Category Archives: Main Page

Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlog Articles

Vegas Meowvis Pawsley-T-shirt

Do you remember the t-shirt I panned because the cat Elvis looked like he had a broken neck? Well, it turns out you get something good if you crop the picture just right.

Incredible Cat Elvis

How difficult is the challenge to draw recognizable elements of both a cat and Elvis in one picture? To me, the artist totally pulled it off. Over the years, I have posted concert pictures showing the intensity of Elvis’ eyes while performing. These eyes here are more subtle, but they are good, half-looking over the iconic Elvis shades. Please note the lip snarl on the cat. I don’t know why anyone would want to create a Cat Elvis, but I am impressed by the results.

 

Memphis Grizzlie Blocking Elvis Taking a Basketball Shot

Just last week, I posted this picture of a Memphis Grizzlie blocking an Elvis’ shot. That bear would have a lot tougher time against this Elvis.

Dunking Elvises

Notice the angled trampoline and the double landing pads. I guess these guys do flips before dunking the basketball. Anybody know who they are?

 

2012 ElvisBlog post about Jailhouse Rock Image

It’s been seven years since I did this post showing a lot of variations folks had created from the most favored pose on the right.

Elvis and Rock & Roll

This is pretty cool. It connects Elvis with early Rock ‘n Roll. You’ve got the 50s diner floor tile and the old album on the wall. Well done.

 

Chubby Checker

Do you remember the post about Chubby Checker performing on the Graceland Soundstage on June 22? Well, check out what that has morphed to:

Fabulous 50s Weekend at Graceland

Fabulous 50s Weekend sounds great to somebody like me who actually lived through the 50s. My four years of high school ran from 1956 to 1960, so I was a teenager during those most wonderful years of early rock and roll. I would love to go to this weekend if I could.

Here is more detail on all the good stuff they’ve planned for the Fabulous 50s Weekend:

Fabulous 50's Weekend Events at Graceland.

Note where I’ve marked the Graceland Exhibition Center. Last week I was searching for this venue, and now it shows up here. Those are three good-sounding exhibits.

I told you I’ve been  searching for it on Graceland.com/news since February, and still no pictures of the Graceland Exhibition Center have showed up. Can’t be long now.

 

One more thought on the Fabulous 50s Weekend. Chubby Checker was not a 50s rocker. His song “The Twist” entered the Billboard Top 40 in August 1960. One month later I started college at Penn State. We did an incredible amount of twisting my freshman year. “The Twist” reached #1 and stayed on the charts for 15 weeks.

However, “The Twist” had a second life. According to Billboard:

“’The Twist’ was the only single to be No. 1 twice on the Hot 100, in two different chart runs. After topping the chart in 1960, the dance caught on with the older generation. Checker was invited to perform “The Twist” on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Oct. 22, 1961, prompting a re-release of the single and a full-page ad in Billboard that proclaimed, “‘The Twist’ dance rage explodes into the adult world!” The grown-ups bought enough copies to send the song back to No. 1 in early 1962.”

But, who cares if Chubby Checker is really a 60s rocker. He’s going to put on a great show at Graceland.

 

Mount Rockmore

The first Eye Candy post featured this design called Mt. Rockmore. From left to right, we have Elvis, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Jimi Hendrix.

Tiki Gods of Rock

Some fool tried to do a different version on Tiki poles. And they did a horrible job on Elvis. Makes him look like a criminal.

Mount Hollywood by Renato Casaro

Elvis looks way better on this, called Mt. Hollywood. Actually, they all look pretty good.

 

Alternate Kid Galahad (Pugno Proibito) posters from Italy

Two weeks ago, I noted how this Italian poster for Kid Galahad made it seem like Charles Bronson, not Elvis, was the star of the movie. I said he must have been really popular in Italy in 1962 for them to manipulate things like they did on this poster.

Then I heard from regular reader cc rider who said, “The Italian poster is a release made in the 70s. Bronson was very famous in Italy after he made Sergio Leone‘s “Once Upon a Time in the West”, in 68.”

So, it seems they re-released Kid Galahad in Italy in the 70s to capitalize on his fame.

Kid Galahad Italian Poster Forbidden Fist

This is also an Italian poster for Kid Galahad, but it must be from 1962 because Elvis is clearly the lead character, and Charles Bronson has fifth billing. The movie’s title translates to Forbidden Fist.

Kid Galahad Spanish Poster - Floor of Canvas

Charles Bronson must have been hot in Spain, too, in the 70s. He still gets fifth billing, but his two pictures are much more the focus than the two of Elvis. The title translates to Floor of Canvas, which refers to a boxing ring, but that seems like a stupid title to me.

 

A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.

I posted this shot of a mob of Elvis fans two weeks ago. Regular reader Sandra Van Horne advised that the photo was on Scotty Moore’s website with this caption: “Stage Door Glimpse of Elvis Starts Riot – Aug. 3, 1956 Miami.” Sandra also sent the text of a Miami Daily News article that read:

“After the first Olympia Theater appearance of the shouting shake-dancer, known to teenagers as “The Pelvis,” a crowd estimated at 2,000 became hysterical, tried to break a police line in rush for the SE 2nd Avenue stage entrance when Presley was seen briefly at an upstairs fire escape door. Police, losing to waving fans later regained ground in a big push back to the sidewalk line at the barber pole (top right in photo). The street was blocked off. What’s all the fuss about? Fans wanted just a signature or sign from the vaudeville Valentino.”

I’m not crazy about the lame snake-dancer or vaudeville Valentino references. But the fan hysteria mentioned in the press report had another result as shown in this photo.

Elvis with Ripped Pants after 1956 Miami Concert

That’s right — the fans ripped off one leg of Elvis’ pants. Miami has been the home to another rock star and pants episode. It’s where Jim Morrison dropped his pants on stage and got in all kinds of trouble.

 

Thanks to cc rider and Sandra Van Horne for their help in making this post.

 

 

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

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Searching for the Graceland Exhibition Center

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

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

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

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

Memphis Grizzlie Blocking Elvis Taking a Basketball Shot

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Graceland Expansion Projects

 

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

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

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

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

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

Hallmark Wedding Weekend at Graceland

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

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

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

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

Elvis Week Music Pavillion

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Eye Candy (2)….for Elvis Fans

Eye Candy Definition

 

You’re not going to find anything intellectually demanding on these Eye Candy posts, but there will be some superficially attractive and entertaining stuff you might like.

 

Kurt Russel as Elvis Shooting TV

This is Kurt Russell on the ABC TV movie titled Elvis that aired on February 11, 1979. Fortunately, it was later released on DVD, and I have a copy. It might still be available out there, and if you can find it on line for cheap, and still have a player, you ought to get this one. It’s definitely one of the better Elvis bio-flicks.

If you thought this scene was the one where Elvis shoots the TV, you’re right.

 

Smiling Gladys Presley

The tagline says it all, except how nice it is to see Gladys smiling. There’s not many photos like that, and this one is really good.

 

New Frontier Hotel Postcard

You probably have seen this postcard’s photo before, but I found the message on the reverse side interesting:

The new “Out of this World” hotel, where the spectacular Venus Room nightly offers the finest of stage show productions. The hotel’s Cloud 9 Lounge and Planet Room are unique and indescribably beautiful.

Originally, the hotel had a western theme and was simply named the Frontier Hotel. Then they redid it with a space-age theme and changed the name to New Frontier. I wonder why they still had the dead tree in their landscaping. Looks more like the old west.

 

Alternate Kid Galahad (Pugno Proibito) posters from Italy

This looks like a poster for a Charles Bronson movie, doesn’t it?. I looked up the Italian-to-English translation of the title, and it is “The Executioner of the Ring.” And the subtitle translates to “Forbidden Fist.” Both sound like what you would expect for a Charles Bronson movie.

But look at the bottom left where the co-stars are listed as Elvis Presley, Gig Young, and Lola Albright. Hey, this movie is actually Kid Galahad where Elvis is the star and Charles Bronson was a co-star. He must have been really popular in Italy in 1962 for them to manipulate things like they did on this poster. I’m sure the ticket buyers were thrilled to sit through eight Elvis songs.

 

Metal Elvis -- Raw and Rockin'

Did you know there was a band called Metal Elvis? The guy who looks like Elvis has the mic, so he must be the singer. There’s a guitar player that looks like Slash from Guns ‘n Roses, and a drummer doing the KISS thing. I can’t even tell if the other guitar player is a guy or a girl. Well, we’ll give them good marks for creativity, but if they’ve had any hits, I’m not aware of them

 

Elvis Made by a 3D Printer

This is a plastic Elvis made by a 3D printer. I can’t figure out what’s up with his left arm and hand.

There’s been all kinds of strange Google searches that brought people to ElvisBlog, but never Mutant Plastic Elvis. There was Black Midget Elvis one time, though.

 

3AM Concert Labor Day, September 2, 1973

This is a poster for an Elvis concert at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1973. What caught my eye is the time of the concert. 3 AM. Is there any other entertainer in history who performed at 3 in the morning?

This was the closing show of Elvis’ Summer Festival appearances at the Hilton. An article on elvispresleymusic.com.au says the concert is now considered by many as the most remarkable and unusual concert that Elvis ever performed.

I’m pretty sure he had performed two shows earlier at the regular times. So, that would be three complete concerts in an eight or nine-hour period. That’s impressive. Elvis must have still been in good health in 1973 to get through that.

 

Elvis Presley's Memphis

The current Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Graceland is actually the second time the name has been used. It was a restaurant that EPE opened in 1997 in the old Lansky Bros. clothing store building on Beale St. Supposedly, it was sub-par food wise and lost millions. It closed in 2003.

 

Bassoon Player in Elvis Jumpsuit

Nothing makes a bassoon player stand out more than performing in an Elvis jumpsuit. The music is no better, but he is more interesting to watch.

 

Pentatonix - I can't Help Falling in Love With You

I never heard of Pentatonix, but I found a video of them singing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” on YouTube. Whoever wrote the above quote must really like five-part acapella harmonies. It’s different than Elvis’ version, but not better to my ears.

 

3 Muppet Elvises

Are you familiar with the Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Elves and the Shoemaker? It is an 1806 story about a poor shoemaker who gets much-needed help from elves.

The Muppet Classic Theater once did an adaption of the story featuring Kermit the Frog as the shoemaker, who makes shoes so ugly that nobody will buy them. The banker demands that he and his nephew Robin pay half of what they owe him the next day. Robin wishes for a miracle, and three elves come and make blue suede shoes that people will buy.

Check out the Muppets version of the three elves… or should we say Elvises.

 

 

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

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 11

I haven’t done this in three months, and my files are full of stuff to show you.

Elvis Performing on a Flat-bed Truck

This is obviously from the very early days. Elvis and the guys are performing on a flat-bed truck. I especially like the picnic table right in front. Elvis definitely paid his dues. Can anybody identify this show?

 

Elvis and the Teen Town Singers

I can’t say that I ever heard of the Teen Town Singers. But how could they miss with those cool hats?

 

Elvis and 7 Chicks

Here’s some nice artwork. I think it’s a Italian poster for an Elvis movie. Let’s see, there’s Elvis and seven girls in bikinis. Could it be Clambake or Spinout? No, Bagnino means lifeguard in Italian, so the movie had to be Fun in Acapulco.

 

Elvis on location in Florida with co-star Anne Helm from Follow That Dream.

This is Elvis with Anne Helm, his costar in Follow That Dream. You’ve probably read the same stuff I have that says there was some serious kissing between these two off screen.

 

Well It's 1 for the Money

Well It's 1 for the Money - Copy

This is clever.

 

Speaking of Blue Suede Shoes, how do you like this picture?

Elvis Presley Autographed Facsimile Signed Blue Suede Shoes Poster 24 x36

This is a 24 x36 poster with a wonderful shot of Elvis. That is a fabricated signature at the bottom.

 

Elvis Taking A Break - Flaming Star

Here is Elvis taking a break from filming Flaming Star. He’s got the Indian make-up on his face and neck, but the rest of his body looks pretty white.

 

Elvis with Fans in Las vegas

This is Elvis with fans in Las Vegas. How do you like that coat? How do you like that hairdo?

 

Elvis Disco

The Elvis Disco was alive and well in 2018.

All Visual – All Night – Elvis Presley – Done Right…. OK!!

 

1960-04-20 train to California - Elvis with Joe, Charlie and Sonny

This was taken on April 4, 1960 during a train ride to California. With Elvis are Joe, Charlie, and Sonny. Don’t they all look young?

 

Elvis Presley and Scotty Moore between shows in the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton - May 27, 1956.

If you’ve been reading ElvisBlog for a while, you know I’m a big fan of Scotty Moore. This is a nice candid shot of Elvis and Scotty working on a song backstage before a performance at the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton on May 27, 1956.

 

Elvis Performing on May 27, 1956

Here is another photo from that show. But check out this.

Scotty Moore and Elvis Floating in Space

I love this version for the way Scotty and Elvis are lifted off the background, and they just seem to be hovering in space while Scotty is playing guitar and Elvis is dancing. I think this is the best picture there is of the two of them together.

 

Elvis and Bobby Dick

The small print in parentheses says, “Bobby’s the short one.” He’s also the one with the worst last name. The kids back in high school must have given him a lot of grief about that.

 

Elvis Presley and Carolyn Jones . She holds a cup of tea.

It looks like Carolyn Jones was drinking a cup of tea when Elvis moved in on her. Do you think she spilled any? If that had been you Elvis was smooching, could you have kept from spilling the tea?

 

Elvis is the air - Blue hawaii

So what do you think? Is this Photoshopped or could Elvis actually jump that high?

 

May 26, 1955 - Elvis Presley with Jimmie Rodgers Snow on Elvis´ pink Cadillac Fleetwood in Meridian, Mississippi - Jimmie Rodgers Festival parade....

The website where I found this shot had this tagline:

May 26, 1955 – Elvis Presley with Jimmie Rodgers Snow on Elvis´ pink Cadillac Fleetwood in Meridian, Mississippi – Jimmie Rodgers Festival parade.

Jimmy Rodgers Snow was Hank Snow’s son. Elvis said he bought this pink Caddy for his mom, but she didn’t drive, so he obviously had other motivations. This looks like a pretty good use for the car to me.

 

A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.

The tagline for this photo said: “A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.” I wish there had been more information. It is a legit photo because you can see one girl holding up a picture of Elvis and a couple of folks are wearing those Elvis hats the Colonel sold at every concert. Can anybody identify where it occurred?

The photo certainly paints a graphic picture of the impact Elvis had with teenagers early in his career. Pretty impressive.

 

 

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

 

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

What Do Chubby Checker and George Thorogood Have in Common?

They’re coming to Graceland.

More precisely, they’re coming to the Graceland Soundstage in Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

SoundStage A ( Now Graceland Soundstage)

Since renamed Graceland Soundstage

Perhaps EPE’s plan in the beginning was to show Elvis movies at the Soundstage, and to have events there during Elvis Week and the Elvis Birthday Celebration.

But now they are going after more than just Elvis fans to fill the seats. After all, they do have a concert venue holding up to 1,500 people, and there are a lot of good touring acts out there who perfume in front of crowds like that.

 

I’m not sure about this, but I think the only Memphis concert venue of similar size is the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street.

New Daisy Theater

I went to a midnight concert at the New Daisy Theater during Elvis Week 2002. It featured two young tribute artists named Shawn Klush and Ryan Pelton. Klush went on to win the first Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition in 2007, but he still came back to the New Daisy years after that.

 

Shawn Klush at the New Daisy Theater

 

So, the Memphis roster of concert venues has improved with the addition of the Graceland Soundstage. It’s got state-of-the art sound and graphics, lots of parking, and a bonus perk that’s pretty cool. Concert ticket holders get free admission to Elvis Presley’s Memphis from 3pm on, so they can spend 4 or 5 hours in there before going into the concert.

A dozen artists are lined up so far to perform at the Soundstage this spring and summer. But Chubby Checker.is the one I want to write about.

Young Chubby Checker

I have always liked Chubby Checker. He is originally from Philadelphia, and so am I. I saw him once back in 1959 before he became a huge star with his hit, “The Twist.” He was one of several local singers that performed in an open pavilion at Willow Grove Park. At that time he had a minor novelty hit called “The Class.” In it, the students were supposedly Elvis, Fats Domino, the Coasters, and the Chipmunks, and Chubby sang a few lines in each of their voices.

He is 78 years old and still performing. Here he is in 2014.

Chubby Checker in 2014

 

While searching for a current photo of him, I found something that made me laugh.

Chubby Checker Penis Measuring App

Chubby Checker had sued the makers of an app that estimated the size of a man’s penis, called The Chubby Checker, for $500 million over “irreversible damage and harm”. He claimed that the app tarnished his name.

I wonder how much he got in the settlement. Not so much for him to finally hang up those twisting shoes for good. No, he’s coming to Graceland on June 22. The top tickets go for $99.50.

Chubby Checker’s act has always included lots of dancing with the fans, not just on the stage, but also down in the aisles sometimes. I’ll bet he puts on a great show at Graceland.

 

 

And I like the new option we fans now have. Elvis wasn’t the only music we liked. We had other favorite singers and bands over the years. If one of these gets booked at the Soundstage, it could spark a trip to Graceland for a connection with two of your favorites. A Chubby Checker/Elvis Presley weekend at Graceland sounds like a fine idea to this old fan.

 

Here’s the rest of the lineup coming to this concert series now named Graceland Live.

Graceland Live

These artists are listed without comment for now. Click here to see a wonderful website that tells you everything about them.

Bret Michaels – Saturday March 23 – All tickets are Standing $49.50

George Thorogood  – Saturday, April 13  – Top ticket is $101.50

Buckcherry –  Friday, April 19 – All tickets are Standing $25

Frank Turner – Saturday, April 27 – All tickets are Standing $27.50

Allman Betts Band – Friday, May 3                 ditto

Violent Femmes and X – Thursday May 16 – All tickets are Standing $39.50

Stryper  – Sunday, June 2 – All tickets are Standing $25

Boz Scaggs – Sunday, June 16 – Top ticket is $124.50

Chubby Checker – Saturday, June 22 – Top ticket is $99.50

Pat Benetar,  Saturday July 26 – Top ticket is $124.50

Brian Setzer,  Wednesday, Aug 21 – Top ticket is $99.50

Hot Tuna – Sunday, Sept 1                        ditto

 

That’s an interesting variety of performers. And there’s lots of room for more additions.

Here’s some stuff off that website I told you about

Graceland Soundstage State of the Art

Premium Bars

 

I also want to write about another performer that I’d love to combine with Elvis on a weekend at Graceland: George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

George Thorogood

 

George Thorogood’s current tour is named the “Good To Be Bad Tour – 45 Years of Rock”

He started his career in 1974, back when music was on records. I bought four of his albums, and I picked up a couple of his cassettes at garage sales. Now I’ve got 16 George Thorogood songs on my playlist.

Here’s what the Graceland Live website says about him.

George Thorogood Gut-busting Music

That’s quite a list of adjectives they used to describe George Thorogood’s music. To me, It’s just really good blues-rock. Nothing like Chubby Checker or Elvis music, but I like all three.

 

Here’s another connection I have with George Thorogood. One of his songs is the ringtone on my cel phone, and it’s not any of those listed above. It’s called “If You Don’t Start Drinkin’ (I’m Gonna Leave)”. I picked it because it starts with a very loud repetitive guitar lick. I need it loud if I’m going to hear the phone ring in my pocket with my crummy hearing.

 

Graceland Live Alt Logo

This is a nice image, but unfortunately, Elvis won’t be performing at Graceland Live.

 

Remember when Dorothy said to Toto, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Well, “Graceland isn’t just Elvis anymore.”

 

Two Giant Screens at Graceland Soundstage

 

 

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

 

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Remembering Elvis-A-Rama

 

Every trip to Graceland now includes a visit to the new Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. Same thing for Presley Motors Automobile Museum. Everybody takes in those two during a trip to Graceland.

Presley Motors

 

Did you know that hundreds of the items displayed in these venues were featured in the Elvis-A-Rama Museum in Las Vegas fifteen years ago?

Front Elvis-A-Rama

Back in 2005, I did an ElvisBlog article on Elvis-A-Rama. This was two years before I started adding photos to the posts, so it was all text. Like this information I found on the internet:

Named one of the “Top 3 Attractions” in Las Vegas by The Travel Channel

Voted “The Best Museum” in the city by the Las Vegas Review Journal

Elvis-A-Rama has been on the cover of USA Today, People, and Forbes magazines

It contained over 2000 artifacts valued at over $6 million (in 2005 dollars)

From this you can see that Elvis-A-Rama was a large, high-quality exhibit not to be missed by Elvis fans.

 

Here are the key exhibits that were noted in the 2005 research I did.

Elvis’ 8-passenger 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood limo

The “Peacock” and “Cisco Kid” jumpsuits

Elvis-A Rama Jumpsuits

Elvis’ 1962 Glastron powerboat

A pair of blue suede shoes autographed by Elvis and valued at $1 million

Elvis Blue Suede Shoes at Elvis-A-Rama

The famous gold lame’ suit

A 1975 purple Lincoln Mark IV

Every commercially released 45, EP and LP ever recorded by Elvis

In addition, there were guitars, piano, handwritten lyrics, personal clothes, outfits from the movies, furniture, army stuff, various papers, and lots more.

Elvis Displays at Elvis-A-Rama

 

I got to see Elvis-A-Rama in April 2006. And that was good timing, because it was closing for good in a couple of months. Elvis-A-Rama had been purchased by Elvis Presley Enterprises the preceding November… and they were moving out all the stuff.

So, I kind of slid in under the wire and got to see it all. I spent half a day in there. Read every word on the plaques and other signage. Sat through a show by an ETA in a little theater. Browsed the gift shop thoroughly.

I loved my lucky visit to Elvis-A-Rama.

Welcome Elvis-A-Rama

I like their tag line: Experience the King as if He Never Left the Building.

At first I didn’t think “Elvis-A-Rama” was a very good name, sounding kind of schlocky. Then I found out it was originally the name of the largest display — a magnificent 10-foot tall, 85-foot long mural that celebrated Elvis’ life and career.

Section of Elvis-A-Rama Wall Mural

A portion of the Elvis-A-Rama mural

 

It incorporated Elvis’ music, synchronized to clips of his television appearances, scenes from his movies, and concert footage. It also contained a signature board with thousands of personal notes to Elvis, many of them by famous celebrities.

The Elvis-A-Rama mural had been created in 1979 by songwriter Mitchell Torok (If you’re old like me, you may remember his 1959 hit “Caribbean”), and it was on display for 18 years, first in Nashville, and then Branson, before being sold and moved to Las Vegas.

But there was something else factoring into that sale. The mural had a solid trademark for a name that had Elvis in it.  That meant its new owner could use it as the name for his new Las Vegas museum, and he did. Elvis-a-Rama was now the whole show, not just the mural.

More in Part 2.

 

Fans in front of Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum

I have never been to the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. But some of you readers have. Please tell me in Comments if there is a 10 feet high, 85 feet long mural in there.

If not, do you think it’s in safe storage, waiting to be brought out to great fanfare in a few years?

I hope so.

 

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

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

New Arrivals at the Internet Elvis Stores

Image - ELVIS MOTORCYCLE TCB CROSSBODY HANDBAG

How do you like this Elvis picture? I love it, and I can barely believe it was Graceland that brought it to us. This striking design is actually on a handbag that just arrived at Store.Graceland.com.

ELVIS MOTORCYCLE TCB CROSSBODY HANDBAG

According to the website, you can:

“Show off your inner Rock ‘n’ Roll rebel with the Elvis Motorcycle Flames Crossbody Bag! This flaming hot carry-all features an image of Elvis perched on one of his beloved motorcycles surrounded by a gold tone TCB flame pattern.”

That’s a pretty cool handbag for an Elvis fan. It can be yours for $45.

 

Graceland Big, Elvis Small on T-shirt

OK, this is a new one I don’t like. Can you see what’s bothering me? Let’s make it easier to see.

Graceland Big, Elvis Small - Copy

Who thought it was a good idea to put a little Elvis Presley down at the bottom, and a big Graceland at the top? I wish they wouldn’t do that.

 

ELVIS PRESLEY GRACELAND GUITAR WATERCOLOR 3-4 SLEEVE WOMEN'S

The design is more balanced on this ¾ sleeve woman’s T. So is the name: Elvis Presley Graceland Guitar T-shirt. That pretty much covers it all. The shirt goes for $24.99.

They’re getting a lot of use out of the image. It’s also on totes, magnets, cozies, key rings, travel tumblers, and regular T-shirts.

 

WHERE ELVIS LIVES WOMEN'S DOLMAN T-SHIRT

But, that’s nothing compared to all the stuff they put this image on. It’s on all the items just mentioned plus zip hoodies, shot glasses, frosted pint glasses, and coffee mugs. The Where Elvis Lives T-shirt is also $24.99.

 

I think they are missing the boat by not putting the Elvis Flaming TCB Motorcycle image on all that kind of stuff.

 

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII 45TH ANNIVERSARY WOMEN'S DOLMAN

At first glance, I thought these were marijuana leaves. This Aloha from Hawaii T-Shirt has been recently discounted 1/3 to $38.50.  Probably because the 45th anniversary of Aloha from Hawaii was last year.

I just wonder how close you have to be to someone wearing it to make out that it’s a tiny silhouette of Elvis on the front.

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII 45TH ANNIVERSARY Blown Up

 

Sorry. I like Elvis big on T-Shirts, not small.

 

There were also new arrivals at ShopElvis.com, including one I don’t like two things about.

 

VEGAS MEOWVIS PAWSLEY T-SHIRT

The concept is okay, I guess, and the art work is pretty well done, but cat Elvis looks like he has a broken neck. The head needs to be moved three inches to the left to look right. The other thing that bugs me is the name they gave it: Vegas Meowvis Pawsley T-Shirt. Yuck.

 

3 ELVIS MOON T-SHIRT

 

This shirt appeals to me a lot. The background has a tie-died appearance. That feature is on a lot of the new arrivals, so it must be some kind of technology they have now, and a good one. The moon is a nice touch, and I like the three Elvis images. Plus it is only $19.95.

 

One thing I’ve noticed is that shirts from ShopElvis.com never have the word Graceland on them, or an image of it. May be part of some agreement between EPE and ShopElvis. But I especially like Elvis shirts with big images of him and few words, and they have lots of them.

 

I’ve been doing Elvis T-Shirt reviews on ElvisBlog for ten years, and I have slammed some bad ones. But a new offering from ShopElvis.com is the worst Elvis T-Shirt I have ever seen.

ALL HAIL THE KING T-SHIRT

The drawing of Elvis sucks so bad. It doesn’t look like a crown for the King of Rock and Roll over his head. It looks like Jughead’s cap.

I can’t believe anybody would buy this shirt. You can expect this loser to be discounted soon when sales don’t happen.  ShopElvis could drop it to $2, and I still wouldn’t be buying.

 

Here is one other item in their Elvis apparel selection that I can’t make up my mind about.

TCB Socks

 

Wow. Bold TCB socks for men or women. $19.95 a pair. What do you think ladies? Does this work for you?

 

ELVIS JUMPSUIT CAPE on sale for just $17.95

And here’s the deal of the day. The Elvis Jumpsuit Cape. Marked down from $30 to $17.95. It’s a nice size, coming down your back for 24 inches, and it has a red satin lining. Seems like some folks could have a lot of fun with it at parties or Elvis events.

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

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Eye Candy for Elvis Fans

Eye Candy Definition

Well, you’re not going to find anything intellectually demanding on this ElvisBlog post, but there is some superficially attractive and entertaining stuff you might like.

 

Giant Floating Elvis Head

Like a giant floating Elvis head.

 

Elvis Look-a-like with a Walker

Or the winner of the Ultimate Geriatric Elvis Tribute Artist Competition.

 

PEZ Elvis Close-up

How do you like this face? It’s a decent replication of Elvis. Any guesses what this is?

Jumpsuit Elvis Pez Close-Up

This angle should give you a clue.

All Three PEZ Elvis

Did you guess PEZ Elvis? With the high white collar and the shades, jumpsuit Elvis blows away the other guys. Poor Army Elvis in the center. He doesn’t look anything like Elvis.

 

PEZ Elvis Collection

Here’s the three of them inside the metal display box. Two packs of PEZ candies and a playable CD are behind them. Blue PEZ guy in the middle doesn’t look like Elvis, either, so here is the altered PEZ Elvis showcase I came up with.

 

Jumpsuit Elvis Pez Display

Much better.

But I did find a good way to use the other two guys.

Pez Elvis Profiles

 

 

Elvis and Bikini Girls in Spinout

Have you ever seen this shot of Elvis attracting a crowd of lovelies in bikinis? He probably could have pulled it off in real life, but this is from a movie. Do you know which one?

 

Clinton / Elvis Stamp

This combo stamp of Bill Clinton and Elvis came from the republic of Chad in Africa. Chad produced all kinds of Elvis stamps a couple of decades ago. They were targeted toward the collector market, not for mailing letters. There were so many different ones that one pundit joked that Elvis stamps had become Chad’s number one export.

 

Elvis Silver Lame Suit

You all know about Elvis’ famous gold suit. How do you like this silver one?

 

Elvis in Mount Rockmore

Here’s an interesting variation on Mt. Rushmore: Elvis, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Jimmy Hendrix. If it was up to me, I would take out Marley and replace him with Eric Clapton.

 

Lisa with Preggo Bump

Does anyone know why Lisa decided to pose for this photograph?

 

Elvis Toilet Paper

Elvis toilet paper is a pretty strange collectible, but keeping it in a glass display is just bizarre.

 

Elvis Shrugged -- Vol. lll

The third and last issue in the Elvis Shrugged comic book series. Elvis on steroids wearing jumpsuit pants and belt. I own this one, and the artwork inside is really lame compared to the cover.

 

Attack of the Midget Elvii

I like the bug-eyed bald guy telling the ELVII to attack. I’m not so sure about Tinkle! Crash!

 

Elvis Flintstone

I snapped this photo from a T-shirt I owned for 25 years. I sold that Elvis Flintstone T-shirt to a lady in Canada. But I got a bum mailing address from PayPal, and the package never got delivered to her or returned to me. I’m resigned to the fact that the shirt is gone forever, so I’m glad I at least have this picture.

 

The movie clip of Elvis with all those girls at the pool was Spinout. Here’s another good shot.

Elvis and Babes in Spinout

Elvis gets to check them out one by one as they go into that tent. That definitely moved the plot forward.

 

Please let me know if you like Eye Candy for Elvis Fans or not. They’re pretty easy for me to put together, so there may be more to come.

 

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

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Graceland Introduces After-Parties

Elvis Week 2019 Schedule of Events

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

august-2019-calendar

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

Candlelight Procession

 

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

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

 

Ultimate Elvis Week After-Party

 

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

Vernon's Smokehouse in Elvis Presley's Memphis

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Jeff Lewis at One of His After-Parties

Jeff Lewis at One of His After-Parties

 

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

Street in Elvis Presley's Memphis

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

Saturday, August 10: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Final Round

Sunday, August 11: The Ultimate Return

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

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

Other announced performers so far include:

Shawn Klush – winner of the first competition in 2007

Cody Slaughter (2011)

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

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

 

2019 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition

 

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

 

Soundstage Seating chart

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Elvis Week 2019 Logo

 

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

 

 

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

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

My Picks for Best and Worst at the Elvis All-Star Tribute

Elvis All-Star Tribute

I thought three performances shined above the others Sunday night on the tribute to Elvis’ 68 Special.

Keith Urban and Post Malone — “Baby, What You Want Me to Do

Keith Urban and Post Malone

Urban nailed this song with a little help from Post Malone. I had no idea Keith Urban was such a great guitar slinger. Just a wonderful job on one of my favorite Elvis songs.

 

JENNIFER LOPEZ — “HEARTBREAK HOTEL

Jennifer Lopez

Wow, what a performance. Jennifer Lopez had that skin tight body suite, the wind machine blowing her hair, and just the right amount of attitude. I loved the lip curls, and I could have watched a whole lot more of her shaking her booty. Very hot.

 

Darius Rucker — “One Night”

Darius Rucker

This man started out in rock ‘n roll with Hootie and the Blowfish, now he is a country star, and if he wanted to, he could be a blues master. He did just a perfect amount of howlin’ on “One Night.”

 

I also like the production they put together for the opening number TROUBLE/Guitar Man. The way they started with the original footage of Elvis, then seamlessly switched to Blake Shelton, and back again several times. Very well done.

Blake Shelton

 

And I like the Elvis photo montage they showed while Mac Davis sang “Memories.”

I did not like Shawn Mendes’ version of “Hound Dog.”

And I was disappointed with the version of “Love Me” done by Miranda Lambert and the other two ladies introduced as the Pistol Annies.

Pistol Annies

“Love Me” is another of my favorite Elvis songs, and he set a high standard. I’m sorry, but they just didn’t measure up.

 

Elvis All-Star Tribute Sign

All in all, I enjoyed the concert and look forward to watching it again when it shows up on YouTube.

If you have different favorites, please put them on comments.

 

 

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

 

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