June 30 - Elvis in the 50's

Due for release on July 20, 2018 from the Not Now recordlabel is the 3 LP set "Elvis in the 50's". This 3 LP set comes on red colored vinyl in a gatefold cover. 

Description:
There's a reason they called Elvis Presley the King. It wasn't just the swagger in his hips, the suggestive onstage dancing, or the sly smile that set female hearts and loins alight wherever he went. As this 3LP set, drawn from his 1950s recordings proves, Elvis' voice was nothing less than sensational - warm and humorous, pleading and teasing and full of promise. Elvis could cajole or roar as the occasion demanded. He was capable of interpreting a lyric in a way that made it hard to imagine anybody else covering that song. And he sang this mixture of blues and country and soul - this new thing they were starting to call rock'n'roll.

LP 1 - Side A: Heartbreak Hotel - All Shook Up - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear - Blueberry Hill - Love Me Tender - Too Much - That's All Right - Good Rockin' Tonight

Side B: Tutti Frutti - (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I - Don't Be Cruel - (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care - Blue Moon - So Glad You're Mine - I Got A Woman - Paralyzed

LP 2 - Side C: Blue Suede Shoes - Hound Dog - Wear My Ring Around Your Neck - Got A Lot O' Lovin' To Do! - Money Honey - Tryin' To Get You - Party - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You

Side D: Rip It Up - One Night - I Love You Because - How Do You Think I Feel -   Long Tall Sally - A Big Hunk O'Love - I Need Your Love Tonight - Dixieland Rock

LP 3 - Side E: Jailhouse Rock - Hard Headed Woman  - I Forgot To Remember To Forget - Don't - Baby Let's Play House - I Got Stung - Have I Told You Lately That I Love You - Shake, Rattle And Roll

Side F: Ready Teddy - Mean Woman Blues - Don't Leave Me Now - Doncha' Think It's Time - Mystery Train - I Want To Be Free - We're Gonna Move - Blue Moon Of Kentucky.

Weekend Charts
  • The "Ultimate Gospel" compilation dropped from #21 to #24 on the Billboard Christian Album chart.
  • The "ELV1S 30 #1 Hits" compilation re-entered the Billboard Country Album chart at #32.
  • The "Elvis: The Searcher" soundtrack is listed at #34 on the Official UK Soundtrack chart. 
  • The "Elvis: The DVD Gold Collection" remained steady at #4 on the Official UK Music DVD chart.
  • The "ELV1S 30 # 1 Hits" compilation dropped from #32 to #51 on the Official Irish Album chart.
  • The "Elvis: The Searcher" soundtrack dropped off the Belgian Album chart.
  • The DVD "Elvis – The King Of Rock’n’Roll – 30 Hit Performances And More" climbed from #20 to #17 on the Australian Music DVD chart. 
(Source: Amazon / The King's World. / Billboard)

June 29 - Liliane Montevecchi Died

Liliane Montevecchi, a veteran stage and screen performer who personified elegant old-world French glamour with an extravagant touch of camp, died June 29 in New York City. She was 85. The Paris-born former prima ballerina became an MGM contract player in the 1950s but found more enduring fame three decades later on Broadway. She played the part of Forty Nina, a stripper, in the Elvis Presley movie "King Creole".

She was lured to Hollywood in the 1950s, one of several foreign-born ballerinas to make the transition in that decade, along with Leslie Caron, Moira Shearer and Zizi Jeanmaire. Montevecchi became an MGM contract player, landing small roles in The Glass Slipper with Michael Wilding, Daddy Long Legs with Fred Astaire, Moonfleet with Stewart Granger, The Sad Sack with Jerry Lewis, King Creole with Elvis Presley and The Young Lions, with Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin. But unlike Caron, her screen career failed to blossom into significant fame, though she attended classes at The Actors Studio in New York alongside Marilyn Monroe.

(Source: Hollywood Reporter)

June 28 - Third Steve Binder Book Cover

Here is the third cover for the upcoming book on the "'68 Comeback Special" by Steve Binder. The book should be on it's way to the printer for a release this August.

(Source: EM)

June 28 - The Very Best Rock And Roll Magazine

Volume 14 in the "Elvis: The Official Collector's Edition" series is out. The title: "The Very Best of the King of Rock & Roll".

Description:
The Official Elvis Collector's Edition is proud to present The Very Best of the King of Rock & Roll, a one-of-a-kind issue showcasing the best and most iconic moments from the star's life, spanning from the early days of rock & roll to the marquees of Las Vegas blazing his name. Featuring Priscilla Presley's favorite photos, exclusive images, performance stills, family photos and stories from those who knew him best, it's a fitting tribute to the man who revolutionized entertainment as we know it today: the one, the only, Elvis Presley.

Priscilla Presley Receives The 2018 Most Distinguished Citizen Award

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl honored Priscilla Presley as its 2018 Most Distinguished Citizen Award Recipient. In the 60th year, Presley is the first non-sports figure to receive the honor since 2008. Elvis Presley’s ex-wife is the reason Graceland is open to the public while preserving the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll’s legacy.

“It’s not only us at Graceland, but it’s for the city, and that’s what I’m really most proud of as well. I think we’ve been able to bring commerce in," said Presley. "We’ve been able to economically help out. Those were never in the plans when we opened up Graceland. Obviously, we were there wondering if we were ever gonna make it out."


Attendees got the chance to mingle before the presentation during a live silent auction and cocktail hour. All the proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The 24th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl Golf Classic will be Monday.

(Source: FECC / On Newsstands Now / Local In Memphis)

June 26 - Plaque Dedicated at Site of Final Concert

Tuesday marked the 41st anniversary of Elvis's final concert before his death. It was in Indianapolis at Market Square Arena, and now at that site stands a plaque dedicated to The King of Rock n' Roll.
A plaque commemorating the 25th concert anniversary used to stand at the spot on Market Street, but it was moved when the development of 360 Market Square began. The new plaque is now outside the square decorated with photos of Elvis, the arena, and a ticket stub. It also contains a time capsule filled with letters, photos, and items fans dedicated to the late music icon.

(Source: WIBC Indianapolis)

June 25 - From Camden To The End

The SR Records import-release "From The Beginning To The End" has been released. This album comes in a longbox and contains two concerts:  the September 09, 1970 (Dinner Show, Veteran Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona) and the September 14, 1970 (Closing Show, Municipal Auditorium Mobile, Alabama). The set is available is several different packages. 

Also released are two import box-sets containing the original "Camden" releases simply entitled "The Camden Collection" volumes 1 and 2. Packed in two shell-cases are the Camden compilation albums, released in the UK between 1975 and 1986.  

Albums on volume 1: Heartbreak Hotel / The Us Male / The King / Suspicious Minds /Flaming Star / Elvis.
Albums on volume 2: Volume 2: The Rock Hits / It's Now Or Never / Please Don't Stop Loving Me / Are You Lonesome Tonight? / The First Ten Years / The Legend 

(Source: Elvis on CD)



June 24 - Weekend Charts

The weekend chart wrap-up:

United Kingdom
  • The "Elvis - The Collection" 3 DVD set dropped from #3 to #4 on the Official Music DVD chart.
  • The "The Searcher" soundtrack is listed at 329 on the Official Soundtrack Album Top 50.
Ireland
  • The “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits” compilation climbed from #37 to #32 on the Official Irish Album chart. 
Belgium:
  • The “The Searcher” soundtrack dropped from #134 to #170 on the Belgian Album chart. 
  • The “Top 40 Elvis - His Ultimate Top 40 Collection” dropped off the Belgian Mid-price Album chart from last week’s listing at #36. 
US Billboard Charts
  • The “The Essential Elvis Presley” compilation dropped off both the Country Album Chart (#30) as the Rock Album Chart (#45).
  • The “Ultimate Gospel” compilation dropped from #20 to #21 on the Gospel Album chart. 
Australia
  • The "Elvis: The King of Rock and Roll" DVD climbed from #21 to #20 on the Australian Music DVD chart.
  • The "The King" compilation dropped from #46 to #48 on the Australian Mid-price Album chart.
(Source: Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), Ultratop, The Kling’s World / Billboard / Aria)

June 21 - Where No Exclusive Stands Alone

EPE / Graceland announced the release of two Graceland exclusives for the new RCA release "Where No One Stands Alone" featuring 14 newly mixed tracks including a duet with Lisa Marie and new background vocals from Elvis' original gospel back up group the Imperials and remaining members of the Stamps Quartet.

This is the first time in almost 10 years that Lisa Marie will be involved in an Elvis recording project. Lisa says, “This was his favorite genre – no question about it. He seemed to be at his most passionate, and at peace while singing gospel. He would truly come alive – whether he was singing just for himself and me at home, or on stage in front of thousands of fans.”

The pictures show Lisa Marie in de studio with the manager of Graceland Holdings,  album-producer Joël Weinshanker and producer Andy Childs.

From the Graceland shop you can get a blue vinyl and cassette edition. A bonus package also features the CD and a lithograph signed by Lisa Marie Presley. The album  The CD as well as a LP vinyl release are set to release in mid August during Elvis Week 2018.  

(Source: Graceland / Lisa Marie Presley)



June 20 - Strictly Reno Brothers

The "The Reno Brothers" book by Erik Lorentzen has been released in the " The Gold Standard Series". This hardcover book covers Elvis Presley's debut movie "Love me Tender" and should contain many rare and unpublished photos  with all the stories.

Due July 15, 2018 is the hardcover book "Strictly Elvis 2". The book covers Elvis final years 1976 and 1977 in 1200 pages on 450 pictures from fan and photographer Keith Alverson.

(Source: UEPS)

June 18 - Another Return of the Pelvis

On June 17th. and June 18th. family and friends remembered the late Dominick Joseph Fontana, or D.J. Fontana in Nashville. Below the poem by Joey Beighley.

Fill not your heart with pain and sorrow, 
but remember me in every tomorrow. 
Remember the joy, the laughter, the smiles, 
I've only gone to rest a little while. 

Although my leaving causes pain and grief, 
my going has eased my hurt and given me relief. 
So dry your eyes and remember me 
not as I am now, but as I use to be. 

Because I will remember you all and look on with a smile, 
Understand, in your hearts, I've only gone to rest a little while. 
As long as I have the love of each of you, 
I can live my life in the hearts of all of you.

Elvis Auctions


A previous auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone woodwork, red velvet seats and red shag carpet. But the red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has no engine and needs a restoration of its cockpit. 

Lindsay Goldstein, a spokeswoman for IronPlanet, said the jet is still grounded in Roswell and the current owner “has not made any changes to this piece of history.”

Golden Ram's Head Ring Sold
 
The Alridge and Sons auction house sold Elvis Presley's 1956 Las Vegas contract for 28,000 UK Pound and the Golden Ram's Head Ring for 33.500 UK Pound.

Return of the Pelvis


The VV import-label released another version of their “Return of the Pelvis” title. Containing the August 03, 1969 Dinner Show prformance as recorded in Las Vegas. 50 copies, three variations: “The Final Edition”, “Ultimate Edition” and an “Essential Edition”.

Details Final edition:
Limited edition of hand numbered 20 copies, each copy sealed with glossy sticker.
The standard double black vinyl set with personalized numbering on the back sleeve.
An exclusive 3D glossy box-set, an exclusive box set with the printed sleeve in two layers (4/5 thick) mm stuck on the box set surface
Exclusive T-Shirt, Elvis’ 69 logos. Size L and XL
Exclusive glossy Hand-numbered 12” Art Photo
Exclusive giant patch 32X16 cm with Elvis’ 69 logos.
Exclusive 4GB personalized vinyl shaped USB Stick containing High Definition audio of the concert.

Details Ultimate Edition:
Limited boxed edition of 20 hand numbered copies, each copy sealed with glossy sticker
An exclusive glossy box set with printed art image.
Exclusive Rejected digipack. This is the first version of the digipack then rejected in favor of the six final variations.
Exclusive T-shirt. Size L and XL
Exclusive glossy Hand-numbered 12” Art Photo
Exclusive 8” card
Bonus cd, including the live audience recording from Tampa September 1970

Details Essential edition:
Limited boxed edition of 10 hand numbered copies, each copy sealed with glossy sticker
An exclusive glossy box set with glossy adhesive sleeve.
Exclusive 60x30 glossy 130-gram paper Poster
Exclusive 8 inch art card hand numbered.
Including all the six digipack variations.

(Source: EM / Various)

June 17 - Elvis, April 56 and Seven Days In March 1960

Two new books were released by Paul Belard; "Elvis, April 1956" and "Elvis 1960, Seven Days in March". Both books are mainly picture-books.

Details "Elvis, April 1956" (226 pages)

April 1956 was another busy month Elvis. It began with his first appearance on the Milton Berle Show on the 3rd. Following shows in San Diego the next 2 days, he signed his movie contract with producer Hal Wallis on the 6th. The same day he took his 2nd screen test.

On the touring scene, he embarked on a series of performances in the South West. The tour was interrupted by a recording session in Nashville on the 14th. Oddly, only one song was recorded. The following day, Elvis left for a tour in Texas and Oklahoma. The month culminated with the first week of his appearance in Las Vegas.

On The Charts, "Heartbreak Hotel" reached Number 1 on the Pop Charts. It stayed at number 1 on Billboards Top 100 Chart for 7 weeks, on the Cashbox Chart for 6 weeks. It hit the number 1 spot on the Country & Western Chart, and the top 5 on the R&B Chart. It became Elvis' first gold record  for a million copies sold.

Details "Elvis 1960, Seven Days in March" (194 pages):


A seven day journey with Elvis as he leaves Germany after a conference in Friedberg, stops in Scotland and Newfoundland, lands at  McGuire Air Force Base, gives another press conference, is discharged at Fort Dix, takes the train to Memphis where he is greeted as the prodigal son.

March 1960, almost 2 years before, Elvis was drafted. At the peak of his professional career, he faced two uncertain years. Would it be over? 
Would the fans still be there when he came back? The doubts were etched on his face, in the days of March 1958. His easy smiles were now forced. They would disappear 
for a long while after his beloved mother's untimely death in August 1958.

However, in the days of March 1960, his smiles could not have been more genuine. His army days over amidst a flurry of press conferences attended by more reporters than would have covered a presidential address. Frank Sinatra, who came close to calling him a blabbering idiot a few years before ate crow and dug deep in his pockets to have him on his show. Contracts for several movies were already signed. All was good again.

Weekend Charts

United Kingdom:

The DVD “Elvis – The Collection” climbed from #5 to #3 on the Official UK Music DVD.  
The "The Searcher" soundtrack is listed at #28 on the Official UK Soundtrack Album chart.
United States:

The “Essential Elvis Presley” re-entered both the Rock Album chart as the Country Album chart at #45.
The “Ultimate Gospel” compilation climbed from #22 to #20 on the Christian Album chart.
Ireland:
  • The ELV1S 30 #1 Hits” Compilation climbed from #41 to #37 on the Irish Album chart.
Belgium:
  • The “The Searcher” soundtrack dropped from #98 to #134 on the Belgian Album chart. 
  • The “Top 40 Elvis – His Ultimate Top 40 Collection” compilation re-entered the Belgian Mid-price Album chart at #36. 
Australia:
  • The "Elvis – The King Of Rock’n’Roll – 30 Hit Performances And More" DVD dropped from 19 to #21 on the Australian Music DVD chart. 
  • The "The King" compilation is listed at #46 on the Australian Catalogue Album chart.
(Source: Paul Belard / The King's World)

June 16 - Where No One Stands Alone

RCA plans for an Elvis gospel release will include a duet featuring Elvis daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, on the album title track "Where No One Stands Alone". 

The album featuring 14 tracks are believed to be new mixed tracks including new background vocals from Elvis' original gospel back up group the Imperials and remaining members of the Stamps Quartet. The CD as well as a LP vinyl release are set to release in mid August during Elvis Week 2018.  Lisa Marie previously had three posthumous releases with her father including Don't Cry Daddy, In The Ghetto and I Love You Because.
Lisa Marie Presley will attend Elvis Week with a special appearance on August 11th at 1 P.M. at the Elvis Presley's Memphis Soundstage.  For those fans purchasing the Elite and Premier Packages for Elvis Week they will have an opportunity for Lisa Marie to sign the new album. Regular tickets for the event are also available. 




Tracklist CD: I've Got Confidence - Where No One Stands Alone (Feat. Lisa Marie Presley) - Saved - Crying In Chapel - So High - In The Garden - Bosom Of Abraham - How Great Thou Art - I, John - You'll Never Walk Alone - He Touched Me - Stand By Me - He Is My Everything - Amazing Grace.

Tracklist LP:
Side A: I've Got Confidence - Where No One Stands Alone (Feat. Lisa Marie Presley) - Saved - Crying In Chapel - So High - In The Garden - Bosom Of Abraham
Side B: How Great Thou Art - I, John - You'll Never Walk Alone - He Touched Me - Stand By Me - He Is My Everything - Amazing Grace

(Source: Always Elvis Fan Club)

June 15 - Complete 1956-62 Albums

Valentine Records / Bertus released the 8 CD box "Elvis Presley - Complete 1956-62 Albums" containing 17 original albums on 8 discs.

Description:
Elvis Presley was Rock & Roll's first real star and one of the most important cultural farces in history - a hip-shaking symbol of liberation for the staid America of the 1950s. This collection contains 17 complete albums by Elvis, covering the period of 1956 to 1962, and including not only his studio albums, bul also his compilations of singles and movie soundtrack lncludes 20-page booklet with updated liner notes, rare photos & memorabilia.

(Source: UEPS / Amazon)

June 14 - Greensboro Once More

The Victrola import-label announced the release of "Elvis April 14 1972 Greensboro" containing Elvis Presley's powerhouse concert in Greensboro Coliseum on April 14th 1972. This' release is presented in a deluxe double digi-pack accompanied with a 16-page booklet. The label also announced that ''Elvis April 14, 1972 Greensboro'' will be released later this year on 180 Gr. vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with a large booklet filled with many rare pix. The Victrola label is planning more releases in 2018.

From the press-release:
So what makes this new release so special? Yes, it has been released before, most recently on the Amiga label boxed set ''Elvis On Tour - Deluxe Edition''. But this release blows that set right out of the water! You will not believe the sound, which for the first time comes from the actual RCA tapes. 
Yes, you read that correctly. For the first time, these are actual multitrack master recordings, and not the nafta tapes that have been used this far as a source for this show. On the box set, it was even presented in mono (sloppy, that) and Madison released it earlier in narrow stereo on "Greensboro Revolution". 

The recording that we obtained was mixed down from the original 8- and 16-track masters fairly recently, but then, oddly enough, stored back in the vaults. We know you will be thrilled when you hear this recording, which has the signature of the best Elvis live mixes released officially thus far. The wide, dynamic stereo sound is just friggin' unbelievable and puts you right in that Greensboro audience. That may sound like hype, but just wait for the samples! 

Elvis at the peak of his powers, April 1972, driving the audience into a frenzy... And you are right there! Do not miss this sonic delight, which may well be your favorite Elvis live album in the years to come. That's how good this is. We are clearly thrilled to be able to release this for you, from the actual mastertapes, in a fresh, professionally mixed stunning stereo sound. 

As a bonus, we've added a bonus disc featuring sacred performances and additional live songs in glorious stereo, as well as the unedited ''Funny How Time Slips Away'' from the April 5th 1972 rehearsal (badly butchered up on the aforementioned box-set). These days, there aren't a lot of surprises left in the Elvis world (wasn't that "Searcher" film a real doozy?), but this is definitely one of them. Grab it while you can! We do understand some people will be sceptical about this project, but for once, this is what it is! To assure these people, we will be posting samples soon, so that they can compare and make graphics to their hearts' content. This is the real deal, folks... And one project that we're damn proud of. A killer release that deserves to be in your collection.

Tracklist CD 1 - Concert April 14, 1972:
Also Sprach Zarathustra - C. C. Rider - Proud Mary - Never Been To Spain - You Gave Me A Mountain - Until It’s Time For You To Go - Polk Salad Annie - Love Me - All Shook Up - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel - Hound Dog - Heartbreak Hotel - A Big Hunk O’ Love - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Suspicious Minds - Love Me Tender - Band Introductions - For The Good Times - An American Trilogy - Burning Love - Release Me - Funny How Time Slips Away - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

CD 2 - Rehearsals 05.09.1972:
Johnny B. Goode (Take 1 - 3) -  Always On My Mind (Rehearsal, With Extra Dialogue) - Separate Ways (Take 1 & 2, With Extra Dialogue) - Time Has Made A Change In Me (J. D. Sumner & The Stamps) - I Should Have Been Crucified (J. D. Sumner & The Stamps) - I, John - Bosom Of Abraham / You Better Run - Lead Me, Guide Me - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Nearer My God To Thee - Sweet Sweet Spirit (Rehearsal, J. D. Sumner & The Stamps) - When It's My Time (Bill Baize & The Stamps)

09.04.1972 - Hampton Roads:

All Shook Up - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - Are You Lonesome Tonight - I Can't Stop Loving You - How Great Thou Art

The Searcher DVD Release

The DVD release of HBO "The Searcher" documentary can be pre-ordered on Amazon. The release-date of this two disc set from Sony Pictures is November 19, 2018. The running-time is 210 minutes. 

Synopsis:
He was a boy from Tupelo who grew up to become the biggest star in music. Along the way, he absorbed a staggering range of influences, creating a revolutionary sound in his lifelong search for self-expression. Following his creative journey from childhood through the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions, two-part presentation Elvis Presley: The Searcher includes stunning atmospheric shots taken inside Graceland, Elvis’ iconic home, and features 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.

(Source: FECC / Amazon)

June 13 - DJ Fontana Died

DJ Fontana, Elvis' legendary drummer, has died aged 87. The last of the 'Blue Moon Boys' has now left to join his fellow musicians - the creators of the Rock'n'Roll big-bang. Lead guitarist Scotty Moore sadly passed away back in 2016. Original bassist Bill Black died back in 1965 and never played with Elvis' band again following the 1958 break-up.

DJ Fontana's son David posted an emotional message on Facebook, to announce the death of his father. "I told everyone that I would keep you posted. My Dad passed away in his sleep at 9:33 tonight,'he wrote. DJ Fontana died at the age of 87 'He was very comfortable with no pain. I will post more tomorrow when I have more information. We ask for privacy at this time. Thank you for your love and prayers."

Sun Studio, which is based in Memphis, Tennessee, where Elvis kicked off his career, shared a tribute shortly after the news broke of Fontana's death. "We are extremely saddened to hear about the passing of legendary drummer D.J. Fontana. The band is all back together now," the message read. 


Lisa and I, and the entire Presley family, join the staff of Graceland in expressing our deepest condolences on DJ Fontana's passing.  DJ was Elvis' original drummer and good friend.  He was a tremendously talented musician and a wonderful man. Together with Elvis, Scotty Moore and Bill Black -- DJ made history as part of the legendary "Blue Moon Boys" -- creating music that will live forever and influence generations to come," said Priscilla Presley.

The staff of Elvis Presley's Graceland is deeply saddened by the passing of Elvis' friend and legendary drummer, D.J. Fontana," said Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden. "D.J.'s groundbreaking recordings and performances with Elvis, Scotty Moore and Bill Black launched Elvis’ career and forever changed music and the world. D.J. was a dear friend to all of us at Graceland. We send our heartfelt condolences to D.J.'s family, friends and his millions of fans worldwide.” 

James Burton:
"I was shocked and saddened to hear about my longtime friend, D.J. Fontana passing on. I’ve known him since we were kids on the Louisiana  Hayride back in the 50’s. I loved that man. We had a mutual love and respect for each other. We both were raised in Shreveport and we’ve been  around the world with our talent that we got from here. It’s amazing  that two kids from Shreveport, both ended up playing for Elvis Presley, the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ at different times in Elvis’... life.
D.J. set the beat for a generation and he will be greatly missed. I am smiling though, thinking of the amazing reunion happening right now between Elvis, Scotty and D.J.. The boys back together again. D.J.’s family is in our thoughts and prayers. GOD BLESS!"
James

Steve Binder (director 1968 Special): "So sad to read about the passing of my friend, D.J. Fontana! The few  times Sharon and I had the pleasure of spending time with D.J. and his  wife Karen, after D.J. and I met on the '68 Special, drew us much closer  as true friends. Aside from his drumming skills, he had a great sense  of humor and I will never forget him"
Steve

Larry Geller (of the Memphis Mafia): "I'm deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend DJ Fontana. With the sadness, though, comes a flood of wonderful memories from over the years, as we shared many great moments. DJ was not only a legendary drummer but a close and dear friend to Elvis."


Fontana, who was born in Shreveport Louisiana on March 15 1931, originally began backing Elvis Presley, Bill Black and Scotty Moore when he worked at the Louisiana Hayride as early as 1954. 

Sun Records Sam Phillips originally assembled Elvis' Blue Moon Boys without a drummer and so it wasn't until the key RCA session of January 10 1956 that DJ Fontana joined the band on recordings. That session produced 'Heartbreak Hotel' and the music world would never be the same. Fontana's key input would be his solid beat creating the stunning impact on songs such as 'Hound Dog' and 'Jailhouse Rock'. Elvis, Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana continued to play and record together throughout the 1960s. Fontana played on over 400 of Elvis RCA recordings as well as appearing in several films.

DJ Fontana was instrumental in Elvis career revival of the 1968 'Comeback Special' although it would be the last time he performed with Elvis. Of the NBC TV Special Fontana said, "We had a lot of fun doing it. Elvis looked great . . . he was real nervous, but once he started it was like he'd never been away."  "Elvis was just a nice guy, even though he was so young. He always treated people like he wanted to be treated. You know, we worked hard. We just tried to cut good records. But we knew that if it wasn't for Elvis, we wouldn't have done anything."

Fontana opened up about his relationship with The King, as he said: 'No, he never called anybody. I talked to him once on the telephone! They always had somebody calling, but then you'd know it was coming from him.' 
He only managed to see Elvis a 'couple' more times before his death, but reflecting on his time in the band, he said: 'Oh, it was fun. We really had a good time. But when you think about it, we worked with a guy 40 years ago, and I'm still working today doing the same.'

Fontana was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2009. Later that year he was entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sideman category.

Comeback Cover

Here is an updated cover from Steve Binder for his upcoming book "Elvis, Comeback '68 - The Story Of The Elvis Special" which will be presented August 13, 2018 in Memphis. 

Love Me Tender

Due for release on August 15, 2018 in Japan is the CD "Love Me Tender".

Tracks: Love Me Tender - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You - Hound Dog - Don't Be Cruel - All Shook Up - Teddy Bear - Jailhouse Rock - I Need Your Love Tonight - Wear My Ring Around Your Neck - A Big Hunk O' Love - Are You Lonesome Tonight? - Blue Hawaii - Can't Help Falling In Love - It's Now Or Never - Return To Sender - Little Sister - His Latest Flame - Devil In Disguise - Bossa Nova Baby - Viva Las Vegas - If I Can Dream - Suspicious Minds - You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - The Wonder Of You - Polk Salad Annie - Burning Love - Always On My Mind - A Little Less Conversation (JXL Remix).

(Source: Elvis Information Network / FECC / UEPS / David Fontana / Marian Cocke / Graceland / Elvis Matters / Elvis World Japan / Elvis Club Berlin)

June 12 - Elvis Comeback Special Book

Elvis Comeback Special director and producer, Steve Binder has partnered with Spencer and Meteor 17 to publish the definitive table top book on Binder’s making of the Special and all activities that led up to, were part of and happened, as a result of the landmark television event.

M17 long time art director, Hugh Syme, designed the stunning look and feel of the 279 page collector’s item book which includes commentaries, interviews and never before seen memorabilia presented to Binder by both Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker.  

Grammy winning book manufacturing organization, Integrated Communications, widely known for producing high quality limited edition collections for major music artists and companies (Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Universal Music Enterprises, Concord Music Group, and Warner Music Group) are handling the printing of the book, worldwide.

To further propel the book, there will be a highly visible launch at Graceland in Memphis, August 2018 during Elvis week there. Binder will conduct a town hall forum and panel, followed by similar events at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and The Paley Center, in both NYC and LA.

Following the book offering, on a special basis to Elvis fan clubs around the world, there will be podcasts about the Special, a one night theater event in over 800 screens via Fathom Events in the top DMA's in America. A spoken word version of the book via Amazon’s Audible division, narrated by Binder will follow. The audio book will will contain actual excerpts from the special, woven in with Binder’s reading.  

Spencer and Steve plan to bring the book to life in a documentary, to be directed by M17's John Coltrane Chasing Trane talent, John Scheinfeld in 2019. It will center on the making of the Special and Binder’s role as director/producer,teaming up with Elvis in a true buddy story that helped inform the course of pop music history.  The doc will highlight Steve's interface on the production process with Elvis and NBC to accomplish an evergreen and lauded result.


Binder has the most unique and informed perspective on how this landmark show was made and the events which transpired during production.  Elvis bravely stood up and supported Binder in order to have the Special completed and broadcast.  The success of this Comeback show propelled the course of Elvis' life and career.

This never before told perspective will be at the heart of our documentary.  Our film will enlighten and inform Elvis fans throughout the world with a behind the scenes look at this seminal moment of pop music media history.

Before the Book  becomes available to the general public through traditional retail outlets, the team will offer the book, DVD of the Special and other never before available items, through Elvis fan clubs around the world followed by a heavily promoted home shopping campaign.

(Source: Meteor 17 / Elvis Club Berlin)

June 11 - The Fifties In Stereo


The Vee-Tone Record-label announced the release of the limited edition CD "Elvis Presley - The 50s In Stereo" with July 6, 2018 as the release-date. The CD contains newly created "neophonic high fidelity" stereo version of the well-known fifties recordings. This CD release is limited to 500 copies and contains tracks not featured on the vinyl versions of this album. 

Tracks: Mystery Train - Baby Let's Play House - Trying To Get To You (Bonus Song) - I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine (Bonus Song) - Good Rockin' Tonight - One Sided Love Affair - Any Way You Want Me (That's How I Will Be) - My Baby Left Me (Neophonic Stereo Version 2017) - When My Blue Moon Turns Gold Again (Bonus Song) - I Got A Woman - Lawdy Miss Clawdy - Don't - Dixieland Rock - Hard Headed Woman (Bonus Song) - I Got Stung - Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (Bonus Song).

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / Elvis Presley News / Vee-Tone Records)

June 08 - Elvis Box Charts (Updated)

Due for release on August 6, 2018 from IMC V-I-S-I-O-N is the 3 DVD set "The Elvis Boxset". 

The No. 1 Hits Box

Dus for release on July 25, 2018 from the New Continent label is the 3 CD box "The No. 1 Hits Box". 

Description:
Elvis Presley was rock & rolls first real star and one of the most important cultural forces in history. Included on this set are Elvis greatest hits from the period 1955-62, among them all of his King singles that reached number one on the U.S. pop charts between 1956 and 1962. 

Among other smash hits, our release includes both sides of the single Hound Dog/Dont Be Cruel (the most successful Elvis single release, with 11 weeks on the charts), Elvis second RCA single, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You, and the classic rocker Heartbreak Hotel (which peaked at number one and remained on the charts for eight weeks after extensive television exposure following its release). Without a doubt, this is the material upon which Elvis Presleys legend was built.

1956 Las Vegas Contract Slated for Auction

Elvis Presley’s first Las Vegas contract is scheduled for auction later this month in the UK. The New Frontier performance contract signed 62 years ago by Elvis Presley can be yours for the right price. 

The contract is for a two-week engagement in late April and Early May 1956 at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. It calls for a weekly pay of $7,500, minus commissions paid to his agents at William Morris. The 21-year-old Elvis signed the document on two lines agreeing to the terms on April 16, 1956.

Auction house Henry Aldridge & Son will take bids on the contract on June 16. The piece of memorabilia has received a certificate of authenticity from the Elvis Presley Museum and has a pre-sale estimate, and a rather specific one at that, of $33,476 to $40,171.

Terms of the contract reached between New Frontier and Elvis called for him to perform a staggering 30 times during the two-week period. That’s less than $500 per show when his commission to William Morris is factored in.
The contract also provided him with a one-bedroom suite and standard guestroom at the Strip resort, which was closed and demolished in 2007.

This was still the early part of 1956 and Presley was on the verge of greatness. Up until now, Elvis had performed in front of screaming teenagers, but things would be different in Las Vegas,” the Elvis Presley Museum explains in the item description.

The auction lot details, “Compared to the usual teenage hysteria, however, Elvis had a lukewarm acceptance from the middle-aged audience.”

Lukewarm at best. In fact, one critic at Newsweek wrote that Presley’s performance was “like a jug of corn liquor at a champagne party.”

Charts

UK (Official Chart Company chart week June 8 to 14, 2018)
  • Soundtracks: The Searcher #27 (dropped six places)
  • The 6 DVD set “The Elvis Collection” dropped off the Official UK Music DVD chart from last week’s #38 spot.
Ireland (OCC chart week June 8 to 14, 2018)
  • Irish Top 50 Albums: #41 (climbed five places)
Belgium - Flanders (Ultratop chart week June 9 to 15, 2018)
  • Albums Top 200: The Searcher #98 (climbed from #154)
Belgium - Wallonia (Ultratop chart week  June 9 to 15, 2018)
  • Mid Price Albums (Top 50): Top 40 - His Ultimate Top 40 Collection #29 (re-entry)
Australia - (ARIA chart week June 11 to 17, 2018)

  • Catalogue Albums (Top 50): The King  #48 (dropped six places)
  • Music DVDs: Elvis: King of Rock 'n' Roll  #19 (climbed two places)
(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / Laser Freak)

June 07 - Don't Mess Around with Elvis Recordings

The CMT import-label, in cooperation with the Star  import-label announced the release of two new "spliced takes" compilations: "Don't Mess Around With Me... I'm Evil!" and "3764 - The Final Recordings". 

From the press-release for "Don't Mess Around With Me... I'm Evil!":

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Elvis legendary "Comeback Special" . Since the performances cannot be beaten, the best thing for us to do would be to present them in the same way as they were recorded... but since that has been done over and over (and over and over) CMT is proud to present this STAR production, which is the best release containing the 1968 recordings. ... in 50 years! Presented in a six panel digi-pack, limited to 500 copies. 

Much time and effort went into this release, some live tracks have been "spliced" from different shows, some studio tracks have been re-created and sound breathtaking! The live tracks are blended very cool, so you get the feeling you are listening to a complete show.

Probably the highlight is the "complete" version of Trouble/Guitar Man, cool edits make this work very well and makes the track even more "Evil". Some tracks have been shortened to make it a different listening experience, "That's All Right" for example is presented just like the original 1954 version, with no repeating versus and chorus.

"Let Yourself Go" has been spliced with the instrumental version and sounds very different. The "Gospel" segment has been re-created from scratch containing clever splices to make it sound just like the original version, only different ..."Blue Suede Shoes" (Stand up) has been re-edited and kicks some serious a... Throw in some more spliced takes, a rare rehearsal version of "Blue Moon of Kentucky" (spliced) and some cool live edits.

Blue Moon of Kentucky – Rehearsal / Band Warming Up / Trouble-Guitar Man – Alternate Extended Master / That’s All Right – Spliced version / Heartbreak Hotel / Hound Dog / All Shook Up / Jailhouse Rock / Don’t Be Cruel / Blue Suede Shoes – Alternate Master / When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again – Spliced version / Trying To Get To You / Lawdy, Miss Clawdy / Can’t Help Falling in Love / It Hurts Me Section 4 part 1, take 1 – Section 1 take 1 / If I Can Dream – take 1 / Let Yourself Go – Alternate Master  / Nothingville – Evil – Section 1  take 1  / Guitar Man – Evil – Section 1, take 10 / Big Boss Man – Escape – Section 3 take 1 / Guitar Man – Section 2, take 1 / Little Egypt – Section 2 , take 1 / Baby What Do You Want Me To Do / Tiger Man / Are You Lonesome Tonight? – Alternate Master / One Night / Love Me Tender / Love Me / Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child – take 1 / Where Could I Go But To The Lord – take 1 / Up Above My Head – spliced take 4, 7 / Saved – Alternate Master / Memories – Alternate Master

Details 3764 - The Final Recordings


Includes all tracks from both "Elvis Presley Boulevard" and "Moody Blue". He'll Have To Go" has been remade into a very different sounding track, it starts off with Elvis singing "He'll Have to Ho" James throws in a lick, and then our man bursts into "Put your sweet lips..."  "Love Coming Down" has been extended but there are no repeatable parts. "Danny Boy" has been spliced with the live version, and America starts and ends with short studio parts, filled with a live version, also recorded in Memphis!
Named above are only a few highlights, fans of the series know what to expect and will not be disappointed by this latest addition. Beautiful artwork matching the original release.

Hurt – Spliced take 1, 2 / Never Again   - Spliced take  8, 7, 4, 5, 4 / Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain  - Spliced take 1, 2, 5 / Danny Boy  - Spliced take 5 – Live, June 1st 1976 / The Last Farewell  - Spliced take 5, 3 undubbed masters / For The Heart  - Spliced take 4b, 5b, 5a / Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall – Alternate Master /Solitaire   - Spliced take 1, 2, 1, 8 / Love Coming Down  - Spliced take  2, 4 extended / I’ll Never Fall In Love Again – Spliced take 2, 1, 2, 4 / He’ll Have To Go – Alternate Master  / Way Down – Alternate Master  / Pledging My Love – Spliced take 2, 5, 1, 3 / Moody Blue – Spliced Live: 20/2/77 – 21/2/77  / She Think’s I Still Care – Spliced take 9, 7 , 10  / It’s Easy For You – Spliced take 3, 4, 2 / America – Live in Memphis, Tennessee on 5/7/76

(Source: FECC)