A recent news article on Elvis.com announced a so-called instant keepsake – the magazine ELVIS: The King Revealed. This “Official Graceland Special Edition” is touted for going deep into their Elvis historical archives, accessing thousands of photos, documents, interviews and Elvis memorabilia, and sharing them with the public for the first time.
With over 350 ‘rare’ photos, the magazine is probably worth its $9.99 price. But I wish they had used a different title. The King Revealed just sounds too much like those Midnight Globe and National Enquirer tabloid headlines from the late 70s and early 80s. I remembered that many of them proclaimed all sorts of different stuff they supposedly revealed about Elvis.
That was enough motivation to look in my large box of old tabloid issues with Elvis cover stories to see how many had the words Elvis and Revealed in the headlines. To my great surprise, there were none.
However, there were three Elvis tabloids featuring variations on the word revealed, like Starlet Reveals, or New Tapes Reveal.
Midnight Globe — November 22, 1977:
The starlet who revealed why she said no to Elvis is Joan Freeman, his co-star in Blue Hawaii and Kid Galahad. According to the article, “When we first set eyes on each other, there was a spark, a magic in the air… There was just that special something between us, sometimes so warm and wonderful you could almost reach out and touch it.”
Wow, that special something sure sounds like lust to this reader.
Blackman claims she knew Elvis prior to working with him on Blue Hawaii in March and April 1961. It’s possible she met Elvis in Hollywood in 1957, while she was filming her first role in Good Day for a Hanging, but all of her other parts were in movies made while Elvis was in Germany. Anyway, she said Elvis begged her repeatedly to appear in one of his movies, but she turned him down each time. “I wanted parts because of my ability, not because I was dating Elvis.” She maintains she got the role in Blue Hawaii because producer Hal Wallis picked her.
The special something between Blackman and Elvis heated up when they got to Honolulu in 1961. The Midnight Globe asserts they had a wild, tumultuous love affair while there. “We had rooms next to each other in the hotel, and for weeks we just lived together.” This led Elvis to propose marriage. “He really wanted me to be his wife… But I said no… I was in love with another actor, Hampton Fancher III (mostly TV work, lots of westerns).
So, Elvis got shot down in his wish to marry Joan Blackman, but for some reason, he wanted her to appear with him two films later in Kid Galahad. Who needs marriage when you can still have that special something?
The Star — June 27, 1978:
Elvis didn’t make the cover of this issue (just a promo tease in the bottom right corner), and he barely was shown in the centerfold photo-spread. The new tapes referenced came from Wanda June Hill, who used them to write her book We Remember Elvis. She says she first met Elvis in a Hollywood studio and kept in contact with him for fifteen years, right up to his death. Apparently, she had a tape recorder going much of the time during their phone conversations.
The Star article does emphasize the continuing love Elvis and Priscilla had for each other, even after their divorce in 1971. That seems to be accepted narrative these days, but maybe it was considered a revelation back in 1978 when the article appeared.
What’s interesting is the choice of photos under the banner “The Eternal Love of Elvis and Priscilla.” There’s one tiny picture of them in the upper right-hand corner.
There is a considerably larger photo of Priscilla and Karate trainer Mike Stone on the lower right. He is not mentioned in the article, except for the photo caption that says, “He [Elvis] forgave the relationship she developed with Mike Stone after the separation. (After?)
There is an even larger photo of Priscilla with her ‘latest escort,’ Hollywood hairdresser Elie Erzer. What ever happened to calling them boyfriends or lovers?
There is also a great shot of Linda Thompson I’ve never seen before. She gets treated rather kindly in the article.
Finally, there is a familiar glamour shot of Ginger Alden. She doesn’t come out too well in the article. In fact, the author says Elvis was about to cut off the relationship shortly before his death. Supposedly, he had a beautiful blonde woman waiting in the wings.
Midnight Globe – Dec 13, 1977 :
Dee Stanley is the stepmom who reveals the truth behind the Presley divorces. She and Vernon were married for fourteen years, but they separated in 1974 when she found out he had been seeing another woman he met in Las Vegas. The article says she never thought for a second that the separation would lead to a divorce. However, three years later, Vernon was still living with the woman. A few months after Elvis died, Vernon and Dee had a quickie divorce in the Dominican Republic.
Ninety percent of the Midnight Globe article is about this divorce and the aftermath. The only time Dee mentions Elvis and Priscilla’s divorce is when she compares it to hers. “The two marriages… succumbed to the same sort of strains – Elvis’ work on the road, in Las Vegas and other places, and Vernon going off with him. The two of them felt the same way, that there was a separate man’s world where women shouldn’t be allowed to enter… ” Dee called it the reverse of an old saying: “Like son, like father.”
Dee also discussed her divorce settlement as fair and generous, and that Vernon had always been that way. Later in the article, she admitted it was enough for her to live an opulent lifestyle for the rest of her life. Near the end of the article, Dee says she still feels for Vernon. She tells him she still loves him and she prays someday they might marry each other again. That didn’t happen for Elvis, and we know how that old saying goes.
© 2013 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.