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Caption Contest # 29

Elvis and Anita Wood at Fort Hood, Texas 1958

This is a photo I recently discovered on Pinterest. The tag under it said it was snapped at Ft. Hood, Texas in 1958. I love this picture for two reasons. One is that adorable little girl, completely unaware of the stirred passions going on right next to her. But, more important, this the best shot of Elvis and Anita Wood I’ve ever seen.

So good, in fact, that it prompted me to do another Elvis Caption Contest. It’s been many years since the last one.

 

Elvis and Anita Wood Close-up for Caption Contest

OK, I cropped it to this close-up and added thought clouds. Here is your chance to be creative and come up with what Anita and Elvis are thinking right then. Have fun with it and put some good ideas into Comments. Next week I’ll post the best ones (that I can repeat on ElvisBlog without getting into trouble).

 

 

LipLogo_thumbnail - Copy

 

 

 

More Anecdotes about Elvis’ Humor and Love of Fooling Around

Elvis and Vera Tschechowa in Munich in april 4 1959.

Two years ago I shared a few excerpts from the book Elvis’ Humor by Bo Keeley. Bo had a unique concept to prevail in a crowded market with a successful book about Elvis. He went out and bought 43 other books on Elvis, and searched through them to find 290 anecdotes about his humor and love of fooling around and pulling stunts on others. Bo has been kind enough to let me share with you more of these great little insights into Elvis.

Elvis Humor

Elvis’ Humor is organized into many categories like the three in the subtitle: Girls, Guns, and Guitars. Previously we looked at a few from the Graceland and Movies chapters. Now, we will look at selections from the chapters Games, Parties, Pranks, and Paybacks. Bo Keeley precedes each story with a little background and follows with the original source information. Some are edited here for brevity.

 

Pippin

Fourteen-year old Jerry Schilling had known Elvis through a string of Sunday football contests at a Memphis playground when, in 1956, the newly successful singer invited Jerry to the amusement park. Sometimes Elvis rented Libertyland for his entire entourage from closing to the next morning, with instructions that all the rides, games, cotton candy, and hot dog stands were to be open all night.

Elvis favorite - Pippin Ride

The first time I {Jerry Schilling} went to the fairgrounds, I found myself lined up with the group to take a ride on the Pippin, which even in the fifties seemed old and rickety enough to add a little actual terror to every ride. Elvis got in the first car, and Anita Wood snuggled up close to him. Patsy Presley, Gene and Billy Smith, and a few of the others got in a car behind them. Those of us new to the Fairground experience stood on the platform as the ride began and the cars started up their slow climbs.

We could hear the continual yells of fear and excitement. But when the car finally came back around to the starting platform, we saw a heart-stopping sight: Anita Wood sat in the first car alone.

Elvis had been thrown from the Pippin. Some of the girls screamed. The rest of us stood frozen in shock. And then, just before the horror of what happened really grabbed a hold of us, we heard a tremendous laugh coming up the stairs behind us. We turned to see Elvis, grinning like a happy, misbehaving little kid. It was a trick I saw him pull almost every time he brought new people to the Fairgrounds – he’d figured out a spot at the top of the first hill where he could jump out just before the ride took off at top speed. Then he’d scale down and sneak around back. And every time, he got a tremendous kick out of the looks of panic on everybody else faces.

Jerry Schilling: p.54 – Me and a Guy Named Elvis

 

Wanda’s Duel

Wanda June Hill met Elvis Presley at the MGM offices in 1963, and struck up a cordial relationship peppered with practical jokes. On one occasion, Elvis and his boys were playing around the offices, running in and out, shouting and shooting each other with water pistols. Elvis came running into her office, giggling, and hid behind a desk, gun ready, to blast anyone coming through. Two minutes later, when no one did…

Wanda Hill and Elvis

Wanda Hill and Elvis

He took aim and fired a blast in my face. I stared at him, shocked, and then without thinking who he was, I picked up a paper cup with melting ice from a Coke and tossed it in his direction. It got him right in the chest and splattered up his face. The look on his face would have been worth millions on film.

He was stunned and speechless. For a few seconds I thought surely he would kill me, as his expression changed from shock to surprise, then anger. Then he slowly relaxed and his handsome face began to smile. He tossed back his head and laughed. Then, brushing off the ice and slowly raising his water pistol, feet spread apart, and with the meanest and most deadly look I’ve ever seen, he drew aim at my heart and fired his water pistol.

Well, it was nearly empty, and the stream sort of dribbled at me. That was too much; we fell all over the office laughing. Elvis went off to refill and I went back to work, wet, but totally sure Elvis was something else – just what I hadn’t decided yet.

Wanda Hill: p.3 – We Remember Elvis

 

New Year’s Eve

Anyone who knows anything about Elvis knows he loved fireworks. He would send one of his Memphis Mafia across the state line into Arkansas to buy a carload of fireworks for special holiday events, the most spectacular of which was New Year’s Eve. Elvis would burst out. “It’s time to play war.”

Elvis with Roman candle

New Year’s Eve he decided to stage another, slightly quieter but possibly more dangerous war. He and eleven friends pulled on heavy gloves and jackets and football helmets and went into the yard, where they chose up sides, and Elvis distributed over a thousand dollars’ worth of Roman candles, firecrackers, and cherry bombs.

No one was hurt, but when the play ended, the air stank with the smell of scorched wool and cotton and melting polyester, and everyone’s clothes were gaping with blackened holes.

Jerry Hopkins: p.66 – Elvis – The Final Years

 

All Dance, No Show

In June 1959, with 15 days leave to enjoy, Elvis and his Army friends Lamar Fike, Charlie Hodge, and Rex Mansfield travelled to Munich and Paris. Two days in Munich were followed by over a week of karate and partying in Paris where, on several occasions, Elvis would invite the whole chorus line of girls from the Moulin Rouge Club back to his top floor suite of the Prince de Galles Hotel with a panoramic view of the Arc de Triomphe

Elvis at Lido club Paris

One memorable night the entire chorus returned to the suite with them, and everyone was still asleep the next evening at 9:30 when the phone rang. It was the manager of the Lido, who announced to Lamar that he would like to begin the first show. Lamar told him to go right ahead and hung up without thinking any more about it. A moment later the phone rang again, and the same message was repeated. “Lamar got angry,” observed an amused Rex, and this time… told the Lido manager… to quit bothering us. The manager told Lamar that he could not start his show, because we had his entire chorus line in our hotel suite.

Peter Guralnick: p.34 – Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley

 

Upstaged

In 1971, in the middle of Tom Jones’ show at the Stardust in Las Vegas, Elvis Presley got up and walked out. The usual arrangement to view a performance like this was for the maître d’ to sit Elvis and the group after the lights went down, and to escort them to the backstage dressing room before the end of the show to avoid being a distraction.

But Elvis was in the habit of drinking lots of Mountain Valley Spring Water, and in the middle of Jones’ show, he had to go to the bathroom. Jerry Schilling, one of the athletic Memphis Mafia, got up to go with him. Presley carried a cane then, both for the look and its potential as an emergency weapon. However, his best defensive move on the bathroom run was speed – Elvis had learned to do a fast power-walk through the lobbies and casinos and showrooms to avoid being stopped, and Jerry could hardly keep up with him…

Elvis with Girl and Mountain Valley Spring Water

On our way back from the bathroom, we were walking even faster than we had before. We passed a little lounge where a cover band was playing. Their lead singer was a big burley guy who happened to be in the middle of singing an Elvis tune. The big guy wasn’t bad, but he was overdoing the Elvis vibrato just a bit. Without breaking stride, Elvis said, “Jerry, wait here,” and stormed into the lounge.

Elvis with Cane

He walked right up to the stage, hoisted his cane like he was going to clobber this guy and said, “If you’re gonna do it, do it right.” He gave the crowd in the lounge a great big wink, hopped off the stage, and zoomed right out of there. But the big singer didn’t see the wink – he’d been so startled that he’d fallen over on the stage.

We were cracking up about it all the way back to our table. But no sooner did I get settled in to see the rest of Tom’s show than Elvis leaned over to tell me, “Jerry, go back and invite that guy and his band to come up to the suite after the show.”

Jerry Schilling: p.230 – Me and a Guy Named Elvis

 

First Jewelry Buy

A curious addition to the Memphis Mafia in 1967 was George C. Nichopoulas, also known as ‘Dr. Nick, who became Elvis’ personal physician.

Lowell Hayes and Elvis

On Christmas Eve 1970, Dr. Nick called me (Lowell Hayes, the jeweler) and said, “Elvis is gonna be at the Memphian Theater. And we’re having a movie. He’d like to see some jewelry.” I said, “Great. I’ll be there.”

About midnight I took a case of jewelry to the Memphian and they ushered me in and sat me down right behind Elvis. They told him, “Lowell Hayes is here.” Elvis turned around and acknowledged me and got up and motioned for me to follow him. We went into the men’s room, opened one of the doors to a toilet stall, and he sat down on the toilet and said, “Let’s have the case.”

I set it down on his lap, and Elvis did all his Christmas shopping sitting on the toilet in the Memphian Theater. He made quite a nice purchase and we became fast friends. As far as I know, if I was anywhere near, for the rest of his life, he bought everything from me. From that day on I made the TCB necklaces, rings, and all of Elvis’ jewelry.

Rose Clayton: p.252 – Elvis Up Close

 

Blanks and Blood

The compassion in Elvis Presley is brought out in stunts pulled on him. In 1956, one of his enduring traits on screen was a refreshing naivety. When something nice happened, he smiled. When something he didn’t like happened, he turned it around. When something new was thrown in his face, he got confused. Elvis the actor couldn’t hide it.

Elvis Shooting Gun in Love Me Tender

Sometimes the joke was on Elvis. In Love Me tender, Elvis’ character, Clint Reno, has to shoot his brother Vance, played by Richard Egan. Director Robert Webb explained the scene and briefed Elvis on how he wanted it done. Certain that the gun contained blanks, Elvis fired. He hit Egan in the shoulder.

Egan grabbed at the spot where the bullet ripped through his shirt. Blood gushed out of the wound and all over Egan’s clothes. Elvis ran to him in a state of panic, convinced he had shot Egan for real. As Egan dropped to his knees, Elvis began to cry. The script called for Egan to lay on the ground in pain; instead, he started to laugh. Everyone else on the set started to laugh as well.

Richard Egan Laughing

Elvis was confused and he turned to Webb for an answer. He soon realized he’d been ‘had’ using one of Hollywood’s oldest tricks. Electric wire fired powder onto the victim and a pack of thick, red fluid, resembling blood, burst open onto the actor. Hurt that anyone had laughed at his naiveté Elvis was further mortified that they now realized he knew nothing about prop techniques used in the movies.

The scene and the blood pack were ruined, so Webb ordered a ten-minute break so the crew could set up for a retake. He turned to Elvis and said that the performance had given him the best laugh of his life.

Jim Curtin: p.96 – Elvis, Unknown Stories Behind the Legend

 

Stood Up

Priscilla had married Elvis in 1967, when she was 21. (When) the marriage soured in the early 70s she confesses that she sought his attention with what he seemed to love most — practical jokes…

Priscilla in front of Stage with Elvis

One night, after he’d left early for a show, I put on a black dress with an exceptionally low-cut back. When it came time for Elvis to give away kisses to girls in the audience – a regular part of the show – I went up to the stage. Instead of kissing me he kept on singing his song, leaving me to stand there.

With my hair hiding the dress strap around my neck I appeared to be nude from the waist up. I could hear the ‘ooh’s’ and ‘ahhhh’s’ of the audience. They were under the impression that a topless girl had cornered Elvis and he couldn’t figure out what to do.

Elvis Kissing Priscilla at Concert

I kept whispering to him, “Kiss me, kiss me, so I can sit down,” but he decided to turn the joke on me, and made me wait in the spotlight for the duration of the song. Planting a big kiss on my lips, he surprisingly introduced me to the audience. I felt a bit embarrassed and made my way back to my seat.

Priscilla Presley: p.281 – Elvis and Me

 

Lone Ranger

In early January 1976, Elvis decided to fly a large entourage to Colorado for a vacation. After checking into a Denver hotel, he dispatched Joe Esposito to Vail to find rental accomodations for the group. On January 7, he spends the evening of his 41st birthday in a rental chalet on the slopes. Elvis wears a full-face ski mask during the day to avoid recognition, and mostly appears on the slopes at night in a rented snowmobile. One evening, after a skiing accident, Dr. Nicopoulas’ son, Dean, needed medical attention, Elvis, Dr. Nick, and Dean raced to the local hospital…

Lamar Fike, Priscilla and Elvis

Lamar Fike, Priscilla and Elvis

Finally we arrived at the hospital. I pulled out my Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance card with Elvis Presley Enterprises printed on it, and handed it to the busy receptionist. She must have thought she was being cute, ’cause she smirked back, “Yeah. So where’s Elvis?”

Still wearing his ski mask, Elvis looked all around, left and right, up and down, then answered mischievously, “He’s here… somewhere.”

“And who are you?” the receptionist shot back.

“The Lone Ranger,” Elvis replied matter-of-factly.

But she had already returned to her paperwork, paying no attention to the silly masked man.

George Nichopoulos: p.101 – The King and Dr. Nick

 

 

My thanks to Bo Keeley for agreeing to let me use excerpts from his delightful book in this post. If you are interested in getting a copy of Elvis’ Humor – Girls, Guns & Guitars, click here.

 

 

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

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

 

 

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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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’ 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.

 

50th Anniversary Movie Pictorial – Stay Away, Joe

Stay Away Joe Poster

The Graceland Blog has already marked the upcoming 50th anniversary of the March 8, 1968 release of Stay Away, Joe. It’s a well done article and I recommend you read it. But you’ll find there is no duplication when you read this ElvisBlog post also marking the anniversary..

My take on this movie differs from theirs. In fact, I wrote an ElvisBlog article back in 2005 where I proclaimed it “Elvis’ Worst Movie.” However, I have since been swayed a bit by other reviews I have read and comments that have come in to the blog. For example, last year, reader Paul K noted:

“Every frame of that movie has the ‘lust for life’ in it.” Elvis himself said, “It was the most fun I ever had working on a movie.”

Blog commenter Jim said in 2013:

I really like Stay Away Joe. I understand that this film must be utter rubbish for anyone who isn’t an Elvis fan. However, as an Elvis fan, it’s nice to see Elvis enjoying himself in a movie

I think this screen grab catches the essence of what Paul and Jim said.

Stay Away joe - Elvis Partying in the car

And as Alan Hanson pointed out on his Elvis-History Blog, the trade paper The Film Daily said this in its original review:

“It doesn’t matter that credibility is stretched. What matters is that the picture evokes a mood of mirth and happy frenzy that is catching.”

So, when I decided to watch the movie again as prep work for this post, I just let the fun, mirth, and happy frenzy cover the movie’s many faults. And I discovered a number of suggestions for you readers to enjoy Stay Away, Joe more if comes on cable again and you watch it.

 

Count the fights:

 

Stay Awat Joe - Fight at 17 Minutes

There is a fight scene in almost every Elvis movie, but Stay Away, Joe has them from end to end. The picture above marks the first one 17 minutes in.

 

Stay Away Joe - Fight at 18 Minutes

Not all of the fights take place on dry land. This one started and ended in a little pond where the cattle watered.

 

Stay Away Joe - Clowning around with the girls in the river

Another fight in the water, this time with girls involved. It should be noted that all the fights were total slap-stick. Nobody seems to get hurt.

 

Stay Away Joe - Fight with girls at 26 minutes

Another fight with girls involved. It was inside the house.

 

Stay Away Joe - Fight in Truck

Fight in a truck.

 

Stay Away Joe - Fight on Car

Fight on top of a car.

 

Stay Away joe - Final fight that Brought Down the House

The final fight was inside the house and brought the whole thing down.

 

Note The Memphis Mafia guys in the cast:

 

Joe Esposito in Stay Away Joe

Joe Esposito has bit parts in a lot of Elvis movies. Here he plays a guy repossessing Elvis’ car, and he has one line of dialog.

 

Stay Away Joe - Charlie Hodge as Guitar Player in Band

Charlie Hodge is a guitar player in the band during an incredibly long party held at the house. As the bedlam goes on, they just keep playing, so Charlie is in a lot of scenes.

 

Stay away Joe - Sonny West and Elvis

Sonny West has a substantial part in this movie. He is in every fight scene, every party scene, and other times as well. He has several speaking lines. His character’s name is Jackson He-Crow. (I suppose I should mention that Elvis also plays an American Indian, Joe Lightcloud.)

 

Jackson He-Crow and Billie Jo Hump

Here is Sonny West with one of the hot Indian girls in the film. Her name is Billie Jo Hump. I wonder if they were messing with us when they picked that name for her. Elvis reacted to her by saying, “She can chew on my moccasins any time she wants.”

 

Watch for the dogs:

 

Dogs in Stay Away Joe

Two or more of these dogs are in dozens of scenes. They sleep in an open convertible with Elvis during a rainstorm. But usually they are just hanging around in the background during all kind of shots. They are amazingly unflustered as fighting is going on just a few feet from them.

 

Look for the really stupid stuff:

 

Stay Away Joe - Elvis Herding Cattle with a Cadillac

Elvis herding cattle with a Cadillac (until he drives it into a river).

 

Staw Away, Jot - Charlie in Bathtub of Beer

Elvis’ father in a bathtub with cans of beer.

 

Stay Away Joe - E;vis Coming out from under the Porch

Elvis climbing out from under the porch after drinking too many beers to count. (Note the dog on the left.)

 

Stay Away Joe - Elvis' Mom Taking Outdor Bath During a Party

One of the guys getting a good look at Elvis’ mom taking a bath.

 

Stay Away Joe - Party at Callahan's

Another party scene.

 

Stay away Joe - Elvis' Car Missing Doors, Seats, and Hood

Elvis driving a car with no top, hood, doors, or seats. He is sitting on a wooden chair.

 

Stay away Joe - Elvis in Shotgun Wedding

The shotgun wedding (almost)

 

Count the number of girls he kisses:

I usually end these movie pictorials with a shot of Elvis kissing the leading lady he ends up with at the conclusion of the film. But there is no love story aspect in Stay Away, Joe, so Elvis spreads the kissing joy around to a bunch of girls.

Stay Away Joe - Elvis Kiss # 1

 

Stay Away Joe - Elvis Kiss # 2

This is Billie Jo Hump.

 

Stay away Joe - Kiss # 3

This is his sister, but the kiss lingered longer than a little peck.

 

Stay Away Joe - Elvis Kiss # 4

How do you like the vertical legs and boots in this shot?

 

Stay Away Joe - Elvis Kiss #5

Elvis wears that denim jacket in every kissing scene.

 

You’ll notice I never discussed the plot in this movie. Not really necessary, because it’s so thin as to be almost non-existent. But don’t let that stop you from watching Stay Away, Joe. Just remember to enjoy the fun Elvis is having, the happy frenzy, and all the stupid stuff.

 

 

© 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.

.

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

FREE BOOKS

Message from the Blogmeister:

All the available free books have been spoken for.  There were only eight available, so they will go to the first eight people who responded.   I will notify everyone who came in later by email.  Please don’t send in any more requests.

Phil Arnold

 

Second Message from the Blogmeister:

To the folks from Australia, Canada, Brazil, and France who requested a free copy , I am sorry.  I can handle covering the postage to US destinations, but international postal rates are stupid high.

Phil Arnold

 

I cleaned out my office the other day and found four copies of BIG E and the SANTA MAN that can no longer be sold. They have the old front and back cover images that have been replaced on the latest printing with improved artwork. Small revisions have also been incorporated into the text since the first printing.

So, if you would like a free copy of my book, send an email to: philarnold@charter.net.   Include your mailing address and I’ll send you one.

Big E and the Santa Man Final Cover

These books with the old cover also have two changes I have done to make the book more kid friendly. Remember how I said my vision for BIG E and the SANTA MAN was to see it made into an animated Christmas TV special? With that in mind, I had to clean it up a bit. I had to get rid of Santa telling Big E that Mama Claus sometimes gets frisky. Even worse was Big E giving Scrooge the finger. It was perfect for that scene, but sadly, it had to go.

The other thing I felt needed changing in these books with the old cover is the name of one elf in the rock band, the ELVI’s. As I revealed in my promotional posts last year, the elf band is modelled after the Beatles. Mac was Paul McCartney, Jonel was John Lennon, G.H. was George Harrison, and Ringo was Shooter. Not many folks matched up Ringo Starr with Shooter (shooting star), so his name has been changed to Sunny. Star – Sun, get it? Not great, but better.

 

G.H. the Elf as George Harrison

Even though I paired the ELVI’s up with the correct instruments (like G.H. with the bass guitar above), and gave them the same attributes (Mac was the cute ELVI, etc), not many folks figured out my coded references. And almost no one figured out that the songs each one wrote had a title based on a Beatle hit (for example, Jonel’s song was “I am the Egg Man,” a take-off on “I am the Walrus”). So, now the new version has the songs replaced with Christmas-theme titles.

As you can tell, these minor changes in the text do not appreciably distract from the fun of reading the story. So, let me know if you want a free copy.

I ask just one thing in return. After you read the book, would you please go to Amazon and post a review of the book. There are currently eleven 5-star ratings counting one each on Amazon in England and France.

How about that – a super wee book that brings balm to the heart. Love it.

You can never have too many 5-star reviews. And, I’m pretty confident every new reader will love the story, too, so please do an Amazon review if you get one of these copies.

When I ordered my first proof copy with the new cover, I somehow did it with the old text, so it had the stuff mentioned above that was supposed to be corrected. Stupid. That one is available for free, too.

 

There are also three advance-reader copies of BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2 available.

Cover BIG E and the SANTA MAN - Part 2

These copies will give you an idea what writers go through in the editing process. Two copies have extensive hand markings pointing out little problems in the manuscript. One proof-copy never got sent out to one of my writers buddies, so it has all the mistakes but they are unmarked. These copies should distract little from the enjoyment of the story. Of course, the typos, etc. have been fixed in the final edit that went on sale.

So, if you purchased the Part 1 and would like to see how the team of Elvis and Santa handle a new challenge to ruin Christmas, get a free copy of Part 2. And remember to do an Amazon review, please.

Thank you,

Phil Arnold

philarnold@charter.net