the mid 1950's, the name Bill E. Burk has been synonymous
with authoritative journalism about the life and career
of Elvis Aaron Presley.
E. Burk is a native Memphian whose fascinating background
is the stuff of a "Boys Own World Annual":
international pilot with more than 9000 hours logged
standout athlete in three sports
retired lieutenant colonel from the Air National Guard who
served in two wars - Korea and Vietnam
addition, as a journalist, Bill ("007") has written
countless articles about his "friend", Elvis Aaron
Presley, a friendship that stretched from the 1950s to Elvis'
untimely death in August 1977.
from his books about The King, Bill and his wife Connie are
the energy behind the quarterly magazine, "Elvis World",
now in its 20th year of publication. Elvis World is renowned
around the world for its honest and accurate reporting about
the King of Rock & Roll.
From the desk of Bill ("007") Burk:
Elvis books by Bill E. Burk (EIN's 2006 article)
Bill E Burk - the anniversary of his passing. On April 24th last year the Elvis World lost a good friend. "007" Bill E. Burk passed away April 24, 2008, at Baptist Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. Bill E Burk was highly respected throughout the Elvis world and was one of the greatest promoters of the Elvis legacy the world has known. His name was synonymous with rigorous investigative journalism and a knack for exposing longstanding myths about events in the King's life. His legacy is still a great one!.
Go here for Bill E Burk interviews and more.
Celebrate the life of Bill E. Burk: Sent on behalf of Mary Pat Hinds and Nancie Craft:
Please join us to celebrate the life of our dear friend Bill Burk on Sunday, August 10, 1 to 3 pm, at Marlowe's. Lunch will be served. All of Bill's friends - the fans and the famous - have been invited to come to remember Bill and share memories. An open mic will be available for comments, stories, songs, poems, photos ... whatever you would like to do. There will also be a special presentation to Bill's family. Everyone in attendance will receive a special memento.
Reservations are a must. Tickets are $15 and include your lunch and beverage. Please send your check - made out to Nancie Craft - to her at 6607 Cindy Lane, Houston, Texas, 77088. (Part of the ticket includes a donation in Bill's name to St. Jude's.)
Since the 1980s, Bill and his wife Connie have annually hosted an Elvis Week fan gathering through his long-running Elvis World magazine. For many years, they held Elvis World breakfasts at the former Shoney's on the corner of EP Boulevard and Lonely Street. When that restaurant closed, the breakfast became a lunch at Marlowe's. These gatherings were always sell-outs, featuring special guests who knew and wrote about Elvis. Bill and Connie also formally honored an Elvis World Fan and Fan Club of the year at these events.
NOTE: If you are unable to come, but would like to send a message to be read, please do so. Mail any memorial messages to Mary Hinds, 1125 Amelia Drive, Long Beach, California, 90807. (Source: Charmaine Voisine, 17 June 2008)
Obituary & Guest Book
First, thank you for all of your warm comments to me and Bill's children over the past two days -- they have really warmed our hearts!
If you would like to read Bill's obituary and leave guest book comments at the Commercial Appeal newspaper, please go to:
The CA has also written a story about Bill in today's paper:
Tributes pour in for Bill E. Burk: EIN has received many, many tributes about Bill Burk since we announced news of his death yesterday.
The outpouring of tributes to not only EIN, but on other sites and numerous messageboards, symbolises the respect and admiration fans around the world have for Elvis World's incomparable "007". (26 April 2008)
Read the tributes
Bill Burk passes away: It is with deep sadness that EIN has to report the passing of Elvis World's "007", Bill E. Burk, on 24 April 2008. To say Bill was highly respected throughout the Elvis world is a vast understatement. Bill was one of the greatest promoters of the Elvis legacy the world has known, and through his many books and long running magazine, Elvis World, was renowned for disspelling many of the myths which had grown up around Elvis. His legacy is a great one!
EIN expresses its very sincere condolences to Bill's wife, Connie, and his family.
Opposite: Bill (left) with Elvis during Elvis' Army stint
We received this message from Bill's wife, Connie:
It is with such great and abiding sadness that I am telling you that Bill passed away peacefully today at Baptist Hospital at 10:10 am, surrounded by his 3 children -- Gary, Jennifer, Randy -- and me.
He had irreversable brain damage from cardiac arrest suffered Monday afternoon, and it was his living will that he not be kept alive artificially in a situation like that.
It is terribly painful for those of us left behind, who will miss him so dearly, but Bill is now in a much better place.
Services will be at Memphis Funeral Home, Poplar Avenue. Visitation on Sunday, April 27, 3-6 pm. Service Monday, April 28, 1 pm. Burial at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery at a later date next week.
We ask that any memorials be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, www.stjude.org
, in Bill's name.
Thank you for all your prayers and support throughout Bill's illness. We both truly appreciated it!
Elvis World #87 now out: EIN has reviewed the latest issue of my quarterly magazine:
EIN received its copy of Bill E. Burk's legendary magazine, Elvis World, this week.
As usual the magazine is in full color and is crammed full of news, articles, photos and interesting tid bits from around the Elvis world.
There are also 3 pages of the best books you can buy (all available from Elvis World) including the best price you will find on the sublime release: Elvis: The Concert Years by Stein Erik Skar!
View full details of "Elvis World #87"
EPE's Todd Morgan dies: Todd Morgan, who for years has been Graceland's "public face," was found dead in his apartment yesterday.
It had not been announced publicly yet, but Todd had just been promoted to a new position and was to report directly to Gary Hovey in Los Angeles, though he would remain in Memphis. He was due to go out to dinner last night with friends to celebrate his promotion, but did not show.
Reports are he must have died in his sleep last night.
Todd has been at Graceland since it was opened to the public in 1982. He started as a tour guide.
My first memory of Todd was when I was working as a fund raising/public relations consultant for the EP Memorial Trauma Center here. Some fan had given Todd a $10 tip for his tour of the mansion and he had donated the $10 to the EP Trauma Center, which I noted in a publicity release.
Todd has worked on tons of creative projects for Graceland during recent years. (3 March 2008)
Annie Cloyd Presley dies: Sadly, from Tupelo last night, came this message from Rachel Harden:
Annie Cloyd Presley of Tupelo MS passed away last Thursday. She was a friend of Gladys Smith Presley and was interviewed over the years by numerous authors of Elvis books. We visited her last December and she was her usual delightful self---always glad to see us. We remember her saying "Ya'll are so good to come visit."
You will find her in the family tree as Annie Virginia Cloyd. She was the only person we have found that married into both Rosella Presley's line and also Rosalinda (Mary Jane) Presley's line. She first married Sales Presley (Rosella's line) and then, years later, married Sales cousin, John Delton Presley (Rosalinda's line). She was a delight to know and she will be missed.
I was one of the "numerous authors" to interview Aunt Annie for our EE: The Tupelo Years book. We probably spent more time recording Aunt Annie's interview than any other the others. And, in writing the book, I noted in print that I was leaving her quotes exactly in the language she used since she talked SO typically Southern.
We visited Aunt Annie as often as possible in the years following the book's release. She was always in good spirits and had such a good memory.
It was Aunt Annie who told us it was purely Myth that Gladys walked Elvis to and from school every day.
They both had kids about the same age and she said "sometimes" they would walk the kids "up to the corner"(Highway 6) and watch them cross the street safely; but did not even do that often since Elvis' 5th grade teacher lived across the street and most of the neighborhood kids walked to/from school with her.
STILL, writers write that Gladys walked Elvis to/from school every day, even all the way thru Humes High School (yet another Elvis Myth). (25 Feb 2008)
Disneyland type theme park for Graceland?: EPE just paid $2.5 million to buy the Royal Oaks apartments on Craft Road, just west of EP Blvd. in Memphis (sitting atop the hill behind the shops).
Though EPE has been extremely tight-lipped about the word "Disney," (see EW86) . . . in announcing the news, the TV dude said "Graceland is planning to build a Disney-like theme park in the area."
In Elvis World #86, we pointed out that most (if not all) the major Elvis things are being re-located on the east (mansion) side of EP Blvd., which would leave all those scores of acres on the west side completely open for something like a Disney development. EW86 informed you there have been "talks" between EPE and Disney.
OUR QUESTION TO YOU IS
(and get your answers back to us via e-mail
soon as you can and be as verbose as you wish):
How do YOU feel about a Disney-like park being built in the Graceland area? Do you think it will bring in new Elvis fans? Add to the Graceland experience? Or subtract from it? Given all those acres on the west side of EP ... what would YOU like to see placed over there?
Waiting to hear from y'all on this.' (23 Jan 2008)
"DON'T BUY" upcoming George Klein book: I recently received a review copy of George Klein's upcoming book, "Elvis Presley Family Album".
To say Il was less than impressed is an understatement. Bill The book to be riddled with errors and 99.99999% of the photos have been released before. Also, several of the photos are incorrectly identified and there are no one-on-one photos of George with Elvis during their Humes High years when George became Elvis' best friend. (News, Sep 2007)
New Susan Doll Elvis book set coming: On a more positive book note Publications International will soon be releasing a 3 pack book set by Susan Doll. Professor Doll's 'Elvis' book releases are among the best there are. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk)
30 Years Later - Elvis World Commemorative Issue: The latest issue of Elvis World magazine is now out. Issue 85 is a special edition focusing on the 30th Anniversary of Elvis' passing. It includes a number of archival articles from August 1977 as well as the latest Elvis news and Elvis World's famous "EW Shoppers Service". Some of the other articles in EW 85 are "Where Are They Now?" (a look at what nearly 20 of Elvis' friends, family and Memphis Mafia members are doing in 2007) and Elvis: "Quote...Unquote" (quotes by Elvis during his lifetime). (17 Aug 2007)
Subscriptions to Elvis World are US$18.00 (USA); US$23.00 (outside USA)
Contact Bill to subscribe to "Elvis World" magazine
Record crowds in Memphis!: While the EPE and Visitor Center estimates of 75,000 to 100,000 may be clever pr rhetoric, there is no doubt Memphis has been invaded this week. Elvis World condiders estimates of 50,000 are not far off the mark. Also, the Candlelight Vigil start time was brought forward to 8pm (15/8) and at 8.30am (16/8) a stready stream of fans was still going up the hill to pay their respects. (16 Aug 2007)
Deadly Memphis heat takes its toll: Sad news during Elvis Week 2007: We had one Elvis fan die from the heat - a 67-year-old woman fan from New Jersey was found dead in a tent next to her RV, parked behind Heartbreak Hotel, at 2 p.m. on 15 August. Temperature inside the tent reported at 111 degrees(F). Overall, 8 people in Memphis have died from the heat. Many more hospitalized. (16 Aug 2007)
EPE warned about ETAs contest: A high-ranking official with RCA/BMG records has twice told Elvis World, in private, that in a planning session with EPE for Elvis Week 2007, the record company strongly advised against EPE starting its own Elvis impersonator contest.
"We told them that if they got into the impersonator (ETA) business, all the press would flock to the Elvis look-alikes and would forget everything else. When they insisted they push ahead, we (RCA/BMG) felt like we didn't want to come out with some special release for the 30th anniversary because it would get lost in all the hoopla the press would be giving to the impersonators."
WELL, FOLKS, the warning has proven true! You don't pick up a local Memphis newspaper, or turn on a local TV channel, without seeing Elvis impersonators everywhere you look.
They're everywhere! They're everywhere!
And, of course, media cameras always seek out the heaviest-set, ugliest ones with the worst looking sideburns. One on TV last night sang a few bars of an Elvis song and I felt my TV screen was going to shatter! Even at the new Elvis Expo at the Cook Convention Center downtown, they are there entertaining and there's even an Elvis karaoke which attracts them like flies to a dumpster !
SO ... RCA/BMG seems to have known what it was talking about.
The new Elvis Expo has dealer tables covering over 35,000 square feet of space. Heretofore, dealers have been limited to independent productions at the Clarion Hotel and Airport Inn. Now, with the advent of Elvis Expo, we'd venture to say the independent Elvis "conventions" may soon be a thing of the past.
ONE WORD can be used to describe Elvis Week 2007: Commercialism! Or maybe two words: ELVIS COMMERCIALISM !!
And this is nothing but a preview
of what is to come. Whereas the independent dealers' "Elvis conventions"
cost $2 at the door; the Elvis Expo charges $15. And being downtown, add another $10 or so for parking. (Aug 2007 )
Suzanna Leigh banned from Sirius Radio "Elvis" channel: A very angry Suzanna Leigh called EW on 2 August to report she has been banned from appearances on Sirius Radio's Elvis channel. This after she had appeared on the George Klein show the past two weekends.
Suzanna, who co-starred with Elvis in "Paradise Hawaiian Style," is staging a 3-day meeting of Elvis co-stars 16-18 August in Memphis. She had been invited back to hype her show on Sirius, but on arrival, was told she was now banned from all future Sirius shows. Said the order came from "on high." Furious.
Well, Suzanna, join the crowd. I was invited to go on Sirius before Elvis Week 2006; told we would schedule my appearance "next week." When "next week" came and went, I tried reaching the program director, who has, still today, not replied to my phone calls or e-mails.
And I doubt Elvis fans are EVER going to hear the voices of Lamar Fike, Marty Lacker, or Elvis' cousin, Billy Smith, who was perhaps the best friend Elvis had amongst the Memphis Mafia.
It seems unless you sing the "official" tune, your chances of landing on Sirius are twofold: SLIM and NONE. No, make that ONEfold!
And yet -- you people have long read my writings on Elvis. Have I EVER written anything bad about him; anything untruthful about him ??? (8 Aug 2007)
Latest issue of "Elvis World" magazine released
Issue #84 of our quarterly magazine is now available. (June 2007)
Email me for more info
EPE being sued: WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE? WHY does the elephant want to stomp on the ant?
BOULEVARD SOUVENIRS, in business since 2000 at 3706 EP Blvd in Memphis, right next to Graceland, has filed suit in U. S. District Court seeking $13 million for past and future losses due to what it calls EPE's "heavy-handed ways," plus $26 million in punitive damages.
The lawsuit lists EPE, corporately, and Carol Butler, EPE's international VP of licensing, individually.
At the heart of the lawsuit is a letter sent out by EPE in January 2007 demanding all licensees of Elvis product immediately cease selling to any non-EPE owned shops within 5 miles of Graceland.
Suddenly, BS owners Rick and Renae Roberts said they were getting letters from their many vendors expressing regret they could no longer sell product to BS, which has a normal inventory of $350,000 in licensed Elvis goods.
(Across Memphis, a good 20+ miles away, Carol Light, former owner of Memories of Elvis in the Graceland Crossing center across from BS, says she is being forced to close her current shop in Bartlett for basically the same reason --- that EPE has put heavy pressure on its licensed vendors to not sell to Light.)
BS' lawsuit claims EPE approached them in January 2006 offering to buy out the remaining years of its lease, plus all its inventory. The offer was refused.
In its suit, BS states "BS prices are substantially lower than EPE stores" . . . and the "defendants have conspired in order to maximize profits for the (upcoming) 30th anniversary and beyond."
THIS ALL has a KING MIDAS ring to it. Surely the elephant can't fear the ant will drive it out of business ?
EW will keep you informed as this case progresses within the legal system.
It is somewhat remindful of Sid Shaw's 19-year battle vs. EPE, but while Shaw won his case(s), there is a heavy difference between law in British courts and U. S. Courts.
In the U.S., it's referred to as the "Law of Deep Pockets," meaning the more money you have (and EPE has an endless supply), the longer you can drag things out in court and drain your opponent's finances dry.
Shaw, using imagination, found a way around the Deep Pockets in England.
STILL, having driven Memories of Elvis and another shop out of Graceland Crossing some 18 months ago left only Boulevard Souvenirs open as an alternative to the fans . . . and what little BS brings in $$$s-wise is but an extremely tiny dent in EPE's overall earnings.
CAN'T SOMEONE show a little heart here ... and live and let live. (9 May 2007)
How much was that book on the Internet?:
OBVIOUSLY there is a new way to market books ... something even the Pauls (Lichter and Dowling) never thought of before ... maybe something borrowed from Harry Potter ?
Going back over a week, we kept getting these e-mail notices (day after day after day) on the Joe Esposito book that details would be announced on its website at midnight, Friday,4 May ... that if you wanted to assure you'd get one of the "limited run" for first printings, you needed to sign up NOW!
As I said, these notices kept coming, day after day after day. We signed up early on. Meanwhile, we had e-mailed Joe Espo and asked the price of his book; could we get (or even BUY) a review copy so we could pass on to you Updaters our views on the book. NO REPLY.
Well, Saturday morning woke up to a reply from the website that ALL the first printing had been sold within the first hour; that our next chance to buy the book would be "in June," so "sign up today" (which we did -- again).
For how much, we still don't know. I mean, WHO orders a book and has no earthly idea what it's going to cost?
If anyone knows how much Elvis Straight Up cost please let us know (7 May 2007)
2nd Elvis World Elvis Luncheon now all "SOLD OUT": Our P.O. Box was filled this afternoon . . . to the point we are ABSOLUTELY SOLD OUT . . .for the EW Lunch #2 on 15 August 2007 at Marlowe's. (17 April 2007)
Jeanne LeMay Dumas guest at Elvis World luncheon #2 in August: Jeanne LeMay Dumas will be the special guest at our popular Elvis World Luncheon (#2) during Elvis Week in Memphis. Jeanne will be personally autographing copies of her book, "Elvis, Linda and Me", which will be sold at the luncheon at a discounted price. Email me to book tickets (13 April 2007)
"Fike An Uncommon Journey" book update: I spoke with Lamar Fike in the past few days and Lamar told me it is unlikely his upcoming book, "Fike An Uncommon Journey", will be released in time for Elvis Week 2007. (12 April 2007)
2nd Elvis World EW 2007 luncheon?: Bill Burk advises: "As we told you in February, our annual EW Lunch, set 12 August, with Sonny West as our speaker (and signing his new book) . . . sold out in SIX DAYS.
Even when we took over the adjacent patio at Marlowe's, it was still sold out and scores more were asking -- no, begging -- to be squeezed in. But you can't pour a gallon of water into a thimble. Just couldn't be done.
SO ... AND READ THIS CAREFULLY . . . WE HAVE TENTATIVELY scheduled a 2nd EW Lunch for noon-2 p.m. Wednesday, 15 August, at Marlowe's.
I say tentatively because if we don't get a minimum of 40 fans to buy tickets by 1 June, we will not go forward with this. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk)
Contact Bill to purchase ticket to one of Elvis Week's most popular events (6 April 2007)
Maureen Shaw dies: Sadly we have to inform readers that the wife of Elvisly Yours' Sid Shaw died on 27 March after a battle with cancer. Maureen, who taught at Harlesden Primary School for 26 years, has been battling cancer for many years. And even though she was struggling to become victorious over the dreaded ailment, when I was diagnosed with two cancers in 2001, Maureen was right there to offer me advice on how to handle the battle. It was thought she had won, but earlier this month it was learned her breast cancer had not only returned, but had spread considerably. Yesterday was Sid's birthday and, so like Maureen, even in deepest pain, she had sent out to get Sid a birthday present and it was delivered yesterday by her sister, Pat.
Read EIN's review of "
Bill E. Burk's Elvis World #83"
FTD Sun project update: Bill E. Burk tells us: ERNST JORGENSEN's long-awaited, heavily-researched book on Elvis' activities while at Sun Records "may" see a 2007 release. I've never known any author (Elvis or not) who has been SO meticulous in his research as Ernst has been on this book. It's planned to have 58 chapters -- the first six about Elvis' shennanigans in late 1954; then one chapter per week during 1955. It should be loaded with both previously-unknown facts and photos. (We have worked with Ernst "a little" on this project.) Three Follow That Dream-label CDs will come with the book. (Source: Bill E. Burk, 25 Feb 2007 )
"Elvis World #82" now available
Lawyer for Elvis & EPE, D. Beecher Smith, arrested on child pornography charges: Just in: D. Beecher Smith III, former attorney for Elvis Presley and for EPE, has been arrested tonight (USA time) on federal charges of child pornography. Law officials say Smith had child pornography photographs loaded in his computer. No other details were given this late at night here in Memphis. If convicted, Smith could serve up to 10 years in federal prison (though that is not likely). Smith and his brother have been heavy backers of actress Suzanna Leigh since her move to Memphis. Smith, in addition to being a lawyer, has won awards for poetry books he has written. He is the author of Sincerely Elvis: An Anthology of Original Poems About Elvis Aaron Presley (he has also released a CD including an Elvis tribute). It was Smith who drew up Elvis' will and also represented Vernon Presley in divorce proceedings from Dee Stanley Presley. More details as they arrive. (30 Nov 2006)
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition team film outside Graceland: Watch out for next year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. Two of the fleshy models appear with Graceland as a background. (23 Nov 2006)
Japanese "Love Me Tender" shop to open in Memphis: In issue #82 of Elvis World magazine, Bill E. we have news that the famous "Love Me Tender" shop from Tokyo is opening a Memphis outlet next month. The outlet will open in part of the old Lansky building on Beale Street. (22 Nov 2006)
More 2007 Elvis promotions to be announced...and BMG to capture younger fans interest: Harley-Davidson (Elvis' preferred motorcycle) and EPE will soon announce a promotional tie-in for 2007, while Graceland will also very soon announce "a huge retailing project" for Elvis Week 2007. And BMG will make a major Elvis record release by year's end in an effort to capture more young Elvis fans. Stay tuned! (6 Nov 2006)
Elvis Presley In Concert, Memphis, 2007 not sold out: Despite rumors to the contrary, raceland announced today only 60% of the total seats for the 30th anniversary concert at FedEx Forum have been sold. The 433 VIP tickets, costing $250 each, were sold out in the first 15 minutes. (3 Nov 2006)
Another TV Guide "Elvis" edition coming: TV Guide will again issue a special Elvis edition in December 2006, complete with a CD. (3 Nov 2006)
"Studio B" Elvis promotion 2007: Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville planning major, major Elvis promotion concerning Studio B for Elvis Week 2007. (3 Nov 2006)
New book on Elvis' family history being written: A MAJOR, MAJOR book digging into Elvis' roots is in the making. To date, over 3000 names! It could become the most detailed book on Elvis' genealogy ever published. Will keep y'all informed as it develops. (8 Oct 2006)
Fate of Audubon Drive residence to be announced next week: MIKE CURB, who today holds title to the old Elvis house at 1034 Audubon (after Londoner Uri Geller has submitted the high bid on eBay and been told he had won title to the house), will make his official announcement late next week about the fate of the house. It will deal with some program Curb will establish at prestigious Rhodes College here. Details when they become available. (30 Sep 2006)
Photographer Jim Reid dies: Memphis photographer, Jim Reid, the man responsible for two photobooks on Elvis, has passed away from lung cancer. Jim was a colleague mine at the Memphis Press-Scimitar.
Jim was one of three Press-Scimitar photographers that Elvis liked and thus had easy access to Elvis. One of Jim's more memorable photos was a grieving Elvis and a grieving Vernon sitting on the steps of Graceland after they had buried Gladys Presley in 1958. Jim also was the Press-Scimitar photographer at Union Station when The Tennessean train pulled in on 7 March 1960, bringing Elvis home from the Army.
Jim Reid's Elvis photobooks were "Fond Memories of Elvis" and "Fond Memories of Elvis Vol. II Twenty-Three Years of Photos". (1 August 2006)
Book by George Klein?: It was announced recently George Klein is finally going to release his memoir. Klein has been "going to publish" this book since we first tried to interview him for our own book, EARLY ELVIS: THE HUMES YEARS, (now in its 3rd printing), in 1990! He's insisting on a $1 million advance from any publisher, when, in FACT, all Priscilla Presley got for her book was $750,000. IF ... the Geeker's book DOES eventually get printed, I will be quite interested in seeing ALL the photos of him with his best friend Elvis during their Humes days. Meanwhile, don't hold your breath for this release.(30 July 2006)
Patti Parry to visit Germany: Elvis Presley Germany is bringing Patti Parry to its country in January. Patti will appear somewhere near Munchen (Munich). (29 July 2006)
Elvis World #81 to be "Collector's Edition": The next issue of "Elvis World" is going to be a collectors' item, for sure, since it will be our 20th anniversary edition. And EW81 is going to have extensive coverage on the Bush/Koizumi visit to MEM -- more than any other publication I know of today. Called in ALL my friends at ALL their stops and really got some great photos!! (7 July 2006)
Inside "Elvis World #80: Issue #80 of "Elvis World" includes our feature cover story, "Elvis' Tupelo Homecoming 1956-2006".
- correct another long-held Elvis myth, this time regarding exactly how Vernon and Gladys were married
- pay tribute to the late "Sir" Charles Hodge
- we look back at Elvis' Las Vegas debut in 1956
- peek inside Gael Greene's new book, "Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess"
- offer Robert Sillerman a smart solution to the Elvis impersonators "register or not" issue
And as usual "Elvis World" features some great photos, all in color, and we have a wrap-up of all the news that is news from around the Elvis world, our famous EW Shoppers Service for all of the Elvis book lovers, and much more!
Jerry Schilling book signing through Bill E. Burk's "Elvis World": "Elvis World" has bought 200 copies of the upcoming Jerry Schilling book. Jerry has graciously agreed to sign -- personally by name -- all copies ordered through "Elvis World". To buy an autographed copy of "Me And A Guy Named Elvis", contact me. (29 June 2006)
More Elvis related real estate up for auction: STEVE SHUTTS is the hot name in the news these days. First he moved Elvis' old home at 1034 Audubon Drive on eBay for $900,000+ or $1 million (depending on who ends up with the title).
Next, he submitted the high bid of $2500 last week for rights to the Zippin Pippin, Elvis' favorite ride at the old Fairgrounds (now Libertyland). Wanting only one car from the Pippin, and given 30 days to remove the roller coaster, Shutts and his partner, Robert Reynolds, will place the Pippin on eBay.
AND NOW, Shutts reveals he has closed deals whereby he will be offering Vernon Presley's old home at 3650 Hermitage ... and a Memphis house Johnny Cash lived in briefly after recording for Sun Records ... both on eBay. The Hermitage house is appraised at $146,000. The Cash house at 5676 Walnut Grove Place, at $228,000.
Shutts has asked for a 30-60-day extension to have the Pippin removed, but to date, the City Commission has not moved off its 30-day limit. (29 June 2006)
Tupelo Homecoming report: We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend there, which included a re-enactment of the 1956 Homecoming concert and parade. We met and photographed many of the major players from 1956 and later had dinner with a few at Vanelli's -- one of Tupelo's finest restaurants!
The upcoming "Homecoming" DVD (still not finished) was previewed at the Lyric Theater. It's got great interviews and there are many who would love it in its current state. EW suggested to the producers that the DVD was a bit long; had lots of duplication; and could use some tightened editing before final release. We'll see how they react when the final product is out. This suggestion is one shared by a couple of other professionals who were there. More coverage of the weekend (both written and photographic) in EW81, coming to you in August.(5 June 2006)
George Klein & Elvis DVD: In the latest issue of Elvis World magazine, we reveal that Elvis friend, George Klein, is working on a DVD showcasing his life and times with Elvis. George has long talked about writing a biography but could find no takers for the $1m advance he was seeking. (16 May 2006)
Sonny West book has two publishers interested: Also in Elvis World #80, we reveal that Marshall Terrill (who is putting Sonny's book together) has told me there are two publishers in line to publish the book. One wants to release it by December 2006 while the other, a larger publisher with better distribution, is looking at a 2007 release. Sonny will make his final decision soon. (16 May 2006)
Click to contact me to subscibe to "Elvis World"
Jerry Schilling guest speaker at Elvis World Luncheon during Elvis Week 2006: Jerry Schilling, with Elvis for years and still involved in developing Elvis projects, has agreed to speak at our annual Elvis World Lunch on 13 August. Jerry's book, "Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship With Elvis," will be released during Elvis week in Memphis. EW Shoppers Service will be selling the book and Jerry has agreed to autograph copies for EW's readers.
The EW Lunch is 1.30-3.30 p.m., Sunday, 13 August, at Marlowe's Restaurant, 4381 EP Blvd, one mile south of Graceland. Tickets are $13 each (non-refundable). EW Lunches are no-smoking, no-cell phone affairs so we can devote 100% of our attention to the speaker. Tickets are advanced sales only. Checks (only) to:
First come, 1st served. Bill has about 20 tickets left. (13 May 2006)
Jerry Schilling interview in Elvis World magazine #81: I am just off the phone from a 2-hour! long distance interview with Jerry that will be heavily featured in EW81 (August), which starts our 21st publishing year". (13 May 2006)
Elvis World's Bill Burk assesses American Idol "elvis" performances: AMERICAN IDOL has presented its "Elvis" themed show and each of the four contestants sang two Elvis songs.
EW graded the first round thusly:
1. Chris Daughtry, Suspicious Minds
2. Taylor Hicks, Jailhouse Rock
3. Elliott Yamin, If I Can Dream
4. Katherine McPhee, Hound Dog
In the second round, EW judged it:
2. Daughtry, A Little Less Conversation
4. McPhee, Can't Help Falling In Love With You
The three judges were of the opinion Hicks' rendition of Ghetto was the best of that round, but EW felt Hicks was more "mouthing words," than expressing the deep feelings that Elvis poured into that song, which has long been our own favorite Elvis song.
McPhee just didn't have it tonight and it's our opinion she will be voted off tomorrow night. For one, we feel it was just too hard for a female to sing Elvis songs. Too, her selection of songs were not the best. However, we understand the contestants did not have a choice of the full range of Elvis songs; rather, a limited choice. McPhee, we felt, would have done much better doing ballads.
Postscript: Bill tells us the public has voted and Chris Daughtry (the bald headed one) is GONE!, while Katherine McPhee remains IN ... by the skin of her teeth! (11 May 2006)
"Elvis" Honeymoon Weekend: Bill Burk reports that there will be an Elvis event on May 6-7 at Elvis' honeymoon house in Palm Springs CA. John Wilkinson, Ed Bonja and Dennis Roberts will be featured guests. Bill says it's good to see Ed up and about again. (28 April 2006 )
|Graceland and tornadoes!: When the tornadoes hit the mid-south of America earlier this month, Elvis World publisher, Bill E. Burk sent out this message. It provides a very interesting history of twisters in the Mississippi-Tennessee area, Bill's theory on why twisters never touch the center of Memphis, and an indication of how close they have come to Graceland. (April 2006)
"Elvis Presley's Memphis" to re-open on Beale Street: The restaurant once known as EP's Memphis will reopen on Beale Street late this summer, but operating under a distinctly different motif.
Jimmy Ishii has signed a 12-year lease with EPE and will open the place around late August. It is now being called by the working name of "EP - Delta Kitchen and Bar." Ishii and Tommy Boggs are the two best restaurateurs in Memphis and are partners in a couple of locations. The musical direction of the club will switch from all-Elvis to music from several different genres, including Elvis. Food-wise (which is where EW felt EPs-Memphis failed miserably), Ishii will go heavy on Southern cuisine, adding his own special touch.
EP's Memphis was open in the old Lansky Bros. clothing store building from 1997 to 2003. It lost million$. It catered mostly to die-hard Elvis fans, whereas, Ishii will try to attract all types of customers and appeal to the growing downtown Memphis population (as people retreat from the distant suburbs).
Ishii owns 9 other restaurants, including several Sekisui restaurants in Memphis. He was named Memphis Restaurant Association's Chef of the Year in 1998 and Memphis Business Journal's 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year. Ishii was brought to Memphis in the 1970s by Rocky Aoki, owner of the Benihana chain of restaurants, and served as the Memphis Benihana's first manager.
Boggs was drummer for (cousin) Tommy Burk & The Counts and other successful Memphis bands before opening his highly successful Huey's chain of hamburger restaurants across the Mid-South. He also partners in several other successful Memphis restaurants, including Folk's Folly. (22 April 2006)
Priscilla and Marco split: Tabloid story breaking news that Priscilla Presley and Marco Garibaldi have split. Priscilla and Garibaldi, an Italian raised in Brazil, have been together since 1986. Their son, Navarone, was born March 1, 1987. At the beginning of their relationship, Priscilla Presley, 60, and Garibaldi, 10 years younger, signed a promissory agreement that if they should break up, he will not write a book about her. The news will officially hit the papers tomorrow. (20 Mar 2006)
Elvis World #79: The latest issue of Bill and Connie Burk's excellent quarterly magazine, Elvis World, maintains the high standard they set 20 years ago when introducing what is one of the world's best and most respected Elvis publications.
In issue #79 there is all the latest news, articles on the 50th Anniversary of Heartbreak Hotel; Elvis' jeweller, Lowell Hays retires; and former Shelby County sheriff, Bill Morris, provides some great stories of being around The King. The regular fan club updates and Bill's famous Elvis World Shoppers Service are also there. Elvis World is now in full color and the latest issue features enhanced visual color and clarity for its many photos due to a heavier paper stock being used. (March 2006)
Subscriptions to Elvis World are US$18.00 (USA); US$23.00 (outside USA)
Click to contact Bill Burk to subscribe to "Elvis World"
Sonny West book update: Sonny West's new book, Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business is currently in the hands of agent Tony Seidl, with three publishing houses expressing an interest in it. (Source: Elvis World #79)
Long time club president resigns: Tommy Ooi has resigned as President of the International Elvis Presley Fan Club, a unique multi-nation fan club in Southeast Asia. Ooi cites needing "a break from all the pettiness and quarrels", and is being replaced by Kevin Wong, a 20 year member of the club. Tommy Ooi will be remembered for being a high profile club president with a lot of energy. (Source: Elvis World #79)
The death of "Sir Charles": We just arrived back from Connie's birthday dinner and got hit smack in the face with news that Charlie Hodge died this afternoon in Pigeon Forge, TN. I've made the necessary calls to verify this.
Sir Charles died this afternoon in Intensive Care at the hospital. He had been hospitalized earlier this week from adverse reactions to his radiation treatments for cancer, but that got settled and he went home about two days ago. Today he took a turn for the worse and was rushed back to the hospital's IC ... but did not pull thru this time". (4 March 2006)
Letters of condolences may be sent to:
The Family of Charles Hodge
c/o Memories Theater
Pigeon Forge TN 37863 USA
"Sir Charles" health update: I notice all kinds of reports are flying on the Elvis newsgroups relating to Charlie Hodge, so here is the straight poop, right out of Pigeon Forge, TN, as of 12.50 p.m., Tuesday, 28 February. Charlie suffered a reaction to the radiation treatments he's been undergoing and it was bothering his eating. He was hospitalized and the problem was found immediately. For precaution, Sir Chaz was kept in the hospital a couple of extra days.
Charlie went home yesterday (27 Feb). While he wanted to return to the stage at Memories Theater immediately, he's being asked, for his own good, to rest at home for a couple of weeks. The doctors said, after X-rays, that Sir Chaz is showing "some improvement." He will undergo another scan in about two weeks. It wouldn't be Charlie otherwise, but while in pain in the beginning of his hospital stay, I'm told he kept the nurses laughing. It can't get any straighter than this. (1 March 2006)
Elvis' former Audoben Drive home to be auctioned: A former Elvis home at 1034 Audubon Drive in Memphis, now owned by Mike Freeman, will be auctioned on March 20, 2006. Fans have reported to Bill Burk's Elvis World that the house and property are badly in need of repairs and/or renovation. Memory recalls they paid about $185,000 for the home. (26 Feb 2006 )
Elvis Week 2007 concert lacks innovative thought: Last week we suggested to y'all that Robert Sillerman, EPE's relatively-new owner, should think about staging one gigantic concert during Elvis Week 2007, bringing in some top names from show biz.
"Well, what was just released today is that there will be a "spectacular concert event" starring the real Elvis Presley via video, accompanied live by a large cast of singers and musicians who worked with him. In other words, a re-hash of the "Elvis in Concert" gigs produced in 1997 and 2002. One would have hoped that for the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death, which might well be the last BIG observance of this date, that EPE would have set its sights much higher.
EIN Comment: Bill is spot on in his observation. A major lost opportunity! And it is interesting to see EPE "stretching" Elvis Week 2007 out with an Elvis Insiders conference and the Merchandise and Memorabilia Showroom. 'Tapering off" Elvis Week after the Candleilight Vigil has long been thought of by many as a really good idea. In the early days, the Graceland area became virtually a ghost town the day after the official end of Elvis Week. Elvis Week 2007 occurs from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 August. (20 Feb 2006)
"Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business" book rumor: With Jerry Schilling's "Elvis" book announced for release on 17 August 2006 (see story 18 Feb 2006), the rumor is that Sonny West's long awaited book, Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business, could be out around the same time. (20 Feb 2006)
THE KING. By Jim Piazza (Mini Book Review): This is a humongous book in outer size -- 15x17.5 inches (38x44 cm)! Never seen an Elvis book, or ANY book, with this large an outer size. When it came to us in the US Mail, the box looked like the Queen Mary had docked on our front porch ! It's 160 pages and was introduced at $70 last Christmas. EW was approached on the idea of selling it at a much lower price. We bought a copy to review it ... and have decided against selling this book. Reasons. (1) It is much larger than any shipping envelope we even are aware of. Packing would be special (and costly) for each book. And (2), even a quick scan thru the pages shows sloppy editing (Ginger Alden being ID'd as Linda Thompson, for instance). The book is filled with photos, but most have been seen in about every general release Elvis book since 1848 !! The number of rare photos is so small it is not worth the price of the book for this few. It was a great idea -- this oversize -- but it just ain't flying. COMMENTS welcomed from anyone who has a copy? (13 Feb 2006)
Graceland like a 'ghost town': "Passed by Graceland 15 minutes ago (11.00 Friday, 3 Feb) and it was like a ghost town ! 3 cars on the big parking lot. 2 on Graceland Crossing lot. A small handful at Heartbreak Hotel. And this is beginning of a weekend".
(News, Source: Bill E. Burk, 3 Feb 2006)
|"Elvis: American Idol" book released next week: Susan Doll's latest Elvis book will be in our hands early next week, just as EW79 goes to the printers. It's hardcover. 320 Pages. Loaded with little-known Elvis facts as only Suzie can uncover (as she has been doing via a number of high quality books dating back to at least 1985). Photos galore! $12.95 + shipping ($3 USA; $6 outside USA). Worth every cent just for pages 296-97 !!!!!
Fans can order the book from Elvis World
using Visa or MasterCard, with Exp. date . . . or . . .
Memphis TN 38186 USA(3 Feb 2006)
Idea for special 30th anniversary concert at Liberty Bowl in Memphis: Wouldn't it be nice -- 2007 being the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death -- if new EPE owner Bob Sillerman (who HAS the show biz connections) would get bold and pull together a truly #1 show at the Liberty Bowl, drawing 20-30,000 for a major act? (3 Feb 2006)
Charlie Hodge health update: Due to the various rumors circulating about the health of "Sir Charles", EIN asked me for the latest news on his health: 'As Paul McCartney once said, "Stories of my death have been grossly exaggerated!". This too is the case with Charlie. While "Sir Charles" is battling cancer he was very much still alive yesterday.' (28 Jan 2006)
Red West in #1 movie: Went to see "Glory Road," which opened last Friday across the USA and was the #1 box office attraction of the weekend. Red West plays Ross Moore, trainer and "spiritual advisor," for the old Texas Western basketball team that became the first team to win the USA college basketball championship using all black players. It's one of Red's better character roles. Josh Lucas plays Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins and deserves Oscar nomination for his inspirational performance. Haskins' assistant coach, Moe Iba, he of the horned rim glasses, would coach at MEM State shortly after the Miners won the NCAA championship. It's 2006's feel-good sports movie of the year." (17 Jan 2006)
Charlie Hodge battling cancer: "Sir Charles" has secretly been battling cancer the past two months, but today the "news" leaked and is spreading like the wildfires in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. So, the get the facts straight, EW today called Memories Theater, where Sir Charles has been performing these past few years, and here's the straight poop:
Sir Charles, despite his ailment, continues to perform nightly at Memories Theater and "if you were not aware of his condition, you would never know he is sick." His humor remains high, as does his faith in God. Sir Charles met Elvis enroute to Germany in 1958 and remained with E until the end.
It would be wonderful if everyone in the Elvis world deluged Sir Charles with Get Well cards. Send to:
c/o Memories Theater
Pigeon Forge TN 37863
(13 Jan 2006 )
Dr Lester Hofman, Elvis' dentist, dies: Dr. Lester Hofman, Elvis' dentist, will be buried today at Baron Hirsch Cemetery in Memphis. Dr. Hofman died Tuesday, 10 January, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.
The last stop away from Graceland that Elvis Presley made on that night of August 15-16, 1977, was to Dr. Hofman's office to have his teeth cleaned and a cavity filled. He was accompanied by Ginger Alden. Hofman and his lovely wife, Sterling, were close friends to Elvis, who gave each of them a new car.
On one trip to Graceland, Dr. Hofman saw an organ in the house and told Elvis he admired the instrument. Before the evening was over, Elvis had packed the organ in a pickup truck and, when Dr. Hofman returned home in the wee hours, the truck followed and the organ was installed in his living room. It was still one of his prized possessions when EW interviewed the Hoffmans for EW74 (November 2004). Dr. Hofman was a wonderful man who always made time to chat with Elvis fans; as did his wife. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk, 12 Jan 2006)
Fan club president's brunch attracts sparse crowd: Only 270 reservations have been made for the Elvis club presidents brunch Saturday in Memphis -- a significant drop in normal attendance for this event. ELVIS WORLD will offer a special door prize at this event in that it will feature Elvis being named one of the nation's Top 10 Young Men by the Jaycees. (5 Jan 2006)
|ELVIS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS IN MEMPHIS: Sharon Parker will stage an Elvis fans Meet & Greet at 7 p.m. Thursday, 5 January, at Marlowe's Restaurant, 4381 Elvis Presley Blvd. Last year this event packed the place. Bill Burk's Elvis World (EW) will be there in support of Sharon, as it was last year. (4 Jan 2006)
Elvis Fan Club Presidents Brunch: This year's brunch will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, 7 January, at the MEM Marriott East hotel. Focus of this brunch will be the 35th anniversary of Elvis being named one of the Jaycees Top 10 Young Men of America.
Elvis Presley Birthday Pops: This event will be at 8 p.m., Saturday, 7 January, at the Cannon Center for Performing Arts, downtown. The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will be joined by Terry Mike Jeffrey and The Imperials.
2006 BIRTHDAY CAKE CUTTING: This will take place at 9 a.m. Sunday, 8 January, on the lawn at Graceland. Sony/BMG will present updated platinum awards.
|Bill Burk in Germany: Elvis World's Bill Burk and wife Connie jet into Europe in the next few days. You can catch Bill and Connie on 18 December at th EPG Christmas Party at the Hotel Akazienhof, Dusseldorfer Strasse 270, Duisberg, Germany. The party kicks off at 3pm and the cost is only 2 Euro. (9 Dec2005)
Playboy: the Byron Raphael claims - Bill E. Burk responds: Dry humping "Nipper" on stage, the size of Elvis' genitals, and The King's relationship with "gay" actor, Nick Adams are several of the issues Elvis World's Bill Burk tackles in his review of the controversial article in Playboy, In Bed With Elvis. (Review, 20 October 2005)
New Circle G owner legit: As we reported on 13 October, the buyer for the Circle G ranch, once owned by Elvis, is High Point Investments. It turns out High Pointe is a wealthy real estate firm. It will pay the current owners, the McLemore family some $7 million for the ranch, plus another $2.26 million for the northwest corner of the tract. The new developer's plans call for commercial usage along Goodman Road, and Highway 301 -- both of which border the Circle G. Behind the commercial would be professional landscaping, and to the interior of the ranch, a planned community of upscale homes would be built. To our knowledge, NO Elvis-theme is planned for the new development. And we checked on the new company and it is extremely legit. Backed by a group of millionaires in North Carolina. This company has been successfully buying up land in the immediate Circle G area for months. (13 Oct 2005)
|"Elvis Presley's Memphis" to re-open: Elvis Presley's Memphis restaurant reportedly will re-open in January 2006! The restaurant, a BIG money loser before, was closed some 3 years ago. A third party will manage the restaurant this time around. Food in the old EP's-MEM rated from average to horrible, we thought on our few times dining there. EP's-MEM was to have been the first in a chain of similar restaurants around the world, but it was the only one ever to open its doors. Perhaps new EPE owner Robert FX Sillerman has the wherewithal to make it fly this time. The official re-opening is scheduled for Elvis Week in January, and will be attended by many Elvis-celebrities, possibly including Priscilla and Lisa Marie. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk/Sanja Meegin, 6 Oct 2005)
Bill E. Burk identifies two previously unknown "early" shows by Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys: In their continuing search for early gigs that Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys played, gigs that have not been listed anywhere before, Bill & Connie Burk have found another small town where the trio played. Full details will appear in Bill's excellent quarterly magazine, Elvis World #78. (28 Sep 2005)
Supplies of "Elvis The Concert Years" not limited: Bill E. Burk tells us that contrary to hyped advertising posted elsewhere this week, supply of this great coffee table book is anything but "limited."
Years ago, Norway's Pal Granlund reached an agreement with Bill whereby he took possession of his remaining stock (numbering in the 100s).
At a size of 8x11 (A-4) and weighing 5 pounds (2.5 kg) . . . this book reports on all of Elvis' concerts from his return to the stage in 1969 to the last one. Brilliant color photographs are included throughout the book, edited by Stein-Erik Skar and printed in perfect English.
CONCERT YEARS is the most-inclusive book ever written on E's concerts during those years. Bill has long ranked it as the #1 Elvis book ever published.
Bill's Elvis World sells it at two bargain prices:
+ US$65 + shipping to the general public
+ US$50 + shipping to EW subscribers
To order a copy of Elvis The Concert Years email Bill (Source: Bill E. Burk, 28 Sep 2005)
Circle G Ranch update: A few weeks back, I told you of the Horn Lake (MS) Board of Supervisors granting proper zoning to promoter J. D. Stacy to develop Circle G and surrounding properties into a mega-million $$ resort, complete with more high rise towers than probably exist in all the rest of the state of Mississippi. In getting his zoning, Stacy said he would begin closing on properties "immediately." Well, it's been weeks now and the Horn Lake Board, noting no action on the Circle G front, has sort of issued Stacy a "do it or get off the pot" ultimatum.
This is Stacy's 3rd (or 4th?) effort at developing the Circle G Ranch into Dreamsville. Meanwhile, Daniel DelPiano, one of Stacy's partners in an earlier Circle G plan, has been sentenced to a maximum penalty of five years in prison and ordered to pay $12.6 million to a former Waltham, MA-based commercial finance company the court says DelPiano defrauded. DelPiano, one-time owner of Premier Holidays International Inc., promised members of MicroFinancial Corp., of Woburn MA, club retreats to sophisticated vacation sites in return for annual fees and monthly dues, the Assistant US Attorney stated. He pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced. (29 August 2005)
EPE has plans to 'tear down' Graceland Plaza: EPE CEO, Jack Soden, has told a fan appreciation at Elvis Week 2005 outing that plans call for the tearing down of Graceland Plaza, across the street from the mansion, and replacing it with a more modernized one building. When asked Graceland's future plans for Graceland Crossing (where the last two independent shops have been told they must clear out by 1st November) . . . Soden said there were plans, but for the moment he is not at liberty to discuss them. (13 Aug 2005)
Lacklustre Elvis segment on Larry King Live: CNN's Larry King hosted a panel of Linda Thompson, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling and George Klein on his show last night. Bill Burk wasn't impressed and asks why does King stick with the same old guests, Elvis show after Elvis show? One of his first questions, of Schilling, who was sitting in the Jungle Room, was, "What is the Jungle Room?" Esposito was introduced as Elvis' best man at his wedding to Priscilla, which is half-true, but NO mention was made that Marty Lacker was also a best man. And he asked Esposito what he did for Elvis, to which "Diamond" Joe said, "I was his right hand man." Again, no mention of Lacker's involvement in business affairs.
Klein said before Elvis left for the Army, he was paid $50 a week to travel with Elvis; then added, "after the Army, I didn't accept anything from him." THAT was an eyebrow raiser from the GitGo! Cadillacs? Gifts? Etc. Linda (who looks tired) said it was hard living with Elvis, knowing he was seeing dozens of other girls on the side; but said she learned to accept that's the way he was. To which Esposito countered: "All the guys were single, but our wives were all married."
Esposito said, of Elvis' addiction to prescribed pills, "We all tried to help him, but he was very stubborn. HE had to be the one to make the decision and he wouldn't. The Smiths (Gladys and her family) were all heavy drinkers and all died young. I think boredom led Elvis to the pills."
Linda said one of Elvis' favorite charities was the Press-Scimitar's Goodfellows, who distrubuted clothing and food to needy kids each Christmas, "because Elvis had grown up in poverty and when the Presleys moved to Memphis, he was the recipient of Goodfellows gifts early on. He never forgot that." King repeated the story of Elvis buying a limousine in Miami for his limo driver there. C'mon Larry. Come up with some new stories!! Linda mistakenly said Graceland had been a church before Elvis bought it and GK quickly corrected her, saying there had been prayer meetings in the basement, but it was never a church.
But then Klein added his boo boo, saying Gladys followed Elvis to school (at Humes) "to make sure he went to class." In our extensive research for our HUMES YEARS book, we could find NO person who EVER saw Gladys go with, or follow, Elvis to school. For one, he took the old Jackson Avenue bus to school (most mornings with neighbor Luther Nall); and probably in his senior year, the Presleys were living immediately across the street from the school. (13 Aug 2005 )
Sonny West in Memphis during Elvis Week: Sonny West is appearing nightly at "Dad's Place" in the Clarion. Sonny has been doing rounds of Elvis talks outside the USA much of this year. His coming book is now in the 1969 era in writing. Eight more years of tales to be told. (11 Aug 2005)
ESPN2 to air Elvis 5K run: ESPN2 will air Saturday's Elvis 5K run three times during that day, so check your schedules. Tyke Harrison, who will run in the race, did a taped interview from the Elvis room of his house in Texas and is due to be part of Saturday's viewing. (11 Aug 2005)
|Bill Burk comments on Circle G plans: So will the Circle G redevelopment ever happen? Elvis World's "007", Bill E. Burk (pictured here with wife Connie) has some interesting things to say about the latest proposal:
"Today's CA has yet another beautiful word picture of how Circle G Ranch is going to look once the developers finish their project. Where once the Circle G (and tons of surrounding acres) would house expensive condos ($650,000 and up, the typical price an Elvis fan would pay for a house), a golf course or two, and an amusement area . . .today that "dream picture" got re-painted. NOW, according to the developers, the Circle G and 100s of acres surrounding it will be covered with 35-story towers; two of which will be used as hotels for the 2000 to 5000 visitors per day. Two championship golf courses will grace the land. A performing arts center. Shops. Restaurants. 794 acres in all (and Circle G has only 160).
The same developer presented his first plan in 2002 . . . and couldn't come up with the $$$s. Then it was to be a 808-acre development. Donna Early Presley was hired as the spokeswoman. The same developer presented his 2nd plan in 2004 ... and couldn't come up with the $$$s. He dropped 5 acres off his 2002 plan. So now, 2005, he drops off another 24 acres for his latest scheme. Says now the Horn Lake (MS) Board of Aldermen have approved his zoning, he will begin closing on properties by tomorrow.
I MAY ONE DAY EAT a lot of crow for what I am about to say (again, and if I eat it, please supply mayonaise) . . . but I would not hold my breath waiting for this project to happen. High rise towers way out in the country?......Two championship golf courses in an area flooded with great golf courses, including Tunica, just around the corner?
If said developer could not raise $500 million in 2002, how can he suddenly put his hands on $2 billion for this project three years later? Has the ghost of Vernon Presley finally untied his purse strings? Have the Saudi princes become involved? Or the Chinese, who are buying up America by the boatloads daily? (Comment, 10 August 2005) - see 15 June 2005 (below) for earlier report on this issue from Bill
Where to buy your Elvis wine in Memphis: Buster's Liquors on Highland at Poplar (near the Uni of Memphis campus where George Klein's gig is on 16th) is selling a full range of Elvis wines and spirits. Buster's is ranked the #1 liquor store in Memphis every year by readers of MEMPHIS magazine. (8 Aug 2005)
Ernst Jorgensen health update: Ernst Jorgensen's recovery Lyme Disease is going to take a while. What this means for FTD releases is not yet known. (7 Aug 2005)
Elvis tribute artists on Good Morning America: ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" network show will air a segment on Elvis impersonators on 10 August. The network put out a nationwide call for impersonators. (6 Aug 2005)
"Elvis: American Idol" book in 2006: PUBLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL is working on a 2006 book, "Elvis: American Idol." It's being edited by Susan Doll, who has produced numerous great Elvis books for the publisher in past years. (6 Aug 2005)
Elvis Art Exhibition: The Elvis International Art Show (Fan Art from Graceland's Archives) will be unveiled at a wine 'n cheese party this Friday night at Memphis Heritage, 509 S. Main. Graceland has kept every single piece of art sent in by fans over the past 50 years and many of these will be on display. The show opens July 29 and runs for a month. SO, if you're here for Elvis Week, drop by and look at this art display. There are some fine restaurants in the South Main area, including the Arcade, Memphis' oldest restaurant, where Elvis used to go and which has a designated Elvis booth inside. (News, 25 July 2005)
Ernst Jorgensen to contribute to "Elvis World" magazine: Further to yesterday's story that Ernst J. dined with Bill and Connie Burk during their recent holiday in Denmark, we can now report that Ernst has agreed to contribute to Bill's long-running quarterly magazine, Elvis World. Ernst's contribution could start with the November 2005 (#78) issue. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk)
Ernst Jorgensen dines with Bill "007" Burk: On our last day of holidays in Denmark, Connie and I had lunch with Ernst Jorgensen (BMG/FTD) and his lovely partner Helle at the Riz Raz restaurant. EIN note: We look forward to hearing about just what was discussed. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk, 13 July 2005)
"Elvis Aaron Presley A Candle In The Wind" shipped: Bill Burk advises that pre-order copies of his new coffee table book have been shipped. Copies can be ordered directly from Bill and are also available at Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk, 17 June 2005)
Circle G Ranch development approved: Bill Burk advises that news broke tonight (Wed PM USA time) that the zoning board in Mississippi has approved a zoning change that will allow a multi-multi-million dollar resort and rich homes to be built on the Circle G Ranch. Bill says: "TV news even showed miraculous artist drawings of what it will look like once finished in five years after start of development. AGAIN, DON'T GO SELLING your Savings Bonds to invest in this project !!! Let it prove itself first. This is the same promoter who has been behind one, maybe two other proposed developments of the Circle G. None of them came to pass, despite his having hired Donna Early Presley as his public spokesperson!!"
"Report came to me about a month ago that the children of Mrs. McLemore (who has owned the Circle G for years) are advising her to SELL it; to take the money and run. But as she reported to a friend of EW, "Why should I sell it when people keep giving forfeiting their $500,000 earnest money."
She said she had hauled in $2 million in earnest money (or so it was reported to EW) gone astray ... and she still owns the Circle G. The project, as announced tonight, would include 2 championship golf courses on the 160 acres and homes selling for upwards of $500,000. Now I ask you ... how many Elvis fans are going to be able to buy a $500,000 home -- not that all sales will come from Elvis fans. Hell, I've only had 3 nibbles on the house/land I inherited just 10 minutes' walk from Graceland and I've offered it for far, far less than $500,000 !!!" (News/Bill E. Burk's Elvis World Online, Source: Bill E. Burk, 15 June 2005)
EPE auction of Elvis items - yes or no?: We were going to sit on this story for a while but as Bill Burk has gone public with it In the latest edition (#76) of Elvis World magazine, Bill Burk stated that EPE would soon be offering a number of Elvis items (including jumpsuits) for auction. Elvis News contacted EPE who denied the claim, describing it as "bizzare". In response Bill had this to say in his email newsletter:
"A couple of Elvis website masters contacted me yesterday seeking a reply to printed criticism of me and something I wrote in EW76. I explained I do not prefer to discuss criticism in public; feel it best to work it out one-on-one. BUT, IN DEFENSE of me, of EW and what you read in it and in my books, I do not print pure rumors. IF I get an item, first I wonder about the person tipping me. Reliable? Not? So-so? And THEN I cross-check what I've been told with others to see if I can get a confirmation on what I am about to write. If not, I drop it. If yes, I go with it. In this particular incident, I had this confirmed by two sources I know to be 99.999999999% reliable. Now I read my reporting it to you is "bizarre" and the event will not happen. I've come under this same attack before and was proven right. And once I was proven right, no one who criticized me stepped forward to apologize. SO . . . my feeling is to let the future determine if what I wrote was right? Or rumor? This same matter came up when I last had a conference call with Priscilla P and a top exec at Graceland and I was told "98% of what you write is correct." To which I replied: "Hey, I think it's 100%, but if EPE says it's only 98%, I can live with that."" (News, Source: Bill E. Burk/Elvis News/EPE, 14 June 2005)
How Bill Burk got Elvis to talk: In his latest article, Elvis World's "007" tells how he was able to obtain information directly from Elvis and how it only took him 21 words to reveal who called the National Enquirer on 16 August 1977 while it took another author more than 600 pages to make the same revelation! (Bill Burk's Elvis World Online, Source: Bill E. Burk, 10 June 2005)
Rights to Elvis Week impersonator contest sold: Prominent Elvis tribute artist. Michael Hoover, has bought all rights to the August Elvis impersonator contest in Memphis from its founder, Dr. Ed Franklin. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk, Elvis World #76)
Audoban Drive National Register listing a FALSE claim: Bill Burk has responded to a news story citing him as the source behind the claim that Elvis' former home on Audoban Drive in Memphis would be added to the National Register: "A few Elvis websites broke the "news" earlier this week that Elvis' house on Audubon Drive will soon be listed on the National Register, just like Graceland. And these websites were listing their source as "Bill E. Burk." NOT SO !! I know nothing of this, or even IF it is going to happen. Having been involved with the commission that installs Historic Markers, I sort of know how these commissions operate. I, for instance, was chairman of the committee which got the historic markers for Graceland and for SUN Records, but failed in getting one for Lansky Brothers. I somehow doubt the NATIONAL Register will list the Audubon Drive house, but you never know. I checked the source that leaked this tidbit, listing me as its source, and they referred to a long telephone conversation I had only yesterday with that fan club's president, but at NO TIME did we even mention the house on Audubon." (News, Source: Bill E. Burk, 8 June 2005)
New British Elvis TV special: Pickle Productions in London is taping a special centering on Elvis in the 1940s and 1950s. One Memphis interviewee, reportedly very close to Elvis, has told of how Elvis, while attending Humes High, tried hard to dress like actor James Dean and copied Dean's hairstyle. The only problem with this story is that Dean's first major movie was released after Elvis graduated from Humes! (News, 6 June 2005)
Elvis and Debbie - the mystery solved?: "The sudden death of Haywood Watts last Wednesday (burial Friday) will have an effect on a future issue of Elvis World magazine... and here's how. I 've told you how all alumni of old South Side High School get together for dinner each 3 months... and how many of this group had their moments with Elvis, in one place or another. Well, we were standing in the buffet line at Piccadilly about last Fall and Haywood came in immediately behind us. Asked what I was doing these days and I told him "publishing EW," and Haywood began rattling off his encounter with Elvis and it's one of those "only Elvis" stories. We made a mental note to contact Haywood "soon" and get the full details for a future issue of EW. ALSO, three months before Elvis died, I had pretty reliable reports Elvis was dating a girl named Debbie and was told she was working as a bank teller on EP Blvd. For months I'd go into this and that bank and to this and that teller and ask for change for a dollar, looking at the nameplates of each teller, trying to find this "Debbie." Never did. Then came the trial of Dr. Nick (that ended up with his losing his license) ... and I was looking at the list of witnesses and saw a "Debbie Watts" listed for the next day's hearings.
Not putting two and two together instantly, I called George Klein to ask who this Debbie Watts was and he said "You ought to know her. You played baseball with her father at South Side." Haywood Watts?! Debbie Watts?!! Father/daughter? So, IN that Piccadilly line, I told Haywood I'd like to come to his house and do the interview and, if possible, have Debbie sit in with us; telling him what had been reported to me in 1977 and he assured me that was true. Well, only DAYS after that dinner, Haywood Watts was rushed to the hospital where it was discovered he had contracted a serious case of Diabetes 2 ... and that "maybe" they would have to amputate one or both feet. Haywood went into instant deep depression and, regretfully, I never followed up on his problem. He wound up losing only one big toe, but last week, still in depression, I was told, he was in his front yard and keeled over dead with a heart attack. I attended Haywood's funeral ... as I do as many Scrapper funerals as possible ... and I let Debbie know I'd still like to talk with her whenever she feels like it. That may be soon, later, or never ... but at least we're going to TRY! Haywood, like me, signed a professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Whereas he played 2 years of minor league ball before getting hurt, I never reported -- opting at the last minute to devote all of my time to flying (and coaching kids' baseball on the side)." (News, Source: Bill E. Burk, 23 May 2005 )
of Memphis reviewed: You need to open this up
today -- NOW !! -- and read what the New York Times has
printed about MEMPHIS!! Makes you want to start Elvis
Week tomorrow, rather than wait for August. (News,
Source: New York Times/Bill E. Burk, 6 May 2005)
In The Wind" book due out mid June: Bill
E. Burk's long-awaited new Elvis book, Elvis Aaron
Presley: Candle In The Wind is scheduled for release
around 15 June. "Candle" is being released as a 8
1/2 x 11, laminated hardcover pressing, featuring
more than 100 coated enamel pages. Bill advises that
the book will contain 132 photos - 48 in color and
84 in b&w. Many are rare. Click
to order your copy today (News,
Source: Bill E. Burk)
World magazine going full color: Now in its 19th
year of publication, Elvis World, the respected quarterly
magazine from Bill E. Burk, will now be released in full
color commencing from its May 2005 issue. (News,
Source: Bill E. Burk)
price of second-hand Elvis books update: Following
our news items about the high price of Elvis books through
second hand dealers (see 4 April and 31 March), Bill Burk
contacted us about his Early Elvis trilogy: The
Tupelo Years; The Humes Years; The Sun Years. Ranked as
among the best Elvis books of all-time by the bibliographic
source, Elvis In Print: The Definitive Reference and
Price Guide, Bill's books are listed at up to US$200.00
by dealers, yet Bill himself still offers copies at US25.00
or less! (News, Source: Bill
E. Burk, 5 April 2005)
said to Lansky..."When I get rich I'm going to...": From the Elvis World archives, Bill E. Burk gives us this
great story of the young Elvis, his "flashy" clothes and the world famous Lansky Brothers. (3
and Baptist Memorial Hospital: Bill E. Burk reflects
back on Elvis' visits to Baptist Memorial Hospital, including
the birth of Lisa Marie and events from that fateful day
in August 1977.
(26 March 2005)
The Concert Years" book still available:
Bill Burk tells us he has plenty of copies of Stein Erik
Skar's book. Bill says: "Arguably the very best Elvis
coffee table book ever printed! . . . it costs $65 to
non-subscribers; $50 to subscribers of Elvis World.
A $15 discount and our cheapest subscription is $18. And
speaking of Concert Years, one well-known, established
Elvis dealer has been advertising the past month he has
only 3 of these books left in stock and you had best rush
and buy one before all 3 disappear overnight !!! At a
price about $90, plus shipping !!! Do your own math. And
yes, we have a plentiful supply of Concert Years,
having closed a deal in 2002 whereby we took over ALL
the remaining stock of this book". (News,
22 March 2005)
West book update: According to Bill E. Burk, the manuscript
for Sonny West's new book has been turned down by three publishers.
Each publisher has said "there is no longer a market
for Elvis books". Bill
notes that while unit sales for new Elvis books have slumped,
there are still many new Elvis titles being published. EIN
adds that there has been a significant move away from mainstream
published Elvis titles to boutique (smaller publishers) and
(News, Source: Bill E. Burk, March 2005)
of The Blue Moon Boys" documentary: Susan Graham
(200 Cadillacs) is now working on a new documentary about
Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana and the late Bill Black. Susan
hopes to have it ready by August.
(News, March 2005)
book - "Conversations with Elvis": Suzanne Leigh
(Paradise, Hawaiian Style) is busy working on a new book,
tentatively called Conversations With Elvis. It will
be a collection of stories from celebrities about their interaction
with Elvis. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk,
Elvis World #75)
West: In response to a photo EIN published in EIN
E-Alert #161 featuring Elvis with country singer, Dottie West,
Elvis World's "007" sent us this sad story concerning
Dottie. (4 March 2005)
In Memphis, 25 February 1961: Bill Burk fondly recalls
Elvis' two Memphis concerts following his return from the
Army. There were photos, there was a hall only half-full...
(26 Feb 2005)
DNA - spoof story: According to a clever "spoof"
story marked AP (Associated Press), Priscilla Presley is now
the licensee and owner of a patent that discloses the invention
of chrimeric genes and cells, that replicate in nature, some
of the qualities of Elvis Presley. Now, particularly in Las
Vegas, scores of Elvis impersonators face the possibility
of million dollar lawsuits being filed against them for alleged
infringing "use" made by them. Some of these impersonators
may be forced to prove they have not achieved their outstanding
results (looks? voice? etc) by the prior injection of some
of the protected genes and cells. "These Elvis impersonators
have not sought a license or permission from EPE," said Priscilla.
"From this day forward, EPE will require designated Elvis
impersonators to enter into a licensing agreement called an
Elvis Aaron Use Agreement." (Spoof News,
Source: Bill E. Burk/The Spoof, 18 Feb 2004)
before published photos in new Elvis book: Bill E. Burk's
upcoming book, Elvis Aaron Presley: A Candle In The Wind,
will contain never before printed pictures of Elvis in Paris/exclusive
pix from Germany. (News, Source: Bill E.
Burk, 17 Feb 2005)
Burk talks to Bob Sillerman (new owner of EPE): We can't
give too much away but Bill Burk had this to say about his
interview with EPE's new owner - "I was extremely impressed
with Robert Sillerman, in whose hands the future of Elvis
now lies. He is a businessman, first and foremost, but without
saying outright he is an "Elvis fan," it comes to the surface
quickly and often that he has long admired Elvis Presley and
plans to do nothing in the future to tarnish Elvis' image.
He is aware of the "emotionalism" among the fans towards all
things Elvis and he wants to keep that alive. MUCH OF WHAT
he said today has already been written into the pages of EW75,
which will go to the printers next Monday -- just one week
to the day behind schedule (which has been our normal "schedule" of late, but keep in mind, had we gone to press on time last
Monday, we would not have had this interview). SOME OF WHAT
we talked about will forever remain private. I came away from
this first contact strongly convinced the future, the legacy,
of Elvis is in good hands. And I think, in time, y'all will
all agree." (News, Source: Bill
E. Burk, 28 Jan 2005)
World's "007", Bill E. Burk talks to EIN:
In a candid interview with EIN, Bill Burk gives his views
on the sale of EPE to Robert Sillerman and tells us about
his new book, Elvis Aaron Presley: A Candle In The Wind.
(Interview, Source: EIN)
Elvis documentary: Tupelo historian Roy Turner is currently
putting together a TV documentary on Elvis' show there in
1956. Roy was the guest speaker at the Elvis World luncheon
in Memphis last week. He showed some 17 minutes of clips from
raw footage of the documentary, which may be available in
August. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk, 14
art Elvis Aaron Presley: A Candle In The Wind: Bill
E. Burk's new book is titled "Elvis Aaron Presley - A
Candle In The Wind". This new A4 size 100 pages coffee
table book is primarily a photo book with rare pictures
Bill has been saving up for several years now. But it
will contain several stories too - stories about Elvis
and girlfriends, Elvis and police, Elvis and black entertainers,
Elvis and co-stars, Elvis and the Memphis Mafia ... and
the centrepiece, the untold stories. The very first story
in the book, which Bill archived in August 1987, is described
by Bill as "the most unusual story of an Elvis concert
you will ever read". Bill aims for a release of the book
in late February or March 2005. (News,
Source: Bill E. Burk, 8 Jan 2005)
price offer closes today - "ELVIS AARON PRESLEY: CANDLE
IN THE WIND": Bill E. Burk is offering a pre-publishing
price of US$40 (+ shipping)for his latest book on Elvis. All
orders (checks, money orders only) must be postmarked no later
than 31 December 2004. The book is being listed at $49.95
(+ shipping) on 1 January and thereafter. Shipping costs:
$3 USA; $6 outside USA surface mail; $12 outside USA air mail.
Order from: BURK ENTERPRISES Box 16792 Memphis TN 38186 USA
(News, Source: Bill
E. Burk, 30 Dec 2004)
World Lunch: The annual Elvis World lunch costs $13 per
person and will be held 1-3 p.m. 7 January 2005 at Marlowe's
Restaurant. Fans can get their tickets from Bill Burk on arrival
at Marlowe's. The EW Lunch speaker will be Roy Turner. Roy
Turner is the official historian of the City of Tupelo, Mississippi,
where Elvis was born some 70 years ago. Roy was a key source
of information for Elaine Dundy when she was researching her
book, ELVIS & GLADYS. Roy also was quite helpful to Bill & Connie when they researched their book, EARLY ELVIS: THE
TUPELO YEARS. His father grew up only a few feet away
from the Presleys in East Tupelo and Roy has quite a few tales
to tell from those early years. He is the most knowledgeable
person (bar none) in Tupelo on the subject of Elvis Presley.
Bill recently called and talked with Roy at length about a
subject to appear in Elvis World #75. In addition to great
answers that cleared up a lot of things, Roy also sent Bill
a couple of photos to use from there. (News,
Source: Bill E. Burk,
30 Dec 2004)
Memorial "DOA" and implosion update: As
we have all known for some time, Baptist Hospital, where Lisa
Marie was born and where Elvis was pronounced DOA . . . is
being torn down to make way for a new BioTech Foundation facility.
(News/Bill Burk's Elvis World Online, Source:
Bill E. Burk, 23 Dec 2004)
Burk comments on sale of EPE: Elvis World's "007"
has spoken to insiders and gives his view on some of the implications
of the sale: "Robert Sillerman says there will be no
changes in EPE personnel; but this is a standard statement
in mergers and aquisitions. Don't be surprised if soon after
the deal becomes final -- expected about February 2005 --
that Sillerman will begin putting his own people in place.
This would only be natural to expect. One of his first missions
will be to bring Elvis closer to fans around the world. He
has specifically mentioned projects (exhibits?) in Germany,
Japan and Las Vegas. In the past, EPE has pursued an Elvis
casino in Las Vegas; a string of nightclub/restaurants like
EP's-Memphis (which was closed earlier this year after years
of red ink). In both these ventures, as well as a convention
hotel on Graceland property, EPE obviously couldn't attract
investors. These now come into the "highly possible" range
under Sillerman's guidance." (News,
Source: Bill E. Burk, 18 Dec
Elvis book "fire sale": Bill E. Burk is
staging his latest Elvis book "fire sale". There
are many great titles at significantly reduced prices. But
you'll need to be quick as the sale ends soon. (News,
Source: Bill E. Burk's Elvis World Online, 6 Dec 2004)
from the desk of 007: Bill gives us the lowdown on
progress on his latest book about Elvis, the Elvis World Lunch
in January 2005 and in the context of the Sony-BMG merger, "hot" news regarding Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon.
(added 25 November
rips apart the far-from-true tales written by Lucy De Barbin
and "Cousin" Earl Greenwood (added 17 Nov 2004)
Davis dies; "007" reviews Elvis Presley The Man
The Life The Legend (added
25 Sept 2004)