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

The latest on www.elvisinfonet.com:

Tuesday 31 December 2008.......... Should old acquaintance be forgot .......
EIN would like to wish all its Fan Club members and readers a very festive New Year
and we hope that your 2009 will be packed with fun, happiness and Elvis
!

Graceland features in the Southern Bride Magazine: Wedding bells are ringing at Graceland as the King’s castle makes a stunning appearance in a high end wedding magazine. Featured in the January 2009 issue of Southern Bride Magazine is a 10 page wedding fashion spread to show off the elegance of Graceland and The Chapel in the Woods while accompanying stunning bridal and tuxedo fashion. Titled "King & Queen," the piece is styled toward becoming "royalty" at Graceland, focusing on the offerings of Graceland and Chapel in the Woods as a special events and wedding host site. Go here for more info.

(News, Source;EPE)


Rick Husky, Elvis - and the TKE 'Man Of The Year' award: In mid 1960 Rick Husky from the TKE fraternity at Arkansas State College came up with the idea of presenting Elvis with a 'Man of the Year' Award for his considerable contributions to charity. Elvis had only recently returned from his stint of Army duty in Germany. Husky got the name of Elvis' secretary from a fan magazine and sent a letter to Graceland notifying him that TKE wished to present him with his award. But even he wasn't prepared for what followed when the world's biggest entertainer actually accepted their invitation to become an honorary TKE brother. Go here to the full story.

(Spotlight, Source;theTrumann Democrat)


Elvis' 2009 Birthday Celebration: On January 8th 2009 Elvis should be celebrating his 74th birthday.

The EPE Birthday Celebrations start in Memphis on January 6th.

Go here for the full calendar of events along with EPE ticket purchase information for each event.

 

(News, Source EPE)


Why not spend that leftover Christmas cash on an Elvis pool table! Two years ago, EPE agreed to an Elvis pool table - now here's a second Elvis pool table with different pictures. Target price is 6.995 $US. From the manufacturer's description: "In the 1950’s, Rock N’ Roll sensation Elvis Presley took the world's music scene by storm. With his dashing good looks and incomparable sound and style, Elvis captured the hearts of millions worldwide. Having sold over 1 billion records, more than any other artist, Elvis solidified his place in music history. Manufactured by Lordsvale LLC. It comes with a 5 Year limited warranty! With only one thousand beautifully crafted customer pool tables being made, purchase your own piece of Rock N’ Roll history with this Elvis Presley Platinum Limited Edition Pool Table Package. The Limited Edition Elvis Presley Platinum Pool Table Package is perfect for the Elvis Presley enthusiasts as well as billiard lovers. This is a limited edition package; only 1,000 of these will be distributed. (News, Source;ElvisMatters)
Tuesday 30 December 2008..........And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne .......
New 1976 "Las Vegas Opening Night 1976" CD announced: "Straight Arrow" is planning a special 2CD set for early 2009, with an unreleased Las Vegas December 2nd, 1976 Opening Night show. The "Straight Arrow" team has been looking for good sounding tape for years. Finally, they managed to obtain a 1st generation copy of an original "stereo" audience-recorded tape for this project. Opening Night '76 was a unique event - it was probably the second longest show of Elvis’ career and one of his very best 1976 concerts. Arriving from Anaheim, CA, with young love Ginger Alden by his side, he was ready to conquer Las Vegas once again. During the Opening night, he sang an ultra-rare "I Just Can't Help Believin'", and sang one of greatest-ever versions of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Elvis was in great mood, joking with fellow performer Glen Campbell thru the show. It was also the last time that Elvis performed two full versions of his 1976 "trademark" song "Hurt".
TrackList: Also Sprach Zarathustra - C. C. Rider - I Got A Woman / Amen - Love Me - If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - You Gave Me A Mountain - Jailhouse Rock - It's Now Or Never / Are You Sincere
(excerpt) - All Shook Up - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - Dialogue - Don't Be Cruel (excerpt) - And I Love You So - I Just Can't Help Believin' (last version) - Fever - Softly As I Leave You - Polk Salad Annie - Band Introductions - Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Drum Solo (Ronnie Tutt) - Bass Solo (Blues - Jerry Scheff) - Piano Solo (Tony Brown) - Electric Piano Solo (David Briggs) - Love Letters - School Day - Celebrity Introductions (Vikki Carr, Glen Campbell) - Hurt #1 - Hurt #2 - Hound Dog (with false start) - Hawaiian Wedding Song (with false start) - Dialogue - Blue Christmas - That's All Right, Mama - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Introduction of Vernon Presley - Can't Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp.
Approximate running time: 104 minutes. Photo above is from the excellent website 'ElvisConcerts' it is not the cover design. (News, Source;SArrow)

New Vinyl Album release of Elvis' first LP: New from Sony/BMG/Legacy USA is a new vinyl pressing of Elvis' first album 'Elvis Presley.' This reissue has been re-mastered by Allan Tucker, TuckerSound, New York. Thanks to super-collector Barry McLean.

(News, Source; Barry Mclean)


Elvis Australian Chart update: The Elvis 'Christmas Duets' CD is at #20 in the Australian ARIA charts for Christmas week. This is its fifth week in the album charts. This is Elvis' highest album chart position since Elvis The King made it to #4 in August 2007. On the Country Chart, the album remains #1 - its eighth week on the chart. This is Elvis' 28th top 20 hit album since January 1965. The compilation CD, Elvis Country peaked at #66 in November 2006 after a 38 week stay on the chart.
On the DVD chart, Elvis: The King Of Rock 'N' Roll is also in the top 20 this week. The DVD jumped 19 places from #38 last week to sit at #19 in it's 26th week on the chart. It peaked at #4.
(News, Source;ElvisAustralia)
Sunday 28 December 2008.......... So, What are you doing on New Year's Eve?........
"I'll Be Home On Christmas Day" voted second best Christmas song in Sweden: Elvis' 1971 track 'I'll Be Home On Christmas Day' was voted second best Christmas song ever - which thrilled songwriter Michael Jarrett. It was a delight to see that Sweden's biggest daily newspaper "Aftonbladet" chose Elvis' "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day" as the second best Christmas song ever. The article was written by journalist Markus Larsson, and was published in the December 23rd edition of "Aftonbladet". Larson wrote a.o. that "the choice is "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day," partly because this ballad does not get the attention it deserves, but also because it's so much more than just a Christmas song. Elvis takes the train between country, gospel and soul and crafts a song that could have been placed on his finest album ever, From Elvis In Memphis."
Songwriter Michael Jarrett, who also wrote the haunting "I'm Leavin'" for Presley, was thrilled to hear the news this morning. "I was reminded today that sometimes one can reach a milestone even at my age", Jarrett comments. "It was very exciting for me to hear that one of the biggest newspapers in Sweden ranked Elvis' "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day" the second best Christmas song ever! This is truly an honor for me as a songwriter. There are many wonderful Christmas songs that we all enjoy each year, and having my song chosen to be second best is quite a thrill". Michael Jarrett will be touring Europe in May 2009 as part of "The Original Elvis Tribute 2009", which also features a.o. Duke Bardwell and Ted Roddy. For more info, Click here to www.elvisnews.dk (News, Source;EIN/AD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


New CD 'Countdown To Christmas' out now!: The "Straight Arrow" label’s 11th release, entitled 'Countdown To Christmas' (SA 2008-11-02), is out now featuring an unreleased Las Vegas December 2nd, 1976 Opening Night show. The "Straight Arrow" team has been looking for good sounding tape for years. Finally, they managed to obtain a 1st generation copy of an original "stereo" audience-recorded tape for this project. Opening Night '76 was a unique event - it was probably the second longest show of Elvis’ career and one of his very best 1976 concerts. Arriving from Anaheim, CA, with young love Ginger Alden by his side, he was ready to conquer Las Vegas once again. During the Opening night, he sang an ultra-rare "I Just Can't Help Believin'", and sang one of greatest-ever versions of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Elvis was in great mood, joking with fellow performer Glen Campbell thru the show. It was also the last time that Elvis performed two full versions of his 1976 "trademark" song "Hurt".
Tracklisting: Also Sprach Zarathustra - C. C. Rider - I Got A Woman / Amen - Love Me - If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - You Gave Me A Mountain - Jailhouse Rock - It's Now Or Never / Are You Sincere (excerpt) - All Shook Up

- (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - Dialogue - Don't Be Cruel (excerpt) - And I Love You So - I Just Can't Help Believin' (last version) - Fever - Softly As I Leave You - Polk Salad Annie - Band Introductions - Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Drum Solo (Ronnie Tutt) - Bass Solo (Blues - Jerry Scheff) - Piano Solo (Tony Brown) - Electric Piano Solo (David Briggs) - Love Letters - School Day - Celebrity Introductions (Vikki Carr, Glen Campbell) - Hurt #1 - Hurt #2 - Hound Dog (with false start) - Hawaiian Wedding Song (with false start) - Dialogue - Blue Christmas - That's All Right, Mama - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Introduction of Vernon Presley - Can't Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp.

Approximate running time: 104 minutes.

 

"Being the time of year it is" EIN presents a sneak preview inside the excellent booklet.

(News, Source:EIN)


US Christmas Charts Updates: The following are the entries for the week ending january 3rd. 2009:
Top 200 Albums - 'Elvis Christmas Duets' - down from #17 to #24 (but increase in sales)
Comprehensive Albums - 'Elvis Christmas Duets' - down from #18 to #25
Top Country Albums - 'Elvis Christmas Duets' - remains at #3
Top Country Catalog Albums - 'Elvis Christmas' down from #2 to #3
Top Country Catalog Albums - 'ELV1S 30 No.1 Hits' - up from #9 to #8
Top Holiday Albums - 'Elvis Christmas Duets - remains at #4.
(News, Source:ElvisNews/Billboard)

C-K-X Inc (EPE) calls off going private: EPE parent company calls off its attempt to go private. C-K-X Inc. owns 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises. Memphis Daily News reports the company blames "global economic difficulties and a related credit freeze" for not pursuing a merger that had been planned for earlier this year. The merger included an estimated multi-million dollar transformation of Graceland and the surrounding area on Elvis Presley Boulevard between Brooks and Raines Roads. (News, Source;Enews)

Elvis Visa card discontinued: When Bank of America bought MBNA, which offered Elvis Visa cards, Bank of America and Elvis Presley Enterprise discontinued the credit card program (Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation) effective December 31st, 2008 and no more Elvis Visa cards will be issued. However, it is possible to use Elvis Visa cards until the expiration date on the card, but purchases made with the card will no longer generate a contribution. (News, Source;ElvisNews)

Friday 26 December 2008.......... After another #1 hit, Santa's back home in bed, tucked up tight........

The Elvis Bar: With the snow falling around, at least in parts of the Northern hemisphere, EIN thought it opportune to remind fans of this interesting place to visit.

Where: Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Scotland

Now an Elvis-themed bar is probably more along the right lines. After all, The King was popular across the world. But this one is odd purely because of its location.

Memphis or Las Vegas would make sense, but the departure lounge of a minor Scottish airport?

But no, there it is, decked out in King paraphernalia and driving the poor bar staff crazy by playing a non-stop Best Of. Bemused passengers sit there, waiting for their flight and wondering what the hell is going on. That is unless they take the time to read the small notice which explains that Prestwick Airport was the only place in the UK that Presley set foot in. Nothing tenuous about that, huh? (News, Source: AP)


What killed Elvis?: Lab technicians were playing Elvis music in the background. From somewhere outside the lab, people could be heard crying.

"People were just sobbing. It was a sad, sad moment," says Dr. Noel Florendo, a pathology intern assigned to help perform the autopsy of the 42-year-old man on the table at Baptist
Memorial Hospital.

Florendo says he and another intern followed instructions from his former professor, Dr. Jerry Francisco, as they began the postmortem on the biggest legend in music history. Elvis Presley, the world's first rock star, had outraged much of America at first, and controversy was about to follow him to the grave.

In 1961, Francisco had become Shelby County's first medical examiner. He was the last word in Memphis on how people died. A pathology professor at the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences, he had helped train pathologists at almost every hospital in the region. Francisco had "seen more dead people" than anyone else in the room, says Florendo.

Yet, what happened Aug.16, 1977, would become one of the most highly publicized cliffhangers since the deaths of the Romanovs in Russia, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa or conspiracy theories about a Marilyn Monroe murder.


Even now, Elvis' death could be classified as a medical "mystery," says Maurice Elliott, former vice president of Baptist Hospital and former chief executive officer of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. Francisco would attribute the death to "cardiac arrhythmia due to undetermined causes," or, in layman's terms, a heart attack. The rest of the pathology team suspected "polypharmacy." Elvis had a history of drug abuse, and most of those in the room did not see enough evidence of heart disease to justify calling the death a heart attack.

For Francisco, it was his second 15 minutes of fame. From his home in East Memphis, the 75-year-old retired pathologist says he had worked in relative anonymity for years until the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Francisco, who signed the death certificate, had no trouble convincing the world of the cause of that death. A rifle shell penetrated King's face just to the right of his mouth.

"The bullet never left his body," says Francisco.

Nine years later, it was Elvis on the table. Francisco was "absolutely shocked" at the world's reaction. A fan of "all sorts" of music, including classical and opera, he was not a fan of Elvis and knew no Elvis song to pick a favorite. Francisco had grown up in the small West Tennessee town of Huntingdon, the son of a cotton ginner and a mother who spent most of her life as a housewife before being appointed city recorder. Francisco loved organic chemistry and the life of an academician. He was now being offered $10,000 by a tabloid TV show for photographs from the Elvis autopsy.

When the autopsy was done, it was inconclusive.

"There was no way they could have ruled it was polypharmacy on the day of the autopsy because the (toxicology) results weren't back," says Florendo.

Other members of the autopsy team and others present in the room, including Maurice Elliott, say there was also no way the death could be dismissed simply as cardiac arrhythmia. Nevertheless, Francisco held a news conference after the autopsy announcing that Elvis had died of "cardiac arrhythmia due to undetermined causes."

In 1991, Dr. Eric Muirhead, retired pathology chief of Baptist Memorial Hospital, took the first official shot at Francisco. Muirhead, who had remained quiet for 14 years, says he had been "muzzled" into silence by hospital attorneys and later had not wanted to be engulfed in global publicity. Muirhead, who has since died, says Elvis "was a drug addict. We knew he was a drug addict because he had been at Baptist to be treated for that."

He says Francisco pre-empted every other member of the autopsy team, announcing the heart-failure theory to the world. "We were appalled that he made that announcement. There were eight other doctors there who disagreed with him."

Dr. Thomas Chesney, now pathology director of Baptist Hospital and of Pathology Group of the Mid-South, was present at the autopsy and says Francisco's conclusion "was unprovable one way or another. You can never go wrong with that diagnosis. One hundred percent of people have something that goes into an abnormal rhythm before they die. It's what leads up to the state that is the question. I don't think that to say someone died of arrhythmia is a very satisfactory answer."

After the initial autopsy, tissue samples were sent to laboratories around the country. Independently, they confirmed high levels of more than 10 drugs, some at near-lethal doses, in Elvis' body. Even then, Francisco stuck by his heart-failure ruling. Chesney says the drugs, mostly sedatives, were at sublethal levels.

"The question was, if you have a certain level of a variety of different things on board is that going to have a cumulative effect? If each level is sublethal, will that combination of sublethal drugs become lethal?"

Muirhead and Elliott say Elvis' heart blockage was no more than 40 percent in one vessel.

"He didn't have enough to have a bypass," Muirhead says.

Florendo, now pathologist at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, once was interviewed on the television show "20/20." He says he supported Muirhead's conclusion at the time.

"I was at Baptist, and he was my mentor," says Florendo, who says the competing theories devolved through the years into "a Muirhead camp and a Francisco camp." His own loyalties are divided, he says. "(Francisco) was the medical examiner after all. That was his prerogative."

In the 1991 book, "The Death of Elvis: What Really Happened," authors James P. Cole and Charles C. Thompson II exhaustively researched toxicology results and interviewed doctors, including Muirhead, off the record. Cole, a former reporter for The Commercial Appeal, says, "Fundamentally, I just think Dr. Francisco was very mistaken about this. There was no cardiac pathology in the autopsy, and the records show that Elvis clearly died of an accidental drug overdose."

Francisco is just as adamant, his voice growing tense and urgent when Muirhead's argument comes up.

"He and I disagree violently," says Francisco. He says Muirhead and Elliott's description of Elvis' heart blockage as moderate is wrong. "There were no clots, but there was plaque with up to 50 percent narrowing in two major coronary vessels."

None of the drugs in Elvis' system nor any combination of them could have interrupted the electrical activity to Elvis' heart, he says.

"Because there were drugs, there was a population of people who wanted it be a drug death. I spoke the truth as I saw it," Francisco says.

As he was from his appointment in 1961 until he retired as medical examiner in 1999, Francisco remains the last word on Elvis' death:

"I was comfortable when I said it, and I'm comfortable with it now."
(News, Source: Michael Lollar, Commercial Appeal, Oct 2008)


The Annual Parkes Elvis Festival -

backstage politics and lost opportunity?:

Your feedback added today

Please click here to see our previous Spotlight on the Parkes Elvis Festival 
 
 

 


Elvis books released in Australia: Two hardcover titles recently seen in Aussie bookstores (Dymocks) are:

  • The Elvis Encyclopedia (Adam Victor) A$89.95
  • Elvis Still Taking Care of Elvis (Sonny West with Marshall Terrill) A$34.95

Read EIN's review of The Elvis Encyclopedia

Thursday 25 December 2008.............. Welllllll.... it's Christmas time pretty baby ...........

to all EIN readers and their families


Part 2 of our Rex Martin Interview: Today we add the 2nd part of our fascinating interview with the man behind the legendary publication, the Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly, Rex Martin.

In Part 2, Rex continues his vivid account of the Elvis world in the 1970s and talks about, among other things:

  • how technology changed the Weekly
  • the start of his Elvis Film Events
  • his trips to the US to see Elvis in concert
  • mass Elvis billboards arranged by the Colonel
  • early encounters with the King
  • filming the King - security and technology
  • "lost" Aussie friends
  • meeting Tom Diskin

We also add a further page (Rex Martin Info Page) about Rex which includes a:

  • brief history of the Rex Martin story, including his amazing collection of Elvis "live" films
  • review of his Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly
  • Rex's Quest List - the people he would like to re-establish contact with - can anyone help?

Part 1 of our Rex Martin Interview

   

Elvis CHRISTMAS YouTube Special!

'EIN's Best of Elvis on YouTube' Christmas Update:  EIN presents a fabulous selection of Elvis Christmas clips with lots of new videos courtesy the new Duets release. There’s a stunning ‘If I Get Home On Christmas Day', the fun of LeAnn Rimes on 'Here Comes Santa Claus', plus the official 68 Special video of Elvis & Martina McBride singing 'Blue Christmas'. We also feature a delightful 'On A Snowy Christmas Night’, ‘Blue Christmas’ (Live 1974), 'Santa Claus Is Back In Town' plus more Christmas goodies. Don't miss out on our other Xmas bonuses such as the very moving video 'Elvis Presley: A Miracle' and then celebrate the joy of Elvis with 'Burning Love' (On Tour rehearsal), ‘Yesterday’ (TTWII) - and for fascinating holiday viewing the documentary "Looking For Colonel Parker". Updated with more than 200 clips - enjoy your Christmas with some great Elvis viewing.('EIN's Elvis on YouTube', Source: EIN/YouTube)


'Elvis That's The Way It Is The Complete Works' boxset release date now January: Due to Santa's extra busy schedule, unfortunately the producers of TTWII say the new box-set will now have to go to the dealers in January 2009. Given the many elements to the set the assembling is a demanding process for Santa's Elves.  (News, Source: The Phantom)

View full details of this set

Wednesday 24 December 2008.........Tonight Santa Claus is coming to town!.................
Elvis - the Top-Selling USA Christmas Album of All-Time: This is the 32nd holiday season since Elvis went to trim that big Christmas tree in the sky, but he still has the most popular holiday album of all time. Elvis' Christmas Album, originally released in 1957, has sold more than 12 million copies.
Presley's album logged three weeks at #1 in December 1957, before surrendering the top spot to Bing Crosby's holiday perennial Merry Christmas. But Elvis returned to #1 the following week, in what seemed very much like a passing of the torch-or in this case, a Christmas candle. The Bing-to-Elvis hand-off represented a move from old to young, from Tin Pan Alley to rock'n'roll, from "White Christmas" to "Blue Christmas."
Christmas albums have been an integral part of the holidays for more than 60 years but there is no authoritative list of the most popular Christmas albums of all time. This list is based on a combination of Nielsen/SoundScan sales figures and RIAA.

Three of the top 20 holiday albums were released before 1960. Bing Crosby's 'Merry Christmas', the forerunner before renaming to 'White Christmas', was issued in 1945.
These are the USA most popular Christmas albums of all time.
1. Elvis Presley, Elvis' Christmas Album, 12 Million. The original edition of this album, which spawned Presley's holiday perennial "Blue Christmas," topped the chart for four weeks and has sold 3,000,000 copies, according to the RIAA. In 1970, RCA released a revised "budget" edition, which dropped four gospel songs from the original and added two songs, including Presley's 1966 holiday hit, "If Every Day Was Like Christmas." It has sold 9,000,000 copies, per the RIAA. This grand total combines the two tallies.
2. Kenny G, Miracles--The Holiday Album, 7 Mill. (#1 in both 1994 and 1996)
3. Mannheim Steamroller, A Fresh Aire Christmas, 6 Mill, 1988.
4. Mannheim Steamroller, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, 6 Mill, 1984.
5. Celine Dion, These Are Special Times, 5 Mill, 1988.
6. Barbra Streisand, A Christmas Album, 5 Mill, 1967.
7. Johnny Mathis, Merry Christmas, 5 Mill, 1958.
8. Mariah Carey, Merry Christmas, 4.9 Mill, 1994.
9. Josh Groban, Noel, 4 Mill, 2007.
10. Various Artists, A Very Special Christmas, 4 Mill, 1987.
11. Bing Crosby, White Christmas, 4 Mill, 1945 > 1957.
Also featuring at
17. Elvis Presley, Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas, 3 Mill, 1971.
(News,Source:EIN/GreinChartWatch)

 

 

 

 


The Annual Parkes Elvis Festival - backstage politics and lost opportunity?: On 8 December we published a news item about alleged skullduggery behind the scenes and missed opportunity by Elvis Revival Inc., the committee oversighting the Parkes Elvis Festival in Australia.

Today we publish our detailed report on the issues, as well as formal responses by Elvis Revival Inc. and leading Australian ETA, Mark Andrew, and your initial feedback to our original news item.

You be the judge!


"The Spirit" film re-ignites fading Elvis underground: The infamous "Elvis Underground" has been a shadow of its former self for several years now.

Consequently, "true believers" are always on the look-out for news/information which they can use to re-ignite interest in their theories.

One such item is the upcoming theatrical release, The Spirit. EIN has received a number of suggestions that the film's themes mirror what "actually" happened to Elvis in 1977.

Starring Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, and Eva Mendes, The Spirit's main theme revolves around a figure who fakes his death and re-emerges as a police-super hero (therein lies the Elvis connections).......and proponents of the Elvis theory conveniently ignore logic as well as the film's origin:

The Spirit is an upcoming 2008 (release date Xmas Day) American police-superhero film adaptation based on the newspaper comic book supplement of the same name created by Will Eisner.

Frank Miller (writer/director) says: The character has a terrifying side to him. This is a man who's died and come back to life. So it twists into fantasy. And of course there are tons of women in it. There have to be — it's the Spirit. They’re all in love with him, and he’s in love with all of them (another Elvis theme). (Conspiracy, Source: Elvis Underground)


Elvis Finland Christmas 'Joulutunnelmissa' CD release: Titled 'Joulutunnelmissa' this CD was released in Finland for the Holiday Season. 'Joulutunnelmissa' translates as 'The Spirit of Christmas'. It features the regular material from 1957.

(News, Source:Barry McLean)


The Hayride's Frank Page, now Quiet in Retirement: He still has the smooth, low, rumbling voice that helped the careers of talents from Bob Dylan to Elvis Presley. In was at Elvis' debut on the Louisiana Hayride, October 16 1954 that Frank Page introduced Elvis . .
"Just a few weeks ago a young man from Memphis, Tennessee, recorded a song on the Sun label and, in just a matter of weeks, that record has sky-rocketed right up the charts. It's really doing well all over the country. He is only nineteen years old. He has a new, distinctive style. Elvis Presley. Let's give him a nice hand."
But these days, Frank Page is content to bask in a historic past. The dean of Shreveport broadcasters, who retired in 2005 after 65 years behind microphones,now takes care of his wife of almost 65 years, Helen, whom he married during a three-day pass in the Army in World War II.
Page started in radio in 1940 in Little Rock, Ark., and a decade later was broadcasting from Shreveport as Brother Gatemouth, bringing blues to the youths of the world through the 50,000 watts of KWKH Radio. One of those listening was a young Robert Zimmerman, of Hibbings, Minn., who grew up to be Bob Dylan.
Frank Page is still best-known for introducing Elvis Presley for the first time.
"Unbeknownst to me, it was what some since have called 'a seminal moment in the history of the world,'" Page said. "Hairstyles changed. The clothes people wore changed. Music and, some say, the morals of people changed. All because one swivel-hipped dude from Tupelo was allowed on stage and to perform after being turned down by the Grand Ole Opry. He was a shy, well-mannered young man and just impressed the hell out of everybody." (Hayride photo above, with Frank Page far right)
A year ago, Frank and Helen Page, with the help of Natchitoches author Max Short, published a memoir of their lives. And Page is assisting local music historian and producer Joey Kent, son of the late broadcaster and Louisiana Hayride executive David Kent, in a long-term effort to pen a history of the radio show.
The elder Kent acquired the Hayride in the early 1970s, when The Times divested itself of KWKH and the radio station decided to sell the show. Page served as its announcer through much of that time. David Kent kept the show alive until a series of reversals in the 1990s led it into litigation and several changes of ownership.
Frank Page still fields requests for interviews, often about his radio career, often about his work with Elvis, but increasingly due to a reason Page, now 83, doesn't find surprising.
"Usually, it's because somebody has died." (News, Source;SanjaM/EIN)

Elvis Unlimited issue # 39 out now: Included in this issue is Part 2 with Ernst Jørgensen as well as an in depth article by David Parker titled Blood On The Tracks! This article revisits the NBC TV Special.

Also Elvis Unlimited takes a closer look at the Elvis Christmas Duets with exclusive interviews by various artists who worked on the duet album including Little Big Town, Wynonna Judd, and Gordon Stoker. Exclusive Photos from Elvis Unlimited subscriber and mega collector Brian Bitchatchi. A closer look inside the vaults of the Elvis Unlimited museum archives as well as the usual news and reviews. Also a special book review by FTD's Writing For The King author, Ken Sharp.

 

(News, Source;elvisunlimited.com)

Monday 22 December 2008.........Somewhere in the distant night I can hear those Christmas Bells ........

More Rare Elvis Photos added today:

Elvis fans don't miss out on these rare and exciting photographs - from EIN contributor Sanja Meegin. Click here to access our Facebook - The Elvis Information Network. You need to be a Facebook Member.

Should people stop messing with Elvis’ back catalogue? The Australian Herald Sun wants you to vote: The newspaper notes; Priscilla Presley has approved an album where Elvis digitally duets with some of today's country stars on some of his old Christmas crackers. Is nothing sacred?
Call it cashing in on the name or the more positive spin of keeping the King alive for a new generation. "Thirty years down the line I can explain to my kids or grandkids how I did a duet with Elvis," American Idol country star Carrie Underwood explains in the sleeve notes.
That explanation would be: "I went into a studio and sang in between stuff recorded by a man who died before I was born, then some technological boffins put it all together and whacked it out for Christmas."

Their beyond-the-grave duet I'll Be Home For Christmas actually works surprisingly well, considering it's the musical equivalent of trying to manufacture some chemistry with the star of Weekend at Bernie's.
Underwood trades verses with Elvis while some of the musicians playing in 2008 were around in the '50s when the King recorded the original . . . they wisely keep things very faithful.
Underwood also shows why she's effectively shut Jessica Simpson out of the country market: voice, looks, talent.
Olivia Newton-John has made it clear that when it comes to duets a pulse is optional.
She did this ghostly caper with the late Peter Allen on Tenterfield Saddler for a recent duets album.
Here Livvy struggles a little to find her place beside Elvis in O Come, All Ye Faithful. It's hard to forget there's 40-something years between both acts recording their parts.
LeAnn Rimes is in perky mode on Here Comes Santa Claus, a song Elvis never designed as a duet. But it sort of works.
Martina McBride moves into relaxed, bluesy mode for Blue Christmas, and Anne Murray finds the right groove for her duet on Silver Bells.
However Gretchen Wilson channels some Mariah-style vocal gymnastics for an eight-minute Merry Christmas Baby. That's not really fair considering E wasn't around to step up to the vocal plate.
Meanwhile, the tweaking continues on all-shook-up 2008 versions of The First Noel, If I Get Home on Christmas Day and Winter Wonderland. These songs are kept intact with just Elvis's voice . . . or maybe Priscilla couldn't rope in anyone else in time.
At least the rumored Guy Sebastian/Elvis collaboration for the local version of Christmas Duets was returned to sender.
Go here to the Herald Sun and vote: So far 70% say "Yes, the King must stand alone." (News, Source;EIN/SunHerald)

Christmastime stands still at Graceland: Although Elvis died 31 years ago, the king of rock ‘n’ roll is still rocking around the Christmas tree with a new holiday record. And Graceland, his royal digs in Memphis, is sporting spectacular holiday sparkle.
Guests making the pilgrimage to tour Graceland, Elvis’ 14-acre estate, during the holidays get a little added gift with each visit. The staff has hauled out the holly and decorated both the house and the front lawn with many of the same decorations used by the king himself.
Elvis Presley fans may have a blue, blue, blue Christmas without him, but his sparkling Memphis estate, Graceland, should put a smile on your face.
Graceland’s living room is decked out in white during the Christmas season. Much of the Memphis mansion is decorated as it was during the life of Elvis Presley, the king of rock ‘n’ roll. Presley, who grew up poor near Memphis and bought the mansion after gaining fame and riches, died in 1977.
So while Elvis fans chalk up another blue Christmas without him, his enduring magic combines with his love for the holidays and permeates this rock mecca.
For Elvis, Christmas was a special time of year, and the tradition continues. On the evening of Nov. 21, hordes of fans braved the stinging 25-degree chill to watch country superstar Martina McBride flip the celebratory switch and turn on Graceland’s Christmas light display. (Go here for Xmas videos)
McBride, one of a roster of hot country stars who sings Christmas songs along with Presley on the new CD of musical mashups, "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets," was also joined by actress Marlo Thomas and her brother, Tony. The Thomas siblings were on hand to announce a fund-raising campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization Presley supported.
As the lights came on, the Briarcrest Christian School marching band began pumping out some musical cheer as Santa, eyes blanketed in trademark Elvis-style shades, waved from the back of a vintage Cadillac that rolled down Graceland’s driveway.
Blue bulbs line Graceland’s curvy driveway and outline the house, a nod to Presley’s holiday hit "Blue Christmas." A giant Nativity scene holds court in the middle of the yard, complete with life-size figures of shepherds, animals, the Wise Men, a manger and a bold shining star above. Santa and his reindeer appear to take flight beneath a massive sign that stretches across an upper portion of the lawn that proclaims: "Merry Christmas to All — Elvis." A green wreath shrouded in ribbon hangs on the front door. And eight vintage lighted Christmas trees — in colors of orange, green, blue and red — are next to the front steps. They are the same trees Presley would use each year. More holiday glow awaits inside.
When guests walk through the front door, they enter a foyer bursting with more holiday decor. To the right, the living room’s plush white carpet looks as stark as fallen snow.
A white artificial tree with white lights and red and gold ball decorations stands near the sprawling white couch, a bundle of wrapped presents nestle underneath the tree. Matching red curtains with white trim that Presley would break out just for the holidays hang in the living room behind the couch.
The red curtain theme continues across the foyer and into the dining room, where a tree with multi-colored lights serves as the focal point. A child’s toy — a musical merry-go-round globe — that was given to Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie, when she was a child sits on the table next to a place setting. And a nearby flat-screen monitor shows film footage shot in that room during Christmas. Presley’s father, Vernon, is dressed as Santa Claus, and a toddler-age Lisa Marie is seen receiving said globe.
The famous jungle room, Presley’s Hawaiian and tiki-inspired den featuring lavish wooden furniture, lush green shag carpet and a trickling fountain, has its own tree with a rainbow palette of lights. Toys that were given to Lisa Marie, including a massive stuffed Winnie the Pooh, pile around the tree.
The holiday theme is sprinkled throughout the rest of the tour. In his father’s office, in an adjacent building behind the house, Christmas cards sent to Presley from the likes of singer Pat Boone and others are splayed across a small table.
The tour includes a jaunt through other buildings on the Graceland grounds. The trophy room houses many pieces from Presley’s signature wardrobe, including the radiant gold lamé suit from the ’50s, outfits from the acclaimed 1968 NBC-TV Christmas special and jumpsuits galore.
A hall of gold records displays not only Presley’s prolific output, but also his countless accomplishments as an artist.
Across from Graceland, visitors can check out Presley’s cars and his two airplanes, as well as the new Private Presley exhibit, which explores Presley’s service in the U.S. Army.
.. Tips
• Graceland’s lawn light display is visible from the street. For a closer look, schedule your mansion visit for later in the day. If your tour ends at or after dusk, you’ll be able to see the Nativity scene and Santa banner in full glow from the tour bus.
• You can pay your respects to the king at no charge. From 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Mondays in December, guests can walk up the Graceland driveway and visit the Meditation Garden for free. Although the mansion will be closed most Tuesdays in December, the Meditation Garden will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on those days.
• Check all the details via EPE at www.elvis.com
(News, Source/JWaterhouse/Journal-Constitution)

Sunday 21 December 2008.................The elves are packing the presents........

Marty's Musings: Today we add a page devoted to the many insightful contributions to EIN by Memphis Mafia member and co-best man at Elvis' wedding to Priscilla, Marty Lacker.

Marty has been great over the years in commenting on various claims and providing our readers with insight about what really happened around Elvis. Marty's contributions are something EIN appreciates greatly and we look forward to his ongoing comments for many years to come!

What we have added today represents Part 1 of "Marty's Musings" and covers all of his contributions to EIN in 2007 and 2008. We will add Marty's earlier contributions to EIN early in 2009.

Read Marty's Musings


Elvis' jet sells at auction: Elvis Presley's 1962 Lockheed Jetstar JT 12-5 was auctioned off today at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas.

They estimated this plane to go for up to one million US dollars. But after 12 bids, it closed at $700,000.00 US dollars. This is said to be the last jet that Elvis owned. "

Elvis Presley only owned 3 jets, the first two are in the Graceland Museum. This is the only one in private hands. Is as Elvis used it, this jet has not been modified. A rare opportunity to own a most desirable exhibition." says the auctioneers. (News, Source: Elvis Unlimited)


Aussie chart update: On tomorrow's ARIA charts in Australia, the Elvis Duets album holds steady at #1 on the Country Top 20 (after 7 weeks on the chart), and scores big with a bullet on the main ARIA Top 50 Album chart, rising 8 places to #23. (News, Source: ARIA)


Top 20 Artists of 2008 (in the USA) by Combined Sales of All Releases (in Millions of Units):
1. AC/DC 3.4
2. Lil Wayne 3.3
3. Taylor Swift 3.2
4. Coldplay 2.5
5. Metallica 2.3
6. Kid Rock 2.2
7. Jonas Brothers 2.1
8. Sugarland 1.9
9. Jack Johnson 1.8
10. Mariah Carey 1.7
11. T.I. 1.6
12. Nickelback 1.5
13. Beyonce 1.4
14. Kenny Chesney 1.4
15. Michael Jackson 1.4
16. Elvis Presley 1.4
17. Beatles 1.4
18. Josh Groban 1.3
19. Journey 1.3
20. Leona Lewis 1.3
(News, Source: Brian Quinn/FECC)

EIN Comment: The relatively low totals reflect how low sales of CDs have fallen!


"Love Me Tender: The Stories Behind The World's Best Loved Songs": This book by Max Cryer is due for US release in February 2009.

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711229112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711229112

Book Description: In 1855, Miss Jane Ross transcribed the melody played by a piper at an Irish village fair. Had she not, the world would never have heard “Danny Boy.” If Robert Burns had missed an old man’s quavering rendition of an ancient Scottish country song, New Year’s revelers would be singing a different tune. A sentimental song from a Civil War-era minstrel show morphed into one of Elvis’ biggest hits. Love Me Tender reveals the surprising origins of these and other favorite songs. Some evolved from folksongs, some from musical theater, while others just came along at the right time. In some cases, a single word made all the difference: Paul McCartney changed “scrambled eggs” to “yesterday” and a classic was born. With stories from all over the world, and from artists as diverse as Bing Crosby, Big Mama Thornton, and T. S. Eliot, Love Me Tender is a delightful read for every music lover. (News, Source: ElvisBookResearch)


"The Life of Elvis Aaron Presley (Elvis Facts for Elvis fans)" book: Now available from Lulu.com is this 37 page book of Elvis facts by Steven Landers. It is available in both download and softcover formats. (News, Source: ElvisBookResearch)


The Name Code II: The God of Elvis. Vol. 1. by Christopher Matthews

Available now from Lulu.com:

Based on a clever interaction of the English and Hebrew languages, hundreds of secret messages are encoded in the names of Elvis Presley and his extended family. These messages state that the real God of Creation was the pagan rock-idol god EL-BAAL and that Elvis Presley was his immaculately conceived messianic son. THE GOD OF ELVIS unveils these startling messages and examines in great detail all historic images associated with the Jewish and Christian concepts of 'the Messiah' and 'God on Earth'. These include titles such as The Star out of Jacob, Shiloh,The Ark of the Covenant, The Rod out of Jesse, The Son of David, The Sacred Heart, Immanuel... Stunningly all of them are found comprehensively and triumphantly encoded in the names of Elvis Presley + detailed biographic prophecies. Cunning messages long hidden in biblical names joyously confirm the Presley name-message claims. EL-BAAL is GOD. Jesus is dead... but Elvis is not. (534 pages)

Paperback: $34.95 Download: $11.25

Read EIN's review of The Name Code and interview with Christopher Byrnes Matthews

Saturday 20 December 2008.................It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!........
"Advanced Elvis Course" book release : Coming in June 2009 is this new Elvis book release. Described as part psychedelic road-trip travelogue, part “Overheard in Graceland,” part mystic-religious devotional, CAConrad's unabated love for the King puts him on a pilgrimage to Memphis; on an Advanced Elvis Course. These bizarre, multifaceted short pieces are an homage bursting with love, oddball white trash, and twisted sincerity.

Using a mélange of breathless energy and flamboyant desire, Conrad ensnares his reader from the first vignette, leaving us no choice but to doggedly follow him around the backwaters of Memphis. Conrad blurs the distinction between real and fictional experience to create a transcendental portrait of the legendary Elvis—the man who changed music and America forever. Through sources as disparate as graffiti, talk-show interviews, phone messages, and poetry, Conrad (whose unfettered energy is about as reality-based as an evening at Graceland) constructs a semimystical collage both celebrating and laughing with the cult of Elvis.

Get ready for a surreal tour of a celebrity-obsessed, picaresque America from one of its most unusual guides. Conrad delights in turning his fantasies into our reality, making this frenetic fictionalized experience “as real as if it were real.”
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762438 (News, Source: ElvisBookResearch)

"Elvis Presley - Icons of Our Time" book release: Now out in Australia is this large sized hardback book. It is one of the numerous re-issues (with varying text and photos) of the Marie Cahill "Elvis" book. RRP A$27.95 (News, Source: EIN)


Want to sing a duet with the King?: So you fancy yourself a singer, eh ... alone, in your car, with the windows up, when no one's looking.

Well, now you can test your pipes against Martina McBride and Elvis Presley in private, and if you like what you hear, you can share them with your friends via email.

As a promotion for "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets" album, Sony BMG Music Entertainment has created a Web site that allows you to record "Blue Christmas" as a duet with Presley, singing McBride's part from the album. (News, Source: AP/Contact Music)


"Hollywood Star Volume One" DVD: The first "real" STAR dvd will be out very soon, after the tremendous success of the STAR dvd series, the producers take the "final" step, and will produce a factory pressed import dvd!! A dream come true for all STAR fans around the world!

HOLLYWOOD STAR VOLUME ONE, will kick off with the first 4 movies, and has 17 (!!) new clips, (compared to Hollywood Elvis volume one) all clips for Jailhouse Rock have been re-made, since better footage became available.

Highlights among others are LOVING YOU (record version) TELL ME WHY (Elvis second screen test), FIRST IN LINE (Dedicated to Judy Tyler), MY WISH CAME TRUE (Elvis "dream" of becoming an actor)

YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL (new edits, 3 performances made the record version, and 2 extra versions are included)


All previous and new STAR dvds will be re-released this way, and all will have lots of extra's, are improved where possible, include new artwork and double layer discs! All discs come with fully animated menus, with sound.

All movies are divided into separate tracks in the menu, so if you just wanna play the "Jailhouse Rock" songs.. the choice is yours! And last but not least, there is a "bonus feature" segment, including extra songs, outtakes and rare movies.

After this release the series will continue in "chronical" order, volume two will have: GI BLUES, FLAMING STAR, WILD IN THE COUNTRY, BLUE HAWAII and FOLLOW THAT DREAM.
(News, Source: EP Gold)


Teenager's Hero book released: "Teenager's Hero" by Steve Rino has been published. Starting Monday December 22, the the company will be sending out the first of the 1000 individually numbered copies to fans and dealers.

From the original press-release: The Book, Teenager's Hero" is the definitive book-documentary of Elvis’ live performances in early 1956. At More than 400 pages, 30x21 sized and featuring 445 photos mostly unpublished and never put in the right context. The book is a high quality design (soft cover 300g, cloth binding, and 150 glossy papers) The book, the first volume, has as its focus Elvis’ live activity in the first six months of 1956.

The author Steve Rino spent two years of research to give life to a day by day photo journal where together with a scientific approach of the day, has been put together a professional layout with relative photos taken from newspapers, magazines and his personal collection. In trying to bring to the reader a feel for the time through images, newspaper & magazines clip we give life we hope to something unique and new in the landscape of Elvis' books. We are proud of the continued research of every detail of every 180 days listed, trying to put in the right order all information, news, photo and tales coming from this difficult research. Inside the web-site you can have access through the links to a lot a more details about the book contents, quality and price.

(News, Source: Teenager's Hero /Various)

Friday 19 December 2008.................Santa's little helpers are getting very, very busy........
Elvis Christmas Duets documentary on Australian TV: The 30 minute documentary about the new Elvis' Christmas Duets album is now showing on Australia's Ovation cable TV channel. It shows on Boxing Day at 11.30am (EST) and 5pm Sunday 21st, as well as other repeats. Including some lovely images & footage of Elvis, it's great to see something new about Elvis on TV. Check your local TV guide for details. (News, Source;EIN) 

Original Yellow Wiggle donating vast Elvis collection to Parkes Elvis Festival: Greg Page, who was the Wiggle in the yellow skivvie until he had to quit the hugely successful children's group through ill health two years ago, has built up one of the world's biggest collections of Elvis Presley memorabilia. And now he is donating it.........

Read full story


The Parkes Annual Elvis Festival - losing the plot?: On Monday 8 December we published a news item about an upcoming article on EIN about issues to do with the management of the Annual Parkes Elvis Festival. We have held back on publishing our full report in order to let three separate parties provide their comments. EIN will now publish the article on Tuesday 23 December.


British Fan Club announnces special CD release: The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain sends out a Christmas card to all its members every year. This year it came with an Yuletide extra in which Todd Slaughter and Victoria Molloy wrote:

"In our next Fan Club Magazine, we hope to be in a position to announce a very special CD album release - one which we have been working on for over two years. We are very proud of this project, which we believe to be both unique, and extremely marketable. We are just now awaiting the approval on EPE and Sony USA, so please keep your fingers crossed. This will be an album that will enhance Elvis Presley's standing in the UK, and one which will be applauded by our music industry." (News, Source: Elvis News)


Chart update: The compilation "Christmas with Elvis Presley" drops from #2 to #3 on the Finnish Mid-price chart but the "Christmas Duets" still does not appear on the Top 40 album chart.

In Belgium on Ultratop Mid-price list "Gold - Greatest Hits" is #18 as new on the chart.

This Week's US Cashbox charts:

Hot Christmas Albums - 'Elvis Presley Christmas Duets' - rises from #8 to #4
Top Country Albums - 'Elvis Presley Christmas Duets' - rises from #3 to #2
Hot Country Christmas Albums - 'Elvis Christmas' - drops from #17 to #18
Hot Country Christmas Albums - It's Christmas Time' - #14
Top Popular Albums - 'Elvis Presley Christmas Duets' - #9
Top Country Singles - 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' Ft. Carrie Underwood - rises from #40 to #37
Top Country Singles - 'Blue Christmas' (Original) - remains at #38. (News, Source: Elvis News)

 

Thursday 18 December 2008.................Are you standing underneath the mistletoe?........
Alternate take on budget CD: The "White Christmas" CD from the Vintage budget label contains master take 9 of the title tracks with an additional 20 seconds of studio-chatter. (News, Source: Elvis News)

Eliza Presley DNA claim update: The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported that although Eliza Presley Monday dropped her request to be named Vernon Presley's heir in Memphis, she plans to refile her claim in another court.

"The issues are still alive and well," the newspaper quoted her lawyer Kathleen Caldwell as saying. "It's not over by a long shot."

William Bradley Jr., an attorney who represents Elvis Presley Enterprises and Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley Lockwood, told The Commercial Appeal that Eliza Presley's case has no merit.

EIN Comment: It is not clear on what basis the EPE lawyer has discounted the Eliza Presley claim. In this day and age unsupported claims are of little use to those wanting to know the truth. While EIN understands EPE's reluctance to "open the (alleged) floodgates" to ongoing DNA claims, from what we have been told and provided other information on, it appears the Eliza Presley claim will have to be settled by DNA experts in a court of law. (News, Source: UPI/EIN)

Visit EIN"s "Eliza Presley Archives" to read more


Chart update: On the Billboard 200 albums chart the "Christmas Duets" album remains steady at #17 this week.

Elvis Presley returns to the Adult Contemporary radio chart for the first time in 26 years, as his digitally created duet with Martina McBride, "White Christmas," debuts at #22 The King last reached the list with "The Elvis Medley" in late 1982. The new entry marks Presley's 53rd career AC hit.

In Canada the Duets album is down to #10 on the album chart from a high of #6 last week. (News, Source: Elvis News)


Colonel Parker's 100th Birthday


Date: Friday, 26 June 2009, 27 june 2009, Sunday, 28 June 2009
Location: Parkzicht, P.Windhausenweg 1, Breda.
Country: Netherlands.
Exebition Colonel Parker (documents and pictures)record fair, live performances.
For further information, contact: Elvis Memories Belgium, Statiestraat 124-126, 2070 Zwijndrecht, Belgium;

email: elvismemoriesbelgium@hotmail.com
website: http://elvismemoriesbelgium.homestead.com/


Collector’s Edition 2008 USA SONY BMG 3 Disc Set in Tin Can W/Bonus Download Card (2 CD’s & 1 DVD) SEALED W/3 STICKERS

Samuel Ketenjian
aka SPK Collectibles
Elvis and more...
eBay auction services


spkcollectibles.com

 


FTD Review

LOVE LETTERS FROM ELVIS (FTD 2008)

A nice surprise..........I’ve never been a fan of this album. Until now, that is. The overdubs that Felton Jarvis executed in 1970 made some of these tracks sound like they were contributions to the Eurovision song contest. But on this release, they’re gone, gone, gone and it really makes a world of difference. For the first time in my life, I can actually enjoy “It Ain’t No Big Thing”. Heck, I even like ”I’ll Never Know” on this CD! But the Reed / Stephens song writing team really composed mediocre songs.

”We grew up on this mediocre shit, man”.......

Some observations regarding the unedited ”Got My Mojo Working”: it’s a whole lot better than the overdubbed version. But it’s also apparent that the musicians are inattentive to the breaks, especially organist Charlie McCoy is very “slow”. Everyone makes the third break, but not the fourth, where Elvis slips out a “Muthafucker”. James Burton gets to play three guitar solos but he certainly does not impress me. Improvisation wasn’t his thing, I guess?

Elvis yawns before take 2 of ”I’ll Never Know” and gives Lamar and Charlie each a compliment as he says, ”I’ve got a fat guy and a midget beside me!” – Elvis’ sense of humour… It’s Chip Young doing the count-ins? “Life” is Shirl Milete’s horrible “ Darwin song” – how anyone can put that one on a Top Ten list is beyond me. And how on Earth could RCA chose this one for a single release? It doesn’t make any sense. “Heart of Rome ” is a vocally demanding song and the rehearsal w/ the funky synthesizer riff actually sounds better than the finished product. Elvis sings, “I’ll make a wish on ev’ry fountain” and “I’ll take a wish….”.

I like “Love Letters 1970” better than “Love Letters 1966” . Beautiful song. It was a good thing that David Briggs convinced Elvis to re-record it. Listen closely, and you’ll hear that “If I Were You” is very similar to “It Ain’t No Big Thing”. “When I’m Over You” is a real stinker. Why did Elvis waste time on this? He must’ve been doing it as a personal favour to Shirl Milete? I love “The Sound Of Your Cry”, Elvis really loses himself during the first takes. Some biting guitar from J.B. makes “Cindy” bearable, but let’s face the fact: this P-O-S is almost as corny as “Three Corn Patches”. The real treat comes towards the end when Elvis shouts, “Fade this muthafucker!”

As usual, there are no photo captions in the booklet. And please note that in the track list there is no first name of the composer on track 3 & 4. Grading: 4 out of 5 © Crister Berge , Sweden 2008.

Read more FTD reviews

Wednesday 17 December 2008.................I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus........

My Happiness acetate for sale: The January 2, 2009 issue of Goldmine magazine contains the following article:

An acetate recording of "My Happiness" cut by a very young and very green Elvis in 1953 is being put up for sale by one of the King's high-school chums, and it is expected to be a big-ticket item. Exactly how big is yet to be determined.

"We can all throw a number in the air, but this is a unique item of great significance in the history of popular music," says Maurice Colgan, an Elvis aficionado from Ireland who is assisting in the sale. "At this point, it's my guess the acetate will fetch an astronomical sum."

Colgan is working with Ed Leek, who, according to Colgan, "... attended Hume High School in Memphis, and was in the same classroom as Elvis for three years. They became good friends and because Ed had a car when Elvis didn't, he and other mutual friends would tour the neighborhood as teenagers did back then, hanging out at hamburger joints, playing the jukeboxes and generally living it up, although money at that time was in short supply."

As the story goes, it was Leek who pushed and cajoled Elvis into making a record "... and actually lent Elvis the four dollars it would cost," says Colgan.

Though unsure of himself in the studio, Elvis did it, recording "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," with only a lonely old acoustic guitar as accompaniment. Evidently, according to Colgan, Marion Keisker (pictured with Leek at top with the acetate), Sam Phillips' secretary, actually did the recording. Her story is captured on the video "Sun Days With Elvis," directed and produced by the U.K.'s Bernard Roughton.

The song "My Happiness" was released commercially in 1990.

But now, Leek, who is 74, is seeking to sell the acetate. Obviously, the most appropriate place for it is Graceland. But whether that'll come to fruition is anybody's guess. If it goes to a museum or music venue and replicas could be made to allow everybody to enjoy the recording in digital form, that would please Leek, according to Colgan.
(News, Source: Amber Smith)


Christmas CD from EPE: As it remains a tradition each year, Lisa Marie and Priscilla sent to each registered fanclub their wishes for the new year in a form of a CD, featuring "If I get Home on Christmas Day". (News, Souirce: EP Gold)


Elvis' Christmas Album: Courtesy of super-collector, Barry McLean, throughout December EIN will be presenting a series of largely "archival" visuals highlighting different Elvis Christmas releases from all corners of the globe.

Here is the 5th in our series, the rare Canadian Label--LOC-1035 from 1957


The Elvis-Beatles Relativity Fallacy: A friend passes this along this morning:

Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk--real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious. -Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was in the kitchen cooking, and pulled out old discs from Al Green, Marvin Gaye, and a New Orleans soul collection. I hadn't listened to them in a long time, and was taken aback by how sweet they were. "Sweet" not as in sugary, but as in something exceptionally tender, that speaks of the sweetness of love and of life.

Of course they sing about love and sex, because that's part of life -- and if art doesn't speak of life, it can hardly be art. But compare the way the old school soul singers sang about love and sex with the way contemporary hip-hop artists do. More broadly, compare the way songwriters of other pop genres did as recently as the Fifties and early Sixties, as opposed to now. Gone is the sense of tenderness, of sweetness, of beauty. Sex in popular song is now often no more than an animalistic act, one that debases the humanity of both the singer and his audience.

It's usually at this point when someone pipes up and says, "But our parents (or grandparents) thought that Elvis and the Beatles were risque'!" That is assumed to be an argument-ender, because we are supposed to assume the relativity in tastes across time -- which plainly exists -- is absolute, which it plainly is not. The Elvis-Beatles Relativity Fallacy lets parents today off the hook far too easily; I don't know whether it's invoked out of moral cowardice, moral laziness or genuine confusion, but it's a serious error, and one with consequences for shaping the character of individuals and cultures.

Is Marvin Gaye singing "Let's Get It On," or Van Morrison singing about getting jiggy with his "Brown-Eyed Girl" in the sweet summer sun more crude, relatively, than Cole Porter or even Shakespeare? Of course. But there is still a generous humanity present, a real artistry, in the sense that art concentrate, refines and beautifies the raw material of life. It's a humanity about sex that you just don't see in popular songs today (hip-hop is the most egregious genre, but by no means the only one). And if you don't think it matters, imagine that the female object of the singer's attentions is your daughter. Imagine that the young man courting your daughter has had his moral imagination shaped by that singer's debased art. Imagine that the culture we live in has absorbed that artist's barbaric worldview, and acculturates the next generation according to its values.

Because I'm talking about sex, and sex -- even more than economics -- is the great dividing line in American culture, no small number of you will roll your eyes at this. But consider race.

In the past, American popular culture, including film and song, trafficked far more in what we today recognize as racist images and stereotypes. Previous generations -- the ones that were so strict about sexual morality in popular culture -- were far more accepting of casual racism in popular culture.

How would you feel if your teenagers started listening to music that openly and crudely posited blacks as subhuman? You would be worried, and rightly so, and you'd do what you could to put a stop to it, because you wouldn't want your children to grow up with that kind of moral poison suffusing their conscience. No matter how musically inventive the racist songs were, it couldn't redeem the moral message, certainly not for young people who are still developing their consciences (this, as opposed to adults, who are presumably better able to discern between aesthetic form and moral content; I wouldn't want my boys watching Riefenstahl's demonic masterpiece "The Triumph of the Will" until they were older -- but I would want them to see it, as an example of how aesthetic beauty can be put in the service of raw evil, and how one cannot use mere beauty as a reliable guide to morality).

Anyway, how would you feel if you caught your children listening to white supremacist rock (which exists in the neo-Nazi underground), and when you challenged them about it, they said, "Hey, your parents thought Elvis and the Beatles were offensive, so get off my back!"? How would you respond? If you respond from a position of objective morality, do you not concede that relativism is not absolute? And if you concede it in terms of racial morality, why should sexual morality draw an exemption? (Opinion, Source: Ron Dreher, beliefnet)

Tuesday 16 December 2008................. The Sound Of Snow Beneath My Feet ....
'Blue Christmas' in the US Billboard Charts: After not charting on Hot Country Songs for 10 years, Elvis has his second new entry in two weeks. “Blue Christmas” (RCA), a duet with Martina McBride, debuts at No. 43, following last week’s No. 60 bow of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” with Carrie Underwood.
“Blue Christmas” is Elvis' 68th entry and marks the first time in his 53-year chart career that he’s had songs debut in two consecutive weeks.
This is the second time that an Elvis recording of “Blue Christmas” has appeared on Hot Country Songs. Although Elvis cut the song in 1957, it didn’t chart country until January 1998, when it peaked at No. 55.
The original version of “Blue Christmas” by Ernest Tubb debuted on the survey in Dec 1949 and peaked at No. 2. Vince Gill took the tune to No. 74 in January 1999 and Clay Walker brought it to No. 51 in 2001. That means the Presley/McBride duet is the highest-charting version of the composition since Tubb’s original, 59 years ago. Go here to DUETS CD Review. (News, Source;EPE)

Woman claiming to be half-sister of Elvis drops case: A woman seeking to be declared the daughter of Vernon Presley -- and the half-sister of Elvis -- on Monday voluntarily dropped her effort in Probate Court to be named as an heir to the father's estate.
But Eliza Presley, 46, a divorced mother of four from Washington state, more than likely will plead her case in another court.
"The issues are still alive and well," said attorney Kathleen Caldwell, adding that Monday's dismissal was a procedural move. "It's not over by a long shot."
Eliza Presley, who changed her name this summer from Alice Elizabeth Tiffin, initially filed the claim in October, saying DNA from a still-living Elvis Presley showed her to be a relative.
Her mother, former Memphian Florence Sharp Clark of Oregon, said she was part of the Elvis social circle for a period, but that she had no child by Vernon and that the father is another Memphis man.
Clark also has suggested that her daughter has undergone plastic surgery in an effort to bolster her claim of kinship.
Eliza Presley insisted Monday that she can support her claim and said her mother is not to be believed. "I would love to have these thousands of dollars I've allegedly spent," she said. "I have never had plastic surgery of any kind."
Attorney William Bradley Jr., who represents EPE and Lisa Marie Presley Lockwood, said her case has no merit and that over the years there have been a dozen or more people claiming kinship to Elvis, including several Elvis Jrs.
Vernon Presley died June 26, 1979, at age 63. According to common belief, Elvis died in 1977.
(News, Source;MemphisCommercialAppeal)

It’s now or never for Elvis fans in Huddersfield, UK: ELVIS is coming to town – well, almost. Shawn Klush, the man named in a TV special as The World’s Greatest Elvis, is to play at Huddersfield Town Hall. Last year, Vernon Kaye, who was named after Elvis’ father Vernon, hosted BBC 1’s worldwide search for the greatest Elvis tribute artiste.
A panel of experts including Suzi Quatro and Elvis’ life-long best friend Joe Esposito, unanimously crowned Klush as the world’s closest match to the King, as he was chosen from a pool of 30 of the world’s leading Elvis tribute artistes.
He also took part in the first ever contest held by EPE in Memphis Tennessee. Again, Klush was named the official “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artiste” by the Graceland estate. He and his band are now touring Europe. Go here for info & tickets. (News, Source;SanjaM)

Elvis voted Number 5 Lullaby of all-time: Take That's 'Patience' was recently voted in the UK number one lullaby by mums who favour pop tunes over old-fashioned songs, however Elvis' magic 'Love Me Tender' was the only song over 20 years old in the Top 20. 
It seems the sound of the bedtime lullaby is changing fast. Traditional songs such as Rock-A-Bye Baby and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star are no longer soothing babies to sleep. Today little ones are nodding off to their parents' karaoke versions of Patience by Take That, the rather edgy I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry, or Angels by Robbie Williams.
More than one in ten mothers regard traditional songs such as Rock-A-Bye Baby as outdated, research by parenting website, The Baby Website, has found. Many can't even remember the words to classics such as Hush Little Baby
and Lavender Blue.
Top of the tunes: Take That's Patience is the number one song for mothers trying to send their baby off to sleep, a recent survey found, but Elvis is the only "Oldie" who comes in a cool fifth.
Here are the Baby Website bedtime chart-toppers.
TOP BEDTIME TUNES
1. Patience, Take That
2. Angels, Robbie Williams
3. I Kissed a Girl, Kate Perry
4. You're Beautiful, James Blunt
5. Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley
6. Beautiful, Christina Aguilera
7. Warwick Avenue, Duffy
8. Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns n Roses
9. Wonderwall, Oasis
10. Girls, Sugababes (News, Source;UKMail)
Monday 15 December 2008................. Why Can't Everyday Be Like Christmas? ....
Jesse D Presley - 'The Forgotten Presley': Born in 1896, Elvis' Grandfather Jessie D Presley was often regarded as the 'bad apple' of his family and with a reputation for being 'mean as hell'. Elvis supposedly had little connection with his Grandfather - which is not surprising since his ex-wife, Minnie Mae, lived with Elvis at Graceland. However with such a passing of time, all may not be as it seems. EIN contributor Tony Stuchbury recently investigated the stories of Elvis' Grandfather and decided that after all he may have been unfairly mis-represented within the Elvis history. 

Go here for the full story and some wonderful photos exclusive to EIN.

(Spotlight, Source;TonyStuchbury/ElvisInfoNet)


'Elvis That's The Way It Is The Complete Works' boxset release UPDATE: Recent news is that the producers hope to have the box-set out to the dealers before Christmas. The group note that, "The producers of this 6CD/3DVD/book boxset are working feverishly to hopefully have it finalised and coming off the production line before Christmas. Given the many elements to the set it is a very complex and demanding process. Production of any kind this close to Christmas makes specific deadlines very difficult to meet - but we are getting very close." (News, Source: The Phantom)

View full details of this set


More Rare Elvis Photos added today: Elvis fans don't miss out on these rare and exciting photographs - from EIN contributor Sanja Meegin. See more information below.

Click here to access our Facebook Elvis Information Network. You need to be a Facebook Member.

'Elvis Christmas Duets' Rising in the Australian Charts: At #1 on the Country album chart - and up seven places to #31 on the Main Album Chart. See EIN's exclusive Rocky Barra (Strictly Elvis) review. . . "What a treat! I really like everything about this project. The snow scenes, the photo chosen for the cover, the quotes by the artists, and I believe the project stands for itself. There is so much involved in a project like this – picking songs in the appropriate key and in a style that is natural for the singers involved, the hours of work to make it sound like a singular project, and all the licensing and agreements that have to be taken care of in today’s recording industry with everyone under contract to different companies. I haven’t said this in a long time, but 'Well done, RCA'. This is one Christmas release that won’t have to be “repackaged” every Christmas, but will stand for years on its own merit."
Go here to the full review. (CD Reviews, Source;EIN)

Ryan Cabrera says Lisa Marie's Twins Are "Amazing": Rocker Ryan Cabrera has babies on the brain! "They're amazing!" Cabrera says of Lisa Marie Presley's 2-month old twin girls. Cabrera, 26, who is dating Presley's 19-year-old daughter, Riley Keough, confirmed that he met the adorable twosome.
Lisa Marie, who gave birth to Finley and Harper on Oct. 7 with her husband, rocker Michael Lockwood, is doing well, Cabrera recently said.
"She's awesome, they're awesome," he said. "They're just always together!"
Cabrera still plans to meet: Bronx Mowgli, the newborn son of ex-girlfriend Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Pete Wentz. "I haven't talked to them too much," he said. Cabrera, who dated Simpson from 2004 to 2005 noted that "they are still friends."
And as for his relationship with Riley? "Everything's great... wonderful," he said. (News, Source;SanjaM/EIN)

 

Sunday 14 December 2008.................Hark the herald angels sing.....

FREE Elvis CD: The Dutch Elvis Corner shop gives away a christmas CD-single for every customer who comes in for Elvis Christmas shopping in their store this weekend.

The CD contains the two tracks "Blue Christmas" and "Santa Clause Is Back In Town".

The first visitors will also receive Elvis Cap / Elvis booklet and a free keychain hanger.For more details go to the Elvis Corner website. (News, Source: Elvis News/Elvis Corner)


Billboard "end of year" chart update: Brian Quinn posted this on the FECC board:The following are the Billboard 2008 Year End Chart Placings for Elvis.

Top Country Catalog Albums - Elvis: 30 No.1 Hits - No.1
Top Country Catalog Albums - Elvis Christmas - No.12
Top Comprehensive Albums - Elvis (6 Charted Titles) - No.68
Top independent Albums - Home For The Holidays - No.43
Top Pop Catalog Artists - Elvis (4 Charted Titles) - No.6
Top Pop Catalog Albums - Elvis: 30 No.1 Hits - No.15
Top Pop Catalog Albums - Elvis Christmas - No.49
Top Music Video Sales - Elvis No.1 Hit Performances - No.29


Cashbox chart update: Brian Quinn posted this on the FECC board:

As of 8th December:

Hot Christmas Albums - 'Elvis Christmas Duets' - up from 10 to 8
Hot Country Christmas Albums - 'Elvis: It's Christmas Time' - 14
Top Country Albums - 'Elvis Christmas Duets' - up from 5 to 3
Top Country Singles - 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' Ft. Carrie Underwood - Enters at 40


Aussie chart update: On tomorrow's ARIA charts in Australia, Christmas Duets maintains its #1 spot on the Country album chart....on the main album chart it rises seven places to #31....and on the Music DVD chart, Elvis The King of Rock 'n' Roll drops two spots to #34 (after 36 weeks on the chart). (News, Source: ARIA)


Elvis' Christmas Album: Courtesy of super-collector, Barry McLean, throughout December EIN will be presenting a series of largely "archival" visuals highlighting different Elvis Christmas releases from all corners of the globe.

Here is the fourth in our series, a red vinyl edition of Elvis' Christmas album:


Another FREE Elvis CD: This CD is being given away free by the Swedish gas-station company Preem.

It contains three songs by Elvis Presley; Blue Christmas, Santa Bring My Baby Back and Silent Night.

There is also a coupon for a free cup of coffee on the back. (News, Source: Elvis News)


Caroline Kennedy's Journalism Days -- And Meeting Elvis: Since Caroline Kennedy’s name resurfaced last week in the sweepstakes to replace Hillary Clinton as New York’s junior senator, reviews of her life often contain one brief line about her being a former "journalist" with some also referring to her once writing a story for Rolling Stone about visiting Graceland following Elvis Presley’s death – and somehow getting a rare private viewing of the King lying in state.

So let's dig a little deeper. A People magazine online bio observes that young Caroline "considered becoming a photojournalist (her mother's original career) but soon realized she could never make her living observing other people because they were too busy watching her."

However, she did, during college, intern at the New York Daily News in 1977, where according to People "she sat on a bench alone for two hours the first day before other employees even said hello to her." Explained former News reporter Richard Licata, "Everyone was too scared."

She was apparently doing "copy girl" tasks but the newspaper "had to post guards at every entrance to keep camera crews out. Once a photograph of Caroline fetching coffee for the editors from a local Bagel Nosh came over the wire in the newsroom even before she returned from her errand.

"Another time Caroline and Licata, who gossip columnists wrongly assumed was her boyfriend, snuck out the back door to avoid network reporters coming up to interview them." Caroline supposedly said, as the pair waited, "Now you have an idea what my life is like." Later she worked as a photographer's assistant at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

But Kennedy is best known, at least in the journalism field, for her Sept. 22, 2007 article in Rolling Stone. Reading it today, one may be surprised to find that it does not seem to match some of the recent press accounts which suggested that Caroline had sneaked into the mansion or carried out some other kind of derring-do.

Yes, the estate had been sealed off by cops and private guards as 75,000 gathered following Presley’s death on August 17, 1977. But Kennedy was simply outside mingling with others in line when Winslow "Buddy" Chapman, the director of police, “invited me into the house where a scarlet carpeted hall led into a large room filled with gold and white folding chairs," she wrote. "At the far end of the room was the gleaming copper coffin that contained the body of Elvis Presley. His face seemed swollen and his sideburns reached his chin.

“A couple in their late twenties stand beside the casket. The woman was sobbing. The man had his arm around her. Behind the coffin, an arch led to another room where a clear glass statue of a nude woman stood high off the floor, twirling slowly, adorned by glass beads that leaked like water. Potted plastic palms surrounded the coffin and on the wall was a painting of a skyline on black velveteen.”

Priscilla Presley entered. "Would you like a Coke or 7-Up?" she offered. Kennedy described the living room as mahogany-paneled and decorated with fur-covered African shields and spears.

Then Priscilla introduced Caroline to Elvis’s father, Vernon Presley, who was watching the 10 o’clock news in a nearby bedroom. Nobody in the group spoke.

At the front door, Caroline interviewed Charlie Hodge, Elvis' rhythm guitarist. "It's really hard to believe," he said. "I went to the dentist with him on Monday night around 9:30. We were getting ready for the tour and we talked about the songs we'd use. But we never did rehearse. We just used to make it up right on the stage….I've been with Elvis all day. Just this afternoon I shaved his sideburns. It was the least I could do."

Kennedy closed with this description: “Outside the front door were hundreds of wreaths; some spelled ‘Elvis’ in flowers, others were shaped like crowns, broken hearts, hound dogs and blue suede shoes.”
(Article, Source: Greg Mitchell, editorandpublisher.com)


Elvis in French magazine: Elvis is featured on both the cover and inside the December 2008 edition of the French Jukebox magazine; six pages on his own 78 RPM record collection, a poster of "Jailhouse Rock" and interview with biographer Peter Guralnick.

Elvis should also be on the cover of the American Goldmine magazine which should have been out on December 12, 2008. This magazine does an Elvis issue almost every year. (News, Source: Elvis News)


"Elvis" aircrane returns for fire season: TWO new firefighting aircrane helicopters will be used in Victoria this year under the Brumby Government's first bushfire strategy.  State Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings launched the strategy, Living With Fire, in Melbourne today.

The helicopter aircranes, named Elvis and Elsie, will bring the total number of firefighting aircraft to be used in Victoria this bushfire season to 34.

Elvis has been a regular visitor during the Australian bushfire season during the past several years. (News, Source: news.com.au/EIN


Tom Cruise does Elvis.....on national TV: Tom Cruise has added another embarrassing talk show stunt to his repertoire, after he performed an impromptu Elvis Presley impression on "The Tonight Show with David Letterman."

The actor, who famously stunned fans in 2005 by leaping on a couch on Oprah Winfrey's daytime talk show to proclaim his love for then-girlfriend Katie Holmes, broke into a rendition of The King's hit "Blue Suede Shoes" in front of Leno and a live studio audience.

Cruise jumped from his seat to mimic the rock 'n' roll legend's hip-shaking moves during his appearance on Thursday, before confessing he'd love to follow in the footsteps of his wife Holmes and star in a Broadway play.

He told the shocked talk show host, "I like making movies but I'm not saying 'no' to Broadway. I would like to do a musical." (News, Source: AP)

Watch the video of Tom Cruise doing Elvis


30-foot-tall Elvis decoration shakes up San Clemente....thanks to a washing machine!: Elvis doesn't just live. He swivels and strums guitar – bigger than life – in Jim and Pam Watts' San Clemente back yard.

Jim Watts designed the 30-foot-tall Elvis six months ago, carved it out of plastic roofing material, did the artwork, erected it on a metal frame in the back yard and rigged it with rope and wire to a secondhand washing machine that Pam Watts purchased for $35.

Why a washing machine? "Because it oscillates … what hedoes," Jim said. "I tore it all apart and just used the transmission and the motor and the dash. I went in and rewired it and cut wires because I didn't want it to go into spin cycle."

Why go to all this trouble building what amounts to a bigger-than-life string puppet? Because the Wattses are having an Elvis-flavored Christmas party Sunday night at their home.

Jim and Pam are big fans of the late Elvis Presley, evidenced by Elvis pictures and images all over their Forster Ranch house. They're also friends and fans of Phil Shane, an entertainer who lives locally and plays Las Vegas – and does a pretty good Elvis, among other rock stars.

Shane and Jim Watts were sharing a drink at the Watts home one day, "and just after the second martini, I open my mouth and say I'm going to build a 30-foot Elvis for Christmas next year," Jim said. "He said, 'If you do, we'll have a party and I'll come and sing.'"

It was on.

The 30-foot Elvis towers over the Wattses' back yard but, because they have a large yard, it isn't obvious to motorists driving by in the 3100 block of Inclinado. It isobvious from the air. Last Sunday, a Sheriff's Department helicopter circled repeatedly, Jim and Pam said. They suspected the deputies had seen The King and, all shook up, were compelled to investigate. Like, it was now or never.

And what did the folks who sold Pam the washing machine think when she told them why she wanted it? "They thought I was crazy!" she said. "But that's OK. It was fun."

While the Wattses now have daily Elvis sightings in their back yard, they never got to see him in real life. "We've been to Memphis to Graceland several times," Jim said. "I never saw him, but I always wanted to. It's one of the sad things. I didn't know he was leaving us." (News, Source: Fred Swegles, Orange County Register)

Look for video of the swiveling Elvis next week at www.ocregister.com/sanclemente


Elvis pool cues released: Elvis may have left the building long ago, but a Bay City company plans to put him back in rec rooms across the country.

Game-table maker Shelti Inc., 333 Morton St., is producing a line of Elvis-themed pool tables with the blessing of Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc.

The tables feature wrap-around graphics of The King performing in his "White Jumpsuit" Las Vegas show days. The images also show casinos and the Las Vegas welcome sign.

The Elvis theme carries to details on the pool cues. Shelti has produced about two dozen of the tables so far.

The unusual new product has led to a few Elvis quips around the office, according to Annette Jeske, customer service representative for Shelti. Such as whether or not to use the company intercom to announce "Elvis has left the building" - a catch phrase once used at the end of Elvis concerts - every time a table ships, she said.

Jeske said Thursday that Shelti plans to make 500 of the limited-edition tables under contract with Lordsvale Sales USA, a New Jersey company. Lordsvale President Freddy Bailey said his company chose Shelti to make the tables because of the company's reputation for quality. Bailey said he remembers Shelti when it operated as the former Valley Recreation Products in Bay City.

"For me, it was a natural thing to come to Bay City, a city that has been associated with the coin-operated pool industry since the creation of the American coin-operated pool table in the mid -1950s," Bailey said in an e-mail to The Times.

Shelti was founded in 2001 at the same site in Bay City after the closure of Valley Recreation. About two dozen Elvis tables have rolled off the production line at Shelti since late November, and the remainder will likely be finished in 2009, Jeske said. The tables are for home use and don't require coins to operate.

Each table features burgundy felt on the playing surface and anchors a larger Elvis pool-table package. The set includes a Tiffany style lamp with Elvis images and his name in large letters, an Elvis pool cue rack with cues and a serial number with name plate for the purchaser.

The package will retail for $5,995, and Shelti is offering a discount to local buyers this month, Jeske said. The tables will be sold through Lordsvale, as well as through Shelti dealers and Shelti's Web sales arm, recrooms.com.

Five tables have been sold since the product was unveiled at a recent trade show in Florida, Jeske said. Jeske said Shelti has made pool tables featuring sports team logos in the past, but the Elvis model is the first time they have made a table based on a person. Elvis himself was a pool player, and his Graceland mansion features a billiards room that still contains his personal table. Now, Shelti hopes others will want to rack 'em up with The King.

"We know there's a niche for it, because Elvis is the No. 1 money making dead person," she said. "His audience is age 8 to 80." Elvis died in 1977 at the age of 42. His estate earned $52. (News, Source: mlive.com/photo by Scott Mussell)


Saturday 13 December 2008................. It's a Christmas time pretty baby......

The Australian Elvis Discography & Price Guide: Adrian Payne, the man behind what EIN regards as a superb book release has told us:

I just thought I'd let you know about a book that may be perfect for that Christmas present for yourself or someone you know who is an Elvis fan.  It's a collectible Limited Edition book I have personally researched and had published called..... The Australian "Elvis Discography and Price Guide

Every 45, EP & LP released by Elvis Presley in Australia has been documented in this beautiful, once-only publication. Large Format - Soft Cover – Printed with the highest quality paper.With an introduction by Elvis' original drummer, the legendary D.J.Fontana!

72 pages of detailed information on every Aussie release with over 500 photos including every first pressing record sleeve. Rarities, Magazines, Posters, Sheet Music etc. All in FULL COLOR.

Of the 1000 numbered copies printed only about 300 are left. And they are being sold direct from me at a 33% reduction in price  If anyone would like to order a copy just email me.

The cost of the book AU $29.99 (approx US $19.50) including Air Mail postage.


Cover artwork for December FTD releases: Here is the complete cover art of the December 2008 Follow That Dream release "I'll Remember You", a soundboard live recording of Elvis February 3 1973 Midnight Show as recorded in Las Vegas, and the FTD Classic Album re-issue of the "Elvis - In Person" album.

On the ShopElvis.eu (Elvis Matters) site you can listen to previews of all the tracks from these two new releases. (News, Source: Elvis News)


Rex Martin talks to EIN - your feedback added: Today we have added your feedback on our interview with the publisher of the fondly remembered Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly, Rex Martin.

Part 2 of Rex's fascinating interview will be published before Christmas.

 

Read Part 1 of Rex's interview


"Caught In A Trap" airs on UK TV: Sid Shaw from Elvisly Yours tells EIN:

The best ever Elvis TV Drama will be on ITV in the UK on December 26th at 9pm (Boxing Day).

ITV have just started to publicise this blockbuster Christmas Production and Elvis fans will love it. Click on the ITV link to see clips and interviews. It is brilliant and with 20 Elvis tracks fans will love it. The Rights are being sold all over the world and no doubt it will be soon in Australia and other countries.

It is the best Elvis TV Production ever with a superb cast. It really is the story of one fans love affair with Elvis that fans all over the world will relate to and enjoy and with 20 Elvis songs it is blue suede heaven. It's about time a TV company did justice to Elvis after all the dross about hamburgers and drugs for 30 years. The film is loosely based on a true story about Julie Hall in England who stole £556,000.00 over ten years from parking meter collections and spent nearly all of it on Elvis records.

Visit the Elvisly Yours site for many great Elvis items

Read more about Caught In A Trap


Christmas Duets cover India: The Christmas Duets CD has been released in India. It comes with an additional slipcase. (News, Source: Elvis News)

Polish newspaper to release Elvis CD: Many thanks to Tomek Michalczyk [tomekk79@gmail.com] from the Elvis In Person site for this item:

The Polish newspaper "Gazeta Wyborcza" (one of the biggest here) there will be special promo (see visual opposite).

The complete tracklist is not available yet, but they say it will contain all biggest hits by our man.

Elvis lights up Billboard charts: After not charting on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart for 10 years, Elvis Presley has logged his second new entry in two weeks.

"Blue Christmas," a duet with Martina McBride, debuted at No. 43 on Thursday, following last week's No. 60 bow of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" with Carrie Underwood.

"Blue Christmas" is Presley's 68th entry and marks the first time in his 53-year chart career that he's had songs debut in two consecutive weeks.

This is the second time that a Presley recording of "Blue Christmas" has appeared on Hot Country Songs. Although Elvis cut the song in 1957, it didn't chart country until January 1998, when it peaked at No. 55.

The original version of "Blue Christmas" by Ernest Tubb debuted on the survey in December 1949 and peaked at No. 2. Vince Gill took the tune to No. 74 in January 1999, and Clay Walker brought it to No. 51 in January 2001. That means the Presley/McBride duet is the highest-charting version of the composition since Tubb's original, 59 years ago. (News, Source: EP Gold/Billboard)


Elvis' Christmas Album: Courtesy of super-collector, Barry McLean, throughout December EIN will be presenting a series of largely "archival" visuals highlighting different Elvis Christmas releases from all corners of the globe.

Here is the third in our series, a rare South American Elvis Christmas release:

Friday 12 December 2008................. In the Distance I hear Sleigh Bells Ringing ......

Lots of Rare Elvis Photos with EIN: Elvis fans are always after new, rare and exciting photographs. EIN contributor Sanja Meegin has recently started an Elvis Information Network Facebook page that features a regular update of fabulous photographs from her amazing Elvis photo archives. Over the years Sanja has brought you her fascinating annual reports from Elvis Week in Memphis and amazing images, so you know she won't let you down. By subscribing to the Elvis Info Network Facebook you will get regular notification of photo updates. 

Click here to access our Facebook Elvis Information Network. You need to be a Facebook Member.

Or Join Facebook - and search 'The Elvis Information Network'

And go here to see Sanja's close-up Memphis photos. 

(News, Source;EIN/SanjaM) 

Priscilla to join Elvis Birthday Festivities in Memphis: EPE have announced that fans can join Priscilla Presley on January 8, 2009 at 8:45 a.m. for the Elvis Presley Day Ceremony on the front steps of Graceland. The traditional ceremony with a special program hosted by Priscilla Presley, along with Graceland/EPE officials, will feature a birthday cake cutting and a proclamation of Elvis Presley Day. Free admission and complimentary birthday cake and coffee will be served at the Chrome Grille restaurant across the street from the mansion following the ceremony. Click here for a official list of the current Elvis Birthday Celebration 2009 Events.

(News, Source;EIN) 


Countdown To Christmas CD: The "Straight Arrow" label will release "Countdown To Christmas" later this month. The December 9th, 10 P.M. show is fairly typical of this strong engagement. There are no weak moments during the show, but several performances deserve special mention: a robust "Trying To Get To You", a surprisingly wild version of "Polk Salad Annie" and a fast-paced "Burning Love" are ample proof that 'Elvis - The King' could still rock whenever he wanted to. 'Elvis - The Crooner' gave his all on songs like "And I Love You So", "Just Pretend" and "Softly As I Leave You". The unofficial national anthem "America The Beautiful" and the Gospel favorite "How Great Thou Art" are outstanding performances.

The 16-page booklet includes many photos (& some rare ones) taken during December 1975 Las Vegas engagement and huge collection of reproduced Elvis Christmas memorabilia from 1958-1975. The Straight Arrow team thank you for your support and wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2009 and hopes that you will enjoy this special Holiday release!

"Being the time of year it is" EIN presents a sneak preview inside the excellent booklet. See below for full details. (News, Source:EIN)


The Early Live Recordings of Elvis A. Presley on DVD: Yet another compilation on DVD of Elvis' early recordings. All here on one DVD Audio disc.

The fifties shows are Public Domain but The Sinatra and 1961 Hawaii Show are obviously not.

 

 

 

(News, Source:epgold)


Elvis Presley's 'biological son' will not be able to appeal conviction: The Utah Court of Appeals has declined to hear an appeal from a man who believes he is Elvis Presley's biological son and who was convicted of making threatening phone calls to 3rd District Court judges.
Ernest John Young, who also is known as Jason Presley, was sentenced in 2007 to zero-to-five years in prison for one count of retaliating against a judge, a third-degree felony. Young pleaded guilty, but later tried unsuccessfully to withdraw his plea.
In his appeal, Young claimed that he had not entered into the plea bargain knowingly and willingly, and cited the law regarding plea bargains and withdrawing a guilty plea after it has been entered.
However, the appeals court in a brief ruling issued Thursday said that Young in his appeal, "makes no effort to analyze the facts in his case based upon the law he cites."
The ruling said "it is not the court's responsibility to scour the record looking for facts and arguments to support an appellant's broad assertions."
At his sentencing, Young's lawyer, Brook Sessions, said that Young had not been taking necessary medication and had been drinking heavily when he made threatening phone calls to two judges in 2006, insisting that they pursue people whom Young said had conspired to murder Presley.
Young also insists that he is the heir to the vast Presley fortune. Among other things, Young has previously filed court documents regarding Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie.
One document Young filed in federal court alleges that Lisa Marie Presley was involved in kidnapping triplet children by helicopter from the University of Utah Hospital as well as conspiring to commit other crimes, including several murders.
The case involving the threats against the state district judges was moved from the state's 3rd District to the 4th District to avoid any conflicts of interest.
Sessions at the time of sentencing asked 4th District Judge Gary Stott to give Young probation and have him monitored in the community by a mental health court. But a pre-sentence report drawn up by Adult Probation and Parole said Young was not a good choice for community-based services and supervision, and Young was subsequently sent to prison. (News, Source;UtahNews/SanjaM
Thursday 11 December 2008................. I Want to Suck Your Finger Baby, - under the Misteloe.......
'The Brightest Star on Sunset Boulevard' Reissue: Fort Baxter/Gravelroad music will re-release an upgraded double CD set of the old bootleg 'The Brightest Star On Sunset Boulevard'. EIN has confirmed that this new 2CD set is genuinely taken from original DAT Fort Baxter tapes and not from a "dodgy" bootleg copy. The sound is a genuine upgrade.
From the publicity release: THE COMPLETE REHEARSAL TAPE OF JULY 24, 1970 at RCA STUDIOS, HOLLYWOOD: After the successful releases of "Vegas Rhythm" and "You know, it don't have to be strictly country - Vol 1" we are proud to tell that Fort Baxter wanted to join forces with them ,releasing "The Brightest Star of Sunset Boulevard Vol 1 & 2".
We at Gravelroad music, loved the idea and know the high standards Fort Baxter lives up to. It has to be an excellent release, so we said; "Great let's do it , but.... A 2 cd value Digipack and working with the original recording! So everybody will have the change to have it complete this time". Value for money is needed in these times. The moment we started to work we discovered that the original sound was much clearer and much more spread to left and right. The background instruments where suddenly present. Elvis voice was in the room and were present there at the rehearsal.
We knew it is a justified release, no compressors, limiters, etc. It's exciting and more ... pure Elvis

- DISC 1: 1.That's All Right, 2.I Got A Woman, 3.The Wonder Of You, 4.I've Lost You 5.The Next Step Is Love 6.Stranger In The Crowd 7.You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling 8.Something 9.Don't Cry Daddy #1 10.Don't Cry Daddy #2 11.You Don't Have To Say You Love Me 12.Polk Salad Annie 13.Bridge Over Troubled Water 14.I Can't Stop Loving You 15.Just Pretend / Don't it makes you wanna go home (few lines) 16.Sweet Caroline / Love me tender (few lines) 17.Words

- DISC 2; 1. Suspicious Minds 2. I Just Can't Help Believin' #1 3. I Just Can't Help Believin' #2 4. Tomorrow Never Comes / Running Scared (few lines) 5. Mary In The Morning 6. Twenty Days And Twenty Nights 7. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
8. I Just Can't Help Believin' #3 9. Heart Of Rome (uncensored) & reprise 10.Memories 11.Johnny B. Goode 12.Make The World Go Away / Delilah (few lines) 13.Stranger In My Own Home Town (uncensored) 14. I Washed My Hand In Muddy Water

Gravelroad state that other old Baxter and Bilko titles will also be released by them next year from the original tapes and reels.
"You know, it don't have to be strictly country - Vol 2" is unfortunately delayed due to this release. . . . (News, Source;Various)

Susan Henning’s "68" Book Released: Susan Henning’s book on her life and friendship with Elvis has been released. Described as "Susan Henning's loving memoir of Elvis. You will enjoy the love story and the nostalgic photographs of Suasn and Elvis from their movie "LIVE A LITTLE, LOVE A LITTLE" , their reunion on the TV Special "68," and snapshots from Susan's personal photo album. 80 pages of love, laughter and wonderful memories."

The book was released through Rainbow Rhapsody Press (Lincoln, CA). For lots of information, ordering a signed copy, plus a delightful PDF preview of the book, Click Here... Susan Henning Website.

(News, Source;EIN)


Elvis Presley & Frank Sinatra 'The Kings of Christmas' Xmas download album: This iTunes download album features 24 Public Domain tracks from the fifties, twelve by each star. It starts with 'The Christmas Song ' by Frankie with Elvis' 'Silent Night' as track two. Release Date: 10 Dec 2008. From the One Trybal Srl label.

 

(News, Source;EIN)


Another sample from the new Susan Henning book "68":

Has Elvis ever sucked your finger?!

- Susan Henning’s book on her life and friendship with Elvis has been released.

For ordering information, go here .. Susan Henning Website.

(News, Source;EIN)

Wednesday 10 December 2008................. Hang up your pretty stockings, turn off the light .......
Elvis' 1962 Private Lockheed Jetstar to be Auctioned: The staff of the largest collector auction company, Kruse International, is busy finalizing all details for the 35th Annual Las Vegas Collector Car Auction taking place on December 19th and 20th, 2008 at the beautiful South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Kruse is proud to announce an impressive line up of vehicles that includes "Mr. Las Vegas" Wayne Newton's 1982 Mercedes-Benz and 2001 Jaguar XK8 Convertible, Pamela Anderson's customized "LoveStream" Trailer Lounge, which she will sell in person at the auction, and the most coveted item of the event, one of the world's greatest attraction, Elvis' 1962 Lockheed Jet.
Elvis was known to be an airplane enthusiast. He owned three jets during his lifetime which included a Convair 880 Jet (the famous Lisa Marie) and two Lockheed Jets. After Elvis' death all jets were sold, and today only Hound Dog II and the Lisa Marie have returned to Graceland.
The 1962 Lockheed Jet that will be up for auction is one of only 204 aircrafts manufactured between 1957 and 1978 in a private project between Jetstar and Lockheed. This aircraft has never been restored and features original external painting and detailing, as well as original interior. The jet is the only airplane that belonged to Elvis still in private hands. It is expected that the aircraft will bring an estimated range between $700,000 to $2M.
Stored in Roswell, New Mexico, prospective buyers are invited to inspect the Lockheed Jetstar JT 12-5 on December 13th and 14th, 2008. This aircraft could be a new great attraction in the Elvis world and it could be a substantial addition to any museum, amusement park, entertainment center, or private collection. For more details go to www.kruse.com (News, Source;SanjaM)

Elvis and Justin Timberlake become the First Rock 'n' Roll Music Superstars to Join Gaia Online: In another EPE youth marketing move, Gaia Online has announced today that Elvis and Justin Timberlake have joined with the leading online hangout for teens and young adults. Virtual goods inspired by these superstars are now available to Gaia Online's more than 7 million users as part of the site's Celebrity Snare section. These two entertainment icons bring with them all the swag and swagger Gaians need to feel like a king - from Justin's microphone and signature fedora to Elvis' guitar and famous blue suede shoes.
"We're excited that virtual world users will be exposed to Elvis' iconic legacy with these King of Rock 'n' Roll inspired virtual goods," said Kevin Kern EPE spokesman. "This launch with Gaia Online is a natural extension of the Elvis.com website, giving fans even more places to celebrate Elvis online."
Each month, as part of Celebrity Snare, Gaians vote on the star they idolize the most and Gaia Online's resident in-world celebritologist virtually ventures to Hollywood - or in this case Memphis, to explore and observe the stars in their natural surroundings. Once the celebrity study is complete and the celebritoligist has returned with his research, Gaia Online members can collect a series of unique virtual items based on the stars. To create an avatar and start decking it out in celebrity duds, Click HERE to Celebrity Snareat: (News, Source;EIN/EPE)

Elvis Spankox Re:Version CD: Reviews of the recent Spankox remix CD are very varied from EIN Nigel's positive review to Gordon Minto in the recommended magazine 'The Man & His Music' stating, "rest assured this one is a real STINKER. . a wanton case of musical vandalism. Sorry but this is sheer BS."!

Perhaps the real disappointment is that only the 'Public Domain' fifties songs were used - which EPE then only officially sanctioned once the y smelt the dollar signs - and then with little publicity! EPE also copied the original cover which didn't even use Elvis' image. Surely Elvis' first official Remix album should have been a more thoroughly produced release using Elvis' better, more modern-sounding, later songs like 'Let Yourself Go'.

Whatever you think, the CD includes a nice booklet with some very suitable quotes..

"Without Elvis you're nothing" - Madonna

 

 

(News, Source; Barry McLean)


Peter Mars named an Offical Artist of EPE: Peter Mars has been hailed as the leader of the Avant Pop art movement, celebrating the melding of pop culture and mass media, richly layered with an avant-garde sensibility of innovation." His work has been praised as "witty and excitingly of the moment" and he has now been named an official artist of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. Through this collaboration, Mars will be granted access to over 60,000 images of Elvis from the Graceland Archives and will create a new series of Elvis-inspired paintings to be sold through galleries and to appear on select officially licensed Elvis merchandise. Elvis Insiders will get a sneak peek at a few of his Elvis pieces at the Elvis Insiders Graceland Tour and Reception on January 9.

 

(News, Source;EPE)


Dolores Fuller, Elvis songwriter, - her new Biography: The name Dolores Fuller should be familiar to anyone who has checked out the composers of Elvis' songs. She was responsible for the composition of 12 songs from 6 Elvis movies and often worked along-side the likes of Ben Wiseman and and Fred Wise. Her most famous are 'Rock-A-Hula-Baby' (with Wise & Weisman) plus 'Do the Clam', 'Cindy Cindy', 'I Got Lucky' and 'Spinout'. From fashion model, dancer and actress to renowned songwriter and talent manager, Dolores Fuller has done it all. In her autobiography, Miss Fuller speaks honestly and with candor about her many triumphs and the professional disappointments and personal tragedies she has endured, such as her virtual partnership with Ed Wood during the making of his early films, to her painful discovery of Wood's transvestism, and their eventual break-up. Her songwriting for Elvis and discovery and nurturing of such talent as Johnny Rivers, to her heart-breaking experience with Tanya Tucker. Finally, Miss Fuller reveals her true feelings towards Sarah Jessica Parker's unflattering performance of her in Tim Burton's Ed Wood. Filled with fascinating and humorous anecdotes about the many famous people she has known throughout her long career, Dolores Fuller's autobiography is both informative and a highly entertaining read. Go here for more info (News, Source:EIN)


Smokey Joe's Café musical to be revived: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller teamed up in 1950 to write music, and went on the compose some of the biggest rock and roll hits of the 20th century, including Elvis' Hound Dog. When rock and roll took the world by storm, Leiber and Stoller were at the center of the storm.
They teamed up in Los Angeles when they were 17 and were soon working with Johnny Otis, a rhythm and blues musician and music producer. They wrote songs for Otis and blues artists like Charles Brown and Little Willie Littlefield.
Otis was doing rehearsals in his studio one day and invited young Leiber and Stoller to meet Big Momma Thornton, a powerful African American rhythm and blues singer.
"He had us listen to her. And we jumped in my [19]37 Plymouth and went back to my house. And within about 10 minutes, the song was done," Mike Stoller recalled the day.
The song, called Hound Dog, would become a hit in rhythm and blues circles.
Within a few years, the team was successful enough that Stoller and his wife could make an extended trip to Europe.
In July 1956, the couple returned from Naples to New York. They had planned to take a Greek ship, but a travel agent persuaded them to change to a luxury liner called the Andrea Doria.
"He said, 'Oh, don't worry about it," said Stoller. "Take it; you'll never forget it.'"
They never did forget it. In one of the worst maritime accidents of the century, the Andrea Doria collided with another ship off the coast of Massachusetts, leaving 46 passengers dead. More than 1,600 were rescued, including Stoller and his wife.
Reaching New York, his partner was there to greet him with some good news.
"He said, 'We've got a smash!' I said, 'What is it?' He said, 'Hound Dog.' I said, 'Hound Dog?' 'Big Momma Thornton?' He said, 'No, some white kid named Elvis Presley.'"
But Stoller says he was not happy with the recording.
"It was very disappointing to me and to Jerry because it didn't have the feel that Big Momma had."
But after the Presley version sold seven million singles its first year, Stoller says they saw some merit in the record. Leiber and Stoller went on to write more than 20 songs for Elvis, including hits like Jailhouse Rock.
They started their own company, Spark Records, with a black group called The Robins, then signed a production deal with Atlantic Records. That got national distribution for their recordings of The Coasters, who performed such Leiber and Stoller songs as Searchin, Charlie Brown, Poison Ivy and Yakety Yak. That Coasters' hit reached the top of the music charts in 1958.
"They were a great bunch of guys. They would come in off the road and show us how they had performed the song that we had done on the prior session, and the choreography and the gestures and so on and so forth, and we would fall on the floor laughing," he said. "And then we would play them the new song and they would fall on the floor laughing. And it was just a wonderful, wonderful happy time."
Other hit Leiber and Stoller songs would be recorded by The Drifters, Ben E. King (Stand By Me & Spanish Harlem) and Peggy Lee. A 1995 musical stage show was based on the songs of Leiber and Stoller. Called Smokey Joe's Café, it was named after one of the team's early rhythm and blues songs, and its five year run set a record on Broadway for musical revues.
Stoller's wife of 38 years, jazz musician Corky Hale, is helping produce a revival of Smokey Joe's Café at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles. She says the show excites youngsters when they first hear the music, and brings back memories for older fans.
"One of the reasons that I think it's such a hit is that people say, 'Oh yeah, I was in high school then. I was dating Mary Smith and we used to play that song all the time.' So people remember from each of those songs something in their childhood," she said. (News, Source;SanjaM)

'Tickle Me' DVD UK new version: With new cover art 'Tickle Me' will be released in the UK on January 26 by Optimum Home Entertainment. It also features Julie Adams and the delightful Jocelyn Lane. Directed by Norman Taurog, has a running time of 87 minutes. The DVD is available for pre-order from HMV.

 

(News, Source;HMV)


Two more Elvis Camden Albums Re-released: 'I Got Lucky' and 'Elvis sings Hits From His Movies Volume 1' -Sony/BMG USA have released these two new Camden original albums on CD. Both contain the same songs as the original LP and are re-mastered by Vic Anesini.

Go here for info

(News, Source:Barry McLean)

 

Monday 8 December 2008.................The jingle jangle of silver bells.......

Rex Martin (Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly) talks exclusively to EIN: EIN recently had the pleasure of spending several hours talking to Rex Martin publisher of the legendary publication, the Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly.

The result is a fascinating multi-part interview beginning today.

In Part 1 Rex speaks about his early years, becoming an Elvis fan, why he started the fondly remembered weekly, his trips to the US and what he has been doing since he ceased publishing the Weekly in 1978.

For those not familar with Rex's publications, the "Weekly" revolutionised how fans right around the world received their Elvis news while his Elvis booklets (see opposite) offered well researched and rare material for readers to enjoy.

EIN invites you to take a trip down memory lane and witness a very important part of Elvis world history.... (Interview, Source: EIN)


Elvis' Christmas Album: Courtesy of super-collector, Barry McLean, throughout December EIN will be presenting a series of largely "archival" visuals highlighting different Elvis Christmas releases from all corners of the globe.

Here is the second in our series, one edition of Elvis' Christmas Album:


Demise of publisher forcing up value of rare Elvis book: By all accounts, Katco Media, publisher of the insightful book, the King is Dead, has ceased business.

As a result, its book by Robert Holton, detailing the arrangements for Elvis' funeral in August 1977, is rapidlty rising in value. For example, on Amazon, its dealer network now has a price for the book starting at US$399.95!

In writing the book, Holton interviewed Robert Kendall, Funeral Director at Memphis Funeral Home, and the book provides almost a blow-by-blow account, with rare photos, of what happened.

The logistics of arranging Elvis' casket at very short notice and other intricate details are well chronicled and provide a great insight to what happened behind the scenes in August 1977. Sadly, despite the Katco reprint of the book in 2004, a number of fans, and EIN, found difficulties in obtaining a copy of the book despite direct contact with the principal of Katco. (News, Source: EIN/eBay/Elvis Dealers)

Read excerpts from "the King is Dead"

(Original cover artwork shown opposite)

 


Parkes Elvis Festival - losing the plot?: More stories of behind the scenes politics and a lack of strategic foresight are coming to light as the 2009 Parkes Elvis Festival in Australia draws closer.

In addition, fans have complained to EIN about what they see as a "tacky" television ad promoting the January event. They say it only reinforces the negative aspects of the Elvis legacy.

EIN will publish a detailed report about the Parkes Festival issues later this week, including fan feedback.


Elvis CDs released through Romania newspaper: Released earlier this year through the Jurnalul National newspaper in Romania are the compilation CD "Muzica de Colectie" featuring 19 early hits and a re-issue of Elvis' first Christmas album. (News, Source: Elvis News)

Calling Elvis poets!:
Whether you are Elvis the Pelvis
Or like writing poetry about Elvis
We want you at our poet's breaky
So come with your poem ready
January 8 is when its on
So get your mates and come along
An American breaky is what you'll get
You will enjoy the Rhymer from Ryde I bet
So look at our web and get a form
See you in Parkes on the Thursday morn

A new addition to the 2009 CountryLink Parkes Elvis Festival is the ClubsNSW Elvis Poet's Breakfast. It will be held on 8 January, 2009, at the Parkes Bowling and Sports Club at 7am and will be hosted by Graeme Johnson 'The Rhymer from Ryde'.

The Rhymer from Ryde has a broad poetry background receiving more than 70 awards over the past 10 years for his Bush Poetry, Free verse, Limericks and Yarn-spinning. He has appeared at many festivals across the country including the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Entries are being accepted now for the poetry competition so if you've got a flair for poetry why not put your pen to paper and start writing some Elvis inspired poems? Prizes are available for first and second prize. Visit www.parkeselvisfestival.com.au for conditions and an entry form or call 6863 4349. Entries close 31 December.

The format of the breakfast will include poetry performances from all entrants, entertainment from Graeme Johnson and a walk up session whilst breakfast is served. Enjoy light-hearted poetry and an American style breakfast and come along for some fun.

It is sure to be a great morning, designed to draw to a close at around 9am, with plenty of time to get to work.

Tickets are $25 each and are available from the Parkes Visitor Information Centre which includes all entertainment, breakfast and tea and coffee. (News, Source: Sanja Meegin)

 


Sunday 7 December 2008.................Rudolph is limbering up for Christmas.......

Lamar Fike item on eBay: Lamar Fike has re-listed on eBay the following item at a reduced reserve price:

Because of the chemotherapy treatments Lamar Fike had to endure for his cancer that he contracted four years ago he became weak and it was difficult for him to maneuver around and so he bought and used a Scooter Store Power Chair to use. 

Now that he has been in remission for a year he does not need the chair anymore and wants to sell it. he wants to give an Elvis fan first shot at it.  Either they or someone in their family or that they know might be helped by this chair and this is an opportunity to obtain a very expensive one at a greatly reduced price.

 

Coming to EIN tomorrow:

Part 1 of our exclusive interview with the legendary Rex Martin, the man behind the iconic publication, Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly.

The Elvis News Service Weekly is fondly remembered by many fans today. It was ahead of its time in the late 1960s and 1970s and revolutionised how fans receiced their Elvis news!

In Part 1 of what is a fascinating interview, Rex tells us:

  • what he has been doing since he ceased publication of the Weekly
  • discusses his early years
  • talks about how the Weekly came about
  • his trips to the US and the material he uncovered

Elvis 12" Christmas Single: Courtesy of super-collector, Barry McLean, throughout December EIN will be presenting a series of largely "archival" visuals highlighting different Elvis Christmas releases from all corners of the globe.

Here is the first in our series, a rare 12" vinyl Elvis single of It Won't Seem Like Christmas (Without You) and Merry Christmas Baby:


Elvis By Candlelight: The book "Elvis By Candlelight" by Mary Lou Anderson was released quietly a few months ago. The author, who came up with the idea for the candlelight vigil, tells her and other fan's stories in regard to the vigil. According to the review in the latest ElvisMatters magazine the quality of the book is very poor. (News, Source: Elvis News)  

'Elvis That's The Way It Is The Complete Works' boxset UPDATE: EIN is advised that while there has been a small delay in release of this much anticipated 6CD/3DVD/book set, there is still a chance of its release before Christmas (otherwise in January 2009). (News, Source: The Phantom)

View full details of this set


"Elvis putt" now part of the Golf game: During this weekend's Australian PGA tournament, one commentator announced: "That's an Elvis putt....Return To Sender". The commentator was referring to a putt which hit the edge of the hole, started to drop in, but hit the side and popped back out. (News, Source: EIN)


Aussie Chart Update - Elvis hits #1!: The Christmas Duets album rises four spots to #1 on this week's ARIA Country Album Chart. On the ARIA Album Top 50 it debuts with a star at #38.

On the ARIA Music DVD chart, Elvis The King of Rock 'n' Roll continues its impressive run (after 35 weeks) by rising two spots to #32. (News, Source: ARIA)

 

Friday 5 December 2008.................Sleigh bells ring.......

Released Nixon tapes cover Sammy & Elvis: New memos from the President Nixon Archives include mentions of Elvis and fellow entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr.

The Nixon campaign also packed files with the names of celebrities whose support was assured or assumed. Campaign aides were especially interested in using Sammy Davis Jr. as an envoy to the black community.

Campaign workers talked to Davis about supporting Nixon in January 1972.

"The entertainer's reaction was that he has not chosen sides and is 'hanging loose,'" said a memo sent that month by campaign staffer Paul Jones to the re-election committee. "He indicated wanting to see 'what is in it' – which was spelled out to mean something 'for the people' – not for himself."
In another memo from mid-1972, a young political aide named Pat Buchanan wrote that he had heard "that Elvis might be persuaded to pop some loot for us."

"He got to see the President and would love to be named to some anti-drug commission, and may be ready to contribute," Buchanan added. (News, Source: OC Register)


Elvis returns to Hot Country Songs for the first time in almost 11 years: Paired with Carrie Underwood on "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (RCA) from his "Christmas Duets" album, Presley makes his 67th appearance on this tally, expanding his chart span to 53 years and five months. Presley made his country chart debut while he was still with Sun Records, before he made his pop singles debut on RCA. The first Presley 45 to appear on the country singles chart was "Baby Let's Play House" / "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone" in July 1955.

"I'll Be Home for Christmas" is the first Presley title to show up on Hot Country Songs since "Blue Christmas" re-entered and peaked at No. 55 in January 1998.

This is Underwood's 13th chart entry and her first with another artist since her debut single teamed her with Rascal Flatts on a remake of the group's "Bless the Broken Road." Underwood's chart span is slightly shorter than Presley's, at three-and-a-half years.
 
WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS: Tom Jones headlined at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, but there are photos of him visiting Elvis Presley in his suite at the Las Vegas Hilton. So make that three Sin City-related debuts this week, as Jones comes roaring back onto The Billboard 200 with "24 Hours" (S-Curve), his highest-charting album in 31 years.
(News, Source: Billboard)


Noel Avec Elvis" CD release: To celebrate ten years of the Elvis My Happiness shop in Paris, France, the French fan club with the same name  re-issued the rare EP "Noel Avec Elvis" on CD. (News, Source: Elvis News)

"hounddog" box office update: This week the controversial Dakota Fanning film jumps 12 places to #75 on the US box office with cumulative takings of $122,704. It is in its 11th week of release and is showing in only two theaters. (News, Source: Yahoo)

Read more about "hounddog"and view the film posters


Record your own duet with Elvis!: A fter the release of the 'Christmas Duets' CD, EPE has launched a special website dedicated to this album.

You can listen to samples from the CD and watch the video clip of 'Blue Christmas' with Martina McBride.

The coolest option is that you can record your own duet with Elvis. You have to dial a number on your phone (to the USA).

After you've recorded the song, you can mail it as a christmas card to your friends.

Sing With The King website (News, Source: Elvis Matters/EPE/EP Gold)


LP and CD reissues: Re-released by RCA in the UK on vinyl is the "For LP Fans Only" album. The compilation "Love, Elvis" is due for another re-release on January 9, 2009 from RCA International in Germany. (News, Source: Elvis News/amazon.de)


James Burton and Junkie XL nominated for Grammy Awards: James Burton is nominated for the prestigious Grammy Awards in the category 'Best Country Instrumental Performance'. James Burton is credited for his part in the song 'Cluster Pluck' from Brad Paisley where Vince Gill, John Jorgenson, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert & Steve Wariner are having a 'guitar fight'. The award ceremony is on february 8 in Los Angeles.

Junkie XL, the remixer of "A Litte Less Conversation"  was nominated in the category "Best Remix" for his remix of Madonna And Justin Timberlake's hit "4 minutes". (News, Source: Elvis News/Elvis Matters)

Read EIN's exclusive interview with Junkie XL


Duplex collection: This is the cover art for the "Duplex" collection budget CD which was released a while ago on the Weton Wesgram budget label. (News, Source: Elvis News)

Elvis in next Goldmine magazine: Peter Lindblad of the American "Goldmine" magazine, informed EP Gold's Maurice Colgan that the next issue will be an Elvis Presley Special.

It hits the streets around the 12th December, with a 2nd January 2009 date on the cover.
(News, Source: Maurice Colgan/EP Gold)

 

Shown opposite: Earlier issue of Goldmine


"Elvis for Dummies": Due for release July 24, 2009 from John Wiley & Sons is the 384 pages book "Elvis For Dummies" by renowned Elvis author, (Professor) Susan Doll (ISBN: 0470472022). (News, Source: Elvis News)

Interview highlight: (audio)
MILLIE KIRKHAM & GORDON STOKER  
tell Chuck the story behind Elvis’ Blue Christmas!  

www.ChuckOBrienPresents.com 

www.PresentingPresley.com

 

Wednesday 3 December 2008.................it won't be a "Silent Night" with Elvis singing

Inside Blue Hawaii: Here is a preview of the upcoming Elvis Unlimited release "Inside Blue Hawaii". The boxset is due for release before Christmas.

According to the authors, this could be the best title of the series, with "Blue Hawaii" being a favorite movie for many fans.

As always, the box is filled with extra collectors items. The package will arrive on time for the holidays. (News, Source: Elvis Unlimited)


The Man and His Music pages online: For those of you who love reading "The Man & His Music" magazine, but are frustrated at not being able to get hold of the 'Sold Out' issues, and cannot get hold of them on Ebay, fear not!

You can read the contents of all of the 'Sold Out' issues along with a breakdown of every issue on Keith Flynn's Elvis site.

You can also find a lot of copies of Elvis Monthly there. (News, Source: Elvis News/FECC forum)


Images - A Photo Documentary: A new photobook will be out next week with pictures from the collection of Dutch collector Patrick Janssen.

The book will also include a bonus DVD with candid footage from Huntsville 75 + newsreels and a bonus photo. (News, Source: FECC)


'68 Comeback Special 40 Years Old Today!: Original Special with Bonus Footage Available on DVD and 4-CD Set Featuring 20 Never-before-Released Songs

December 3, 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of the original airing of Elvis Presley's 1968 career-changing "Comeback" television special on the NBC television network.

The iconic special features Elvis at his best with some of the richest moments in music history ever filmed for television. This ground-breaking special still has a contemporary feel and Elvis' informal jam sessions in front of a small audience are regarded as a forerunner of the "unplugged" concept.

"It was a performance that fans and critics could not ignore, filled with passion and that aura of rock and roll that only Elvis had," said Kevin Kern, Director of Public Relations for Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. "It's one of the many anticipated celebrations here at Graceland and from fans all over the world."

The anniversary celebration for the '68 Special began in March of 2008 with a new exhibit at Graceland titled, "Elvis '68 Special." Included in the exhibit are some of Elvis' wardrobe items worn in the special, such as his black leather wristband, a jacket seen in the night club scene and later worn by Elvis during a rare meeting with President Nixon. There are also other items related to the show, such as tickets to the show taped on NBC's Burbank studio and Elvis' personal scripts for the special containing his handwritten notes. One of the highlights of the exhibit is the white suit seen in the closing number, when Elvis performs "If I Can Dream." The suit was also seen in the stunning video duet between Elvis and Celine Dion as part of the 2007 Idol Gives Back special.

The exhibit area, located at the Graceland Crossing shopping plaza across from Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis, also includes a new '68 Special-themed retail store stocked with officially licensed merchandise related to the special. Fans can also celebrate the anniversary anywhere in the world on December 3rd with special '68 Special content on Elvis.com. Fans can also celebrate the iconic special with the Elvis: 68 Comeback Special - Deluxe Edition DVD Set, Elvis: 68 Comeback Special - Single Disc DVD and Elvis: The Complete '68 Comeback Special CD Set.

'68 Special fun facts:
  • It was directed by Steve Binder and produced by Binder and Bones Howe.
  • At 6:00 pm, on June 27, Elvis took to the stage for four one-hour live shows being taped at NBC's Burbank studios.
  • Sponsored by The Singer Company, the special aired on the NBC television network.
  • The broadcast aired on December 3, 1968, and was rebroadcast the following summer.
  • The show was the highest-rated television special of the year and was seen by 42% of the viewing audience.
  • It was the first one-man TV special to appear on commercial American television.
  • "If I Can Dream," released a month before the special, sold over 800,000 units in its initial release.
  • The album from the special sold more than 500,000 in its original chart run.

To learn more about the anniversary of the '68 Special, visit www.elvis.com or to order the anniversary DVDs and CDs please visit www.shopelvis.com.

Read EIN's detailed review of the "Complete '68 Comeback Special" 4CD Boxset


Latest Elvis Graphic from Charmaine: Here is Charmaine's Christmas 2008 Elvis graphic.

For this and other great Elvis graphics from Charmaine (and to obtain your own personalized Elvis graphic) click here


New Spankox Single - Blue Moon of Kentucky: The second single from Spankox remix album will be "Blue Moon Of Kentucky". It is due from Spankox Everness label for release December 2008 in Italy. Like the first single it will be a VinylCD too; one side plays in your cd player while the other side plays on your record player. The video was filmed just recently in the UK. (News, Source: Elvis News)


Countdown To Christmas CD: The "Straight Arrow" label will release its 11th CD, entitled "Countdown To Christmas" later this month. Thes CD contains an audience recording of Elvis' Vegas performance on December 9, 1975 (20.00 PM. show).

The press release: December 1975 marked the first time ever that Elvis worked around the winter holidays. Why did Colonel Parker take the risk to play before Christmas when even shows by regular Las Vegas performers suffered from poor attendances?

The main reason was Elvis financial situation but The Colonel was keen on fulfilling the August 1975 contract too. The ol’ gambler took the situation as a challenge and booked Elvis at the Hilton from December 2nd til the 15th for a total of 16 shows. And once again, he hit the jackpot - all shows were sold out.

Elvis was in great voice throughout the engagement; "My Boy", "How Great Thou Art", "Burning Love", "Just Pretend" and "America The Beautiful" were memorable highlights during these shows. However, Elvis’ physical appearance was somewhat alarming; in December he appeared even heavier than in August, and his face was puffy and bloated. Nevertheless, this season was a huge success, and for the closing show on December 15th, there were more people at the Hilton showroom alone than in all other Las Vegas showrooms together.

The December 9th, 10 P.M. show as presented here is fairly typical of this strong engagement. There are no weak moments during the show, but several performances deserve special mention: a robust "Trying To Get To You", a surprisingly wild version of "Polk Salad Annie" and a fast-paced "Burning Love" are ample proof that 'Elvis - The King' could still rock whenever he wanted to. 'Elvis - The Crooner' gave his all on songs like "And I Love You So", "Just Pretend" and "Softly As I Leave You". The unofficial national anthem "America The Beautiful" and the Gospel favorite "How Great Thou Art" are outstanding performances.

This engagement marked the last time that Elvis' concerts were of such a consistently high standard. Later his shows would become increasingly erratic, and whilst were some truly great concerts, many of them varied from average to rather poor, no matter how much Elvis tried. In December '75, Elvis tried too - and for the last time, he managed to pull it off, night after night.

This previously unreleased live recording originates directly from 1st generation copy of recently surfaced new master tape, as recorded by an audience member. The audio-quality of the recording is very good for an off-line recording. The sound was completely restored in a renowned studio to achieve the best possible quality for your optimal listening pleasure.

It's almost unnecessary to repeat that Straight Arrow will present this CD with a full-colour, 16-page booklet with many photos (incl. some rare ones) taken during December 1975 Las Vegas engagement and huge collection of reproduced Elvis Christmas memorabilia from 1958-1975.

The Straight Arrow team thank you for your support and wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2009 and hopes that you will enjoy this special Holiday release!

Tracklisting: 01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from "2001 A Space Odyssey") - 02. Opening Vamp / C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman (with false start) / Amen (medley) - 04. Love Me - 05. Fairytale - 06. And I Love You So - 07. Tryin' To Get To You - 08. All Shook Up - 09. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel (medley) - 10. Love Me Tender - 11. Polk Salad Annie - 12. Band Introductions - 13. Johnny B. Goode - 14. Drum Solo (by Ronnie Tutt) - 15. Bass Solo (Blues - by Jerry Scheff) - 16. Piano Solo (by Glen D. Hardin) - 17. School Day #1 - 18. School Day #2 - 19. Just Pretend - 20. How Great Thou Art (with reprise) - 21. Burning Love - 22. Softly As I Leave You - 23. America The Beautiful - 24. It's Now Or Never (with reprise) - 25. One Night - 26. Mystery Train / Tiger Man (medley) - 27. Dialogue - 28. Can't Help Falling In Love - 29. Closing Vamp.
(News, Source: FECC)


Edible "chocolate" Elvis record!: A Belgian chocolatier has made a 45rpm record out of chocolat. The record 'It's Now Or Never' from Elvis, made out of chocolat, can be played on a real record player. Roland Landuyt from the city of Knokke has had the idea for more than 15 years, but he was not able to produce the records untill now. He is not planning to make a commercial product out of the records, he only uses it as a gimmick. The production cost of a record is €50,- and it's not known at this time how he can preserve the records. (News, Source: Elvis Matters)

 

Monday 1 December 2008.................get ready - Santa Claus is coming to town!!
The King Creole Outtakes: Soon to be released is the CD titled "The King Creole Outtakes". More details soon. (News, Source: FECC)

Chart Update: The "Christmas Duets" CD climbs from #13 to #4 on the Australian Country albums chart. On the Music DVD chart "Elvis The King Of Rock And Roll" compilation DVD dropped from #22 to #24. (News, Source: Elvis News/ARIA)


The Tupelo-Memphis Murders: A Psychological Study of Self Destruction and Murder!:

This is the rare spiral bound edition which, unlike the regular edition, contains clues as to the author of the book.

 

The Tupelo-Memphis Murders: A Study in Self-Destruction and Murder! is rated by ElvisBookResearch as:

"....the best Elvis conspiracy book in years.......brings together all of the major Elvis conspiracy theories......confusing, confounding and hard to put down


Elvis books now available in Australia: Aussie bookseller Collins (www.collinsbooks.com.au) has listed several recent Elvis titles as available in Australia. These include:

  • The Elvis Encyclopedia (Adam Victor) A$129.95Elvis '57 (Alan Hanson) A$59.95A Boy Called Elvis (Peter Robinson) A$16.99
  • Race, Rock & Elvis (Michael T. Bertrand) A$35.95

Elvis' Gold Cadillac - 1968 Tour of Australia-NZ

Aussie-New Zealand Fans:can you help??

Australian collector and Elvis researcher, Bob Hayden, is preparing a detailed account of the 1968 Tour of Australia-New Zealand of Elvis' Gold Cadillac. Bob is seeking help from fans who saw the Cadillac at the time. Bob tells EIN:

 

EIN, I have nearly finished the final draft for my booklet on the tour around Australia , but an in need of some help from Elvis fans around the country. I would like to hear from anybody from the EIN network that saw the Limousine when it toured Australia during 1968.

Of particular interest to me would be details, (photos or newspaper clippings) of when the Cadillac was in:-

  • Melbourne at the Preston Motors display rooms during the period 19th of January thru to the 2nd of FebruaryNewcastle at the show from 21st of February till the 24th of February 1968 Various towns in Queensland from the 3rd of May thru to the 14th of JulyTasmania from the 9th of October thru to the 19th of October
  • Perth from the 10th of December thru to the 20th of December

I would also like to hear from any person who was accepted as a tour guide at various venues when the Cadillac visited their town. Would anybody know what ever happened to the lady in the picture opposite? Her name at the time was Jan Renninson and she was the Sydney Golden Girl selected to host activities. I would dearly like to contact her if possible.I can be contacted direct via email at elvis2594@gmail.com or phone/fax (Australia) 02-63824332.Thanks……Bob

If you can help, email Bob

 

 

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