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"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)



"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image"


(Elvis Presley, Madison Square Garden press conference, 1972)


"Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something"

(David Bowie)


"No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"

(Mick Jagger)


"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother...there'll never be another like that soul brother"

(Soul legend, James Brown)


"Before Elvis there was nothing!"

(John Lennon)


"There were rock 'n' roll records before Heartbreak Hotel, but this was the one that didn't just open the door…it literally blasted the door off its rusted, rotten, anachronistic hinges...producing, no propelling, a fundamental, primordial and unstoppable shift in not only musical, but social, political and cultural history"

(JNP, BBC website)


"Elvis, the musician, is largely a relic belonging to the baby boomer generation...Elvis, the icon, is arguably one of the most potent symbols of popular culture"

( Dr. John Walker)


"It [rock & roll] was always about Elvis; not just because he was Elvis, but because he was the big star"

(Bono from U2)


"If they had let me on white radio stations back then, there never would have been an Elvis"

(Little Richard)


"Elvis loved opera, and he especially liked Mario Lanza. He would watch The Student Prince which was set in Heidelberg, over and over again. He loved the power of the big voices. And he loved big orchestras. He liked real dramatic things"

(Marty Lacker in 'Elvis and the Memphis Mafia')


"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead"

(Johnny Carson)

Elvis' #1 Pop Singles on Cashbox, USA:

Heartbreak Hotel (1956)

Don't Be Cruel (1956)

Hound Dog (1956)

Love Me Tender (1956)

Too Much (1957)

All Shook Up (1957)

Teddy Bear (1957)

Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Don't (1958)

Stuck On You (1960)

It's Now Or Never (1960)

Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1960)

Surrender (1961)

Good Luck Charm (1962)

Return To Sender (1962)

In The Ghetto (1969)

Suspicious Minds (1969)

Burning Love (1972)

(The Cashbox chart is now defunct)

Elvis Facts:

Elvis was 5' 11" tall


Elvis' natural hair color was dark blond


Elvis' blood type was O Positive


Elvis' shoe size was 11D


One of Elvis'( maternal) ancestors, Morning White Dove (born 1800, died 1835), was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian


Elvis' uncle, Noah Presley, became Mayor of East Tupelo on January 7, 1936


The Presley family moved to Memphis on November 6, 1948


Elvis was issued a Social Security card in September 1950 with the # 409-52-2002


In 1954 some of the shows played by Elvis & The Blue Moon Boys were at the Overton Park Shell; the Bel-Air Club; Sleepy-Eyed John's Eagle's Nest Club and the Louisiana Hayride


Elvis' first manager was Scotty Moore, then Bob Neal, before signing with Colonel Tom Parker


The first DJ to play an Elvis record was Fred Cook (WREC), not Dewey Phillips (WHBQ). However, Dewey had the distinction of being the first DJ to play an Elvis record in its entirety


Elvis once dated famous stripper, Tempest Storm


Elvis was filmed from the waist up only during his 3rd and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show


In the 50s Elvis was friendly with rising stars, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and Ty (Bronco Lane) Hardin


Gladys Presley was 46 years old when she died, not 42, as many books suggest


The Roustabout album sold 450,000 copies on its initial release, 150,000 copies more than any of the preceding three soundtrack LPs. It was Elvis' last "soundtrack" album to reach #1 on the major album charts in the US


Elvis received $1m for filming Harum Scarum (aka Harum Holiday). The film grossed around $2m in the US


Elvis and Priscilla married on May 1, 1967


They were officially divorced on October 9, 1973


Elvis earns nearly $3.5m in 1968 and pays just over $1.4m in income tax


Elvis' return to live performing in Las Vegas on July 31, 1969 was in front of an "by invitation only" audience. Stars in attendance included Wayne Newton, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson


On January 9, 1971, the national Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) announced Elvis as one of "The Top Ten Young Men of the Year". Elvis spoke at the official awards ceremony on January 16


"Elvis: Aloha From Hawai" made entertainment history on January 14, 1973, when it was beamed around the world by satellite. In the Philippines it drew 91% of the audience, in Hong Kong 70%. The viewing audience was estimated at more than 1 billion


For his 4 week Hilton Vegas season in August 1973 Elvis received $610,000

Sales of Elvis' 1973 album, Raised On Rock, were less than 200,000 units on its initial release


Elvis paid $2,959,000 in income tax in 1973


In December 1976 Elvis was sworn in as a special deputy sheriff of Shelby County (Memphis) by Sheriff Gene Barksdale


Elvis' final live concert was in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977

When Elvis died, he and his father Vernon, were embroiled in an FBI investigation called Operation Fountain Pen

More than 1,500 books have been published about The King in more than 30 languages


At Dec 2005 Elvis' biggest selling album in the US is the budget priced, Elvis' Christmas Album, with accredited sales of 9 million units (fingers crossed it reaches 10 million to give Elvis his first "Diamond" award)


By early2006, Sony BMG's "collectors label", Follow That Dream, had released more than 50 Elvis CDs


During the 1980s, tour guides at Graceland stated that Elvis' biggest selling album (globally) was Moody Blue, with sales exceeding 14 million


While Sony BMG estimates Elvis' global sales exceed 1 billion, the company is unable to substantiate this figure. Accredited sales worldwide are estimated to be less than 400 million
















































































































































































































































































Book Review:

"Banner Days"

Penny Banner with Gerry Hostetler, A Flying Mare Publication, USA, 2004, Hardcover (with dust jacket), 320 pages, Illustrated, ISBN: 0975255703

"The lady wrestler who dated The King"

(Feedback at end of review & trivia)

Penny Banner is a name that won't be familiar to many Elvis fans. Penny was one of the original professional wrestling divas, who achieved world championship status in the early 1960s.

Penny's connection with Elvis, while publicised in the media at the time, was for a long time relegated to that elusive ether full of "lost" Elvis stories. That was, until Penny published her memoir, "Banner Days", in 2004.

Elvis met Penny after one of his concerts at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis and they got together several more times including when Elvis attended one of Penny's matches in Memphis and at Graceland before Elvis left for his Army stint.

As Penny Banner eloquently describes, she and Elvis "were both from the same thread of life's cloth", and enjoyed each other's company, neither being in awe of the other.

So what exactly was the relationship between Penny and Elvis. Were they lovers or just good friends? I'm afraid, as with the insiders knowledge of the ending of a pro wrestling match, I'm not going to be the one who provides the spoiler. To find out, you will have to read "Banner Days".

What I will say is that Penny's account of her "dates" with Elvis is both respectful and insightful, confirming a number of characteristics of Elvis' personality, his "kissing" ability, and his unusual attitude to sex.

The inclusion of several press clippings about Penny Banner's relationship with Elvis will silence anyone who doubts her story. Their relationship is also noted in the Guralnick-Jorgensen book, "Elvis Day By Day The Definitive Record of His Life and Music" (Ballantine Books, 1999).

A strength of "Banner Days" is the authors' ability to bring to life not only the colorful and often misunderstood nature of pro-wrestling, but to also humanise it. Penny also provides "no-holds barred" accounts of several terrible personal experiences which most of us can only imagine just how traumatic it was.

Penny Banner literally bares her soul throughout her engaging memoir, and her vivid account of the very long breakdown of her 35-year stormy marriage to wrestler, Johnny Spade, is particularly honest and emotionally wrenching.

Throw in Penny's post-wrestling successes in real estate, karaoke and winning medals at the Senior's Olympics, and you begin to realise the richness of Penny Banner's amazing life.

For pro-wrestling fans "Banner Days" offers many fascinating accounts of life on the road with other famous wrestling identities, and a colorful mosaic of those matches which are 'fixed' and the drama of those which aren't (aka "shoots").

The highs and the lows of a wrestling life are wonderfully brought to life, be it jail time after a wrestling riot in Texas or being "mooned" by Ray Stevens.

Some of the names inside the 320 pages of "Banner Days" are Brute Bernard (the menacing sight of the bald headed "Brute" and his similarly hair challenged and frequent tag team partner, Skull Murphy, was the stuff to give young boys nightmares), "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Red Bastein, Rip Hawk, the Fabulous Moolah, Stu Hart, June Byers, "Handsome' John Tolos, Mildred Burke and Ray Stevens.

All will be very familiar to those fans of a simpler, and in its own way, glorious bygone wrestling age, where a human drama was fought inside a squared circle without the need for Playboy bunny like announcers and blinding pyrotechnics.

Verdict: For Elvis fans only "Banner Days" probably won't be high on your list of Elvis books to buy. For those fans (like this reviewer) with an appreciation of what is today termed sports entertainment, "Banner Days" is a thoroughly entertaining and illuminating read.

Visit the Penny Banner website (where "Banner Days" can also be purchased)

Click to comment on this review


#1: Both Elvis and Penny shared a primary career spanning 1954 to 1977

#2: "The Honky Tonk Man" (Wayne Farris) has enjoyed a long wrestling career as the jumpsuited ring Elvis

#3: Jerry ("The King") Lawler, from Memphis, is a wrestling icon who has also borrowed from The King

#4: Jerry Lawler and Wayne Farris are cousins

#5: Contemporary wrestling icon, Shawn ("The Heartbreak Kid") Michaels used to have a segment on one of the WWF/WWE TV programs called "Heartbreak Hotel"


Penny Banner: I really enjoyed reading what was printed about Elvis and I. I'm sure my fans and his will
enjoy reading it..HE IS STILL NUMBER ONE in MY book...and always WILL BE.........even tho~~~~~~~~~~~~~( not giving any secrets away either)..;-))))

Kelly: Just wanted to thank you for the article...really good!

Rick: Great review of Penny's book. Having read the book I can say once you pick it up you won't be able to put it down. It's wonderfully written and one of the best books i read in sometime. It's a must read for any Elvis fan or True old school wrestling fan.
Bethany: Neat review.


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"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"

(Dr. Gary Enders)


"Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"



"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)


"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")


"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)


"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"

(Carl Perkins)


"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"

(Bob Dylan)


"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"

(Sir Paul McCartney)


"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"

(Johnny Cash)


"And don't think for one moment he's just a passing fancy....he's got enough of it to keep him on top for a long time"

(R. Fred Arnold, Fury magazine, Aug 1957)


"It isn't enough to say that Elvis is kind to his parents, sends money home, and is the same unspoiled kid he was before all the commotion began. That still isn't a free ticket to behave like a sex maniac in public"

(Eddie Condon, Cosmopolitan)

Elvis records reaching #2 & #3 on the Cashbox Pop Singles chart:

#2: A Fool Such As I (1959)

#2: A Big Hunk Of Love (1959)

#3: Hard Headed Woman (1958)

#3: One Night (1958)

#3: (You're The Devil) In Disguise (1963)

Elvis Facts:

Tickets for Elvis' show on March 29, 1957 in St. Louis cost $2.00 to $2.50

While in Germany Elvis was hospitalised with tonsillitis in October 1959

Despite being an illegal immigrant, photographic evidence shows Colonel Tom Parker traveled to Canada with Elvis in 1957

Elvis strongly believed there weren't enough good songs in King Creole to justify releasing a soundtrack album. RCA initially agreed, releasing two very successful EPs from the movie. A soundtrack LP eventually followed

During the 1960s Elvis had his own football team, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which played in the Memphis touch football league. In the 1962 final, EPE narrowly lost to Delta Automatic Transmission, 6-13

In Clambake, (Elvis) Scott Hayward's driving licence shows February 23, 1940...taking 5 years off Elvis' real age

In the 1970s Elvis was offered $5m to stage a concert in front of the Pyramids in Egypt. When the Colonel declined the offer, Saudi billionaires raised the offer to $10m