August 09 - Elvis Week 2022

Elvis Week 2022 kicked off at Graceland. EPE welcomes fans to Memphis to mark the 45th anniversary of Elvis' passing and honor the man, the star, the icon - the King of Rock 'n' Roll!

The week will feature a variety of guests - from friends and family, to backing musicians, co-stars, and more, including special appearances by Priscilla Presley - plus Jerry Schilling, Barbara Eden, Pat Boone, James Burton, Glen Hardin, Jerry Scheff, Norbert Putnam, Gene Chrisman, Terry Blackwood & The Imperials, Larry Strickland, The Blackwood Brothers Quartet, Estelle Brown, Sam Thompson, Charles Stone, Billy Swan, Brian "Q" Quinn, Marlyn Mason, among others.

An interesting event for many fans will be the Sony Listening Party on August 14, 2022. 

Description: Learn about the upcoming 'Elvis On Tour' release in this special panel, where Ernst Jorgensen will “unbox” this exciting new CD box set and gives the audience a detailed preview of the unreleased music included in it.

Visit the >>> Graceland website for all events.

(Source EPE)

Review - Elvis King of the Ring Vol. 2

New York based Elvis Presley biographer Paul Belard published volume 2 of ‘Elvis - The King of the Rings’. 

The first volume was released early 2021 through the author’s Linden Press and re-issued in Europe by the Danish Memphis Mansion Publications. Let’s see what this second volume has to offer. 

 

Design

 

Like the previous volume, this edition tops the 250-page mark. Belard continued to use black as the base-color for his book. Understandable as it keep the series a whole, but it also makes the content look a bit dark. I hope the author will try white as the base-color for volume 3, I think it will complement the mainly white background of the jewelry shown.

 

The quality is the same as other books from the author and as good as can be without using expensive gloss paper. Using that may let the King’s bling shine even more that it already does. 

 

Content

If you liked the first volume, you will enjoy this book too as it picks up where the first volume ended. And let’s be honest, Elvis was the original “King of the Bling” wearing some subtle, but mostly extravagant, flashy and grandiose jewelry on and off-stage. 

 

This is the kind of book you pick-up every now and then to feast your eyes on the hundreds pieces of Elvis  Presley jewelry or use it as a reference when “new” rings (re)appear on the auction block. An index of the rings would be a nice addition for volume 3. 

 

The latter is also the main source of information for these books, which may come in handy as Belard included the estimates and final prices the items sold for during these auctions. The background-information and various letters of authenticity complete the picture. 

 

Fun to see are all the images of Elvis wearing the jewelry Belard added. Placed in this context you don’t look at Elvis so much, but automatically focus-in on his hands, a new way to look at our man. Even if you look at old black and white pictures in this book, the jewelry jumps at you where you wouldn’t spot it if you stumbled on these pictures in another context.

 

Browsing through the pages it is hard to pick a favorite. Of course Elvis’ Gold and Diamond “TCB” ring, which opens the book, comes to mind as it is so iconic for our man. And so are the Horseshoe rings. Other are a reflection of the time in which they were made like the use of Onyx, Black Star Sapphire, Coral, Opalescent Stone and Turquoise with silver. Others are just too feminine for me or are plain ugly, like the golden “Keeper of the Flame” ring with Elvis’ own face engraved on the top. But I will admit that is a matter of taste (no pun intended of course!).

 

The 2014 interview with Lowell Hays was a good read setting the scene on how Elvis selected and later designed his jewelry. It would be interesting if he would add his memories to the jewelry shown in this book. 

 

Conclusion

As no-one knows how much jewelry is out there, it is great that Paul Belard took on the task to document the King’s jewelry. These books are interesting reads, showcasing both the bling of the King as well as opening a window on one of the things that interested Elvis Presley very much. 

 

With new jewelry popping up continuously, just like the “lost” jewelry Elvis gave to his manager Colonel Tom Parker over the two decades the men worked together. The auction includes gold rings encrusted with jewels, cufflinks, watches and chains. The highlight of the auction could be Elvis’  first 9.81ctw Diamond TCB Ring with a minimum bid of US$500,000.00. 

 

So let’s see if there will be a volume 3 somewhere down the line. I look forward to it already!   

The book can be ordered directly from the author (pbelard@hotmail.com) or via Amazon.


August 08 - All The King's Records

Released below the radar in April 2022 is volume 2 in the Polish 'All The King's Records' discography series. This A-5 sized 500-page second volume by Mariusz Ogiegło covered the years 1966 - 1977. Volume 1, released October 2020, covered the years 1956 - 1966.

Synopsis: The second volume of 'All the King's Records', which was released on April 13, 2022, focuses on the years 1966 - 1977. 

This volume starts when Elvis Presley decided to compete for more ambitious material and for his career, which he nearly squandered by appearing in Hollywood films. 

The author takes you by the hand and behind-the-scenes of the making of the Grammy-winning album 'How Great Thou Art', to the set of the 1968 NBC TV Special and also to the auditoriums of the biggest concert halls in the United States in Las Vegas, New York, Hawaii and Memphis, where Elvis triumphed after he returned to live preforming in 1969. 

The story ends behind the walls of Graceland, in the room now known as the Jungle Room, where Presley made his last ever studio recordings.

As in the first part, each chapter is filled with the recollections of those involved in the making of each record.


Olivia Newton-John Died

Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John died, she was 73. 

Elvis Presley recorded Olivia Newton-John's songs, 'Let Me Be There' and 'If You Love Me (Let Me Know)' in concert during the 1970s. 

Olivia recorded a posthumous duet with Elvis on the 2008 'Christmas Duets' album, performing the longstanding Christmas carol, 'O Come, All Ye Faithful'.

Olivia Newton-John saw Elvis in concert at least twice but just missed out on meeting the King of Rock 'n Roll. In her 2018 book 'Don't Stop Believin'' she wrote: "I was really excited to be invited to see the King at the Hilton in Las Vegas. It was a celebrity-packed row, with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber sitting next to me on either side. After the show, I went backstage to meet him and got another big surprise. Doris Day was there, too - I've always adored her. Doris was warm and welcoming, but sadly I never met Elvis up close and personal. His road manager said there was an emergency and Elvis had to leave the building, literally!"

The following is the text of an interview with Olivia Newton-John in 1974 and broadcast on WGN Radio.

Q: Have you been back to Australia recently?

ONJ: Last year.

Q: Who are the people, the American artists that are predominate, ah, that are very popular?

ONJ: In Australia?

Q: Right!

ONJ: Oh, heavens! Probably the same as here. Elvis always, still. Still the king.

Q: Have you seen him in person?

ONJ: Yes, two years ago I went to Las Vegas.

Q: These women are all alike. What is it that he does?

ONJ: He's got something - that's all!

Q: He sure does (laughter). A lot of guys would love to have it.

ONJ: He's got a magic on stage, and I'd heard a lot of people saying he's this and that, and i always wanted to make my own judgment of him, and he was magic as soon as he comes on stage-whatever he does, people will accept.

Q: Now I'll agree. I had never seen him until two years ago, and I did the same as you. I said well, I got to see for myself, and he does ... he is a tremendous 'in person' performer. I think Sinatra has the same thing for his audience as Elvis has for his. They can almost do anything and the audience will love it.

ONJ: I like it because he sends himself up. I don't know if that's the same expression used in America? What do you say here for that? Puts himself on? Puts you on?

Q: Yes he doesn't take himself too seriously.

ONJ: Yes that's it.

Q: What was that expression you used?

ONJ: Sends himself up.

Q: I like that, and I'm hoping to write all this down.

In 1976 Olivia again saw Elvis in concert and while she did not get a second chance to meet him, she was treated to Elvis performing her hit song. Olivia: 'During the show, Elvis shocked me and sang my song ...' It blew me away to hear him say my name because I was such a big fan'.

Elvis noted the presence of Olivia and The Eagles at his April 1976 Long Beach concert. Elvis did perform 'If You Love Me (Let Me Know)' at the concert.

(Source: Promised Land / Hollywood Reporter / Various)

August 06 - A Dream Release

The delayed Victrola import-release 'The Dream Project', featuring soundboard recordings mixed to stereo with new backing tracks, has been released. 

Publicity stated: The first renewed Victrola label 2022 project is arriving! Of course it is not the usual re-release, but a fresh new project with completely upgraded sound! All songs have been restored, remixed into stereo and we bet you will love the result!

Ann Nixon, who is a very famous Elvis fan, said it all: "Seeing and hearing Elvis live is a happening in itself. No gramophone record can reflect the sound of Elvis' voice as he sounded in the real life. The dynamic range and the power that came with his voice were never captured like people really experienced it live."

Being with Elvis in Las Vegas is like having a private concert. Nowadays there are countless recordings of Elvis' shows, and with this project we want to try to show you how it was to experience the real Elvis live in Las Vegas as had you been there in person.

We are aware of the soundboard recordings of Elvis, but quite often they are instrumentally incomplete, or the strong bass or heavy orchestra is overbearing the other instruments in the sound mix. Our dream was to restore this unique collection of live songs that Elvis performed during his Vegas years to their fullest glory. In this project we used the 1970 "On Stage" album as a template and we dreamt of what an original Elvis album would have looked like in the mid 70s. It was clearly noticeable throughout this project is how well Elvis really did sing on stage, and how immaculate the arrangements of the songs were.

That combination and Elvis' unbelievable charisma made everything sound right. Sometimes Elvis did two shows in one night in front of 2500 people during the span of one month. This would be almost the same as performing at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City during four consecutive weeks.

Here are a few samples (courtesy FECC).

Tracks: If You Talk In Your Sleep (August 1974) - My Boy (March 1975) - I’m Leaving (August 1974) - Good Times Charlie Got The Blues (August 1974) - It’s Midnight (August 1974) - And I Love You So (December 1975) - Polk Salad Annie (December 1975) - Promised Land (March 1975) - Trouble (September 1973) - Burning Love (December 1975) - Love Me (February 1972) - It’s Impossible (February 1972) - Proud Mary (August 1974) - Down In The Alley (August 1974) - You’ve Lost That Feeling (January 1974) - Little Darling (December 1975) - Big Boss Man (March 1975) - Hound Dog (February 1972) - You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (March 1975).

(Source: Facebook / FECC)

August 06 - Charts August 2022 - Week 1 - No 1 In The U.K. (Updated Again)

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. The physical release of the 'ELVIS' soundtrack album boosted sales in the United States and especially in the United Kingdom. 

On the British Isles the soundtrack climbed to to the No. 1 spot on the Official Soundtrack Album charts and made a jump from #97 to #3 on the Official Compilation Albums chart! On Amazon's U.S. and U.K. Film Music charts the soundtrack album hit the No. 1 Spot too.

Around the world the soundtrack album (re)entered the Album charts, putting Elvis back in the spotlights!

Collider wrote: Audiences couldn't help but fall in love with Baz Luhrmann's maximalist biopic. Much like The King of Rock and Rock himself, director Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is still making noise well past its prime. The second-biggest music biopic of all time (behind Bohemian Rhapsody) passed the $250 million mark at the global box office in its seventh week of release, with a VOD debut looming.

Elvis added $4.5 million this weekend from 70 markets, pushing its overseas gross to $114,700,000 million. Domestically, the film made $3.7 million this weekend, taking its total to $136,516,741 million. Globally the movie grossed US$251,216,741.

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack dropped from #76 to #95.
  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #47 to #53.
  • Billboard Top Album Sales chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #100 to #88.
  • Billboard Catalog Albums chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #7 to #6.
  • Billboard Soundtrack Album Sales chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack dropped from #3 to #4. 
  • Billboard Top Country Albums chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #8 to #7.
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack dropped from #19 to #21.
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #9.  
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack dropped from #16 to #18. 
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits dropped from #5 to #9.
  • Top Christian Album chart: 'Elvis Ultimate Gospel' remained steady at #45.

Billboard Canadian charts:

  • Billboard Canadian Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #58 to #54.
  • Billboard Canadian Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack dropped from #61 to #63.

   

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Album Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #13 to #12. 
  • Official Streaming Album Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #8 to #9. 
  • Official Compilation Albums chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack climbed from #97 to #3. 
  • Official Download Albums chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack dropped from #18 to #26. 
  • Official Download Album Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #83 to #47. 
  • Official Download Album Top 100 chart: 'The 50 Greatest Hits'' dropped from #23 to #55.
  • Official Album Sales Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' is a re-entry at #91.
  • Official Soundtrack Album 100 chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #14 to #1. 
  • Official Americana Album chart: 'Elvis Back In Nashville' climbed from #37 to #28.
  • Official Country Compilations chart Top 20: 'From Elvis In Nashville' climbed from #18 to #9.
  • Official Video Top 100 chart: 'Elvis 7-Film Collection' climbed from #97 to #88.
  • Official DVD Top 100 chart: 'Elvis 7-Film Collection' climbed from #68 to #64.
  • Official Music Video Chart Top 50 chart: 'Elvis The Searcher' climbed from #3 to #2. 
  • Official Music Video Chart Top 50 chart: 'The Elvis Collection' dropped from #6 to #9.
  • Official Music Video Chart Top 50 chart: 'The King of Rock and Roll' climbed from #29 to #13.
  • Official Music Video Chart Top 50 chart: 

Official Scottish charts:

  • Official Album chart: 'The Real Elvis' climbed from #12 to #10.

Official Irish charts:

  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #14.  

Austrian charts:

  • Austrian Album charts: 'ELVIS 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #67 to #73.

German charts:

  • German Album chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack is a new entry at #18.
  • German Album charts: 'ELV1S 30 #1 HITS' climbed from #96 to #59. 

Official French charts:

  • SNEP Album chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack is a new entry at #40.

Australian ARIA charts

  • ARIA Album chart: 'ELVIS' re-entry at #4.

Dutch charts:

  • Dutch Album Top 100 chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack is a new entry ay #73.
Swiss Charts:
  • Swiss Album chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack re-entry at #11.
Belgian UltraTop charts:
  • Belgian (Flanders) Album chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack new entry at #29.
  • Belgian (Wallonia) Album chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack new entry at #54.
Japanese Oricon charts:
  • Japanese Album chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack new entry at # 40. 
  • Japanese Hot Album chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack new entry at # 48. 

Austrian charts:

Austrian Album Top 75 chart:  'ELVIS' soundtrack new entry at # 16.
Austrian Album Top 75 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #73 to #36. 

Elvis books riding high in Amazon sales chart: On Saturday 6 August, three Elvis titles featured in Amazon's 'Top 20 Best Selling Popular Music books'. 
  • At #6 'Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley' by Peter Guralnick.
  • At #9 'Elvis & Ginger: Elvis Presley's Fiancee and Last Love Finally Tells Her Story' by Ginger Alden.
  • At #11: 'The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley' by Alanna Nash. 

(Source: Official Charts / UK Mix Forum / IRMA / MTV / Dutch Charts / ARIA / Janne / Martin / Amazon / Elvis Information Network)