Monthly Archives: May 2016

Elvis T-Shirt Review — Summer 2016

How an Elvis T-shirt should be worn

The Memorial Day Weekend is here, the official start of summer. Time for ElvisBlog to present its seventh annual Elvis T-Shirt Review. ShopElvis.com obliged by offering a Memorial Day Savings event, including a Spring Cleaning Clearance of some items they would like to move.

So the 2016 T-Shirt Review will have two parts. First, my picks for the best of the new shirts added this year. And, second, a look at the clearance shirts worthy of being snapped up.

 .

Elvis Karate:

Elvis Karate T-Shirt

There have been a few Elvis T-Shirts with a karate theme over the years, but I like this one the best. This picture doesn’t show the image very well, but this blow-up does.

Elvis Karate Blow-Up

I like the look on Elvis’ face, the concentration in his blue eyes. And the ying-yang symbol and the way they did his name with a pseudo-oriental look is an eye-catcher. This shirt goes for $24.99, and is also available in youth sizes for $2 less.

 .

Elvis Now Playing:

Elvis Now Playing T-Shirt 34.99

I have always favored double-sided T-Shirts, and this is a good one. I wish the single Elvis image on the back was the one on the front, but oh, well. You do pay extra for double-sided shirts, and this one goes for 34.99.

 .

Elvis Simple Face Longsleeve:

Elvis Simple Face Longsleeve Shirt 29.99

Long-sleeve T-Shirts are another personal favorite of mine, but the artwork on this one is what really appealed to me.

Elvis Simple Face Blow up

The lines and shadowing are so clean and minimal, but this image of Elvis’ face really jumps out from the black background. A very good deal at $29.99.

.

Elvis It’s Good to be King:

Elvis It's Good to be King 24.99

Someone looking at this from a distance might not be able to make out the theme, but close-up the image is definitely young Elvis. Covering the shirt with Elvis signatures is a clever idea, and we can hope that continues around to the back side. $24.99.

.

Elvis is King Ladies Scroop Neck:

Elvis is King Ladies Scroop Neck T-Shirt

I’ve never liked T-Shirts with the image of posters, album covers, or movie placards on them. But the poster here is on a black background so it blends into the rest of the shirt. And it has kind of a retro look. However, the main reason it made the select list is that it costs only $14.99. As far as I can tell, this is a new arrival, not a clearance item. Also, I don’t know ladies fashion terms, but I’m pretty sure they meant scoop neck, not scroop neck.

 .

Elvigyle T-Shirt:

Elvigyle Elvis T-Shirt 24.99

I loved this T-Shirt the second I first saw it. I thought it was a tie-dye. But it is an argyle pattern in two shades of light blue. So, of course that strange name makes sense: Elvis Argyle = Elvigyle. For you fans who aren’t familiar with Elvis’ preference for argyle socks as a young man, check out this picture.

Elvis Wearing Argyle Socks

Fortunately, the image on the T-Shirt is Elvis wearing the black leather outfit on the ’68 Comeback Special. I like that it is muted, I like the vine design curling around it, and I even like the big E in an ornate font. Well worth $24.99.
Before looking at the clearance items, I would like to mention something positive about the new batch of Elvis T-Shirts from ShopElvis.com. The word Graceland does not appear on any of them. Nor are any pictures of it blended into the backgrounds. These are all just Elvis T-Shirts, and I like that. I have been getting frustrated with the offerings from ShopGraceland.com. It seems like they were pushing Graceland as much as Elvis. I still don’t know why we have both online Elvis vendors. If anybody knows, please let me know in Comments.

.

Elvis Love Me Tender Woman’s T-Shirt:

Elvis Love Me Tender Women's - X-small - orir 64.99

You might wonder, like I did, why this nice looking T-Shirt is marked down so much. The answer is that the only size left is X-small. So, if you’re a tiny Elvis fan, this is a deal for you. Or, if you have a six-year-old daughter that you’d like to have share your love for Elvis, snap up one of these.

.

35th Anniversary Ladies T-Shirt:

Elvis 35th Anniversary Ladiis T-Shirt - Medium -originally 24.99

This one has been marked down twice since 2012– from $24.99 to $14.00 to $4.97. There’s nothing special about the design, but it does come in size medium, so it might work for the Elvis fan on a budget.

.

Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil Women’s T-Shirt:

Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil Women's - Small and Medium - Orig 29.99

This one is colorful, available in small and medium, and originally went for $29.99. You need to see a blow up of the artwork to appreciate it.

Elvis Cirque du Soleil Blow UP

To me, it looks like Elvis is surfing through space on a comet trail of gold records. If you don’t mind that little reference to the defunct Viva Elvis show at the bottom, this is a pretty good deal.

.

Elvis Youth Studio Session:

Elvis Youth Studio Session Fleece Al Wertheimer, Youth small and Youth Large, Orig 39.99

If you have a child who shares your passion for Elvis, this is a steal. Long sleeves, great Alfred Wertheimer photo, originally $39.99. It is available in youth large, so if you are a ladies small, this just might fit you. Snap it up.

.

Rock and Roll Racerback Tank:

Elvis Rock n Roll Tank - Extra Small - originally 120

Believe it or not, this tank top originally sold for $120. Created by fashion designer Susan Fixel, it featured original artwork by Joe Petruccio and hand-applied crystals. Described as “Light and airy with a chic, edgy feel.” It even has two side-panel pockets. The only size left is X-small, so they obviously moved the larger sizes at the big ticket prices. Treat you little daughter to this fashion statement Elvis tank top.

.

Alfred Wertheimer T-Shirt:

Elvis Al Wertheimer T-Shirt - all sizes

See anything strange about this mark-down? They corrected it a couple of days later, but not before I snapped this screen grab. Now $19.99.

 

 

Elvis and American Flag on Memorial Day

Have A Great Memorial Day

.
.
© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Elvis – The King of Celebrity Hair Auctions

Elvis Heads Celebrity Hair Auction Market

Did you know there are folks who collect celebrity hair? I guess it’s a popular enough activity to motivate Forbes magazine researchers to find the highest prices paid for valuable hair at auction. You probably can’t read the results in red above, so here is the ranking, including the years when the auctions occurred.

Elvis Presley             $115,000     2002
Che Guervara           $100,000     2007
Mozart                       $53,000      2015
Justin Bieber             $40,668      2014
Abraham Lincoln       $38,837      2012
Willie Nelson             $37,000      2014
John Lennon             $35,000      2016
Napoleon                  $13,000      2010

I can’t conceive how Justin Bieber hair would sell for more than Abraham Lincoln or Napoleon. He’s a young man with many more haircuts to come in his life. Lincoln and Napoleon are long gone, so there is a limited, finite quantity of their hair for collectors. Maybe Bieber’s sale went to a rich young fan with more money than sense.

The top bid for Elvis’ hair occurred at 2am on November 17, 2002, at an on-line auction by MastroNet, a Chicago-based company. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the hair had been saved by Elvis’ personal barber Homer Gilleland.

Homer Gilleland Cutting Elvis' Hair

Homer Gilleland Cutting Elvis’ Hair

 

The newspaper article referred to a “black hairball” with hundreds, if not thousands, of strands of Elvis’ hair.

Enormous Quantity of Elvis Hair

Here is an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article:

“Gilleland, who traveled with the singer to shows, would color the King’s sandy-blond hair black, then cut it into a towel around Presley’s neck… He bundled up the towels with the hair inside and took them home. Then he put the hair into a plastic bread bag, where it stayed until Presley died in 1977. Shortly after, friends said Gilleland began selling strands of the hair at a souvenir shop across the street from Presley’s Memphis home, Graceland.

Before Gilleland died in 1995, he gave a bag of the hair to a friend, Tom Morgan. Morgan, 61, a municipal employee in Memphis, decided to sell the hair this year for his retirement.”

With a winning bid of $115,000, we can assume Mr. Morgan had a very nice retirement indeed.

 

One other thing in the Chicago Tribune article turned out to be prophetic:

“Some have speculated the hair could be resold, strand by strand, for a profit.”

Heritage July 1011 - Authentic Strands of Elvis Hair

I decided to check out the sales since 2002 for Elvis’ hair at two auction houses that sell a lot of Elvis collectibles, Julien’s and Heritage. The strands above sold for $418 at a July 2011 Heritage auction, and it came from the Homer Gilleland treasure trove of Elvis hair.

 

Here are samples of other results.

Elvis Hair Sold for $1,195 August 2010 Heritage

This went for $1,195 at an August 2010 Heritage auction.

.

Elvis Hair Heritage Oct 2008 $1,782

This went for $1,782 at an October 2008 Heritage auction.

.

ELVIS PRESLEY VIAL OF HAIR June 2012 Julien's $4,160

This went for $4,160 at a June 2012 Julien’s auction.

 

It should be noted that all of these offerings of Elvis hair had nicely-done, framed displays with additional photos and text to enhance them. The auction websites stated that the hair was all originally saved by Horace Gillebrand, but do not state if they came from the $115,000 “black hairball.”

There were also additional offerings of Elvis hair from his Army induction haircut at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas, from haircuts while on duty in Germany, and other places. Plus, there are many other auction houses I didn’t check into. Suffice it to say, there has been a lot of Elvis hair sold in the last four decades.

 

Elvis Presley's Army Haircut at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas

Let’s finish with an interesting story about locks of Elvis’ hair. Col. Parker ordered that all of Elvis’ hair clippings from his Army induction haircut be gathered up and sent to his fan clubs. One lock ended up at the Tulsa World newspaper, and they used it in a contest. Winner Sybil Coughman completed this sentence “I think the US Army can make the best use of Elvis by…

… letting him give hip exercises to the soldiers to keep them trim and in good shape like he is.”

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

LipLogo_thumbnail - Copy

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

Celebrating Elvis on National Limerick Day

National-Limerick-Day-May-12

There is no end to the special days, weeks, or months that celebrate something. They are all marked on the National Day Calendar at:

 http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/

For some reason, May 12 is observed annually as National Limerick Day. Of course, Elvis has been the subject of limericks, just like he has been in every other form of expression. Here are a few Elvis limericks I’ve collected.

 

Elvis Presley would answer his calling
With the charm of his smile and his drawling
Both his presence and voice
Made promoters rejoice
Though some thought his gyrations appalling

Elvis Doing his Moves

 

 

There once was a man named Elvis
Who had a gyrating pelvis
He moved it every which way
Dynamic was its swiveling display
His pelvic moves sent women into a groove

(Editor’s Note:  I know his violates the limerick rule that the 5th line rhymes with the 1st and 2nd, but it’s a good excuse to show this very cool photo.)

Girls Reaching for Elvis

A man that we knew as The King
Moved the world with the way he would sing
He had roots in the South
And the sounds from his mouth
Would provide him a lot of ka-ching

Elvis and Handfuls of Money

 

He was born in northeast Mississippi
Where moonshine is drank when it’s nippy
Where much gospel is sung
As the church bells are rung
He was always polite, never lippy

Elvis' Lip Snarl

 

 

The boy from Memphis could sing,
Soon girls called him “The King.”
He died too young,
The last song was sung,
But the fans kept doing their thing.

Candlelight Vigil for Elvis

 

His recording debut ‘That’s All Right’
Turned him in to a star overnight
In July ‘54
With his foot in the door
His career was about to take flight

That's Alright, Mama

 

 

Elvis made a lot of dough,
Didn’t keep much of it though.
Colonel Parker’s
50% marker
Came off the top, you know.

Col. Parker and Elvis

 

 

So with fame he was suddenly rife
Then the army came in to his life
He completed his hitch
Putting off getting rich
And he made Miss Priscilla his wife

Elvis with priscilla at Release from Army

 

Later on several movies he made
And for that he was handsomely paid
Though each picture was crap
With less substance than pap
Off the set he would often get laid

Elvis and Two Babes

 

 

Elvis drove a large, bright, pink Caddy.
Popping pills and smoking a fatty.
Wearing suits that were white,
He shot his TV one night.
He was the original pimp daddy

Elvis Pimp Daddy

 

There once was a singer named Elvis
Who sure could shake his pelvis.
This has to end.
We can’t pretend,
That some other word rhymes with Elvis.

Elvis in Perspective

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Lip Logo

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

Graceland Milestone – Elvis Humor at Graceland

Graceland Plaque

Elvis Presley Enterprises never misses a chance to celebrate a new milestone relating to Elvis.  For example, the 50th anniversary of the release of his first hit, “That’s All Right, Mama” in 2004.

EPE also marks milestones involving Graceland.  On May 3rd, they announced that Graceland officially welcomed its 20 millionth paid visitor since opening to the public on June 7, 1982.

Graceland Celebrates 20 Million Visitors

 

So, EPE is now giving us fans a chance to celebrate with 20 days of events.  Until May 22, you can sign up for a giveaway:

Graceland 20 Million Fan Giveaway

There will be winners every day, but the grand prize is a getaway to Memphis including a private tour of Graceland, a three-night stay at the new Guest House at Graceland, tickets to other Memphis music attractions, and the Elvis Presley limited-edition 60-CD box set.  Click here to enter.

 

Graceland Fan Mosaic

You don’t win any prize with this one, but if you submit a photo of yourself it may end up in a mosaic photo of Graceland.  They now have an app where you can locate your photo in it.  Of course, you will be encouraged to buy a copy of the final photo, but no price has been listed yet.

 

I like to tie an ElvisBlog post in with these Elvis milestone events, but celebrating Graceland is a little harder.  I have a great file of photos, but I want to use the best ones next year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elvis’ purchase of the mansion and fourteen acres.  EPE hasn’t announced a celebration yet, but you can bet there’s one coming.

 

Elvis Humor

Then I discovered Elvis’ Humor, a book of 290 humorous Elvis anecdotes, divided into distinct categories.  Like the three in the sub-title, girls, guns, and guitars, and dozens more… including Graceland.  When I saw that, it registered on me that stories of Elvis antics at Graceland would make a great blog post to join the 20 million visitors celebration.  I contacted the book’s author, Bo Keeley, and asked for his permission to use a few, and he kindly said “yes.”

 

So here are five excerpts from Elvis’ Humor.  Bo Keeley proceeds each story with a little background information and follows with his original source book, the author, and the page number where it appears.

 

Looking Up

Elvis flails fins on the movie poster of the 1967 musical comedy ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’. He plays Lieutenant Ted Jackson who is a former U.S. Navy frogman who divides his breaths between twin careers as a deep sea diver and nightclub singer. His actual background for the role was swimming and waterskiing as a teen, and many movie sets on ocean beaches. Graceland also had a kidney-shaped pool on a cut-stone patio. In the summer of 1973, recalling his fantasy frogman days, E threw a scuba party on the Graceland patio…

  Swimming Pool at Graceland

Elvis got into snorkeling and scuba diving. He rented equipment for everyone. Of course there was nowhere to go snorkeling around Memphis so Elvis just invited a lot of people over and we used Graceland pool. The whole entourage got involved and, as usual, there was a lot of local talent, pretty young girls in scanty bathing suits, all vying for Elvis’s attention.

Elvis in Scuba Gear

When Elvis got in the water so did everyone else, but the Graceland pool wasn’t that big. It looked kind of like an underwater fight scene from a James Bond movie with all of them trying to navigate around in there. Elvis just like to sit at the bottom of the pool and watch the girls swimming above him.

– Billy Stanley, Elvis, My Brother, 288

 

Switcheroo

The Presley family moved to Graceland in the spring of 1957, between ‘Loving You’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’. One of the reasons Elvis bought the 14-acres estate is because his earlier neighbors found, despite the perks of having a famous celebrity living nearby, the constant gathering of fans and journalists was a nuisance. At the time, the property was located several miles beyond the Memphis main urbane area that, in later years, would expand with housing, resulting in Graceland being surrounded by other properties. The King immediately spent in excess of $500,000 for renovations, including the $35,000 wall around every inch of the property, and musical gates. After returning from Hollywood, Las Vegas, or a concert tour, his favorite getaway place was back home…

The Gate at Graceland

Fans were always down at the front gate at Graceland. At night they gathered to watch the lights go on and off in the different rooms.

Some nights, Elvis would call out to the barn and have Mike McGregor saddle up Rising Sun so he could ride down to the gate and sign autographs and talk.  He felt safer on a horse.

One night he called down to the gate. His uncle Harold Lloyd was on duty down there.

“Open the gate,” Elvis said.  “Tell them to come inside.”

“Come inside?” Harold echoed.

“Just hold on,” Elvis said.  “Tell them to come on inside, then shut the gate after then and lock it.”

“Lock ‘em inside?” Harold echoed again.

“That’s right,” Elvis said.

So Harold opened the gate and the fans came on inside.  They looked up at the mansion, expecting to see Elvis coming out the front door.

A car honked behind them in the street.

They turned around.  It was Elvis, driving along the boulevard, smiling and waving at them.

They all ran back to the gate.  It was shut.  Elvis drove on out of sight.

They didn’t know what to do.

Then they saw Elvis’ car swing in the back gate.  Elvis got out and walked down the winding driveway toward them.  They were so stunned they didn’t move.

They dissolved when he walked in among them and smiled.

“Hi, gang.”

– Charlie Hodge, Me ‘n Elvis, 139

 

 

Jungle Room

In the mid-1960s, Presley enlarged the house to create a den that came to be called the Jungle Room. It was originally a screened in back patio that sat behind the kitchen, which he incorporated into the main house complete with a waterfall of cut stone on the far wall. It leaked and flooded, which created a steamy atmosphere in the summer in the Jungle Room full of exotic plants, animal prints, and floor-to-ceiling shag carpet in an African motif.  One day in 1968, Elvis heard Vernon laughing and went downstairs to investigate. Vernon snickered that he had just stopped by a furniture store to have a look at a new style of home furnishing. It was hilarious, he said, and belonged in a jungle. The enormous price tag made him laugh too. Why would anyone spend that kind of money to live in a jungle?…

Rock Waterfall in Graceland Jungle Room

Elvis was inspired. He called the store and ordered the entire set. He spent much more than he would have normally dared, but it would be worth it to see the expression on his father’s face.  The furniture was delivered the next day while Vernon was out of the house.  Elvis and his men set the furniture up in the downstairs den. When everything was in place, Elvis found that he actually liked the ambiance the furniture gave the room.  He felt calm and at ease. The oversized animal-print chairs were set low and wide; the coffee table was a slab of giant cypress tree heavily lacquered with polyurethane.

Cypress Plank Table in Graceland Jungle Room

Elvis installed a rock waterfall fountain which dripped water from a pump on top, and even the lamps had an African motif.  Elvis could not express how he felt in that room, but whatever it was, he liked it.

When Vernon returned to the house, Elvis called him downstairs.  The younger Presley almost dropped to the floor with laughter at the sight of his father’s amazed face. Elvis explained that the room had originally been intended as a gag, but now he liked it and wanted to leave it as it was.

–  Jim Curtin, Elvis: Unknown Stories Behind the Legend, 43

 

Golf Cart Plunge

Elvis Presley’s response to difficulty, anxiety, nuisance, insult, and troubles was often humor. One day in the summer of ’75, the Stanley brothers were fooling around at the pool and wouldn’t stop. Elvis was trying to read at the poolside and they kept splashing him. He growled that if they didn’t’ stop… the splashing continued…

He walked off in a huff and we forgot about it. We were still in the pool about half an hour later when we saw Elvis coming over the hill in the golf cart.  He stopped, stood up, and yelled for us to get out of the pool.  We just yelled, splashed, and taunted him.

Elvis on Golf Cart

So he came driving straight toward the pool with 300-pound Lamar Fike sitting next to him on the cart.  We thought he was just trying to scare us but he came busting up and drove right into the pool.  Of course we scattered, but Lamar had trouble getting out of the cart.  So we all jumped back in to make sure he made it to the surface.  Vernon came out yelling at everyone to get out.  The cart was electric powered by batteries, and he was afraid we’d all get electrocuted.  Vernon made us drain the pool before pulling the cart out.

–  Billy Stanley, Elvis My Brother, 288

 

 

Elvis' Humor - Front and Back Covers

My thanks go out to Bo Keeley for providing these humorous Elvis stories.  If you would like to get a copy pf Elvis’ Humor, click here.

 

 

©  2016    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

LipLogo_thumbnail - Copy

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