Monthly Archives: June 2018

More Elvis Goodies from the Fuzzy Room

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

When I offered a few Elvis items for sale four weeks ago, I had no idea whether it would work or not. Actually, it worked out very well, with most items getting spoken for within hours after posting the sale.

For those of you who missed it, the Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room is where all my Elvis stuff is lovingly displayed (or at least stored). But I am facing a scaling-down to a smaller home, and there won’t be any space for all my Elvis mementos. So, I am offering them to you ElvisBlog readers for really good prices.

Please keep in mind that these prices are for shipment to U.S. destinations only.  Postage to other countries is so high that it makes the costs prohibitive.  I wish I could negotiate special rates like Amazon has done, but that’s a pipe dream.

 

Elvis Presley Doll – “The Sun Never Sets on a Legend”

 

Editor’s note: This item has been sold.

 

Elvis Presley - The Sun Never Sets on a Legend

This is a 12” Elvis doll with 15” tall packaging that looks like a showcase. It has decorative musical notes as a backdrop, as well as a unique design and shape – the plastic window front side is curved, which allows for more of the doll and interior contents be viewed while on display. Elvis is on a stand that resembles a stage platform on top of which he is performing.

This is one of a 1993 three-part Hasbro “Elvis Presley – The Sun Never Sets on a Legend” commemorative collection. There is great attention to detail – from Elvis’ red jacket, black pants, and white shoes, to the beautifully detailed guitar. Even the black plastic top and bottom insert sections of the box contain Elvis’ facsimile autograph.

Elvis Presley - The Sun Never Sets on a Legend - Back

Back of the packaging

I have never opened it up to see the numbered Certificate of Authenticity, so I guess I can say it is in mint condition. However, it was frustrating not to be able to see (or play) the bonus 45rpm record inside of Elvis singing “Jailhouse Rock.”

Elvis Presley - The Sun Never Sets on a Legend - eBay Offers

I checked out eBay to see what this was going for. The lowest I found was this one for $38 delivered. The two lower prices above were for used ones, and the cheapest also had $13 postage. So, I will make this a bargain by pricing it at $28 delivered.

If you want this “Jailhouse Rock” doll, please send me an email at philarnold@charter.net, and I will reserve it for you and add a note to this post that it is sold.

 

Deck of Elvis Playing Cards with 54 Alfred Wertheimer Photos:

Editor’s note:  This item has been sold.

 

Elvis - Al Wertheimer Playing Cards

There are some other Elvis playing cards out there, but this deck with a different Al Wertheimer photo on each card is the most desirable to me. I’ve opened the box up twice to look at the pictures, so the cards are in perfect shape.

Elvis Playing Cards Alfred Wertheimer - back

Back of deck box

I found a few of these Elvis card decks listed on eBay with delivered prices ranging from $8-11. I can do $7 delivered, but I’m afraid the postage that I cover will eat up a good chunk of that. I did a crummy job of estimating what the postage would be on that first round of goodies, and these cards are heavy.

 

Wackel-Elvis Hanging Figure:

Wackel Elvis - in box

You may ask (as I did) what is a Wankel-Elvis? Here is a pretty interesting story from Wikipedia:

Wackel-Elvis (German pronunciation: vakəlˈɛlvɪs, “Wobbly Elvis”) is a 6 inches tall, hanging dashboard figure designed to resemble Elvis Presley. A prototype of the figure was first introduced by the German automobile manufacturer Audi in a series of television commercials which were broadcast in several European countries. The commercials were produced in 2001 to promote Audi’s new continuously variable “multitronic” transmission. Due to a high demand by Elvis fans after publication of the commercials, 15,000 Wackel-Elvis figures were produced and sold at the Audi factory outlet store.

The Wackel-Elvis figure is suspended from an elastic band connected to a suction cup attached to the windshield or rear window of a vehicle. The waist and left shoulder of the figure are equipped with flexible metal spring joints. The design prompts the figure to swing its hips, pivot around its vertical axis and shake its left arm up and down while the vehicle is in motion, creating an effect that resembles Elvis Presley performing on stage.

 

Wackel-Elvis at Graceland

Some clever fan had a Wankel-Elvis hanging from their dashboard when they took this photo with the Graceland wall in the background.

The best price I found for this (still in the box) was $24.99 plus $5.02 postage. So I think it’s a pretty good deal at $17 postage included.

 

Gray-haired Wankel Elvis

Editor’s note: This item has been sold.  The white jumpsuit model is still available.

 

If you don’t care about the box because you would want to hang Elvis in your car, anyway, here’s a deal for you. This alternate design can be yours for $10. When you send me an email at philarnold@charter.net be clear about which Wankel-Elvis you want.

 

Bubba Ho-Tep Limited Edition DVD:

 

Editor’s note:  This item has been sold.

 

Bubba Ho-Tep Limited Edition

If you are a bit unclear on what Bubba Ho-Tep is all about, take a minute and read this article I posted on ElvisBlog in 2008. Or perhaps the original video cover will jog your memory.

Bubba Ho-Tep DVD Cover

Here is a synopsis of the story from Amazon.com:

Mud Creek, Texas, is about to get all shook up. When mysterious deaths plague the Shady Rest retirement home, it’s up to an aging, cantankerous “Elvis” (Bruce Campbell) and a decrepit and black “JFK” (Ossie Davis) to defeat a 3,000-year-old-Egyptian mummy with a penchant for sucking human souls! Can the King show the world that he can still take care of business?

Don Coscarelli directs and Bruce Campbell stars as the King of Camp in this intentionally over-the-top schlockfest. Bubba Ho-Tep is partially about Elvis Presley and partially about the title character, an Egyptian cowboy zombie, but mostly it is about camp. The movie is equal parts story and back story. We learn through narration and flashback how Elvis didn’t really die, ending up instead in a rest home in East Texas with JFK who says he was dyed black and had his brain removed, presumably for reasons of national security.

Campbell and Davis realize that something strange is going on when their rest-home compatriots start dropping off suspiciously. The whole movie leads up to a final showdown to the death with the Egyptian cowboy zombie who has been killing fellow residents because he thought no one would notice. The movie unfolds a bit slowly; it is, after all, a geriatrics-fight-Egyptian-cowboy-zombie movie. In the end, though, Campbell is flawless as the aged King; his accent, intonations, glasses, and trademark karate are at the same time sincere and over the top.

Ok, so this is nifty movie, and it has some interesting history according to Wikipedia:

Originally the film was “roadshowed” by the director across the country. Only 32 prints were made and he circulated them around various film festivals, and garnered critical success. By the time it was released on DVD, it had already achieved cult status due to positive reviews, lack of access, and similar on-the-road hard work by Campbell. While the film revolves around an ancient Egyptian mummy terrorizing a retirement home, Bubba Ho-Tep also deals with the deeper theme of aging and growing old in a culture that values only the young.

You might be wondering what’s with the jumpsuit looking thing wrapped around the DVD case.

Bubba Ho-Tep Jumpsuit Shirt

It’s a nicely done mini-jumpsuit shirt that is one of many special features offered in this “Limited Edition. The others include:

Audio Commentary by director Don Coscarelli and star Bruce Campbell
Audio commentary by “The King”
Joe R. Lansdale reads from Bubba Ho-Tep
Deleted scenes with commentary by Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell
The making of Bubba Ho-Tep
Fit For a King – Elvis Costume Featurette
Rock Like an Egyptian – The music of Bubba Ho-Tep
Music video
Photo Gallery
Original theatrical trailer

I also searched for this item on the internet to see what other folks are selling it for. The cheapest I found was $24.92 plus freight. I think you will be very happy if you snap up this Limited Edition Bubba Ho-Tep for $20 delivered.

 

Elvis Salt and Pepper Shakers:

Editor’s note:  This item has sold.  They must be really rare, because several folks have wanted to buy them.

 

Elvis Salt and Pepper Shakers

This is a very cool set. The color of both shakers is actually the same; there was light coming from a window on the left side that makes them look different.

They feature a very popular silhouette of 50s Elvis shaking his hips at the mic, and I think this is the best usage of it I have seen.

I looked all over the internet to find what other folks are asking for this set. I could not find even one posted for sale, so I guess it is pretty rare. It can be yours for $15, postage included.

 

Elvis “All Shook Up” Sugar Shaker:

Editor’s note:  This item Has been sold.

 

Elvis 50s Sugar Shaker

Here’s another 50s Elvis image put to good use. Doesn’t this remind you of the sugar shakers they had in the diners back when you were a teenager? This thing is pretty heavy, so the delivered price for it is $9.

 

 

Last time, some folks replied in Comments that they wished to purchase an item. It really works better if you just email me at philarnold@charter.net. I check email much more frequently than Comments, so I can mark an item as sold right after I hear from you.

In your email, indicate whether you wish to use your PayPal account or a personal check to pay. I don’t yet have a PayPal button that businesses use, just a personal account like you do.

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

Sample only

So, when I reply to your email and confirm your purchase, I will initiate a PayPal invoice.  You get an email notification that you confirm, and the money is transferred.

So, please go back and look over the items and see if there’s anything you would like to have.

I really appreciate your support,

Phil Arnold

 

© 2018 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 DJ Fontana

DJ Fontana at center of Band

Perhaps you do the same thing I do when musicians we love pass away. Last year when Tom Petty and Chuck Berry died, I pulled out old albums and CDs and listened to their music as a way to connect with them and commemorate their impact on me.

But when DJ Fontana died two days ago, it didn’t seem as satisfying to listen to Elvis songs. I wanted something unique to DJ. Then I remembered I had his book.

DJ Fontana book - The Beat Behind the King

 

Although I had read it when it came out in 2002, I sat down and read it again. I was wonderful. Everyone who has met DJ knows he is a down-home good ole boy, and his personality shines through the words.

DJ Fontana at Drums

 

But there was a special bonus in DJ’s book. It contained a CD titled “Life on the Road,” and for some reason, I had never listened to it before.

 

DJ Fontana - Life on the Road CD

Well, I plopped that thing into the player and was mesmerized for the next 23 minutes. It was like DJ and I were sitting together at a bar, and he was telling all these wonderful old stories. Now, I’m going to miss him even more.

I’m not sure, but I suspect that the audio on this CD was the taped interview that publisher Darwin Lamm used to write the book chapter also titled “Life on the Road.” Of course, some language was cleaned up and some other editing changed things a bit. There were also short stories that ended up in the chapters titled “Recording with Elvis” and “68 Special.”

 

DJ Played with 20 Singers

Tributes to DJ Fontana are all over the web now, and I would like to offer you something different than the same stuff you’ve already read. For example, DJ was a much in-demand session musician in his career after Elvis. This page from his book lists twenty artists he has played or recorded with.

 

DJ Played with 19 more Singers

Here are nineteen more. And you could add a few more that came along after 2002. I’m not sure why mostly pictures of Elvis were used on these two pages. There are plenty of other photos in the book, half or even full page shots, and DJ is in most of them.

 

DJ in Lederhosen - G.I. Blues

Bet you won’t see this picture in any other tribute to DJ. It was taken on the set of G.I. Blues. All the guys playing in the band in the German bar were dressed in lederhosen. DJ tells a story in the book about how he had to allow make-up to be put on his knees “to give them a bit of color.’

DJ appeared in three other Elvis movies: Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, and King Creole.

DJ's Solo Scene in Loving You

This is DJ’s solo scene in Loving You where he comes out of a high school after a spring hop and removes the sign that announced the performance they just finished.

 

DJ-Fontana-and-Karen-Arrive-on-the-Red-Carpet-at-Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-Inductions

This is DJ and wife Karen walking on the red carpet to his 2009 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bill Black was also voted in posthumously.

DJ Fontana, Nancy Shockley & Louis Black at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

This is DJ accepting his statuette. Beside him are Bill Black’s children, Nancy and Louis. At the far right is Max Weinburg, the drummer in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who inducted DJ. Weinburg had campaigned for years to get DJ inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Max Weinburg Article in Elvis the Magazine

Max Weinburg Article in Elvis the Magazine

 

Phil Arnold, Joe Esposito & DJ Fontana

This is a picture of me standing behind Joe Esposito and DJ Fontana at Elvis Week 2007. I was supposedly doing security detail (making sure nobody pushed in line or stole the books they were selling and signing), but all the fans were well behaved and it was just fun for me. I met Al Wertheimer a few minutes after this picture was snapped.

DJ Signing Books at Elvis Week 2007

This is a shot from behind the table. DJ signed a lot of books that day. Everybody loved DJ.

 

I’d like to close with words from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as they remembered DJ:

Drummer DJ Fontana was a rockabilly icon and the indispensable pulse at the center of Elvis Presley’s songs. For fourteen years he played alongside of Elvis as part of the band. Together they recorded hundreds of songs and blew audiences away with rollicking, fun-loving, informal jams.

 

 

DJ Looking Spiffy at Elvis Week 2007

 

Goodbye DJ. We’ll miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

© 2018 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.

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 22

Do you remember the above photo from an ElvisBlog pictorial post three weeks ago? No information was given about the crown on Elvis’ head by the site where I found it, so I asked if any reader knew something about the reason he was being crowned. Well, reader Jo remembered seeing it in a book she owned, and she sent in an answer.

Genuine Elvis by Ronnie McDowell

The book is The Genuine Elvis by Ronnie McDowell, Edie Hand and Joe Meador, published in 2009. It contained the following information from Louise Smith, widow of Elvis’ cousin Gene Smith:

“One day, Elvis came to our house and the press followed him inside. A man and woman accompanied the man from the newspaper. They presented Elvis with a trophy. Written on it was the fact that during Elvis’ movies in the theater, they had sold more popcorn than during any other movies. They took a picture of me and Elvis and the woman who presented the trophy and it was in the newspaper in Memphis. When (Elvis) left, I told him that he had forgotten his trophy, and he told me that he would get it later. He came over many times to our house, and I always tried to give him the trophy and he always said he would get it later. Guess what? I still have the trophy that was shown in the newspaper article.”

Elvis Receiving Crown in 1960

Jo even attached this photo and caption which accompanied the article in the book. However she said she was a bit puzzled. “The date is given as 1956, but Elvis actually looks older – his sideburns are missing and his jacket is the same as that worn in the Welcome Home Elvis rehearsals in 1960. Has Louise got her dates muddled????”

So, I did a Google search for Elvis Popcorn Award, and an article came up with this picture.

Louise Smith, Elvis and Popcorn Award

The woman on the left is identified as Louise Smith and the one on the right as the presenter of the trophy. Five decades after the event, it would appear Louise Smith’s memory was indeed a little muddled, because the crown was not what accompanied the award. A trophy did

Popcorn Trophy Plaque

I blew up the award to see what it said. You can see the word Kernel, then Popcorn, (something), U.S.A.

So, the reason for the crown still remains a mystery, but the trophy picture confirms one thing:

Elvis was the King of Movie Popcorn Sales

 

 

More Elvis Armpit Sweat Revealed:

Elvis and Horses

This photo also appeared in that pictorial three weeks ago. I said I thought it had been taken on the set of Love Me Tender. However, I was corrected by reader Delores, who is quite a font of Elvis knowledge. She said the picture came from Loving You when young Susan Jessup (Delores Hart) took Elvis out to the family farm.

Elvis and delores Hart in Loving You

In the article I suggested that there couldn’t be many other pictures out there showing Elvis armpit sweat. Wrong!! Reader David did considerable detective work and found it in photos from three other movies.

Elvis Arm Sweat in 1960 GI Blues

G.I. Blues

 

Elvis Arm Sweat in 1962 follow that dream

Follow That Dream

 

Elvis, armpit sweat in1960 Flamig Star

Flaming Star

 

Of course, what I didn’t think we would ever see were any photos in real life of Elvis armpit sweat. David had that covered, too.

1970 Photo of Elvis Arm Sweat

Elvis in 1970

 

The Anniversary of the Opening of Graceland to the Public:

I get emails all the time from Graceland.com/news, Graceland Insiders, Shop Graceland, and probably some others. When I see the word Graceland, I click on them pretty much automatically to see what’s new. Yesterday, this came up.

Graceland Opened on June 6, 1982

 

I thought I would get to read about the history of this event. Then I scrolled down and saw this:

15% Off Graceland Gear

In the span of one month, we will see four reasons for a sale: Aloha from Hawaii anniversary, Memorial Day, Graceland’s opening anniversary, and Father’s Day. And I’ll bet there is some other reason for a sale prior to the 4th of July.  I hope they are selling ELVIS Gear at the next one.

So, Thursday was the 36th anniversary of the opening of Graceland. In four years, I expect a big event will be held with special guests, concerts at the Soundstage, special packages at the Guesthouse, etc. Here are a couple of pictures that will probably show up then on Graceland.com/news.

Aunt Delta and Jack Soden at opening of Graceland, June 7, 1982

This is EPE president Jack Soden and Elvis’ Aunt Delta (who continued to live in Graceland after the tours began) cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

 

Graceland Opening Flyer

Here is an advertisement for the opening of Graceland to the public. I wish it was a clearer image so we could read the ticket prices. The fine print down at the bottom says “Tours may be closed on Monday after September 1.” Of course, that never happened. The public response was too great.

 

Editor’s Note: Reader responses came in quickly confirming that the follow two photographs were definitely not taken the first day Graceland opened to the public.  As I had speculated, they were taken the day after Elvis died as fans poured into Memphis.  Sorry for the confusion.

You might want to scroll past them and look at two new photos giving a much clearer accounting of the opening of Graceland to the public.

 

These next two pictures, supposedly taken at that opening show amazing response on the first day.

Fans at Opening of Graceland

That looks like Elvis Week, doesn’t it? Or possibly the day after Elvis’ death was announced.  The internet source I used says it was taken on June 7, 1982, but the amount of mis-labeled Elvis photos on the internet is cause for a little skepticism. .

Fans at opening of Graceland

And this is supposed to be an aerial view of the event. You can barely see the mansion in the top right corner surrounded by trees. I never knew the opening of Graceland was such a highly attended event.

 

3,024 Tickets sold on the first Day Graceland opened to the public

This is a cropped photo that contains a significant fact in the text at the bottom. 3,024 tickets were sold the first day Graceland was opened to the public.

 

Fans Line Up outside Graceland on Day it Opened to the public

These are fans lining up to enter Graceland on the first day it was open to the public.

 

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

I would like to thank everyone who purchased one of the Elvis treasures I brought out from the Fuzzy Room and offered for sale. The three T-shirts were the last to go earlier this week. Next week I will show more items from the Fuzzy Room. Here’s a little tease – a set of Elvis Presley Salt and Pepper Shakers with a 50s look. Bet you haven’t seen these before.

Elvis Salt and Pepper Shakers

 

 

© 2018 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 and National Donut Day

National Donut day

By now you have probably heard that Friday, June 1 has been proclaimed National Donut Day.  To join in the celebration, I would like to repeat an ElvisBlog post from 2012 with a little updating.

 

Elvis and Southern Maid Donuts

 

Most serious Elvis fans know he did only one advertisement during his career. It was for one of his favorite food items – donuts. Elvis recorded a radio jingle for Southern Maid Donuts.

Hot Hot Hot Southern Made Donuts

 

Elvis’ association with Southern Maid Donuts started when he began regular appearances on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, LA, in October 1954.

 

Elvis performing at the Louisiana Hayride

Elvis performing at the Louisiana Hayride

 

Elvis frequented The Southern Maid Donut store in town, getting an early foundation for his well-publicized lifetime affinity for donuts, especially jelly donuts.

Box of Southern Made Donuts

 

Southern Maid Donuts began in Dallas, Texas in 1937, and the total of company-owned or licensed stores now exceeds 100. The Southern Maid name came about because the founders wanted a name that encompassed humble southern traditions, memories, and feelings.

Southern Made Sign on Stage at Hayride

 

The Louisiana Hayride was a perfect venue for marketing their product, and Southern Maid Donuts provided large sponsorship on the show’s radio broadcasts for several years. The radio spots featured a strange little jingle that deserves some explanation.

 

Hot Donuts at Southern Made

 

One of Southern Maid Donuts claims to fame is the sign above their stores with giant red neon letters lighting up the night sky — HOT, HOT, HOT. The stores sell donuts, éclairs, bear claws, apple fritters and other goodies all day long, starting at 6AM. But after 4PM, you can order a box of twelve glazed donuts made especially for you and served to you piping hot. Southern Maid Donuts have no preservatives. They are made to be eaten HOT, not saved for later. If you want hot, light-textured donuts that literally melt in your mouth, these are hard to beat.

Neon Sign at Southern Made

 

So, it follows that their radio jingle was:

You can get them piping hot after 4PM,
you can get them piping hot,
Southern Maid Donuts hit the spot,
you can get them piping hot after 4PM.

 

A number of Louisiana Hayride performers sang the jingle, including Minnie Pearl, Johnny Cash, and Johnny Horton. Elvis’ version aired on November 6, 1954.

 

To my knowledge, there is no remaining copy of Elvis singing the Southern Maid Donut jingle. I wonder what that would be worth if it ever did surface. A caller on George Klein’s radio show said that he had obtained the commercial in 2009. If so, why hasn’t it been aired by now?

In a comment to the original post, reader Kelly said:

“The caller’s name is Scott Tubbs from Shreveport. He used to work for Forost Dairy, a local milk company back in 1997. At that time, Mr. Tubbs did not know the importance of the jingle. He did in fact obtain the tape from a ex-employee of Sothern Maid, but she was later fired for selling it to him as it did not belong to her. As I understand it a court battle for it pursued . Mr. Tubbs was invited to join George Kline on his radio show when he was visiting his TWO sets of twins who live in Crodova, TN.”

 

Johnny Cash -- Southern Maid Jingle

 

For some reason, the Johnny Cash version of the jingle was preserved, and it can be heard on the CDs, The Best of the Louisiana Hayride, Volume 4, and Johnny Cash: Hayride Anthology. In another comment to the original post, according to reader Mark,

“Unfortunately’ the recorded Johnny Cash ”Southern Maid Donuts” commercial on the Louisiana Hayride is just Johnny ”talking” about the donuts — no jingle is sung!”

 

Donut Worry, Be Happy

.

 

© 2018  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.