Saturday, July 24, 2021

July 24 - King Of The Rings and Photos

Paul Belard’s 250-page photo-journal ‘The King of the Rings Volume 1’ has been published. This release by the Danish Memphis Mansion is a re-issue of Belard's self-published edition, released through Linden Press in the U.S..

From the press- release:

Elvis liked expensive things: cars, motorcycles, clothes, and jewelry. His jewels befitted a king. He wore sumptuous pendants hung on heavy gold chains; huge and lavish rings set with rubies, sapphires, lapis lazuli, and emeralds; bracelets of gold and precious gems. Like Elvis himself, they were at times dazzlingly tasteful and beautiful, and at other times flashy and ostentatious. Occasionally, he would design the jewels himself, such as the famous TCB – Taking Care of Business – pendant and ring.

He loved to give his possessions away to people close to him, as well as to complete strangers. The value of the item was of no concern to him. An expensive horseshoe ring was designed by Memphis jeweller Lowell Hayes, specifically for Elvis to wear on stage during his televised Aloha from Hawaii performance in 1973. Elvis gave the ring away a few years later. It eventually sold at auction in 2017 for $204,800.

I always wondered why Elvis was giving away so many of his things? Yes, he was rich. He had everything he could want. But plenty of well-to-do people do not give anything away. As a matter of fact, for some enough is never enough. So I remained puzzled. Then I read a book by David Brooks, a journalist and columnist for the New York Times. He offered the thought that happiness that comes from accumulation is fleeting. But but there is another emotion, he calls it joy, that comes from helping others. He writes: “Happiness comes from accomplishments; joy comes from offering gifts. Happiness fades; we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn’t fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude and hope.”

The singer Robert Goulet described Elvis’ penchant for generosity: “I remember once we sat together backstage for two hours. And he was a charming, delightful man. And at one point I said, “That’s a beautiful ring you have there.” He said “You like it?” I said, “It’s beautiful!” He took it off his hand and put it on mine. He gave me his ring.”

The book is available from the Memphis Mansion >>> on-line shop.

Read the review of the first edition >>> here

Elvis and the Birth of the Cover Art

Here is the updated cover-art of Alfred Wertheimers classic 2013 book 'Elvis and the Birth of Rock and Roll'. The book is due for release September 9, 2021. 


Elvis who? was photographer Alfred Wertheimer's response when, in early 1956, an RCA Victor publicist asked him to photograph an up-and-coming crooner from Memphis. Little did Wertheimer know that this would be the job of his life: just 21 years old, Elvis Presley was-as we now know-about to become a legend. 

Trailing Presley like a shadow, Wertheimer took nearly 3,000 photographs of Presley that year, creating a penetrating portrait of a man poised on the brink of superstardom. Extraordinary in its intimacy and unparalleled in its scope, Wertheimer's Elvis project immortalized a young man in the very process of making history. 

Now available as a Taschen standard edition, 'Elvis and the Birth of Rock and Roll' collects Wertheimer's most remarkable Elvis shots from that magical year, along with a selection of his historic 1958 pictures of the star being shipped off to an army base in Germany. Each chapter is illustrated with a poster by Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest letterpress print shops in America, which created many early Elvis posters in the 1950s.

Leaving the Building

The 352-page hardback book 'Leaving the Building: The Lucrative Afterlife of Music Estates' by Dr. Eamonn Forde is due for release from Omnibus Press on August 19, 2021. 

Synopsis: When a musician dies, it is rarely the end of their story.

While death can propel megastars to even further success, artists overlooked in their lifetime might also find a new type of fame. But a badly timed move or the wrong deal can see the artist die all over again. Colonel Tom Parker, the former carnival huckster, understood this high-wire act implicitly and the posthumous career of Elvis Presley has provided a template for everyone else.

Estates have two jobs: keeping the artist’s name alive and ensuring they continue to make money. These can sometimes be compatible goals, but often they spark a tension that is unique in the music business.

Drawing on interviews with those running music estates as well as music lawyers, record company executives and archivists, Leaving the Building reveals how the music industry is constantly striving to perfect the business of death.

A Fan's Dream

Josh Roberts published his 51-page paperback book 'My Dream: A Story About My Dream Holiday To Graceland'. 

Synopsis: A fan sees his dream fulfilled going on his dream holiday to Memphis. 


(Source: Memphis Mansion / Amazon)