From time to time I acquire an old Elvis scrapbook. I keep hoping to find one started by a fan back in 1956 when Elvis took over the world. However, what seems to be more common are scrapbooks by fans who were motivated to start them when he died in 1977. ElvisBlog took a look at one of these in January 2014, and it contained fifteen pages of stuff plus two dozen folded-up newspaper and magazine articles in the back. That’s enough for two blog posts, so here are some of the more interesting items not covered earlier.
The Elvis photos on this page aren’t especially notable, but the question-and-answer text is interesting.
Q. When the late Elvis Presley brought different girls to live with him at Graceland in Memphis, didn’t he bribe their parents with lavish gifts in a form of white slavery?
Whoa. Good thing TMZ didn’t exist back then, or they would have certainly dug up the scoop on Elvis’ white slavery action. Give me a break.
The answer did say that Elvis was an extremely and spontaneously generous man. Then it stated that Elvis did verbally promise Ginger Alden’s mother that he would pay off her $40,000 mortgage. But Elvis died before doing so, and Mrs. Alden sued the Presley estate. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled the estate was obliged to pay the $40,000 and retire the note. You can bet Vernon wasn’t too happy to write that check.
After Elvis’ death, it seemed like hundreds of articles came out extolling the legacy of cultural change he left behind. However, the writer of this Associated Press article tried to make it different from the others by including a comparison between Elvis and silent film actor Rudolph Valentino.
They were American originals — “The Sheik” and “The Pelvis.”
In the 1920’s, Valentino danced the tango on a movie screen and women swooned. In the 1950s, Elvis wiggled his hips on TV and girls fainted.
Valentino gave us slickeddown hairdos, the tango, and the term “matinee idol.” For Elvis, it was long hair, tight pants, and a remarkable new sound called “rock ‘n roll.”
A half century apart, Valentino and Elvis inspired audiences with the same magic. You might call it “sex-appeal.”
Might call it??? One other comparison the writer might have made is that both stars died too young. Rudolph Valentino at age 31; and Elvis at age 42.
This page was one of several where the fan had cut out photos of Elvis from various media and mounted them to create a montage. I guess you have to say these pictures have stood the test of time. Now, thirty-seven years later, most of them are familiar images for Elvis fans.
This scrapbook covers the period from 1977 to 1983. Based on the newspaper clippings in it, the fan who compiled it lived in Anderson, SC. She apparently made a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC during this time and visited the Guinness Hall of World Records.
Elvis made the brochure cover, and his world record was the Most Gold Records. Guinness also presented A Tribute to Elvis, described on another page of the brochure. The print is too small for you to read, but this tribute included:
One of his original cars
Personal jewelry – gold, diamonds, silver
Items from his Hollywood home
And don’t forget to visit the souvenir booth.
The bottom of this page shows five books about Elvis (three of which I own). The article at the top describes the feelings by students at an Anderson, SC high school about how they miss Elvis and what he meant to them. But the most interesting thing to me is the pencil drawing of ELVIS 1935-1977. It is on white lined tablet paper, and was lovingly sketched by the fan herself. The only thing missing is a teardrop on the paper.
Our Elvis scrapbook fan cut this full-page advertisement from SuperTeen magazine. The record albums shown were all on the RCA Camden label, a budget-priced offshoot of RCA Victor. These Elvis albums were released between 1969 and 1973, and primarily consisted of repackagings of his 60s movie soundtrack recordings and previously unreleased material. Can you believe they are still finding unreleased Elvis recordings today, forty plus years later.
I’m not sure why our Elvis fan included this 1981 Newsweek book review in her scrapbook. It covers the horrible hatchet-job done by Albert Goldman in his book Elvis. Certainly, any young fan who read how Newsweek characterized Goldman and his book would never buy it.
Elvis Presley seems to fill Goodman with nothing but disgust.
Never has a writer lavished such contempt on his subject’s life.
Like a smug Victorian imperialist, Goldman sniffs at [Elvis’] curious native customs.
Newsweek’s review mentions several of the depictions Goldman made of Elvis – a freak attraction, little cracker boy, a carnival of gluttony, and several others too nasty to print here.
So, as a public service, if you are ever tempted to purchase a cheap used copy of this book —
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