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.
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.”
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
I thought I would get to read about the history of this event. Then I scrolled down and saw this:
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.
This is EPE president Jack Soden and Elvis’ Aunt Delta (who continued to live in Graceland after the tours began) cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
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.
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. .
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.
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.
These are fans lining up to enter Graceland on the first day it was open to the public.
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.
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