After our break for Elvis Week posts, it’s back to part 3 of my 2011 series on Elvis scrapbooks.
Did you know there is an Elvis scrapbook in the Smithsonian Institution? Back in January 2010, the Smithsonian opened a special Elvis exhibit titled One Life: Echoes of Elvis in the National Portrait Gallery.
The scrapbook they displayed was created just after Elvis died. It was found in a warehouse in Chicago, and the fan who assembled it is unknown. A Smithsonian spokesman stated, “The devotion with which it was collected and labeled indicates how shocked Presley’s fans must have been at his early death.” He also said he had confirmation that there were thousands of similar Elvis scrapbooks.
They didn’t let you flip through the pages of the Smithsonian scrapbook, but we can do it with the Elvis scrapbook we’ve been looking at for the last couple of weeks.
So, let’s check out five more pages.
Page 11 has all late 50s photos. The top one may be hard for you to figure out, but this is a photo of Elvis in the Army. He is tying his shoes while getting dressed in his fatigues. That’s his belt hanging over his neck. The picture to its left is from one of the Ed Sullivan shows in 1956.
The bottom photo is obviously from Jailhouse Rock. I like the text below the shot, because it states that many people think it was Elvis’ greatest all-around performance. I’d put it number 2, right behind King Creole.
Page 12 has three unexciting photos of Elvis. The right one is of Elvis leaving a concert and getting in a limo. The driver had to sneak past the fans to get back to the hotel.
The two articles are interesting. The top one came out just after Elvis’ death, and according to the hand-written note, it is from a Catholic newspaper in September 1977. The article contains the usual biographical information found in every Elvis news account after he died. But, this also talked about Elvis’ faith. “He was a young man of good intentions, a kind of man who had spiritual yearnings and a love of Jesus Christ.” I like how the Catholic newspaper gave Elvis a pass on his assorted discretions because he had good intentions.
The bottom article is a hoot. It appeared in a February 28, 1977, issue of Newsweek magazine, and it is not complimentary. Here are the title and selected quotes:
Rock ‘n’ Roly-Poly Elvis
“The entertainer’s cult shows no more signs of thinning out than its hero does.”
“The King – a jowly, raunchy figure…”
Fistfights broke out in the scramble for autographed scarves that Presley flung as he sang…”
Well, even though Elvis was on the decline six months before his death, the fans still came to his shows, and they still got rowdy, just like in the early days. Elvis still had it.
Page 13 has two photos of Elvis holding guns. The one on with the rifle should have had the caption: “OK, fat man, now we’re gonna rewrite that rotten contract that gives you a 50% cut.” The one with the pistol actually has this caption: “Elvis… and his boys liked shooting guns during parties, ranging from hand guns and rifles to Browning Automatic Rifles.” Well, it’s a good thing there were never any drugs or alcohol at those parties.
The bottom section is an ad for a set of three Elvis eight-track tapes. Sign of the times.
Page 14 has two color pictures of Elvis in jumpsuits. Looks like old Elvis could still put a charge in the fans, although he’s got quite a gut in the smaller picture to the right. I didn’t know Elvis threw pink scarves to the fans, but what else could he be holding? Definitely doesn’t look like a bra or panties.
The bottom photos show younger Elvis with an unidentified woman, and a shot taken in Hawaii in 1972.
Page 15 is the third large color photo of Priscilla, but with cute little Lisa Marie in it, too. Lisa looks to be about four-years-old. If so, that would put the date around February, 1972, the month Priscilla left Elvis. Based on all the pictures of Priscilla I have seen, I would say that whole breaking-up period was the least photographed time in her life. So, this is a rare picture. Priscilla would have been twenty-seven then, and I’ve decided she was at her peak of beauty in these scrapbook pictures. Too bad they are all so badly aged and discolored.
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