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Some Thoughts on Elvis Caricatures

 

We have all seen caricatures of Elvis. When I started a file of them 14 years ago, the drawings were pretty simplistic and unmemorable, like the ones above. They did, however, meet the definition of a caricature:

Caricatures are images showing the features of its subject in an exaggerated way. Caricatures can be insulting or complimentary.

Don’t worry, none of the nasty ones will ever be put on ElvisBlog.

 

Artist unknown

 

Obviously, caricature artists have a highly developed sense of facial observation. They can look at the features of a face and know which ones could be best exaggerated while still keeping the full image recognizable. Back in January, 2005, a website with a very long name (www.drawing-faces-and-caricatures-made-easy.com)  had an interesting topic:

 

“What Makes Any Face Caricaturable? How About Elvis Presley?”

 

How about him, indeed. When I saw that title, I knew it was going to be an interesting article. An expert was going to analyze Elvis’ face for the benefit of aspiring caricature artists. Cool.

Anyway, the writer explained how he would draw several features of Elvis’ face. Here are the highlights of what he had to say. The first one is the most incredible description of Elvis’ hair that I have ever seen.

HAIR: “Big. Huge. Massive. Larger than life.” All the superlatives you can conjure up for that top-heavy, fifties, bow-of-a-ship, tough dude, frontal assault of a hair-doo.”

Artist unknown

 

The article goes on to state that effectively drawing Elvis’ hair is a challenge.

“The answer is capturing the 3-D mass of it all. How do you do that? Lots of contours and highlights. Elvis also has lots of loose dangling ends of hair that fall across his face. You’ll see that in almost every caricature of Elvis, artists capitalize on this.”

Artist – LockUp Wallace

Now that’s some serious 3-D Elvis hair. But there’s none of the dangling ends like in the first two pictures. If you scroll back up to check them out again, also notice Elvis’ chin.

CHIN: “Elvis has a full rounded chin. About the only thing else I can say about it is when you draw it, think “sphere” or “square” and try to incorporate those shapes into the chin when you draw.”

Sorry, I don’t think it’s possible to incorporate square into anything about Elvis.

Artist – markdraws

 

Here’s another exaggerated Elvis chin. Nice job on the lip snarl, too. The article had little to say about Elvis’ snarl, but it did point out his cheekbones.

CHEEKBONES: “Whereas Arnold Schwarzenegger boasted really hard angles in his face, Elvis is softer edged. He has prominent cheekbones. They may drop low, because they have a mass to them. They also seem to rise high as they roll past the level of the eyes. You’ll see artists grab on that, too.”

Artist – Ron K

Note that Elvis’ eyes are closed in this one.

EYES, EYEBROWS, EYELIDS: “Women just plain love Elvis’ eyes. Even if this is what women find sexy, here’s what I see as the observable deal. It’s the low riding eyelids, almost that sleepy eyed look. You see Jack Nicholson and John Travolta do it. In any case, it’s the confidence and control factor half-mast eyes seem to exude. That’s what I think it is about his eyes women like. Then you couple the low eyelids with the slightly quizzical raised eyebrows, you get that come-on look.”

 

Artist – Bruce Stark

You have to say that this drawing has distinctive eyes, but they are not quite Elvis’ eyes. The legs remind me of Woody from Toy Story.

Artist Gabby Correia

Here’s a great job on Elvis’ eyes. The artist also nailed the big 3D hair. Also, you may notice that Elvis’ mouth is rather small.

MOUTH: “Traveling south down his face, you encounter the cheekbones, then rather full cheeks, then a relatively small maxilla behind the mouth (that’s the bone that holds your upper teeth). This explains why his mouth may seem small compared to Julia Roberts (who has a very broad, flat-at-the-front-where-the-teeth-are type of maxilla.) So, if you relate all that to Mr. Average, you could play up the forehead and cheeks and shrink the mouth.”

Artist – Benjamin Strobel

This drawing captures the small mouth, the high cheekbones, and of course, the big hair.

LIPS: “For a white guy, Elvis has pretty full lips. Even though, as mentioned above, the mouth overall seems on the small side (from corner to corner), the lips — especially the lower one — are very full.”

Artist – Tom Richmond

Here’s another full-lips drawing. This image of Elvis that has grown on me since I first discovered it. I think it is one of the best black and white caricatures of Elvis.

Several of the pictures above show Elvis in jumpsuits, but for some reason, that was not mentioned in the article as a major element for caricatures.

Artist – Zuo Chen

This one is a little puzzling. That’s a 50s Elvis pompadour, but he’s in a 70s jumpsuit. It is also an example of a frequently used caricature device – big head on a small body.

Artist – Carreno

 

NOSE: “You’ll see his nose drawn with a very broad root (where it comes out of the forehead between the eyes), that maintains that width right down to the sharp tip. A tip that has a dimple in it dividing left and right halves.”

I was surprised that the article made no mention of Elvis’ sideburns. Some of the photos above had big ones. Here is another.

Artist – Zack Wallenfang

These count as serious sideburns. This drawing has Elvis’ shades in it, but they are not really exaggerated. Not many of the Elvis caricatures I’ve found featured the glasses. That’s surprising, because they are a distinctive element associated with Elvis.

Here are a few more good drawings with a little comment.

Artist – Dan Adel

Another large Elvis head on a small Elvis body. This one shows young Elvis with a handful of fans up close and personal. Nice concept.

Artist – David O’Keefe

The big hair pictures generally seem to be young Elvis. And yet, here the sideburns are very subdued.

 

Artist – Alberto “Sting” Russo

Here’s a great Elvis caricature featuring his lip snarl. I guess I like the touches of color, but I’d like to see this one without it, too.

 

Artist unknown

I guess this is not technically a caricature because nothing is exaggerated. But I like it a lot, so we’ll end with it.

 

 

© 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.

 

Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlog Articles

This the same photo I used to start the last Postscripts article back in April. That time, it was followed by a cropped copy of just the face. This time, it will be followed by three other Cat Elvis T-shirts that have been offered recently.

 

I’m not crazy about this one. What makes them think fans want a T-shirt with a cat/Elvis face on his US Army profile photo? I also don’t like the name – Elvis Purrsley – but at least it’s better than the first one – Meowvis Pawsley.

 

I don’t like this one at all.

 

Please, please… No more cat/Elvis T-shirts.

 

Back in 2010 I did a 50th anniversary look at Flaming Star. It featured these pictures of Elvis and Barbara Eden looking pretty chummy. However, as I pointed out then, she was actually the wife of Elvis’ character’s brother, played by Steve Forrest.

 

A few more Elvis and Barbara Eden photos have showed up.

Elvis never got this intimate with his sister-in-law in the film, but it is certainly a good movie promo picture of two beautiful people.

 

Another photo taken at this session was the inspiration for this famous Andy Warhol silkscreen.

 

For more on this Warhol artwork, check out this ElvisBlog post from 2010.

 

I’ve shown many variations on Elvis’ famous pose in Jailhouse Rock, the most recent in 2012. Many of them are very creative, but here’s one in 3D:

 

Here we have Elvis in fireman gear, hose in hand, balanced on the top of a fire truck. Where do people get their inspirations for this stuff?

 

Over the years, ElvisBlog has shown the work of artists and Photoshop jockeys that put US presidents in Elvis jumpsuits. Look what I just found.

Does anyone know if there is an Elvis connection to the Flamingo Café?

 

Once I had found an image of Joe Biden in a jumpsuit, I Googled all the other major Democratic presidential candidates to see if anybody had done them. The only thing I could find is this.

As I’ve written before, someone once said Al Gore was a minus zero on the Elvis Scale. I wonder what they would say about Bernie Sanders?

 

This is a really amateurish job of inserting Elvis into a photo of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road. I recently read an article on the 50th anniversary of the album, and it said a total of six shots were taken. This is one of the rejects with the Beetles going in the opposite direction from the one we know. Here’s a different rejected photo with a slightly better Elvis insertion.

It looks like Elvis has a spear pushing against Paul’s neck, but it just the sidewalk curb.

I guess the Photoshop guys can’t mess with the famous album cover photo without running into copyright problems. They won’t get into any trouble with this:

 

There are many images around pairing up Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Humphrey Bogart, but this is different.

The tag on this one said, “Beatles in Elvis Jumpsuits on Abbey Road.” I don’t think Elvis would have been caught dead in three of them, especially Ringo’s.

 

Just a few weeks ago, I posted these three photos of Elvis looking like a college student on campus. Here’s a new one:

 

 

This is a montage of Elvis doing his performance while on stage floors. It was taken from a post in 2017.

Here’s a new one.

 

I’ve been collecting Elvis photos for 15 years, and I never saw this one before last week. I love it. Doesn’t he looks like an animal on the prowl? Elvis was just so cool.

 

 

© 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.

 

$13 Elvis T-Shirts — Winners and Losers

The year 2019 has provided a bumper crop of T-shirts for review on ElvisBlog. They made up ¾ of the items covered in a March post on new arrivals at the internet Elvis stores. Then there was the annual summer T-shirt review around Memorial Day. And now, ShopElvis.com has cut the prices on nearly a dozen shirts from $19.99 to $12.99. Some are pretty good shirts; some not so much.

.

Winners:

.

American Legend Eagle:

 

If you like to wear patriotic T-shirts on the Memorial Day or 4th of July weekends, and you like Elvis T-shirts, here is your chance to combine both. You will note the words American Legend below Presley up by the neck. I like the flag and the attacking eagle in the middle. It is interesting to see both USA and The United States of America on this shirt. This shirt really works for me.

 

ANTIQUE GREEN ELVIS PRESLEY UKULELE AND SIGNATURE:

 

There were several Blue Hawaii T-shirts in this $12.95 offering. Here we have palm fronds, flowers, a ukulele, and Elvis’ signature. The background color is different than what we usually see. Good shirt.

 

PINK ELVIS PRESLEY BLUE HAWAII:

 

This is obviously a T-shirt for the ladies, and I can see why you would like it. The flowers seem to be the same ones as in the previous shirt. Does anybody know what they are?

 

BLUE GROTTO ELVIS PRESLEY SIGNATURE:

 

This is about as simple as Elvis T-shirt design ever gets, but it has pleasant happy feel to it. I can see it will appeal to some Elvis fans.

 

Beige American Eagle Flag:

 

It might be a stretch to call this design an American flag, but its close enough to work as another patriotic T-shirt. I tried to blow-up the white stripes to see if they were guitar necks, but it got too fuzzy to tell.

 

LOSERS

 

ORANGE ELVIS PRESLEY UKULELE DANCERS:

 

When I first saw this, I thought, “What’s with the stubby legs on Elvis?” Then I realized that the original picture from Blue Hawaii had been cropped. But why? There was plenty of room to show everybody’s full legs. I can’t look at this one without focusing on Elvis’ stubby legs.

 

DENIM BLUE STARS AND EAGLE:

 

Maybe I’m being too critical, but this just seems too dark.  You really have to look hard to see that it is an Elvis shirt. I suppose it is more recognizable when worn, and some folks might like it.

 

RED ELVIS PRESLEY FLAG FACE GUITAR PATTERN:

 

It’s a good thing the name for this one includes flag, face, and guitar. Otherwise, we would have no idea what those tiny images are. This might have been OK if they were three or four sizes larger.

 

PATRIOTIC GUITAR T-SHIRT:

 

This looks more like a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt than an Elvis one. And it looks like some kind of black bugs are eating up everything starting at the bottom. I don’t get it.

 

OTHER INTERESTING T-SHIRTS at ShopElvis.com:

 

HAWAIIAN-PATTERN AQUA ELVIS PRESLEY IN FLOWERS:

 

Here’s those Hawaiian flowers again. I love the background pattern. On sale, down from $29.95 to $21.95. That’s a pretty good deal.

 

ORANGE ELVIS PRESLEY HAWAIIAN SUNSET:

 

This could have been another good Blue Hawaii shirt. I love the palm tree background. But what fool decided to spell ELVIS PRESLEY:

ELVIS
PRES
LEY

Sorry, that ruins it for me. But if you like it, the cost is $21.95 on sale.

 

AMERICAN EAGLE JUMPSUIT PAJAMAS:

 

This is pretty clever. There have been American Eagle T-shirts that didn’t quite work, but these pajamas look pretty good. They could have skipped the blue scarf to make it even better. The best news is that the design is continued around on the back.

This is not a sale item and goes for $39.95. You also get more American Eagles on the pants.

 

BLUE WAVE ELVIS PRESLEY UKULELE AND PARROTS:

 

We’ll end with probably the most colorful Elvis T-shirt I’ve ever seen. Note, it is not necessarily a Blue Hawaii shirt, so those birds are fine even if they weren’t in the movie. This is the best of the shirts marked down from $29.95 to $21.95.

 

 

© 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.

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 26

Energizer Bunny:

What’s the Energizer Bunny playing his drum have to do with Elvis? Not much. But there is some resemblance to Laid-back Elvis Hound Dog playing his guitar.

 

Maybe what we need is an Energizer Elvis Bunny playing guitar.

Or…maybe not.

 

Elvis Pins:

The August 13 Graceland Auction had some interesting collections of 1956 pins worn by Elvis fans. These pictures were blown up from tiny images, so they are a little fuzzy.

“I like Elvis” was a popular theme, and the message was done with several different designs.

They even made pins for the folks that didn’t like Elvis.

 

Here are some other interesting themes.

 

This has to be my favorite pin message.

 

Song titles connected with Elvis seem to have been popular, too.

 

I had to look this one up in a Yiddish Slang Dictionary. It said, “Exclamation of shock or fear. This is similar to the expression ‘oy vey’ but with a larger sense of doom.” So Elvis caused some people to feel a sense of doom??? Give me a break

 

Vince Everett:

You good fans will remember this was Elvis’ character’s name in Jailhouse Rock. With the help of Peggy Van Alden (Judy Tyler), Vince became a recording star. He and Peggy founded Laurel Records, and these picture sleeves represent the first three records Vince released during the movie. Here are the fake 45 RPM records in paper sleeves used during filming.

This record had significant screen time in the movie. Note that this sleeve is actually autographed by Elvis.

Elvis sang all five of these songs in the movie, making Jailhouse Rock one of his best sound tracks. The sixth song in the movie was “I Want to Be Free,” which I ranked #7 on my Top 10 list of Elvis songs in a 2012 post.

 

Elvis Karate Fight MARKER:

On June 24, 1977, while riding from the Madison, Wisconsin airport to his hotel, Elvis noticed a street fight in progress at E. Washington Ave and Stoughton Road. It was two young men pummeling a teen on the ground.

While his limo was stopped at the nearby red light, Elvis ran from the car and threatened the combatants with a classic karate stance, and reportedly yelled, “I’ll take you on.” The young men recognized Elvis and stopped fighting in favor of shaking hands with the star. Elvis reportedly left after ensuring that everything was settled and taking time to shake hands with several onlookers.

A plaque to commemorate the event was installed at the site. It shows Elvis with a guitar and describes the incident. The plaque is not in good shape now. A metal plate bearing a description of what happened that day has been pried from the stone. But the image of Elvis, remained on the marker.

Elvis had flown into Madison for a performance at the Dane County Coliseum, part of his final tour. Unfortunately, his death came just 53 days later

 

Elvis’ $1.8 Million Dollar Watch:

A 1960 Omega watch that once belonged to Elvis sold at auction in May 2018 for $1.8 million. Wow.

It set a record price for the any Swiss Omega watch brand ever sold. Wow.

The timepiece sold for 18 times the highest estimate. Wow

RCA Records gave Elvis the watch to commemorate him selling 75 million records.

The watch is a manually winding, 18ct white-gold Omega Calibre 510, adorned with 44 round diamonds. It features the logo of Tiffany & Co – the company that originally sold the watch.

The back of the watch carries the inscription: “TO ELVIS, 75 MILLION RECORDS, RCA VICTOR, 12-25-60” – marking the date, December 25, 1960, when Elvis’ record sales reached that landmark.

 

Al Hirschfeld’s Caricatures of Elvis:

My son and his fiance treated themselves to a long weekend trip to New York City, and they took in a musical at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. His name sounded familiar, so I Googled him and found out he was regarded as the greatest caricaturist of the 20th century.

His biography included samples of his incredible drawings of famous people, including Elvis Presley. Here are three of the best.

This is regarded as the first published caricature of Elvis. It appeared in the July 6, 1956, issue of Collier’s magazine to illustrate a column criticizing the singer and his fans.

This one is titled Blue Suede Shoes and was a limited edition print (300 copies) in 1999. One sold at auction recently for $1,500.

A version of this drawing was published by The New York Times on December 1, 1968, in anticipation of the broadcast of the NBC-TV special Elvis two days later. This version was used to make limited-edition lithographs. An autographed copy sold at Heritage Auctions for $2,500.

 

That Al Hirschfeld link led me to another site with almost a hundred cool Elvis caricatures, and I had never seen 75% of them before. I can’t wait to do a blog post on the best ones.

 

 

© 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.

 

Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 14

How do you like this outfit? We’ll look at some other photos of Elvis in distinctive fashions, but this one deserves a little study. If we look at his left arm, we see the sleeve of his shirt. But above that we have maroon fabric that matches the color of a second button-less shirt with that crisscross pattern. The arm appears to be coming out through a slit in the blue coat (cape?) with the huge red collar. That’s really making a statement. And is that a pipe in Elvis’ right hand?

 

And here is young Elvis back when his wardrobe was simpler. My friend Zoey Goto has a book titled Elvis Fashion – From Zoot Suits to Jumpsuits. This would have been a good illustration for it.

 

Taxicabs in Chattanooga used to carry signs advertising “See Rock City,” and maybe they still do. This picture had to been taken in the late 50s.

 

Elvis and Jennifer Holden both seem to be very happy on the set of Jailhouse Rock.

 

I may have seen this photo many years ago, but it wasn’t in my files. It is now, after I scanned a number of pictures out of Elvis International magazines I cut up to get Elvis centerfolds. By the way, the centerfold offer was a big bust. Only one sold out of a dozen. I can’t figure out why. Color centerfolds of outstanding Elvis images for $5 or $6 seemed like such a good deal. They will be back sometime at lower prices.

 

Elvis got a few perks while stationed in Germany, but it looks like he had to shine his shoes in the barracks, just like everyone else.

 

I know some of you hate Photoshopped Elvis pictures, and this isn’t a very good job of putting Elvis’ head on the biker. However, I kind of like this one. Sorry.

 

There are tons of Viva Las Vegas backstage photos of Elvis and Ann Margret out there, but this one is new to me.

 

I guess this is a fan photo, because no professional photographer would frame Elvis and Priscilla like this. She has black hair, so this is probably from the early 60s. Check out Elvis bathing suit and then compare it to this…

 

Pretty baggy looking.

 

Elvis looks better here in the White Concha jumpsuit that he wore in August 1970 at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. Concha is a Mexican word meaning metal rings. Elvis’ jumpsuits wouldn’t stay simple like this for very long.

 

I’m can understand the reason why Elvis’ is drawn with squiggly legs in this caricature, but what’s up with the squiggly guitar?

 

This is such a strong photo of Elvis wearing his signature glasses. Has any other man looked so handsome wearing glasses? I can’t think of one.

 

Here’s Elvis with a jug of whisky on the table and a stogie in his hand. I don’t remember him smoking in Kissin’ Cousins, so this must have been a shot taken between filming.

 

Elvis sure did love his collection of law enforcement badges, didn’t. This is the federal narcotics badge he received as a result of his visit to President Richard Nixon in the White House.

 

There was no tag identifying what’s going on here, but it almost looks like lawmen are restraining Elvis from going after a heckler. Does anyone has more information on this shot?

 

Any help identifying this one would be appreciated as well. It appears to be an early-to-mid 60s shot of Elvis, so what caught my attention is the car-phone in Elvis’ hand. He certainly was a pioneer in embracing new technology.

 

 

© 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.

 

Elvis Centerfolds

I thought that might get your attention.

 

Actually, it’s a pretty good way to lead into another Elvis Goodies from the Fuzzy Room.

 

I’ve got something different this time, but first, a little history.

I wrote for Elvis International magazine for twelve years. Among other compensation, I received several copies of every issue I wrote in.

 

The History of the Elvis Centerfolds:

In 2002, publisher Darwin Lamm changed the style of his magazine, switching from quarterly to two issues each year – in January and August for obvious reasons. He did several upgrades and marketed them as Collectors’ Editions. Very heavy covers, some with embossed artwork. Lots of full-page color photos, and outstanding centerfold pictures (also on slick, heavy paper). These centerfolds continued through 2006.

 

How My Scrapbook Resulted in Extra Centerfolds:

This is the picture I used on the cover of my scrapbook of all the articles I had written.

Because I had multiple copies of the issues, I didn’t mind trashing one of each to get the pages for my scrapbook. But there were some wonderful full-color photos of Elvis in them, especially the centerfolds, which seemed too good to throw away. So I took out the staples and removed the centerfolds. These all stayed in a file in the Fuzzy Room for years.

 

Today I want to offer the centerfolds that nine of them contained. They are all 11” wide by 17” long. And they look much better than my camera shots. I have given each of them a name for identification.

 

Elvis in White:

This is a terrific depiction of Elvis. I think the original hangs on the wall going up the stairway at Graceland. The price on this one is $6, which includes postage to USA destinations. Three copies are available.

 

Elvis in Gold Coat:

This is not the coat from the famous gold lamé suit. Elvis wore this coat in the ’68 Comeback Special. The price on this one is also $6. One copy is available..

 

25th Anniversary Calendar:

This picture is absolutely fabulous, but it doesn’t fill up the whole page, so this one goes for $5. Three copies are available. Let me know if you want the calendar part cut off cleanly with my paper cutter, or leave it on.

 

Elvis in the American Eagle Jumpsuit:

Here we have a full shot of Elvis in his most famous jumpsuit. $5 gets it. Two copies are available.

 

Casual Elvis:

I think this shot is a very charming image of Elvis. Yours for $4. One copy is available.

 

50th Anniversary of Rock & Roll:

My camera shot hardly picks up the 50th in the title at the top. Very nice painting by Joe Petruccio. If you went to Elvis Week 2004, you saw this poster at many of the events. $4. One copy is available.

 

Rip It Up:

Outstanding artwork. It is two pieces because it came from an issue with a spine, and the two halves separated when removed. This one goes for $5. One copy is available.

 

Seven-Elvis Montage:

Four images of early Elvis, two from the ’68 Special, and one jumpsuit shot. $5. Two copies are available.

 

Gold Lamé Suit:

I wish this little picture could show how outstanding Elvis’ face is on the centerfold. It came from an issue with spine. The remains of this are what hold the two halves together. $6. One copy is available.

Sorry, sold out

 

If you want an Elvis centerfold, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net. (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.) As usual, first come, first served. Perhaps you would like to specify a second choice should your first pick be sold out.

I would prefer payment using PayPal, but checks will work, too. When I get your email, I will initiate billing on PayPal. You approve it and I send the item right out to you. With a check purchase, I’ll mark the item as sold and hold it until your check arrives.

Remember, the prices above include the postage. Add $2 more postage to Canadian destinations. if you order two or more centerfolds, the combined price will be lowered by $1 for the postage saving.

 

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005-2019)

Elvis Merchandise – Circa 1956

ElvisBlog does an article or two after each Auction at Graceland and usually covers an interesting mix of items. However, the recently completed auction held during Elvis Week had one item that provided more than enough for this post.

Don’t worry if you can’t make out the pictures on here. I will cover each one with a large enough image for you to make out not only the pictures but most of the texts as well.

What we have here is a 1956 Elvis Presley Enterprises merchandising guide poster featuring thirty-five items.  It measures 16 inches by 26 inches and sold for $250 at the auction to Glenn Johnson, a big Elvis collector in Texas.  I talked to him by email, and he said he owns all but five of these items.

Here is a part of the website description of this merchandising guide poster:

In 1956 as Elvis’ career was hitting the fast track, Colonel Parker partnered with Hank Saperstein to create a merchandising machine that would bring the superstar into the home and hearts of every youngster around the nation. Elvis Presley Enterprises placed Elvis’ image on everything from clothing and jewelry to toys, shoes, lipstick and so much more. This was a stroke of marketing genius.

The poster was sent to distributors with the notation that each of the creators of the items would provide advertising help to the local retailers.

 

Let’s look at the 1956 Elvis merchandise on this poster, going from left to right starting at the top of the poster.

 

Crew Hat:

This hat must have been one of the best sellers, because I’ve seen them in lots of photos of the fans. Here’s a larger photo in color.

And here’s one of Elvis wearing the hat when he performed in Tupelo.

 

Head Scarf:

I was a teenager in 1956, and I just don’t remember the girls wearing scarfs, so this item may have not sold very well.

Here it is in color. Elvis was known to wear a bit of eye make-up, and the artist shows it here.

 

Elvis Presley Fashions:

The text says iridescent 50/50 felt. I believe this is one of them.

 

Teenage Lipstick:

So, what would have been your preference, ladies? Hound Dog Pink or Heartbreak Hotel Red?

 

Skimmer Pump Shoes:

I never heard of skimmer pump shoes, so I looked them up, and It appears that skimmer pump is another name for flats.  This is one of the items that collector Glenn Johnson does not have.  I guess most of them got worn to death and were finally discarded.

 

Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog:

I tried to look up a good color picture of this Elvis stuffed hound dog. I couldn’t find it, but there are dozens of other licensed and unlicensed ones on Google. It might be fun to post a Top 10 Review of the best ones.

 

Elvis Presley Statue:

I’m not sure 7-1/2 inches tall qualifies as a statue, but, hey, what do you want for a buck?

 

Talking Record:

I did some research on this, but it’s still a little hazy.  I think in the beginning it was just a small 78 RPM record.  Collector Glenn Johnson has not been able to find this item for his extensive collection.

However, there are many photos of the record attached to the cover of a 32-page magazine.  Here’s one that sold at the Auction at Graceland in January 2017.

It sold for $312.50. Years later, a CD version of this talking record was released.

 

Crew Neck Polo Shirt and Girl’s Knit Pajamas:

 

The left side of the poster combines three clothing items with the same Elvis design. In addition to the crew neck polo shirt above, there was also a boat-neck version.

Unlike most items on the poster these don’t list the retail price. However, there was a polo shirt and hat combo on the recent Auction at Graceland that sold for $343.75.

This one looks like it had a lot of wear. Plus, they may have called it a polo shirt, but it’s really a T-shirt.

 

Canvas Sneakers:

A pair of these sneakers and the original box, both in pristine condition, were sold at the August 13, 2015 Auction at Graceland for $3,750.

 

Elvis Presley Handkerchiefs:

One of these handkerchiefs and the scarf sold for $312.50 at the last auction.

 

 

 

Billfolds:

They didn’t use a very good quality photo for these. Here are three of the billfold designs in color.

.

Bookends:

I found a pair of these on eBay, but they were sold and the price didn’t appear.


The eBay text says they are very rare.

 

Mittens:

I could not find another picture of the Elvis mittens. And Glenn Johnson has never found them to add to his collection.

 

Belts and Bolo ties:

Here’s one of the belts I found on eBay for $1,450.

There’s a surprising variety of Elvis bolos out there on the internet, none of them seem to the 1956 models.

 

Socks:

I couldn’t find any better pictures of these.

 

Rock and Roll Photo Wallet:

 

Combo Bag:

 

Medallion Necklaces:

I found this one on ebth.com.

I can’t believe it sold for just $30.

 

Black Twill Jeans and Simtex Shirt:

I couldn’t find either of these on the internet.  Maybe all that sold got worn out and thrown away.  Or maybe they didn’t sell at all because there was no image of Elvis on them.  Glenn Johnson doesn’t have either, so I’m guessing they will never be in his collection.

 

Charm Bracelet:

These were easy find on the internet.

 

I hope you enjoyed this look at all the Elvis stuff from 1956.  The Auction at Graceland has been the source for many ElvisBlog posts, but I think this was one of the most interesting.

My thanks to Glenn Johnson for the information he provided for this post.  If you want to see his collection in a 15 minute on YouTube, click here:

 

 

© 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.

 

Fans Show Their Love for Elvis with Flowers

Each year, the fans bring a ton of flowers to Elvis’ grave in the Graceland Meditation Garden. This is a photo taken in 2009, but it doesn’t approach the overwhelming amount of flowers and Elvis remembrances of that accumulate by August 16 every year.

 

Like this. The photo appeared in a 2017 Billboard Magazine on-line article about the fans being upset that EPE was charging $27.85 for doing the Candlelight Vigil up to Elvis’grave.

 

This photo appeared in a New York Post on-line article about the same topic. Either the Post or Billboard was using an older photo, because the flowers and remembrances are different.

 

Fans started bringing flowers to Elvis’ grave 42 years ago when he was entombed at the Forest Hills Cemetery.

 

However, his casket was not put in the ground. It went into a crypt inside the huge granite and marble mausoleum.

 

This photo of the pallbearers carrying the casket on August 18, 1977, does not show the size of the mausoleum or the blanket of flowers around it. This one does.

 

Wow, that’s a lot of flowers. I don’t know how the florists in Memphis kept up with the demand for all the bouquets.

 

Here is the flower-covered coffin before it was carried into the crypt.

 

This is the crypt where Elvis was first entombed. The flowers you see were not those put there in 1977. They actually were in a 2012 photo when the crypt was put up for auction. I did not follow up to see how much it went for. I just don’t like the whole idea.

 

There are hundreds of on-line photos of flowers at Elvis’ grave, but very few give the year. Here are some I could find.

 

According to a posting on eBay, this slide photo was taken in 1978. I wonder. Graceland wasn’t opened up to the public until 1981.

 

1999

 

2004

 

2006

 

This 2016 photo was taken from a different perspective that shows the grave sites of Gladys, Vernon, Elvis, and his grandmother Minnie Mae.

 

Here’s a blow-up of the inscription on Elvis’ grave. I thought you might like to read it.

 

 

Elvis fans have created some heart-felt remembrances to place in the Meditation Garden. Many of these have flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floral tributes to Elvis on August 16 take place all over the world.

 

These flowers were placed at the Elvis monument in Bad Nauheim, Germany in 2017.

 

This Elvis memorial was created in Melbourne, Australia in 1977, and is still bedecked with flowers to this day.

 

 

 

We miss you, Elvis. Hope you liked all your flowers.

 

 

© 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.

 

Eye Candy (4) for Elvis Fans

I think this is a very cool image, but you’ll never guess where it came from. It is a Christmas tree topper. I blanked out the spiral wire thing that attaches it to the tree.

 

 

We started the last Eye Candy with Fozie Elvis, Now it is Gonzo’s turn. There are more Muppets/Elvis to show someday.

 

I wonder if Scotty Moore’s wife knew he climbed on the roof of her car to tie down gear for road trips. I’ve read that this was primarily for Bill Black’s bass, but I don’t see it here. It looks like DJ is the one in the white shirt, but is the third guy Bill Black or Gordon Stoker?

 

This is the first of a three-picture sequence. We can see the Graceland music room in the background, then the living room, and an open front door. Now let’s step back a whole lot and get a long view.

 

You can easily see that this image was taken from the far end of the dining room. At the other end of the shot, it’s a little hard to see, but you can pick up the piano and stained-glass peacocks of the music room. We really can’t see the living room because of all the boxes in front of it. Here’s what the Graceland foyer looks like without them.

 

The boxes in the previous picture are Christmas decorations, presumably brought in from off-site and stacked in the foyer. I’m sure a crew of many folks got right to work getting Graceland into the Christmas spirit.

 

Speaking of Christmas, this is a very obscure holiday video done in Claymation style. It’s VHS, but I still have a player hooked up and watch every year without fail. The reason I like it so much is that the “Reindeer who saved Christmas” is named Elvis. And he sings in a group of three reindeer. There’s even a scene that seems to have been inspired by the weird dream sequence in Live A Little, Love A Little.

 

In Follow That Sleigh, a little boy looks into Santa’s sack of toys and falls in. And, like Elvis did, he freefalls and has a bunch of weird stuff going on when he lands. If you can find this video, buy it. It’s a trip.

 

 

This is stupid. A company makes a dish towel with Elvis’ image on it. That’s bad enough.  Then they market it with a picture of the towel not flat and smooth, and Elvis looks like his face is melting or something. Yeah, that’s gonna entice Elvis fans to buy it.

 

Here’s a way we’d rather see Elvis. Although, I wished they had Photoshopped the crown on an older Elvis. He looks more like a Prince here.

 

Another Elvis the King image. This looks like graffiti on a brick wall, but it’s actually cropped off a T-shirt. I won’t have another Elvis T-shirt review until next summer, so I’m using it here.

 

From bad to good to bad. This came from an old issue of Mad magazine. Here’s another Mad image relevant to Elvis fans, but at first glance, you will say “What????”

 

This was an illustration from a 1956 story about riotous rock and rollin’ teenagers. Elvis is in the top left corner.

 

 

There are two swooning fans with Elvis messages on their shirts.

 

And there are two Elvis records with slightly altered titles (to keep them out of copyright trouble, I guess).

 

 

How do you like this Elvis Kaleidoscope image? My dad used to make kaleidoscopes and sell them at craft fairs, but I never thought to ask him if he could make an Elvis one.

 

We’ll finish with a shot from 1961 that shows how the area across from Graceland has changed drastically (twice).

 

This is the original guard house. It’s certainly not the kind of structure Graceland has now with hundreds of thousands of people visiting every year.

 

©  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.

Graceland Introduces Elvis Unplugged

It’s hard to believe that Elvis Week starts next Friday. Festivities kick off on August 9 and continue until Sunday, August 18. That’s a long 10-day week, and I’m always interested to see what EPE comes up with to lure fans to come to that early first weekend.

 

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest semis and finals in the Graceland Soundstage now seem to be a permanent early fixture of Elvis Week. And last year, Graceland made them even better with the addition of After-Parties on the streets of Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

So, this year, the challenge apparently was to schedule something new and appealing during those afternoons. I think they have come up with a winner… ELVIS UNPLUGGED. I saw a long-haired hippy-looking guy named Julio at Elvis Week 2002 do this, and it was a nice change from the full band treatment.

 

2002 was the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death, so Graceland planned some big-time stuff for the celebration. Including an incredible concert experience in the Pyramid.

 

The first Elvis in Concert was amazing and a fitting end to the week. I have no idea what they had at the beginning because I came for all the late stuff.

But now EPE has made it worthwhile for the fans to come earlier, which brings us back to:

ELVIS UNPLUGGED

 

In 2002, Graceland had little use for Elvis Impersonators. This year, there is hardly a day that doesn’t have one or two events starring ETA’s. And Graceland presents only the best of them during Elvis Week.

Here is the list of winners of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

2007 Shaun Klush
2008 Brandon Bennett
2009 Bill Cherry
2010 Justin Shandor
2011 Cody Ray Slaughter
2012 Ben Portsmouth
2013 Dean Z
2014 Jay Dupuis
2015 David Lee
2016 Dwight Icenhower
2017 Gordon Hendricks
2018 Ben Thompson

The names in bold are the six champions who will participate in the Elvis Unplugged shows this year. Both nights will be hosted by Dean Z, who has been called “the best entertainer in our business,” by Jeff Lewis, originator of the After-Parties and a man who has seen them all.

Dean Z in Jailhouse Rock Prison Uniform

 

Dean Z working out on stage

 

Dean Z will be joined on Saturday night by Jay Dupuis and Shawn Klush.

Four shots of Jay Dupuis as Elvis

 

Shawn Klush off stage

I have written about Shawn Klush a few times in ElvisBlog. I saw his act at Elvis Week 2002 in the funky New Daisy Theater. It was the last event of a long day and it was called the Elvis Midnight Blues Jam. It is where I saw that fellow Julio do the Elvis unplugged act I mentioned earlier. I don’t know where his career went, but Shawn Klush certainly moved on to better things. Five years later he was crowned the first Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist winner, and his career has been on a roll ever since.

For the Sunday night Elvis Unplugged concert there will be four Ultimate ETAs on stage. Dean Z will be joined by Ben Thompson, Cody Ray Slaughter and Dwight Icenhower.

Dwight Icenhower

 

Cody ray Slaughter also has his own show on the first night, Friday August 9. He will be backed by the David Fontana Band.

 

David Fontana is DJ’s son, and of course, that’s him on the drums.

 

Ben Thompson

 

Here is Ben Thompson on stage with Jeff Lewis (right), the MC of the After-Parties. Jeff expressed this sentiment about the After-Parties being moved to the Graceland Exhibition Center this year, “Thank God we’ll have air conditioning!” Other benefits may be a lot more table seating for the party-goers, and a better dance floor surface. It sounds like it will be a wonderful night-club set-up to me.

The Elvis Unplugged shows will also have air conditioned comfort inside the Guest House Theater. This seems the perfect small venue for a show billed as:

Live Elvis music and personal stories. An intimate acoustic experience among friends sharing music, laughter and fun.

 

The price of these unplugged concerts is just $25, which seems a bargain for Elvis Tribute Artists of this caliber. The Saturday, August 10 show sold out early, and the Sunday, August 11 will probably be by the time you read this.

If I could pull it off, I would love to be in Memphis on that Saturday night, and go to the Elvis Unplugged concert at 2:00 at the Guest House Theater, The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist finals at 7:00 at the Graceland Soundstage, and the After-Party at 9:00 in the Exhibition Center. What a nice dream, but for some lucky Elvis fans, it will be a reality.

 

 

 

© 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.