July 16, 2002
Luanches The Official Elvis Collectors Club
Today, Elvis Presley
Enterprises, Inc. announced The Official Elvis Collectors Club
- June 15, 2002
Benefits for members include a Membership Welcome Kit which contains a
Tyvek holder, an official 3-Ring binder designed to hold the quarterly
newsalog, a collectible "founding member" pin, a
personalized membership card with your name and number, a welcome
letter from Jack Soden, and an access code to the online club message
board and database of other members' E-mail addresses if they have
chosen to be listed. A great way to meet fans and collectors from
around the world.
Members will also receive 10% off tour tickets at Graceland, 10% off
the published room rate at Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel,
(Membership card must be presented at check in), 10% off food or
merchandise purchased at Elvis Presley's Memphis on Beale Street, 10%
off purchases at the Graceland, Heartbreak Hotel and Elvis Presley's
Memphis gift shops, and 10% off purchases on elvis.com(excluding gift
certificates and The Elvis Experience Package).
Members will also receive exclusive information about Elvis via a
quarterly magazine and access to purchase extremely limited-edition
collectibles that are being created by some of the top manufacturers
in the world. In each issue there will be a small number of items for
sale from the Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. archives and some
behind-the-scenes archival photos of items that have never been
For more information and to join this exciting new club go to www.elviscollectorsclub.com
July 16, 2002 (updated - July
Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis &
Others On Sun Records Compilation
Yahoo Daily News (7/17/02, 3 p.m. ET) Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison,
Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins highlight a two-disc set chronicling
the history of Sun Records. Sun Records 50th Anniversary, due August 6
from BMG Heritage, features 44 tracks from producer Sam Phillips's
famed Memphis label.
The compilation includes Presley's "Mystery Train,"
Orbison's "Ooby Dooby," Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison
Blues," and Perkins's "Blue Suede Shoes." The set will
also feature some of the label's earliest recordings, including its
first release, "Driving Slow" by saxophone player Johnny
Disc One of Sun Records 50th
Anniversary includes: "Drivin' Slow" by Johnny London,
"We All Gotta Go Sometime" by Joe Hill Louis,
"Easy" by Jimmy & Walter, "Just Walkin' In The
Rain" by the Prisonaires, "Feelin' Good" by Little
Junior's Blue Flames, "Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle)" by
Rufus Thomas, "Mystery Train" by Little Junior's Blue
Flames, "Lookin' For My Baby" by Little Milton, "The
Boogie Disease" by Doctor Ross, "Cotton Crop Blues" by
James Cotton, "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby" by Pat Hare,
"Rockin' Chair Daddy" by Harmonica Frank, "That's All
Right" by Elvis Presley, Scotty & Bill, "I Feel So
Worried" by Sammy Lewis with Willie Johnson, "Red Hot"
by Billy "The Kid" Emerson, "Peepin' Eyes" by
Charlie Feathers, "Mystery Train" Elvis Presley, Scotty
& Bill, "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash & the
Tennessee Two, "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins,
"Rock & Roll Ruby" by Warren Smith, "Slow
Down" by Jack Earls, and "I Walk The Line" Johnny Cash
& the Tennessee Two.
Disc Two of Sun Records 50th
Anniversary includes: "Ooby Dooby" by Roy Orbison & Teen
Kings, "Red Headed Woman" by Sonny Burgess, "Shoobie
Oobie" by Rosco Gordon, "Come On Little Mama" by Gene
Simmons, "Feelin' Low" by Ernie Chaffin, "Flying
Saucers R'n'R" by Billy Riley & his Little Green Men,
"Matchbox" by Carl Perkins, "Love My Baby" by
Hayden Thompson, "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On" by Jerry
Lee Lewis, "Rock Boppin' Baby" by Ed Bruce,
"Raunchy" by Bill Justis & his Orchestra, "A Cat
Called Domino" by Roy Orbison, "Red Cadillac And A Black
Moustache" by Warren Smith, "High School Confidential"
by Jerry Lee Lewis, "Shake Around" by Tommy Blake, "One
More Time" by Billy Riley, "Mona Lisa" by Carl Mann,
"Lonely Weekends" by Charlie Rich, "Big Dream" by
Rayburn Anthony, "Who Will The Next Fool Be" by Charlie
Rich, and "Cadillac Man" by the Jesters.
-- Sue Falco, New York
Classic Tracks Set For Sun Records Compilation
Billboard - July 15, 2002
Recordings from Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee
Lewis, and Roy Orbison will be among those featured on a 44-song,
two-disc set chronicling the history of Sun Records. Due Aug. 6 from
BMG Heritage, "Sun Records 50th Anniversary," which will
retail for $21.98, will contain such legendary tracks as Presley's
"Mystery Train," Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes," and
Sonny Burgess' "Red Headed Woman."
The Memphis label, launched by producer Sam Phillips after he recorded
such artists as B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, and Jakie Brenston for blues
label Chess Records, melded R&B and country to pave the way for
rock'n'roll's mainstream acceptance. While a full tracklist was not
available at deadline, the set begins with Sun' first release,
"Driving Slow" from sax player Johnny London, and highlights
some early '50s recordings such as Junior Parker's "Feelin'
Good," the Prisionaires' "Just Walking in the Rain,"
and Jimmy & Walter's "Easy." A lesser-known take on
"Mystery Train" from Parker, who wrote the song, is also
"Anniversary" will come with a booklet that contains
track-by-track commentary and a label history penned by Colin Escott.
Additional artists featured on the album include James Cotton, Jack
Earl, Ray Harris and Tommy Blake. Warren Smith's "Red Cadillac
and a Black Mustache" and an alternate take of Little Milton's
"Looking for My Baby" are also represented.
- Todd Martens, L.A.
July 14, 2002
by Gareth Gates
Ananova - 19:12 Sunday 14th July 2002
Gareth Gates knocked the King off his throne, storming to the top of
the singles charts with his second release.
Pop Idol runner-up Gates continued the show's chart domination with
Any One of Us (Stupid Mistake), while Elvis Presley slipped to number
three after four weeks at number 1.
Gates, whose song becomes the fourth from the TV contest to reach the
top spot, has already enjoyed poll position in the singles charts with
his cover of Unchained Melody.
Pop Idol winner Will Young has had two number ones.
A Little Less Conversation, remixed by Dutch DJ JXL, gave Elvis a
total of 18 British number ones, breaking a record he had shared with
the Beatles 25 years after his death.
But Gates's single ended the King's reign, as one of three new entries
in the official top 10.
Ashanti took the number four spot with Foolish, and Bryan Adams
delighted his loyal fans once again with Here I Am, going straight to
Scooter's The Logical Song rose two places to number two.
Red Hot Chili Peppers notched up another success by going straight to
the top of the album chart with a new entry, By The Way.
July 14, 2002
Gareth Gates Topples Elvis to Take No. 1 in Britain
Sun Jul 14, 2:29 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - "Pop Idol" runner-up Gareth Gates' new
single "Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)" shot to the top of
the charts Sunday, bouncing a remix of rock
king Elvis into third place, the Official UK Charts Company
The success of the single will give the spiky-haired teenage
heart-throb another reason to celebrate after reaching the ripe old
age of 18 last week.
Dutch DJ JXL's dance remix of Elvis Presley's obscure 1968 "A
Little Less Conversation" relinquished the top slot after four
weeks while Scooter's cover of Supertramp's 1979 hit "The Logical
Song" went to No. 2 from fourth place.
Two new entries took fourth and fifth place -- Ashanti with
"Foolish" and Bryan Adams with "Here I Am."
Jennifer Lopez' remix of "I'm Gonna Be Alright," featuring
rapper Nas, fell to sixth place from No. 3 while Nelly's "Hot in
Herre" moved up one place to seven.
At No. 8 was rock band Calling with "Wherever You Will Go,"
down two places as was Christina Milian's ska-inspired "When You
Look At Me" at No. 9.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers rounded off the top 10 after their "By
The Way" dropped eight places from last week's No. 2.
July 14, 2002
King Is Undead: Elvis's Enduring Appeal
By Richard Harrington - Washington Post, July 13,
Elvis Presley's wake has now lasted longer than his career.
In fact, 25 years after his death, Elvis is No. 1 again, thanks to
Nike, the World Cup and an obscure single dressed up with a little
drum 'n' bass for the new millennium.
Last week the refurbished Elvis tune, "A Little Less
Conversation," was Billboard's No. 1 single on the sales chart,
selling eight times as many copies as 'N Sync's new
"Girlfriend" remix in its first week of release. The single
also opened at No. 50 on Billboard's Hot 100 (which measures radio
airplay as well as sales), marking Elvis's 152nd appearance there. No
other act in history has even reached 100.
"A Little Less Conversation" is in its fourth week at No. 1
in England and has topped the charts in Australia, Japan and several
And that's just the beginning:
•A box set just released, "Today, Tomorrow and Forever,"
features 100 previously unreleased Elvis recordings, mostly concert
and studio outtakes.
• Elvis is the inspirational center of Disney's latest animated
blockbuster, "Lilo & Stitch."
• His earliest live recordings, taken from radio broadcasts of the
mid-1950s, will soon be at your local music retailer in the form of a
• Elvis surfaces in "Without Me," the first single from
the year's bestselling album, "The Eminem Show," in which
Eminem raps: "Though I'm not the first king of controversy / I am
the worst thing since Elvis Presley / To do black music so selfishly /
And use it to get myself wealthy."
• And coming in September: "Elvis 30 #1 Hits," a
single-disc anthology aimed at the same mass market that produced
worldwide sales of 33 million for the Beatles' "1."
The Aug. 16 anniversary of Elvis's death in Memphis in 1977 at age 42
will set off a flood of projects (books, concerts, conferences) and
marketing opportunities (Elvis furniture suites, bank cards, state
lottery tickets). The celebration will culminate at Memphis's Pyramid
Arena with "Elvis: The 25th Anniversary Concert." It will
feature a live band, including many musicians who toured with Elvis,
accompanying film and video images of the King performing, as if those
rumors of his death are exaggerated.
"A Little Less Conversation," an obscure song from the 1968
Elvis film "Live a Little, Love a Little," became the
soundtrack for a $100 million worldwide campaign for Nike -- that
company's most expensive ever -- that ran during the World Cup.
The original reached only No. 69 when released 34 years ago. But this
"Conversation" marks the first time the Presley estate,
known as Elvis Presley Enterprises, and his label, BMG/RCA, have
allowed an Elvis recording to be remixed by a contemporary producer.
Chosen for the task: Amsterdam-based techno artist Tom Holkenborg, a
34-year-old known as Junkie XL (or, after a request from RCA and EPE,
Elvis's vocal track is unchanged, but the underlying drum 'n' bass
rhythm is much livelier. It sounds like he just came out of the
The single's overseas success made "Conversation" eligible
for "Elvis 30 #1 Hits" -- and it is now being added on as a
bonus track. Fearing piracy, RCA has so far identified only half of
the 30 tracks, though it shouldn't take a lot of detective work to
guess which 30 of Elvis's 34 American and British No. 1s will make the
cut. (We suggest excising "Good Luck Charm," for one.)
"Today, Tomorrow and Forever" is the eighth Elvis box
released since 1992, but such sets are usually aimed at longtime fans
and collectors. Knowing that Elvis's original fan base is now eligible
for Medicare, BMG is clearly looking for ways to foster new
generations of fans. The "Conversation" remix and "#1
Hits" are just a part of rebranding him for a younger
Much younger: Disney's animated "Lilo & Stitch," which
has already grossed more than $100 million, uses eight classic Elvis
songs (six originals, two covers) on its soundtrack. Only Elvis's own
movies have ever featured that much of his music. Lilo is a lonely
young girl in Hawaii who consoles herself with Elvis records that
belonged to her deceased parents. She has no friends until she adopts
Stitch, a mischievous newcomer who turns out to be an alien hound dog.
In one bonding scene, Lilo teaches Stitch how to behave like that
"model citizen, Elvis."
"A Little Less Conversation" was written by country singer
and actor Mac Davis and guitarist Billy Strange, who was music
director on three Elvis films, including "Live a Little"
(notable mostly as the first film in which an Elvis character
"goes all the way").
"I remember playing 'Conversation' for Elvis and he seemed to
have a great time with it because it was up-tempo and kick-ass,"
recalls Strange, now 72 and retired in Nashville after a long
recording and production career. "The song's not a world-beater,
but Elvis loved it and he performed it in his Las Vegas nightclub act
The original recording was no great shakes, Strange concedes.
"Elvis's records were always lesser than what he was vocally. He
had more talent than he was ever able to show, particularly with the
motion picture songs, which were not very good material. He was never
happy with them, and therefore did not perform them that well."
Holkenborg, who was 9 when Elvis died, has done music for such films
as "Blade" and "Resident Evil" and wrote the
soundtrack to the new Xbox computer game "Quantum Redshift."
He was asked to choose music for Nike's high-profile World Cup
campaign. Terry Gilliam, the filmmaker and alumnus of the Monty Python
troupe, directed the multimillion-dollar commercials, in which eight
three-man teams featuring some of the world's most famous soccer
players take part in a secret contest ferociously played in the
rusting bowels of a container ship.
More famous Elvis songs like "Love Me Tender" or
"Jailhouse Rock" were, Holkenborg says, "perfect pop
songs. There was no need, and no point, to touching them. This track
sounded to me like something they put together really quickly in the
studio. And we all thought the line 'a little less conversation, a
little more action' was so spot-on for football. . . .
"Without touching the core of the song, I thought I could do
something really 2002 with it, and to make it work with the
commercial," says Holkenborg. "Since Elvis is an icon, the
only way to pull it off is to make it believable, like he was alive
and there in the studio with you."
Holkenborg notes: "There were so many junctures where things
could have gone wrong. First I had to please the advertising company,
then they had to go to Nike, then to the Elvis estate for approval,
and to BMG."
People had warned Holkenborg how difficult it would be to get those
last green lights. Elvis Presley Enterprises and BMG had never allowed
anyone to tamper with the master recordings.
"We're not really against it, but we've not gone there yet,"
says Todd Morgan, director of media and creative development at EPE.
"But we loved the look of the commercial -- it was inventive,
fresh and original, beautifully and artistically shot. And when [EPE
head] Jack Soden and Lisa Marie Presley listened to the remix,
everybody was ready to get up and dance. It just felt right. They got
a fast yes."
He adds: "It says a lot about Elvis's voice and the material he
worked with that it stands up year after years, generation after
generation, and there can be new applications for it. He's
The reaction in England to the Nike commercial was little surprise.
Since Marvin Gaye's 1968 hit "I Heard It Through the
Grapevine" climbed to No. 1 in 1985 after being featured in a
Levi's commercial, a half-dozen advertising-fueled classics have
topped the charts there.
"A Little Less Conversation" created such a buzz that radio
stations began playing promo copies of the remix, forcing BMG Europe
to rush-release a single to stores. Its leap to No. 1 catapulted Elvis
past the Beatles, with 18 chart-toppers in Britain to the Beatles' 17.
Music channels in Europe, Asia and Latin America started airing the
Nike commercial as a music video, removing the Nike logo -- with
Nike's permission, of course. The original three-minute video is
available for download at www.nikesoccer.com or
Top 40 stations around the United States, including New York's
influential WPLJ (but no D.C. stations yet), have added the song to
All of which made Richard Sanders's job as executive vice president
and general manager of RCA Records more difficult. RCA started working
on "Elvis 30 #1 Hits" last fall. "Never did I think we
would have a new Number 1 to worry about. We haven't had a hit song
from Elvis to think about in a long time, much less a contemporary
track driving a record. It's been about marketing, not
Thankfully, most of Elvis's No. 1 songs were short, so 31 tracks will
fit onto a single CD.
Which is good news for Billy Strange.
"I'm thrilled to have written a hit song so old it has whiskers
and now it's vibrant and everybody's loving it again," says
Strange. Told of the sales numbers for the Beatles' "1,"
Strange considers the possible royalties: "It's going to help
with the house payments."
The tagline for BMG's $25 million campaign: "Before anyone did
anything, Elvis did everything."
And for years, the Presley estate tried to sell everything Elvis
recorded, two or three times over, with little attention to quality.
Now, years of squabbling have been resolved, with RCA gaining greater
creative control over the Presley catalogue in exchange for a smaller
share of revenues. The label has eliminated many marginal and
duplicative titles as it embarks on the biggest corporate synergy
effort in the history of Bertelsmann, the parent company of BMG, with
its Random House division publishing three Elvis-related books,
including "The Elvis Treasures," a photographic coffee table
book, and its Gruner & Jahr magazine unit offering an "Elvis
Then & Now" special publication.
Bertelsmann won't be alone in its marketing. AOL Time Warner, in a
joint venture with EPE, has created a toolbar link on AOL's Internet
keyword page leading to Elvis music, pictures and news of Graceland
happenings, including the annual Elvis Week (Aug. 10-18) and the third
annual live Vigilcast on AOL (Aug. 15).
Benefiting from all this hoopla, Tomato Records' "Roots
Revolution: The Louisiana Hayride Recordings" is set for release
the week of the Elvis anniversary -- and it's likely to get some
die-hard fans all shook up. The radio show played an important part in
Elvis's rise to fame. Now Tomato has digitally "restored"
his earliest live recordings, with Elvis's voice and Scotty Moore's
guitar sounding cleaner than in the rough radio transcriptions made
between 1954 and 1956.
But Bill Black's bass lines and Presley's rhythm guitar have been
re-recorded, note for note, by contemporary musicians.
From 1948 to 1960, the Shreveport, La.-based "Louisiana
Hayride" was one of the top country-oriented radio programs in
America, rivaling the Grand Ole Opry; it was also the first national
showcase for Presley, and a barometer of his growing artistry and
popularity. On his first appearance on Oct. 16, 1954, in front of a
few hundred people at the Municipal Auditorium, Elvis was still a
quiet, somewhat tentative country-western singer; by the time of his
last appearance, Dec. 16, 1956, before 10,000 people at the Louisiana
Fairgrounds, he was an assured, almost hyper rock-and-roll star.
Recorded off a single vocal mic with monaural equipment, the 19
"Hayride" recordings extant are primitive by any standard.
They've also been available for many years in vinyl and CD
collections, some legitimate, some bootlegged. They are the only Elvis
recordings not totally under the control of EPE and BMG, thanks to
gray areas in Elvis's pre-RCA contracts.
The new Tomato collection features only nine music tracks. The others,
according to label owner/producer Kevin Eggers, were distorted beyond
Some Elvis fans may think the same about Eggers, who counters that
there are people angry that "they restored the Sistine
Not that Eggers is equating the Hayride with the Vatican.
"We're not changing anything," Eggers insists. "No
notes are being changed, there's no reinterpretation of the music. The
[original] tapes are badly distorted; we're just restoring it to the
way Elvis heard it. This was not meant to be a torturous listening
experience -- we're just giving the modern listener a chance to hear
how it sounded."
Eggers did that by creating digital versions of the original tracks on
Pro Tools and then isolating Elvis's vocals and Moore's guitar lines,
which happened to be on the same frequency.
"We raised them up, made them crisp and clear -- and the vocals
and guitar sound fantastic," Eggers reports. "But we lost
all the rhythm guitar and bass. So we decided to double the parts in
the studio with new musicians, with note-for-note replication, using
the same vintage instruments."
"I'm for stuff like that, finding new uses," says Moore, 71
and still touring. "But they ought to check the union rules, pay
us recording session scale. Unless they're going to pay me for it,
tell 'em don't send me a copy."
The bass lines were played by Paul Nowinski, who plays with Keith
Richard and Les Paul and happens to be a huge Bill Black fan (Black,
who left Elvis in 1958 over pay inequities, died in 1965). Elvis's
acoustic rhythm guitar was doubled by Jon Paris, who's played with
Johnny Winter. The band that appeared on "Hayride" was a
trio; it's there that they hooked up with D.J. Fontana, the show's
house drummer. Only one of the "Hayride" tracks featuring
drums was salvageable; on that one, "Hound Dog," session
drummer Steve Wolfe fills in for Fontana.
"We decided not to add anything that wasn't there," says
Eggers. The CD's other tracks feature Elvis interviews by the show's
producer and announcer, Horace Logan, as well as Logan's attempt to
quiet the crowd so the show could continue after Elvis's final
"Hayride" performance. It was the first time anyone heard
the now-famous phrase "Elvis has left the building."
Sure seems like he's back.
July 13, 2002 (Updated - July
Loving You (DVD)
Release Date : August 05, 2002
Digitally re-mastered for superior sound and picture quality, Loving
You is a genuine Elvis classic and a absolute must have' for any true
fan of the undisputed King of rock'n'roll from the days when he was
lean, mean and magnificient and had a hip wiggle that drove the girls
crazy. Only Presley's second feature film and his first in colour,
this rocking romance uncannily mirrors Elvis's own explosion onto the
music scene and rocket ride to fame and fortune. His raw animal
presence leaps sensationally from the screen in the all singing all
dancing story of humble delivery boy turned rock'n'roll star Deke
Rivers - featuring the hit songs Teddy Bear, Got A lot Of Lovin' To
Do, Hot Dog, Mean Woman Blues, Party and of course the tender ballard
of Lovin' You. First released in the cinema in 1957, the movie showed
Elvis had genuine acting talent with his gitty and emotional portaryal
of a simple country boy catapulted to stardom. Interestingly, two
versions of the title songs were recorded for the film and, although
two versions are the Complete Fifties Masters, both are shorter than
the 2 minutes 12 seconds on-screen version here!
Date : July 15, 2002
Private Elvis is the full and fascinating story of one of the
least covered – but most important – periods in the life of Elvis
Presley. For two years between 1958-1960, he was drafted and served as
an ordinary soldier. Now, those who served alongside Elvis share their
unique memories of army life with the King, illustrated by rare
newsreel footage, photographs, private colour cine film of Elvis and
even personal audio recordings of Elvis relaxing and talking about his
taste in music.
Private Elvis Box
Set (DVD, CD And Book)
Release Date : July 29, 2002
This release contains a 100 page hardback book, an audio CD, plus a
DVD featuring footage of Elvis Presley as a soldier on and off duty in
Elvis In The 50s (2-DVD)
Release Date : August 05, 2002
Elvis '56 1956 was Elvis Presley's
breakthrough year, when popularity gave way to national and
international fame and, as a 21-year-old, he changed the face of
popular music forever. Elvis '56 captures Elvis's initial television
appearances including his early performances on the Dorsey brothers'
Stage Show and his historic and controversial hip-shaking rendition of
'Hound Dog' on The Milton Berle Show. Narrated by The Band's vocalist
and drummer Levon Helm, and featuring exclusive footage and early
recordings. Tracklist includes: Blue Suede Shoes, Shake Rattle And
Roll, Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, Don't Be Cruel and
Elvis In Hollywood Containing
fascinating and previously unseen footage, Elvis In Hollywood is a
unique, behind-the-scenes view of the world's greatest entertainer
during his early movie career. Featuring film clips, home movie
footage, photographs and in-depth interviews with Elvis's manager,
friends and colleagues. Tracklist includes: Heartbreak Hotel,
Jailhouse Rock, Baby I Don't Care.
DVD Extras: Full-colour 16 page companion booklet. Selection of
Elvis At The Movies (DVD)
Release Date : August 05, 2002
With more than thirty movies to his credit this programme looks at
Elvis' contribution to the cinema. Released to commemorate the
twenty-fifth anniversary of his death.
Early Elvis (DVD)
Release Date : August 05, 2002
Released to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elvis' death
this programme looks at his early life when he was at the height of
Elvis - All The King's Men - Vol
Release Date : August 05, 2002
The Secret Life Of Elvis
Packed with amazing revelations covering Elvis' life from the
beginning to the end.This incredible video contains never-seen before
photos and home movie footage.
Rocket Ride To Stardom
More never-before-revealed intimate details of Elvis' early life, from
his rise to stardom to his near death experience in the army, this
myth exploding tape will paint a portrait of the young Elvis as you
have never known him.
Wild In Hollywood
Wild parties, love affairs with his leading ladies, spending money
with abandon, Elvis takes on Hollywood. You'll get the inside story of
his movie making days in the glamour capital.
Elvis - All The King's Men - Vol
Release Date : August 05, 2002
Elvis' close friends reunite for the first time since his funeral.
Contains rare glimpses of 'The Memphis Mafia' plus unseen footage.
The King Comes Back
Get the real story of hoe Elvis resurrected his singing career. You'll
find out what John Lennon said the day Elvis met the Beatles. Hear the
real reason why Elvis demanded and got a meeting with President Nixon.
Collapse Of The Kingdom
Hear the amazing stories of a legend out of control as Elvis' drug
habits began to take a toll on the once vibrant idol. Discover how
packing Elvis in ice saved his life.
The Legend Lives On
From this young country boy's humble beginnings, to rise to stardom
and fall from grace, this anecdotal history will follow this legend
through three decades of the most exciting period in rock and roll
history. Filled with exclusive, never seen before photos!
July 13, 2002
Gareth 'records Elvis cover version'
(Ananova - July 13,2002)
Gareth Gates has reportedly recorded an Elvis Presley cover version.
He plans to release Suspicious Minds as part of a double A-side with
The other main track will be their duet on the Beatles' song Long And
Gareth's decision to cover an Elvis song could defuse controversy over
the move to delete JXL's remix of a Little Less Conversation, reports The
Pop Idol judge Dr Fox has criticised BMG's decision as a cynical
attempt to allow Gareth's new single Anyone Of Us to get to number
Suspicious Minds made it to number two in the UK when Elvis first
released it in 1969.
Will and Gareth's joint effort will be out in September.
July 13, 2002
on the shuttle and follow the King
Hit high points on a day visit to Memphis
By PAULA CROUCH THRASHER
(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Memphis -- Entire books have been written about how to make the
most of a pilgrimage to the city Elvis Presley called home for nearly
30 years, most notably "Memphis Elvis-Style" (John F. Blair
The authors are longtime fans Cindy Hazen and Mike Freeman, who own
the home at 1034 Audubon Drive, Elvis' address before he bought
Graceland. The home will be open for tours Aug. 10-18 during Elvis
Their book, dedicated to "all who search for the spirit of Elvis
in Memphis," guides fans to the King's former homes, his favorite
restaurants, stores where he shopped, the places where he partied, the
dealerships where he bought his cars and motorcycles, and even the
bank where he stashed his considerable fortune.
It could take days, weeks even, to check out all the sites in the
Hazen-Freeman book. But if you only have a day, take advantage of Sun
Studio's free shuttle bus that runs between Heartbreak Hotel,
Graceland Plaza, Sun Studio, Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum and Elvis
Presley's Memphis restaurant. The bus makes eight runs between 10:50
a.m. and 6:35 p.m., picking up on the hour at each location -- so you
can get on and off throughout the day. However, it's first-come,
first-served, so have a backup plan.
Here's what you can't miss:
It began at the Sun
Start the day at Sam Phillips' Sun Studio, where an 18-year-old
delivery truck driver for Crown Electric Co. paid a hard-earned $3 to
record a song called "My Happiness" in 1953.
"We are the birthplace of rock 'n' roll -- hands on," says
our enthusiastic tour guide, in her 20s, who tells us her name is
With 15 or so tourists gathered in a small upstairs room filled with
memorabilia (including Elvis' first guitar), she shares the genesis of
the recording studio that began as Memphis Recording Service and
launched R&B acts such as B.B. King, Roscoe Gordon and Rufus
Thomas as well as five singing jailbirds, Johnny Bragg and the
Prisonaires, whose 1953 recording of "Just Walkin' in the
Rain" was Sun's first big hit.
The governor of Tennessee agreed to allow Bragg and his backup singers
to make the recording, which was an immediate hit on local airwaves
and sold 250,000 records for Phillips.
That summer, Elvis dropped in -- and the rest, as they say, is
When Planet plays the actual first Elvis recording -- made by
Phillips' business manager, Marion Keister, as Elvis accompanied
himself on a dime-store guitar -- it's hard not to feel chills.
Keister was sold, but she had a hard time convincing her boss. Then,
Phillips heard Elvis' rendition of "That's Alright, Mama,"
and he knew he had something. The old blues tune by Arthur "Big
Boy" Crudup became Elvis' first professional recording at Sun on
July 5, 1954.
The group follows Planet downstairs and into the building next door.
As she points out the three small rooms -- an office, recording studio
and sound booth -- she announces, "This is the legendary Sun
Here, Elvis would cut five singles on Sun before a cash-strapped
Phillips sold his contract to RCA for $35,000.
"That's Alright, Mama" hit the radio three days after it was
"If you were in Memphis July 8, 1954," says Planet,
"you heard the opening shot of the rock 'n' roll revolution. The
kids heard that song and, of course, they went wild."
Even with Elvis' departure in 1955, Sun continued to have success with
acts including Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Johnny
Cash. Charlie Rich's 1959 "Lonely Weekend" was the last hit
recorded in the original studio before the operation moved to a
three-story building nearby on Madison Street.
The studio still has the original acoustic tiles, sound baffles and
"This," says Planet, standing on the worn tile floors,
"I consider sacred ground."
Sue and Bill Bradle of Weatherford, Texas, couldn't resist taking
turns at the mike for photos.
"I'm a music teacher," says Sue, "and I have some old
45s. I'm interested in roots rock 'n' roll. This puts it all together
After the tour, you can shop for souvenirs and recordings next door in
the old Taylor's Cafe, which is operated by Sun as a ticket office,
gift shop and soda fountain.
You might run into regular visitor Charlie Romaine, who this day was
drinking a vanilla milkshake and passing the time with Sun employee
Romaine, a Northwest Airlines pilot who moved to Memphis 13 years ago,
likes to hang out just to meet people.
"They come from all over the world," he says. "England,
Germany and Japan seem to have the biggest number of tourists coming
through. Last week, we had 20 firefighters from Lower Manhattan."
Sun Studio: Open daily 10 a.m.-6
p.m. Tours every hour on the half-hour. $7.85, children under 12 free.
706 Union Ave. 1-800-441-6249, www.sunstudio.com.
Going to Graceland
No one would accuse Elvis or his various decorating advisers --
primarily Priscilla and subsequent girlfriends -- of being restrained.
But Graceland isn't the shrine to bad taste you expect it to be.
Especially when you remember the 1970s were the days of avocado and
gold appliances and shag carpeting.
The living room's 15-foot cream sofa and peacock blue curtains (which
match the peacock stained-glass panels that set off the adjacent music
room) and the gilded furniture and crystal chandelier in the dining
room across the entry hall probably seemed quite glamorous at the
OK, the purple color scheme in his parents' bedroom and the French
poodle-motif wallpaper in their bathroom is maybe a little too
But the much maligned, brunt-of-many-jokes Jungle Room is rather
quaint, actually, in a taste-be-damned sort of way. The den is dimly
lit, the custom stone waterfall is soothing and, well, you can just
imagine Elvis chillin' with the tikis as he lounged on the faux-fur
covered furniture with ornately carved frames. And, heck, the green
shag carpeting even looks like moss.
Downstairs, the navy and yellow TV room (with its mirrored ceiling,
three TVs and white ceramic monkey statue) and the pool room (with its
Tiffany glass light shade hanging above a pool table and yards of
multicolored fabric on the walls and ceiling) look like fun places to
And, no, you will not see Elvis' bedroom, much less the bathroom where
he died Aug. 16, 1977. In fact, you will not be allowed upstairs into
the King's private quarters during a tour of Graceland. But in the
exhibit hall annex, you'll see his circa 1970 round fake-white-fur
bed, a re-creation of his upstairs office and memorabilia representing
his sports interests and hobbies.
The tour continues outside the 1939 mansion to his father Vernon's
office, the Trophy Room with costumes, gold and platinum records,
awards and movie clips, and the racquetball court, which now houses a
collection of his Vegas-era jumpsuits and capes.
Finally, the tour leads into the Meditation Garden, where the Presley
family is buried. Elvis' grave is marked by an eternal flame. Visitors
pause in respect, speaking in hushed tones, if at all.
Daily throughout the year, time is set aside for free walk-up visits
to the garden (7-8:30 a.m.) for those who perhaps have visited the
mansion before but want to pay their respects. There is an additional
free walk-up time, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Aug. 7-18 (but no walk-up on
Candlelight Vigil night, Aug. 15) and 6:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 19.
If you plan to tour Graceland during Elvis Week, reservations are
recommended. Tickets to tour the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum,
Elvis' airplanes and the Sincerely Elvis Museum -- all in Graceland
Plaza, across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the gated mansion -- are
not on a timed/reserved basis like the mansion tours, but you can save
money by purchasing the Platinum Tour package, which includes all
The car museum features the King's favorite wheels organized around a
re-creation of a '50s drive-in movie theater. Here's where you'll find
the famous 1955 pink Fleetwood Cadillac, two Stutz Blackhawks, a black
1975 Ferrari, Harley-Davidsons and other vehicles, including a
Through the 25th anniversary year, the Sincerely Elvis Museum is
paying tribute to the relationship between Elvis and his fans with
memorabilia and audiovisual installations.
Fans the day I visit seem interested but subdued -- no weeping or
swooning. Elinor Logan of Lake of Egypt, Ill., and her niece Barbara
Botka of South Bend, Ind., were cooling off with a beverage in the
Chrome Grill after the tour.
While they don't consider themselves rabid fans, Logan admits,
"When I was in high school, I had an Elvis picture in my
The two visited Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo, Miss., last year, and
figured they ought to see Graceland.
"When you've seen both places," says Logan, "you get a
feel for his extreme poverty and his meteoric rise in fortune. Talk
about humble beginnings. . . ."
By now, it is late afternoon, and down the street at Boulevard
Souvenirs, Jerry Mac -- the karaoke king of Elvis Presley Boulevard --
is crooning "For the Good Times" to passing motorists. Store
owner Rick Roberts, outside sprucing up his property, is eagerly
anticipating a deluge of fans come August.
Roberts -- himself a huge fan, thanks to the influence of his older
sisters -- says a visit to Graceland is "a very sacred thing
during the anniversary, especially the vigil. It's spiritual. All I
can say is Elvis touched a lot of hearts, and I don't think the memory
will ever die. Elvis would be proud."
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays (mansion
closed Tuesdays Nov. 1-March 1). Platinum Tour (including all
Graceland attractions): $25, $22.50 students and senior citizens 62
and older, $12 ages 7-12, free for 6 and under. On Elvis Presley
Boulevard, one mile south of I-55 Exit 5B. 1-800-238-2000,
A hunka, hunka food
After a long, hot day on the trail of Elvis memories, it is good to
relax on a white leather banquette in the cool, dark comfort of Elvis
Presley's Memphis with a sweet iced tea.
The 300-seat restaurant/show bar is on Beale Street in the old Lansky
Bros. Men's Shop, where Elvis bought many of his clothes. Elvis
favored the flashy, bold-colored clothing geared to the store's mostly
black clientele. In the pre-fame early '50s, Elvis could only afford
to window-shop, but he vowed he'd be back one day and buy them out.
Twenty years after Elvis' death, the restored clothing store opened as
a restaurant serving meals made from Elvis' mother's recipes and other
favorite dishes. The fried peanut butter and banana sandwich is
tempting, as is the Hunka Hunka burger and the meatloaf, but I feel
sure Elvis would have wanted me to order the 16-ounce charbroiled
T-bone steak topped with his favorite steak butter sauce. I know, too,
that he would have me try the fried dill pickles -- and it would have
been a shame to leave without trying a bowl of the homemade banana
pudding. I kept one eye on the door for a raid by the cholesterol
This night, the Dempseys -- a high-energy rockabilly trio -- are
onstage. They are booked two or three times a week, rotating with
other regulars such as Zoe and the Alexander Band and the
The Dempseys, sweat-soaked within minutes, blast through an hourlong
set that includes "Working Man's Blues," "Freight
Train," "Heartbreak Hotel," "That's Alright,
Mama" and an original composition, "Sunday Mornin' You'll
Pay (But Tonight Let's Drink Some Juice)."
During the set, Joe Fick, who plays upright bass, crawls all over his
instrument and even switches instruments with guitarist Brad Birkedahl
without missing a lick. Just watching them wears me out.
Bartender, another sweet tea. And make it a double.
Presley's Memphis: Open for lunch and dinner. 126 Beale St.
IF YOU GO
there: AirTran, Delta and Northwest airlines fly direct to
Memphis. It is about 400 miles from downtown Atlanta, an eight-hour
Heartbreak Hotel: The perfect
location for Graceland-goers -- just across the street. 124 rooms.
3677 Elvis Presley Blvd. 1-877-777-0606.
Days Inn -- Graceland: Also
convenient. 60 rooms. 3839 Elvis Presley Blvd. 1-800-329-7466.
Peabody hotel: Official Elvis 25th
Anniversary event hotel. The place with the ducks. 468 rooms. 149
Union Ave. (downtown). 1-800-7322639.
Memphis Marriott Downtown:
Official Elvis Week 2002 host hotel. 400 rooms. 250 N. Main St.
Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, 901-543-5333, www.memphistravel.com.
July 12, 2002
Boots Randolph Joins Cast of Elvis:
The 25th Anniversary Concert
EPE - 7/11/02
Saxaphone great, the legendary Boots Randolph has now joined the cast
for Elvis: The 25th Anniversary Concert. The
"Yakety Sax" man will be featured on several numbers. Boots
performed on many of Elvis' recordings and appeared on stage with him
when Elvis gave his March 1961 benefit concert for the U.S.S. Arizona
Memorial in Hawaii.
July 10, 2002
By Robert Gordon
Released - August 1, 2002
About This Book
On October 3, 1945, ten-year-old Elvis Presley climbed atop a chair to
reach the microphone and performed the song "Old Shep" for a
crowd of several hundred at the Tupelo fair, coming in fifth place in
the talent contest. Ten years later, the King created his first
full-scale riot after an appearance in Jacksonville at a baseball
park. Girls poured through an overhead window, catching the police off
guard, and stole or shredded almost every stitch of clothing Elvis had
on. He scaled the shower area and clung to the pipes overhead while
fans clamored to touch and take home a piece of him. Now Graceland has
opened the doors to its extensive archives for the first time ever,
allowing previously inaccessible historic documents and memorabilia to
be reproduced in facsimile, collectible form. With biographical text
by acclaimed Elvis expert Robert Gordon, The Elvis Treasures tells the
King's life story through handwritten letters, press releases, movie
scripts, photographs and additional artifacts. Where else can you get
a ticket to "Frank Sinatra's Welcome Home Party for Elvis
Presley," evaluate the King!¦s hand-drawn football plays, read
his first RCA contract, and check out a book that he borrowed from the
Humes High School library as an eighth-grader? Published to coincide
with the 25th anniversary of the Elvis! death, this unique interactive
book also contains a 60-minute CD of interviews spanning his career,
providing a formerly unavailable portrait of the King in his own
The Elvis Treasures contains 22 removable
- rare promotional photos issued by Sun Records in 1954-55
- a 1958 Christmas card from Elvis and the Colonel (as Santa)
- Elvis's letter to Anita, his Memphis girlfriend, expressing his love
and commitment to her while he was stationed in
- an invitation to the premiere for Viva Las Vegas
- telegrams Vernon received upon Elvis' death from Johnny Cash, Isaac
Hayes, Governor George Wallace, B. B. King,
Little Richard and others
Description of the 60-minute CD of interviews
The first interview, track 1, was conducted in 1955 by Mae
Boren Axton, months before the song she gave him, “Heartbreak
Hotel,” would become his breakthrough hit. Track 2, recorded roughly
a year later, finds Elvis admitting, in an unguarded moment, that his
performing style was inspired in part by the gospel quarters he’d
always loved; it’s a confession that comes back to haunt him in the
following interview, conducted in August 1956 by Paul Wilder of TV
Guide (track 3). When Wilder uses the term “holy roller” in asking
him about the religious influence on his music, Elvis interrupts him
–“I have never used that expression” – with the hair-curling
command of a preacher. The TV Guide interview makes for fascinating
listening, as Elvis uses charm, biting sarcasm, and the sheer force of
his conviction to parry Wilder’s interrogation. Tracks 4 and 5 are
far more joyful in spirit, as we hear first Elvis’ parents and then
the singer himself tossed about in the maelstrom of his triumphant
Tupelo homecoming concert in 1956. (“Baby Play House,” his mother
responds unforgettably when asked her favorite Elvis song.)
Then we jump ahead to Elvis’ Army years and a montage of clips
reflecting his life in the service, America’s reaction, and his
return home (track 6). Elvis speaks earnestly about working the same
details as the other soldiers, but by the end of the selection seems
quite happy about returning to his “normal” life. Track 7 finds
him back at work, in a brief interview on the set of Blue Hawaii. But
what follows, an excerpt from a long conversation with Lloyd Shearer
of Parade magazine (track 8), is perhaps the most introspective
interview Elvis ever gave. (Elvis’ half of this conversation was
released on the RCA boxed set Elvis Aron Presley as “An Elvis
Moonsong;” fans may enjoy hearing this excerpt in full, with
Shearer’s quiet questions intact.) And the final two recordings,
tracks 9 and 10, find Elvis at new conferences before his landmark
shows at the Houston Astrodome (1970) and Madison Square Garden
(1972)–disarming the press with clever quips, and expressing his
love of good old rock ‘n’ roll–that undying love of music that
had always been with him.
Source : The
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