Happy New Year!

Wishing each and evey one of you and your family health, happiness, and prosperity in the new year!




December 29 - (Almost) The King of Calendars

Sir Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley have beaten young hunks to be 2022’s most-wanted dates as they claimed the first and second spots in the U.K. music calendar sales chart. 

The veterans pipped ex-One Direction Harry Styles, Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue and her younger female counterparts like Little Mix in sixth and Taylor Swift.

(Source: The Sun)













December 27 - Waterdamage at Graceland

The lounge area of the Racquetball Building at Graceland has sadly flooded over the Christmas period with water seeping into the carpet. This has now been removed. The furniture did not suffer any damage.

All the furnishings were moved into the Court area of the building. 

(Source: Facebook / ElvisMatters)



December 26 - Elvis Hawaii 1973

The Stylus Groove record label announced the February 23, 2022 release of the 10-inch double LP 'Elvis - Hawaii 1973'. The first edition of the 2-LP comes on sky blue colored vinyl and is limited to 2000 copies.

Description

"A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It’s my favourite part of the business - live concerts." - Elvis Presley 

Elvis Presley died 16th August, 1977 at the age of 42. In his last years, his shows were lacklustre, a sad reminder of his previously outstanding talent. By contrast however, the show on this record is a moment of brilliance. This is the soundtrack of the satellite broadcast of his concert special from Hawaii on 14th January 1973. This was arguably his final moment of genius.

Featuring many classics from Presley’s catalogue, the 22 songs he performed included Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog and An American Trilogy. The broadcast was seen by approximately 1.3 billion people in 36 countries and remains a fan favorite that clearly demonstrates the abilities of the man they call ‘The King’ – Elvis Presley. 

Side A: 2001: A Space Odyssey / See See Rider / Burnin' Love / Something / You Gave Me A Mountain.

Side B: Steamroller Blues / My Way / Love Me / Johnny B. Goode / It's Over / Blue Suede Shoes / I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.

Side C: I Can't Stop Loving You / Hound Dog / What Now My Love / Fever / Welcome To My World / Suspicious Minds.

Side D: I'll Remember You / Long Tall Sally/Whole Lotta Shakin' / American Trilogy / Big Hunk O' Love / Can't Help Falling In Love.

Note: The reference to the "soundtrack of the satellite broadcast" is just a trick to come under the E.U. ruling, that puts radio and television broadcast material into the public domain, regardless of its age.

(Source: FECC / Stylus Groove)

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a Christmas that's merry and bright! I hope you have a safe and relaxing holiday season!







As Baz Lyhrman wrote on Instagram: "In these difficult times, it’s good to have a moment to share some TLC (tender loving care) and then next year’s all about TCB⚡️ Happy holidays!"



December 24 - Silver Single Award

The British Phonographic Industry awarded Elvis Presley a Silver Single Award for the 2004 re-issue of 'All Shook Up'. The single sold over 200,000 copies sold in streams, digital downloads and physical sales.

This marked his 9th! Single Award of 2021: 2 Golden Single Awards and 7 Silver Single Awards. 

(Source: B.P.I.)

December 24 - Charts December 2021 - Week 4

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. 'Elvis' Christmas Album' and his song 'Blue Christmas' remain strong sellers, re-entering the album and single charts around the world. Great news from Ireland where 'The Elvis Collection' DVD-set climbed to the top spot on the IRMA Music DVD Top 5.



Official U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'The Classic Christams Album' climbed from #78 to #68. 
  • Billboard Global Top 200 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #124 to #114.
  • Billboard Top 100 Recurrents chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-0entry #23.
  • Billboard Catalog Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album'  climbed from #26 to #25.
  • Billboard Top Country Albums chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #13 to #10. 
  • Billboard Top Country Album charts: 'The Essential Elvis Presley' re-entry at #47.
  • Billboard Country Streaming Songs: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #10 to #8. 
  • Billboard Top Rock Albums chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' remained steady at #7. 
  • Billboard Rock Digital Song chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #12 to #11. 
  • Billboard Top Christian Albums chart: 'Elvis: Ultimate Gospel' climbed from #50 to #42.
  • Billboard Holiday 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' remained steady at #41.
  • Billboard Holiday 100 chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)' dropped from #82 to #87.
  • Billboard Holiday Airplay chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #38 to #34.
  • Billboard Holiday Digital Song Sales chart: Blue Christmas' dropped from #44 to #47.
  • Billboard Top Holiday Album chart: 'The Classical Christmas Album' climbed from #20 to #19.
  • Billboard Holiday Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #46 to $45.
  • Billboard Classical Album chart: 'Elvis - Christmas with the RPO' dropped from #18 to #19.
  • Billboard Artist Top 100 chart: Elvis Presley remained steady at #52.

Billboard Canadian charts:

  • Billboard Canadian Album chart: "The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #48 to #44.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Single Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry #84.
  • Official Streaming Single Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #78 to #69. 
  • Official Americana Album chart: 'Elvis Back In Nashville' remained steady at #7.
  • Official Country Compilations chart: 'From Elvis In Nashville' dropped from #9 to #10.
  • Official Music DVD chart: 'Elvis: The Searcher' makes a re-entry at #33.

Official Irish IRMA charts:

  • Official Irish  Single Top 100: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry #95.
  • Official Irish Music DVD Top 5: 'The Elvis Collection' climbed from #4 to #1.

Official Dutch charts:

  • Dutch Single Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry #90.
  • Dutch Album Top 100 chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' climbed from #86 to #65.

Official Swedish charts:

  • Official Swedish Album Top 60 chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' climbed to #30.

Official Norwegian VG Top Lista charts:

  • Official Norwegian Album chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' re-entry at #34.
Croatian Top Lista charts:
  • Top Lista Album Top 40: 'Elvis Christmas Album' remained steady at #29.

(Source: Billboard / U.K. Mix Forum / Official Chart Company / VG Top Lista / Dutchcharts)

December 23 - Home Is ... Where You Celebrate Christmas

The Not Now Music label re-released their 12-track 'Christmas Greats' compilation, this time on 180 Gr. red colored vinyl.  

DescriptionIn the September of 1957, between the filming of Jailhouse Rock and King Creole, Elvis entered the studio to record a Christmas inspired LP that would become a template for all future recordings with heartfelt versions of Silent Night and O Little Town Of Bethlehem to bluesy readings of Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me and Blue Christmas. Complete with the Rock’n’Roll inspired Santa Claus Is Back In Town.


Home Is Where The Heart Is

The Danish Memphis Mansion announced the re-release of their 12-track 'Home Is Where The Heart Is' compilation. It should be available real soon.

The picture-disc comes housed in a new sleeve, featuring a mansion many fans would like to call "home". 

(Source: Facebook / Memphis Mansion)

December 22 - The Making of Jailhouse Rock Released

Although last week the news was that the Follow That Dream release 'The Making of Jailhouse Rock' was  delayed, the sets were dispatched to dealers around the world. Some luck fans already received their copies. 

The German Elvis Presley Gesellschaft posted an unboxing of this great looking set: 


From the press-release: David English and Pål Granlund bring you the ultimate backstory on how the MGM movie 'Jailhouse Rock' starring Elvis Presley and Judy Tyler was made. This ultimate collector's edition includes two hardback books, providing a fascinating and comprehensive insight from script to screen into the making of the film, 3 CDs and a single. 

The first book, titles 'The Making of Jailhouse Rock The Movie' is a 365-page deluxe hardback book featuring many newly discovered photographs, details of deleted scenes, pages from the script, shooting schedule, memos, contracts, and cast and crew memories. The second book, titled 'The Making of Jailhouse Rock The Music' is a book filled with 85 pages of photos, documents and detailed session information, including pages from a newly found MGM recording session log. 

Also included with this release are 3 CDs containing the entire recording sessions mixed for the first time, from the original binaural tapes to mono sequences in recording order. And officially released for the first time - the complete instrumental versions of '(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care', featuring Elvis on Bass Guitar. The 45rpm vinyl single is a special collectible, with a photo sleeve that recreates the Vince Everett single 'Treat Me Nice' as seen in the movie 'Jailhouse Rock'. 

Also released is the FTD double LP 'Elvis: Raised On Rock - I’ve Got Rhythm In My Soul'.

Publicity stated: The album contains masters, rough mixes and alternative versions of great songs recorded at Stax Studio in 1973 such as “Find Out What’s Happening”, “Just A Little Bit”, “For Ol’ Times Sake” and “If You Don’t Come Back”.  Also included are the instrumental tracks for “The Wonders You Perform”, “Sweet Angeline”,  “Color My Rainbow”, “Good, Bad But Beautiful, and the rehearsal take of “It’s Diff’rent Now”.


ELVIS: February 1970 Las Vegas International Hotel
Due for release from an unknown import label in January 2022 is the 7-CD set 'ELVIS: February 1970 Las Vegas International Hotel'. It features 12 concerts and Felton Jarvis' Rough Mix Album with some bonus songs. Nothing we haven't seen before.

CD 1: January 16, 1970 Opening Show (Mono):

CD 2: February 15, 1970 Midnight Show / February 16, 1970 Dinner Show

CD 3:: February 16, 1970 Midnight Show / February 17, 1970 Dinner Show / February 17, 1970 MS / February 18, 1970 Dinner Show

CD 4: February 18, Midnight Show / February 19, 1970 Dinner Show

CD 5: February 19, 1970 Midnight Show / February 18, 1970 Rehearsal / Bonus Songs

CD 6: The Felton Jarvis Rough Mix Album / Bonus Songs

CD 7: February 23, 1970 Closing Show




From Elvis in Memphis - UltraDisc One-Step Pressling

Although already announced in 2020, the Mobile Fidelity's UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM 2LP box edition of 'From Elvis In Memphis' should be available soon. The set, limited to 10,000 copies, comes with a hefty price-tag of 150 Euro / £150.00.

Publicity stated: 'From Elvis in Memphis' retains the distinction of being the most cohesive, passionate, mature, and emotionally invested record Elvis Presley ever made. Named one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone, the white-soul landmark features backing by “The “Memphis Boys” and teems with rhythm-heavy country, gospel, R&B, and blues. 
Lauded for its natural, open sonics, the 1969 set now comes across with remarkable clarity, presence, and warmth courtesy of a premium restoration befitting a king.


Mastered from the original master tapes, pressed on MoFi SuperVinyl at RTI, and strictly limited to 10,000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM 2LP box set of From Elvis in Memphis unearths the ravishing inner detail, sticky rhythms, and brilliant arrangements of Chips Moman's inspired production. In short, this unparalleled reissue unlocks the spirit and gestalt of the recording and takes you inside American Sound Studio. It also brings you up close and personal with Presley's singing – widely considered by many to represent the finest of his career – located dead-center amidst the instrumental hurricane. Equally impressive are the contributions of the aforementioned Boys, and how their Southern-brewed playing – a balance of leisure with swiftness, grandiosity with concision, freedom with control – dovetails with Presley's vernacular.

The lavish packaging and gorgeous presentation of the UD1S From Elvis in Memphis pressing befit its extremely select status. Housed in a deluxe box, it features special foil-stamped jackets and faithful-to-the-original graphics that illuminate the splendor of the recording. No expense has been spared. Aurally and visually, this UD1S reissue exists as a curatorial artifact meant to be preserved, pored over, touched, and examined. It is made for discerning listeners that prize sound quality and production, and who desire to fully immerse themselves in the art – and everything involved with the album, from the images to the finishes.

Sharing much in common with the full, rich, orchestrated Stax Records sound, From Elvis in Memphis oozes with choice nuances and distinctive flourishes that on this ultra-hi-fi edition not only arise with previously unheard transparency and sharpness, but complement and serve the whole. Take the specific tonalities and blending of violas, cellos, and horns that communicate mood and serve as counterpoints. Or lively performances of the backing quintet, and how the piano and Hammond organ trace the lines of the melodies and Presley's lead. Listen to the uplifting support provided by the cadre of backing vocalists (more than a dozen credited), unrivaled in Presley's canon and a precursor to the approach he'd soon adopt in Las Vegas.

Of course, From Elvis in Memphis precedes the icon's transition into his glitzy jumpsuit phase – and follows his merciful move away from the hoary soundtrack work that consumed nearly a decade of his creative life and prompted a rebirth that began in 1968. As the bridge between eras, the record seizes on Presley's rejuvenated attitude and commitment to quality, facets that drip from the fervency with which he delivers every word. For the same reasons, and for the fact it traces back to Presley's original roots and hip-shaking guise, the album further remains a cornerstone of American music history.

Writing about the work's 40th anniversary for Rolling Stone, James Hunter correctly observed: "From Elvis in Memphis represented the full-on immersion in the Memphis idea of Elvis Presley, the American singer second only to Frank Sinatra for the ability to conjure a particular sonic universe with his merest vocal utterance. And from the album's first song, in which a bluesy Elvis espies a woman 'Wearin' That Loved On Look,' to its last, in which a more straight-up-pop Elvis regrets the injustices of life 'In the Ghetto,' his fully engaged, newly energized voice finds its most logical album setting in years."

Incredibly, Presley and company completed more than two dozen cuts for From Elvis in Memphis. One, "Suspicious Minds," turned into the vocalist's final chart-topping single and lingers as one of his most beloved rock n' roll numbers. Even though it never formally appeared on the record, the non-album song is included here as a bonus track and attains newfound depth, energy, and swagger. Coupled with the other dozen tracks – including the sultry "Power of My Love," balladic take of Dallas Frazier's "True Love Travels on a Gravel Road," and driving cover of Hank Snow's I'm Moving On" – it makes for the finest Elvis listening experience available.

The tracks

Wearin' That Loved On Look
Only the Strong Survive
I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)
Long Black Limousine
It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'
I'm Movin' On
Power of My Love
Gentle on My Mind
After Loving You
True Love Travels on a Gravel Road
Any Day Now
In the Ghetto
Suspicious Minds


More About Mobile Fidelity UltraDisc One-Step 

Instead of utilizing the industry-standard three-step lacquer process, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's new UltraDisc One-Step (UD1S) uses only one step, bypassing two processes of generational loss. While three-step processing is designed for optimum yield and efficiency, UD1S is created for the ultimate in sound quality. Just as Mobile Fidelity pioneered the UHQR (Ultra High-Quality Record) with JVC in the 1980s, UD1S again represents another state-of-the-art advance in the record-manufacturing process. 

MFSL engineers begin with the original master tapes and meticulously cut a set of lacquers. These lacquers are used to create a very fragile, pristine UD1S stamper called a "convert." Delicate "converts" are then formed into the actual record stampers, producing a final product that literally and figuratively brings you closer to the music. 

By skipping the additional steps of pulling another positive and an additional negative, as done in the three-step process used in standard pressings, UD1S produces a final LP with the lowest noise floor possible today. The removal of the additional two steps of generational loss in the plating process reveals tremendous amounts of extra musical detail and dynamics, which are otherwise lost due to the standard copying process. 

The exclusive nature of these very limited pressings guarantees that every UD1S pressing serves as an immaculate replica of the lacquer sourced directly from the original master tape. Every conceivable aspect of vinyl production is optimized to produce the most perfect record album available today.

MoFi SuperVinyl

Developed by NEOTECH and RTI, MoFi SuperVinyl is the most exacting-to-specification vinyl compound ever devised. Analog lovers have never seen (or heard) anything like it. 

Extraordinarily expensive and extremely painstaking to produce, the special proprietary compound addresses two specific areas of improvement: noise floor reduction and enhanced groove definition. 

The vinyl composition features a new carbonless dye (hold the disc up to the light and see) and produces the world's quietest surfaces. This high-definition formula also allows for the creation of cleaner grooves that are indistinguishable from the original lacquer. MoFi SuperVinyl provides the closest approximation of what the label's engineers hear in the mastering lab.

(Source: Elvis Presley Gesellschaft Ev / Muru / North End Haarlem)

December 21 - The Elvis Video Year Review

Emiel Maier posted the latest Elvis News Report video, 2021 - The Elvis Year Review', wrapping up the main news of the year. 

If you missed any key episodes or any ELVIS news items from this last year then this round up will provide you with all the highlights. Main news is the up-coming Elvis BioPic, New Music releases, Elvis Auction results plus a trip around the Elvis World!






Review - Don’t Be Cruel, Elvis - The Bill Black Story

Elvis Presley’s success is built on the contributions from many people, all with a different background. Most of them - even those who may have met Elvis only briefly - have written their life’s story and thereby claiming their place “in history”. 

But one man had not received the credit he is more than due, Bill Black. 

And now, in 2021, Elvis biographer Paul F. Belard puts the record straight with his book ‘Don’t Be Cruel, Elvis – The Bill Black Story’.


Design

The book is a big 260 full-color paperback, printed on glossy paper. The modern design by Søren Karstensen has some vintage touches, using a touch of “silver-foil” on the pictures separating the chapters. 

The writing is not only insightful and knowledgeable, but Belard’s enthusiastic writing style really takes you by the hand. The book is written in short stories covering all persons and all events that tell the Bill Black Story. Sometimes he takes the perspective of an observing biographer and historian, describing what / when happened, he also uses dialogues, placing the reader in the situation at hand or quotes newspaper and interviews. Using these different ways of writing keeps you intrigued. Also funny to read some personal observations, thoughts and opinions from the author between the lines, showing his involvement.

Illustrated with known and unknown pictures of Bill Black and many other people that are part of his story, the book balances between a biography and a photobook. Like we know from previous books by Paul Belard he managed to find relevant pictures to illustrate the text. 

Added to that are many original newspaper and interview fragments, documents and other memorabilia. I especially enjoyed the private and on-the-road pictures, they reminded me of the great book ‘The Beat Behind The King’ by D.J. Fontana, that showed the same kind of pictures.  


Content

The book was written with the help of Bill Black’s family, who shared the family scrap-book - containing all kinds of material from Bill’s years with Elvis and with his own Bill Black Combo - with Henrik Knudsen, who published the book. 

A well-structured story line, sets the scene for the birth of Rock and Roll against the - still racially divided - Southern parts of the United States. Reading this story you learn that growing up in the poor parts of Memphis wasn’t always easy, but it formed the man that we now know so well. But life as a musician wasn’t that romantic either. It was hard work, low pay and a lot of shopping around in your network getting your song recorded and after that, released. Most of the musicians, studio’s, record labels and so on depended on that one song hitting the high regions of the charts for survival. 

Many of the names that come by in the book, from Billy Swan to Reggie Young to Stan Kesler to Joe Coughi to Chips Moman to Boots Randolph to … they all crossed paths with Elvis at some point of his career.  

The book can roughly be divided in two parts, the Elvis years and the Combo years. The split in the middle was caused by Elvis, who was “cruel” toward Bill Black and Scotty Moore when they rightfully asked for a pay raise, which resulted in the guys quitting their work for Elvis. In the background, both Elvis and his father probably have been played by the Colonel, trying to get complete control over his client and who he worked with. 

After quitting Elvis - just before the September 1957 Tupelo Fair concerts where these two didn’t appear, something that slipped by my attention - Bill and Scotty had to find new ways to make a living. Although the guys would work together later that year, with different, and for Scotty and Bill better, arrangements. 

I was surprised to read that that Elvis let them go so easily and apparently never invited the guys to Graceland or gave them any gifts where most of the members of the Memphis Mafia, Jordanaires, Imperials, Stamps, people in the audience or complete strangers, received everything from jewelry to cars and houses … And here we read that Elvis, Scotty and Bill parted ways over a couple of hundred dollar … 

As Belard observes, what if RCA had released Elvis’ first singles as “Elvis and The Blue Moon Boys”, similar to the billing of ‘The Jordanaires’ and other backing groups on Elvis’ later releases. Could that have been the basis for a longer cooperation with Elvis and perhaps a step-up for a serious recording career of both gents? 

Nice to read that when Bill walked through the doors of the Hi Records studio at 1320 South Lauderdale Street in the summer of 1959, he saved the studio and record label when he and his new combo recorded ‘Smokie Part2’. 

He created his own sound, based on an “old funky shuffle beat”, played by accident by Reggie Young. With that “goofy little instrumental” he and his combo had success in the US and abroad, topping the charts, touring the country and opening for the Beatle’s first appearances in the states. 

Looking back now it is interesting to see how he created success with Elvis “going wild” in the SUN studio and again with a slow rhythm and uncomplicated sound recorded for Hi Records. 

His music was enjoyed by young and old, abroad and especially in the United Kingdom, by sound-experts who used his recordings to demonstrate the quality of new High Fidelity stereo consoles, to visitors of strip joints across America watch “a chick taking her clothes off to a Bill Black record” according to combo-member Bob Tucker. 

When his health deteriorated, he did a step back from recording and performing. Under his name, the combo performed across the country. After he died in 1965, “his” combo continued to record until 1978, with several singles still hitting the charts in 1975 and 1976. 

His legacy and the name Bill Black, “Blackie” for friends, lived on. 

The last part of the book cover the afterlife, tracing his famous bass to Paul McCartney, an overview of some of his awards and the recognition as a performer on lists from Rolling Stone magazine, Guitar World and others, and of course his records and promotional material. 

Flexi-disc

A book about a great musician is not complete without a bit of music. As a bonus the book contains a flexi-disc with two versions of ‘Don’t Be Cruel’. One version by Elvis and one by the Bill Black combo with Black performing on both. 


Conclusion

When it was announced that Bill Black would be introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, his son Louis Black said: “I’m Thrilled, it’s been a long time coming”. The same lines could be used for this biography. 

With this well researched, well-written and nicely designed book, Bill Black gets the recognition he deserves. He left a musical legacy, not only in his contributions to the birth of Rock and Roll’, but also through the combo that carried his name, even after he was gone.  

If it hadn’t been for Bill, we would have bombed many times in the early days” – Scotty Moore.


The book is available from the >>> Memphis Mansion webshop. 


Henrik Knudsen discussed the book with Richard Crofts for his Elvis Workshop channel.

December 19 - More Delay

The release of the books 'The Airplanes & The King' by Carlos Varrenti and Virginia Coons memoirs '... And Then There Was Elvis' have been postponed from December 2021 to January 2022 due to the shortage of chemicals and inkt needed for the printer to print glossy paper.

You can pre-order both books on >>> The Elvis Files website.

Best Historic Holiday Home Tour

USA Today 10 Best published it's yearly 'Best Historic Holiday Home Tour' and voters placed Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion at the #1 spot for the fourth year.

The site commented: "You don’t have to love Elvis to spend an afternoon in his grand house," says 10Best contributor Melanie Reffes. "Make time to peruse the gift shop." Every year, more than 600,000 people go to Elvis Presley’s former estate in Memphis. The Christmas season at Graceland kicks off with a lighting ceremony mid-November, after which visitors can tour the home decorated for the season with traditional lights, a live-size nativity scene and Santa. Presley family Christmas artifacts are on display during this special time of year.

The Top 3 winners in the category Best Holiday Historic Home Tour are as follows:

  1. Graceland - Memphis
  2. The Stetson Mansion - Deland
  3. Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens - Akron

Not Sold Out Yet

The Pyramid import label announced new DVD releases and other projects in their "Christmas Update". 

Christmas message from the team that brought you the Sold Out DVD sets.  

Since it’s close to Christmas, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for our pleasant collaboration in the past year. It’s no exaggeration to say that the “Sold Out” series has changed the whole game. 12 releases in a year, and each release outselling the previous one. It’s unheard of in the Elvis world, and you are a big part in the success of this groundbreaking series.

While others are releasing the same tired old stuff again in different variations (vinyl in a gazillion colors, crappy fake stereo, etc), we on the other hand have presented the fans with something new and unreleased. We made large investments and obtained and released 8mm footage that most fans had never seen before: Uniondale ’75, Lake Tahoe ’73, Ashville and so much more… Many of us never even knew it existed, and now it’s out there for the fans to enjoy.  

A lot of work is done behind the scenes to present this footage the best way possible. We always respect the integrity and history of these remarkable films, and don’t make any changes to the footage that would not be true to what was originally filmed. We want the 'Sold Out' series to be the definitive reference work on Elvis 8mm footage. Each film is carefully restored, and it’s no exaggeration to say that each release amounts to about 70 – 80 hours of restoration work. Our focus is always on quality. That’s also why we’ve had many Elvis associates like Dave Hebler, Duke Bardwell and Jim Murray write liner notes for us. Who else does that?

Now that Covid is spreading like crazy again, I guess we all need some good news. And we do have some good news to share with you. We have just obtained a lot more unreleased 8mm footage, and believe us…. You will be blown away. Some of the footage none of us even knew existed… And, dare we say it: there are some real surprises. So look forward to more 'Sold Out' releases in the coming year, as well as other projects. It’s going to be a great year for the fans.
 
As always, the key words in our operation are quality, care and punctuality. We are aware of the fact that this has not always been the case in the Elvis world. We make the extra effort to ensure that our products are delivered on time. And we will continue to do so in the new year.

(Source: The Elvis Files / USA Today Best 10 / Facebook)

December 18 - Elvis 45 Sapphire Collection

Honoring the 45th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death on August 16, 2022, Graceland announced the release of the 'ELVIS 45: Sapphire Collection' with a US$600,00 price-tag.

Publicity stated: A must-have for any Elvis fan during this upcoming historic year! The collection offers tremendous Graceland value for fans and exclusive items for Elvis collectors! The' ELVIS 45: Sapphire Collection' includes an annual Graceland tour pass, limited-edition collectibles, an exclusive Elvis Week event, and more! 

The ELVIS 45: The Sapphire Collection is a truly unique offering, with only 500 being offered during this special time in history. The six Elvis 45 rpm records will be hand-numbered and authenticated with custom Sapphire Collection record jackets that will be only available via this offering. 

In addition, three of the records will be custom pressings, with a one-of-a-kind A/B side combination that is unavailable anywhere in the world! The collection also includes a swatch of Elvis’ personal wardrobe that was used as part of a 1971 bonus inside Elvis’ album Worldwide Gold Award Hits Vol. 2. The clothing swatches, enclosed in the original RCA Records envelopes, are currently housed inside the Graceland Archives, and will be pulled exclusively to be included as part of this anniversary collection.

All purchasers are invited to pick-up their 'ELVIS 45: Sapphire Collection' (carrying case, records, and other collectible items) during Elvis Week 2022 during an exclusive Conversations on Elvis event on August 16 open only to purchasers of this special collection. All purchasers who are unable to attend the event, will be able to opt to have their collections shipped to them following Elvis Week. 

The Graceland Annual Pass is digital and available for use starting January 1, 2022 – and throughout the duration of 2022.

The ELVIS 45: Sapphire Collection includes: 

  • 2022 Graceland Annual Tour Pass good for one Elvis Experience Tour per day January 1 – December 31, 2022 (valid from January 1, 2022).
  • Collectible ELVIS 45 Record Carrying Case
  • Six Elvis 45 RPM Records in Custom Collection Record Jackets, hand-numbered 1-500: 
    • Can’t Help Falling in Love / Rock-a-Hula Baby 45 RPM Record
    • Jailhouse Rock / Treat Me Nice 45 RPM Record 
    • Suspicious Minds / You'll Think of Me 45 RPM Record 
    • Memphis, Tennessee / That's All Right 45 RPM Record (custom pressing)
    • Blue Christmas / Merry Christmas Baby 45 RPM Record (custom pressing)
    • I'll Be Home for Christmas / Peace in the Valley 45 Record RPM (custom pressing)
  • Sapphire Blue 45 Adapter
  • Graceland 40th Anniversary Opening Day Poster, signed by EPE President and CEO Jack Soden, hand-numbered 1-500.
  • RCA Records Envelope featuring a Swatch of Elvis’ Personal Wardrobe; used in 1971 as a bonus inside Elvis’ album Worldwide Gold Award Hits Vol. 2; Direct from the Graceland Archives with a Certificate of Authenticity (swatches will vary by collections).
  • Exclusive Access to a Conversations on Elvis Event during Elvis Week 2022.

Please note: Full collection will not be available until August 16; but the Graceland Annual Pass can start being used January 1, 2022.


ELVIS 45' Record Giveaways

Graceland also announced 'Elvis 45' record giveaways. 

The publicity stated: Graceland will be giving out 1,000 special 'ELVIS 45 RPM Records' to visitors who tour Graceland on specific days in 2022.  

All records will feature an ELVIS 45 custom jacket and only be available by touring Graceland on these select dates. In addition, the record giveaways on September 24, November 17, and December 10 are custom-pressings with a one-of-a-kind A/B side combination that is unavailable anywhere in the world!

How to guarantee you will receive a record? All guests who purchase tickets at least 48 hours in advance, up to 1000 tickets, automatically qualify to receive a record when they visit, subject to availability. Remaining records will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis for walk-up ticket purchasers, subject to availability. 

The record giveaways are:

  • Saturday, February 12: Can’t Help Falling in Love / Rock-a-Hula Baby
  • Saturday, April 9: Jailhouse Rock / Treat Me Nice
  • Saturday, May 7: Suspicious Minds / You’ll Think of Me
  • Saturday, September 24: Memphis, Tennessee / That’s All Right (custom-pressing)
  • Thursday, November 17: Blue Christmas / Merry Christmas Baby (custom-pressing)
  • Saturday, December 10: I’ll Be Home for Christmas / Peace in the Valley (custom-pressing)

(Source: Graceland)


December 18 - Charts December 2021 - Week 3

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart updates. Elvis' Christmas recordings remain strong sellers this time of the year, charting all around the globe. In the slipstream, his gospel and greatest hits compilations make re-appearances on the charts too. 


U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #79 to #78. 
  • Billboard Global 200 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #160 to #124.
  • Billboard Catalog Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #27 to #26. 
  • Billboard Top Country Albums: The Classic Christmas Album climbed from #15 to #13. 
  • Billboard Top Country Albums: ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' re-entry at #40.
  • Billboard Country Streaming Songs chart 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #15 to #10. 
  • Billboard Top Rock Albums chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from#8 to #7. 
  • Billboard Rock Digital Song Sales chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #25 to #12
  • Billboard Top Christian Albums chart: 'Elvis: Ultimate Gospel' re-entry #50.
  • Billboard Holiday 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' remained steady at #41. 
  • Billboard Holiday 100 chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)' dropped from #75 to #82.
  • Billboard Holiday Airplay chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #36 to #38. 
  • Billboard Holiday Digital Song Sales: 'Blue Christmas' dclimbed from #48 to #44. 
  • Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' dropped from #19 to #20.
  • Billboard Holiday Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' remained steady at #46.
  • Billboard Classical Album chart: 'Elvis Christmas with the RPO' climbed from #25 to #18.
  • Billboard Artist Top 100 chart: Elvis climbed from #55 to #52.


Canadian charts

  • Billboard Canadian Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' re-entry #48.


Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Streaming Album chart:'The 50 Greatest Hits' remained steady at #81.
  • Official Americana Album chart: 'Elvis: Back in Nashville' dropped from #6 to #7.
  • Official Country Compilations Album chart: 'From Elvis in Nashville' dropped from #8 to #9.
  • Official Singles Audio Streams chart: ' Blue Christmas' re-entry at #78.


Official IRMA Irish charts:

  • IRMA Music DVD Top 5: 'The Elvis Collection' re-entry #4.

Dutch charts:
  • Dutch Album Top 100 chart 'Elvis' Christmas Album' re-entry at #86.


(Source: Billboard / U.K. Mix Forum / Official Chart Company)

December 17 - Bossa Nova Baby

The French Elvis My Happiness fan-club released the Christmas promo CD 'Bossa Nova Baby' which customers get for free when ordering over €50,00 in the shop.

(Elvis My Happiness) 

December 16 - Eastern European FTD Blues

The Follow that Dream label informed dealers that the shipping of the December 2021 released was delayed - "due to circumstances beyond our control" - and that 'The Making of Jailhouse Rock' and the FTD re-issue of 'Raised On Rock' may not reach dealers in time for Christmas distribution. 

The label was advised that the orders should be completed and ready for shipping tomorrow. 

Elvis Blues

The Not Now Music record label announced the 2022 released of the 14-track Blues compilation LP 'Elvis Blues'. 

Tracks Side A: A Mess of Blues / Mystery Train / Trouble / Reconsider Baby / I Feel So bad / Crawfish / Mean Woman Blues.

Side B: Heartbreak Hotel / Like A Baby / My Baby Left Me / Fever / Blueberry Hill / Milcow Blues Boogie / It Feels So Right.


More Delay

Publication of the second volume of Piotr Soczynski's Eastern Europe Elvis vinyl trilogy has been delayed. Soczynski hopes to release 'Elvis Vinyl Discography from Eastern Europe Yugoslavia and Romania' February 2022. 

(Source: FTD / Facebook From Elvis Vinyl Lovers Only / Elvis Information Network)

December 15 - Baby Blue Christmas

The Danish Memphis Mansion released a baby blue colored edition of their 'Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me' Christmas LP. 

Available at the >> Memphis Mansion webshop.

(Source: Dorthe Back Richter Larsen)

December 13 - Holiday Classics

Graceland / Elvis Presley Enterprises sent out their yearly Fan Club President's Christmas card wishing everyone 'a warm wishes for a safe and happy holiday season'. 

This year's CD is titled 'Holiday Classics' and features the songs 'If Every Day Was Like Christmas', The First Noel', and 'Silent Night'.

(Source: Facebook Your Favourite ELVIS CD, LP, DVD & Book Group)

December 11 - Charts December 2021 - Week 2 (Updated December 15)

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart updates. Perhaps Elvis Presley's title should be "The King of Christmas" as his holiday recordings proved to be steady sellers, an not just in the United States. 


U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #159 to #79. 
  • Billboard Global 200 Song chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry at #160. 
  • Billboard Catalog Albums chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' re-entry at #27.
  • Billboard Top Rock Albums chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from#25 to #8. 
  • Billboard Top Country Albums: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #19 to #15. 
  • Billboard Country Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' makes re-entry #15
  • Billboard Rock Digital Song Sales chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry #25.
  • Billboard Holiday 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #35 to #41. 
  • Billboard Holiday 100 chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)' dropped from #67 to #75.
  • Billboard Holiday Airplay chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #34 to #36. 
  • Billboard Holiday Digital Song Sales: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #47 to #48.  
  • Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' dropped from #19 to #18.
  • Billboard Holiday Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' remained steady at #46.
  • Billboard Top Classical Album chart: 'Christmas witht he Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' re-entry at #25.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Streaming Album chart:'The 50 Greatest Hits' dropped from #67 to #81.
  • Official Americana Album chart: 'Elvis: Back in Nashville' climbed from #9 to #6.
  • Official Country Compilations Album chart: 'From Elvis in Nashville' dropped from #6 to #8.

Canadian Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Canadian Albums chart: 'White Christmas' re-entry at #57.
Swedish charts: 
  • Swedish Album Top 60 chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' climbed from #53 to #43.
Spanish charts:
  • Spanish Vinyl Top 100 chart: 'Elvis: Back In Nashville' climbed from #90 to #87.
Croatian charts
  • Croatian Top Lista Album Top 40 chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' is a new entry at #17. 

(Source: Billboard / UK Mix Forum / Official Chart Company / Swedish charts / Top Lista)


December 10 - Elvis Sold Out! 1968 Through 1971

The SR / VV and MxF import label(s) released two new limited vinyl / CD / DVD box-sets titled ‘Through 1970‘ and ‘Elvis Special 1971’. Like previous releases from these labels, the sets come in different variations. 

From the press release‘Through 1970’ presents Elvis at the top of his abilities. Meet our man during Closing Night February 23, 1970 as recorded in Las Vegas. Presented as a double picture-disc LP, housed in a new gate-fold sleeve (made in two variations). 

Added to this are the CD ‘Patch It Up’, featuring the best studio session of the seventies - taken from acetate sources - and a CD containing an ambience recording of a concert recorded September 1970 in Tampa. Both CDs come in a digi-pack, the first with a bonus poster, the second with a bonus card. 

Also added to this set are stickers, an exclusive 20 x 30 cm wooden panel with an Elvis print in two variations, and a certificate.  This set is limited to 12 copies in total. 

The ‘Elvis Special 1971’ focusses on 1971. It comes housed in a 21 x 21 cm digi-pack holding the original ‘Country Hero” EP containing four tracks from February 1971, the CD ‘Trying To Get To Memphis’ containing the August 16, 1971 performance and a DVD-R focusing on Elvis‘ November 1971 tour with material from Dallas and Kansas City. 

To top it off, this set contains an exclusive forex panel in two variations and a certificate. This set is limited to 20 copies in total.


Paradise Road (Re)Releases

The Paradise Road Records import label announced the release of three new CDs: CD re-issues of their LPs ‘Elvis 68/69 Sessions’ and ‘February, 1970 - On Stage - The Alternate Recordings’ and the new title ‘Closing Night - International Hotel - September 7, 1970’.

From the press release: Paradise Road Records presents by special request, the CD edition of the ultra-rare ‘Elvis 68/69 Sessions’ LP which “sold out” within a few minutes after its initial announcement. 

The CD edition contains the tracks from the original LP plus more outtakes from 1969 and a 20+ minutes band rehearsal 'Come Out, Come Out (wherever You are)' a bonus tracks. 

All in great sound quality, and with the original vinyl artwork.

June 1968: Musicians Warming Up - Trouble / Guitar Man (Take 2 & 3) - Let Yourself Go (Section 2, Take 3) - Let Yourself Go (Section 2, Take 4) - Guitar Man (Section 1 Escape, Take 3 & 4) - Guitar Man (Section 1 Escape, Take 6 - 8) - It Hurts Me (Section 4 Escape, Take 3) - Saved (Take 6)

March 7, 1968: A Little Less Conversation - If I Can Dream

January / February 1969: True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 3) - Power Of My Love (Rehearsal + Take 2) - Only The Strong Survive (Rehearsal + Take 2 & 3) - From A Jack To A King (Take 4) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 6) - Wearin’ That Loved On Look (Take 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 11)

Bonus Songs - January / February 1969: Only The Strong Survive (Take 4 & 5) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 7) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 9) - Do You Know Who I Am? (Take 2) - If I’m A Fool For Loving You (Take 4 & 5) - Long Black Limousine (Take 4) - Come Out, Come Out (Wherever You Are) - 20 Minutes Band Rehearsal


Details ‘February, 1970 - On Stage - The Alternate Recordings’: Also re-issued on CD by popular demand is ‘February, 1970 - On Stage - The Alternate Recordings’, which also sold out immediately  after its initial release.  The CD edition contains the original vinyl tracks with additional great and rare live recordings! The first 6 selections taken from the original soundboard tape, all other tracks taken directly from fan audience recordings.

All performances have been remastered and the original LP art-work was used for this CD.

Soundboard: Polk Salad Annie (16.02.1970 MS) - Buzzing Bees And Bacon (Monologue - 19.02.1970 DS) - I Can’t Stop Loving You (19.02.1970 DS) - Don’t Cry Daddy (19.02.1970 DS) - Walk A Mile In My Shoes (19.02.1970 DS) - Let It Be Me (19.02.1970 DS)

Audience Recording: See See Rider (05.02.DS) - Kentucky Rain (03.02.1970 DS) - In The Ghetto (05.02.1970 DS) - Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel (05.02.1970 DS) - Let It Be Me (03.02.1970 DS) - Introduction Of Roy Orbison (22.02.1970 MS) - When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano (One Line - 05.02.1970 DS) - Suspicious Minds (20.02.1970 MS) - Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel (03.02.1970 DS)


Details: Closing Night - International Hotel - September 7, 1970: This album contains the Closing Show September 7, 1970 as recorded in Las Vegas. This show contains a lot of fun moments and some nice rarities and many false starts like the 'Blue Suede Shoes / Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On / Blue Suede Shoes' medley and Bob Dylan impersonations! 

As a bonus this album contains tracks from the September 4, 1970 show, including the one-liners 'La Bamba' and 'My Way' and also a short version of 'Crying Time'. These are great and rare audience recordings! The CD also contains some backstage recordings from August 10, 1970 which were recorded, and partly used in, the movie 'Elvis: That's The Way It Is'.

All performances have been remastered and are presented in the best possible sound.

 07.09.1970 CS:

Orchestra Intro - Opening Vamp - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman / Amen / I Got A Woman - Monologue / I Walk The Line (Excerpt) - Love Me Tender (False Start Only) - I’ve Lost You - I Just Can’t Help Believin’ - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling - Polk Salad Annie - Band Introductions / Bob Dylan Impersonations - Celebrity Introductions - Manager And Relatives Introductions - Heartbreak Hotel (4 False Starts Only) - Blue Suede Shoes / Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On / Blue Suede Shoes - Introductions Of Sound Engineer And Light Man - All Shook Up (With False Start) - Hound Dog (With 2 False Starts) - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Can’t Help Falling In Love (With 2 False Starts) - Closing Vamp

Bonus Songs - 04.09.1970 MS: Monologue / La Bamba - Introduction Of Paul Anka / My Way - Crying Time

Backstage - 10.08.1970: Reading Telegrams (5.1) - Reading Telegrams (6.3) - Rehearsing ‘I Just Can’t Help Believin’ (8.8) - After Show Party


Sold Out! Out

The Pyramid import label isn't sold out yet, the label released volume 11 in their 'Sold Out!' series. 

Publicity stated: 'Sold Out – volume 11' is on its way, and it’s a killer! Filled to the brim with fantastic Elvis 8mm footage!

Relive the magic of The King in concert with this incredible 3 hour collection of rare and unreleased private footage, now available for the first time.

Lovingly restored from HQ transfers… And bound to become a true collectors item.


Not Sold Out!

Bidding closed for some interesting Elvis Presley items in the Gotta have Rock and Roll 'The Rock and Roll Pop Culture' auction that ran from December 1 - 10, 2021. 

The first highlights was the Sun Records’ studio piano - the iconic “Million Dollar Quartet Piano”. A vintage 1949 Wurlitzer spinet with serial number 387912 that was played by a stellar rock and roll list of “who’s who” including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike Turner, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Charlie Rich and many more. The piano has a rock and roll jukebox list of credits and is featured on many of Memphis’ 1950’s Sun Records classics. 

The estimate was US$800,000 - US$1,000,000, but the item did not receive one bid.

Elvis played the piano on the “Million Dollar Quartet Session” in December of 1956 with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins – with Elvis playing piano on a majority of the 46 songs including, “Love Me Tender”, “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Paralyzed.” Jerry Lee Lewis played it on 5 of the Million Dollar Quartet songs including “End of the Road” and “Crazy Arms”. The 1956 session was released by Sony BMG in 1990 – “The Million Dollar Quartet” – with 46 songs. This is the only piano played by both Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry Lee Lewis also played it on his biggest hits, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”, and all of the songs he recorded at Sun Records. 

A 1954 Sun Records contract signed by Elvis Presley and Sam Philips. The estimate was US$100,000 - US$150,000, but the contract sold for US$52,000. 

This is the Elvis Presley and Sam Phillips signed November 15, 1954 Sun Records recording contract - Elvis' third oldest recording contract with Sun Records. The contract has been beautifully signed by both in black ink. This Memphis Federation of Musicians contract between Elvis Presley and Sun Record Company, Inc. is for his recording of "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "Milkcow Blues Boogie". The contract, which has been part of Sam Phillips personal collection since the day it was signed, also has resided at the venerable Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for 35 years. Very good condition. Comes with a letter of authenticity from Sam Phillips. a James Spence Authentication (JSA) letter of authenticity, and a Gotta Have Rock & Roll Certificate of Authenticity.

The first RCA Records contract. Dated November 21, 1955, Elvis has signed the contract in blue ballpoint pen. Also signed by his parents Vernon and his mother (signing "Mrs. Vernon Presley"), in blue ballpoint pen. A two-sided original contract, Elvis and his parents have also initialed the front in blue ballpoint. 

The estimate was US$150,000 - US$20,000, it sold for US$10,000. 

Less than half of the items listed like original SUN singles, acetates Gold Record Awards, jewelry, memorabilia, pictures and clothing received bids and were sold, most of the time the price remained close to the minimum estimate. 

(Source Pascal Matteo on Facebook / FECC / Gotta Have Rock and Roll)