July 15 - Follow That Dream 20th Anniversary

The Follow That Dream collectors label announced the release of the 5 CD set “Elvis - American Studio” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the label. This set, part of the labels new "Sessions" series", comes with a 28 page booklet. 

Besides this set the label also announced the release of the double LP “Elvis Sings Memphis Tennessee”, a limited edition release containing alternative versions of songs from the “The Lost Album” sessions in May 1963 and January 1964. The LP is mastered at Abbey Road Studios. Both titles are due at the end of August 2019.

Details "Elvis - American Studio":

The collection features over 90 tracks of rare and unreleased material from Elvis’ 1969 American Sound Studio sessions – which resulted in his "From Elvis In Memphis" record later that year. 

The album ranks among Elvis’ most universally beloved records, spawning the iconic hit “In The Ghetto.” 

The other singles from 1969 include “Don’t Cry Daddy,” “Suspicious Minds,” and “Mama Liked The Roses,” each of which went on to sell over one million copies. “Suspicious Minds” became Elvis’ 18th and final single to top the Billboard 100 – a prime example of his late career renaissance. "American Sound 1969" includes alternate versions of each of these classics and more.

Tracks “Elvis - American Sound 1969”

CD 1: Long Black Limousine (Take 1, 2, 3 & 5) - Long Black Limousine (Take 6) - Long Black Limousine (Take 7, 8 & 9) - Long Black Limousine (Take 9) - This Is The Story (Take 1 & 2) - Wearin' That Loved On Look (Take 1, 2, 3 & 5) - Wearin' That Loved On Look (Take 10) - Wearin' That Loved On Look (Take 12, 13 & 14) - Wearin' That Loved On Look (Take 15) - You'll Think of Me (Take 1 - 6) - You'll Think Of Me (Take 7) - You'll Think Of Me (Take 8) - You'll Think Of Me (Take 11 & 14) - You'll Think Of Me (Take 16) - You'll Think Of Me (Take 19, 20 & 22) - You'll Think Of Me (Take 23)

CD 2: I'm Movin' On (Take 1 - 2) - I'm Movin' On (Take 2) - A Little Bit Of Green (Rehearsal) - A Little Bit Of Green (Take 1) - A Little Bit Of Green (Take 2 - 3) - Gentle On My Mind (With Track Replacement Overdubs And Master Vocal) - Don't Cry Daddy (Take 3) - Poor Man's Gold (Take 12) - Inherit The Wind (Take 1 - Rehearsal - Take 4) - Mama Liked The Roses (Master Track With Alternate Vocal Overdub) - Mama Liked The Roses (Master Track With Master Vocal Overdub) - My Little Friend (Master Track With Master Vocal Overdub) - In The Ghetto (Take 1) - In The Ghetto (Take 2 - 3) - In The Ghetto (Take 4) - In The Ghetto (Take 5 - 10) - In The Ghetto (Take 11) - In The Ghetto (Take 13) - In The Ghetto (Take 19) - In The Ghetto (Take 20) - In The Ghetto (Take 22)

CD 3: Rubberneckin' (Take 1 - 2) - Hey Jude (Take 1) - Hey Jude (Take 3, 5, 6 & 7) - From A Jack To King (Take 1 - 3) - From A Jack To King (Take 4 - 5) - Without Love (There Is Nothing) (Take 1) - Without Love (There Is Nothing) (Take 2 - 4) - Without Love (There Is Nothing) (Take 5) - I'll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms) (Take 1) - I'll Be There (Take 1 - 3) - I'll Be There (Take 4 - 6) - Suspicious Minds (Take 1 - 5) - Suspicious Minds (Take 6) - Suspicious Minds (Take 7) - Suspicious Minds (Take 8)

CD 4: Stranger In My Own Home Town (Jam) - Medley: It's My Way / This Time / I Can't Stop Loving You (Jam) - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 2) - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 4) - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 5) - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 6 - 7) - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 11) - And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind (Take 1, 3 & 5) - And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind (Take 6 - Master Track With Live Vocal) - And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind (Take 6 - Master Track With Overdubbed Vocal) - Power Of My Love (Take 1) - Power Of My Love (Take 2 & 3) - Power of My Love (Take 6) - Power Of My Love (Take 7) - After Loving You (Take 2) - After Loving You (Take 3) - After Loving You (Take 4) - Do You Know Who I Am? (Take 1 & 3) - Do You Know Who I Am? (Take 4) - Do You Know Who I Am? (Take 5) - Do You Know Who I Am? (Take 7)

CD 5: Kentucky Rain (Take 1 - 3) - Kentucky Rain (Take 5 - 7) - Kentucky Rain (Take 8) - Kentucky Rain (Take 9) - Kentucky Rain (Take 10) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 1) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 8, 11 & 12) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 17, 21 & 22) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 29) - It Keeps Right On A Hurtin' (Take 1 & 2) - Any Day Now (Take 1 & 2) - Any Day Now (Take 3 & 4) - Any Day Now (Take 5 & 6) - If I'm A Fool (For Loving You) (Take 1, 2 & 3) - If I'm A Fool (For Loving You) (Take 6, 7, 8 & 9) - The Fair's Moving On (Track Master With Vocal Overdub) - Who Am I? (Track Master With Vocal Overdub).

It contains the following unreleased tracks:
  • Long Black Limousine – takes 1,2,3 and 5 4:41 Previously unreleased 
  • Wearin' That Loved On Look – takes 1,2,3 and 5 2:19 Takes 1, 2 and 5. Previously unreleased Take 3
  • You’ll Think Of Me – takes 11 and 14 6:01 Take 11. Previously unreleased Take 14
  • You’ll Think Of Me – takes 19,20 and 22 4:04 Previously unreleased 
  • In The Ghetto – takes 5-10 6:52 Previously unreleased 
Tracks “Elvis Sings Memphis Tennessee”:

Side A: Memphis, Tennessee (Rejected Master) - Ask Me (Rejected Master) - Echoes Of Love (Take 1) - Please DonĂ­t Drag That String Around (Take 1) - (You’re The) Devil In Disguise (Take 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 Master) - What Now, What Next, Where To (Master) - Never Ending (Take 1)

Side B: (It’s A) Long Lonely Highway (Master) - Witchcraft (Take 1) - Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers (Take 1) - Love Me Tonight (Take 1) - Memphis, Tennessee (Take 1 - 12.01.1964) - Ask Me (Take 1, 2 - 12.01.1964) - Western Union (Take 1) - Please Don't Drag That String Around (Take 2)

Side C: Slowly But Surely (Take 1) - Never Ending (Take 2, 3 Master) - (You're The) Devil In Disguise (Take 3) - Please Don't Drag That String Around (Take 3, 4, 5) - Witchcraft (Take 2) - Ask Me (Take 5, 6 - Alternate Rejected Master)

Side D: Blue River (Take 1, 2) - Memphis, Tennessee (Take 2, 3, 5 - 12.01.1964) - It Hurts Me (Take 2, 3, 4, 5 Master - 12.01.1964) - Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers (Take 2, 3) - Love Me Tonight (Take 2, 3, 4) - Slowly But Surely (Take 2, 3, 4)

Recorded: May 26 & 27, 1963 And *January 12, 1964 At Rca Victor Studio, Nashville.

Austin Butler to Play Elvis

Director Baz Luhrmann has found his Elvis. He has set Austin Butler to play the starmaking role of Elvis Presley in the untitled drama that covers the seminal legend’s growth from dirt poor singer to global icon, seen through the prism of his complex relationship over two decades with manager Colonel Tom Parker. Latter role will be played by Tom Hanks and Warner Bros will distribute worldwide.

The film will shoot early next year in Queensland, Australia, with Warner Bros Pictures distributing worldwide. The film will trace Presley’s elevation to a level of stardom and celebrity matched only by The Beatles, set against an evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.

(Source: FECC / Follow That Dream / Deadline)

July 13 - Ger Rijff Has Left The Building

Elvis Presley fan, expert, author and (bootleg) producer Ger "Tall-Hair" Rijff has died. He was 67. Ger Rijff made his mark on the Elvis World by producing more than twenty books on Elvis Presley, featuring many unearthed photo's that are totally cool to this day.

Ger Rijff's son Jamie's posted a message on his fathers Facebook page that Ger Rijff has "left the building".

Dear friends,

My father has passed away last saturday. An absolute unexpected tragedy. He is known for his knowledge, creativity and kindness (and justly grumpyness on his Rijffster page). He was and will be my best buddy, I can’t describe how much he will be missed. Dad has taught me some of the most important things in life: a great taste in music and the importance of freedom.

Please show some respect to Ger and me, do NOT send any Gifs with sparkles or Elvis angels (or any of these crappy things Dad hated). He might come and haunt you if you do so! Ha, love you Dad, go and get ‘em.

“When the broken-hearted people, living in the world agree, there will be an answer, Let it Be” - The Fab Four (whom where as good as the King).



On the Elvis Information Network his legacy was summed up nicely:

Before the FTD label, before The Elvis Files, the MRS and Boxcar books there was Ger Rijff and Tutti Frutti productions. Ger "Tall-Hair" Rijff was one of the first classic Elvis super-collectors and publishers. He visited the RCA vaults along with a young Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon in the early 1990s and they all went on to publish stunning Elvis products.

Ger helped obsessive Elvis fans dreams come true via some truly magical and original books and music releases. Ger Rijff published the classic 'Long Lonely Highway' "A pictorial coverage of a rock-Odyssey through 1050's America", as well as other top-rated books such as 'Inside Jailhouse Rock', "Florida Close Up', '60 Million TV Viewers Can't Be Wrong', 'Inside King Creole' and 'The Hottest Thing That's Cool'. His legendary books and "Boot" productions helped push Ernst Jorgensen to create FTD as a quality publishing house.


Anyone who worked with him knew that Ger certainly had "his moments" but when he was on good form he was a scream! Ger was also one of the best artists and cartoonists around. Ger Rijff also helped work with Bob Pakes with setting-up the wonderful website 'Elvis: Echoes Of The Past'. 

Bob Pakes writes today, "Ger Rijff was the absolute leading expert on 50's dates and photos! No one even came close. And Ger was the first with his classic and specialized books. Before FTD and Lorentzen started publishing specialized books, Ger had done it all.
Same can be said with regard to the boot market: Ger's labels were the absolute best! I will always vividly remember waiting for the postman to bring me the latest boot with all new and extremely rare music, in the coolest designed covers! Ah, those were the days!
But those days are gone. Forever. Nowadays books are much less exciting when compared to Ger's titles. And the boots, even the best FTD releases, can simply not be compared to the stuff Ger put out in the glory days of Elvis boots!
Those days are gone. - And Ger is gone.

What this guy has achieved and what he is leaving behind ... well, no one comes close."

A message from him recently said, "Although Im really falling apart, and should be asleep now, I had to share the story with you guys. Rijff is everywhere ! : ) bye!" 

Paul Dowling remembers:

I'll never forget the first trade we had. I thought he was going to send me the "Love Me Tender" EP from France but when I received the package it was actually the still very rare "Love Me Tender" EP from Belgium! I was overjoyed as, at that time, maybe 1974, I had no idea it even existed.


But of course Gerry was a big help to my ex partner Sam Theaker (aka Vic Colonna) and me when we were making all of our bootleg LP's. He not only supplied us with the great 'From The Waste Up" insert drawing but he also designed the "Million Dollar Quartet" LP cover for us. Later on when the FBI was breathing down our necks and we were out of the bootleg industry I sent him the rehearsal tape from the "'68 TV Special" (which I had received from Jerry Hopkins) and he put it out on a great bootleg which I think was called "Play It Hot". I know we sent him the slide which he used for that LP.

(Source: FECC / Jamie Rijff / Elvis Information Network / FECC / World Wide Elvis)

July 12 - New Fragrances, Releases and Charts (Update July 15)

The Authentic Brands Group, who owns the Elvis brand, has partnered with Bellevue Brands to launch a fragrance line inspired by Elvis Presley. "Elvis has an incredible ability to excite and captivate audiences," says a representative for Bellevue Brands. "We're thrilled to develop a new collection with ABG that embodies Elvis' undeniable charm and honors the legendary music and style that made him a household name."The collection includes:
  • Legend for Him–a mix of musky notes of pink pepper, grapefruit zest, lavender Provence, wild sage and a base of oakmoss, amber, benzoin Siam and cedarwood. 
  • Legend for Her–a blend of floral notes of hibiscus water, lavender buds, orange flower, rose and pink freesia with a base of warm amber, cottony musk and cedarwood.
  • Forever for Him–a combination of spicy notes of black pepper, fresh aldehydes, sparkling yuzu and gin & tonic accord with a base of vetiver, amber, musk, incense and fir balsam.
  • Forever for Her–a vibrant medley of mandarin, apple blossom, pink pepper and jasmine with fluffy musk, ebony woods and crystal amber base notes.
Elvis' brand continues to be leveraged for consumer products around the world. ABG partnered with a Better Choice Company to launch a line of CBD-infused dog treats inspired by the King's song "Hound Dog."

New Releases

Due for release from the Glamourama label on August 30, 2019 is a vinyl re-issue of Elvis Presley’s 1956 self titled debut album "Elvis Presley". The LP comes with an additional 7 inch bonus single on colored vinyl. 

Tracks LP:
1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. I'm Counting On You
3. I Got A Woman
4. One-Sided Love Affair
5. I Love You Because
6. Just Because
7. Tutti Frutti
8. Trying To Get To You
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down & Cry (Over You)
10. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')
11. Blue Moon
12.Money Honey

Tracks bonus single:
1. Hound Dog
2. Don't Be Cruel
3. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
4. Heartbreak Hotel. 

Due for release from the New Continent label on August 30, 2019 is the 3 CD set “At The Movies (1956-62) Film Soundtrack Collection

Due for release from the RCA Victor / Legacy label on September 30, 2019 is the 4 CD set “De Elvis 100”.

Charts

The weekly Elvis Presley chart update. With Elvis Week 2019 one month away Elvis Presley is hanging on to the charts with some titles climbing and some dropping (off) the charts. 

US Billboard charts:
  • US Billboard Top Country Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #36 to #37. 
  • US Billboard Country Album chart: “The Best Of The '68 Comeback Special (Soundtrack)” climbed from #42 to #35.
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart: “Heart and Soul” dropped from #17 to #22.
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #23 to #25.
  • US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” dropped off the chart.
  • US Billboard Top Christian Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” climbed from #35 to #34. 
  • US Billboard Christian Album Sales chart: “Where No One Stands Alone” climbed from #45 to #29.
Official UK charts:
  • Official UK Streaming Album chart: "The 50 Greatest Hits" remained steady at #82. 
  • Official Christian and Gospel Album chart: "Where No One Stands Alone" dropped from #9 to #13.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: "Elvis - The Searcher" climbed from #18 to #16.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: "Elvis Lives - Live From Memphis" climbed from #47 to #31.
Official Scottish Album chart:
  • Official Scottish Album chart: "Elvis at the Movies - 60 Essential Recordings" dropped from #73 to #78.
Irish IRMA charts:
  • Official Irish IRMA Music DVD chart: “Elvis - The Searcher” dropped from #2 to #3.
    Australian ARIA charts:
    • Australian ARIA Music DVD chart: "'68 Comeback Special (50th Anniversary Edition)" dropped from #6 to #7. 
    (Source: Licence Global / Elvis Club Berlin /  / Amazon / Fan / UK Mix / Billboard / Official Chart Company)

    July 11 - Elvis' Piano Rocks in Tampa

    Elvis Presley’s 24 karat gold plated leaf piano was unveiled at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Florida. James Burton admired the golden piano in the golden atrium from behind a golden rope held up by golden posts. It was an instrument fit for a king — an instrument fit for the King — and one he hadn’t seen this closely in, oh, who can remember, something like 40 years.

    “Well, it’s gold,” Elvis Presley’s old guitarist said emphatically. “You know what? I think Elvis would be proud of the piano being here.”

    Here, on Thursday morning, was the gleaming new atrium of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s ongoing $720 million expansion, the centerpiece of which was an opulent, one-of-a-kind hunka-hunka-burnin’ rock history: A 24-karat gold leaf piano owned by Presley himself.

    Perched around the corner from Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime costume and down the way from Carl Perkins’ blue suede shoes, the piano might be Hard Rock International’s glitziest memorabilia pickup this decade, and one they’ve been waiting years to display.

    “This has been a piece that we’ve held back,” said Hard Rock chairman Jim Allen. “We were always waiting for the right place.” Tampa, it turns out, is that place.

    Built in 1928, the W.W. Kimball grand was purchased by Elvis for his mother in 1955, shortly before Heartbreak Hotel hit No. 1. The singer’s wife Priscilla Presley had it gilded with gold leaf as a first anniversary gift in 1968. After his death, a collector purchased the piano for $2 million and loaned it to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where it sat on display for more than two decades.

    In 2015, the Hard Rock purchased the piano at auction for a price they won’t disclose (auction records list it as $610,000), crowing via press release that it was the company’s 80,000th item of memorabilia, and Tampa was the favorite to get it.

    Rather than chucking the piano into an existing corner or corridor, the company designed and built a lavish, museum-like atrium all around it.

    The piano sits on a marble platform, ensconced by a pair of curved escalators, which at 22 feet, 6 inches are tied for the tallest in North America, say Hard Rock officials. To its left and right are a pair of vintage Gibsons, and another one Presley played on stage in the mid- ’70s. Overhead lords a palatial Art Deco chandelier, a downpour of golden glass and metal cascading from a bright, domed skylight.

    (Source: Tampa Bay Times)

    July 10 - Limo, Pick-up and Harley Davidson up for Auction

    Elvis Presley fans can take to the road in his personal stretch limousine, on his last motorcycle or in a pickup truck if they have the money, an auction house announced Wednesday. Kruse GWS Auctions said the items will be part of its Artifacts of Hollywood auction on August 31, 2019.

    Presley drove the white-on-white 1973 Lincoln Continental stretch many times around Memphis, Tennessee, Kruse said. It features an old-school TV and other amenities. There are photos showing “the King” driving the car he was in when he stopped at a car accident in Memphis in 1976.

    The auction house said a 1976 Harley Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide motorcycle was the last motorcycle Presley ever purchased. He transported it from California to Memphis and sold it 90 days before he died in 1977 at age 42. The Harley has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, since the late 1980s. 

    The third Presley vehicle is one of three GMC pickups that Presley purchased in 1967 for his Circle G Ranch in Mississippi. Two years later, his father, Vernon, sold them back to the same dealership, the auction house said. It has undergone a total restoration.

    The unprecedented array of Presley collectibles also includes medical devices used by his nurse Tish Henley to monitor Elvis while he was on tour. The instruments include an ophthalmoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, ear lavage, medical light, throat probe and stethoscope. 


    On the more traditional side, the auction features Presley’s mother’s pearl necklace; a personally used leather and wool coat, a “TCB” necklace and a limited edition diamond version; an original 1956 “Heartbreak Hotel” press release and an 1956 press release about his debut album. 

    (Source: New York Post)