Category Archives: ELVIS WEEK

Fans Show Their Love for Elvis with Flowers

Each year, the fans bring a ton of flowers to Elvis’ grave in the Graceland Meditation Garden. This is a photo taken in 2009, but it doesn’t approach the overwhelming amount of flowers and Elvis remembrances of that accumulate by August 16 every year.

 

Like this. The photo appeared in a 2017 Billboard Magazine on-line article about the fans being upset that EPE was charging $27.85 for doing the Candlelight Vigil up to Elvis’grave.

 

This photo appeared in a New York Post on-line article about the same topic. Either the Post or Billboard was using an older photo, because the flowers and remembrances are different.

 

Fans started bringing flowers to Elvis’ grave 42 years ago when he was entombed at the Forest Hills Cemetery.

 

However, his casket was not put in the ground. It went into a crypt inside the huge granite and marble mausoleum.

 

This photo of the pallbearers carrying the casket on August 18, 1977, does not show the size of the mausoleum or the blanket of flowers around it. This one does.

 

Wow, that’s a lot of flowers. I don’t know how the florists in Memphis kept up with the demand for all the bouquets.

 

Here is the flower-covered coffin before it was carried into the crypt.

 

This is the crypt where Elvis was first entombed. The flowers you see were not those put there in 1977. They actually were in a 2012 photo when the crypt was put up for auction. I did not follow up to see how much it went for. I just don’t like the whole idea.

 

There are hundreds of on-line photos of flowers at Elvis’ grave, but very few give the year. Here are some I could find.

 

According to a posting on eBay, this slide photo was taken in 1978. I wonder. Graceland wasn’t opened up to the public until 1981.

 

1999

 

2004

 

2006

 

This 2016 photo was taken from a different perspective that shows the grave sites of Gladys, Vernon, Elvis, and his grandmother Minnie Mae.

 

Here’s a blow-up of the inscription on Elvis’ grave. I thought you might like to read it.

 

 

Elvis fans have created some heart-felt remembrances to place in the Meditation Garden. Many of these have flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floral tributes to Elvis on August 16 take place all over the world.

 

These flowers were placed at the Elvis monument in Bad Nauheim, Germany in 2017.

 

This Elvis memorial was created in Melbourne, Australia in 1977, and is still bedecked with flowers to this day.

 

 

 

We miss you, Elvis. Hope you liked all your flowers.

 

 

© 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.

 

Graceland Introduces Elvis Unplugged

It’s hard to believe that Elvis Week starts next Friday. Festivities kick off on August 9 and continue until Sunday, August 18. That’s a long 10-day week, and I’m always interested to see what EPE comes up with to lure fans to come to that early first weekend.

 

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest semis and finals in the Graceland Soundstage now seem to be a permanent early fixture of Elvis Week. And last year, Graceland made them even better with the addition of After-Parties on the streets of Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

So, this year, the challenge apparently was to schedule something new and appealing during those afternoons. I think they have come up with a winner… ELVIS UNPLUGGED. I saw a long-haired hippy-looking guy named Julio at Elvis Week 2002 do this, and it was a nice change from the full band treatment.

 

2002 was the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death, so Graceland planned some big-time stuff for the celebration. Including an incredible concert experience in the Pyramid.

 

The first Elvis in Concert was amazing and a fitting end to the week. I have no idea what they had at the beginning because I came for all the late stuff.

But now EPE has made it worthwhile for the fans to come earlier, which brings us back to:

ELVIS UNPLUGGED

 

In 2002, Graceland had little use for Elvis Impersonators. This year, there is hardly a day that doesn’t have one or two events starring ETA’s. And Graceland presents only the best of them during Elvis Week.

Here is the list of winners of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

2007 Shaun Klush
2008 Brandon Bennett
2009 Bill Cherry
2010 Justin Shandor
2011 Cody Ray Slaughter
2012 Ben Portsmouth
2013 Dean Z
2014 Jay Dupuis
2015 David Lee
2016 Dwight Icenhower
2017 Gordon Hendricks
2018 Ben Thompson

The names in bold are the six champions who will participate in the Elvis Unplugged shows this year. Both nights will be hosted by Dean Z, who has been called “the best entertainer in our business,” by Jeff Lewis, originator of the After-Parties and a man who has seen them all.

Dean Z in Jailhouse Rock Prison Uniform

 

Dean Z working out on stage

 

Dean Z will be joined on Saturday night by Jay Dupuis and Shawn Klush.

Four shots of Jay Dupuis as Elvis

 

Shawn Klush off stage

I have written about Shawn Klush a few times in ElvisBlog. I saw his act at Elvis Week 2002 in the funky New Daisy Theater. It was the last event of a long day and it was called the Elvis Midnight Blues Jam. It is where I saw that fellow Julio do the Elvis unplugged act I mentioned earlier. I don’t know where his career went, but Shawn Klush certainly moved on to better things. Five years later he was crowned the first Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist winner, and his career has been on a roll ever since.

For the Sunday night Elvis Unplugged concert there will be four Ultimate ETAs on stage. Dean Z will be joined by Ben Thompson, Cody Ray Slaughter and Dwight Icenhower.

Dwight Icenhower

 

Cody ray Slaughter also has his own show on the first night, Friday August 9. He will be backed by the David Fontana Band.

 

David Fontana is DJ’s son, and of course, that’s him on the drums.

 

Ben Thompson

 

Here is Ben Thompson on stage with Jeff Lewis (right), the MC of the After-Parties. Jeff expressed this sentiment about the After-Parties being moved to the Graceland Exhibition Center this year, “Thank God we’ll have air conditioning!” Other benefits may be a lot more table seating for the party-goers, and a better dance floor surface. It sounds like it will be a wonderful night-club set-up to me.

The Elvis Unplugged shows will also have air conditioned comfort inside the Guest House Theater. This seems the perfect small venue for a show billed as:

Live Elvis music and personal stories. An intimate acoustic experience among friends sharing music, laughter and fun.

 

The price of these unplugged concerts is just $25, which seems a bargain for Elvis Tribute Artists of this caliber. The Saturday, August 10 show sold out early, and the Sunday, August 11 will probably be by the time you read this.

If I could pull it off, I would love to be in Memphis on that Saturday night, and go to the Elvis Unplugged concert at 2:00 at the Guest House Theater, The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist finals at 7:00 at the Graceland Soundstage, and the After-Party at 9:00 in the Exhibition Center. What a nice dream, but for some lucky Elvis fans, it will be a reality.

 

 

 

© 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.

 

Searching for the Graceland Exhibition Center

Wall Street Journal Article on Graceland Trying to get Tax Breaks from Memphis

This is an article in the April 8 issue of the Wall Street Journal. The title is wrong. It should say, “EPE Pressures Memphis to Dig Deep to Keep Graceland.”

For two years EPE has been trying to get tax breaks from the city of Memphis to help pay for another $100 million in expansions. It worked four years ago when the city gave EPE $79 million in tax incentives. The timing would suggest this helped the Guest House and/or Elvis Presley’s Memphis become realities.

But it’s tougher to get the money this time. Part of the expansion EPE is doing is a 6,200 seat performance arena, and there is a dispute because of a deal the city has with the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team and the FedEx Forum where they play.

Memphis Grizzlie Blocking Elvis Taking a Basketball Shot

The Memphis Grizzlies’ have a strange lease agreement with the FedEx Forum that says city funding can’t be used for a new venue that seats more than 5,000 people and would compete with the Forum.  Why would a basketball team care about that?  FedEx is the one benefiting from this provision.

Last October, EPE filed a suit in U.S. District Court that alleged a delay in the Land Use Control Board’s consideration of the Graceland expansion plan was meant to punish EPE. Apparently that suit hasn’t been enough, so Joel Weinshanker, EPE managing partner, has thrown out the most amazing negotiating chit.

Wall Street Journal Article on Graceland Trying to get Tax Breaks from Memphis - Blow Up

What a ballsy move. He is threatening to disassemble the Graceland mansion and rebuild it in Dubai or somewhere. He’s got to know that wouldn’t work. The Guest House and Elvis Presley’s Memphis would be headed toward closure without Graceland mansion as the draw.

However, I am impressed by the move. It got lots of press in Memphis and actually might speed a resolution.

 

But what’s this about a 6,200 seat arena?

Graceland Expansion Projects

 

This picture came from memphisdailynews.com. It is the site plan EPE submitted with their application for the tax breaks. Down at the bottom center you will recognize Elvis Presley’s Memphis. The biggest building in it is the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. But compare that to the size of the three buildings in yellow on the left.

According to news reports, they are the 6,200-seat concert arena, an 80,000-square-foot exhibition center, and a manufacturing factory that would make tourist souvenirs, Americana crafts and other items. The factory is touted as potentially employing 1,000 people. That could be a sweetener EPE included to help get city approval.

It certainly should cause some of the companies with licenses from EPE to start worrying whether they will be renewed once Graceland gets into the souvenir making business.

Take another look at the site plan above. The oval around the top building in yellow shows my guess which one is the concert arena. I tried to blow up the picture to read the text on the buildings, but I couldn’t make them out. However, you will notice a covered entrance from the parking lot, which is a pretty good clue. There will certainly be a big announcement about the concert arena coming soon, so we’ll know where it is and what it looks like.

Similar information about the 80,000-square-foot exhibition center should come out even sooner — possibly this weekend. The reason is that in five weeks a big event will be held there.

Hallmark Wedding Weekend at Graceland

The schedule for the Hallmark Channel’s June Wedding Celebration was released earlier this week. There are big events planned for the Graceland Soundstage, the Chapel in the Woods, and in the open area of Elvis Presley’s Memphis. But there are also a number of events scheduled in something called the Hallmark Channel Lounge… located in the Graceland Exhibition Center.

These include “All Day Drop-In Activities” from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on both days. There are also two autograph sessions each day, and a “Lucky in Love” game show hosted by D J Argo of SiriusXM Elvis Radio on Saturday. On Sunday, there is an “Early Riser Bagel and Bingo party.

This is a pretty good way to open a brand new facility. It’s coming soon, so we can expect plenty of press releases announcing the new Graceland Exhibition Center.

I first saw mention of it back in late February when the schedule for Elvis Week 2019 was announced.

Elvis Week Music Pavillion

The all-new TCB Pass for $28.75 is a very good deal, and it includes unlimited access to the Music Pavilion… located in the Graceland Exhibition Center. No more “Entertainment Tent” this year. Now you get inside air-conditioned comfort with food and beverage stations.

This early mention of the Graceland Exhibition Center caught my eye. I Googled it hoping to see a picture of what it looked like. Nothing came up. I tried on Graceland.com/news, and there was nothing there either.

I checked again today, and there are still no pictures of the Graceland Exhibition Center. That is about to change.

 

 

©  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.

 

Graceland Introduces After-Parties

Elvis Week 2019 Schedule of Events

I’ve been studying the schedule of events for Elvis Week 2019. It will be a nine-day affair, covering two weekends – Friday, August 9 through Saturday, August 17.

august-2019-calendar

Now, you can imagine that most folks thinking about going to Elvis Week would prefer being there that last weekend. There’s always some pretty good events scheduled… and it’s special to be there around Graceland on the 16th , even if you don’t do the candlelight vigil.

Candlelight Procession

 

So, how does EPE plan to attract folks to come on those real early dates — that first weekend? A year ago, the first night’s happening was a “Special Event with Lisa Marie Presley.” I have no idea what that involved, but afterward, there was an “Exclusive Photo and Autograph Opportunity” with her. I don’t know. Maybe that did pull in a lot of folks.

But I do know that what’s coming this year on that first weekend is a winner.

 

Ultimate Elvis Week After-Party

 

They are throwing an After-Party at Elvis Presley’s Memphis on the first three nights of Elvis Week 2019. There will be cash bars and food stations along the streets. There will be a stage set up outside in front of Vernon’s Smokehouse, and according to the press release, “many of your favorite Elvis tribute artists will be jamming.”

Vernon's Smokehouse in Elvis Presley's Memphis

 

Sounds like a pretty good party, doesn’t it?

 

Inside Elvis Presley's MemphisJust imagine its night and the streets are full of people

 

To ensure a festive atmosphere, there will be a host named Jeff Lewis up on the stage introducing the acts and interacting with the visitors. He sent me something to acquaint you with him.

“I started the Elvis Tribute Artist jam idea back in 2012 at the Hard Rock Cafe.  I did it after the Ultimate the year Ben Portsmouth won.  It was really great seeing all the guys on stage just jamming, singing, laughing, and not taking the contest stuff too seriously, instead, they were all remembering why we were there, to celebrate Elvis and his incredible music and legacy.  It really took off from there.  We continued to have the After Parties every year at the Hard Rock.  I was so honored when EPE reached out to me and wanted to know if I’d work with them and have the parties at EPM.  I think it is really going to be cool and a lot of fun.”

I agree.  You can’t go wrong when you bring on an experienced Hard Rock Cafe party manager.  Congrats to EPE for such a good choice.

Jeff Lewis at One of His After-Parties

Jeff Lewis at One of His After-Parties

 

So, picture it. A big outdoor party until midnight in a closed-off mini-village called Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

Street in Elvis Presley's Memphis

 

I think EPE has come up with a great concept that could entice fans to come to those three early days of Elvis Week. Folks can go to the After-Parties and listen to Elvis music, hang out with friends, have drinks from the cash bars, get a late snack from street vendors, wander around and go in some stores or exhibits. I can see myself doing this and enjoying it very much.

Obviously, this is a wonderful set-up for fan clubs and other groups travelling together. How much fun would these parties be if you were there with a bunch of friends?

 

Okay, the After-Parties sound really good…. But what are they after?

 

 

The three nights of After-Parties are an added bonus for the fans attending the Ultimate Tribute Artist competitions or a special concert featuring former contest winners.

Friday, August 9: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Semifinal Round

Saturday, August 10: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Final Round

Sunday, August 11: The Ultimate Return

These concerts are in the Graceland Soundstage and run from 7 to 9 or so. By the time these concerts conclude, Elvis Presley’s Memphis will have closed down and all the folks have been asked to leave. Then, the Soundstage doors open, and the concert-goers pour out into the streets. The band on that outdoor stage cranks it up, and the party is on.

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competitions need no explanation, but what is The Ultimate Return? Think of it as a showcase for past winners, which Graceland calls an “incredible live concert.” It will be hosted by Dean Z who won back in 2013. He will have his own solo performance the next night in the Soundstage.

Other announced performers so far include:

Shawn Klush – winner of the first competition in 2007

Cody Slaughter (2011)

Ben Thompson – title holder from last year’s 2018 competition

And the show will start with whoever is the newly crowned 2019 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist

 

2019 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition

 

So, the only question is… what does it cost? The Semifinal Round is the cheapest at $50, $40, $30, depending how close you want to be to the stage. The Soundstage seats are on a level floor, so I wouldn’t want to be too far back. The Finals and the ETA show are ten dollars more: $60, $50, and $40.

 

Soundstage Seating chart

The three sections farthest from the stage are the ones priced above. The Green, white and yellow seats are reserved for people buying different kinds of ticket packages ranging from $160 to $1,500. Of course, they get to go to the After-Parties, too.

It should be noted that there are side sections of seats with similar distribution not shown here. Potential audience size could be up to 1,500 people.

 

So, if you pop for the best seats available on the two EPA competitions, you’d be paying $220 for you and your sweetie. If you’ve never seen these, be assured that the best of the Elvis Tribute Artists give remarkable performances. These shows are great entertainment.

For the ETA finals and the Ultimate Return concert, your cost would be $240. Compared to the ticket prices at Elvis Week last year, these are pretty good deals, and you get the After-Parties as a bonus

 

I’ve been to Elvis Week four times, always during the last three or four days. If I were going this year, I’d give that first weekend a try. I’d wear an ElvisBlog T-shirt at the After-Parties and see if anybody comes up and says, “Hey, I read your blog.”

 

Elvis Week 2019 Logo

 

Click here to see all the events and  ticket prices. It takes some study to grasp all the different options they offer, but at least you already know plenty about the After-Parties.

 

 

© 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.

 

Graceland Vocabulary Now Includes After-Party

 

Elvis Week 2019 Schedule of Events

I’ve been studying the schedule of events for Elvis Week 2019. It will be a nine-day affair, covering two weekends – Friday, August 9 through Saturday, August 17.

Now, you can imagine that most folks thinking about going to Elvis Week would prefer being there that last weekend. There’s some very good events scheduled… and it’s special to be there around Graceland on the 16th , even if you don’t do the candlelight vigil.

 

So, how does EPE plan to attract folks to come on those real early dates — that first weekend. I think they have come up with a great idea.

______________________________________________________

And I had planned to tell you all about it, but I’m stuck until Graceland posts the ticket prices.

So far, it looks good for the fans, but if the prices are crazy high, maybe it won’t seem so great.

 

Here’s one more tease to hold you until we get those Elvis Week prices and I can finish this post.

Ultimate Elvis Week After-Party

 

They are throwing an After-Party at Elvis Presley’s Memphis on the first three nights of Elvis Week 2019. There will be cash bars and food stations along the streets. There will be a stage set up outside in front of Vernon’s Smokehouse, and according to the press release, “many of your favorite Elvis tribute artists will be jamming.”

Sounds like some pretty good parties, doesn’t it?

To be continued…

 

 

©  2019    Philip R Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

 

 

Celebrating the ’68 Comeback Special’s 50th Anniversary

Celebrating the 68 SPECIAL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

 

I am posting this article on August 16, a very important day for all Elvis fans.  It is the 41st anniversary of Elvis’ passing.

So, why start the article with a picture celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ’68 Comeback Special?  I got the idea from EPE. They’re doing that today, too.

This picture is one of several Graceland has produced as part of a big promotional push they’ve got going on for the ’68 Comeback Special right now.  For years, they have been trying to drop the word Comeback, and just call it the ’68 Special, so seeing Comeback in the text was a bit of a surprise.   I like it.

 

However, you probably know this TV special was simply called ELVIS when it aired back in 1968.

Ad for Elvis 68 Comeback Special

 

There’s an interesting piece of information on this ad for the show.  The date was December 3rd.  So why is Graceland celebrating its 50th anniversary now?  Perhaps you remember that it was filmed several months before it was broadcast.  Maybe they are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the filming.

Ticket to Filming of 68 Comeback Special

 

No.  It was filmed on June 27 and 29.  So, what is the reason Graceland chose to celebrate it in mid-August?  Elvis Week, of course.  It goes on for ten days, and they need lots of events to keep the fans busy. So, why not schedule two ’68 Comeback Special happenings on the big day — August 16.  That’s a smart plan

Here’s what they said on Graceland.com/news about these events:

 

Conversations on Elvis: ’68 Special

 

10:00 AM. Graceland Soundstage, Elvis Presley’s Memphis. $25

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elvis’ groundbreaking television special “Elvis” – or known to many fans as the “’68 Comeback Special.” Hosted by Tom Brown, the event features Steve Binder, who conceived, directed and produced the ’68 Special, called by TV Guide “the second greatest musical moment in television history next to the Beatles debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.” Binder will share his memories of working with the king, and he’ll discuss what’s in his upcoming book, “Comeback ’68 Elvis: The Story of the Elvis Special.”

 

Steve Binder today

Steve Binder today

 

Steve Binder and Elvis in 1968

Steve Binder and Elvis in 1968

 

More special guests will include: musical director Billy Goldenberg, writer Allan Blye, guitarist Mike Deasy; and Tanya Lemani George, the belly dancer who performed during “Little Egypt.”

 

Tanya Lemani with Elvis in Background

She’s the one I’d be most interested in seeing (I’ll bet she can still do a mean belly dance).

 

 

’68 Special 50th Anniversary Celebration

 7:00 PM. Graceland Soundstage, Elvis Presley’s Memphis. $55

Join us as we celebrate Elvis Presley’s groundbreaking NBC television special that aired in December 1968, “Elvis.” The show will feature an enhanced screening of what has become known as Elvis’ “’68 Comeback Special” with live music, special guest appearances and performers, and much more.

Special guests include Steve Binder, Allan Blye, and Billy Goldenberg introducing segments of the program and sharing behind-the-scenes stories.

If you went to the “Conversation of Elvis – ’68 Special” show earlier, you might be hearing some stuff for a second time.   That’d be OK.

 

Shop Elvis '68 Special

 

Another concurrent event is the recently expanded selection of ’68 Special items on sale at store.graceland.com.  A month ago, there were 37 choices; now there are 72.  Here are a few that caught my eye for one reason or another.

LVIS BLACK LEATHER MULTI DANGLE CARABINER KEY RING

I like this one because of its name, which is, “Elvis Black Leather Multi-Dangle Carabiner Key Ring.”  You just can’t have too many Elvis Multi-Dangles.  The carabiner is the thing at the top.  The little gold record is a mini version of the magnet I sold on here last week. You can get one of these key rings for $8.99.

 

68 SPECIAL 50TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION Elvis COIN

This is a limited edition coin for $12.99.  The front looks good to me, but the back seemed off somehow. To look closer, I blew it up.

Back of Elvis 68 SPECIAL 50TH ANNIVERSARY Coin

 

This is the worst depiction of Elvis I have ever seen.  His hair looks like it turned into an eel with its head over Elvis’ eye.  There are worms crawling over his face and leeches on his body. The rest of it defies description.  Here’s the photo they were trying to replicate.

 

ELVIS 68 SPECIAL - Favorite Image

 

Wow.  Think I’ll skip the coins.

 

Elvis '68 Special Comforter Set $140

 

They did a much better job reproducing that image on this comforter set.  If you want one, it will set you back $140.

 

Elvis 68 Special Comeback Bobble head 29.99 8 inches tall

 

Here’s an 8 inch tall Elvis Bobblehead dressed in his famous black leather outfit.  The price is $29.95.  I had to show this item because I have one in my Fuzzy Room that I’ll be selling one of these days – for half that price.

 

Elvis BLACK LEATHER ROUND MAGNET

Here’s another image that ended up on a lot of the 50th anniversary merchandise.  This is a 2-1/2 inch diameter refrigerator magnet prices at $4.99. Take a look at the thing on Elvis right wrist.  You can get one of them, too.

 

Elvis BLACK LEATHER BRACELET

 

They call this a bracelet, and it actually is real leather. The website says it is inspired by the bracelet that Elvis wore while filming the ’68 Comeback Special, so it might be a different design. I’m not sure if many folks, even Elvis fans, would make the connection if they saw it on someone.  The price is $29.99.

 

Elvis' 68 SPECIAL 50TH ANNIVERSARY ELVIS WHITE SUIT T-SHIRT

 

This T-shirt features a third Elvis image associated with the ’68 Special – the white suit he wore when singing “If I Can Dream.”  Although it does not have the words ’68 Special on it, the famous red ELVIS marquee sign and the white suit easily identify it.  Cost is $24.99.

 

ELVIS SILHOUETTE 50TH ANNIVERSARY 68 SPECIAL CAP

 

Same thing with this baseball cap.  $17.99.

 

 

There is one other ’68 Comeback Special event scheduled for today, August 16, but it is for all of us who didn’t make it to Elvis Week.

 

Elvis 68 Special in Movie Theaters

 

This was the announcement in Graceland.com/news.  When you clicked to open it, there was very little information, except a link to this:

 

Fathom Events Elvis 68 Comeback at Movies

 

Tickets in my area are $15.75, but they may be different around the country. Here’s what they had to say about the movie:

This anniversary event includes the legendary television special, plus an exclusive look at the making of the special, featuring a walkthrough of the NBC soundstage with insights from director/producer Steve Binder and others influenced by Presley, his music and this iconic event.

Sounds pretty good, but a little pricey.

 

 

 

AP photo_Elvis Presley Candlelight Vigil

 

Let’s end with a picture that reflects the real meaning of August 16 for Elvis fans.  The Candlelight Vigil has more significance to them than anything else going on during Elvis Week.

 

We miss you, Elvis.

 

 

 

 

©  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.

 

 

 

 

 

Surfing the Graceland Guest House Website and Facebook Page

Soundstage Aat Elvis Presley's Graceland

Two months ago, ElvisBlog looked at the Elvis Week events scheduled at Soundstage A at Elvis Presley’s Memphis. This includes six nightly concerts. In addition, there will be musical events at the Fedex Forum and the Elvis Week Entertainment Tent.

 

Guesthouse at Graceland Theater

Three months ago, we looked at some musical acts presented at the Graceland Guest House Theater. But a few days ago, I realized that all the Graceland Insider emails made no mention of any Elvis Week shows at the theater.

I couldn’t believe they would leave that beautiful new theater unused during Elvis Week, so I did some digging on www.guesthousegraceland.com.

Graceland Guest House Website

Then I clicked on EVENTS in the upper right, which brought me to this:

What's happening at Graceland

So, I clicked on DOWNLOAD MONTHLY ACTIVITIES CALENDAR.

Ongoing Events at Graceland Guest House

This is the top half of the July calendar with two musical events highlighted in yellow. The July 1 show was T.G. Shepherd, which we covered in the April blog post. The show on July 3 was the Memphis Ukulele Band.

Memphis Ukulele Band

 

Here is the bottom half of the July events calendar along with the image that follows — a promotional graphic of other diversions happening at the hotel.

Guest House Event Schedule - bottom

You will note there are no music events highlighted on the theater calendar for the rest of July.

However, you can play these lawn games: ping pong, cornhole, shuffleboard & foosball. There’s a catch -– you need to have a valid ID and credit card to rent the stuff you need from the Guest House Gift Shop. I wonder what they charge for the beanbags you use for cornhole.

 

Guest House Live Music

Depending on when you stay at the hotel, you can listen to one of these two acts in the Lobby Lounge. Something tells me they don’t play much Elvis music.  If anyone knows, please let us know in Comments.

 

EP's Happy Hour

EP’s Bar & Grill was advertised in the graphic. So, a draft beer costs $4.00 at Happy Hour. What do you think it is the rest of the night? I hadn’t seen much about EP’s in the emails from Graceland, so I looked elsewhere for pictures.

EP's Bar & Grill

EP's Bar & Grill at Graceland Guest House

If I stayed at the hotel, I would probably eat here. Photos of the other restaurants make them look really, really pricey.

 

Then I got back to my hunt for Elvis Week concerts at the Guest House Theater. I found a little calendar icon showing July, but with an arrow to click on for the next month. Look what I got.

No Upcoming Events at Graceland Guest House Theater

I added the circle around the news that there are no events in August. This was just too hard for me to accept, so I searched elsewhere and found two daytime concerts.

Bourke Performing at Graceland

Ultimate Tribute Artist Contest Showcase

This tribute artist showcase is interesting. If you bought tickets in the $209 section of the Ultimate ETA contest, you get a bonus of free tickets to a concert by the semifinalists.

Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

So, there are two daytime music events at the hotel theater during Elvis Week, but nothing at night. I don’t get it. Maybe they want everyone to head over to Elvis Presley’s Memphis and spend more money.

 

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There was something at the bottom of that promotional graphic we looked at earlier. I didn’t know the Guest House had a Facebook page, but I figured it had some different pictures than the website, so I clicked on it. I was right, so here are a few.

Karaoke Night at EP's Bar at Graceland Guest House

This must be popular with the fans. I wonder if the song list on the karaoke machine is 100% Elvis hits.

 

These dramatic drapes at the Guest House at Graceland are a favorite spot for selfies

The caption under this picture is, “These dramatic drapes at the Guest House at Graceland are a favorite spot for selfies.”  It seems like there would be dozens of more interesting backgrounds for selfies to mark your trip to Graceland.

 

Inside Portico at Graceland Guest House

This is a nice shot from the front door out through the portico.

 

The deviled egg appetizer at EP’s Bar & Grill

They even show a photo of the deviled egg appetizer at EP’s Bar & Grill.

 

Above the pool table at Graceland Guest House.

The caption under this picture says, “If you’re playing billiards at The Guest House at Graceland, be sure to look up.” The pool table is located in EP’s Bar and Grill.

Guest House Pool Table at EP's Bar

 

Pool at Graceland Guesthouse

It looks like it would be cold if you tried to take a swim. Notice there are no leaves on the trees.

 

Heart-Shaped Fireplace at Graceland Guest House

Great caption: “Stop by for a little burning love by our heart-shaped fireplace.” I guess it is outside on the grounds somewhere.

 

This last photo from the Graceland Guest House Facebook page was obviously posed, but it’s very well done.

Happy National Martini Day at EP's Lounge

It promoted National Martini Day at EP’s Bar & Grill. That place is really starting to sound good to me. I wonder why they don’t give it more mention on the website.

 

 

© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Touching AP Wire Stories after Elvis’ Death

Newspaper Headline of Elvis' Death

Elvis’ incredible rocket ride to superstardom coincided exactly with my high school years. I have always felt fortunate to have been a teenager when Elvis burst on the scene and changed everything. It was an exciting time for those of us lucky enough to be around then. Sometimes I marvel at all the folks who have become Elvis fans in spite of never experiencing the Elvis phenomenon in real time.

This week I realized there are also current Elvis fans who never experienced another momentous event – his death. It was a brutal shock to us fans, and the pain and sorrow we felt over his loss was staggering.

To honor the 39th anniversary of Elvis’ passing, I would like to reprint some of the sentiments expressed by Associated Press writers in the days after his death. These went out to hundreds of subscribing newspapers along with assortments of photographs. They are not straight news stories, but rather narratives on the effect Elvis’ passing had on the fans.

I think you may find these stories a welcome addition to your celebration of Elvis Week 2016.

 

Fans at Gates of Graceland august 18, 1977

The throng of grieving fans who descended on Graceland the day after Elvis died is well documented. Less known are the pilgrimages fans made to other of Elvis’ former homes, like the one at 144 Monovale Street in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles.

Elvis Home -- 144 Monovale, Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles

 

August 17, 1977:  (Author attribution not given)

As a light rain fell, fans of Elvis Presley sat outside the black iron gate of the Holmby Hills mansion once owned by the dead star. They waited, but they didn’t know what for, and they didn’t really know why they had come.

A tour bus stopped Tuesday, and after telling his tale, the driver leaned out to the damp visitors and said, “You know he doesn’t live there anymore.”

They knew.

Dany Frye said it was like being shot when he heard that the king of rock and roll was dead. Almost without thinking, he and his wife made a pilgrimage to the house where Frye and other fans often visited to catch a glimpse of Elvis. “He was Mr. Music to me,” said Frye. “I don’t think anybody will ever take his place. I used to come out here and wait by the gate, along with a hundred other people.”

The 29-year-old Frye had seen Presley once. “You know, he meant a great deal to people my age. The Beatles came along and he wasn’t so hot for a while, but his true fans loved him.”

Frye occasionally peeked through the hole in the fence at the expansive Tudor-style mansion capping grass-knolled lawns. He ran his hands through his hair, pacing back and forth.

Frye knew the trees that dotted the estate, knew the tennis court, but didn’t know why he was there.

[Editor’s note: We know.]

~~~~~~~~~~

Fainter Coming through the Gates of Elvis' Graceland

The dedication and anguish Elvis fans endured in Memphis the day after his death is probably not known by many of the folks in town for this year’s Elvis Week. Any who read this story will probably be less inclined to complain about the Memphis heat.

August 18,1977: by Eric Newhouse

The bouquet of red roses, meant to adorn the coffin of Elvis Presley, wilted in the sun.

“The girl standing next to us originally brought flowers,” said Margaret McCasland of Memphis. “We picked them up and decided to deliver them when she fainted.”

Hundreds fainted Wednesday as they waited in the stifling heat outside Graceland mansion for a last glimpse of the king of rock ‘n’ roll. After treatment by paramedics inside the mansion’s gates, many doggedly continued their pilgramage to Presley’s seemless copper coffin.

Police said 25,000 to 30,000 people passed the open coffin just inside the doorway to Presley’s white-pillared home for a two-second glimpse of the singer.

Presley was burried today after a private ceremony. At 5:55 p.m. a policeman announced over a megaphone that “gates will be closed at 6:30. No one will be admitted after that.” No one moved.

At 6:30 sharp, another announcement: “The family has requested that the gates be closed. They are sorry you couldn’t make it.” Still no one moved.

“It is not our doing,” pleaded the policeman. “The family has asked us to stop the visitation.”

The huge crowd responded with a chant: “One more hour, one more hour.” But the gates adorned with dancing musical notes opened only to admit a last-minute surge of children and fainting women.

Thousands were turned away.

“I think it’s terrible. I’ve waited six hours,” said Ms. McCasland, holding the wilted bouquet.

“We came all the way from New York,” said Donna Griffin. “We stood there for five hours and they shut the door in our faces.”

One man denied entry said he had flown from Switzerland. Another said he had come from Baltimore. A woman said she had come from California.

Sheriff Barksdale said he had been in law enforcement in Memphis for 27 years, “and I’ve witnessed many events, including the assassination of Martin Luther King,” he said.  “I’ve never whitnessed anything like this.”

Presley’s body was discovered Tuesday afternoon. News of the 42-year-old singer’s death swept the country.

“I heard on the radio that he was dead and then they started playing ‘I Can’t Help but Love You,’” Rita Hambrick of Texarkana, Ark. said.

“I couldn’t help it – I broke out crying and cried until I went to bed. And I woke up crying again to the radio playing ‘Love Me Tender.’”

Miss Hambrick and her friends drove 130 miles to Memphis Wednesday morning and spent six nightmarish hours waiting in the heat.

‘Seven people fainted around me. The lady in front of me and the lady behind me had to be caried out on stretchers.’

“It was horrible,” she said, “but I’d do it again, because it was our last chance to see him.”

~~~~~~~~~~

I always enjoy reading about how Elvis changed things for the teenagers of the late 50s. But many kids of that age in 1977 knew little about Elvis.

Woman Crying

 

August 19, 1977:  by Linda Deutsch

To little kids and teenagers, it must be a strange spectacle: a world of adults grieving the death of a rock ‘n’ roll singer.

“Who was this Elvis Presley, anyway?” they wonder. “Why did Mama cry when she heard he’d died? And what’s this got to do with me?”

How do you explain?

If there had been no Elvis, we might still be wearing crewcuts and saddle shoes. We might be humming ballads and saying nothing about sex.

“If there had been no Elvis,” says music publicist Paul Wasserman, “there would have been no Beatles, no Rolling Stones. Elvis was a pioneer.”

Like George Washington?

Well sort of. He was a revolutionary for sure, but he carried a guitar, not a musket, and his message was a different kind of freedom.

He was a “culture hero” and it seems just now that he should be compared to another man in this century: Rudolph Valentino. They were American originals – “The Shiek” and “The Pelvis.”

In the 1920s, Valentino danced the Tango on a movie screen and women swooned.

In the 1950s, Elvis wigglesd his hips on TV and girls fainted.

 

Screaming Elvis Fans

Elvis’ death shocked and stunned his fans around the world. Did you know that so many of them flocked to Graceland the next day that president Carter had to send in 300 National Guard troops in to maintain order? It has been written that 500,000 people and 1,000 police officers lined the streets of Memphis for Elvis’ funeral procession on August 18. That seems incredibly high, but such is Elvis lore.

Elvis Presley's Funeral Procession

*

 

To those of you who weren’t around then to experience the anguish of the fans mourning for Elvis, hopefully these three AP wire stories will give you a new appreciation for it.

 

Have a great Elvis Week.

 

 

© 2016 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.

 

America Loses a Rock Legend — A Tribute to Scotty Moore

Scotty Moore and 63 Gibson Super 400

As every Elvis fan knows by now, Scotty Moore passed away on Wednesday, June 28, at age 84. Today you can find highlights of Scotty’s career with Elvis on many, many websites. And you probably know the story already, so I’ll take another approach.

This blog is usually fun to do, but writing about Scotty Moore leaving us is a melancholy experience. I think the world of him. I had the honor and privilege of having breakfast with him back at Elvis Week 2007, along with Darwin Lamm, publisher of Elvis International magazine. Scotty was in town to perform at two concerts Darwin was presenting, and I got to hang out backstage with him and the other musicians. He obliged me with autographs and a photo pose.

Phil Arnold and Scotty Moore Backstage 2007

I want to do a proper tribute and have so much I could share with you readers, but I don’t know where to begin.

Scotty has been mentioned in ElvisBlog over 80 times. There is a Scotty Moore tab under Blog Categories, and nine posts about him are in there. There’s also a lot more about the whole original band, Scotty, Bill Black, and DJ Fontana. Maybe the way to start this tribute is to feature excerpts from some of these old posts.

____________

 

This first blog article was written to highlight those 2007 concerts. billed as Scotty Moore — The Last Man Standing. This was a reference to the four men present on July 5, 1954 when Elvis recorded his first single at Sun Records. There is also an expression of my appreciation for Scotty Moore.

 

Scotty Moore – The Last Man Standing

 

Elvis, Bill, Scotty, and Sam Phillips

Graceland is a National Historic Landmark. Sun Records is a National Historic Place. I think we need one other special category – National Historic Person, and I have a fine nominee: Scotty Moore.

What qualifies Scotty Moore as a National Historic Person? Well, let’s see. On July 5, 1954, when Elvis recorded his first song, there were four men in the studio. The guitar player was Scotty Moore, and he had a lot to do with creating that unique sound. Scotty Moore’s guitar work made an immeasurable contribution to the initial success of Elvis’ music.

The other three men there that historic night are all dead. Bill Black died in 1965, Elvis passed away in 1977, and Sam Phillips left us in 2003. That’s too bad, because the session when “That’s All Right” was recorded was a very special moment in history. Three men gone, only one left. Scotty Moore, the last man standing.

It is now 53 years since that magic moment, and it’s nice to know that Scotty is still alive and well. Don’t count on seeing him at many more Elvis Weeks. It might happen, it might not. But we know one thing for sure. We can see him this year. Scotty is headlining two tribute concerts at Elvis Week 2007.

Those fans that admire and cherish Scotty Moore were thrilled to hear they could catch him on Wednesday, August 15, at the Peabody Hotel. To you folks that are going to Elvis Week but haven’t yet decided what to see, I’m telling you, buy tickets to one of Scotty’s two shows. They are going to be great.

Scotty Moore – The Last Man Standing is a unique concert concept. Both the 2 PM and 5 PM shows are double concerts. Scotty has invited two groups of his favorite musician buddies to perform, and they jumped at the chance to be on stage with him.

So, if you want some good entertainment at Elvis Week, take in one of the double concert starring Scotty Moore. He will appear at no other events in Memphis that week. This is the exclusive appearance of the genuine article, the last man standing. And sadly, it’s looking more and more like a farewell performance.

Join Scotty Moore’s many fans in honoring and appreciating him while you still can. Scotty may not have official recognition as a National Historic Person, but he truly is a national treasure.

 

Now, nine years later, the last man is no longer standing. And the fans who took in one of those Elvis Week 2007 concerts did indeed see Scotty Moore’s final performance.

Scotty Leaving Stage - Last Man Standing Concert 2007

I took this shot of Scotty as he left the stage after the 2 o’clock concert. I wish I had also taken a similar shot after the 5 o’clock concert. It would have been a photo of Scotty the last time he ever performed on stage.

__________

.

Scotty Moore Keith Richards Recording Duece and a Quarter.

That is Keith Richards backstage at a Rolling Stones concert. Those guys loved Scotty. So, here’s an excerpt from an ElvisBlog article that goes back to 2007.

 

Scotty Moore and the Rolling Stones Backstage

 

Searching through many Elvis-related websites is both prep work for ElvisBlog and a lot of fun. One site I go back to frequently is www.scottymoore.net . That’s right, the man who helped Elvis give birth to rock & roll has a great website of his own. It contains almost a dozen sections you can check out, but my favorite is SCRAPBOOK, a digital photo album. Hundreds of photos tell the story of places he’s been, people he’s met, and shows he’s done

I visit Scotty’s site frequently, but while I’m there, I’m always drawn back to the same set of pictures in SCRAPBOOK that I’ve seen four or five times before. You probably will understand why, when you see the title: “Backstage With the Rolling Stones in Memphis — December 15, 2005.”

Keith Richards and Ron Wood, who do the guitar fireworks for the Rolling Stones, both love and admire Scotty. They’ve recorded with him and had him backstage at four of their concerts. What started as admiration has grown into genuine friendship.

The SCRAPBOOK pictures show that Scotty and lady friend Gail Pollock and others obviously had a ball in Keith’s dressing room before the show. Then they had concert seats in the eighth row right in front of Mick Jagger (Scotty stayed backstage and watched from there). After the concert, there was a wrap party at the Peabody Hotel. It was here that Scotty got to spend some time with Mick Jagger and drummer Charlie Watts. Ron Wood spent a lot of time posing for smoochin’ pictures with Gail and the other girls. Sure looks like it was a fun party.

Keith, Scotty, Elvis, and Bill Backstage at Rolling Stones Concert

One backstage picture is outstanding. The dressing area at the concert venue contained a full-sized, color cutout of Elvis in his famous gold suit. Of course, this got into several of the pictures. I just love the photo of four musicians, Keith, Scotty, Elvis, and Ron. Take a quick glance at the picture and see if Elvis doesn’t look real. I liked the photo so much, I downloaded it to my hard drive and printed it out. Very cool picture.

Scotty’s whole site is, too. You can get lost for hours scrolling down through HISTORY, and connecting on all the links. So check out Scotty’s excellent website.  He’s a gentleman who deserves all the good things going on for him now. He’s a national treasure to be cherished.

__________

 

When you watch Elvis movies over and over, like I do, you start to notice things you missed originally. Years ago, I became fascinated with the roles Scotty, DJ Fontana, and Bill Black had in Elvis’ first few movies. Their screen time was the most in Loving You, prompting this ElvisBlog article from 2012.

 

Loving You – Starring Scotty, DJ, and Bill (Plus Elvis, of Course)

 

I recently found something interesting on the website for a Rock and Roll memorabilia auction. It was a movie theater lobby card from Elvis’ 1957 film Loving You. Most Elvis movie cards and posters show pictures of him with one or more of his lovely female co-stars, but this one included Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana, his original guitarist and drummer. I would guess neither man ever knew this lobby card existed, so I am sending copies to their webmasters.

Lobby Card for Loving You

Lobby Card showing DJ Fontana (far left) and Scotty Moore (far right)

Loving You was Elvis’ second movie, his first in color, and also the first of several (many?) where Elvis’ character was a singer. There are elements in this film that are considered auto-biographical. Elvis’ character, Deke Rivers, parallels Elvis’ start as a truck driver; for a beverage distributor in the movie and for an electric company in real life. Once he starts singing in the movie, all the famous frenetic leg-gyrations and hip-swinging are there to produce loud squealing by the young girls in the audience. There is even a female Col. Parker-like manager who gets Deke to sign a personal services contract giving her 50%.

The lobby card reminded me that all three of Elvis’ original bandmates, Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana and Bill Black, have considerable screen time in the movie, so I checked it out again to note all their appearances. Within seconds after the opening credits finish, they are up on a town square stage, in a country band providing music for a political candidate.

Scotty Moore and a Politician -- in Loving You

Scotty Moore and a Politician

After a few minutes of dialog by other characters, it’s back to the bandstand where we get a similar, but longer look at Scotty and Bill. In fact, Scotty gets his best screen time in any of the Elvis movies — fifteen seconds in a close shot, standing beside the politician.

About seven minutes into the picture, Deke Rivers is persuaded to get up on the stage and sing a song. He chooses “Got A Lot of Livin’ To Do.” This song is now used in Viva Elvis in the big trampoline sequence, which is generally considered one of the highlights of the Cirque du Soleil show.

Bill Black and Scotty Moore flank Elvis During Got A Lot of Livi to Do

At the eighteen minute point of Loving You, Elvis’ character is now a full time member of the band. He sings “Let’s Have a Party.” Scotty again fares best with screen time, followed by Bill, and last again, DJ.

Bill, Scotty, Elvis, and DJ Playing Lets Have A Party

Bill, Scotty, Elvis, and DJ Playing “Let’s Have A Party”

Another song in the movie is “Hot Dog.” For a few seconds, the camera shot cuts off the actor members of the band and shows only Scotty, DJ, Elvis and Bill. It’s fun to watch Scotty, because smiles so much and seems to be having a wonderful time. It is during this song that the manager creates a fake riot, very reminiscent of some of Col. Parker’s publicity stunts.

Elvis and the Boys Singing Hot Dog

Scotty, DJ, Elvis and Bill Black Playing “Hot Dog”

About 45 minutes into Loving You, Scotty, DJ, and Bill make their last appearance. Elvis’ character sings “Teddy Bear.” Although the band is visible, they are well behind him, and again the lights are dimmed until the song finishes. In this scene, as others, the bandmates move their lips as though singing. In truth, all the very fine vocal accompaniment in the movie came from the Jordanaires, an arrangement that would continue in many more Elvis films.

Elvis Taking a Bow after Singing “Teddy Bear.”

Taking a Bow after Singing “Teddy Bear.”

Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana and Bill Black also had significant screen time in Elvis’ third and fourth movies, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole. It would be so cool to find lobby cards showing them in these films as well. I’ll keep looking.

__________

These three blog excerpts provide a small glimpse into the many facets of Scotty Moore. I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg, so there will probably be a Part 2 to this tribute. I’ve got so many pictures of Scotty in my files, it might be fun to do a pictorial essay.

 

Good Photo of Older Scotty Moore

 

Good bye Scotty. We will really, really miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

 

© 2016 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.

 

Beach Boy – (Uncredited)

Special Guests Added to Elvis WeekSpecial Guests At Elvis Weekk 2016

(Editor’s note:  Seven months after this post apeared, Christopher Riodan, the title subject, posted a long comment detailing his connections wih Elvis.  It is worth your time to click on Comments and read it.)

Did you get this email from Elvis Insiders like I did? The heading caught my eye. “Special Guests Added to Elvis Week.” So, I eagerly read on to find out who these special people might be.

As you can see, the first name is Christopher Riordan, identified as Elvis’ co-star. Now, I’m a big fan of Elvis movies and have books listing the entire cast and crew for each one. I have read them all several times, but I just couldn’t remember Christopher Riordan in any of them.

 

Christopher Riordan Bio

So, I clicked on Read More which brought up this bio. It does say he had roles in several Elvis movies, but there is no longer any mention of co-star status. Still, roles in six Elvis movies, plus the ’68 Special, is something to be proud of. You and I would be thrilled if we had been in six Elvis movies, no matter how small the parts.

(One side note: It seems EPE wants to phase out reference to the ’68 Comeback Special. The official preferred name is now Elvis ’68 Special.  Sort of like how they prefer Elvis Tribute Artist over Elvis Impersonator.)

Anyway, I was curious about Christopher Riordan’s participation in Elvis movies. So I decided to go to the best source for any and all information about movies – The International Movie Database. IMDb is a subsidiary of Amazon, and has 3.7 million movies and TV episodes in its database. Plus 7 million actors and other personalities.

IMDb Selections

I love this website. Look at the list of links available under the Movies, TV & Showtimes tab. There are two more tabs with tons more stuff. Check it out.
I typed Christopher Riordan into the Search box and confirmed his presence in those six Elvis movies and the ‘68 Special. Here is the summary of his roles:

1964 – Viva Las Vegas                    Dancer (Uncredited)
1964 – Roustabout                          Carnival Worker (Uncredited)
1965 – Tickle Me                             Dancing bit (Uncredited)
1965 – Spinout                                Party Guest (Uncredited
1967 – Double Trouble                    Young Englishmen (Uncredited)
1967 – Clambake                            Beach Boy (Uncredited)
1968 – Elvis (TV movie)                  Dancer.

Christopher Riordan and Elvis in Spinout

Christopher Riordan as Party Guest with Elvis in Spinout

I started to feel a little let down. Christopher Riordan seemed a little over-hyped – not a co-star, not in roles with character names and lines of dialogue. But, I checked out what else Riordan had appeared in, and found he has scored 101 credits in both TV and movies. The bulk of these were uncredited bit parts in dozens of movies each year 1964 through 1967. During this busy period, he also had recurring credited rolls in two TV shows – Ozzie and Harriet in 1964 and Many Happy Returns in 1965. Ironically, his character’s name in both series was Ronnie.

Christopher Riordan in 1977 Publicity Photo.

Christopher Riordan in 1977 Publicity Photo.

For some reason, Riordan’s appearances dropped off drastically in 1968 through 1971, and he had no credits at all in 1972-1974, and none in the decade from 1978 to 1988. Maybe nobody was looking for a guy with immense hair for their movie or TV projects. Obviously, Riordan was supporting himself with some other line of work during that time.

During the 90s, he resurfaced with bit parts in one movie, one short, and three TV show episodes. In the 2000s he appeared in seven TV episodes of House of Carters and Ugly Betty.

AjayMehta and Christopher Riordan in Outsourced - 2010

Christopher Riordan (right) on set of Outsourced – 2010

Then suddenly he showed up in 2010 in 21 episodes of the TV show Outsourced acting as the Call Center Supervisor. Wow, where did all the hair go? He’s had a few credits in the years since, and so far in 2016, he has appeared in five episodes of the NBC TV series Superstore.

 

Conversations on Elvis

So, the questions are why did Christopher Riordan get selected for the Conversations on Elvis panel, and will he have anything to add to the conversation. The sad truth is that many people close to Elvis have died, and it is obviously getting harder to fill the stage with suitable panelists.

I would prefer to think that Riordan was a young good-looking party guy and probably did have some chances to hang out with Elvis. He very well could have been around for some crazy antics, and if he shares these during Elvis Week, I think the fans will love it. My bet is that Christopher Riordan will be one of the most interesting people on the stage.

 

 

© 2016 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.