EIN E-Alert #245.......Saturday 19 May 2007
It is now less than 3 months until the start of Elvis Week 2007! The countdown is on. And there is still time for Aussie & NZ fans to join EIN's 30th Anniversary Ultimate Trip. We have confirmed our room numbers but can still obtain a few more rooms if needed. But be quick...time is fast running out. More details below.
And the big news this week is the official announcement of Joseph Pirzada's latest book & DVD set, Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley. It includes audio-visual footage of Elvis in Tupelo in 1956!!! Pirzada's two Memphis Recording Session volumes are ranked by many as the best releases of 2005 and 2006 so the Tupelo set should be a beauty! More details below!
Nigel & Piers
Now on EIN:
Most popular pages on EIN:
Quite possibly the best release of 2007:
"Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley" book & DVD set
Finally, we bring you details of Joseph Pirzada's latest box set, featuring on the DVD significantly HISTORIC audio-visual material including:
Recently discovered UNRELEASED FILM of Elvis performing 6 songs, including ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive ‘Long Tall Sally’ seen here for the first time ever. (News, Source: Joseph Pirzada)
Full details and visuals here!!!
Rumor mill working overtime
Two stories currently doing the rounds are interesting but hard to believe:
One claim gathering momentum is that the legal action against EPE by Boulevard Souvenirs has riled Robert Sillerman to the point that he wants to clean house in EPE...starting at the top with Jack Soden. EIN finds it difficult to believe Robert Sillerman would not have been aware of EPE's moves to shut out independent Elvis outlets in the Graceland vicinity.
Meanwhile, 'Mr Fact' on the FECC board has posted:
As some of you might know the whole funeral of Elvis was taped for the family to keep. This week I was so lucky to hear excerpts from this at a friends house. There is also talk about this being released on cd in August for the 30th anniversary. I heard the touching song from J.D. Sumner and you could clearly hear him cry towards the end of the song. Really sad. At the end Vernon said a few words.
Aussie-NZ fans, time is running out to join EIN on its Ultimate Elvis Week Tour! This will be THE tour to remember. We can only obtain a few more rooms but be quick. In 3 months time it will all be over!!
Experience Elvis during what will be the last big Elvis Week! Join EIN as we celebrate the greatest entertainer the world has ever known...Hollywood LA, wild nights in Vegas, the home of country music...Nashville, the birthplace...Tupelo, riverboat rides on the mighty Mississippi, the holy grail....Graceland, the unforgettable Candleight Vigil, many new friends, and FUN! FUN! FUN! Come aboard EIN's Mystery Train...you won't be disappointed!
EIN Warning: Your tour guides are certified (so be careful)! View tour details
Sonny West talks to EIN
With Sonny West's new memoir, Elvis Still Taking Care of Business due for publication next month we thought it timely to revisit an interview Sonny did with EIN a few years ago.
EIN: You first met Elvis we believe at the Rainbow Rollerdome in August 1958. By this time Elvis had already received his draft papers and had already been through training at Fort Hood and was getting ready to ship out to Germany . Do you recall any mixed feelings he might have had about what was in store for him?
SW: He was very happy with his life as a famous singer and actor, but did voice his concern and thoughts on whether it would still be there when he got out of the army and came home. He was well aware of the statements being made he was "a fad" and would fade into obscurity. But, in fact, he became an even bigger star and went all the way to become the biggest star in the world.
EIN: We have heard that both you and Red quit for a while after the "Clambake" concussion incident. Is this true and can you clarify the story for us?
SW: Speaking for myself, I didn't quit after "Clambake," but I did make a motorcycle movie and did a couple of parts on television. Red was also doing other parts at this time. There was some time when I wasn't around when Elvis and I may have had a couple of arguments, but it didn't last long. And they weren't anything that harmed our close friendship.
EIN: In "Elvis: What Happened?" you relate many funny episodes. Can you share with us your experiences of being "hypnotised" by Colonel Parker.
SW: Colonel Parker had a great sense of humor and once in awhile would want to pull a practical joke on someone using his "hypnotic powers". I was usually the one he chose to use as I was good at keeping a
straight face which you had to do to pull it off successfully. One time in Hawaii while we were on location filming the movie "Blue Hawaii", he decided he wanted get the producer, Hal Wallis. We were shooting on the tarmak where Elvis' character in the movie is arriving home on an airplane. Before Mr. Wallis was due on the set, Colonel told me what he wanted me to do. After going over this, he then "hypnotized" me and had me get in Mr. Wallis' personal chair with his name on it.
NOBODY sat in Mr. Wallis' chair, (Elvis could) especially when he was on the set. He came up beside the chair and cleared his throat to get my attention. I didn't react at all. I just sat there staring straight ahead. He stepped a forward a little and cleared his throat a little louder. Again, I did nothing, And it was difficult, because most of the cast and crew knew what was going on and were breaking up and they were in my field of vision. He finally got to a point of frustration of my not acknowledging him, that he spoke abruptly to me. "Excuse me, you're in my chair and I'd like to sit down." I just sat there.
About this time he was getting really agitated, so the Colonel walks up and tells him , "He can't hear you Mr. Wallis, he's sleeping." Mr. Wallis said, "What do you mean he's sleeping? He's sitting there with his
eyes open." Colonel explained to him how he had hypnotized me so I could catch up on some sleep because I didn't get much the night before. Mr.Wallis seemed to be impressed but still asked how long I would need to be in his chair. Colonel stated he thought I had gotten enough rest and said he would "bring me out of it now".
Mr. Wallis was known to have a stiff neck condition, so Colonel asked him if he would like to have a neck massage from me, to which he answered that it would be nice. I'm hearing this and thinking "oh man". Colonel gives me a "post hypnotic suggestion" to give Mr. Wallis a neck rub until Mr. Wallis told me to stop. I'm thinking, man I might be here an hour from now still rubbing his neck. I make a mental note to tell the Colonel to put a small time limit on it the next time. Colonel brings me out from under, telling me I am now fully rested and I won't remember anything except I am to rub Mr. Wallis' neck. I "wake up" and can feel Mr. Wallis watching me as I come out of it.
I speak to him, "Good Morning Mr. Wallis" as I get out of his chair. He speaks to me and then sits down in his chair as I go behind it and began his neck rub. He states that it feels very good, and then tells the Colonel, " This would be nice to have each morning." I glance at the colonel with a look of, no Colonel. He grinned at me and said, "I only do this when one of the boys need some sleep during the day. I don't think that will happen again for quite some time." After about ten minutes, Mr. Wallis told me I could stop and that he enjoyed it very much. I told him he was welcome and I walked away. The guys were all kidding me about it for some time after.
EIN: Elvis was Best Man at your wedding and in all the photos he is carrying that flashlight. Can you help explain Elvis' fascination with the flashlight at the time?
SW: There were some times he didn't carry it, but that's because Marty Lacker took it and held on to it for him. He was wearing tinted glasses a lot and used the flashlight for lighting the way. He also knew how to use it as a weapon, similar to a "nightstick" like policemen carry. I believe a lot of policemen also use their flashlight in place of a nightstick.
EIN: In the 1970s what professional challenge(s) do you feel could have prevented or at least postponed Elvis' self-destructive tendencies and his premature death?
SW: I would say the opportunity to star in the movie "A Star Is Born" with Barbra Streisand was definitely a crossroad that he took the wrong path when he turned it down. I really feel, as does Red and most of the other guys, that had Elvis done the film, it would have really opened up the doors for him to finally do the type of film roles he wanted so badly to do. He would have been able to make a couple of movies a year and do a couple of tours each year also.
Also, if he had accepted the challenge that our book presented to him, I feel he would not have gone to a premature death. I would have welcomed the fans and/or critics thinking we hadn't told the truth when we said Elvis was taking way too much prescription medicine. In order for them to think that, he would have to stop taking them and get in good health.
New box set from Elvis Matters in the EC
The History of Elvis: 1963
A timeline of important Elvis Presley events
Source: Sanja Meegin
By 1963, Elvis Presley, the man who caused stage-rushing among teenage girls, fistfights amongst boys, and riots among both, was a family-friendly icon of the first order. Worse than that, he was a marketable brand name, as evidenced by Andy Warhol's "pop art" renderings of Elvis that year.
To the minds of the artistic community, The King held about the same appeal as a Campbell's soup can. And Elvis was becoming soft -- the result of living the high life year-round, never touring, working (in the studio or before the cameras) about three months a year and spending the rest of his time in Vegas or Memphis, surrounded by a cadre of old friends who, in truth, didn't exist on the same level as Elvis and knew it.
Not a formula for weathering change. And as Sam Cooke sang that December, and Bob Dylan the following February, change was inevitable.
Presley may have felt, following the death of his mother, that the fat of the land was all that was left to him, but for the generation that had been raised on Elvis, the American dream, such as it was, wasn't enough.
And there was that nagging question of maturity. By now, any decent country boy would have married and had a few children; nearing thirty, Elvis was still sampling, not necessarily looking for love but feeding off of his dream. Priscilla represented his fan base -- albeit an exceptionally gorgeous version of same -- but fiesty Ann-Margret, the Swedish bombshell he would meet and romance this year, was Elvis, to the point of being dubbed the "female Elvis" by certain members of the press. She was unashamed to wear her sexuality out front where everyone could see it, and while that made her easier for Elvis to understand, it also made it harder for him to control.
The battle between the boy king and the man he was being pressured to turn into was a strong one -- and who made rock and roll at thirty -- yet the public was about to demonstrate just how uninteresting Elvis' rite of passage had become to them.
: "Bossa Nova Baby," "Mexico," "Marguerita," "Vino, Dinero Y Amor" (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA)
: "(There's) No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car," "Fun In Acapulco," "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here," "The Bullfighter Was A Lady," "You Can't Say No In Acapulco," "The Bullfighter Was A Lady," "Marguerita," "Vino, Dinero Y Amor" (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA)
: "Guadalajara" (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA)
: "Echoes Of Love," "Please Don't Drag That String Around," "(You're The) Devil In Disguise," "Never Ending" (RCA Studio B, Nashville, TN)
: "What Now, What Next, Where To," "Witchcraft," "Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers," "Love Me Tonight," "Memphis, Tennessee," "Long Lonely Highway," "Western Union" (RCA Studio B, Nashville, TN)
: "Slowly But Surely," "Blue River," "Ask Me" (RCA Studio B, Nashville, TN)
: "Night Life," "C'mon Everybody," "If You Think I Don't Need You" (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA)
: "Do The Vega," "Viva Las Vegas," "Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas" (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA)
: "The Lady Loves Me," "You're The Boss," "Today, Tomorrow And Forever" (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA)
: "What'd I Say" (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA)
: "Once Is Enough," "Catchin' On Fast," "Anyone," "Smokey Mountain Boy," "There's Gold In The Mountains," "One Boy, Two Little Girls," "Kissin' Cousins," "Barefoot Ballad," "Tender Feeling" (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA)
: "One Broken Heart For Sale" b/w "They Remind Me Too Much Of You" (RCA Victor 47-8134)
: "(You're The) Devil In Disguise" b/w "Please Don't Drag That String Around" (RCA Victor 47-8188)
: "Bossa Nova Baby" b/w "Witchcraft" (RCA Victor 47-8100)
It Happened At The World's Fair (RCA LPM 2697):
"Beyond The Bend"
"Take Me To The Fair"
"They Remind Me Too Much Of You"
"One Broken Heart For Sale"
"I'm Falling In Love Tonight"
"Cotton Candy Land"
"World Of Our Own"
"How Would You Like To Be"
Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3 (RCA LPM 2756):
"It's Now Or Never"
"Stuck On You"
"Fame And Fortune"
"I Gotta Know"
"I Feel So Bad"
"Are You Lonesome To-night?"
"(Marie's The Name Of) His Latest Flame"
"Good Luck Charm"
"Anything That's Part Of You"
"She's Not You"
Fun In Acapulco (RCA LPM 2765):
"Fun In Acapulco"
"Vino, Dinero Y Amor"
"The Bullfighter Was A Lady"
"(There's) No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car"
"I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here"
"Bossa Nova Baby"
"You Can't Say No In Acapulco"
"Love Me Tonight"
"Slowly But Surely"
|April 3: It Happened At The World's Fair
Also starring: Joan O'Brien, Gary Lockwood, Vicky Tiu, H.M. Wynant, Edith Atwater, Guy Raymond, Dorothy Green, Kam Tong, Yvonne Craig
Directed by: Norman Taurog
Screenwriters: Si Rose, Seaman Jacobs
Produced by: Ted Richmond
|November 27: Fun In Acapulco
Also starring: Ursula Andress, Elsa Cárdenas, Paul Lukas, Larry Domasin, Alejandro Rey, Robert Carricart, Teri Hope
Directed by: Richard Thorpe
Screenwriter: Allan Weiss
Produced by: Hal B. Wallis
January 7: Fearing overexposure (but mainly because it doesn't pay anything), Colonel Tom Parker turns down a TV guest star spot for Elvis to promote his next film.
January 11: Although Elvis and Priscilla both plead with her parents to let her stay in Memphis, she is ordered on a plane back to Germany.
January 28: Filming begins in Hollywood for Elvis 13th film, Fun In Acapulco. None of the film is shot on location in Acapulco.
March 1: Filming begins in Hollywood for Elvis' 13th film, Fun In Acapulco. None of the film is shot on location in Acapulco. Elvis compains about his wardrobe, specifically a short-sleeved shirt that he found in bad taste. Body double shots ensure that the shirt must be used, however.
March 2: After begging him to return to Memphis, Priscilla Beaulieu and her stepfather Paul fly to Los Angeles to discuss the possibility of Priscilla completing her schooling near Elvis.
An eventual deal is reached where she attends the rest of her senior year at Memphis' Immaculate Conception High School while living in the nearby home of Elvis' father, Vernon.
March 13: Shooting ends on Fun In Acapulco, with the Colonel throwing a cast party that evening to celebrate. The next day, publicity still s are taken and Elvis is allowed to keep three pieces of wardrobe he did enjoy -- two black silk shirts and a flamenco outfit.
April 1: Back in Memphis, Elvis buys Priscilla her first car, a bright red 1963 Corvair with which to commute to school.
April 15: Perhaps in preparation for Priscilla's eventual residence there, Elvis has several modifications made to Graceland -- new front and back porches, eighteen trees around the grounds, a new coat of paint, and burglar-proof iron bars.
April 24: Elvis purchases about 30 books from the local "Readin' & Ritin" bookstore, including an atlas, a trail guide, several schoolbooks, East of Eden, and a dirty joke book entitled Jokes For The John.
May 29: With Pris fearing a riot, Elvis stays away from her graduation ceremony at Immaculate Conception, although he does drive her home.
July 4: The annual Graceland fireworks show is held, a private affair. As usual, Elvis and the "Memphis Mafia" end the night with a fireworks fight on the grounds.
July 9: Elvis begins filming his 15th movie, Viva Las Vegas, in Hollywood.
July 14: Elvis and his entourage travel to Vegas and check into the Sahara Hotel, where the singer will begin location shooting the next day.
July 27: Having finished location shooting, Presley returns to L.A. -- with co-star Ann-Margret in tow.
August 6: The Memphis papers get wind of the Presley-Margret pairing and speculate wildly about romance. Priscilla discovers the rumors in the morning paper.
August 15: With film costs for Viva Las Vegas skyrocketing, Colonel Parker lines up an MGM producer for Elvis' next movie: Sam Katzman, known in Hollywood as the "King of the Quickies." He will produce the singer's 14th movie (released out of sequence), Kissin' Cousins.
September 11: Filming is finally completed on Viva Las Vegas.
September 23: Back in Memphis, Elvis rents an entire local theater, the Memphian, so he and his entourage can watch movies in peace. It will become a longstanding procedure for the King when in his hometown. The first film he watches today is Hootenanny Hoot, which featured much of the same creative minds behind his next film.
September 29: A bad cold prevents Elvis from recording today. Backing tracks are laid down instead.
October 13: Elvis begins location filming in the mountains of Big Bear, CA, for Kissin' Cousins.
October 17: Presley receives an honorary 2nd-degree black belt in karate (mainly for his promotion of the art). The card will stay in Presley's wallet for the rest of his life.
November 5: Filming of Kissin' Cousins concludes.
November 6: Unable to stand the constant public gossip about Elvis and Ann-Margret, Priscilla flies to Los Angeles to join him.
November 8: Having heard Priscilla was with Elvis, and attempting to beat her to the altar, Ann is quoted in the L.A. press as being "in love" with Elvis and ruminating marriage with him. Priscilla, on the Colonel's advice, is sent back to Memphis to avoid controversy (but not before Pris throws a vase across the room, screaming that the expatriate Ann should "keep her ass in Sweden where she belongs").
November 14: After completing publicity stills for his latest film, Elvis is released by MGM -- yet he stays in Los Angeles with Ann.
November 22: At his home away from home on Perugia Way in L.A., Elvis and Ann watch the news of President Kennedy's death on television.
December 10: Vegas producer Hal Wallis is very distressed at the way Elvis looks in the final product, writing the Colonel to tell him that he seems "soft, fat, and jowly around the face." Among other remedies, a new hairdresser is scouted out for his next film, Roustabout.
December 17: Elvis presents the mayor of Memphis with a check for $55,000 to be split among 58 local charities. On this date, RCA also extends Presley's recording contract to the end of 1971.
December 23: With Elvis having admitted to the Margret affair, and with all things apparently forgiven, Priscilla spends Christmas with Elvis at Graceland. However, she would later claim she could never fully trust him again.
New USA book release.....
Elvis in the Beat of the Night:
True Stories of Elvis and His Police Buddies
|Nearly 30 years after the death of Elvis Presley, you'd think every possible book had been written about the late King of Rock-and-Roll.
And you'd be wrong. Retired Memphis Police Department Captain Robert Ferguson has compiled Elvis: In the Beat of the Night, an interesting book that focuses on Elvis' friendship — some might even call it an obsession — with police officers. The entertainer liked to hang out with policemen, collected police badges wherever he traveled, and enjoyed being made an honorary policeman in any city where he performed.
Ferguson explains that shortly after Elvis’ death in 1977, he began taping video interviews of many of the local officers who knew Elvis, from officers who met him at the beginning of his career to those who helped at his funeral. Those tapes might have remained hidden forever, but when biographer Peter Guralnick interviewed Ferguson for Last Train to Memphis he persuaded the former policeman to compile the interviews into the self-published book.
Visit the book's website
In his introduction, Ferguson says, "Everybody who lives in Memphis has an Elvis story. So I decided to document mine." Ferguson met Elvis at one of the King's first concerts in 1954, and became a police officer in 1958. He began hearing stories about how Elvis enjoyed hanging around cops; Elvis, it seems, actually thought of himself as a police officer. Several times, says Ferguson, the singer even rode along with police officers as they made their rounds.
The book includes photographs, maps, and interviews with dozens of officers who met and worked with Elvis from the late 1950s until his death in 1977. "The interviews are mainly from the rank-and-file officers," says Ferguson, "since they are the ones with whom Elvis had the most rapport. Elvis didn’t want to be a chief or a sheriff; he wanted to be a policeman, and this identified himself with the patrolmen on the force."
Elvis: In the Beat of the Night presents a side of Elvis that hasn’t really been told. "Elvis was a down-to-earth person in our presence — a man who just happened to be famous," says Ferguson. "He actually appeared to be in awe of us, rather than the other way around. It was a special time that none of us will ever forget, and I'd like to share it with you."
The book is available for $14.95 from Davis-Kidd Booksellers and Borders, or it can be ordered directly from Robert Ferguson, 901-380-8411. (Source: Michael Finger, Memphis Flyer)
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