Author Archives: Phil Arnold

You Ain’t Nothin’ But A … Golden Retiever?

All good Elvis fans are familiar with him singing “Hound Dog” on the Steve Allen Show in 1956.  After all the fuss Elvis caused performing the song on the Milton Berle Show, Allen made Elvis dress up in a tux and sing to a hound dog wearing a little top hat and sitting on a platform.

          

Now, check out this picture. 

Elvis and Molly

My talented friend Carol Stephens does all the graphic design for Elvis International magazine.  I am always impressed by how much her work enhances my articles published there.  Carol recently got a new dog and had the inspiration to play around with one of the photos from the TV show.  She replaced the hound dog with her doggie and sent me a copy to see how I liked it.

I loved it and immediately wrote back and asked her if she could do the same thing with my golden retriever, Molly – please, please, please.   Carol is such a sweetie.  She said yes.  My wife helped me get Molly in the right pose for a photograph, and I e-mailed it to Carol.  The picture above is the result.  It is so cool, and I now have a large blow-up of it on the wall above my desk.

Carol did one other clever thing.  The deposed hound dog is now off to the side, looking back as if to say, “Hey, what happened here?”

I know there are lots of Elvis fans who also have beloved dogs in their household.  Maybe they would also like to see their dog in this shot with Elvis.  Carol did mine for free, but she does get paid for her artistic work.  So, my gift to her will be to let anyone with any interest know they can contact Carol at Stephens@2D-CreativeDesigns.com.

If you have any other graphic design needs, you might also want to check out her website www.2D-CreativeDesigns.com.   Carol has done a lot of great work, including the ElvisBlog logo.

 

 ©  2012    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 for President?

If you live in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina (as I do), you have withstood a barrage of political pitches on TV, in the mail, and on the telephone.  After a while, it gets to be too much, and you can’t wait for it all to move on to the next state.

So, with politics taking center stage around here this week, it reminded me that I have a pretty good file of pictures about Elvis running for President.  As impossible as that idea is, it is fun to see how the concept has intrigued people for over 50 years.

 

 

CaféPress.com has a selection of Elvis for President T-shirts including this long sleeve black one for $32.50.  There are several other models all using the same graphic design.

                    

 

The idea of Elvis for President isn’t limited to clothing.  Here are examples of books, CDs and DVDs.

                           

 

The title of this DVD is misleading.  It has nothing to do with Elvis running for President.  It is simply another bootleg concert video, primarily the March 20, 1976 show in Charlotte, NC, plus snippets from Syracuse, Buffalo, Memphis, and Macon.  The closest thing to politics on it is Elvis walking across the stage carrying an American flag.

 

Here’s a variation on the Presidential Seal.  If Elvis can’t be President, at least he will always be king.

 

The idea of Elvis for President can be traced all the way back to 1956.

 

This picture was taken at the Los Angeles airport as Elvis arrived to begin filming “Love Me Tender.”  According to the Graceland archives, Elvis received 5,000 write-in votes for President in the 1956 election.

 

I like this idea.  After the madness of these last two weeks with back-to-back-to-back TV ads and unending robo-calls, if Elvis was on the ballot here in South Carolina, he would get a large backlash vote.

 

 

Presumably, this shot was taken during the election years of 1972 or 1976, because the hat says “Elvis for President.”

 

                     
      

This Weekly World News cover story was the topic of an interesting ElvisBlog article a few years ago.  The image is the best artist’s depiction I’ve ever seen of what old Elvis might have looked like.

 

 

Here’s an interesting attitude that probably appeals to some folks.  It might be the result if we get to a deadlocked convention.   If that happens, I have the perfect compromise candidate:

 

 

©  2011    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.

 

ElvisBlog News — 1/19/12

Changes Coming:

For the second time in the 7-1/2 year history of ElvisBlog, our blogware provider has decided to close up shop and migrate us off to a different platform.  The first time this happened, the number of visitors and total hits dropped off drastically, and it took almost a year to get them back up.

Perhaps it will be better this time, because ElvisBlog is moving to WordPress, and a number of other bloggers seem to be very happy they use it.

Supposedly the transition will be easy, and there will be tech support available to help with any snags.  I’m not so sure, because I always seem to have trouble with this sort of thing.  One expected problem may be self-inflicted.  ElvisBlog will be going from 2-column format to 3-column, which means the width of the center space for articles will shrink.  This probably means that the layout of pictures in articles will change and require going back and adjusting each one.  Sounds pretty time consuming.

Anyway, this is an advance warning that the appearance of old articles on ElvisBlog may look screwed up for a while.  Sometime in the next two weeks, we’ll pull the trigger and switch to WordPress and see how it goes.  Please bear with us.

 

Phil Arnold
Original Elvis Blogmeister
ElvisBlog

Elvis Movie Match-Up

When coming attractions are shown at your local movie theater, they usually start with a montage of short exciting scenes, plus a booming announcer voice-over to hype your interest.  Believe it or not, there is an old VHS tape titled “Elvis in the Movies” that shows the trailers for all 31 of Elvis’ acting movies.  This string of three minute coming attractions makes it possible to compile those announcer tag-lines.  Most are pretty strange, and some seem downright awful all these years later.

 

 

So, here’s a challenging little quiz for you.  Below are the actual tag-lines used on all of Elvis’ movies.  Have some fun and try to identify the film for each one.  Answers are at the end.

1)  Yes, it’s Elvis as a swinging, singing cowboy.  A Rodeo ridin’, bronco bustin’ champ, whose job is wrangling fillies on a dude ranch.

2) He’s a high flying stock car jockey with a room full of trophies.  Elvis has a one-track mind and a winning streak that couldn’t be broken… until he found a gorgeous, groovy government agent in his slip-stream.

3) Here, against the fabulous panorama of one of the most glamorous and exciting events of recent times, is everything that made Elvis Presley one of the greatest entertainment stars in the world.

4) His first great motion picture.  Out of the great Southwest comes the sensational adventure of the notorious Reno brothers and the girl they fought over.

5) It’s a blow-up, it’s a blast.  A love affair between a photographer, his pussycat, her playboy, and a pooch… is all about passion, punches, pleasure, pandemonium.

6) Flip-out with Elvis.  Elvis, making the scene, and he’s with some of the most luscious lovelies that ever filled out a bikini.  Elvis rockin’ and sockin’ on the waterfront.

7) A different kind of role, a different kind of man.  On his neck he wore the brand of a killer, on his hip he wore vengeance.

8) Follow that car.  It’s headed toward this theater, loaded with the most happy-go-lucky group of wanderers who ever came down the pike chasing after the rainbow.

9) Elvis is in trouble, big trouble.  Elvis is on his way.  He’s off to mod London and swinging Europe – and mystery.

10) Now and again, the West produces a man who stands away from the crowd.  Noble as the valley, rugged as the rocks, a man of action who makes an unforgettable impact. [ed. note: this is tongue-in-cheek]

11) Rambling, roving, restless, reckless.  Elvis getting the chicks all worked up, but cutting loose from any dolly that can tie him down.

12) Elvis is back and so is his biggest hit movie.  A tough Blackboard Jungle kid.  The astounding success story of this rebel with a voice that rocked the world.

13) The red, white and blue show of the year.  It’s a three-day pass at those frolicking frauleins, but the dancing darling who blocks every pass has all the guys in a spin – and guess who the boys are betting on to break through her defenses.

14) Elvis, your personal guide to America’s exotic Eden, our Polynesian paradise.  He hits the beach with the most luscious armful of delight on the island.

15) It’s a knockout.  It’s a honey of a picture, filled with that Elvis kind of action, that Elvis kind of love.

16) On fire with a Latin lilt, Latin love, Latin rhythm.

17) It’s Elvis swinging.  It’s Elvis singing.  It’s Elvis racing.  With his foot on the gas – and no breaks on the fun.

18) Elvis Presley, in the change of pace roll as a doctor doing his best to keep the lid on a red-hot ghetto.

19) The first big modern musical built around the fiery personality of Elvis Presley.  Follow him through the barn-storming days, the one-night stands, the big moment when the girls discover him – and he discovers girls.

20) The excitement when these two let themselves go on a wild and woolly whirl through Funtown, USA.  A jumpin’ jackpot of melody.

21) Now Elvis brings the legend to fun-filled life.

22) Across the burning sands rides a dauntless stranger, meeting every challenge with clashing swords and bare-handed daring.

23) It’s Elvis cooking up a storm of entertainment.  Elvis throws the wildest beach party since they invented the bikini and the beat.

24) They’ve crowned a new king on the street where jazz was born.  Now he crowns his meteoric rise to fame with a fiery burst dramatic power.

25) The two greatest lovers in the Great Smokies.

26) Songs, songs, songs.  Skipper Elvis serenades a port full of lovelies.  The greatest of all Elvis Presley musicals with a whole album full of brand new songs.

27) Running wild as a copter flyboy with more co-pilots than he can handle.

28) It’s Elvis Presley.  He’s the boss, boss-man of a groovy travelling tent show.  It’s a little wicked and wild, weird and wacky – wallopin’ way-out entertainment.

29) Elvis Presley sings songs of love to Hope Lang, songs of love to Tuesday Weld, songs of love to Millie Perkins.  And wherever Elvis goes, excitement follows.  Tense, torrid, tempestuous.

30) The white man’s song was on his lips, but an Indian war-cry was in his heart, as he is torn between two loyalties, two loves, and he fought to save them both.

31) Elvis invades the land of the bikinis on those spring vacation revels.  And thousands of college kids go, go, go.

 

 

ANSWERS:

1) Tickle Me                                       17)  Spinout
2) Speedway                                      18)  Change of Habit
3) It Happened at the World’s Fair      19)  Loving You
4) Love Me Tender                             20)  Viva Las Vegas
5) Live A Little, Love A Little               21)  Frankie and Johnny
6) Easy Come, Easy Go                     22)  Harum Scarum
7) Charro                                            23)  Clambake
8) Follow that Dream                          24)  King Creole
9) Double Trouble                               25)  Kissin’ Cousins
10) Stay Away Joe                             26)  Girls, Girls, Girls
11) Roustabout                                   27)  Paradise – Hawaiian Style
12) Jailhouse Rock                             28)  The Trouble with Girls
13) G.I. Blues                                     29)  Wild in the Country
14) Blue Hawaii                                  30)  Flaming Star
15) Kid Galahad                                 31)  Girl Happy
16) Fun in Acapulco

 

Does the hype from these Elvis movie trailers make you want to watch one of his films tonight?  It works for me.  Let’s see, maybe it would be cool to watch Elvis wrangling fillies, or getting chicks all worked up, or making a pass at frolicking frauleins. No, I think I’ll go for Elvis hitting the beach with the most luscious armful of delight on the island.

How can critics say all Elvis movies are all the same?  Who cares?  They’re all wallopin’ way-out entertainment.

 

©  2012    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.

 

Was This Elvis’ Best Birthday Present Ever?

Perhaps you have seen this photo on the internet.  I run into it from time to time, but nobody has ever included a caption or text explaining the story of Elvis and this old car.

 

 

It turns out, there is quite a story.  While doing research on an upcoming article in Elvis International magazine, I found something in the book “Baby Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him,” by Alanna Nash.

The book stated that Elvis’ father purchased him a 1942 Lincoln Zephyr for his 18th birthday.  That’s the car in the photograph.  It cost $50, which was a lot of money back in 1953, especially for a man of modest means like Vernon Presley.

Elvis owned hundreds of Cadillacs, Lincolns, and other fancy cars in his life, but it is unlikely that any of them had the kind of impact on his life that this worn out old Lincoln did.  The reason is simple.  The car sparked a big jump in Elvis’ social life. It enabled him to go out on dates with teenage girls.

According to the book, in the first three months after his 18th birthday, Elvis used the Lincoln for at least five different dating opportunities:

 

Driving to a party and giving a pretty girl a ride to her home afterward.

Going to the “Teen Canteen” at McKellar Lake and enjoying hamburgers and shakes.

Attending the All-Night Gospel Singings at Ellis Auditorium to see the Statesmen and the Blackwood Brothers perform.

Parking on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and watching the water roll by.

Taking in a movie at the drive-in theater in West Memphis, Arkansas.

The last two on the list would seem to be perfect places for serious making-out, which the book says Elvis enjoyed during this period.  You can bet Elvis loved having his own car.

Elvis had enough money to pay for his gas and dating expenses, because he worked part-time at night ushering at Loew’s movie theater and selling soft drinks at Ellis Auditorium.

So, when it came time to attend his Senior Prom on April 17, 1953, Elvis used some of those earnings to rent a shiny new, dark-blue Chevy.  The next day it was back to the old Lincoln again, and certainly Elvis longed for the days when he could afford to buy his own fancy new car.

That happened twenty-three months later when he purchased a 1954 pink and white Cadillac, but Elvis had to cherish his happy memories of dating in the car he received for his eighteenth birthday.

Elvis’ birthday on January 8 is always a special day for his fans.

 

Happy Birthday, Elvis.

©  2012    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.

 

ElvisBlog News — 1/2/2012

One Million Hits:


It took the first five years and three months for ElvisBlog to accumulate 1 million total hits.  Now, that magic number has been achieved in one year.  The final tally for 2011 was actually 1,217,847 hits, as measured by total page views.  This compares with 729,000 in 2010 and 339,000 in 2009.

I guess people like what they see on ElvisBlog because the number of readers keeps growing.  Thanks so much for all your support.

 

Phil Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister

Happy New Year with Elvis — 35 Years Ago

Elvis spent his last New Year’s Eve performing on stage at the Civic Center Arena in Pittsburgh.  At 11:25 PM on December 31, 1976, Elvis came on stage and ignited the 16,000 fans who had come for a big party. 

 

 

According to Mike Kalina of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, “Presley bounded on stage, [and] you would have thought the clock had struck 12. He received an ear-deafening ovation punctuated by thousands of blasts of flashbulbs and a patchwork of ‘We Love You Elvis’ signs hoisted aloft.”

Recently, ElvisBlog discovered some candid photos of this performance.  So, Happy New Year, Elvis, as we look at the 35th anniversary of this event.

 

Elvis and Ginger Alden Arriving Backstage Prior to the Concert

 

 

Elvis and Bodyguard Ed Parker Backstage
 

 

 

Elvis wore his Black Phoenix jumpsuit.  It was part of a series of Phoenix jumpsuits that he used in 1975 and 1976.  The others were a red one and a turquoise one generally called the Blue Phoenix.

 

Candid shot makes it look like Elvis is headless

 

 

 

Elvis may not have been in the best of health on New Year’s Eve1976, but he sure gave the fans a good show.

 

 

 

Promotional Poster for Elvis’ New Year’s Eve Concert

 

At the stroke of midnight, the house lights went up and Elvis led the crowd in singing “Auld Lang Syne”.   No one in the audience that night could have imagined that less than eight months later Elvis would no longer be with us.  Now, thirty-five years later, he is still with us in our hearts.

 

 

©  2011    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.

 

Santa's Sack is Full of Elvis Christmas Pictures

 

 

It’s time once again to post ElvisBlog’s annual collection of images connecting Elvis and Christmas.  Fortunately, creative fans keep coming up with new ideas and put them on the internet for us to enjoy.

 


 

This is very clever.  There are dozens of real Elvis Christmas ornaments for sale, some good, some bad.  But, this concept works really well.

 

 

If you think about this image, it is a little strange.  The idea of Christmas with Elvis is fine.  But, where?  In jail?

 

 

This is kind of fun.  It is part of the ElvisBlog file of images showing Elvis dressed as Santa and vice-versa.  Someday there should be enough images to do a Christmas feature on this theme.

 

 

This is a good theme, but how come it doesn’t show some snow?

 

Well, if you can have Elvis Santa, why not an Elvis Elf?

                    

Simple, but striking.  There are a lot of Blue Christmas images out there, but I like this one best.

 

 

This one is kind of fun.

 

 

Here we have Elvis wishing someone a Merry Christmas – on a $500 bill.  A double special present.

 

You have to agree that this is a pretty good Christmas wish list, except maybe the snow if you’re trying to travel somewhere distance.

 

 

How’s this for window decorating at Christmas:  Some greenery, wrapped presents, strings of blue lights, a big candy cane – and Elvis in a Santa hat.

 

 

Isn’t this a nice touch?  Elvis and little Lisa.  Well done.

 

 

 

Merry Christmas from ElvisBlog

 

Pink Elvis Clothing Brings In Some Big Green at Auction

Knowledgeable Elvis fans are aware that he had a penchant for flashy, unconventional clothing.  In the 50s, this inclination was frequently expressed in pink wardrobe items, especially shirts.  On December 13, Heritage Auctions held another of their Music and Entertainment Auctions, and two pink Elvis shirts went to new owners for healthy prices.  We have seen these shirts in iconic photos for years, and now the story behind them has been told in the auction catalog.

 

Remember this picture?  Elvis is in front of his Caddy on the street in downtown Memphis.  The pink short-sleeve shirt he is wearing sold for $14,340, including the auction house buyer’s premium of 19.5%. 
 

 

The most distinctive feature of the shirt is the black band woven in-and-out of the collar.  This makes it easy to identify the shirt in other photographs of Elvis.

                         

 

                           
                       

Elvis bought the shirt in 1956 from his favorite clothing store in Memphis, Lansky Brothers.

Lansky Brothers Label in Pink and Black Shirt

Elvis wore the shirt for a year or two, and then put it into storage. During the 70’s, Elvis’ dad, Vernon gave a donation to the Salvation Army each year.  He gave them some of Elvis’ old, no-longer-worn wardrobe.  In 1974, this shirt was the gift, and Vernon accompanied it with a letter on TCB stationary.

 

 

 

Here is another famous photo of Elvis on September 8, 1954.  Like he did in the first photo, Elvis posed with his foot on the bumper of a car.  This time, the car is not his, but the 1953 Chevy Bel Air owned by Scotty Moore’s wife.  When Elvis, Scotty, and Bill first started touring, this is the car they used to get to the venues.  You can see that the shot was taken in front of Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Studio, the forerunner of Sun Records.

 

This pink shirt was not sold alone, but as part of a combination lot.  The black pants, the pink shirt, and the black-and-white shoes were offered as a set, and it proved to be in high demand.  The final bid was $19,717.  In this case, the black pants with the pink piping down the side seam and the pink back pocket tabs may have been the biggest draw.
                        

                        

Elvis purchased both the shirt and pants at Lansky Brothers, and both have the famous Lansky label sewn in.

 

               

             

The shoes offered in this set are not the one in the first picture, but they definitely belonged to Elvis.

 

This is documented by a separate photo of the band performing at the Sportatorium in Dallas in May, 1955.

 

 

Two things are important in maximizing the bids for Elvis clothing:  pictures of him wearing it, and letters certifying that Elvis did own the items.  For this set, the auction provided a letter from Elvis’ Aunt Delta.

 


 

I love her honesty.  She had possession of the clothing because Elvis gave them to her to tighten some buttons.  Obviously, she never did his request.

 

©  2011    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.

Caption Contest # 28 — Winner

I thought it might be hard for readers to come up with a clean caption for this picture, and the limited number of submissions seems to back that up.  However, we have a winner — first time entrant Ray Caves.  Congratulations, Ray.

One of the ElvisBlog readers who enters nearly every caption contest and has won six times, is Jean Pyle.  She came up with the funniest dirty caption.  Too bad we can’t post it here.  Thanks for the laugh, Jean.

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“Now, girls.  Stay here.  I’ll ring roomservice for four fried peanut butter sandwiches. Thank You very much!!”

©  2011    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.