February 22 - $100 Million Advisors Can Be Wrong

Lisa Marie Presley is offering an explanation for why she's in debt. She says an ex-manager sunk $100 million into a failed investment, and now she's suing him. Lisa Marie says Barry Siegel ran the Trust Elvis Presley left for his daughter  and in 2005 he sold off 85% of her interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises for $100 million. In the lawsuit docs she says Siegel took all of that cash and invested in a company called Core Entertainment.

Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, inherited his $100m (£71.5m) estate in 1993 at the age of 25. Another 25 years later, she says in a lawsuit obtained by US media that she is down to her last $14,000.

Presley blames her former manager Barry Siegel for her precarious finances, and filed a suit last week against him accusing him of “reckless and negligent mismanagement” of her inherited estate.

In the suit, first reported by the US website the Blast, she claims that her cash reserves were whittled down because of Seigel’s poor investment decisions. He has countered that Presley is to blame, alleging in a lawsuit of his own that she squandered much of her fortune. He is demanding $800,000 in damages for non-payment.

Elvis Presley’s fortune had dwindled to a few million dollars at the time of his death in 1977, but the power of the Presley brand – including the tourist attraction Graceland – meant that assets were built back up into the $100m trust that Lisa Marie inherited on her 25th birthday.

Siegel sold off 85% of her share in the Elvis Presley Enterprises company in 2005, a deal that he says “cleared up over $20m in debts Lisa had incurred and netted her over $40m cash and a multi-million dollar income stream”. Presley says it lost her millions thanks to a subsequent investment in Core Entertainment, the company behind American Idol that went bankrupt in 2016.

According to reports in the US, tax filings show the family’s Presley Charitable Foundation has operated at an annual loss in every tax year since 2009, with reported annual revenue down to just $26 in one year. The foundation’s endowment, reported to be just north of $100,000, is in Seigel’s care. The foundation did not return the Guardian’s calls.

Presley, who has recorded three albums of her own, is already in a battle over assets in the wake of her divorce from Michael Lockwood, her fourth marriage after short-lived partnerships with Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage. According to reports of her divorce proceedings last week, she claims she is $16m in debt. Lockwood disputes the figure, arguing “she has not disclosed her assets or their values”.

None of Presley’s representatives the Guardian contacted responded with comments. Leon Gladstone, a lawyer for Siegel, said his client had sued Presley first for non-payment. “It’s clear Lisa Marie is going through a difficult time in her life and looking to blame others instead of taking responsibility for her actions,” he said in a statement.

(Source: TMZ / The Guardian)

February 21 - Elvis Charts (Updated March 24)

The charts from around the world for this week:

  • On the Billboard Christian Album chart "Elvis Ultimate Gospel" dropped from #26 to #31.
  • On the Billboard Christian Album chart "Playlist: The Very Best Gospel of Elvis Presley" dropped from #41 to #48.
  • On the Billboard Classical Album chart the "The Wonder of You" album climbed from #12 to #10..
  • On the Billboard Country Catalog Album chart the "Heart And Soul" compilation climbed from #14 to 10.
  • On the Billboard Country Catalog Album chart the "ELV1S 30#1 Hits" compilation is listed at #23.
  • On the Christian Album Sales chart "Crying in the Chapel: Hymns and Gospel Favorites" is a re-entry at #47. 
  • On the Canadian Album chart the "40 Years On" compilation climbed from #48 to #44.
  • The "Elvis: El Disco De Oro" compilation climbed from #51 to #44 on the Spanish Album chart. 
  • The "Lovin' Elvis" compilation dropped from #25 to #31 on the Official Scottish Album chart.
  • The "The Real ... Elvis" is a re-entry at #95 on the Official Scottish Album chart.
(Source: Laser-Freak / Official UK Chartcompany)

February 19 - Elvis Argentina 1956-1962

Available at last according to a posting on the FECC forum is the book “Elvis @ Argentina 1956 - 1962” containing hundreds of never before published pictures and detailed info on everything about Elvis in Argentina 1956/1962.

This new book by Carlos R. Ares shows the impact of Elvis in Argentina between 1956 and 1962, his influence on local artists, complete discography and filmography, press clippings, records and films reviews, magazines, promotional material, RCA label copies and everything related to the aforementioned period in Argentina. Hundreds of records, documents, posters, RCA label copies never before on print! Over 200 pages of ultra-rare Argentinean collectors items on display. 

(Source: FECC)

February 16 - Elvis Presley’s Watch to Hit the Auction Block (Updated 18/02)

You can’t envision a much cooler moment than Elvis Presley sauntering into a cocktail lounge at the Sahara in early-1960s Las Vegas: Picture him taking a seat next to a stranger, who notices the flash of diamonds on the wrist of the king of rock ‘n’ roll. “I like your watch,” the stranger says. Noticing that the guy who broached the subject is also wearing an expensive timepiece, Elvis responds: “I like your watch — want to trade?”

That scenario happened more often than you might think. Now, one of the watches Presley gave away is about to take the spotlight: A vintage Omega, purchased by RCA Records in 1961 at Tiffany & Co., will hit the auction block May 12 at Phillips in Geneva. And it’s not just any watch, it’s a milestone piece. RCA execs presented the watch to their most valuable artist to celebrate the sale of 75 million Elvis Presley records. The case back’s engraving commemorates the event: “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60”  (the record company pinpointed Christmas 1960 as the day the record-breaking sales figure was achieved).

“This was a big moment in Elvis’ life, and this watch celebrates that,” says Paul Boutros, senior vp and head of watches for the Americas for Phillips. “He had just been discharged from the Army, which had drafted him at the peak of his career, and even though he was out of the limelight, his records were still selling like crazy. He crossed the 75-million mark and was being welcomed back to record more music and make more movies. This is the watch that documents that fascinating moment in time.”  

RCA spared no expense, it seems, in selecting this particular trophy: The 33-millimeter manual watch is crafted in 18-karat white gold, with 44 round brilliant diamonds embellishing its bezel. The dial is also marked “Tiffany & Co.” under its Omega logo. (For watch nerds, the piece’s movement is also stamped with “OXG,” Omega’s U.S. import code, for additional proof of its authenticity.)

“It’s a very nice, very slim dress watch that’s well-suited to its period,” Boutros notes. “I would consider it the most elegant of all his watches that we’ve come across in our research.”

The watch makes its public debut this weekend at Watches & Wonders, a multi-brand event for watch aficionados taking place throughout Miami’s Design District. Phillips is displaying the piece, alongside other highlights from the upcoming Geneva auction, Friday through Sunday at the Design District’s Opera Gallery.

The watch is being consigned by the nephew of the man who indeed traded his Hamilton timepiece for Presley’s Omega in that Sahara cocktail lounge. “The watch has hardly been worn over the years; it’s in excellent condition and, given the crispness of the engravings on the case back, doesn’t look like it’s been polished,” says Boutros, adding that the consignor approached Phillips following the success of October’s Paul Newman Daytona auction. “He’d been sitting on the watch for years, and after reading about the record-breaking result of that auction, he got in touch with us. He’d spoken with other houses previously, but he felt they didn’t understand the watch’s importance.”

Phillips has set an auction estimate of $50,000 to $100,000 for the piece, which will come with a certificate of authenticity from the Elvis Presley Museum at Graceland and a 1982 Dave Marsh book, simply titled Elvis, which includes images of Presley wearing the timepiece.

Ultimately, while Boutros estimates that Presley owned — and traded — perhaps hundreds of watches over the years, it’s not likely there’s another sitting in a drawer that will draw the same interest. “This is the most historically significant one ever to appear on the market,” he says. “When you fold in its clear provenance and its great background story, it became a very compelling piece for us to sell. We love watches with great stories.”

As Heard On Vinyl

The Wax Love label released the compilation "Elvis Presley - The King As Seen on TV" containing recordings from the 1957 "Dorsey Brothers" and "Ed Sullivan" TV Shows.  

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).

Spliced Release

The first 2018 release from the CMT import-label, "Spliced Takes - G.I. Blues", has been released. It contains 12 newly created takes from the well known 1960  tracks

Tracks: Tonight Is So Right For Love (Spliced Take 10 & 8) - What’s She Really Like (Spliced Take 17 & 19) - Frankfort Special (Spliced Take 3, 4 & 5) - Wooden Heart (Alternate Intro Version) - G. I. Blues (Spliced Take 2 ,6, Pu10, 7 & Pu9) - Pocketful Of Rainbows (Spliced Take 1 & 3) - Shoppin’ Around (Spliced Take 4, 2 & 5) - Big Boots (‘Trilogy’ Version) - Didja Ever (Spliced Take 1, 2 & 1) - Blue Suede Shoes (Spliced Master) - Doin’ The Best I Can (Spliced Take 10 & 12) - Tonight Is All Right For Love (Spliced Take 5A & 5B)

(Source: Hollywood Reporter / Elvis on CD)

February 15 - Chart Update (Updated 23/02)

This week's chart updates:

US Billboard chart:
  • On the US Billboard Country Catalog Album chart the "Heart And Soul" compilation is listed at #14.
  • On the US Billboard Top Christian Album chart the "Elvis Ultimate Gospel" climbed from #28 to #26.
  • On the US Billboard Top Christian Album chart the "Playlist: The Very Best Gospel of Elvis Presley" climbed from #47 to #41.
  • On the US Billboard Classical Album chart the "The Wonder of You" cooperation by Elvis Presley and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra climbed from #13 to #12. 
Canadian chart:
  • On the Canadian Album chart the "40 Years On" album dropped from #47 to #48. 
European chart:
  • On the Spanish Album Top 100 chart the "Elvis: El Disco De Oro" 
  • On the Official UK Music DVD chart the "The Elvis Collection" DVD set dropped from #46 to #47.
  • On the official Scottish Album chart the "Lovin' Elvis" compilation climbed from #27 to #25. 
  • On the official Scottish Album chart the "The Platinum Collection" dropped from #84 to #93.
Australian chart:
  • The "Elvis The King" compilation climbed from #112 to #102 on the Australian Album Top 100.
  • The "The King Of Rock ’n’ Roll" DVD climbed from #23 to #13 on the Australian Music DVD chart.
(Source: Laser Freak)