ElvisBlog’s determined search for Elvis content on the Internet has produced another winner. Buried deep within the archives of TV Guide’s website is a wonderful selection of interesting items for Elvis fans. It is difficult to navigate to them from their Main Page, and I can't seem to establish a normal hyperlink. So if you finish reading this column and want to access all the TV Guide Elvis content, please click on this URL http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/elvis-presley/149192 .
You will open to what in essence is a TV Guide Elvis home page, complete with its own toolbar of links. To the right of Elvis’ picture is a very brief biographical outline. If you click on the Biography tab in the toolbar, you get a bit more, but probably not much that you don’t already know. The one new thing I learned is that Vernon’s second wife Dee’s real name was Davada Stanley, but I don’t really care. Why they have her listed and not his grandkids I’ll never know.
The next tab is News, and clicking it will bring up 45 TV Guide articles since 2000 that mention Elvis. Admittedly, Elvis is not the sole topic of most of them, but I found it interesting that someone who has been dead for so long can still be a point of reference in journalism about modern TV viewing.
When I clicked on the next tab, Photos, I didn’t get what I expected, but I liked what came up. The link shows all 33 of the TV Guide issues with Elvis on the cover, and it’s fun to view them all.
This is a photo of the first TV Guide cover with Elvis on it: September 8, 1956. I can tell from his sport coat that the photo was taken at RCA Studios in New York two months earlier on July 2. Al Wertheimer took dozens of shots of Elvis wearing that sport coat during the recording sessions for “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”
And this is a photo of the most recent Elvis TV Guide cover in the layout: May 8, 2005. Actually, it was part of a series of four alternate covers released at the same time. They each came with a bonus CD single of “Young and Beautiful,” and each of these had different label graphics. So, obviously, every wrinkle possible was used to make them collectibles. The ploy certainly worked on me; I bought all four. You will note that over the years the price of TV Guide has changed from 15 cents to $3.
Next up on the toolbar is TV Listings. If you click on it, you will see what Elvis movies, specials and documentaries are available for viewing in the near future. Right now, all it lists is AMC showing Love Me Tender on Friday, February 15 at 4:00 AM. It also has a link to steer you through the steps to recording it (or anything else) on TIVO. I now have the Elvis TV Listings URL saved as a favorite, and I will check it out every couple of weeks to see if there is any Elvis to watch on the tube.
It seems that the Credits tab brings you a compilation of everything that has ever appeared on TV Listings. The most recent entry was the special “Elvis: Viva Las Vegas,” from last year. All the Elvis movies and specials are there, plus episodes of other shows with Elvis content, such as Larry King Live, True Hollywood Story, and Myths and Legends.
I suggest you skip the last two tabs, Discuss (nothing there) and Shop (same stuff you see everywhere), but there are still more treats for us elsewhere. Scroll all the way to the right, and you will see Latest Videos. Only three are listed, but below them, click on More Elvis Presley Web Videos. Thumbnails of 49 videos come up, but I suggest you click on Free Only, which narrows it down to 32.
The first twelve are a mixed bag with some you can skip. The CNN parody is a waste, Jesse Jackson talking about Elvis is mostly sour grapes, and I couldn’t get Priscilla Presley on the David Letterman Show to play. Also, if you put the cursor over the thumbnails, a box appears that will tell the source for these videos. Don’t play the ones from the Biography Channel. Once the video plays, I couldn’t exit back or close it without turning off the whole Internet.
I definitely recommend the first video: Blue Suede Shoes. It comes from VH1, so I guess it was in their music video rotation back in the days when they actually featured music. Carl Perkins has a small cameo in it. You will like this one. And I’m sure you will also enjoy the fifteen original Elvis movie trailers. They are addicting – you can’t watch just one – so start when you have enough time to enjoy them all.
One last recommendation. Don’t watch the final video titled “Hard N Phirm: Death of The King.” It has a catchy melody, but the lyrics are stupid and the video is disgusting. If you are tempted and do click on it, remember, you were warned.
That’s it. Kudos to TV Guide for giving us all this Elvis content on their website. They don’t make it easy for folks to find, but thanks to ElvisBlog, now you know.
© 2008 Philip R Arnold All Rights Reserved www.elvisblog.net