An ElvisBlog wish for everyone to have a Merry Christmas and a much better new year.
Here’s something to make your Christmas Eve lively. After spending considerable time previewing YouTube videos, I have picked five that are unique. Unless you are a Grinch, you will enjoy them a lot. Sorry about the ads that come before the good stuff. Don’t forget to click the icon that let’s you watch them in full-screen.
The first is a clip from the 2018 Netflix movie The Christmas Chronicles. Kurt Russel does a pretty good job singing the Elvis classiC “Santa Claus Is Back In Town.”
Next is an animated video of Chuck Berry singing a terrific song he wrote called “Run Rudolph Run.” This song has been covered by dozens of other singers, but you can’t beat Chuck’s original.
I have purchased just about every rock & roll Christmas album and CD there is. In my opinion, Randy Bachman (of Bachman-Turner Overdrive) has produced the absolute best.
If you can find this CD, buy it. You will be super happy you did. Do you remember the BTO hit “Taking Care of Business”? Randy Bachman has redone it as a Christmas song.
Years ago, I discovered a song by the Tractors called “Santa Claus Is Coming In A Boogie Woogie Choo-Choo Train.” It has been a favored part of my Christmas playlist ever since.
My buddy Troy has an Elvis blog called “The Mystery Train.” When I saw this next video, I sent it to him and suggested it would be perfect for his blog. Well, it hasn’t showed up there yet, so here it is on ElvisBlog.
And we will end with an Elvis classic “Blue Christmas,” with a little help from Martina McBride.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this selection of unique Christmas music videos.
Did you see this photo of Vice President Mike Pence getting his Covid 19 vaccine shot yesterday? The news commentary suggests that this might help assure folks who are jittery about getting it.
But did you know Elvis did the same thing for the Polio vaccine?
During a period when polio plagued the country, Elvis received a polio vaccine on live TV during a 1956 airing of The Ed Sullivan Show.
While most children were getting vaccinated at that time, many teens and young adults didn’t think they were at risk from polio and were reluctant to get the vaccine.
As a young, healthy celebrity, Elvis’ decision to publicly get the vaccine was intended to be major push for teens and young adults to get vaccinated themselves. There is some agreement that his action was a catalyst in getting younger adults to understand the importance of the shot.
This helped slow the highly contagious disease of polio, which was eventually eradicated by the vaccine Dr. Jonas Salk developed in 1955.
Here are two photos of Elvis goofing around prior to getting the shot.
I posted this photo years ago on ElvisBlog, but I didn’t know the details.
This one is brand new to me.
Anyway, we can all be proud of Elvis for his contribution to the elimination of polio.
Let’s hope the same happens with Covid.
I got up early on the morning of January 8, Elvis’ birthday, so I could watch Harum Scarum on Turner Classic Movies. They were doing an all-day marathon of Elvis movies, but I knew my wife would give me a lot of grief about wasting so much time watching films I had seen many times already. At least, she would still be asleep while I took in the first one.
However, because I had seen Harum Scarum quite a few times, I also turned on my laptop and opened e-mail. You know, multi-tasking. To my surprise, there was a message form Chris Kensler, Director of Entertainment/Style at FoxNews.com. They were putting the finishing touches on their article celebrating Elvis 75th Birthday, and they wanted permission to use a picture of old Elvis from a 2008 ElvisBlog article titled “Fun With Elvis on Photoshop – 2”.
Well, I had to be honest with FoxNews. It wasn’t my photo. I found it on the web and have seen it numerous places since. So, I wrote back and told him that the picture belonged to the tabloid Weekly World News and that they had used it on at least two of their covers over the years.
The first one appeared during the 2004 Presidential campaign between George Bush and John Kerry. Don’t you just love the headline: “Alien Slimes Teresa Heinz Kerry – With Ketchup”
I bought the second issue a year later. And it was the inspiration for the ElvisBlog article “Elvis Is Alive – and Running for President.” I also enjoyed reading about the “Seeing Eye Squirrels for Dogs.”
As I stated in my article, old Elvis looked really good in this picture. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most of the other depictions of 70 or 75 year-old Elvis that have appeared on the web. Here is probably the one where he looks the worse.
From a technical standpoint, this one is very well done. You can still see recognizable elements of Elvis, but why the bald head? Elvis’ dad, Vernon, still had a full head of wavy hair when he died, so I’d like to believe Elvis would have retained lots of good looking hair had he lived until his seventies.
Here is a different attempt. In a quickie Photoshop effort, someone simply changed Elvis’ hair color to gray. However, nothing else is altered, so it doesn’t look very realistic.
Here is the reverse. This terrible picture still keeps the young Elvis hair but has aged all the facial features. Given the choice, I would pick the one above. Maybe, it’s the jumpsuit.
The last two old Elvises are interesting because they show the original “before” Elvis picture alongside the altered “old” Elvis picture.
I guess this is a pretty accurate illustration of the aging process, but I don’t like it. Maybe, it’s because I see a little of George Wallace in it.
This could be the most accurate guess at what Elvis would look like at 75. Do you see a little resemblance to Arnold Palmer?
The handsome Elvis picture from Weekly World News is probably too good to be true, but you can see why FoxNews.com would have wanted to use it in their story. I’m sorry I couldn’t help them, because I would have asked for a link to ElvisBlog, which might have brought lots of people to the site. But things turned out OK, anyway. ElvisBlog had 6,214 hits on Elvis’ 75th birthday, so I had two things to celebrate.
We are all familiar with the original photo used for this. I have it in my files somewhere, but I couldn’t find it. I’m glad Elvis still has all his great hair, even if it isn’t black anymore.
The other day as I surfed the internet, I discovered that Frank Zappa once recorded a song titled “Elvis Has Just Left the Building.” What a bizarre combination – Zappa and Elvis. So I Googled it to see if I could find the lyrics, or even better, the paper jacket for the 45 record if it had been released as a single.
My search found the lyrics (nothing special) but no picture sleeve, because it was not a single, but a cut from a live Zappa album of his 1988 world tour. However, my search did bring up numerous links to things connected to the classic phrase, “Elvis Has Left the Building.” Here is a brief history of this iconic five-word phrase and some of the more interesting ways it has been used.
“Elvis has left the building” originated at the Louisiana Hayride on December 15, 1956.
Between October 1954 and April 1956, Elvis performed forty-nine times on the Louisiana Hayride. He was contractually obliged to make more appearances there throughout 1956, but his soaring popularity put Elvis in much so demand nationally that Col. Parker worked out a way for Elvis to skip those shows. Parker cut a deal to pay the Louisiana Hayride $10,000, roughly $400 for each missed appearance. Plus, Elvis would do one last grand performance on December 15, 1956.
To accommodate the expected large crowd for this event, the venue was switched from the usual Shreveport Municipal Auditorium to the much bigger Hirsch Youth Center at the Louisiana Fairgrounds. Ten thousand kids jammed the Youth Building and screamed at the top of their lungs for the duration of the King’s 45-minute show. After Elvis had given his final encore and left the stage, the crowd headed for the exits, even though many other acts were still waiting to perform. Hayride founder and producer Horace Lee Logan took the microphone and made a plea to the audience just after Elvis walked off stage.
“Please, young people . . . Elvis has left the building. He has gotten in his car and driven away. . . . Please take your seats.”
Apparently, the fans’ screaming had made it useless to try and record the show, so there is some disagreement about what Logan actually said that night. Here is another version from Wikipedia.
“Alright, alright, Elvis has left the building. I’ve told you absolutely straight up to this point, you know that he has left the building; he left the stage and went out the back with the policeman and he is now gone from the building.”
The man usually associated with the phrase is Al Dvorin. He first met Elvis in 1955 and worked with him for 22 years, helping to organize his tours and personal appearances. It was in the early 1970s that Col. Parker asked Dvorin to inform fans after a concert that Elvis would not be coming back for an encore. Dvorin took the stage and made his now legendary announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight.”
“Elvis has left the building” continued as a staple at Elvis concerts and has become part of the Elvis legend. It has lived on long past his death. Now the catchphrase has universal meaning that is clear to all: the show’s over, the curtain has fallen, the sun has set, that’s all she wrote, the fat lady has sung, our work here is done, end of story.
Now for some of the stuff this famous phrase has inspired.
This crudely drawn cartoon was inspired by the phrase’s origin, but the artist felt it necessary to ridicule the announcer’s Southern accent and Elvis’ hair.
This is much better. Elvis’ friend and the leader of the back-up group The Stamps released a tribute album after Elvis passed away.
Of course, EPE never misses a chance for a marketing opportunity and came up with this keychain for $9.
This 4” x 3” belt buckle appears on a Australian website, so it may have been made without any licensing from EPE (or copyright payment to Al Wertheimer for his photographic image).
This is one of several T-shirts bearing the phrase “Elvis has left the building.”
This is the artwork for an article in the Westbourne Academy on-line newsletter. “Elvis has left the building” was selected as their English Idiom of the Month. I wish they had selected a better picture.
This is a play that has appeared in local theaters around the country. We looked at it in an ElvisBlog article two months ago.
This is a pretty clever movie from 2004 starring Kim Basinger and John Corbett. ElvisBlog covered it six years ago.
This is from the opening credits of the movie. The pink lipstick is part of the storyline because Kim Basinger is a cosmetic saleslady who wears pink clothing and drives a pink Caddy convertible.
We could go on and on with examples of how “Elvis has left the building” has been used, but we’ll end here. This phrase makes the perfect title for a picture of Elvis and a collage of newspaper headlines from the day he died.
Here are two variations.
And here are two differing definitions:
Frankly, I prefer the words I wrote back in 2012:
What do you think?
It’s been a month since I pulled out some more Elvis stuff to sell. As I’ve said before, pretty soon we’ll have to move to a much smaller place, and I’d like these goodies to be in the hands of other Elvis fans by then. So, please look the items over and see if there isn’t something you’d like to have under the Christmas tree.
You’ve probably seen the Memphis papers for August 17, 1977 for sale before, but the one from Tupelo is much rarer. Naturally, I looked it up on eBay to see what kind of prices it was going for. There are three listings ranging from $50 to $131 delivered.
I tried to sell this back in January for $40, but I guess that wasn’t cheap enough. So, let’s cut that in half and offer it at just $20 delivered.
It is in generally good condition except for one tiny torn out piece. It has darkened with age, but has been stored in plastic for decades. This would be a great addition to your Elvis collection.
This is a very classy single blade knife. It is 7-1/2” long and has the same Elvis image on both sides. The metal case is quite attractive and is in perfect shape, just like the knife.
I found one for sale on eBay for $17, so let’s beat that and price it at $10 delivered.
This is a Franklin Mint Collector Series Elvis Presley stainless steel folding dagger knife with original case. The knife has never been used and is in mint condition. It is also 7-1/2” long but is much heavier.
As you can see, the blade has the TCB logo at the top of an engraved guitar fretboard, plus a simulation of Elvis’ autograph. The guitar design is continued in the shape of the knife’s body and features an inlaid picture of Elvis.
I looked for this on eBay and found only one. It goes for $106. I want one of you fine Elvis fans to buy this from me, so the price is just $20. When you show off your Elvis collection, you will get a lot of compliments on this knife.
For the week of July 4-10, 2004, TV Guide produced four different covers with photos of Elvis. Here are the covers.
Each one came with a bonus CD of Elvis singing “That’s All Right.” All four are shrink-wrapped together in clear plastic as a set.
If you go on eBay, you can find one for $15.40 Let’s try it at $10. If that doesn’t work, I’ll open the pack and sell them individually.
These are all priced at $3 each delivered.
The last one looks a little weird because this is a hologram and doesn’t photograph well. Look at it one way and you see Elvis with his lips puckered up. Tilt it a bit and see Elvis doing a lip snarl. Very cool. This one is $5.
If somebody comes in early and wants to buy all four, the price is $10.
You could post Elvis all over your house with these five magnets. They are good sized – the one in the middle is 7” high. Just $4 delivered
Not just Elvis, but the 100 greatest singers of all time. The tribute to Elvis is written by Robert Plant, legendary lead singer of Led Zeppelin.
Not just Elvis, but all ten charter members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Plus a special Rolling Stone interview with Sam Phillips.
As the cover says, this issue celebrates the first four decades of rock, but the emphasis is on the 50s. There are nice articles on Carl Perkins, Dick Clark, Buddy Holly, Lieber & Stoller, and others. Plus the Rolling Stone picks for the 50 most essential recordings of the 50s.
This group of three outstanding Rolling Stone magazines is a bargain at $12. As a bonus, I will include a six-page photo essay of nine shots taken by photographer Jay Leviton of Elvis during tours in August 1956. (The cover of this issue has Motley Crue on it. I figure you’d rather have just the special Elvis section.)
I offered this wonderful item back in October for $23 delivered, and there were no takers. This surprised me because the prices for it on eBay ranged from $37 to $100. I have figured out a way to offer it for less. In the photo above, you can see the packaging includes a rigid flap on the left. This required a large box to ship in and extra postage. So I have cut that flap
The figurine is still encased in tough plastic. 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? This shows how excellent the detail work on the entire figurine is.
This outstanding Elvis collectible can be yours for $15 delivered. You will be super proud to have “Las Vega Elvis” displayed with your other Elvis goodies.
These have been good sellers in the past, and I have just enough left for one more offer. Here are 12 issues with tons of color photos and articles. Five of them are the special extra-thick Birthday and Anniversary Collectors’ Editions. An excellent buy at $20 for all delivered.
This is a still-sealed two-pack of Elvis playing cards. There is a slide-out inner box inside the nice outer box. Plus, there is a different picture on every card. Looks like a great stocking stuffer to me. Just $7.
You can get thirteen Elvis postcards for just $4. Very good deal.
Okay, If you like any of these offered items and would like to purchase them, let me know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don’t put it in Comments. These offers are for delivery to USA locations only. Figure double or more 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.
Tony Curtis died this past Wednesday, and several Elvis websites noted his passing. The reason they did this is because there are two stories connecting these two great entertainers. In case you haven’t read these other websites, here is the Elvis//Tony Curtis story that gives us a look at Elvis’ sense of humor.
In the summer of 1960, Elvis and Tony Curtis were both filming movies at Paramount Studios. Elvis was making G.I. Blues and Curtis was doing The Rat Race. During breaks from shooting, Curtis liked to change into shorts and a sweater and walk around the backlot. He’d look at the old sets and try to remember where they had been used. One day he came by Elvis’ big trailer and the door opened. “I looked up and there was Elvis. And he grabs me and pulls me in.”
Elvis said, “Mr. Curtis, I want you to know what a big fan I am. I used to watch all your movies in Tennessee.”
“Please, don’t call me Mr. Curtis,”
“So what do you want me to call you?”
“Just call me Tony.” Then Curtis asked, “What do I call you?”
Elvis replied, “Mr. Presley.”
According to Curtis, that quit wit impressed him and from then on they had a great time together.
These photos show there is no question Tony Curtis was a big inspiration for the look young Elvis strived to achieve. Hold your thumb over Curtis’ face in them and see if you don’t think they could just as likely be Elvis photos.
The Presley family lived in Apartment 328 of Lauderdale Courts in Memphis from 1949 to 1953. It is now open for public tours, and pictures of Tony Curtis are posted on the wall of Elvis’ bedroom, representing the way it looked while he lived there.
When Elvis told Tony Curtis he was a big fan, he wasn’t kidding.
The other Tony Curtis connection usually mentioned in the Elvis website reports is that Elvis copied the hair style young Tony Curtis favored – the Ducktail. For those of you not familiar with this style, the hair on the sides is long and slicked back. On the back of the head, the hair from the sides meets in the middle for a sort-of part.
In the late 50s and early 60, the Ducktail was popular among the more independent and rebellious types. It was also known as Ducks Butt, or more commonly, Ducks Ass, shortened to D A in popular jargon. This hairstyle’s popularity even spread to England where it was called a Duck’s Arse.
This is the best picture I could find of young Elvis with a Ducktail. Note how the side hair is slicked back and a bit of the part in the back is visible.
Here is Elvis working on the back of his Ducktail. There are many photos of Elvis slicking back the side hair, but not too many of him fussing with the back. Here is another one.
Some of Elvis’ 50s Rock & Roll contemporaries sported Ducktails too.
And here are two famous movie and TV characters with their ducktails.
Danny Zuko Fonzie
There is one other Elvis/Tony Curtis connection that I found in Elvis: His Life From A To Z by Fred L. Worth and Steve D Timerius. According to them, producer Stanley Kramer offered Elvis the co-starring role opposite Sidney Poitier in the 1958 movie The Defiant Ones. It never worked out (perhaps because Elvis had to go into the Army in March of that year), and Tony Curtis got the part. Too bad Elvis didn’t get it, because his desire for a career as a serious actor in dramatic roles would have been significantly enhanced. Getting the role worked out very well for Tony Curtis. It brought him his only Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Suppose Elvis had gotten the role and had been nominated for an Oscar. He might never have been stuck doing such silly films as Tickle Me and Clambake.
© 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.
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.
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.
This is pretty clever, but Elvis looks a little too big compared to the horse or the woman.
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.
This is really cute. How do people come up with these ideas?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This image of Spock gets the pose right, but I prefer when they keep the Elvis prison uniform.
I have several pictures with Elvis Photoshopped into rock bands, but this is the only one with him in Jailhouse Rock attire.
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.
McFarlane Toys did their usual good job on this Jailhouse Rock figurine.
I didn’t record what company introduced this Jailhouse Rock Bobble Head.
I’ll just show this one without comment.
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.
I ended the 2012 post with two Elvises, and I like this one just as much. Nice use of two poses from Jailhouse Rock.
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.
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:
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