Category Archives: THE MOST UNUSUAL ELVIS ARTICLES ON THE WEB

First Look – -The Rooms at the Guest House at Graceland

GuestHouse at Graceland

Back in July 2014, ElvisBlog reported EPE’s announcement that they would be building a 450-room luxury hotel in Memphis. It was be located across Elvis Presley Blvd from the Graceland Crossing shops and Heartbreak Hotel.

For some reason I never followed up with any additional news as construction went on. The photo below shows the progress on the Guest House at Graceland as of December 2015.

Guesthouse at Graceland under construction

We can be sure EPE had hoped it would be completed by Elvis Week this year, but they must have recently accepted the reality that it wasn’t possible. So, last Thursday they made the official announcement that the Guest House will open on October 27. They also posted on Elvis.com/news renderings of what the rooms would look like and what they would cost.

 

King Size Bed in Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

This is the basic room for two people. You can see the king-size bed with two small night stands on either side. Between the bed and the window there is a chair, ottoman, floor lamp, and a small modernistic table with a square glass top. The rate on Sunday through Thursday nights is $159. For an additional $20 you can get a room with a view of the courtyard.

Pool Area at Guesthouse at Graceland

The Courtyard is this area between the two wings in the back. It seems like it would be worth the extra $20. The first picture above shows that the other rooms look out over the front parking area or wooded areas on each side.

 

Wide View of Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

Here’s a view of the basic room as you come in the door. There is a Keurig coffee machine and lots of beverage choices on the left. At the end of the room you can see the back of a desk chair at a desk with a Bluetooth-enabled media hub. The room rate for Friday or Saturday nights is $30 higher.

 

More Desk in Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

This is a picture from the opposite direction with a better view of the desk. There is a smart-phone charger just out of sight. As you come in the door, there is the closet on your left and the bathroom on the right. There is nothing unusual about this room floor plan. Pretty standard. For $10 over the base rates you can get connecting rooms.

 

Bed and Chair in Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

I like the jumpsuit picture on the wall. I wonder if every room has the same one.

 

Elvis Inage on Shears in Basic Foom at Guest House at Graceland

Here’s another image of Elvis printed into the window shears.   It copies the one on the gates of Graceland.  Very nice touch.

 

Bathroom in Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

And here is the bathroom featuring a terrific looking walk-in shower with a Kohler overhead rain shower and wall-mounted body spray that features 120 jets of water.

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There are four taxes added to the room rates – state tax, local tax, tourism tax, and occupancy tax – totaling another 21%. Man, everybody gets a cut. So that weeknight rate for the room without the courtyard view at $159 actually costs you $192. And the weekend rate with a view jumps from $219 to $265.

 

Two Bed Basic Room

However, if you take kids with you and want everyone to stay in the same room, you can get one with two queen-sized beds. You get an extra chair and a bigger night stand between the beds. On weeknights (Sun – Thurs) the rate is $189 plus the 21% taxes. Just like the one-bed room, add $30 for weekends, $20 for the view and $10 for connecting.

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There is one more goodie you can add to your room reservation. For $20 per person more, you can have the Breakfast Package. If that is supposed to save you something compared to just paying at the restaurant, meals must be pretty pricey at the Guest House.

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 A price break is available to all senior citizens, whether AARP members or not. It is just $7 for the rooms with one bed and $8 for the rooms with two, but it helps a little. You can also save $15 if you want the Advanced Deposit Rate. But, if you cancel your reservation, you get no refund. That extra $15 in the regular rate allows cancellation up to 6pm the day prior, so if you make your reservation many months in advance, this might be good insurance to have in case of unforeseen circumstances.

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In addition to the 430 regular rooms, there are nineteen specialty suites, eight of which are on the top floor called “The Upstairs,” a name inspired by the part of the Elvis’ mansion we aren’t allowed to see on the tour – Upstairs at Graceland.

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Next week we will take a look at these fabulous suites what kind of money it takes to stay in them.

 

Guest House at Graceland Logo

For more information on the Guest House, click here.  (Disreguard the lobby picture. omebody screwed up.  That is the one for Heartbreak Hotel.)  To make room reservations, click here.

 

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

 

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

 

Elvis in Short Sleeves

EP Monogrammed Elvis Short Sleeve

There are lots of photos out there showing Elvis as a fashion icon.

Cool Elvis Out the Sun Roof

In fact, in March 2010, Graceland introduced a new exhibit called Elvis Presley: Fashion King. According to the press release at the time, it explores the fashion trends ushered in by the King of Rock & Roll.

Elvis Presley Fashion King Logo

 

The best fashion photos of Elvis came from his later years when he wore some stunning clothes. Even his casual wear during that period was notable.

Graceland Fashion King Exhibit

 

But in the fifties and early sixties, when Elvis dressed casually, he wore a number of short sleeve shirts with no particular fashion statement.

Elvis in Very Plain Short Sleeve

Not only did he wear short sleeve shirts, he rolled up the sleeves.

Elvis on Phone in Short Sleeves

 

Sullen Elvis in Short Sleeve

The top few buttons were almost always open.

Elvis with Short Sleeves Rolled up, Buttons Open, Collar Up

 

Elvis Signing Autographs Wearing Short Sleeve

There are a lot of photos of Elvis wearing this shirt.

Elvis WearingCustom Made Pink Gabardine Short Sleeve Shirt

When Elvis first started getting into stylish clothes, he went to Lansky Bros. in Memphis. This custom made Lansky shirt from 1956 sold for $2,925 at a 2013 Gotta Have It auction.

 

Elvis during Rehersal for Ed Sullivan Show

Elvis wore this shirt while rehearsing for the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. It shows another common Elvis preference – the collar turned up.

 

Elvis Wearing Short Sleeve in Girls, Girls, Girls

Elvis had all of his favorite early shirt features going in this shot from Girls, Girls, Girls – rolled-up short sleeves, open buttons, and turned up collar.

Elvis in Plain Black Short Sleeve

But, he doesn’t have them here. Looks pretty plain for Elvis, doesn’t it?

 

60s Elvis in Short Sleeve 1

This is older Elvis in unusually conservative clothing. Still rolling up those sleeves, though.

 

Elvis in Short Sleeve Like a Regular Tourist

Elvis looks like he could be just another tourist in Hawaii in this shot.

Elvis Wearing Faux Suspenders Short Sleeve

This looks like faux suspenders to me.

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Elvis did make attempts to get some fashion elements into his short sleeve shirts with so-so results

Elvis in Jazzed Up Short Sleeve

Young Elvis in Decorative Short Sleeve

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However, there is one shirt that doesn’t look very sharp by itself, but it shines when a sport coat is added to the ensemble.

Short Sleeve Shirt Worn by Elvis while Singing Hound Dod on Milton Berle Show

 

Elvis Doing Hound Dog on Milton Berle Show

This is Elvis performing “Hound Dog” on the June 5, 1956 Milton Berle Show. If you don’t know all about how Elvis’ gyrations that night ignited a firestorm of protest, you need to brush up on your Elvis history

. Black rayon shirt with pink yoke worn by Elvis Presley on The Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956

I don’t know if the other parts of Elvis’ outfit from that landmark performance still exist, but the shirt sold for $51,000 at the Julien’s Music Icons Auction in June 2010. Not bad for an ugly short sleeve shirt.

 

 

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

 

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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? — Part 7

 

Elvis Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge - Envelope Back

Elvis autographs keep showing up at rock and roll memorabilia auctions. I wonder how many times he signed his name on something over the course of his life. It must be many thousands, but bidders keep paying big bucks for his autographs. As before in this series, the value generally depends on what Elvis signed (plus the condition, of course). Here’s what sold at a Gotta Have It auction in November 2015 and a Heritage auction in February 2016.

 

Unreleased Photo (Shreveport, 1954-55):

Early Unreleased Elvis Photo (Shreveport, 1954-5)

This black and white snapshot was takenof Elvis backstage at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana during an early performance at the Louisiana Hayride. The auction website doesn’t say that this photo was shot on a Polaroid camera, but how else would the original owner be able to snap it and also get Elvis to sign it on the back? The size is tiny, just 2.25” X 3.25”, which sounds like the early Polaroid pictures..

Autographed Back of Early Unreleased Elvis Photo (Shreveport, 1954-5)

Elvis signed it in pencil. According to the auction website, the autograph was obtained by a young lady that Presley dated when he was in Shreveport. How do you like the way she glued cutout phrases to the photo: “My Babe”, “Memphis, Tennessee”, and “Elvis Presley”.

The winning bid of $2,375 has to be significantly due to the autograph being on a very rare, early picture. For less money, I would prefer a bigger picture with the autograph on front so it would display well.

 

Handwritten Song List for an RCA Recording Session:

Elvis Handwritten Song List for an RCA Recording Session

Elvis hand wrote this list of songs he wanted to use for an RCA recording session in Stax Studios in Memphis from July 20-25, 1973. It is written in black ballpoint pen on white paper.

Elvis' Album Raised on Rock

Four of the songs were released as A-sides or B-sides of singles. That left only six songs for the planned new album Raised on Rock, so three more were recorded in September in the living room of Elvis’ Palm Springs home.

Living Room of Elvis' Palm Springs House

While this song list is not technically an autograph, it contains a lot of printing by Elvis. It was certainly a popular item, generating ten bids and selling for $5,900.

 

Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge:

Elvis Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge

This also does not contain Elvis’ signature, but it has a printed message he wrote to Charlie Hodge plus Elvis’ initials in black ballpoint pen.

This is the front of a Hilton Hawaiian Village envelope presumably from November of 1972 when Elvis performed a show there. For some reason, Elvis also initialed the inside of the envelope flap as shown at the beginning of this article.

This item had just one bidder, but he was willing to part with $1,000 to get it.

 

Signed Black and White Image, Circa 1956:

Elvis Signed Black and White Image, Circa 1956

This appears to be a fan club-type insert, depicting a headshot of a serious Elvis with his name printed below on the lower left side. The inscription in green fountain pen ink on the left side reads “To Gina from Elvis Presley.” The photo is 8″ x 10″, and with the autograph on the front, it begs to be presented in a proper frame.

Even without a fancy presentation, it had six bids and went for $1,750.

 

Inscribed and Signed “The Prophet”:

Elvis Hand Annotated and Signed The Prophet

The auction website says this is Elvis’ personally owned copy of “The Prophet,” that he gave to Col. Parker’ assistant Tom Diskin. It is well known that this book was quite important to Elvis, so it is reasonable to question whether this is the original copy given to Elvis by columnist May Mann, or if it might be another copy he just bought for gift giving.

Elvis Hand Annotated and Signed The Prophet - Cover

Elvis inscribed the book to Tom Diskin when they were on the Paramount lot during the filming of a movie. The minimum bid was $2,500, but no one was willing to part with that much. Maybe prospective buyers shared the same doubts I had.

 

Signed Photos Taken at Tyler, Texas Concert in 1955:

Elvis Signed Photo (1955

The next two autographed photos were both taken at a Tyler, Texas concert on January 25, 1955. However, the results are different for them, and I can’t see the logic of it. Both photos were taken from the same close-up position and have similar Elvis autographs on the back.

Elvis' Autograph on Back of Photo (1955 -- Back

The pictures were taken at a travelling Louisiana Hayride show. They are both small, just 3”X 3”. This first one has two vertical creases at the left and right sides, some wear at the creases and edges, and a pinhole in the upper-left corner, with two more at the upper-right corner.

In spite of the small size and less than stellar condition, it still sold for $1,625.

Here is the other one.

Elvis Presley Signed Photo 1955 -- Front

Elvis Presley Signed Photo 1955

The photo is in better shape and the autograph doesn’t run off the edge like the first one. The minimum bid of $1,250 plus 25% auction house premium equals $1,562, which is $62 less than the first one went for. However, it received no bids. I don’t get it.

 

Previous Posts in this Series:

Part 6

Part 5

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1

 

 

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

 

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

Elvis and David Bowie

David Bowie and Elvis

David Bowie passed away yesterday at age 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Back in 2009, I read that Bowie and Elvis shared the same birthday – January 8.  So, I Googled both names together to see if there were any other connections.  What came up was a website called The Ziggy Stardust Companion.  They listed a number of things connecting Elvis and David Bowie, and I decided to do an ElvisBlog article commenting on their points.  That article is reprinted below.

 

Elvisblog strives to bring you articles you won’t find on any other Elvis websites or blogs.  Certainly, that is accomplished with this topic discussing a connection between Elvis and David Bowie.  That can’t be possible, you say.  Well, there is one website that thinks there is a case to be made.  According to The Ziggy Stardust Companion, “David Bowie and Elvis Presley have many similarities, and Presley also served as inspiration for some aspects of the Ziggy Stardust phenomenon.”

For those of you who don’t know, Ziggy Stardust was a stage persona David Bowie assumed during concerts in the 70s.  I linked to the Ziggy website from Google Images, where I found this picture:

         

               

This is both sides of a 45RPM record (inside the paper sleeve) that RCA released in Thailand in the mid-70s.  “Space Oddity” was Bowie’s first hit, reaching #15 in the US, and who knows why RCA didn’t just use the original “B” side for its Thailand release.  Instead, they picked “Fool,” which was already an obscure Elvis “B” side on “Steamroller Blues,” his #17 hit in 1973. 

Elvis recorded with RCA from 1956 to 1977, and David Bowie was with RCA from 1973 to 1980.  Besides recording for the same company, here are some of the other similarities between Bowie and Elvis as stated on “The Ziggy Stardust Companion.”

They share the same birthday.  Elvis was born on January 8, 1935, and David Bowie was born on January 8, 1947.  This is an easily verified connection between the two performers.

Elvis and Bowie experimented and got into trouble with their hair styles in high school.  Well, we know Elvis wore his hair differently than his classmates, and if Bowie’s later preference in hair styles is any indication, he was a rebel in high school, too.

         

              

Bowie says that he first discovered the power of music when he saw his cousin get up and dance to Elvis’ “Hound Dog.”  Excuse me, but this hardly seems like a major connection between Elvis and David Bowie.

Bowie had his clothes designer Freddi Burretti copy Elvis’ jumpsuits for Bowie’s own use at Ziggy Stardust concerts.  Well, “copy” would be a stretch.  Perhaps “inspire” might be a better word.  Bill Belew and Gene Doucett never designed anything for Elvis like these Bowie/Ziggy jumpsuits.

                              

Bowie’s manager – Tony DeFries – was a big fan of Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker and would quote from Parker’s book to anyone who would listen.  This is another pretty weak connection between Elvis and Bowie.  If it is true, I wonder if DeFries took a 50% cut of Bowie’s earnings, like the Colonel did with Elvis.

Tony DeFries used the announcement “David Bowie has left the building,” as was done for Elvis Presley concerts.  I have been unable to verify this, so I am skeptical.

The lightning bolt motif Bowie wore for the Aladdin Sane album cover was partly inspired by a ring that Elvis wore – which had a lightning bolt emblem along with the letters TCB.  Of course, Elvis was more famous for his TCB pendants than his ring, but that’s beside the point.  Do you really think Elvis’ lightning bolt inspired this?

         

                 

David Bowie was a big fan of Elvis.  At short notice, he crossed the Atlantic on a plane to attend an Elvis concert in New York in 1972, even though he had a strong fear of flying.  “The Ziggy Stardust Companion” printed this quote that Bowie made in 1996 concerning the Elvis concert he attended.

“[Elvis] was a major hero of mine. And I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something. I came over for a long weekend. I remember coming straight from the airport and walking into Madison Square Garden very late. I was wearing all my clobber from the Ziggy period and had great seats near the front. The whole place just turned to look at me and I felt like a right idiot. I had brilliant red hair, some huge padded space suit and those red boots with big black soles. I wished I’d gone for something quiet, because I must have registered with him. He was well into his set.”

As he looked out from the stage and saw this freaky-looking character take his seat up front, I’m sure Elvis thought to himself, “Man, I’ve got a lot in common with this guy.”

 

©  2009    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    

 

Elvis-David Bowie Morphed

Elvis and David Bowie Morphed

One news report on Bowie’s death mentioned that he kept changing his appearance and personna and had several distinct successful careers.  In that reguard, he and Elvis had a direct parallel.  There was Elvis the young brash rocker in the 50s, Elvis the movie star in the 60s, and Elvis the record-breaking concert performer in the 70s.  I wonder why The Ziggy Stardust Companion missed that connection.

 

David Bowie in Costume

David Bowie was a unique entertainer.  He will be missed.  Goodbye David.  Say hi to Elvis for us.

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

 

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Elvis Microphone Poop Bag Dispenser

Black Friday Starts Now

Did you get this email from ShopElvis.com on November 29? I also get promo messages from ShopGraceland.com, and between the two, they have sent me a dozen or more emails in the past month pushing Elvis products. If you look at their websites and scroll down to the end of each category, you can find things that make you say “why?”

I have been trying to come up with a Christmas / Elvis topic for the next ElvisBlog post, and as I surfed around looking for an idea, I came across my post from 2010 titled “Elvis and the Island of Misfit Gifts.” It was inspired by the animated holiday sequel “Rudolph & the Island of Misfit Toys.”

Island of Misfit Toys

The idea was that a lot of really stupid Elvis products have been introduced over the years and may have been given to some unfortunate Elvis fan as Christmas gifts. Click here to see the whole article, or check out some of the bad ones here:

Elvis for Dummies

Elvis Toilet Seat Covers

Elvis keyboard cleaner brush

Elvis & Nixon Snow Globes

Elvis Plush Doll

 

Since 2010 I have uncovered some additional dubious Elvis products.

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Elvis Cuckoo Clock:

Elvis Presley Collectible Cuckoo Clock

See the two little doors at the top of the clock? What could be more fun than seeing a tiny Elvis pop out every hour and sing a few notes?

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Bar Stool:

Elvis Bar Stool

This may not be as bad an idea as I thought originally. My picture was small, so I went to the internet to see if I could find a better one. What I found is that there are at least six different designs of Elvis bar stools, so these things must be fairly popular.

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Elvis Pot Holder:

Elvis Pot Holder

This looked like it might be from the 50s, so I checked the two websites to see if there are any modern Elvis potholders being sold. There were not, but ShopElvis offered this…

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Elvis Paper Towel Dispenser:

Elvis Paper Towel Rack

These things need a heavy base to work, and this one is wood. I think you’d knock it over every time you ripped off a sheet..

ShopGraceland also had no potholders, but they did have this…

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Elvis Signature Shot Glass in a Small Pink Caddy Base:

Elvis Shot Glass in a Pink Caddy Base

Wow, I gotta have one of these. There’s quite a variety of Elvis shot glasses offered, but this is the only one with a pink Caddy base.

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Russian Nesting Dolls:

Elvis Russian Nesting Doll Set

You can hours of fun opening up these and putting back together. Think I’ll pass.

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Elvis Toilet Paper:

Elvis Toilet Paper

Please, no. Pleeeeease, pleeeeeeease.

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As bad as Elvis toilet paper is, this beats it:

Elvis Dog Poop Bag Dispenser

We can thank ShopElvis for this wonderful present for the Elvis fan/dog owner on your Christmas gift list. And what a deal. It includes one FREE poop bag roll.

Elvis Dog Poop Bags

At least we can be thankful that Elvis’ image does not appear on the molded rubber dispenser case. You know, this might actually be a good Elvis collectible to purchase for future appreciation. The price goes up on rare Elvis items, and I don’t think there will be many of these sold.

 

© 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.

 

Show Your Dog’s Inner Elvis this Halloween

Show Your Inner Elvis at Halloween

Did this offer from ShopElvis.com show up in your email inbox recently?  They’ve actually got some quality costumes available this year.  The gold lame suit goes for $190, the black female jumpsuit is $60, and the American Eagle jumpsuit is the top item at $250.

Elvis Adult Jumpsuit

This’s also a cheapo version of American Eagle that sells for $69 today, but as noted in a 2008 ElvisBlog article, it cost only $38 then.  Well, I guess inflation catches everything including Halloween Elvis jumpsuits.

 

Elvis Deluxe Costume Wig

This is the wig in the promo email.  It is called the Elvis Deluxe Costume Wig and sells for $30.  I love this the item description that says it is made of polyester, and that it has the feel of real hair.  What?

 

Elvis Rubber Costume Wig with Sideburns

This bottom of the line wig is one-piece rubber for $15.  Kind of like a shower cap with sideburns.  As bad as that sounds, I did an article on Elvis wigs back in 2007 that showed some real losers (admittedly, not from ShopElvis).

 

Bad Elvis Halloween Wig

How would you like to go to a Halloween party wearing this one?

 

Horrible Elvis Halloween Wig

Oh, please!!

 

Of course, some folks like to dress up their dogs for Halloween.  And there are websites where you can buy Elvis wigs and costumes for dogs.

K9 Chic Elvis Dog

Doesn’t Rover look cute?

 

100Genius Costumes

Yes sir, this is genius, all right.

100 Genius Costumes Elvis Dog

Interesting placement of the sunglasses.

 

Costume Craze

Looks like they covered all elements of iconic Elvis regalia on this dog. Wait, no oversize belt and buckle?

Costume Craze Dog Elvis

 

Lots more dogs in Elvis wigs and costumes show up on the web, but not at sites that that have them for sale.  Maybe they are homemade.  Here are some of the better ones.

 

Brown Elvis Wig

Seems like this wig should be blacker.

 

Dog in Elvis Costume in front of Mic

The owner of these dogs went to some real trouble to stage this shot.  Unfortunately, it looks more like Roy Orbison than Elvis.

 

Elvis Dog 5 Best

This dog looks like he’s really thrilled to be dressed up like Elvis.

 

Standing Dog Elvis with Guitar

Another staged shot.  He really deserves a doggie treat after putting up with this.

 

Hound Dog with Elvis wig

This is my favorite.  You ain’t nothin’ but an Elvis…

 

 

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

 

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The Movie Theater: One Building Elvis Will Never Leave — Part 6

 Beifuss on Movies

There are several things I look forward to every Elvis Week – watching lots of Elvis movies, having the number of visitors to ElvisBlog spike, and reading a special column written by John Beifuss, Memphis Commercial Appeal Movie Critic.  It is his annual survey of Elvis references in movies.

Here is how Beifuss explains it:

“Every year, as I watch movies in my capacity as film reviewer for the Commercial Appeal, I take note of each reference I see or hear to Memphis’ favorite son, Elvis Presley.  In most cases, the Elvis allusion was brief: a photo of the famous face, a snippet of a song. But in some cases, the King made an impact — especially in “The Identical,” a film entirely inspired by the Elvis story.”

Let’s take a look at what Beifuss discovered.

The Identical:

The Identical Movie Poster

The inspiration for this movie’s plot was actually Elvis’ stillborn twin brother, Jesse Garon.  However, in the movie, both twins live but are separated.  One grows up to be a superstar singer known as “Drexel the Dream.” The other brother succumbs to his adopted father’s pressure to enter the ministry.  As the years pass, he is pulled by the urge entertain, and he begins to tour as a professional impersonator of “The Dream” (who he doesn’t know is his brother).  So, in the movie we have “The Dream” and “The Identical,” certainly an allusion to ”The King” and the Elvis Tribute Artists.

 

Big Eyes:

Big Eyes Movie Poster

The central characters of this film are Margaret Keane, the artist who created the popular portraits of strange big-eyed waifs, and her husband Walter, who took credit for them.  When Margaret walks into a Honolulu radio station, we see a copy of Elvis album “Blue Hawaii.”

 

Good Ol’ Freda:

Good Ol Freda Movie Poster

This is a biographical documentary that made the rounds of the independent movie festivals.  The title character is Freda Kelly, a teenager who in 1963became the Beatles’ first fan-club secretary in in Liverpool.  The office where she worked had pictures of Elvis on the walls, but she stressed that she “didn’t like” Elvis. Only the Beatles for her.

 

Wild:

Wild Movie Poster

If you’ve seen this Reese Witherspoon movie, perhaps you noticed the soundtrack included “Don’t Be Cruel.”  Did you notice that the vocal wasn’t Elvis’?  In fact, it was Billy Swan’s cover version from his album Like Elvis Used to Do.  I have the CD, and Billy does a great job on all 14 Elvis songs.

 

Selma:

Selma Movie Poster

In this film about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voting rights campaign in Alabama, the Elvis reference is a strange one.  Army troops had been sent in to keep order, and one officer commented on the extremely mean local sheriff:  “If the Lord Jesus himself and Elvis Presley both came to him together and told him to go easy on the Negroes, he would beat the (crap) out of the two of them and throw them in jail.”

 

The Book of Life:

The Book Of Life Movie Poster

You can see the Elvis-inspired character right next to the big guitar in the poster above.  It is a Mexican matador-turned-mariachi named Manolo with Elvis hair and sideburns.  His love interest is there, too, holding a pig.  He serenades her with a version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.”

 

Horrible Bosses 2:Horrible Bosses 2 Movie Poster

Christoph Waltz plays a crooked, double-dealing entrepreneur who offers to bankroll production of the invention by the three guys in the photo.  Of course, he tries to squeeze them out.  We get a glimpse of his trophy room full of souvenirs, probably obtained illegally.  In addition to a Jimi Hendricks guitar, a Picasso painting, and a dinosaur skull, he was an Elvis jumpsuit.

 

Gone Girl:

Gone Girl Movie Poster 

In spite of its serious theme, this movie injects some perverse comedy, including a couple of flippant Elvis references in the dialogue. A good example is when the high-powered lawyer departs on an out-of-state mission, and Ben Affleck’s sister cracks, “Elvis has left Missouri.”

 

Strange Magic:

Strange Magic Movie Poster

A mysterious potion prompts a group of elves, goblins, imps, and fairies on an incredible adventure in this fantasy.  Believe it or not, the story was inspired by William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  From the picture above, it’s hard to believe the movie is filled with several renditions of love-themed pop songs, including a duet on “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”  The Elvis ballad was a popular choice for movies in the past year.

 

Love and Mercy:

Love and Mercy Movie Poster 

This story about the Beachboys’ Brian Wilson has a brief mention about Elvis.  Hal Blaine, a famous Southern California session drummer, is outside the studio in one scene talking to Wilson.  He says, “We’ve played with everyone, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis, Phil Spector … Sam Cooke … everyone.  But you — you gotta know that you’re touched, kid, and it’s blowing our minds.”

 

I look forward to Elvis Week 2016 when John Beifuss will again report on all the Elvis allusions he found in the year’s movies.

 

To read all of the articles in this series, click here.

 

 

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

 

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Some Interesting Results at the Latest Elvis Auction

Gotta Have Rock and Roll Website

Except for the two Auctions at Graceland, there haven’t been any sizeable selections of Elvis goodies at auction this past year. Finally, some good stuff showed up at the Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction that closed late last week. There were no rings or other jewelry, but three items of clothing fetched significant bids.

 

1970’s Custom Made Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket:

Elvis' 1970’s Custom Made Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket

This is a nice combo – black bell bottom pants with red kick pleats (not visible in this picture) and a black corduroy jacket. Both were custom made by IC Costume Co, and the jacket bears their label.

Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket

In addition to the photo of Elvis wearing the outfit, both items came with letters of provenance. The projected bid price was $6-8,000, and it went for a little more at $8,860. Please note that all buyers had to pay an additional 20% service charge to all sell levels mentioned in this article.

 

Lansky’s Custom Made Black Wool Jacket:

Elvis' Lansky Custom Made Black Wool Jacket

The next two items came from Elvis’ favorite clothier in Memphis, Lansky Bros, and the coat above sported both the Lansky label and the “Styled for Elvis Presley” custom-made label.

Elvis' Lansky Bros Custom Made Black Wool Jacket - Label

But what makes this black fleck woolen jacket especially desirable is the accompanying photo of Elvis wearing it.

Lansky's Custom Made Black Wool Jacket - Elvis Wearing

The estimated selling price was $5-7,000, and this turned out to be accurate. The most spirited bidding on any Elvis clothing item brought in $7088 (plus that extra 20% for the auction house)

 

1950’s Lansky Custom Made Stage Suit:

Elvis' 1950's Custom Made Stage Suit

Unlike the first two items, Elvis wore this outfit when he performed on stage (according the auction website description). If so, I’m surprised none of the previous owners has been able to find a photo of Elvis wearing it. Still, there is the Styled for Elvis Presley custom Lansky label on both the royal dark blue jacket with black velvet lapel trim and the blue-grey pants. The winning bid came in at $8860, just over the high estimate.

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Porcelain Monkey From Graceland:

Elvis' Porcelain Monkey From Graceland

This is the first of several items that have interesting stories. When I saw the pre-auction estimate of $2-3,000, I said, “No way.” For that kind of money, I’ve seen dozens of other Elvis collectibles I’d rather own.

Elvis' Porcelain Monkey From Graceland in TV Room

However, this photo showing the monkey in the TV room at Graceland and a letter of provenance from Charlie Hodge persuaded somebody to part with $1,612 to own it.

 

15 Priscilla Presley Original 2 x 2 Color Transparency Slides:

Priscilla Presley Original Transparency Slides

I guess there weren’t any Priscilla Presley fans following this auction, because nobody even bid the $25 minimum. I’ve never seen any of these pictures before (and I’ve downloaded many dozens of Priscilla photos over the years).

Priscilla Presley and Bull

This seems like a missed bargain – picking up fourteen rare pics of Priscilla for $25

 

Three Photographs of Elvis:

3 B&W Elvis Photos

Now, here’s some photos that really appealed to the bidders. The pre-auction estimate was $50-100, but I knew that was way low. I have never seen the two pictures on the left, and I’ve seen literally thousands of Elvis photos. Sure enough, these three 8 x 10 black and white original photographs had more bids than any other item in the auction (18) and brought in $541.

 

10th Anniversary Half-Ounce Fine Silver Coins:

Elvis Presley 10th Anniversary half ounce fine silver coins

These ten coins brought in $80, which is not that much of a premium over the price for their weight in pure silver. Maybe if the owner had bothered to polish them up before offering them….

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1957 Civic Center Concert Poster Reproduction:

1957 Elvis Concert Poster Reproduction

It is a mystery to me why the pre-auction estimate on this was $2-300. The auction website clearly says REPRODUCTION. Nobody thought this fake was worth the $100 minimum bid. No surprise.

 

Elvis Presley Special Edition Graceland Gift Set:

Elvis Presley's Graceland Special Edition

Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set Box

The auction website has one short sentence describing this item: “Recreate your own personal Graceland with this Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set.” Plus the two pictures above – and this:

Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set Inside

What is all that stuff? I couldn’t figure out what they were offering, and apparently the bidders couldn’t either. Nobody would cover the $200 minimum bid.

Box Elvis Presley's Graceland

So, I looked it up on eBay and the photos and description there made it very clear. This box contains a miniature Graceland at Christmas set — lighted ceramic Graceland building, 1955 Pink Cadillac Fleetwood, wrought iron gate, the original Christmas lawn decorations, and six mylar twinkling trees. Look at the first photo again to see it all put together.

Inside Box - Elvis Presley's Graceland

With this picture you can see some of the listed items. This set was introduced as a limited edition in 2000 and retired on January 8, 2001. A few are currently available on eBay for $2-300. I’m sure it would have sold at this auction if the owner had bothered to describe what he was selling.

 

 

 

© 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.

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 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.