Category Archives: THE MOST UNUSUAL ELVIS ARTICLES ON THE WEB

Graceland’s Elvis Pumpkin Contest Winners Announced

ElvisBlog Pumpkin Entry

No, this is not the the contest winner.  It is the ElvisBlog entry. Because there were actually three winners, the best I call it is the unofficial 4th place winner. Here are the top three:

Winner Graceland Pumpkin Contest 1

This appears to be carved on one of those foam craft pumpkins mentioned in the post two weeks ago (especially in the Comments). This medium certainly does offer enhanced design possibilities with all the variety of colors possible depending on how deep into the foam you cut.

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Winner Graceland Pumpkin Contest 2

I’ve got this figurine and several others, so maybe i’ll get an inspiration on how to use one without totally plagiarizing this concept.  I particularly like the hole in the top allowing Elvis to be lit from below.  Pretty clever.

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Winner Graceland Pumpkin Contest 3

I’m ambivalent about this one.  It probably isn’t up to the caliber of the other two winners, but it is certainly ahead of the losers.

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Speaking of losers, I have a photo file called Elvis Impersonator Losers (some are featured here). I think I should start one called Elvis Pumpkin Losers, and this group from the 2014 contest should be in it:

Graceland Elvis Pumpkin Contest Loser 1

How do you like the stem growing out of Elvis’ head?  Or the pink lips?  I always wondered why anyone would buy the fake Elvis shades with black sideburns hanging down.   Now I know.

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Graceland Elvis Pumpkin Contest Loser 2

OK, how about Albino Elvis?   Just love the hair.

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Graceland Pumpkin Contest Loser 3

So, maybe Magic Marker hair is even worse.  The blue suede shoes are a nice touch.

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Graceland Elvis Pumpkin Contest Loser 4

Is this Elvis or the Pillsbury Dough Boy?  With that huge nose, its hard to tell.

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Graceland Elvis Pumpkin Contest Loser 5

Another weird nose.  And hair line.  Interesting pendant and colorful collar, though.

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Graceland Elvis Pumpkin Contest Loser 6

If you showed this one to ten people on the street, how many do you think would recognize this as Elvis?

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Graceland Elvis Pumpkin Contest Loser 7

The mouth on this one is way better than the ones above.  But the hair?

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Presumably, there will be another Elvis Pumpkin Contest next year.  All, I can say is that hopefully Elvis fans will up their game and make better submissions.

Hope you all had a great Halloween.

©  2014    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Long Live Digital Elvis

Reworking Elvis Digitally

Hey, what are they doing to Elvis here?  There was no narrative in the You Tube video containing this shot, so we don’t know the technical details.  What we do know is that some Brazilian digital engineers took Elvis images from the movie Spinout to use in a TV commercial.

Spinout Poster

That commercial was for fashion retailer C&A, which operates in Europe and Brazil, but not the United States.

 C&A Fashion Retailer

The ad is a fast-paced 30-second look at Elvis singing and kissing girls at a modern-day party.  The video’s director created a set and filmed beautiful people dancing and talking.  Then his digital team extracted Elvis’ image from the Spinout sequence where he sings the song “Smorgasbord” and placed him in the middle of the modern party.  The footage of Elvis came from this:

Elvis Singing in Spinout

And ended up like this.  Keep in mind that this was not just a single image transfer.  It was several seconds of Elvis doing some classic moves.

Elvis Singing at Modern-Day Party in Ad

 

Several other snippets from the song were lifted and placed in the modern setting.

Elvis Walking Past Girls with Guitar in Spinout

Elvis Walking Past Couple with Guitar in C&A Ad

 

Elvis enjoys a lot of fast kisses while he sings “Smorgasbord,” and all of them are transferred to other girls in the ad video.

Elvis Kissing Two Girls Sitting on Couch in Spinout

Elvis Kissing Girls on Couch in Ad

Here’s a shot from the footage they shot before Elvis was added to the scene. Each girl had to pose for their air-kiss with the right timing to match Elvis’ movements in the film.

Girl Air-Kissing Elvis' Cheek in Ad

 

A bit later, Elvis ditches the guitar, strolls over to two standing girls and kisses them on the cheek.

Elvis Kissing Standing Girls In Spinout

Elvis Kissing Dancinging Girls in Ad

Here’s a shot of the two party girls before Elvis kisses them.  Notice that they are dancing on a bench.


Two Girls Dancing Alone in C&A Ad

Then the images of Elvis jumping up between them on that bench are added.

Elvis Jumping Between Dancing Girls in Ad

The footage of Elvis doing this spin-around jump came from a different segment of the movie.

Shadow Elvis

It looks like they flipped it from left-to-right for some reason.

Elvis Doing Spinning Jump

 

The last kiss in the commercial is between Elvis and a beauty in a white dress.

Girl Coming Down Steps to Kiss Elvis in Ad

Here’s the footage of Elvis kissing Deborah Walley in Spinout.

Elvis Kissing Debrah Whalley in Spinout

After a little digital trickery, the kiss looks like this.

Elvis Kissing -- in C&A Ad

 

Check out how they posed the girl for the kiss.

Posing for the Kiss with Elvis-- C&A Ad

 

 

Now that virtual/digital/holograph technology has advanced so much, I think we will be seeing much more of Elvis in contemporary media.  That prospect will probably rankle some folks, but it’s fine with me.  The more Elvis the better.

 

 ©  2014    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 Scrapbooks — Part 6

Elvis Fan Scrapbook Cover

From time to time I acquire an old Elvis scrapbook. I keep hoping to find one started by a fan back in 1956 when Elvis took over the world. However, what seems to be more common are scrapbooks by fans who were motivated to start them when he died in 1977. ElvisBlog took a look at one of these in January 2014, and it contained fifteen pages of stuff plus two dozen folded-up newspaper and magazine articles in the back. That’s enough for two blog posts, so here are some of the more interesting items not covered earlier.

 

Elvis and White Slavery

The Elvis photos on this page aren’t especially notable, but the question-and-answer text is interesting.

Q. When the late Elvis Presley brought different girls to live with him at Graceland in Memphis, didn’t he bribe their parents with lavish gifts in a form of white slavery?

Whoa. Good thing TMZ didn’t exist back then, or they would have certainly dug up the scoop on Elvis’ white slavery action. Give me a break.

The answer did say that Elvis was an extremely and spontaneously generous man. Then it stated that Elvis did verbally promise Ginger Alden’s mother that he would pay off her $40,000 mortgage. But Elvis died before doing so, and Mrs. Alden sued the Presley estate. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled the estate was obliged to pay the $40,000 and retire the note. You can bet Vernon wasn’t too happy to write that check.

 

Elvis Compared to Valentino

After Elvis’ death, it seemed like hundreds of articles came out extolling the legacy of cultural change he left behind. However, the writer of this Associated Press article tried to make it different from the others by including a comparison between Elvis and silent film actor Rudolph Valentino.

 Valentino

They were American originals — “The Sheik” and “The Pelvis.”

In the 1920’s, Valentino danced the tango on a movie screen and women swooned. In the 1950s, Elvis wiggled his hips on TV and girls fainted.

Valentino gave us slickeddown hairdos, the tango, and the term “matinee idol.” For Elvis, it was long hair, tight pants, and a remarkable new sound called “rock ‘n roll.”

A half century apart, Valentino and Elvis inspired audiences with the same magic. You might call it “sex-appeal.”

Might call it??? One other comparison the writer might have made is that both stars died too young. Rudolph Valentino at age 31; and Elvis at age 42.

 

 Elvis Photo Montage

This page was one of several where the fan had cut out photos of Elvis from various media and mounted them to create a montage. I guess you have to say these pictures have stood the test of time. Now, thirty-seven years later, most of them are familiar images for Elvis fans.

 

 Elvis at Guiness Hall of World Records

This scrapbook covers the period from 1977 to 1983. Based on the newspaper clippings in it, the fan who compiled it lived in Anderson, SC. She apparently made a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC during this time and visited the Guinness Hall of World Records.

Elvis made the brochure cover, and his world record was the Most Gold Records. Guinness also presented A Tribute to Elvis, described on another page of the brochure. The print is too small for you to read, but this tribute included:

One of his original cars
Personal jewelry – gold, diamonds, silver
Items from his Hollywood home
Stage clothing

And don’t forget to visit the souvenir booth.

 

 Hand-Sketched ELVIS 1935-1977

The bottom of this page shows five books about Elvis (three of which I own). The article at the top describes the feelings by students at an Anderson, SC high school about how they miss Elvis and what he meant to them. But the most interesting thing to me is the pencil drawing of ELVIS 1935-1977. It is on white lined tablet paper, and was lovingly sketched by the fan herself. The only thing missing is a teardrop on the paper.

 

Elvis ' RCA Camden Albums

Our Elvis scrapbook fan cut this full-page advertisement from SuperTeen magazine. The record albums shown were all on the RCA Camden label, a budget-priced offshoot of RCA Victor. These Elvis albums were released between 1969 and 1973, and primarily consisted of repackagings of his 60s movie soundtrack recordings and previously unreleased material. Can you believe they are still finding unreleased Elvis recordings today, forty plus years later.

 

 Newsweek Review of Elvis by Albert Goldman

I’m not sure why our Elvis fan included this 1981 Newsweek book review in her scrapbook. It covers the horrible hatchet-job done by Albert Goldman in his book Elvis. Certainly, any young fan who read how Newsweek characterized Goldman and his book would never buy it.

Elvis Presley seems to fill Goodman with nothing but disgust.

Never has a writer lavished such contempt on his subject’s life.

Like a smug Victorian imperialist, Goldman sniffs at [Elvis’] curious native customs.

Newsweek’s review mentions several of the depictions Goldman made of Elvis – a freak attraction, little cracker boy, a carnival of gluttony, and several others too nasty to print here.

 

Elvis by Albert Goldman

So, as a public service, if you are ever tempted to purchase a cheap used copy of this book —

DON’T

 

© 2014 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.

If Elvis’ Planes Leave Graceland, What Replaces Them?

Entrance to Graceland Planes

I assume every Elvis fan has heard by now about EPE telling OKC, the company that actually owns the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog 2, to make arrangements to remove them from the property by April 26, 2015. This has sparked such a furor on the internet, and I’ve followed it all with interest. Everybody has a theory. The most common being that it’s just two big companies fighting over money. Let’s look at some facts you probably haven’t seen on the other Elvis websites.

 

Graceland Platinum Ticket Package

This is least expensive of three Graceland Ticket Packages. Note that the tour of Elvis’ two airplanes will be dropped from this package as of August 9, just before Elvis Week kicks in this year. Seems like curious timing doesn’t it? After that, if you want to see the planes on your visit to Graceland, the Tour # 2 option includes them for an additional $5.

When the planes were available on all three packages, there was no definitive way to judge how much revenue could be credited to the planes. Under this new pricing arrangement, EPE has established the value of the planes as $5 per ticket sold. Pretty good deal, huh. Yes, if you are a ticket buyer. But not for OKC that owns the planes and gets a percentage of the ticket revenue under the licensing agreement for Graceland to exhibit them.

 Lisa Marie Plane Entrance

 

In an ElvisBlog article last year, we looked at the Graceland tour prices back in 1993 when each attraction could be ticketed separately. Inflation plus the additional upward creep of all Graceland ticket prices would increase these numbers to 2014 levels.

So, we have an approximate price to compare to the new $5.00, and see the plane owners will face a revenue loss of approximately 60%. This adds support to one of the theories expressed on website comments – EPE dropped the bomb on OKC about their take being cut, OKC called their bluff by threatening to remove their planes, and EPE countered their bluff by saying: OK, get the planes out of here. Might have been a smart move. Realistically, where could OKC set up the planes and attract as many customers as they get at Graceland?

 Long View Lisa Marie

EPE’s letter to OKC also stated that all costs of removing the planes would be at the planes’ owners’ expense. Look at the size of the Lisa Marie. This is a big four-engine jet. To move it to a new location, portions of the wings would have to be removed so it could travel down the highway (as it did to get it to Graceland in 1984).

Lisa Marie Going Down the Highway.

To move it to another city, a new engine would have to be purchased so it would fly. Three engines are in storage, the other was donated to a trade school years ago. So, OKC would face some huge moving expenses in addition to questionable ticket revenue at any location other than Graceland.

So, basically, it looks like EPE’s bluff is going to work. However, some commenters go farther and argue that EPE is trying to force OKC to sell the planes to them. Gee, do you think EPE would actually use strong-armed tactics to get control of something it wanted?

 

Graceland Guesthouse

This picture is for the start of my theory that much more is going on here. It is the recently announced $70 million Guesthouse at Graceland, a 450-room luxury hotel to be built just north of Graceland on the same side of the street. It will have meeting rooms and other amenities for conventions.

 Graceland Guesthouse Public Hearing

There was a public hearing where the Guesthouse was introduced to the Memphis movers and shakers. On the screen is an aerial view drawing of the twenty-five acre project. Here is a look of the area as it now exists.

Yellow lines around Hotel, Red Lines Around ...

The guesthouse project will be inside the yellow lines. It replaces an old apartment complex and a used car dealership. Happily, very little of the tree cover will be removed.

Now look across the street at the area inside the red lines. In the top right we can see the Lisa Marie. To the left of that is the L-shaped Graceland Crossing building.

Graceland Crossing

This is an old, not very appealing strip center with three stores (Harley Davidson, Everything Elvis, and Souvenirs of Elvis) and two exhibits (Private Presley and ’68 Special). Suppose EPE wanted it gone. It would be easy to move the gift shops to spaces in the new Guesthouse hotel. The two exhibits could easily be rotated into the new Graceland Archives Exhibit (see the item above the box in the Platinum Ticket Package above).

Heartbreak Hotel Sign

The U-shaped building below Graceland Crossing in the photo is Heartbreak Hotel. It is also quite old and contains only 128 rooms. Several websites report they have information that EPE plans to tear down Heartbreak Hotel.

Heartbreak Hotel Lobby

Heartbreak Hotel Lobby

So… what if the planes, Graceland Crossing, and Heartbreak Hotel were all gone. It’s not such a crazy idea. Wouldn’t EPE want something equally special just across the street from their fancy new hotel?

As far back as 2006, then EPE owner Robert Sillerman proposed an entertainment complex, restaurants, shops, an outdoor amphitheater and a spa. Maybe plans for this idea are still on the boards.

 Map of Graceland

Here’s another look at all the space that could be available for such an entertainment complex. But, isn’t there some way to do it without Elvis’ airplanes going away? Well, look behind Heartbreak Hotel on the map. See the arrow pointing to the Graceland RV Park and Campground?

Graceland RV Park and Campground

The RV Park and Campground sit on nineteen acres. Suppose they took five acres away and put the plane exhibit there? When you think about it, how much revenue can they be getting from space rentals for tent camping? Not anything close to what the planes would generate. And moving them to a new location on site would be a piece of cake. Just pull them with a tractor.

Map of Graceland RV Park and Cabins

Map of Graceland RV Park and Cabins

Of course, the fans would have to walk a bit farther to see the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog 2. I wouldn’t mind. How about you?

So, that’s my theory. EPE gets ownership of the planes, Graceland Crossing and Heartbreak Hotel get torn down, and the planes are moved to a portion of the RV Park and Campground. Then a huge entertainment/dining complex is built across from the luxury hotel.

If you have a different theory, put it in Comments.

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We’ll see what happens.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

Elvis T-Shirt Review — Summer 2014

Elvis That's All Right T-shirt

It’s here already. The Memorial Day weekend and the de facto start of summer. So, for the sixth year in a row, it’s time for the annual ElvisBlog review of the new Elvis T-shirts. As usual, all the shirts reviewed are from www.shopelvis.com. We’ll start with ten winners and finish up with five we could probably do without.

 

The Winners

 

Sun Records Elvis That’s All Right 60th:

Sun Records Elvis That's All Right 60th T-shirt

This shirt gets a bonus award for the longest name. Of course, EPE has chosen the 60th anniversary of “That’s All Right Mama” as the 2014 theme for Elvis celebrations, so this shirt could sell well at Elvis Week. I like it because of the bright yellow against the black background. The picture of Elvis is pretty good, and I love how he rises out of the hole in the Sun Records 45.

Elvis Crowd Pleaser:

Elvis Crowd Pleaser T-shirt

At first I thought this shirt was overly-busy and a little washed-out looking. However, the kicker here is that it is a two-sided design. For some reason, ShopElvis calls that sublimated. Seems like the visitors to the site would understand two-sided better.

Elvis Crowd Pleaser T-shirt - Back

It’s kind of clever that the back side of this shirt shows an image of Elvis from the back. The price on Elvis Crowd Pleaser is $30, above the $23-27 range of the other shirts, but worth it.

 

The Sun Years:

The Sun Years T-shirt

Sun Records seems to be a popular inspiration for Elvis T-shirt designs, and this is the second to make the 2014 top ten. I like the variety of colors on a black shirt, but why change the Sun label from the familiar yellow to light blue? Still a good shirt.

 

Elvis TCB King:

Elvis TCB King T-shirt

TCB and the lightning bolt have been used many different ways on Elvis T-shirts, but you have to look to find them here. The image of Elvis here in gold and white is outstanding. They should have just called this shirt “King Elvis.”

 

2014 Graceland:

2014 Graceland

As I said last year, I like Elvis to be the subject of T-shirt design, not Graceland. But this shirt combines both. With the year 2014 also in the mix, this one should sell very well to folks who visit Graceland this year. It’s hard to see, but there is a Graceland logo in the center that says “The Home of Elvis Presley” and “Memphis, TN.” I tried to find a bigger picture of the logo on Graceland.com, but no luck. Nothing on Google, either.

 

Elvis Guitar Legend:

Elvis Guitar Legend T-shirt

The name of this T-shirt is a complete fabrication. Elvis has never been considered a guitar legend. However, the shirt reads “The King of Rock and Roll,” not “Guitar Hero,” so it doesn’t matter. The design concept has been used before on shirts for other performers and themes, but it looks fine here, adding color and interest around a B&W photo of young Elvis.

 

Elvis King Sunglasses:

Elvis King Sunglasses

Well, they haven’t run out of new ways to incorporate Elvis’ signature sunglasses into T-shirt designs. This one is pretty clever, but it would be improved if Elvis’ face was in color.

 

Elvis TCB Rhinestone Black Babydoll:

Elvis-TCB-Rhinestone-Black-Babydoll

I have no idea what the babydoll designation means, but this is one you ladies should jump on. The design is good, it is covered with rhinestones, and the price is only $7.

 

Elvis That’s All Right:

Elvis That's All Right T-shirt

My favorite of the new Elvis T-shirts for 2014. The reasons: black shirt, funky graphics on ELVIS, two good color pictures of Elvis, and the Sun Records label.

 

The Losers

Elvis POW:

Elvis POW! T-shirt

This is a ladies T-shirt, so it isn’t the pale pink color that turns me off. And, I love the ELVIS text graphics. It’s the Elvis image that’s wrong. If you want to show him as a boxer, use a shot of him standing with his dukes up, not sitting on a stool. Better yet, show a picture of him beating the crap out of Red West from any of a dozen movies.

 

Elvis Graceland Repeat:

Elvis Graceland Repeat T-shirt

I don’t get this shirt. Why would anybody buy a Graceland shirt when dozens of Elvis shirts are available? Boring, stupid… no way.

 

Muhammad Ali and Elvis:

Elvis and Muhammad Ali T-shirt

I don’t have anything against Mohammad Ali, but I don’t want him on my Elvis T-shirt. Plus, I don’t like any shirt that just has a reproduction of a photo, or album cover, or poster as the art work. Come on, get creative.

 

Elvis Larger Than Life:

Elvis Larger Than Life Sublimated T-shirt

Uh, oh. Another photograph, and this one is huge. The description on the website says this is a two-sided shirt, but no image of the back is shown.

 

The King’s Golden Tuxedo:

The King's Golden Tuxedo

No, no, no! This is simply hideous. Maybe it would work at a Halloween party, if you arrive after everybody has had lots of drinks. However, I will say that the back of this shirt looks pretty cool.

The King's Golden Tuxedo T-shirt - back

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Booby Prize

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For some reason, there were only nine shirts in the Winners section. Here’s a bonus pick to make up for the short count.

2006 Elvis Insiders Conference:

2006 Elvis Insiders Conference  T-shirt

Obviously, this shirt didn’t sell out in 2006, and they are still trying to unload the last of them eight years later. Just give the things to charity and move on. But here’s the kicker. The website listing says the sale price is $11.49, regularly $7.00. Huh?

 

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

 

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

 

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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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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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.

.

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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