EIN E-Alert #251 ... October 1st 2008

All the recent Elvis News and more..

Hi everyone,

The 31st anniversary has past and, although a quieter year in Memphis, the feelings for Elvis are still as strong as ever.

So here is yet another packed E-Alert full of recent Elvis news, reviews and plenty to read!

We apologise for the lack of E Alerts recently, however both Nigel and my full-time jobs are becoming even more time consuming and involve a lot of travel. I had to be in Beijing for 6 weeks to bring you the Olympics on TV!

We would love to spend 40 hours a week bringing you the best of Elvis however we can only do what we can in our limited free time.

And we also need to write our special members-only EIN Elvis Newsletters.

We hope you enjoy a few new candid photos from our EIN contributor - and fabulous Elvis photo collector, Sanja Meegin.

As always there is plenty to read on EIN so don't forget to check out the website for all your Elvis news.

Piers & Nigel

Recent EIN Highlights:

  • Potentially the biggest news of the year: Elvis' possible half-sibling, Eliza Presley! See the full story below
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  • Sony BMG to release "Elvis Christmas Duets" album in October: On October 14, SONY BMG Music Entertainment, in partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., will release the "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets" CD, which is the first Elvis Presley duet recordings album and the first Christmas compilation of its kind ever produced. This release marks yet another milestone in Elvis Presley’s legacy, 31 years after his death. The CD will feature many of today’s biggest country artists, including Olivia Newton John, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Sarah Evans and LeAnn Rimes singing classic Elvis holiday songs with Elvis Presley. Click here to a special promo video featuring the stars as well as Priscilla talking about this new album.
  • The historic Overton Shell Saved! The renovation of the ‘Overton Park Shell’ in Memphis is finished and the location re-opened last week as the ‘Levitt Shell’. The Overton Park Shell was the first place Elvis gave an announced concert. During the last decade, the site was abandoned and at some point, the city planned to tear down the whole place. Thanks to the necessary funds, they were able to restore the location and it is now safe for the future.
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  • FTD News 1974 'Nevada Nights' out soon but 'In Person' delayed: FTD news about the upcoming 2008 October and December releases. The 'In Person' re-issue in the Classic Album Series has now been delayed until later this year, while the double- CD set of Elvis live in Las Vegas 1974 (originally mentioned as 'Down In the Alley') is now titled "Nevada Nights". - The classic album release of 'Elvis Country' will however be released in October as planned. (See new FTD details below)
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  • Elvis’ warm-up man Sammy Shore’s new book: ‘The Man Who Made Elvis Laugh’ comedian Sammy Shore's second memoir is filled with wonderful stories about his time with Elvis and the countless other celebrities who he either opened for, or were his good friends.
    From Red Skelton, Bob Hope and Glen Campbell to Barbra Steisand, Sid Caesar and Ann-Margret, Sammy's memoir lives up to its by line of "A Life in American Comedy". Click here for review
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  • Elvis' office desk for sale on Ebay: Elvis commissioned a futuristic wood desk for him to use in his study. A desk that would represent Elvis’s style and the grandeur of Graceland. Elvis wanted a desk that brought to life his creative vision of how electronics would be married into our everyday world.
    The desk would hold a radio, television, 8 track player, telephone directory and calendar to mention several of Elvis’s futuristic ideas. Elvis and Bernard drew out on a piece of paper their thoughts for this desk. The desk, a second version of the one you can still see in Graceland, did not make the reserve of US $25,000.
  • 'The Complete '68 Comeback Special' CD Review: For the 40th Anniversary BMG/SONY release a 4CD "Complete '68 Comeback Special" to the general public. Hard-core Elvis fans have been overly dismissive, pointing out that we have all bought the same product previously. But is this true? Here we not only get the ORIGINAL Album version (The 'Memories' set was a very different compilation) but also something refreshing about the way this new set has been compiled. The second CD itself cleverly leads us from Elvis jamming with the boys on his very first release 'That's All Right' through a fabulous revitalisation of his classic songs all the way to the stunning 'If I Can Dream' which would be his newest single. It is still a fascinating musical journey. Click here for detailed review and pictures
  • Elvis That's The Way It Is – The Complete Works (3DVD/6CD/Book box set): Due for release from the new International label is 'Elvis That's The Way It Is – The Complete Works'. The stunning lavish box set will come with 6 CD's containing complete recordings of all the 6 shows that were recorded for the original movie Elvis That's The Way It Is. It includes many unreleased tracks (both officially and unofficially) from the shows with all the dialogue in its correct places, much of which is also previously unreleased. More news as soon as we have it.
  • Marty Lacker exclusive EIN interview - He answers YOUR questions: The interview covers a lot of ground, including how Marty and Elvis became friends at high school to Elvis' marriage to Priscilla, the role of the Colonel, a world tour, the reality of Elvis' relationship with the Memphis Mafia and Marty's campaigning to have Chips Moman and the American Studio Band inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
    Don't miss out on this exclusive EIN interview here.
  • "Hounddog" movie at the box office: In its first weekend of limited release in the US, the controversial Dakota Fanning film, "hounddog", took in US$13,744.00 at the box office. Deborah Kampmeier's pulp fiction film is about a country girl devoted to the music of Elvis Presley in a 1950s backwoods located somewhere near Tennessee Williams land but has been getting poor reviews due to its starring the too famous young phenomenon Dakota Fanning

  • Highlights of the Elvis Week 2008: As anniversary years go the 31st year was a quiet one.
    The true highlights of Elvis Week are, of course, the Elvis memories you share and the special friends you meet. However this year as always there were plenty of Elvis' friends and acquaintances who told some wonderful and new stories about our man. EIN's good friend Susan Graham presented her 'Highlights of the Elvis Week 2008' in three special features. These are some of the best stories she heard in Memphis this year. They include memories from Joe Guercio, Larry Geller, Robert Sillerman, Joe Guercio, Actors Susan Henning, Celeste Yarnell, Francine York and Dr Nick.

    Click here for full stories and Vigil photos.

  • ‘Cirque du Soleil’ Elvis show update: Cirque du Soleil, the international performance/circus troupe that has become known for its spectacular-sized productions such as "O" and "Mystère," is designing a new show around the music of Elvis Presley for next year. And renowned Utah choreographer Bonnie Story has been tapped to develop the show's dancing. Consequently, Salt Lake City is one of four cities that will hold auditions for the show, which plans to hire at least two dozen dancers. They are looking for "advanced, very versatile, athletic" dancers for the production, which will offer performers a two-year contract. No start date was mentioned.
  • Elvis vs Spankox Remix CD Review: In Europe it has attracted widespread interest and acclaim. The first single from the album has been a major hit in several countries. So just how good is Elvis vs Spankox Re:versions, the first official Elvis remix album? EIN recently put on the headphones and sampled the album's heady mix of original Elvis sound and electronic beats. Click here to read Nigel's full review
  • Strictly Elvis' Rocky Barra talks to EIN: The name Rocky Barra is one synonymous with the Elvis world in the 1970s. As the publisher of the monthly magazine, Strictly Elvis, Rocky became an iconic figure in the history of Elvis publishing. Barra recently talked to EIN about the heady days of Strictly Elvis. Click here


  • Potentially the biggest news of the year: Elvis' possible half-sibling, Eliza Presley!: This is not fantasy and may prove to be true as Eliza A. Presley a 46-year-old woman who claims to be the half-sister of Elvis is asking a court to reopen the estate of the rock-and-roll legend's father, Vernon Presley, and to be admitted as an heir.
    According to the petition filed in Shelby County Probate Court, Eliza Alice Presley said her mother gave her up for adoption at birth and that after a lifetime search she learned this summer through DNA testing that Vernon Presley was her father. The divorced mother of four then changed her name from Alice Elizabeth Tiffin.
    "I am 99.99 percent sure that Eliza Presley and Elvis Aaron Presley are half siblings and that she is not related to Elvis Presley's mother's relatives and that can only mean that they share a father," said Donald Yates, head of DNA Consulting in Scottsdale, Ariz., who said he has worked on the case for five years.
    He said that included DNA from Elvis, but he would not elaborate on where or how that was obtained.
    Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas said Wednesday a hearing on the Texas woman's petition is set for next month.
    "I've never had one where someone comes in after the estate's been closed almost 25 years," he said. "Most of the people involved are dead."
    Despite the petition seeking to reopen Vernon Presley's estate and be admitted as an heir, Eliza Presley's motive is not money, Yates said.
    "Her main goal is to be recognized as Vernon Presley's daughter and Elvis Presley's half sister," he said. "She's spent her entire lifetime searching for her true identity." (see EIN for more details on this breaking story)
  • 'Back With A Bang! Bootleg CD Review; This Midnight concert from Friday March 22nd has always been a fan favourite and is one of Elvis’ best Vegas concerts from 1975. 1975 was the last time that Elvis made any major changes to his repertoire and the new additions created a fascinating concert, as well as keeping it fresh for Elvis and the band. Despite the fact that ill health had caused Elvis' regular January Vegas season to be postponed for two months, Elvis’ mood and health had improved, perhaps due to the new presence of girlfriend Sheila Ryan - Elvis was indeed "Back With A Bang!" Go here for detailed review.
  • '30CD Collection: The Complete Works': As has been known for a while, BMG and Ernst Jorgensen are working on a 30 CD Box Set that will contain all official masters as released during Elvis' life time. The recent news is that it will also include another 3 or 4 hours of the most interesting alternate takes, demos, live recordings, home recordings. The set will be USA made and a limited edition to less than 10,000 units.
    Ernst Jorgensen: "This is a one shot deal. It's coming, it's here, it's gone as Colonel Parker would say. It will be 30 CDs in a very prestigious packaging with a fantastic book with it. USA made, limited edition less than 10,000. It's killed me for 15 months now. The work load has been absurd but I could not deny it. I could not deny being a part of that. To me, it is the most astonishing wonderful idea. Here's a whole definition at this time is that it is all official masters as released during Elvis' life time with another 3 or 4 hours (and we have to define that) of the most interesting alternate takes, demos, live recordings, home recordings. There will however not be 1 unreleased element on ths set". The cost may be $1000!
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  • "Nevada Nights" FTD tracklist & album details: To be released in October the new "Nevada Nights" double CD from FTD will be presented in a double-digipack similar to the earlier 'New Years Eve' FTD. Featuring 44 tracks, it included Elvis stunning Opening Show from August 19th 1974 as well as the Midnight Show from August 21. Click here for full details:



    "Elvis Country" FTD tracklist & album details: To be released in October the new "Elvis Country" Classic Album from FTD is the upgrade of Elvis' original January, 1971 LP that went to # 12 in the US charts. It comes in a 7" deluxe package and features 40 tracks, including 11 new "takes" and some undubbed masters takes. Click here for full details:


  • 'Inside Blue Hawaii' boxset: The latest boxset from Elvis Unlimited will be the fifth movie (after Double Trouble, GI Blues, Love Me Tender and Roustabout) that gets an exclusive and detailed look behind the scenes, combining a book, DVD and vinyl single – all packed in a deluxe collector’s box. Due for release in this quarter.
  • 'Elvis: Return To Tupelo' DVD review: Narrated by Kris Kristofferson and easily the best Elvis documentary of 2008, Elvis: Return To Tupelo offers the viewer riveting insights to the early Presley family life. Directed by Michael Rose it is one of the best documentaries ever released about Elvis. Anchored by excellent research, its fascinating mix of archival material and first hand accounts of the young Elvis enrich our understanding of the influences which were integral in shaping the musical style and image of the future King of Rock 'n' Roll. Highly recommended. Go here for EIN's detailed review of what is a stunning release!!

  • Christmas Madness: Three Elvis christmas albums all out in the next 3 weeks. 'Christmas With Elvis' with 12 tracks from Pegasus Entertainment due out 11 Oct 2008. 'Christmas With Elvis Presley' with 18 tracks (including Love Me Tender) from the Xtra label due out 6 Oct. 'Elvis' Christmas Album' from Hallmark with the regular 12 tracks due out 15 September.

'The story behind the Meditation Garden': Marty Lacker supplied EIN with some more fascinating facts...

"As many fans know Bernard Grenadier was my brother in law and he and my sister, Anne, designed and built the Meditation Garden when Elvis requested he build something beautiful and peaceful for him to go to, to just think and meditate when he needed to.
That area had originally been a broken down birdbath and the columns that were there were all rotted and peeling. The grass was weed ridden.

My Brother in law got the stain glass from Spain, the curved wall that held them was made of bricks made in Mexico and the small statues that were in the Garden came from Italy. He turned that small bird bath into that huge fountain that featured fourteen different sprays as well as the colored lights and the torch pots placed around the fountain.

The first night Elvis saw it when we had just returned from Hollywood he wanted to see it by himself, when he came back into the house he had tears in his eyes. He hugged my brother in law and sister and told them he had never seen anything as beautiful.
The first night Elvis saw it when we had just returned from Hollywood he wanted to see it by himself, when he came back into the house he had tears in his eyes. He hugged my brother in law and sister and told them he had never seen anything as beautiful.
The following Christmas I had a custom statue made of Jesus to give to Elvis from the MM which also had great meaning to him in his religious beliefs.
After that Elvis asked my brother in law and sister to completely redo his bedroom upstairs.
Thought your readers would like to know the whole inside story.
- Marty.

You Tube interview:

Lamar Fike on his upcoming memoir & movie

Lamar's video interview where he talks about his new book and also about his closeness to Elvis' Mother and how his new book will detail more about the crazy world of knowing Elvis in the fifties.

Added to YouTube!

  • The 1972 New York Experience DVD: Due for release as a real DVD on the Phoenix XP Productions import label is the DVD "The 1972 New York Experience": Running 180 minutes the DVD features footage from all four Elvis concerts at Madison Square Garden.
    - The complete Saturday afternoon show for the first time on DVD
    - The complete press conference in single or multiple screen
    - And so much more...
    EIN notes that of course the concert is the home-video footage that most serious Elvis fans have seen before but Phoenix Productions promise a total upgrade and improvement to what we already have. Please check the trailers for yourself www.phoenix-xp.co.nr
  • Two fabulous Madison Square Garden Concerts released on CD: The Madison import label have released, "A Greensboro Revolution!" from Greensboro, NC on April 14, 1972, as well as "Red Hot In Richmond" recorded in Richmond, Virginia by the MGM documentary cameras on April 10, 1972. Both concerts are released for the first time in top notch sound and in superb stereo! For the very first time, we hear the show mixed down from MGM multi-track tapes into superb stereo. Disappointingly only small parts of both of these concerts made the final cut of MGM's 'Elvis On Tour'. Elvis was in great humour for both shows and tracks like 'Proud Mary', 'It's Over', 'For The Good Times' and 'An American Trilogy' were first rate. Sensational releases - Both worth tracking down. (see below for disappointing news regarding the official release of the On Tour DVD upgrade)

  • Celeste Yarnall recalls on-screen kiss with Elvis: Before Yarnall had ever met Elvis, a producer on the set told her that Elvis was dying to meet her. Remembering that experience she told us, "I turned around and there was Elvis. I thought I was going to have a heart attack."
    She told us she’ll never forget his sapphire blue eyes and how nice he treated her and others. Yarnall has many pictures of Elvis and her together. She says the connection they had was something special.
    "The chemistry between us was…if we both hadn't of been married, I tell you the chemistry was unbelievable," said Yarnall.
    She says they kissed many times for the movie and that those kisses were the best she’s ever received. "You had to see this man in person. The skin, the nose, the profile, the eyes, he was just beautiful," said Yarnall. She says Elvis' good looks and charm weren't the only qualities he had.
    "He was very down to earth. The fabulous thing about Elvis was that he was more interested in you than trying to be interesting himself," said Yarnall. Read EIN's interview with Celeste Yarnall


  • Warners Brothers still NOT considering 'Elvis On Tour' DVD release: UK Warner Brothers Customer relations manager Jacqueline Allan recently stated "We have no plans to release anything further at present" to super-fan Brian Quinn.
    There were rumours that EPE's Todd Morgan was involved in the possible 'On Tour' DVD release but sadly he passed away earlier this year. However with DVD sales on the increase, yet CD sales fast-declining, there should be hope that Warners Brothers would be considering a release of this long-anticipated DVD.
    As far back as 2002 Ernst Jorgensen stated the following. .
    - "‘On Tour’ is a little bit complicated. Obviously everybody, including Roger and I, thought that this 2002 would be the year. Especially when Turner recreated TTWII it was with hope of critical acclaim and financial rewards for Turner and although I think TTWII has done fairly well it was never a big commercial success. And talking about an investment and recreating TTWII for 1.3 or 1.4 Million dollars financing ‘On Tour’ on the back of something that didn’t sell well … and to a lot of commercial peoples thinking it’s somewhat better than ‘On Tour’ – it’s a younger Elvis, a leaner Elvis in TTWII. They are very nervous about putting out ‘On Tour’ and spending the same kind of money.
    So they are trying to find a way to make ‘Elvis On Tour’ available in digital format but it’s not going to be a restoration for scratch like TTWII.
    The reason why we haven’t put out anything on either FTD or RCA at this time is that we would ideally like to do it with them. So we are giving them a little more time but eventually if they don’t come around, we will release the material that we have which is pretty substantial."

    Six years later FTD/BMG are still holding back on their 'On Tour' CD box-set and waiting for the DVD release. It's enough to make an Elvis fan cranky!

Here are two books that EIN can thoroughly recommend but both in vastly different price brackets.

1- Looking like the best Elvis book of 2008 - JAT Productions '68 at 40; Retrospective' full-colour hard-backed book selling for around $100.

2 - The best Elvis book of 2007 - Alan Hanson's 'Elvis '57: The Final Fifties Tours', a fascinating text-based book selling for around $20.

'68 At 40 Retrospective' book review: Joe Tunzi has teamed up with Elvis' 1968 TV Comeback producer Steve Binder to create a quality hard-backed book of 120 colour pages. The book, which features 8 chapters that examine all the different aspects of bringing this life-changing programme to air, is very stylish and beautifully laid-out. There is a real excitement in being able to study every stunning classic Elvis moment in detail and best of all are Steve Binder's recollections giving us yet more insights on this special event and all the tricky production decisions that he had to make a stand for. JAT Productions best book so far. Click here for our detailed review and images.


'Elvis '57: The Final Fifties Tours' Book Review: In 1957 Elvis performed in eighteen cities, including a short tour of Canada. 'Elvis ’57: the Final Fifties Tours' by Alan Hanson is a detailed look at these tours which started in Chicago and ended with the headline grabbing sensation of the LA Pan Pacific concerts and the final Hawaii trip in November. These would be Elvis' last live appearances before he left for his army stint and would help cement his place in Pop culture forever. This book is a sensational investigation into the phenomenon of Elvis in the fifties presented from a brand new perspective. The reviews from the time are exhilarating . . 
"He clutches the mike and begins to sing, twitching all over. . . Up and down the stage he goes, dragging the mike like a captive, undulating, shouting feverishly.... Then his face sets, his lips curl back and seizing the mike by the scruff of the neck he prowls like a panther up and down the platform, snarling and driving his worshippers crazy."
EIN suggests that all discerning Elvis fans should invest in this thrill-ride.

Go here for full review and photos.

Click HERE for all the recent ELVIS September News you may have missed.

Contact EIN 

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