Hey, You Can’t Do That: Here’s something to illustrate how strong Elvis’ hold on teenagers was back in 1956. The district school board in Irondequoit, NY, offered to let the students name a new $3,500,000 school. The ballots came back with a clear preference for “The Elvis Presley High School,” but the board reneged and pulled the offer. How’s that for a good lesson in keeping your word?
Shows How Much He Knew: John Campbell Crosby, TV critic for the New York Herald Tribune fifty years ago, wrote four columns a week carried in 104 newspapers. He once described Elvis as “Unspeakably untalented.” Crosby has been called erudite, witty, and corrosive. I would like to add one more adjective – stupid.
Elvis Movie Box Office Rankings: According to boxofficereport.com, six of Elvis’ movies ranked in the top 20 for their year of release. Viva Las Vegas did the best at # 11 in 1964, followed by Jailhouse Rock at # 12 in 1957 and Blue Hawaii at # 13 in 1961. King Creole, generally considered Elvis’ best acting performance, did not make the box office top 20 in 1958. His other top 20 movies were Love Me Tender, G.I. Blues, and Girls, Girls, Girls. None of Elvis’ movies after 1965 came anywhere near the top 20.
Not Just Teenagers Went For Elvis: Lots of middle-aged females are Elvis fans now, but he must have appealed to some right from the start. In 1956, a reporter at a concert in Fort Worth, Texas overheard a well-dressed older woman plead to Elvis: “I’ve got my husband’s Cadillac outside. Come with me?” The report didn’t say whether Elvis took her up on the offer or not, but we know he had a thing for Cadillacs.
Gimme Back My Autograph: Robert Plant, lead singer for the heavy metal band Led Zeppelin, is a big Elvis fan. He once visited Elvis at Graceland, and the two harmonized on Elvis’ hit “Love Me.” Elvis then autographed a photo, “To Robert, a true friend. Treat me like a fool, Elvis Presley.” Many years later, Plant said, the woman I was living with kept it for ten years, but finally gave it back when I surrounded the house with tanks.”
Milk Cow Blues: In Amarillo, Texas, a reporter once asked young Elvis if he intended to marry. Elvis answered: “Why buy a cow when you can get milk through a fence?” We can assume Elvis had plenty of calcium in his diet in the 50s with all the milk he got through the fences.
No Gold Record For This: In 1995, a Finnish Professor, Jukka Ammondt, translated several of Elvis’ hits into Latin. He then released a CD with the vocals provided by Finland’s Eurovision Choir. What was his rational for this? “Latin,” said Ammondt, “is an eternal language, so what better way to immortalize a legend.” My favorite songs have to be their renditions of “Tenere Me Ama,”(“Love Me Tender”) and “Nunc Hic aut Numquam” ( “It’s Now or Never”).
Another Strange List: I don’t know who tabulated it, but there is a list of the most popular Halloween wigs. Elvis came in # 6, just behind Bride of Frankenstein. The top five were all women’s wigs, but at least Elvis beat Cleopatra.
Gamblers Give Up On Elvis: Did you know that bookmakers used to give odds that Elvis would be found alive? Over the years, bookmaker William Hill took thousands of bets, but by 2004 wagers that Elvis was still alive had all but dried up. In 2005, he was giving 1000 to 1 odds, with no takers. Bookmaker Rupert Adams gave the biggest odds ever on an Elvis-related bet. He offered 14 million to 1 odds that Elvis would crash land a UFO into Lock Ness and hit the monster. Didn’t we read about that happening in the National Enquirer?
© 2007 Philip R Arnold All Rights Reserved www.elvisblog.net