.00. If our scrapbook fan actually ordered from this ad, she didn’t include the will in the book.

 

Plot to Steal Elvis' Body

This page is a real hodge-podge of stuff. The print may be too small for you to read the title of the article to the left of the lowest Elvis picture. It says “Ransom Planned for Elvis’ Body. This is not some junk from MIDNIGHT or National Enquirer. This is an AP story.

It’s about a 26-year old man who planned to steal Elvis’ body from the Memphis Funeral Home and demand $10 million ransom for its return. However, heavy police security prompted him to change his plan to a break-in at Elvis’ mausoleum (this was before the body was moved to the Meditation Garden at Graceland). The man was arrested for trespassing near Elvis’ crypt, and actually admitted his plot to a policeman who told AP. What was that about pathetic fools?

The scrapbook contained other article about Elvis funeral and several about the first few years of the annual August 16 celebrations in Memphis. We’ll take a look at them in a future article.

 

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

 

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Elvis on the Rolling Stone Lists

Elvis on Rolling Stone  July 12, 1969

Elvis looks pretty good on the cover of this 1969 Rolling Stone issue, doesn’t he? He’s been on four others that I could find, plus several more featuring collages of rock artists. Of course, the magazine didn’t start until 1967, so it missed the years when Elvis ruled the world and was on the cover of all sorts of magazines.

Rolling Stone has also published dozens of articles about Elvis, many of them timed to mark a significant birthday or anniversary of his death. And, Elvis has shown up on ten of the famous Rolling Stone lists, like this one they got completely wrong:

 

100 Greatest Singers of All Time:

Elvis on Rolling Stone - 100 Greatest Singers November 22, 2008

By the looks of this cover, you’d think Elvis was selected #1. Maybe he is #1 for helping sell copies of the magazine, but Rolling Stone actually voted him just the #3 greatest singer of all time.

100 Greatest Singers

Granted, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles are great singers, but putting them ahead of Elvis is just not right. The thumbnail photos are small, so in case you can’t make out the rest of the top ten, they are:

Sam Cooke
John Lennon
Marvin Gaye
Bob Dylan
Otis Redding
Stevie Wonder
James Brown

 

!00 Greatest Artists of All Time:

100 Greatest Artists

Okay, now the category includes groups as well as singers, so the Beatles move into #1 and the Rolling Stones into #4. Elvis stays at #3, but how does Bob Dylan move from #7 singer to #2 artist? Elvis should be at least #2 on this list, and many folks will argue #1. And what made Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles slide down so far? The only answer I can figure is that the lists were selected a few years apart, and maybe they had different judges.

 Elvis on Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Artists

Look at this cover. Ray Charles has slid completely out of the ten artists shown. Pretty shabby treatment for the guy they voted the second best singer of all time.

 

500 Greatest Albums of All Time:

500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Granted, Elvis had a better track record with singles than albums. Here are the only three Elvis albums they picked in the top 500:

#11 Sun Sessions
#56 Elvis Presley
#190 From Elvis in Memphis

What about Blue Hawaii that stayed at number one on the Top 40 for twenty straight weeks? What about Elvis is Back which is considered Elvis’ best album by many fans and experts?

 

100 Best Debut Albums of All Time:

 100 Best Debut Albums

I guess it all depends on what the criteria for best is. Seems like record-breaking sales dwarfing every other album before it would be a big factor. Seems like the degree of hysteria for the artist when it was released would be another. #79 is ridiculous. Rolling Stone magazine just blew this one. If you care, the top spot went to Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys.

 

Bruce Springsteen’s 25 Biggest Heroes:

Bruce Springsteens Biggest Heroes

These aren’t ranked, so there is nothing to quibble about. Rolling Stone did something similar about Elvis’ biggest influences, but it was an article, not a list.

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500 Greatest Songs of All Time:

500 Greatest Songs of All Time

This list really bothers me. Here are the eleven Elvis songs that made the top 500. No Elvis songs in the top ten, and none higher than #19.

#19 Hound Dog
#45 Heartbreak Hotel
#67 Jailhouse Rock
#77 Mystery Train
#91 Suspicious Minds
#113 That’s All Right
#200 Don’t Be Cruel
#361 All Shook Up
#403 Can’t Help Falling in Love
$430 Blue Suede Shoes
#441 Love Me Tender

Gimme a break. “All Shook Up” at #361. Unbelievably stupid. For what it’s worth, they picked the top 3 songs as:

Like a Rolling Stone — Bob Dylan
Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
Imagine – John Lennon

 

Top 25 Teen Idol Breakout Moments:

500 Greatest Songs of All Time

These weren’t ranked, but if they were, the top spot surely would have to be Elvis or the Beatles. The rest don’t come close.

 

25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time:

25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time

I think Rolling Stone got this one right. Phil Spector: A Christmas Gift for You is an outstanding album. We graciously accept Elvis in second place.

 

40 Essential Christmas Albums:

40 Essential Christmas Albums

This doesn’t make sense. Elvis’ Christmas Album is the second greatest of all time, but only the fifth most essential Christmas album. Believe it or not, #1 is Ella Wishes you a Swinging Christmas by Ella Fitzgerald.

 

22 Weird Creatures Named after Superstars: 

Preseucoila Imallshookupis

I guess after years of doing so many lists, all of the good topics have been used up. Rolling Stone scraped the bottom of the barrel when they came up this one. Here’s what they had to say about the bug named after Elvis: “Gall wasps never had as much swagger as this one. Scientists created a new genus, Preseucoila, based on the name “Presley” – and just to make things extra clear, they named the species Imallshookupis after one of the King’s signature hits.”

I Googled Preseucoila Imallshookupis to see what it looks like. A few bug pictures came up, but they turned out to be something else. This is the best I could find.

 Imallshookuois

© 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.

 

Paul McCartney Sings Elvis

Elvis and Paul McCartney

Recently, the official Elvis Presley website presented their selections for The Top 12 Moments for Elvis Presley’s Graceland in 2013.

Top 12 Moments for Elvis Presley's Graceland in 2013

Some of the selections had nothing to do with Graceland, such as Encore Presents the Elvis Movie Collection in May, that came in #6. But there were also notable events that actually occurred at Graceland last year. Top of the list was the voting by USA Today picking Graceland the #1 Iconic Tourist Attraction. Coming in at #5 was Lisa Marie Performs in the Jungle Room.

But, my favorite was #4 – Sir Paul McCartney Visits Graceland for the First Time.

 Paul McCartney Visits Elvis' Graceland

 

Paul had an interesting visit. He left behind his personal guitar pick, “So Elvis could play his guitar in heaven.” I guess Paul thinks someone there at Graceland has a way to get the guitar pick up to Elvis in heaven. Paul also received a rare special private tour of the Graceland archives. That must have been really cool. Finally, he played Elvis’ famous 1956 Gibson 1200 guitar while humming the “Loving You.”

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered once seeing a YouTube video of Paul McCartney singing “Loving You,” so I searched it out. I found it – plus eight other videos of him doing Elvis songs. Here they are, for you to enjoy, too.

 

Loving You: I guess you still call it a video, even if there is nothing shown but a photo of Paul and Linda McCartney. However, we can hear Paul do a simple version of the song with acoustic guitar.

Paul and Linda McCartneyClick Here

 

Lawdy Miss Clawdy: This is quite different. Paul is wearing a black leather jacket and he rocks out with a full band. Great piano work, similar to the way Elvis’ song sounded on This Is Elvis.

Paul McCartney Singing Lawdy Miss Clawdy

Click Here

 

Let’s Have A Party: I have to admit this performance mirrors Wanda Jackson’s version of the song more than it does Elvis’. The footage is from some sort of BBC program. Joining Paul on stage are David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and Ian Paice (Deep Purple, Whitesnake). Can you imagine Elvis singing with that kind of back-up crew? I love you Scotty, but Gilmour is just an incredible guitarist.

Paul McCartney and David Gilmour Sing Lets Have A PartyClick Here

 

That’s Alright Mama: I like this one because someone has spliced footage of Paul singing the song into Elvis’ ’68 Comeback Special performance. What tickles me is that Scotty and DJ are on both clips. Well done.

Elvis doing Thats Allright Mama

Scotty Playing That's Alright Mama

Click Here

 

Heartbreak Hotel: We’ve all seen singers do an acoustic versions of songs, accompanying themselves on guitar. But for this video, Paul does it on bass. In fact, it is Bill Black’s original upright bass. Paul tells a story about it and then sings a far too short version of “Heartbreak Hotel.”

Paul McCartney Playing Heartbreak Hotel

Click Here

 

Blue Moon of Kentucky: This is another too-short video, but it is a treat to see and hear George Harrison and Ringo Starr join Paul on an Elvis song.

Paul and George Playing Blue Moon of Kentucky

Click Here

 

Blue Suede Shoes: You will note that Paul properly dedicates this song to Carl Perkins. However he does mention Elvis’ version of the song. The video was filmed in 1999, and the caption credits it to the RockHall Jam Band. You can enjoy Eric Clapton and Robby Robertson (The Band) do their guitar solos. Look closely and you can spot Bonnie Raitt, Paul Shaffer (David Letterman bandleader) and other people you may recognize.

Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton Singing Blue Suede Shoes

Click Here

 

All Shook Up: We will end with another BBC screamer featuring Paul McCartney and David Gilmour. Rock on.

Paul McCartney and David Gilmour Singing All Shook Up

Click Here

 

© 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.

 

Happy Birthday Elvis

Elvis Birthday Cake 1

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Elvis Birthday Cake 2

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Elvis Birthday Cake 3

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Elvis Birthday Cake 5

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Elvis Birthday Cake 6

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Elvis Birthday Cake 7

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Graceland Cake

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Elvis Movie 50th Anniversary Pictorials: Fun in Acapulco – 1963

You can tell from the title of this post that I am a little late getting it out. Fun in Acapulco actually premiered in November 1963. So, 2014 will be a big year for 50th anniversary movie pictorials on ElvisBlog, with Kissin’ Cousins, Viva Las Vegas, and Roustabout coming up.

 

Movie Posters:

Fun in Acapulco Poster 1

All of the posters have some variation of Elvis with his sombrero and colorful blanket, plus Ursula Andress in her bikini giving a looking-over-the-shoulder pose.

Fun in Acapulco Poster 2

Here, both images are flipped

 Fun in Acapulco Poster 3

The other thing all of them have is the long shot of someone (presumably Elvis) diving off the cliff. Okay, let’s look at one more variation.

 Fun in Aculpulco Poster 4

 

Shots from the Movie:

Elvis and Fun in Acapulco Co-stars

Here’s Elvis with his two leading ladies – Ursula Andress and Elsa Cardenas. I kind of liked the competition between these two to win their man.

 

Elvis and Raoul in Fun in Acapulco

This is Raoul, a street smart eight-year-old who functions as Elvis’ manager by getting him singing gigs and extracting maximum pay for them. Some have suggested that the screenwriters modeled Raoul’s tactics after those of Col. Parker. This was the second film in a row where Elvis had a kid as co-star, but I liked Raoul a lot more than five-year-old Sue-Lin in It Happened at the World’s Fair.

 

Elvis and Checking Out Ursula in Fun in Acapulco

Here’s an interesting shot of Elvis and Ursula. Looks like he is admiring something about her.

 

Elvis and Ursula Poolside in Fun in Acapulco

Here’s another wet-body shot of them with something for the males in the audience to admire.

 Fun in Acapulco - Elvis Performing

Elvis sang eleven songs in Fun in Acapulco – in nine different locations and wearing a different outfit for each one.

 

Lobby Cards:

For some reason, there were two different sets of lobby cards for Fun in Acapulco. Here are some that feature full size photos with no accompanying graphics.

Fun in Acapulco - Lobby Card 1

Fun in Acapulco - Lobby Card 2

Fun in Acapulco - Lobby Card 3

Then, there is the set that incorporates the familiar poster images of Elvis and Ursula Andress.

 Lobby Cards - 1

 Lobby Cards - 2

 Lobby Cards - 3

 

Behind the Scenes Shots:

Elvis with Ursula Andrees in Curlers

Here are four off-stage shots of Elvis and Ursula Andress. There don’t seem to be any shots of Elvis and Elsa Cardenas together.

 Elvis and Ursula - Off Screen Hug

 Elvis and Ursula Off Screen

 Elvis Getting Cozy with Ursula

 According to the book Elvis: His Life from A to Z, Ursula Andress “was once romantically linked to Elvis.” Hmmm. What do you think?

 

Elvis Practicing Fight Scene

Here are Elvis and Alejandro Rey practicing their fight scene. In the movie, it occurs in a hotel lobby and they are fully clothed.

 

Fun in Acapulco - Elvis Climbing Fake Cliff

Elvis’ big break-through moment in the film comes when he conquers his fears and dives off a 136 foot cliff into the ocean. Here is how they filmed him climbing up the cliff.

 

Foreign Posters:

Spanish Poster - Fun in Acapulco

This Spanish poster has the familiar Elvis image, but Ursula Andress is missing. Instead, we get a black-and-white cut-out of Elvis and Elsa Cardenas, his Hispanic co-star.

Spanish Poster - Fun in Acapulco 2

Here’s another Spanish poster with a totally different concept.

 

German Poster - Fun in Acapulco

Yet another different concept for this German poster.

 

Mexican Lobby Cards - Fun in Acapulco

This Mexican poster is loaded with a total of seven images, although it is strange that the pair of Elvis-and-girlfriend shots aren’t in color.

Elvis and Aggressive Teenage Girls:

 Fun in Acapulco Elvis and Teenager

The movie starts with Elvis working on a yacht, and the owner’s daughter makes a move on him. Elvis spurns her advances, and she gets revenge by lying about him and getting him in trouble. If this sounds familiar, it is. Remember these scenes from Loving You and Blue Hawaii?

 Loving You -Elvis and Groupie

 Blue Hawaii - Elvis and Teenager

 

The Kiss:

Following tradition, this movie pictorial will end with a photo of Elvis kissing his love-interest.

Elvis Kissing Ursula in Fun in Acapulco

 

© 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.