Author Archives: Phil Arnold

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 25

Elvis Traffic Lights in Friedberg, Germany:

 

Here are some clips from a EuroNews video on YouTube.

Elvis Traffic Light - in Germany - Green

Elvis Traffic Light - in Germany - Red

Friedberg is a town about 2-1/2 miles from Bad Nauheim where Elvis served in the Army. I believe the next picture was taken in Bad Nauheim.

Elvis Sign in Germany

After I cropped this picture, the sign doesn’t appear as large as it really is. I like the way they cut Elvis’ silhouette out of the center of the sign and made a separate stand-up of him. Wonder why they used a Jailhouse Rock outfit. It seems like the uniform from G.I. Blues would be more appropriate.

 

Young Donald Trump Looked Like Elvis?

 

At a November political rally in Tupelo, MS, Donald Trump said.

“Tupelo, home of thousands of hard-working American patriots, and the proud birthplace of the king of rock n’ roll, Elvis. Elvis! We love Elvis.”

“I shouldn’t say this, you’ll say I’m very conceited, because I’m not, but other than the blonde hair, when I was growing up they said I looked like Elvis. Can you believe it? I always considered that a great compliment.”

Young Donald Trump

What do you think?

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Remember When I Told You About All the Companies that Want to Advertise on ElvisBlog?

 

This is one of the more recent ones I’ve heard from.

idilvice Elvis fashions

They don’t just do Elvis fashions, but they have dozens of them. Here’s a few that got my attention.

 

Elvis Fashion - Cowboy Prairie Sunset Turtleneck Sweater

This is the “Elvis Cowboy Prairie Sunset Turtleneck Sweater.” It looks pretty good… until you see the price tag of $249.

 

Elvis Fashion - Cowboy Ranch A-Line Skirt.

If you’re involved in the effort to restore Elvis’ Circle G Ranch, here something for you – “The Cowboy Ranch A-Line Skirt.” Just $89.

 

Four Elvis Floating Heads

This is the art work on another item. I was intrigued with the image of four floating Elvis heads, all with his famous shades, so I saved it for my files. However, on a long-sleeved turtle neck sweater, it looks horrible. Especially at $259.

 

Elvis fashions Vegas Glam Fringe Satin Scarf

It’s better on the “Vegas Glam Fringe Satin Scarf.” $149

 

Elvis fashion - Groovy Afrique Pattern Midi-Dress

And finally, we have the “Groovy Afrique Pattern Midi-Dress.” $298

 

National Cupcake Day is this Saturday Dec 15:

 

 National Cupcake day

 

I did a little surfing on Amazon and found these samples of Elvis Cupcakes.

Elvis Cupcake (4)

Elvis Cupcake (2)

And my favorite:

Elvis Cupcake (1)

 

How Come Bill Clinton Didn’t Award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Elvis?

Music stars Getting Presidential Medal of Freedom

I published this list a few weeks ago. George W Bush honored two music stars, Barack Obama honored thirteen, and Donald Trump honored Elvis. Notice what name is missing? Bill Clinton. He honored lots of folks in other categories, but no musicians.

I can’t figure out why Clinton didn’t jump at the chance to pick Elvis. During the 1992 Presidential campaign, the press corps started comparing Bill Clinton to Elvis, although the candidate never did this himself. The press even made references to Clinton’s campaign plane as “Air Elvis.”

 

Clinton Playing Heartbreak Hotel on Sax

It has been said that one of the late boosts to Clinton’s campaign in 1992 was when he played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the Arsenio Hall Show.

 

Elvis and George H. W. Bush:

I didn’t have a good place to post this picture when President George Bush 41 passed away a few weeks ago.

Elvis and George H W Bush

Elvis met George H. W. Bush before he became President. Bush was the Ambassador to the UN when he was the Keynote Speaker at the 1970 awards dinner for the “Ten Outstanding Young Men” by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, or the Jaycees.

 

George H. W. Bush was Bill Clinton’s opposition in that 1992 campaign. He felt compelled to respond to this linking of Clinton and Elvis, by stating this in a campaign speech:

“Clinton is on all sides of every issue. He’s been spotted more places than Elvis Presley. I guess you’d say his plan really is ‘Elvis Economics’. America will be checking into Heartbreak Hotel.”

Noted Elvis author Greil Marcus contends that an Elvis reference in any politician’s campaign speech is a guaranteed sound-bite on the evening news, although there is no guarantee what the public’s response will be. This quote is said to have lost votes for former President Bush in his re-election campaign:

“I finally figured out why Clinton compares himself to Elvis. The minute he takes a stand on something, he starts wiggling.”

 

 

© 2018 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.

 

Elvis, Santa, and Kurt Russell

Last week, I read a USA Today review of the new Netflix movie titled The Christmas Chronicles. It stars Kurt Russell, one of my favorites, as a wonderfully different Santa Claus.

Title - Christmas Chronicles

 

But I panicked when the review talked about him zooming around in muscle cars. I thought, “Ah, man, they’ve got Santa flying in something like the jet sled in my book BIG E and the SANTA MAN.”

Big E and Santa in Jet Sled

 

To my relief, Kurt Russell’s radical sleigh still had reindeer pulling it.

Christmas Chronicles Sleigh with Reindeer

Interesting design, but it can’t fly without reindeer like the Big E’s jet sled can.

 

Santa's Sleigh with Wings

The closest it comes is when the reindeer are accidentally untethered, and wings pop out to glide it down to safety. Unfortunately, one wing clips a water tower, and the sleigh crashes.

You might notice that the next picture shows a different design than the first one. When the sleigh crashed, the elves rebuilt it, and for some unexplained reason, it came out different. That’s why the USA Today writer referred to muscle cars, not just one.

Santa in front of Christmas Chronicles Sleigh

Yes, that’s Kurt Russell as Santa Claus

 

Santa’s sleigh also crashed in my book, and because the elves had just one hour, they did urgent repairs that got it flyable, but looking rather makeshift. After Christmas they rebuilt it just like it had been.

Another interesting comparison between The Christmas Chronicles and BIG E and the SANTA MAN is the people who got to ride in the sleighs/sled so central to the task of saving Christmas.

Santa with Kids on Christmas Chronicles Sleigh

Kurt Russell’s Santa sleigh carries a brother and sister who had discovered it unoccupied while Santa was depositing presents down local chimneys (He doesn’t go down chimneys in this fantasy, but the presents do). The kids climbed in the sleigh and hid in the back. Santa took off without realizing they were there.

In Part 2 of BIG E and the SANTA MAN, two elves get to pilot the jet sled; the oldest elf standing on the seat steering, and the head elf on the floor pushing the accelerator. Deeper into the plot, the old elf gets to fly Santa’s sleigh. One of the cool parts near the ending has him do a buzz dive directly at the bad guy and scare him and his henchmen so bad they run away from Santa’s castle in a frenzied retreat. After that, he was like a folk-hero to the young elves.

Santa's Sack of Presents

Santa’s sack of presents actually factors into the plot of both the movie and my book. When Kurt Russell’s Santa sleigh has its violent crash, the sack is tossed to some unseen place.

But in my story, Santa has lots of sacks of presents and is forced to throw them all out of his sleigh (it’s too long to explain why here). Then, Big E and Santa have to go back in the jet sled to rescue the presents in a race against the villain who’s trying to ruin Christmas.

 

That’s about it for comparisons between The Christmas Chronicles and BIG E and the SANTA MAN. So let’s talk about Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. This is a good photo of him.

Kurt Russell as Santa in The Christmas Chronicles

This is not the popular image of a chubby, ruby-cheeked old Santa. In fact, the USA Today review calls him a “real action hero,” and another review on Polygon.com says “Santa is hot.” They also say, “He’s styled as something of a bearded Elvis, introducing himself by saying, ‘Live and in person, one night only.’”

Santa in Jail singing Santa Claus is Back in Town

In another twist that makes The Christmas Chronicles  unique holiday movie, here we have Santa singing while in a jail cell. You might recognize the tag line as a lyric from the terrific Elvis blues song, “Santa Clause is Back in Town.” The movie soundtrack also includes the Elvis’ classic “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

 

Kurt Russell is 67 years old, and he is terrific as a bearded older Elvis, but look at this:

Kurt Russel in Elvis the Movie

Here he is at 28 in front of Graceland in the 1979 made-for-TV movie that appeared on ABC.

Kurt Russell in Elvis the Movie

 

Kurt Russell Young Elvis

 

Elvis the Movie is available on YouTube if you don’t mind watching it in sections.

The Christmas Chronicles is available on Netflix any time you want to watch it, and I hope you do. It’s a lot of fun, and Kurt Russel is perfect as hot, action hero Santa.

And BIG E and the SANTA MAN is available at Amazon. In my stories Big E is the action hero, and Santa is the willing sidekick.

A strong case could be made that The Christmas Chronicles is the most unusual holiday movie ever made. Well, for three years I have been saying that my book is the most unusual Christmas novel ever written.

And, to make it especially good for you fans, Big E is in it to give you a huge booster shot of Elvis.

Big E Bust

If you have no trouble envisioning Elvis as a brave, daring and resourceful hero, then you will like following Big E in his adventures. This guy is cool, and he and Santa make a heck of a team.

 

Big E and the Santa Man Scroll

 

You also remember me asking for your help by buying copies of BIG E and the SANTA MAN. I’m happy to report your response was so good that the costs of my blog platform and URL have been covered. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

But I don’t see why I should stop promoting my book while there is still time for delivery before Christmas. For one thing, I need to sell seven more books to reach the Amazon threshold for withdrawing my royalty money.

So, could I ask a few more of you to get a copy of my book. It’s a great well-written story, Elvis fans have really liked it, and it costs only ten bucks.

OK, I’m going to do one more last thing about Kurt Russell and Elvis, then hit you with the closing pitch on BIG E and the SANTA MAN.


Many of you already know about this, but for the rest of you, this is young Kurt Russell kicking Elvis in the 1964 movie, It Happened at the World’s Fair.

Kurt-Russell Kicking Elvis in It Happened at the World's Fair

 


 

We’ll end with a pretty low-key final pitch for my book. Maybe just a few more tidbits about what makes BIG E and the SANTA MAN so interesting.

Elves Playing Guitars in Big E and the Santa Man

There are no pictures in my book, but this one comes pretty close to depicting the elves that Big E teaches how to play rock and roll. The four little guys form a tight back-up band and rock out with Big E. You’ll love the concert they put on for Santa and Mama Claus the night after Christmas.

 

Scrooge's Space Station in Big E and the Santa Man

The villain in my story resides in a space station hoovering over the North Pole. His henchmen are bad elves that Santa had kicked out for shoddy workmanship on the presents and constant trouble-making. They hold a grudge and are happy to help in a plot to ruin Christmas.

Big E Close-up

Here is Big E again. Look at his eyes. He’s sending you a telepathic message:

“Buy a copy of this book about me and Santa.
You’ll be glad you did.”

 

Here’s where to get them:

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Amazon.com webpage

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2: Amazon.com webpage

 

 

Thank you,

Phil Arnold
Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005-2013)

 

Note: If anyone knows Clay Kaytis, the director of The Christmas Chronicles, please email him a link to this post.

 

’68 Comeback Special – A Wardrobe Review

Celebrating the 68 SPECIAL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

When I realized that December 3, 2018 would be the 50th anniversary of Elvis’ incredible TV special, I knew I had to post an article to commemorate the occasion.

I also knew every other Elvis website and blog would be doing the same thing. I wanted to come up with something different, and I have. We are going to learn what a leading British fashion design journalist has to say about what Elvis wore on the show.

Zoey Goto regularly writes about fashion in Elle, Numero, GQ, and GQ Style. She gets to report from the front row of London Fashion Week. And she has written the delightful book Elvis Style, where we get all of the text to follow.

 

Burgundy Suit from the Gospel Sequence:

 

Elvis - 68 Comeback Gospel suit

You might expect this photo-essay to start with the Black Leather Outfit, but be patient. It’s coming up.

Elvis sang a three-song Gospel medley wearing this burgundy suit:

“Where Could I Go but to the Lord”
“Up Above My Head”
“Saved”

lvis - 68 Comeback Gospel Suit

Here is what my friend, Zoey Goto had to say about the Gospel suit. (I asked her to write it on just six days’ notice, and she really came through).

The burgundy suit is so very of its time – the earthy colour, the sheen of the fabric, the slim cut of the suit, and the exaggerated double breasted lapels all scream late 60s/early 70s menswear! Perhaps this is why the outfit is often overlooked when we think about the legendary ’68 Comeback Special. Because this style was so fashionable at that time, it now looks more dated than for example the leather suit, which was not such a part of the zeitgeist.

The most effective part of this outfit was the styling of the white shirt, with its elongated collars worn over the top of the suit jacket, teamed with the apache tie scarf, which really framed Elvis’ face. From the chest upwards he looks fantastic! However, in comparison to the white suit – which is roomier and has a nipped in waist – the tight, straight up-and-down cut of the burgundy suit is unforgiving. Yet Elvis is in such good shape physically, that he still manages to pull this outfit off with panache!

Elvis 68 Comeback Dancing in Gospel Outfit

 

Well done, Zoey. That was great. And the passages from your book coming next are even better.

 

The white suit she mentioned is this one.

White Double-Breasted Suit from the “If I Can Dream” Finale.

 

Elvis 68 Comeback White Suit in front of Big Red Letters

Again, here is Zoey Goto’s review:

Out of the darkness, Elvis steps forward, his white suit instantly illuminated under the stage lights. He clutches the microphone between his hands almost as if praying, while behind him the word ELVIS is emblazoned in red lights.

It is the grand finale of his ’68 Comeback Special television program, and Elvis is giving an emotional rendition of the song “If I Can Dream” wearing a white double-breasted frock coat with a deep, single vent flap running down the back of his jacket – a signature of traditional American tailoring – which also allows Elvis to move with ease and to throw his arms wide at the end of the performance.

Six buttons run down the centre of the jacket, white slanted front pockets and a nipped-in waist emphasize his broad shoulders. Although the double-breasted jacket can add inches to the torso, the slim-line Elvis with his 32” waist, carries it off with grace.

Elvis - 68 Comeback White Suit

His coordinated front pleated pants graze his ankles without a break, creating a pleasing line from the hip to his white leather ankle boots. To complete the look, Elvis wears a deep red scarf in the style of an Apache tie – an accessory that had become synonymous with Country & Western fashion, where a colourful scarf or hanky is secured at the neck with a scarf ring.

Elvis - 68 Comeback White Suit Closeup-

As a fashion statement, Elvis’ white suit is all about the Deep South. Stepping on stage, Elvis looks every inch the Southern plantation owner, a choice that initially seems incongruous, given that Elvis has borrowed so heavily from black music and is currently on stage singing a song about brothers walking hand in hand.

However, look at his costume again and it becomes a sartorial symbol of his success – Elvis has been elevated from his humble sharecropper origins to finally becoming the Big Boss Man, as he had been previously singing that evening. In essence, his outfit can be seen as a take on upward social mobility – one of the key factors of the American Dream, which Elvis had long been associated with.

Elvis 68 Comeback White Suit Standing

 

And now, the one you’ve been waiting for.

Legendary Black Leather Outfit:

 

Elvis - 68 Comeback Black Leather - Back

Earlier in the ’68 Comeback Special performance, Elvis had performed a medley of his earlier hits while wearing fitted black leather trousers and jacket, with a black low neck t-shirt underneath. The outfit was a nod to Elvis’ rebellious 1950s image, but this time a more aggressive, sexual presence was evident. Black leather had long been strongly associated with motorcycle gangs, as illustrated by Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953).

Marlon Brando - The Wild One

In his youth, Elvis had admired James Dean, but back in the 1950s, Elvis’ own rockabilly image and flashy Lansky Brothers clothing belonged to a very different tribe of rebellion.

Aside from owning a couple of leather jackets, Elvis had never been a devoted leather wearer, but given the luxury of revisiting his youthful image, Elvis embellished and reinterpreted history. Up on stage, as Elvis gyrates his way through a string of nostalgic hits, he instantly acquires the toughness and potency that his leather outfit lends.

Elvis - 68 Comeback Black Leather - Lip Curl

Look carefully at Elvis’ leather outfit, though, and it differs considerably from Brando’ Perfecto motorcycle jacket. Rather than the traditional studded biker jacket, with zippers running across the torso and a belted waist, Elvis’ version is essentially a denim jacket shape, but made in leather. This was not accidental – the designer Bill Belew was at the time finding inspiration in the blue jean outfits that the kids on the street were wearing.

Knowing that Elvis avoided denim as he associated it with the poverty of his childhood, Belew decided to have a denim jacket and trousers traced and remade in black leather, adding a few touches such as a front seam running down the trousers and hand stitching the yoke.

Elvis - 68 Comeback Black Leather Seated

Here are some other tidbits Zoey Goto shares with the readers:

This outfit marks the first time Elvis wore the high, Napoleon-inspired collar, which later became a signature of his jumpsuits and was employed to frame his face.

Close Up of Elvis' Black Leather Suit

On each wrist is a leather cuff. Although leather cuffs had been worn by cowboys to protect their wrists for over a century, Elvis’ buckled cuffs looked more like precursor to the leather wristbands worn by the punks in the mid-seventies.

Elvis - 68 Comeback Reproduction Elvis Black Leather Cuffs

Reproduction

Elvis’ ’68 comeback Special jacket and trousers were made from cordovan leather, the thick hide of the rump of the horse which is usually only used to make shoes. Elvis became so sweat-drenched in this rugged material that he had to literally be peeled out of the costume at the end of the performance.

 

Zoey meshed her thoughts with those of Japanese-born designer Atsuko Kudo to sum it all up nicely:

We all dress for sex appeal and attention, and this look does that in a very big way – he was like a peacock. This was Elvis’ comeback performance, the pressure was on to make a big statement and to dress in a way that empowered him. This outfit did that.

Elvis - 68 Comeback Black Leather - Arms Raised

 

I am so thankful Zoey Goto went along with me repeating part of her wonderful book Elvis Style. I’ve covered parts of it twice before in ElvisBlog:

A Look at Elvis’ Taste in Hats

Elvis’ Fashion Legacy

 

But Elvis Style covers so much more than just Elvis’ wardrobe. As the back cover says,

“Zoey Goto investigates why Elvis was, and continues to be, an icon of style, focusing on his wonderfully expressive hairstyles, clothes, cars, and interiors.”

This is such a uniquely different Elvis book. I highly recommend you get a copy.

Elvis Style - Cover

 

 

 

©  2018    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.

 

A Blog Without Pictures (not cool, but necessary)

I had a pretty busy Thanksgiving, so I didn’t get the problem with uploading pictures fixed. But I still want to keep up with the tradition of regular weekend posts. Let’s see if I can write a text-only article that isn’t too boring without photos.

 

Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Award picture added later

You all saw the news that President Trump honored Elvis with a Presidential Medal of Freedom award. I looked up the history on Wikipedia. What a great honor. Here is the explanation of what it is awarded for:

“especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

So, Donald Trump chose Elvis because of his significant cultural endeavors. Good choice.

There were lots of music notables like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald in the earlier years, But George W. Bush was the first to honor a rock & roll artist with the award — Aretha Franklin in 2005.

So, the Queen of .Soul was honored thirteen years before the King of Rock & Roll.

Award List Added Later

Barack Obama honored eleven music artists, including Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder. He awarded a total of 123 Medals in all categories, the most by any president. Trump is gonna have to step up the pace if he wants to beat Obama on Presidential Medal of Freedom awards.

 

Book Sale Trivia:

I was reminded again that one-third of the ElvisBlog readers are in countries other than the USA. The first four orders for BIG E and the SANTA MAN came in from:

England
Canada
USA
France

Three out of the first four. I was surprised.

Thanks to all you folks who have supported me with a book(s) purchase.

There will be another promotion as soon as I can post pictures again.

 

Graceland Store Doesn’t Let off the Gas:

Last week I mused on the frequency of the Graceland Store promotions and their different themes. Here are the six of them in twelve calendar days from November 5 to November 16

Nov. 5: Elvis Bling
Nov. 8: Elvis Christmas
Nov. 9: Elvis New Releases
Nov.11: Veteran’s Day
Nov. 13: Elvis Gifts for Her
Nov. 16: Elvis Apparel

Well, they’ve stayed active since then with these new promotions:

Nov. 19: Home Décor
Nov. 22: Black Friday Specials

I thought there would be another one waiting for me in my inbox this morning (11/24), but there wasn’t. Of course, there is still plenty of day left for another promotion to come in.

Happy shopping.

 

 

© 2018 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.

 

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past

Elvis Thanksgiving 2014

For some reason, my blog platform won’t let me upload any photos right now, So I can’t do the Thanksgiving message I wanted to.  But I do have pictures in my blog media library from the other years I did do a Thanksgiving post.  So, like the Ghost of Christmas Past, these old shots will energize from the vapors and appear here tonight.

In 2016 I found three turkeys made up to look like Elvis on the internet.

This one does not have many of the iconic Elvis attributes like the sunglasses of jumpsuit.  But the turkey is playing a guitar and has a badge saying Elvis, so I posted it.

 

This guy has the sunglasses, a cape, lots of bling, and a sign saying Elvis.

 

This turkey doesn’t need a sign.  With the hair, sunglasses, jumpsuit arms and legs, and a bunch of rings on his fingers, we know this is supposed to be Turkey Elvis.

Elvis Praying

I did post some serious photos as well. The message under this photo of Elvis praying said:

“I hope Elvis fans everywhere have much to be thankful for.”

 

I used this picture back in 2012, but it didn’t have the little X in the top right corner.  I wonder where that came from.

 

Peanut Butter and Turkey Sandwich

I posted this picture the day after Thanksgiving when everybody had lots of leftovers.  This was one suggestion in a online article. I had hoped to find a peanut butter, banana, and turkey sandwich, but this is the closest I could find.

 

Happy Turkey day

 

Yes, Happy Turkey Day to everyone. Have a great Thanksgiving.

 

Phil Arnold

Original Elvis Blogmeister

Will the Official Graceland Store have Anything Left to Sell on Black Friday?

If you’ve ever bought something from the Official Graceland Store, you are now on their email list. I’m betting it’s a very long list, and the marketing folks at EPE are certainly putting it to good use. Here are the promotions they have emailed me in the past two weeks.

 

Nov. 5 – Shop Elvis Bling:

Shop Elvis Bling 11-5

 

Nov. 8 – Deck the Halls in Elvis Style:

Deck the Halls in Elvis Style 11-8

 

Nov. 9 – Pre-Order Elvis New Releases:

Pre-Order Elvis New releases 11-9

 

Nov. 11 – Veteran’s Day Sale:

Elvis Veteran's Day Sale 11-11

 

Nov. 13 – Elvis Gifts for Her:

Elvis Gifts for Her 11- 13

 

Nov 16 – Elvis Apparel:

Elvis Apparel 11-16

 

That’s a pretty impressive run of sales promotions – six of them in twelve calendar days:

Elvis Bling
Elvis Christmas
Elvis New Releases
Veteran’s Day
Elvis Gifts for Her
Elvis Apparel

 

I’d like to talk about one of these promotions: Elvis Gifts for Her. Any man on the Graceland Store mailing list might find some welcome Christmas ideas for his wife (if she’s an Elvis fan, too).

But what about a female fan scrolling through the offerings, especially if she is the only Elvis fan in the family. If she looks through the choices in the Elvis Gifts for Her and finds something she likes, very possibly she hints to the hubby to get it for her for Christmas. Maybe he never knows what to buy her, anyway, so he’s happy to get the clue.

Which is the same pitch I have used for three years for my book, BIG E and the SANTA MAN.

My Book -- BIG E and the SANTA MAN

I figured, okay, it’s about Elvis and it’s a Christmas story. It’s the perfect Christmas present for Elvis fans.

So ladies, tell your man to go to Amazon.com and type in the book’s name in the search box. The page pops up, and in a couple of clicks, he can take care of a present for his sweetie.

 

My book is inexpensive, but it will get him major points because it’s a great story and you will love it.

And the editors of Santa’s World magazine love it, too. So much, in fact, that they ran a cover story feature about Big E.

Santa's World

Only kidding. I used this picture in my second promotional post back in 2015. There’re a lot of new folks reading ElvisBlog now, so I thought I’d use it again.

But I’m not kidding about one other thing. You will like BIG E and the SANTA MAN if you get a copy. To get one for yourself, please click below.

Amazon page – BIG E and the SANTA MAN

Amazon page – BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2

philarnold@charter.net –  email to get an autographed copy directly from me for $10 (U.S. destinations, others are more).

 

Thanks a lot,

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005 – 2018)

 

Update on BIG E Sales

My Book -- BIG E and the SANTA MAN

In just over 24 hours since I made the last post, I’m already thrilled with the results. Email orders for 19 copies of BIG E and the SANTA MAN have come in.  Four people, including one in Canada and another in France,  wanted copies of both books.

I did have to check to see if they were OK with the additional postage for destinations outside the U.S.  Fortunately, this did not kill the orders.

I feel pretty stupid not mentioning the foreign country postage differentials in the original post.  My next project will be to go back and revise it with a $5 adder to Canada and $15 to Europe.

I hope the sales through Amazon are going equally well.  I won’t know until they send my end of the month report.

I heard from a reader on Comments.   She reminded me that I didn’t describe in a nutshell what the book was about and guessed that it was fiction.  It was a reminder to me that new readers have come to ElvisBlog in the past year who haven’t seen all the previous posts promoting the book.  I’ll bring them up to speed next post.

Thanks to everyone who is buying BIG E and the SANTA MAN.  I really appreciate the support.

Santa Thumbs UP

Phil Arnold

Hey, How About Giving Me A Hand Here

It’s time for me to fess up about something. I’m getting old, I’m running low on retirement money, and I’m cutting expenses wherever I can. My wife says if I stopped doing ElvisBlog, I’d save a lot there. She’s right; it costs me money to renew the blog platform and my URL each year.

A few friends have told me for years that I should monetize my blog, and I can’t tell you how many solicitations have come in wanting to advertise on ElvisBlog. But, I’ve been determined to keep it clean. I’m an Elvis fan that wants to do a blog that Elvis fans will enjoy.

And a big part of that has been keeping ElvisBlog free of bothersome ads like you see on Facebook and everywhere else.

I really dislike this stuff and don’t want it on my blog. So, I hope you’ll think of the old Original Blogmeister as a generous person who at his own expense has never diluted your ElvisBlog reading pleasure by clogging it up with ads.

 

Which brings me to the reason for this post. I’d like to ask you readers for a reciprocal favor. I don’t want you to send money, and I’m not starting a Go-Fund-Me page.

What I would really like is for you buy my book.

My Book -- BIG E and the SANTA MAN

I have promoted BIG E and the SANTA MAN here the past few Christmas seasons, and I appreciate all you readers who have ordered a copy. But ElvisBlog has thousands of readers, so I know I haven’t persuaded a whole lot of you yet.

Rather than give you a pitch, here’s an excerpt from a review on Amazon.co.uk.

“This funny, heart-warming and thought provoking story is skillfully written – the author has a way of painting vivid pictures with his words.”

BIG E and the SANTA MAN has many other terrific reviews, but I like this one because it mentions “skillfully written” and “painting vivid pictures with his words.” I want you to know this book is no amateur effort. I am a good writer, plus the story was critiqued by ten or so other writers, proofread by three of them, and finally edited by a pro (my wife will never know how much that cost me).

So, I state proudly, this is a really good book, and if you are an Elvis fan, you will like it, maybe love it. That’s the way it’s been since the beginning. No one who has ever read BIG E and the SANTA MAN has had a bad word to say about it. Just lots of good words.

So, I am making my request, confident that if you help me by buying my book, it will be a win-win for you. You will receive a wonderful rock & roll Christmas fantasy starring Elvis, and you will be contributing a little to keep ads off ElvisBlog.

 

Let’s look at the Amazon page for BIG E and the SANTA MAN.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN Amazon Page

You can see the price is only $7.99 – very affordable. I make $2.07 for each copy that sells. I make a little more if you deal directly with me and order an autographed copy using PayPal.

And there is also a Kindle option for $2.99. If you download this to your smartphone, you’ll never stop checking in – wanting to know what happens next with Big E.

I don’t make very much money on Kindle sales, but I’m plenty happy to have them.

 

Amazon Page. BIG E and the Santaman - Part 2

Here’s the Amazon page for BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2. If you really want to help out, you can buy both. The prices are the same.

Plus, Part 2 is a terrific story with two cool new characters, so you will be getting a double shot of good reading.

 

I plan to put out a couple more posts between now and Christmas staying on the theme of keeping ads off ElvisBlog.

 

Of course, I will again ask for your support to buy a copy of my book. But, I will also cover all sorts of fun things about BIG E and the SANTA MAN to encourage you.

 

I’ll start with one on this post. This is what Big E tools around in up there at the North Pole.

Big E's Flying Gold Cadillac

This is his jet sled. It goes on land… and in the air. You readers know all about Elvis’ love for hot cars. Can you imagine how thrilled he would have been to have a flying gold Cadillac? Do you think he would push it to the limit and perform all kinds of amazing maneuvers? Hmmmm. Sounds a lot like what Big E does in my story.

On Christmas Eve, Santa must ride with Big E in the jet sled because it will take both of them (and it) to save Christmas. You’ll love these guys together. Best buddies.

 

Oh, yes, the names in the title. BIG E is the name that Santa’s unexpected visitor wants to be known as. Santa Man is the playful nick-name Big E likes to call Santa once in a while.

 

So, here’s what I hope you will do. Click on one of these links and go to Amazon. Then buy a book or two.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN Amazon page

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2  Amazon page

 

You Kindle folks can get your downloads right there, too.

 

Or, if you want an autographed copy for $10 delivered, send an email to:

philarnold@charter.net  . (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.)

There are higher postage rates for destinations outside the U.S.  Please add $5 for Canada, and $15 for Europe. . I don’t know what the adders are to Japan and South America, but there are ElvisBlog readers there, so I guess I better find out. Amazon has really good shipping rates on the non-autographed books ordered there.

Be sure to  let me know what inscription you would like on your copy.

 

On these direct sales, I would prefer payment using PayPal, but checks will work, too. When I get your email, I will initiate billing on PayPal. You approve it and I send the book(s) right out to you.

Or, let me know you want use a check to purchase. I’ll put your name on a copy until the check gets in.

 

Can you handle another tease about the story?

Villain

There are no pictures in BIG E and the SANTA MAN, but this guy is exactly the way I envision the villain. A good story needs a good villain, and this guy gives our heroes all they can handle. Really good villain.

 

We’ll close with one more excerpt from an Amazon review:

“This lighthearted tale had me chuckling all through the book. Phil’s style and spot-on Elvis characterization made this quite an enjoyable read for all fans of Elvis – and Santa Claus.”

 

So, how about it? Can I get a hand here?

BIG E and the SANTA MAN Amazon page

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2 Amazon page

philarnold@charter.net – Email for direct purchase

 

Thanks in advance for your support.

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005 – 2018)

 

Deeper Look at a Recent Elvis Auction Item

I started out to do my usual Elvis auction review on the November 3 Heritage Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction. However, I got stuck on the very first Elvis item – a handbill for his’ March 25, 1961, Pearl Harbor concert.

Pearl Harbor Concert Handbill - Front

 

[Just real quick for you newer Elvis fans that might know about the concert, it was to raise money toward the proposed memorial for the USS Arizona that was sunk by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 1102 American seamen perished that day.]

 

I’ve looked at this handbill picture several times before, and one time I wished I knew how to Photoshop, so I could do an upgrade on it. Elvis did not wear those baggy gold pants at the Pearl Harbor concert. Just the gold coat.

Elvis at Pearl Harbor Concert

I wanted to take the handbill picture and Photoshop some black pants on Elvis – get him to look like he did when he performed. Then, I realized that the black pants wouldn’t show against the handbill’s black background. So, I gave up on the idea.

 

There were other things about this playbill I found interesting. It was obvious that Bill Black was no longer part of the Elvis band. DJ Fontana and Scotty Moore are listed in the marquee sign along with the Jordanaires.

All Star Cast on Pearl Harbor Concert Handbill -

 

By March 1961, Bill Black was into the third year of his career with Bill Black’s Combo. They were touring around the country playing hits like “Smokie – Part 2” and “White Silver Sands.”

Bill Black Combo 1962
Note that Bill Black has traded his stand-up bass for an electric one.

 

The man who replaced Bill Black in Elvis’ band for the Pearl Harbor show was Nashville session musician Bob Moore. The rest of the All-Star Cast referred to above was Floyd Cramer on piano, Hank Garland on rhythm guitar, and Boots Randolph on sax. All Stars indeed.

 

The back of the playbill featured three photos and lots of text.

Pearl Harbor Concert Handbill - Back

 

Here’s a better look at the three pictures.

USS Arizona War Memorial Rendering

This is the architect’s rendering of what the planned USS Arizona Memorial would look like.

 

USS Arizona Memorial Construction Sign

And here we have a picture of the sign on the site where the memorial would be built.

 

Col. Parker and Bigwigs Before Pearl Harbor concert

Col. Parker with the chairman of the memorial commission and the head Navy guy.

 

Another thing that struck me was the very brief narrative Heritage Auction’s website gave to this handbill, a significant collectible.

Elvis Presley Bloch Arena, Pearl Harbor Concert Handbill (The Pacific War Memorial Commission Proudly Presents, 1961). Very Rare. Double-sided, for a benefit show in Hawaii on Saturday March 25th. One side is printed in gold and black, showing a full-length image of Elvis wearing a gold suit, listing the support act as Minnie Pearl. Measures 9.25″ x 12.25″. In Very Good condition.

When I first read it, my thought was, “I wonder what Jeff Marren and Laura at Graceland Auctions would have to say, because they do such a great job on the narratives.” I inquired them, and found out they did have two tickets for the Pearl Harbor concert at auction last year. This is what they said then.

“Perhaps what endears Elvis Presley to his fans so much is the fact that it seemed like there was no end to his willingness to give. In December 1960 an editorial ran in an L.A. paper about the stalled efforts to complete the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. This article was spotted by the Colonel, and Elvis answered the call to duty.

“A benefit concert was organized to raise $50,000 towards the completion of the memorial. On January 11, 1961, a press conference was held and it was announced that Elvis would perform this benefit concert on the condition that every penny from the concert must go to the fund.

“Having honorably served his country in the Armed Forces, Elvis held this memorial and the soldiers that perished near to his heart.

“Ticket prices ranged from $3 to $10 for reserved section seats, and $100 for the 100 reserved “ringside” seats—and Elvis was the first to buy a ticket.

“The concert was set for March 25, 1961, and 4,000 screaming fans, 15 songs and $54,000 later, Elvis left the building. As a result of the concert and the huge amount of media attention it garnered, public and private donations flooded in from all over the country. On May 30, 1962 (Memorial Day) the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial was dedicated.”

Perhaps it doesn’t matter, but I’d like to think wonderful background text like this might bring some higher bidding.  In fairness, the concert playbill went for $1,125 as presented, which is pretty impressive.

And I love this line about Elvis, “it seemed like there was no end to his willingness to give.” Elvis’ generosity is well documented, but this is the best description of it I have ever read.

 

$100 Ticket for Elvis Presley Pearl Harbor Concert

Here’s one of those $100 tickets. That’s almost $900 in today’s money. Note there were no assigned seats. It must have been like a special private party area where you just socialized until it was time to find a seat and settle down for the show.

 

There are three interesting things in the text on the back of the handbill.

Under the heading Symbol of Freedom, it said, “The benefit performance by Presley… is symbolic of a new generation of Americans who have not forgotten the price of freedom or how dearly it has been maintained.” That sounds like Elvis to me.

Congress had authorized construction of the memorial three years earlier, but fund raising had slowed down to a crawl. Prior to the concert, only $300,000 of the needed $500,000 had been raised. One of the commissioners worried that “today the Arizona is but a rusting tomb.” The Colonel and Elvis jumped in to turn that situation around.

Two days after the concert, Elvis started the filming for Blue Hawaii.

 

The USS Arizona's anchor

My wife went to Hawaii twenty years ago with girlfriends, and of course, they went to the USS Arizona Memorial.

 

USS Arizona War Memorial Finished

So she’s seen it, and I haven’t

 

People Entering the USS Arizona War Memorial.

My wife said it was a moving experience. I’m happy for her, but I’m a little jealous.

 

Photos and text used by permission, copyright 2018 GracelandAuctions.com

 

© 2018 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.

 

Elvis Goodies from the Fuzzy Room – Part 5

It’s been two months since I last posted a group of Elvis collectibles for sale on here. I need to be more regular with this, because the time to move and down-size is steadily approaching. Thanks for helping me find new homes for the Elvis stuff I’ve collected for decades and displayed in my Fuzzy Room.

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

       Please Note: The prices are for delivery to USA destinations only.
Postal rates to other countries are just prohibitive and mailing to
them is way more hassle. Sorry.

 

Graceland Book:

 

Graceland Coffee Table Book

This is a terrific book. It has 253 pages containing hundreds of photographs, most in color, and many are full-page or larger. Nearly all were taken just for this book by the Director of Photography at Memphis State University. They are sharp, clear, and beautiful. And many show you details in the various rooms of Graceland that we have not seen elsewhere.

The text accompanying the photographs was written by Chet Flippo, Senior Editor at Rolling Stone magazine. You will learn plenty of new stuff here, too. In addition to chapters on every room at Graceland (except Elvis’ bedroom), it covers his automobiles and planes, the ’68 Comeback Special, the Army days, Gold Lamé Suit, Aloha from Hawaii, Tupelo home, Elvis memorabilia, and much more.

Please disregard the shadow across the cover in my photograph. This book will look great on your coffee table. When it was originally published in 1993, the price was $60. I am willing to let it go for $18 delivered. It is in very good shape. Move fast to snap up this deal.

 

’68 Comeback Special Salt & Pepper Shakers:

 

(Editor’s Note: This has been sold.  The first set of Elvis salt and pepper shakers offered on here also went very fast.  I wish I had more.)

 

Elvis Presley Salt and Pepper Shaker Set in Box

Considering all the stuff Graceland is offering in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the TV special, I’m surprised they didn’t bring back this one.

Elvis Presley Salt and Pepper Shakers

The round shaker with The Elvis picture on it is the salt shaker. The Elvis in Red Lights is the pepper shaker.

Elvis Presley Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

And this is how they go together on your dining room table. The set can be yours for $12 delivered.

 

James Burton Autographed CD:

 

(Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.)

 

James Burton - Corn Pickin' and Slick Slidin'

We all know about James Burton playing guitar for Ricky Nelson before joining Elvis in 1969. In between he recorded this album. Here is what one Amazon reviewer said about it:

“The jaw-dropping Telecaster work of James Burton and the ethereal pedal-steel sound of Ralph Mooney led Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard and countless others to recruit them for their sessions. They also cut a bunch of tunes together in the late ’60s; here are those killer cuts: Columbus Stockade Blues; The Texas Waltz; Moonshine; Your Cheatin’ Heart; Spanish Eyes , and more.”

James Burton autographed CD

I am offering the CD autographed by James Burton for $6 delivered.

 

Readers Digests with Elvis Articles:

 

(Editor’s Note: This item has been sold.)

 

Two Elvis stories in Readers Digest

The one on the left has this tease: The Plot Against the King. The title inside is: The Colonel and the King.

The Colonel and the King

This is an excerpt from the book The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley by noted Elvis biographer Alana Nash. At 17 pages with 14 photographs, it is very interesting reading.

Where Elvis Lived

The other Reader’s Digest has the cover tease: Where Elvis Lives, but the six-page story covers much more than Graceland.

This is a two-fer deal, both for $5 delivered.

 

Elvis T-Shirts:

 

Elvis Jailhouse Rock T-shirt

 

(Editor’s Note: This item has been sold.  The other two T-shirts are still available.)

 

This is a spectacular T-Shirt. Most Elvis shirts just have a picture on the chest area of the front. This one has the background image from the Jailhouse Rock dance scene on every inch of the front and back. And centered on both sides is a large, very sharp photo of Elvis. It is simply the best two-sided Elvis T-shirt you will ever find. Size XL. $15 delivered. If you email me to say you want this, refer to it as the Jailhouse Rock T-shirt.

 

Nobody Knows I'm Elvis

This shirt will get you comments whenever you wear it. Size XL. Just $5 delivered.

 

Elvis Face T-shirt

Like the first shirt, this design is no longer available from the usual sources. The photo reproduction of Elvis’ face is so well done, and it really grabs people’s attention. A perfect T-shirt to wear at Elvis Week (or anywhere). Size XL. $10 delivered. Refer to this as the Elvis face shirt if you email to claim it.

 

Elvis Flipbook:

 

(Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.)

 

Elvis Flipbook

In this age of digital images and videos, we can still enjoy a throw-back to much earlier times when flipbooks were a popular form of entertainment.

Elvis Flipbook OpenSorry for this pathetic photo. It was tough to take a picture showing the inside when you flip through it, but I can say it does a great job of showing Elvis’ stage moves while wearing the gold coat. The flipbook is in perfect shape. How about just $4 for it?

 

Small Stuff:

 

Elvis Magnet, Patch, and Matches

So, here we have a 3” long Greetings from Graceland refrigerator magnet done in the familiar postcard style. Also an 2-1/2 x 2-1/2” Elvis 60th Birthday patch. And a book of Elvis matches, with none of them removed. $5 for all three.

 

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

If you want an item, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net.  (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.) As usual, first come, first served. I would prefer payment using PayPal, but checks will work, too. When I get your email, I will initiate billing on PayPal. You approve it and I send the item right out to you. With a check, it’ll take a little longer.

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold

 

© 2018 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.

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