"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)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)





Welcome to the "Elvis Information Network", home to the best news, reviews, interviews & articles about the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Aaron Presley...


EIN E-Alert #163.........Saturday 19 March 2005

Hi everyone

We finally added the first stage of our online Elvis Shop to the site this week. Stage 1 features the collectors label FTD releases at very competitive prices. A non-FTD section will be added to the shop shortly.

Nigel & Piers

Some of the items added to www.elvisinfonet.com this week:


  • Non BMG "Sun" boxset to be released in EU! - Ernst comments
  • EIN's FTD Elvis Shop launched
  • Jerry Springer to don Elvis jumpsuit and sing
  • Elvis company now owns "American Idol"
  • Another recycled unofficial release - rip-off or value for money?
  • Documentary maker looking for rare Elvis photos - can you help?
  • Elvis Week 2005 update
  • Elvis By The Presley's DVD release announced date in Canada
  • Ernst comments on Jailhouse Rock acetate
  • Sonny West heading "downunder"
  • Jailhouse Rock musical closing in UK to move to US
  • CBS "Elvis" mini-series to take on hit show, Desperate Housewives
  • New book & DVD releases
  • New Elvis related documentaries
  • Good Luck Charm debuts at #2


  • Bilko's Gold Cuts (CD)
  • Elvis Presley 78's around the world (book)


Breaking News

Sun boxset from EU!: According to a sensational and surprising posting on the FECC site a new EU label called "Memphis Recording Service", which allegedly controls all the rights including the original logos from the 1950s, will release a Sun box. (News, Source: Mark Wilson on For Elvis CD Collectors Only messageboard)

Company buys 'Idol' maker, already owns Elvis estate: Sports Entertainment Enterprises (CKXE), which owns most of the Elvis Presley estate, said on Friday it has agreed to acquire 19 Entertainment, the British company behind American Idol, for about $156 million in cash and stock. (Full report & press release can be found on the EIN website)

Mysterious CDR circulating in EU: An unknown fan is circulating copies of a CDR in the EU. The unmarked disc contains the following tracks: Big Boss Man (takes 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9); Beyond The Reef (takes 1,2); U.S. Male (Takes 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10); Guitar Man (takes 1,2,3,4,5,6).

1950s Gossip magazines popular on ebay: With interest in Elvis books variable on the auction scene it is interesting to see strong bidding for "gossip" magazines featuring Elvis cover stories. Particularly popular at the moment on eBay are titles from the 1950s and early 1960s including TV Headliner; Movie Life and TV Movies Screen. Some issues are selling at up to US$50.00!

UK midweek single sales updates:

1: Tony Christie - "Is This The Way to Amarillo?" - 137,000 copies sold

2: McFly - "All About You" - 49,000 copies sold

3: Elvis - "She's Not You" - 24,000 copies sold

Did you know?

  • Harum Scarum was filmed in only 15 days!
  • In 1978, the album Elvis In Hollywood was a top 20 hit in Australia peaking at #15
  • One of Elvis' favorite movies was the war film, Patton, starring George C. Scott
  • After Bill Clinton played Heartbreak Hotel on the saxaphone on the campaign trail, the Republic of Chad issued an attractive two-stamp set of Clinton with sax and Elvis with guitar
  • Elvis enjoyed watching I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show and the Road Runner cartoons

Book Review:

The King and the Colonel: Tome details Parker's lifetime of hucksterism

By Michael Lollar , GoMemphis.com

The freshest "revelation" in Alanna Nash's biography of Col. Tom Parker is that Parker might possibly have bludgeoned a Dutch grocer's wife with a crowbar then fled The Netherlands never to return.

If that's your enticement to read the book, you should know the claim is based on an anonymous letter to a Dutch journalist and is never backed up except by tedious and repetitious speculation. It serves little purpose except as the same kind of bait the carnie colonel might have used had he written the same book.

Even so, Nash's speculative biography, The Colonel: The Extraodinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley, eventually rallies past its sordid hook, putting together a rambling portrait of an abused child whose emotional scars colored every deal he ever made and every relationship he ever had.

"You don't have to be nice to people on the way up if you aren't coming back down," he would supposedly joke. Parker began life in Breda, Holland, as Andreas Cornelis van Kujik. His mother's family were gypsy-like merchants. They fascinated the child, nicknamed "Dries," who grew up with a seemingly inescapable need to "snow" the world, separating people from their money by whatever means.

With nine brothers and sisters, Parker worked as a child to help support the family, mainly himself. They lived above the stables where his stern militaristic father, a livery man for a freight handling firm, cared for the firm's horses. Young Dries was drawn by traveling carnivals, wearing sandwich boards and riding tall bicycles to promote the shows, then working as a water boy, animal caretaker, and all-around hustler when the shows came to town.

Like his father, he developed an affinity for animals, but when he tried to demonstrate his carnival skills by teaching the horses to kneel and curtsy in the livery stable, his father burst in, beating him with a belt in front of his brothers and sisters and the neighborhood children. Nash concludes the incident and his treatment by his father incubated in Parker a permanent "need to humiliate others, especially those in subordinate positions."

Nash makes her writing task more difficult by forgoing a straight narrative approach and bouncing back and forth from Parker's childhood to his relationships as an adult. In the sometimes confusing process, his future clients, from country music stars Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow to Elvis, string the reader along with what's to come. Parker left Holland in 1929 (roughly the time of the mysterious robbery-murder there) and made his way to the United States without visa or entry papers.

Traveling carnivals would become both his refuge as an illegal alien and his passion. Parker worked tirelessly, learning every promotional trick and every nuance of the carnie. He worked as animal trainer, concessionaire, barker, promoter, always frustrated by his inability to land a job in the "front office." He would get his revenge by returning again and again to "gloat" once he became the promoter of the world's biggest act.

Parker also worked tirelessly to cover his tracks, changing his name and registering for the military. Eventually wanderlust or instability caused him to go AWOL and resulted in an Army discharge with the diagnosis: "Psychosis, Psychogenic Depression, acute, on basis of Constitutional Psychopathic State, Emotional Instability."

The diagnosis seems prophetic for a man often portrayed as cruel, cunning and greedy - a man who would take 50 percent or more of the profits from Elvis with seemingly no concern about the quality of Elvis's music or the "bikini" movies that frustrated Elvis. Strangely, Nash's story also creates what may be unintentional sympathy for Parker. He parlayed his carnie skills into music promotion with his first high-profile client crooner Gene Austin, who, in the late 1930s, was the Bing Crosby of his day (his tunes included the hit My Blue Heaven).

Parker worked every angle, often paying Austin's bills with checks signed by Austin. He told merchants, "That's a real autograph there. You might want to hang that on the wall." An uncashed check was money in the bank. Parker usually traveled separately from his stars, acting as the advance man. When they drove into town, he often greeted the tour bus at 5 a.m., passing out hotel keys to the entourage, including Elvis, then heading to the next town where he worked late into the night promoting, advertising and making all arrangements for the next concert. Parker once told a British tabloid that, no, it wasn't true he took 50 percent of Elvis's earnings. "He takes 50 percent of everything I earn."

The colonel was a master showman, originating the sales of merchandise at rock concerts, using movies to sell soundtrack albums and merchandise and, always, surrounding his star with an air of mystery. Nash rises to a rarely memorable line in the book on that account: "By not allowing Elvis to be seen or heard in interviews, Parker made him into an object of nearly limitless romantic fantasy from a pious innocent who loved his mama and his Lord to a wiggling, greasy god of sex."

Elvis was soon commanding $25,000 a night - 2 times the fee for the next biggest act of his day, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. By the late 1960s, Parker was booking Elvis into grueling Las Vegas schedules of two shows a night, seven nights a week, reinforcing the star's need for the uppers and downers that created the long downward spiral that led to his death. The colonel was facing his own demon - a voracious gambling habit that may have consumed more than $40 million and left him with an estate of less than $1 million when he died at 87 in 1997.

The colonel's grip on Elvis had ended in a long legal battle with the singer's ex-wife Priscilla Presley, as guardian of heir Lisa Marie Presley, after Elvis's death. By the time Parker died, longevity had created a measure of respect for him and what he had done. "I can sleep good at night," he said. At his eulogy, Priscilla said: "Elvis and the Colonel made history together, and the world is richer, better and far more interesting because of their collaboration. And now I need to locate my wallet, because I noticed there was no ticket booth on the way in here, but I'm sure that Colonel must have arranged for some toll on the way out."

Buy "The Colonel: The Extraodinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley"

From cover of March 2005 (Issue #69) EIN Newsletter

The latest issue of our quarterly newsletter will be posted to financial members in the next few days.

Inside the newsletter:

  • Special feature on 1969
  • Rare Elvis 1969 interview
  • Photo special
  • July 31st 1969 concert review
  • Joe Guercio interview
  • EIN Mega Quiz Answers

Elvis Trivia Question

Which well known Aussie DJ managed to get an interview with Colonel Parker in mid 1969?

(Last edition's answer: Richard Egan was Elvis' male co-star in Love Me Tender)

Contact EIN


piers@elvisinfonet.com ...........or........... nigel@elvisinfonet.com


The EIN E-Alert is a free information service from the Elvis Information Network (EIN) for Elvis fans. If you do not wish to receive future editions of the EIN E-Alert simply reply to this message with REMOVE in the subject line


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