Monthly Archives: November 2012

The First Elvis Impersonator?

Ninety-four Elvis collectible items will be up for sale on December 14 at the Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction presented by Heritage Auctioneers.  I love looking through the items on their website, because many provide the spark for an ElvisBlog article.

Like this Loving You four-song EP signed twice on the back by Elvis.

It’s difficult to see, but both autographs say, “To Buddy, Elvis Presley.”  There were other items in this auction lot, including this old photo:

The young man with Elvis is eighteen-year-old Buddy Ochoa.  The photo was taken in 1958 in Killeen, Texas, home of Ft Hood where Elvis took his Army basic training.  According to a post on the “For Elvis CD Collectors” website, he was a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he was on the cheerleading squad.

The thing that really caught my eye was in the Auction’s description of the items in the lot.  It said,

“Buddy Ochoa, the original Elvis tribute artist, became friends with the legend in 1958 after Elvis learned of Buddy’s inaugural performance as ‘Elvis’ in Dallas.”

Biography information on the internet indicates Buddy Ochoa first performed as Elvis at the SMU Cheer Camp.  Back in those days, you didn’t need a black leather suit or fancy jumpsuit to impersonate Elvis.  Just put on a sport coat, comb your hair the right way, and start to sing.

So, what happened to Buddy Ochoa, the original Elvis tribute artist?  There is no information that he continued to do Elvis tribute after graduating from college and moving to Los Angeles.  Apparently he found part-time work in commercials for products like Winston cigarettes and Harley motorcycles.  In 1963, he had a bit part as “The Bellboy” in an episode of the TV show Perry Mason.  Between 1973 and 1977, he had bit parts in twelve movies and TV shows.


Here is Buddy Ochoa in his role as “The Courier” in the Phony Express episode of the TV series Dusty’s Trail.  The show’s synopsis indicates it was a fairly meaty role:

“Dusty meets a wounded soldier who locks a courier pouch on his arm with instructions to guard it with his life, deliver it to Fort Hale, and keep it out of the hands of an outlaw named Bates.”


It seems Buddy Ochoa’s other significant role was as “A Television Assistant” in the 1974 TV movie The Missiles of October.


After his movie career, he worked in the advertising business in Los Angeles, rising to Media Coordinator at Admarketing.

Buddy Ochoa in Las Vegas in 2010

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved



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


Happy Thanksgiving, Elvis — 2012

Somehow, I missed doing the annual Elvisblog tribute to Elvis and Thanksgiving last year, but that means there is more stuff to use this year.  Since 2009, I have searched the internet to find suitable images for a short post.  You’d be surprised what you can find when you Google Elvis Thanksgiving and Elvis Turkey.

Like this:

Our thanks to Wendee for her clever Photoshop work on this excellent image.


Sorry this turkey Elvis is a little fuzzy.  I had to blow it up from a thumbnail.


Same apology on this shot from Wild in the Country.  I know there is a bigger, clearer version somewhere on the internet, but it eludes me.


This is kind of stupid, but I’ve got files of worse looking creatures dressed as Elvis.


And drawings of various animals and birds with Elvis features or outfits.


I guess the little bird Pilgrim in this picture is supposed to be a turkey, and I like the message.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everybody.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved



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

Elvis Movie 50th Anniversary Pictorials — Kid Galahad, 1962

This article is a little late.  Kid Galahad, Elvis’ tenth film, was released on August 29, 1962.  It was significant because it represented the final real attempt to provide him with a substantial story line and a challenging character to play.  The success of his next three films (Girls, Girls, Girls, It Happened at the World’s Fair, and Fun in Acapulco) firmly established the formula for Elvis movies — unpretentious light comedy with plenty of musical numbers.

The other thing interesting about Kid Galahad to me is his co-star, Joan Blackman.  She also played his love interest, Maile Duval, in Blue Hawaii, just two movies earlier.  This was the second repeat of an Elvis leading lady, following Delores Hart in Loving You and King Creole.  There would be other actresses who appeared with multiple movies with Elvis — Shelly Fabares, Mary Ann Mobley, Yvonne Craig, Sue Ann Langdon, and probably others I can’t think of.


Movie Posters:



Shots from the Movie:

Although Joan Blackman had a substantial acting roll in Blue Hawaii, her roll in Kid Galahad consisted of little more than gazing dreamingly into Elvis’ eyes.

More Looking in his Eyes

Costar Lola Albright and Elvis

Elvis’ character had recently completed his Army service as the movie began.  This marked the third Elvis movie in a row where Elvis played a former soldier.  (He flies home to Hawaii in his Army uniform in Blue Hawaii, and he has an Army disability pension in Follow That Dream.)


This is a shot of Joan Blackman and Elvis early in Blue Hawaii.  Check out his Sergeant stripes and unit insignia.


Here’s a second shot of Elvis in uniform in Kid Galahad.  Looks like he didn’t accomplish anything in the Army this time – no rank, no insignia, no medals.


In addition to the two lovely actresses, Elvis was supported in this movie by Gig Young and Charles Bronson.


Elvis and Joan Blackman danced at an Independence Day picnic.  She looked quite alluring in her low-cut sun dress, and Elvis seems to checking her out pretty intently.


This is an old car Elvis rescued from a barn and fixed up.  In addition to learning to box in the Army, he also picked up good skills as a mechanic.


Lobby Cards:


Serious Make-Up:


Publicity Shots:


Foreign Movie Posters:

Italian Poster

French Poster

No Idea What Country This is From


Kissing the Costar:

As has become the standard for this movie pictorial series, we will end with a shot of Elvis kissing his costar Joan Blackman.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved



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

Elvis, Shelly Fabares, and an Online Auction

From time to time ElvisBlog receives e-mails about charity events that include some Elvis-related item for sale.  They ask if their worthy cause could be mentioned on the blog.  Well, we don’t really do announcements, so, unless there is some way to turn it into a full length article, I’m not able to help.

This week I received an e-mail from the Gulf Regional Advocacy Center, which I never heard of.  The message explains that they provide high quality legal representation for poor prisoners facing the death penalty in Texas and Louisiana.  I thought, “this is a real long shot,” but I read on.  It turns out they are having an online auction, including a signed lobby card from Elvis’ movie Spinout.  The e-mail included a picture of the item which piqued my interest, because the film’s title on it is California Holiday, not Spinout.

I knew California Holiday was the name used for the movie in several foreign countries, including England and Australia.

As you have seen in numerous ElvisBlog articles, I like to follow auctions of Elvis memorabilia and note what prices the items bring.  So, now I’m kind of interested in this charity auction, because this is a pretty rare Elvis lobby card.  Plus, it also has an extra kicker – it will be signed by Shelly Fabares, Elvis’ costar in Spinout.  I have always been a big Shelly Fabares fan and figured someday I’d do a blog article about her.  So, now is a good time to do it.


The folks at the Gulf Regional Advocacy Center sent me a current photo of Shelly, who is now 68.  The hair kind of set me back, so I Googled to see if there were other fairly recent photos of her without the multi-colored hair.  Not really.

Here she is with Mike Farrell, her husband of 28 years.  You remember him from playing B.J. Hunnicutt in Mash from 1975 to 1983.  It appears they both have been involved in many environmental and social causes over the years.


Shelly’s hair was curly, but not multi-colored in this photo taken at the 1991 Emmy Awards.  She starred on TV’s Coach from 1989 to 1997.


I liked her in Coach, but I really liked her in Clambake (1967).


And in Girl Happy (1965).


And, of course, in Spinout (1966).  These last two photos are from the movie with the foreign lobby card that sparked this article.


Shelly Fabares is the only actress to co-star with Elvis in three movies.  He must have enjoyed working with her.  She’s never written a tell-all book about her experiences with Elvis, but I’ll bet they’d be pretty good.

So, back to the internet auction for the benefit of the Gulf Regional Advocacy Center.  Bidding starts on November 12 and ends on November 17.


The opening bid for the Spinout lobby card is just $35, so, if the bidding doesn’t run way up, this could be a good bargain for any Elvis collector.  The lobby card is a rare international version using a different title, and it is signed by Shelly Fabares.  Because it is the only Elvis-related item in an eclectic collection of offerings, there probably won’t an army of dedicated Elvis collectors bidding on it.

By the way, the silent auction will also include items donated by George Lopez, Martin Lawrence, Joan Baez, Melissa Gilbert, Robert Greenwald, and Salman Rushdie.  Check it out here.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved


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


Romney and Obama Election Images — Elvis Style

Election Day is just about here, and we have all seen about as much of the two candidates as we can handle.  Sorry, but ElvisBlog has some images you may not have seen yet — Romney and Obama in Elvis gear.  They are offered here without partisan comment.








The practice of morphing President’s (or Presidential candidate’s) heads on the jumpsuited pictures of Elvis didn’t start with Romney and Obama.  Here are three good ones of earlier chief executives.




Be sure to vote.  Hope your candidate wins.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved


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