Monthly Archives: July 2016

Joe Petruccio — Official Elvis Artist

Joe Petruccio Elvis Artwork Avilable at Graceland

I was pleased to see this announcement on Graceland.com. Joe Petruccio’s paintings of Elvis have been famous for over a decade, and his enormous body of work now numbers in the thousands. The website cites a quote by Elvis’ good friend Jerry Schilling: “Joe Petruccio has a unique ability to capture the essence of an individual like no other artist today.”

So, I eagerly clicked on the link to see the artwork and what the costs are. We’ll take a look at all of them, and then veer off on some tangents about Joe Petruccio’s other Elvis paintings.

Elvis, Just Pretend by Joe Petruccio

JUST PRETEND

Let’s start with the largest and most expensive item in this new offering — $1,495. The canvas print measures 30” x 40”, and the framed image is 40” x 50”. This is a new offering for Elvis Week 2016, and there are only twenty-five of this limited edition available. I’d be surprised if they don’t sell out. Joe Petruccio had this to say about the inspiration for his creation:

“I tried to depict the last moment we got to see Elvis on stage as he walked off, and the last of the bright lights bathed the back of his beautiful figure as he walked into the darkness of the night. Just Pretend is Elvis saying to us, ‘Just pretend this wasn’t the last time you got to see me.’”

In case you are curious, Elvis’ last concert was in the Indianapolis Market Square Arena on June 26, 1977.

 

Elvis, Graceland Mansion by Joe Petruccio

GRACELAND MANSION PORTRAIT

This is the least expensive offering at $20, and there does not seem to be any limited quantity available. It is unframed and measures 11” x 14”. Although this seems like a modest offering, the website gushes with praise: “This portrait style art print captures the statuesque and soulful brilliance of the King’s castle via Joe’s signature techniques—subtle contrasts and surface styles, amazing depth and an understanding of highlights and line placement like no other.”

If you are wondering about the “portrait” reference for a painting of a building, Joe Petruccio explains it as follows:

“I love painting portraits. That is my ‘thing.’ But there is something about the Graceland mansion that inspired me to paint it. So I decided, if I was going to paint it, it would be a portrait. A portrait of the home of a man I admire and adore. Like the lights that lit its owner as he took the stage, I would paint Graceland basking in that same light. Even though it’s painted in black and white, I love how you can feel the warmth of the sun and his light shining on this amazing treasure.”

 

Elvis, Really Big Show by Jpe Petruccio

REALLY BIG SHOW

I’m not too excited about this one. The four pictures are inside a 9” x 12” box, so they are really small. Overall size with matt and frame is 20” x18”. However, this is an Elvis Week 2016 limited edition of just fifty-six, and it costs $480, so Graceland and Joe Petruccio think highly of it. He has a nice explanation for the title Really Big Show.

“I thought I’d pay homage to the first time Elvis was on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was 60 years ago. What a night. I thought I’d combine my advertising background and recreate that moment in a storyboard. It’s the way I design TV commercials before I actually shoot them. Here is the first piece I’ve done in fine art that combines my passions. Painting, advertising, and Elvis.”

 

Elvis, Surrender Eyes by Joe Petruccio

SURRENDER EYES

I just love this one. You know an artist is good if he can paint only someone’s eyes and we instantly recognize who it is. The print measures 12” x 25”, the framed image is 22” x 32”. It sells for $495, and the quantity is not limited, so they will sell lots of this one. Joe Petruccio had this to say about it.

“During the years that I’ve been drawing and painting Elvis, the one thing that becomes evident is that the magic is in his eyes. As a matter of fact, I was sure that if you just saw his eyes you would know who he is. This is one of my personal favorites.”

 

Elvis, Welcome to My World by Joe Petruccio

WELCOME TO MY WORLD

Here’s another look at Graceland, but this time it includes Elvis and there is some color in it. The 18” x 12” print is presented in a matted frame measuring 28” x 22”. It is an Elvis Week 2015 limited edition, and the last fifty-seven pieces sell for $475. Joe Petruccio has an interesting take on what this painting represents.

“There are often times I look at the house sitting there so big and lonely, and it’s kind of sad to me. It was a house filled with song, love, laughter and all of the other things that fill our own homes. I can’t help but picture Elvis standing outside the door, just wondering what it would be like to be on the other side of that big wall around Graceland. This painting is how I picture this moment. Is Elvis welcoming us into his house? Or is he welcoming us into the world he created by being so idyllic?”

 

Elvis, Unfinished Symphony by Joe Petruccio

UNFINISHED SYMPHONY

I’m no art critic, but I don’t get the presentation of this one. The print of a raw sketch measures just 9” x 9” inside a 21” square frame. It is an Elvis Week 2015 edition and only 25 are available at a cost of $295. Here’s what the artist had to say about it:

“It’s called Unfinished Symphony because it is a metaphor for his unfinished life. All of my paintings usually start with sketches like this. This one never went further. I felt there was such emotion in his eyes and the lines of the drawing had such power, that I felt this was done as ‘Unfinished’ as it was. Sometimes in art, less is more. In a drawing and in a life.”

 

Elvis, His First Steps by Joe Petruccio

HIS FIRST STEP

This is some really cool artwork, but it doesn’t say Elvis to me. When I see white bucks, I think of Pat Boone. Why not some blue suede shoes?  I do love the way it is presented.  It is called a gallery wrap canvas print, so it has depth without a frame. It measures 11” x14” x 2”. His First Step was unveiled at the 2014 Elvis Week, and there are just 15 copies left at a price of $650. Joe Petruccio explained his thinking on the white bucks:

“I wanted to do something to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Rock ‘n Roll as special as I did for the 50th. Every huge accomplishment, discovery, or invention all started by someone taking a first step. So, I thought, what better shoes to show taking that first step into a whole new generation and style of music. I wonder if Elvis ever imagined just how far those white bucks would travel. 60 years and they still look brand new.”

 

The Graceland.com website contains a great deal of information on each of these pieces of art. Click here to read more – and place an order if you are motivated.

 

Joe Petruccio’s artwork has been mentioned on ElvisBlog seven times over the years. Here’s a quick look.

Collectible Graceland Cellars 2005 Etched Elvis Wine

This image appeared in a November 2008 post on Graceland Cellars wine. It is a bottle of 2005 Limited Production Cabernet Sauvignon. That Joe Petruccio Elvis image is actually etched on the bottle. The wine sold for $119.99.

 

Elvis, Love Me Tender Poster

This appeared in a July 2010 article on the 12 Days of Christmas in July from ShopElvis.com. The 20’ x 16” poster is titled Love Me Tender. I wasn’t real crazy about it because it was pink and looked washed-out, but for just $11, it figured to sell well with the ladies.

 

Elvis Heartbreak T-shirt

This T-shirt image appeared in a September 2010 ElvisBlog post on Ladies Tees. It is titled Elvis Heartbreak. The Joe Petruccio artwork is from Elvis’ first 1969 concert appearance in Las Vegas as he returned to live performing. The shirt is accented with Swarovski Crystals. They must be pretty special, because the price for this T-shirt was $130.

 

Elvis, King Me T-shirt

The June 2011 ElvisBlog T-shirt review included two Joe Petruccio designs. This one titled King Me shows his skill in painting Elvis’ eyes. It’s quite an achievement to depict just a portion of Elvis’ face and have it instantly recognized. I really like this shirt.

 

Elvis, Stars and Bars Ladies T-Shirt

The second shirt was a ladies model titled Stars and Bars. Seems like a strange name because there are no stars in the image. Both of these Joe Petruccio design shirts sold for $25.

 

Elvis Star T-shirt

Another Ladies Tee, this time from a June 2012 ElvisBlog article. It is titled Star and contains three strong elements: black leather, a guitar, and Elvis. The website at T-Shirts.com said there was another image on the reverse side but didn’t show it. I wonder if it was more Joe Petruccio.

 

Elvis Rock n Roll Tank Top

In a May 2016 ElvisBlog post, I included a tank top in the T-shirt review. It is called Rock and Roll Racerback Tank, and believe it or not, it originally sold for $120, but was on sale for $18.97. The original price was because it was created by fashion designer Susan Fixel, and it featured original artwork by Joe Petruccio and hand-applied crystals. The drop to the low discount price was because the only size left was X-small.

 

Joe Petruccio - Art That Rocks Website

If you would like to see an extensive display of Joe Petruccio’s Elvis artworks, go to JoePetruccio.com. Click on “The King” at the top of the Home Page. This is not a site where you can buy them. For that, you can try www.ShopElvis.com.

 

By all means, be sure to check out www.MyElvisJournal.com. Joe Petruccio started it on August 17, 2012. Here is how he explains it:

“I wanted to do something special this 35th year after his passing. So, I created this journal. This is My Elvis Journal where I will create a year in the life of the king by revisiting his life a day at a time. I hope you enjoy it and whatever that special date you hold so dear.”

Here are the first few entries:

Elvis, August 17, 1977

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Elvis, August 18, 1977

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Elvis, August 19, 1977

How amazing is it that Joe Petruccio could turn out new paintings like these day after day. Unfortunately, the effort paused after four months, but it did come back for two more months in 2014. I hope he will someday be able to complete the project and give us 365 of these wonderful images.

 

 

© 2016 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’ Karate Gi — Pictures and Stories

Elvis Pose Used in McCormick Decanter

Elvis auctions often lead to some interesting, but generally unknown, tid-bits. Sometimes it is contained in an item description, and sometimes my curiosity is inspired, leading to a Google search. And, sometimes these lead to a discovery like this.

McCormick Distilleries Elvis Decanter

This is a McCormick Distilleries commemorative Elvis decanter. There are dozens of different Elvis whisky decanters on eBay, but I couldn’t find this one. If you see it at a flea market, snap it up.

 

Posing for McCormick Decanter

Based on the first two pictures, you’d think the decanter was designed using the Elvis photograph. Nope, they had another guy model the Gi so they could get the depth, side, and back design right.

That’s three pictures in a row that are pretty much the same, so here’s a change of pace.

Back of McCormick Elvis Decanter

The back of the decanter makes it look like Elvis is sitting on a drum. The tax seal is pretty ugly, too.

There are two different circular images on the decanter. These are reproductions of embroidered patches that Elvis had on his Karate Gi.

Elvis' TCB Patch on his Karate Gi

This Elvis-designed TCB emblem adorned the left chest side of his Gi jacket.

Elvis' Karate Gi Crown-Fist Patch

Elvis had this so-called crown/fist patch on his lower left sleeve. Here’s a good look at their placement

Elvis and Karate Gi withTwo Patches

 

Elvis had a few other designer elements personalizing his Karate outfit. Much like a jumpsuit, the flared legs are secured with three braided buttons in red, black, and white (not visable). Flare vents are visible when the buttons are unhooked.

Side View of Elvis in Karate Gi

 

But the belt is especially interesting. It is cotton with a satin overlay. The end of the sash changed as Elvis advanced through the progression of Black Belt degrees.

Elvis Presley's 7th Degree Black Belt

There are seven red tabs indicating that Elvis had achieved 7th degree Black Belt. His Karate nickname was Tiger. It started out as Panther, but there was some bad stuff going on back then with the Black Panthers, so Elvis changed it.

 

Elvis Outside in his Karate Gi

This is a rare view of Elvis outside wearing his Karate Gi. They were stored at the training facility. Here Elvis is heading to a Karate demonstration he held for teenagers.

 

Elvis Presley's 7th Degree Black Belt Card

Elvis received this card when he achieved the 7th degree mark in August 1974.

He also received certificates for each new degree.

Elvis Presley with 7th Degree Certificate

 

8th Degree San Black Belt certificate

This one is for 8th degree, and it is dated just a month later than the 7th degree card. It is interesting that somehow Elvis managed to have his TCB logo incorporated into the certificate design.

 

Elvis With Kang Rhee

The name on the card is Ed Parker and the name on the certificate is Kang Rhee. Elvis started Karate training while stationed in Germany during his time in the U.S. Army. After completing his service and returning to the United States, he began to study with Grand Master of American Kenpo Karate, Ed Parker. In 1970, Parker suggested Elvis train with Rhee, a martial arts instructor of great reputation. Elvis trained under Rhee for the next four years.

Kang Rhee Patch

Elvis had six of his white sailcloth cotton Karate Gi’s with red satin trim on the lapels and hems, but there were slight variations. This Kang Rhee patch appeared on the back of some.

EP Back of Elvis' Karate Gi

At least one jacket had the letters E P on the back.

 

Elvis' Karate Gi that did not sell at June 2016 Heritage Auction

This is the photo of the Elvis Karate Gi that started me on my rambling Google search. It was part of the June 2016 Heritage Music Memorabilia Auction, but it failed to generate the minimum bid of $10,000 ($12,500 with auction house premium). This surprised me because I remembered some of the other versions selling at other auctions.

Here’s what I found:

Julien’s Auctions, May 2015 — $23,125
Gotta Have Rock and Roll Auctions, August 2012 — $7,986
Julien’s Auctions, December 2011 — $15,300
Guerney’s Auctions, May 2008 – 15,000

I studied these results trying to understand why there was such divergence. All I can conclude is that the winning bidder last year at Julien’s paid way too much.

 

Now, we’ll have fun looking at some of the stuff inspired by Elvis’ Karate Gi.

Karate Elvis figurine

Yes, sir. A Karate Elvis figurine. There’s even a button on the back of the stage which turns on a light at the top.

Elvis Presley Karate Figurine

To me, this figurine wins the award for the little plastic head that looks the most like Elvis. There are some crummy ones out there.

 

Liam Ghallager with Elvis' TCB Logo

This is a guy named Liam Gallagher from the rock band Oasis. He had Patsy tattooed on his arm until he got divorced from her. Then he covered it with Elvis’ TCB Karate design.

 

Elvis Karate T-Shirt

This looks like a kid T-Shirt sporting a cartoon Elvis doing a Karate kick. Actually, it’s an adult size large. Here’s another shirt that is obviously for adults.

 

Elvis Kicked My Ass T-Shirt

Elvis Kicked My Ass Back in ’72.         Great shirt.

 

© 2016 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.

 

A Tribute to Scotty Moore – Part 2

Scotty Moore and Elvis Presley Performing at New Frontier Hotel 1956

This is the way most people think of Scotty Moore – playing guitar on stage while Elvis performs. Scotty will forever be linked with Elvis, and that’s fine, because his guitar skills played a huge part in Elvis’ music starting a revolution.

Scotty Moore died ten days ago at age 84, cause not announced, and ElvisBlog presented a tribute that generated much positive comment. Because there is still more to say about this rock pioneer, here is A Tribute to Scotty Moore, Part 2.

 

Elvis Leaning on Scotty Moore's Wife's 1954 Chevy Bel Air

This photograph has appeared on the web everywhere. The emphasis is always on Elvis’ wild clothes, especially the pink shirt, back in the early days. The thing most people don’t realize is that the car he is leaning on is Scotty’ wife’s 1954 Chevy Bel Air. The group used this car to travel on all their initial road tours. So, not only was Scotty’s guitar work instrumental in creating Elvis’ Rockabilly sound, he also made it possible for the singer to travel to appearances that added to his growing fame.

 

Cartoon of Scotty Moore

I don’t know the story behind this drawing, but I’m glad I found it. However, I’d change the tagline to “The Man that made the King Rock.”

 

Now for a few things about Scotty Moore you may not know.

 

Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists -- # 29 Scotty Moore

Scotty Moore's Bio on Rolling Stone

How about that. When Rolling Stone magazine selected the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Scotty made the list. His # 29 position put him ahead of many famous names, such as Prince, Stephen Stills, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Kurt Cobain. Of more interest to me was how Scotty fared against his contemporaries in the early days of Rock & Roll. Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley placed ahead of Scotty, but Duane eddy, Dick Dale, Buddy Holly, and Carl Perkins trailed him. In case you’re curious, Elvis’ guitar player in the 70s, James Burton, placed # 19.

 

Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists

I was particularly struck by the praise Rolling Stone magazine heaped on Scotty. In a flip on the widely-accepted notion that Elvis was the first to mix country, gospel, and blues music, Rolling Stone‘s bio on Scotty said:

“Moore’s tight, aggressive runs mixed country picking with blues phrasing into a new instrumental language.”

Think about what that says. Was it the guitar player or the singer in those 1954 Sun recording sessions that deserves the credit for the monumental change in music that followed? Probably both together, but Scotty deserves more credit. I’m glad Rolling Stone got it right.

 

Priscilla Presley, Scotty Moore, and Gail Pollock

There are two women in this picture with Scotty. One you easily recognize as Priscilla Presley, but can you identify the other? She is Gail Pollock, who was the woman in his life since the early 80’s. I met Scotty at four Elvis Weeks, and Gail was with him every time. They were a team.

Gail Pollock passed away in November 2015, and I am only guessing here, but I think her passing may have hastened Scotty’s death. With her gone, Scotty must have had a huge emptiness in his heart.

That's Alright Elvis - Scotty Moore Bio

I remembered there was a cute story about Gail and Scotty in his autobiography, That’s Alright, Elvis. (Side note: The book is out of print, and the prices for used copies on Amazon have zoomed up since Scotty died). I got out my old signed copy and looked up the story. Back in 1973, Scotty lived in Nashville and worked as a free-lance recording engineer, frequently at Monument Records. Gail Pollock worked there, but had no idea of his background. Scotty never talked about it to anyone.

One day a man came into Monument Records to book studio time, and Gail introduced him to Scotty. After Scotty left the room, the man asked, “Is that the real Scotty Moore?” Gail had no idea what he was talking about. He said, “Scotty Moore, the one who played with Elvis?” Gail answered, “No, he’s an engineer.”

Since then, Gail learned everything about Scotty, and the two of them had long friendships with most of Nashville’s ‘A Team’ session players, singers, and producers. She became famous for her “Southern Mother” cooking for countless recording sessions, jam sessions, or any other reason just to have friends get together.

Scotty Moore and Friends on his Back Deck

Here is Scotty (far right) with several friends socializing on the back deck of his Nashville home. We can presume that Gail either snapped the shot or was in the kitchen.

 

Colorized Scotty & Elvis on Stage

Here’s another strong photo of Elvis and Scotty on stage together, one of my favorites. I guess I am jumping around here. Hope you don’t mind.

 

Scotty on Elvis Trading Card

I wish they had used a clearer picture here for the only Elvis trading card that included Scotty.

 

Scotty Moore in Jailhouse Rock

Last week we looked at some photos of Scotty in the movie Loving You. Here he is at a recording session in the movie Jailhouse Rock.

 

Scotty Moore Album - The Guitar that Changed the World

This is an album that Scotty released in 1964, and I own a cassette copy made from it. It has since been released on CD, and Amazon’s Editorial Review says:

“Scotty Moore deserves this album’s title, exclamation point and all. His big, hollow-body Gibson electric provided the architecture that allowed Elvis Presley’s raw talent and charisma to assume its shape on those early Sun and RCA singles.”

Then, Amazon’s Editorial Review goes on to say some less complimentary things about the album itself. This is no surprise to me, because lots worse has been said about it, as related in an article I wrote for Elvis International magazine back in 2000.

“About ten years ago, I came across an interesting book in the music section of a large bookstore. The title was something like The 100 Worst Record Albums of All Time, which spiked my curiosity as an avid record collector. I flipped through it with mild amusement to see what albums the author had selected, but had quite a jolt when I came upon The Guitar That Changed The World by Scotty Moore.

“Wow,” I thought, “I didn’t know Scotty Moore recorded a solo album of Elvis songs.” Although I was pleased to learn of its existence, it bugged me that some jerk author could write such a bad review about the work of a legendary rock guitarist held in high esteem by Elvis fans. His argument was basically that the original songs were so outstanding nobody should have the audacity to record cover versions.”

Well, I got that cassette copy of Scotty’s album. I review each song in the article and had this summary, The Guitar That Changed The World is absolutely not one of the worst record albums of all time, but it sure is hard to find.”

 

Scotty, DJ and George Harrison

Last week, I wrote about how big Scotty Moore fans the Rolling Stones are. Same for the Beatles. Scotty and DJ Fontana hang out with here George Harrison in this shot. Scotty has done the same with Paul McCartney, and he has recorded with Ringo Starr.

 

Elvis and Scotty

Let’s finish up with a few more shots of Scotty and Elvis together. That’s probably the 54 Chevy Bel Air Scotty is sitting in.

 

Scotty and Elvis At New Frontier Hotel

This shot comes from May 1956 when Elvis performed at the New Frontier hotel in Las Vegas. It was nice that Elvis always moved back and let Scotty front the band when he did his guitar solos.

 

Scotty has already been buried in his hometown of Humboldt, Tennessee. However, his webmaster announced on www.scottymoore.net that a memorial celebration will soon be held in Nashville. When we read the media coverage of all the people in attendance, it will confirm that Scotty Moore was a very special person loved by many.

 

Good bye, Scotty Moore. I’m so glad I got to spend some time with you.

 

©  2016    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.

 

America Loses a Rock Legend — A Tribute to Scotty Moore

Scotty Moore and 63 Gibson Super 400

As every Elvis fan knows by now, Scotty Moore passed away on Wednesday, June 28, at age 84. Today you can find highlights of Scotty’s career with Elvis on many, many websites. And you probably know the story already, so I’ll take another approach.

This blog is usually fun to do, but writing about Scotty Moore leaving us is a melancholy experience. I think the world of him. I had the honor and privilege of having breakfast with him back at Elvis Week 2007, along with Darwin Lamm, publisher of Elvis International magazine. Scotty was in town to perform at two concerts Darwin was presenting, and I got to hang out backstage with him and the other musicians. He obliged me with autographs and a photo pose.

Phil Arnold and Scotty Moore Backstage 2007

I want to do a proper tribute and have so much I could share with you readers, but I don’t know where to begin.

Scotty has been mentioned in ElvisBlog over 80 times. There is a Scotty Moore tab under Blog Categories, and nine posts about him are in there. There’s also a lot more about the whole original band, Scotty, Bill Black, and DJ Fontana. Maybe the way to start this tribute is to feature excerpts from some of these old posts.

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This first blog article was written to highlight those 2007 concerts. billed as Scotty Moore — The Last Man Standing. This was a reference to the four men present on July 5, 1954 when Elvis recorded his first single at Sun Records. There is also an expression of my appreciation for Scotty Moore.

 

Scotty Moore – The Last Man Standing

 

Elvis, Bill, Scotty, and Sam Phillips

Graceland is a National Historic Landmark. Sun Records is a National Historic Place. I think we need one other special category – National Historic Person, and I have a fine nominee: Scotty Moore.

What qualifies Scotty Moore as a National Historic Person? Well, let’s see. On July 5, 1954, when Elvis recorded his first song, there were four men in the studio. The guitar player was Scotty Moore, and he had a lot to do with creating that unique sound. Scotty Moore’s guitar work made an immeasurable contribution to the initial success of Elvis’ music.

The other three men there that historic night are all dead. Bill Black died in 1965, Elvis passed away in 1977, and Sam Phillips left us in 2003. That’s too bad, because the session when “That’s All Right” was recorded was a very special moment in history. Three men gone, only one left. Scotty Moore, the last man standing.

It is now 53 years since that magic moment, and it’s nice to know that Scotty is still alive and well. Don’t count on seeing him at many more Elvis Weeks. It might happen, it might not. But we know one thing for sure. We can see him this year. Scotty is headlining two tribute concerts at Elvis Week 2007.

Those fans that admire and cherish Scotty Moore were thrilled to hear they could catch him on Wednesday, August 15, at the Peabody Hotel. To you folks that are going to Elvis Week but haven’t yet decided what to see, I’m telling you, buy tickets to one of Scotty’s two shows. They are going to be great.

Scotty Moore – The Last Man Standing is a unique concert concept. Both the 2 PM and 5 PM shows are double concerts. Scotty has invited two groups of his favorite musician buddies to perform, and they jumped at the chance to be on stage with him.

So, if you want some good entertainment at Elvis Week, take in one of the double concert starring Scotty Moore. He will appear at no other events in Memphis that week. This is the exclusive appearance of the genuine article, the last man standing. And sadly, it’s looking more and more like a farewell performance.

Join Scotty Moore’s many fans in honoring and appreciating him while you still can. Scotty may not have official recognition as a National Historic Person, but he truly is a national treasure.

 

Now, nine years later, the last man is no longer standing. And the fans who took in one of those Elvis Week 2007 concerts did indeed see Scotty Moore’s final performance.

Scotty Leaving Stage - Last Man Standing Concert 2007

I took this shot of Scotty as he left the stage after the 2 o’clock concert. I wish I had also taken a similar shot after the 5 o’clock concert. It would have been a photo of Scotty the last time he ever performed on stage.

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Scotty Moore Keith Richards Recording Duece and a Quarter.

That is Keith Richards backstage at a Rolling Stones concert. Those guys loved Scotty. So, here’s an excerpt from an ElvisBlog article that goes back to 2007.

 

Scotty Moore and the Rolling Stones Backstage

 

Searching through many Elvis-related websites is both prep work for ElvisBlog and a lot of fun. One site I go back to frequently is www.scottymoore.net . That’s right, the man who helped Elvis give birth to rock & roll has a great website of his own. It contains almost a dozen sections you can check out, but my favorite is SCRAPBOOK, a digital photo album. Hundreds of photos tell the story of places he’s been, people he’s met, and shows he’s done

I visit Scotty’s site frequently, but while I’m there, I’m always drawn back to the same set of pictures in SCRAPBOOK that I’ve seen four or five times before. You probably will understand why, when you see the title: “Backstage With the Rolling Stones in Memphis — December 15, 2005.”

Keith Richards and Ron Wood, who do the guitar fireworks for the Rolling Stones, both love and admire Scotty. They’ve recorded with him and had him backstage at four of their concerts. What started as admiration has grown into genuine friendship.

The SCRAPBOOK pictures show that Scotty and lady friend Gail Pollock and others obviously had a ball in Keith’s dressing room before the show. Then they had concert seats in the eighth row right in front of Mick Jagger (Scotty stayed backstage and watched from there). After the concert, there was a wrap party at the Peabody Hotel. It was here that Scotty got to spend some time with Mick Jagger and drummer Charlie Watts. Ron Wood spent a lot of time posing for smoochin’ pictures with Gail and the other girls. Sure looks like it was a fun party.

Keith, Scotty, Elvis, and Bill Backstage at Rolling Stones Concert

One backstage picture is outstanding. The dressing area at the concert venue contained a full-sized, color cutout of Elvis in his famous gold suit. Of course, this got into several of the pictures. I just love the photo of four musicians, Keith, Scotty, Elvis, and Ron. Take a quick glance at the picture and see if Elvis doesn’t look real. I liked the photo so much, I downloaded it to my hard drive and printed it out. Very cool picture.

Scotty’s whole site is, too. You can get lost for hours scrolling down through HISTORY, and connecting on all the links. So check out Scotty’s excellent website.  He’s a gentleman who deserves all the good things going on for him now. He’s a national treasure to be cherished.

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When you watch Elvis movies over and over, like I do, you start to notice things you missed originally. Years ago, I became fascinated with the roles Scotty, DJ Fontana, and Bill Black had in Elvis’ first few movies. Their screen time was the most in Loving You, prompting this ElvisBlog article from 2012.

 

Loving You – Starring Scotty, DJ, and Bill (Plus Elvis, of Course)

 

I recently found something interesting on the website for a Rock and Roll memorabilia auction. It was a movie theater lobby card from Elvis’ 1957 film Loving You. Most Elvis movie cards and posters show pictures of him with one or more of his lovely female co-stars, but this one included Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana, his original guitarist and drummer. I would guess neither man ever knew this lobby card existed, so I am sending copies to their webmasters.

Lobby Card for Loving You

Lobby Card showing DJ Fontana (far left) and Scotty Moore (far right)

Loving You was Elvis’ second movie, his first in color, and also the first of several (many?) where Elvis’ character was a singer. There are elements in this film that are considered auto-biographical. Elvis’ character, Deke Rivers, parallels Elvis’ start as a truck driver; for a beverage distributor in the movie and for an electric company in real life. Once he starts singing in the movie, all the famous frenetic leg-gyrations and hip-swinging are there to produce loud squealing by the young girls in the audience. There is even a female Col. Parker-like manager who gets Deke to sign a personal services contract giving her 50%.

The lobby card reminded me that all three of Elvis’ original bandmates, Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana and Bill Black, have considerable screen time in the movie, so I checked it out again to note all their appearances. Within seconds after the opening credits finish, they are up on a town square stage, in a country band providing music for a political candidate.

Scotty Moore and a Politician -- in Loving You

Scotty Moore and a Politician

After a few minutes of dialog by other characters, it’s back to the bandstand where we get a similar, but longer look at Scotty and Bill. In fact, Scotty gets his best screen time in any of the Elvis movies — fifteen seconds in a close shot, standing beside the politician.

About seven minutes into the picture, Deke Rivers is persuaded to get up on the stage and sing a song. He chooses “Got A Lot of Livin’ To Do.” This song is now used in Viva Elvis in the big trampoline sequence, which is generally considered one of the highlights of the Cirque du Soleil show.

Bill Black and Scotty Moore flank Elvis During Got A Lot of Livi to Do

At the eighteen minute point of Loving You, Elvis’ character is now a full time member of the band. He sings “Let’s Have a Party.” Scotty again fares best with screen time, followed by Bill, and last again, DJ.

Bill, Scotty, Elvis, and DJ Playing Lets Have A Party

Bill, Scotty, Elvis, and DJ Playing “Let’s Have A Party”

Another song in the movie is “Hot Dog.” For a few seconds, the camera shot cuts off the actor members of the band and shows only Scotty, DJ, Elvis and Bill. It’s fun to watch Scotty, because smiles so much and seems to be having a wonderful time. It is during this song that the manager creates a fake riot, very reminiscent of some of Col. Parker’s publicity stunts.

Elvis and the Boys Singing Hot Dog

Scotty, DJ, Elvis and Bill Black Playing “Hot Dog”

About 45 minutes into Loving You, Scotty, DJ, and Bill make their last appearance. Elvis’ character sings “Teddy Bear.” Although the band is visible, they are well behind him, and again the lights are dimmed until the song finishes. In this scene, as others, the bandmates move their lips as though singing. In truth, all the very fine vocal accompaniment in the movie came from the Jordanaires, an arrangement that would continue in many more Elvis films.

Elvis Taking a Bow after Singing “Teddy Bear.”

Taking a Bow after Singing “Teddy Bear.”

Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana and Bill Black also had significant screen time in Elvis’ third and fourth movies, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole. It would be so cool to find lobby cards showing them in these films as well. I’ll keep looking.

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These three blog excerpts provide a small glimpse into the many facets of Scotty Moore. I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg, so there will probably be a Part 2 to this tribute. I’ve got so many pictures of Scotty in my files, it might be fun to do a pictorial essay.

 

Good Photo of Older Scotty Moore

 

Good bye Scotty. We will really, really miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

 

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