EIN: How did you become interested in this very specialised but intriguing area of Elvisana?
RK: In 1978, The country of Granada produced the first Elvis stamp honoring the passing of the King, Elvis Presley. From that one stamp drew my interest to other countries producing Elvis stamps that would soon follow.
EIN: Do you have a favorite Elvis stamp?
RK: They are all my favorite. However, I particularly like the stamps with the souvenir sheets and the art work that surrounds the stamp itself.
EIN: Which country/countries do you consider have released the most interesting Elvis stamps, and why?
RK: Again, I would have to say all of them. Countries have issued stamps from all phases of his remarkable life time including his childhood, pre-fame days, the young recording artist, the early performer, Elvis in the studio, Elvis in various costumes, the movie years, television performances, the veteran performer, to the final years of his again, remarkable life.
EIN: The very diverse range of well known and obscure countries to release Elvis stamps is amazing. What are your thoughts on the meaning of little known countries, eg. Burkina Faso and Centraficaine, releasing stamps about an entertainer you would have thought they know little about?
RK: I was totally surprised and extremely impressed. After extensive research, I come to find that these countries have little to no means in producing the quality of these stamps. Basically, alot of countries use a company called (IGPC) Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation, out of New York. They produce these stamps for the country, and act as their agent, on behalf of that country.
EIN: You are obviously an Elvis fan. When did you become a fan and apart from stamps, what are your other interests in Elvis?
RK: On my birthday in 1957 (I was 9 years old) I was given my first record player and one record, "All Shook Up" from my parents. I guess that was the beginning. My other interests in Elvis is his music. What a voice! I also enjoy collecting his 78 records.
EIN: One of Elvis' closes friends, Charlie Hodge, was involved in the first printing (Smoky Mountain Publications) of Elvis On Stamps. Please tell us about Charlie's involvement.
RK: I first met Charlie Hodge several years ago at Memories Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where he performes. I approached Charlie about endorsement, and after he reviewed my book he agreed. "Elvis On Stamps" were sold at Memories Theatre, where Charlie would autograph them.
While we are on the subject, let me say something about Charlie. Charlie Hodge is a fine gentleman. You could'nt have a better friend in Charlie, maybe that's why he was Elvis' friend for so long.On the Gambia block of stamps dated January 8, 1995, there is a stamp of a young Elvis
wearing a hat and his mouth is a little full. Elvis once told Charlie that when that picture was taken, he had a peanut in his mouth.
EIN: Elvis On Stamps is one of 4 volumes - are the other three volumes available?
RK: Not at this time. Only the first volume has gone to print, however, the other three are ready.
EIN: In total, how many stamps are presented in the four volumes?
RK: There are approx. 400 stamps total. This is taking in account that each stamp is counted as a single from a block. One block or souvnier sheet can have several stamps together usually nine.
EIN: Do your four books cover all Elvis stamp issues, and if not, do you have any plans for an a fifth?RK: My four volumes do not cover all the Elvis stamps made. I'm sure as we speek, another issue has been printed. I'm really undecided at this time about a fifth volume.
EIN: How can Elvis fans obtain your books?
RK: I have a VERY limited number of books available. They can be ordered through:Smokey Mountain Publishing
7690 Asheville Highway
Greeneville, Tennessee 37743 USA
"Elvis On Stamps" signed, sells for $29.95 plus exact postage.
To reserve one it might be best to e-mail me at email@example.com
EIN: Can fans buy Elvis stamps from you?
RK: No, I'm sorry I don't sell stamps. What I have is for my own private collection.
EIN: What tips have you for Elvis fans interested in adding to their Elvis stamp collections?
RK: The Internet is a good place to start. Also, large stamp companies can help with the new as well the hard to find issues.
EIN: You have a copyright infringement case against the author of another book called 'Elvis On Stamps'. What is the status of this issue?
RK: I'm glad you asked that question. The other "Elvis On Stamps" book is by Dr. Nitaya Kanchanawan who is president of the Elvis Presley Information Center of Thailand, and teaches the Thai language at Ramkhamhaeng University.
Dr. Kanchanawan was contacted by our attorney for Copyright Infringement. Dr. Kanchanawan has infringed on the Name, Originality, Copyright, and her book was illlegally published. As of August 2004, Dr.Kanchanawan has not had the decency to respond to any of the allegations.
I will probably move forward with this legal issue. I'm sorry Dr. Kanchanawan didn't contact me, I feel we could have worked something out. Sometimes silence is not golden.
EIN: Finally, what is Ronald King up to these days?
RK: I reside in East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. I am semi retired, and enjoy riding my horse Vanity. I like fishing, jet skiing, and anything Elvis.
EIN: Ronald it's been a pleasure. Thank you very much.
"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"
(Dr. Gary Enders)
" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"
"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"
(humorist Dave Barry)
"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"
(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")
"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"
"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"
"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"
"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"
(Sir Paul McCartney)