Category Archives: THE MOST UNUSUAL ELVIS ARTICLES ON THE WEB

The Elvis Stamp Has Not Left the Building

 Both Designs for Elvis Stamp

The US Postal Service issued the famous Elvis stamp twenty-one years ago, so you wouldn’t expect it to be back in the news today. However, last week, the Washington Post blog leaked news about the images to be featured on future commemorative stamps. These selections are made by the independent Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee. What image will be on future stamps is kept top-secret, in part so postal officials can create a buzz when they announce new subjects. Without explaining how they got the information, the Post trumpeted their scoop of this news.

Washington Post Top Secret Scoop

 

The Post revealed that upcoming stamps in 2014 include, among other subjects:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Charlton Heston
Jimi Hendrix
Wilt Chamberlain
Janis Joplin

Then they said: “Some of the highlights for 2015 – soul singer James Brown, late-night TV host Johnny Carson, and a reissue of Elvis Presley, the Postal Service’s top-selling stamp, released with a value of 29 cents in 1993.”

I wondered how they could reissue a stamp that said 29¢ on it. Maybe they would remove the price and replace it with “Forever,” the way they now designate stamps no matter what the rate gets raised to.

 Elvis Stamp from Legends of American Music

The Postal Service has already messed with the Elvis stamp once before. After selling 129 million of the stamp with ELVIS on it, they came back with one that had ELVIS PRESLEY on it.

 

Elvis in Rock 'n Roll-Rhythm and Blues Stamps

You couldn’t buy that one individually, only as part of a 35-stamp-sheet they called the “Legends of American Music Collection: Rock & Roll – Rhythm and Blues.”

 

However, reading further in the Washington Post blog, I came to the complete list of new stamps for the next two years. Please note the two items I have underlined.

 Elvis on Top Secret List of Upcoming Stamps

The two items I’ve underlined are interesting. At the bottom, in red, it says Music Icons: Elvis Presley. Now look at the top underline. It says Red = In Design Development. So, maybe the Washington Post misinterpreted their top-secret scoop when they said a reissue of the 1993 stamp was coming
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Here’s something to think about. Back in 1992, the Postal Service held a contest to see which of two very different Elvis images was the most popular with the public.

 Elvis Stamp Balloting Poster

This poster was prominently placed in every post office in the country, as well as in the April 13, 1992 issue of People magazine.

 

 Ballot for Elvis Stamp

Voting for your favorite required you to go to the Post Office and ask for ballots. They were self-addressed postcards showing the two competing drawings, with boxes to check for your choice. I got ten ballots, sent in seven (voting for choice A), and kept three as collectibles.

So, what if this current “design consideration” is just a code to hide the fact they are going to use the alternate image they already own the rights to? After all, the Postal Service is losing millions every year, and this would save the money they’d have to spend on a new drawing.

Drawing for Alternate Elvis Stamp

The winner (taking 75% of the vote) back in 1993 was called the “Young Elvis” stamp, and unfortunately, the other was derisively called the “Older and Wider Elvis” or even worse, the “Fat Elvis” stamp. That really wasn’t fair. John Berkley, the artist who painted it, drew Elvis very similar to a shot from the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii TV special.

 1973 Elvis Aloha Photo Basis for Stamp

 

Here’s what artist John Berkley said about the Elvis he painted. “As a matter of fact, he weighed 160 pounds and was 38 years old at the time. That’s not fat and that’s not old.”

If the Postal Service wants to bring back the Aloha Elvis (or whatever appropriate name they want to call him), I’m all for it.

It’s fun to do this kind of speculation, although my track record is not so good. I predicted that the planned Elvis show by Cirque ‘du Soleil would be called either “E” or “TCB,” but they picked “Viva Elvis.”

So, to improve my chances of making an accurate prediction on the new Elvis stamp, I’ll add another one.  If the Postal Service is soliciting new Elvis images to use for the 2015 stamp, here is my favorite.

 

68 Comeback Elvis

Let’s see the skeptics try to call this Old Elvis or Fat Elvis. Do you think the fans would buy 129 million of a new bad-ass black leather Elvis stamp?

I do.

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis on the Rolling Stone Lists

Elvis on Rolling Stone  July 12, 1969

Elvis looks pretty good on the cover of this 1969 Rolling Stone issue, doesn’t he? He’s been on four others that I could find, plus several more featuring collages of rock artists. Of course, the magazine didn’t start until 1967, so it missed the years when Elvis ruled the world and was on the cover of all sorts of magazines.

Rolling Stone has also published dozens of articles about Elvis, many of them timed to mark a significant birthday or anniversary of his death. And, Elvis has shown up on ten of the famous Rolling Stone lists, like this one they got completely wrong:

 

100 Greatest Singers of All Time:

Elvis on Rolling Stone - 100 Greatest Singers November 22, 2008

By the looks of this cover, you’d think Elvis was selected #1. Maybe he is #1 for helping sell copies of the magazine, but Rolling Stone actually voted him just the #3 greatest singer of all time.

100 Greatest Singers

Granted, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles are great singers, but putting them ahead of Elvis is just not right. The thumbnail photos are small, so in case you can’t make out the rest of the top ten, they are:

Sam Cooke
John Lennon
Marvin Gaye
Bob Dylan
Otis Redding
Stevie Wonder
James Brown

 

!00 Greatest Artists of All Time:

100 Greatest Artists

Okay, now the category includes groups as well as singers, so the Beatles move into #1 and the Rolling Stones into #4. Elvis stays at #3, but how does Bob Dylan move from #7 singer to #2 artist? Elvis should be at least #2 on this list, and many folks will argue #1. And what made Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles slide down so far? The only answer I can figure is that the lists were selected a few years apart, and maybe they had different judges.

 Elvis on Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Artists

Look at this cover. Ray Charles has slid completely out of the ten artists shown. Pretty shabby treatment for the guy they voted the second best singer of all time.

 

500 Greatest Albums of All Time:

500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Granted, Elvis had a better track record with singles than albums. Here are the only three Elvis albums they picked in the top 500:

#11 Sun Sessions
#56 Elvis Presley
#190 From Elvis in Memphis

What about Blue Hawaii that stayed at number one on the Top 40 for twenty straight weeks? What about Elvis is Back which is considered Elvis’ best album by many fans and experts?

 

100 Best Debut Albums of All Time:

 100 Best Debut Albums

I guess it all depends on what the criteria for best is. Seems like record-breaking sales dwarfing every other album before it would be a big factor. Seems like the degree of hysteria for the artist when it was released would be another. #79 is ridiculous. Rolling Stone magazine just blew this one. If you care, the top spot went to Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys.

 

Bruce Springsteen’s 25 Biggest Heroes:

Bruce Springsteens Biggest Heroes

These aren’t ranked, so there is nothing to quibble about. Rolling Stone did something similar about Elvis’ biggest influences, but it was an article, not a list.

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500 Greatest Songs of All Time:

500 Greatest Songs of All Time

This list really bothers me. Here are the eleven Elvis songs that made the top 500. No Elvis songs in the top ten, and none higher than #19.

#19 Hound Dog
#45 Heartbreak Hotel
#67 Jailhouse Rock
#77 Mystery Train
#91 Suspicious Minds
#113 That’s All Right
#200 Don’t Be Cruel
#361 All Shook Up
#403 Can’t Help Falling in Love
$430 Blue Suede Shoes
#441 Love Me Tender

Gimme a break. “All Shook Up” at #361. Unbelievably stupid. For what it’s worth, they picked the top 3 songs as:

Like a Rolling Stone — Bob Dylan
Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
Imagine – John Lennon

 

Top 25 Teen Idol Breakout Moments:

500 Greatest Songs of All Time

These weren’t ranked, but if they were, the top spot surely would have to be Elvis or the Beatles. The rest don’t come close.

 

25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time:

25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time

I think Rolling Stone got this one right. Phil Spector: A Christmas Gift for You is an outstanding album. We graciously accept Elvis in second place.

 

40 Essential Christmas Albums:

40 Essential Christmas Albums

This doesn’t make sense. Elvis’ Christmas Album is the second greatest of all time, but only the fifth most essential Christmas album. Believe it or not, #1 is Ella Wishes you a Swinging Christmas by Ella Fitzgerald.

 

22 Weird Creatures Named after Superstars: 

Preseucoila Imallshookupis

I guess after years of doing so many lists, all of the good topics have been used up. Rolling Stone scraped the bottom of the barrel when they came up this one. Here’s what they had to say about the bug named after Elvis: “Gall wasps never had as much swagger as this one. Scientists created a new genus, Preseucoila, based on the name “Presley” – and just to make things extra clear, they named the species Imallshookupis after one of the King’s signature hits.”

I Googled Preseucoila Imallshookupis to see what it looks like. A few bug pictures came up, but they turned out to be something else. This is the best I could find.

 Imallshookuois

© 2013 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.

 

Bull Market in Elvis Memorabilia is Back

Just like the stock market, the values for Elvis collectibles stormed upward in 2013. But they didn’t need the Fed to pump billions into the market to make it happen. Elvis collectors willingly bid big bucks to secure certain primo items at Heritage Auctions Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction last month.

Guitar Elvis Played at 1976 Concert in Denver, CO:      $31,250.00

NBN-Guitar-Elvis-Used-in-Denver-CO-1976.jpg

Who knows how many guitars Elvis had during his lifetime, but every one of them has value as Elvis collectibles. However, it’s hard to believe someone would pay $31,250 (including 25% buyer’s premium to auction company) for a guitar Elvis played briefly during just one concert. It is a limited edition 1976 Model #0014 Mahogany acoustic guitar made by NBN, a manufacturer of fine stringed instruments. Two of the owners of NBN presented the guitar to Elvis on his 41st birthday while he was vacationing in Vail, CO. Three months later, Elvis used it a bit at his April 23, 1976 performance at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. For some reason there is no photo available showing Elvis holding the guitar on stage, but it did come with multiple Letters/Certificates of Authenticity.

 

Case for Guitar Elvis Played at the Denver Concert:     Did not sell

NBN Guitar Case

Here’s an example of greed or stupidity, or both. Instead of including the case along with the NBN guitar, the owner tried to sell it separately. The minimum bid was $1,000, but bidders passed.

 

King Creole Screenplay and Wardrobe Continuity Script:     $30,000

 King-Creole-Screenplay-and-Wardrobe-Continuity-Script.jpg

Copies of screenplays for Elvis’ movies are seldom seen up for bid at auctions, so they should command pretty high prices. Even rarer is one that also has wardrobe continuity notes and photographs inserted, like the one shown above. It is the 130 page screenplay for King Creole with numerous colored script changes marked throughout.

Wardrobe-Continuity-Script-from-King-Creole-2.jpg

This is one of the inserted wardrobe continuity pages showing what Danny (Elvis) wears in scenes 2 through 17. Handwritten entries list his shirt, t-shirt, pants, shoes and socks.

Wardrobe-Continuity-Script-from-King-Creole-3.jpg

This page shows Danny in scenes 148 and 149. The additional wardrobe items listed here include coat, tie, belt and jewelry. There are over 20 never-before-seen, small, black and white photographs of Elvis in costume glued or taped to the individual pages. The pre-auction estimate was $6,000 and up. Obviously, well-healed Elvis collectors found it to be worth way more than that.

 

Handmade Silver Turquoise Bracelet, 1971:     $6,875

Handmade-Silver-Turquoise-Bracelet-1971.jpg

The prices for Elvis’ jewelry got soft after the 2008 financial meltdown, but they have gone up considerably in the past two years. If this bracelet had been worn by Elvis and been accompanied by a photo of him wearing it, the top bid would have been much higher. However, the auction website said it was a gift Elvis gave to his friend and backing vocalist J.D. Sumner. That meant it had been touched for a few minutes by Elvis – enough for it to be worth almost $7,000 to somebody.

 

Army Jacket, Circa 1950s:     $6,875

 Army-Jacket-Circa-1950s.jpg

This is yet another item of clothing that Elvis gave to his double-cousin Patsy Presley. She provided a letter of authenticity, and that plus the accompanying photo of Elvis wearing the jacket resulted in the selling price coming in double the $3,000 estimate.

 Elvis-Wearing-Army-Jacket-2.

 

Striped Shirt, Circa 1960s:      $22,500

 Elvis-Striped-Shirt-Circa-1960s.jpg

When I saw the pre-auction estimate of $1,000 (and up), I said “No way. This will go much higher.” Apparently ten bidders thought the same thing, as they ran the price up to $22,500. It is cotton blend with blue, gray, and black stripes, long sleeves, six button front closure and French cuffs

 Elvis-Wearing-Striped-Shirt-on-Promo-Shot.jpg

The auction offering also included a well-known publicity shot of Elvis wearing the shirt.

Close up of EP on Striped Shirt

Finally,  the desirability of the shirt is boosted by the “E. P.” monogram on the pocket. This is a great Elvis collectible with everything going for it, and it is indicative of the new market values for these quality articles.

 

Monogrammed Shirt:     $56,250

Elvis' EP Monogramed Sweatshirt

Here’s another item with a ridiculous estimate of $1,000. Instead, we ended up with the highest price I have ever seen paid for an article of Elvis clothing, except for jumpsuits (and some of them have gone for less than $56,000). Sixteen bidders fought it out for this white cotton, zip-up collar shirt, with a large “EP” stitched in black on left breast. The letter of authenticity says Elvis appeared on the cover of Life magazine wearing the shirt. I Googled it and couldn’t find the cover, but I guess it is true. The LOA also stated that Elvis is shown in the movie Tribute to Elvis wearing the shirt while playing football.

Elvis in Monogrammed Sweatshirt with Anita Wood

However, this accompanying picture of Elvis wearing the shirt with girlfriend Anita Wood to his right probably was the clincher for the bidders. There is an interesting story about how the owner of the shirt happened to get it. Maudie Hayes was the wife of the co-owner of a car dealership in Memphis. She said Elvis borrowed a station wagon to transport his football team to a playing field. When he returned the car, he left the shirt in it. When Mrs. Hayes told Elvis about it, he told her to keep the shirt.

 

Unused Concert Ticket:     $5,625

Ticket for Elvis concert in La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1956

How about this — a $1.50 Ticket for Elvis’ 9:30 pm performance at the Mary E. Sawyer Auditorium in La Crosse, Wisconsin, May 14, 1956 that sold for over $5,600.

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Jailhouse Rock Promotional Poster, 1957:      $5,937.50

Promotional Poster for Elvis in Jailhouse Rock

The top bid on this 24” X 38” in-store display really surprised me. Although the auction website says it is a rare early promotional poster, it also admits that the poster is in poor condition with numerous wrinkles and yellowing throughout, Scotch tape residue on the front, and the entire backside covered in masking tape. I thought one of the basic tenants of collecting Elvis memorabilia was to buy only items in excellent condition.

 

© 2013 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.

 

So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? – Pt. 4

If the volume of comments is a measure of success for blog posts, then the ElvisBlog series on Elvis autographs has been a winner. There seems to be a lot of folks out there holding on to an Elvis autograph and wondering what it’s worth. If that includes you, there’s good news. Eight of the nine Elvis autographs offered by Heritage Auctions at its just completed Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction, exceeded the pre-auction estimate. Several of them brought two or three times the expected prices. Let’s take a look – in sequence cheapest up to most expensive.

Autograph on White Paper (Circa 1960) — $1.062.50:

Elvis' Autograph on White Paper from Fan Book

Usually, the least expensive Elvis autographs are written on a scrap of paper, or the back of a check deposit slip – whatever a fan had available when the opportunity came up. The value can be enhanced by framing it or adding extras. Here is an example. The small white sheet of paper above is a 5” x 4.5” page from an autograph album (shown directly below it). Elvis signed it boldly in blue ballpoint pen.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph in Fan Book

The seller added two unsigned black-and-white photographs, and the package brought in $1,062.50 (including 25% buyer’s premium to the auction house). But the photos and book are really of no value, so this turned out to be a rather expensive Elvis autograph on a plain piece of paper.

 

Signed Magazine Page (Circa 1957) — $1562.50:

Elvis' Autograph on Magazine Page, Circa 1957

This autograph seems to have been written on a page from a magazine or program. Elvis signed it “Thanks Honey, Elvis Presley” in blue ink. The Honey receiving the thanks was Joyce Gentry, the president of the Elvis Presley Rock-N-Roll Kats Fan Club in Missouri, as noted in the upper left corner.

Blow up of Elvis' Autograph on Magazine Page

The 10″ x 8″ image has been glued to a piece of black construction paper. The pre-auction estimate was $1,500, which seemed a little high to me, but the winning bid topped that.

 

Signed “Surrender”/ “Lonely Man” Compact 33 Single (1961) — $1500:

Compact 33 with Elvis' Autograph

Elvis’ five Compact 33 singles from 1961 are some of his most highly sought after records. “Surrender”/”Lonely Man” was the first, and the most copies of it were released. Still, a ‘mint’ copy of it sold for $700 at auction three years ago.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Compact 33 Single

The one pictured here is in ‘VG-EX6’ condition, and the sleeve is ‘VG7’ (not quite mint, but really, really good). Add Elvis’ autograph to the sleeve, and the package is worth $1,500 (25% above the pre-auction estimate). To me this is an excellent Elvis collectible and well worth the money.

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Signed Graceland Christmas Card (1959) — $1625.50:

Christmas Card with Elvis' Autograph

I have studied this thing numerous times, and I can’t figure it out. The auction website says it is 8.5” x 5.5” but is that the dimensions of everything shown, or each half because there are clearly two images. And why is the top half of the lower one up-side-down?

 Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Christmas Card

Regardless, Elvis signed it and sent it to Janet Gentry, that Rock-N-Roll Kats Fan Club president.

Envelope for Christmas Card with Elvis' Autograph

Together, the weird autographed Christmas card and the envelope addressed in Elvis’ handwriting brought in $1,625.50, an excellent value in my opinion.

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Signed Elvis LP – RCA 1382 (1956) — $1625.50:

 Elvis Autographs on Album

 Elvis was the title of his second RCA album released in 1956. Of course it can have considerable value to collectors, but the auction website makes no mention of this copy’s condition, which makes a huge difference. Plus the sleeve is missing.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on LP

However, it is signed “yours Elvis Presley” in white ink, and has been matted and framed to 14.5″ x 14.5’ so this is a very cool collectible. The sell price came in just above the estimate, the most accurate on any of the nine items.

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Signed Humes High School Commencement Program (1956) — $1687.50:

Elvis Autographed Humes High School Commencement Program, 1956

This commencement program is not from Elvis’ graduation in 1954. He left Humes High as nobody special, but two years later he had become a huge rock and roll sensation. Elvis went back to his alma mater as the Class of ’56 was graduating and caused quite a stir. As a result, we have this signed commencement 5.5″ x 8.5″ program matted and framed to 9″ x 20″.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Commencement Program

The black-and-white picture of Elvis has no connection with the program, but it adds a nice touch to the presentation. Somebody liked it a lot, as the high bid came in 50% over the estimate at $1,687.50. I wonder if that bidder didn’t read the fine print and thought it was Elvis’ graduation program.

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 Signed Black and White Photograph and a Related Telegram (Circa 1965) — $3,500:

Elvis Autograph on Black and White Photograph

This item had a pre-auction estimate of $1,600, and I thought that was a little high. To my surprise, it sold for $3,500. Sure, you’ve got a nice publicity photo with Elvis’ inscription, “To Dore, Many thanks for everything from Elvis Presley.” Dore” was Dore Freeman, a longtime publicity agent at MGM Studios. All in all, not enough to justify $3,500.

Blow UP of Elvis Autograph onBlack and White Photograph

The item accompanying the photo is a Western Union telegram to Dore Freeman wishing him a happy birthday. It might have added some value if Elvis had sent it, but it was sent by Colonel Parker.

 

Signed America’s Ten Outstanding Young Men Banquet Program (1971) — $4.687.50:

Elvis Autographed America's Ten Outstanding Young Men Program

Like the Compact 33 record and the Elvis album, this program has some collectible value by itself. In 1971, Elvis was selected by the United States Jaycees as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in America. George H W Bush, Ambassador to the UN at that time, was the keynote speaker at the banquet which was held in Memphis.

Blow up of Elvis' Autograph on America's Ten Outstanding Young Men Program

This made it easy for several Elvis buddies to attend, and apparently Marty Lacker’s parents as well. The blowup of page 22, which contained Elvis’ bio and photo, shows he wrote, “To Mister and Mrs. Lacker, Love Elvis Presley.” The top bidder thought it was worth three times the estimate of $1,500. This time I think the bid is right and somebody goofed on the low-ball estimate.

 

Signed Playboy Bunny Cuff and Complete Bunny Ensemble (Circa 1973) — $6,250:

Elvis' Autograph on Playboy Bunnie Cuff

This is a photo of a white cotton Playboy bunny cuff, including the bunny logo cufflink that holds it together around the wrist. Elvis autographed it with a blue felt-tipped pen. This is a very cool Elvis collectible, especially because also included are the complete bunny outfit – ears, collar, bowtie, shoes, sky-blue suit, the other cuff and cufflink, and a black nametag reading ‘Deni’.

Playboy Bunny Outfit that Accompanies Elvis Autographed  Bunny Cuff

I wish they had included a back shot of the outfit showing the white cottontail. The estimate was $3,000, and the winning bid was more than double that. I guess I can see how it might be worth that much to some collectors, but if I had $6,250 to spend, I’d by some clothing worn by Elvis, not a Playboy bunny named Dani.

If you want to see every Elvis autograph that sold at auction in the past few years, click on the links below.

 Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

Elvis’ Stage Contortions and Moves

In the 70s, Elvis was no longer shaking his hips and legs the way he did in the 50s.  But the man once known as Elvis the Pelvis still had an active stage presence and a variety of moves to keep his jumpsuited performances interesting. Many of these on-stage contortions were captured on camera, so let’s take a look at some.

 

Elvis - Right Knee Down, Elbow on Other

Right Knee Down

Elvis liked to use the down-on-one-knee move throughout his entire career. Remember how he had to stop wearing the pants from the Gold Lamé Suit because he wore the gold off the knees? Above is an example of Elvis with his right knee down and his elbow resting on the other. Below is just the reverse.

Elvis - Left Knee Down Elbow on Other

Left Knee Down, Elbow resting on Right Knee

 

Next we have two variations of the one-knee-down, other leg extended.

Elvis - One Knee Down, Other Leg Outsretched

Right Knee Down, Left Leg Extended

The next pose probably put less stress on the knee because some of Elvis’ weight was transferred to his heal which he was resting on.

Elvis Sitting on Foot, other Leg Outstretched

Knee Down, Sitting on Right Foot

 

This shot cuts off most of the extended leg, but you lady readers might appreciate it anyway.

Elvis fron the Backside

 

This is a strange knee-down shot. It almost looks like Elvis is doing his version of Chuck Berry’s famous duck walk. Do you remember that?

Elvis Doing the Duck Walk ?

 

Here are a couple of photos probably showing Elvis going down into the knee-on-the-stage position. He had to be in motion, because nobody could hold still in those positions for long.

Elvis Going Down to Knees

Elvis Doing The Squat

 

 

Let’s look at some obvious in-motion photos. How about jumping Elvis?

Elvis Jumping On Stage

What’s that yellow thing on his shoulder?

 

lvis Jumping - White Fringe Flying

 Don’t you like the white fringe on this one?

Elvis would often break into Karate moves on stage.

Elvis Doing Karate Kick

It is well known that Elvis split his pants a time or two, so it’s good the same thing didn’t happen with these Karate kicks.

Elvis - Karate Kick 2

 

Let’s finish with my favorite Elvis performance pictures – flat on his back on the stage.

Elvis on Back Pittsburgh 12-31-76

 Elvis - More on Back

Elvis on Back - Aug 12, 1972 Vegas Hilton

Here is a unique view of Elvis singing while on his back. You can tell from position of the two female backup singers that the shot was taken from a stage location behind him.

Elvis - Flat on Back 2

 

For a little variety, here is Elvis performing (?) while lying on his belly.

Elvis Flat on Belly  - Getting Kissed

 

It’s hard to tell if this was a planned move or an accident, but, either way, it looks like Elvis was having fun.

Elvis on his Butt

 

© 2013 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.

 

Long Lost Elvis Limericks

The inspiration for this blog post comes from www.littlefivers.com.  This site seems to present a continuous assortment of interesting Top Five lists, except that the lists aren’t limited to five.  For example, consider The Top 9 Limericks about Elvis (Part 1) and The Top 8 Limericks about Elvis (Part 2).  These ran back-to-back in early January 2006.  If you want to see the complete rankings and the authors’ names, click on the links above. I found seven of the Elvis limericks interesting and thought they would work better with a picture below each one.

There once was a redneck named Elvis,

Who had a disordered pelvis.

It shuddered and shaked,

And often would quake,

But Sun Records sure knew how to sell this.

Sun Records

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On “Ed Sullivan,” he took them by storm

And upset the world’s perceived norm.

When he curled up his lip

And swiveled his hip,

He made all the girls feel quite warm.

Girls Reaching for Elvis

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There once was a man called the king.

He could act, play guitar and could sing.

All the woman would moan,

For that Hound Dog’s bone.

Till he died on the throne, the poor thing.

Toilet Seat Cover

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In Vegas, they’re quite an attraction.

Flying Elvi give the crowds satisfaction.

To honor the king,

In their white jumpsuit thing.

Hey, it beats Lisa with Michael Jackson.

Lisa and Michael in Car

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Under the thumb of Colonel Tom Parker,

Elvis’ life grew only darker.

By the Colonel’s demands,

He would play at the Sands,

Dressed up as a carnival barker.

Col. Parker - Carnival Barker

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A King is born from the mist.

Wise men wonder, “Whose child is this?”

Stand up and be saved!

All ye poor and depraved!

Turns out, he’s from Tupelo, Miss.

Tupelo Birthplace at Night

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I still don’t believe that he’s dead.

Could he really have croaked on the head?

Hey, maybe he’s not!

No proof have I got!

This thought helps me to sleep when in bed.

Elvis in Bed

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The King was oft heard to utter,

“I want ‘nanners on fried peanut butter!”

But it left greasy stains,

Clogged up all his veins

And caused his heart to flutter

Peanut Butter and Nanner Sandwich

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Elvis drove a large, bright, pink Caddy.

Popping pills and smoking a fatty.

Wearing suits that were white,

He shot his TV one night.

He was the original pimp daddy.

Pimp Daddy Elvis

 

The seven limericks above came from the LittleFivers website.  I thought I could do better, so the next three are my attempt to do that.

 

The boy from Memphis could sing,

Soon girls called him “The King.”

He died too young,

The last song was sung,

But the fans kept doing their thing.

Candlelight Vigil

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Elvis made a lot of dough,

Didn’t keep much of it though.

Colonel Parker’s

50% marker

Came off the top, you know.

Col Parker Looking Bad

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There once was a singer named Elvis

Who sure could shake his pelvis.

This has to end.

We can’t pretend,

That some other word rhymes with Elvis.

Burning Elvis

 

©  2013    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis Speaks to Me from Beyond the Grave

Look at this tattered May 16, 1978 National Enquirer cover.  Even though it’s a really sorry-looking thing, I still keep it in my collection of tabloids with Elvis on the cover.

May 16, 1978 National Enquirer

It’s in there because the story page is in great shape, and it tells such a wacky story.

 5-16-78 National Enquirer Story

 

Ginger Alden was Elvis’ girlfriend during the last two years of his life.  She was only twenty years-old when she found him dead in the bathroom.  Supposedly, Elvis proposed marriage to Ginger on January 26, 1977, and gave her an 11.5 carat diamond ring.

 Elvis - Ginger Engagement Ring

Ginger Wearing Engagement Ring

 

This strange National Enquirer story is loaded with interesting quotes from Ginger, her mother, and her sister.

Ginger:  “Elvis started speaking to me three days after he died.”

Elvis didn’t waste any time, did he?

 Ginger:  “Elvis was sitting on a chair beside my bed.”

So, she didn’t just hear him, she saw Elvis.

Ginger’s Mom:  “I saw him once in our living room.  His figure floated through the air…”

Mom had a really cool vision.  Who wouldn’t prefer to see Elvis floating through the air over Elvis sitting on a chair?  Fortunately, Ginger also saw Elvis float in other visions.

Ginger’s Sister:  According to Mom, sister Rosemary “has seen Elvis’ outline two times in the living room.  Each time he was wearing one of his jump suits.”

Wow, everybody gets visits from Elvis.  I wonder if he also said hi to Ginger’s dog while he was there.

Ginger and Odyssey, a gift from Elvis

Ginger and Odyssey, a gift from Elvis

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Ginger:  “He comes to me in strange psychic dreams about every third night.”

Now this is getting weird.

As you might expect, these visits didn’t come off in an understated manor.  They had all of the proper fanfare.

Ginger:  “I remember vividly how it happened.  I was lying in bed, drifting off to sleep.  Suddenly, I felt his presence in the room. He was in his white jumpsuit and a flowing white cape.”

Wow, even a flowing cape, too.  Very impressive.

Ginger:  “He appeared above the bed and began singing our song, my all-time favorite, ‘Since I met you Baby.’”

How’s that for a pretty good dream, you female Elvis fans?  Ever dreamed about a floating, singing Elvis?

And what if Elvis touched you while he was there?

Ginger:  “When the song was over, he leaned forward and put his hand on my tear-stained cheek.”

Great image.  Well done, Ginger.

Ginger, Still Looking Good in 2010

Ginger, Still Looking Good in 2010

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And, of course, Elvis talks in the dreams

Elvis:  “Don’t worry, Gingerbread.  Everything is going to be all right.  You can make it.  You’ve got what it takes.”

Good for Elvis.  We knew he’d be a nice guy and give assurance and encouragement to Ginger.

 Elvis and Ginger (1)

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The article talks about a visit when Elvis gave career advice to Ginger.

Ginger:  “It was Elvis who told me to accept the role in “The Living Legend.” When I was first offered the part by a movie producer, I turned to Elvis for help.”

Let’s see, you’re a beautiful model and Elvis’ former girlfriend.  Is there any doubt you are going to take the part?  But, you got in a nice plug in for the movie, so that’s cool.

Ginger:  “I locked myself in my bedroom and said out loud, ‘Elvis, what should I do?’”

I love his answer to her.  She said his voice came through to her soft and tender… but firmly.

Elvis:  “Take it honey. “ You have the talent.  You have the looks.  This is your opportunity… Grab it.”

It seems highly probable that Ginger Alden ‘grabbed it’ when National Enquirer offered to do this article.  Pretty good free PR.  How do you like the photo of her that dominates the story page?  As Elvis said, she’s got the looks.

 Elvis and Ginger (2)

If you notice a resemblance between Ginger and Priscilla, just listen to what George Klein (who introduced Ginger to Elvis) had to say in his book, Elvis: My Best Friend.

“[Ginger was] one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen in my life… and to my eyes, she looked like a taller version of Priscilla.  I knew Elvis would just melt when he saw her.”

I don’t know for sure how many times Ginger Alden appeared on tabloid covers, but I own two others.  You will note that Elvis does not appear with her on either cover.  Maybe someday I’ll do a blog article about them.  But it won’t be as much fun as hearing about how Elvis talked to Ginger from beyond the grave.

November 15 Midnight Globe

11-15-77 Midnight Globe Story.

.June 27, 1978 Midnight Globe

6-27-78 Midnight Globe Story

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©  2013    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.

 

Six Degrees of Elvis Presley

Do you remember the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon that became popular in the late 90s and still enjoyed by some folks to this day.  It was created by four students at Albright College in Pennsylvania who came up with the concept while watching Footloose.  It was invented on the notion that any actor could be linked to Kevin Bacon through no more than six connections.  Originally, connections meant appearing in a movie together, but over time it has come to include spouses, siblings, parents or children, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc.

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If it takes six connections to make the chain from someone to Kevin Bacon, that person is said to have a Bacon Number of 6.  Elvis has a Bacon Number of 2.  It goes like this:  Elvis appeared in Change of Habit with Ed Asner, and Asner appeared in JFK with Kevin Bacon.  Two steps (degrees of separation) = a Bacon Number of 2.

So, let’s look at a variation of this we will call Six Degrees of Elvis.  Believe it or not, we can find an Elvis/Bacon Number of 6 for this guy.

Kanye West

Kanye West

 

As scary as that connection sounds, here’s how it works.

Former beauty queen Linda Thompson was Elvis’ girlfriend for four years.  She moved out of Graceland in 1976.

Elvis and Linda (in Through Dress)

Elvis and Linda (in see-through dress)

 

Then, in 1981 Linda Thompson married former Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner.  They had two boys, but ultimately ended up divorcing.

Linda Thompson and Bruce Jenner - 1981

Linda Thompson and Bruce Jenner – 1981

 

In 1991, Bruce Jenner married Kris Kardashian. They remain married to this day, and have two teenaged daughters.

Recent Photo of Bruce and Kris Jenner

Recent Photo of Bruce and Kris Jenner

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Kris Jenner has three daughters from her previous marriage, including media favorite Kim Kardashian.

Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian

Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian

 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West just had a baby, although they aren’t married.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

 

So that’s the six degrees of separation between Elvis and Kanye West.  Maybe it would have been smart to stop after the five degrees of separation between Elvis and Kim Kardashian.  She’s a lot easier to look at than an arrogant rapper.

 

Speaking of good looking women, let’s go back to Linda Thompson and look at some interesting photos of her.

Linda on Jungle Room Chair

Linda on Jungle Room Chair

 
Linda and Son Brody Jenner

Linda and Son Brody Jenner

 

Autographed Glamour Photo

Autographed Glamour Photo

 

Linda Thompson at 58

Linda Thompson at 58

 

Elvis and Linda - 1975 or 76

Elvis and Linda – 1975 or 76

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If you’ve ever played six degrees of separation between Elvis and another star, e-mail your successful connection to philarnold@charter.net.   If enough come in, we’ll look at them on an ElvisBlog post.

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©  2013    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 2013

An ElvisBlog summer tradition that started in 2008 is back.  This will be the fifth review of the latest in Elvis T-shirts offered by www.ShopElvis.com.  We will look at ten winners, and unfortunately, five that just don’t cut it (for me, anyway).

The Winners

Long Live the King:

Long Live the King

I always prefer T-shirts that don’t spell out ELVIS but still get the message across with the graphics.  And this reproduction of a Joe Petrucio design is just terrific.  Gold letters on a black shirt are a perfect combination, and the Elvis pose is just a knock-out.  I love this shirt.

 

One and Only (Ladies T, sublimated):

One & Only Ladies Sublimated

They’ve started putting the same design on both the front and back of a few Elvis T-shirts.  For some reason, this is being called Sublimated, although two dictionaries give the word totally unrelated definitions.  You will note the One and Only shirt contains no lettering at all, and none is needed to mark the wearer as an Elvis fan.  They ought to make this design available in Men’s shirts, too.

 

Red Cape:

Red Cape

As mentioned in previous reviews, I have a distinct preference for black T-shirts.  Here’s one that’s the essence of simplicity – a great jumpsuit shot of Elvis with his name in a large fancy font.  This shirt is definitely a winner.

 

Black Leather:

Black Leather

This follows the same concept as the on above.  There are many Elvis T-shirt designs featuring ’68 Comeback Special images, and this probably the best.  I like the red hi-lites on the black leather.  The shirt might have been a bit better if the image was on a shirt color that complimented the red and black of the leather suit.

 

TCB Ornate:

TCB Ornate

At first glance, this seems to be a simple design, but look carefully at everything in it.  You’ve got young Elvis in the center with sort-of a sunburst radiating outward from him.  This is superimposed over his famous TCB jewelry design.  Then, superimposed over everything is his Elvis Presley signature.  But, there is even more.  Look closely at the letter C, and you will see a crown floating over Elvis’s head.  No wonder they called this shirt TCB Ornate.

 

American Eagle Jumpsuit (Ladies T):

American Eagle Jumpsuit Ladies

Talk about ornate!  I included this design in last summer’s review when it was introduced as a Men’s shirt.  Now it is back as a Ladies T, and that makes better sense.  It might actually look a little weird on a guy.  Too bad they didn’t print the back design of the jumpsuit on the back of the T-shirt.

 

The King (Ladies T):

The King Ladies

With the possible exception of Elvis’ face being purple, there is much to like about this design.  A black shirt, an excellent image of Elvis wearing his famous shades, and THE KING in large clean lettering.

 

Good Rockin’ Tonight:

Good Rockin' Tonight

This is the second T-shirt I’ve found that includes the image of my favorite, Scotty Moore.  The other was Elvis Live featured in Elvis T-shirt Review – 2011, which featured a photo from 1956 by Albert Wertheimer.  Scotty is much more visible in this image, and DJ Fontana can be seen in the darkened background.

 

Fighting King:

 Fighting King

This is a fine image of Elvis wearing his Karate gi and showing one of his moves.  Whatever that is behind him is too pale to figure out, but Elvis’ hair is certainly interesting.  My only complaint is that this would have been much better on a colored shirt, say maybe maroon.

68 Special (Ladies T, sublimated):

'68 Special Ladies Sublimated

This is the third new Elvis T-shirt winner this year that features an image from the ’68 Special.  Never can have too much black leather, right?  I love tie-dye shirts, and if you look closely, that makes this look like Elvis has a bunch of small black spikes coming out of his hair.  Maybe they did that on purpose.

 

The Losers

 

68 Special Rock:

68 Special Rock

Come on, give us more than a reproduction of a poster.

 

Sun Rockin’ Rooster:

Sun Rockin' Rooster

When I look at an Elvis T-shirt, I expect to see Elvis on it, not a rooster.  There have been several cool Sun Records shirts, but this isn’t one.

 

Jailhouse Pop (Ladies T):

Jailhouse Pop Ladies

Sorry, but to me this looks like Elvis has been tied at the hands and feet to a wall and is getting tortured by having red paint splashed on his body.

 

Jailhouse Rock Replica:

Jailhouse Rock Replica

Another bad Jailhouse Rock shirt.  This one is hideous.  I wouldn’t wear it even if it was given to me for free.

 

Neon Shades:

Neon Shades

Could there be an uglier image of Elvis than this?  The glasses are creepy and the shading under the chin looks like a beard.  If you didn’t know better, you might think this is a guy that organizes migrant farm workers.  Uuugh.

 

All of these designs are available in the ShopElvis online catalog under the New Arrivals tab of the Hot Items section.  If you saw anything in this post that appeals to you and want to buy it, click here.  If you buy any of the Losers, send me a picture of you wearing it.  I’ll post it on ElvisBlog and try not to make any snide remarks.

 

©  2013    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’ Circle G Ranch — Part 3

Elvis’ idyllic times at the Circle G Ranch paused in late April 1967 when he returned to Hollywood for the last week of filming on Clambake.  When that wrapped up, Elvis and the gang did not go back to Graceland or Circle G.  Instead, they spent time in Palm Springs as the date for Elvis and Priscilla’s marriage approached.

On May 1, Priscilla and Elvis exchanged their vows at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.  After the reception, they returned to Palm Springs to start their honeymoon.  On May 4, they flew back to Memphis and spent the next two nights at Graceland.  Then, finally on May 6, Elvis and Priscilla returned to Circle G, and for reasons of privacy, they continued their honeymoon at the ranch house.

Backside of Honeymoon Cottage

 

It is unclear how many days passed until Elvis and Priscilla moved back to their mobile home by the lake, but their stay in the ranch house was long enough for it to be nicknamed their “Honeymoon Cottage.”

The various written histories of Elvis’ life have very little to say about what went on in May 1967, but there are hints that Elvis’ fascination with the cowboy life at the ranch started to wane.  The immense bills he had run up since purchasing the Circle G became an increasing strain.  Dr. George Nichopoulas had entered Elvis’ life that spring, and some historians consider that as a changing point in Elvis’ behavior and interests.  The overall good feeling among the Memphis Mafia started to crumble as jealousy about the trailers and trucks Elvis gave out caused bad feelings. At the end of May and early June, the Elvis biographers mention a number of activities that all indicate he was living at Graceland:  a second larger wedding reception, a bowling night party at Whitehaven Plaza, an all-night outing at the Memphis Fairgrounds.

Bumper Cars

 

On June 9, Priscilla learned she was pregnant, and the next day, Elvis and friends and wives took off in a Greyhound bus and a caravan of cars for a road trip to California, including stops at Flagstaff, Arizona and the Grand Canyon.  On June 19, Elvis reported to MGM for the preproduction of his next movie Speedway.  A week later, filming began, and it lasted until August 18.  There were some breaks, but Elvis spent the time either in Las Vegas or Palm Springs, not back at Circle G.

It is evident that about this time, Colonel Parker’s earlier prophecy came true.  Elvis simply lost interest in his new toy and moved on.  According to the excellent reference Elvis—Day by Day, written by Peter Guralnick and Ernst Jorgensen, “With Elvis’ interest in the Circle G having waned almost to the point of nonexistence, Vernon begins to sell off pickup trucks, mobile homes and cattle.”

Elvis did spend some time at the ranch in August and September, but instead of riding horses, his new hobby was target shooting.  However, by the end of September, Elvis decided to put the ranch up for sale.

On November 4, 1967, two thousand fans and collectors came to Circle G for a public auction. The sale of tractors, trailers, TV sets, equipment, and miscellaneous items raised over $108,000.

Two fans with old Elvis guitar case purchased at Circle G auction

Two fans with old Elvis guitar case purchased at Circle G auction

 

During the 1967 Christmas season, Elvis and the gang said an extended farewell to the Circle G Ranch.  They continued to ride the horses not already shipped back to Graceland.  The house trailers were all gone, but the ranch still provided an excellent location for hayrides and snowball fights.  Finally, on May 20, 1968, Elvis sold the Circle G Ranch for $440,100 ($2,900,000 in today’s dollars).

 

There are some people who say the Circle G Ranch was not that important in Elvis’ history because of the short time he owned it, and the even shorter time he spent there.  They say it does not belong in sphere of reverence fans show for other places in Elvis’ life that are preserved and open to the public:  Graceland, the Tupelo home, Sun Studios.

Park-like atmosphere around Elvis’ Tupelo birthplace home

Park-like atmosphere around Elvis’ Tupelo birthplace home

 

I never had an opinion one way or another about Circle G until I started research for this ElvisBlog series.  But, you can’t read all the things Priscilla and Elvis’ buddies said about the ranch in their books or interviews without realizing that the short Circle G period in 1967 was arguably the happiest time in Elvis’ life.  How wonderful would it be if this gorgeous property could be restored and shared with his legions of fans?   Who could resist the opportunity to walk around the grounds and check out the ranch house, the stable location, the lake, the woods, the riding trails, the bridge, the cross, and especially the house trailer area by the lake?  I think it would be impossible share this special world and not feel the same peace and serenity it gave Elvis.  It would be a rare fan who could leave the Circle G Ranch without understanding how Elvis’ time there must have been incredibly happy.

Unfortunately, nothing was ever done to make this dream a reality for the first forty-plus years after Elvis’ time at the Circle G.  And abuse and inattention have taken their toll.

 Vines Growing on Ranch House

Ranch House Bathroom

Circle G BBQ Grill

 

Fortunately, a dedicated English fan named Lesley Pilling stepped forward in 2010 to spearhead an effort to save the Circle G Ranch.  The Circle G Foundation’s vision for ranch is to see it open as an attraction for Elvis fans.  Their objective is to tastefully restore the site to how it was when Elvis knew and loved it; enabling visitors to enjoy the tranquility of the site, just as Elvis did.  They envision walking trails, horse riding and other outdoor activities, plus a Visitors’ Center, museum and gift shop in the old ranch house.  There is also a longer-term plan to provide a small amount of short-term accommodation, perhaps in the form of log cabins around the lake.

However, the Circle G Foundation’s ambitions run much deeper than just creating another Elvis ‘site’ for fans to visit.  The Foundation aims to create on-site facilities at the ranch catering to the disabled and disadvantaged as well as service veterans and others in need. They feel it is very important for Elvis fans to do what we can to continue Elvis’ charitable and humanitarian legacy and create something Elvis would be proud of — and the ranch is the perfect place.

The Circle G Foundation is truly international in scope.  They have Ambassadors in the USA, UK, South Africa, Australia, France, Germany, Italy and Canada and have received support from Elvis fans on every continent.   The Foundation believes Elvis fans are the best, and saving the Circle G would be a wonderful tribute to him.

Circle G Foundation Logo

 

The Circle G Foundation’s website contains a huge amount of information, so rather than reproduce it all here, I strongly success you visit http://circlegfoundation.co.uk.   As you check out all the sections of the site, you will grasp how critical the situation is with the structures on the ranch.  We are in real danger of losing them, and time is not on our side.

Be sure to click on the link “Our Vision For The Ranch,” which goes into considerable detail.

Vision for the Circle G

The Vision is still a work in progress and I have suggested to the Foundation that more emphasis needs to be given to the area where the house trailers and the BBQ grill were located.  The concrete foundations are still there in the ground, and Lesley Pilling advises she has information on who was in each trailer.

Another thing you can do is visit the Circle G Foundation Facebook page and ‘Like’ it.  There are now over 4,200 Likes and the next goal is 5,000.  You can link to it from “Contact Us” on the website, or you can click here.

 Grazing pastures at Circle G

 

The Circle G Foundation‘s website Home Page also includes a petition the Mississippi State Senate to include Elvis’ Circle G Ranch on the National Register of Historic Sites.  Scroll down to near the end of the home page or click here.

Another place to visit on the site is the “Store.”  You can help the cause by purchasing Circle G merchandise.  For now, the prices are listed in Pounds (remember, it’s an English site), but when you pay by credit card or PayPal, everything is converted to dollars.

Of course, the most important thing you can do is donate to the Circle G Foundation.  There are details on the site about how the money will be used and what will happen if it can’t be spent on the Circle G.  Please click on “How You Can Help…” and give serious thought to donating generously.

Here’s a long shot, but if you happen to have $3,900,000, you can purchase the Circle G Ranch and work with the Foundation to bring this dream to a reality.

 

View from back of ranch house showing the cross

We’ll end with one last photo.  Imagine if you could walk out of the Visitors Center and take in the view that Elvis had in 1967.  Imagine if you could walk around the 163 beautiful acres and enjoy the things that made Elvis so happy.

Or, imagine that the old ranch house and cross had rotted and crumbled to the ground.  Man, I sure hope we can save the Circle G.

 

©  2013    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.