Category Archives: HISTORY

’68 Comeback Special – A Wardrobe Review

Celebrating the 68 SPECIAL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

When I realized that December 3, 2018 would be the 50th anniversary of Elvis’ incredible TV special, I knew I had to post an article to commemorate the occasion.

I also knew every other Elvis website and blog would be doing the same thing. I wanted to come up with something different, and I have. We are going to learn what a leading British fashion design journalist has to say about what Elvis wore on the show.

Zoey Goto regularly writes about fashion in Elle, Numero, GQ, and GQ Style. She gets to report from the front row of London Fashion Week. And she has written the delightful book Elvis Style, where we get all of the text to follow.

 

Burgundy Suit from the Gospel Sequence:

 

Elvis - 68 Comeback Gospel suit

You might expect this photo-essay to start with the Black Leather Outfit, but be patient. It’s coming up.

Elvis sang a three-song Gospel medley wearing this burgundy suit:

“Where Could I Go but to the Lord”
“Up Above My Head”
“Saved”

lvis - 68 Comeback Gospel Suit

Here is what my friend, Zoey Goto had to say about the Gospel suit. (I asked her to write it on just six days’ notice, and she really came through).

The burgundy suit is so very of its time – the earthy colour, the sheen of the fabric, the slim cut of the suit, and the exaggerated double breasted lapels all scream late 60s/early 70s menswear! Perhaps this is why the outfit is often overlooked when we think about the legendary ’68 Comeback Special. Because this style was so fashionable at that time, it now looks more dated than for example the leather suit, which was not such a part of the zeitgeist.

The most effective part of this outfit was the styling of the white shirt, with its elongated collars worn over the top of the suit jacket, teamed with the apache tie scarf, which really framed Elvis’ face. From the chest upwards he looks fantastic! However, in comparison to the white suit – which is roomier and has a nipped in waist – the tight, straight up-and-down cut of the burgundy suit is unforgiving. Yet Elvis is in such good shape physically, that he still manages to pull this outfit off with panache!

Elvis 68 Comeback Dancing in Gospel Outfit

 

Well done, Zoey. That was great. And the passages from your book coming next are even better.

 

The white suit she mentioned is this one.

White Double-Breasted Suit from the “If I Can Dream” Finale.

 

Elvis 68 Comeback White Suit in front of Big Red Letters

Again, here is Zoey Goto’s review:

Out of the darkness, Elvis steps forward, his white suit instantly illuminated under the stage lights. He clutches the microphone between his hands almost as if praying, while behind him the word ELVIS is emblazoned in red lights.

It is the grand finale of his ’68 Comeback Special television program, and Elvis is giving an emotional rendition of the song “If I Can Dream” wearing a white double-breasted frock coat with a deep, single vent flap running down the back of his jacket – a signature of traditional American tailoring – which also allows Elvis to move with ease and to throw his arms wide at the end of the performance.

Six buttons run down the centre of the jacket, white slanted front pockets and a nipped-in waist emphasize his broad shoulders. Although the double-breasted jacket can add inches to the torso, the slim-line Elvis with his 32” waist, carries it off with grace.

Elvis - 68 Comeback White Suit

His coordinated front pleated pants graze his ankles without a break, creating a pleasing line from the hip to his white leather ankle boots. To complete the look, Elvis wears a deep red scarf in the style of an Apache tie – an accessory that had become synonymous with Country & Western fashion, where a colourful scarf or hanky is secured at the neck with a scarf ring.

Elvis - 68 Comeback White Suit Closeup-

As a fashion statement, Elvis’ white suit is all about the Deep South. Stepping on stage, Elvis looks every inch the Southern plantation owner, a choice that initially seems incongruous, given that Elvis has borrowed so heavily from black music and is currently on stage singing a song about brothers walking hand in hand.

However, look at his costume again and it becomes a sartorial symbol of his success – Elvis has been elevated from his humble sharecropper origins to finally becoming the Big Boss Man, as he had been previously singing that evening. In essence, his outfit can be seen as a take on upward social mobility – one of the key factors of the American Dream, which Elvis had long been associated with.

Elvis 68 Comeback White Suit Standing

 

And now, the one you’ve been waiting for.

Legendary Black Leather Outfit:

 

Elvis - 68 Comeback Black Leather - Back

Earlier in the ’68 Comeback Special performance, Elvis had performed a medley of his earlier hits while wearing fitted black leather trousers and jacket, with a black low neck t-shirt underneath. The outfit was a nod to Elvis’ rebellious 1950s image, but this time a more aggressive, sexual presence was evident. Black leather had long been strongly associated with motorcycle gangs, as illustrated by Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953).

Marlon Brando - The Wild One

In his youth, Elvis had admired James Dean, but back in the 1950s, Elvis’ own rockabilly image and flashy Lansky Brothers clothing belonged to a very different tribe of rebellion.

Aside from owning a couple of leather jackets, Elvis had never been a devoted leather wearer, but given the luxury of revisiting his youthful image, Elvis embellished and reinterpreted history. Up on stage, as Elvis gyrates his way through a string of nostalgic hits, he instantly acquires the toughness and potency that his leather outfit lends.

Elvis - 68 Comeback Black Leather - Lip Curl

Look carefully at Elvis’ leather outfit, though, and it differs considerably from Brando’ Perfecto motorcycle jacket. Rather than the traditional studded biker jacket, with zippers running across the torso and a belted waist, Elvis’ version is essentially a denim jacket shape, but made in leather. This was not accidental – the designer Bill Belew was at the time finding inspiration in the blue jean outfits that the kids on the street were wearing.

Knowing that Elvis avoided denim as he associated it with the poverty of his childhood, Belew decided to have a denim jacket and trousers traced and remade in black leather, adding a few touches such as a front seam running down the trousers and hand stitching the yoke.

Elvis - 68 Comeback Black Leather Seated

Here are some other tidbits Zoey Goto shares with the readers:

This outfit marks the first time Elvis wore the high, Napoleon-inspired collar, which later became a signature of his jumpsuits and was employed to frame his face.

Close Up of Elvis' Black Leather Suit

On each wrist is a leather cuff. Although leather cuffs had been worn by cowboys to protect their wrists for over a century, Elvis’ buckled cuffs looked more like precursor to the leather wristbands worn by the punks in the mid-seventies.

Elvis - 68 Comeback Reproduction Elvis Black Leather Cuffs

Reproduction

Elvis’ ’68 comeback Special jacket and trousers were made from cordovan leather, the thick hide of the rump of the horse which is usually only used to make shoes. Elvis became so sweat-drenched in this rugged material that he had to literally be peeled out of the costume at the end of the performance.

 

Zoey meshed her thoughts with those of Japanese-born designer Atsuko Kudo to sum it all up nicely:

We all dress for sex appeal and attention, and this look does that in a very big way – he was like a peacock. This was Elvis’ comeback performance, the pressure was on to make a big statement and to dress in a way that empowered him. This outfit did that.

Elvis - 68 Comeback Black Leather - Arms Raised

 

I am so thankful Zoey Goto went along with me repeating part of her wonderful book Elvis Style. I’ve covered parts of it twice before in ElvisBlog:

A Look at Elvis’ Taste in Hats

Elvis’ Fashion Legacy

 

But Elvis Style covers so much more than just Elvis’ wardrobe. As the back cover says,

“Zoey Goto investigates why Elvis was, and continues to be, an icon of style, focusing on his wonderfully expressive hairstyles, clothes, cars, and interiors.”

This is such a uniquely different Elvis book. I highly recommend you get a copy.

Elvis Style - Cover

 

 

 

©  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.

 

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 # 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!!!

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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.”

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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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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

 

 

ElvisBlog Logo

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering DJ Fontana

DJ Fontana at center of Band

Perhaps you do the same thing I do when musicians we love pass away. Last year when Tom Petty and Chuck Berry died, I pulled out old albums and CDs and listened to their music as a way to connect with them and commemorate their impact on me.

But when DJ Fontana died two days ago, it didn’t seem as satisfying to listen to Elvis songs. I wanted something unique to DJ. Then I remembered I had his book.

DJ Fontana book - The Beat Behind the King

 

Although I had read it when it came out in 2002, I sat down and read it again. I was wonderful. Everyone who has met DJ knows he is a down-home good ole boy, and his personality shines through the words.

DJ Fontana at Drums

 

But there was a special bonus in DJ’s book. It contained a CD titled “Life on the Road,” and for some reason, I had never listened to it before.

 

DJ Fontana - Life on the Road CD

Well, I plopped that thing into the player and was mesmerized for the next 23 minutes. It was like DJ and I were sitting together at a bar, and he was telling all these wonderful old stories. Now, I’m going to miss him even more.

I’m not sure, but I suspect that the audio on this CD was the taped interview that publisher Darwin Lamm used to write the book chapter also titled “Life on the Road.” Of course, some language was cleaned up and some other editing changed things a bit. There were also short stories that ended up in the chapters titled “Recording with Elvis” and “68 Special.”

 

DJ Played with 20 Singers

Tributes to DJ Fontana are all over the web now, and I would like to offer you something different than the same stuff you’ve already read. For example, DJ was a much in-demand session musician in his career after Elvis. This page from his book lists twenty artists he has played or recorded with.

 

DJ Played with 19 more Singers

Here are nineteen more. And you could add a few more that came along after 2002. I’m not sure why mostly pictures of Elvis were used on these two pages. There are plenty of other photos in the book, half or even full page shots, and DJ is in most of them.

 

DJ in Lederhosen - G.I. Blues

Bet you won’t see this picture in any other tribute to DJ. It was taken on the set of G.I. Blues. All the guys playing in the band in the German bar were dressed in lederhosen. DJ tells a story in the book about how he had to allow make-up to be put on his knees “to give them a bit of color.’

DJ appeared in three other Elvis movies: Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, and King Creole.

DJ's Solo Scene in Loving You

This is DJ’s solo scene in Loving You where he comes out of a high school after a spring hop and removes the sign that announced the performance they just finished.

 

DJ-Fontana-and-Karen-Arrive-on-the-Red-Carpet-at-Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-Inductions

This is DJ and wife Karen walking on the red carpet to his 2009 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bill Black was also voted in posthumously.

DJ Fontana, Nancy Shockley & Louis Black at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

This is DJ accepting his statuette. Beside him are Bill Black’s children, Nancy and Louis. At the far right is Max Weinburg, the drummer in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who inducted DJ. Weinburg had campaigned for years to get DJ inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Max Weinburg Article in Elvis the Magazine

Max Weinburg Article in Elvis the Magazine

 

Phil Arnold, Joe Esposito & DJ Fontana

This is a picture of me standing behind Joe Esposito and DJ Fontana at Elvis Week 2007. I was supposedly doing security detail (making sure nobody pushed in line or stole the books they were selling and signing), but all the fans were well behaved and it was just fun for me. I met Al Wertheimer a few minutes after this picture was snapped.

DJ Signing Books at Elvis Week 2007

This is a shot from behind the table. DJ signed a lot of books that day. Everybody loved DJ.

 

I’d like to close with words from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as they remembered DJ:

Drummer DJ Fontana was a rockabilly icon and the indispensable pulse at the center of Elvis Presley’s songs. For fourteen years he played alongside of Elvis as part of the band. Together they recorded hundreds of songs and blew audiences away with rollicking, fun-loving, informal jams.

 

 

DJ Looking Spiffy at Elvis Week 2007

 

Goodbye DJ. We’ll miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

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

 

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ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 22

Do you remember the above photo from an ElvisBlog pictorial post three weeks ago? No information was given about the crown on Elvis’ head by the site where I found it, so I asked if any reader knew something about the reason he was being crowned. Well, reader Jo remembered seeing it in a book she owned, and she sent in an answer.

Genuine Elvis by Ronnie McDowell

The book is The Genuine Elvis by Ronnie McDowell, Edie Hand and Joe Meador, published in 2009. It contained the following information from Louise Smith, widow of Elvis’ cousin Gene Smith:

“One day, Elvis came to our house and the press followed him inside. A man and woman accompanied the man from the newspaper. They presented Elvis with a trophy. Written on it was the fact that during Elvis’ movies in the theater, they had sold more popcorn than during any other movies. They took a picture of me and Elvis and the woman who presented the trophy and it was in the newspaper in Memphis. When (Elvis) left, I told him that he had forgotten his trophy, and he told me that he would get it later. He came over many times to our house, and I always tried to give him the trophy and he always said he would get it later. Guess what? I still have the trophy that was shown in the newspaper article.”

Elvis Receiving Crown in 1960

Jo even attached this photo and caption which accompanied the article in the book. However she said she was a bit puzzled. “The date is given as 1956, but Elvis actually looks older – his sideburns are missing and his jacket is the same as that worn in the Welcome Home Elvis rehearsals in 1960. Has Louise got her dates muddled????”

So, I did a Google search for Elvis Popcorn Award, and an article came up with this picture.

Louise Smith, Elvis and Popcorn Award

The woman on the left is identified as Louise Smith and the one on the right as the presenter of the trophy. Five decades after the event, it would appear Louise Smith’s memory was indeed a little muddled, because the crown was not what accompanied the award. A trophy did

Popcorn Trophy Plaque

I blew up the award to see what it said. You can see the word Kernel, then Popcorn, (something), U.S.A.

So, the reason for the crown still remains a mystery, but the trophy picture confirms one thing:

Elvis was the King of Movie Popcorn Sales

 

 

More Elvis Armpit Sweat Revealed:

Elvis and Horses

This photo also appeared in that pictorial three weeks ago. I said I thought it had been taken on the set of Love Me Tender. However, I was corrected by reader Delores, who is quite a font of Elvis knowledge. She said the picture came from Loving You when young Susan Jessup (Delores Hart) took Elvis out to the family farm.

Elvis and delores Hart in Loving You

In the article I suggested that there couldn’t be many other pictures out there showing Elvis armpit sweat. Wrong!! Reader David did considerable detective work and found it in photos from three other movies.

Elvis Arm Sweat in 1960 GI Blues

G.I. Blues

 

Elvis Arm Sweat in 1962 follow that dream

Follow That Dream

 

Elvis, armpit sweat in1960 Flamig Star

Flaming Star

 

Of course, what I didn’t think we would ever see were any photos in real life of Elvis armpit sweat. David had that covered, too.

1970 Photo of Elvis Arm Sweat

Elvis in 1970

 

The Anniversary of the Opening of Graceland to the Public:

I get emails all the time from Graceland.com/news, Graceland Insiders, Shop Graceland, and probably some others. When I see the word Graceland, I click on them pretty much automatically to see what’s new. Yesterday, this came up.

Graceland Opened on June 6, 1982

 

I thought I would get to read about the history of this event. Then I scrolled down and saw this:

15% Off Graceland Gear

In the span of one month, we will see four reasons for a sale: Aloha from Hawaii anniversary, Memorial Day, Graceland’s opening anniversary, and Father’s Day. And I’ll bet there is some other reason for a sale prior to the 4th of July.  I hope they are selling ELVIS Gear at the next one.

So, Thursday was the 36th anniversary of the opening of Graceland. In four years, I expect a big event will be held with special guests, concerts at the Soundstage, special packages at the Guesthouse, etc. Here are a couple of pictures that will probably show up then on Graceland.com/news.

Aunt Delta and Jack Soden at opening of Graceland, June 7, 1982

This is EPE president Jack Soden and Elvis’ Aunt Delta (who continued to live in Graceland after the tours began) cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

 

Graceland Opening Flyer

Here is an advertisement for the opening of Graceland to the public. I wish it was a clearer image so we could read the ticket prices. The fine print down at the bottom says “Tours may be closed on Monday after September 1.” Of course, that never happened. The public response was too great.

 

Editor’s Note: Reader responses came in quickly confirming that the follow two photographs were definitely not taken the first day Graceland opened to the public.  As I had speculated, they were taken the day after Elvis died as fans poured into Memphis.  Sorry for the confusion.

You might want to scroll past them and look at two new photos giving a much clearer accounting of the opening of Graceland to the public.

 

These next two pictures, supposedly taken at that opening show amazing response on the first day.

Fans at Opening of Graceland

That looks like Elvis Week, doesn’t it? Or possibly the day after Elvis’ death was announced.  The internet source I used says it was taken on June 7, 1982, but the amount of mis-labeled Elvis photos on the internet is cause for a little skepticism. .

Fans at opening of Graceland

And this is supposed to be an aerial view of the event. You can barely see the mansion in the top right corner surrounded by trees. I never knew the opening of Graceland was such a highly attended event.

 

3,024 Tickets sold on the first Day Graceland opened to the public

This is a cropped photo that contains a significant fact in the text at the bottom. 3,024 tickets were sold the first day Graceland was opened to the public.

 

Fans Line Up outside Graceland on Day it Opened to the public

These are fans lining up to enter Graceland on the first day it was open to the public.

 

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

I would like to thank everyone who purchased one of the Elvis treasures I brought out from the Fuzzy Room and offered for sale. The three T-shirts were the last to go earlier this week. Next week I will show more items from the Fuzzy Room. Here’s a little tease – a set of Elvis Presley Salt and Pepper Shakers with a 50s look. Bet you haven’t seen these before.

Elvis Salt and Pepper Shakers

 

 

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

 

 

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Elvis and National Donut Day

National Donut day

By now you have probably heard that Friday, June 1 has been proclaimed National Donut Day.  To join in the celebration, I would like to repeat an ElvisBlog post from 2012 with a little updating.

 

Elvis and Southern Maid Donuts

 

Most serious Elvis fans know he did only one advertisement during his career. It was for one of his favorite food items – donuts. Elvis recorded a radio jingle for Southern Maid Donuts.

Hot Hot Hot Southern Made Donuts

 

Elvis’ association with Southern Maid Donuts started when he began regular appearances on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, LA, in October 1954.

 

Elvis performing at the Louisiana Hayride

Elvis performing at the Louisiana Hayride

 

Elvis frequented The Southern Maid Donut store in town, getting an early foundation for his well-publicized lifetime affinity for donuts, especially jelly donuts.

Box of Southern Made Donuts

 

Southern Maid Donuts began in Dallas, Texas in 1937, and the total of company-owned or licensed stores now exceeds 100. The Southern Maid name came about because the founders wanted a name that encompassed humble southern traditions, memories, and feelings.

Southern Made Sign on Stage at Hayride

 

The Louisiana Hayride was a perfect venue for marketing their product, and Southern Maid Donuts provided large sponsorship on the show’s radio broadcasts for several years. The radio spots featured a strange little jingle that deserves some explanation.

 

Hot Donuts at Southern Made

 

One of Southern Maid Donuts claims to fame is the sign above their stores with giant red neon letters lighting up the night sky — HOT, HOT, HOT. The stores sell donuts, éclairs, bear claws, apple fritters and other goodies all day long, starting at 6AM. But after 4PM, you can order a box of twelve glazed donuts made especially for you and served to you piping hot. Southern Maid Donuts have no preservatives. They are made to be eaten HOT, not saved for later. If you want hot, light-textured donuts that literally melt in your mouth, these are hard to beat.

Neon Sign at Southern Made

 

So, it follows that their radio jingle was:

You can get them piping hot after 4PM,
you can get them piping hot,
Southern Maid Donuts hit the spot,
you can get them piping hot after 4PM.

 

A number of Louisiana Hayride performers sang the jingle, including Minnie Pearl, Johnny Cash, and Johnny Horton. Elvis’ version aired on November 6, 1954.

 

To my knowledge, there is no remaining copy of Elvis singing the Southern Maid Donut jingle. I wonder what that would be worth if it ever did surface. A caller on George Klein’s radio show said that he had obtained the commercial in 2009. If so, why hasn’t it been aired by now?

In a comment to the original post, reader Kelly said:

“The caller’s name is Scott Tubbs from Shreveport. He used to work for Forost Dairy, a local milk company back in 1997. At that time, Mr. Tubbs did not know the importance of the jingle. He did in fact obtain the tape from a ex-employee of Sothern Maid, but she was later fired for selling it to him as it did not belong to her. As I understand it a court battle for it pursued . Mr. Tubbs was invited to join George Kline on his radio show when he was visiting his TWO sets of twins who live in Crodova, TN.”

 

Johnny Cash -- Southern Maid Jingle

 

For some reason, the Johnny Cash version of the jingle was preserved, and it can be heard on the CDs, The Best of the Louisiana Hayride, Volume 4, and Johnny Cash: Hayride Anthology. In another comment to the original post, according to reader Mark,

“Unfortunately’ the recorded Johnny Cash ”Southern Maid Donuts” commercial on the Louisiana Hayride is just Johnny ”talking” about the donuts — no jingle is sung!”

 

Donut Worry, Be Happy

.

 

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

 

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Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 5

Elvis, Gladys, and Vernon with1956 Messerschmitt KR200

It’s been two months since I last posted a review of Elvis photos that I’ve recently discovered on the internet. So, let’s do it again, and hope no Photoshopped images slip in. I know the one above is for real. Isn’t that a great picture of Elvis, Gladys, and Vernon? It was cropped from a larger 1956 shot showing the whole odd car and an old man.

Elvis in 1956 Messerschmitt KR200

There they are. The car is a 1956 Messerschmitt KR200, a three-wheeled, two-seated microcar. One website says Elvis owned and drove the car for at least a year, before trading it to Memphis clothes store owner Bernard Lansky in return for a three-hour shopping spree in 1957. Another website says Bernard’s brother Guy bought the car. My guess is that Elvis never drove it again once he started buying Cadillacs.

 

Elvis and Horses

I believe this was taken on the set of Love Me Tender. Looks like the horses wanted to be in the picture. Let me know the next time you see another Elvis photo showing armpit sweat. There can’t be many out there.

 

Elvis in Deep Thought

This post had no tag on this, so can anybody place it? Obviously a movie set. Elvis sure is in deep thought.

 

Elvis Mobbed by Fans

Did Elvis have it good, or what? The girls fawned all over him. Elvis looks pretty amused by the whole thing.

 

Elvis is crowned

Elvis is being crowned, but there was no info with the posting. I wish it was a picture of him alone, wearing the crown. Does anybody know anything about this one? If so, please post them on Comments.

 

Elvis - sitting in the audience watching Tom Jones at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV-- 9-3-1974

Isn’t this a great shot? I love the shading effect. It looks like the work of a professional photographer, but it could have been just be a lucky shot by a fan in the audience who caught Elvis looking up to watch Tom Jones at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV, September 3, 1974.

 

When Elvis Presley was across the street from Lauderdale Courts

This is a fan photo taken when Elvis lived at Lauderdale Courts. Is that a sleeveless shirt Elvis is wearing? What’s the strap around his ribs?

 

Young Elvis and girl

It’s pretty rare when a new picture of teenaged Elvis pops up. This young lady was so thrilled with the snapshot that she kept it in her blue-jeans pocket for weeks –  with obvious results.

 

Elvis Presley Boston Garden November 10, 1971 8.30 pm Boston, MA.

Here is a shot of Elvis from behind while performing at the Boston Garden, November 10, 1971.

 

Young Elvis in Swim Trunks

Young Elvis in a swim trunks. He filled out one much better in Blue Hawaii in 1962. I’ve got some more pics of him waterskiing at a young age that we’ll review next time.

 

Scotty, Elvis, and Bill

We all have seen many photos with Elvis, Scotty, and Bill together. Have you ever seen this one? Does Elvis’ clothing give any clue where it was shot? Bill Black looks a bit like Brad Pitt, doesn’t he?

 

Closest Haircut On Elvis

With the exception of his Army induction haircut, this is the closest cropped I’ve ever seen Elvis.

 

Elvis mother with a donkey at Graceland

The tag on this was “Elvis mother with a donkey at Graceland.” I guess that could be right because they had so many acres originally. You can notice a little smile on Gladys’ face. I wish there were more photos of her smiling. They’re pretty rare.

 

Elvis kissing his mom Gladys goodbye before deployment to Germany.

Here’s a shot that had a tag under it saying Elvis is hanging out of a troop train window and kissing his mom goodbye just before deployment to Germany. Alert reader Jo advised that it couldn’t be Gladys because she was already dead by the time he took the train to NY and embarked on the SS Randall for Germany. Jo says the train made a stop in Memphis and that’s why George Klein is in the picture.  The woman is a fan.

 

Elvis chatting with fans at the Graceland gates.

I believe this would be inside the Graceland wall. Elvis probably had the gatekeeper let in some pretty girls to chat with him. Along with Alan Fortas and Joe Esposito, at least that’s what the tag says. I’m not so sure. Any clues?

 

Young Elvis wiith Sandy Hair - 2

All Elvis fans know his real hair color was a sandy brown. I found three shots recently showing him before he started dying it black.

 

Young Elvis with Sandy Hair - 3

This one is a colorized version of a shot snapped on  August 7, 1954 when Elvis first played The Eagles Nest in Memphis.  Looks like they got the hair color about right.

 

Elvis with Sandy Hair - 1

At first I thought this was Elvis playing Jodie Tatum in Kissin’ Cousins, but that was filmed in 1964 when he was 29. He doesn’t look that old here.

Elvis Playing Jody Tatum in Kissing Cousins

This is a clip from the movie. But look at the big cigar in the first pic. Elvis didn’t smoke them as a teenager, did he?

 

Elvis Presley On The Set Of Loving You 1957

The tag on Pinterest said it was taken on the set of Loving You in 1957. Otherwise, you’d think it was a Photoshopped picture. Either way, it’s a very strange one.

 

 

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

 

 

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A Look at Elvis’ Taste in Hats

Elvis - Black Fedora

Last week we looked at a bunch of Elvis baseball caps available at GracelandOfficialStore.com, and it generated a lot of comment. Some folks even sent pictures of other caps they like. We’ll look at a few of the comments next time as part of Mini-Nuggets.

At the end last week’s post I said we would next cover the hats Elvis actually wore in his personal life. I really researched deep, especially in his younger years, and there were no real photos of him wearing a baseball cap. None. The best I could find was this:

Elvis Wearing Baseball Cap at Concert-1976

This is obviously Elvis performing on stage in a jumpsuit. The tag said 1976. So the best guess is that somebody threw it up onstage and Elvis put it on. If anybody has a different photo of Elvis wearing a baseball cap please send it to me at philarnold@charter.net.

 

The first photo in this article shows Elvis’ favorite style of headgear — snappy, narrow-brimmed Trilby and Fedora hats.

Elvis wearing Trilby Hat

Trilby hats have very narrow brims, like this one. Wikipedia says the trilby was once viewed as the rich man’s favored hat; it is sometimes called the “brown trilby” in Britain and was frequently seen at the horse races

In her book Elvis Style, author Zoey Goto reports that Elvis purchased his extensive collection of headwear from Baltimore Beaver, Resistol, Oleg Cassini, and Lansky Brothers.

 

Elvis in Fedora

Sorry this one is so blurry.

 

Elvis in Caddy, Weatring Fedora

Elvis looks sharp in his Caddy wearing this fedora.

 

Elvis Posing wearing Fedora hat

The first thing you notice is Elvis’ cool pose; then it looks like he is singing to a shower door. The hat is perfect in this shot.

 

Elvis Black Leather Hat sold for $2,151

This is a black leather fedora that Elvis owned. It sold at auction a few years ago for $2,150.

 

Elvis also liked motorcycle hats and the very similar boat captain’s hat.

Elvis in Motorcycle Hat

This is the same hat Elvis wore in the famous Al Wertheimer Harley photo.

 

Elvis in Boat Captain's Hat

I don’t know if this was snapped on a movie set or in private time.

 

Priscilla and Elvis wearing a Police cap

Is that a police hat? Priscilla looks pretty good, doesn’t she?

 

Priscilla Wearing a Baseball Cap

Whoa. Here she is wearing a baseball cap. I don’t know the year on this one. Help, anybody?

 

Elvis Wearing Two Army Hats

If you look close at this one, Elvis appears to be wearing two Army hats. Looks like it was pretty cold for maneuvers that day.

 

Elvis wearing Double Army Hats

He’s definitely wearing two in this shot.

 

Next week we will see some reader comments on Elvis baseball caps and look at the hats Elvis wore when he was fooling around.

 

 

© 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.