Last weekend’s ElvisBlog post generated the most immediate comments I’ve ever seen (other than the get well wishes after my wife’s surgery). It seems that posting Elvis pictures I find on Pinterest can be tricky, especially the ones that don’t have any tags explaining what they are.
Like this one. I assumed it was Elvis playing football, but three different readers informed me it was Johnny Harra. You may remember he played the role of Elvis at age 42 in the movie “This is Elvis.” (There were three other actors playing Elvis at different ages.) I guess this picture is a clip from the movie, but I haven’t seen it in ages and can’t remember.
When I posted this one, I said I hoped it wasn’t Photoshopped, because I liked it so much. Well, my good friend, blogger Troy Yeary, got out the magnifying glass and did some detective work. He reported, “Unfortunately, as you suspected, the one with the dog has to be a fake because he is wearing a Jeff Gordon #24 NASCAR collar, and Gordon did not start racing until the early 1990s.” Good catch, Troy.
Two readers commented on this shot of Linda Thompson at Elvis’ funeral. Frequent commenter Tracey (aka Fluffy Sprout) wrote this: “On the picture of Linda at Elvis’ funeral, she said this was a favorite dress that Elvis had bought her, and that he loved her wearing it whenever she was with Elvis.” So, maybe it’s not as inappropriate as I thought.
Out of curiosity, I searched for photos to see what Priscilla wore at the funeral. This hazy shot looks like it was taken by a fan, and it supposedly shows Priscilla being led forward by group of men.
This photo was tagged, “Priscilla and Lisa Marie at Elvis’ funeral.” Does that look like Priscilla’s profile?
For what it’s worth, I scrolled through dozens of Elvis funeral photographs, and I couldn’t find one with Ginger Alden in it.
I mentioned that this picture was tagged as G.I. Blues on Pinterest, and that the Army insignia seemed to verify that. Two readers knew better, and one pinned down the actual movie scene.
“The one of Elvis in uniform sticking out his tongue is not from G.I. Blues, it’s from Blue Hawaii. Elvis and Joan went in the water at his old shack on the beach and a little boy came up to them, and Elvis asked him if the cat got his tongue.”
This photo generated the longest ElvisBlog comment ever. It came from Jeanne Kendall, a true Elvis expert and the force behind Pomadour, a wonderful Facebook page celebrating Elvis and Elvis Tribute Artists.
Hi Phil! Great blog, as usual!
Yes, that is a photo of Gladys’ parents, Bob and Doll Smith. I post it on Pompadour every year on their Anniversary along with this info that you might find interesting:
Bob Smith (1873-1931) was the son of White Mansell’s sister, Ann.
Ann Mansell was a striking woman of dignity and stature, a commanding presence until her death at eighty-six. Bob Smith and Doll Mansell, Elvis Presley’s maternal grandparents, were first cousins. This was a genetic intensification, a doubling, of the family lineage. The marrying of first cousins, with its intensities and possibility for dysfunction, was common in insulated communities of the agrarian South.
Like Doll, Bob Smith was very handsome, his Indian blood evidenced in a noble brow, good bone structure, even features and dark, deep-set eyes. His black hair was dark as coal. Doll would be bedridden from tuberculosis throughout the marriage. Like his uncle and father-in-law, White Mansell, Bob Smith labored long and hard as a sharecropper, and occasional moonshiner, to support his invalid wife and eight children. The noose of poverty tightened on the family, and on Elvis’ mother, Gladys Love Smith (1912-1958) who was born on April 25, 1912.
In 1931, when Gladys was 19 her father Bob Smith died. It was completely sudden and unexpected. Everyone had expected the sick ‘Doll’ to die first. As was his request he was buried in an unmarked grave.
So Gladys did not have a strong role model in a mother, and Vernon did not have a strong bond with his father. Both these facts would impact heavily on Elvis Presley’s life.
I hope all is going well with Beverly’s recovery. Take care,
Jeanne (Pompadour: A Tribute to Tribute Artists)
Thank you, Jeanne (and also to the original writer at elvis.com.au.)
Three people wrote to tell me this was not Elvis. The best came from Merjin, a reader from the Netherlands: “That last one is an ETA. The suit resembles the first (stone) Arabian suit, but is different. Belt looks like a fantasy Target suit belt. No Elvis!”
Only one person challenged this as a Photoshopped phony. The specific comment was: “The one with the cat is a big fake. I believe the original is of Marlon Brando and his ugly arm (not to be mistaken ever for Elvis’ beautiful one).” Interesting. There may be something to that, but I just don’t have time to look for a Marlon Brando original.
If anyone has more information on the photos posted last week, please put them on Comments. Now, let’s look as some more pics that certainly seem to be the real deal.
The tag says this is 14-year-old Priscilla Elvis sitting with Elvis in Germany. No wonder Elvis was attracted to her. Very pretty.
There was no tag on this, and I have no idea what’s going on. Somebody help us out here.
I picked this image partly because of the detailed caption: “The scene where Elvis Presley sings Viva Las Vegas is performed in one single unedited shot—the only known example of such a technique in Presley’s movie career.” I wonder who keeps track of this kind of stuff.
We’ll see two shots back-to-back that show Elvis’ body posture in different situations. Above he looks super-cool and confident.
Here he looks a little gawky. I guess the policeman was part of security leading to/from a venue. Anybody know?
Now that’s a handsome man.
Oh, well, not every candid shot can be flattering.
Hey, that’s not Priscilla. It’s Ann Margret. There was an interesting tag, but I did some detective work myself. The tag said, “Viva Las Vegas. A week later, Ann Margret married Roger Smith. The following week Elvis married Priscilla in Las Vegas at the MGM Hotel.”
Actually, Elvis and Priscilla married first on May 1, 1967. Ann Margret and Roger Smith married a week later on May 8, 1967. But Viva Las Vegas was filmed in 1963 and released the following year. There sure is a lot of mis-information about Elvis on the internet.
Here’s a movie-related picture with a tag I can completely believe: “Jane Elliot and Elvis Goofing Around Backstage During the Filming of Change of Habit.”
We’ll close with one last shot of Elvis looking really handsome.
Now look at him with the plywood artwork cropped out and his face resized 20% bigger.
Someday I’ll be cruising through Elvis photos on Google Images or Pinterest, and I’ll find this one. I’ll enjoy seeing that it came from ElvisBlog.
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