June 2021 MEMPHIS, Tenn. (JTA) – The large crate sat unopened in a 20,000-square-foot warehouse here for more than four decades, concealing a little-known fact about one of America's cultural icons. Inside was the headstone of Elvis Presley's mother, Gladys, which had been stored in the Graceland archives along with 1.5 million other items since 1977. And on the upper left side of the long-unseen marker - designed by Elvis himself - is a Star of David.
Suzanna Leigh was the Kate Winslet of her day: a beautiful feted young British actress who made it big in Hollywood. In her heyday she starred opposite Elvis Presley and Tony Curtis and stepped out with Steve McQueen; her other beaux included Patrick Lichfield, Richard Harris and Michael Caine (for one night only - well, it was the Sixties, after all). She lived a champagne lifestyle, mixed with the beautiful people and drove a Rolls Royce. She was presented to the Queen at a Royal Command Performance. (HRH wanted only to hear about Elvis, she remembers.)
In an extract from his new memoir A Head Full of Music, Cliff Richard recalls his first encounter with the King – and how he fell for his music, style and way of being. That Saturday in May 1956, Norman Mitham, Terry Smart and I did the walk. We were planning to do the usual: hang out in the park, look in a couple of shops, have a cup of tea in a cafe, maybe call in at Marsden's to listen to a new single or two. And then, outside the newsagent's, Aspland's, we saw the parked car.
I grew up in Memphis with Elvis but did not meet Elvis until 1969. I was born into the jewelry business which my father had established in 1937. The night I met Elvis he was shooting at a target on the side of his dad's office. It was raining, and Elvis was wearing a full-length ranch mink coat. Over the period of that year, I got to know Elvis. We went to movies, and football games together. In December 1969, he called me on Christmas Eve and wanted to do his Christmas shopping at around 10:00 or 11:00 at night. I took my briefcase to the Memphian Theatre, a movie house in Memphis where I met Elvis. He sat down, went through my jewelry briefcase and very carefully selected pieces of jewelry for friends, family, his aunt and his dad. From then on I was Elvis' jeweler. He invited me to go on the tours with him, with one requirement that I bring along a case full of jewelry. He loved to give gifts to people he met along the way. Elvis bought a small garnet cross from me. He had it with him when we were in Jackson, Mississippi at a concert, and someone told him about a little boy who was dying. It was a Make-A-Wish Foundation request, and he wanted to see Elvis. So, Elvis agreed, and we took the limo to the hospital where the little boy was staying. Elvis visited with him awhile and then gave him that very cross I had made for Elvis.
From Follow That Dream (FTD), Elvis: Now In Person 1972 2 x Hardcover Book Set with 4 CDs and Vinyl EP. David English and Pål Granlund are proud to present this special Collector's Edition. It offers a detailed chronicle of Elvis' career between January and April 1972. The set features 2 books: From Las Vegas to Buffalo (120-pages) and The April Tour (384 pages) and *4 CD's plus a limited edition 33rpm EP. (see flyer for full detail). *The 4 CD's of music will be issued in 2024 as an FTD audio only box-set release.
If Elvis Presley had not grown up to be the King of Rock 'n' Roll, there's a chance he would have been a police officer, such was his deep respect for law enforcement.As a youngster, Presley wanted to grow up to be a policeman, according to press accounts in the 1970s. He collected badges. If he performed in a city, he’d want a badge from there. What he wanted was not merely an honorary badge, but a real one. And he obtained several, some with his name or initials inscribed on them. But Elvis had some fun too, in the 1970s, he was known to actually pull over speeding drivers and flash one of his various badges and lecture them. Then, give an autograph and speed away, leaving behind a stunned person with an awesome story. To achieve this Elvis actually had a flashing blue light that he would put on the roof when required. Elvis also obtained a police radio and a revolving blue light to put on top of the car roof.
Now, in 2023, fifty years after Elvis' legendary concert in Hawaii ... many valuable, long-lost negatives have been discovered : the release of Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii - Thru the eyes of Japan (Nov '72 & Jan '73) a hardcover book with beautiful photographs taken by Japanese cameraman, Yoshiji Kizaki. Text in English (translated by David Ward). Worldwide Release: January 8, 2024 and it is a limited edition of 500 copies.
Erik Lorentzen has announced the release of 'Eleven Hundred and Twenty-Four' ... that's the number of concerts Elvis performed since his return to the stage in front of a live audience in 1969. This is a deluxe 3 Hardcover Books in Slipcase and is expected to be released in November.
The only original Jordanaire still standing, genial bass extraordinaire Ray Walker (born March 19, 1934) has experienced an astronomical 60-year career in show business, adding a nuanced low backing vocal to definitive hit singles by Elvis Presley, Rick Nelson (e.g. 'Poor Little Fool' and 'Travelin' Man'), and Patsy Cline. In fact, Walker's debut recording session with the King of Rock 'n' Roll in June 1958 yielded a million selling record - '(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such As I'. By 1969 the renowned country-gospel quartet was singing harmonies on roughly 80 percent of the songs recorded in Nashville, performing on over 30,000 total studio recordings.
The following is an interview with Col. Tom Parker's widow, Loanne Parker. There were absolutely no restrictions on the questions that we were able to ask of Mrs. Parker, and in this interview Loanne and Joanna spend considerable time discussing the various myths and stories surrounding the Colonel.
As if any introduction is required. Ronnie Tutt was a regular member of Elvis' TCB band from July 1969 until June 1977. He started playing drums in his last year of college in 1955, appearing on stage the same night as Elvis that year, in the shows house band.
It was December 21, 1970. I got a call from Dwight Chapin, who was one of my best friends on the White House staff. And he said, 'The King is here'. And I said, 'King who?' I looked at the President's schedule and said, 'There aren't any kings on the president's schedule'. He said, 'No, not just any two-bit king, the real king. The King of Rock--Elvis.
As part of its acclaimed 'Sessions' series, FTD has released 'The How Great Thou Art Sessions'. Recorded during May and June of 1996. The 3x Platinum winning album also provided Elvis with his first Grammy ® award for 'Best Sacred Performance'. Apart from the excellent gospel performances including 'Run On', 'So High' and 'Where No One Stands Alone'. The sessions also spawned the secular hits 'If Every Day Was Like Christmas', 'Love Letters' and Indescribably Blue'. Packaged in FTD's 8" format, it features a 24-page booklet with insightful notes, recording data and memorabilia.
Dolores Fuller is best known (downright famous, in fact) for her 40-years-past career as an actress, her mid-'50s relationship with director Edward D. Wood Jr., and the three movies that she made with him. By the end of the 1950s, she'd started her own record company, Dee Records, and one of the talents that she discovered was a New York-born singer/guitarist named John Ramistella, who later became Johnny Rivers. Later on, her ability as a songwriter manifested itself through the intervention of her friend, producer Hal Wallis; Fuller had wanted to get an acting role in the Elvis Presley movie Blue Hawaii, which Wallis was producing, but instead he put her in touch with Hill & Range, the publisher that provided Presley with songs. Fuller went into a collaborative partnership with composer Ben Weisman and got one song, 'Rock-A-Hula Baby', into 'Blue Hawaii'.
Sofia Coppola's movie 'Priscilla' debuted at the Venice Film Festival where the film received a seven-minute ovation from the audience. The movie is nominated for a Golden Lion in the 'Best Film' category.
'Paradise, Hawaiian Style' was Elvis Presley's third and last movie filmed in the Aloha State, but the King of Rock 'n' Roll's lifelong love affair with the islands began with his arrival Nov. 9, 1957, on the cruise ship S.S. Matsonia for a pair of concerts the following day at the old Honolulu Stadium.
Upon setting up shop in Memphis in the late 1960s, Ronnie Milsap joined forces with super-producer Chips Moman, and by decade's end, was tickling the ivories for none other than Elvis Presley. 'Oh, I was given total (artistic) freedom (on Kentucky Rain)', Milsap recalled. 'The only suggestion I got from Elvis was that he wanted to hear thunder roll on the piano. He basically said, 'Play what you feel'.
As part of its ongoing live on tour series, FTD ihas released 'Elvis: August Season In Vegas 1974' Hilton Hotel 1974. Released as a 3-CD 5" digi-pak, this set features three great shows; AUGUST 27 (evening show), AUGUST 29 (midnight show) and AUGUST 30 (evening show). Considering sonic limitations, these soundboard recordings offer very good sound quality.
After accepting the Paramount contract, actress Marianna Hill found herself cast as the second female lead in the Elvis Presley vehicle, 'Paradise, Hawaiian Style' (1966). Often cast as ethnic types, Hill now found herself playing Hawaiian nightclub singer Lani Kaimana, one of several women who Presley's character romances while manipulating them to help his helicopter charter business. Hill relished the opportunity to work more closely with Presley. After briefly working with him on 'Roustabout', it was not until she did 'Paradise, Hawaiian Style' that she really had an opportunity to get to know him.
'And Then There Was Elvis' the 400-page hardcover book containing the richly illustrated memoirs of superfan Virginia Coons from Erik Lorentzen's KJ Consulting has now been released and our order is on the way to us.
The following is an interview with Larry Strickland - June 28, 2007 by Joe Krein. It was popular to wear for guys and girls these bib overalls. Well I had bought a pair, I thought they were really cool, I figured I was this really hip guy. So I had no clue about what was about to happen. So he is hugging Ed and all that stuff. Ed turns to me and says Elvis I want you to meet Larry Strickland he is our new bass singer for the group. Elvis puts out his hand and shakes it and then he takes Ed and pulls him about three steps away from me but not far enough that I can't hear them. But I hear everything that he says. He says 'Ed where in the world did you get the f###ing farmer?'
In 1956, Alfred Wertheimer was a struggling twenty-six year old free-lance photojournalist in New York City, Wertheimer's good fortune gained him access to Elvis Presley during that first, heady flush of fame in 1956. The resulting photos captured the everyday Elvis, relaxed and off-guard during down times. Now, Al Wertheimer's classic photos are the most esteemed collection of pictures of Elvis Presley ever taken.
RCA Records and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release the definitive 50th anniversary edition of Elvis Presley's monumental Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite record-setting global concert telecast/double live album on Friday, August 11. The 50th anniversary edition of Elvis Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite -- newly remixed and remastered for the occasion -- will be available in a 3CD + Blu-ray combined package as well as in 2LP.
The following interview with Sonny West took place in Sydney Australia, on May 4th, 2005. If you think you know Sonny and his motivations over the years, you may want to think again after reading this interview.
When you think of the TCB Band on stage with Elvis, it is probably James Burton's guitar that first springs to mind. It's difficult to imagine what Elvis concerts would have sounded like had Elvis not chosen James to help make his Las Vegas '69 comeback what it was. I felt very privileged that James gave me over two hours of his time on his day off, the day after the recent Elvis Presley In Concert show in Sydney Australia.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.
Elvis Presley's songs are unforgettable - they have stood the test of time, especially his singles of the 1950s, a decade in which he had a song at No. 1. for 59 weeks and 4 No. 1 albums ('56-'59). Read More.