Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year with Elvis — 35 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.”

Recently, ElvisBlog discovered some candid photos of this performance.  So, Happy New Year, Elvis, as we look at the 35th anniversary of this event.


Elvis and Ginger Alden Arriving Backstage Prior to the Concert



Elvis and Bodyguard Ed Parker Backstage



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 Eve1976, but he sure gave the fans a good show.




Promotional Poster for Elvis’ New Year’s Eve 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, thirty-five years later, he is still with us in our hearts.



©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved


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


Santa's Sack is Full of Elvis Christmas Pictures



It’s time once again to post ElvisBlog’s annual collection of images connecting Elvis and Christmas.  Fortunately, creative fans keep coming up with new ideas and put them on the internet for us to enjoy.



This is very clever.  There are dozens of real Elvis Christmas ornaments for sale, some good, some bad.  But, this concept works really well.



If you think about this image, it is a little strange.  The idea of Christmas with Elvis is fine.  But, where?  In jail?



This is kind of fun.  It is part of the ElvisBlog file of images showing Elvis dressed as Santa and vice-versa.  Someday there should be enough images to do a Christmas feature on this theme.



This is a good theme, but how come it doesn’t show some snow?


Well, if you can have Elvis Santa, why not an Elvis Elf?


Simple, but striking.  There are a lot of Blue Christmas images out there, but I like this one best.



This one is kind of fun.



Here we have Elvis wishing someone a Merry Christmas – on a $500 bill.  A double special present.


You have to agree that this is a pretty good Christmas wish list, except maybe the snow if you’re trying to travel somewhere distance.



How’s this for window decorating at Christmas:  Some greenery, wrapped presents, strings of blue lights, a big candy cane – and Elvis in a Santa hat.



Isn’t this a nice touch?  Elvis and little Lisa.  Well done.




Merry Christmas from ElvisBlog


Pink Elvis Clothing Brings In Some Big Green at Auction

Knowledgeable Elvis fans are aware that he had a penchant for flashy, unconventional clothing.  In the 50s, this inclination was frequently expressed in pink wardrobe items, especially shirts.  On December 13, Heritage Auctions held another of their Music and Entertainment Auctions, and two pink Elvis shirts went to new owners for healthy prices.  We have seen these shirts in iconic photos for years, and now the story behind them has been told in the auction catalog.


Remember this picture?  Elvis is in front of his Caddy on the street in downtown Memphis.  The pink short-sleeve shirt he is wearing sold for $14,340, including the auction house buyer’s premium of 19.5%. 


The most distinctive feature of the shirt is the black band woven in-and-out of the collar.  This makes it easy to identify the shirt in other photographs of Elvis.




Elvis bought the shirt in 1956 from his favorite clothing store in Memphis, Lansky Brothers.

Lansky Brothers Label in Pink and Black Shirt

Elvis wore the shirt for a year or two, and then put it into storage. During the 70’s, Elvis’ dad, Vernon gave a donation to the Salvation Army each year.  He gave them some of Elvis’ old, no-longer-worn wardrobe.  In 1974, this shirt was the gift, and Vernon accompanied it with a letter on TCB stationary.




Here is another famous photo of Elvis on September 8, 1954.  Like he did in the first photo, Elvis posed with his foot on the bumper of a car.  This time, the car is not his, but the 1953 Chevy Bel Air owned by Scotty Moore’s wife.  When Elvis, Scotty, and Bill first started touring, this is the car they used to get to the venues.  You can see that the shot was taken in front of Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Studio, the forerunner of Sun Records.


This pink shirt was not sold alone, but as part of a combination lot.  The black pants, the pink shirt, and the black-and-white shoes were offered as a set, and it proved to be in high demand.  The final bid was $19,717.  In this case, the black pants with the pink piping down the side seam and the pink back pocket tabs may have been the biggest draw.


Elvis purchased both the shirt and pants at Lansky Brothers, and both have the famous Lansky label sewn in.




The shoes offered in this set are not the one in the first picture, but they definitely belonged to Elvis.


This is documented by a separate photo of the band performing at the Sportatorium in Dallas in May, 1955.



Two things are important in maximizing the bids for Elvis clothing:  pictures of him wearing it, and letters certifying that Elvis did own the items.  For this set, the auction provided a letter from Elvis’ Aunt Delta.



I love her honesty.  She had possession of the clothing because Elvis gave them to her to tighten some buttons.  Obviously, she never did his request.


©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved


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

Caption Contest # 28 — Winner

I thought it might be hard for readers to come up with a clean caption for this picture, and the limited number of submissions seems to back that up.  However, we have a winner — first time entrant Ray Caves.  Congratulations, Ray.

One of the ElvisBlog readers who enters nearly every caption contest and has won six times, is Jean Pyle.  She came up with the funniest dirty caption.  Too bad we can’t post it here.  Thanks for the laugh, Jean.


“Now, girls.  Stay here.  I’ll ring roomservice for four fried peanut butter sandwiches. Thank You very much!!”

©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved

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

Elvis Santa Hats and Other Bad Ideas


Back in July 2010, ElvisBlog critiqued the items offered by EPE in their big summer sale, “12 Days of Christmas in July” .  Some item drew praise, while others were blasted – like this one:



Gold sunglasses with fake sideburns – uugghh.   Graceland has sued vendors for making unauthorized Elvis merchandise, often citing how the product demeaned the image of Elvis.  Well, what does this do?  The glasses are fine, but the sideburns look so cheesy.

Now, something new has been offered in the official Elvis catalog that is just as bad:


What genius came up with a blue Elvis Santa hat with sideburns?  Just what you wanted, right?   It’s a good thing they had Elvis embroidered on the white fur, or we would have no idea what this was supposed to be, especially since the hat is blue.  The catalog says the blue design was inspired by Elvis’ famous jumpsuits of the 70s.  However, Elvis had some great red jumpsuits.  Why not use one of them and at least keep the red Santa theme?

While we are talking about blue Santa hats with sideburns, here is another one.


There might actually be some Star Trek fans out there who would like to have a Spock Santa hat, especially since it has an extra feature – Spock’s pointy ears.  Santa’s elves are often portrayed with pointy ears, so it kind of looks like this might work as a Santa’s elf hat.

Now, if the elves have really big ears, maybe this would be the perfect hat:



Too bad.  The embroidery says Santa Yoda, not Santa elf.  If they can put out a Star Trek Santa hat, why not a Star Wars one, too?

It’s easy to imagine that someone would want a Santa hat or a Santa Elf hat, but would anybody want a Santa Reindeer hat?


Let’s end with a special Santa Elvis hat that surely symbolizes everything that is Christmas.

Yes sir, a black Santa hat with Elvis sunglasses and the title of one of his Christmas songs embroidered on the fur.  I think I kind-of like this one. It’s just $13 at Kmart online.  You know, I am going to get one.

Too bad they didn’t put sideburns on it.


©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved


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