Category Archives: HISTORY

Elvis Images Found in Archaeological Collections

1,800 Year-Old Roman Bust

In 2008, famous antiquities collector Graham Geddes of Melbourne, Australia, revealed his discovery of a 1,800-year-old marble bust that looked like Elvis Presley. The ‘Elvis’ sculpture is 2nd Century AD Roman acroterion – a kind of architectural ornament often found on the corners of a sarcophagus, a stone tomb or burial chamber. According to antiquities specialist Georgiana Aitken: ‘It bears an uncanny likeness to Elvis Presley. It’s the quiff that does it.”

Ms. Aitken made other statements that caused quite a commotion within the archaeological community:

“Looking at this face with its Elvis-like quiff, strong jaw and nose, one is inevitably led to the thought that the human face, for all its diversity and subtlety, has after all an ability to repeat itself.”

“Fans of the King of Rock ‘n Roll, seeing this face from the distant past will be forgiven for thinking that their idol may well have lived a previous life.”

This notion caused many collectors, archaeologists, and museum curators to take a second look at their collections and to do extensive searches in their photographic reference books to see if Elvis images may have been found in other ancient cultures.

 

A ROMAN MARBLE ACROTERION CIRCA MID TO LATE 2ND CENTURY A.D.

An even better likeness of Elvis was found in this Roman burial vault acroterion circa mid-to-late 2nd century AD.

 

Here are some of the other Elvis likenesses found in archaeological collections:

Adalaid, Australia – Cave Drawing – 300,000 BC

 

 

Luxor, Egypt — Giant Bust Sculpture — 2,000 BC

 

Belize River Valley, Belize – Cave drawing – 60,000 BC

 

Sultan Kala, Turkmenistan – Stone Carving – 1,400 AD

 

Florence, Italy – Bronze Bust – 900 AD

 

Pylos, Greece – Marble Bust – 600 BC

 

St. Lucia, West Indies – Wall Art – 1,200 AD

 

Iraklio, Crete — Giant Carved Cameo — 1,100 AD

 

Sagalassos, Turkey – Stone Tablet – 400 AD

 

Kyota Japan –Bamboo Wood Carving – 1,500 AD

 

Burial and Ritual Sites, Central Mongolia – Cave Drawing — 150,000 BC

 

Tiwanaku, Bolivia – Painted Stone Tablet – 1,600 AD

 

Moon Landing – Clue to Earlier Visitors — 1971

 

 

If you’re starting to wonder if this story is on the level, scroll down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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Elvis’ 7 Day Journey from Soldier to Civilian

Elvis' Seven Day Journey

Elvis’ tour of duty of duty in the U.S. Army ended in March 1960.  However, getting home from Germany was a long seven-day process that included two military troop transport air flights, a secret limousine ride, two private car rail trips, and a special police escort from the Memphis Airport to Graceland. Here is a look at Elvis leaving the Army and going home.

 

DAY 1 – March 1, 1960:

The first of three press conferences during Elvis’ week-long trip took place on this day at the base near Bad Nauheim, Germany. It was the Army, not Col. Parker, who scheduled this one for the Armed Forces Radio and Television, and there were more than one hundred reporters and photographers in attendance.

Elvis Presley Discharge Press Conference March 1 1960

The Enlisted Men’s Club provided the venue for Elvis’ commanding officer to present him with a certificate of merit. It cited his “cheerfulness and drive and continually outstanding leadership ability.”

Elvis and His Army Certificate of acheivement

The reporters were allowed to ask Elvis questions, and here is his response to one about serving as a real soldier rather than as a Special Services entertainer at military clubs:

“People were expecting me to mess up. To goof up in one way or another. They thought I couldn’t take it and so forth, and I was determined to go to any limits to prove otherwise, not only to the people who were wondering, but to myself.”

I believe any objective analysis would have to agree that Elvis accomplished his goal.

 

(Editor’s note: Last week when I posted the photo of Elvis and former Sun Records office manager Marion Keisker, I did not realize the shot had been taken at this press conference marking Elvis’ discharge from the Army. I found that out researching for this new post.)

A highlight of the press conference was surprise appearance of Captain Marion MacInness (her Air Force rank and married name).

Marion Keisker

When Elvis saw her, he was overjoyed and excitedly asked her, “I don’t know whether to kiss you or salute.” Showing her sense of humor, she answered, “In that order.”

 

DAY 2 – March 2, 1960:

Although Elvis was later asked if he left behind any special girl, and he replied “not really,” the truth is that he showed up at the Rhine-Main airbase with Priscilla Beaulieu in the car with him. There is a famous photo of Priscilla waving goodbye to him that appeared in the March 14 issue of Life magazine. They must have figured out what was going on, because the caption read, “Girl He Left Behind.”

Elvis with Priscilla Before He Leaves Germany

 

Once on the plane, Elvis had plenty of other female attention. He entered the plane through a rear door and took a seat in the back to keep a low profile. However, the word of his presence soon spread throughout the plane. For the next two hours, stewardesses and the wives and children of other GI’s made a line to the back of the plane asking for Elvis’ autograph.

The Air Force troop transport plane flew from Frankfort, Germany to a base in Prestwick, Scotland, where there was a two-hour layover before a different plane continued the trip to the U.S. Apparently, the Air Force had made extensive plans for his short stay, and word of Elvis’ impending arrival had leaked out. Here is what the Scottish Daily Mail said about Elvis’ only visit to Great Britain:

“Hundreds of screaming teenagers drowned the noise of the jet engines when Sergeant Elvis (the Pelvis) Presley flew into Prestwick last night.”

Elvis shook hands, signed autograph books, posed for pictures – then bewilderedly whispered to an Air Force Lieutenant, ‘Where am I’?”

Elvis was allowed to speak to reporters for five minutes on the tarmac and then was whisked away in a staff car to meet the troops at the local NCO club. Next, he was shuffled off to the base Teenage Club for more interaction with young fans.

Elvis Fans get All Shook Up at Prestwick airport

 

Finally, Elvis and seventy-nine other soldiers boarded a Military Air Transport Service C-118 for the trip back to America.

 

Day 3 – March 3, 1960:

At 7:42 AM, Elvis arrived at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey during a driving snowstorm. The welcoming party included Col. Parker, already in full Elvis-promotion mode. He was accompanied by nineteen-year-old Nancy Sinatra, who had announced her engagement to singer Tommy Sands just one week earlier. The Colonel had signed a deal for Elvis to appear on TV with Frank Sinatra, and daughter Nancy’s presence was the perfect start to the PR campaign.

Elvis With Nancy Sinatra

 

Also present was actress Tina Louise from the TV show Gilligan’s Island, representing the Mutual Radio Network. A March 9 Variety article noted that Tina Louise was dressed in a “tight white dress with her bright red hair peeking out of a turban,” She made Elvis blush when she asked him, “Are you still going to use suggestive movements?”

Elvis Presley and Tina Louise at Discharge Press Conference

 

There were hundreds of reporters on hand to gobble up the news, as the Army held its second Elvis discharge press conference. The New York Times ran a front-page story of the event.

New York Times - Elvis

The article contained two quotes I find interesting.

“Maj. Mark Bottorff announced that Sergeant Presley had ‘behaved himself in a manner so to cast great credit on the Army.’”

“Tom Parker, the singer’s manager, said his client had a gross income of $1,600,000 in 1959. But Parker admonished: ‘Please state carefully the Government gets 91 percent in income tax.’”

So, the Army brass talked about Elvis’ great behavior and being a credit to the Army, but Col. Parker talked about money.

In their People section, a Time magazine article had two of Elvis’ press conference answers to reporters’ questions, including this nugget:

“Elvis, proudly wearing medals for good conduct and marksmanship, promised he will soon climb into his gaudiest working mufti [Ed. note: civvies], agitate his pelvis of yore (‘If I stand still, I’m dead’), and ‘never abandon rock ‘n roll as long as people keep appreciatin’ it.’”

Of course, the writer for Time magazine had no idea what Elvis’ gaudiest working outfit would become in another decade.

 

Day 4 – March 4, 1960:

Elvis was back on US soil, but he wasn’t free from the Army, yet. He spent this entire day going through the involved Army discharge procedures. However, his presence back home was enough motivation for Estes Kefauver, the Tennessee Senator, to read a tribute about him in the U.S. Senate chambers. So, Elvis is commemorated forever in the Congressional Record with this passage:

“To his great credit, this young American became just another G.I. Joe…. I for one would like to say to him, yours was a job well done, Soldier.”

 

Day 5 – March 5, 1960:

It was never reported if Elvis slept well the night before, but if not, his excitement at being discharged would certainly have been the cause. Finally, at 9:15am, the Army gave him a formal honorable discharge and a mustering out check for $109.54 (The TV appearance with Frank Sinatra would pay him $125,000).

Elvis Presley's Last Army Payday

Note the three stripes on his sleeve.

Elvis and the Colonel left the base in a limousine and traveled along a snow-packed and fan lined highway. Somehow, they eluded the press and went to Trenton, NJ, where they waited at a hotel for most of the day. They were joined by Col. Parker’s assistant Tom Diskin, Parker’s brother-in-law Bitsy Mott, and Elvis’ buddies Lamar Fike and Rex Mansfield. That night, they all went to the train station to board a private railroad car that took them to Washington, DC.

Day 6 – March 6, 1960:

In Washington, Elvis and his party boarded a second private railway car on the “Tennessean” line, which would take him home to Memphis. The train left at 8:05 a.m., and made many stops along the way. The Colonel had made sure Elvis’ private car was at the end of the train and included an observation platform. At each stop along the way, Elvis would stand on the platform and wave to the adoring crowds. He was wearing a specially tailored blue dress uniform, complete with white gloves. Somehow, either through error or perhaps at the instructions of Col. Parker, Elvis’ rank insignia gained an additional fourth strip, indicating he was a Staff Sergeant.

Elvis in Custom Army Uniform after Discharge

 

Day 7 – March 7, 1960:

There were a few reporters on the train, and one of them reported that Elvis did not sleep through the night. Who could blame him? In a matter of hours he would be home. Elvis arrived at the Memphis train station at 7:45 a.m.

Elvis Welcome Home

He mingled with the fans for a while, and then he and Col. Parker got in a police car for the ride to Graceland. The driver was Memphis Police Captain Fred Wollard, and Elvis received a full police escort.

Elvis Getting Police Escort in Memphis

When Elvis arrived at Graceland, he stood outside looking at it. He took a deep breath before going in. This has been generally interpreted as his reflection on his mother’s death while he was in basic training and his sadness in knowing she would no longer be in the home he bought for her.

That afternoon, Elvis held his third press conference in seven days. This time it was with fifty reporters in his father’s office in a building behind Graceland.

Elvis Presley Press Conference at Graceland March 7, 1960

The most famous quote to come out of this event was this:

“I just can’t get it in my mind that I’m here.”

 

(Editor’s note: I wanted to include an image of Elvis’ Army discharge certificate in this post, but this is all I could find.  It appears that  some Photoshop jockey produced a bogus one. I wonder why he didn’t put in the correct date while he was at it. The oval marks are mine.)

Elvis Presley- Discharge Certificate

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

 

 

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60th Anniversary — Elvis’ Army Induction

Graceland Blog - 60th Anniversary of Elvis' Induction into the Army

Graceland posted this two weeks prior to the actual anniversary date of March 24, 1958, and I’ll be a little early here as well. Their blog post is a good one, and I recommend that you read it. There are nine big photos and a short video. I had never seen the picture of Elvis sitting in front of the Christmas tree looking at his draft notice.

Other highlights include Elvis’ famous quote that the Army was “a duty I’ve got to fill and I’m going to do it.” I also got a kick out of learning that Col. Parker handed out “King Creole” balloons to the fans outside the induction center. Leave it to Parker to turn it into an opportunity to promote the movie Elvis had just finished filming.

 

Elvis in army - Lip Snarl

I’ve been collecting Elvis Army photos for about twelve years and now have hundreds of them. So, I’ve culled through them and tried to find the most interesting. How do you like him doing his signature lip curl while in Army uniform and carrying a duffel bag on his shoulder?

 

Elvis Company D 80th Battallion

You’ve probably seen this photo before, but do you know what “Armor” means?

Elvis in Tank

It means tanks.

Elvis on tank

 

So far, we have seen Elvis in three different Army hats. Here are some more.

Elvis Wearing Army Helmet

Elvis In Army Uniform

Elvis - Dec 17, 1958 Grafenwoehr exercise camp

 

Elvis was photographed with a lot of fans while he was stationed in Germany, but this one takes the prize.

Elvis and Four German Babes

 

Speaking of fans, check out this letter from three young Elvis Presley lovers. They actually sent it to President Eisenhower imploring him exempt Elvis from a G.I. haircut – “If you cut his sideburns off, we will just die.”

1958 letter to President Eisenhower about Elvis' haircut

 

And here is Elvis with his Army haircut and no sideburns.

Elvis with Sleeves Rolled up

Now, take a look at one of the lesser known photos of Elvis getting that haircut at Ft. Chaffee in Arkansas.

Elvis Getting Army haircut at Ft. Chaffee Barber Shop

Have you ever had some guy sweeping up your hair clippings the minute they hit the floor? This was arranged by Col. Parker who saw yet another promotional opportunity. He ordered that all of Elvis’ hair clippings from his Army induction haircut be gathered up and sent to his fan clubs. One lock ended up at the Tulsa World newspaper, and they used it in a contest. Winner Sybil Coughman completed this sentence “I think the US Army can make the best use of Elvis by…

“…letting him give hip exercises to the soldiers to keep them trim and in good shape like he is.”

Hip exercises. Yeah, the Army will surely go for that.

 

Elvis with Army Haircut

Here’s one last rare haircut photo. It appeared in a six-page pictorial spread in a magazine called Cool Hep Cats.

Elvis on Cover of Cool Hep Cats

This may be the only magazine in history to superimpose text over Elvis’ face.

Cool Hep Cats Cover with Printing on Elvis' Head

 

Okay, that was going off on a tangent. Let’s get back to Elvis in the Army.

You probably know that Elvis’ Memphis friends Red West and Lamar Fike travelled to Germany to continue their roles as buddies in residence. Elvis also made friends with two future Memphis Mafia members while in the Army – Joe Esposito and Charlie Hodge. Here is a shot of Elvis and Charlie in uniform.

Charlie Hodge and Elvis in the Army

They originally connected at Ft. Chaffee during Elvis’ four-day stay there. They shipped off to Ft. Hood, Texas together and also on the USS Randall troop ship to Germany.

Charlie Hodge and Elvis on USS Randall

Look at the white box below Elvis’ left hand. It was another Col. Parker idea, and guess what it contained? Dozens of playing-card-sized autographed photos of Elvis. As the tug boats began pushing the USS Randall out into New York Harbor. Elvis flipped the cards, a hand-full at a time, over the railing and they fluttered down to lucky fans standing on the dock four decks below. Parker must have had advance knowledge that the US Army Band would be present on the dock the day Elvis shipped out. So, he printed up copies of the music to several Elvis songs and delivered them to the band leader who in turn passed them out to all the musicians. Songs they played that day included “That’s All Right,” “Hound Dog,” “Don’t be Cruel,” “Tutti Fruitti” and others.

There were no John Philip Sousa marches to mark this occasion. Col. Parker really could pull off some good schemes to promote Elvis.

 

Elvis in Battle Fatigues Playing Guitar

I have four different photos of Elvis in his Army uniforms playing guitar. I suppose he entertained the guys during off hours.

 

Elvis Visiting Bill Haley in Stuttgart 1959

Elvis (plus Red West and Lamar Fike) were entertained by Bill Haley while on leave in Stuttgart, West Germany in October 1959.

 

Elvis Meeting Marion Keisker in 1960

Do you remember Marion Keisker, the studio manager for Sam Phillips at Sun Records who is credited as being first to recognize Elvis’ potential? She left Sun Records in 1957 and joined the Air Force. While she was in Germany as assistant manager of the Armed Forces Television Network in 1960, Marion Keisker and Elvis held a reunion

 

Elvis the Soldier

And one last look at Elvis, the soldier.

 

There have been two other ElvisBlog articles about Elvis in the Army.  If you would like to learn more, click on these:

Elvis in the Army — By the Numbers

Sergeant Elvis A. Presley

And next week we will look at Elvis’ discharge from the Army and his trip home to Memphis.   It’s only the 58th anniversary, so the Graceland Blog probably won’t cover it for two more years.

 

 

© 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.

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

Elvis and Lisa

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Dan Blocker and Elvis

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

 

Elvis and Lee Majors

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

 

Bond, Elvis Bond

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

 

Elvis and Buddies - Two Unidentified Men

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

Elvis Eating Soup on the Way Home from the Army 1961

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

 

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

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

 

Elvis Guitar Zap

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

 

Elvis Sleeping

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

 

Elvis and Shadow

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

 

Elvis Presley cutting Billy Smith;s Hair 1957

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

Elvis - Love Me Tender on Set 1956

Looks like the same guy, right?

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

 

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

 

Elvis Pondering Nashville recording session in April 14, 1956

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

 

Elvis and Big Tree

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

“Tree Be Nice”

 

 

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

 

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

 

Elvis’ Fabulous Cufflinks

Elvis' costume tiger eye cufflinks - Left at Vernon's Home

If you entered an Elvis trivia contest and the question was, “Who was Elvis’ Doctor?” what would you answer? Probably “Dr. Nick,” or perhaps his full name “Dr. George Nichopoulus.

Dr Nick and Elvis

You would be right, because from 1970 until 1977, he pretty much worked full time as Elvis’ personal doctor in Memphis. He often was part of the travelling party when Elvis went on tour. Elvis gave him a yellow Cadillac and lots of other stuff and loaned him money to invest in business ventures.

 

However, when Elvis was in Las Vegas, he relied on a different doctor – Dr. Elias Ghanem

Dr. Elias Ghanem and Elvis

His story is almost as interesting as Dr. Nick’s. Here are a few paragraphs from a March 1976 article in People Magazine:

“Elias Ghanem’s life is the fascinating stuff movies are made of…. Ghanem is a Palestinian immigrant who became a doctor and worked at Los Angeles County Hospital until he realized he had more important things to do. He set out for a place where people were desperate for medical help, Las Vegas.

“There he met a princely entertainer with a frog in his throat, removed same – and thus began to acquire a reputation as physician to the stars. Before long he had a Stutz Bearcat, a fleet of jets, flashy jewelry and a mirrored canopy over his bed. He went around saying things like ‘Fast cars and beautiful women are my hobbies’. ‘He owned real estate and restaurants. He was divorced.

“… The Vegas headliner Dr. Ghanem treated to get his start in showbiz medicine actually was Elvis Presley. But it would not be difficult to cast an entire movie from Ghanem’s roster of patients. In not quite five years in Las Vegas, Ghanem, 37, has treated Tom Jones, Liberace, Ann-Margret, Johnny Cash, Raquel Welch, Bill Cosby, Glen Campbell and Roy Clark, among others. ‘They always get sore throats’, Ghanem says. ‘We call it Vegas throat’.

“Swabbing talented throats may not win Nobel prizes, but the victims tend to be very grateful. Presley alone has lavished upon Ghanem the $32,000 Stutz, a Mercedes, two watches, a $60,000 diamond ring and a gold medallion inscribed ‘TCB’. (‘Elvis’ people say this stands for ‘Take care of business’, ‘Ghanem chortles’. I say it stands for ‘Take care of broads’.”

 

Dr. Elias Ghanem - Older

 

I had never heard of Elias Ghanem until he was mentioned as the former owner of an Elvis ring in the January 6, 2018 Auction at Graceland.

Jan 2018 Auction at Graceland14k Lavender Jade Diamond Ring Upright (1)

This 14-karat gold nugget-style ring has a center oval lavender jade stone surrounded by 22 diamonds each measuring 0.25 carat. It sold for $10,000. Here is what the auction website had to say about the man Elvis gave the ring to:

“Elvis restarted his concert career performing routinely at the Hilton in Vegas, and it was during this period in 1972 that he met Israeli-born Dr. Elias Ghanem, who initially treated him for throat maladies. The two became friends, with Elvis staying at Dr. Ghanem’s home in the Las Vegas County Club for days at a time. As he did for many close friends, Elvis gave Dr. Ghanem a plethora of gifts over the years.”

The website also offered this letter from Dr. Ghanem’s wife:

List of Jewelry Elvis left at De. Elias Ghanem's House - Cropped

Wow, what a list. Elvis was both extremely generous to his doctor buddy and very careless about leaving jewelry in Dr. Ghanem’s guest room. The list includes thirteen rings, one bracelet, four pendants (including one TCB), one watch, sixteen pairs of cuff links, and a bunch of other stuff. Because just one ring was included in the Auction at Graceland, I wondered what had happened to everything else. Sold elsewhere? Maybe saved to be sold in the future?

Then, thanks to ElvisBlog reader Alberto Z, I checked out the May 2017 Music Icons Auction at Julien’s. And there I found most of those sixteen Elvis cuff links. Mrs. Ghanem also offered another list covering just the cufflinks. And none were Elvis gifts to her husband. Elvis left them behind in their Las Vegas home. Who travels around with sixteen pairs of cufflinks? I guess Elvis did, and it doesn’t really come as a surprise.

List of Cufflinks Elvis left at De. Elias Ghanem's House - Cropped

 

So, let’s take a look at some of these Elvis cuff links.

A pair of cufflinks by Hickok:

A pair of Elvis Presley cufflinks by Hickok

These cufflinks feature a silver tone metal plaque with a black oxidized “E” and gold tone mesh wraparounds. The cufflinks sold for $5,760

 

Gold Nugget Style Cufflinks:

GOLD NUGGET STYLE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are designed in a gold nugget style with black tablet-cut stones. The they sold for $1,280

 .

Tiger Eye Cufflinks:

ELVIS PRESLEY TIGER EYE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs feature a simulated tiger eye tablet-cut stone. They sold for $1,920

 

Black Stone Cufflinks with Wraparound Accent:

BLACK STONE CUFFLINKS WITH WRAPAROUND ACCENT •

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are topped with black faceted stones and simulated diamonds. They sold for $2,240

 

Square CuffLinks with Blue Stones:

quare Cuff links with Blue Stones

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are topped with faceted blue stones. They sold for $3,125

 

YELLOW-Green Stone CuffLinks:

Elvis' YELLOW-GREEN STONE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with large wraparounds are topped with yellow-green faceted stones. They sold for $2,240

 

Faux Gem Cuff Links:

Elvis' FAUX GEM CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks are topped with faceted aurora borealis stones. They sold for $1,920.

 

Shark Fin style Cufflinks:

Elvis' SHARK FIN STYLE CUFFLINKS

A pair of gold-toned metal cufflinks with molded orange iridescent glass. They sold for $1,024.

 

Globe Cufflinks:

Elvis' Globe Cufflinks

A pair of gold-toned metal with molded domed clear glass with rainbow effect. These cufflinks sold for $576.

 

Green Stone Cufflinks:

Elvis' Green Stone Cufflinks 2

A pair of gold-toned metal cufflinks with molded domed green glass. They sold for $640.

 

ElvisBlog has looked at Elvis’ Fabulous Rings eight times. This is the first post on Elvis’ Fabulous Cufflinks, but something tells me we’ll be doing them again.

 

 

© 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.

 

Special Elvis Collectibles at the Last Auction at Graceland

1970 Elvis Presley Black-and-White Souvenir Poster

It’s been five weeks since the last Auction at Graceland, so I want to do a post on three items that interest me because of the stories behind them. We’ll save the rings, clothing, and other goodies until a later time.

 

Dixie Locke and Elvis 1955

You have probably seen this photo before, and you might know the girl with Elvis is Dixie Locke. Five items from her personal collection showed up for sale at the January 6 Auction at Graceland. The auction website does a great job describing the relationship between Elvis and Dixie:

It was January 1954 and Elvis’ family was relatively new to Memphis. Elvis attended the First Assembly of God church to hear the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, who were members of the congregation and of whom Elvis was a fan. It didn’t take long for Elvis to be noticed by a group of girls, among them the lovely Dixie Locke. Unbeknownst to Elvis, they admired him from afar and hatched a plan to discuss their weekend plans within his earshot in hopes he would come to the Rainbow Rollerdome. And in fact, he did not disappoint. When he showed up at the skating rink, Dixie immediately spotted him and skated over to introduce herself. He knew just who she was and the two talked all evening, with Elvis driving her home at the end of the night.

A courtship followed and the two began dating. Elvis was about four years Dixie’s senior so it required some interrogating questions from both sets of parents before they all blessed the relationship. In the summer of 1954, Dixie and Elvis parted company for the first time when Dixie’s family left Memphis for a Florida vacation. While they were away, Elvis began early recordings in Sun Studio, and Dixie returned to him to hear his surprise as he was making radio airtime. The two dated for about two years, with Elvis taking Dixie to her high school prom in 1955 [as pictured above].

Elvis Kissing Dixie Locke - May 6, 1955

Elvis and Dixie smooching on prom night

Dixie and Elvis were like any normal young couple dating in the 1950s: their outings consisted of going to the movies, taking drives, going to the local canteen and visiting each other at their respective homes just to play games or sit on the front porch and chat. It was later that fall that the two drifted their separate ways. Dixie has been quoted describing the departure as, “It was kind of a natural thing. His career was going in one direction, and I didn’t feel that I could be a part of it.”

Okay, now check out this photograph. Please ignore the diagonal text of Graceland Auctions obscuring it. That was put there for reasons that will soon be apparent.

1954 Snapshot of Elvis Presley with Girlfriend Dixie Locke and Her Family

Again, from the auction website:

The charming black-and-white snapshot, emanating directly from Dixie’s personal collection, depicts her large family gathering on the lawn for the going-away party for her sister, who was moving to California to be married.

Elvis is pictured in the front row with argyle socks and slicked back hair. The other people consist of Dixie and her parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt, uncles and lots of cousins. The photo is also notated in pencil with the date “6/54” which would have been just before Dixie left on that Florida vacation and Elvis’ career began heating up. The snapshot measures 3 3/8 by 3 3/16 inches.

1954 Close-up of Elvis Presley in Snapshot with Girlfriend Dixie Locke and Her Family

Blow up of Elvis in the Dixie Locke family photograph.

Here’s why I find this photograph so interesting. It had 60 bids at the auction, running the price up to $8,750. I don’t recall any other item at the Auctions at Graceland having that much spirited bidding. So, what caused this interest? I asked Jeff Marren, the Consignment Director at the auction about this photo plus another one from Dixie Locke, and this was his reply:

“Those two offerings, specifically, were extremely strong prices, obviously, but not total surprises from the standpoint that they turned out to be photos that had never been seen. When we brought them to auction, we were almost certain they had never seen the light of day, coming directly from the Dixie Locke Emmons collection. The market is very strong for unpublished photos of Elvis.”

Whoever the high bidder was, he now owns a photo of Elvis that other fans have never seen. It will not join the millions of Elvis pictures on the internet. Nobody will be downloading copies of it. And think of the timing. It was snapped just a few weeks before his first recording session at Sun Records and the start of his career. No wonder there were 60 bids on it.

 

Elvis Presley Inscribed Snapshot - Given to His Little Sister-in-Law - From the Dixie Locke Collection

This is the other photo Mr. Marren referred to. According to Dixie’s accompanying letter, the image of Elvis on this photo postcard was taken at Blue Light Studio in Memphis.

Blue Light Studio

Look at the words along the top of the building. That is Lansky Bros. Men’s Shop. How natural would it be for Elvis to have a postcard photo made at a studio next to Lansky’s, a place he frequently visited.

Anyway, this Elvis photo had 51 bids and topped out at $9,375.

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Elvis Presley Inscribed Snapshot - Given to His Little Sister-in-Law

Elvis inscribed the back side of the black-and-white photo postcard in pencil to “My (high) tempered little sister-in-law” for Dixie’s sister. Elvis and Dixie had talked seriously of marriage during their relationship, and at the time, the two were sure that marriage was in their future. Thus, the reference to his little sister-in-law.

The photo had at one time been trimmed, cutting off part of Elvis’ inscription. The auction website sums up things nicely: “This early and delightfully playful keepsake captures the youthful star and his adoration for his young love and her family. The photo measures 4 7/8 by 3 1/3 inches.”

Over the years, I have reported on many autographed Elvis photographs at auctions, but I don’t remember another bringing in over $9,000. Looks like it makes a big difference if a photo is one of a kind and has never been reproduced on the internet.

 

The Auction at Graceland website had a quite detailed and interesting background story about a 24” by 36” Elvis concert poster.

Scotty Moore invited Elvis to join his band, The Starlite Wranglers, in July of 1954, and Elvis played just two songs with the group in front of a live audience for the first time at the Bon Air in Memphis on July 17. Just three short weeks later on August 7, Scotty, Bill and Elvis break from The Starlite Wranglers for their first real performance together at the Eagle’s Nest in Memphis. The Eagle’s Nest was a nightclub that was located above the changing room of the restaurant and pool at the Clearpool complex located on Lamar Avenue.

Eagles Nest above Swimming Club

The Clearpool was an entertainment complex that catered to a country and western swing crowd. The house band was led by Memphis DJ “Sleepy-Eyed” John Lepley, and at one time or another, the house band members included Jim Stewart, Stax Records founder, and Jack Clement, producer at Sun. Elvis performed here 16 times in 1954 before the club fell victim to fire in the late 1960s. This venue was one of the first paying gigs for Elvis and his very first consistent venue at the birth of his career. It was at the Eagle’s Nest that Elvis initially gained notoriety among the teen crowd, who would rush in from the pool to hear Elvis sing and then return outside when the next act came on. This is also where Elvis’ own style began to flourish and he was recognized as something out of the ordinary.

1954 Elvis Presley One of the Earliest Known Concert Performance Posters - Eagle’s Nest

Offered is a hand-painted, cardboard poster that hung at the entrance to the Eagle’s Nest and touts “Memphis’ own Elvis Presley with Scotty & Bill.” The poster is signed and inscribed “I spent a week there one night / Scotty Moore / DJ Fontana” in white ink on the black background.

The poster lists three songs: “Heart Breaker,” “That’s All Right,” and “Good Rockin.” Elvis had released “That’s All Right” and “Good Rockin” with Sun by September of 1954, while he had been using “Heart Breaker” in his set before recording it as “You’re a Heartbreaker” in December 1954. As Elvis’ performances on the Louisiana Hayride began in mid-October, taking his career into the direction of concert performances at other venues in various cities, his appearances at the Eagle’s Nest begin to wane. Elvis’ last two shows at the Eagle’s Nest were on November 17 and December 10, when, given the songs advertised, this poster was likely used. Since no specific date is listed, enabling the poster to be used more than once, this custom example may have even been used to advertise the appearances on both of those nights.

The auction website traces the ownership of the posters over the years, and one owner, Brian Beirne, a famed Los Angeles radio personality, purchased it in the late 80s or early 90s. He then got Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana to autograph it, approximately 35 years after they had performed there.

Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana autographs on Eagles Nest poster

Mr. Beirne says, “I consider this poster one of the true Holy Grails of concert posters.” The auction website said, “This amazingly rare survivor from the club where Elvis’ legend was launched perfectly captures the spirit of the scene from one of the most formative years in Elvis’ career. One of the earliest known Elvis concert posters.”

Bidders certainly must have been impressed, as it sold for $18,750. Wow

 

Here is one last auction item that has an interesting story. You can’t tell from this picture or the one at the beginning of this article that they are actually posters. Big ones – 22 inches by 28 inches. Hey, ladies. Wouldn’t you love to have one of these posters of Elvis hanging on a wall in your house?

1970 Elvis Presley Black-and-White Souvenir Poster 2

The auction website describes them:

“The Colonel would create generic posters of Elvis that could be altered with snips and venue information and used to promote stops on Elvis Presley’s 1970 tour. These generic posters are few and far between, especially in such an exemplary state of preservation as this one. In true Colonel style, the larger-than-life, bewitching image of Elvis graces the full size of the entire poster. This unusual and rare example with printed Elvis inscription …. is very difficult to come by.”

These full-face posters were given by Tom Diskin [Col. Parker’s assistant] to a fan(fans ?) after a Sept 1970 St. Louis, MO. concert appearance.

I think some folks got very good deals on these posters. The one with the brooding Elvis face went for $687, and the one with the microphone at his mouth went for $812.

 

It’s less than five months until the next Auction at Graceland. I can’t wait to see what new special things they will come up with.

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

 

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Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen – Part 2

Elvis Drawing on Bald Head

Last weekend’s ElvisBlog post generated the most immediate comments I’ve ever seen (other than the get well wishes after my wife’s surgery).  It seems that posting Elvis pictures I find on Pinterest can be tricky, especially the ones that don’t have any tags explaining what they are.

 

Playing Football with Glasses on

Like this one.  I assumed it was Elvis playing football, but three different readers informed me it was Johnny Harra.  You may remember he played the role of Elvis at age 42 in the movie “This is Elvis.”  (There were three other actors playing Elvis at different ages.)  I guess this picture is a clip from the movie, but I haven’t seen it in ages and can’t remember.

 

Elvis and Dog

When I posted this one, I said I hoped it wasn’t Photoshopped, because I liked it so much.  Well, my good friend, blogger Troy Yeary, got out the magnifying glass and did some detective work.  He reported, “Unfortunately, as you suspected, the one with the dog has to be a fake because he is wearing a Jeff Gordon #24 NASCAR collar, and Gordon did not start racing until the early 1990s.”  Good catch, Troy.

 

Linda Thompson at Elvis' funeral She wore THAT

Two readers commented on this shot of Linda Thompson at Elvis’ funeral.  Frequent commenter Tracey (aka Fluffy Sprout) wrote this:  “On the picture of Linda at Elvis’ funeral, she said this was a favorite dress that Elvis had bought her, and that he loved her wearing it whenever she was with Elvis.”  So, maybe it’s not as inappropriate as I thought.

Priscilla at Elvis' Funeral

Out of curiosity, I searched for photos to see what Priscilla wore at the funeral.  This hazy shot looks like it was taken by a fan, and it supposedly shows Priscilla being led forward by group of men.

Priscilla and Lisa Marie at Elvis' funeral

This photo was tagged, “Priscilla and Lisa Marie at Elvis’ funeral.”  Does that look like Priscilla’s profile?

For what it’s worth, I scrolled through dozens of Elvis funeral photographs, and I couldn’t find one with Ginger Alden in it.

 

Elvis Making a Face in Blue Hawaii

I mentioned that this picture was tagged as G.I. Blues on Pinterest, and that the Army insignia seemed to verify that.  Two readers knew better, and one pinned down the actual movie scene.

“The one of Elvis  in uniform sticking out his tongue is not from G.I. Blues, it’s from Blue Hawaii. Elvis and Joan went in the water at his old shack on the beach and a little boy came up to them, and Elvis asked him if the cat got his tongue.”

 

Gladys' Father and Mother

This photo generated the longest ElvisBlog comment ever.  It came from Jeanne Kendall, a true Elvis expert and the force behind Pomadour, a wonderful Facebook page celebrating Elvis and Elvis Tribute Artists.

Hi Phil!  Great blog, as usual!

Yes, that is a photo of Gladys’ parents, Bob and Doll Smith.  I post it on Pompadour every year on their Anniversary along with this info that you might find interesting:

Bob Smith (1873-1931) was the son of White Mansell’s sister, Ann.

Ann Mansell was a striking woman of dignity and stature, a commanding presence until her death at eighty-six. Bob Smith and Doll Mansell, Elvis Presley’s maternal grandparents, were first cousins. This was a genetic intensification, a doubling, of the family lineage. The marrying of first cousins, with its intensities and possibility for dysfunction, was common in insulated communities of the agrarian South.

Like Doll, Bob Smith was very handsome, his Indian blood evidenced in a noble brow, good bone structure, even features and dark, deep-set eyes. His black hair was dark as coal. Doll would be bedridden from tuberculosis throughout the marriage. Like his uncle and father-in-law, White Mansell, Bob Smith labored long and hard as a sharecropper, and occasional moonshiner, to support his invalid wife and eight children. The noose of poverty tightened on the family, and on Elvis’ mother, Gladys Love Smith (1912-1958) who was born on April 25, 1912.

In 1931, when Gladys was 19 her father Bob Smith died. It was completely sudden and unexpected. Everyone had expected the sick ‘Doll’ to die first. As was his request he was buried in an unmarked grave.

So Gladys did not have a strong role model in a mother, and Vernon did not have a strong bond with his father. Both these facts would impact heavily on Elvis Presley’s life.

[www.elvis.com.au/presley/biography/elvis_presley_family_history.shtml]

I hope all is going well with Beverly’s recovery.  Take care,

Jeanne (Pompadour: A Tribute to Tribute Artists)

Thank you, Jeanne (and also to the original writer at elvis.com.au.)

 

Hands on Elvis' Butt

Three people wrote to tell me this was not Elvis.  The best came from Merjin, a reader from the Netherlands:  “That last one is an ETA. The suit resembles the first (stone) Arabian suit, but is different.  Belt looks like a fantasy Target suit belt.  No Elvis!”

 

Elvis on Typewriter

Only one person challenged this as a Photoshopped phony.  The specific comment was:  “The one with the cat is a big fake.  I believe the original is of Marlon Brando and his ugly arm (not to be mistaken ever for Elvis’ beautiful one).”  Interesting.  There may be something to that, but I just don’t have time to look for a Marlon Brando original.

 

If anyone has more information on the photos posted last week, please put them on Comments.  Now, let’s look as some more pics that certainly seem to be the real deal.

 

 

 

14-year-old Priscilla and Elvis met while doing his service in Germany

The tag says this is 14-year-old Priscilla Elvis sitting with Elvis in Germany.  No wonder Elvis was attracted to her.  Very pretty.

 

Elvis with His Arms Up

There was no tag on this, and I have no idea what’s going on.  Somebody help us out here.

 

scene where Presley sings Viva Las Vegas is performed in one single unedited shot—the only known example of such a technique in Presley's movie career.

I picked this image partly because of the detailed caption:  “The scene where Elvis Presley sings Viva Las Vegas is performed in one single unedited shot—the only known example of such a technique in Presley’s movie career.”  I wonder who keeps track of this kind of stuff.

 

 

Elvis in Confident Pose

We’ll see two shots back-to-back that show Elvis’ body posture in different situations.  Above he looks super-cool and confident.

 

Elvis and Cop

Here he looks a little gawky.   I guess the policeman was part of security leading to/from a venue.  Anybody know?

 

Handsome Elvis in Fringe Jumpsuit

Now that’s a handsome man.

 

Elvis Making a Face

Oh, well, not every candid shot can be flattering.

 

Elvis and Ann Margtret in Viva Las Vegas

Hey, that’s not Priscilla.  It’s Ann Margret. There was an interesting tag, but I did some detective work myself.  The tag said, “Viva Las Vegas. A week later, Ann Margret married Roger Smith. The following week Elvis married Priscilla in Las Vegas at the MGM Hotel.”

Actually, Elvis and Priscilla married first on May 1, 1967.  Ann Margret and Roger Smith married a week later on May 8, 1967.  But Viva Las Vegas was filmed in 1963 and released the following year.  There sure is a lot of mis-information about Elvis on the internet.

 

Jane Elliot and Elvis Goofing Around Backstage Change of Habit

Here’s a movie-related picture with a tag I can completely believe:  “Jane Elliot and Elvis Goofing Around Backstage During the Filming of Change of Habit.

 

Elvis and Plywood Artwork August 1973

We’ll close with one last shot of Elvis looking really handsome.

Handsome Elvis August 1973

Now look at him with the plywood artwork cropped out and his face resized 20% bigger.

Someday I’ll be cruising through Elvis photos on Google Images or Pinterest, and I’ll find this one.  I’ll enjoy seeing that it came from ElvisBlog.

 

 

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

 

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Elvis Collectibles that Failed to Sell in 1999 Get a Second Chance

Catelog - The Archives of Graceland Auction 1999

This is the 296-page catalog of the 1999 Archives of Graceland auction. It was held in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, and the auction lots were open for public viewing for ten days. Admission was $5, or you could buy the catalog for $40 and get in free. I happened to be in Las Vegas at that time for a convention, and I gladly forked out the $5 to spend three hours looking at all the Elvis goodies while my wife played the slots. Years later I bought the catalog for a much reduced price from a vendor at Elvis Week.

Poster for the Archives of Graceland Auction

This is a very rare hotel poster (covered in plastic) announcing the Archives of Graceland auction. It probably has some collectible value of its own now.

It appears that not everything at this auction sold, and now they are back nineteen years later at the January 6, 2018 Auction at Graceland.

The Auction at Graceland Jan 6, 2018

I guess these items have been in storage in the Graceland archives all this time. But, with all the expanded exhibit space now at the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum and five other exhibits at Elvis Presley’s Memphis, you’d think they would hang on to these items. However, they are for sale at auction again, and we will take a look at most of these repeat items. It’s interesting to compare the original 1999 estimates with those for 2018. Because the current estimates are all lower, we can assume the items were over-evaluated the first time, and nobody would pay that much for them.

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Love Me Tender 16mm Film and Acetates of Movie Songs:

Elvis Presley 16mm Film of Love Me Tender and Acetate

This is Elvis’ personal copy of the film in three metal reels and the original brown-strapped shipping case. The smaller case contains his personal acetates of the four songs in the soundtrack: “We’re Gonna Move,” “Love Me Tender,” “Poor Boy,” and “Let Me.” There were actually three versions of the title track “Love Me Tender.”

Address Label 16mm Film of Love Me Tender and Acetate

Back in 1999, the estimate was $5,000-7,000. Now it is just $1,500-2,500. But what if one of those unused versions of “Love Me Tender” is substantially different and has not already been released? It could be licensed for enough to cover the cost of the whole lot.

There are three other lots containing film reels and song acetates that also carried over from the 1999 auction: G.I. Blues, Kid Gallahad, and Live A Little, Love A Little. Their original estimates were less than Love Me Tender, but today they are the same. It seems unlikely that they will bring in as much as Elvis’ first film.

 

Original Screen Door from Graceland:

Original Screen Door from Gracelsnd

Can you believe it? I guess they figure anything related to Elvis has appeal to collectors, including this screen door from the back entrance to Graceland. It has presumably been in storage since 1967 when Elvis replaced with an ironwork door (still there today).

Back in 1999, the estimate was $3,000-4,000, but today it is $1,500 – $2,500. Sorry, if I had that kind of money to spend on Elvis collectibles, I’d get something besides a screen door.

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Elvis Presley’s Personal Massive Wooden Desk from His Home Office in Palm Springs:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Massive Wooden Desk from His Home Office in Palm Springs - Front

This desk came from Elvis’ home in Palm Springs, not Graceland. Because the Colonel and others took care of all his business dealings, Elvis actually used it for little more than reading or to review his concert arrangements. The desk is 7-1/2 feet long and is an impressive-looking piece of furniture – angular kidney-shaped wooden desk with burl wood trim and brass handles.

Elvis Presley’s Personal Massive Wooden Desk from His Home Office in Palm Springs

Back in 1999, the estimate was $40,000 – $50,000, but today it is $10,000 – $20,000. I think they will get it. If a photo of Elvis sitting at this desk ever surfaces, the value would go way up.

 

Elvis’ Portable Sauna:

Elvis Presley’s “Scandinavian Products” Portable Sauna

This is something I most remember seeing at the 1999 auction exhibit, and I thought it was pretty weird. In the 1970s, the Colonel purchased this steam spa for Elvis’ Chino Canyon, Palm Springs home.

Elvis Presley’s “Scandinavian Products” Portable Sauna - Open

Elvis used this spa to maintain his heath  because the advertised benefits included detoxification, stress relief, weight loss, and improving circulation.

Back in 1999, the estimate was $8,000 – $10,000, but today it is $3,000 – $5,000

 

Elvis Presley’s Personal Globe-Shaped Free-Standing Wooden Bar from His Beverly Hills Home:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Globe-Shaped Free-Standing Wooden Bar from His Beverly Hills Home - Closed

 

In 1967 when Elvis and Priscilla moved to the two-acre, two-story home in the elegant Holmby Hills neighborhood of California, Elvis made sure to furnish his home with only the best stuff. Amenities included a soda fountain, a pool table, a projection room and this stately Italian-style Old World Globe Bar.

Elvis Presley’s Personal Globe-Shaped Free-Standing Wooden Bar from His Beverly Hills Home

Of course, Elvis didn’t drink, and the inside doesn’t have much room to store anything, so my guess us that it was just a conversation piece. The globe/bar was put into storage in Los Angeles in 1975, and presumably has been stored away ever since.

Back in 1999, the estimate was $4,500-$5,000, but today it is $1,500 – $2,500. I think it will sell this time, possibly going for a good bit more than the estimate.

 

VCR from Elvis’ Bedroom:

Elvis Presley VCR from His Bedroom at Graceland

According to the auction website, “Not only was Elvis featured in many films, but he also thoroughly enjoyed watching movies. He often went to the theater as a young man and that habit continued into adulthood when he would rent out an entire theater to watch a film. As technology progressed and the video recording system became a popular format in the mid 1970s for home viewing, Elvis would watch his favorites in the comfort of his bedroom at Graceland.” with his own personal VCR player.

Elvis Presley VCR from His Bedroom - Controls

Elvis was passionate about technology and acquiring the latest and greatest, and this high-tech JVC model CR-6300U video player certainly was that at the time.

Back in 1999, the estimate was $4,000 – $6,000, and it is still pretty close today at $3,000 – $5,000.

 

Elvis Presley’s Leather Rocking Chair from the Jungle Room:

Elvis Presley’s Leather Rocking Chair from the Jungle Room

Although fans call it the Jungle Room today, Elvis referred to it as the den, and the auction website calls it the original man cave. However, during the 70s, the furnishings were not the ones we see in Graceland today. We can be thankful that all the original tiki-inspired furniture was saved and ultimately restored to its iconic domain.

The auction website says this rocking chair was a favorite of Elvis’ in his earlier rendition of the room. They acknowledge that a photo of the wrong chair ended up in the 1999 catalog.

Elvis Presley’s Leather Rocking Chair from the Jungle Room

To my eye, this one looks way more like something from the Jungle Room than that spindly one above. But the one in the new picture is what’s for sale and the estimate is $10,000 – $15,000. Back in 1999 it was $20,000 – 30,000. Without a photo of Elvis sitting on it, I don’t think it will sell.

 

Elvis Presley Original Acetate of Beatles Songs “Hey Jude” and “Something”:

Elvis Presley Original Acetate of Beatles Songs “Hey Jude” and “Something”

In 1969 Elvis recorded The Beatles’ hit “Hey Jude” at the American Studio in Memphis. “Hey Jude” was released by The Beatles in 1968 and topped the charts in Britain and the U.S. and is often cited as one of the greatest songs of all time. Elvis’ rendition of “Hey Jude” was included on his 1972 album Elvis Now.

“Something” was another song written by George Harrison and released on the 1969 Beatles album Abbey Road. Elvis included the song during his third season at the Las Vegas International Hotel in August 1970, and performed it during his Aloha from Hawaii television special in 1973, so the song was included on the namesake album as well.

This rare acetate of Elvis singing both famous tunes is described on the auction website as a historic relic of incomparable significance. I don’t understand why it did not sell at the 1999 auction when the estimate was only $650 – $750. Contrary to everything else we have looked at in this post, the current estimate is even higher at $1,000 – $2,000. I predict it will sell at that or more.

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Signed Title to Elvis’ Circle G Ranch:

The background story of this deed is presented nicely on the auction website:

Elvis was an avid rider and purchased his first horse, Domino, as a Christmas gift for Priscilla. Elvis’ passion grew and soon the barn at Graceland was being cleaned to house the horses Elvis began to acquire. It was during a horse-buying excursion in Mississippi that Elvis spotted a 65-foot white cross overlooking a manmade lake on a beautiful piece of land. At the time, Elvis was reading a lot about spirituality, so the mystique of the property moved him enough to stop and knock on the owner’s door. Elvis didn’t even bother negotiating the price of “Twinkletown Farm” with the owner, Jack Adams, but proceeded to put down an initial payment of $5,000 against the total asking price of $437,000 for the house, cattle, farm equipment and 160 acres of land. Shortly after, Elvis moved nearly 40 horses to the property, eight trailers for his friends and family and spent $100,000 on vehicles for the ranch. Elvis renamed the farm “Circle G Ranch,” with the “G” for Graceland. Much time was spent by Elvis, Priscilla and his entourage at the ranch as it provided a getaway from the pressures of Hollywood and superstardom. Elvis had quickly spent a small fortune on the ranch and the cost of maintaining it became too much of a financial burden, so in May of 1969 Elvis sold the property for $440,000.

Elvis Presley Signed Title to His Circle G Ranch

So, the two-page title from Mid-South Title Company in Memphis, dated February 8, 1967 for the Circle G Ranch is back at auction. The title is signed in blue ink by Elvis.

The new estimate has an unusually wide range: $10,000 – $20,000. This puts it both above and below the 1999 estimate of $13,000 – 15,000. I don’t think they know what this signed deed will bring. I hope it goes high.

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1973 Tennessee Motorcycle License Plate:

Elvis Presley 1973 Tennessee Motorcycle License Plate

Elvis owned a lot of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in his life, and this license plate was on one of them. But the best the auction website can say about it is, “The plate may have been used on a custom-made Harley-Davidson that Elvis bought in 1971.”

What’s strange is that this plate is only one of four offered at the 1999 auction.

Elvis Presley License Plates

That set included two white Tennessee plates and a black one from California. The combination was expected to bring $10,000 – 12,000 in 1999. Now the green Tennessee motorcycle plate alone is estimated at just $1,000 – $1,500. It might bring that.

 

The Auction at Graceland January 6 2018

This is just a taste of the 271 Elvis items that will be auctioned on January 6 in Memphis during the Elvis Birthday Celebration. To see everything, click here.

 

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

 

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Fats Domino and Elvis

Fats Domino and Elvis Presley at Table

As you know by now, Antoine “Fats” Domino has passed away due to natural causes at age 89. I won’t repeat all biography and statistical facts you have seen on TV and other websites. Let me just say he was one of the greatest early rock and rollers, and I grew up with his music. I bought his 45s and danced to his songs at parties and sock hops at school. I have 53 Fats Domino songs on my playlist and will listen to them while I write this blog post. I’m going to hear every one of those songs today and appreciate again just how great he was.

 

Now, about Fats Domino and Elvis Presley.

Rock-Hall-Inaugural-Induction

You probably know they were both Charter members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, inducted together in the first class in 1986. We lost Chuck Berry in March this year, and now Fats Domino. Hang in there Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. I really don’t look forward to writing one of these posts about either of you, but let’s face it, it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 1986 Inductees

 

Elvis was a big fan of Fats Domino and had great respect for him. On more than one occasion, Elvis called Fats the real king of rock and roll.

 

Fats Domino and Elvis Presley

It appears that their friendship flourished because they got together when they both were working at the same times in Las Vegas. The picture above was taken around 12.30am on August 1, 1969 at a press conference for Elvis’ return to live performing at the International Hotel.

Las Vegas Press Conference

 

In a June 2004 interview, Fats Domino had this to say about Elvis’ return to Las Vegas:

“[I] first met Elvis Presley in Las Vegas. When I was playing at the Flamingo Hotel. I went to his room and played for him. He used to call me ‘Mr. Blueberry Hill.’ I remember him telling me, ‘You know, Fats, I’m opening up tomorrow, but when I first came here I flopped.’

“But after he got back there, it was all gold… and every night it was sold out. Boy, he could sing. He could sing spirituals, country and western, everything he sang I liked.

“Elvis Presley did a lot before he passed. He made movies, he was traveling, everything. I don’t see how he did it; you’d have to stay up day and night.”

 

Fats Domino and Elvis in color

When a reporter at this press conference referred to Elvis as the ‘King of Rock ’n’ Roll’, he rejected the title, as he always did, calling attention to the presence in the room of his friend Fats Domino, calling him “one of my influences from way back. No one could sing those songs like he did.”

 

[My wife just yelled at me to turn it down. When “I’m Ready” came on, I cranked it up. I just love that song.]

 

Fats Domino had a long-time collaboration with Dave Bartholomew, a song writer/bandleader/producer who is also in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the same category as Sam Phillips. His son Don Bartholomew once said:

“The way Fats sang was all original… It’s hard to copy, but if you listen to some of Elvis’ records, where words are kind of shortened — that’s from Fats, I think. Elvis often commented that Fats and Dave were making Rock n’ Roll music before the term was ever coined.”

 

Elvis Talking on Stage

Elvis was famous for clowning around on stage, especially during his introductions of the band members. On February 23, 1970, he introduced his guitar player James Burton as Chuck Berry, piano player Glenn D. Harding as Steve Allen, and his band conductor Joe Cuercio as Leonard Bernstein. Then, Elvis said, “I used to be known as Fats Domino… until I lost weight.”

 

[My wife is yelling at me again. “The Fat Man” is another song I like loud.]

The Fat Man by Fats Domino

Speaking of “The Fat Man,” it was Fats Domino’s first record release in 1949. Many rock historians consider it to be the first rock and roll record. Nearly seventy years later, it sure holds up well.

 

Now I would like to tell a personal story about the time I got up close and personal with Fats Domino. The company I worked for held a huge convention in one of the big New Orleans hotels in the late 80s. The last night of the convention, we threw a big party in the ballroom, and to everybody’s delight, our entertainment for the night was Fats Domino and his band.

Fats Domino and the Band

This photo looks very much like the set-up that night. The stage was only about twenty inches high. There were no seats in front of it, just dance floor. So all us big Fats Domino fans could stand in front of the velvet ropes barely four feet away from him. He played for about two hours and did dozens of his hits.

It was an awesome night, and there are some things that still live in my memory all these years later.

The band had four, yes four, sax players. Their contribution to the music was much greater in concert than on the records. They really wailed.

The drummer was either on drugs or drunk, or both, because he fell off his stool right in the middle of a song. He was out cold, so a bald white guy sat in for the rest of the show. I think he was Fats’ road manager or something, and he did a passable job.

The unannounced opening act was another New Orleans resident and performer named Clarence “Frogman” Henry. If you are old enough you will remember his hits “Ain’t Got No Home,” and “Troubles, Troubles.”

A middle-aged black groupie somehow worked her way through the crowd and up to the stage. She had her eye on Fats big time. She had orange-colored hair piled on her head, heavy eye make-up, bright red lipstick, tons of jewelry, and lots of cleavage showing. It was pretty obvious she wasn’t associated with our convention, and pretty soon, the security guys assisted her out of the ballroom.

Fats was impeccably dressed that night. His suit looked like it was made out of sharkskin. It absolutely shimmered. Very classy.

He wore several huge rings on the fingers of both hands.

Fats Domino Wearing Lots of Rings

 

Fats Domino was in the news when Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans’ Ninth Ward where he lived. Somehow, a rumor came out that he had died. Look what somebody painted on his home.

R.I.P. Fats Domino

That message was premature back then, but unfortunately, now it is true.

 

Fats Domino at the Piano

 

Good bye Fats Domino. You certainly will be missed. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

 

©  2017    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.

 

How Elvis Spent the Summer of Love

 

Summer of Love

There have been a few reports in the news this week noting the 50th anniversary on October 6 of the end of Summer of Love. In case you aren’t old enough to remember it, here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting hippie fashions of dress and behavior [Editor’s note – i.e. smoking pot] converged in San Francisco’s neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury.

The Corner of Haight and Ashbury

The hippies, also known as flower children, were mostly college and high-school students that began streaming into the Haight, as the district was known, during the spring break of 1967. The media’s coverage of hippie life in  Haight-Ashbury drew the attention of youth from all over America.

The activities in the area were reported almost daily. Hippies were the subject of a cover story in Time magazine, and the Haight was overrun by teenage runaways, panhandlers, drug dealers, assorted charlatans, and to the chagrin of the hippies, gawking tourists.

In October 6, 1967, a group of hippie ‘elders’ organized a mock funeral procession through the Haight neighborhood called “The Death of the Hippie.” Participants carried a coffin down Haight Street, and the crowd stopped for a “kneel-in” at the corner of Haight and Ashbury.

The End of the Summer of Love

 

One of the organizers, Mary Kasper, explained the intended message:

“We wanted to signal that this was the end of it, to stay where you are, bring the revolution to where you live and don’t come here because it’s over and done with.”

The real reason for this funeral was to convince the media to stop covering the Haight.  The organizers sought to end the commercialization of the hippie lifestyle and the main stream appropriation of their social experiment.

 

So, what does this have to do with Elvis? I got the inspiration for this post when I saw a drawing of some flower children. I couldn’t help adding one more image.

Summer of Love

I know, Elvis doesn’t really fit in, does he? But he did have a number of things going on during the summer of 1967.

For one thing, he was a newlywed, having married Priscilla on May 1. On June 10, Elvis left Memphis to go to California to begin filming Speedway. But he didn’t fly. Instead, Elvis took a big group by bus on sort-of a family vacation. The group included these buddies and their wives: Joe Esposito, Billy Smith, Jerry Schilling, Gee Gee Gambill, and Marty Lacker. Charlie Hodge came along without a female companion.

Elvis Driving His Bus

Here is Elvis driving the bus. Priscilla, Charlie Hodge, and Joe Esposito are also visible.

Many of the flower children also traveled in buses, but the comparison is stark.

Hippy Bus

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One of the stops for Elvis and the gang was two nights in Flagstaff, Arizona, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon.

Elvis and Priscilla at Grad Canyon, 1967

 

When Elvis finally arrived in Los Angeles, he spent the next week recording the soundtrack for Speedway. On June 21, Vernon Presley, along with wife Dee and her three sons, arrived in Los Angeles. Here is a photo taken at MGM Studios of them with Elvis, plus NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller and costar Nancy Sinatra.

Elvis, Vernon, Dee, her kids. Nelson Rockefeller, and Nancy Sinatra at MGM 1957

 

Filming of Speedway started June 26 and continued through the month of July and half of August.

Elvis and Nancy Sinatra in Speedway

 

In late August, Elvis entered the RCA Studio on Sunset Boulevard to record songs for his next non-soundtrack album.

On August 26, Elvis and Priscilla arrived home at Graceland. Within a few days, they returned to his Circle G Ranch in northern Mississippi, but instead of horseback riding every day, Elvis took up a new hobby – target shooting.

Elvis Shooting Rifle

 

On September 10 and 11, Elvis did some studio recording in Nashville.

On September 29, he returned to Nashville. This time he appeared in front of the Tennessee State Legislature for the proclamation of Elvis Presley Day by Governor Buford Ellington.

Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington Announcing Elvis Presley Day

 

And finally, on October 6, 1967, the day the Summer of Love ended, Elvis and some of the guys holed up in Las Vegas prior to the start of filming of Stay Away Joe in Arizona.

 

One of the familiar symbols of the hippie movement was the Peace Sign.

Peace Sign

 

Here is my last lame attempt to connect Elvis with the Summer of Love.

Elvis Peace Sign

 

Later, man.   Peace and love.

 

 

© 2017 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.