Category Archives: ELVIS and OTHER STARS

The Muppets present “Great Moments in Elvis History”

As mentioned last week, the elves in the Muppet Classic Theater DVD were dressed in Elvis-type garb and had Elvis hair. And all three of them spoke and sang like Elvis. The picture above shows the three Elvises making blue suede shoes.

For those of you who got the incomplete postings last week on my first two tries, you missed the video of The Elves and the Shoemaker segment of the DVD where they do their stuff. This is fun, so here are two ways to check it out if you haven’t already.

The full 9-1/2 minute skit:

 

The 5 minute edited version showing the Bad Shoes Blues song sequence and a bit more:

 

The Muppets returned to TV in 1996 in a new show called Muppets Tonight. It was very similar to the original The Muppet Show.

It ran for three seasons, which was long enough for three more appearances by the Elvises in a recurring feature, “Great Moments in Elvis History.”

The concept is interesting. They chose three great moments in world history and substituted Elvises for three of the main characters in each.

 

The Declaration of Independence:

Sorry for the lame picture quality. The video I grabbed it from is the only one I could find. The story has some fun with quibbling going on between Washington and Jefferson, particularly when John Hancock tells them that all ties with the king have been severed, and they argue about who really is The King.

When Ben Franklin arrives and tells them he has discovered electricity, they cheer and bring up their electric guitars. They break into a song using the melody from “Blue Suede Shoes,” with brand new lyrics.

One if by land,
Two if by sea.
Let’s all rock for democracy.
Don’t you, don’t you tread on me.

At the end of the skit, we get a fake preview of next week’s Great Moments in Elvis History. This is Elvis of Arabia, but it was five more weeks until the next Great Moments is shown, and it was not Elvis of Arabia.

 

Elvis the King and His Knights of the Roundtable:

Here we have Guinevere, King Arthur, Lancelot, and Merlin. The gag here is that the dragon has captured Guinevere. Merlin goes to rescue her, and the dragon is glad to give her back. The song parodied in this skit is Jailhouse Rock, with these lyrics:

The dragon has captured Lady G.
Don’t you worry, Excalibur is here.
Everybody knows that dragon is hot.
We’re rockin’ here in Camelot.

I like this front shot of Muppet Elvis Merlin.

 

The gag preview at the end of this skit is Tarzan of Graceland.

 

Elvis Caesar:

Here the Elvises are playing Brutus, Mark Antony, and Julius Caesar. There is no singing in this short skit, but there are plenty of gags.

The bit with Brutus brandishing a large knife was interesting, considering the actual facts of Caesar’s assassination.

 

The gag preview at the end of this skit is Sir Elvis Newton.

 

Someone has put together a YouTube video that combines all three Great Moments in Elvis History. Check it out.

 

I hope you enjoyed my three-part series on The Muppets and Elvis.

 

© 2019 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 and The Muppets

  

When I read that Sesame Street celebrated its 50th anniversary this fall, it gave me an idea for an ElvisBlog post.  I remembered seeing some of their Muppet characters dressed as Elvis on the internet.  But when I started researching it, I found that with two exceptions, it was mostly characters from The Muppet Show.  There is a difference.

The little guys in front of Big Bird above include Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Glover, and Oscar the grouch.  Jim Henson was already a successful puppeteer when he created them for Sesame Street in 1969.

 

 

Based on the popularity of his characters on Sesame Street, Henson introduced a whole new group for his The Muppet Show that debuted in 1976.  In addition to Kermit and Miss Piggy, there was also Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Scooter, and Rizzo the Rat.

 

While Jim Henson had been pleased with the success of Sesame Street, that show had branded the Muppets as a kids’ act. Henson wanted to create a show that would be entertaining across all age groups. The Muppet Show had a zanier tone to their skits and some of their occasional characters were pretty strange – like Dr. Tooth and The Electric Mayhem band.

 

 

So, before we take a look at Elvis and the Muppets, let’s mention the two Sesame Street characters that did do an Elvis impersonation.

 

This is Elmo from a “Singing” episode on Elmo’s World where he sang “Blue Suede Shoes”.  To my eyes, his shoes look black.

 

 

This was corrected in 2000 when Fisher-Price released Elmo – The Legend plush doll.  He is dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit and sings some of his songs including, “Blue Suede Shoes”, and “All Shook Up”.

 

 

And this is Elmo dressed as a young Elvis singing “Viva Las Vegas” at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show.  Believe it or not, this was for a discussion session on the effectiveness of children’s educational electronics.

 

 

This is The Count, a Dracula-like character that showed up occasionally on Sesame Street. Here he is dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit and singing a parody of “Blue Suede Shoes.”  It was an original song with different music and lyrics that mention the shoes.

 

So, now let’s look at The Muppets and Elvis.

 

This is a drawing of Gonzo obviously doing an Elvis impersonation, but I can’t find a picture or clip of him doing it on the show.

 

 

This is Fozzie at the Graceland gates.  I couldn’t find if this was part of a skit on the show or was created for some other purpose.

 

 

This is Blogg, a minor character, wearing an Elvis jumpsuit.  I couldn’t find out if he sang a song on the show.  I did find that on one episode he formed an Elvis head out of his earwax.  Man, did I ever waste a lot of time looking for a picture of that.

 

 

I think this is Gene the Genie.  I found that he did an Elvis impression when he mentioned spending a vacation in Las Vegas.  I don’t think he sang.

 

Next week we will take a look at the biggest Elvis presence with the Muppets – a wonderful creation called The Elvises.

 

 

You are going to love these guys.

 

 

©  2019    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, Elvira, and Halloween

Over the years, I’ve done several posts that feature Elvis in Halloween themes, but the supply of pictures available for this has been pretty much used up. So, this year, how about an article on someone who made a career out of Halloween themes… and also had a connection with Elvis?

 

Yes, we’re talking about Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the costumed vamp who hosted a horror movie show on television and went on to great fame.

 

 

Cassandra Peterson created the Elvira persona in 1981. Prior to that, she was a Las Vegas showgirl.

 

 

It was during this period Cassandra Peterson met Elvis.

“I had been patterning my whole life after Ann Margaret in Viva Las Vegas. So, Yeah, luckily, really, I met Elvis, and it was kind of my dream come true because by the time I went to Vegas, and I did meet Elvis, it was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s coming true! The whole movie’s coming true, you know!’ And, so, I did hang out with Elvis for a while, and he was wonderful and charming and nice, very down home, very sweet, innocent kind of person. He was so different than what anybody would ever think. Not like Mr. Show Biz Time, just a nice, really charming, wonderful guy, very funny sense of humor.”

 

 

Cassandra Peterson got started as Elvira in 1981, but back in 1969 she was just a 17 year old, struggling showgirl, when a friend of Cassandra’s managed to get them both invited to a party at Elvis’ penthouse suite in the Las Vegas International Hotel.

 

 

 

Elvis liked to be around showgirls, and on this night he took an interest in Cassandra.

“Elvis singled me out. I sat at the piano and he played songs for me. We were singing together and he said, ‘Oh, you have a good voice. Why don’t you go take some singing lessons, learn how to sing, and get out of here?’ He said, ‘Because this is a real short-lived career, being a showgirl.’ So, next day, I mean, really, the next day, I went out and I signed up for singing lessons, and within just a few months I got a singing part in the show. It really was the thing I needed to kind of get me out of there.”

Later, in a more private setting, they talked all night, and a variety of subjects were broached. Elvis told her he was very spiritual and discussed numerology. He showed her a jewel-encrusted belt buckle — a present from President Richard Nixon.

“It was the biggest, gaudiest things I had ever seen, and he was just so thrilled with it, like he was a little kid.”

She told him she smoked marijuana and that she was a virgin and both revelations had an effect on Elvis. He lectured her on the evils of pot, and marveled that there was actually a showgirl virgin in Las Vegas. After a while, she came to a realization.

“It was clear that he was not going to, like, hit on me. I could kick myself now for telling him. It would have been great to have him as my first lover. If it’s got to be somebody, it might as well be Elvis.”

 

How’s that for an understatement?

 

 

 

 

 

© 2019 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.

Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlog Articles

This the same photo I used to start the last Postscripts article back in April. That time, it was followed by a cropped copy of just the face. This time, it will be followed by three other Cat Elvis T-shirts that have been offered recently.

 

I’m not crazy about this one. What makes them think fans want a T-shirt with a cat/Elvis face on his US Army profile photo? I also don’t like the name – Elvis Purrsley – but at least it’s better than the first one – Meowvis Pawsley.

 

I don’t like this one at all.

 

Please, please… No more cat/Elvis T-shirts.

 

Back in 2010 I did a 50th anniversary look at Flaming Star. It featured these pictures of Elvis and Barbara Eden looking pretty chummy. However, as I pointed out then, she was actually the wife of Elvis’ character’s brother, played by Steve Forrest.

 

A few more Elvis and Barbara Eden photos have showed up.

Elvis never got this intimate with his sister-in-law in the film, but it is certainly a good movie promo picture of two beautiful people.

 

Another photo taken at this session was the inspiration for this famous Andy Warhol silkscreen.

 

For more on this Warhol artwork, check out this ElvisBlog post from 2010.

 

I’ve shown many variations on Elvis’ famous pose in Jailhouse Rock, the most recent in 2012. Many of them are very creative, but here’s one in 3D:

 

Here we have Elvis in fireman gear, hose in hand, balanced on the top of a fire truck. Where do people get their inspirations for this stuff?

 

Over the years, ElvisBlog has shown the work of artists and Photoshop jockeys that put US presidents in Elvis jumpsuits. Look what I just found.

Does anyone know if there is an Elvis connection to the Flamingo Café?

 

Once I had found an image of Joe Biden in a jumpsuit, I Googled all the other major Democratic presidential candidates to see if anybody had done them. The only thing I could find is this.

As I’ve written before, someone once said Al Gore was a minus zero on the Elvis Scale. I wonder what they would say about Bernie Sanders?

 

This is a really amateurish job of inserting Elvis into a photo of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road. I recently read an article on the 50th anniversary of the album, and it said a total of six shots were taken. This is one of the rejects with the Beetles going in the opposite direction from the one we know. Here’s a different rejected photo with a slightly better Elvis insertion.

It looks like Elvis has a spear pushing against Paul’s neck, but it just the sidewalk curb.

I guess the Photoshop guys can’t mess with the famous album cover photo without running into copyright problems. They won’t get into any trouble with this:

 

There are many images around pairing up Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Humphrey Bogart, but this is different.

The tag on this one said, “Beatles in Elvis Jumpsuits on Abbey Road.” I don’t think Elvis would have been caught dead in three of them, especially Ringo’s.

 

Just a few weeks ago, I posted these three photos of Elvis looking like a college student on campus. Here’s a new one:

 

 

This is a montage of Elvis doing his performance while on stage floors. It was taken from a post in 2017.

Here’s a new one.

 

I’ve been collecting Elvis photos for 15 years, and I never saw this one before last week. I love it. Doesn’t he looks like an animal on the prowl? Elvis was just so cool.

 

 

© 2019 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.

 

Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 12

Elvis on his Knees - 1st April 1957 - Buffalo NY

This photo shows why Elvis had to ditch the gold lame pants. He liked getting down on his knees while performing, but after a while, the gold started to wear off. According to the tag on this picture, it was snapped on April 1, 1957 in Buffalo NY.

 

1957 Elvis Seattle concert

Here’s Elvis at it again later that year in Seattle.

 

Elvis' Smalest Crowd Ever

I labelled this one, “Elvis’ Smallest Concert Crowd.” To be honest, I screen grabbed it from an Elvis movie. Do you know which one it was?

 

Elvis Presley TCB Band

I’ve had fun trying to figure out who is who here. The easy ones are Charlie Hodge – top right, Ronnie Tutt – bottom right, John Wilkinson – bottom left, and James Burton top left,. I’m pretty sure that’s Jerry Scheff in front of Burton. So, that leaves the two guys in the middle. Any ideas? I did some research, and one of them has to be Larry Muhoberac, the keyboard player for less than a year before Glenn D. Hardin joined the group.

 

Two Elvis bootleg LP's that featured the Elvis Ed Sullivan recordings

This is the cover of a bootleg album. It featured the songs Elvis performed on the three Ed Sullivan shows.

 

Elvis and Mary Ann Mobley

Obviously, this shot didn’t appear in the movie Girl Happy, but Elvis and Mary Ann Mobley seem to be enjoying themselves during a break in the filming..

 

Elvis And Eddy Arnold

This is Eddie Arnold with Elvis. Neither one seems to be enjoying this encounter. Both have their arms folded, and Elvis is looking away.

 

Elvis Blocking the Light

I like to put photos of young Elvis into these pictorials. Unfortunately, the tag said nothing about where or when it was taken.

( Thanks to two reader comments, we now have the uncropped photo and an explanation of what is going on.)

This is cousin Gene Smith with Elvis on May 27, 1956. in Dayton, Ohio. They are playing a made-up game they used to play when they were bored to pass the time. It was possibly a truth or consequence type, where the loser would get smacked on the forehead when they answered wrong.

Thank you Sandy and Leon’a for providing this.

 

3AM Concert Labor Day, September 2, 1973

In the second Eye Candy for Elvis Fans post, I showed a poster for his 3am performance at the Las Vegas Hilton on September 3, 1973. Here is a photo that is supposed to be from that concert, but I don’t believe it. The audience is too big for a hotel ballroom.

3AM Concert Labor Day, September 2, 1973 - Blowup of Stage

I enlarged and cropped to get this view of the stage. It might hold Elvis and the band, but where would the Stamps and the Sweet Inspirations fit? The background is too plain for a classy hotel venue. This has to be somewhere else.

 

Dirty Elvis in Jailhouse Rock

This is the dirtiest you will ever see Elvis. It was on the screen in Jailhouse Rock for a just a couple of seconds, so you hardly had time to notice it.

 

Charlie Hodge, Lamar Fike, Elvis and Rex

The caption under this is hard to read, but it says, “Charlie, Lamar, Elvis and Rex (laughing) in front of the house with a dog.” Charlie Hodge, Lamar Fike, and Rex Mansfield were Elvis’ buddies when they served together in Germany. However, I don’t see a guy laughing.

Anyway, the house mentioned in the tag is this one:

Elvis' Home in Germany

 

 

Elvis in front of Jukebox - Warrior Hotel, Sioux City, Iowa, May 23, 1956

Elvis enjoying free time before performing at the Warrior Hotel, Sioux City, Iowa, May 23, 1956. Guess he hadn’t gotten into big, expensive watches yet.

 

Elvis Army Photo

Think about this. Your brother gives you an autographed Elvis photo he got while they were in the Army. Then a friend of yours who doesn’t like Elvis tears it up. That would make her an ex-friend in my book.

Reader Kathy Kessel says the other fellow in the picture is not her brother and wonders who he is. It’s a long shot, but does anyone have an idea?

 

Elvis in front of Gold Curtain

Let’s end with a splash. How do you like that gold curtain? I didn’t know that Elvis made curtain calls.

 

 

(Note: The movie with Elvis’ smallest concert crowd is Loving You, and he sang the title track.)

 

 

© 2019 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.

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.

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 24

 

A Star Is Born 2018

I’m sure most of you readers are aware of all the media hype for the latest version of the movie A Star Is Born. This one pairs up Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga (or Stefani Germanotta, her real name, as listed on the above poster).

How many of you also know that Elvis was offered the male lead in the 1976 version?

A Star Is Born 1976

According to the definitive book ELVIS – His Life from A to Z, “Barbra Streisand wanted to costar with Elvis, in what would have been his finest screen role. But an agreement couldn’t be reached with Colonel Parker, who wanted one million dollars plus top billing for Elvis, rather than to settle for a percentage of the movie’s gross.”

So Kris Kristofferson got the role.

Probably not one of Col. Parker’s best moves.

 

Jerry Seinfeld in an Elvis Jumpsuit:

Rolling Stone Cover o Seinfeld in Elvis Jumpsuit

Do you save old magazines with good intentions to read them again? I’m bad that way, but lately I’m culling out anything I can use on ElvisBlog, and throwing the rest away. Here’s the cover of the September 22, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. It may be hard to tell in the small photo here, but the full-sized cover shows this is an expensive original design that probably weighs 40 pounds like some of Elvis’ jumpsuits did.  And his attempt at an Elvis lip curl is really lame

Jerry Seinfeld in Elvis Jumpsuit

This is a different pose that accompanies the lengthy article celebrating the end of Jerry Seinfeld’s twelve-year run on the TV show Seinfeld. There is no mention of the jumpsuit in the article, so it must be just to emphasize the subtitle on the magazine cover: The King of Prime Time Comedy.

There was one other picture of interest in this magazine.

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson

Supposedly, this was the first photograph of Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson after they were married in 1994.

 

Here are pictures of some other showbiz folks dressed up in Elvis jumpsuits.

Bill Murray in an Elvis Jumpsuit

 

 

Britney Spears 2007 in an Elvis Jumpsuit

 

 

Glen Campbell Wearing Elvis Jumpsuit - 1975

 

Andy Kaufman in Elvis Jumpsuit

 

Geraldo 1992 in Elvis Jumpsuit

 

Nathan Fillion (Rick Castle) in his Elvis Jumpsuit

The guy in the middle is Nathan Fillion In an episode of Castle.  Check out the twin Elvi’s with matching American Eagle jumpsuits and white scarfs on each side.  Does anybody know what the storyline was to have Fillion dressed up like this?

 

Who was Elvis’ Favorite Auto Mechanic?

Earlier this week I got an email from an ElvisBlog reader in Spokane who makes and collects guitars. After negotiating on the phone to buy a double-neck guitar, he went to pick it up.

Double -neck guitar

It turned out the owner also had many other guitars, including one he says he got from Elvis. It is an electric guitar with the same inlay as the acoustic guitar below.

Elvis Presley Guitar -

 

The man claims to have been Elvis’ go-to automobile mechanic for many years up until Elvis’ death.

This is the story the ElvisBlog reader relates about the mechanic, who we will call Al for now.

‘Elvis’ car broke down on his way to Tahoe. Al was a mechanic at a local car repair place. His boss asked if he could put a new motor in this Lincoln, and he agreed to work all night so Elvis could leave in the morning. Well, I guess he finished around 3 AM, and a guy came to pick up the car, but they started drinking beer and the guy was too drunk to drive.

“Meantime Elvis shows up, thanks the guy, asks Al’s boss if he could offer Al a job, to which Al said yes, and thus became his mechanic for years. Elvis would have his private plane pick him up and fly him to his various places like Bel Air, Memphis and I think he said Florida, where he had vehicles and Al would make sure they were tuned up and ready to go. He got paid $2400 a month which he says was really good money back in the sixties/seventies. He became really good friends with Priscilla and Lisa Marie, and he claimed he was like an uncle to Lisa.”

 

When the collector got to Al’s house for the double-neck, he found a very protective/reclusive type old man.

“He lets me in and I noticed he is packing a gun on his hip. He finally started to loosen up a bit after he realized I truly enjoy guitars and that’s when all the stories started coming forth. Really want to believe him but … I have some doubts.”

The story goes that Elvis gave Al the electric guitar with the fancy neck inlay. It was a movie prop although it really played. Elvis also gave him a gold album award, photos, and lots of other stuff.

The guitar collector says, “It all sounds really cool, but there is that slight twinkle of doubt that is bothering me.” He hopes there is someone out there who knows about a car mechanic/guitar collector with strong connections to Elvis, and has asked my help.

So, if anyone is familiar with who worked on Elvis’ vehicles from late 60s until Elvis’ death, please reply on Comments and add some credence to this story about Elvis’ favorite auto mechanic.

 

 

 

© 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.

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 23

Jailhouse Rock Minifigure Box

 

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Jailhouse Rock MiniFigure:

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Jailhouse Rock MINIFIGURE

An email from ShopElvis.com came in earlier this week offering yet another Elvis figurine. The price of $9.95 sounded pretty reasonable until I read that it is just 1-1/2 inches tall.

MiniFigure Box and Figure

This is the picture that’s on the ShopElvis.com order page, so it looks like the box is way bigger than it needs to be. The ad says the Minifigure is sold in stores, so you can’t blame them for using packaging that makes shoppers assume it’s much larger. Better for that impulse buying, of course. If the Jailhouse Rock Minifigure was packed in a box just big enough to hold it, I doubt many people would buy.

Another interesting thing on the order page was the statement: “Two facial expressions.” How do they do that?

Jailhouse Rock Minifigure 9.95

Here’s the little guy blown up to see better. Compare its face to the one on the box above. They are definitely different. If anybody buys one of these Minifigures, please go on Comments and let me know how the two facial expressions are accomplished.

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If I’m Going to be Attacked, I Would Rather It be by Females:

I really like this fun quote from Elvis. Surprisingly, I could not find it in ELVIS -Word for Word by Jerry Osborne, the excellent book of Elvis quotes. But Elvis did say it to Las Vegas reporter Nancy Anderson. The story is so typically Elvis, as you will read below.

Newspaper Article about Elvis Being Attacked on Stage

Makes you kind of wish Vernon had let Elvis go – and he decked another of the jerks.

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What Do You Read ElvisBlog On?:

I use a service called Google Analytics that provides all types of information about ElvisBlog – like stats that show only 64% of the readers are in the U.S. But here is one that really surprised me.

Devices Used to Read ElvisBlog

I had no idea that almost half of you read ElvisBlog on your phone.

 

Owning Elvis DNA:

There is no picture to show here, just a Comment that was posted by a reader named Buck.

“I have two band aids taken off his fingers during a concert in the 70’s.”

It’s reasonable to assume if Elvis wore the Band-Aids there would be some of his blood in them. If Buck ever wants to sell them, he should have a winner, because he can advertise he’s got two samples of Elvis’ DNA.

 

More Elvis DNA;

Michelle Kimpel #1

Another reader named Michele wrote in to tell me about her unexpected find of three Elvis items. Here is her message:

“I have a garage sale find that you might find interesting. I would like to send you photos. I don’t know if it’s real or not, but I went to a garage sale and they were selling a sealed container of early 70s vintage mailman uniforms. My husband is a mailman, so I thought it be fun for $20 to get it.

“When I got home I found a bag in one of the sleeves of the jacket. I open the bag and it contained a wisdom tooth, hair sample, and a container of liquid. Everything on it was typed with the name Elvis, Arron, Presley. There is a date on the bottle that says 3/21/60. If you’re interested I’ll gladly email you the photos so you can get a look.”

Of course, I was very interested, and Michele kindly sent me the photos.

Michelle Kimpel #3

The label on the vial  says “Sample for Testing.” How intriguing is that?

 

Michelle Kimpel #4

Elvis’ hair has always brought high bids at auctions. According to Wikipedia, a single strand of Elvis’ hair sold for $1,700 at a Henry Aldridge & Son auction in 2009. A jar full of Elvis hair sold for $115,000 at an on-line auction by MastroNet in 2002.

Michelle Kimpel #2

One of his crowns sold for $8,150 at Omega Auctions in March 2012. I can’t imagine what a real Elvis tooth would go for.

Of course, REAL is the important question about Michele’s find. She emailed me, “I have contacted Graceland, and they put me in touch with their DNA archives office to start a process of finding out if they are real. I will keep in touch with you if you’d like to let you know how it turns out.”

If it turns out to be real, Michele has a goldmine. And who knew Graceland had a DNA archives office.

 

Speaking of Big Bucks for Elvis Collectibles:

Elvis' Belt Sold at Julien's Auction, May 2018

A week ago I got an email from a reader named John who sent me a link to Julien’s Music Icons Auction back in May.

Here’s what the auction website had to say about the above belt:

“A heavily embellished white leather belt worn by Elvis Presley during a performance in November 1972 in Hawaii and gifted to actor and friend Jack Lord. The belt is adorned with faux turquoise, lapis lazuli, and coral, all set in gold-toned metal pieces. The buckle has a dragon-like resemblance, and three dangling brass chains are affixed to the bottom. Presley wore the belt with at least two different ensembles, including his well-known heavily jeweled “Thunderbird.”

Close up of Elvis' Jumpsuit belt

I wonder how much this belt weighs. So, we would assume this outstanding concert belt would go for a high bid, but look at this:

Winning Bid on Elvis Belt.

WOW!!!

.

Let’s Deconstruct One More Photoshopped Elvis Picture:

Elvis and Marilyn - Do Not disturb

Pairing up Elvis and Marilyn Monroe seems to be a favorite thing for Photoshop jockeys. I have almost 50 Elvis/Marilyn pictures in my files. I like the pairing of the world’s two biggest pop culture icons because the photos are fun. I felt there was no intent to trick people into believing they are real. Then I saw this one.

Young Elvis Photoshopped with a young Norma Jean

Somebody felt it was a smart idea to pair up eleven-year-old Elvis with a young Norma Jeane Mortenson, who later became known as Marilyn Monroe. Why? What’s the point? Anyway, here is the original photo of Elvis with twelve-year-old Mary Magdalene Morgan.

Elvis and Magdalene Morgan - 1946

It was taken in 1946 shortly before Elvis’ family moved from Tupelo to Memphis. You will note that the original shot was flipped from left to right.

1942 Norma Jeane Mortenson Before She Became Marilyn Monroe

And here’s young Norma Jeane. She got flipped side-to-side, too, and other modifications were made with her arms.

I think it’s pretty crummy that people are now messing with kid pictures of Elvis. As another rankled reader, Leon’a, said in a Comment, “I don’t know how to stop it either. Maybe EPE should get involved. It should be illegal.”

.

What’s it Worth?

In this post, I have mentioned things five ElvisBlog readers have put in Comments. I like getting most comments, but here’s one that hit me the wrong way.

I have a large poster signed by Elvis. It reads “Best Wishes Linda Sincerely Elvis”. What is it worth?

I also have 8-track tapes of Elvis records. Are they worth anything? If so, how much?

I have a 45 record titled “Guitar Man”. What is it worth?

Here’s my reply:

Linda: I’m happy to give my time to reply to comments posted by readers of ElvisBlog. Some of these nice folks say something like “I love your blog.’ Could I ask a favor, please? Then there are others who find ElvisBlog while doing a Google search for Elvis photos, autographs, records or some other Elvis collectible they recently acquired. They always jump right to it and end with, “What is it worth? Sometimes they ask that about three different items, and never even bother to say “Thank you.” I used to answer these folks, but I’m not anymore.

However, I do have an Elvis book out titled, “BIG E and the SANTA MAN.” If you would like to purchase an autographed copy for $10 delivered, I would be happy to send it to you… and help you out with your questions.

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

I probably should have just ignored this rude and thoughtless person, but I’ve seen stuff like this so many times. I can always tell they aren’t regular readers. You guys are polite.

 

Elvis’ 1955 Income Taxes:

Elvis' 1955 tax return

This may be too small for you to read, but Elvis’ gross income in 1955 was $25,414, and he paid $7,383 in taxes. Adjusted for inflation, that equates to an income of $237,244 today. Not bad for a twenty-year-old, but it was chump change compared to what he made in 1956 when he hit the big time with records recorded at RCA, appeared on TV, and made movies.

 

My thanks to all you readers who posted things that I could use in this article.  Keep them coming.

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Caption Contest Results and a Little History on the TV Elvis Shot

Elvis and Anita Wood Close-up for Caption Contest

There weren’t as many replies as expected to the caption contest last weekend. The idea was to come up with what Elvis and Anita Wood were thinking in the shot above.

Reader Tracy:

Anita:   Elvis My Darling, I will think of You every night when I go to bed!
Elvis:    Honey, If You Do, You Won’t Sleep!!

Reader Nancy:

Anita:  Marry me
Elvis:  If only you were 14

Reader Isabelle:

Anita: Take the helmet from your hair
Shake it loose, let it fall
Lay it soft against my skin
Like the shadow on the wall

Elvis: Come and lay down by my side
Till the early morning light
All I’m taking is your time
Help me make it through the night

Reader Leon’a:

Anita: ”I promise Baby, I’ll write you every day.
Elvis: “You better, and I don’t want any of them to be ‘ Dear John ‘ letters either !!!!”

Reader Clementine:

Anita:. “Elvis, won’t you be my ‘Special Hound Dog’… Please Baby’ ??”

Elvis:…”Sure Baby, as long as you‘ll be ‘My Devil in Disguise!! “

 

(And here are the thought quotes I came up with)

Original Elvis Blogmeister

Anita: “I’m gonna miss you so much.”

Elvis: “That loser Robert Goulet better not be hangin’ around you while I’m gone.

 

If you do get the humor in that one, it’s because you know the story. But some of you might not get it, so it would help to hear about what happened — leading up to Elvis shooting a TV.

Color Drawing of Robert Goulet on Elvis' Shot-up TV

The best explanation is a quote by old Elvis buddy Marty Lacker in an interview he did with www.elvisinfonet.com:

“Elvis harbored some bad feelings about Goulet from back in the late 50s when he was in the Army. Elvis’ girlfriend Anita Wood was a singer and she did shows with Goulet and Buddy Hackett. Anita would often write Elvis in Germany, and one time Goulet added a postscript to one of them telling Elvis in a sly way that he was personally taking care of Anita. Elvis didn’t like that and he never forgot, so when he saw Goulet on TV, he shot the TV out.”

No wonder Elvis got mad. He’s overseas in the Army and gets a letter from his girlfriend Anita Wood back home, but slimy Robert Goulet writes on the bottom something like, “Don’t worry, Elvis, I’ll take care of Anita while you are gone.”

Not only did Elvis mad, he carried that grudge against Robert Goulet for years. Sixteen years later, in 1974, he got a measure of satisfaction. It happened while Elvis was working at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. He was in his top-floor suite when he saw Goulet on TV. Elvis took out his gun, shot the TV, and (according to Allexperts.com) said, “Get that s**t outta my house!”

 

Photo of shot-up Elvis TV

 

The shot-up TV has had an interesting journey since then. It currently resides in one of the exhibits at Elvis Presley’s Memphis across the street from Graceland.

Elvis Presley's Memphis

PBS even did an online feature about the TV being on display at the new complex.

PBS Story on Elvis Shooting TV Mar 3, 2017

 

This was actually the second time the TV had been on display at Graceland. On March 20, 2006, It was featured at the opening of the new exhibit called Elvis After Dark. Of course, the items in these exhibits are cycled off and replaced by others periodically, so the TV went into a Graceland storage room.

 

nnie Leibowitz Exhibit at Smithsonial Museum Showing Elvis' Shot-uo TV

Then in 2011, famous photographer Annie Leibowitz went to Graceland and photographed the TV. It became part of her exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute.

 

So, let’s think about this. After thirty-two years (1974 — 2006), the Goulet TV shows up at Graceland. How did it get there? Allexperts.com reported:

“The TV is currently on display at Graceland. It was found a few years ago in the attic above his father’s office.”

Vernon's Office at Graceland.

It looks like a TV could fit the attic on the right..

Okay, Elvis blasts the Goulet TV in Vegas in 1974, and then has it crated up and shipped back to Memphis, so it could be stored in his dad’s office for thirty-two years. Of course, Elvis paid the hotel for the damaged TV. But it was junk, so why would it be saved? Was there any reason to lug a ruined big-box 25 inch TV up to the office’s attic?

Seems like a stretch, but maybe there’s more to this story that we don’t know that would explain things.

 

 

© 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.

Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 4

Elvis and Lisa

I haven’t done one of these picture posts in a month. They are so much fun because they generate a lot of reader response. Just as a reminder, these are shots I have found on Pinterest, some with descriptive tags (often wrong) and some untagged. Ever since I signed up with Pinterest and set my interest as Elvis Presley, they constantly send me emails linking to new photos people have recently Pinnned. So, let’s take a look at some of them.

 

Elvis and Dolores Hart at set of Loving you 1957. She was the first woman who kisses Elvis Presley in a film

The tag on this one was very good: “Elvis and Dolores Hart at set of Loving You 1957. She was the first woman who kisses Elvis Presley in a film.”

Director Hal Kanter giving Dolores Hart and Elvis Presley instructions on how to do a scene Elvis Forum

This is also from Loving You. I love the caption on Pinterest: “Director Hal Kanter giving Dolores Hart and Elvis Presley instructions on how to do a scene.” Can’t you just imagine that Elvis is thinking, “Hey, man, move over. I’ll teach her how to kiss.”

 

Dan Blocker and Elvis

Elvis with Dan Blocker form the TV show Bonanza. How many celebrities do you think Elvis met in his life?

 

Elvis and Lee Majors

Here’s another one. Lee Majors was called a “blond Elvis Presley” because of his resemblance to Elvis, but his hair doesn’t look too blond here.

 

Bond, Elvis Bond

I know some of you readers hate Photoshopped Elvis pictures, but you have to admit that Elvis makes a great-looking James Bond. (My name is Bond. Elvis Bond.)

 

Elvis and Buddies - Two Unidentified Men

Here’s one taken on the set of Speedway:  Standing – Jerry Schilling, Marty Lacker, Larry Jost (sound department), Elvis, Don Sutton (Pitcher for the LA Dodgers), and Richard Davis.  Kneeling – George Klein and  Joe Esposito.

Elvis Eating Soup on the Way Home from the Army 1961

This shot of Elvis eating soup actually didn’t come from Pinterest. It is a screen grab I made from a video on YouTube. It was filmed in 1961 on Elvis trip back to Memphis after his discharge from the Army.

 

Sunday July 30, 1961, Elvis visited the park Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida, While filming Follow that Dream

This is also from 1961. It was shot when Elvis visited Weeki Wachee Springs during free time while filming Follow That Dream in Florida. These pretty girls played mermaids during the underwater shows.

 

Elvis Guitar Zap

Does this look like Elvis shooting some kind of zap ray out the neck of his guitar? I made this one, too. In a behind-the-scenes video about the filming of That’s The Way It Is, they used interesting tricks to morph from one shot to the next. It took several attempts, but I finally got the screen grab to look like this.

 

Elvis Sleeping

There was no tag to indicate when and where this was snapped. Some readers have stated this is actually Anthony Perkins and not Elvis.  Does anybody have definitive proof either way?

 

Elvis and Shadow

I love this image, and I sure hope it’s not Photoshopped.

 

Elvis Presley cutting Billy Smith;s Hair 1957

I know the Pinterest tag on this is completely wrong. It says,” Elvis Presley cutting Johnny Cash’s hair. 1960.” First, Elvis is wearing the western outfit from Loving You, which filmed in 1957. Second, this is not Johnny Cash. I believe it is Elvis’ cousin Gene Smith. Here he is with Elvis on the set of Love Me Tender.

Elvis - Love Me Tender on Set 1956

Looks like the same guy, right?

(Editor’s note:  I had originally made a typing error and called him Billy Smith.  Within eight hours of posting this, six alert readers made comments pointing out this error.  Sorry)

 

Let’s close with some reader comments from the last time we did these pictures.

 

Elvis Pondering Nashville recording session in April 14, 1956

Reader Dolores R commented, “Elvis Pondering — the photo is a Nashville recording session in April 14, 1956.” I checked the photos in the book Elvis Presley – The Complete Recording Sessions for this date, and they all have Elvis wearing this shirt. You nailed it, Delores.

 

Elvis and Big Tree

My friend Gerard Montz came up with a great tag for this photo:

“Tree Be Nice”

 

 

© 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.