January 28 - From Charlotte Motor Speedway

From Charlotte Motor Speedway: Move over, Richard Petty and Steve Kinser: another famous car belonging to “The King” is coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

Elvis Presley’s pink-and-white 1955 Cadillac, the car most associated with “The King” and the birth of Rock 'N' Roll music, will roll into Charlotte Motor Speedway to serve as the centerpiece attraction for the April 2-5 Pennzoil AutoFair.

Other than a trip to London in 2015, the iconic Fleetwood sedan - recognized as one of the most famous American-made cars - has not been displayed outside of Memphis since Elvis Presley's Graceland opened for tours in 1982. Currently the car resides in the new Presley Motors exhibit in the Elvis Presley's Memphis entertainment and exhibit complex across the street from Graceland.

Charlotte Motor Speedway, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, was no stranger to Presley during his remarkable career. Alongside Nancy Sinatra, Presley starred in the 1968 movie "Speedway," which was filmed at Charlotte Motor Speedway. By then, Presley was a worldwide star.

"We are thrilled to join in celebrating the Charlotte Motor Speedway's 60th anniversary," stated Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises. "No doubt that Elvis would be delighted to support the celebration."

As a struggling, 19-year-old singer in October 1954, Presley and his band began traveling from one performance to another by car. To make the hectic, grinding schedule work, band members often slept in the car between gigs when they weren't taking a turn at the wheel. Band cars had to be large, comfortable, fast, and stylish, which narrowed the field in the mid-1950s to the powerful V-8 engine Lincolns and Cadillacs.

Contrary to legend, the famous pink '55 Caddy was not The King's first car as a traveling musician. In January 1955, Presley bought a 1951 Lincoln, which his bass player totaled in March. The singer replaced the Lincoln with a used, pink-and-white 1954 Cadillac that caught fire and burned on the side of the road in June. To keep Presley happy and mobile, his manager helped the singer finance a new Cadillac Series 60 Fleetwood Special on July 7, 1955.

Cadillac's Fleetwood sedan came equipped that year with a 331ci, 250hp V-8 and HydraMatic automatic transmission. Measuring 227 inches from end to end, it was 2.5 inches longer than today's Chevrolet Suburban full-size SUV and would seat six comfortably. It came standard with luxury equipment such as power windows, power brakes, and a power-adjustable driver's seat for $4,728.

(Source: WBTV)

January 27 - Photographer Bill Ray Died

Photographer Bill Ray died at 83. He captured Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy birthday, Mr. President’” and was present at the Brooklyn Army Terminal September 1958 when Private Presley blew kisses to fans before shipping out to West Germany for his military tour of duty. 

Two years earlier he photographed Elvis Presley live on stage at St Paul, Minnesota, 1956

(Source: New York Times / NY Post)

January 26 - Good Times Preview

Here is a preview of the upcoming vinyl re-issue of the classic “Good Times” album from Friday Music which is due February 14, 2020. This re-issue comes as a limited edition on 180 Gr. gold and blue swirl vinyl, housed in a gate-fold cover with a 24 x 24 inch bonus poster. The audio is mastered by Joe Reagoso. 

Tom Hanks Landed Down Under

Hollywood icon Tom Hanks arrived in Australia to star in the Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann. The biopic documents Elvis Presley's rise to fame against the backdrop of a changing cultural landscape in the 1950s and '60s. 

(Source: Friday Music / Daily Mail)

January 25 - Burger King

The Burger King customer newsletter / magazine features Elvis Presley on the cover. Inside the 2-page article “Elvis Presley: Bravo, Elvis” on the recent Elvis 85 - Bravo Edition” 3-CD set. 

Cancelled

The “Elvis: Seen/Unseen” East Coast shows have been cancelled ““due to unforeseen circumstances”. These shows were previously cancelled November / December 2019, also “due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control”. The dates are:

January 30, 2020: Montclair, NJ – The Wellmont Theater
January 31, 2020: Atlantic City, NJ – The Borgata
February 1, 2020: Westbury, NY – NYCB Theatre at Westbury

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / Burger King / Facebook)

January 25 - Charts January 2020 - Week 4

The global Elvis Presley chart update. Billboard cleaned up the number of charts making life a bit easier. With Christmas gone, Elvis Presley remains with one album title on various charts. The same goes for the UK and Australia, these titles are steady sellers.

US Billboard chart:
  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #124 to #141
  • Billboard Catalog Album Sales chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” re-entry #44.
  • Billboard Catalog Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #37 to #50.
  • Billboard Top Christian Album chart: “Elvis Ultimate Gospel” dropped from #35 to #44.
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” climbed from #14 to #12.
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #14 to #18.
Eminem ties with Elvis Presley with 10 #1 albums each on the Billboard 200. Eminem is the only artist with 10 consecutive number 1 albums in the history of music.

Official UK charts:
  • Official UK Album chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” dropped from #95 to #99.
  • Official UK Streaming Album chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” dropped from #62 to #65.
Australian ARIA charts:
  • Australian ARIA Music DVD chart: “'68 Comeback Special (50th Anniversary Edition)” dropped from #4 to #7.

Official Swiss charts:
  • Swiss Album Top 100: “Elvis 85 - Bravo Edition” new entry #86.
Official Belgian charts:
  • UltraTop Album Top 200: “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits” re-entry #200.
(Source: UK Mix / Billboard / Official Chart Company / ARIA / UltraTop /. Swiss Charts)

January 24 - HMV Worldwide Blu-ray Discography

A new 2020 update book release: "HMV Worldwide Discography" by Alan White. 

Synopsis:

This 100-page book is all you need to know regarding Elvis’ historic releases on the HMV label. Alan White, the foremost specialist on the worldwide Elvis Presley releases on the HMV label, covers  78’s from England, Ireland, New Zealand and Pakistan, 45’s from England and New Zealand, EP’s from England and LP’s from England, New Zealand and much, much more. 

Did you know POP 408 "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy" was issued in the UK with gold lettering? Have you ever seen a solid centre Elvis UK HMV 45rpm? The items in the book are described in meticulous detail to easily identify the variations and illustrated with excellent colour photographed covers and labels. The book also includes test pressings, demonstration discs and other variations. 


King Creole Blu-ray

Paramount announced the release of a limited edition Blu-ray of the classic 1958 movie “King Creole” with March 17th 2020. The movie is remastered, widescreen and comes with English and French subtitles. 

Elvis Pop Icon

Equinox Publishing announced the release of the book "Elvis: Roots, Image, Comeback, Phenomenon" by Mark Duffett as part of their ongoing "Icons of Pop Music" series.

Synopsis: 
Elvis Presley remains the single most important figure in twentieth century popular music. To many commentators, however, he has simply embodied the benefits and problems of uncritically embracing capitalism. By 2005 the ‘Memphis Flash’ sold over a billion records worldwide, yet his cultural significance cannot be measured by these extraordinary sales figures alone. He cannot quite be reduced to a placeholder for the contradictions of commerce. As the most prominent performer of the rock’n’roll era, then as a charismatic global superstar, Elvis fundamentally challenged the established relationship between White and Black culture, drew attention to the social needs of women and young people, and promoted the value of Southern creativity. He functioned as a bridge figure between folk roots and high modernity, and in the process became a controversial symbol of American unity.

Elvis interprets the image and music of Elvis Presley to reveal how they have evolved to construct a particularly appealing and powerful myth. Following broad contours of Presley’s rollercoaster career, the book uses a range of analytical frames to challenge established perspectives on an icon. Its shows that the controversy around Elvis has effectively tested how far a concern for social equality could be articulated through the marketplace, and ultimately challenged how popular music itself should be assessed.

(Source: The Elvis Shop London / Amazon / FECC)

January 23 - Jacket Auction

Three jackets, once worn by Elvis Presley, are up for auction at the Gotta Have Rock 'n' Roll auction on January 29th. The items are a red wine denim jacket, worn in the movie "Stay Away Joe", a Suzy Cream Cheese two-tone brown suede fringed jacket and a blue warm-up jacket. Each of these jackets is expected to raise around US$ 20,000. 

(Source: UEPS / Gotta Have Rock And Roll)

January 22 - Terry Blackwood Awarded

Terry Blackwood, lead singer for Elvis Presley's former backing group The Imperials, received the "Golden Medal Of Honor" from the Austrian city of Vienna and became an honorary citizen of the city. Blackwood has performed dozens of times in the city and Vienna has now rewarded him with this award.

(Source: Elvis Matters)

January 20 - That's The Way A Preview Is

David English shared a small update on the upcoming Follow That Dream “That’s the Way It Is” set he is working on with Pal Granlund. 

“Just to update everyone, the project is making good progress...the audio is being worked on this week. The images are being being cleaned and restored meticulously by some very talented people, one of the images is included here as a sample...Both Pal and myself, with the help of Ernst are working hard to bring this project to completion...I will update with more samples and news soon”.

(Source: David English on FECC)