January 14 - Q&A with Ernst Jorgensen

Ernst Jørgensen did a Q&A on January 13, 2018 in Oslo at an event organized by the Norwegian Flaming Star fan-club.

Asked about future projects he says the "big" thing happening in 2018 will be "The Searcher". He also had this to say about the future of FTD: "There is from time to time rumours that FTD is going to stop. But that is something I don't know anything about." 


He said there is always an anniversary for something in the Elvis world and that this year it is the 50th anniversary for the '68 Special and next year for 1969. Both big years for Elvis. We could maybe take that as a hint for one or two future releases? He did confirm a 3 CD set of “Viva Las Vegas” according to a posting on the FECC forum. 


He talked about "Elvis On Tour" and "Elvis In Concert" without revealing any plans for either one of those specials. Regarding "Elvis On Tour" there are several parties (Warner, SONY and EPE) that need to talk to each-other for that to happen, and there is a costly project of transferring the old film footage and restoring it which means there is very little money to be made. The film company, not RCA, paid for the audio recordings, that's why they can't release it without their consent. He said it's possible that they will release the concerts on CD but it won't be in 2018 or 2019. 


Other topics he talked about:

  • Ernst talked at length about the 50's box set from 1992. BMG in Germany believed in the project from the start, but the American record label thought it might sell 10,000 at most. It ended up selling 400,000 in the US, and 600,000 in the rest of the world.
  • Will there be an updated version of "A Life In Music". Ernst doesn't really answer this, he says he doesn't want to do it just to make money, there has to be a real good reason to publish a new edition.
  • Any surprises? Ernst says no, but that sometimes things turn up like the wire recording of "I Forgot To Remember To Forget". He also says that when they acquire new unreleased material, they will try to release it as soon as possible, and mentions "Live A Little", "Speedway" and "Kissin' Cousins" as examples. An unreleased Elvis recording is no longer a sensation, it will not make headlines, so it makes no sense to keep secrets from the fans - if he finds anything, we will know about it.
  • "Elvis In Concert" - Lisa Marie doesn't ever want it released and they respect her wishes. Ernst has no wish to release the concerts on audio, because of the bad shape Elvis was in. So that seems to rule out an FTD release.
  • The "Aloha" and "Madison Square Garden" LP:s will eventually be releases in FTD:s classic album series.
The Q&A was done in Danish and Norwegian, for those who understand those languages here is the Q&A from YouTube. 




DVD and Blu-Ray re-issues


Due for release from Koch Media GmbH on February 8, 2018 in Germany are DVD and Blu-Ray re0-issues of “Frankie and Johnny” and “Follow that Dream” (“Ein Sommer in Florida”). 

Due from Alive - Vertrieb und Marketing on April 27, 2018 is a DVD re-issue of "Loving You" ("Gold aus heißer Kehle"). 


Edwin Hawkins Died


Award-winning gospel singer Edwin Hawkins, best known for a hit arrangement of “Oh Happy Day”, has died at the age of 74. Credited with being one of the founders of modern gospel music, Hawkins died Monday at his California home after battling pancreatic cancer, US media reported, quoting the artist's publicist, Bill Carpenter.


“Oh Happy Day" is a 1967 gospel music arrangement of an 18th-century hymn. It became an international hit in 1969. Hawkins' arrangement quickly became a “standard” and has been recorded by hundreds of artists including Elvis Presley in 1970. Elvis Presley never made a studio recording of "Oh Happy day," but he sang it occasionally in concert and thought about using it in his 1968 TV special.

(Source: Flaming Star / FECC / Amazon / Elvis Club Berlin)

January 13 - The King As Seen on TV and on the Charts (Updated)

Due for release from the Wax Love label on January 23, 2018 is the vinyl album “The King As Seen on TV! - The Dorsey Brothers Show & The Ed Sullivan Show 1957“. 

Synopsis:

In his first nationally televised appearance, on the big band leaders Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's TV variety show, Elvis Presley shocked the country with his sultry and sensational version of all-time classics like "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Blue Suede Shoes". And, although the Dorsey Bros. show might have been his first national appearance, it was the legendary Ed Sullivan performance that truly put him on the map, so to speak. 

Tracks side A: Shake, Rattle And Roll / Flip, Flop And Fly - I Got A Woman - Baby, Let's Play House - Tutti Frutti - Blue Suede Shoes - Heartbreak Hotel - I Was The One - Money Honey


Side B: Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Talks - Love Me Tender - Ready Teddy - Love Me - Hound Dog - Heartbreak Hotel - Too Much - When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again - (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)


UK Charts

  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” dropped off the main UK Album chart. 
  • The “The Wonder of You” cooperation with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra dropped from #74 to #80 on the Official UK Physical Album Sales chart. 
  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” album dropped from #54 to #88 on the Official UK   Physical Album Sales chart. 
  • The 6-DVD-Box “The Elvis Collection” dropped from #23 to #35 on the Official Uk Music DVD chart. 
European Charts
  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” dropped off the main Irish Album chart. 
  • The “The Real … Elvis” album climbed from #53 to #44 on the Official Scottish Album chart. 
  • The “The Platinum Collection” is a re-entry at #96 on the Official Scottish Album chart. 
Billboard charts for the week ending January 13, 2018
  • The Elvis Presley Christmas releases dropped off the US Billboard Album Top 200 chart and all other charts.
  • The “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits” compilation climbed from #41 to #28 on the Billboard Country Album chart. 
  • The “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits” compilation climbed from #49 to #41 on the Billboard Rock Album chart. 
  • The “Ultimate Gospel” compilation dropped from #20 to #22 on the Billboard Christian Album chart. 
  • The “Playlist: The Very Best Gospel Of Elvis Presley” compilation climbed from #44 to #28 on the Billboard Christian Album chart
  • The “The Classic Christmas Album” climbed from #34 to #16 on the Billboard Top Holiday Album chart. 
  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” dropped from #23 to #25 on the Billboard Top Holiday Album  chart.  
  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” dropped from #4 to #6 on the Billboard Classical  Album  chart.  
  • The “The Wonder of You” cooperation with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra remained steady at #13 on the Billboard Classical  Album  chart.  
  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” dropped off the Austrian and Swiss album chart.
  • The "Elvis – El Disco De Oro" compilation dropped from #22 to #28 on the Spanish Album chart. 
Canadian Charts
  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” is listed at #34 on the Billboard Canadian Album chart. 
  • The “40 Years On - Greatest Hits And More” is listed at #59 on the Billboard Canadian Album chart. 
Charts Down Under
  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” dropped from #12 to #127 on the Australian Album chart. 
  • The “Elvis: The King Of Rock 'N' Roll” DVD climbed from #32 to #9 on the Australian Music DVD chart. 
  • The “Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” dropped off the New Zealand Album chart. 
Colonel Parker Has Left The Building

The former house of Elvis Presley's manager Colonel Tom Park at 1215 Gallatin Road South, Madison Tennessee, has been demolished to make space for a carwash. 




Graceland Closed


Talking about closing, due to the snow in Memphis the Graceland Mansion was closed for most of January 12th. and will also be closed January 13, 2018. 


(Source: Official Chart Company / Billboard / Banquet Records / Graceland)

January 12 - Released

Several import albums have been released. The “Rock 'n' On - Volume 1 + 2”, re-issue of the original Australian two volume compilations containing several out-takes. The “The 1972 Elvis Experience” four CD set from the Roll Majesty import-label containing the January 26, 1972 Opening Show, August 11, 1972 Midnight show, August 12, 1972 Midnight show performances and a fourth CD with newly edited bits And pieces from multitrack tapes. And finally the “The Intimate Elvis Presley” compilation from the producers of the Elvis One label with eighteen out-takes. 

(Source: Elvis On CD / Elvis Aktuell)

January 11 - Elvis Presley: The Searcher

The "Elvis Presley - The Searcher, Exploring His Creative Journeydocumentary, debuts April 14, 2018. 

This three-hour, two-film presentation focuses on Elvis Presley the musical artist, taking the audience on a comprehensive creative journey from his childhood through the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions. 

The films include stunning atmospheric shots taken inside Graceland, Elvis’ iconic home, and feature more than 20 new, primary source interviews with session players, producers, engineers, directors and other artists who knew him or who were profoundly influenced by him. The documentary also features never-before-seen photos and footage from private collections worldwide, and includes an original musical score composed by Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready.

As previously announced by SXSW, Priscilla Presley, David Porter (legendary Memphis music writer and producer), Thom Zimny (director), Jon Landau (producer) and moderator John Jackson (SVP A&R, Sony Music) will discuss the film, the cultural impact of Elvis’ music and how that impact became the embodiment of rock’n’roll at the 2018 SXSW Festival in March. The panel is expected to cover:

  • how Elvis found inspiration in black and white gospel music of Tupelo
  • his early experience with the great African-American blues and r’n’b of Memphis
  • his evolution as an artist with Sam Phillips
  • the creative impact of his time serving in the U.S. Army in Germany
  • the creative highs and lows of his career in the 1960s, culminating in the triumphant ’68 special
  • an assessment of Elvis as a performing artist in the early ’70s, featuring a discussion of Jon Landau‘s seminal 1971 review of Elvis in concert
  • a discussion of the interviews conducted for the film, including insights into the conversations with Scotty Moore, Red West, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, among others
  • insight into the creation of the film’s score by Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready
  • an inquiry into the artistic and personal struggles that preceded his death in 1977

RCA/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release “Elvis Presley: The Searcher," the musical companion to the HBO/Sony Pictures documentary, on Friday, April 6. It will be available in digital and physical configurations.

Elvis Presley: The Searcher is an HBO Documentary Films Presentation in association with Sony Pictures Television; executive producers, Glen Zipper, Priscilla Presley, Jerry Schilling, Andrew Solt, Alan Gasmer and Jamie Salter (chairman and CEO, Authentic Brands Group); producers, Jon Landau and Kary Antholis; directed and produced by Thom Zimny.

(Source: EPE)

January 10 - Ex Wife vs. Ex Girlfriends?

There seems to be some trouble among Elvis Presley's former wife Priscilla and his ex-girlfriends Ginger Alden and Linda Thompson about their roles in the last five years of Elvis Presley's life. 

Read the Facebook post from Ginger Alden and Instagram post by Linda Thompson and make up your mind ...

Ginger Alden wrote:


Dear friends, I have lived my life, happy and normal, trying to stay away from the " Elvis circus" and not hanging onto the " Elvis limelight" throughout the years like so many have done and continue to do. It has come to my attention though, some remarks recently made by Elvis's ex-wife during an Australian interview show called " Sunday night" and I want to take this opportunity, once and for all, to address some things that I have mentioned before, some things that I have not, and some things which I need to clarify although it is very hard to say everything that needs to be said in this one post. 

To begin with, I was the one at Elvis's side and we were engaged. Elvis and his ex-wife had gone their separate ways a few years before Elvis and I began seeing one another and he had no intention of getting back together with her. Let me be clear, he had NO intention of getting back with her. Elvis wanted the two of us to be friends for the sake of his daughter, Lisa Marie. 

In late March, early April of 1977, Elvis was in the hospital with the stomach flu. It was at this time when I first met his ex-wife who had come to visit Graceland where we had a pleasant conversation. 
It is very apparent that since the passing of Elvis, the Estate does not ( nor want) to mention any of the other women in Elvis's life- specifically me, the one woman he was engaged to. Both Elvis and I did not take our engagement lightly. I find the omission of our engagement (as well as my existence) with Elvis bewildering considering Elvis's ex-wife asked for me during Elvis's wake and told me she knew how much Elvis loved me. 

WHAT HAPPENED? It is completely unjust and nothing but a fabricated attempt to re-write history...this disgraceful and absurd denial of the way things truly happened has gone on far too long, right down to the Elvis and Priscilla wedding dolls manufactured a few years back. Really? 
When was the last time you saw a divorced couple being promoted as "happily" married? What a concept! 

Elvis confided in me about many things and I will always be happy that he felt comfortable enough to do so. I recall Elvis mentioning to me that his ex-wife was not interested in his books, as she wanted to hide them away. I told him they should be on shelves. He also mentioned to me that she wanted to use his large plane for a European jewelry venture which he was not happy about. Elvis told me, " She can fly commercial". He also told me about his ex-wife wanting him to set her father up in a wine business in California which he was not pleased about. 

When the news that my book, " Elvis and Ginger" was going to be released, almost immediately, the "Elvis and Priscilla reunion" tale began. Elvis's ex-wife then asked for the "Elvis and Priscilla reunion" tale to be included in a new lie filled book which was being self-published and rushed for release before my book. How do I know this? The editor of that particular book made a public statement that she was witness to this and has since apologized for taking part in the lie filled book which Elvis's ex-wife was photographed holding while smiling along with the author at the Sirius radio station in Memphis. 
Elvis's ex-wife once commented that she was tired of the lies. Well, I am sick and tired of the lies, some of which I have heard were being promoted on the Elvis Sirius radio show. A show which neither Ann- Margret nor myself have been asked to be on. (George Klein did ask me years back, I wasn't ready then, but that seemed to change as time went on by his working for the estate). 

It is my understanding in this particular Australian interview, that Elvis's ex-wife says that during Elvis's last relationship, (my name was never mentioned so I am returning the compliment here) Elvis eventually became unhappy and wanted to end it, even going so far as to say this added to some of his problems. I am appalled and disgusted by these untruths and would like to say to Elvis's ex-wife, how dare you! There are far too many things that I know from Elvis and I certainly don't remember his ex-wife in Lisa Marie's bedroom in the early hours of August 16th when Elvis began discussing wedding plans and setting a date with me. To also put out an untruth that I, in ANY way, contributed to a health problem of Elvis's is nothing but a vicious lie with a hidden agenda and I will not, and REFUSE, to be the scapegoat for a situation that was taking place with enablers that Elvis had in his life long before I came into it. Elvis was not a run down man, pining away for an ex-wife and this is a FACT. 
Elvis and I shared many great times together and tender moments together which I wrote about in my autobiography. Elvis had good days and not so good days during our time together, the same as he did with his ex-wife but Elvis was in a great mood 98% of the time. You had to be there. 

My silence over the years as I worked and then raised my son ( Elvis's ex-wife should understand this, she has a son from a 22 year relationship with another man who is never mentioned, as odd as that is, but I think we know why) only allowed any false stories and speculations to be spread by biographers, most of whom I turned down interviews with. The jealousy surrounding my engagement to Elvis, which he warned me about, has been needless to say, very trying and I have been shocked and angered at the lengths some despicable individuals have gone to in an attempt to diminish Elvis and my relationship. God, myself and Elvis know the truth and these lies and attacks to degrade me or my family must end. 
I don't have a large PR firm that I am paying to represent me but I just want to get some truth out there, hoping others can get a glimpse of what has and does go on behind the scenes in the Elvis world at times. As far as Elvis's ex-wife goes, I will respect her position in Elvis's life when she respects mine.

Linda Thompson on Instagram:


On this special day I want to extend a genuine “thank you” to all the Elvis fans worldwide who have embraced me in your hearts throughout all these years. 💜Although some people have tried to rewrite history, making themselves more a part of the last five years of his life, where are they in these photos & our shared years together? Where are they in any photos of his last years? I don’t mean to be pejorative or confrontational, I just believe in truth and transparency. Elvis loved several women in his lifetime. I was not the only one, but of this I can be sure...we shared a deep, reciprocal love, & I am grateful for our time together. Happy Heavenly birthday to his tender soul. 🙏🏻🌹A LITTLE THING CALLED LIFE.

(Source: FECC / Ginger Alden / Linda Thompson)