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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16 responses to “ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 22

  1. Hi, I know this article is a couple years old now – not sure if you’re still looking for info. The popcorn award was given on 3/23/1958 at Gene Smith’s house. The photos of the woman presenting Elvis with a crown in Graceland’s basement was in March 1960.
    Hope that helps!

  2. Now those salt & pepper shakers really would fit into my cabinet .

    • Hi Marilyn: The salt and pepper shakers were part of the sale I posted this morning. Sorry, but they sold within 15 minutes.

      Phil Arnold

  3. Hope to be your friend on facebook, the top photo is of Joyce Gentry, and the colored one is also her. Joyce Gentry started the first fan club in Bridgeton, Mo. for Elvis. I do not know where she is today. Beautiful lady inside and out. I met her in 1973., she came to my home and we had so mch fun looking at slides with other Elvis fans.

    • Hi Ramonda: Between you and Karen Middleton, a lot of information has come in on the picture of Elvis getting crowned and the woman in it. I’ll be using it all in the next ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets.


  4. Sandy Van Horn

    I attended an event during Elvis Week 2012 where Tom Perryman and his wife Billie were among the guests accounting their history with Elvis. Sweet couple, great story tellers! According to Tom, Elvis asked him to go on the road with him to book shows but Billie, who at the time had 3 toddlers, told her husband that if he accepted the offer not to bother to come back home, so that took care of Tom traveling with Elvis. Sorry to hear Tom passed away.
    See 2012 Insiders Conference information following:
    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Elvis Insiders Conference
    9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Elvis Week Main Stage Entertainment Pavilion, Graceland. This event will feature a full-day of special programming including special guests, videos and more, all celebrating Elvis. Special confirmed guests are: Jerry Schilling, Elvis’ former friend and bodyguard who accompanied him to meet President Nixon; Egil “Bud” Krogh, President Nixon’s former aide who arranged and recorded Elvis’ meeting with Nixon in the Oval Office; Tom Perryman, a DJ who booked Elvis in east Texas as early as 1954 and in 1955, and his wife Billie, who cooked for Elvis and washed his clothes after performances;

    • Hi Sandy. I certainly am accumulating a lot of information on Tom Perryman. I’ll try to put it in the next ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets.

      Phil Arnold

  5. The second picture I think is from the same day. August 17, 1977
    Fans completely blocked the street! People are waiting for the arrival of the hearse with the body of Elvis, there were an estimated 20,000 people and when the gates, at 6-30 pm, closed, outside the estate was about 80,000 fans …

  6. The first picture in white in black, according NBC: it was taken when hundreds of people wait outside Graceland before the gates were opened for the public to wiew the body on Ausgust 17

    • Hi Delores. I kind of expected to hear from you on this. I have updated the article and added two new photos that were actually snapped at the opening of Graceland.


  7. Dear Phil,
    Thanks for this great factual insight to Elvis. Maybe there is someone out there that has info on the disc jockey Tom Perryman who at one time was Elvis’s manager some time in 1955. Tom just passed away a few months ago and was still dj’ ing daily. He always talked about his one on one experiences with Elvis on his daily radio show up until his death in Tyler, Texas. It is KKUS , 104.1, “The Ranch”. This is great trivia from Elvis’s Shreveport days and the Louisiana Hay Ride

  8. Tom Broadfield

    Hi Phil love your stories l just received my two baseball caps the two you posted in your last post they are a great caps to wear ThankYou ThankYou very much

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