July 27 - That's The Way The Outtake Are

Warner Brothers Senior Vice-President of Catalog Marketing George Feltenstein has provided more details on the 12 outtakes included as special features on the "Elvis: That's The Way It Is : Two Disc Special Edition" Blu-ray due out on August 12. As suspected, the content mirrors that of the 2007 2-DVD set, except with a new twist. On DVD, the outtakes were presented in abysmal quality, but on Blu-ray, they will be pristine. 

"The Blu-ray has high-definition, incredible new presentation, [and an] all-new master, but we also have, with really impressive quality, additional songs that were not included in the Special Edition. They were on a prior DVD but with, really, not very impressive quality because that’s the best that we had at the time, and it really was disappointing to fans.

So, we were unable to locate the actual master tapes that had the outtakes that we intended to use in 2007, and, finally, now, that tape was located, and that is now on the Blu-ray. So people will be able to see the – I think there are about ten – additional performances, and they’re going to look and sound much better than they did on the 2007 DVD – which was really a heartbreaker for us because we always want to give the consumers the best thing we can, and now we can do that, and it’s very, very exciting. We are always looking for new ways to make Elvis fans happy".

The outtakes are:
01) 'You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me' (Rehearsal-July 14)
02) Eating Sequence (July 14)
03) 'Cattle Call', 'Baby Let’s Play House,' and 'Don’t' (Rehearsal-July 29)
04) 'Farther Along' (Rehearsal-August 4)
05) 'Oh Happy Day' (Rehearsal-August 7)
06) 'I Just Can’t Help Believin’' (Live-August 11 Dinner Show)
07) 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' (Live-August 11 Midnight Show)
08) 'I’ve Lost You' (Live-August 12 Dinner Show)
09) 'Sweet Caroline' (Live-August 12 Midnight Show)
10) 'Little Sister' / 'Get Back'* (Live-August 12 Midnight Show)
11) 'Stranger In The Crowd' (Live-August 13 Dinner Show)
12) After Show Party (August 10 Opening Show)

*The 'Get Back' portions of this live medley were edited out of the 2007 DVD release. It is unclear as of yet whether they have been restored for the 2014 Blu-ray release. According to a Warner Brothers press release, here are the product details:

(Source: Warner Bros.)

July 26 - Poplar Marker For The Boys

The 2014 edition of Elvis Week (Aug. 8-17) is fast approaching. The calendar of Presley-related events is packed, as ever, with concerts, panels, film screenings and celebrations of all kinds. And while the King will be the focus of most of the proceedings, another set of Memphis icons will also be given the spotlight.

On Wednesday, August 13, Chips Moman and the American Studios band will finally get some long-overdue recognition with the unveiling of a Shelby County Historical Marker near 827 Thomas Street. The address — at Thomas and Chelsea Avenue — is the site of the former American Recording Studio, the place where Moman and the band cut Elvis’ crucial 1969 “comeback” sessions, and recorded dozens and dozens (roughly 120, depending on the source) of chart hits between 1962 and 1972.

Moman — who’d also been a catalyst in helping develop Stax Records — wooed members of the staff bands at Hi Records and Phillips to form the classic American Studios group: guitarist Reggie Young, drummer Gene Chrisman, pianist Bobby Wood, organist Bobby Emmons and bassists Mike Leech and Tommy Cogbill. Mostly with Moman at the helm, that unit — known variously as the 827 Thomas Street Band, the American Group, and, later, the Memphis Boys — would help sire a succession of hits for artists such as Dusty Springfield (“Son of a Preacher Man”), Neil Diamond (“Sweet Caroline), Merrilee Rush (“Angel of the Morning”), B.J. Thomas (“Hooked on a Feeling”), Joe Tex (“I Gotcha”), Bobby Womack (“Fly Me To The Moon”) and, most famously, Presley (“Suspicious Minds”).

The push to honor Moman and his musicians has been an organic and collaborative effort among a group of fans, educators and civic-minded Memphians. This contingent includes WEVL radio hosts Eddie Hankins and Chuck Porter and program director Brian Craig, attorney Eric Plumley, deejay Kenny Bosak, former Rhodes fellow Charles Hughes, and John Bass, head of Rhodes’ Mike Curb Institute for Music.

“We felt somebody needed to not just speak up, but to do something concrete to honor the legacy of Chips and the studio,” says Hankins, who wrote a long 2007 feature for Memphis magazine on American and has helped spearhead the campaign.

“At the time when there were so many great Memphis studios, American drew artists, not just from the South or solely from the R&B world, but from everywhere and every genre,” says Hankins. “You think about Dusty Springfield coming from England to record and record successfully. And there are so many songs that people would recognize immediately but wouldn’t necessarily associate with Memphis that were recorded at the studio. ‘Sweet Caroline’ — everyone knows it, but no one thinks of American. ‘Angel of the Morning’ — people don’t associate that with American. ‘Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues.’ All these hits were cut at that studio. The fact that those musicians were so versatile … they could cut soul songs, pop songs, rock songs, R&B, little bit of country, they even had a No. 1 jazz album — those musicians could play anything. They were musical chameleons under Chips’ guidance; he steered them to the right sound for so many artists and created this incredible body of work.”

Hankins and his fellow American enthusiasts had been congregating on a Facebook page run by Erick Crews, son of American studio partner Don Crews, when the marker effort took shape.

“It had come up on the page a few times, like ‘Oh, it’s a shame there’s not a marker.’ It was something we had thought and talked about for a while,” says Hankins. “It sort of seemed like our group came together naturally and that everybody was interested enough to really follow through.”

With the help of local historian Jimmy Ogle, the American marker initiative was shepherded through the Shelby County Historical Commission office and finally approved late last year.

The original American Studios building was razed in the late ’80s with little fanfare. A new building — used as an auto-parts store and later a day care center — took its place. Another more recent structure replaced that one, and currently houses a Family Dollar store, where the marker will be placed (officially at 831 Thomas Street).

The Aug. 13 unveiling event will take place at 2 p.m. Memphis television personality Dave Brown will serve as emcee, and various guests are scheduled to attend. Among those tentatively slated to appear are Moman and American band members Young, Wood, Emmons and Chrisman. Relatives of the late Tommy Cogbill will also be there. Don Crews, longtime studio manager Marty Lacker, American writers/artists Johnny Christopher and Mark James, along with author Roben Jones, who wore the definitive biography of the studio, “The Memphis Boys,” are also expected.

The Memphis Boys will be playing a concert at Graceland that night as well. 

This coming January is, hopefully, the dedication for the Poplar Tunes marker on Poplar Avenue.

(Source: Commercial Appeal / ElvisMatters)

July 25 - Ride With The Phanthom

Elvis Presley's old limousine will go under the hammer during a Bonhams auction in California next month at a Bonhams sale in The Quail, California and is expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000. 

Elvis bought the Rolls-Royce Phantom V brand new in 1963 and had it custom-fitted with the latest gadgets including a telephone, electric windows and a microphone. The car was initially midnight blue, but he was forced to have it re-painted a lighter silver because his mother's chickens would repeatedly peck at their reflections when he visited her. 

The centre rear armrest featured a writing pad, mirror and clothes brush while a fitted cabinet contained cut glass decanters and crystal glasses. Under the bonnet was a 6.2-litre, V8 engine which gave the 2.6-ton car 200bhp and a top speed of around 100mph. Elvis, then a 28-year-old global sensation, had the 20-foot long car shipped out to his home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, where he entertained the likes of The Beatles.

Memphis's most famous son held on to the car for five years before donating it to charity, where it sold for $35,000. It then disappeared for the next 20 years until it was bought by its current owner at a memorabilia auction in London. They have kept it in a private museum and used it sparingly, with the car regularly maintained by English Rolls-Royce restorers Frank Dale and Stepsons. Bonhams described the Rolls-Royce as 'one of the more significant Phantom V's to have come up for sale in recent years'. The auction house added: 'It is a most interesting model of this highly desirable motorcar complete with undisputed Elvis provenance. 'It is offered with copy of its original chassis card confirming the original owner as well as his exacting specifications. 'This important and significant Rolls-Royce Phantom V, with its undisputed place in pop culture history, will surely be jewel in the crown for any Elvis collector.'

Weekend Charts

The 1995 compilation "Heart & Soul" dropped from #177 to #184 on the US Album chart. It also dropped from #44 to #46 on the Catalog Album Chart for the week ending August 02, 2014.

(Source: Daily Mail / The King's World)

July 24 - Reconstructed And Relive

The Italian producer and DJ Ago Carollo, a.k.a. DJ Spankox, announced the release of a new remix-album entitled "Elvis Relive" with August 1 as the release-date. 

The press-release:
London, 23 July 2014. On August 1 2014 a new groundbreaking Elvis Presley album will be proudly released. It is titled Relive and is an innovative and forward-thinking album that includes fantastic new modern versions of a selection of Elvis Presley’s hits that preserve the original artistry and enhance it with better and fuller instrumentation. All the songs feature Elvis’ original voice, restored and enhanced using the most advanced technology for an amazing listening experience. The track list of Relive includes, among the others, new versions of We’re Coming In Loaded, Suspicion, Tutti Frutti and Shake Rattle And Roll. It also includes ten additional bonus tracks from some of the best previous releases, for a total playing time of 53 minutes. The album Relive is the best ever celebration of Elvis and his music in a whole new context. This cutting-edge album, produced by Grammy nominated producer Ago Carollo, is a new milestone for the King and a must have for every Elvis fan. It truly is Elvis as you’ve never heard him before. For more information, please visit www.elvisrelive.com

Relive is a wonderful musical experience, so creative and so contemporary, that places Elvis in a current context and appeals to fans of all ages and all kinds of music. The surprising freshness of these songs grabs you and shakes you and testifies to the remarkable artist Elvis remains to this very day. Relive is the album that far better than any other builds a bridge between Elvis’ music and a whole new generation of fans.

"Before Elvis, there was nothing” said John Lennon and Elvis Presley remains one of the most iconic and powerful forces in popular culture. With the power of his voice and a swivel of his hips Elvis shattered the status quo, revolutionizing the worlds of music, film and fashion. “The Elvis revolution continues today with Relive – says the producer Ago Carollo – and the new sound echoes Elvis' own versatility and ability to master all music genres. I deeply love Elvis and the goal of the whole production of Relive was to capture and enhance the excitement of the original recordings. I invite all Elvis fans to listen and enjoy Relive”.

The new album Relive is a modern studio masterwork that presents the essence of the King from a contemporary perspective while giving a boost to the revolutionary impulses of Elvis' sound. Elvis’ music lives with Relive. You have already the opportunity to hear a sample from this groundbreaking album visiting www.elvisrelive.com.

1.We're Coming In Loaded (Relive Version)
2.Please Don't Drag That String Around (Relive Version)
3.Suspicion (Relive Version)
4.Tutti Frutti (Relive Version)
5.Earth Boy (Relive Version)
6.Riding The Rainbow (Relive Version)
7.Shake Rattle And Roll (Relive Version)
8.I Got Lucky (Relive Version)
9.A Whistling Tune (Relive Version)
10. (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care (Relive Version)

Bonus tracks:
11.Gonna Get Back Home Somehow (Relive Version)
12.Good Luck Charm (Relive Version)
13.Little Sister (Relive Version)
14.(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame (Relive Version)
15.Pocketful Of Rainbows (Relive Version)
16.You Give Me Fever (Relive Version)
17.I Gotta Know (Relive Version)
18.Baby Let's Play House (Relive Version)
19.Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Relive Version)
20.Jailhouse Rock (Relive Version)

About Ago Carollo, producer
Ago Carollo is a progressive producer, composer, sound engineer, artist, singer and deejay also known as Spankox. He’s the creator of Elvis Presley's hit remix of Baby Let's Play House which brought the King back to the top of the international record sales charts in 2008. He also produced Elvis’ first official remix album, Reversions. He then produced six others, praised by some of Elvis’ original producers, songwriters and musicians who also joined him onstage for live concerts. With his original song Fly Away, released under the stage name Eyes Cream, he reached in 2000 the n.1 spot of the Billboard USA charts. He recently received his first Grammy Nomination for his contribution as songwriter, producer and singer to the last album of Spanish superstar Miguel Bosé. You can find him performing as deejay in some of the best clubs of the planet or directing innovative music & arts events featuring orchestras and live musicians.

Elvis' BMW - Reconstructed

Elvis Presley’s red 1958 BMW 507 will be rest orated and displayed in Germany. 

The car, in the US since 1960 and stored near San Francisco since 1973 returns to it’s country of origin and put on display at the BMW Classic Center in München (Munich) in the “Elvis’ BMW 507: lost & found” exhibition. 

More images at:BimmerToday.

Las Vegas - December 07, 1976

Released today is the fan label import release “Elvis As Recorded Live In Las Vegas” containing a soundboard recording of the December 7, 1976 9 PM show, as recorded at the Las vegas Hilton Hotel. 

The concert was originally released on the 1998 Row Productions “Run On”.

Collecting Elvis

Volume 67 in the German Elvis Sammlung was released. This edition contains a magazine, memorabilia reproductions and a mini-poster for “Kissin’ Cousins”. 

(Source: FECC / Elvis Relive / Elvis Sammlung / Elvis For The Good Times)

July 23 - Wall Street Hotel

A preview of the song "Heartbreak Hotel", from the upcoming "That's The Way it Is" box-set, is featured in the online version of the Wall Street Journal. This take on the song comes from the “dinner show” on Aug. 12, 1970 (he was performing two shows a night), and after Presley calls out chords, he and the band launch into the song to a wave of applause from the audience at the International Hotel.

Click here to listen.  

(Source: FECC / Wall Street Journal)