December 30 - The Best News Stories Of 2012 Part 2

Halfway through the year Troy Yeary, author of The Mystery Train Blog, and I compiled two articles with the best news stories of 2012 till then. 

Elvis Day By Day: The best newsstories 2012 Pt. 1
Mystery Train: The best newsstories 2012 Pt. 1

Now, on the verge of 2013, it is time to finish the article with the best news stories from the last six months. Let’s pick it up where we left off.

July 28: The Holy Grail

One of the best news stories of 2012 was of course the announcement of the release of “The Boy From Tupelo” by Ernst Jorgensen. July gave us the track listing and confirmation a new song entitled “Little Mama” and several new live performances of songs we only knew from studio recordings.  Three days later the box was released. Funny to see how all details were kept a secret, especially in this day and age when nothing appears to be safe. 

July 13: A Miracle

Miracles do exist; on July 13th news broke that YouTube user 'amberola1b' posted a previously unreleased Elvis Presley live recording of “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” from the Louisiana Hayride from October 1, 1955. How funny it is that after ten years of work Ernst Jorgensen finally announced the release of his body of work that a new recording surfaces. News went through the Elvis world like a wildfire. 

The song was recorded on an early Silvertone "wire" recording machine. We initially hear Buzz Busby and the Bayou Boys before Horace Logan introduces Elvis, Scotty and Bill and their "modern-day type" new single, 'I Forgot To Remember To Forget'. 
The reaction from Ernst Jorgensen: "Wow – it’s unbelievably beautiful. I’m still trying to recover from the shock, Ernst"
The audio quality of the posting was very good, especially considering that it was a video recording of an antique Silvertone “wire” recording machine. It almost sounded better than the new concert we got from Ernst Jorgensen on the “A Boy From Tupelo” set. The discovery showed that miracles can still happen, who knows what is still out there … ready to be discovered. Especially because you could listen to the newly discovered song made this one of the highlights of the year for me. I enjoyed being an Elvis fan again.

Sad was that Elvis Presley Enterprises didn’t appear to be interested in this news, I mailed them several times but got no other answer than “Thank you for sending your email concerning a new live recording of Elvis. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the new recording besides the link that you shared with me in your prior email. When looking for information concerning things such as this it would be best to contact Needless to say EPE never mentioned the newly discovered recording …

One day after the song appeared on-line, the owner discovered what he put on line and threatened all those linking to his video with copyright violations … Fortunately the song was bootlegged by various fan clubs and appeared on a handful of CDs so fans could enjoy this recording. An official release, apart from the “Greatest live Hits Of The 50’s” on the U.K. based Memphis Recording Service (which I expect to have used the YouTube audio) still has to see the light. 

July 6: Graceland Through The Years 1957-1977

The Boxcar Enterprises released their first book, 'Graceland Through The Years 1957-1977'. The first edition of the book, a limited edition of 2000 copies, was sold out immediately. I enjoyed reading this book very much, brought back a lot of memories of walking through the famous mansion in 2001. I still can’t believe that a book like this can be produced by a former bootlegger and EPE, sitting on a wealth of original information and memorabilia, can’t come up with a book like this; 450 pages with over 1000 photos, many never before published ... The same goes for “The Elvis Files” series, I expected EPE to publish this anthology of Elvis Presley’s live.

July 3: A Bootleggers Treasure 

Talking about bootleggers, the book “Bootleg Elvis” was released. Besides the Graceland and Tupelo books this release marks another essential book release. It documents all the vinyl bootleg releases (known to the authors) with additional background information from the original bootleggers themselves. It is not the kind of book you sit-down and read, but an essential reference and fun book to browse through every now and then. Always fun to look up the vinyl in your own collection (no I found no hidden treasure …). When will the follow-up on all bootleg CDs appear?

August 1: The Holy Grail From Another Planet

August 1, 2012 marks the release of the “Boy From Tupelo” book; an essential release for any fan who wants to now everything from the early years of Elvis Presley’s career in music. I’m still reading it and will be for some time. Thank you, thank you very much Ernst! 

Sony Legacy also spread the news on the “Prince From Another Planet” double CD / DVD set containing Elvis Presley’s legendary concert performances from Madison Square Garden. Three versions were released; one on vinyl, one double CD and one double CD with an additional DVD containing the only footage available, shot from the audience. The original album was also re-issued on vinyl by Music On Vinyl. One would expect that the CDs would be the same but somehow Sony chose that the different CD-sets would contain different remixes / remastered versions of the concerts and why not both concerts were remastered for this “definitive” release ... also, the footage on the DVD doesn’t cover the entire concert. Sony chose to show a black screen while the audio continues … why not create a mini concert with the footage available?!? 

September 18: Sheila Ryan Died

This year quite a few people from the Elvis world died this year. Some more iconic that the other, but all in some way linked to our man. Bernard Lansky who dressed him in the early days; friends like Patti Parry and Lance Legault, people he worked with professionally, or admired, like Tony Curtis, musicians, directors and concertpromotors. But one girl stood out from the rest, his last girlfriend Sheila Ryan. She passed away at the age of 59 after a battle with cancer. After Elvis and Linda Thompson broke up, he dated Sheila Ryan for a while in 1974. Elvis and Sheila met each other in Las Vegas. Elvis performed 'And I Love You So' many times during his concerts and dedicated it to Sheila. 

October 23: Hits From The Seventies

The Follow That Dream Collectors label released the “Hits Of the 70’s” compilation. Is it a very important release? I guess not, but it does mark a new direction for the collector’s label. Could it be the bottom of the barrel is finally in sight after 100+ FTD releases? 

The CD itself got mixed reactions and reviews, mainly because it did not contain any previously unreleased material. For me personally that’s no problem, the music on this compilation is very good and I enjoyed listening to it very much. Releases like this bring back memories of discovering Elvis Presley when I was young. 

November 28: Elvis Inducted into Memphis Music Hall of Fame

Elvis Presley, among other Memphis music greats, were inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame during a musical tribute held at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis. 
Memphis is often known as the cradle for legendary musicians in blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll. Until today there was no Hall Of Fame, which was new to me. Walking around Memphis and enjoying all the different links to many kinds of music this had escaped me. 

Elvis Presley has been inducted in almost any Hall Of Fame, but not in his hometown. This was corrected in an event sponsored by the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum. The ceremony consisted of 25 inductees who maintained strong ties to the Memphis community and were pioneers in the music industry. Other Memphians honoured were Sun Studio founder Sam Phillips, DJ Dewey Phillips, blues legends B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, and Isaac Hayes, among many others. 
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Priscilla Presley accepted on behalf of Elvis and noted that Elvis' musical influences included several of his fellow inductees. "I know he would be humbled and pleased to be included in standing with them tonight at this inaugural event," said Priscilla in a video message presented during the ceremony. 

November 5: Back In Memphis

The Follow That Dream label announced the release of “Back In Memphis” in their Classic Album” series. This is one of my all-time favourite albums with great recordings like “Inherit the Wind”, “Stranger in My Own Hometown” and of course the fan-favourite “Suspicious Minds” which was added as a bonus track. The additional alternate takes of these and other songs from the original album never sounded so good. 

November 26: Elvis Files Vol.1 '53-'56

Erik Lorentzen shared a preview of the first volume of his “The Elvis Files” anthology. This volume contains the years 1953 - 1956. These years turned the boy into a man and finally The King of Rock And Roll. If I think of our man images from this era come to mind. For me this is what embodies Elvis. Two volumes are still shrink-wrapped, and will probably be after I receive this volume. The first volume chronicles Elvis' rise from his pre SUN discovery to becoming the world's biggest new sensation - over more than 500 pages and 1,200 photos. Featuring all Elvis events from 1953-1956, every working moment, the early tours, the first Las Vegas trip, recording sessions, the TV shows and lots of unseen and unpublished images (according to the press-release). Originally announced for release December 2012 it will be available early 2013. 

December 21: Aloha From Hawaii – 40th Anniversary Edition

The year closes with a bang! Boxcar Enterprises announced that, in association JAT Publishing, will release a 40th Year Anniversary special book, in celebration of Elvis’ iconic "Aloha from Hawaii" titled, "Elvis – Aloha via Satellite" in February 2013.

This massive most comprehensive 450-page volume is packaged and housed the same as Boxcar’s previous outing of “Elvis Presley’s Graceland through the Years” released earlier this year. The book comprises of hundreds upon hundreds of photographs many of which have never before been seen.  Also collected here exclusively are scores of historical memorabilia and the Colonels original internal documents and scripts. According to the press release this is intended to create a time-travel experience of sorts documenting the most groundbreaking event in the annals of television history.
Unfortunately Ernst Jorgensen and Joseph Pirzada, are not on speaking terms (to put it mildly). In the spirit of Christmas it would be great of these two could come to some kind of peace and combine their efforts. That would give us fans some real great threats! 

2012 Wrap-up

So this wraps up 2012. Was it a good year? Browsing through the 290 posts I did on my ElvisDayByDay Blog I can only say it was. On only 75 days I didn’t find anything interesting to post. After years with only a few outstanding releases 2012 raised the bar on CD and book releases and vinyl made a come-back. 

I didn’t get much of the 35th anniversary celebrations, but we got “A Boy From Tupelo”, for many fans a “holy grail”, we got a lot of vinyl which appears to have made a permanent come-back, we got the “Prince From Another Planet”, a newly discovered recording of “I Forgot To Remember to Forget” that showed us that “miracles” still exist and many many import releases and a series of great book releases. While a few years ago we thought the well had run dry, I believe we may still get a few surprises in the years to come. See you around next year!

Over to you Troy, to wrap up 2012.

Kees / December 2012