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Remembering Marty Lacker

Marty Lacker and Elvis Presley

On Tuesday, this appeared on Graceland.com/news:

“The staff of Elvis Presley’s Graceland wishes to send its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Marty Lacker, who passed away yesterday.

“A member of Elvis’ inner circle, known in the fan world as the Memphis Mafia, Marty’s friendship with Elvis stood the test of time. Among his contributions to Elvis’ legacy, he served as one of the best men at his wedding to Priscilla Presley and connected Elvis with famed American Sound producer Chips Moman.”

I’m sorry, but Marty Lacker was a special trusted friend to Elvis, and he deserves more than a four-line biography.

Priscilla and Marty Lacker at the Wedding

To be fair, Graceland.com did include a photograph of Elvis, Priscilla, and Marty at the wedding.   The shot above shows Priscilla and Marty at the reception. The first photo in this post is a color shot of the occasion. For some reason, most of the ones circulating around are black-and-white.

They also could have shared a photo of Marty along with Chips Moman at the famous American Sound Studios recording session, like this one:

Marty Lacker and Chips Moman

 

The Memphis Commercial Appeal put it this way:

Memphis Commercial Appeal on Marty Lacker

Two of the other songs were hits and should have been mentioned: “Kentucky Rain” and “Don’t Cry Daddy.” Elvis recorded a staggering total of 35 songs in the two sessions at American Sound.

 

Here’s a picture of Elvis and Marty Lacker on the set of Paradise, Hawaiian Style. Have you ever seen this one before?

Elvis and Marty lacker on set of Paradise, Hawaiian Style

 

Elvis fans deserve to know more details about Marty’s life and death. Here’s a good explanation from website EIN:

“Marty’s passing so easily demonstrates the fragility of life. His death being caused by a simple home accident (he fell over while doing laundry) which caused him to be hospitalized with internal bruising and eventual kidney failure. Marty was such a character that he even apologized for being in hospital and not replying to all his friends emails!

“Marty Lacker was born in Brooklyn, NY but grew up in the South Bronx until he moved to Memphis in 1952. In 1953 he transferred to Humes High School where he became aware of Elvis because they both dressed alike which was unlike most of the kids back then. Carrying his NY influences Marty would also wear bright, loud color clothes with collars up and had semi longer hair than the regular crew-cuts of the time. It was later after Marty’s time in the army, early 1957 that he started going over to Graceland.

“While Elvis was in the army Marty became Production Director for Memphis WHHM Radio, and it was only in 1961 that Elvis persuaded him to join Elvis’ core team full-time.

Unlike many others in the ‘Memphis Mafia’, Marty Lacker managed a separate career (working for radio stations as well as starting his own label Pepper Records in late 1967 before becoming VP and General Manager of Chips Moman’s American Studios in 1969) as well as staying a best friend to Elvis.”

 

Gold and Diamond Ring Elvis Gave to Marty Lacker

As research for this memorial to Marty Lacker, I searched for him in the ElvisBlog archives. I found the ring above in a 2012 article about the Ultimate Elvis Auction held by Heritage Auctioneers. The website printed this recollection from Marty:

“One night in the 70’s, I was upstairs at Graceland with Elvis, and he was going through his jewelry case. He turned around came over to me and said ‘let me see your hand’. I had no idea what he meant so I put my left hand out and he slid this ring on my finger. I thought it was a good looking ring. I looked at it and started to take it off to give back to him and he said, ‘keep it, it is now yours.’ That was a typical move for Elvis… I have worn it on my left hand every day for the last 40 years.”

The ring sold for $5,250, including the auctioneer’s premium.

 

Another gift from Elvis to Marty showed up at the Heritage Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction in 2013: For some reason, the number of clothing items Elvis gave to other Memphis Mafia members like Charlie Hodge, Red West, and Richard Davis was substantially more than what Marty Lacker got. Maybe he wasn’t so interested in fashion.

Elvis Wearing Shirt he later Gave to Marty Lacker Heritage August 2013 $3,000

This photo verified the shirt had been worn by Elvis before he gave it to Marty. It may be a shot you haven’t seen before. The shirt sold for $3,000.

 

Elvis and Priscilla's Marriage Certificate

Believe it or not, Elvis and Priscilla’s marriage certificate actually showed up at the first Auction at Graceland in August 2014. You will note the signatures of Elvis’ two co-best men, Joe Esposito and Marty Lacker. The pre-auction estimate was $40-60,000, but it didn’t even bring the minimum of $15,000. Seems like somebody would have considered it worth that much.

 

Elvis-Autographed-Americas-Ten-Outstanding-Young-Men-Program

Remember when Elvis was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1970 by the Jaycees? Elvis’ entourage at the ceremony included not only Marty but his parents.

Elvis Signed Program for Marty Lacker's Parents

This is Elvis’ inscription and autograph on the Lacker’s program.

 

Elvis Shooting Robert Goulet on TV

Marty Lacker is credited with revealing what happened when Elvis shot up a TV. This is the story published some years ago on 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.”

 

In closing, I would like to share these sentiments from my friend Jeff Schrembs at ElvisCollector.info:

“Along with being a trusted friend, Marty worked with Elvis in several positions including bookkeeper, secretary, and “sounding board”. However, no “title” can fully/adequately define the relationship between Elvis and Marty that endured for three decades.”

 

Older Marty Lacker

 

Good bye, Marty Lacker. We’ll miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.

 

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

 

 

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Elvis’ Oddball Antics on Stage

Elvis Laying Next to Nipper

You have probably seen this photo before, but do you know the story behind it? The dog is a large replica of RCA Records’ Nipper, and he sat on the stage as Elvis preformed in Los Angeles on October 28, 1957. When Elvis got to “Hound Dog” on the set list, he started singing it to Nipper.

Elvis and Nipper

As things reached the finale, Elvis rolled on the stage with Nipper. This caused so much commotion that the next day Dick Williams, entertainment editor for the LA Times Mirror, used this headline on his review: 6000 KIDS CHEER ELVIS’ FRANTIC SEX SHOW. I wrote a blog post back in 2008 about the whole episode. Click here to read more.

 

Wearing Helmet and Goggles on Stage

Elvis usually managed to have some fun time while performing on stage, especially during the 70’s. I have no idea what the story is behind this strange-looking helmet and goggles. If anyone knows, please share it on Comments below. I wonder if the items were tossed up on stage, or did Elvis bring them out himself.

 

Elvis Holding Up Bra

There’s no doubt this bra was thrown up on stage by a fan. You can’t blame Elvis for having some fun with it.

 

Elvis Holding Rubber Chicken

Talking about things being tossed up on stage, here’s an odd one. Why would anyone carry a plastic chicken to an Elvis concert? Is there a message here I’m missing?

 

Elvis on Stage with Duck

This appears to be a live duck. Why??

 

Elvis with Strange Expression on Stage

Let’s see some good shots of Elvis interacting with his audience. His expression here makes you wonder what the little girl said to him, doesn’t it?

 

Elvis - Hey, Look

This look appears to be in response more to something touched, rather than something said.

 

Elvis and Very Chummy Friend

I wonder how many times when Elvis got in this position, and the girl didn’t grab for the scarf.

 

Elvis Peaking Under Curtain

Whoops!

 

Elvis Squatting on Stage

I guess Elvis was trying to get up close and personal with the ladies on the front row.

 

Elvis and Chummy Fan 2

He’s certainly doing that here, but what is the fan doing? Looks like a belt in her hand. Whatever it is, Elvis seems to enjoy her attention.

 

Elvis Sitting on Stage

Another shot of Elvis sitting on stage. In 2013, I did a blog post on Elvis’ stage contortions and moves. There were no sitting shots there, but lots of great kicks and stuff. If you haven’t read that one, click here to check it out

 

Elvis Reading Song Lyrics

Looks like Elvis could have used some reading glasses for this. Hopefully, he isn’t reading the lyrics to the song he is singing.

 

Elvis Climbing off Loading Doc

Yes, I know Elvis is not on stage here, but this picture is so strange, and I have been looking for an excuse to use it for years. Elvis is obviously climbing down a loading dock, but look at the trash. Certainly not a highlight of that evening.

 

Elvis with Four Mics

Here’s two images snapped at the same concert. Elvis has four mics.

Elvis with Mics in His Ears

Now he has two in each ear.

 

Elvis Wearing Big Glasses

I’m sure you’ve seen this one before, but it always gives me a laugh, so here it is again.

 

Elvis with Guitar Pick in Mouth

This one is not so well known. From back in the seats, that guitar pick must look like a big buck tooth. Yes, Elvis always managed to have some fun on stage.

 

 

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

 

 

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Happy 12th Birthday, ElvisBlog

Happy 12th Birthday

Do you know how long internet blogs have been around? At least since late 2004, when I read a newspaper article about this new thing called blogs. It said they were popping up devoted to all sorts of topics, so I thought to myself: I would like to read a blog about Elvis. I wonder if there is one.

So, I Googled Elvis blog, but nothing even close came up in the results. Hmmn. I’m a writer and Elvis fan. I should start one. And I did. On January 31, 2005, ElvisBlog was born. Because it was the first, I created a silly handle for myself: Original ElvisBlogmeister. Nobody has ever challenged this claim, so I guess it’s mine to keep.

 

ElvisBlog - Elvis Jukebox Rankings

This was the first post, all 228 words of it. There were no pictures until two and a half years later when I posted an article on Elvis outfits and wigs.

ElvisBlog - Being Elvis for Halloween

Today, pictures and photos are the main appeal of ElvisBlog, with a bit of text to add interest and sometimes a little humor.

 

Happy Birthday ElvisBlog

Every two or three years I publish a Happy Birthday, ElvisBlog post. The above from the 2007 mentions 108 blog articles so far. Now the total is 730 posts.

ElvisBlog - 730 Posts

 

Also, on the second birthday post, I mentioned that the total hits over the two-year period had reached 80,000. For the year 2016, the total was 301,336, up 4.4% from the previous year.

2016 ElvisBlog Stats

Visitors is a more important number to me. People accessed ElvisBlog almost 168,000 times last year. I am very proud and grateful for this support. Thank you.

 

Elvis Blog on Google Search

Please indulge me with one more brag. Today, the results are much different than in 2004 when you search for Elvis blog. 18 million results? The brag is that for the time being, ElvisBlog is higher in the results than Graceland’s official Elvis Blog. I am sure this position will reverse sometime soon, with their huge mailing list and Graceland Insiders membership. I have praised this blog in several posts and provided links to it. It is quite good, and you should check it out. (but don’t skip this blog to do that).

 

Here’s a list showing the international spread of ElvisBlog readers.

2016 ElvisBlog Stats by Country

Japan used to be in the top 10 ten, but they have dropped off and Brazil has moved in. I have no idea why.

2016 ElvisBlog Stats - - Minor Country

This is the bottom of list (cut off at a minimum of 20 page views). Somebody in Iraq has been checking in to read ElvisBlog. Do you think they run the risk of being beheaded if they are caught reading about Elvis?

And where in the world are Guernsey and Reunion located?

 

There is one last picture I would like to show you. This fall, I will be introducing another book: BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2. Here is the artwork for the cover.

Big E Flying Caddy Jet Sled

Isn’t this outstanding? I am so grateful to Carol Stephens at 2D Creative Designs for her brilliant work creating this picture of Big E’s gold Cadillac jet sled. He and Santa will be flying around in it to defeat another plot by Scrooge to ruin Christmas. After the success of the first book, I was moved to write a sequel. Stay tuned for more news on BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2 as we get closer to the Christmas season.

 

© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
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A Look at More of Elvis’ Wardrobe

Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Jacket

It’s been some time since the last ElvisBlog post on items of Elvis’ wardrobe. Not that much has been offered for sale at auction recently, but by combining those at the last three Auctions at Graceland we get a nice selection.

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Blue Suede Jacket:

Elvis Presley wearing blue suede jacket

The first picture above shows the coat, and the second one is a long shot of Elvis wearing it over his shoulders. It’s too bad there isn’t a close-up picture of Elvis with it on, because it would made an excellent addition to the portfolio of Elvis as a fashion icon. This luxurious blue-suede jacket was custom made for him at a Hollywood shop called Hell Bent for Leather. It features zipper pocket and a front tie through two grommets. It sold for $4,750 including the 25% auction premium.

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Rainfall” Pattern, Button-Down, Dress Shirt:

Elvis Presley “Rainfall” Pattern, Button-Down, Dress Shirt

Elvis gave many items of his personal wardrobe to his hair stylist Homer “Gill” Gilleland, and most of these have now found their way to auction. The website said this about shirts like this with polyester fabric and bold patterns utilizing abstract themes. “They were all the rage from the late 1960s through the mid-1970s as styles moved from psychedelic and bled into disco. The offered garment most likely emanates from the latter end of that period, with its burgeoning collar and cuffs, use of earth tones and kickin’ rainfall pattern.”

Close-up of Elvis Presley Rainfall Pattern Shirt

The website also says, “few have the strongly distinct look of “Elvis” that this shirt does.” Bidders agreed and someone shelled out $5,250 to buy it.

 

Brown-and-White Diamond Pattern Shirt:

Elvis Presley - Brown-and-White Diamond Pattern Button-Down Shirt Gifted to Stamps Member Larry Strickland

We’ll look at several shirts in this post, but this one has an especially interesting. Remember how it was difficult to get Elvis into the recording studio in 1976, so they finally set up a session in the Jungle Room at Graceland. After a day of recording, Charlie Hodge told the assembled musicians and back-up singers that Elvis was redoing his entire wardrobe and wanted the guys to come upstairs and pick what they wanted.

This shirt was one of several items Elvis offered to Larry Strickland, a member of the Stamps gospel group. In his accompanying letter, Larry recalls the “pretty surreal” experience of standing in Elvis’ bedroom closet with him having Elvis hold his own clothes up to Larry as if to see if they were a good fit.

This brown-and-white diamond patterned shirt features a high Napoleonic collar and the elastic bicep band that cinched to create a flounced effect to the sleeve. In the ’70s Elvis had several of the same style custom made in varying patterned fabrics. It sold for $4,000.

 

Blue Munsingwear Pajama Top:

Elvis Presley - Blue Munsingwear Pajama Top

Sometimes, interesting items are included with Elvis’ clothes offered at auction. Elvis gave this pajama top to Sheila Ryan, whom Elvis dated for a while in 1975 after Linda Thompson. Sheila was an October 1973 Playboy cover girl, and was introduced to him by Joe Esposito in Las Vegas.

Elvis Presley and Shiela Ryan on Movie Mirror Cover

After her time with Elvis, Sheila Ryan dated actor James Caan and later married him. So this issue of Movie Mirror was included for some reason. Don’t you like the subtitle: Elvis Wins in Hollywood Love Swap. The pajama top attracted 17 bids and went for $3,125

 

White Factor/Rothschild Pajama Top:

Elvis Presley - White Factor-Rothschild Pajama Top Given to Girlfriend Shelia Ryan

This is another pajama top that Elvis gave to Sheila Ryan. I wonder what happened to the bottoms. They probably stayed in Elvis’ bureau drawers. He would certainly have preferred his ladies to wear just the tops.

This one just doesn’t have the Elvis cool factor of the previous blue one, and it brought only $2,375 at auction.

 

White Button-Down Shirt with Blue Circles Pattern:

elvis Presley -White Button-Down Shirt with Blue Circles Pattern

This white shirt with blue concentric circle pattern was custom designed by Bill Belew, known for creating Elvis’ famous jumpsuits. But he also designed both performance and personal wardrobes for Elvis. This shirt was made in the summer of 1968 after the production of seven or eight outfits for Elvis’ TV Special, the most famous being the black leather outfit.

This shirt has the high Napoleonic collar Elvis favored in his jumpsuits and elastic at the biceps and wrists. Like almost all Elvis clothing that comes up for sale, it is one he gave away. The lucky recipient was uncle Vester Presley. Bidding on it topped out at $3,375.

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Zig-Zag Design Shirt:

Elvis Presley - Button Down Shirt Gifted to Stamps Member Larry Strickland During 1976 Jungle Room Recording Sessions

The auction website states, “Men’s fashion trends of the 1970s included glam rock and disco styles, with Elvis always being at the forefront as this groovy shirt exemplifies.” The black, brown, yellow and white patterned shirt has the high Napoleonic collar that Elvis favored and the flounced puff sleeves with elastic at the bicep like we have seen before. This was the second Elvis shirt in the auction that he gave to Stamps member Larry Strickland.

He never wore it and kept it in storage for years until his wife, Naomi Judd, was selling her stage clothes for charity. Larry decided to include the shirts in the benefit auction. I don’t know what it sold for then, but in 2017, it brought $4,400.

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White Munsingwear Pajamas:

Elvis Presley Owned and Worn Pajamas – Found Among his Personal Effects Left on the Lisa Marie

Now we have a full set of pajamas. Elvis never gave the top away to a girlfriend, but there is a good story to tell, anyway. The pajamas were recovered from the Lisa Marie airplane, along with a number of other personal items, after he passed away in August 1977. The pajamas were offered with a letter from Richard Grob, one of Elvis’ bodyguards from 1967 through 1977, in which he details the circumstances surrounding acquiring the pajamas from the plane:

“This was owned and worn by Elvis Presley. Shortly after August 16, 1977, when Elvis Presley, passed away, Vernon Presley, Elvis father, asked me to go to the airport and check the Lisa Marie, Elvis’ airplane. Vernon asked me to remove any items on the aircraft that maybe were left by Elvis when the plane was last used. I went through everything in the main cabin as well as the cargo areas below, in the aircraft belly. The result of my search produced weapons, clothing, papers and other items. Some of these items I was very familiar with since I was present when Elvis acquired them and I knew he did not wish to take them to Graceland so his father would not know about them. (Editor’s note: what do you think they might have been?) Upon completing my search I informed Vernon of all the items I located, and he told me to keep them. These items have been in my possession.”

“Elvis would wear these pajamas on the aircraft while traveling after a concert. Elvis would be hot and sweaty from the show and would strip out of his jump suit he wore during the show and put the pajamas on to rest. When we were about to land he would change from the pajamas into other clothes to leave the aircraft. Elvis last wore these pajamas on the evening of June 26, 1977 when he left Indianapolis Indiana after doing his last show and was flying back to Memphis.”

Only two bids were received, but the pajamas brought in $4,200.

 

“EP” Monogrammed Dress Shirt:

Elvis Presley EP Monogrammed Dress Shirt

This is another article of clothing that Elvis gave to hairstylist Homer Gilleland. This blow-up shows the EP monogram on the left breast pocket.

Elvis Presley EP Monogrammed Dress Shirt Close Up

This is a rather plain shirt compared to most that we have seen, and the condition is questionable. The shirt has moderate wear and has one button missing from the back of the collar. There is some mild but extensive staining on several areas of the shirt. The collar tag has been removed, leaving a small tear in its place. In spite of this, it still sold for $4,000.

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Blue Dress Shirt from The Trouble with Girls:

Elvis Presley Screen-Worn Blue Dress Shirt from The Trouble with Girls

While the other shirts we looked all sold for $4-5,000, this one topped out at $13,750. The others were shirts Elvis actually owned, not part of a movie wardrobe. You would think his personal shirts would be the most sought after. So, why so much for this one. My guess is because there are numerous screen shots available of him wearing it in the movie.

Elvis Presley and Marlyn Mason in The Trouble with Girls

It seems to me that the value of any Elvis shirt is greatly enhanced by a photograph of him wearing it. None of the other shirts had any collaborating photographs. They were accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated. There’s no way that’s as cool as a sharp color photo.

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Black Shirt, Black Pants and Gold Metal Belt Ensemble:

Elvis Presley Black pants and Shirt, Gold Belt

I really like the description on the auction website: “Elvis owned a lot of clothing during his lifetime, but few outfits scream ELVIS like the offered trio of a jet-black shirt, pants and metallic gold belt.” It came with a number of photographs of him wearing the outfit, but they are long distance snapshots that don’t show Elvis or the clothes off to best advantage.

Elvis Presley Gold Metal Belt

Elvis gave the outfit to Harold Loyd, his first cousin on his mother’s side. Loyd worked as a nightshift gate guard at Graceland until Elvis’ death.

In addition to the letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated, there was also a letter written by Loyd on TCB stationary. Unfortunately, it contained many spelling errors, including short words like about, his, the, and worst of all, shirt. He left out the R, resulting the funniest authenticating document I’ve ever read.

The good news is that the three-piece outfit sold for $37,500

 

Hawaiian-Style Sport Coat:

Elvis Presley Hawaiian-Style Sport Coat

As much as the previous black pants and shirt outfit screamed ELVIS, this sport coat seems to scream NOT-ELVIS. He bought it off the rack in Honolulu in March 1961, when filming Blue Hawaii.

It is yet another item Elvis gave to his hairstylist Homer “Gil” Gilleland. Since it shows almost no wear, Elvis probably realized his mistake buying it when he got back to Memphis, and quickly gave it away. It went for $6,550 at auction, and I wonder what the price might have been if there had been a photo of him wearing it included. If there had been one, it definitely would not have made the portfolio of Elvis as a fashion icon.

 

 

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

 

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Remembering Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore died yesterday at age 80 after a long battle with diabetes.  The media has been filled with stories and pictures about her roles as Laura Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 60s and Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 70s.

Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore in Change of Habit 5

But Elvis fans also remember her as Sister Michelle Gallagher in a movie she made between the TV show runs.  It was Elvis’ last movie, Change of Habit, that premiered in November 1969.

Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore in Change of Habit 6

She did not wear the nun’s habit for most of the movie as she worked as a nurse with Elvis’ character Dr. John Carpenter.

Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore in Change of Habit 4

It wasn’t all work for the two.

Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore in Change of Habit 2

In fact, things got almost chummy, but this was one Elvis movie romance that did not end with him getting the girl at the end.

Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore in Change of Habit 7

Sister Michelle was firm in not straying from her vows.

Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore in Change of Habit

But the chemistry between Elvis and Mary was strong and and kept things interesting.

Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore in Change of Habit 3

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Good bye, Mary Tyler Moore.  We’ll miss you.  Say hi to Elvis for us.

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

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Goodbye Elvis Obama, Hello Elvis Trump

Obama as Elvis on Stage

Elvis Trump 2.jpg

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Obama and Elvis in Whitehouse

Nixon and Elvis Trump

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Obama in Elvis Jumpsuit

Elvis Trump in Las Vegas

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Obama in Blue Hawaii

Elvis Trump Girl Happy

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Obama Elvis Stamp

Trump with Elvis Hair

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Obama as Elvis in Oval Office

Elvis Trump on Stage

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Some flashbacks of other presidents and politicians as Elvis:

Ronald Reagan as Elvis

Bill Clinton in Front of Jailhouse

George Bush 43 as Elvis

George Romney as Elvis

Vladimir Putin as Elvis.jpg

Hillary and Obama in Viva Las Vegas

 

Someone once wrote that Al Gore scored a minus zero on the Elvis Scale.  I wonder what they will say about Donald Trump.

Elvis and Trump Morphed

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

 

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Interesting Items at the 7th Auction at Graceland

January 7, 2017 Auction at Graceland
I started covering auctions of Elvis memorabilia in March 2010. Over the next 4-1/2 years, ElvisBlog had 25 posts covering auctions from Heritage, Julien’s , Sotheby’s, Gotta Have It, and Michaan’s auction houses.

Then in August 2014, EPE sponsored the first Auction at Graceland in Memphis during Elvis Week.

August 14, 2014 Auction At Graceland

Since then, half of the 14 auctions containing sizeable selections of Elvis collectibles have been the Auctions at Graceland. In addition to on-line bidding, the items were on display prior to the in-person bidding in Memphis. These were logical attractions for the folks coming to Elvis Week and the Elvis Birthday celebrations.

In 2016, a third auction was added to add more pizazz to the opening of the new Guest House at Graceland.

October 29, 2016 Auction at Graceland

 

As I have stated before, EPE made a brilliant decision to get involved with auctioning of Elvis memorabilia. They are gobbling up much of the available items, and from what I can tell, they are bringing higher prices for the sellers.

The latest Auction at Graceland closed on January 7 and had 165 items for bid. We’ll probably look at the rings, autographs, and clothing in the future, but here are some other items that caught my eye for one reason or another.

Boxing Gloves Elvis Wore in Kid Galahad:

Elvis - Boxing Gloves used in Kid Gallahad

These boxing gloves were one of the surprise successes of the auction. Although this was just one of several pairs Elvis wore during the filming of Kid Galahad, it attracted 15 bidders. They ran the price way past the minimum bid of $2,500 and topped out at $11,875 (including the 25% auction premium). However, this is another example of something I’ve been reminding folks with an Elvis collectible to sell. Spend some money on a proper display. It will pay off. If it had just been two loose boxing gloves as shown above, the top bid would not have been so high.

Elvis - Display of Boxing Gloves used in Kid Gallahad

However, the top bidder actually got a nice framed 25’ x 25” display that included a shot from the movie and the six-song soundtrack EP, both showing Elvis wearing boxing gloves. The case is 5 inches deep with protective glass over it.

And here’s something you may find interesting. The previous owner said this about the boxing gloves, “I held them and could feel the Elvis vibes.” Good for her.

 

Shirt Signed by 30+ Elvis Presley Co-Stars and Friends:

eBay Shirt Signed by 30+ Elvis Presley Co-Stars and Friends

This is one item that may have fared better on a general entertainment auction than on one for just Elvis collectors. Only four bids came in and the winning one for $750 fell well below the estimate.

There are fourteen autographs on the front. Perhaps you can make out these Elvis co-stars: Anne Helm (Follow That Dream), Stella Stevens (Girls! Girls! Girls!), Cynthia Pepper (Kissin’ Cousins), Deborah Walley (Spinout), Celeste Yarnall (Live a Little, Love a Little), Julie Parrish (Paradise, Hawaiian Style), Diane McBain (Spinout), Joan Blackman (Blue Hawaii, Kid Galahad), and others. Notable co-stars on the back and sleeves include Julie Adams (Tickle Me), Marilyn Mason (Trouble with Girls), and Mary Ann Mobley (Girl Happy, Harum Scarum).

It doesn’t say so on the auction website, but I believe all these signatures were obtained over time at Elvis Weeks when all the special guests sit at tables signing publicity photos, etc. About ten years ago, I saw someone moving down the line with an acoustic guitar getting autographs by many musicians from Elvis’ past. It later sold at auction for well over $750.

 

Colt “Police Positive Special” .32 Caliber Pistol:

Elvis Presley Owned and Used Colt “Police Positive Special” .32 Caliber Pistol

What would an Elvis auction be without one of his guns? As the auction website says, Elvis had a personal arsenal. Here’s one with two interesting stories.

Elvis acquired this Colt .32 caliber pistol in the 1970s at Tiny’s Gun Store in Palm Springs, California. Tiny, the owner of the gun shop, admired one of Elvis’ rings, and Elvis asked him if he wanted to trade for it. Tiny said yes and offered several items for the trade. Elvis decided on this gun and others and made the deal.

However, after using it, Elvis gave it to his bodyguard Dick Grob. His reason for this was that it didn’t have much fire power, very little noise and almost no recoil. Definitely not enough bang to suit Elvis.

But the Colt pistol had enough appeal to bidders to run the $2,000 minimum bid up to $10,625

 

Mike McGregor’s Handcrafted “TCB” Necklace in Elvis Presley Style:

Mike McGregor’s Handcrafted “TCB” Necklace in Elvis Presley Style, Circa 1980

We could also ask, “What would an Elvis auction be without a TCB pendant?” So many of them have changed hands over the last seven years. However, this is not one that Elvis owned and wore. It is not one he gave to friends. In fact, it was made three years after his death.

Mike McGregor was a blacksmith and leather craftsman who met Elvis in the 1960s at the Western shop where Mike worked crafting saddles. Elvis hired Mike to work at the Circle G Ranch taking care of the horses. Mike and his family lived at Circle G and then moved to Graceland, where he continued making leather goods and jewelry for Elvis.

In 1976 McGregor opened his own jewelry shop in Mississippi where he made this silver pendant modelled after the Elvis style. Apparently, this is a close enough connection for the high bidder pay $687.50 for it.

 

Water Pistol from the May 8, 1976 Sahara Tahoe Squirt Gun Fight with Elvis:

Rockin’ Robin’s Squirt Gun from the May 8, 1976 Sahara Tahoe Elvis Presley Squirt Gun Fight

I didn’t think I would ever see a squirt gun at an Elvis auction, let alone bringing in a $625 top bid.

On May 8 1976 at the Sahara Tahoe, Elvis performed for nearly 90 minutes, sang more than 25 songs and was engaged throughout. Then, several fans near the stage began a water fight with squirt guns after he sang “Love Me.” One of them was “Rockin’ Robin” Rosaaen, a fan of some renown at that time.

Label on Squirt Gun from the May 8, 1976 Sahara Tahoe Elvis Presley Squirt Gun Fight

This plastic squirt gun was what she used during the skirmish. Her accompanying letter with the water pistol says, “During the show I gave Elvis this large green machine gun-sized squirt gun, and he then proceeded to shoot his back-up singers, thinking he had the only squirt gun. Later, as he stood center stage, we opened fire! Elvis thought it was too much fun, and the next night talked about it, saying ‘Ladies and gentlemen, you should have been here last night—it was like a gun fight at the OK Corral”

 

Platinum Record Award for Elvis Presley’s Album Aloha from Hawaii:

Platinum Record Award for Elvis Presley’s Album Aloha from Hawaii

Lots of Gold and Platinum Record Awards have shown up at auction. However, these are often the ones awarded to Col. Parker, or RCA, or others. Or they are awards presented by other entities than the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). However, this is the actual official one awarded to Elvis. It’s a surprise that this one is not already part of the huge awards display at Graceland.

Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii Platinum Record Award.

The minimum bid was a ridiculously low $500. Fifty bids later, it topped out at $9,375. That doesn’t mean fifty different people bid on it. Probably two or three collectors battled it out to win the prize. In any event, I have never seen an item of Elvis memorabilia receive fifty bids.

 

23 Private Photos and More:

Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii Platinum Record Award.

This is a treasure trove of mostly never-seen-before photographs from the estate of Trude Forsher. From 1956 until 1961, Forsher served as secretary for Col. Parker and Elvis. Here is a photo of her and Elvis in 1956.

Trude Forsher and Elvis in 1956

As you can see, Graceland Auctions now puts a watermark over the photos posted on the auction website. It took them a while to figure that out. There is no mention of why Elvis is is that unusual position.

Trude Forsher Archive Showing Elvis at Rehersal

Here’s a photo taken at a Los Angeles recording session in 1957. Cousin Gene Smith, the Jordanaires, and Bill Black join Elvis.

This collection had a total of 42 bids and finally went for $6,250. Seems like a very good deal for all these photos and other stuff

 

1950s Original 35mm Negatives of Elvis Presley Jam Session with Scotty Moore

35mm Negatives of Elvis Presley Jam Session with Scotty Moore

For the same price of $6,250, someone bought a set of just six Elvis pictures (not shown – a near duplicate and one shot that doesn’t include Elvis). According to the auction website, the pictures were taken at a rehearsal in 1955. They do not say this was at Sun Studios, but the folks who placed 35 bids must have thought so. Why else would the winner have paid such a high price?

 

Union 76 Gold Cards:

Elvis Union 76 Gas Gold Card

Elvis credit cards show up from time to time. This one went for $3,375. Wow.

 

1966 Tennessee License Plate:

Elvis Presley’s 1966 Tennessee License Plate

This license plate went for $3,500, thanks in part to the nice display. However, the auction website said the plate was originally on Elvis’ 1967 Lincoln Continental. I don’t think that is the car in the picture.

The plate was originally owned by EPE, but they put it up for auction back in 1999 Graceland Archives Auction in Las Vegas. They sold a whole bunch of stuff then. I wonder if they wish they had it back now that they are about to open the new “Elvis: The Entertainer” museum at Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

 

March 4 2017 Auction at Graceland

Speaking of Elvis Presley’s Memphis, the new, state-of-the-art entertainment complex, which will have its grand opening on March 2-5. Yes, there will be another Auction at Graceland as part of the festivities. I’ll bet they will have no trouble finding another 165 or so new memorabilia items to bid on.
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© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis the Football Fan

Elvis and Football

Happy Birthday, Elvis

happy-birthday-blingee

Most years when holidays come up, I search in Google for Photoshopped pictures that incorporate Elvis and the holiday.   There a few talented folks out there who have made dozens of these Elvis images and usually mark them with their name along the bottom.

One of the most prevalent names I came across was Blingee.  For years, I mistakenly thought Blingee was somebody’s handle or pseudomym, but I wondered why the style of the images varied so greatly.  Some were fairly simple, but others were loaded up with glitter, sparks, and stuff that flashed or spun around.  Here is an example that I found last week while looking for Happy New Years Elvis images.

best-wishes-blingee

Let’s see, we have an Elvis photo in front of a clock.  There is a big champagne glass on one side and two smaller ones on the other.  Happy New Year is expressed in text three different ways.  There are those four blinking pink things in the corners and gold confetti hanging down from the top.  Notice the two calendar pages on the right and the blinking musical notes under them.  Look at Elvis’ hair for a few seconds and you will see little blinking stars.  Look at his chin and wait for the pink heart that flashes on and off.

So, I wondered how this Blingee person could do much good work but still make the occasional cluttered mess.  Then, last week I discovered that Blingee is actually an internet website that gives you everything you need to make your own images.  The Happy Birthday, Elvis image above was my first attempt on Blingee.  The cake spins around and the word ELVIS flashed like a neon sign.  Other than that, it’s pretty restrained.

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black-guitar-happy-birthday

To make an Elvis Blingee, you start with your own picture or one from their library (which are called Stamps).  Then you add other Stamps to complete your design.  Believe it or not, there are 15 stamps in the above birthday greeting.  By my count, there are at least ten that blink or move.  Here are a few of these stamps.  The checkerboard backgrounds disappear when you apply them to your design.

bouncing-ballons elvis-script

black-guitar

fireworks

Sorry these are so small.  You can enlarge the sizes after you’ve added them to your Elvis picture.  Of course, you can move them around to any location you want.

Blingee also makes it easy for you to send your completed design as an email or ecard, or to post it on Facebook, etc.

If you’d like to try your hand at creating an original Elvis image, click here to go to Blingee.com.  You can jump right in and figure it out as you go like I did.  But it will save you some time if you click on Need Help? and watch the two how-to videos.

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2979-elvis-stamps

This is pretty incredible.  Blingee has almost 3,000 images of Elvis.  I can’t wait to go through all of them.

search-elvis-stamps

In spite of the abundance of Elvis images available on Blingee, I used a rare photo from my files for my first attempt.  It was taken in 1957 when Elvis sailed on the USS Matsonia to Hawaii.  I’m going to dig into my files and find another cool Elvis picture to use in a another Happy Birthday greeting.

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Happy Birthday Elvis

Yeah, it’s another simple one.  I don’t see the need to clutter it up.  The photo may be one you haven’t seen before, but the message is shared by all Elvis fans.

So, Happy Birthday, Elvis.  We miss you.

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© 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.

 

Musings on Elvis–Happy New Years Images

Elvis Characacture Happy New year

When New Year’s Eve gets close, I search for Elvis Happy New Years in Google to see if any new images have been posted since I checked the previous year. This weird one is new and I kind of like it.

 

Elvis - Happy New Year

This is one I posted years ago without accreditation. Today, I thought I’d search for it on Google Images to see where I had found it. The picture came up right away. When I clicked on “Visit Page,” guess what came up? ElvisBlog. So, sorry, but I can’t praise its creator.

 

Elvis and Exploding Champagne Cork

Did you notice the champagne glasses in the previous picture? Champagne is synonymous with New Years, so it shows up in a lot of the Elvis-New Years images. I especially like this one with the cork exploding out of the bottle.

 

Elvis saying Cheers

Although this image contains no text about New Years, it is still found in the Google Images category with the ones shown above. Elvis looks especially cool holding up that glass. Probably making a toast to the folks in the audience at a Vegas concert. Everybody said, “I’ll drink to that,” and created a great memory.

 

Elvis and Bill Black - Happy New Year

How’s this for maximum simplicity? I’m glad Bill Black is in it. He was a party guy, for sure.

 

Elvis - Happy New Year in Blue

This one goes in the other extreme. I like Elvis in the early fringed jumpsuit. The cityscape with fireworks exploding above it is very nice. But, I think the clock is overkill. The picture would look better without it.

 

Elvis - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

This is an image you could post earlier than the others because it includes an ornament-loaded Christmas tree. It would work for over a week.

 

Elvis and crowd - Happy new Year

Staying with young Elvis, this uses a shot of Elvis from behind entertaining a bunch of teens. A bolder font would show the text better.

 

Elvis - Happy Near Year and Welcome 2014

I normally don’t post a greeting from a previous year, and it bugs me you almost can’t read the text at the top of this one. – Happy New Year and Welcome 2014. But it is good for pointing out the Blingee name at the bottom. I’ve seen the name on dozens of Elvis composite pictures, and you probably have, too. This is a still snap of the original which blinks repeatedly. Next week, we’ll look at what I learned about Elvis and Blingee while working on this post.

 

Elvis Arms raised - Happy New Year

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I second the motion. Have a great 2017, everyone.

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Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

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© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

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