Monthly Archives: March 2019

What Do Chubby Checker and George Thorogood Have in Common?

They’re coming to Graceland.

More precisely, they’re coming to the Graceland Soundstage in Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

SoundStage A ( Now Graceland Soundstage)

Since renamed Graceland Soundstage

Perhaps EPE’s plan in the beginning was to show Elvis movies at the Soundstage, and to have events there during Elvis Week and the Elvis Birthday Celebration.

But now they are going after more than just Elvis fans to fill the seats. After all, they do have a concert venue holding up to 1,500 people, and there are a lot of good touring acts out there who perfume in front of crowds like that.

 

I’m not sure about this, but I think the only Memphis concert venue of similar size is the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street.

New Daisy Theater

I went to a midnight concert at the New Daisy Theater during Elvis Week 2002. It featured two young tribute artists named Shawn Klush and Ryan Pelton. Klush went on to win the first Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition in 2007, but he still came back to the New Daisy years after that.

 

Shawn Klush at the New Daisy Theater

 

So, the Memphis roster of concert venues has improved with the addition of the Graceland Soundstage. It’s got state-of-the art sound and graphics, lots of parking, and a bonus perk that’s pretty cool. Concert ticket holders get free admission to Elvis Presley’s Memphis from 3pm on, so they can spend 4 or 5 hours in there before going into the concert.

A dozen artists are lined up so far to perform at the Soundstage this spring and summer. But Chubby Checker.is the one I want to write about.

Young Chubby Checker

I have always liked Chubby Checker. He is originally from Philadelphia, and so am I. I saw him once back in 1959 before he became a huge star with his hit, “The Twist.” He was one of several local singers that performed in an open pavilion at Willow Grove Park. At that time he had a minor novelty hit called “The Class.” In it, the students were supposedly Elvis, Fats Domino, the Coasters, and the Chipmunks, and Chubby sang a few lines in each of their voices.

He is 78 years old and still performing. Here he is in 2014.

Chubby Checker in 2014

 

While searching for a current photo of him, I found something that made me laugh.

Chubby Checker Penis Measuring App

Chubby Checker had sued the makers of an app that estimated the size of a man’s penis, called The Chubby Checker, for $500 million over “irreversible damage and harm”. He claimed that the app tarnished his name.

I wonder how much he got in the settlement. Not so much for him to finally hang up those twisting shoes for good. No, he’s coming to Graceland on June 22. The top tickets go for $99.50.

Chubby Checker’s act has always included lots of dancing with the fans, not just on the stage, but also down in the aisles sometimes. I’ll bet he puts on a great show at Graceland.

 

 

And I like the new option we fans now have. Elvis wasn’t the only music we liked. We had other favorite singers and bands over the years. If one of these gets booked at the Soundstage, it could spark a trip to Graceland for a connection with two of your favorites. A Chubby Checker/Elvis Presley weekend at Graceland sounds like a fine idea to this old fan.

 

Here’s the rest of the lineup coming to this concert series now named Graceland Live.

Graceland Live

These artists are listed without comment for now. Click here to see a wonderful website that tells you everything about them.

Bret Michaels – Saturday March 23 – All tickets are Standing $49.50

George Thorogood  – Saturday, April 13  – Top ticket is $101.50

Buckcherry –  Friday, April 19 – All tickets are Standing $25

Frank Turner – Saturday, April 27 – All tickets are Standing $27.50

Allman Betts Band – Friday, May 3                 ditto

Violent Femmes and X – Thursday May 16 – All tickets are Standing $39.50

Stryper  – Sunday, June 2 – All tickets are Standing $25

Boz Scaggs – Sunday, June 16 – Top ticket is $124.50

Chubby Checker – Saturday, June 22 – Top ticket is $99.50

Pat Benetar,  Saturday July 26 – Top ticket is $124.50

Brian Setzer,  Wednesday, Aug 21 – Top ticket is $99.50

Hot Tuna – Sunday, Sept 1                        ditto

 

That’s an interesting variety of performers. And there’s lots of room for more additions.

Here’s some stuff off that website I told you about

Graceland Soundstage State of the Art

Premium Bars

 

I also want to write about another performer that I’d love to combine with Elvis on a weekend at Graceland: George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

George Thorogood

 

George Thorogood’s current tour is named the “Good To Be Bad Tour – 45 Years of Rock”

He started his career in 1974, back when music was on records. I bought four of his albums, and I picked up a couple of his cassettes at garage sales. Now I’ve got 16 George Thorogood songs on my playlist.

Here’s what the Graceland Live website says about him.

George Thorogood Gut-busting Music

That’s quite a list of adjectives they used to describe George Thorogood’s music. To me, It’s just really good blues-rock. Nothing like Chubby Checker or Elvis music, but I like all three.

 

Here’s another connection I have with George Thorogood. One of his songs is the ringtone on my cel phone, and it’s not any of those listed above. It’s called “If You Don’t Start Drinkin’ (I’m Gonna Leave)”. I picked it because it starts with a very loud repetitive guitar lick. I need it loud if I’m going to hear the phone ring in my pocket with my crummy hearing.

 

Graceland Live Alt Logo

This is a nice image, but unfortunately, Elvis won’t be performing at Graceland Live.

 

Remember when Dorothy said to Toto, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Well, “Graceland isn’t just Elvis anymore.”

 

Two Giant Screens at Graceland Soundstage

 

 

© 2019 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 Elvis-A-Rama

 

Every trip to Graceland now includes a visit to the new Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. Same thing for Presley Motors Automobile Museum. Everybody takes in those two during a trip to Graceland.

Presley Motors

 

Did you know that hundreds of the items displayed in these venues were featured in the Elvis-A-Rama Museum in Las Vegas fifteen years ago?

Front Elvis-A-Rama

Back in 2005, I did an ElvisBlog article on Elvis-A-Rama. This was two years before I started adding photos to the posts, so it was all text. Like this information I found on the internet:

Named one of the “Top 3 Attractions” in Las Vegas by The Travel Channel

Voted “The Best Museum” in the city by the Las Vegas Review Journal

Elvis-A-Rama has been on the cover of USA Today, People, and Forbes magazines

It contained over 2000 artifacts valued at over $6 million (in 2005 dollars)

From this you can see that Elvis-A-Rama was a large, high-quality exhibit not to be missed by Elvis fans.

 

Here are the key exhibits that were noted in the 2005 research I did.

Elvis’ 8-passenger 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood limo

The “Peacock” and “Cisco Kid” jumpsuits

Elvis-A Rama Jumpsuits

Elvis’ 1962 Glastron powerboat

A pair of blue suede shoes autographed by Elvis and valued at $1 million

Elvis Blue Suede Shoes at Elvis-A-Rama

The famous gold lame’ suit

A 1975 purple Lincoln Mark IV

Every commercially released 45, EP and LP ever recorded by Elvis

In addition, there were guitars, piano, handwritten lyrics, personal clothes, outfits from the movies, furniture, army stuff, various papers, and lots more.

Elvis Displays at Elvis-A-Rama

 

I got to see Elvis-A-Rama in April 2006. And that was good timing, because it was closing for good in a couple of months. Elvis-A-Rama had been purchased by Elvis Presley Enterprises the preceding November… and they were moving out all the stuff.

So, I kind of slid in under the wire and got to see it all. I spent half a day in there. Read every word on the plaques and other signage. Sat through a show by an ETA in a little theater. Browsed the gift shop thoroughly.

I loved my lucky visit to Elvis-A-Rama.

Welcome Elvis-A-Rama

I like their tag line: Experience the King as if He Never Left the Building.

At first I didn’t think “Elvis-A-Rama” was a very good name, sounding kind of schlocky. Then I found out it was originally the name of the largest display — a magnificent 10-foot tall, 85-foot long mural that celebrated Elvis’ life and career.

Section of Elvis-A-Rama Wall Mural

A portion of the Elvis-A-Rama mural

 

It incorporated Elvis’ music, synchronized to clips of his television appearances, scenes from his movies, and concert footage. It also contained a signature board with thousands of personal notes to Elvis, many of them by famous celebrities.

The Elvis-A-Rama mural had been created in 1979 by songwriter Mitchell Torok (If you’re old like me, you may remember his 1959 hit “Caribbean”), and it was on display for 18 years, first in Nashville, and then Branson, before being sold and moved to Las Vegas.

But there was something else factoring into that sale. The mural had a solid trademark for a name that had Elvis in it.  That meant its new owner could use it as the name for his new Las Vegas museum, and he did. Elvis-a-Rama was now the whole show, not just the mural.

More in Part 2.

 

Fans in front of Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum

I have never been to the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. But some of you readers have. Please tell me in Comments if there is a 10 feet high, 85 feet long mural in there.

If not, do you think it’s in safe storage, waiting to be brought out to great fanfare in a few years?

I hope so.

 

© 2019 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.

 

New Arrivals at the Internet Elvis Stores

Image - ELVIS MOTORCYCLE TCB CROSSBODY HANDBAG

How do you like this Elvis picture? I love it, and I can barely believe it was Graceland that brought it to us. This striking design is actually on a handbag that just arrived at Store.Graceland.com.

ELVIS MOTORCYCLE TCB CROSSBODY HANDBAG

According to the website, you can:

“Show off your inner Rock ‘n’ Roll rebel with the Elvis Motorcycle Flames Crossbody Bag! This flaming hot carry-all features an image of Elvis perched on one of his beloved motorcycles surrounded by a gold tone TCB flame pattern.”

That’s a pretty cool handbag for an Elvis fan. It can be yours for $45.

 

Graceland Big, Elvis Small on T-shirt

OK, this is a new one I don’t like. Can you see what’s bothering me? Let’s make it easier to see.

Graceland Big, Elvis Small - Copy

Who thought it was a good idea to put a little Elvis Presley down at the bottom, and a big Graceland at the top? I wish they wouldn’t do that.

 

ELVIS PRESLEY GRACELAND GUITAR WATERCOLOR 3-4 SLEEVE WOMEN'S

The design is more balanced on this ¾ sleeve woman’s T. So is the name: Elvis Presley Graceland Guitar T-shirt. That pretty much covers it all. The shirt goes for $24.99.

They’re getting a lot of use out of the image. It’s also on totes, magnets, cozies, key rings, travel tumblers, and regular T-shirts.

 

WHERE ELVIS LIVES WOMEN'S DOLMAN T-SHIRT

But, that’s nothing compared to all the stuff they put this image on. It’s on all the items just mentioned plus zip hoodies, shot glasses, frosted pint glasses, and coffee mugs. The Where Elvis Lives T-shirt is also $24.99.

 

I think they are missing the boat by not putting the Elvis Flaming TCB Motorcycle image on all that kind of stuff.

 

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII 45TH ANNIVERSARY WOMEN'S DOLMAN

At first glance, I thought these were marijuana leaves. This Aloha from Hawaii T-Shirt has been recently discounted 1/3 to $38.50.  Probably because the 45th anniversary of Aloha from Hawaii was last year.

I just wonder how close you have to be to someone wearing it to make out that it’s a tiny silhouette of Elvis on the front.

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII 45TH ANNIVERSARY Blown Up

 

Sorry. I like Elvis big on T-Shirts, not small.

 

There were also new arrivals at ShopElvis.com, including one I don’t like two things about.

 

VEGAS MEOWVIS PAWSLEY T-SHIRT

The concept is okay, I guess, and the art work is pretty well done, but cat Elvis looks like he has a broken neck. The head needs to be moved three inches to the left to look right. The other thing that bugs me is the name they gave it: Vegas Meowvis Pawsley T-Shirt. Yuck.

 

3 ELVIS MOON T-SHIRT

 

This shirt appeals to me a lot. The background has a tie-died appearance. That feature is on a lot of the new arrivals, so it must be some kind of technology they have now, and a good one. The moon is a nice touch, and I like the three Elvis images. Plus it is only $19.95.

 

One thing I’ve noticed is that shirts from ShopElvis.com never have the word Graceland on them, or an image of it. May be part of some agreement between EPE and ShopElvis. But I especially like Elvis shirts with big images of him and few words, and they have lots of them.

 

I’ve been doing Elvis T-Shirt reviews on ElvisBlog for ten years, and I have slammed some bad ones. But a new offering from ShopElvis.com is the worst Elvis T-Shirt I have ever seen.

ALL HAIL THE KING T-SHIRT

The drawing of Elvis sucks so bad. It doesn’t look like a crown for the King of Rock and Roll over his head. It looks like Jughead’s cap.

I can’t believe anybody would buy this shirt. You can expect this loser to be discounted soon when sales don’t happen.  ShopElvis could drop it to $2, and I still wouldn’t be buying.

 

Here is one other item in their Elvis apparel selection that I can’t make up my mind about.

TCB Socks

 

Wow. Bold TCB socks for men or women. $19.95 a pair. What do you think ladies? Does this work for you?

 

ELVIS JUMPSUIT CAPE on sale for just $17.95

And here’s the deal of the day. The Elvis Jumpsuit Cape. Marked down from $30 to $17.95. It’s a nice size, coming down your back for 24 inches, and it has a red satin lining. Seems like some folks could have a lot of fun with it at parties or Elvis events.

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© 2019 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.

 

Eye Candy for Elvis Fans

Eye Candy Definition

Well, you’re not going to find anything intellectually demanding on this ElvisBlog post, but there is some superficially attractive and entertaining stuff you might like.

 

Giant Floating Elvis Head

Like a giant floating Elvis head.

 

Elvis Look-a-like with a Walker

Or the winner of the Ultimate Geriatric Elvis Tribute Artist Competition.

 

PEZ Elvis Close-up

How do you like this face? It’s a decent replication of Elvis. Any guesses what this is?

Jumpsuit Elvis Pez Close-Up

This angle should give you a clue.

All Three PEZ Elvis

Did you guess PEZ Elvis? With the high white collar and the shades, jumpsuit Elvis blows away the other guys. Poor Army Elvis in the center. He doesn’t look anything like Elvis.

 

PEZ Elvis Collection

Here’s the three of them inside the metal display box. Two packs of PEZ candies and a playable CD are behind them. Blue PEZ guy in the middle doesn’t look like Elvis, either, so here is the altered PEZ Elvis showcase I came up with.

 

Jumpsuit Elvis Pez Display

Much better.

But I did find a good way to use the other two guys.

Pez Elvis Profiles

 

 

Elvis and Bikini Girls in Spinout

Have you ever seen this shot of Elvis attracting a crowd of lovelies in bikinis? He probably could have pulled it off in real life, but this is from a movie. Do you know which one?

 

Clinton / Elvis Stamp

This combo stamp of Bill Clinton and Elvis came from the republic of Chad in Africa. Chad produced all kinds of Elvis stamps a couple of decades ago. They were targeted toward the collector market, not for mailing letters. There were so many different ones that one pundit joked that Elvis stamps had become Chad’s number one export.

 

Elvis Silver Lame Suit

You all know about Elvis’ famous gold suit. How do you like this silver one?

 

Elvis in Mount Rockmore

Here’s an interesting variation on Mt. Rushmore: Elvis, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Jimmy Hendrix. If it was up to me, I would take out Marley and replace him with Eric Clapton.

 

Lisa with Preggo Bump

Does anyone know why Lisa decided to pose for this photograph?

 

Elvis Toilet Paper

Elvis toilet paper is a pretty strange collectible, but keeping it in a glass display is just bizarre.

 

Elvis Shrugged -- Vol. lll

The third and last issue in the Elvis Shrugged comic book series. Elvis on steroids wearing jumpsuit pants and belt. I own this one, and the artwork inside is really lame compared to the cover.

 

Attack of the Midget Elvii

I like the bug-eyed bald guy telling the ELVII to attack. I’m not so sure about Tinkle! Crash!

 

Elvis Flintstone

I snapped this photo from a T-shirt I owned for 25 years. I sold that Elvis Flintstone T-shirt to a lady in Canada. But I got a bum mailing address from PayPal, and the package never got delivered to her or returned to me. I’m resigned to the fact that the shirt is gone forever, so I’m glad I at least have this picture.

 

The movie clip of Elvis with all those girls at the pool was Spinout. Here’s another good shot.

Elvis and Babes in Spinout

Elvis gets to check them out one by one as they go into that tent. That definitely moved the plot forward.

 

Please let me know if you like Eye Candy for Elvis Fans or not. They’re pretty easy for me to put together, so there may be more to come.

 

© 2019 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.