Category Archives: Main Page

The New Elvis Stamp – Parts 1, 2, and 3

I haven’t posted anything for two weeks, so I’m going to give you a lot to read this time.  It will be three reposts from back in 2015 on the New Elvis Stamp, as it was called at the time.

That stamp didn’t make the big splash that the original one did back in 1993, but these posts cover many ancillary  aspects that I think you will find interesting reading.

 

The New elvis Stamp – Part 1

Elvis Forever Stamp

Graceland.com announced yesterday that the US Postal Service has revealed the new Elvis stamp that will be issued in August. Unlike the 1993 Elvis stamp, the image is a photograph, not a drawing, and it is in black and white not color.

Stamp Picture

The shot they chose for the new stamp was taken by professional Memphis photographer William Speer, and there is an interesting story about the photo session. I pieced it together from two old website posts. Much of it is quotations made by Speer or his wife Vacil, but there were no acknowledgements of where these originated. There is also some confusion whether the photos were shot on November, 1954 or March 1955.

During that period, local DJ and concert promoter Bob Neal acted as Elvis’ manager.

Elvis and Bob Neal

Neal decided Elvis needed some publicity stills to help launch his budding career, so he sent him over to William Speer’s studio. Elvis wore a maroon shirt and a white sport coat, but he did not bring any other change of clothes.

The first two shots were taken with Elvis wearing the coat, one a close-up of his face, and the other incorporating part of his chest.

William Speer - Elvis Photo for Stamp

This appears to be the photo chosen for the new stamp. However, you will notice there is a shadow from Elvis’ hair on his forehead. This is because Speer used what he called “Rembrandt lighting” with an overhead spotlight casting shadows downward.

Now go back and look at the stamp again. The shadows have been Photoshopped out. They should have left them in.

Speer felt the bright white color of the coat gave Elvis’ face a washed-out look. What do you think? I can’t see it, and it certainly didn’t deter the stamp selection committee.

Next, Speer tried three shots with the white coat off, just Elvis in his maroon shirt.

William Speer - Three Photos of Elvis in Maroon Shirt
At this point, Speer figured he had taken all the photos he could and the session was finished. However, his wife was mesmerized by Elvis and disagreed. She boldly urged Elvis to try “something different” – a few shots with his shirt off. She has been quoted, “We went this far, might as well take the shirt off too. He didn’t look real happy about it, but he obliged.”

Three William Speer Photos Of Bare-chested Elvis

When Elvis saw the shirtless proofs a few days later, he laughed and said, “These have got to go.”

Two William Speers Photos of Bare-Chested Elvis

 

In a 1987 column in the New York Daily News, columnist Liz Smith called one of the brooding shirtless poses “the most beautiful photo ever taken of Elvis.” I’m guessing she referred to the last one above.

Here are a few quotes by William Speer and his wife Vacil about the memorable photo session with Elvis.

William: “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but what a place and what a time! I’d never heard of him to tell you the truth, but as soon as I sat him in front of the camera I knew he had it.”

Vacil: “It felt like an electrical charge in the room, an animal magnetism. You can tell the famous ones or the ones who are going to be famous. They stand out in a room without you even knowing who they are.”

William: “When he first stepped in front of the camera, I told him, ‘You sure would make a wonderful actor.’ [Elvis] looked like Burt Lancaster. He could have played his brother in the movies. He came off that dead film like dynamite. Either you’ve got it or you haven’t.”

Vacil: “There he stood in the doorway, long, lean, with big blue eyes and soft full lips. “I opened the doors and it was magic. I checked him head-to-toe and said ‘Wow.’”

William: “Even though he was shy, it was obvious Presley liked being photographed.”

Vacil: “Somebody said, ‘Why didn’t you take his pants off while you were at it?’ I could have been worth a fortune by now.”

.

Congratulations to the folks who chose William Speer’s photo for the new Elvis stamp. ElvisBlog will present Part 2 of the stamp story next week.

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

.

ElvisBlog Lip Logo

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

 

The New Elvis stamp – Part 2

Sheet of 16 Elvis Stamps- $7.84

If demand for the new Elvis stamp is anywhere close to the Postal Service’s expectations, they are going to sell a lot of them.

And, if you are thinking you would like to have some for your collection of Elvis goodies, they offer many options for you on their website USPSstamps.com. Like the sheet of 16 above.  It sells for $7.84.  The stamps don’t have a price on them anymore, just the word Forever.  We’ve gone from a 1993 Elvis stamp that cost 29¢ to one that costs 49¢ in 2015. (16 x 49¢ = $7.84)

 

Back of the New Elvis Stamp Sheet

To make the sheet of 16 Elvis stamps even more attractive, the postal Service puts this Al Wertheimer photograph on the flip side of the slick backing paper.  A very nice touch.

Elvis In Concert July 4, 1956

Here’s the original uncropped photo taken on July 4, 1956 while Elvis performed at Russwood stadium in Memphis.  As long as they were messing around with the picture anyway, I wish they had put the color back into Elvis’ right pants leg.  Looks a little weird on the flip-side picture.

 

Elvis Stamp First Day Cover - 93 cents

Of course, you can’t buy a single stamp, but you can buy one on an envelope that has a First Day of Issue postmark.  These are called First Day Covers and the price is just 94¢.  Seems like a pretty good deal, but it sure isn’t as flashy as the 1993 stamp First Day Covers.

1993 Elvis Stamp First Day Cover 2

1993 Elvis Stamp First Day Cover 1

These are beautiful in full color and the postmark is the gates of Graceland.  I believe there were five different choices available.

 

However, if you want something a little flashier in 2015, there is only a slight variation available for $1.64.

Digital Color Postmark Fibearing an affixed Elvis Presley stamp cancelled with an official First Day of Issue pictorial postmark - $1.64

For the extra 50¢ you get the big gold crown on the First Day of Issue DCP (Digital Color Postmark – Postal Service lingo).

 

First Day Cancelled Full Sheet of Elvis Stamps

This is different from the first stamp sheet at the beginning of this article, because there are three bulls-eye postmarks (that’s what they call them).  Each is centered over a block of four stamps.  The remaining four are postmarked with portions of Elvis’ signature.  Also visible are the words MUSIC ICONS and a small black crown.  I like this one and think it’s worth the $10.34 they are asking.

 

There’s some text at the bottom of these stamp sheets, but it is too small to read here.  It says,

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was one of the first true stars of rock and roll.  The singer, guitarist, musician, and actor combined country, gospel, and rhythm and blues to create a unique sound that lives on today.  Through his music, the King of Rock and Roll helped break down social barriers in the 1950s and in the process helped change American pop culture forever.

Well written I think, but come on – “One of the first true stars of rock and roll.”  It should say, The first true star.

 

There is one other thing worth noting on both these stamp sheets.  The square shape is the same size as an old 45 rpm record sleeve.  See that black sliver of a circle at the top?  That is to simulate the top of a record sticking out of the sleeve a bit.  The design people at the Postal Service got pretty creative on this.

 

DCP Keepsake - Sheet of 16 Elvis Stamp & Digital Color Postmark First Day Cover - 9.95

Here’s a little combo package they call the DCP Keepsake (remember what DCP stands for?)  It combines the $7.84 sheet of 16 stamps and the $1.64 First Day Cover.  They are asking $9.95, but it’s actually cheaper to buy each item separately.

 

21.25 x 21.25-inch press sheet without die-cuts, containing nine panes of 16 stamps positioned three across by three - $70

If you want to get a lot of Elvis stamps, this one might appeal to you.  You get a big stamp image superimposed over the so-called “press” sheet.  There are nine of the 16-stamp sheets together measuring 21.25” x 21.25”.  The cost is $70.56.

 

 

According to the Washington Post, the Postal Service sold over 500,000,000 of the 1993 Elvis stamps, and reported later that 124,000,000 of them were never used for postage.  Fans held on to them as collectibles.

1993 Elvis Stamp

 

It’s my guess that not many of the 2015 Elvis stamps will ever be stuck on an envelope.

2015 Elvis Forever Stamp

.

ElvisBlog has covered the Elvis Stamps for years.  To read more, click on:

The New Elvis Stamp – Posted July 3, 2015

The Elvis Stamp Has Not Left the Building – Posted March 1, 2014

Gladys and Elvis — A Mothers’ Day Commemorative Stamp?Posted October 1, 2011

Voting for the Elvis Stamp – Posted January 15, 2008

The Elvis Stamp Revisited – (From the January  2003 issue of Elvis International Magazine)

 

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Lip Logo

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

 

The New Elvis Stamp – Part 3

Let the Promotions Begin

Elvis Presley Forever CD

At first glance, you might think that’s a picture of the new Elvis stamp. Nope. It’s the front cover of a CD the US Postal Service is selling online.  New stamps don’t have a price on them anymore, so the word FOREVER appears instead. Because they used the stamp picture on the cover, the Postal Service has cleverly named this CD “Elvis Presley Forever.”

Song List for Elvis Presley Forever CD

This track listing may appeal to new fans, but everybody who owns other Elvis CDs probably has the songs already, except for the last two. These previously unreleased versions may spark some interest, and the $10 price is not prohibitive.

Forever Elvis Collection Inside

The Postal Service used a similar name on another collectible they call the “Forever Elvis Collection.” For $24.95 you get:

-One mint 1993 Elvis Presley stamp pulled from the U.S. Postal Service vault.

-A sheet of 16 new 2015 Elvis Presley stamps.

-A bold 8 x 8-inch cachet [whatever that is] with an affixed 2015 Elvis Presley stamp and exclusive postmark printed in metallic gold and black inks. (I guess this is in the center behind the sheet of stamps))

-The collectibles are housed in a handsome [USPS lingo] six-panel folio with a die-cut slipcase. The folio panels contain photographs of Elvis shot by Alfred Wertheimer during 1956, as well as a narrative on the 1993 stamp, the 2015 stamp, and the life and music of The King himself.

The Forever Elvis Collection - $24.95

This is the front cover of the “Forever Elvis Collection.” In my opinion, a less washed out photo would make it more handsome.

 

One other note. The Forever Elvis Collection can be purchased at USPSstamps.com, same as all the stamp options covered last week. The CD is not listed there, just at store.usps.com.

 

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album

The idea of a commemorative folio containing Elvis stamp memorabilia was also used in 1993. The folio above was designed to look like a gatefold 33rpm album. Same exact size.

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album Contents

When you opened it up, you could see part of a wonderful color booklet through the die-cut hole.

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album Contents

Here’s the cover of the 16 –page booklet.

Inside 1993 E;vis Stamp Booklet

And this is an example of the content. It is very well done. In addition to the booklet, this collection contains:

10 Elvis stamp sheets in original sealed sleeves

Elvis stamp limited edition print

“First Day” ceremony program

I have seen the whole set listed several places on eBay. Used ones go for $25 and still sealed ones are asking $100-125.

 

Elvis Stamp T-Shirt

Back in 1993, to tie in with the 1993 Elvis stamp release, a new ShopElvis.com catalog showed up containing 28 items featuring the image of the stamp. I bought the above T-shirt, which I still have (in pretty good shape, because I seldom wear white T-shirts). Here are the other items I purchased.

.

Elvis Stamp Beach Towell

Beach Towel

.

Elvis Stamp Baseball Cap

Baseball Cap

.

Elvis stamp Refrigerator Magnet

Refrigerator Magnet

.

Elvis Stamp Key Chain

Key Chain

.

Elvis Stamp Watch.

I didn’t buy the Elvis stamp watch. My wife gave it to me the following Christmas.

.

Here are a couple of other items with the stamp picture on it that I did not buy. Not my kind of Elvis collectible.

Elvis Stamp Bear

Gold Lamé Bear

.

Elvis Stamp Collectible Plate

Elvis Stamp Plate

1993 Elvis Stamp Mug

And what would a Graceland merchandising theme be without a coffee mug?  They have put out so many different ones over the years.  If I had pictures of them all, I could do a whole blog post on them.

.

I’m sure EPE has worked out some kind of deal with the Postal Service to market all kinds of stuff with the new Elvis stamp on it. There will be another Graceland catalog out before Elvis Week, so we will see pretty soon.

Unfortunately, I’m not as enthused about purchasing anything with the new stamp picture on it. It’s a black-and-white photo, dull compared to the 1993 drawing in brilliant color. But I’ll bet lots of folks will still buy them.

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Lip Logo

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

Jumpsuits, Jewelry, and Junk — Revisited

Over the years, I have reported on dozens of Elvis auctions.  But I went back to my early years in the archives to find one that was unique in format. Instead of covering just the stars of the show, this 2010 post also featured some items that bombed, and even some that were pulled from the auction before bidding started.

 

Four weeks ago, this blog discussed the upcoming auction of Elvis items presented by Gotta-Have-Rock-and-Roll.  Although I didn’t express it in print, I did wonder how it would fare in these shaky financial times.  The results are in, and, with the exception of Elvis’ jewelry and clothes, you could not call it a huge success.  Thirty-three items received no bids at all, including four out of five of the items with the highest required minimum bids.

 

image

Let’s look at some of the successes first.  In all Elvis auctions, the jumpsuits get the most media attention, but it helps when they have a famous name, or at least, a cool sounding name.  Over the years, Elvis’ designers, friends and fans have come up with tags like the Chinese Dragon, Blue Phoenix and Mexican Sundial.  The jumpsuit in this auction was called by the uninspired name of Elvis Presley’s Madison Square Garden Jumpsuit.  Yes, that is descriptive, because he did wear it for one of his four shows in New York City in June, 1972.  But, it has no zing like the King of Spades or Burning Love jumpsuits.

I did a little research to see if the suit at this last auction actually had a name, and it did – the Wheat jumpsuit.  No wonder they didn’t use that name in the auction catalog.  As you can see in the picture below, that’s a weak description of this design.

          image         image

For one thing, wheat doesn’t grow on curvy vines, but It’s doubtful anything else would better describe this design.  The pre-auction estimate for the suit was $150-200,000, and it brought in $212,000, so you could call it a success.  However, the Peacock jumpsuit, which sold last year, went for $300,000.

image

And just the cape from the famous American Eagle jumpsuit that Elvis wore on the Aloha from Hawaii special went for $150,000 back in 1999.

image
       

The big stars of this most recent auction were the jewelry items.  Elvis’ 14KT gold and diamond owl ring had a pre-auction estimate of $7-8,000, but it went for $40,388.  

image

                   image

 

The 14KT gold diamond and Pavé bracelet did even better.  It had the same estimate as the ring, but it pulled in $44,427.  The successful bidders on these items also get 8”x10” color photographs showing Elvis wearing the jewelry.

image

image

 

              

Another over-achiever was a black pants and shirt set that Elvis wore off stage.  This splashy casual wear brought in over $33,000, well beyond the $9-10,000 estimate.

               image

 

Here is how several other items mentioned in the March 15 ElvisBlog article fared in the auction:


Estimate           Bid
Seventh Degree Black Belt Karate Card        $13,000    21,000
Graceland View-Master                                  $75              $150
Set of Sixteen Elvis Buttons                            $75             $330
Between Takes Album (the one I own)            $25              $40

 

So, what were the big busts, the high priced items that received no bids at all?  The highest pre-auction estimate was for Elvis’ White grand piano, but nobody thought it was worth the minimum starting bid of $500,000.  In retrospect, that does seem rather over-priced.  The same problem plagued the three Elvis oil paintings by Ralph Wolfe Cowan.  He is the artist who did the Elvis paintings in the Smithsonian and Graceland.  When he did a third Elvis portrait, it brought $45,000 at the 1999 auction in Las Vegas.  I guess he went to the well too often when he produced three more.  That may have resulted in a glut-on-the-market feeling, because no one would even pay $25,000 for them.

The other items that no one bid on probably would have sold for something less than the minimum starting bid, but auctions don’t work that way.  Among the items that couldn’t fetch a $25 bid include an Elvis pencil, several movie still photos, movie press books, and various pamphlets, folios and advertising manuals.  There were even four magazines with articles about Elvis that failed to get the modest $10 minimum.  However, the magazines with Elvis on the cover all sold well.

 

There were a few items pulled from the auction before bidding started.  Probably due to ownership disputes, I guess.  I would have been interested to see what these sunglasses went for.  Note the variation on the standard TCB lightning bolt design.

image    image

 

Here’s a strange item that got pulled —  a placard advertising Elvis’ gold Cadillac that went on tour around the country in 1959.  With Elvis away in the Army in Germany, Col. Parker found something else to promote. 

image

 

And finally, here is the item that surprised me the most.  It is a hand-written poem that Elvis composed, and it went for over $20,000.  If you don’t want your image of Elvis sullied a bit, please do not read it.

image

 

©  2010    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.

 

The Dick Clark/Elvis Phone Calls

I was so happy when I deep dived into the Archives and found this 2012 post about Elvis and Dick Clark.  You will find it fun to read these old phone conversations.

 

When Dick Clark died two weeks ago, one fact revealed was that he never had Elvis on American Bandstand.  This actually is not too surprising.  Until August 1957, Bandstand had been just a local show on a Philadelphia TV station.  When ABC picked it up and broadcast it nationally as American Bandstand, Elvis was already in a situation where Col. Parker refused to let Elvis appear on TV.  Parker’s reasoning was that the fans should not get free looks at Elvis on television.  If they wanted to see him, they had to go to his concerts or watch his movies.

However, Elvis was soon drafted into the Army.  Once he got shipped off to Germany, Dick Clark used his well documented business savvy and set up phone calls to Elvis.  The audio from these calls were rebroadcast on American Bandstand, and they were a good PR move for both the show and Elvis.  Here are the transcripts, with a few minor sentences deleted.

Phone Call # 1 — from Dick Clark to Elvis in Germany – February 1959

Clark: Hello, Elvis.
Elvis: Hello, Dick, How are you?

Clark: Fine, thank you.  Where on earth are you at this minute?
Elvis: The town I’m in is Freidberg, Germany; however, I live in a place called Bad Nauheim, just north of Freidberg.

Clark: Tell me a little bit about your activities.  What did you do, say, today?
Elvis: Mostly classroom work.

Clark: What are you studying?
Elvis: Map reading and then how to grease my Jeep.  Just the regular things.

Clark; Do you have time for music anymore?
Elvis: Only at night.  You see, I get off work at five o’clock in the afternoon, and I have a guitar up here in the room… I don’t want to get out of practice, if I can help it.

Clark: I should hope not.  Let me tell you some good news.  In the annual American Bandstand Popularity Poll you walked away with a couple of honors this year.  The Favorite Male Vocalist Award and the Favorite Record of 1958 Award.  The kids voted you top man all around.
Elvis: Well that’s sure tremendous, Dick.  It’s really great, boy.

Clark: Do you have any idea when you’ll be travelling back home?
Elvis: No, I don’t, Dick.  I wish. I really did know.

Clark: How about it, do you miss home?
Elvis: Oh, boy, I can’t hardly talk… I mean, I’m glad that I could come in the Army and do my part, but you’ll never know how happy I’ll be, boy, when I can return to the entertainment world, because once you get a taste of show business, there’s nothing like it.

Clark: You know it.  Elvis, thank you ever so much for talking to us.  We look forward to your return.
Elvis: Well thank you very much.  I’d just like to tell all those wonderful kids that they’ll never know how happy they made me, and I’m longing for the time I can come back out and entertain them again, travel around and make movies, records, and things like that.

 

Phone Call # 2 — from Elvis in Germany to Dick Clark – August 1959 (2nd Anniversary of American Bandstand)

 

One of Dick Clark’s questions below makes it sound like Elvis called him, but that seems improbable.  Surely, Elvis didn’t just happen to call on the 2nd anniversary of American Bandstand, so Clark’s staff probably set it up.  Plus, why would Elvis’ gold record for “A Big Hunk of Love” be in Clark’s hands before Col. Parker’s?

Clark: Hello, Elvis.
Elvis: Hello Dick, how are you.

Clark: I would imagine they’ve got you kind of busy these days, don’t they?
Elvis: Oh yeah, well we’re getting’ ready for a big inspection.  A new inspection, so we’ve been workin’ pretty hard for that.

Clark: Elvis, so many of us here are interested in your activities and I think probably the big question on most people’s minds these days are when and if everything goes right, you’re out in February, what will be your plans?
Elvis: Well, as you know, I have a contract with ABC… for some television.  I don’t know what Colonel Parker has arranged… And then I have the three pictures to make; one for Mr (Hal) Wallis, and then the other two for Twentieth Century-Fox

Clark: Elvis, I’ve got some good news.  I imagine by now they’ve passed the word along to you.  With the latest RCA Victor recording out, “A Big Hunk of Love” and “My Wish Came True,” you got yourself another Gold Record to add to the collection.
Elvis: That’s great, Dick.  That sure is nice.  I was surprised to hear it, really.

Clark: I’ll tell you what.  We’re gonna show it to the folks here on American Bandstand, and then I’ll forward it down to Colonel Parker, and he can save it for you when you come back.
Elvis: Okay, that’ll be fine.

Clark: Elvis, do you have any idea of how many Gold Records you have now in your collection?
Elvis: To my knowledge, Dick…this one will make thirty-one, I think.

Clark; Boy, that is a fantastic record.  There’s no getting away from it.
Elvis: I’ll ask my daddy to go down and (laughs) and count them.

Clark: Elvis, one more quick question that might interest the gals in this country.  I know probably you don’t have much time to yourself but when you go out amongst the German people, what is the thing that strikes you as most interesting?  Are they very different than the people back home?
Elvis: The main difference is naturally the language barrier.  It’s kinda hard to talk to most of ‘em, especially older ones because a lot of ‘em don’t speak English at all and I don’t speak any German.

Clark: How do you find the reaction of young people toward you, mainly the girls,,, [Do] they go crazy for you?  Do you get along well with them?
Elvis: Yeah, I get along real well. Every day when I finish work and come in, well there’s always a crowd at the gate from all over Germany… And they bring their families.  Especially on weekends, I have a lot of visitors here from all over Germany, all over Europe in fact.  They come here and bring pictures and take pictures and everything.

Clark: You’re kind of a man torn between two careers, both of which are very, very important.  Elvis, I did want to thank you very much for calling this day.  As you probably know, this is our special anniversary day.
Elvis: Oh, well, congratulations.

Clark: And many, many thanks and we all look forward to your return.
Elvis: Thank you very much… Bye-bye, Dick

 

Call # 3 – From Dick Clark to Elvis in Germany, January 8, 1960 (Elvis’ 25th birthday)

As the year 1960 began, there was much speculation in the press that Elvis would soon return to the United States.  Dick Clark certainly realized that if he wanted one more phone conversation with Elvis, he’d better hurry up.  What better time than on Elvis’ birthday?

Clark: Hello, Elvis.
Elvis: Hello.

Clark: Hi.  We had no idea we could catch a-hold of you today.
Elvis: Oh, yeah, well I just came in the door, Dick.

Clark: What were you doing?
Elvis: Well, I just came in from the day’s work.  It’s about five-thirty here.

Clark: You know, Elvis, I called Colonel Tom and had words with his assistant and say, gee, do you suppose there’s any chance we could talk to Elvis on his birthday, and they seemed to think you ought to be off on maneuvers.  Have you been pretty busy?
Elvis: Yeah, we’ve been pretty busy.  I don’t go on maneuvers until the twenty-second.

Clark: Oh, I see.  What is the situation regarding your release from the army?  Do you have any word on it?
Elvis: The only thing definite, Dick, as far as the way it stands now, I leave Germany somewhere between the twentieth of February and the second of March.

Clark: When you come back, I understand you’ve got a television show with Frank Sinatra and a few movies to make.  How are you gonna squeeze ‘em all in?
Elvis: Well (laughs), I’m told Colonel Parker will have everything arranged.  I know the first picture is for Mr. Wallis.  It’s called G.I. Blues, I think.  The other two’s at Twentieth Century-Fox, and I don’t know exactly when the television show will be.  In fact, I don’t even know what’s gonna happen, really.

Clark: Elvis, what is your general feeling about doing your first television show upon your return with Frank Sinatra?  You two fellows have sort of different musical stylings.  Do you have any thoughts on that?
Elvis: Well, I really do.  I consider it an honor, really, Dick, because this man…he’s really proven himself.

Clark: He’s somewhat of a legend, I guess.
Elvis: He is, and I admire him very much, and I really am honored.

Clark: Let me ask you about your Christmas and New Year’s.  How did you celebrate the holidays?
Elvis: We had a Christmas party here.  I had a lot guys from all over the post.  I had as many of the boys here as possible at my house…try to make ‘em feel at home around Christmastime.  Then on New year’s night we had another little party.  This one was pretty nice, but it was better last year.

Clark: Elvis, I want to thank you very, very much for taking the time out from your busy schedule, to reassure you once again that we’re all awaiting your arrival back home, and on this day to wish you a happy birthday.
Elvis: Thank you very much, Dick, and I’m kinda lookin’ forward to it.  Yeah, there’s still a lot of stuff in print about my getting out early and all that stuff.

Clark: It’s not true, as far as you know, uh?
Elvis: Well it’s been in print and I had a lot of people ask me about it.  The only time I heard about it is when I read it.

Clark: Elvis, all the best.  We’ll see you on your return.
Elvis: Okay, thanks a lot, Dick, and tell everybody hello from me.

 

 

Elvis’ service in Germany officially ended on March 2, 1960.  He resumed his recording and movie careers, and never did appear on American Bandstand.  The photos above are stock images, not the actual shots taken during the Elvis/Dick Clark phone interviews for American Bandstand.

 

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights

Elvis Shades… on Him… and Other Celebrities

Shades of Elvis Cover 

Are you aware of this book? It came out in 2013 as collaboration by famous celebrity photographer Christopher Ameruoso and Priscilla Presley. It’s a big coffee-table book priced at $110.95 at www.shadesofelvis.net.  I looked for a used copy on Amazon and eBay today, but couldn’t find one.

Any way, back in 2013, the concept for Shades of Elvis appealed to me, so I posted a blog about it, and a week later added a follow-up post.  After a little editing, here are both of them.

 

Forward by Priscilla

Priscilla had this to say about the book.

“The idea was to photograph (in classic black-and-white portraiture) artists, icons, and legends while they were wearing Elvis’ original sunglasses, which came from the Memphis archives.

 

Elvis Wearing Classic Shades

 

Talent featured in Shades of Elvis include:

Adam Lambert, Alice Cooper, Billy Gibbons( ZZ-Top), Billy Ray Cyrus, Bo Derek, Buzz Aldrin, Carmen Electra, Celine Dion, Charlie Sheen, Cher, Chuck Garric, David Arquette, David Copperfield, Def Leppard, Eddie Van Halen, Elton John, Elvira, Fran Dresher, Frances Fisher, Gene Simmons, Helen Mirren, Henry Winkler, Holly Madison, Jaclyn Smith, James Tupper, Jillian Michaels, Joe Mantegna, John Corbet, John Stamos, Johnny Depp, Jose Feliciano, Juliette Lewis, Ken Howard, Katherine Ross, Kevin Sorbo, Larry Flynt, Lionel Richie, Lita Ford, Mac Davis Martin Sheen, Meat Loaf, Michael Bubble, Michael Des Barres, Michael Madsen, Mike Tyson, Orianthi, Ozzy Osbourne, Pamela Anderson, Peter Fonda, Rick Springfield, Rob Lowe, Robert Plant, Ron Pearlman, Ronn Moss, Peter Beckett, Rudy Sarzo, Sam Elliott, Sammy Hagar, Scotty McCreery, Shawnee Smith, Snoop Dogg, Stan Lee, Steven Tyler, Steve Perry, Steve Valentine, Taryn Manning, Ted Neeley, Thomas Gibson, Tim Burton, Tom Jones, Tony Hawk, Valerie Bertinelli, Virginia Madsen, Weird Al, Willie Nelson and more.

 

Out of all those folks in the book, the ones I would have been most interested in seeing were the photos of Steven Tyler, Elton John, and Elvira.  Ultimately, I found Tyler’s photo on line, but not the other two.

 

Elton John

Elton John has worn glasses and sunglasses of every conceivable style, but Elvis’ shades would be a completely new look.

Elvira

Any picture of Elvira is striking, but one wearing Elvis’ shades would be a gas. Plus, she is probably the only celebrity in the book who had an up-close and personal experience with Elvis, so it would be interesting to see what she says in the quote accompanying her photo.

 

Here are two celebrities wearing their Elvis shades in an advertisement for the book.

Helen Mirren and Valerie Bertinelli

 

Speaking of photographs, check out this one of photographer Christopher Ameruoso on the book’s From the Author /Acknowledgements page:

Notice he is holding the Elvis sunglasses in his hand and is staring intently at them. My first thought when I saw it was how similar it is to this:

ELO Album Cover

Probably just a coincidence.

 

And here is a concept inspired by Shades of Elvis that I posted a week later.

 

Last week, the new book Shades of Elvis was discussed. The shades are of course, the iconic sunglasses Elvis preferred in the Seventies. However, before he settled on that classic design, Elvis wore several different styles of sunglasses in his younger years.

 Elvis Wearing Early Sunglasses

Most of the photos shown here came off the internet with no historical context, so we’ll just has to make our best guesses. This looks like circa 1956 to me.

 

Elvis in Army Sunglasses

Okay, he’s in the army here, so these sunglasses were part of Elvis’ look in 1958 and 1959.

 

Elvis in Early Sunglasses

This one is tougher to figure out. I’m thinking post-Army, but who knows.

 

Elvis in Blues Brothers-looking Sunglasses

Same thing on this one. Elvis looks like one of the Blues Brothers.

 

Once Elvis’ sunglasses became part of his persona, he seemed to have a little fun with it. Check out some of these oversized glasses he wore on stage.

 

Elvis -- August 18, 1975 Vegas

This shot was taken on August 18, 1975.

 

Elvis Wearing Big Blue Sunglasses

Here’s a nice oversized pair with blue frames.

 

Elvis Wearing Big White Glasses

Uh, oh, they’re getting bigger.

 

Elvis Holding Giant Sunglasses

Now this is getting ridiculous.

 

Finally, here’s Elvis wearing a few unusual sunglasses.

 

Elvis on his Aspen holiday 1976

This photo was shot during Elvis’ vacation to Aspen, Colorado in 1976. Maybe he wore them snowboarding around.

 

Elvis Clowning Around During Filming TWTII

Here is Elvis clowning around during the filming of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is in 1970.

 

Elvis Sunglasses With Lisa Reflections

This is an incredibly clever Photoshopped Elvis picture. I wish I could remember where I got it so I could give proper photo credit.

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

LipLogo_thumbnail - Copy

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

 

 

Elvis Name Artwork

I have always liked the images graphic designers have created using Elvis as the focal point.  I have a file with dozens of them in it.

 

But I also have a file of the artwork people have created using just Elvis’ name.  I hope you like these.

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Script Elvis

 

Colorful Elvis

 

Elvis Hilton Summer Festival Banner

 

ELVIS in Red Lights

 

Elvis in the 60s

 

Elvis Postcard

 

Elvis the legend

 

Elvis with Sihloutte

 

Flames Elvis

 

Genuine Elvis

 

Guitar Pick Elvis

 

Matinee Majesty Elvis

 

Multicolor Elvis

 

Multi-color Elvis

 

Oriental looking Elvis

 

Patriotic Elvis

 

Red Script Elvis

 

Shiney Blue Elvis

 

Sparkly Elvis

 

I hope all of you watched as much 9-11 programing as I did yesterday.  It was nice – made us feel united for a change.

 

©  2021    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

 

Charlie Watts Promoted DJ for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

DJ and Charlie Watts in July 2015

DJ and Charlie Watts in July 2015

 

I’m a little late with this post because Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts passed away four days ago at age 80.  It stuck in my mind that I had written about him in ElvisBlog years ago, so I did some searching.  Here’s the history that I found connecting Charlie Watts and D J Fontana.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame created the Sideman Category in 2000, and Scotty Moore was one of the first five inductees that year. The group included two drummers – but not DJ.  Many Elvis fans wondered why.

In 2003, the Hall added a third drummer.  This is when the fans of DJ Fontana started to really get upset with the selection process.  Rumblings of ”let’s get DJ into the Hall of Fame” were heard at Elvis Week and other gatherings, and on Internet chat groups.  Hundreds of letters and petitions went to the Hall extolling the praises of DJ and cheerleading for his inclusion.

In 2004, four of the world’s most famous rock drummers formally approached the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Sidemen Nominating Committee about DJ Fontana’s qualifications.  They were: 

Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stone

Ringo Starr of the Beatles

Levon Helm of the Band

Max Weinberg of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band

In spite of this intervention by all-star drummers with Hall of Fame credentials, the selection committee ignored DJ again for five more years until he and Bill Black were inducted in 2009.

 

Copyright 2021    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.

Continuing Our Look at a Big Elvis Scrapbook

After our break for Elvis Week posts, it’s back to part 3 of my 2011 series on Elvis scrapbooks.

 

Did you know there is an Elvis scrapbook in the Smithsonian Institution?  Back in January 2010, the Smithsonian opened a special Elvis exhibit titled One Life: Echoes of Elvis in the National Portrait Gallery.

The scrapbook they displayed was created just after Elvis died. It was found in a warehouse in Chicago, and the fan who assembled it is unknown.  A Smithsonian spokesman stated, “The devotion with which it was collected and labeled indicates how shocked Presley’s fans must have been at his early death.”  He also said he had confirmation that there were thousands of similar Elvis scrapbooks.

   

They didn’t let you flip through the pages of the Smithsonian scrapbook, but we can do it with the Elvis scrapbook we’ve been looking at for the last couple of weeks.

So, let’s check out five more pages.

Page 11 has all late 50s photos.  The top one may be hard for you to figure out, but this is a photo of Elvis in the Army.  He is tying his shoes while getting dressed in his fatigues.  That’s his belt hanging over his neck.  The picture to its left is from one of the Ed Sullivan shows in 1956.

The bottom photo is obviously from Jailhouse Rock.  I like the text below the shot, because it states that many people think it was Elvis’ greatest all-around performance.  I’d put it number 2, right behind King Creole.

 

Page 12 has three unexciting photos of Elvis.  The right one is of Elvis leaving a concert and getting in a limo.  The driver had to sneak past the fans to get back to the hotel.

The two articles are interesting.  The top one came out just after Elvis’ death, and according to the hand-written note, it is from a Catholic newspaper in September 1977.  The article contains the usual biographical information found in every Elvis news account after he died.  But, this also talked about Elvis’ faith.  “He was a young man of good intentions, a kind of man who had spiritual yearnings and a love of Jesus Christ.”  I like how the Catholic newspaper gave Elvis a pass on his assorted discretions because he had good intentions

The bottom article is a hoot.  It appeared in a February 28, 1977, issue of Newsweek magazine, and it is not complimentary.  Here are the title and selected quotes:

Rock ‘n’ Roly-Poly Elvis

“The entertainer’s cult shows no more signs of thinning out than its hero does.”

“The King – a jowly, raunchy figure…”

Fistfights broke out in the scramble for autographed scarves that Presley flung as he sang…”

Well, even though Elvis was on the decline six months before his death, the fans still came to his shows, and they still got rowdy, just like in the early days.  Elvis still had it.

 

  
Page 13 has two photos of Elvis holding guns.  The one on with the rifle should have had the caption:  “OK, fat man, now we’re gonna rewrite that rotten contract that gives you a 50% cut.”  The one with the pistol actually has this caption: “Elvis… and his boys liked shooting guns during parties, ranging from hand guns and rifles to Browning Automatic Rifles.”   Well, it’s a good thing there were never any drugs or alcohol at those parties.

The bottom section is an ad for a set of three Elvis eight-track tapes.  Sign of the times.

 

Page 14 has two color pictures of Elvis in jumpsuits.  Looks like old Elvis could still put a charge in the fans, although he’s got quite a gut in the smaller picture to the right.  I didn’t know Elvis threw pink scarves to the fans, but what else could he be holding?  Definitely doesn’t look like a bra or panties.

The bottom photos show younger Elvis with an unidentified woman, and a shot taken in Hawaii in 1972.

 

Page 15 is the third large color photo of Priscilla, but with cute little Lisa Marie in it, too.  Lisa looks to be about four-years-old.  If so, that would put the date around February, 1972, the month Priscilla left Elvis.  Based on all the pictures of Priscilla I have seen, I would say that whole breaking-up period was the least photographed time in her life.  So, this is a rare picture.  Priscilla would have been twenty-seven then, and I’ve decided she was at her peak of beauty in these scrapbook pictures.  Too bad they are all so badly aged and discolored.

 

©  2010    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.

 

We Still Miss You, Elvis