March 31 - More Stories Behind the Songs

Volume 2 of the book ‘Elvis Presley: Stories Behind the Songs’ by Matt Shepherd has been released. 

Synopsis: This second volume begins 60 years ago when Elvis Presley returns from the army, wondering if he still has a career and massive fan base after being away for two years.


He needn't have worried himself, the fans lapped up his new and more ambitious recordings. Songs like It's Now or Never, Return to Sender and many more sold in their millions proving the King was back!


Although many of Elvis' countless solid gold hits feature in the book, the author is also keen to explore the lesser-known album tracks including the hugely underrated album Elvis is Back which came out 60 years ago this year (2020).


I hope the reader will look at each song in a different light maybe they will go and play the lesser heard songs and appreciate them in a whole different way after reading the story behind that particular track. If it further builds on the fans' knowledge about Elvis and brings around a bigger appreciation of Presley’s music than the book will have achieved its purpose.


Elvis Presley News Report April 2020


Emiel Maier has released his latest roundup of "things Elvis".
Always interesting, Emiel is to be congratulated on his great monthly video release for Elvis fans.

>>> Watch the April 2020 report here
 (Runs for 15 minutes).


(Source: Amazon / Elvis Information Network)


   

March 30 - The Adventures of Jon Burrows

Matthew L. Martin published his 263-page novel ‘Elvis Presley & The Adventures of Jon Burrows: 1970-1977’. 

Synopsis: Elvis Presley is back for one last round of adventures as secret agent Jon Burrows. The secret spy's final years feature casino robberies, home invasion battles with ninjas, creepy New Orleans witch doctors, and European Castle assaults! Action, adventure, thrills and more await in the third and final volume of the Adventures of Jon Burrows!

(Source: Amazon)

March 28 - Charts March 22 - Week 4

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. Elvis Presley disappeared from the Billboard Gospel album chart and lost a few titles on the UK Music DVD chart. 

US Billboard charts:
  • Billboard Album Top 200 chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #163 to #172.
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #15 to #16.
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #25 to #26.
The ‘Elvis: Ultimate Gospel’ compilation dropped off the Billboard Top Christian Album chart.

Official UK charts:
  • Official UK Album chart: ‘The 50 Greatest Hits’ climbed from #91 to #72.
  • Official UK Streaming Album chart: ‘The 50 Greatest Hits’ climbed from #69 to #61
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: ‘The Elvis Collection’ climbed from #33 to #22.
The ‘Elvis Lives - Live From Memphis,’ ‘Elvis The Searcher’ and ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ DVDs dropped off the Official Uk Music DVD chart. 

(Source: UK Mix / Billboard / Official Chart Company)

March 28 - Elvis December ’76

A new 7-CD box-set has been announced; ‘Elvis December ’76’. This set, limited to 300 copies, contains:

December 7, 1976, Las Vegas (Run On / As Recorded Live In Las Vegas)
December 12, 1976, Las Vegas (Black Diamond)
December 28, 1976, Dallas
(A Hot Winter Night In Dallas / FTD Showtime)
December 29, 1976, Birmingham (Burning In Birmingham / FTD Showtime)
December 31, 1976, Pittsburgh (Auld Lang Syne / Final Countdown To Midnight / FTD New Year's Eve)

Home

After testing positive for the coronavirus and spending two weeks in quarantine in Australia, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned home to the US. The couple arrived in Los Angeles on Friday. After disembarking a private jet, Hanks was seen touching the tarmac and dancing. 

Karl-Heinz Stein Died

Karl-Heinz Stein died. He was Elvis Presley’s barber from 1958 to 1960 at Ray Barracks in Friedberg, Germany where Elvis Presley was stationed while he served his country abroad. On October 7, 1958 he cut Elvis’ hair for the first time. 


(Source: Consequence of Sound / ElvisMatters / AK-Kurier)

March 27 - Retro King

Elvis Presley is featured in the cover of the UK Retro magazine with inside an article on 'how The King conquered Hollywood'. 

Auf der Jagd nach Elvis’ 507

ID Media released the 122-page book 'Auf der Jagd nach Elvis’ 507: Die Suche nach dem berühmtesten BMW der Welt' by Jackie Jouret and translated in German by Helmut Werb. 


Synopsis:  
In 1958, Elvis Presley took a test drive with a BMW 507 Roadster, creating a spectacular media event. At that time Elvis was a corporal in the US Army, and used the 507 during his service in Germany for the daily trip to the barracks. However, what happened to the car after Elvis' return to the United States remained a mystery for years. In 2005 Jackie Jouret, then editor-in-chief of Bimmer magazine, began looking for Elvis Presley's 507. She had to struggle through myths, errors and misinformation , but three years later she found the legendary BMW - in Northern California, an hour's drive from the Bimmer offices. The 507 had not been driven for over 35 years and was in extremely poor condition. But it was Elvis' 507, the holy grail of all BMW collectors, and it was worth millions, even in its dilapidated condition, that's the story of the number 70079 BMW 507, from its early days as a demonstration vehicle to its rediscovery and restoration sixty years later. It's also the story of those who owned and drove it: from Hans Stuck Sr., the mountain race hero, rock and roll pioneer Elvis Presley, and all of the US owners, from radio DJ Tommy Charles in Alabama to Lloyd Cottle, pilot of the US Air Force, and finally aviation engineer Jack Castor, who made sure that the car came to the BMW Museum, where it can be admired by both 507 fans and the countless supporters of Elvis Presley worldwide.

(Source: Phoenix Elvis Forum / Amazon)


March 26 - My Boy Songwriter Died

Scottish songwriter Bill Martin died. Together with Phil Coulter he translated the French ‘Parce Que Je T'aime, Mon Enfant’’ into ‘My Boy’ which was later recorded by Elvis Presley. 

Dutch 'Elvis' book

Dennis van Tiel, author for the Dutch Almost in Elvis fan club published a new Dutch fictional book entitled 'Jaarringen van een Koning'. 

Synopsis: On 280 pages the book tells the story of adventurers, inventors, athletes, politicians, artists and even a dog. The story begins over the Pacific in 1935 and ends with the Wow! Signal in 1977. This era is also known as the reign of the king of rock 'n' roll, Elvis Aaron Presley. 

The singer is also followed from birth to his presumed death, from the possibility of destroying ourselves by pressing a button, the development of youth cultures, the emancipation of minorities to making visible the oldest light in our universe, the king was there. 

(Source: WikiPedia / The Times / Almost in Elvis)

March 25 - The King Returns, But a Bit later

Elvis Presley was set to return to the big screen April 22nd. this year with the classic 'That's The Way It Is' movie. But due to the impact of the Coronavirus the return was cancelled. The nationwide screening on the big screen has been rescheduled to August 13th 2020 in the UK.

(Source: Facebook)

March 24 - Heli and Elvis (One)

Released by the German Booy Verlag is the 212-page paperback 'Heli & Elvis' by Heli von Westrem. The book comes with 13 pictures and 21 fan-letters. 

From the publisher:
Heli von Westrem, born 1943, grew up in the fantastic world of stars and starlets. Her father owned a film production company in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin. 

Heli von Westrem was more than friends with Elvis Presley during his service as a G.I. in Germany. She falls in love with Elvis Presley and he falls in love with her. Stardom, Love, Rock 'N' Roll, an urge for freedom and the post-war period characterize Heli von Westrem's autobiography. 

She gives us an insight into her life at the time and share her version of all the legendary stories on Elvis Presley's time at the Goethestrasse 14, the Friedberger barracks, his trips to Paris and alleged kidnapping on the Johannisberg. 1960 Elvis left Bad Nauheim and their ways parted.


Danish Picture Disc

The Danish Memphis Mansion announced the release of a picture disc edition of the 'Danish Single Collection Vol. 2'. 

This edition will be released on Record Store Day, June 20, 2020.

Elvis One Releases

The Elvis One (import) label announced three new CD releases: 'Chicas !!! Chicas !!! Chicas !!!', 'From Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles, California Part 3' and 'Elvis Presley's 50's' in their 'Bootleg Series'. 

Details Chicas !!! Chicas !!! Chicas !!!:

 A collection of 43 tracks from the Hal Wallis' production "Girls! Girls! Girls!".
This CD contains the mono albums masters, unedited masters and outtakes, the Gilda Maiken recordings for the movie (taken from acetate) and 9 radio spots. A great new collection including some official previously unreleased recordings and for the first time on CD 9 hard to find promotional radio spots from the movie taken from the original promo record. Including a booklet with photos and recording information.

The Mono Album Masters:
I Don’t Want To - We’re Coming In Loaded - Thanks To The Rolling Sea - Where Do You Come From - Girls! Girls! Girls! - Return To Sender - Because Of Love - The Walls Have Ears - Song Of The Shrimp - A Boy Like Me, A Girl Like You - Earth Boy - I Don’t Wanna Be Tied - We’ll Be Together

Unedited Masters And Outtakes:
Return To Sender (Complete Master) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (Complete Master) - Thanks To The Rolling Sea (Record Version / Longer Fade Out) - Song Of The Shrimp (Complete Master) - Where Do You Come From (Master With Count-In) - We’ll Be Together (Master With Count-In) - Mama (By The Amigos - Take 9) - Mama (Stereo Album Master) - Plantation Rock (Take 20 - Instrumental) - The Walls Have Ears (Acetate - Overdubs For Movie Version) - Earth Boy (Acetate - Movie Version) - Earth Boy (Acetate - Movie Version, Overdub) - Dainty Little Moonbeams (End Title 1) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (End Title 2 / Finale) - Gong (Sound Recording)

The Gilda Maiken Recordings:
The Nearness Of You - Dissertation On The State Of Bliss (Love And Learn) - Never Let Me Go - Baby, Baby, Baby - Love Is A Lonely Thing

The 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' Radio Spots:
Girls! Girls! Girls! (#1) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (#2) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (#3) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (#4) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (#5) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (#6) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (#7) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (#8) - Girls! Girls! Girls! (#9)

Bonus Songs:
Where Do You Come From (Acetate - Alternate Master)

Details 'From Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles, California Part 3'
+ Soundstage Recordings

Part 3 in the 'From Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles, California + Soundstage Recordings' contains 25 Tracks including some great movie versions and outtakes. The movie versions with (film) score from 'G.I. Blues' will surprise you as well as the 3 great radio spots from 'Wild In The Country.'. These and some other tracks you can hear for the first time on CD! Including a booklet with photos and recording information.

Studio Outtakes and Movie Versions:
Stop, Look And Listen (Take 7) - Five Sleepy Heads (Movie Version) - Don’t Leave Me Now (Master With Count-In) - Score / Pocketful Of Rainbows (Movie Version) - Score / Frankfort Special (Movie Version) - Datin’ (Movie Version) - A Dog’s Life (Take 1) - Harum Holiday (Movie Version) - Harum Holiday (Reprise / End Title Track) - Am I Ready (Take 5 & 6) - Scratch My Back (Movie Version) - House Of Sand (Movie Master) - Could I Fall In Love (Harmony Vocal Overdub) - Tender Feeling (Vocal Overdub - Take 1) - Adam And Evil (Take 5 & 6) - He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad (Undubbed Movie Version) - Confidence (Vocal Repair - Movie Version)

Bonus Songs:
Suppose* (Backing Vocals With Choir) - "G. I. Blues" Film Score - "Blue Hawaii" Film Score - Do The Clam (Track) - Mean Woman Blues (Original Movie Version From Acetate)

Radio Spots:
Wild In The Country (#1) - Wild In The Country (#2) - Wild In The Country (#3)

Details 'Elvis Presley's 50s'

On this 33-track album you can hear for the first time on CD the unedited Elvis performances at The Milton Berle Show from April 3, 1956 and The Steve Allen Show from July 1, 1956, including the full introduction of these shows and the complete unedited Comedy Sketch - Range Roundup.

Also five unique Radio Spot Announcements for the movie 'King Creole' taken from the original and very hard to find promo disc from Paramount Pictures. And there’s more to enjoy, let's go back to the fifties!

Jailhouse Rock (Movie Opening Theme / Undubbed) - Loving You (Movie Opening Theme) - Loving You (End Title Theme) - Turtles, Berries, Gumbo / King Creole (Movie Opening Theme) - Crawfish (Original Album Version)

'King Creole' Radio Spot Announcements:
Regular (#1)* - Regular (#2)* - Regular (#3)* - Teenage Spot - Star Dramatic Spot (Scenes From Soundtrack)* - Shelia, I’m Gonna Play This Record For You” (Acetate)* - Intro / Don’t Be Cruel (Acetate - Original ‘56 Vinyl Recording)

03.04.1956 - "The Milton Berle Show":
Introduction (Show Opening) - Shake, Rattle And Roll (Show Opening) - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - Comedy Sketch / Blue Suede Shoes - Milton Berle Speaks (Show Closure)*

Radio Promo:
For Denver (08.04.1956) - For Oakland (03.06.1956)

01.07.1956 - "The Steve Allen Show":
Introduction (Show Opening)* - Announcement Before Commercial Break* - Dialogue With Steve Allen - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You - Dialogue With Steve Allen - Hound Dog - Comedy Sketch (Range Roundup)**

Promo For "Elvis At The Ed Sullivan Show":
Ed Sullivan Announces Elvis (15.07.1956) - Next Week Headliners (#1 - 02.09.1956) - Next Week Headliners (#2 - 21.10.1956)

Bonus:

1957 March Of Dimes (December 1956) - Radio Spot (Broadcast On 02.01.1957) - Open End Interview (Broadcast On 02.01.1957) - Radio Promo For "Pine Bluff" (23.02.1955)

* Previously Unreleased (On CD).
** Unedited / Previously Unreleased (On CD).

We're All In This Together


Graceland posted

These are unprecedented times, but we’re all in this together. As a sign of solidarity, Graceland Mansion will be lit red, white and blue nightly at sunset until we reopen to the public.


From our Graceland family to yours, we wish everyone around the world health and happiness. We look forward to welcoming you back at Graceland soon.

UPDATED: Graceland Temporary Closure due to COVID-19

In line with Federal and CDC guidance and with the absolute best interest of our Guests and Staff in mind, Graceland will be extending its closure through April 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary closure includes morning walk ups to Meditation Garden. We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed. Please continue to check this page and our social media for updates.

(Source: Elvis Club Berling / Booy Verlag / Elvis One / Graceland)

March 23 - FTD Releases Delayed

Due to the coronavirus outbreak the Follow That Dream collectors label postponed the upcoming releases 'Elvis: St. Louis / Spokane" and 'The Kid Galahad Sessions' to at least the second week of April. 

Message from FTD to the dealers

Firstly, we sincerely hope that your good-self, your family and friends are  all safe in this most difficult of times. Despite the serious implication of the Coronavirus, it seems Elvis can provide some  much needed sanity for many of us while confined to our homes.  
We are currently waiting to discover what release date we can confirm for our next releases, St. Louis and Kid Galahad. This will obviously depend on what facility Impulse and DSV can offer with  reduced and restricted personnel.

We will update when possible but nothing can and will ship until 2nd week of April if at all possible.  No recent orders sent will be processed before the new release ships.
  
Best wishes
Roger and Ernst

42 Years

Elvis lived 15,561 days. Today on March 23rd, 2020, Elvis Presley will have been gone the same number of days. That's exactly 42 years, 7 months and 8 days. So from today, March 23rd on, he will have been gone longer than he was with us. 

Felling Better

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson ‘feel better’ two weeks after first coronavirus symptoms. The two stars tested positive for the novel coronavirus while in Australia and were self-quarantined after they were released from a hospital.
Hanks tweeted late Sunday: “Two weeks after our first symptoms and we feel better.”

He also reminded people of the importance of sheltering in place during the pandemic: “You don’t give it to anyone – You don’t get it from anyone. Common sense, no?” Tom Hanks

Hanks was in Australia for pre-production work on a film about Elvis Presley.

He’s set to play Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, in the film. Production on the project has been suspended.

(Source: UEPS / Tom Hanks)

March 21 - Charts March 2020 - Week 3

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. Again a pretty steady week on the charts. On the U.K. Music DVD chart Elvis is still doing well with four titles on the chart.

US Billboard charts:

  • US Billboard Top 200 chart: “”The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #150 to #163. 
  • US Billboard Catalog Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #47 to #50. 
  • US Billboard Top Christian Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” dropped from #44 to #48.
  • US Billboard Top Rock. Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” dropped from #24 to #25.
  • US Billboard Top Country Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” dropped from #13 to #15.
UK charts:
  • Official UK Album Top 100 chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” climbed from #96 to #91.
  • Official UK Streaming Album Top 100 chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” climbed from #71 to #69.
  • Official UK Christian and Gospel Album chart: 'Lovin' Elvis' dropped from #14 to #16.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: “The Elvis Collection” climbed from #44 to #33.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: “Elvis Lives - Live From Memphis” re-entry #35.
  • Official Uk Music DVD chart: “Elvis The Searcher” dropped from #28 to #48.
  • Official Uk Music DVD chart: “Aloha from Hawaii” dropped from #36 to #49.
(Source: UK Mix / Official Chart Company / Billboard)

March 21 - Review 40 Greatest!

The “40 Greatest!” is kind of a legendary album for various reasons. Is this bootleg re-issue too? 

The History Of The Original Album(s)

The “40 Greatest!” was originally released (on Arcade) in 1974 and UK's biggest-selling album over the Christmas period of that year, but it was ineligible for the UK Albums Chart until 1975 because the chart company felt that heavy TV advertising and low pricing distorted the charts. It finally reached number one on the UK Albums Chart in 1977, and became the 10th best-selling album of the 1970s in the UK.

The 1978 re-release, was released simultaneously on black vinyl and a more expensive pink vinyl edition. The pink vinyl sold a stagger 250.000 copies more than the black vinyl. It is in fact one of the best-selling Elvis compilation albums of all time.

This set comes with the tracks from the 1981 "I Was The One" overdub LP as bonus material. 

The press release claims that, despite the success, the albums were never released on CD. The 1974 edition of the "40 Greatest!" was bootlegged in 2011, the 1978 edition is now available on silver discs too. The “I Was The One” album was first released / bootlegged on CD in 2007 and again in 2011. 

The Design 

The original 1974 edition of this album was released with a brown cover and a doctored image of Elvis. The 1978 re-issue came as a top-opening gatefold sleeve, again with a doctored - better looking though - image of Elvis on both black and pink vinyl. 

The cover follows the 1978 re-issue but the six-panel digipack doesn’t follow the top-opening of its original. That’s a pity because with a digipack that’s easily done. The design is pretty simple: on the outside a copy of the 1978 edition mixed inside with the cover art for the “I Was The One” album and an original advertisement for the album
. The bonus tracks on this set come from the latter. The printing on the silver discs looks very home-made while the digipack looks good. 

The Content

The content isn’t that bad, we’re talking 56 of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits from the fifties until 1970 with “There Goes My Everything”. The selection of songs could be limited due to the buyout agreement The Colonel made with RCA, terminating all previous agreements between the musician and the record company. The set contains many of my favorites, the only minor is that the later years aren’t covered while our man recorded some great songs right until the title-track of his last “Moody Blue” album. 

The addition of the sixteen bonus-tracks is nice, the 1983 “I Was The One” album features overdubbed live and studio recordings from the 1950s and early 1960s - never before released officially on CD - covering Elvis’ rise to fame. 

These bonus tracks are different from the original 40 greatest hits as they are stereo overdubs grafted on to 1950s mono sources with the exception of the 1961 stereo version of “Little Sister”. These overdubs, featuring some of Elvis Presley’s original musicians, were RCA's answer to the "Stray Cats" who brought the Rockabilly music back to the pop charts, at the time. These versions - just like the ones released on the 1981 “Guitar Man” album 

It works for me on “Don’t”, but not on the title track “I Was The One” or the great “Baby I Don’t Care”, not only does the new music fit to the song, it doesn’t match with the old recording, Elvis voice sounds like an echo buried deep in the music. Touching great originals like this will always be a debate among fans, but this new sound doesn’t really mix with the 40 original hits on this set. 

The Conclusion

For many fans this album, and compilations like this or the “Forever Series” were their introduction to Elvis Presley and the start of a great hobby. Mainstream as these compilations may be, they help to spread Elvis Presley’s music and thereby hold some sentimental value for many fans. 

There are several conclusions possible. One is that this CD is a simple rip-off made for a quick buck. Another conclusion is that this CD is a nice trip down memory-lane, back to your first Elvis album. 

March 20 - Vinyl Art From EP Boulevard

The Wagram / Indigo label released a picture disc in their new “Vinyl Art - The Premium Picture Disc Collection” series.  

Side A: That's All Right / Blue Moon / Blue Suede Shoes / Love Me / When My Blue Moon Turn's To Gold Again / Loving You / Mean Woman Blues / Crawfish / King Creole.

Side B: It's Now Or Never / Fever / Pocketful Of Rainbows / I Believe In The Man In The Sky / Jailhouse Rock / One Night / Surrender / Can't Help Falling In Love.

From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee

Friday Music re-issued the “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee”. This re-issue comes on 180 Gram burgundy colored audiophile vinyl, housed a gatefold cover which includes the original 1976 artwork elements and a rare picture sleeve art in the inside gatefold is included for a limited time. F

Product description:
Throughout the 1970?s, Elvis Presley would release many fantastic hit albums, smash singles and movies. Ever proving that he was indeed on top of his game, The King of Rock & Roll delivered to his fans one of his finest albums yet “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee”. Featuring a treasure trove of his most familiar hit singles like his huge worldwide smash hit “Hurt” and the great Neil Sedaka composition “Solitaire”, “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee” went on to achieve gold status and beyond, while becoming one of his last studio albums that he would record before his untimely passing. It also went #1 in the country charts, and achieved numerous chart placings in the various Top 40, Adult Contemporary and Country charts …plus a ton of airplay! 

Thanks to more smashes like “If You Talk In Your Sleep”, “Songman” and his landmark soul crooner “Help Me”, this collection of Elvis Presley’s recordings were just what the fans were screaming for, as the entire album was built around the framework of his rocking trademark Memphis sound. Stellar balladry abounds as well with his classic rendition of his good friend Tom Jones’ hit “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” and the beautiful Roger Whitaker standard “The Last Farewell.” 

The 1976 album was truly a continuing story of success for The King proving once again that his career was unlike any other in music history. In honor of the Man, the Music, the Legend, the King Of Rock And Roll, Friday Music is very pleased to announce the limited Anniversary Edition 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl release of the RCA Victor classic “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee”. The LP is mastered impeccably by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios and manufactured for a very limited time on beautiful burgundy Vinyl at R.T.I.

To further enhance your Elvis Presley listening experience, we are including a striking gatefold artwork presentation, which includes the original 1976 artwork elements and rare picture sleeve art in the inside gatefold is included for a limited time. Let’s celebrate with The King Of Rock & Roll this year with his classic album “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee” First time 180 Gram Burgundy Audiophile Vinyl …Exclusively from your friends at Friday Music!

Tracks:
Side A: Hurt / Never Again / Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain / Danny Boy / The Last Farewell
Side B: For the Heart / Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall / Solitaire / Love Coming Down / I'll Never Fall in Love Again.

Platinum Award

Elvis Presley was awarded a Platinum Award for the single 'Can't Help Falling In Love' by the British Phonographic Industry (B.P.I.). The single, released January 20, 2005, sold over  600,000 copies sold (streams plus digital downloads plus physical sales).

      

Gotta Have Elvis

Gotta have Rock and Roll auctions organized the “The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction March 2020”. It features several Elvis Presley items. Guitars used in the movies “Girls! Girls! Girls!” And “Viva Las Vegas”, clothing from the movie “Stay Away, Joe” and personal clothing, jewelry, microphones, rare (promotional) records and more. 

Elvis Biopic Postponed

The Australian director tweeted that now is "not the moment to be resuming production on the film" after star Tom Hanks tested positive for COVID-19.


Production on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic in Australia has been suspended indefinitely after the Warner Bros. project was hit by star Tom Hanks' positive test for the coronavirus last week. In a statement posted to his personal Twitter account, Luhrmann confirmed that the project had been halted and that now "is not the moment to be resuming production on the film.


Graceland Update on COVID-19

Graceland announced that it will be temporarily closed beginning March 21 through April 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In line with Federal and CDC guidance and with the absolute best interest of our Guests and Staff in mind, Graceland will be temporarily closed beginning March 21 through April 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will vigilantly monitor the situation and remain in regular contact with the appropriate officials and health experts. Please continue to check this page and our social media for updates.


Graceland tour tickets for March 21 to April 3, 2020 will be automatically extended to use any date within one year of the original tour date. 

Elvis' Return to the Big Screen Cancelled

The Kings critically acclaimed Concert Rockumentary, 'Elvis: That's The Way It Is' which was set to be re-screened on cinemas around the World on April 22nd has now been cancelled due to the closing of Cinemas Worldwide thanks to Coronavirus.

(Source: Amazon / UEPS / Gotta have Rock and Roll / Graceland / Billboard / Elvis Express / Elvis Phoenix Forum)


March 19 - FTD Delayed?

The Follow That Dream collectors label is considering postponing the next CD release to a later date due to the impact of the coronavirus on society in general and more specifically on the distribution center in Denmark where currently just two men are taking care of business. 

The upcoming titles are the 7 inch set "The Kid Galahad Sessions" featuring many remixed and remastered unreleased studio outtakes and the 5 inch double CD set "Elvis: St. Louis / Spokane" featuring Elvis Presley at the Kiel Auditorium on March 22nd and The Coliseum on April 27th 1976.

(Source: UEPS / Roger Semon)

March 18 - Review Southbound LP Re-issue

The 1998 Diamond Anniversary Edition bootleg CD “Southbound” featuring August 31 1976 08:30 PM show from Macon, Georgia has been re-issued on LP. Is it worth getting it (once more)?

By Kees Mouwen and Oven Egeland

Design

This re-issue was done by other people than the original 1998 CD release. They came up with a completely new design, but following the basic layout of the original with a headshot of Elvis and a stage shot with the band. Although I like the new photo’s better, I would have preferred it if the designer had stuck to the original layout of the cover. Without the two horizontal lines it looks a bit empty, especially on the 12 inch LP cover. 

Inside just the basic information on the musicians and recording-dates for the main concert and bonus tracks. Illustrated with two shots of our man, but he looks bloated and the Blue Egyptian Bird jumpsuit and shirt don’t help either. The best photo is the profile picture on the front, a good choice. 

This release marks the vinyl debut of this concert on a double vinyl set available in red and blue colored vinyl housed in a glossy double gatefold sleeve. The set comes an additional CD containing the concert and bonus tracks. According to the press release the show was remastered for this release and “updated in the best way possible!”. 


Content

The LP features the August 31 1976 08:30 PM show from Macon, Georgia with “Trying To Get To you” and the first ever live version of “Hurt”, recorded March 17th 1976 at Freedom hall Johnson City, Tennessee as additional bonus tracks. 

Although our man had a crowd of 10,200 fans to entertain he did not really step up to the challenge. The producers were honest about that in their press release: 

“The 7th tour of 1976 is not known as being the best tour in Elvis' career. During this particular show Elvis appeared demotivated. He was definitely struggling to get to the end of this engagement. Most likely the crowd never even noticed this as they go wild like always as Elvis delivered a mediocre performance. Still, it’s a part of Elvis’ career that deserves a release on vinyl”. 

Oven Egeland reviewed it spot-on 22 years ago:

The concert itself is very weak. The book from Stein Erik Skar, “The Concert Years”, tells us that this show was better than the one he performed in Tuscaloosa the day before. This last is featured on “Old Times They Are Not Forgotten”. Well, he is wrong here. In Tuscaloosa Elvis was very steady in his voice. This made him capable of doing very strong versions of “Love Letters”, “Hurt”, “America” and even “Jailhouse Rock”. Not a single song is performed perfect here in Macon. The best being “Blue Christmas”, I think. Elvis really knew how to perform this Christmas song, no matter what time of year it was. 

This concert in Macon reminds a bit of Elvis' concert in Hampton Roads on August 1st, featured on “Bicentennial Elvis Experience”. However, it is not quite as weak as this one. Still it displays Elvis' habit of doing a good show one day and then a bad one the next day. The year 1976 proved this boring fact more than other periods, I think. 

It is fun, however, to hear Elvis respond promptly to requests from the audience. You can hear a man ask Elvis to play the guitar and sing “That's Alright, Mama”. When Elvis decide to do so, this man says "Thank You, Elvis", to which Elvis simply answers "sure!". 

Tagged at the end are two bonus songs. These come from Johnson City, March 17 1976. First out is “Trying To Get To You”, a nice version. Before this, Elvis tells the audience that he wants to do a song they just did recently (!!). Elvis started out singing this song in 1974, that being over two years earlier. Next up is the first live version of “Hurt”. Unlike Elvis, this first version is not good. He often did some great first-versions, but not this time. The sound on these two tracks are brilliant, much better than the sound on “Holding Back The Years” from Cincinnati 4 days later. 

Conclusion

This release is for completists only of those. It is good to hold a real double LP in your hands and the colored vinyl adds to the fun, but basically the package is the only change to the original release in 1998. 

This release survives because of good mixing, a trademark of the original Luxor label and probably simply copied one-on-one for this outing, and an overall good sound quality. You won't be extremely disappointed if you buy it, but you will easily stay alive without it! 

Part of this review was originally published on Oven Egeland's >>> Elvis In Norway website. Be sure to visit it.

March 17 - Elvis Places and Events Shutting Down

Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) tourist attractions are closing down. 

From the famous SUN Studio:  
Sun Studio is closing temporarily to help keep everyone safe and healthy. We hope to be back up and running soon and hope you will plan to come back and see us!’

From the Elvis Presley Birthplace:  
For the safety of our community and our visitors, the Elvis Presley Birthplace is currently closed. We will continue to follow the COVID-19 situation. Updates will be shared on our website, on our Facebook page, and through our e-newsletter. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Thank you, and stay safe.
We look forward to seeing you in the near future.
The Elvis Presley Birthplace

Graceland is still open for tours:

As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of Graceland guests, staff and the larger community, we are carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and are in contact with city leaders and local health agencies for information and guidance.

While some concerts and events have been rescheduled, Elvis Presley’s Graceland and The Guest House at Graceland Hotel will continue to welcome guests as usual, while continuing to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies. Graceland has always had high standards of cleanliness, which assists with illness prevention, and we will remain proactive around all areas of the Graceland campus.

ELVIS Biopic Delayed By Only Two Weeks 

According to Film Australia Tom Hanks remains the only person involved in the Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic to have contracted (COVID-19) Coronavirus.
A representative stated, "We have delayed our start date by approximately two weeks to allow for their full recovery." Production should re-start in early April.
"We are aware of only the one case of the coronavirus amongst cast and crew and additionally the cast member's wife Rita Wilson.

Director Baz Luhrmann and his family remain in the standard 14-day isolation in a house on the Gold Coast.

Nashville Elvis Festival 2020 Cancelled

The Producers of Nashville Elvis Festival have wisely decided to cancel this year's festival. 

"The safety and security of our audiences, talent, and staff is our top priority, so with heavy hearts we have regretfully decided to cancel the 4th annual Nashville Elvis Festival. We do so in an abundance of caution and in cooperation with President Trump's national emergency declaration earlier this week. ... The need to cancel was not an easy decision, as it impacts many people throughout the Nashville community and Elvis family, including our dedicated staff, performers, partners and many more. ... However, in these most difficult of times, we must keep our entire community safe.

We hope to see you next year for the 5th (almost) annual Nashville Elvis Festival. Save the date: March 11-14, 2021."

(Source: sun Studio Memphis / Graceland / ElvisMatters / Elvis Information Network / Film Australia)

March 15 - Review Elvis Presley at the Hayride

Hot on the heels of "The Danish Singles Collection Volumes 1 and 2" LPs the Memphis Mansion Record label released the LP “Elvis Presley at the Louisiana Hayride 1954 - 1956”. Is it just another “Hayride” compilation or does it offer more for fans? 

Design

This LP is the 3rd offering from the recently created 'Memphis Mansion' record label and the first release of 2020. The LP - ten inch in size - comes in two limited editions: turquoise vinyl with a pink label (100 copies) and pink vinyl with a blue label (300 copies). 

Both housed in a sturdy sleeve with a colorful design by Søren Karstensen that reminds me of the Memphis Recording Service releases “The Beginning of Elvis Presley” and “The Rise of Elvis Presley”.

Content

The liner notes by Anthony Stuchbury summarize the content nicely, a compilation that highlights the rarest of Elvis Presley's Hayride performances, all sandwiched between his first and last appearances on this legendary radio show. 

Side A opens with Elvis' debut performance and side B ends with his final ever performance. Together these recordings illustrate the early days of our man and his rise to fame. It starts with Elvis Presley, SUN’s new kid on the (country) block and ends with Elvis Presley as RCA’s Atomic Powered Singer. 

These recordings were never intended for a commercial release, the concerts were initially recorded as proof for the programs sponsors that their commercials were broadcasted over the airwaves during the shows. It is almost a miracle that they survived. 

I’m no real fan of these early recordings due to the poor quality of most recordings but on this release they sound really fresh. The audio has been remastered and you can hear it. It has more punch, less hiss than previous outings - just compare “Little Mama” on this album with the ‘original’ version on the “A Boy From Tupelo”. Also a little jump on “Little Mama” - sourced from a broken acetate - has been corrected.  This version may become the “go-to version” of this track for me. 

Conclusion

“Elvis Presley At The Hayride Live 1954-1956” paints a colorful - literally with the shiny vinyl colors - and enjoyable picture of Elvis Presley on the Louisiana Hayride. Both audio-wise and in the selection of songs. A strong compilation, starting with his first local hit “That’s All Right Mama” and closing with his global smash hit “Hound Dog”. 

Available at the >>> Memphis Mansion website.

March 14 - Charts March 2020 - Week 2

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. Elvis is moving up a bit on all charts and makes some interesting re-entries on the UK Music DVD chart.

US Billboard charts:

  • US Billboard Top 200 chart: “”The Essential Elvis Presley” climbed from #162 to #150.
  • US Billboard Catalog Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” re-entry #47.
  • US Billboard Top Christian Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” climbed from #47 to #44.
  • US Billboard Top Country Album chart: “The Essential Elvis Presley” remained steady at #13.
  • US Billboard Top Rock. Album chart: “Elvis: Ultimate Gospel” climbed from #25 to #24.
UK charts:
  • Official UK Album chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” climbed from #99 to #96.
  • Official UK Streaming Album chart: “The 50 Greatest Hits” climbed from #74 to #71.
  • Official UK Christian and Gospel Albums chart: "Lovin' Elvis" re-entry at #14.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: “Elvis The Searcher” re-entry at #28.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: “'68 Comeback Special Special” climbed from #49 to #32.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: “Aloha From Hawaii” re-entry at #36.
  • Official UK Music DVD chart: “The Elvis Collection” re-entry #44.
(Source: UK Mix / Billboard / Official Chart Company)