TWO “ STARS” for ELVIS by ‘ Rex Martin’
** Elvis has TWO Stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (July 2008)**
(From the Files of: – REX MARTIN’s 1970s WORLDWIDE ELVIS NEWS SERVICE WEEKLY)
Read EIN's fascinating 4 part interview with Rex Martin
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TWO “ STARS” for ELVIS by ‘ Rex Martin’
** Elvis has TWO Stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (July 2008)**
(“49th Year Anniversary of Elvis’ Star on the 9 th February 2009”)
The Idea for the WALK OF FAME
Someone remembered that the old Hollywood Hotel had once painted stars’ names on the ceiling. Then someone said we can put the names on the sidewalk were everyone can see and it will be a good Tourist Attraction. It was proposed by Harry Sugarman (a businessman) in 1958. Publicist and producer Sue Clark Chadwick, 84, said she was at an initial meeting in the back room of the Los Feliz Brown Derby where, over martinis, chamber members discussed the idea. Then they went on a 16-month engraving frenzy.
Stars are given in five categories: movies, radio, television, music and theatre. The first eight celebrities were announced at that time. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce finished construction of the walk by 1960 and had 2500 Blank Stars in place. Dedication of the first stars happened on the 9th Feb, when the Walk of Fame was also opened. (Now a 3.5 mile round walk)
1st STAR: was for Joanne Woodward on the 9th February 1960. Although all the news reports list Joanne’s as the first star, it wasn’t the only Star that day ~ because…. A total of eight Performers were honoured on the first day.
ELVIS’ 1st Star: was unveiled that day also ~ on the 9th February 1960. His original star between Highland Avenue & MacCadden at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard. (If they had done it alphabetically maybe Elvis would have been the FIRST!!!???) ~ Elvis didn’t attend the opening due to still being in Germany!!! (Also even if asked I expect the Colonel would have vetoed it. But did he go take a look a couple of months later on his return???) (Note: nowadays the honoured personality has to agree to view their star within 5 years of its placement, if they don’t attend the Opening)
In the following 16 months, a total of 1,558 stars were awarded. Since then new stars have been added at the rate of approximately 2 per month. By ’94 over 2000 original stars were filled, new areas had to be added including the Silver Four Ladies of Hollywood Gazebo.
Each Star consists of a TERRAZZO comprising a pink five-pointed star rimmed with bronze and inlaid into a charcoal square. Inside the pink star is the name of the honouree engraved in BRONZE, below a round Bronze Emblem or Icon indicating the category for which the honouree received the star.
The FIVE EMBLEMS are identified by:
* Motion Picture Camera- (for contribution to the films industry)
* Radio Microphone- (for contribution to the broadcast radio industry)
* Television Set- (for contribution to the broadcasting television industry)
* Theatrical Masks-(Twin Comedy/Tragedy Masks) (for contribution to live theatre)
* Phonographic Record/Record Player- (for contribution to the recording industry)
ELVIS EARNED HIS STAR FOR HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE RECORDING INDUSTRY
But I guess with his Early Radio Broadcasts in the ‘50s, and the vast work in Movies he could have been given a Star for each of these Entertainment Fields. As maybe his Live! Shows from the Showrooms in Vegas & Tahoe, could be stretched to the Live! Theatre Category. Also Elvis’ performances on TV in the 50s, and his TV Specials for the ‘68 Comeback, Aloha and the Final CBS Concert Tour. (Considering he broke viewing records and audience share so many times – also the Aloha set a Worldwide Audience Record)
A few Honourees have received Multiple Stars for contributions to separate categories. GENE AUTRY is the only person to receive stars in all five categories. THREE STARS = Abbott & Costello ~ Al Jolson ~ Basil Rathbone ~ Bob Hope ~ Gale Storm and Tennessee Ernie Ford. TWO STARS for around a dozen personalities, including: Sonny and Cher ~ Groucho Marx ~ Buster Keaton ~ Alfred Hitchcock ~ Errol Flynn ~ WC Fields ~ Milton Bearle + more…
SO ELVIS IS JUST ONE OF A VERY FEW TO HAVE ”TWO” STARS. (Also very few people are given a Second Star in recent decades)
A special personal plaque is presented or sent to each recipient. (see Star Plaque article below)
In the 1970s, the chamber also changed its rules to say that celebrities had to be nominated before they could receive stars instead of just being anointed (as Elvis was)
Over Twelve Years after the opening ~ August 1972, I was taken to see the Star, still in perfect condition. (I even took a Minute or so of Super 8mm colour film of it.) Burning Love was at # 2 on Billboard, and Number 1 on Cash Box that day and I was just a day away from seeing Elvis for the first time, so to see this special piece of pavement was an extra bit of excitement.
Four people have had their Stars Stolen they are JAMES STEWART ~ KIRK DOUGLAS ~ GREGORY PECK and one of GENE AUTRY’s. But amazingly this has never happened to Elvis’. The boulevard had a lot of Blank Stars which some visitors graffiti their own names, or the names of other stars, including sometimes ELVIS. (So unofficially he has had many Stars for a short period)
Fan clubs, studios and even the stars themselves can make nominations. Each June, a chamber committee of five – Johnny Grant; Earl Lestz of Paramount Pictures; Mary Lou Dudas, formerly of A&M Records; Kate Neill, former owner of the Palace Theatre; and retired radio station manager Stanley Spero – get together to pick about 20 new names from the 200 or so that are submitted.
The chamber also instituted a fee for each star – now set at $15,000 – to cover the costs of jack-hammering the pavement and keeping up with routine maintenance.
Hollywood Mayor ‘Johnny Grant’ chairman of the Walk of Fame (2003) estimates 20 million people visit each year. He also mentioned he used to see Elvis strolling along the stars on Hollywood Blvd. Grant said the chamber did not keep records on how the first stars were picked.
It was first reported in 1998 that a surprising number of Stars had developed Cracks around the Star, sometimes over-night, and that the inside Pink concrete was bubbling.. It was speculated about possible vibrations from nearby Earthquake shocks and after shocks. The area has also had much re-development over the past few decades, and nowadays if the construction is very close to any stars ~ it is taken up and stored for a time until the Building work is completed. (I didn’t find any reports that this had ever happened to Elvis’ Star)
Elvis’ Star probably got cracks in the lower part of it during subway construction under Hollywood Blvd. While it was under repair (see cracked cement picture of Original Star below) ~ the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce had a new 2 nd Elvis Star prepared to be set at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and La Brea, just behind the fairly new “Silver Four Ladies Gazebo” square, near the start of the Walk of Fame. (See Map and Picture below) – For a time the Cracked Elvis Star was also still on display. The Walk is still getting some renovations and also a CCTV camera system– but Elvis’ stars should be O.K.
(short parts of above info with thanks to Sue Wiegert “Blue Hawaiians” Summer Newsheet: Her Five lines inspired me into discovering more about Elvis’ Star)
Reports are that near the end of 2008 the original Star was taken up and repaired, with a special re-dedication of its return. (See news report below)
Will both Stars stay on display?? (Still to be discovered) –also along the Boulevard are some 6 artistic picture murals and although they contain Marylyn Monroe, James Dean, John Wayne and many others ~ I couldn’t see ELVIS included on any of them. Maybe somebody should start a campaign to get Elvis a Mural or part of a new picture montage??
(Info Researched & Sourced by ‘ REX MARTIN’ exclusively for ‘ Elvis Information Network’)
ELVIS ’ STAR SHINING BRIGHTLY AGAIN ON WALK OF FAME
Byline by ~ David Bloom: Daily News Staff Writer. (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Elvis has left the building, but his star remains on Hollywood Blvd., where it was rededicated ‘Friday’ after a face lift fit for a King.
"I am happy to welcome Elvis Presley back to the Hollywood Walk of Fame with his newly restored star," said Johnny Grant, the honorary mayor of Hollywood, who held a short ceremony Friday morning before a flock of tourists and news cameras.
The LA Daily News reported Wednesday that Hollywood community activists were ‘all shook up’ over the poor condition of Walk of Fame stars for many film, TV, radio and music celebrities. Presley's star near the intersection with Highland Avenue was in particularly poor shape after 48 years of wear and tear, subway construction and memento-hunting fans.
All the more problematic, activists said, because the Presley star is perhaps the most visited of all 2,100 stars on the three-mile ‘Walk of Fame’ and its condition reflected poorly on the entire area. Grant, who is board chairman for both the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Historic Trust, immediately ordered repairs to the Presley star after getting inquiries about it from reporters.
The star was pulled out of the ground Wednesday and the broken, chipped and gouged terrazzo surrounding the star was replaced. The original star was then reinstalled for Friday's ceremony.
Lisa Marie Presley issued a statement Friday praising the face lift
"Thank you very much for the prompt action in having my father's star restored
On the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame," the King's daughter said
In the statement "I know he would be deeply appreciative”
Also on Friday, Grant announced the trust will spend $1100,000 over the next year to fix up other stars on the walk, while exploring a series of fund-raising efforts to build up a permanent maintenance fund for the attraction.
Among the stars set to get an immediate face lift are three quite close to Presley's ~ singer Ray Charles and actors Bill Burred and Guy Madison - because they had suffered many of the same problems that Presley's star had with age, subway construction and millions of pedestrians' feet.
Grant said the $1,100,000 set aside by the trust on Wednesday will provide "a year's worth of work" on the stars, and will ensure at least 50 of the most worn ones will get a badly needed burnishing. To finance a more comprehensive and on going maintenance program, the trust is considering such fund-raisers as an adopt-a-star program, where fan clubs or others can finance the care of their hero's site.
(Re-printed from…. THE.FREE.LlBRARY ‘LA’.Com.) (not dated. Late 2008?)
(Researched, sourced and re-formatted by ‘ REX MARTIN’ Exclusively for ‘EIN’)
(Above) Rex Martin's "Elvis Hollywood Walk of Fame Star" montage
ELVIS PRESLEY’S Personal " Hollywood Walk of Fame" Award (1960)
Offered is the actual Hollywood Chamber of Commerce award presented to Elvis Presley in recognition of being awarded a star and place of honour in the city's celebrated "Hollywood Walk of Fame", a venerated show business institution and decades - long rite of passage and affirmation for the biggest names in recorded music, film, television and radio.
These awards are exceptionally rare, undeniably important, and part of the enduring mythology of Hollywood. This particular example was awarded to a humble yet supremely gifted performer from Tupelo, Mississippi, who literally changed the world with his presence in it. His arrival ignited a cultural revolution and transformed the very way we perceive and define ourselves as Americans. We’ll forego the additional superlatives typically used in attempts to convey Presley’s impact on music and society, other than to remind bidders the world was never the same once it met him and 28 years after his passing, he remains the world's most recognizable and universally appreciated artist.
Honoured on February 9, 1960, Elvis was a member of The Walk of Fame's inaugural class, inducted as a recording artist with his star set at 6777 Hollywood Blvd; enshrined between fellow musical giant Ray Charles and actress Vivien Leigh. In tandem with the public homage, he received this one-of-a-kind personal award designed by Hartt Trophy and Engraving of Los Angeles, The Walk's exclusive contractors for forty years. There is only one award created for each artist and both Hartt and the Chamber Of Commerce zealously guard the exclusivity of the almost five decades of service, Hartt Trophy created over 2000 awards for Walk inductees, and they've never made a duplicate – N E V E R. A statement of facts from Hartt is included. A distinct and elegant official presentation, it displays every subtle Hartt identifiers and specification. The legendary brass star features Elvis’ deeply engraved name and symbolic turntable, set above a 3” x 6-1/2 inch brushed brass plague reading:
"Presented to -ELVIS PRESLEY - On the occasion of the placement of your star
In the WALK OF FAME, 9th February, 1960, HOLLYWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE."
The brass is mounted on deep blue heavy velvet, and framed in 10” x 14” x 2” inches (Deep) of toned Honey-Coloured Wood.
Elvis moved to Palm Springs from Beverly Hills with wife Priscilla in 1970, and they resided there until their split in 1973. After the divorce, Presley maintained the home as a party house & part-time residence; in essence, a west coast Graceland."
At the time of his passing in 1977, Elvis Presley Enterprises was far from the thriving licensing juggernaut it is today, guided by Priscilla. In fact, his financial life was nearing disaster; his assets under-appreciated, disorganized and thoroughly unstable. The home was sold by a cash-strapped EPE to a group of Elvis fans in Japan who pooled their resources with the intention of establishing a profitable museum. To maximize value and quick sale, the estate agreed to include all the Kings original fixtures, furnishings, and what today would be considered a treasure trove of Presley memorabilia reflecting his 30-plus years of success and presence in Hollywood. Original posters, photos, and record awards were all included in the sale, as was this gem. The Japanese group never took physical possession of the home and only rented the house out for special events and with hopes of a museum fading, opted to recoup their investment in a sale to the current owner, from whom this piece originates. His statement of facts, with a chronology of events, accompanies this lot.
Significant on a multitude of levels, this awe-inspiring award confirmed the arrival and immortality of a uniquely American figure named Elvis Aaron Presley. Typically, Presley memorabilia of this calibre is forever locked within permanent collections and the confines of Graceland; with all principals now fully cognizant of the value and gravity of Elvis' legacy and story. The likelihood of a similar piece of Presley history being made available to collectors is remote - call it slim to none. This is a RARE opportunity to acquire a significant piece documenting a milestone in the life and career of a genuinely historic and revolutionary individual. Call it once in a lifetime. ………..> (See Picture Below >>>>>>)
(from 2005 USA Auction ~ review of Elvis’ Lost Plaque. Research by ‘REX MARTIN’ exclusively for E.I.N Australia)
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