Monthly Archives: March 2014

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets – #18

We haven’t done Mini-Nuggets in over two years, so I’m glad to have enough stuff in the files to do another one.

The ELVIS:

The Elvis Waffles with peanut butter, bananas, candied bacon, chocolate and caramel sauce  Superchefs in downtown Columbus 9.99.
My son took this photo before he polished off the stack of waffles with peanut butter, bananas, candied bacon, chocolate and caramel sauce. Offered by the Superchefs restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, this tempting stack of pure indulgence is called The ELVIS. Just $9.95. Can’t you see Elvis chowing down on one?

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Britney Spears to be Wed at Graceland – Don’t Bet On It:

Globe article - Britney Spears Wedding at Graceland

I haven’t seen Elvis’ face on a supermarket tabloid in years, so this one caught my eye. After a little checking, I think the outraged Elvis fans can probably cool it. This thing about Britney Spears getting married at Graceland is just hype.

David Lucado and Britney Spears inside Graceland

For one thing, she’s not yet officially engaged to boyfriend David Lucado. Plus, she has not asked EPE or Lisa Marie if the wedding could take place at Graceland. And finally, would they even say yes to such a request. According to a source at www.dailymail.co.uk, “Britney wants to get as much attention and money for pictures with her third wedding as she did for her second.” Looks like the self-promotion has started early.

Britney and David Outside Graceland

I learned two things researching this piece. Britney Spears is now 32, and she sure looks fine in an Elvis jumpsuit.

Britney Spears in Elvis Jumpsuit

 

ElvisBlog Now #1 and #2 in Crummy Elvis Shit:

Crummy Elvis Shit

ElvisBlog was number 1 in ‘Crummy Elvis Shit’ in 2008 and again in 2012. Now in 2014, ElvisBlog takes the top two spots in Google’s results. The scary thing is that they found 1,080,000 results for ‘Crummy Elvis Shit.’ To find out why ElvisBlog gets these results, click here.

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Elvis’ TCB Ring Located:

TCB Ring  An 11.5-carat diamond solitaire  two lightning bolts make up the edges. cost $35,000 in 1974

Back in 2012, the second installment of Elvis’ Fabulous Rings showed this picture and the following comment:

“This has to be the most expensive ring Elvis ever had special-made for him, or at least in the top three. It contains 56 diamonds, including an 11.5 carat solitaire. Elvis paid $35,000 for it in 1974, which would be $163,000 in today’s dollars. So far, I have been unable to find if it has ever been sold at auction.”

Well, now we know why it has never shown up at an auction. It has been on display at the Graceland exhibit Elvis… Through his Daughter’s Eyes, that ended its two-year run on February 13. To celebrate the event, EPE created a 27 minute video of Lisa walking around the exhibit and reminiscing. And look what was inside a glass display case:

From Lisa Exhibit - 11+half c Solitare, 16c in Total Diamonds

Man, that’s a whole bunch of diamonds.

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Alice Cooper and Elvis:

Alice Cooper - Love's a Loaded Gun

Here’s another Elvis-related story from a British tabloid website. According to www,mirror.co.uk, this story happened in 1971 at the Las Vegas Hilton:

“He had the penthouse – this was when he was at the top of his game. I had always been a fan as a kid, so I jumped at the chance to go upstairs and meet him. When I got to the lift I found it was me, Liza Minnelli and the porn actress Linda Lovelace.

“Arriving at Presley’s suite, the unlikely group were frisked for guns by the King’s security team. “I don’t know why they bothered – when we got inside the place was full of guns,” Alice recalls.

“Elvis took me into the kitchen, opened a drawer, and pulled out a loaded pistol, telling me to put it to his head. I recognized it straight away, a snub .32. I didn’t know what to do. “I had this gun in my hand and was expecting one of his security to come in any second, see me holding a weapon and shoot me dead.
“A little voice in my left ear was telling me, ‘Go on, this is history, kill him, you’ll always be the guy who killed Elvis’. In my other ear was another voice saying, ‘You can’t kill him, it’s Elvis Presley – wound him instead, you’ll only get a few years.’

“A fraction of a second later Elvis did a flying kick on the gun, and sent it flying, before tripping me and pinning me to the ground by my neck, announcing, ‘that’s how you stop a man with a gun.’”

If this really happened, I’m glad Elvis showed his moves before Alice Cooper could listen to the voice in either ear. Elvis saved him from becoming the most hated person in America.

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Linda Thompson – Song Writer:

I recently saw a bio on Elvis’ girlfriend Linda Thompson. It said she was a songwriter who had been nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy, and who won an Emmy. My first reaction was “Really. I didn’t know that.” Turns out that she has been a prolific writer of song lyrics, collaborating with a number of significant songwriters.

 whitney-houston-i-have-nothing-arista

“I Have Nothing” was sung by Whitney Houston in the 1992 motion picture, The Bodyguard. Linda and collaborator David Foster (also her husband from 1991 to 2005) wrote the song and were nominated both for the Academy Award for Best Song in 1993 and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television in 1994.

World Children's day

Linda and Foster did win the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for “Aren’t They All Our Children” for the 2002 TV special The Concert for World Children’s Day.

Well, good for Linda Thompson. I will never again think of her as just an Elvis girlfriend with a pretty face.

 Linda Thompson See-Through Dress

 

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

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Was She a Stalker? A Middle-aged Groupie? No, She Was a Tinseltown Reporter

 Elvis and May Mann - King Creole

Although this lady doesn’t look like the typical Elvis fan from the late 50s, she sure seems smitten by him, doesn’t she? If you wanted to add a caption to this shot, it could easily be, “Hey, look in my eyes, you hot young stud.”

I found this photo on a wonderful website I follow called The Elvis Forum. It is subtitled Too Much Monkey Business, and the 714 people who have joined are called Monkey Members.

The photo appeared in a forum thread called “Who Is This Woman?” I had no doubt that the question would be answered. Some of the most proactive members of this forum have incredible knowledge of Elvis minutia, and if they are stumped, they have the extensive collections of Elvis books for looking stuff up.

 

Elvis and May Mann - Flaming Star

According to Jove, the Elvis Forum member who supplied it, the first photo was taken on the set of King Creole. This next one was shot during filming of Flaming Star. She sure is getting up close and personal, leaning her body in tight against Elvis. Another caption idea – “I’m all over you. What’s it gonna take to get you to look at me?”

Jove inserted some humorous asides about her being a stalker. However, a middle-aged groupie was the first thought that entered my mind.

 

Elvis and May Mann - G.I. Blues

Here’s another shot of the mystery woman with Elvis during the filming of G.I. Blues. How does somebody get on so many movie sets?

 

Elvis and May Mann - Follow That Dream

Whatever it took, she had plenty of it. Here she is with Elvis again on location during Follow That Dream. You can actually figure out the movies’ titles from the outfits Elvis wore in these shots.

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Elvis and May Mann - Blue Hawaii

Okay, can you deduce the movie title on this one?

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Elvis and May Mann - Girls! Girls! Girls!

One more, this time from Girls, Girls, Girls. She finally got Elvis to look at her, without even pressing her body against his.

The Elvis Forum thread did reveal the woman’s name – May Mann. And it was suggested she gained access to Elvis because of family connections. She was married to Buddy Baer, former heavyweight boxer who also appeared as Ursus in the movie Quo Vadis and as the giant in Abbott and Costello’s Jack and the Beanstalk.

The Free Lance-Star - May 26, 1949

This newspaper clip adds two interesting things to the May Mann story. She won Miss Utah 1938, when Elvis was just three years old. And by age 30, she was into her third marriage.

 

Elvis and Max Baer Jr

Elvis and Max Baer Jr. (right)

May Mann’s brother in law was Max Baer Sr. father of Max Baer Jr. who playedJethro in the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies.  Baer often played football with Elvis (note the cleats on the shoes)

 

All of this history still didn’t sound like enough juice for her to get access to six Elvis movie sets. So, I rooted around a bit on Google and Wikipedia and found out that May Mann was a Hollywood gossip columnist and reporter. She wrote over 400 articles in publications like this:

Movieland magazine - January1961

 

May Mann was able to parlay a job as society columnist for her hometown paper The Ogden Standard-Examiner to the glamorous position of syndicated entertainment columnist in Hollywood. Between 1936 and 1981 she wrote her “Going Hollywood” columns for fourteen different magazines and newspapers.

When Elvis started making movies, May Mann seems to have latched on to him, ultimately becoming a close friend and a big fan, as evidenced by the very pro-Elvis books she wrote about him.

 

Elvis and The Colonel

This book came out in 1975, making it notable as one of the few books written while Elvis was still alive (compared to the millions of Elvis books that have come out after his death). The subtitle’s fine print teases that it comes from the Intimate Diaries of May Mann. Hmmm, maybe there is something to those stalker/groupie ideas.

You can still buy it on Amazon, both hardcover and paperback, new and used. Amazon had just one review of Elvis and the Colonel: “An absurd, fawning account with obvious errors.”

 

The Private Elvis

Shortly after Elvis’ death, May Mann’s book was rushed back into the market under a new title: The Private Elvis. Also, note the inclusion of “The Entire New York Times Obituary.” Amazon has eight used paperback copies available for 1¢ ($3.99 postage). Lots of new copies, too.

 

Elvis Why Won't They Leave You Alone

In 1982, May Mann came back with another pro-Elvis book: Elvis, Why Won’t They Leave You Alone. Amazon has three used copies available for 1¢, and new copies available for $49.95. One fool has a copy available for $2,432.64. Good luck with that.

Back Cover of Elvis Why Won't They Leave You Alone

Here’s the back cover. Jove assures me that this is an untouched photo of May Mann and Elvis from 1969, but somehow she made herself look a lot younger. Maybe it’s the bangs.

There were no reviews of this book on Amazon, but someone calling herself TCB-girl had a balanced assessment on Topics.com. It gives great detail on what we can find in the book.

“Mann is totally pro-Elvis in the book, and in the end, proved to be a loyal friend to him. The picture she paints — His business dealings are scrupulous. He is generous to a fault. Although admittedly hot-tempered, he is forgiving. He uses only prescription medication, and abstains from alcohol.

“He revers his parents, especially his mother. He is devoted to his wife and especially to his daughter. Extra-marital sexual activity (euphemistically, “natural biological urges”) are admitted to but presented as infrequent and rather proper. Emphasis on nothing “kinky”, and never taking advantage of “groupies”, which apparently those around him do greatly, and Elvis abhors.

“He is considerate of others to an unusual degree. He is extremely intelligent and moral. He is increasingly ill and even predicts his death at a young age due to hereditary factors.
“I believe that all of the above is generally, if not precisely true. Mann would have known, and I’m assuming she was not telling whole cloth lies. Whitewashing … I suspect so.
The aspect of the book that made the biggest impression on me: I believe that Mann realistically portrayed the sad isolation in which Elvis lived. It was the price for his fame. He apparently dreamed of travel, as a common tourist, and seeing the world.

“I accept Mann’s portrayal of a sensitive, talented, good man that lived in many ways as a de facto prisoner within the walls and gates of his own home. An exceptionally intelligent person, by her account he was also a studious and observant Christian, even replying to his dubbing as “King of Rock and Roll”, that there was only one king, Jesus Christ. Quite remarkable.”

Elvis and May Mann

Elvis and May Mann on set of Blue Hawaii

So, we can add one more option to the choices presented in the title of this article. May Mann was indeed a friend, and her book research came from direct contact with Elvis, not from interviews with all his ex-buddies.

 

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

 

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Postal Service Skips Five Rockers with their Music Icons Stamps

This is the new Jimi Hendrix stamp, issued on March 13 as part of the USPS Music Icons series.

 Jimi Hendrix Stamo 2014

Later this year, Janis Joplin will also be honored with a stamp.

Janis Joplin

It’s interesting to note the Postal Service chose to introduce Hendrix and Joplin stamps in the same year. They both died of drug overdoses within sixteen days of each other in 1970.

 

The Music Icons series debuted in 2013 with Ray Charles and Johnny Cash stamps.

Ray Charles Stamp

 Johnny Cash Stamp

 

As mentioned on ElvisBlog two weeks ago, Elvis will be honored with a Music Icon stamp in 2015, as will James Brown.

James Brown

Also chosen for future Music Icon stamps (year-to-be-determined) are Sam Cooke and Roy Orbison.

 Sam Cooke

Roy Orbison

 

So, you have to acknowledge that the Postal Service has made some good picks as Music Icons:

Elvis Presley
Jimi Hendrix
Janis Joplin
Ray Charles
Johnny Cash
Sam Cooke
Roy Orbison

 

However, it’s a mystery to me why they never continued with their Legends of American Music collection that came out in 1993. In addition to Elvis, this set included:

Bill Haley Stamp

Clyde McPhatter Stamp

Buddy Holly Stamp

Otis Redding Stamp

Ritchie Valens Stamp

 

For twenty years, no additional Legends of American Music stamps were issued. No more rockers honored. Now, two decades later, this omission is being rectified with the new Music Icon series.

But, what mystified me the most was why five charter members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are not included in either series. Why are they ignoring the following inductees from the 1986 inaugural class?

 

Chuck Berry

Fats Domino

Jerry Lee Lewis

The Everly Brothers

Little Richard

 

I’m fine with Hendrix, Joplin, Cash, Charles, Brown, Cooke and Orbison getting new stamps.

But, why would the Postal Service skip over five of the most important figures in the birth of rock and roll? It took me a while to figure it out. Every person honored or scheduled to be honored in the Music Icon series is deceased. The same thing was true for the Legends of American Music set when it came out.

So, the answer to my quandary seems to be that the five Hall of Fame pioneers (except for Phil Everly) are still alive. For some reason, the Postal Service chooses to create stamps only for dead rock stars. I’m not sure this makes good sense. The omitted early rockers are now all over eighty years old. What’s wrong with exalting them on a stamp while they are still around to appreciate it?

So, Postal Service, how about honoring these originators of rock and roll in the Music Icon stamp series as soon as possible:

Chuck Berry
Fats Domino
Jerry Lee Lewis
Everly Brothers
Little Richard

You can’t get more iconic than these guys.

 

© 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 Movies 50th Anniversary Pictorial: Kissin’ Cousins – 1964

Serious reviews of Kissin’ Cousins lament that it was the start of a bad trend in Elvis movies – low-budget, quickie-filmed, light-weight fluff. Some even call it his worse movie. I don’t care. I like Kissin’ Cousins for one reason: Yvonne Craig.

Elvis Kissing Yvonne in Kissin' Cousins

I don’t think any other actress sizzled on screen with Elvis as hot as she did. Those two radiated lust in Kissin’ Cousins and also in It Happened at The World’s fair.

Elvis Kissing Yvonne Craig in World's Fair

 

Although Kissin’ Cousins was filmed after Viva Las Vegas, it was released first on March 6, 1964, making it Elvis’ 14th movie. Sources say it was filmed in three weeks at a cost of only $800,000. By comparison, Viva cost $4,000,000 and took two months to film. Guess which one made more profit for the studio, Elvis, and Col. Parker. After Kissin’ Cousins, the dye was cast for future Elvis movies.

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Movie Posters:

 Poster

 Kissin Cousins 3

 

Shots from the Movie:

Elvis as Josh and Jody

Elvis Presley plays a dual role in Kissin’ Cousins. Dark-haired Elvis plays Air Force officer Josh Morgan, but as blond-haired Jodie Tatum, he appears as a girl-chasin’ mountain Romeo. Josh is assigned the task of persuading the Tatums, his distant relatives on his mother’s side, to sell their Tennessee mountain land for use as a missile site.

 

Yvonne and Pam Standing in Jeep

Jodie’s two cousins are Selena and Azalea Tatum, played by Pam Austin and Yvonne Craig. Both vie for Josh’s attention, but Azalea wins out about halfway through. Josh pulls off a little match-making with one of his Air Force buddies and Selena, getting her out of the competition.

 

Tatum Girls Painting Their Nails

Most Elvis movies have pretty girls parading around in scanty bikinis, but they are usually on a beach in Hawaii or Florida. In Kissin’ Cousins we get them in the Smokey Mountain woods and inside the Tatum cabin.

 

Lobby Cards:

 Lobby Card 1

Lobby Card 2

 Lobby Card 3

 Lobby Card 4

 Lobby Card 5

 Lobby Card 6

 Lobby Card  7

 Lobby Card  8

 

Publicity Shots:

 Elvis Picking Up Yvonne and Pam

Oops, there’s those bathing suits again.

 

Elvis Running with Yvonne and Pam

Hey, this is starting to be a trend.

 

Elvis With Lovlies in Kissin' Cousins

Come on. Is this the only kind of publicity shots they took? (No, just the ones I chose)

Elvis as Jodie and Josh in Kissin' Cousins

Okay, okay. Here a little trick photography of the two characters Elvis played.

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Back Stage Photo:

Elvis On Set With Pam and Yvonne

If you study this photo for a moment, it appears Yvonne might have had some designs on Elvis away from the script, too.

 

Foreign Posters:

 

French Poster

French Poster

German Poster

German Poster

I used Google Translate to look up the translation of this title to English. They said it is The Wild Broads of Tennessee. Seriously – check it out.

Italian Poster

Italian Poster

This one translated to The Mount of Venus.

 

Strange Language

I don’t know how to type this title into Google Translate, so who knows what it means.

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Kissing the Co-Star:

 Elvis Kissing Cynthia Pepper

Both of Elvis’ characters wound up with the girl. Here, Jodie is kissing Army Corporal Midge Riley, played by Cynthia Pepper.

Elvis Kissing Yvonne Craig in Kissin' Cousins

And Josh about to lock lips with Azalea. But you have to go back to It Happened at the World’s Fair for the best kiss between Elvis and Yvonne Craig.

Elvis kissing Yvonne Craig  in World's Fair

Well, that’s it. Did I mention that I really like Yvonne Craig?

 

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

 


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Elvis Oscar Selfie

Here’s an ElvisBlog original.

Elvis Oscar  Selfie

 

 

Apologies to Bradley Cooper.

Oscar  Selfie

And special thanks to John Migacz for the photo magic.

The Elvis Stamp Has Not Left the Building

 Both Designs for Elvis Stamp

The US Postal Service issued the famous Elvis stamp twenty-one years ago, so you wouldn’t expect it to be back in the news today. However, last week, the Washington Post blog leaked news about the images to be featured on future commemorative stamps. These selections are made by the independent Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee. What image will be on future stamps is kept top-secret, in part so postal officials can create a buzz when they announce new subjects. Without explaining how they got the information, the Post trumpeted their scoop of this news.

Washington Post Top Secret Scoop

 

The Post revealed that upcoming stamps in 2014 include, among other subjects:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Charlton Heston
Jimi Hendrix
Wilt Chamberlain
Janis Joplin

Then they said: “Some of the highlights for 2015 – soul singer James Brown, late-night TV host Johnny Carson, and a reissue of Elvis Presley, the Postal Service’s top-selling stamp, released with a value of 29 cents in 1993.”

I wondered how they could reissue a stamp that said 29¢ on it. Maybe they would remove the price and replace it with “Forever,” the way they now designate stamps no matter what the rate gets raised to.

 Elvis Stamp from Legends of American Music

The Postal Service has already messed with the Elvis stamp once before. After selling 129 million of the stamp with ELVIS on it, they came back with one that had ELVIS PRESLEY on it.

 

Elvis in Rock 'n Roll-Rhythm and Blues Stamps

You couldn’t buy that one individually, only as part of a 35-stamp-sheet they called the “Legends of American Music Collection: Rock & Roll – Rhythm and Blues.”

 

However, reading further in the Washington Post blog, I came to the complete list of new stamps for the next two years. Please note the two items I have underlined.

 Elvis on Top Secret List of Upcoming Stamps

The two items I’ve underlined are interesting. At the bottom, in red, it says Music Icons: Elvis Presley. Now look at the top underline. It says Red = In Design Development. So, maybe the Washington Post misinterpreted their top-secret scoop when they said a reissue of the 1993 stamp was coming
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Here’s something to think about. Back in 1992, the Postal Service held a contest to see which of two very different Elvis images was the most popular with the public.

 Elvis Stamp Balloting Poster

This poster was prominently placed in every post office in the country, as well as in the April 13, 1992 issue of People magazine.

 

 Ballot for Elvis Stamp

Voting for your favorite required you to go to the Post Office and ask for ballots. They were self-addressed postcards showing the two competing drawings, with boxes to check for your choice. I got ten ballots, sent in seven (voting for choice A), and kept three as collectibles.

So, what if this current “design consideration” is just a code to hide the fact they are going to use the alternate image they already own the rights to? After all, the Postal Service is losing millions every year, and this would save the money they’d have to spend on a new drawing.

Drawing for Alternate Elvis Stamp

The winner (taking 75% of the vote) back in 1993 was called the “Young Elvis” stamp, and unfortunately, the other was derisively called the “Older and Wider Elvis” or even worse, the “Fat Elvis” stamp. That really wasn’t fair. John Berkley, the artist who painted it, drew Elvis very similar to a shot from the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii TV special.

 1973 Elvis Aloha Photo Basis for Stamp

 

Here’s what artist John Berkley said about the Elvis he painted. “As a matter of fact, he weighed 160 pounds and was 38 years old at the time. That’s not fat and that’s not old.”

If the Postal Service wants to bring back the Aloha Elvis (or whatever appropriate name they want to call him), I’m all for it.

It’s fun to do this kind of speculation, although my track record is not so good. I predicted that the planned Elvis show by Cirque ‘du Soleil would be called either “E” or “TCB,” but they picked “Viva Elvis.”

So, to improve my chances of making an accurate prediction on the new Elvis stamp, I’ll add another one.  If the Postal Service is soliciting new Elvis images to use for the 2015 stamp, here is my favorite.

 

68 Comeback Elvis

Let’s see the skeptics try to call this Old Elvis or Fat Elvis. Do you think the fans would buy 129 million of a new bad-ass black leather Elvis stamp?

I do.

 

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

 

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