Category Archives: THE MOST UNUSUAL ELVIS ARTICLES ON THE WEB

This Post Will Self-Destruct in One Week

Elvis and Confederate Flag 1

A last look before these images disappear.

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 2

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 3

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 4

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 5

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 6

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 7

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 8

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Elvis and the Confererate Flag 9

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©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

Elvis in the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame

Graceland Announcement

This is the total content of a recent Graceland.com news item. There is no Read More link to click on. The print may be too small for you to read, but the last paragraph says, “The hall of fame was established in 2010 and is based in Clarksdale, Mississippi.”

The third paragraph lists the 2015 induction class:

Elvis
The Bar-Kays
Al Bell
Willie Clayton
Millie Jackson
Dorothy Moore
Sam Moore
Little Richard
Bobby Rush
Stax Records
The Mad Lads
Ike Turner
Muddy Waters
Radio station WDIA

There are some folks on here whom I don’t know. In addition to Elvis, I’m glad to see Sam Moore (Sam and Dave), Little Richard, Ike Turner, and Muddy Waters on the list. I wondered why Little Richard was not already in, not a charter member like he is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Who had they already inducted prior to Little Richard and Elvis being recognized? So, I clicked on the only link in the news release and went here.

 

R&B Hall of Fame Website Homepage.

This is where I started to get confused. Why would a Hall of Fame based in Clarksdale, MS have museums in two other cities? So, I clicked on the Museum tab and here’s what they are calling museums:

The 20 Grand in Detroit

This is a juke joint and restaurant in Detroit. The website states, “The 20 Grand Juke Joint Rhythm & Blues Restaurant will give you that old historic feeling of the juke joints of yesterday with pool tables, juke boxes and rhythm & blues memberilia from posters and showcases with outfits from The O’Jays, The Temptations, The Whispers, Gene Chandler, Chubby Checker, James Brown etc.”

That sounds like a long way from a museum to me. Also, how unimpressive is anyone who spells memorabilia wrong? Memberilia?

 

National Blues Music Experience Center - Memphis

Well, at least the logo for their Memphis museum is pretty cool. The National Blues Music Experience Center website says it “will tell the history of blues music from the beginning of its unsung heroes to its legends. The story will be told thought a timeline of photos, music, virtual reality and hologram exhibits.”

Note the wiggle words will tell and the story will be told. Apparently, this center does not yet exist. There is no address, hours of operation, or ticket prices listed.

 

So, I started to have some doubts about the R&B Hall of Fame and did some more looking around on the site’s links. This came up.

R&B Hall of Fame 2015 Induction - Clarksdale

Okay, a poster for the 2015 induction ceremony. There’s Elvis at the top on one side of the Highway 61 sign, Muddy Waters on the other. You can see little Richard there, too.

A couple of things on the poster are interesting. It looks like the only place in Clarksdale to buy tickets was at Delta Keepsakes down on Yazoo Ave. The other point is that the date of the ceremony was this past June 6. So Graceland waited until eleven days later to mention the ceremony in their news feed. A strangely late and surprisingly brief announcement.

Anyway, I clicked around on the site some more and found the lists of the first two classes of inductees. Here are the highlights – from my perspective, anyway.

2013: James Brown, Sam Cooke, Four Tops, Otis Redding, Supremes, Temptations, and Jackie Wilson.

2014: Michael Jackson, B.B. King, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Chubby Checker.

All worthy folks, but after three years of inductions, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Chuck Berry are still not in. I don’t get it. Maybe they are trying to save some big names to hype with future induction ceremonies.

I continued to click on things on the R&B Hall of Fame website. What I found next totally blew my mind.

R&B Hall of Fame 2015 Induction - Detroit

Wow, here’s a poster for a second 2015 induction ceremony – next October in Detroit. I guess it’s an effort to generate more money for the Hall. But strangely, Elvis, Muddy Watters, and Little Richard aren’t featured on the poster. Instead we see Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Chuck Jackson, and Jerry Butler. Not one of these singers were on the list of those chosen in 2015, nor any year for that matter.

So, I’m starting to guess why Graceland gave such belated and minimal press to Elvis going into the R&B Hall of Fame. The website does not even list biographical material on the inductees. The other music halls of fame Elvis is in do it very nicely. Here is a taste of what they’ve got to say.

 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

Elvis Bio - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

This biography goes on for another three long paragraphs.

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Country Music Hall of Fame:

Elvis Bio - Country Music Hall of Fame

This is less than 1/3 of Elvis’ bio on the Country Music Hall of Fame website.

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Rockabilly Hall of Fame:

Rockabilly Hall of Fame Elvis Picture

Before he was the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley was a country musician known as “The Hillbilly Cat from Memphis.” But the transition wasn’t easy. In his first appearance at Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry, the producer told him, “If I were you, I’d just go back to driving a truck and forget about being a singer.” Crushed, Presley might have quit if he hadn’t been given a second chance at a slightly less prestigious country radio show called the Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana. Presley tweaked his country and gospel roots with rhythm and blues, even adopting a rhythmic swagger in his hips. Growing up in the Memphis region of the Mississippi Delta, he played and recorded with many black musicians. In general, country music from that region had more influence from jazz and blues than from other parts of the South. When the producer of the Louisiana Hayride first heard Presley’s tape, he pointedly asked the talent manager who’d brought it if the singer was black or white. “Oh, he’s white all right,” the manager replied. “He’s just got a different sound, that’s all.” That different sound came to be called “ROCKABILLY,” a true mutt of music–a blend of everything from bluegrass to western swing to pop crooning. Rockabilly meant working-class boys ready to rock, decked out in checkered suits and bow ties, juiced on rhythm and blues. Rockabilly and “the Hillbilly Cat” were among the central influences of early rock ‘n’ roll, and both came directly from country music.

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Blues Hall of Fame:

The Blues hall of Fame did not have a bio, but the Elvis link included this Certificate and a wonderful quote:

Elvis Certificate - Blues Hall of Fame

“They say, The Blues had a child and they called it Rock n Roll.
Elvis Presley personifies this Rock n Roll child.”

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© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

50th Anniversary Movie Pictorials — Tickle Me

Tickle Me Movie Poster

Tickle Me premiered nationally on May 28, 1965.

As I said last month in the Girl Happy article, I now rewatch each movie on my laptop to get inspiration for these 50th anniversary posts. I make heavy use of pause, single frame advance (or reverse), and screen grab. You can discover a lot of fun shots this way.

 

Elvis -- 4 Film Favorites

First, let me give a word of praise for the DVD four-pack above. You can get a used copy for under $5 on Amazon, and I consider it the best deal on Elvis movies out there. I love all four of these movies and can watch them over and over again. Yes, I know Live A Little, Love A Little is stupid and far-out, but to me, it’s so bad that it’s cool. And they’re all fun.

 

Women Oogling Elvis in Tickle Me

Here is an example of one thing that makes Tickle Me work for me. This shot happened when Elvis first arrived at the Circle Z Ranch. I could have selected another fifteen or twenty similar pictures of beautiful girls ogling Elvis from other scenes in this movie.

 

Shot from Clambake

Oops, this one is from Clambake. How’d that get in here?

 

Jocelyn Lane's First Look at Elvis in Tickle Me

Okay, back to Tickle Me. This is Elvis’ love interest, played by Jocelyn Lane, one of my favorite Elvis costars. This is how she first sees Elvis as he starts work at the Circle Z health ranch.

 

Elvis Enjoying the View - Tickle Me

And this is a few seconds after he first sees her. Don’t the students usually face the instructor when doing exercises? Oh, well, that wouldn’t be as much fun.

 

Elvis Falling Over Table

The view gets Elvis so shook up he tumbles over a patio table. It’s one of the best physical humor bits Elvis did in his movies. There wasn’t a stunt double. He did it.

 

Elvis Singing in Local Bar - Tickle Me

In addition to Jocelyn Lane and a bevy of beautiful women, Tickle Me also has pretty good music. Elvis is backed up by three different bands, including this one in a bar the night before he reports to the ranch.

 

Elvis - Band at Ranch Party

Then there is this band at a luau at the ranch. Elvis must have liked that jacket. He wears it in a lot of scenes.

 

Elvis - Band in the Saloon

And finally, Elvis is backed by these guys in a dream sequence. Actually, it should be called a joint-daydream sequence, because both Elvis and Jocelyn are wide awake and see the same flashback to a saloon a hundred years earlier. This is not the only wonderfully ludicrous element of the film.

 

Elvis -- Another Song with Invisable band

Like this scene where Elvis sings and an invisible band provides the musical accompaniment.

 

Lovely Girls Following Elvis - Tickle Me

Same deal here. Lots of sound coming from that invisible band again.

Here’s an interesting tid-bit about the music in Tickle Me. Elvis did not record any new songs for it. Instead, the movie featured songs culled from these old Elvis albums: Pot Luck, Something for Everybody, and Elvis is Back. Probably some kind of cost saving idea of Col. Parker’s.
So, in addition to girls and music, what else does Tickle Me have to offer? How about bad guys in creepy-looking masks:

Monster at Door - Tickle Me

Monster in Window - Tickle Me

Donkey

Actually, this is a real donkey. He apparently lives in the ghost town where Jocelyn (alone, and later with Elvis) looks for her grandfather’s hidden gold coins.

 

Ghost Town in Tickle Me

See the donkey? Once Elvis and Jocelyn get to the ghost town, the sort-of plot kicks in, but so does a bunch of silliness.

 

Restored Hotel in Tickle Me

Like the hotel supposedly restored by the State Historical Society. The doors are not locked, no one is there to welcome visitors, and it has hot running water and wooden chests full of clothes to change into.

 

Jocelyn Wet and Mad at Elvis - Tickle Me

Which worked out well for Jocelyn after she got caught in a thunderstorm. She does an excellent job of being wet and mad at Elvis in this scene.

 

Elvis Giving Quick Spank to Jocelyn - Tickle Me

But Elvis calms her down once he gets her inside.

 

You don't Mind Kissing your Boss Do You

Elvis also had to calm down the beautiful ranch manager. When she asked him something like, “You’re not afraid of a little kissing with your boss, are you?” Elvis looks directly at the camera and winks. A nice touch. I don’t remember Elvis doing it in other films.

 

Red West and Elvis Fighting - Tickle Me

There’s one thing I always look for in Elvis movies. It’s the fight scene with Red West. Someday I’ll tabulate how many of them there are and do a blog post on them.

Red West Before Swinging at Elvis - Tickle Me

Here’s Red pulling his date away after she threw herself at Elvis.  Gee, we’ve never seen that before, have we?

 

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 1 - Tickle Me

As usual, we will end this pictorial essay with Elvis kissing his leading lady.

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 2 - Tickle Me

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane kissed four times in Tickle Me. That might be a record. I don’t know.

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 3 - Tickle Me

Elvis and Jocelyn Lane - Kiss # 4 - Tickel Me

Strangely, they did not kiss when they found the gold, or when they got married, or when they took off on their honeymoon. Too bad. That certainly would have set the movie record for Elvis kissing his love interest.

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

Elvis T-Shirt Review — Summer 2015

Graceland University of Rock Raglan  T-Shirt

For the sixth year in a row, ElvisBlog is happy to present its annual Elvis T-Shirt Review.  In years past, all the winners and losers came from ShopElvis.com.  Now that Graceland.com is selling T-Shirts (and everything else in their on-line store, ShopGraceland.com), this year’s picks come from both sites.

ShopElvis.com

ShopGraceland.com

 

WINNERS

 

 Graceland University of Rock Raglan T-Shirt:

University of Rock

One reason I picked the shirt at the top is because I am partial to the raglan sleeve design.  Another reason is the great silhouette of Elvis.  However, the theme is especially clever – UNIVERSITY OF ROCK.  Same for Home of the King and Founded 1954.

You will note GRACELAND at the bottom of the design.  This is becoming a trend in the new shirts offered on ShopGraceland.com.  Twenty out of their thirty-seven designs have the word Graceland on them (many with a picture as well).  None of the forty-seven designs on ShopElvis.com have anything about Graceland.  I don’t know what that means, but it is curious.

 

 Elvis on Tour in Japan T-Shirt:

 Elvis on Tour in Japan T-Shirt

This shirt makes the Winners List because it is so bizarre.  Elvis never toured Japan, and Elvis on Tour in Japan does not appear on the shirt, so the title is a puzzler.  But this is probably the only Elvis T-Shirt with hot chicks in bikinis on it.  And it certainly is the only one featuring Japanese letter symbols.

 

Elvis Presley Boulevard / Lonely Street T-Shirt:

 Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street

I am always partial to black T-Shirts with colorful designs.  This design is fairly subdued, but it works.  I like the street signs showing the intersection of Elvis Presley Boulevard and Lonely Street.  Same for the profile of Elvis. But check out the long-distance perspective down the street toward Graceland with Elvis’ shadow right in the middle.  Very cool.

 

Elvis The Legend Rolls On MotorcycleT-Shirt:

Elvis the Legend Rolls on Motorcycle T-Shirt

I’m a sucker for any T-Shirt design featuring an Alfred Wertheimer photograph.  I also like The Legend Rolls On and the vertical spelling of E-L-V-I-S.  I’m not sure I understand why they felt they needed to add the white streaky stuff to the left of his name, because it obscures so much of Elvis’ Harley.

 

Elvis Presley American Classic Motorcycle T-Shirt:

 Elvis Presley American Classic Motorcycle T-Shirt

Here’s another Elvis motorcycle pic worked into a T-Shirt design.  There is a lot here if you look closely.  From the top, we have a crown, The King of Rock & Roll, ELVIS PRESLEY (in a nifty font), Elvis and the Harley, eagle wings, the TCB logo, and AMERICAN Classic.  The only thing missing is Graceland.

 

Elvis Presley Fueled By Rock ‘N Roll T-Shirt:

Elvis Presley Fueled By Rock 'N Roll T-Shirt

Graceland isn’t missing on this one.  The ’54 pink Caddy has been on a number of Elvis T-Shirts over the years, but this view is the best yet.  Add this to the list of clever titles or tag-lines:  ELVIS PRESLEY – Fueled by Rock & Roll.

 

Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street Guitar T-Shirt:

 Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street Guitar T-Shirt SG 22

Well, if Elvis Presley Boulevard/Lonely Street was a good idea for one T-Shirt, why not use it on another?  This concept is totally different, but the use of the guitar neck as the pole for the street signs is clever.  I could have done without the Graceland on the neck, but still a good shirt.

 

TCB Distressed Foil T-Shirt:

Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street Guitar T-Shirt

I have this same design on a baseball cap I wear all the time.  Every once-in-a-while, a stranger will notice it, smile, and say “Elvis fan.”   It’s almost like a secret code.  You can proclaim that you are an Elvis fan, but only other fans get it.  The rest of people don’t have a clue.

ShopGraceland TCB

The shirt above is offered by Graceland.com.  I’m not real crazy about the distressed-foil design.  It just makes the TCB logo look crappy, so what’s the point?  However, ShopElvis.com has a similar design.  It’s cleaner and the lightning bolt isn’t compressed so much.

ShopElvis TCB

 

 

LOSERS

 

Elvis Stage Presence T-Shirt:

Elvis Stage presence T-Shirt

Stupid name.  What does this image have to do with “Stage Presence”?  And look at this blow-up of the picture.

Elvis and Cat in Oval Office

That’s Elvis in the Oval Office shaking hands with a cat, not President Nixon.  Stupidest idea for an Elvis T-Shirt I ever saw.

 

Elvis Presley US Army T-Shirt:

 Elvis Presley U.S. Army T-Shirt

Two things force this shirt onto my Loser List.  Maybe the Sergeant strips on the sleeves work for some folks, but they are a total turn-off for me.  Just tacky.  And why is the front design crooked?  This shirt looks like it is a second, but ShopGraceland.com is asking $22 for it.

 

Elvis V8 Ambition:

 Elvis V8 Ambition

Another confusing name.  Ambition is clear enough, and if you look closely, you can see V8 Engine above Elvis’ signature.  But you’d have to be real close to someone wearing this shirt to see the full tag line: AMBITION is a Dream with a V8 Engine.  This is just not a very desirable T-Shirt.

 

Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii Ukelele T-Shirt:

Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii Ukelele T-Shirt

There aren’t many red Elvis T-Shirts, so I wanted to like this.  But when you look close, lots of stuff are turn-offs.  For one, Ukulele is spelled wrong in the name (I didn’t actually catch this, but Spell Check did).  I’m good with guitars on Elvis T-Shirts, but ukes don’t do anything for me.

Elvis in a Uke

But, look at this blow-up.  Over Elvis’ face and body, they have superimposed Aloha from Hawaii Live Via Satellite.  Those splotches of red on his face are just unacceptable.

 

Official Elvis Insiders Conference 2005 T-Shirt:

Official Elvis Insiders Conference 2005 Men’s T-Shirt

As you can imagine, this shirt did come from the Close-out section.  They’ve been trying to sell the last of these for ten years.  It’s about time to realize nobody wants them.  Give them to charity and move on.

 

Elvis American Legend T-Shirt:

Elvis American Legend T-Shirt

I guess this is an Elvis shirt you either love or hate.  It’s hard to believe it is being offered by the folks that are so concerned about protecting Elvis’ image.

Elvis Wearing TCB Glasses

Imagine this image on a circular pendant swinging slowly back and forth.  “You are getting sleepy, very sleepy.”

 

 

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2014

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2013

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2012

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2011

ELVIS T-SHIRT REVIEW — SUMMER 2010

A New Name in the History of Elvis’ Teenage Girlfriends

Sandy, Mac, Brenda - Copy

Brenda Lee, Mac Davis, Sandy Martindale

On May 20, Graceland announced the special guests for Elvis Week 2015. Very little was said about each guest, and none was needed for Brenda Lee or Mas Davis. But, what about that the third name on the list – Sandy Martindale? All the press release said was “she used to date Elvis.”

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on Elvis’ girlfriends, but I had never heard of Sandy Martindale. So, it was time to do a Google search and see what her story is. I found four good references from 1997, 2004, 2008, and 2014, plus a few photos, mostly of her and long-time husband Wink Martindale.

Sandy and Wink Martindale

It turns out Sandy Ferra was fourteen when she first met Elvis, many years before she met and wed his friend Wink Martindale. This makes her one on a long list of teenage girls Elvis is known to have dated. Let’s look at the more notable ones in chronological order, followed by some detail about Sandy Ferra Martindale.

 

Elvis and Regis at Senior Prom 1953

Regis Wilson: 14 when Elvis took her to the Prom in 1953.

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Barb Pittman

Barbara Pittman: Three years younger than Elvis when they met in high school and started dating. She later recorded a few songs at Sun Records.

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Dixie Locke and Elvis 1955

Dixie Locke: 15 when Elvis started dating her in 1953 after he had graduated from high school. Dated him for a year or two.

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Elvis and Barbara Hearn

Barbara Hearn: Met Elvis through her friend Dixie Locke. Started dating him when he and Dixie broke up.

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June Jaunico and Elvis

June Juanico: 17 when she met Elvis on June 26, 1955. In March 1957 she said goodbye because “I couldn’t wait in the wings while Elvis got on with his career.”

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Natalie Wood and Elvis

Natalie Wood: 18 when she met Elvis in Hollywood in 1956. Elvis was 21.

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Young Priscilla Beaulieu

Priscilla Beaulieu: 14 when Elvis met her in Germany in 1959. Elvis was 24.

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Sandy Ferra with Elvis - 1960

Sandy Ferra: 14 when she met Elvis in Los Angeles in 1960. He was 25.

Soon after Elvis got out of the Army in 1960, he went to Los Angeles to film G.I. Blues at Paramount Studios. One night, he went to The Cross Bow nightclub in Panorama City in the San Fernando Valley. While in the club owner’s office, Elvis was bowled over by a photo of Sandy, his fourteen-year-old daughter.

He told Mr. Ferra he’d like to meet his daughter, so the man called her at home. Mom got on the line and told Elvis she would not drive Sandy back to the club because she was only fourteen and it was a school night. So, Elvis said he would be back the next week and he asked if Sandy could meet him then. In the meantime, her dad came home and told her that Elvis was a ‘gorgeous guy,’ because at the time, she didn’t even know who Elvis Presley was.

So, the next week her mother drove her to the club. Sandy wore a frilly dress and had her hair in a ponytail, while Elvis showed up with a beautiful actress. Sandy just sat there and stared at him because he was so good looking. He held her hand and kissed her on the cheek, and as Sandy has revealed, “That was it. I was hooked.”

Later Elvis called and told her mother he wanted to date Sandy, and her mother said, “I don’t care if you’re King Farouk; my daughter’s only fourteen and she can’t go out with you.” So Elvis said to her mother, “Well, you can come on the date.” In fact, she came on their first three dates.

Elvis was staying at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, so Sandy and her mother went there and enjoyed pizza, hot fudge sundaes, banana splits, as well as watching television, talking, and dancing. Then, after the first three dates, Elvis promised her mother that he’d be a ‘gentleman’ and ‘take good care’ of her, if she said it was okay for Sandy to go out with him unchaperoned. According to Sandy, “He stuck to his word and was a perfect gentleman. He loved and respected my parents and was a wonderful part of my life.”

The only thing Sandy has revealed about their romance is, “We kissed a lot. We did a lot of necking. Elvis was the best kisser.” There are some media reports stating that Elvis once asked Sandy’s mother if she and her daughter would consider moving to Graceland, where he would “raise” Sandy as his future wife, but Sandy’s parents refused. In 1962, another young lady Elvis had met when she also was fourteen moved into Graceland. Could Priscilla be considered Plan B?

According to these same reports, Elvis and Sandy were an item, on and off, for the next six years — right up until he married Priscilla.

According to a July 4, 2008 article on www.elvis.com.au, Sandy said, “I danced in six of his movies because I was going with him. In Viva Las Vegas that’s me with Ann-Margaret and Elvis dancing at the roulette table.” (actually a huge roulette wheel painted on the stage)

Sandy Ferra Dancing in Viva Las Vegas
Sandy Ferra during “What’d I Say” dance sequence in Viva Las Vegas.

If you go to Elvis Week this year and attend the Graceland Insiders Conference, you will hear Sandy Ferra Martindale talk about this and a lot more. I’m not going this year, but if I was, I’d be sure to take in that event.

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Sandy Martindale

 

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© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

EPE versus OKC — The Battle over Elvis’ Planes

Elvis' Hound Dog ll

On April 26, Graceland.com posted a surprisingly brief news item.

“Graceland is pleased that an agreement has been reached for Elvis’ two airplanes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II to remain at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis permanently. The planes have been available for tours in the Graceland visitors’ center since 1984.”

Pretty short on detail, and there has been no elaboration since. Lisa Marie had a little Twitter message the same day.

Lisa Marie's Twitter Message about Elvis' Planes

I guess the plan is to move forward with no mention of the battle that has been going on since last July between Elvis Presley Enterprises and OKC Partnership, the company that actually owns the planes. In case you don’t know the history here, Graceland has displayed the planes under an agreement that gives OKC an a specific percentage of the ticket revenue.

Things seem to have worked fine for all the years that Graceland charged separate prices for each attraction. Then, package tickets came into the picture, but you could still buy the individual tickets. Well, those days are over. You must now choose between two package plans, or simply see the mansion and nothing else..

Graceland Ticket Prices

These are two options on the cheaper  package. The only difference is that the top one includes the airplanes for an extra $5.00. The more expensive Elvis VIP Entourage package works the same way. When this set-up started, it effectively established a considerably lower ticket income for the planes exhibit, and thus, a big drop in revenue for OKC. Which, of course, they weren’t happy about. So, OKC called EPE’s bluff by threatening to remove their planes.

From here on it was like a boxing slug fest, with each side making moves to get the advantage.

First EPE countered their bluff by saying okay, get the planes out of here. Might have been a smart move. Realistically, where could OKC set up the planes and attract as many customers as they get at Graceland?

Advantage EPE

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Soon, OKC announced a deal with Julian’s, the Beverly Hills, California, auction house to offer both planes, and they were expected to fetch between $10 million and $15 million.

Advantage OKC

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Uh, oh. The auction closed on February 2, and nobody bid on the planes. Same results when they tried to sell them on an aviation website and eBay.

Advantage EPE

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3850 Elvis Presley Blvd.

Earlier this month (April 2015), Shelby County’s land use board approved a proposal by OKC Partnership to move the planes to a 5.3-acre lot at 3850 Elvis Presley Blvd, not far from Graceland. The plan was approved Tuesday, April 21 by the Memphis City Council.

ABC News Headline on Moving Elvis' Planes.

The approved plan called for the planes to be installed as an outdoor display and museum for tourists to visit.  And the news release said it would be up and running in time for Elvis Week 2015.

Advantage OKC

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To show you how feasible this plan could have been, look at the location of the lot in question.

Property for Elvis' Planes Across from Days Inn

The lot is across the street from the Days Inn that is just down the street from the car museum. I stayed there on my first visit, and it’s no walk at all to Graceland.

 

Aerial View of Graceland Area

This aerial view shows the property just to the right of the marker. Look above it and you can see the Graceland drive and the mansion behind the cluster of trees. A little higher and to the left you can see where the planes are now. So, OKC had a viable plan to move the planes, start their own attraction, and attract all the folks in town to see Graceland.

EPE had to cut a deal, or they would lose the planes. You can bet some hot and heavy negation went on, and now they own the plans.

Advantage EPE

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Yes, Graceland seems to have won, but the price had to be a lot higher than they originally expected.

Look at the aerial map again. Above the planes is the U-shaped Heartbreak Hotel. Behind it is the Graceland Trailer Park and a primitive tent camping area. In an ElvisBlog article last July, I speculated that if EPE wanted to move the planes to allow room for a huge entertainment complex, they might eliminate the tent area and put them there.

One other interesting fact came to light while I researched this story. There is another possible location where EPE might move the planes. Directly behind Graceland Plaza Visitors’ Center is a sixteen-acre property that used to be the Craft Manor Apartments. It has been razed and EPE has owned it since 2007. So the planes could be moved there as part of some new development.  Like Lisa cryptically said, “We own them and have fun plans 4 them.”

Overhead Shot of Elvis' Planes in Current Location

Or the planes might stay right where they are. Either way, the fans win.

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

What’s An Elvis Autograph Worth — Part 5

Elvis Autograph Sample

It’s been a year-and-a-half since we last looked at Elvis autographs. For some reason, not too many came on the market during that time, at least not at the five auctions I’ve followed – three Heritage rock memorabilia auctions and two Auctions at Graceland. What was for sale tended to be more expensive, partially because of the items Elvis put his autograph on. Here’s a look at them in ascending price order.

 

Autographed Fan Photograph (1965):

Elvis Autographed Photograph

In 1965, Elvis signed the back of this 5” x 4” b&w photo taken by a fan club president at Elvis’ Bel Air, California home. For some reason, the back with the autograph was not shown on the auction website. The signed photo went for $650 including the 25% auction house service charge. One reason for the low price has been noted here before. Photos, postcards, etc. signed on the front make a much better display in a proper frame, with matting, and non-glare glass, and they bring a higher price. With this one, you would just see the autograph on a blank piece of paper.

 

Signed Promotional Photograph:

Elvis Wild in the Country Group

The group of items above were part of a promotional package for Elvis’ 1961 movie Wild in the Country, when it had its national premier at the Malco Theater in Memphis. The b&w photo at the bottom left is 7.5” x 9.5” and is signed on the back. Elvis must have turned it sideways when he signed it.

Elvis Wild In the Country Photo Autographed -- Blow-up

This one went for $1,375, but certainly part of that value is from the accompanying eight-page premier program and the bumper sticker. How do you like that message? “Official Teenage Press Agent – Ask Me”

Example of How Presentation Affects Value:

Elvis Signature and Color Photo

See that little piece of white paper under the color photo of Elvis? It measures just 2.5″ x 2.5”, and may well be the smallest thing Elvis ever autographed. So, how do you turn this tiny item into something that brings $1,500 at auction? Easy, put it in a nice matted frame with a good Elvis photograph.

Elvis Signature Blow-up

Over the years, I have seen so many scraps of paper with Elvis’ autograph up for auction that had no attempt at proper presentation. Why don’t these sellers spend some money and make displays of their autographs. They’d come out hundreds of dollars ahead, like this seller did.

 

Autographed German Postcard:

Elvis Signed Postcard

There is certainly some intrinsic value to German Elvis postcards from 1959. Although Elvis’ autograph is on the backside, this went for $1,500. The auction website said another not-autographed German postcard was part of the lot, so that probably added to the total value.

Elvis Signed Postcard - back

The German text on the back is promotion for Pulverdampf Und Heibe Lieder (Love Me Tender). One thing I don’t understand is that the postcard front is rectangular and the back is square. How can that be? The auction website offers no explanation.

 

Signed 1956 Promotional Photo:

Elvis Signed Photograph

Well, this one is big (8” x 10”) and it goes back to the early days of Elvis’ career. Is that enough to make it bring $1,625 at auction? It was for one bidder. The auction description states that all four corners display Scotch Tape residue. We can assume the young fan thought it was more important to display Elvis’ face than his autograph. I wonder what the new owner will decide.

 

Autographed Envelope, 1955

Elvis Signed Envelope

You need to know the history behind this autograph to appreciate why it sold for $1.625.

The front of this envelope is postmarked “Mar 20 1955 / Greenville Tex.,” and addressed to “Carol Eldred.” The original letter to Carol is still enclosed inside. It is from Bobby Belew of the teenage singing act, The Belew Twins — two young brothers who performed around the South in the early 1950s, and who crossed Elvis’ path a few times at various gigs. Carol obtained this autograph in May of 1955 when she went to see her friends The Belew Twins perform at “The Big D Jamboree” at the Sportatorium in Dallas, Texas. Elvis was also on the bill that night.

Carol remembers not caring much for Elvis, but when she saw him backstage while she was waiting for Bobby Belew, Elvis asked her if she wanted his autograph. She didn’t, but she also didn’t want to be rude, so she fished this letter out of her purse and the future King signed the back of the envelope for her.

You know it had to be real early in Elvis’ career if he had to ask a girl if she wanted his autograph. That soon changed drastically.

 

Early Elvis Autograph:

Early Elvis Autograph

This has to be the crappiest-looking Elvis autograph ever offered, but removing the piece of white notepaper to crop and display it would lose another cute story about how the fan obtained her cherished treasure.

The handwriting says, “Elvis Presley’s autograph. One Sat, Helen, Miriam Whipple & I were driving by his house & he was out on his motorcycle & we ran up and got his autograph. I touched him & his motorcycle too!!”

Don’t you love it? – I touched his motorcycle, too!! Also note that she misspelled Elvis on her first attempt.

The auctions website warns, “The note shows evidence of being well loved and admired by an adoring fan. The note has stains and folds and signs of tape and residue. Slightly torn and creased.” In spite of that (or maybe because of it), this autograph went for $2,000.

 

Signed “Suspicious Minds” Picture Sleeve:

Elvis Autograph on Suspicious Minds Picture Sleeve

This went for more than I expected, topping out at $2,250. The 45 RPM picture sleeve is in excellent condition, which certainly helped, but the auction site doesn’t mention whether the actual record is in there.

Elvis Suspicious Minds Autograph - Blown Up

I can see top value in an Elvis autographed picture sleeve for one of his 1956 hits, but “Suspicious Minds” was released in 1969. The auction site noted that the song was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as #91 on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

 

Elvis-Signed Note to a Fan:

Elvis-Signed Note to a Fan

The supporting documents say Elvis signed this piece of lined notebook paper backstage at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium on October 26, 1957. I have no idea why nine people wanted it so much that they ran the top bid up $3,250.

However, it was sold at the second Auction at Graceland in January 2015. The idea of an Elvis-only auction held in Memphis on his birthday was brilliant, as almost every item sold for more (sometimes much more) than comparable items had at general Rock & Roll memorabilia auctions previously.

 

Signed Letter to MGM (July 24, 1964):

Elvis Signed Letter to MGM

This letter looks like it was typed by MGM Studios and included in the mailing package for the reels of Viva Las Vegas film sent to Elvis. Elvis returned it signed, and it and confirmed, “I agree that said print will be used by me only for my personal library purposes,” plus some other legalese. I don’t find it a particularly compelling collectible, but somebody did and paid $3,750 for it.

 

Elvis and Priscilla Autographed Print:

Elvis Signed Color Portrait

Back in 1967, a devoted fan, Marilyn Tittle from Ohio came to Memphis determined to see (and maybe meet) Elvis. She hung out at the gates of Graceland, ultimately impressing the guard with her perseverance. First, he gave her this 16” x 20” color portrait of Elvis. Then he told her Elvis and Priscilla were honeymooning at the Circle G Ranch, and he facilitated her getting on the grounds.

Elvis Signed Color Portrait - Close up

It worked, and Ms. Tittle got both Elvis and Priscilla to sign the portrait. A month later, she returned to Memphis with the portrait and got Vernon to sign it. I don’t know if there are any other collectibles signed by Elvis, Priscilla, and Vernon, but this one sold for $3,875 a few weeks ago.

 

Signed Checks to Red West and Jerry Schilling:

Elvis Signed Check Written to Red West, 1975

Elvis Signed Check Written to Jerry Schilling

These two checks were offered at the first Auction at Graceland on August 16, 2014. They were both issued to members of Elvis’ Memphis Mafia. The interesting thing is that the check to Red West went for $5,125, while the one to Jerry schilling brought in $6,250.

Why the difference? My opinion is that many fans feel the same way I do about these two men. Schilling was a true buddy until the end and waited thirty years before he wrote a book about Elvis, a very positive book. Red West wrote that hatchet job in 1977 that hurt Elvis deeply. I would be happy to display an Elvis collectible with Jerry Schilling’s name on it. Red West, not so much.

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis Missed Out on National High Five Day

National High Five day - 3rd Thurday in April

Did you observe National High Five Day last Thursday? This strange celebration started in 2002 at the University of Virginia and has spread to a national event every third Thursday in April. We can imagine if Elvis was still around, he would happily join this celebration and give high fives to everyone he encountered on the special day.

Apparently there are no photos in the Graceland archives of Elvis actually giving a high five, but they still saluted the day with this post on Graceland.com.

Graceland.com Salute o National High-Five Day

That sure looks more like a wave. Well, I’ve got zillions of Elvis pictures, so I went through them to see if there was an Elvis high five. There wasn’t, but there were some photos of Elvis’ hands doin things at least as interesting as the one above. Here they are, with comments.

Elvis Spanking Troublemaker

You probably recognize this one from Blue Hawaii. I didn’t come up with the cloud comment, but it works pretty well.

 

Elvis incorporates levitating air piano to his act

I love this one. It looks like Elvis incorporates levitating air piano to his act.

 

Elvis' Army Physical

How about this shot of Elvis during his Army physical. Eyes up, ladies. Look at his hands.

 

Elvis' Face Covered by Hands

This doesn’t inspire any sage comment, so use your imagination to figure what Elvis was doing.

 

Elvis Writing Graffiti on Bathroom Wall

Oh, oh. Elvis writing graffiti on a bathroom wall.

 

Yarn Around Elvis; Hands

It’s hard to figure out why Elvis would let this woman wrap her yarn around his hands.

 

Elvis Helping a Woman Get in Jeep

Elvis is putting his hands to good use in this one, but the expression on his face is priceless.

 

Elvis -- Oh My

Here’s a caption: “Oh. Man. What made me do that last night?”

 

Elvis Putting A Spell On Guy

It looks like Elvis and this guy are trying to put spells on each other.

 

Elvis Shielding Eyes

Whatcha looking at, Elvis?

 

Elvis Getting A Shot

It looks like Elvis is about to get a second shot, and he didn’t have a good reaction to the first one.

 

Elvis -- Watch That Hand, Mister

And my favorite: “Watch that hand, mister.”

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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A Look at Riley Keough’s Movie career

Riley Keough Modelling

Three weeks ago, I surfed the internet looking for information about Elvis’ first grandchild, who had just gotten married. I found very little about the marriage, but there was plenty about Riley Keough’s modelling career and her movie work.

Riley Keough Movie Credits

According to AllMovie.com, Riley has appeared in five movies so far and has number six coming out in May – Mad Max: Fury Road. Let’s take a look at them in chronical order.

 

The Runaways – 2010:

The Runaways

Riley Keough already had a successful modelling career going when she got her break in the movies. In 2010, she appeared in a small part in The Runaways, a film about the groundbreaking 70s all-girl band. She played the Marie Currie, the sister of main character Cherie Currie (played by Dakota Fanning). Riley’s character had to stay home and take care of their sick dad while her sister went on the road to tour with the band.

Dakota Fanning and Riley Keough

Although Riley was twenty at the time of filming, she was very believable as a sixteen-year-old in the movie. She would play teenagers in her next two films.

 

The Good Doctor – 2011:

The Good Doctor

Riley graduated to a co-starring role in her next film. She was very credible as a sick teenager in The Good Doctor. Her condition required a soft-spoken, often frail-sounding dialogue, and she was easy to accept in the role.

Riley Keough in The Good Doctor

The doctor turned out to be a real slimeball, and he eventually killed her. That’s not really a spoiler – you can see it coming a mile away. But, I won’t reveal if he gets away with it or not.

 

Jack & Diane: — 2011:

Jack & Diane

Riley also co-starred in her next film, and it was a bold leap into a radical role. See the dark haired person at the top of this picture. That’s Jack, a butch lesbian, played by Riley.

Riley as Jack in Jack& Dianne

Here’s a better shot. Talk about transforming yourself to fit the role. I must admit, I enjoyed this movie the least of Riley’s movies, especially when it veers off into horror movie territory at the end.

 

Magic Mike – 2013:

Magic Mike

Next, Riley took a supporting role in a big movie. She played a stripper in Magic Mike. I couldn’t find a clip from the film showing her, but here she is with the whole cast.

Magic Mike Cast

You can see that Riley is not playing a teenager in this movie. Scroll back, and see how different her characters look in the films.

 

Kiss of the Damned – 2013:

Kiss of the Dammed

I’m not a real big fan of vampire movies. This one confused me with the concept of good vampires and bad vampires, but Riley was neither. She appeared near the end in a minor part as an innocent foil of an older female vampire.

Riley in Kiss of the Damned

 

Mad Max: Fury Road – Premiering in May 2015:

Mad Max Fury Road Poster

Riley must be thrilled to have sixth billing in this new installment of the Mad Max franchise. It is her first role in an action-adventure film. Hopefully the crazy special effects leave her some room to show her acting chops.

Mad Max Cast

Riley plays one of the “five wives” that Charlize Theron’s character must transport across the desert.

Mad Max Clip 4

That’s Riley right on the right. She’s changed her look again, this time as a redhead. Here’s another look, with Riley in the middle.

Mad Max Group Shot

 

And one more look of Riley in a shot containing one of the less freaky-looking male characters.

Mad Max Clip 5

The trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road sure makes it look like it will be a big film, a summer blockbuster. Riley’s role in her only other big movie, Magic Mike, was very brief and she didn’t stand out. This time could be different. A credible performance in a meaty role could move her up in the Hollywood hierarchy of female actors.

 

Lee Jeans Ad 2011

If not, Riley can always fall back on her ultra-successful modelling career. Either way, Elvis would be proud of what his granddaughter has achieved.

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Graceland to Muscle in on the Vegas Elvis Wedding Chapels

Elvis with bible

 

Did you see this recent announcement on Graceland.com?

Graceland Presents Elvis
Part of it could be good for Elvis fans going to Las Vegas… if you bring enough money. “Elvis Is Back in the Building” refers to a partnership between EPE and the Westgate Las Vegas Resort. If that name is unfamiliar to you, it used to be called the Las Vegas Hilton, and it is where Elvis performed over 600 concerts from 1969 to 1976. The showroom he once dominated is now renamed the Elvis Presley Theater. From April 23 to May 31, it will be home to the “Elvis Experience,” a large-scale production replicating one of Elvis’ legendary Las Vegas shows. It stars Martin Fontaine and features 24 musicians and eight-member choir. According to the press release, “This critically-acclaimed production will take guests back to the early 1970s to fully experience one of the king’s sold out Las Vegas concerts.”

Elvis Experience

A little research shows that Canadian entertainer Martin Fontaine is a solid member of the top tier of Elvis Tribute Artists. He has been performing for almost twenty years, and has had an ongoing show at the Capital Theater in Quebec City.

Priscilla and Martin Fontaine

Priscilla took in his show last year and had great things to say about him. Here’s a shocker. That is Martin Fontaine next to her. He wears an Elvis wig when he does the show.

Elvis Wig

Here’s what he looks like when wearing a jumpsuit and the wig. He looks pretty good, doesn’t he?

Martin Fontaine as Elvis

The “Elvis Experience” will be a single show every evening Tuesday through Saturday from April 23 to May 31. Cheapest seats are $59.85, and the near-stage ones in those semi-circular booths will go for $93.95. So what do you think, will enough folks fork over that much money for an Elvis Tribute show to fill up that large venue five nights a week? EPE is hedging their bets. After this five week trial run, the theater will feature “other limited-run, Graceland-produced live shows.” Who knows what that means?

 

The other major feature mentioned in the EPE news release is “ELVIS: The Exhibition.” The Las Vegas Sun reported it “will encompass more than 28,000 square feet of the former Star Trek:The Exhibit space and include hundreds of artifacts from the Graceland archives.

ELVIS The Exhibition

Some of the artifacts include Elvis’ high school yearbooks, first gold album, 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 1962 Lincoln Continental, 1971 Stutz Blackhawk, jewelry and stage wear, including the outfit worn onstage for his first concert at the International Hotel in 1969. Select artifacts will be rotated regularly with those in the Graceland archives to keep the exhibit fresh. Graceland-produced videos will be prominent, including a 26-minute retrospective on Elvis’ greatest performances.

The exhibit will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and tickets are $22, plus taxes and fees, but they are being sold only for the same five-week period as the tribute show. Why?

 

The Elvis Presley's Graceland Chapel

The last item in the news release really caught my eye. “Another exciting feature will be the new, “Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel.” It is also scheduled to open on April 23, but information on the chapel and its special packages will not be announced until later in March.

It is safe to say that this will put a hurt on the Las Vegas wedding chapels with an Elvis theme.  So, let’s take a look at a few of them and spotlight some of their unique offerings that might help them survive.

 

An Elvis Chapel:

An Elvis Chapel

I’m not sure how these folks got away with that name without hearing from Graceland’s lawyers. One of their packages includes an Elvis/Marilyn Monroe combination wedding. I doubt that the official EPE sanctioned chapel will do that.

 

Graceland Wedding Chapel:

Graceland Wedding Chapel

These clever folks have a package that includes dueling Elvises: You know, EPE might actually try that idea.

 

A Little White Chapel:

A Little White Chapel

See where the sign says 24 Hr Drive Up Wedding Window? We can be pretty sure Graceland’s Elvis Chapel won’t include that.

Little White Wedding Chapel Drive Thru Window

This window is inside what they call The Tunnel of Love. So, if you want to get married inside, it provides a covered shelter for your friend’s bikes in case of rain.

Bikes in Tunnel of Love

 

Chapel Bar and Elvis Shrine:

Chapel Bar and Elvis Shrine

This is my favorite. A travelling party bus where sixteen of your friends can join you for your marriage ceremony and reception. Then you get a tour of Las Vegas with return to your hotel.

 

Although the “Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel” won’t be doing most of this stuff, you can be sure they will attract a lot of business away from the established chapels in town.

Vegas Wedding Chapels

 

It does seem that Graceland likes to control or at least dominate all-things-Elvis. We’ve seen it before with the tribute artists.

Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

 

Then came the auctions of Elvis memorabilia.

The Auction at Graceland

 

Now it’s the Vegas Elvis Wedding Chapels.

Hot Elvis Wedding Chapel Special Offer

 

What’s next? I have an idea.

Velvet Elvis

Velvet Elvis

 

I can just see it now: The EPE officially sanctioned Velvet Elvis Art Gallery

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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