Category Archives: COLLECTORS

According to Wikipedia — The 10 Weirdest Elvis Presley Memorabilia

It would be impossible to come up with new ElvisBlog topics each week with the helpful tool of Google searches. Also, if there was a Guinness World Record for the most different Elvis searches, I might qualify. The cool thing is that you never know what you’ll find if you scroll down the search results far enough, especially the Images results. For example, how about this photo?

Xray of Elvis' Arm


When I clicked on the picture above, I linked to this:


Have you ever heard of Wikicollecting? It’s a new one to me. Like everything else on Wikipedia, Wikicollecting lets anybody post, update, edit, and illustrate any topic. So there is no way of knowing who created “The Top 10 Weirdest Elvis Collectibles” in 2012, and named the x-ray images above as the sixth weirdest. 

Whoever it was, they actually listed eleven items, including an honourable mention (looks like our list provider is from England, or at least doesn’t know how to spell honorable). He provided pictures of just four of the eleven items, and they were all rather small and posted out of sequence. So, here is the Wikicollecting list “The Top 10 Weirdest Elvis Memorabilia,” with additional text and images thanks to the magic of Google.

Honorable Mention —  Medical Swab:

Elvis Swab

A medical swab used on Elvis was sold by Julien’s Auctions for $468.75 in 2010.  The swab was taken at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis on December 20, 1967 and was obtained by a medical technician at the hospital.


# 10  —  Signed Cast:

Elvis' Twice-Signed Cast

A cast signed by the King of Rock and Roll is being offered for sale by, a company specializing in the sale of items once owned by Elvis Presley. The asking price is $1,700. The cast belonged to fan Diana Henry who saw Elvis in concert in the Las Vegas Hilton in 1975. According to the website Elvis stopped his show and went into the crowd to sign Diana’s cast.

You will note that Elvis signed the cast twice. That’s because a drop of Elvis’ sweat fell on the autograph below the elbow and smudged his last name. Diana begged Elvis to sign it a second time, which he did.


# 9  –  Strand of Hair:

(Could not find a picture of this one)

A single strand of Elvis’ hair was sold for $1,700 at a Henry Aldridge & Son auction in 2009.

The auction house said the strand was owned by Thomas B. Morgan Jr., an Elvis fan and former administrator at Shelby County sheriff’s office. Morgan told auctioneers he received the hair follicle from Homer Gilleland, Elvis’ personal Hairdresser for more than 20 years.


# 8  —  Horse Blanket:

Elvis' Red Horse Blanket for Rising Sun

Another item available from is a red horse blanket used by Elvis for his horse Rising Sun and his black horse. It was also used on Priscilla Presley’s horse and the website claims that hairs from the horses are still visible on the blanket. It has been in storage since 1977 and is offered at a price $1800.

Elvis’ cousin Harold Lloyd gave this to his friend Rhonda in 1977. Rhonda’s sister dated Charlie Hodge for almost 4 years. Rhonda is in the background of the last picture taken of Elvis Presley returning home from the dentist in the morning hours of his death. She had actually stopped by to see Harold when Elvis came home for his last time.


# 7 — TV Remote:

(Could not find a picture of this one)

Elvis’ TV remote is being offered for sale by for $1,800. The large remote, for an RCA 2000 television set, was owned by Greg Page, who owned the television after Elvis.

This remote must have sold since the Wikicollecting list was published, and its listing and picture disappeared from the website. Even the magic of Google search couldn’t come up with a photo of it.


# 6 — Wrist X-ray:

Xray of Elvis' Arm

A set of x-rays of Elvis’ arm sold for $3.500 at a Farm Bureau auction in 2008. The x-rays showed a wrist fracture that Elvis suffered during a karate session.


# 5 — Benadryl Prescription Bottle:

Elvis Spare Dental Crown

A prescription bottle for Benadryl 50mg, prescribed to Elvis Presley on 8/15/77 sold for $7000 at a Julien’s Auctions sale in 2009. The bottle was prescribed by Elvis’ personal physician, Dr. Nick (Dr. George C. Nichopoulas) the day before Elvis’ death.


# 4 — Dental Crown:

Elvis Spare Dental Crown

Elvis Presley’s porcelain dental crown, which came to be known as the ‘King’s Crown’, was bought by a dentist for $8,150 at Omega Auctions in March 2012. Presley had a gap between his teeth, which he found embarrassing. He decided to have one of his front teeth crowned to hide it. This crown was created by Henry Weiss, Presley’s dentist until 1971.

Weiss always kept an extra copy of the crown. When Elvis cracked his crown on a microphone during a performance, Weiss’s son, S. Lewis Weiss, flew the replacement crown to Las Vegas.


# 3 — Exercise Bike:

Elvis' Exercise Bike

An exercise bike owned by Elvis was sold by Guerney’s Auctions in 2008 for $12,000.

The gold exercise bike has a tension control knob and speedometer/odometer between handlebars. Odometer reads 69 miles. Manufactured by Barkleigh. In fine condition, with some light wear, the bike was accompanied by a COA from Greg Howell, the exhibition and collection manager of Graceland.


# 2 — Autopsy and Embalming Tools:

Elvis Autopsy and Embalming Tools

In 2010, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers announced that it planned to sell the autopsy and embalming tools used on Elvis. The tools were offered for sale by an anonymous retired embalmer from the Memphis Funeral Home, and they were expected to bring $14,000. Shortly after the planned sale was announced, the parent company of the funeral home, Service Corporation International, claimed ownership of the tools. Due to this dispute over ownership, the items were withdrawn from the sale and have not appeared on the collectors’ market since.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers had two lots of Elvis’ funereal memorabilia slated for the auction, including funeral invoices, a toe tag once attached to the King’s corpse, embalming needles, forceps, lip brushes, needle injectors, an arterial tub, and an eyeliner pencil allegedly used to prepare the body for the funeral.

The embalmer said he kept the items after embalming Elvis the night of Aug. 17, 1977. Service Corporation International, the corporate parent of Memphis Funeral Home, had questioned the authenticity of the items and said the embalmer had no right to take them from the business. “Rather than argue with anyone, it’s better to just withdraw the item,”

My Google Images search did not come up with a photo of toe tag, actually marked “John Doe.” This was used as a replacement after the original was stolen by an eager fan during the chaos at the hospital. Unfortunately, the original will probably show up for sale someday.

# 1 — Lockheed Jetstar Jet:

Elvis' Jetstar

The last jet Elvis ever owned, a 1962 Lockheed Jetstar JT 12-5, was sold for $700,000 in 2008 by Kruse International. During his lifetime, Elvis owned three jets. The other two are in the Graceland Museum.


Okay, that’s what one person calls the ten weirdest Elvis memorabilia. I really don’t see what’s so weird about the TV remote, the horse blanket, or the exercise bike. The weird thing to me is some of the prices mentioned. $468 for the medical swab – you can buy Elvis autographs for less than that. $1,700 for a strand of hair – way too much.

Maybe the signed cast is worth $1,700 – it does have two Elvis autographs on it. I’m not sure about $700,000 for the Jetstar. Maybe if it came with photos of Elvis inside it or standing in front, but think about all the Elvis memorabilia you could buy for that kind of money.

The arm e-rays are certainly weird, as is the replacement tooth crown. And finally, two items are not just weird, but also in horrible taste. How sick is it to spend $7,000 on Elvis’ bottle of Benydryl? And the embalming stuff is just too grisly. I hope that Service Corporation Inonaternatil destroyed them after pulling them from the auction



© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved


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



Elvis, Shelly Fabares, and an Online Auction

From time to time ElvisBlog receives e-mails about charity events that include some Elvis-related item for sale.  They ask if their worthy cause could be mentioned on the blog.  Well, we don’t really do announcements, so, unless there is some way to turn it into a full length article, I’m not able to help.

This week I received an e-mail from the Gulf Regional Advocacy Center, which I never heard of.  The message explains that they provide high quality legal representation for poor prisoners facing the death penalty in Texas and Louisiana.  I thought, “this is a real long shot,” but I read on.  It turns out they are having an online auction, including a signed lobby card from Elvis’ movie Spinout.  The e-mail included a picture of the item which piqued my interest, because the film’s title on it is California Holiday, not Spinout.

I knew California Holiday was the name used for the movie in several foreign countries, including England and Australia.

As you have seen in numerous ElvisBlog articles, I like to follow auctions of Elvis memorabilia and note what prices the items bring.  So, now I’m kind of interested in this charity auction, because this is a pretty rare Elvis lobby card.  Plus, it also has an extra kicker – it will be signed by Shelly Fabares, Elvis’ costar in Spinout.  I have always been a big Shelly Fabares fan and figured someday I’d do a blog article about her.  So, now is a good time to do it.


The folks at the Gulf Regional Advocacy Center sent me a current photo of Shelly, who is now 68.  The hair kind of set me back, so I Googled to see if there were other fairly recent photos of her without the multi-colored hair.  Not really.

Here she is with Mike Farrell, her husband of 28 years.  You remember him from playing B.J. Hunnicutt in Mash from 1975 to 1983.  It appears they both have been involved in many environmental and social causes over the years.


Shelly’s hair was curly, but not multi-colored in this photo taken at the 1991 Emmy Awards.  She starred on TV’s Coach from 1989 to 1997.


I liked her in Coach, but I really liked her in Clambake (1967).


And in Girl Happy (1965).


And, of course, in Spinout (1966).  These last two photos are from the movie with the foreign lobby card that sparked this article.


Shelly Fabares is the only actress to co-star with Elvis in three movies.  He must have enjoyed working with her.  She’s never written a tell-all book about her experiences with Elvis, but I’ll bet they’d be pretty good.

So, back to the internet auction for the benefit of the Gulf Regional Advocacy Center.  Bidding starts on November 12 and ends on November 17.


The opening bid for the Spinout lobby card is just $35, so, if the bidding doesn’t run way up, this could be a good bargain for any Elvis collector.  The lobby card is a rare international version using a different title, and it is signed by Shelly Fabares.  Because it is the only Elvis-related item in an eclectic collection of offerings, there probably won’t an army of dedicated Elvis collectors bidding on it.

By the way, the silent auction will also include items donated by George Lopez, Martin Lawrence, Joan Baez, Melissa Gilbert, Robert Greenwald, and Salman Rushdie.  Check it out here.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved


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


Silver Elvis


There is a precious metals store just a few miles from my home, so I dropped in to see what they had for sale.  I quickly learned that silver comes in little 1 oz. bars and rounds produced by dozens of independent mints around the country.   And they come with every conceivable image minted on them.  Even Elvis!!

The store didn’t have any Elvis silver items, so when I got home, I Googled “Elvis silver bars” to see what would come up, and here is what I found.


This is a special commemorative set put out by the U.S. Postal Service in 1993 as part of their promotion of the Elvis stamp.  There are two 1 Troy oz. silver bars minted with the stamp image.  Both bars are Sterling Silver (.925 pure), and one has been gold plated.  The owner was asking $65 for the set, which seems pretty reasonable because of the collectible value.  Here is a close-up of the front and back of the silver bar.


Elvis Stamp Silver Bar

Perhaps because the photos were taken with the bar inside the protective plastic sleeve, the minting doesn’t look as good as others I saw at the store.  For example, there is a series of US Presidential bars that look like miniature works of art.  However, some of the other Elvis silver items available on-line had even worse images than the Postal Service bars.   Here is a terrible one.


Elvis Bear Silver Round

Elvis looks kind of spooky, doesn’t he?  The teddy bear on the reverse side looks a little better.  This is a Australian product called the Elvis Bear for obvious reasons, and the owner was asking $35 for it.  These are referred to as rounds, not coins, because they have no currency value.   Note that the reverse side states 1oz .999 Silver, which is the industry standard and something silver collectors always look for.

The next bar is called The Day the Music Died, which is a phrase more commonly associated with Buddy Holly.  Again, the photo was taken with the bar inside the plastic sleeve, so the minting might look better without it.


The Day the Music Died Elvis Silver Bar

This Elvis bar certainly gets the award for the most information minted on it.  There is his first name plus his birthday, Jan. 8, 1935, and the date of his death, Aug. 16, 1977, (Presumably The Day the Music Died), and a litany of Elvis’ achievements – 400 million records, 35 films, and 100 million fans.  With all that on the front, the mint put nothing on the reverse side but their name.  What’s missing is the notation 1 oz .999 Silver.  With an asking price of $75, people buying this one will have their fingers crossed..

The owner of this next Elvis silver round chose not to show the reverse side, so we don’t know if the weight and silver content are spelled out on it.  The text accompanying the picture says it is 1 oz .999 Silver.  The King Lives On round is listed at $28, which makes it the cheapest item I found in my search, but I wouldn’t buy it.  That Elvis image just doesn’t cut it.


The King Lives On Elvis Silver Round


I like the King of Rock and Roll bar much more.  It has a pretty good image of Elvis on the front and has the weight and silver content on the back along with the mint’s name.


King of Rock ‘n Roll Elvis Silver Bar

It has a limited mintage of just 150, which must be part of the reason the owner is asking $200 for it.

The next Elvis silver round does not has a catchy phrase minted on it, so it is referred to by the image on the front side.  Here is Elvis Two Poses, a very good bargain at $29


Elvis Two Poses Silver Round

It has to be one of the better two-sided Elvis rounds, with the gates of Graceland minted on the back.  Also, please note the “Silver Trade Unit” at the bottom.  Phrases like this and “Official Barter Unit” appear on a few silver rounds, a reference to the belief held by some people that America is on the road to financial collapse and that precious metals will become the de-facto currency.


We’ll follow one of the best items in Elvis silver with one produced by a mint whose minting is considered inferior by some silver sellers.  The Dahlonega Mint is in Georgia where there was a minor gold rush in the 1800s.  There are still a couple of tourist-trap “Gold Mines” with wooden sluices where you can pan for gold.  My wife and I tried it there once, and we found a tiny flake of gold.  They put it in a little vial of water which you can shake up and watch the gold float around.


Elvis Autograph Silver Bar

This Elvis bar doesn’t look so bad to me, and it does have something on it that none of the others have.  Elvis’ autograph is minted on it, so I will call it by that name since no other was used.  The owner was asking $40 for it, which may be a little pricey..

The next does have a name:  A Great American.  I think you may find that used on silver bars and rounds with other images as well. 


A Great American Elvis Silver Round

I’m not real crazy about the Elvis image, but I like the mini-star flags on each side.  At $30, this might be a fairly good item to buy.

Finally, we come to my favorite Elvis silver collectible.  Elvis Lives has the best minted image of Elvis; it is 1.5 ounces of .999 silver; and only 150 were produced.


Elvis Lives Silver Bar

The reverse side is a complete mystery to me.  Why would they put an outdoor scene on it?  There is some wording above the rising sun and under the word mint, but zoom-in just makes them too fuzzy to read.  However, that is not why I would have to pass on Elvis Lives.  $250 is just too rich for me.

There are fewer Elvis bars and rounds available in gold than silver.  However, I’ll keep checking the on-line offerings, and as soon as I find enough for a blog article, we’ll take a look at Gold Elvis.

©  2010    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved

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


In my mind, Dr. George C. Nichopoulos, better known as Dr. Nick, is one of the main bad guys in Elvis’ history.  Yes, I know the state of Tennessee cleared Dr. Nick in 1981 of charges that he prescribed Elvis too many addictive drugs, but he lost his state medical license in 1995 for other bad conduct, so that tells you something.  Normally, I wouldn’t write anything in Elvisblog about Dr. Nick, but this story is just too weird to skip.


During his long association with Elvis, Dr. Nick received gifts from his favorite patient.  In 2000, realizing the value of these items, Dr. Nick entered into a 50-50 partnership with a Nevada entertainer named Bobby Freeman.  Freeman’s real name is Robert G Gallagher, and he is a self-described “little old country boy” with a third grade education.  In his act he sings original rockabilly songs wearing a cowboy hat with a bullet hole in it.  He plays numerous instruments; his specialty is playing the piano with his feet and other body parts.


Gallagher’s deal with Dr. Nick was to exhibit the Elvis collection in casinos.  Gallagher has stated, “We opened it at the Hollywood Casino in Tunica, [MS], 15 miles from Graceland, and it was held over three times, and I did entertainment shows opposite of it in the ballroom.”  This success gave Gallagher the idea to put the collection inside tractor-trailers and tour it nationwide.


It took years to build displays inside two custom-made 18-wheelers, but by 2005 they was ready.  Gallagher proudly described the truck interiors: “Everything is beautiful.  There’s carpeting everywhere – burgundy, two inches high, the best you can buy.  Every frame is carved gold.  You got your crown molding …”


Before the exhibit trailers were finished, Gallagher met Richard Long, a California businessman at a car show in Reno.  Later, Long saw his performance and hired Gallagher to do the show at his birthday party.  They kept in touch, and Long visited Gallagher in Reno and saw the mobile Elvis exhibits.  In April 2006, Long and Gallagher entered into an agreement to form a joint company to exhibit the memorabilia.


Long gave Gallagher $200,000 for himself plus $1 million to buy the Elvis collection from Dr. Nick.  Supposedly, Long agreed to put up to $1 million more into the company so Gallagher could pay the bills he ran up creating the tractor-trailer displays.  In addidtion, Long was to put an additional 1 million into the company to be used on an as-needed basis.  Sounds good so far, right?  Well, now it gets weird.


Long gave Gallagher the first $1.2 million, and presumably Dr. Nick was paid off.  However, Gallagher never turned over the Elvis collection to the newly formed exhibition company.  Somehow, he got the idea that the real value of the memorabilia was $250 million, and that Long was planning to sell it to Asian collectors and keep all the money.  So, Gallagher refused to turn over the displays unless Long came up with another $3.5 million.


In November 2006, Long filed suit.  He was willing to dissolve the company, sell the Elvis collection, and split the proceeds.  But, when the court convened on March 25, 2007, Gallagher was a no-show.  He proclaimed, “I didn’t show up because I knew they were going to pound the hell out of me.”  Indeed, Long’s attorney did just that, introducing the facts that Gallagher had a prior felony conviction for auto theft, had a prior judgment against him for $200,000, and had run up $500,000 in debt to Bank America.


The judge ordered Gallagher to turn over the Elvis memorabilia for inspection for insurance purposes.  Gallaher refused to do this, saying that photographing the items would devalue the collection.  Long’s attorney said, “The legal term for their argument is ‘a load of hooey.’” Gallagher again failed to show up in court this past May 12, and the judge ruled that Gallagher must turn over the exhibit to the exhibition company and pay part of Long’s legal fees.


So what is in Dr. Nick’s Memories of Elvis?  Here’s the list:


The black doctor’s bag used by Dr. Nick while treating Elvis.


A stuffed dog Elvis had in his suite at the Las Vegas Hilton.


Laryngeal scope Dr. Nick used to examine Elvis’ throat and



Wooden carved desk, made by Elvis’ uncle, Vester Presley, and supposedly used by Elvis in Graceland.


Puka shell and turquoise necklace Elvis gave to Dr. Nick.


38 Smith & Wesson snub nose once owned by Elvis.


The book, “The Prophet,” with hand written notations by Elvis

in the margins.


A bowl, taken to the Memphian Theater filled with fresh cut

fruit, for Elvis to eat during movies.


An empty prescription vial dated August 15, 1977.


A 14k yellow gold and diamond TCB pendant and necklace that Elvis gave Dr. Nick.


A glass nasal douche Dr. Nick used to irrigate Elvis’



Gallagher has called this collection “the greatest find since the Titanic.”  With the exception of the book and TCB pendant, I think I like the lawyer’s term: “A load of hooey.”


©  2007   All Rights Reserved   Philip R Arnold


Who ever thought we would have three superstar Elvis collectors in the news over such a short time span?  First, it was Chris Davidson and Jimmy Velvet when the Elvis-A-Rama Museum was sold to EPE back in October.  Then, two weeks ago, we had the “Elvis Empire Auction” that sold the entire collection of Jim Curtin of Philadelphia for approximately $2 million.  Like Davidson and Velvet, Jim Curtin has an interesting story.


Here’s a little history on him, according to an article by Jenny Paschall in the London Daily Express earlier this month.  Curtin bought his first Elvis record (“Return To Sender”) at age 12, and this set off a buying spree that eventually included every Elvis record ever released in the US, plus as many different foreign versions as he could find.  When he first saw Elvis perform on stage in 1971, his reaction was, “He was like a god… The chemistry was so powerful, it overwhelmed me.”  Apparently so much that Jim Curtin evolved from being a fan to a follower, and finally, to a friend of Elvis.


Curtin saw Elvis perform 51 times and shook hands with him 32 times.  His love of Elvis turned into a career.  As an expert on Elvis, he has written several books and countless articles about the King.  He acquired 25,000 pictures of Elvis for his collection and used them to publish calendars. In 1974, Curtin designed and commissioned a $2000 Gibson guitar with “Elvis Presley” inscribed on the fretboard.  During a 2-1/2 hour visit with Elvis, he presented the guitar to Elvis as a gift.


We all know a generous person like Elvis would not let a gesture like that go unanswered. Elvis reciprocated by giving Curtin the stunning white “Nail Mirror Jumpsuit” (sold at the auction for $125,000).  According to the London Daily Express article, when Curtin tried on the suit, “It was something spiritual… I wanted to look like him, sing like him, be like him.”  Indeed, he did start giving Elvis concerts as tributes to a great man, he says, not as an impersonator.  Well, if you do your hair and sideburns like Elvis, wear his clothes, and sing his songs, it sounds like impersonating to me.


Some news reports said Curtin was selling his Elvis collection in an attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend, Renata Ginter.  Supposedly, she gave him an ultimatum – Elvis or me.  However, she responded to this news by sending a letter to, in which she stated their relationship ended three years ago, and it was for personal reasons that had nothing to do with his Elvis collection.  Even more important, she stated she is now engaged to another man.


So Jim Curtin may never get the love of his life back.  He says he can’t sleep, the loneliness is killing him, and he has lost 30 pounds.  You have to feel sorry for him, but let’s hope he will find some happiness with that $2 million he just got.


©  2006   Philip R Arnold


At one time, it was said Jimmy Velvet had the largest Elvis memorabilia collection in the world.  He’s had plenty of highs and lows in his life, and his twenty-year friendship with Elvis has been the catalyst for some of both. 


Jimmy Velvet was a fifteen-year old high school student in Jacksonville, Florida when he met Elvis in 1955.  His substitute English teacher was Mae Axton (who went on to write “Heartbreak Hotel”), and she was also a show promoter.  One of the shows she booked was the Hank Snow Country Jamboree, and at the bottom of the bill was a little known singer named Elvis Presley.  Velvet was a rising local entertainer, so Axton brought the young man back stage to meet Elvis.


Jimmy Velvet and Elvis became friends.  Over the years, Velvet made numerous visits to Graceland, movie locations, and even recording sessions in Nashville.  He had a moderately successful singing career with regional hits like “We Belong Together” and “It’s Almost Tomorrow.”  He also became a diligent collector of Elvis memorabilia, one highlight being a 1965 Mercedes 600 limo that Elvis gave him.


After Elvis’ death in 1977, Vernon Presley gave Velvet the OK to create The Elvis Museum across the street from Graceland.  Later, he opened another museum in Kissimmee, Florida, near Walt Disney World.  For years, Velvet toured the country and a lot of the world with his traveling Legends Hall of Fame.


The most memorable purchase for his museums was the 85-foot long Elvis-A-Rama mural.  It had been created in 1979 by songwriter Mitchell Torok (remember his 1959 hit “Caribbean”?), and it was on display in Nashville, TN and Branson, MO for 18 years.  The name had been trademarked well before EPE embarked on its famous quest to combat the use of their Elvis and Elvis Presley trademarks in anyone else’s profit making ventures.


Jimmy Velvet had other business interests, and one of them went sour in the mid- 90’s.  He was forced to put up much of his Elvis memorabilia at auction.  Chris Davidson bought his first Elvis goodies at a Velvet auction in 1994, and in 1998 he purchased the Elvis-A-Rama mural and its trademarked name from Velvet.


One year later, Davidson opened his Las Vegas Elvis museum, using the trademark Elvis-A-Rama as its name.  If EPE didn’t like that, there wasn’t much they could do about it.  As it turned out, there was one thing.  They bought the Elvis-A-Rama Museum two months ago and announced it would close next year.


Jimmy Velvet still owns a small portion of his Elvis collection.  I won’t be surprised if we hear from him again.

© 2005   Philip R Arnold


If there were an Elvis Collectors Hall Of Fame, Chris Davidson and Jimmy Velvet would be charter members.  Davidson was mentioned prominently in the recent news reports about his sale of the Elvis-A-Rama Museum to Robert Sillerman’s SKX Inc.  We can be sure he pocketed a nice chunk of change when he sold his six-year old Las Vegas museum to the new powers behind Elvis Presley Enterprises.  Jimmy Velvet also figures prominently in the history of Elvis-A Rama and its namesake exhibit.


Extensive internet searches have not produced as much history on Chris Davidson as I would have expected.  The best source was a 35-minute audio interview at  If you already have Real Player on your computer, you might want to check out the interview.  However, I had to down load Real Player before I could listen, and now I’m getting pop-ups coaxing me to upgrade to their premium service.  I hate pop-ups.


Chris Davidson became an Elvis fan at an early age.  He was only seven when he bought his first Elvis album, and he was only ten when he talked his father into taking him to a 1975 Elvis concert at the Las Vegas Hilton.  Collecting Elvis started much later, after Davidson’s business career put him in a position to afford it.


His success in an auto body/detailing business he started at 19 must have paid off well and facilitated an interest in powerboats.  At least that would explain his move to the publishing business, where he is now the Editor of Hot Boat Magazine.  Davison’s interest in collecting started with baseball cards, and it was at a baseball card show in 1993 when he purchased his first Elvis autograph. 


The next year he attended an auction of Elvis memorabilia presented by Jimmy Velvet at the Las Vegas Hilton and was amazed at how many Elvis things you could buy.  Davidson left with two checks signed by Elvis and a 1955 letter from Elvis’ manager at the time, Bob Neal, regarding Colonel Parker taking over Elvis’ career.  Those purchases launched a new hobby that turned into an obsession, and finally evolved into a quest to create a spectacular Elvis experience.


The last big step toward this occurred in 1998 when Davidson purchased the huge Elvis-A-Rama interactive mural.  We’ll cover the history of the mural and the significance of its name in a later article.  And, of course, we’ll talk about Jimmy Velvet, the man who sold it to Davidson.  He has an interesting story, too, but I hope I don’t have to download anything else to dig up all the facts on him.

© 2005  Philip R Arnold