Monthly Archives: December 2014

Crummy Elvis Shit

Crummy Elvis Shit -- Elvis Blog

Back in 2007, I wrote an ElvisBlog post about Elvis’ 1964 movie, Live A Little, Love A Little. In the text, I used the words Elvis, crummy, and shit. They were in three different sentences in three different paragraphs.

Then in 2008, somebody Googled “Crummy Elvis Shit.” The Google algorithm went searching out in the internet for those three words, and it found my little blog article. Out of 6,330 results. ElvisBlog ranked #7 in Crummy Elvis Shit. I mentioned this strong performance in a subsequent Mini-Nuggets post. I didn’t know it at the time, but that section’s subtitle, “Crummy Elvis Shit,” would have consequences.

In 2012, I Googled it again. Wow, what a change. They now had over one million results for Crummy Elvis Shit. I wrote a post about this sizable jump, noting, “It would appear the worldwide supply of Crummy Elvis Shit had grown appreciably in four years.” I also bragged because ElvisBlog had moved into the highly coveted #1 position, probably because of that 2008 section subtitle named “Crummy Elvis Shit.”

2012 Mini-Nuggets Post

 

Well, curiosity got the best of me in March, 2014, so I Googled it again. The total results dropped a little, but were still over a million. The big change was that Google now had ElvisBlog #1 and #2 in “Crummy Elvis Shit.” Hey, we’re on a roll. Up we go. That old 2012 post (under two different URLs) had moved to the top of the list. So, of course I had to write another Mini-Nugget section to tell the news, and it too was titled “Crummy Elvis Shit.” I said to myself, “OK, Google, here’s another one for you.”

It worked. On New Year’s Eve, 2014, I Googled it again. Would you believe ElvisBlog now occupies the top three spots on their results for Crummy Elvis Shit? Did you notice that is also the title of this post? I’m not leaving anything to chance. Next time I check, I want ElvisBlog to fill up an entire first page of Google results for “Crummy Elvis Shit.”

Google Top 3 for Crummy Elvis Shit

 

Oh, by the way, Bing now has 7,350,000 results for “Crummy Elvis Shit.” And ElvisBlog has the top three spots over there, too.

What a great year.

 

Happy New Year from ElvisBlog.

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

Merry Christmas, Elvis

Christmas Ornament Elvis Santa

Perhaps you’ll be taking a break from the presents and music and food, and check in to see the annual ElvisBlog Christmas post. This time of the year you are probably thinking more about Santa Claus than you are about Elvis, but here’s a look at something combines them both – Elvis wearing a Santa hat.

White Jumpsuit Elvis Santa

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Pucker Up Elvis Santa

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Soldier Elvis Santa

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Elvis Santa On Stage

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Elvis Santa Checking List

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Elvis Santa 1

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Black and White Elvis Santa

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Cartoon Elvis Santa

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Guitar Elvis Santa

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Elvis Santa with Mic

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Elvis Santa 4

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Elvis Santa and Hound Dog

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Elvis Santa and Hot Elves

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Elvis Santa 2

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Elvis Santa and Lisa

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Elvis Santa 3

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Blue Elvis Santa

 

 

Merry Christmas from ElvisBlog

ElvisBlog Christmas Wreath

 

© 2014 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.

 

Remembering Millie Kirkham

Millie Kirkham

Just as I started to work on this year’s “Merry Christmas Elvis” post, I got the news that Millie Kirkham had passed away at age 91, after suffering a stroke last week. Hopefully, you fans all know her as the back-up singer with the sweet soprano voice that recorded and toured with Elvis for fifteen years.

Most tributes to Millie will feature later-day photos of her like the one above. But it didn’t take much looking to find some younger pictures from the period when she worked with Elvis.

 Millie-Kirkham-and-Five-Jordanaires-in-1958

Here she is with the Jordanaires in 1958. I’m not sure why there are five Jordanaires in the photo. Her first recording session with them and Elvis was for the Elvis Christmas Album on September 5-7, 1957.

 

Millie Kirkham, Elvis and Jordanaires

In this shot, the fifth Jordanaire is gone, replaced by some good-looking guy next to Millie.

 

Millie and the Jordanaires

Another one with the Jordanaires. Too bad the mic blocked out part of her face, because this is the most attractive photo of her in circulation.

 

Elvis with Millie Kirkham in Mini-skirt

This is my favorite picture of Millie Kirkham during the days when she worked with Elvis. It is from the movie That’s the Way It Is, filmed in 1970. Check out Millie wearing a white mini-skirt at age forty-seven. She, Elvis and the group are walking from the dressing rooms to the stage at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.

Back in 2007, I was a contributing editor to Elvis International magazine. The editor, Darwin Lamm, was promoting two concerts at Elvis Week that year, and he arranged for me to have a backstage pass for both nights. The line-ups for both shows were great: TCB Band, Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, the Jordanaires, Millie Kirkham, and much more.

 

Backstage at the Legends Concert - 8-15-04

Sorry for the poor quality of this photo I took during the sound check for another concert back in 2004. Darwin Lamm is second from the right wearing an Elvis T-shirt. Millie is on the left, and behind her to her left are Gordon Stoker and the Jordanaires.

When Darwin told me I would have a backstage pass for the 2007 concerts, I knew I would be rubbing elbows with the performers. I wanted to be able to make conversation with all of them, so I did research and came prepared with stuff to ask them about.

 

Phil Arnold and Millie Kirkham

This is me and Millie in a room backstage that everybody seemed to hang out in. (note my pass) I got there early before the performers arrived and made like a fly on the wall for a while before going after everybody’s autographs. A number of people connected with Elvis popped in and out. It was like a big reunion. Ultimately, I got up enough nerve to ask everybody to pose in pictures with me.

I never had any private time with Millie in that gathering room, but she left and walked over to an area where folded tables and chairs were stacked up. So, I wandered into the area and asked if I could join her. She was very friendly, but to my big surprise Millie was a smoker. Here was an eighty-three year old woman whose career was singing, and she smoked. I couldn’t figure that one out, but I didn’t say anything. In fact, she offered me one and I accepted. Luckily I was a former smoker who could handle an occasional cigarette without going back to the habit.

So, Millie and I shared our smokes and chatted. This is where my research paid off. I told her I had recently watched That’s the Way It Is, and noticed the white mini-skirt she had worn. She laughed and said something like, “Oh, I can’t believe I did that. I didn’t have the legs for mini-skirts.” That opened the floodgates of conversation, and we had a delightful chat that lasted long after we snuffed out our cigarettes.

 

Millie Kirkham Ray Walker, Gordon Stoker

So, that’s my little Millie Kirkham story. I’m glad I have that memory. In this photo, she is with Ray Walker and Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires. Unfortunately, I had to write about my 2007 Elvis Week experience with Gordon after he passed away last year. It’s disturbing every time we lose another person who was part of Elvis’ world.

So, goodbye, Millie. We will miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

© 2014 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.

 

Keep Those Links Coming In

Elvis Singing Unchained Melody 2

My family and friends all know I am a big Elvis fan and have been doing ElvisBlog for ten years. So, when they come across something Elvis-related on the internet, they send me a link by email. Sometimes one of these will result in enough good stuff to turn into a blog post. Most don’t. However, the four links I’ve received over the past month are interesting, so here they are all together in one post.

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Unchained Melody:

Elvis Singing Unchained Melody 3

How many of you have seen this footage of Elvis singing “Unchained Melody” on April 24, 1977, barely four months before he died? If you have, you’ll never forget it. Elvis was bloated, sweating profusely, and performing through a cloud of painkillers. And yet, he gave an utterly moving rendition of the song. A great triumph for Elvis.

Elvis Singing Unchained Melody

I’ve seen it several times over the years, so it seemed like old news when both my son and an old high school friend sent me links to it recently. However, there was something new. Instead of just the film of Elvis singing to his own piano accompaniment, the new video included two minutes of Elvis getting ready to sing. He and Charlie Hodge talked, got the coke cup put where Elvis wanted, fiddled with the mike, and other little stuff. Realizing the delay, Elvis asked the audience, “How do you like it so far?”

So, the plan was to give you readers a link to see this very rare video. Sorry, look what comes up now:

Elvis Video No Longer Available

Come on Graceland. Give the fans a break. We know Elvis wasn’t well when this was filmed, but seeing it won’t diminish him in our minds one bit.

At least they haven’t removed the shorter video of Elvis’ performance. Click here to see a video that has been viewed over 1,300,000 times. (However, I believe they show the wrong date)

 

CMT All Time Top 40:

CMT All Time Top 40

Country Music Television conducted a poll among the biggest stars in country music to find out what artists influenced them the most. The top influence was Merle Haggard, followed by Hank Williams and Elvis. Then CMT interviewed some of the country stars that voted for each of the winners. In addition to Lisa Marie, the artists who spoke about their personal Elvis connection were Wanda Jackson, Trace Adkins, Brenda Lee, Charlie Daniels, and a pretty young lady I’m not familiar with named Ashley Monroe. However, when she said she has “Elvis” tattooed on her hip and “Love Me Tender” tattooed on her back, I became a big fan. Click here to view the Elvis video.

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Could Elvis Be Alive in a Parallel Universe?

Sounds like a cover story on the National Enquirer, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, this is the title of an article on BBC online.

Elvis Alive in Parallel Universe

Instead of the article being an absurd tabloid story, this is actually a highly scientific tome talking about fast-moving protons and other boring stuff. They could have used anybody’s name in the title, but there’s nothing like another “Elvis is alive” theme to suck in unsuspecting readers. I’m not going to bother putting a link here.

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Your 10 Favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll Stars of All Time:

AARP  - Ten Favorite Rock and Roll Stars

Over the years, I’ve studied many varied Rock and Roll polls and even posted some articles about a few. One thing, I’ve noticed in that Elvis’ popularity (or his songs or albums) drops lower as the newer voters or selection committees are folks farther and farther removed from Elvis’ heyday. So, I was tickled when my neighbor sent me a link to a poll by AARP members selecting their Top 10 Favorite Rock ’n’ Roll Stars of All Time. I knew there would be no Lady Gaga or Foo Fighters in this poll.

Elvis Seated

I wish I could say that Elvis came in Number 1, but that honor went to the Beatles. It’s hard to see much in the little thumbnail strip above, but it shows the top eight (the first box shows screaming fans). The ten winners are:

Beatles
Elvis
Rolling Stones
Bill Haley and the Comets (obviously some real old-timers voted in this poll)
Little Richard
Chuck Berry
Jerry Lee Lewis
Beachboys
Buddy Holly
Everly Brothers

We can wonder what the list will look like when today’s twenty-somethings grow old and join AARP. I think maybe Elvis and the Beatles will still be on it.

 

I love discovering fun things about Elvis on the internet. Keep those links coming in.

 

© 2014 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.

 

History Repeats — Geraldo Trashes Elvis Again

Geraldo Rivera Reports Elvis at 80

The night after Thanksgiving, I had the misfortune to watch this TV show. I had only modest expectations, thinking it would probably cover all the stuff we fans know so well already. However, after ten minutes, I realized this was a piece of trash journalism of the first order. After some research, I now know that Geraldo Rivera has a history of slamming Elvis going back to 1979.

The Elvis Cover up 1979

This was a September 13, 1979 episode of the ABC network show 20/20. The supposed cover-up was about Elvis’ abuse of prescription drugs.

The Elvis Cover-Up 20-20 Sept 1979

This is footage of Geraldo doing the Elvis Cover-Up. He seems pretty happy dragging Elvis through the muck, doesn’t he? Because that show scored huge ratings, Geraldo apparently couldn’t resist reusing significant portions of it in his new Elvis at 80.

Geraldo Announcing Elvis' Death 1977

He didn’t waste any time getting into old footage. He opened the show with a clip of himself announcing Elvis’ death in 1977.

In Elvis at 80, Geraldo’s first reference to Elvis and drugs came just two minutes into the program. At the thirty minute mark, Geraldo was still talking about Elvis and drugs. By this point, I was screaming at the TV, “Geraldo, you worthless piece of s**t. That’s enough. This show sucks!”

Another evidence of his lack of taste in Elvis at 80 was the eight minutes he spent on tribute artists rather than on Elvis himself.

17 year old ETA

Believe it or not, two minutes of the show were wasted interviewing this guy and having him sing a few lines of “Hurt.” No wonder some folks have a negative image of Elvis impersonators

If Geraldo hadn’t given so much time to the prescriptions and ETAs, he would have had plenty of time to cover all the things he never mentioned or gave only passing mention to, like:

Tupelo birthplace (didn’t even show the house)
Gladys and Vernon
Humes High School
Girlfriends June Jaunico and Anita Wood (but we did get an interview with Tori Petty. Ever heard of her?)
Sun Records (no inside of outside shots, no archival Sam Phillips footage)
Scotty, Bill and D.J. (totally unforgivable)
Dorsey Brothers, Milton Berle, and Steve Allen TV shows.
Significant movies (Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, Viva Las Vegas, Blue Hawaii, etc)
Circle G Ranch
Jaycees’ Outstanding Young American Award
’68 Comeback Special (far too little, considering the impact on Elvis career)
Elvis’ love for Gospel music
Aloha From Hawaii
Linda Thompson
Elvis’ charitable giving (no specifics, just a quick reference to his legendary generosity)

This is probably an incomplete list because just wrote down what came to me. If you spot a big omission, mention it on Comments and I’ll add it.

So what did we get on the show if they left out all these significant parts of his life and career? In addition to Geraldo’s favorite topics, drugs and tribute artists, we got a lot of face time of Geraldo himself.

Geraldo in Jumpsuit on Elvis Mania

He couldn’t resist showing himself in an Elvis jumpsuit. This old clip came from an August 14, 1992 show called Elvismania.”

We also got tiresome sound bites from a strange assortment of people: Gene Simmons (from KISS), Ray Stevens, Chubby Checker, Larry Gatlin, Neil Sedaca, and Tommy Roe. There was a little recycled footage of Priscilla (looked like something from an old Elvis Week interview.

On the other hand, Brenda Lee was good, because she had actual connections to Elvis to talk about. Best of all were Jerry Schilling and George Klein, both of whom I consider to be good guys among Elvis circle of friends.

Geraldo and Jerry Schilling

George Klein

Yes, there were short segments on Col. Parker, Graceland, Army life (including mention of Elvis’ introduction to GI Speed), Priscilla, and Lisa Marie. Near the end of the show, Geraldo stated that he would have loved to interview Priscilla and Lisa Marie, but they were unavailable. Yeah, right. They probably wouldn’t be caught dead appearing on a hatchet job like this show.

 

Geraldo had plenty of negative slams about Elvis in his narrative, but he did mix in some praise as well.

Slams

Fading King of Rock and Roll
Fat at forty, strained and swollen
The decline and fall of the king
Almost became a joke in the 60s
Enough dope from enough doctors to kill a horse
Worth more dead than alive

Praises

An idol to millions of us growing up in the 50s and 60s
He revolutionized the music business
In one way of another he touched most of us
His music will live forever
Enriched America’s cultural heritage

Geraldo Rivera’s website has its own Elvis Page, on which it says, “over the years, Geraldo has had some great insights on his (Elvis’) character, culture and place in the American sphere.

Did Elvis Committ Suicide

Give me a break. Do you call it insights or trash journalism when you do shows like The King’s Deep Dark Secret (1982) or Did Elvis Commit Suicide? (1990)?

Geraldo ended Elvis at 80 with this: “Elvis, thanks for the memories.”

I say, “Geraldo, this show is a memory I want to forget.”

© 2014 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.