Author Archives: Phil Arnold

A Thanksgiving Prayer In The Times of Covid

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O God,

 

We gather together separated by life-saving distancing, but united more than ever in spirit.  We know we are in a war against COVID-19 together, and the more together we are, the better and stronger we will emerge.

 

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We know the challenges are enormous, yet so are the opportunities. That whether we are in isolation with loved ones, or alone, we will have abundance of time. We commit to using that time to the max, to help those in greater need in whatever way we can. We know we all have the opportunity, and time, to be life savers and life enhancers.

 

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We give thanks for those who are on the front line taking care of those who are not well. We give thanks for the researchers who are working at breakneck speed to find cure and vaccine.

 

 

We give thanks for our leaders, federal, state and local, for their dedication to all of us.
We give thanks for the providers of our daily needs who go to work in spite of the risk.
We give thanks for those who have ramped up their ability to produce life-saving supplies.
We pray for the well-being of all our life savers. For those who are not well, we pray that they recover fully.

 

 

We pray for those enduring difficulty, that they may overcome their challenges. We pray that a cure and vaccine will soon be available. And that we all – family, friends, all Americans, the entire world may be healed in body and spirit.

 

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We ask you, O God, to bless our leaders, our front line care givers, our life savers and life enhancers.

 

 

We ask you, O God, to bless America, to bless the world, to bless everyone.

 

Amen.

 

 

Archbishop Terrance Prendergast and Rabbi Reuven Bulka, two religious leaders from the Ottawa region, wrote the original prayer which was edited slightly for this post.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Please stay safe.

 

 

Variations on the Iconic Jailhouse Rock Image

Back in 2012, I posted a photo essay on the many ways creative people have used  the famous  Elvis Jailhouse Rock images.  I have found a few more variations since then, so here is a look at all of them.

 

Below are four images from Jailhouse Rock.  It appears that EPE has decided these are the definitive shots from the movie, and they have been used in various promotional efforts, especially the one on the right.

 

 

In last week’s article, we saw a popular T-shirt design that used a colorized version of this particular image.

 

In the article I mentioned I have a growing file of Photoshopped pictures that inserted this iconic Elvis pose into all sorts of different contexts.  Here are twelve good ones.

 

Elvis on a Horse 

 

This is pretty clever, but Elvis looks a little too big compared to the horse or the woman.

 

Elvis and the Peace Sign

Several of these new composite pictures have colorized the original black-and-white Elvis image.  Here, the coat and pants went from black to blue, and the stripes changed to red.  It all works very well with the American flag colors on the peace sign.  Good concept and good design.

 

Elvis Riding a Frog

This is really cute.  How do people come up with these ideas?

 

Elvis Spinning on a Turntable

Now this makes sense.  What would be more natural than Elvis on a 33 LP album?  The only thing wrong is that the record doesn’t look like one of his.

 

At the Door of a 50s Style Diner

This one is kind of weird.  Nothing looks right.  The only parts that look even close are the legs and shoes.  The arm positions have been changed, the jacket doesn’t hang like the original, and Elvis’ face has been changed.  Sorry, this doesn’t work for me.  I hope whoever made it, didn’t waste a whole lot of time on it.  Not worth the effort.

 

Donald Rumsfeld Elvis

The list of political figures morphed into Elvis images is very long – Reagan, Schwartzenegger, Bush, Nixon and more.  Here we have Donald Rumsfeld, but I have no idea why.

 

Tom Delay Elvis

Do you remember Tom Delay, the former Texas Congressman and House Majority Leader?  The Jailhouse Rock connection is a good one, because he was sentenced to three years in prison for illegally plotting to funnel corporate contributions to legislative candidates.

 

Blago Elvis

I’ve used this one before on ElvisBlog, maybe twice before.  But Rod Blagojevich was a genuine Elvis fan, and he is doing the jailhouse rock at this very moment.

 

Bill Clinton Elvis

It really isn’t fair to show Bill Clinton in front of a prison, because he never went to jail for impeachment.  I wonder why the Photoshop jockey decided to switch the Elvis image around and face the other direction.

 

J-Lo and Elvis

That’s enough politicians.  How about a hot young Jennifer Lopez dancing with Elvis?  He wouldn’t have minded that at all.  I just wish somebody had done one like this with an Ann-Margret image.

 

Elvis and Elvis

This is my favorite, so we will end here.  I like the colorized image that changes the shirt stripes to a solid red.  And I love the juxtaposition of dancing Elvis over a blow-up of his eyes transfixed in a serious stare.  Even the lighting effect is cool.  Just an excellent image.

 

And here are the new additions.

 

Mr. Spock Elvis

This image of Spock gets the pose right, but I prefer when they keep the Elvis prison uniform.

 

Elvis and Kiss

I have several pictures with Elvis Photoshopped into rock bands, but this is the only one with him in Jailhouse Rock attire.

 

Donald Trump Elvis

 

Like the Bill Clinton photo earlier, this one has Elvis’ pose reversed.  For my money,  the title on it could just as well be Trump Jerry Lee Lewis.

 

Jailhouse Rock Collectibles – Part 1

McFarlane Toys did their usual good job on this Jailhouse Rock figurine.

 

Jailhouse Rock Collectibles – Part 2

I didn’t record what company introduced this Jailhouse Rock Bobble Head.

 

Anna Nicole Smith and Elvis

I’ll just show this one without comment.

 

Fireman Elvis

It may be too small for you to read, but in the top right it says, “STOP THE NOISE – PLAY THE MUSIC Noise Cancelling Headphones.”  It is a 3M product, but I don’t get the connection with this photo.

 

Elvis and Elvis Again

I ended the 2012 post with two Elvises, and I like this one just as much. Nice use of two poses from Jailhouse Rock.

 

©  2020    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Col. Parker Masterminds the Elvis Summer Festival

Here’s a second look at a post from 2009.  I hope you will find it a terrific peak into the way Col. Parker managed Elvis career.

 

When Elvis returned to live performances at the Las Vegas International Hotel in 1969, he did two shows a night, seven-days-a-week, for a month, followed by a break of three or four months. 

His third appearance there went from August 10 to September 7, 1970.  It had all the excitement of the previous two, but there was something else going on.  A complete MGM film crew was on hand to do the filming for the documentary movie, ELVIS: That’s The Way It Is

 

 

This generated an incredible buzz, not just at the International Hotel, but for the whole city.  And guess who was there stirring the pot?  Yes, sir, of course, Col. Tom Parker.  The Colonel at his best.

 

Everybody knows where Elvis stayed when he played the International: The Imperial Suite that covered the entire top floor of the hotel. 

Bedroom in Elvis’ suite at the International Hotel

 

But where did Col. Parker stay?  Well, he didn’t do bad, either.  He got the entire 4th floor.

So, why would the Colonel need a whole floor?  Maybe, just because he could pull it off.  You know a man with his negotiating skills would love the challenge of working that perk into Elvis’ contract.  But what did Col. Parker do with a whole floor?  It’s not like he brought along a lot of buddies like Elvis did, ready to party every night.  No, but Col. Parker needed the space for something else.

He arrived in Las Vegas trailed by a staff of attendants from RCA Victor, MGM and the William Morris Agency.  He kept all of them busy carrying out his plan for a heavy public relations blitz.  And, he also had the complete assistance of many of the hotel’s staff.

Colonel Parker decided that the combination of live shows plus the filming for a movie was a big enough event to warrant its own special name.  He decided it would be the “Elvis Summer Festival.” 

 

 

The hotel staff assigned to him eagerly responded to his decree to staple stuff all over the walls near the 2000-seat Showroom International. The items included:

Posters
Pictures
Scarves
Banners
Flags

I hope these items were placed up pretty high on the walls.  Otherwise, can you imagine how much of it was stolen by the fans?  Hey, that was probably all part of the Colonel’s plan.  He had plenty more up on 4th Floor.  He could create a fresh buzz each morning by noting how many goodies were missing from the walls and replacing them.

 

 

However, Col. Parker didn’t stop with the Showroom area.  He also had the staff staple the PR stuff in all six restaurants, the bay-side pool, and a half-dozen bars.  The “Elvis Summer Festival” was in full swing, and Colonel Parker was in the driver’s seat.

 

Don’t you think the hotel management shuddered when the Colonel had strings of flags hung up around the building’s entrance.  Rolling Stone magazine said they “gave the entrance to the huge hotel the look of a used car lot.”

 

 

Colonel Parker wasn’t doing all this just to pack people into the showroom.  He also had merchandise to sell.  The luxurious carpeted steps leading to the casino were graced with brilliant crystal chandeliers – and Col. Parker’s Elvis souvenir stand.  Pretty girls sold Elvis Presley photos for $1 and picture books for $1.50.  We can imagine that just about everybody coming and going to the casino stopped and looked, and many bought.

 

The weirdest thing in Col. Parker’s saturation campaign was what all dealers and pit bosses were required to wear – white Styrofoam fake straw-hats.  And each hat had a wide banner around it, proclaiming “Elvis Summer Festival.”  Don’t you just bet those pit bosses were so thrilled to be wearing them?  Guests could pick one up for $3.50 at the hotel gift shop.

 

All of this was engineered at Elvis Central back in the Colonel’s 4th floor lair.  Actually, it was called Col. Parker’s “Las Vegas Office,” and the hotel installed wood paneling in one of the large suites to give him a true office environment.  However, on the walls outside his office, the colonel had staff hang a gigantic Elvis movie poster, plus banners and flags.  A bit farther down the hallway were stacks of Styrofoam straw hats.

The Colonel posted a 24-hour guard at the elevator door into his domain, and the guards kept busy by turning away everybody who didn’t belong.  However, the disappointed fans were not sent away empty-handed.  They were each given an Elvis postcard and an Elvis calendar.

Elvis also had guards at his penthouse suite, and they turned away fans – lots of them.  But there weren’t any business meetings going on inside Elvis’ suite like there were down in the Colonel’s.  No, Elvis and the boys were having some good parties, because “that’s the way it is.”

 

 

©  2008     Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister     All Rights Reserved     www.ElvisBlog.net

 

A Closer Look at Elvis’ Gold Lamé Suit

Editor’s note:  The set of Elvis Gold Suit photos has been sold.

 

I learned something last week. The worst way to try to sell a set of killer photographs of Elvis is to show all of them together in one picture.

That makes them too small to really see how great they are, especially for the two-thirds of ElvisBlog readers get it delivered to their smartphone.

 

What I should have done is show big pictures of them individually. Like this:

Now, that’s more like it. You can see that Elvis is wearing the coat from the famous Gold Lamé Suit, but not the pants. The gold tie is gone, replaced by a flashy medallion. Elvis liked the gold belt, so he’s got that on.

 

Here a shot with Scotty Moore and Bill Black. Scotty is so staid, while Elvis is smoking hot doing his famous hip moves. The hair falling over the forehead is great.

How about this one! Elvis is going full-blast. Check out his hair; it looks like that because he is bouncing up-and-down. Scan down to his shoes and you can see him coming down to land from the bounce.

I love the look on his face. As often noted on this blog, his eyes during performances are almost hypnotic. And have you ever seen a picture of Elvis with his mouth open this wide while singing?

Finally, this photograph is special because of the famous guitar he is slinging. There are many other pictures around of Elvis and that guitar, but none of them have Elvis looking this animated.

 

I’m glad Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires is in this photo with Elvis. He bought me a meatloaf dinner at Elvis Week 2007, and he told some wonderful Elvis stories.

Elvis is not in motion here; maybe singing a love song. When I look at my actual photo I can see the hair over his ear is swept straight back and it looks like he just got a haircut.

 

And here we have Elvis in the full Gold Lamé Suit: Coat, tie, belt, pants, and shoes. This spectacular shot of Elvis in action leaves the standard Gold Suit publicity photo we see all the time in the dust.

 

Let’s look at a brief history of Elvis’ famous Gold Lamé Suit and then come back to discuss these pictures some more.

 

Col. Parker commissioned Nudie Cohn of Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors to design the flashy gold suit at a cost of $2,500 ($23,200 in today’s money).

While the fans loved the outfit, the one person who did not like the suit was Elvis himself. Lamé is not an easy fabric to wear since it is made of thin ribbons of metallic threads. The gold pants created problems for Elvis since the gold sequins would flake off when he slid on his knees while performing. Plus, he disliked the gold pants because they were not flattering. That is very evident in my photo.

Elvis wore the gold lamé suit for the first time in public on March 28, 1957, at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago. He wore it for the final time on April 2 at the second show at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. The last photo above was taken at this show by a photographer for the Toronto Star newspaper.

So, there was just a six day span when Elvis wore the full gold suit outfit, and he didn’t wear it at all of the performances in this period.

For most of his 1957 concert performances, Elvis substituted black pants for the gold. He still wore the gold belt and jacket, but rarely wore the gold shoes or necktie. That is the case in the first four photos above, which were taken at Elvis’ show on April 3, 1957 at the Memorial Auditorium in Ottawa.

 

Now, let me explain how I happen to have these photographs. I bought them thirteen years ago from my friend and fellow Elvis-blogger, Alan Hanson. He is the author of the wonderful book Elvis ’57: The Final Fifties Tours.

You will find it interesting how Alan acquired these photos:

I purchased the full gold suit photo from the Toronto Star. I had seen the photo in a copy of the newspaper when I was doing research on my book. I had done some research on Canadian copyright law and learned that copyrights of photographs there expire 50 years after they were taken. Since I was writing my book in 2007, the copyright on the Toronto Star photo had just expired.

The lady I spoke with at the Star confirmed that was true. So I had to pay $10 or so for them to send me a scan of the photo, but I didn’t have to pay a fee to use it in my book. Also, I was free to sell copies of the photo since it was then in the public domain.

Likewise, I paid $3 or so for copies of all the photos taken in Ottawa from the City of Ottawa Archives. Since I knew the copyrights had expired in Canada on all of those photos, I used several in my book and offered copies for sale on my website. Since the Ottawa Archives had sent me all the photos as scans on a CD, it was easy to have 8 X 10 copies made. I sold a number of photos,

Including a set to me. But, now I am willing to part with them. They are stunning glossy photographs on heavy photo paper. The detail is sharp. Check it out on this blow-up of Elvis’ head from the first picture.

 

When I scanned my photos for this post, they went into my files at 1,700 x 2,200 pixels. You could make life-sized posters out of them and they would still be sharp.

 

So, have I convinced anyone out there that this set is a wonderful collectible for an Elvis fan?

To make it an even better package, I will include quality blow-ups of three of the Elvis head shots.

 

 

Okay, who’s going to step up and get the five photographs and three fabulous head shots for just $20? The first person to let me know by email (philarnold@charter.net) will get them. Add $7 for Canadian destinations. Please do not use Comments to notify me.

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold
Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

To find out more about Alan Hanson’s excellent book Elvis ’57: The Final Fifties Tours, please click here.

Elvis Pics, Pics, and More Pics

It’s time again for me to offer some more of my Elvis goodies to any of you who might be interested. I took a beating on package postage last couple of times. My guesses were pathetically low, but that’s okay. Today I am offering only things that get the low Media Mail rates, and I can guess them pretty good.

If you want a deal on Elvis pictures, check out these eight choices:

8-1/4″ x 10-3/4” Color Pictures (and a few B&W).  The next three sets of Elvis pictures are on slick high-quality paper. The images are sharp and Elvis looks great in all of them.

Set # 1:

This set contains Elvis in three different jumpsuits, a drawing by famous Elvis artist Betty Harper, a terrific publicity photo from Blue Hawaii, and a black-and-white shot of Elvis early in his career.

 

Set # 2:

This set has Elvis in the same three jumpsuits as in Set #1, but they are different poses. There is a fourth Jumpsuit picture shot from the side, a picture of Elvis in casual clothes, and a patriotic drawing of Elvis by Betty Harper.

 

Set # 3:

This set features five pics in Landscape orientation and has some great head shots. The B&W one is great picture of young Elvis. There is a Betty Harper painting of Elvis in an unusual pose. The other B&W pic is Elvis and Col. Parker outside the New Frontier Hotel in 1956.

All three sets are just $5 each delivered. No postage or sales tax. Excellent large pictures of Elvis for not much money.

 

 

Set # 4:

 

These are large reprints of famous Elvis photographs. The big value of this set is the photo of Elvis in junior high school. You probably can’t pick him out here in the small thumb-nail image, but full-sized you can pick find him easy.

This excellent set is also $5 delivered.

 

Set # 5:
Editor’s note:    This item is no longer available

 

This is a rare offering. Full-sized photograph reprints of Elvis wearing his famous gold lame coat. They were taken on April 3, 1957 during a concert in Ottawa, Canada. The other photo showing Elvis wearing the entire gold suit was taken earlier on the tour, before Elvis got tired of the baggy pants and ditched them.

I thought about selling these pictures individually, but to keep it simple, you can get all of them. This is a great bargain.

 

Set # 6:

 

This is a mixed assortment of a dozen color and B&W pictures. They are postcard size (in fact three of them are postcards). All twelve of them for just $5.

 

Set # 7:

 

This is another assortment of thirteen Elvis pictures. They are slightly smaller at 3-1/2” X 5”. If you have an Elvis scrapbook, these will be a welcome addition. Just $4 for all.

 

Set # 8:

These are three outstanding centerfolds from Elvis International magazine. They are on heavy glossy paper and measure 11” X 17”. They will look so outstanding on the wall of your Elvis room.

You can get all three for just $10 delivered.

 

Okay, If you like any of these offered sets and would like to purchase them, let me know by email at philarnold@charter.net. Please don’t put it in Comments. These offers are for delivery to USA locations only. Add extra $5 to destinations in Canada

Please indicate if you want a PayPal invoice, and I’ll get one right out. If you’d rather pay by check, let me know, and I’ll hold your selection for you until it arrives.

Thank you so much for your support.

Phil Arnold
Original ElvisBlogmeister

Tickle Me

Tickle Me Movie Poster

 

I’m so glad I found this post when I was digging for a good oldie to repost.  It started out as a regular movie review that included publicity stills, lobby posters, and maybe a screen-grab or two of scenes from the movie.

 

But I got carried away with making screen-grabs and did twenty-one of them.  I made heavy use of pause, single-frame-advance (and back) and created a lot of great shots this way.  Then I wrote a narrative around all my pictures.

 

So, here is a really fun look at Elvis’ movie, “Tickle Me.

 

 

Women Oogling Elvis in Tickle Me

Here is an example of one thing that makes Tickle Me work for me. This shot happened when Elvis first arrived at the Circle Z Ranch. I could have selected another fifteen or twenty similar pictures of beautiful girls ogling Elvis from other scenes in this movie.

 

Jocelyn Lane's First Look at Elvis in Tickle Me

This is Elvis’ love interest, played by Jocelyn Lane, one of my favorite Elvis costars. This is how she first sees Elvis as he starts work at the Circle Z health ranch.

 

Elvis Enjoying the View - Tickle Me

And this is a few seconds after he first sees her. Don’t the students usually face the instructor when doing exercises? Oh, well, that wouldn’t be as much fun.

 

Elvis Falling Over Table

The view gets Elvis so shook up he tumbles over a patio table. It’s one of the best physical humor bits Elvis did in his movies. There wasn’t a stunt double. He did it.

 

Elvis Singing in Local Bar - Tickle Me

In addition to Jocelyn Lane and a bevy of beautiful women, Tickle Me also has pretty good music. Elvis is backed up by three different bands, including this one in a bar the night before he reports to the ranch.

 

Elvis - Band at Ranch Party

Then there is this band at a luau at the ranch. Elvis must have liked that jacket. He wears it in a lot of scenes.

 

Elvis - Band in the Saloon

And finally, Elvis is backed by these guys in a dream sequence. I prefer to call it a double-dip-dream because both Elvis and Jocelyn are wide awake and see the same flashback to a saloon a hundred years earlier. Think about that for a minute.

This is not the only wonderfully ludicrous element of the film.

 

Elvis -- Another Song with Invisable band

Here Elvis sings and an invisible band provides the musical accompaniment.

 

Lovely Girls Following Elvis - Tickle Me

Same deal here. Lots of sound coming from that invisible band, again.

 

Here’s an interesting tid-bit about the music in Tickle Me. Elvis did not record any new songs for it. Instead, the movie featured songs culled from these old Elvis albums: Pot Luck, Something for Everybody, and Elvis is Back. Probably some kind of cost saving idea of Col. Parker’s.

 

So, in addition to girls and music, what else does Tickle Me have to offer? How about bad guys in creepy-looking masks:

 

Monster at Door - Tickle Me

Monster in Window - Tickle Me

 

Donkey

Actually, this is a real donkey. He apparently lives in the ghost town where Jocelyn (alone, and later with Elvis) looks for her grandfather’s hidden gold coins.

 

Ghost Town in Tickle Me

See the donkey? Once Elvis and Jocelyn get to the ghost town, the sort-of plot kicks in, but so does a bunch of silliness.

 

Restored Hotel in Tickle Me

Like the hotel supposedly restored by the State Historical Society. The doors are not locked, no one is there to welcome visitors, and it has hot running water and wooden chests full of clothes to change into.

 

Jocelyn Wet and Mad at Elvis - Tickle Me

Which worked out well for Jocelyn after she got caught in a thunderstorm. She does an excellent job of being wet and mad at Elvis in this scene.

 

Elvis Giving Quick Spank to Jocelyn - Tickle Me

But Elvis calms her down once he gets her inside.

 

You don't Mind Kissing your Boss Do You

Elvis also had to calm down the beautiful ranch manager who asked him, “You’re not afraid of a little kissing with your boss, are you?”

Elvis looks directly at the camera and winks. A nice touch. Can you remember Elvis doing it in other films?  I can’t.

 

Red West and Elvis Fighting - Tickle Me

There’s one thing I always look for in Elvis movies. It’s the fight scene with Red West. Someday I’ll tabulate how many of them there are and do a blog post on them.

 

Red West Before Swinging at Elvis - Tickle Me

Here’s Red pulling his date away after she threw herself at Elvis.  Gee, we’ve never seen that before, have we?

 

 

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 1 - Tickle Me

As usual, we will end this pictorial essay with Elvis kissing his leading lady.

 

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 4 - Tickel Me

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane kissed four times in Tickle Me. That might be a record. I don’t know.

 

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 3 - Tickle Me

This is such a fine photo of Elvis hugging his costar, but the kiss quickly followed.

 

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 2 - Tickle Me

 

Strangely, they did not kiss when they found the gold, or when they got married, or when they took off on their honeymoon. Too bad. That certainly would have set the movie record for Elvis kissing his love interest.

 

Tickle Me premiered nationally on May 28, 1965.

 

© 2015 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.

The Women Who Loved Elvis

 

This is the cover of a book by famous music writer Alanna Nash.  I have read some of her other writings, and she does a good job.  Please note the subtitle, “Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him.”

Alanna Nash was very successful at getting excerpts from her books placed in magazines.  Such was the case with the Ladies Home Journal and an article from her book.  It was titled, “The Women Who Loved Elvis.”  Here is another look at an ElvisBlog post from 2013 about this article.

 

That enticing title graced the cover of the August 2007 issue of the Ladies Home Journal.  As soon as I read the first line of the subtitle, “Very Private Confessions,” I knew this was prime material for an ElvisBlog article.

A good many ElvisBlog readers probably missed the Ladies Home Journal article by leading Elvis writer Alanna Nash.  It featured seven lovely ladies associated with Elvis in a variety of ways.

The subtitle “Very Private Confessions” turned out to be quite a stretch.  I looked specifically for them and have listed below my best guess at each woman’s “Confession.”

 

June Jaunico:   Elvis’ girlfriend for over a year in 1955/56.

June 4

“We got so wrapped up in kissing on our very first date – nothing too sloppy, it was marvelous – a little pecking here and there, a little nibble here and there, then a serious bite.”  (This one is a very sweet confession, but wouldn’t a real confession have been about what she and Elvis did on date number five or six, not on the first one?)

 

Wanda Jackson:   Sang in concerts on tour with Elvis and was his girlfriend in  1955/56.

Wanda Smiling and Elvis

“In the early part of ’56, he gave me one of his rings… We stood by his car and he asked me to be his girl… I had a crush on him, and being able to know him and know his heart made me admire him a lot.  So, I said I’d be his girl.”  (Good move, Wanda)

 

Raquel Welch:     Had a bit part in the 1964 movie Roustabout.

Raquel Welch

  “One of his guys came over and said, “Elvis is having a little party at the house, and if you’d like to come up…” I had a very strict upbringing, and I didn’t like the setup, so I didn’t go.”  (Big mistake.  Bet you wish you had that one to do over again, Raquel.)

 

Mary Ann Mobley:   Appeared in Girl Happy and Harum Scarum

Mary Ann Mobley

“Elvis and I felt a common bond, coming from Mississippi.  He thought I understood him… This is an odd thing to say about Elvis Presley, but it was like I was working with my brother.  We never dated.”  (Sorry, but there is nothing else remotely approaching a confession in Mary Ann’s section.)

 

Jo Smith:   Wife of Elvis’ very close cousin Billy Smith

Jo Smith

“He loved you to talk babytalk to him, and we had to take care of him and cater to him like a small child… He liked to be put in bed and be told good night.”  (You have to assume this took place in the time after Priscilla and before Linda Thompson.  Can’t see Jo Smith tucking Elvis in bed when either of them was around.)

 

Linda Thompson:   Elvis’ girlfriend from 1972-76.

Linda Thonpson in Jungle Roon

“But I think it’s wonderful if you can be all things to each other.  And he and I were.  He called me ‘Mommy.’  And he was like my father at times.  And we were like brother and sister at times, and we were like lovers at times.  (Looks like they played ‘cowboys and Indians’ at times, too.)

 

Kathy Westmoreland:   Recorded and toured with Elvis in the 70s.

Kathy Westmoreland 2

“My last in-depth conversation with Elvis was just a few weeks before he died.  I remember he said, ‘Kathy, what’s it all about?’  And I said, “I think that is for you to find out for yourself.’”  (Kathy’s section in the article was very short and mostly about sad topics.  This is about the most upbeat thing she said.)

 

Here is a selection of other interesting quotes by some of the ladies.

June Jaunico didn’t hear from Elvis for a while after that first date.  “It turned out he was calling and my older brother wasn’t bothering to tell me.  Finally, he said, ‘Some guy with a hillbilly accent called.’”

Wanda Jackson and her dad were backstage on the first stop of a tour with Elvis in 1955.  “All of a sudden my dad and I started hearing screaming.  My daddy said, ‘I wonder if there’s a fire or something.  Let me go look.’  I started getting my things, and he came back and said, ‘No, relax.  But you’ve got to see this for yourself.’  He took me to the wings, and there was Elvis singing and moving and gyrating, and all these girls standing at the foot of the stage, screaming and reaching for him.”

Raquel Welch had a revelation about how sexy a guy could be when she saw Elvis in concert for the first time.  “Like many adolescents of the 50s, I had been completely gaga over Elvis.  I saw him live in San Diego in one of his early shows.  It was my first rock ‘n’ roll concert ever.”

Linda Thompson quote seems to dispute reports that Elvis knew he would die young.  “I think it’s terrible for people to say they couldn’t imagine Elvis growing old.  Everybody has that right, even if they are a sex symbol. He wanted to live to be an old man.”

And, we sure wish he had.

 

 

©  2013    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.

 

75 Reasons We (Still) Love Elvis

One of the interesting things I do when reposting old ElvisBlog articles is to click on all the included links and see if they still work.  On this post from 2010, I took issue with something published on www.spinner.com.  But, when I clicked on its link, nothing came up, so I went to Wikipedia. Spinner was sold to AOL in 1999, combined with another site in 2002, revamped in 2008, and shut down completely in 2008.

I would like to think it served them right for being so stupid about Elvis, as you will see below. 

 

 

Like all of you, I am a big Elvis fan who recently celebrated his 75th birthday on January 8.  Perhaps you had an experience like I did on that day.  A number of friends sent me e-mails telling me to check out Elvis links on the web they thought would interest me.  You got some, too, didn’t you?

One friend suggested I check out www.spinner.com for their article “75 Reasons We (Still) Love Elvis.”  Spinner.com is a music website, but when I checked it today, their top three stories were about the bands Ting Tings and Mission of Burma and singer Jason Karaban.  So, it is safe to say that their sphere of interest generally doesn’t include music of the 50s, 60s or 70s.

 

In my opinion, the Spinner staff members who put together their list could not possibly be true Elvis fans.  They simply needed a total of 75 items, and they didn’t know enough about Elvis to come up with that many good ones.  Here are some of their stupidest reasons they supposedly still love Elvis:

#64 The NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies’ blue suede sneakers
#57 Luka Blooms’s version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love”
#54 Dexter Romweber, bastard son
#52 Bobbie Ann Mason’s brief “Penguin Live” bio
#41 Eminem, “Without Me”
#40 Other Elvises: Costello, Grbac, Stojko, Perkins
#37 Fine Young Cannibals’ version of “Suspicious Minds”
#36 Dead Kennedy’s version of “Viva Las Vegas”
#29 His sons-in-law: Nic Cage and the King of Pop
#21 Spinal Tap’s harmony-challenged rendition of “Heartbreak Hotel”
#12 Kim Jong Il’s man-crush

 

OK, they picked five other artists’ versions of famous Elvis songs and four other people who have the same Elvis first name.  What totally lame reasons to say they still love Elvis Presley.  How do you like the two ex-sons-in-law they picked?  Why not the fathers of Elvis’ four grandchildren:  Danny Keough and Michael Lockwood?

I had to Google Bobbie Ann Mason to find out what “Penguin Live” was all about.  It is a book about Elvis that must be terrible, because you can buy it on Amazon.com for 92ȼ new or 8ȼ used (Seriously. Shipping is $3.99).  Likewise, Wikipedia reveals that Dexter Romweber is a modern-day singer who affects an Elvis-style stage demeanor.  Yes, sir, those two certainly make me still love Elvis.

When I Googled Kim Jong Il and Elvis, at least a photo came up.  It was a Photoshopped picture from a parody website called Kim Jong Il Gallery in 2006.  I don’t know how Spinner.com derived a man-crush from this:

 

To be fair, about half of the Spinner.com list did make sense.  Here are some of the ones I like:

#74 Nickname: “The Memphis Flash
#71 Shaking hands with Nixon
#68 Vernon and Gladys
#67 Scotty Moore and Bill Black, hanging on for dear life
#61 Singing to a basset hound
#60 The “Jailhouse Rock” dance
#49 The American Eagle cape
#43 Graceland
#34 Sideburns
#25 The Elvis stamp
#18 “Elvis In Concert”
#16 Buying his black-and-pink “cat clothes” from Lansky’s on Beale Street
#8   “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is”
#6   The Million Dollar Quartet
#5   Grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches
#3   “The ’68 Comeback”
#2   “That’s All Right”
#1   “Thank you… thank you vurry much!”

They actually did a pretty good job on the ones at the top of the list.  But, if you or I were to sit down and make our own list of reasons we still love Elvis, we would have no trouble coming up with more than 75 good ones.

I think I’ll give the list a try on his birthday next year – “The Top 76 Reasons ElvisBlog Loves Elvis.”  I promise you Dexter Romweber, Kim Jong Il and Michael Jackson will not be on it.

 

If you’ve got time on your hands because of the Covid 19 shutdowns, here’s an exercise  for you.  How about compiling your own list of 25 reasons you still love Elvis.  If you send it to philarnold@charter.net, I’ll publish it next week.  This could be interesting.

 

©  2010    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Another Assortment of Elvis Goodies That Need a New Home

I hope some of you will find a collectible or two here you like.  Keep in mind that the prices are delivered – no shipping costs get added.  I must admit I guessed too low on the postage for two of the items I sold last time.  It was so high on one that it came to more than the selling price. Oh, well. It still went to a good home.

Directions on buying procedure is at the end of this post.

One other point, the price delivered to Canada would be at approximately 50% higher than the listed price.

 

Editors’ Note:  The decals are sold.

Four Elvis Decals:

This is two versions of the same Elvis picture. I particularly like the white version that would look so cool on a dark background. They measure 4” x 5-1/2”.

 

These are two copies of the same decal showing Elvis in the famous Sundial jumpsuit. They measure 4” x 5”.

All four decals for just $5 delivered.

 

Las Vegas Elvis Figurine:


McFarlane Toys is well-known for top quality, highly-detailed figurines, and this is a shining example.

See the fringe hanging down from the sequined white jumpsuit typical of those Elvis wore in Las Vegas? That is a great example of how excellent the detail work is.

The figurine and base are almost 8 inches tall.

Las Vegas Elvis is no longer available from McFarlane. The best price on eBay is $28 plus $9 shipping for a sealed one like mine (there are also prices of $50, $70, and even over $100). But this wonderful Elvis collectible can be yours for $23 delivered.

 

Editor’s Note:  The ticket is sold.

Elvis Concert Ticket:

This ticket was from a June 5, 1976 concert at the Omni in Atlanta. It is preserved in thick, clear acrylic plastic. Very nice presentation.

The acrylic is heavy, so I’ll be eating a lot of postage. $7 delivered to you.

 

Editor’s Note:  The puzzle is sold.

All About Elvis Puzzle:

This is a 1,000 piece puzzle that is 27” by 20” when put together. It features a photo of Elvis from the pool scene in Jailhouse Rock. But this is a puzzle with something special. All around its perimeter are boxes (called scenes) with text and little pictures detailing Elvis’ life history. What’s special is that inside the boxes are clues telling you what pieces to find next.

The back of the packaging calls it:

A terrific story-telling puzzle. Each scene uncovers fascinating facts or amazing trivia… and then leads you to the rest of the story.

This unusual puzzle has a range of prices on eBay, but the cheapest is an opened one for $12 plus $8 postage. Mine is still-sealed. With that much postage, my price of $14 delivered is a good deal.

 

Editor’s Note:  The Elvis stamp assortment has been sold.

 

An Elvis Stamp Assortment:

This is a numbered sheet of the famous Elvis stamp released on January 8, 1993. Don’t you wish stamps still cost 29 cents? There are 40 stamps in this sheet, so at the very least it is $11.60 worth of usable postage. But the real value is because it is a numbered sheet of historical important Elvis stamps.

 

This is an even better sheet of 40 stamps, because it is presented inside a sealed Commemorative Edition cardboard sleeve.

 

This one takes some explaining. You can see the single stamp in the center. It is also postmarked with a First Day of Issue postmark. The sleeve is the size of the jackets on 45 records. The center cut-out is just like they used to be, and the thumb-pull cut-out was very common on old 45 sleeves.

I wanted to see what this item was going for on eBay, but I didn’t know what to call it in the search box. After three tries I found Elvis Presley 1st Day of Stamp Issue Ceremony Program. And below it in the scroll was First Day of Issue Stamp, 45 RPM Record Sleeve & Program.

Because my copy is still sealed, I did not know there was a program inside. You can barely make out the January 8, 1993 date. The Postal Service had an extravagant first day of issue release ceremony at Graceland on Elvis’ birthday, and that’s the program inside.

Side note: I tried to find some pictures of the ceremony on Google, but I didn’t have time to really dig deep. I remember watching it on TV, or maybe just a clip on CNN, but one thing stuck in my mind. Jerry Lee Lewis was there.

 

These are envelopes the Postal Service sold back when the stamp was issued. They have a big B&W picture of the Elvis stamp printed on it, but there is enough room to put on an address. I have one blue and two white envelopes.

 

The Postal Service did so many special things with the Elvis stamp. One of them was giving us fans a chance to vote on the image for the stamp. In the months leading up to the release, you could go up to the post office counter and ask for ballots. They were on postcards. You marked your pick and sent the card back to be tabulated.

The top image above was generally called the “Young Elvis” stamp, and the other was tabbed the “Old, Fat Elvis.” This was so wrong because the drawing was based on a photo taken at the Aloha From Hawaii TV special when Elvis was only 38. The fat tag was totally outrageous, because Elvis trained and dieted for months before that show, and he was in terrific shape.

 

The items offered in this Elvis Stamp Package so far are all worthy collectibles. But I am offering so freebies, as well.

 

This is a promo mailing piece the Postal Service put out to promote the stamps. Inside it showed and described all the other Elvis stamp goodies they were offering.

 

The Postal Service wasn’t alone in selling items related to the Elvis stamp. Graceland got in on the act in a big way.

 

This is the catalogue of all the products Graceland was offering with the Elvis stamp on them. Here is a partial list:

Music box
Watches
Earrings
Tie tac
Desk clock
Wall clock
Poster
Pewter letter opener
Pewter collectible Spoon
Pewter keyring
Beer stein
License plate
Puzzle
Stained glass
Pillow
Sweatshirt
T-shirt
Baseball cap
Oven mitt and potholder
Hand towel
Refrigerator magnet
Beach towel (I brought one of these and used it a lot)
Shot glass
Coffee mug

Graceland never missed an opportunity to sell Elvis collectibles, did they?

 

So, that’s the whole Elvis stamp package: a numbered sheet of 40, another sheet presented inside a sealed Commemorative Edition sleeve, First Day of Issue Stamp in 45 RPM record sleeve & program, three envelopes printed with the stamp picture, the Elvis stamp ballot, and two freebies. Snap this one up for $50.

 

The Elvis Stamp Watch:

This is one of two items in the Graceland catalog that I am offering for sale. It is the rectangular watch, and you can see that the original price was $39.95 (plus shipping).

It comes in the original box and has never been worn. It can be yours for $14.

 

Elvis Stamp Stained Glass:

This is another picture of a listing in the Graceland catalog. I would call it stained-glass-lite, because it doesn’t have individual pieces of glass held together with solder. But it still looks very nice hanging from a suction-cup hook on a window. The catalog picture doesn’t show the gold-color chain and frame around the glass.

A bonus feature is that you can view it from both sides, and looking at the back flips the Elvis picture and we see Elvis facing left.

Although the original price was $39.95 plus shipping, this item goes for $16 delivered.

 

Okay, If you like any of these offered items and would like to purchase them, let me know by email at philarnold@charter.net. Please don’t put it in Comments. Do indicate if you want a PayPal invoice, and I’ll get one right out. If you’d rather pay by check, let me know, and I’ll hold your selection for you until it arrives.

Thank you so much for your support.

Phil Arnold
Original ElvisBlogmeister

The King Revealed

I hope you will enjoy this reprint of an article  I posted back in 2013.

 

A recent news article on Elvis.com announced a so-called instant keepsake – the magazine ELVIS: The King Revealed.  This “Official Graceland Special Edition” is touted for going deep into their Elvis historical archives, accessing thousands of photos, documents, interviews and Elvis memorabilia, and sharing them with the public for the first time.

Elvis - The King Revealed

 

With over 350 ‘rare’ photos, the magazine is probably worth its $9.99 price.  But I wish they had used a different title.  The King Revealed just sounds too much like those Midnight Globe and National Enquirer tabloid headlines from the late 70s and early 80s.  I remembered that many of them proclaimed all sorts of different stuff they supposedly revealed about Elvis.

That was enough motivation for me to look in my large box of old tabloid issues with Elvis cover stories to see how many had the words Elvis and Revealed in the headlines. To my great surprise, there were none.

Instead, I found three tabloids with the words Elvis and (variations of) revealed  in the small print front-page teases for stories inside . Let’s take a look at them.

 

Midnight Globe — November 22, 1977:

Starlet Reveals Why She said “No” to the “King.” Elvis’ Secret 2-Year Romance

Midnight Globe - Nov 22, 1977

The starlet who revealed why she said no to Elvis is Joan Freeman, his co-star in Blue Hawaii and Kid Galahad.  According to the article, “When we first set eyes on each other, there was a spark, a magic in the air… There was just that special something between us, sometimes so warm and wonderful you could almost reach out and touch it.”

Wow, that special something sure sounds like lust to this reader.

Blackman claims she knew Elvis prior to working with him on Blue Hawaii in March and April 1961.  It’s possible she met Elvis in Hollywood in 1957, while she was filming her first role in Good Day for a Hanging, but all of her other parts were in movies made while Elvis was in Germany.  Anyway, she said Elvis begged her repeatedly to appear in one of his movies, but she turned him down each time.  “I wanted parts because of my ability, not because I was dating Elvis.”  She maintains she got the role in Blue Hawaii because producer Hal Wallis picked her.

The Starlet Who Said No

The special something between Blackman and Elvis heated up when they got to Honolulu in 1961.  The Midnight Globe asserts they had a wild, tumultuous love affair while there.  “We had rooms next to each other in the hotel, and for weeks we just lived together.” This led Elvis to propose marriage.  “He really wanted me to be his wife… But I said no… I was in love with another actor, Hampton Fancher III (mostly TV work, lots of westerns).

So, Elvis got shot down in his wish to marry Joan Blackman, but for some reason, he wanted her to appear with him two films later in Kid Galahad.  Who needs marriage when you can still have that special something?

 

The Star — June 27, 1978:

New Tapes Reveal Elvis and Priscilla’s Eternal Love

The Star - June 27, 1978

 

Elvis didn’t make the cover of this issue (just a promo tease in the bottom right corner), and he barely was shown in the centerfold photo-spread. The new tapes referenced came from Wanda June Hill, who used them to write her book We Remember Elvis.  She says she first met Elvis in a Hollywood studio and kept in contact with him for fifteen years, right up to his death.  Apparently, she had a tape recorder going much of the time during their phone conversations.

The Star article does emphasize the continuing love Elvis and Priscilla had for each other, even after their divorce in 1971.  That seems to be accepted narrative these days, but maybe it was considered a revelation back in 1978 when the article appeared.

The Eternal Love of Elvis and Priscilla

What’s interesting is the choice of photos under the banner “The Eternal Love of Elvis and Priscilla.”  There’s one tiny picture of them in the upper right-hand corner.

Priscilla and Mike Stone

There is a considerably larger photo of Priscilla and Karate trainer Mike Stone on the lower right.  He is not mentioned in the article, except for the photo caption that says, “He [Elvis] forgave the relationship she developed with Mike Stone after the separation.  (After?)

 

Priscilla and Hairdresser Elie Erzer

There is an even larger photo of Priscilla with her ‘latest escort,’ Hollywood hairdresser Elie Erzer.  What ever happened to calling them boyfriends or lovers?

 

Linda Thompson

There is also a great shot of Linda Thompson I’ve never seen before.  She gets treated rather kindly in the article.

Finally, there is a familiar glamour shot of Ginger Alden.  She doesn’t come out too well in the article.  In fact, the author says Elvis was about to cut off the relationship shortly before his death.  Supposedly, he had a beautiful blonde woman waiting in the wings.

 

Midnight Globe – Dec 13, 1977 :

Elvis’ Stepmom Reveals for the First Time.  Truth Behind the Presley Divorces

Midnight Globe - Dec 13, 1977

 

Dee Stanley is the stepmom who reveals the truth behind the Presley divorces.  She and Vernon were married for fourteen years, but they separated in 1974 when she found out he had been seeing another woman he met in Las Vegas.  The article says she never thought for a second that the separation would lead to a divorce.  However, three years later, Vernon was still living with the woman.  A few months after Elvis died, Vernon and Dee had a quickie divorce in the Dominican Republic.

Ninety percent of the Midnight Globe article is about this divorce and the aftermath.  The only time Dee mentions Elvis and Priscilla’s divorce is when she compares it to hers.  “The two marriages… succumbed to the same sort of strains – Elvis’ work on the road, in Las Vegas and other places, and Vernon going off with him.  The two of them felt the same way, that there was a separate man’s world where women shouldn’t be allowed to enter… ”  Dee called it the reverse of an old saying: “Like son, like father.”

Dee Presley

Dee also discussed her divorce settlement as fair and generous, and that Vernon had always been that way.  Later in the article, she admitted it was enough for her to live an opulent lifestyle for the rest of her life.  Near the end of the article, Dee says she still feels for Vernon.  She tells him she still loves him and she prays someday they might marry each other again.  That didn’t happen for Elvis, and we know how that old saying goes.

 

©  2013    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.