Category Archives: THE MOST UNUSUAL ELVIS ARTICLES ON THE WEB

The Muppets present “Great Moments in Elvis History”

As mentioned last week, the elves in the Muppet Classic Theater DVD were dressed in Elvis-type garb and had Elvis hair. And all three of them spoke and sang like Elvis. The picture above shows the three Elvises making blue suede shoes.

For those of you who got the incomplete postings last week on my first two tries, you missed the video of The Elves and the Shoemaker segment of the DVD where they do their stuff. This is fun, so here are two ways to check it out if you haven’t already.

The full 9-1/2 minute skit:

 

The 5 minute edited version showing the Bad Shoes Blues song sequence and a bit more:

 

The Muppets returned to TV in 1996 in a new show called Muppets Tonight. It was very similar to the original The Muppet Show.

It ran for three seasons, which was long enough for three more appearances by the Elvises in a recurring feature, “Great Moments in Elvis History.”

The concept is interesting. They chose three great moments in world history and substituted Elvises for three of the main characters in each.

 

The Declaration of Independence:

Sorry for the lame picture quality. The video I grabbed it from is the only one I could find. The story has some fun with quibbling going on between Washington and Jefferson, particularly when John Hancock tells them that all ties with the king have been severed, and they argue about who really is The King.

When Ben Franklin arrives and tells them he has discovered electricity, they cheer and bring up their electric guitars. They break into a song using the melody from “Blue Suede Shoes,” with brand new lyrics.

One if by land,
Two if by sea.
Let’s all rock for democracy.
Don’t you, don’t you tread on me.

At the end of the skit, we get a fake preview of next week’s Great Moments in Elvis History. This is Elvis of Arabia, but it was five more weeks until the next Great Moments is shown, and it was not Elvis of Arabia.

 

Elvis the King and His Knights of the Roundtable:

Here we have Guinevere, King Arthur, Lancelot, and Merlin. The gag here is that the dragon has captured Guinevere. Merlin goes to rescue her, and the dragon is glad to give her back. The song parodied in this skit is Jailhouse Rock, with these lyrics:

The dragon has captured Lady G.
Don’t you worry, Excalibur is here.
Everybody knows that dragon is hot.
We’re rockin’ here in Camelot.

I like this front shot of Muppet Elvis Merlin.

 

The gag preview at the end of this skit is Tarzan of Graceland.

 

Elvis Caesar:

Here the Elvises are playing Brutus, Mark Antony, and Julius Caesar. There is no singing in this short skit, but there are plenty of gags.

The bit with Brutus brandishing a large knife was interesting, considering the actual facts of Caesar’s assassination.

 

The gag preview at the end of this skit is Sir Elvis Newton.

 

Someone has put together a YouTube video that combines all three Great Moments in Elvis History. Check it out.

 

I hope you enjoyed my three-part series on The Muppets and Elvis.

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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

 

Elvis and The Muppets

  

When I read that Sesame Street celebrated its 50th anniversary this fall, it gave me an idea for an ElvisBlog post.  I remembered seeing some of their Muppet characters dressed as Elvis on the internet.  But when I started researching it, I found that with two exceptions, it was mostly characters from The Muppet Show.  There is a difference.

The little guys in front of Big Bird above include Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Glover, and Oscar the grouch.  Jim Henson was already a successful puppeteer when he created them for Sesame Street in 1969.

 

 

Based on the popularity of his characters on Sesame Street, Henson introduced a whole new group for his The Muppet Show that debuted in 1976.  In addition to Kermit and Miss Piggy, there was also Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Scooter, and Rizzo the Rat.

 

While Jim Henson had been pleased with the success of Sesame Street, that show had branded the Muppets as a kids’ act. Henson wanted to create a show that would be entertaining across all age groups. The Muppet Show had a zanier tone to their skits and some of their occasional characters were pretty strange – like Dr. Tooth and The Electric Mayhem band.

 

 

So, before we take a look at Elvis and the Muppets, let’s mention the two Sesame Street characters that did do an Elvis impersonation.

 

This is Elmo from a “Singing” episode on Elmo’s World where he sang “Blue Suede Shoes”.  To my eyes, his shoes look black.

 

 

This was corrected in 2000 when Fisher-Price released Elmo – The Legend plush doll.  He is dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit and sings some of his songs including, “Blue Suede Shoes”, and “All Shook Up”.

 

 

And this is Elmo dressed as a young Elvis singing “Viva Las Vegas” at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show.  Believe it or not, this was for a discussion session on the effectiveness of children’s educational electronics.

 

 

This is The Count, a Dracula-like character that showed up occasionally on Sesame Street. Here he is dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit and singing a parody of “Blue Suede Shoes.”  It was an original song with different music and lyrics that mention the shoes.

 

So, now let’s look at The Muppets and Elvis.

 

This is a drawing of Gonzo obviously doing an Elvis impersonation, but I can’t find a picture or clip of him doing it on the show.

 

 

This is Fozzie at the Graceland gates.  I couldn’t find if this was part of a skit on the show or was created for some other purpose.

 

 

This is Blogg, a minor character, wearing an Elvis jumpsuit.  I couldn’t find out if he sang a song on the show.  I did find that on one episode he formed an Elvis head out of his earwax.  Man, did I ever waste a lot of time looking for a picture of that.

 

 

I think this is Gene the Genie.  I found that he did an Elvis impression when he mentioned spending a vacation in Las Vegas.  I don’t think he sang.

 

Next week we will take a look at the biggest Elvis presence with the Muppets – a wonderful creation called The Elvises.

 

 

You are going to love these guys.

 

 

©  2019    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

  

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

 

Graffiti Artists Rev Up Their Imaginations with Elvis’ Name

For years I have been adding Elvis graffiti to my files –  some are images, and some just his first name. Let’s take a look at the variety of ways creative people have presented ELVIS. The one above is interesting to me because of the splotchy yellow background and the white and blue stripes inside the letters.

Also, please note that it is all capital letters, except the i. It seems the favorite way for the graffiti people to spell Elvis is ELViS.

 

 

 

How about this one painted on railcar in Vienna. It’s got multi-hues of turquoise, white, and a little green inside the letters. There are cool little snowflake-like dabs of white in between the letters. So, it’s got a whole icy feel to it. I love the dot over the i, and I’ll pass on writing anything about the part below it.

 

This one from Frankfort, Germany has Elvis spelled the right way. It is interesting for two reasons. It includes a decent reproduction of the famous photo of Elvis during his return to live performing in 1969. And the colored stars were a nice touch.

 

Here’s a variation from Soumi, Finland. That looks to be two-story building, so that’s a really big ELViS. The S is the most normal one in this collection. There are quite a few wild ones. Note the two white stars in the L. There’s a few more of the Elvis graffiti coming up that have additional artwork inside the letters.

 

I’m not too crazy about this one from Ottawa. The letters are too jammed up. No artwork in the letters or around them.

 

This one is nicely spread out – maybe too much with that column in there. Is that a period at the end of Elvis?

 

You might have to gaze on this one for a while before it comes into focus. It’s easiest if you just concentrate on the light tan tops of the letters and then follow them down through the orange-tan and mustard. Those pink and red edges of the letters are colorful, but distracting. I like the little white balloons between the letters. The message at the bottom right is interesting, and London at the other end tells you where it was painted.

 

Here’s one from Evansville, Indiana. I am impressed with the many different shapes and styles of these five letters we are seeing in this pictorial, and there are some strange ones coming up.

 

Like this oriental-looking design from New York City. I can’t figure out the meaning of the numbers painted inside the letters.

 

See anything weird about this one from Miami? At first glance it looks like an ELVIS graffiti, but if you look close, it spells EVILS.

 

Speaking of spelling, this sure looks like Alvis to me. It’s from Vienna, so maybe this is some sort of Germanic version of Elvis.

 

Earlier, we looked at Elvis spelled out in free-form, icy-looking letters. This one is also from Vienna, so they both may have been done by the same artist. It must take some talent to make it look like the faces of the letters are covered with Slushies, about to melt off.

 

Another from New York City. The design is is nothing special – except for the E. The artist turned it into a face, complete with sunglasses.

 

This one from Belgium is notable for starting Elvis on a fence and continuing on to a wall. And that looks like quotation marks before and after ELViS.

 

Here’s a New Jersey original. I like the shapes of the letters and the multiple colors inside them.

 

This is painted on a railroad bridge in New Jersey. I guess the railroad is OK with it, because the artist signed it. Note, all lower case letters.

 

Another one from Vienna. There must have been an Elvis Graffiti contest there sometime, because six of these have come from Vienna.

 

As does this one. I’m not too fond of it. If the centers of the letters were gold, not black, I might like it .

 

This is my favorite, and it comes from Belgium. I love the variety of colors and designs inside the letters.

 

 

This was fun for me to put together. Someday we’ll look at the Elvis picture graffiti.

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

World Space Week — Elvis Style

Have you ever heard of World Space Week? Me, neither. Of course, there are days and weeks for all kinds of things, and if you want to look at the list, the URL is at the bottom of this picture. I wonder who gets to pick them.

Anyway, I discovered World Space Week while surfing the net a few days ago. I knew I had to do a post on the connection between Elvis and World Space. That just sounded too good to pass up. So here are some images that work pretty well for me as an exhibit of:

WORLD SPACE ELVIS

 

I think this one nailed it. You’ve got Elvis, the world, and the space. The yellow color in the center is a nice touch. Unfortunately, not all of the pictures are this noble and mesmerizing.

.

This one is such a mess. Elvis is riding through space on a flying guitar case, dragging balloons behind him. He has on a suit, but he is barefoot. And, he has a little Christmas tree sitting on his lap. It looks like he will have to change his direction if he wants to get to that world up ahead. So, it’s a stupid picture, but it covered the three things we’re looking for — Elvis, world, and space.

 

This is the Chalmuns Cantina located in the pirate city of Mos Eisley on the planet Tatooine. We’ve got Elvis and a space theme, but no world. Still, I like it, although the Photoshop work could have been better.

 

This one has two worlds and lots of space. I can’t decide if the floating musical notes are really needed, but they are different. I think the muted image of Elvis works well with the overall tone.

 

Here we have Elvis in name, but no picture. And, we’ll count the word planet the same as world. I showed this T-shirt picture before in an article inspired by this magazine cover.

I think World Space Elvis tops Planet Hillary.

 

I’m getting double usage out of this one, too. Although there’s no world in the picture, we do get a cool guitar that shoots out lightning bolts. Plus, Elvis has shoes on. Great picture.

 

I know I may hear from someone offended by this picture. Sorry. Elvis and space aliens. It looks like the Grand Poohbah is the blue guy on the screen. And they’ve got Marilyn Monroe back there destined to get the same treatment.

 

Back to the good ones. I like the way Elvis has stuck his guitar into the cloud. It’s just floating along beside him.

 

This is Space Dandy and his two loyal sidekicks. He’s wearing a jumpsuit — look at the red cape. And the hair. This is definitely a nod to Elvis.

 

This combines so much, but it’s still a stretch. The space connection is the Star Wars storm trooper outfit on a LEGO figure with an Elvis head on it. That’s a crummy Elvis face, though.

 

Although I rotated and cropped the original, this simple picture does offer everything in Elvis World Space. I don’t get what the message is with Elvis trudging along the top of that world, but I find this image interesting.

 

All it takes is an arm and a white jumpsuit sleeve to understand that it’s Elvis. It’s more difficult to understand what the point of this image is, but the touching fingers seems to be inspired by the art on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I guess we should just enjoy the design and not think about it too much.

 

This was a pretty simple Photoshop job, but I like it. A good one to end with.

 

I hope you enjoyed observing World Space Week — Elvis Style.

 

 

©  2019    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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

 

Some Thoughts on Elvis Caricatures

 

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

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

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

 

Artist unknown

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Artist unknown

 

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

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

Artist – LockUp Wallace

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

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

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

Artist – markdraws

 

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

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

Artist – Ron K

Note that Elvis’ eyes are closed in this one.

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

 

Artist – Bruce Stark

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

Artist Gabby Correia

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

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

Artist – Benjamin Strobel

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

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

Artist – Tom Richmond

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

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

Artist – Zuo Chen

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

Artist – Carreno

 

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

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

Artist – Zack Wallenfang

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

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

Artist – Dan Adel

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

Artist – David O’Keefe

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

 

Artist – Alberto “Sting” Russo

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

 

Artist unknown

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

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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

 

Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlog Articles

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

 

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

 

I don’t like this one at all.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

Here’s a new one.

 

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

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 26

Energizer Bunny:

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

 

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

Or…maybe not.

 

Elvis Pins:

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

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

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

 

Here are some other interesting themes.

 

This has to be my favorite pin message.

 

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

 

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

 

Vince Everett:

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

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

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

 

Elvis Karate Fight MARKER:

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

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

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

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

 

Elvis’ $1.8 Million Dollar Watch:

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

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

The timepiece sold for 18 times the highest estimate. Wow

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

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

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

 

Al Hirschfeld’s Caricatures of Elvis:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Pretty baggy looking.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

Elvis Centerfolds

I thought that might get your attention.

 

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

 

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

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

 

The History of the Elvis Centerfolds:

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

 

How My Scrapbook Resulted in Extra Centerfolds:

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

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

 

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

 

Elvis in White:

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

 

Elvis in Gold Coat:

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

 

25th Anniversary Calendar:

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

 

Elvis in the American Eagle Jumpsuit:

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

 

Casual Elvis:

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

 

50th Anniversary of Rock & Roll:

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

 

Rip It Up:

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

 

Seven-Elvis Montage:

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

 

Gold Lamé Suit:

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

Sorry, sold out

 

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

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

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

 

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005-2019)

Elvis Merchandise – Circa 1956

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Crew Hat:

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

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

 

Head Scarf:

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

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

 

Elvis Presley Fashions:

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

 

Teenage Lipstick:

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

 

Skimmer Pump Shoes:

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

 

Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog:

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

 

Elvis Presley Statue:

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

 

Talking Record:

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

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

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

 

Crew Neck Polo Shirt and Girl’s Knit Pajamas:

 

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

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

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

 

Canvas Sneakers:

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

 

Elvis Presley Handkerchiefs:

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

 

 

 

Billfolds:

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

.

Bookends:

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


The eBay text says they are very rare.

 

Mittens:

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

 

Belts and Bolo ties:

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

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

 

Socks:

I couldn’t find any better pictures of these.

 

Rock and Roll Photo Wallet:

 

Combo Bag:

 

Medallion Necklaces:

I found this one on ebth.com.

I can’t believe it sold for just $30.

 

Black Twill Jeans and Simtex Shirt:

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

 

Charm Bracelet:

These were easy find on the internet.

 

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

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

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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