Elvis Books – Part 2

Wow. Part 1 sold fast. Those were some good deals, and there will be a lot of good Elvis reading ahead for the buyers. Let’s see if we can do as good with Part 2.

 

My friend Alan Hanson is the man behind the Elvis History Blog. His approach to Elvis blogging was much more scholarly than mine, and he has read many dozens of Elvis books. A few years ago, he created his list of ten essential Elvis books. As Alan explained:

“An Elvis book has to pass a credibility assessment before I’ll even consider putting it on my reading list. It has to convince me that it contains pertinent, truthful, and interesting information about Elvis, told from a unique point of view.

“The following 10 volumes are my recommendations for a basic “Elvis Library.” Together they cover almost every aspect of Elvis Presley’s life and career from varying perspectives.”

It turns out that I own five of Alan’s Top 10. However, “Elvis, His Life from A to Z” is a book I have turned to hundreds of time for blog research, and it is falling apart. So, I won’t even try to sell it. Here are the other four with Alan’s short reviews. (His blog has long thorough reviews of each you may also want to check out.)

 

# 1 – Last Train to Memphis:

 

“Any Elvis library should be anchored by a biography, and Guralnick’s two-volume set is still the most comprehensive one available. Some find it tedious and lacking in enthusiasm, but no other existing Elvis biography can match the breadth and detail that Guralnick provides. Another advantage of Guralnick’s work is that the author wrote from the perspective of an historian and not as an Elvis fan. Thus his memoir is balanced. The reader sees both the best and the worst of Elvis along the way.”

This softcover book gets 4-1/2 stars on Amazon reader reviews. You can buy a copy on Amazon in very good condition like mine for $7.50 plus $3.99 shipping. Or you can buy it from me at $7 delivered.

 

# 2 – Elvis Presley – A Life in Music (The Complete Recording Sessions):

 

“Ernst Jorgensen has made his life’s work the preservation of Elvis’s music. In this book he chronicles every Presley recording session—studio, live, and informal—over the singer’s lifetime. A few other authors have taken on the same task, but none of them have had Jorgensen’s direct access to RCA’s files dealing with Elvis’s recording sessions. Jorgensen is a self-professed Elvis fan, as well, so his writing reveals his enthusiasm with his subject.”

This hardcover book gets five stars on Amazon reader reviews. You can buy a copy on Amazon in good condition like mine for $25.84 plus $3.95 shipping. Or you can buy it from me for $15 delivered.

 

# 4 – That’s Alright Elvis:

 

“Scotty Moore, who was there from the very beginning, provides a unique perspective on the rise of Elvis Presley in his book. Scotty certainly gives Elvis his due but also outlines recurring disappointments in his relationship with Elvis. In his occasional inconsiderate treatment of his backup musicians, the reader begins to understand how Elvis refused to take control of his own career. It was not in Scotty’s makeup, however, to harbor resentment toward Elvis, and that comes across clearly in the title and content of his book.” (Editor’s note: This book is more fun to read than Alan’s review might imply.)

This hardcover first printing gets 4-1/2 stars on Amazon reader reviews . You can buy a copy on Amazon in very good condition like mine for $20.20 delivered, or you can buy it from me for $10.

 

# 6 – Elvis Day By Day:

 

Editor’s Note:  Elvis day by Day has been sold.

 

“As the title signifies, this volume provides a straight, chronological accounting of Elvis’s life from the day of his birth in 1935 until the day of his death in 1977. Guralnick, the biographer, provides Presley’s comings and goings, while music historian Jorgensen contributes the recording session and concert information.”

(Editor’s note: The description of this book on Amazon goes into greater detail. “From Elvis’ foremost biographer, Peter Guralnick, author of the bestselling two-volume biography, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love, and Ernst Jorgensen, the premier archivist and reissue producer of Elvis’ recorded work, comes a unique chronicle of Elvis Presley’s life and music. Granted unprecedented access to hundreds of thousands of photos, documents, letters, artifacts, and memorabilia by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Guralnick and Jorgensen present the King as you’ve never seen him before. Elvis Day by Day is a complete account of public, private, rare, forgotten, and renowned moments, captured with such detail and immediacy they read like diary entries.”)

This hardcover book get 4-1/2 stars on Amazon reader reviews . You can buy a copy on Amazon in very good condition like mine for $40.98 delivered. Or you can buy it from me for $20.

 

Okay, If you like any of these books and would like to purchase them, let me know by email at philarnold@charter.net. Please don’t put it in Comments. These offers are for delivery to USA locations only.

Please indicate if you want a PayPal invoice, and I’ll get one right out. If you’d rather pay by check, let me know, and I’ll hold your selection for you until it arrives.

Thank you so much for your support.

 

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

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Post # 993

Songs About Elvis

This is a second look at a post from 2012.  Over the years, several of you readers have commented that ElvisBlog covers topics you don’t see on any other Elvis sites.  This certainly qualifies as one.

 

Three weeks ago, when I was doing research for the article “Elvis Has Left The Building,” I learned something about Wikipedia.  If you type Songs About Elvis in the search box, it comes up with a list of 112 songs.  About half of them were by people or groups I had never heard of, but some of the familiar names have songs with interesting lyrics.  Here is a sampling.

 

He Was the King – Neil Young

Neil Young wrote this song with many verses that traced Elvis’ entire life as an entertainer.  Except for the reference to pills in one verse, I found it to be the best lyrics in the group.  Unfortunately, it appeared on one of Young’s least popular albums, Prairie Wind.

 

Back To Tupelo – Mark Knopfler

You may know Mark Knopfler as the front man of the group Dire Straits.  His ode to Elvis song appeared on his solo album Shangri La.

 

 

 

(619) 239-KING – Mojo Nixon

Most of Mojo Nixon’s songs are raunchy and funny, but he played it pretty straight on this CD single release.

 

Black Velvet – Alannah Myles

I never listened to the lyrics of this big hit closely enough to realize they were about Elvis.

 

Disgraceland – Alice Cooper

This song was included on his Dragontown album.  I expected the lyrics to be disturbing, and they were.  Here is the only verse worth including.

 

Elvis – Sister Hazel

I thought this was a woman, but it’s a five-man band.  Their song is more about a velvet Elvis painting than Elvis himself, and it appeared on their Fortress album.

 

Boy From Tupelo – Emmylou Harris

This soulful song tells of a spurned lover going away and disappearing like the buffalo, Elvis, and the five and dime stores.  Harris included it on her album Red Dirt Girl.

 

Elvis and I – Denis Leary

I never knew he was a singer as well as a comedian.  I never knew he spelled his name Denis.  I also couldn’t find a picture of the album Other Songs D-K that this one came from.

 

 

Elvis and Andy — Confederate Railroad

There are probably plenty of Elvis fans who also love Andy Griffith and the Mayberry gang.  Confederate Railroad celebrates one of them on this song from their album Notorious.

 

Elvis Has Left the Building – Jerry Reed

Elvis recorded four songs Jerry Reed wrote, including the hits “Guitar Man” and “U.S. Male.”  Reed also had a hit in 1967 with a song about Elvis, “Tupelo Mississippi Flash.”  He wrote a second Elvis song and sang it with other country stars on the album Old Dogs.

 

Elvis on Velvet – Stray Cats

The Stray Cats patterned their music after the Rockabilly sound of the early Elvis Records.  They also released this single about him.

 

 

I Saw Mr. Presley Tip-toeing Through the Tulips – Tiny Tim

Fortunately, the lyrics of this song are better than the artwork on the Tiny Tim album where it appeared.

 

 

©  2012    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.

Post # 992

 

Elvis Books – Part 1

The magazine offerings from a few days ago were completely sold out.  Thanks for your support.  Let’s see how things go with Elvis books.  In Part 1, we’ll have groups of books at cheap prices, and in Part 2, I’ll list some more special books individually.

Skinny Books, Skinny Price: 

Editor’s note:  The Skinny Elvis Books are sold.

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s a pretty interesting collection covering a variety of subjects.  Eight Skinny Elvis Books for just $10 delivered.  (US locations only)

 

Paperback Elvis Biographies:

Editor’s Note: The Elvis Biographies are sold.

 

If you haven’t read Priscilla’s take on living with Elvis, here is your chance to get it at a discount price.

 

 

This was written one year after Elvis’ death and explores everything that happened in that time.

 

I wrote an ElvisBlog article on the author of this book and her relationship with Elvis.This book is Interesting reading from a top Hollywood columnist.

 

       

Jerry Hopkins is a noted Elvis author, and he did a great job on these two.

 

Fortunately, these five Paperback Elvis Biographies don’t have much content overlap at all.  Some of them are gently worn.  A good buy at $12.

 

 

Eclectic Paperback Package:

Editor’s Note: The Eclectic Paperbacks have been sold.

 

I like this book because George Klein had his own life and career, as opposed to the Memphis Mafia guys that wrote Elvis books.  His friendship with Elvis did have plenty of perks, though, and it’s fun to read about them.

 

407 pages of funny Elvis stories collected from several dozen other books. I wish I had thought of the idea.

 

The cover tells it all, but the author ought to do an update now that we have the Graceland Guesthouse and Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

 

This is so much more than a dry encyclopedia of all things Graceland.  The author tells a story that is very enjoyable reading.

 

These four large paperback books are what is called Trade Paperbacks, the less expensive version of the hardcover editions.  All are in very good condition.

This Eclectic Paperback Collection that will provide you many, many hours of reading.  Just $14 delivered.

 

Elvis Fiction:

 

Editor’s note:  The Elvis Fiction Books are sold.

     

 

Daniel Klein now has four mysteries featuring Elvis Presley.  These two for sale are hard-cover editions.

 

 

 

The last three books are Trade Paperbacks, as explained above.  All five fiction books are in very good condition.

If you want more information about these Elvis novels, please check them out on Amazon, and be sure to note the prices.    Then, you will know what a deal it would be to get all five Elvis Fiction for just $18 delivered.

 

To summarize, there are four groups of Elvis books for sale:

Eight Skinny Elvis Books for just $10 delivered.

Five Paperback Elvis Biographies for just $12 delivered.

Four Eclectic Elvis Paperbacks for just $14 delivered

Five Elvis Fiction Books for just $18 delivered.

 

Okay, If you like any of these items and would like to purchase them, let me know by email at philarnold@charter.net. Please don’t put it in Comments. These offers are for delivery to USA locations only.

Please indicate if you want a PayPal invoice, and I’ll get one right out. If you’d rather pay by check, let me know, and I’ll hold your selection for you until it arrives.

 

Thank you so much for your support.

 

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you. Thank you very much

I’ve been thinking about how to say thank you to ElvisBlog readers at the end of the month.  I’m sure I will think of something eloquent to say, but for now, I will rely on the famous words of Elvis, “Thank you. Thank you very much.”

 

 

Elvis Thank You 13

 

Elvis Thank You 5

 

Elvis Thank You 7

 

Elvis Thank You 6

 

Elvis Thank You 2

 

Elvis Thank You 1

 

Elvis Thank You 10

 

Elvis Thank You 18

 

Elvis Thank You 19

 

Elvis Thank You 17

 

Elvis Thank You 16

 

Elvis Thank You 4

 

Elvis Thank You 12

 

Elvis Thank You 11

 

Elvis Thank You 3

 

Elvis Thank You 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do thank you very much.  Knowing that all you folks read my stuff each week does a lot for my sense of self-worth .

 

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

Post # 990

 

© 2021 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.Thank y

Eclectic and Cheap Elvis Reading Material

Between Covid 19 and the cold winter weather, you are going to be spending a lot of time indoors. So, what better way to spend it than by reading about Elvis? Here are some groups of magazines to keep you busy.

Magazine Group #1:

Editor’s Note:  Magazine Group #1 has been sold.

 

This issue celebrated the 10th anniversary of Elvis death in 1987. There is a seven-page article with ten photos, including three I’ve never seen before. Also reviews of three Elvis videos: Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Elvis-His Memory Lives On, and Elvis-Ten Years Later.

 

From August 1978, one year after Elvis’ death. Nine pages about Elvis and Vernon (and Gladys), and two dozen photos. Plus lots of stories about other stars of the day.

 

How could you pass up a story about Lisa that promises, “A hunky love and a hot rock voice made Elvis’ sad princess smile again” This issue is from 1984 and she was just sixteen. The boyfriend is twenty-year-old cinematography student Scott Rollins. Five pages of compelling reading, plus four pics of teenager Lisa I’ve never seen before.

 

This is from 1963. There is a 2-1/2 page article on Elvis and the movie Girls, Girls, Girls. And you might be curious to read the lyrics of 59 song hits of the day.

 

Country Weekly, August 16, 1994 issue. Eight-page article full of photos, many in color, and two I’ve never seen before. Five country music stars share their memories of Elvis.

 

A special double issue from 1992. It has just a full-page of text and a full-page color photo of Elvis. But I’ll bet you’ll read about every other teen idol they profile.

 

So, there it is. Magazine Group #1 – six magazines loaded with Elvis. They are all in great shape. I should probably sell each one as a collectible on eBay, but that would take too much time. You can get the whole group for just $15 delivered. (To the U.S. only)

 

Magazine Group #2:

Editor’s Note:  Magazine Group #2 has been sold.

 

This is another magazine that came out while Elvis was still alive (December 1975). It contains a three-page article focusing on a “mysterious malady” that kept Elvis off the stage in Las Vegas for a while. Lots of other good celebrity stories.

 

From September 1979, this issue features an eight-page article that is Part 1 of an exclusive article by Earl Greenwood who grew up with Elvis in Tupelo. He also served as Elvis’ press secretary from 1958 until 1963, and the bulk of his memories are from this period. There is also a tribute to Vernon who had died a few months earlier.

 

As the cover says, Elvis was still the king back in January 1965. The reference is to a contest where readers were to send in their votes on who was the top idol (Elvis won handily). Ten Elvis fans explain their votes. There is also an article titled “The New Elvis,” which explains how Elvis had come a long way from his image as a wild, hip-swinging, rockabilly guy.

 

January, 1987 to celebrate the 10th anniversary. Twenty-four pages on Elvis – seven different articles, including one with seventeen remembrances of Elvis by musicians and actors. Dozens of pictures.

 

Another August, 1978 issue. Those special women in Elvis’ life are profiled about who misses him the most, but it pretty much ends up a three-way tie. Of course, the rest of the magazine is full of celebrity pictures and stories.

 

Elvis was in pretty good shape in 1975 according to this four-page article. It talks about him training with 20-pound weights and wearing a bullet-proof vest while performing. And for some stupid reason there’s a photo of Priscilla with Mike Stone.

 

There you are. Magazine Group #2 – six more magazines with enough reading about Elvis to keep you busy for a long time. $15 delivered for all of them.

 

 

Eclectic Reading Group #1:

Editor’s Note:  Eclectic Group #1 has been sold.

 

This magazine contains a sixteen-page article about Elvis and the musicians who played with him. It features eight Al Wertheimer photographs. Even better are the memories of Elvis by a huge list of players, including Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, Mike Stoller, Jerry Leiber, Bones Howe, Boots Randolph, Gordon stoker, Charlie Hodge, James Burton, Kathy Westmoreland, and more. These memories are about Elvis in the recording studio or performing on stage. There’s a lot of new stuff here that you will find intriguing.

 

From 1976, this magazine has a five-page article about the early days of Rock & Roll, including sections on black roots, the phonograph record, the rise of the DJ, the electric guitar, and more. Elvis gets his share of the text, but I could have used more. Still, great reading.

 

This is very unusual. It has almost no text but does have sixteen full-page photos culled from the video for the CBS special xxx. Elvis was filmed on June 19 and 21, and he looks pretty good in most of the pics. All but one were new to me.

 

Goldmine is a record collector’s magazine I have subscribed to for over thirty years. Every once in a while they do a cover story about Elvis. This time it was the back-stories of the reissues of Elvis’ old hits in compilations starting with the five-CD “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Complete 50s Masters.” That opened the floodgates for many other comprehensive sets, and they are all covered here.

 

You probably watched the three-hour documentary “Elvis – The Searcher” two years ago. So, you know it was not like any previous Elvis documentary. It portrayed Elvis as a serious artist, not the phenomenon, and it was very satisfying. So is this five-page article that digs deep into the planning and choices that were made. There are three Elvis photos I have never seen (actually four, counting the cover).

 

If you want some really different reading material about Elvis, the Eclectic Group #2 is a great choice. Just $8 delivered (US destinations only)

 

Eclectic Reading Group #2:

Editor’s Note:  Eclectic Reading Group #2 has been sold.

 

Believe it or not, this magazine is published by the Indiana Historical Society. But it has a wonderful eight-page article on Elvis’ last concert in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977. It was written by the assistant arts and entertainment editor for the Indianapolis Star who attended the concert and posted a review of it the next day. Then, twenty-one years later, she revisited that review and all her memories of the concert. This is first-class writing on a subject you haven’t read much about.

 

This magazine is a handy reference with the lyrics for 100 of Elvis’ biggest hits. In addition, there are eight articles on Elvis, each with photos. And there are four full-page collages of pics from Elvis movies.

 

The most interesting thing about this magazine is its salute to 32 rock, country, and blues artists born in Mississippi. Of course, Elvis gets special coverage with two articles. One is a standard biography as they installed Elvis into the “Y’all Hall of Fame.” The other covers his return to Tupelo, Mississippi for a concert on September 26, 1956 during the “Tupelo Welcomes Elvis Presley Home” celebration.

 

The cover story here is ten-pages of Al Wertheimer’s photographs of Elvis back in 1956. They used twenty of them, not just the most familiar ones, but several I haven’t seen before. And the accompanying text is built around an interview the author did with Wertheimer. Interesting stuff.

 

There it is. Another assortment of Elvis reading material you don’t normally find. The Eclectic Group #2 is also $8 delivered.

 

Erotic Magazine Rarity:

Editor’s Note:  Erotic Magazine Rarity has been sold.

 

 

OK, I am going to sell one magazine separately because it is a genuine rarity. This has to be the only magazine you will ever find that combines full female nudity with a story about Elvis and Col. Parker. What else would you expect from a Special Kinky Sex & Rock ‘n’ Roll Issue? And they certainly delivered with a lot of erotic stuff. In the midst of all this are five pages about Elvis where the author totally slams the Colonel. The three photos of Elvis weren’t new to me, but the three-dozen nude photos certainly were. Wow. $7 delivered.

 

18 Elvis Articles from Goldmine Magazine:

Editor’s Note:  The group of 18 magazine articles has been sold.

 

 

These are old Goldmine magazines from 1987-90 before they changed their format from tabloid paper into magazine. They’re big, thick and heavy with many pages of albums and CDs for sale. So, I’ve culled out just the Elvis articles plus the covers. Here’s the list of articles:

August 4, 1987:

DJ Fontana – Elvis’ Drummer Capsulizes the King’s Career
Sam Phillips – America’s Other Uncle Sam

January 9, 1988:

Elvis & the Press
Graceland – The Business End of an Elvis Mecca
Elvis on TV
Elvis LPs – His Most Collectible Records

August 28, 1988:

Elvis’ Rarest Recording?
Elvis on TV – Part 2
Bill Black – Elvis, Scotty and Who?
From Elvis in Memphis – New Information about the Sun Recordings

August 10, 1990:

The 1956 Hy Gardner Interview
Elvis, Doc and Mojo Are Everywhere
The Russian Elvis Album – A Translation of Liner Notes
Elvis in the Projects
Elvis Presley – Archeology or Garbology
The King and Them
Elvis Book Update
Retracing Elvis’ Memphis & Tupelo Footsteps

That’s eighteen different articles on a bunch of interesting Elvis subjects. If you want to get the stack of stories and the four covers, the price is just $5.

 

To summarize, There are six offerings here. There are Magazine Groups #1 and #2 at $15 each. Then there are Eclectic Reading Groups #1 and #2 at $8 each. Next was the Erotic Magazine Rarity for $7. And finally, the collection of eighteen good, long magazine articles for $5.

Okay, If you like any of these items and would like to purchase them, let me know by email at philarnold@charter.net. Please don’t put it in Comments. These offers are for delivery to USA locations only.

Please indicate if you want a PayPal invoice, and I’ll get one right out. If you’d rather pay by check, let me know, and I’ll hold your selection for you until it arrives.

 

Thank you so much for your support. Happy reading.

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

Elvis Birthday Cakes – A Pictorial Essay

I’ve used some of these images over the years to celebrate Elvis’ birthday, but most of them sat unused in my files. It’s now time to post them.

 

Three tier. Somebody spent a lot of time on this one.

 

This was presented at Graceland for the 2011 birthday celebration. I wish I had a better picture.

 

Colorful background, but the cake is mostly black and white.

 

Not a very good Elvis face, but the concept is good.

 

I like the little records

 

Yes, Elvis. You rock.

 

Not many of the Happy Birthday Elvis cakes are sheet cakes

 

I like this better than the first one with Elvis sitting on the cake

 

Cool Elvis. Definitely not made of icing

 

I guess the red-haired girl is reading an Elvis fan mag.

 

When this sheet cake is cut up, somebody gets to eat Elvis’ foot.

 

Graceland did better with this celebration cake.

 

See the little Teddy Bear and blue suede shoes? Nice touch.

 

Happy 65th Birthday. Hard to believe Elvis would have been 86 this year.

 

If they made this Elvis out of icing, I am impressed. But I’d put him on top.

 

That’s a very busy sheet cake. I guess all that stuff has to be edible, right?

 

Not bad icing art.

 

Elvis on a record turntable. I like it.

 

Wrong. Take it out of the box before you snap the picture.

 

This one says Happy Birthday Jon, but that’s Elvis on top.

 

Okay! Six records on this one.

 

This looks like a black icing tattoo on a plain round cake.

 

Simple but classy. With that cardboard underneath, this looks like those false straw hats the Colonel had all over the hotel when Elvis played Las Vegas.

 

Another Elvis sitting on the cake.

 

Two in a row. I can’t figure out what that thing is sitting on the blue icing.

 

Not that impressive. Red icing seems to be more popular that gold on Elvis birthday cakes.

 

Very nice. The roses are impressive.

 

Twenty-seven Elvis birthday cakes. An ElvisBlog exclusive. I also have photos of five or six more cakes that had pretty crappy icing Elvises on them, but they won’t work here.

 

 

©  2021   Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Post # 988

 

Some Interesting Numbers For You

 

You may recall a post last September where I wrote about my intention to reach post number 1,000 and then shut down ElvisBlog.

 

 

This is information I get each month from WordPress. See where I am now? 986 posts. That’s what you get when you’ve posted every weekend since February 2005. Plus extra ones every now and then.

So, after today’s post, I’ve got to do thirteen more to meet my goal. I better hurry up. My blog platform expires on January 31, and I’m changing www.elvisblog.net to a static site. No new posts will be added.

But the old ones will still be accessible. Because of that, I think Google searches will continue to bring hundreds of folks to ElvisBlog every month. Here’s why:

 

 

The line at the top shows that ElvisBlog had 9,100 user visits, or hits, last month. That’s a lot. A good bit of it was traffic Google brought to the blog with their search links. So many subjects have been covered here that ElvisBlog comes up a lot on Google when people are searching for something about Elvis. And there is no reason this should go down just because there aren’t any more new posts.

So, I’m feeling pretty good knowing my stuff will continue to be read by Elvis fans long after I retire.

 

In the meantime, I need to get going. Thirteen more posts in 24 days. One of them will celebrate Elvis’ birthday. Two will be about the Elvis goodies I am selling. The first will have paperback books and magazines, and the other will be kind of a clean-up of what’s left.

I’ll also repost a few of better articles from years past. And then number 1,000 will be my farewell message.

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may recall a post last September where I wrote about my intention to reach post number 1,000 and then shut down ElvisBlog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is information I get each month from WordPress.  See where I am now?  986 posts.  That’s what you get when you’ve posted every weekend since February 2005.  Plus extra ones every now and then.

 

So, after today’s post, I’ve got to do thirteen more to meet my goal.  I better hurry up.  My blog platform expires on January 31, and I’m changing elvisbblog.net to a static site.  No new posts will be added.

 

But the old ones will still be accessible. Because of that, I think Google searches will continue to bring hundreds of folks to ElvisBlog every month.  Here’s why:

 

 

 

 

The line at the top shows that ElvisBlog had 9,100 user visits, or hits, last month.  That’s a lot.  A good bit of it was traffic Google brought to the blog with their search links.  So many subjects have been covered here that ElvisBlog comes up a lot on Google when people are searching for something about Elvis.  And there is no reason this should go down just because there aren’t any more new posts.

 

 

So, I’m feeling pretty good knowing my stuff will continue to be read by Elvis fans long after I retire.

 

In the meantime, I need to get going. Thirteen more posts in 24 days.  One of them will celebrate Elvis’ birthday.  Two will be about the Elvis goodies I am selling. The first will have paperback books and magazines.  And the other will be kind of a clean-up of what’s left.

 

I’ll also repost a few of better articles from years past.  And then number 1,000 will be my farewell message.

 

 

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

Opening Night – Vegas 1969

Back in 2008, I got curious about what hits Elvis sang  at his first live appearance in nine years.  Here is a repost of the resulting article. It was in the days before I started adding lots of pictures to my posts, so I hope you enjoy reading all the text.

 

After Elvis signed the contract to do a four-week engagement at the new International Hotel in Las Vegas, he began making all the necessary preparations. He had to put together a band, chose a group of backup singers, and hire an orchestra. But most important, he had to decide what songs to perform – and in what sequence. Elvis turned to old buddy and accomplished singer/musician Charlie Hodge for help.

Elvis and Charlie worked overtime considering a long list of possible songs. At this point, Elvis was still thinking like a rock & roller, not like a master Las Vegas showman, as he would later. So, he naturally wanted lots of hits from his breakout 1956-57 period. A taste of the earlier Sun Records singles would be good, too.

Another rich creative period for Elvis was the early sixties after he returned from the Army, and it needed to be represented. Certainly, there had to be some of his recent 1969 hits from the famed recording session at American Studios in Memphis. There should also be some material from the ’68 Comeback Special. And why not a few surprises?

We know what songs Elvis performed on his return to live concerts thanks to a bootleg CD titled, Opening Night 1969, on the Fort Baxter label (AS CD 731-69), released in 1993. We can only wonder why such noteworthy soundboard tapes stayed under wraps for twenty-four years.

 

Let’s look at what Elvis and Charlie decided would be the playlist of songs. The concert was loaded with Elvis’ rockers from 1956 and 1957: “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “All Shook Up,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” These had all been #1 hits, as was “Love Me Tender,” a ballad added to help pace the show.

Elvis’ days at Sun Records were represented by “Mystery Train.”  One song had never previously been recorded. “Baby What You Want Me To Do”  was one of the killer acoustic songs Elvis sang in the pit session of the ’68 Comeback Special.

Another song selected from that special was “Memories,” a poignant ballad to change the pace after the up-tempo songs. The last song from the ’68 Comeback Special to make the cut was never released as a single, but Elvis must have liked it a lot. “Tiger Man” made the opening night playlist.

Elvis and Charlie went back to the early sixties to come up with two powerful love songs to showcase his versatility: “Are You Lonesome Tonight” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”

There wasn’t much doubt that Elvis’ two biggest hits of 1969 would be part of the show. “In the Ghetto” had been his first Top Ten hit in four years, and “Suspicious Minds” was his first #1 chart topper in seven years. For his Las Vegas show, Elvis worked out an extended version of “Suspicious Minds” that lasted over eight minutes. With repetitions of the big build up, the dramatic fade, then the big build up again, it proved to be a real show stopper.

For surprises, Elvis decided on two songs he never recorded – but the Beatles did. He performed “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude” back-to-back, and in time, the band figured out a way to run them together as a medley. Another song in the surprise category was “What’d I Say,” which Elvis recorded in 1964 for the movie Viva Las Vegas. It was released as a single and became only a minor hit for him, but Elvis knew this icon of rock music would be a crowd pleaser, and he was right.

One more song on the opening night playlist could fit into several categories. Elvis recorded “Blue Suede Shoes” in 1956 and cut a better version in 1960 for the movie G.I. Blues. It was a far bigger hit for its composer Carl Perkins than it was for Elvis, but by 1969, the song was strongly associated with Elvis. As a rock classic, it was ideal to include in the show.

So, those are the nineteen songs Elvis and Charlie decided on. Next, they had to work out the best sequence. If you study the list below, you will note that Elvis started off with the eight songs from his dominating 1956-57 period. Three rockers, a ballad, and four more rockers. He slowed things down with “Memories” from the Comeback Special, and then got moving again with a medley of two songs from disparate periods in his history. “Mystery Train” dates back to Sun Records in 1956, and “Tiger Man” came from the ’68 Comeback Special. Next was a song from both the Sun days and the TV special (“Baby What You Want Me To Do”).

By this time Elvis would need to get his second wind, so he did four slow songs in a row. This set up his workout on the long version of “Suspicious Minds” and an extended take on “What’d I Say”. Finally the show ended with “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” supported by a full orchestral climax.

The Playlist for Elvis’ Return to Live Performing in 1969:

Blue Suede Shoes
I Got A Woman
All Shook Up
Love Me Tender
Jailhouse Rock/Don’t Be Cruel
Heartbreak Hotel
Hound Dog
Memories
Mystery Train/Tiger Man
Baby What You Want Me To Do
Are You Lonesome Tonight
Yesterday
Hey Jude
In the Ghetto
Suspicious minds
What’d I Say
Can’t Help Falling In Love

It should be noted that Elvis revised the song line-up a bit as the engagement at the International continued. Usually, this involved dropping “Memories” and “What’d I say,” and replacing them with two or three songs from this list: “Runaway (1961 hit for Del Shannon), “Rubberneckin” (from Elvis‘ last movie Change of Habit), “Reconsider Baby” (from 1960 album Elvis Is Back), “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1958 hit for Don Gibson), “Words” (1968 Bee Gees hit), “Inherit The Wind” and “This Is The Story” (both from the 1969 American Studios recording sessions), and “My Babe” (a classic country blues song recorded by several people).

How about that: Elvis sang a Bee Gees hit. And, he sang two songs from the American Studios sessions that the audience couldn’t have known, because they weren’t released as singles and they weren’t included in his 1969 album From Elvis In Memphis.

Much has been written about the outstanding quality of Elvis’ performances during his August run at the International Hotel. Other articles in this issue will cover that thoroughly, but here are two one-word summaries that say it all: “Supernatural” – Rolling Stone; “Incredible” – Newsweek.

A regular feature of Elvis’ 1969 Las Vegas concerts was the break he took from singing to talk to the audience. These conversations typically came after Elvis sang the “Mystery Train/Tiger Man” medley. He would always begin by talking about how he got started in the music business, but usually Elvis would veer off to cover anything else that he thought was interesting. At some point during the Vegas run, Colonel Parker asked Elvis to tone it down a bit. Parker felt that long rambling monologues were not what sophisticated Las Vegas audiences paid their money to hear. However, much of what Elvis said was funny and well-received by the audience. Here are a few samples.

“I’d like to thank you for coming out. This is my first appearance, first live appearance in nine years. (Applause) Thank you. Appeared dead a few times.”

“… a lot of singers have a problem with what they call Vegas throat. It’s either too dry or you swallowed too many chips.”

“is that him?… I thought he was bigger than that… That’s why he ain’t been in public nine years.”

“I’d just gotten out of high school, and I was driving a truck… and I was studying to be an electrician. And I got wired the wrong way, man.”

“Memphis. That’s my hometown. You gotta be loose when you say it. Wher’re you from, boy? Memphis. If I get any looser, I’ll just fall apart.”

“They threw me off the Grand Ole Opry. I went to the Grand Ole Opry, man, they gave me six dollars and said, ‘Look, go home, man.’”

“I auditioned for the Arthur Godfrey Show. He said: ‘Nah, nah, he’s bad, vulgar, bad.’ So I didn’t get on there either.”

“And then I met Colonel Sanders… ah, Parker.”

“Let’s see, I got a list of two hundred and twenty-eight songs on it, and I can do only two hundred, so I gotta drop the twenty-eight.”

“Hey Charlie. I got my cord hung on your thing, man. Ya ever get your cord hung on your thing? That’s bad, boy, bad.”

Good quotes, but it was still the music and Elvis’ presentation that defined his 1969 Las Vegas shows. We all know what kind of effect Elvis had on his young audiences in 1956, and it looks like he still had it in 1969. Here is a quote from Bill Jost, Assistant Maitre’d, of the International Hotel Showroom:

“I watched the audience as he walked out on stage, and so many had their faces in their hands. They’d sit there and cry. It was almost Biblical, as if the clouds had parted, and down a shaft of light came the angels.”

Wow!!   What an outstanding quote about Elvis.

 

©  2021    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.

 

Happy New Year, Elvis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like all of you, I look forward to a better year in 2021.

 

Phil Arnold

Happy New Year with Elvis — 44 Years Ago

Elvis spent his last New Year’s Eve performing on stage at the Civic Center Arena in Pittsburgh.  At 11:25 PM on December 31, 1976, Elvis came on stage and ignited the 16,000 fans who had come for a big party. 

 

According to Mike Kalina of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, “Presley bounded on stage, [and] you would have thought the clock had struck 12. He received an ear-deafening ovation punctuated by thousands of blasts of flashbulbs and a patchwork of ‘We Love You Elvis’ signs hoisted aloft.”

A few tears ago, I discovered some candid photos of this performance.  So, Happy New Year, Elvis, as we look at the 44th anniversary of this event.

 

Elvis and Ginger Alden Arriving Backstage Prior to the Concert

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Elvis and Bodyguard Ed Parker Backstage

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Elvis wore his Black Phoenix jumpsuit.  It was part of a series of Phoenix jumpsuits that he used in 1975 and 1976.  The others were a red one and a turquoise one generally called the Blue Phoenix.

 

 

Candid shot makes it look like Elvis is headless

 

 

 

Elvis may not have been in the best of health on New Year’s Eve 1976, but he sure gave the fans a good show.

 

 

 

Promotional Poster for Elvis’ New Year’s Eve Concert

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Rare Double Album of Elvis’ Complete 1976 New Years Concert

 

At the stroke of midnight, the house lights went up and Elvis led the crowd in singing “Auld Lang Syne”.   No one in the audience that night could have imagined that less than eight months later Elvis would no longer be with us.  Now, forty-four years later, he is still with us in our hearts.

 

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©  2020    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.