Category Archives: ELVIS COMMENTARY MINI-NUGGETS

ELVIS COMMENTARY MINI-NUGGETS — # 3

Hey, You Can’t Do That:  Here’s something to illustrate how strong Elvis’ hold on teenagers was back in 1956.  The district school board in Irondequoit, NY, offered to let the students name a new $3,500,000 school.  The ballots came back with a clear preference for “The Elvis Presley High School,” but the board reneged and pulled the offer.  How’s that for a good lesson in keeping your word?

 

Shows How Much He Knew:  John Campbell Crosby, TV critic for the New York Herald Tribune fifty years ago, wrote four columns a week carried in 104 newspapers.  He once described Elvis as “Unspeakably untalented.”  Crosby has been called erudite, witty, and corrosive.  I would like to add one more adjective – stupid.

 

Elvis Movie Box Office Rankings:  According to boxofficereport.com, six of Elvis’ movies ranked in the top 20 for their year of release.  Viva Las Vegas did the best at # 11 in 1964, followed by Jailhouse Rock at # 12 in 1957 and Blue Hawaii at # 13 in 1961.  King Creole, generally considered Elvis’ best acting performance, did not make the box office top 20 in 1958.  His other top 20 movies were Love Me Tender, G.I. Blues, and Girls, Girls, Girls.  None of Elvis’ movies after 1965 came anywhere near the top 20.

 

Not Just Teenagers Went For Elvis:  Lots of middle-aged females are Elvis fans now, but he must have appealed to some right from the start.  In 1956, a reporter at a concert in Fort Worth, Texas overheard a well-dressed older woman plead to Elvis:  “I’ve got my husband’s Cadillac outside. Come with me?”  The report didn’t say whether Elvis took her up on the offer or not, but we know he had a thing for Cadillacs.

 

Gimme Back My Autograph:  Robert Plant, lead singer for the heavy metal band Led Zeppelin, is a big Elvis fan.  He once visited Elvis at Graceland, and the two harmonized on Elvis’ hit “Love Me.”  Elvis then autographed a photo, “To Robert, a true friend.  Treat me like a fool, Elvis Presley.”  Many years later, Plant said, the woman I was living with kept it for ten years, but finally gave it back when I surrounded the house with tanks.”

 

Milk Cow Blues:  In Amarillo, Texas, a reporter once asked young Elvis if he intended to marry.  Elvis answered: “Why buy a cow when you can get milk through a fence?”  We can assume Elvis had plenty of calcium in his diet in the 50s with all the milk he got through the fences.

 

No Gold Record For This:  In 1995, a Finnish Professor, Jukka Ammondt, translated several of Elvis’ hits into Latin.  He then released a CD with the vocals provided by Finland’s Eurovision Choir.  What was his rational for this?  “Latin,” said Ammondt, “is an eternal language, so what better way to immortalize a legend.”  My favorite songs have to be their renditions of “Tenere Me Ama,”(“Love Me Tender”) and “Nunc Hic aut Numquam” ( “It’s Now or Never”).

 

Another Strange List:  I don’t know who tabulated it, but there is a list of the most popular Halloween wigs.  Elvis came in # 6, just behind Bride of Frankenstein.  The top five were all women’s wigs, but at least Elvis beat Cleopatra.

 

Gamblers Give Up On Elvis:  Did you know that bookmakers used to give odds that Elvis would be found alive?  Over the years, bookmaker William Hill took thousands of bets, but by 2004 wagers that Elvis was still alive had all but dried up.  In 2005, he was giving 1000 to 1 odds, with no takers.  Bookmaker Rupert Adams gave the biggest odds ever on an Elvis-related bet.  He offered 14 million to 1 odds that Elvis would crash land a UFO into Lock Ness and hit the monster.  Didn’t we read about that happening in the National Enquirer?

 

©  2007   Philip R Arnold   All Rights Reserved   www.elvisblog.net

ELVIS COMMENTARY MINI-NUGGETS — # 2

HARUM SCARUM: After my frustration with the nonexistent “Elvis Movie Marathon,” I did manage to watch some Elvis movies and documentaries on Wednesday the 16th and on through the weekend.  “Harum Scarum” was one I caught, and it had been so long since my last viewing that I had forgotten how bad it is.  There is one redeeming feature: this movie is non-stop with lovelies showing lots of cleavage and bare midriffs.  None of those ugly Burkas in this Arab country.

 

One of my favorite references, “The Elvis Film Encyclopedia” by Eric Braun, correctly notes “Harum Scarum” has a frankly ludicrous storyline.  However, if you are a determined Elvis collector, go to www.amazon.com, and you can pick up a used copy of the VHS for 60¢.  It’s the cheapest Elvis movie you can buy, and I think I know why.

 

HARD ROCK CAFÉ ELVIS PINS:  Did you know Hard Rock Café now has online auctions for new releases of their famous pins?  Naturally, they had a series of five Elvis pins presented just in time for “Elvis Week”.  Each would be produced in a limited edition of only 100, after which the molds are retired.  The pin selection included four different Elvis poses, three from the fifties and one in that white suit from the ‘68 Comeback Special.  The last pin was a 3” x 2” ELVIS in red letters with a black background.  The auction started on August 3rd and ended on August 13, and the minimum bids were $15.

 

Well, one fan got so carried away that he bid $125 each on all five very early in the period.  The next highest bid was $40, and dozens of folks picked up all five pins at $15 to $16 each on the last day.  I think those smart late-bidders got tremendous bargains.  It seems obvious that not many Elvis fans knew about “Hard Rock Café” auctioning Elvis pins.  So, here’s an idea:  A few days prior to Elvis’ birthday in January, check out www.hardrock.com/estore/auctions.  You just might buy yourself an excellent Elvis collectible.

 

ROLLING STONE’S TOP TEN ELVIS SONGS :  Announced on 29th anniversary of Elvis’ death.

1)       That’s All right (Mama)

2)       Good Rockin’ Tonight

3)       Mystery Train

4)       Wear My Ring Around Your Neck

5)       A Little Less Conversation

6)       Hound Dog

7)       Kentucky Rain

8)       In the Ghetto

9)       Suspicious Minds

10)  Unchained Melody

I disagree with the last four, but that’s just because all my favorite songs connect with the young Elvis.  Those last four songs would certainly make the Jumpsuit Elvis Top Ten, if there were one.

 

THE BLUE MOON BOYS:  While you are on Amazon getting that 60¢ Elvis movie, you should search for “The Blue Moon Boys,” subtitled, “The Story of Elvis Presley’s Band.”  I am excited about this new book and will be very happy when my copy arrives.  Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana are big favorites of mine.  Without having seen the book yet, I’m sure it’s worth the $16.50.

 

The term Elvis Presley's Band is not something you see in print much.  I like that name – Elvis Presley's Band, or better yet, Elvis' Band.  Scotty and DJ will be performing in concerts next year at “Elvis Week,” and I get to write pre- and post-concert articles for Elvis… The Magazine.  One of these stories is going to be titled, “Elvis’ Band: 50 year Update.”

 

©  2006   Philip R Arnold   All Rights Reserved   www.elvisblog.net

ELVIS COMMENTARY MINI-NUGGETS — # 1

There were a few Elvis items in the news recently, and they have interesting aspects to mention in this week’s blog.

 

Graceland was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, joining a select list of 2300.  That actually sounds like a lot, so I wondered why it took so long for Graceland to get the honor.  A little research on the internet gave some answers.  There is a lesser category called the National Register of Historic Places, which has over 79,000 designations.  Graceland has been on this list since 1991.  Historic Places are primarily of state or local interest and significance. 

 

Two of the criteria for elevation to Historical Landmark status are that a property achieves national significance in American history and culture, and that it illustrates the nationwide impact of the person associated with the property.  Graceland certainly meets these standards.  It appears that the delay in getting the Historic Landmark recognition was this rule: “Properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years are not eligible for designation.”  Well, Elvis bought Graceland in March 1957, so I guess it just got past that hurdle.  By the way, Sun Records Studio was designated a National Historic Landmark on July 31, 2003, just 50 years after Sam Phillips changed the name of his company from the Memphis Recording Service to Sun Records.

 

A few weeks ago Elvisblog paid homage to the late Charlie Hodge.  Recently I found an interesting little tid-bit on him while surfing Elvis-related web sites.  Do you know which room was Charlie’s when he lived at Graceland all those years?  It was one of several downstairs bedrooms occupied by various members of the Memphis Mafia.  Most are being used for storage now.  If you take the Graceland tour again, make a note when you enter the yellow-and-blue “TV Room.”  The blue door to the left is Charlie’s old room.  At least he didn’t have far to go when the parties were over and it was time to go to bed.

 

On Monday, March 27, the PBS series Antiques Roadshow broadcast from Los Angeles.  One of the featured items was a collection of clothes from the late designer Nudie Cohn.  Does that name sound vaguely familiar?  Congratulations, if you knew Nudie was the man who designed Elvis’ famous Gold Lamé Suit.  This creation rocketed Nudie to stardom and cemented his place in fashion history.  He is also given credit for being the first designer to put rhinestones on the outfits of country music singers, which led to the term Rhinestone Cowboy.  Nudie has an interesting website.  Go to www.nudiesrodeotailor.com to check it out.

 

Last week’s article was about the Johnny Cash movie “Walk The Line.”  Here’s a strange little fact.  Remember the actor who played Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nemesis in Terminator 2?  His name is Robert Patrick.  Well, thirteen years later, looking older and heavier, he played Johnny Cash’s father in “Walk the Line.”  Last summer he also played Elvis’ father in the CBS TV mini-series “Elvis.”  If they ever do a movie about Carl Perkins, maybe Robert Patrick can play his dad, too.

 

©  2005   Philip R Arnold    www.elvisblog.net