Well it's been three weeks since our last E-Alert. We apologise for the break in transmission but not surprisingly August (being Elvis Week) got away from us. Hopefully we return to normal weekly transmission from today. EIN thanks both Sanja Meegin and Bill Burk for providing up-to-date reports for EIN throughout Elvis Week.
Elvis Week 2006 was a relatively quiet one in Memphis and Tupelo as many fans save in preparation for the next big one...2007, the 30th anniversary commemoration. Any Australian and NZ fans wanting to be part of probably the last really big Elvis Week should check out details of EIN's 30th Anniversary Tour. With several "special guests" and "special surprises" lined up, it promises to be a trip you won't forget. So why not join us for a fortnight of ELVIS! ELVIS! ELVIS! and FUN! FUN! FUN! You'll be very happy you did.
We realise not everyone is in to Elvis tribute artists but we recommend you all read our review of the return of a legendary Aussie entertainer, El Gamble. His return to performing Elvis live after 29 years and having recently been effectively paralysed below both knees, is a truly inspirational story. Performing before a crowd renowned as being the toughest in Australia, the "Return of El Gamble" concert was one of those events we are rarely privileged to witness.
Also, don't forget to enter our Elvis competitions. Currently on the site we have three different Elvis books to be won, and late next week we will commence our competition giving away copies of the new BMG single disc editions of "Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii" and "The '68 Comeback Special".
A while back, I wrote an article on Elvis Presley’s grave and the strengths and weaknesses in the memorial’s design. At that time, I referenced the consolidation of his mother’s cross and the statue of Jesus, both made from marble, which was given to Elvis one Christmas by his friends. Together, the two look great. I took the picture of the two shown with this article during my tour of Graceland on January 31, 2005.
The cross that was originally at Gladys Presley’s grave before its relocation to Graceland, has “IHS” at the top of the cross. If you ask most folks what this means they will tell you it stands for “In His Service.” In fact, this statement is incorrect. “IHS” is an abbreviation for the Greek word, IHÓOYÓ, meaning “Jesus.” Since most folks in the United States do not read Greek, I discourage the use of “IHS,” as Greek is not our national language and it is often misinterpreted. “Jesus” would serve much better, I think.
Originally, the cross was Gladys Presley’s memorial statue at Forest Hill Cemetery. It would have shown the angels looking up at the cross. Elvis’ friends gave him the marble carving of Jesus one Christmas, and the Presley family chose to display the statue of Jesus with the Cross at Graceland. The Cross with the statute of Jesus, with the two angels looking upward in deference and obedient posture is quite beautiful. Together, this was the most attractive part of the Presley Memorial.
Gladys Love Smith Presley (b. Apr. 25, 1912, d. Aug. 14, 1958) was the wife of Vernon Elvis Presley (b. Apr. 10, 1916, d. June 26, 1979). Gladys and Vernon were the parents of Elvis Aaron Presley (b. Jan. 8, 1935, d. Aug. 16, 1977) and Jessie Caron Presley (d. Jan. 8, 1935) Elvis’ twin brother, who was stillborn.
When you look at graves, you have an opportunity to analyze such things as the ages and the relationships of the individuals. With a family history, there are more clues than the ages of the family and the birth and death order.
Gladys was 3 years 11 months 15 days older than her husband Vernon. Gladys was only 46 years 3 months 19 days at the time of her passing. Vernon lived a longer life, dying at 63 years 2 months 16 days. Vernon outlived his son, Elvis, by 1 year 10 months 10 days. Both died on a Tuesday. Perhaps the passing of Elvis influenced Vernon’s death.
As you view Elvis’ grave, his father Vernon is buried to the right of Elvis, and Vernon’s mother, Elvis’ paternal grandmother, Minnie Mae Presley (b. June 17, 1890, d. May 8, 1980) is buried on the left side. Minnie Mae Presley outlived both her son Vernon and her grandson, Elvis. Her ledger indicates that she had five children, two boys and three girls.
Elvis was a young 23 years 7 months 6 days at the time of his mother’s passing. The impact of losing his mother during Elvis’ early 20s must have had a very hard impact on this young man from Tupelo, Mississippi. It is noteworthy that Elvis died two days after the 21st anniversary of his mother’s passing. Elvis was only 42 years 7 months 8 days at the time of his own passing. He died too young!
The Colonel "allegedly" denies Elvis' cousin a meeting with "The King"
Elvis Presley's cousin knows just how his die-hard fans felt as they dreamed of touching The King. All they ever wanted was to get close, to share a handshake or a quick conversation with the rock'n'roll legend - and so did he.
For the only male member of the Presley family ever to visit the UK revealed last night he was cruelly denied the chance of ever meeting his cousin - the most famous man in music.
In Porthcawl for the town's massive annual Elvis Festival, Jerry Presley talked of his secret heartache after a newspaper article he hand-delivered to Graceland 34
years ago sparked a cruel rejection letter ensuring he would never get to know his famous relative.
Dressed in black trousers and a wine-coloured retro shirt and sporting dark, gently quiffed hair, he recalled: "My twin brother Terry and I started singing while we were in church. When I went into service in the army in 1969, I started performing Elvis material. He was still alive when I was doing shows. In 1971 there was a big article in one of the newspapers about me - it also made the front cover. I was really proud of it and I decided to take it to Graceland to see how Elvis felt about it all. So I took the newspaper to the front gate and my Uncle Fester told me Elvis was out on tour but to take it to his step-mother, Dee, which I did. Dee and I spoke for quite a while and as I left I said, 'Make sure he gets a copy'. About three weeks later I got a nasty letter from his agent Colonel Parker, telling me to 'cease and desist'. It said I had no right to use the Presley name and that there was only room for one Presley."
The letter devastated Jerry, who idolised his elder cousin. Sounding just like Elvis, he said: "I was quite upset, of course, and embarrassed. I took the letter and tore it up. I don't believe the letter came from Elvis, in fact I know it didn't.
"I know he saw the article and I know his view on impersonators was that it was a great way for one man to compliment another."
Jerry and Elvis were destined never to meet as they grew up in separate states, hundreds of miles apart. Jerry was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, with his twin Terry and brothers and sisters Jim, Rita and Beverley.
Elvis was born in a two-bedroomed house in Tupelo, Mississippi, to his parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley. Recalling a happy childhood, Jerry said: "I had a very humble, happy upbringing.
"The whole family are crazy Elvis fans and into his music - though not to the extent of myself and my twin brother, when we were in our 20's we performed together quite often. Our age difference, 10 years, meant by the time I was old enough to bother with Elvis he was very famous and it was extremely hard to get to him. I did get to see him at several concerts in Las Vegas, though, and I saw him at Graceland."
Despite being away a great deal touring, Jerry said Elvis remained a family man: "He was very much a family man. He loved his family but his profession kept him away most of the time - what with his travelling, the hectic schedule he kept and then obviously his wife Priscilla's acting career began. But I don't see Priscilla or their daughter Lisa-Marie too often as they are in another part of the country."
Some 27 years after Elvis' death, his second cousin remains amazed at the popularity of the man whose great-grandfather was the brother of Jerry's great grand-father.
The 55-year-old, who flew into London on Wednesday ahead of Porthcawl's three-day Elvis spectacular where he will have performed five tribute concerts, came to Wales after learning about it from the owners of London's Elvisly Yours, which sells Elvis memorabilia.
"The festival's a great idea - it's a good opportunity for fans to hear more about Elvis and his music," Jerry said. It's amazing - he's more popular now than when he was alive. You can't say that about any other person. I think music is an international language. Everyone understands these songs - they're something everyone can relate to and it brings people together."
He believes Elvis would be bemused with his iconic status if he were still alive.
"He never liked being called The King, but as far as the phenomenon of his popularity is concerned, he would give credit to all his fans.I get a very positive reaction from Elvis' fans. I try to pay tribute to him in a first-class way. I try to keep the shows classy - nothing cheesy."
EIN comment: Jerry Presley's claim falls apart with the unnecessary addition "that there was only room for one Presley"! EIN doubts very much that the Colonel, if he did in fact write to Jerry, was concerned that he was a threat to Elvis' popularity. (Source: icWales/ElvisExpress)
Check out August is Elvis Book Month
Believe it or not!:
In Wales there is a place called "St Elvis" near Solva in Pembrokshire. How do we know this? Because a farmer there has launced an "aversion therapy" course to help British tourists who are afraid of cows! We only hope none of the cows involved are named Elvis or Priscilla.
Strange but true.EIN has its fingers crossed none of the cows are named Elvis, Priscilla or
Cirque du Soleil to Open Elvis-Themed Show in 2009
One month after debuting a surreal recreation of the Beatles' musical career, Cirque du Soleil announced plans to open an Elvis Presley-themed show on the Las Vegas Strip.
Known for its extravagant theatrical performances combining live music, dance and acrobatics, the Quebec-based circus troupe has teamed with CKX Inc., and its subsidiary Elvis Presley Enterprises, to create the show. The show will have a permanent home at MGM Mirage's CityCenter hotel-casino when it opens, scheduled for November 2009, officials said in a statement. The announcement of the show's location was timed for "Elvis Week" when Elvis fans from around the world flock to Memphis, Tenn., for the anniversary of his death on Aug. 16, 1977.
"I am pleased that during this time, when we remember Elvis Presley and celebrate his life, we are able to announce his return to Las Vegas, a place where he truly rose to iconic status," CKX chief executive Robert F.X. Sillerman said in a statement. Presley, whose singles include "Viva Las Vegas," performed at the Hilton hotel-casino in Las Vegas 837 times from 1969 to 1976.
"And you can't really think about Las Vegas without considering Cirque du Soleil," Sillerman told The Associated Press by telephone. "Elvis has a unique relationship with his adoring fans in Vegas and a large part of our mission is to recreate the excitement and the spirit of joy he generated here," said Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil. European and Asian tours also are planned in the next 18 months, as well as an "Elvis Experience" museum opening in 2008. Production schedules and museum sites have not been announced.
Cirque du Soleil, which is French for circus of the sun, started in 1984 and is scheduled to stage 13 shows this year. Five Cirque du Soleil shows play permanently in Las Vegas. The opening of the Beatles-themed show "Love" in July was attended by surviving band members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.
CKX, which shares the rights to the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley with his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, owns the "American Idol" TV show among other entertainment ventures. (Source: AP)
Visit Charmaine's Elvis Graphics Page
New memoir shows human side of Elvis
When he was 12, Jerry Schilling couldn't believe the voice he heard on the radio singing That's All Right belonged to a teenager from his own north Memphis neighborhood.
A few days after hearing the song, he was playing a pickup football game, and his team's quarterback was that same kid 19-year-old Elvis Presley. "We went into a huddle, and I said, 'Wow, that's the guy with a song on the radio!'" Schilling said.
Schilling has written a new memoir about his 23-year friendship with Presley, but he didn't use the book to convince anyone that his childhood friend was a great performer or a rock 'n' roll legend. Instead, Me and a Guy Named Elvis, written with Chuck Crisafulli, shows Presley's more human side, the intelligent and passionate man who struggled with drug abuse and was frustrated with his mediocre movies.
After Presley's death in 1977, Schilling, who still lives in the Hollywood Hills, Calif., home that Elvis bought for him, worked for Elvis Presley Enterprises and produced documentaries and TV specials about the performer.
Schilling had always said he wasn't interested in writing an Elvis book, but changed his mind at the urging of his wife, Cindy."It's a fun, complicated book about a simple friendship in a complicated world," Schilling said in a recent interview; Presley's ex-wife, Priscilla, and his daughter, Lisa Marie approve of the book.Schilling started working for Presley in 1964, doing whatever was needed as Elvis moved from concerts to movie sets to the studio.
Those who worked for Presley - the so-called Memphis Mafia - became his friends and confidants. Presley even allowed Schilling and the others to live in his Memphis home at Graceland.Schilling recalled a time while he lived at Graceland when Presley asked him to go for a drive with him. After a quiet ride, they pulled into the cemetery where the entertainer's mother, Gladys, was buried. "Seeing him before that monument, it came to me that, perhaps for the very first time, I could see my friend as a small, fragile human - just like any other," he writes.
Even when Presley started seeing Priscilla, the Memphis Mafia was always around. Presley's manager, "Colonel" Tom Parker, shut his buddies out of their 1967 wedding in Las Vegas, but Presley managed to invite them along on the honeymoon.Even though the couple eventually divorced, they remained close through the rest of the singer's life. But the person who made him the happiest was his daughter, Lisa Marie."Elvis and Lisa were just magic together," Schilling said, adding that Presley wanted more time with his family just before his death.
Drugs have long been the suspected cause of Presley's death, and Schilling said his friend took pills to escape the disappointment he felt about the direction of his career. Presley wanted to produce a film about karate, but Parker refused to allow it. Presley tried to make the movie himself with Schilling's help, but it was shelved as the singer spent more time in the hospital to combat fatigue and drug use.
He also wanted to appear alongside Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born. He thought the role - which eventually went to Kris Kristofferson - would prove he could do more than be a good-looking nice-guy character.
Parker ended Presley's participation in A Star Is Born with demands of twice the salary that Presley was being offered and that he be billed before Streisand, the movie's co-producer and star.
"It was the creative disappointment that killed Elvis," said Schilling, who calls his death "the biggest loss of my life, ever. I still miss him."