Thursday, June 30, 2022

June 30 - Elvis Presley - Il Mito

Released by the Italian Mondadori Perte is the 3-CD-set 'Elvis Presley - Il Mito' ('The Myth'). 

Description: Listen to the emotions of the dark voice of the King of Rock 'n' Roll in an extraordinary triple CD-set containing 50 tracks. Relive the sound of the music that will remain forever.

CD 1: Jailhouse Rock - All Shock Up - That’s All Right - Tutti Frutti - I Got A Woman - Blue Suede Shoes - Mystery Train - My Baby Left Me - Money Honey - Heartbreak Hotel - Too Much - Dixieland Rock - Rip It Up - Shake, Rattle And Roll - Hard Headed Woman - Good Rockin’ Tonight - Hound Dog.

CD 2: Love Me Tender - Don’t - Loving You - It’s Now Or Never - Are You Lonesome Tonight? - Wooden Heart - Big Hunk O’Love - Fever - Don’t Be Cruel - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear - Young And Beautiful - Love Me - One Sided Love Affair - I Love You Because - Have I Told You Lately That I LoveYou - I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.

CD 3: Trouble - Baby I Don’t Care - Blue Moon - Lawdy, Miss Clawdy - Treat Me Nice - I Want To Be Free - Blueberry Hill - King Creole - Long Tall Sally - Ready Teddy - Suspicion - Baby Let’s Play House - Return To Sender - Mean Woman Blues - I Was The One - Blue Moon Of Kentucky.

(Source: Elvis Friends Fan Club Italia / Mondadori Perte)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

June 29 - From Trailer Park To No 1

The Magic of Vinyl record label announced the August 12, 2022 release of the LP 'From Trailer Park To Graceland'. The album, subtitled 'Elvis Presley - The King And Colonel Parker' is limited to 1,111 copies on black and white swirled 180 Gr. vinyl.

Description: This summer, the new film 'Elvis' was be released in cinemas. An event that fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting since the project was first announced in 2014. 

The film tells the fairytale story of the young Elvis Presley, who rises from bitterly poor circumstances to become the superstar of the 20th century. At the center is the relationship between Elvis and his manager Colonel Tom Parker, played by Oscar winner Tom Hanks. This toxic but most successful partnership in music history also sets the stage for the album 'The King And Colonel Parker'. 

It includes Elvis‘ first songs from Sun Records and all the big hits, of the King‘s first career, after Colonel Tom Parker had negotiated a gigantic contract with the RCA label and Elvis was bought out of his ongoing contract. Colonel Parker was also the first music manager to have the idea of marketing singles specifically through motion pictures. So 'Love Me Tender' as a single for the first Elvis movie of the same name became not only one of the biggest successes and evergreens, but also the blueprint for Elvis‘ career. The Colonel was also a pioneer in merchandise. Even in the young King‘s first year of success (1956), an incredible 22 million dollars was earned with Elvis merchandise.

Side A: That‘s All Right - Baby, Let‘s Play House - I Forgot To Remember To Forget - Heartbreak Hotel - Hound Dog - Don‘t Be Cruel - Love Me Tender - All Shook Up - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear - Jailhouse Rock.

Side B: A Big Hunk O‘ Love - Stuck On You - It‘s Now Or Never - Are You Lonesome Tonight - Wooden Heart - Surrender - Good Luck Charm - Return To Sender - Can‘t Help Falling In Love.

Another Elvis #1

Congratulations to acclaimed author, Alanna Nash, as the re-issue of her book, 'The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley', is the No. 1 selling book in Amazon USA's Popular Music (Books) category. Amazon also has it ranked #2 in both Music History (Books) and Criticism and Music Business (Books). 


Watch Elvis

EPE released a new Elvis Presley playlist on YouTube with 15 lyric video's. They also released a new official video for 'Suspicious Minds' on the video platform.

Elvis Presley - (You're The) Devil In Disguise (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - A Little Less Conversation (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Burning Love (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Can't Help Falling in Love (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Crying In the Chapel (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Don't (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Trouble (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Unchained Melody (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - That's All Right (Official Lyric Video)
Elvis Presley - Power of My Love (Official Lyric Video)

Watch Austin 

Austin Butler is featured on the cover of the July edition of the Dutch 'Gentlemen's Watch' lifestyle magazine with inside an article on his portrayal of the King of Rock and Roll. 

The Belgian Knack Focus magazine featured Austin Butler on the cover of Vol. 25 2022, inside an article and review on the movie. 

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / Vinyl Magic / ElvisMatters / Elvis The Music)

Monday, June 27, 2022

June 27 - Box Office Results (Updated)

On one of the busiest weekends in theaters after the COVID pandemic, biopic ‘Elvis’ and phenom ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ fought an EPIC battle at the box office ending with a win for Elvis. 

According to data this morning, Warner Bros.’ Elvis wins No. 1 this weekend with a US$31.1M opening beating the fifth weekend of Paramount / Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick which did US$29.6M. 

Both feature films closed the weekend with US$35.5 million. While ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is impressing in its fifth week in theaters, ‘Elvis’ is beating all projections, which indicated a sub-US$30 million debut. 'ELVIS' grossed US$30.500.000 in the United States and 'US$50,500,000 worldwide. The budget for the movie was US$85,000,000. 

Recall that the feature film starring Austin Butler obtained 78% approval from specialized critics on Rotten Tomatoes, in addition to receiving an A- rating from the public on CinemaScore, which should guarantee good stability for the production in the coming weeks at the box office.

Statistics show Warner got the older crowd out with the Elvis film, with 31% over 55 and 48% over 45. Elvis also proved popular with women, 45% of whom are over 25, who gave the film the best praise overall with 92%. Additionally, Elvis has a fairly lengthy running time at 2 hours 39 minutes. Longer running times can hurt a film’s theatrical run when moviegoers are short on time and are apt to choose a less lengthy option. 

The biopic was the #1 film last weekend in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia and Iceland.

With the film debuting in several other European countries in late June and Argentina and Brazil in mid-July, it is possible Elvis will register even more #1 openings.

Cinedigm Launches The Elvis Presley Channel

Cinedigm announced the launch of The Elvis Presley Channel. In partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises and ABG Entertainment, the new streaming channel comprises Elvis Presley films and specials along with series and lifestyle programming inspired by late cultural icon — including a new, original series in development.

The Elvis Presley Channel is accessible as a free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel on connected TVs, digital set-top boxes, media-streaming devices and online. Streaming platforms include LG Channels, Amazon Freevee, Vizio WatchFree+, Comcast’s Xumo, Plex, Allen Media Group’s Local Now and Dish Network’s Sling TV. Additionally, the Xfinity What to Watch channel will feature a curated collection of films and documentaries from the Elvis channel during primetime starting July 2.

“We see his ongoing influence today in music, movies, fashion and culture,” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement. “With the channel, we aim to not only thrill current fans and showcase Elvis’ influences and demonstrate enduring impact but to engage new generations of fans through our curated and creative program line-up.”

2022 is a banner year for Elvis with the launch of Warner Bros. Pictures’ biopic Elvis, which topped the June 26 weekend box office with more than $31 million in revenue. Graceland will honor the 45th anniversary of Elvis’ passing with Elvis Week 2022 from Aug. 9 – 17. Additionally, Netflix is slated to launch the Elvis animated action-comedy series, “Agent King” and Sony has two Elvis albums planned later this year.

The Elvis Presley Channel’s films and specials include the “Elvis ’68 Comeback Special,” “Elvis Aloha From Hawaii,”  and both the broadcast and unedited versions of “Elvis,” by the Presley’s.

Themed programming blocks including Elvis’s Favorites, Friends of Elvis, Elvis Inspired Reality and Lifestyle Programming, African American Artists that Inspired Elvis and 50’s Rock N’ Roll Rebel Movies. Fans will be able to tune in for hours watching some of Elvis’ favorite TV and film content including “The Beverly Hillbillies,” John Wayne movies such as Angel and the Badman, Blue Steel and Riders of Destiny, as well as Bruce Lee films like Warrior’s Journey and The Man The Myth.

“We are thrilled for fans to immerse themselves in Elvis’ world with the launch of The Elvis Presley Channel,” said Matt Abruzzo, Senior Director – Brand Management, Entertainment, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, LLC. “The Elvis fandom is incredibly passionate, and when it comes to serving enthusiastic fan bases, no one does it better than Cinedigm.”

My Diary and Elvis

Kathy Tatum published her 148-page book 'My Diary and Elvis'. This 2022 edition is an updated version of the previous release of this memoir.  

Description: How many starry-eyed girls made diary entries of long kissing sessions with the King? Numerous of fans clambered to see Elvis outside the gates of Graceland in the summer of 1969. When my sister called his name and asked for a kiss, I got one, too. And then another. And another…

Within these pages, I share my treasured memories with Elvis, pulled from my diary of those days. The innocent voice of a newly sixteen-year-old girl is peppered into a narrative spun today, as I am now a mother and grandmother.

Why me? I have often wondered. Maybe it’s because I never asked him for anything, never demanded nor expected. All I have from him is a strand of love beads he placed around my neck, a couple of photographs, and the wondrous memories of our times together. These are the days of his life which are etched into my mind and are scribed in the pages of my diary. 

Elvis: El Hombre Y El Mito

Ma Non Troppo published the Spanish book 'Elvis: El Hombre Y El Mito' by Manuel López Poy.

Publicity statedThis magnificent book by Manuel López Poy is a detailed portrait of the King of Rock and Roll and complements the sensational film 'Elvis', by the award-winning Baz Luhrmann. 

Among the numerous biographies dedicated to Elvis Presley, this one stands out as it takes us back to the origins of the genius from Tupelo. In the book the story of his exciting life - with numerous facts and anecdotes - comes together with a birth of a musical genre in which blues, country and rock come together. We all know the result: the greatest revolution in the world of music and the birth of a cultural icon. The book includes QR codes so you can listen to the best songs.

Some original chapters are:

  • La leyenda maldita de la primera guitarra de Elvis.Sun Records, la puerta del futuro.
  • La leyenda negra de un cantante blanco.
  • La historia del hotel de los corazones rotos.
  • El cuarteto del millón de dólares.
  • La soledad de la reina de Graceland.
  • Una digna despedida para un rey.

(Source: Film Totaal / Deadline / Digital Music News / Rotten Tomatoes / Coming Soon / Cinedigm / Mediaplayer News / Amazon)

Sunday, June 26, 2022

June 26 - Sunday Special

The U.K. Sunday People tabloid contained an 8-page special that celebrated the return of the King. 

A Special Day

Today, June 26th, is an interesting day in Elvis history:
June 26, 1909: Colonel Tom Parker was born
June 26, 1977: Elvis Presley performed his final concert
June 26, 1979: Vernon Presley, Elvis' father dies

(Source: Sunday People / Phoenix Elvis Forum / Chris Filmore Facebook / Echoes of the Past)

Saturday, June 25, 2022

June 25 - High Resolution Elvis

Various streaming platforms services like Apple Music and Amazon Music used previously unreleased multi-track and / or quad-mixes to create 'Dolby Atmos' and '360 Degree Reality Mixes' for their streaming platforms. 

According to the experts on various fora the original four-channel Quad-mixes for the albums 'From Elvis in Memphis', 'On Stage', 'That's the Way It Is', 'Elvis Country', 'As Recorded at Madison Square Garden', 'Aloha from Hawaii', 'Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis', 'Promised Land' and 'Today' were used. Fans with the proper devices and subscriptions can filter out these unreleased four-channel mixes. 

Besides audio-upgrades various Elvis Presley movies have been released in 4K Ultra HD quality. Paramount Archivist Andrea Kala announced the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Elvis' 'Blue Hawaii' later in 2022 as part of the 'Paramount Presents' collection. 

Also set for a release later this year is a 4K HD edition of the new 'Elvis' biopic. Amazon already has the DVD and a 4K Blu-ray (with steelbox) available for pre-order with September 26, 2022 as the release date.

Talking about the new movie, Priscilla went to see the movie again, on Facebook she posted: "I quietly slipped into the movie theater last night. I wanted to see and feel the audience’s reaction to Baz Lurhmanns film, 'ELVIS'. All through the movie, it was so quiet, you could literally hear a pin drop.  After the movie, there was clapping, teary eyes and chattering from those wanting to see it again. This morning, in looking to see how well the film did with attendance, to say the least, I was truly overwhelmed with the numbers!  

I can’t stress enough how important this film is in order to keep Elvis, not only in our hearts, but also to give our friends, children, teenagers, elders and those who never got the experience to see him.  As I’ve recently shared with you, this film is about his up and down relationship with his manager, Tom Parker and the behind the scene ongoings between the two of them that tore them apart.  I won’t say anymore.  Only that… It’s a must see!! 🌹".

The 1971 Soundboard Collection and More  
The ReDempTion import record label released volume 2 of 'The 1971 Soundboard Collection and More'. This limited edition comes on red and on blue vinyl, and includes 3 vinyl records, 3 compact discs, a fold out poster and a bonus photo.

Publicity stated
: This comprehensive deluxe set contains three fantastic sounding soundboard  recordings. Two were recorded during his first Vegas season in 1971 and one was recorded during his one and only live performance in Boston, Massachusetts. 

After finishing the closing show at the International Hotel (featured on this set) Elvis had a three week break until his first recording session of the year. This one day recording session in March 1971 resulted in one track being released on the Grammy-winning album 'He Touched Me' and some cuts being released in 1972 on the 'Elvis Now' and 'Elvis' (Fool) album. 

The real studio work began in May and June of 1971. Following these recording sessions Elvis went back on tour again in July 1971. Sadly, no soundboard recordings of these shows have surfaced to date. 

The Boston recording is the very first high-quality recording of a tour show. With a capacity of just over 15,000 Elvis had to play 7 shows in Las Vegas to reach the same amount of visitors. Obviously a show this big creates a complete different ambiance. 

Record 1 - January 29, 1971 Dinner Show 
Side A: Also Sprach Zarathustra - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman - Love Me Tender - You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me - Sweet Caroline - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ - Polk Salad Annie - Introductions

Side B: Johnny B. Goode (James Burton) - Introductions - Something - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - Teddy Bear - Hound Dog - Snowbird - The Impossible Dream

Record 2 - February 23, 1971 Closing Show 
Side C: Also Sprach Zarathustra - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman / By The Time I Get To Phoenix - Love Me Tender (Intro) / Love Me - Mystery Train / Tiger Man - Sweet Caroline - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ - Polk Salad Annie - Something - Johnny B. Goode (James Burton)

Side D: How Great Thou Art - Don’t Be Cruel - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Little Sister / Get Back  - Hound Dog - Suspicious Minds (Spliced 28.01.1971 DS) - The Impossible Dream (28.01.1971 DS) - Closing Vamp (28.01.1971 DS)

Bonus Song: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Duet With Temple Riser)

Record 3 - November 10, 1971
Side E: Also Sprach Zarathustra - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman / Amen - Proud Mary - You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ - Polk Salad Annie - Coming Home Baby (Instrumental) - Love Me - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - One Night - Hound Dog

Side F: How Great Thou Art - Introductions - I’m Leavin’ - Bridge Over Troubled Water - I Can’t Stop Loving You - Love Me Tender - Suspicious Minds - Coming Home Baby (Instrumental) - Funny How Time Slips Away - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

CD 1 - January 29, 1971 Dinner Show: Also Sprach Zarathustra - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman - Love Me Tender - You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me - Sweet Caroline - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ - Polk Salad Annie - Introductions - Johnny B. Goode (James Burton) - Introductions - Something - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - Teddy Bear - Hound Dog - Snowbird - The Impossible Dream

CD 2 - February 23, 1971 Closing Show: Also Sprach Zarathustra - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman / By The Time I Get To Phoenix - Love Me Tender (Intro) / Love Me - Mystery Train / Tiger Man - Sweet Caroline - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ - Polk Salad Annie - Something - Johnny B. Goode (James Burton) - How Great Thou Art - Don’t Be Cruel - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Little Sister / Get Back - Hound Dog - Suspicious Minds (Spliced - 28.01.1971 DS) - The Impossibe Dream (28.01.1971 DS) - Closing Vamp (28.01.1971 DS)

CD 3 - November 10, 1971: Also Sprach Zarathustra - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman / Amen - Proud Mary - You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ - Polk Salad Annie - Coming Home Baby (Intrumental) - Love Me - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - One Night - Hound Dog - How Great Thou Art - Introductions - I’m Leavin’ - Bridge Over Troubled Water - I Can’t Stop Loving You - Love Me Tender - Suspicious Minds - Coming Home Baby (Instrumental) - Funny How Time Slips Away  - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

Bonus Songs: Early Mornin’ Rain (Vibes Overdub Master) - That’s What You Get For Lovin’ Me (Take 10 - Unedited).

The Movie Files Vol. 1
The Petticoat import record label released a new LP / CD set titled 'The Movie Files Vol. 1'. 

Publicity stated: Petticoat is is back! This time with a fantastic vinyl album full of movie classics. This high quality album (including bonus CD) featuring 18 rare and hard to find alternate versions is now available.  And as always housed in a stunning full color sleeve suitable for framing! This high quality 180 Gr. virgin vinyl pressing is now available in red and on blue colored vinyl.

Side A: Girl Happy (Take 4) - Do The Vega (Take 2) - Tonight Is So Right For Love (Take 4) - A House That Has Everything (Take 6) - Summer Kisses, Winter Tears (Take 24) - Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (Take 6) - Young And Beautiful (Record Version - Take 6) - Stop, Look And Listen (Take 5 & 6) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 3)

Side B: Please Don’t Stop Loving Me (Take 7) - Almost Always True (Take 5) - Hard Headed Woman (Live Mono Mix Including Count-In) - Kismet (Take 2) - Cotton Candy Land (Take 4) - All That I Am (Take 6) - Island Of Love (Take 8) - The Yellow Rose Of Texas / The Eyes Of Texas (Take 7) - Forget Me Never (Take 1)

CD: Girl Happy (Take 4) - Do The Vega (Take 2) - Tonight Is So Right For Love (Take 4) - A House That Has Everything (Take 6) - Summer Kisses, Winter Tears (Take 24) - Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (Take 6) - Young And Beautiful (Record Version - Take 6) - Stop, Look And Listen (Take 5 & 6) - The Bullfighter Was A Lady (Take 3) - Please Don’t Stop Loving Me (Take 7) - Almost Always True (Take 5) - Hard Headed Woman (Live Mono Mix Including Count-In) - Kismet (Take 2) - Cotton Candy Land (Take 4) - All That I Am (Take 6) - Island Of Love (Take 8) - The Yellow Rose Of Texas / The Eyes Of Texas (Take 7) - Forget Me Never (Take 1)


A watch worn by Elvis Presley for his first major TV appearance in 1956 has been sold at auction by Aldridge Auctioneers for UK£240,000. The 14-karat gold-filled Lord Elgin watch, which the star also wore to sign his first contract, sold at the auction in Devizes, Wiltshire.

Other Elvis items in the sale included a spiritual book for UK£15,000 and a pair of white boots which sold for UK£18,000.

(Source: FECC / Slash Film / Blu-ray / Elvis Club Berlin forum / Steve Hofman forum / Aldridge  / BBC)

June 25 - Charts June 2022 - Week 4

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. The publicity for the new biopic boosts the sales. 

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #148 to #133.
  • Billboard Top Country Albums chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #14.
  • Billboard Top Rock Albums chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #25 to #23.
  • Billboard Hot 100 chart: 'Vegas' (from 'ELVIS' soundtrack) by Doja Cat climbed from #75 to #56.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Album Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #38 to #39.
  • Official Streaming Album Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #32 to #30.
  • Official Country Compilations chart Top 20: 'From Elvis In Nashville' climbed  from #19 to #16.
  • Christian and Gospel Album chart: 'Lovin' Elvis' dropped from #8 to #13.
  • Official Video chart: 'Elvis - 7 Film Collection' dropped from #55 to #63.
  • Official DVD chart: 'Elvis - 7 Film Collection' remained steady at #44.
  • Official Blu-ray chart: 'Elvis The Searcher' dropped from #91 to #94.
  • Official Music DVD chart: 'Elvis The Searcher' climbed from #3 to #2. 
  • Official Video chart: 'The King of Rock and Roll' re-entry at #37.
  • Official Video chart: 'Elvis The Searcher' climbed from #3 to #2.
  • Official Video chart: 'The Elvis Collection' climbed from #19 to #7.
  • Official Singles chart: 'Vegas' by Doja Cat climbed from #52 to #43.
Official Scottish charts:
  • Official Scottish Album chart: 'The Real Elvis' dropped from #15 to #23. 
Official Irish IRMA charts:
  • IRMA Album Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #70 to #25.
  • IRMA Music DVD chart: 'The Elvis Collection' new entry at #2.
(Source: Official Charts / UK Mix Forum / IRMA)

Friday, June 24, 2022

July 24 - New Vinyl (And a CD)

The Music on Vinyl record label announced the August 12, 2022 re-issue of the 'Elvis Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits Vol.1' 4-LP set on Gold Colored vinyl. 

Publicity stated: 'Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits Vol. 1' is a compilation box set by the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley. This four-album set was originally released in 1970, as his 38th album. The set peaked at #45 on the Billboard 200 and was certified double Platinum not long after its release. Of the 51 tracks that are featured, four made their album debut in this collection back when it was originally released: “Viva Las Vegas”, “Suspicious Minds”, “Don't Cry Daddy” and “Kentucky Rain”.

Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits Vol. 1 is available as a deluxe lift-off box set containing 4LP's and a 20-page photo album. It is available as a limited edition of 2500 individually numbered copies on gold & black marbled vinyl.

Side A: 1. Heartbreak Hotel 2. I Was the One 3. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You 4. Don’t Be Cruel 5. Hound Dog 6. Love Me Tender.

Side B: 1. Any Way You Want Me (That’s How I Will Be) 2. Too Much 3. Playing for Keeps 4. All Shook Up 5. That’s When Your Heartaches Begin 6. Loving You.

Side C: 1. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear 2. Jailhouse Rock 3. Treat Me Nice 4. I Beg of You 5. Don’t 6. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck 7. Hard Headed Woman. 

Side D: 1. I Got Stung 2. (Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I 3. A Big Hunk O’ Love 4. Stuck on You 5. A Mess of Blues 6. It’s Now or Never.

Side E: 1. I Gotta Know 2. Are You Lonesome Tonight? 3. Surrender 4. I Feel so Bad 5. Little Sister 6. Can’t Help Falling in Love.

Side F: 1. Rock a Hula Baby 2. Anything That’s Part of You 3. Good Luck Charm 4. She’s Not You 5. Return to Sender 6. Where Do You Come From 7. One Broken Heart for Sale 

Side G: 1. (You’re The) Devil In Disguise 2. Bossa Nova Baby 3. Kissin’ Cousins 4. Viva Las Vegas 5. Ain’t That Loving You Baby 6. Wooden Heart.

Side H: 1. Crying In the Chapel 2. If I Can Dream (Stereo Mix) 3. In the Ghetto 4. Suspicious Minds 5. Don’t Cry Daddy 6. Kentucky Rain 7. Interviews From “Elvis Sails”.

Million Dollar Session

The Danish Memphis Mansion re-issued the 'Million Dollar Session' on red colored vinyl. All audio was restored and remastered for a double LP release, to preserve it at a higher resolution rather than compressing it down to make it for a single album. 

During the mastering the team identified a song not previously catalogued, 'Mr. Sandman'. Together with the strong design, using the original tape-box cover, this is the most historically accurate release of the 'Million Dollar Session'. 

The label also announced a 'Purple Gang Edition' of their recent 'Vince Everett  - Jailhouse Rock' single box-set on purple vinyl and a 'Chain Gang' Edition on black and white swirled vinyl.

Expanded Hits

The expanded 2-CD edition of the 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' compilation - which includes the 'Elvis 2nd To None' compilation, was released by Sony Legacy. 

Colored Vinyl 

The DOL record label released 10 original Elvis albums  on colored vinyl.

  1. ‘Blue Hawaii’ Limited Edition on Turquoise colored vinyl.
  2. ‘Chicas! Chicas! Chicas!’ Limited Edition on Red colored vinyl.
  3. ‘Elvis Is Back’ Limited Edition on Blue colored vinyl.
  4. ‘Fun In Acapulco’ Limited Edition on Green colored vinyl.
  5. ‘G.I. Blues’ Limited Edition on Yellow colored vinyl.
  6. ‘His Hand In Mine ‘Limited Edition on Blue colored vinyl.
  7. ‘It Happened at the World’s Fair’ on Limited Edition Orange colored vinyl.
  8. ‘King Creole’ Limited Edition on Yellow colored vinyl.
  9. ‘Pot Luck’ Limited Edition on Red colored vinyl.
  10. ‘Something For Everybody’ Limited Edition on Purple colored vinyl.

(Source: Music On Vinyl / Amazon / Memphis Mansion)

Thursday, June 23, 2022

June 23 - The Airplanes and the Printer and the Cinema

The Elvis Files team finally announced that after 6 months of delays due to paper-shortage, Carlos Varrenti's book, in collaboration with Robert van Beek, 'The Airplanes & The King' was sent to the printers today. The bindery will also be ready in a maximum of two weeks from today. 

They stated: "Our apologies for the long wait, but in the end you will be amazed by the quality of The Airplanes & The King book work and that may ease the suffering a little. The Elvis Files team wish you a lot of reading pleasure."

The English version is expanded to an amazing 400 pages with ja lot of unreleased material from Elvis Files' vaults and printed as a high quality hardback book.

Read the interview with the authors on the >>> Elvis Information Network website. 

Opening Night

Thanks to Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis' movie, Elvis returned to the big screen around the world, 45 years after his untimely death. 

(Source: The Elvis Files / Elvis Information Network)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

June 22 - Talkin’ Elvis, The Colonel and more with Alanna Nash

With the recent reissue of her best-selling book, ‘The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley’, renowned author, Alanna Nash, took time out of her busy schedule to discuss Elvis, the Colonel and other related issues with Nigel Patterson (Elvis Information Network), Kees Mouwen (Elvis Day By Day) and prolific Elvis biographer Paul Bélard. 

In her candid interview, Alanna provides insightful commentary about the Colonel’s early years before coming to America, when he lost his way in promoting Elvis, the controversial source, Byron Raphael, Lamar Fike’s finding about the rumor the Colonel was involved in the death of a woman in Holland, why Elvis didn’t take more control of his career, the new Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic, and much more.


Nash, a feature writer for Entertainment Weekly, USA Weekend, and The New York Times, Alanna Nash is a longtime chronicler of popular culture. She is the author of various books on Elvis, including ‘Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia’, ‘Baby, Let's Play House - Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him’ and his manager in ‘The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley’. She also wrote biographies on Dolly Parton and Jessica Savitch, interviewed many country stars for ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and was named one of the ‘Heavy 100 of Country Music’ by Esquire magazine. Nash holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was the Society of Professional Journalists' National Member of the Year in 1994. 


Q: Hi Alanna, it’s great to catch up with you in 2022. How are you and what have you been up to the last few years?


Alanna: Good to visit with you again! As you know, I kind of step in and out of Elvis World for long stretches. It’s a pretty intense place! I was very pleased to appear at Henrik Knudsen’s Garden Party at the Memphis Mansion in Randers, Denmark, in 2018, and to write the preface for Kees Mouwen’s “Elvis Day By Day 2020”. (I have a soft spot for the European fans, especially.) 


But for the most part, I have been quite caught up in magazine work, and also writing a personal project, a book about a friend who died in 2017. That will occupy me for the next few years. 

Q: Congratulations on the re-release of your "new" book about the Colonel and Elvis. Can you tell us what's new in this edition of your classic biography of the Colonel's life and why you decided to publish it again?


Alanna: Thank you! I’m really glad it’s out in a new edition, though it never really went out of print. This new paperback reprint has quite an exciting Afterword, with a document that my brother-friend Tony Stuchbury discovered about one of the Colonel’s trips to America. It’s pretty mind blowing! It makes the book come full circle, and is the best evidence of his voyages as we’re likely to get. It tells you a lot about both the Colonel’s determination and his character, I dare say.


Q: It is only logical that this book sees a re-release with the new Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic coming out. It is described as "The film chronicles the life and career of singer and actor Elvis Presley, from his early days as a child to becoming a rock and roll and movie star, as well as his complex relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker." What is your opinion on the movie and the perspective Baz Luhrman has taken?


Alanna: I haven’t seen the film yet. But I did interview Baz Luhrmann about it, who said, “My takeaway as the ultimate outsider is that the Presley-Parker relationship is probably the real love story. Not that there isn’t a great and genuine romance between Elvis and Priscilla (his wife), but the love story that soars brilliantly, but gets a little too close to the sun and tumbles, is Elvis and the Colonel. It’s almost a codependent marriage that, while toxic and destructive, cannot be unwound.”


I was surprised he framed Elvis and Colonel as a love story, but if you stretch that word to its farthest possible capacity, yes, I could see that. Elvis saw Colonel as a father figure early on, but that certainly changed. (The term “Stockholm Syndrome” also springs to mind.) As for Colonel, well, as my Dutch journalist friend, Constant Meijers, assesses, “Colonel Parker was a nobody who needed a somebody to be anybody.” 

Q: In 2003 you said in an interview with the Elvis Information Network: "The book was also difficult because it was so expensive to research. I am in deep debt because of that. Unless I get a film deal, I will never recoup it.In 2017 a press-release was issued on a film project by Spencer Proffer, Steve Binder, Joe Berlinger and you, based on your book and with you co-writing the screenplay. Now we have a movie, but we miss your name … Alanna, what happened?


Alanna: That’s a good question, and I’m still scratching my head a little bit. 


Q: If you had written the script, how would you have portrayed both men?


Alanna: Stay tuned!


Q: You met the Colonel three times before you decided to write a book about him. In a previous interview with Ear Candy Magazine you stated “I became completely fascinated by him, and charmed by him, too, even as there was something psychologically predatory and off-putting about him. To be blunt, he could be scary, apart from his usual formidable personality. However, I came to have a lot of affection for him.”  


When your research was done, what was your main conclusion on the Colonel? Was he the man you imagined him to be? Or just a shadow of the man he once was?


Alanna: When I knew the Colonel, he was in his eighties, but he still had plenty of personal power. He was a force field. Now, the Colonel surprised me in that he was quite kind to me on the whole. He was cagey, but he offered help on one hand, and treated me to meals, and made time for me - something like nine hours in all. That was thrilling. 


But he also knew that I was writing my Memphis Mafia book with Billy Smith, Marty Lacker, and Lamar Fike, and, well, what’s that old adage: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? I wasn’t exactly an enemy, but I was a truth teller and a seeker of truth, and I was dealing with a man whose entire life was a lie and a sham. I think he thought that courting my friendship and loyalty - and he was out front in saying it was my loyalty he wanted - would somehow protect him against whatever Billy, Marty, and Lamar had to say about him. 


Of course, my allegiance had to be to the truth, above all. And the Colonel’s allegiance was to the con: He had two mantras. The first was, “You either con, or you get conned.” 


Q: Your biography goes all the way back to The Netherlands, the city of Breda where the Colonel was born and raised “old fashioned and with a hard hand by his father”. How much of the man Parker was shaped in the upbringing of the boy Dries?


Alanna: Oh, an extraordinary amount, if not all of it, I think. His relationship with his father was difficult. He was a headstrong child with a headful of fanciful thoughts, and his father was hardworking and rigid and punitive, and wanted his son to toe the line. That was never going to happen, because Dries van Kuijk was too much like his mother’s family, who were parlevinkers, floating peddlers who traveled Holland’s river and canal system, selling and trading household goods from their barge to other travelers on the water. They were nomads, and they lived by their wits, and they sometimes resorted to shenanigans, a little bit of trickery, to make ends meet. 


As an adolescent, Dries became very angry with his father, and he grew up to be quite a moody adult with a lot of anger issues. He probably suffered from intermittent explosive disorder. He had a horrible temper. His employees and the young William Morris guys who were assigned to him were terrified of him, even as they came to love him. Often, he would just explode in rage, and they hadn’t seen it coming. 


At other times, he knew how to deal with his feelings. One of them told me this: “When the Colonel would get angry, whether it was a phone call that didn't go right, or a deal that was (about to collapse), he would get out of his chair, walk down the stairs of his office and start what looked like power walking, with his fists pumping up and down and his shirt flapping and walking as though he would walk right through a wall. I’d follow him sometimes, but it seemed to me as if anyone got in his way, he wouldn't stop. He would just walk right through them, because he was going to end whatever caused the anger. And if the person wasn’t there, he was going to walk until that thought got out of his mind. You could absolutely see it and feel it in him.” 


As a carryover from childhood, I think, the Colonel liked to hold people up to ridicule. He did this with the Memphis Mafia, with his employees, and the studio heads. It was another way he controlled the power, and he loved power. That’s what was paramount, and the money secondary. Lamar Fike, who often took up for the Colonel’s legacy, saw both sides of him. He told me, "The man was an insufferable human being. There was no saving grace about him. Or I never found one."


Q: Parker married twice but had no children. Looking at his hard upbringing, his illegal status and his secrets, we can even understand it. Do you think Parker may have considered Elvis the son he never had?


Alanna: I believe three things: One, Elvis was his alter ego, and he wanted to make himself as big a star and as much a legend as the man whose career he guided. It was his way of getting even with the world. Two, he saw Elvis as both his “attraction,” as he called him, using a term that sounds way too much like carnival lingo, and a human shield against his immigration woes and everything that threated him. (His second mantra was, “Always have something better than a contract.”) And three, he leveraged Elvis against his gambling debts, and he used him in Vegas as a chip. 


I don’t think he was interested much in being a father per se. He certainly wasn’t much of one to his stepson, Bobby Ross, though he tried to help him in business a little when Bobby was grown, having Bobby and his wife, Sandra, help with Elvis promotion. But the Colonel mentored a lot of young men, from some of the William Morris guys to (Colonel’s secretary) Trude Forsher’s son, James, and he was very kind to fan club head Todd Slaughter in the U.K. 


Btw, he might not have been capable of fathering children. Bob Ross’s widow, Sandra Polk Ross, thinks he might have been sterile. She told me, “In those days, mumps was the greatest cause of sterility in men. My opinion is that if Colonel had been capable of having children, he would have had children with (his first wife) Marie, because he loved kids.” He was fond of Bob’s children with his first wife, Sandra says, and he was good with her own son, Kenneth, when he was little.  


Q: Your catalog of Elvis related books is regarded as being among the best in the Elvis library, ranked alongside those by Peter Guralnick, Jerry Hopkins, and Bill Burk. Of all your Elvis books, ‘The Colonel’ has been the most controversial. 


How did you feel about the reaction to it, in particular around the possibility of Tom Parker (Andreas van Kuijk) having killed a woman in Holland and the late Bill Burk’s concerns about the integrity of one of your key informants, Byron Raphael?


Alanna: Thanks for the kind words. Well, first of all, the murder theory is just that, a “theory,” based on circumstantial evidence and someone in Holland fingering him for the deed through an anonymous letter to the journalist Dirk Vellenga, who documented Parker’s origins in Breda, the Netherlands. It’s pretty clear that the letter writer believed wholeheartedly what he/she was saying, based on what he/she had been told by family. Dirk, who was a careful journalist, believed it was true, too. 

I’d say people who criticize me for advancing that idea, or saying that I accused him of murder can’t read. Nowhere in the book do I say that he did it. I simply offer that circumstantial evidence and let the reader decide. I even state, quite emphatically, that there is no forensic evidence to connect Parker to the murder, but that there are a number of factors that need to be considered in light of the date of his disappearance and his refusal to ever go back to Europe.  


Certainly, he lived his life as a man who had something awful to hide, who acted out of fear, and who couldn’t fix his immigration problems, though he had plenty of opportunities and legal channels to do so. But he never did apply for a passport or apply for U.S. citizenship. I documented that in my research. His past, whatever it really was in its fullness, haunted him. And this lack of a passport became a major problem when Elvis wanted to tour abroad, of course. 


After my book came out in 2003, Lamar Fike called me and told me he brought it up to the Colonel’s family when he was in Holland in 1980. I just transcribed that tape. Here’s what he said:  “I asked his sister (Adriana) about it and she said, ‘Well, we just don't discuss that,’ and I said, ‘Okay,’ so I hit a nerve and I backed off. Lamar believed it wholeheartedly. He said to me, “Never any doubt that he *didn’t* kill her.


As for Byron, well, that’s a whole other topic. If Bill Burk was critical of his integrity, I’d say that’s because Bill was jealous he didn’t find Byron first. I found him in kind of a circuitous way. I was looking for a researcher on the West Coast, and the journalist Todd Everett suggested a woman named Judy Raphael. She went through the Hal Wallis correspondence with Colonel for me at the Academy library, and worked for me for several months in 1998. 


Almost as a postscript when we were emailing about how we would do this, she wrote: “Btw, my brother toured with Elvis and the Colonel one spring in 1957 when he worked for William Morris, and still seems to remember Parker vividly and with relish.” I stared at that email for a full minute, disbelieving. Why hadn’t she mentioned this earlier? Well, because they didn’t get along, and communicated only through their mother. But eventually, I made contact with Byron and learned his incredible story, which was far more than touring with Elvis and the Colonel. So for Bill to say that is bull and it angers me. At least one of the Memphis Mafia guys also went so far as to say Byron was never around Elvis. 


Well, that’s absurd. Byron was a fixture with Trude Forsher in the Colonel’s early West Coast offices on the studio lots, and there is a photo of Byron and Trude and Tom Diskin with Dolores Hart and Elvis at the “King Creole” wrap party. And there are numerous pictures of Byron with Colonel and Trude at the studios, including one with Trude, Colonel, Tom Diskin, and Nick Adams. He’s also referenced in some correspondence Colonel had with the William Morris office in 1958. He was with Colonel for several years, and remained friendly with Colonel through the ‘70s, though that friendship was strained for several reasons, including Byron’s gambling habit and Colonel’s ruining his career at William Morris in having him humiliate his own bosses on the Colonel’s behalf. 


Trude talked with me about Byron, and her son, James, not only remembered him from his time with the Colonel, but interviewed him on video in Byron’s last years. Some of the Memphis Mafia guys may not have known about him because he preceded them by many years, though Lamar remembered him, of course, because he went back so far with Elvis. 


Now, people may not like the story Byron and I did together for Playboy magazine, but that’s tough. I find it both amusing and astonishing that American fans, more than European fans, still have this puritan attitude about Elvis and sex. The man rose to fame in part by being a highly sexual performer. And he became the male sex symbol of the 20th century. But they want to erase all that from their thoughts. Listen, Elvis all but drew the blueprint for the archetypal rock and roll star. And Byron didn’t shy away from that in the Playboy piece. But to me, Byron was invaluable for his primary accounts of life with Colonel. Because he literally lived with Colonel and Marie for a time, and Colonel controlled his entire life. 


Speaking of Byron, here’s a story he told me that I don’t think made it into the book, but which I love. He was traveling all over the country with Colonel, chauffeuring him. Byron said, “One night snowed in in Hobbs, New Mexico, we shared the only room available in a small hotel. That night, I woke to horrendous noises. Turned out to be Colonel snoring. I did everything to wake him out of his deep sleep enough to stop the noise. Nothing worked. Finally out of desperation, I started cursing. “Colonel, you blank, blank. Colonel, you blank, blank, blank.” Next morning, Colonel said to me, “Byron, you must be angry as anything, because you've cursed me all night long.” He’d been awake listening to me. Well, I learned to watch every step of the way. When you worked with the Colonel, he knew what you were thinking before you did.”


Q: Alanna, many consider the Colonel to only have been good for Elvis’ career in his early years. In ‘The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley’ you are very candid about the Colonel’s personal weaknesses. In writing the book did you form a view on the point where the Colonel’s effectiveness in guiding Elvis’ career changed?


Alanna: I think his effectiveness, as well as their relationship, started to fall apart during the movie years, when Elvis realized that the success of “Blue Hawaii” had locked him into the trap of “travelogues” with a set number of insipid songs written to fit the scripts. That meant not only that the Colonel and Hal Wallis killed his dream of becoming a serious actor, something we caught a glimpse of in “King Creole,” as well as “Wild in the Country” and “Flaming Star,” but also that RCA was going to pull his singles from those tepid soundtracks. And then the exhausting treadmill of Vegas was the final nail in their coffin. 


Now, you could say the Colonel always knew how to keep his star on top, moving him from records and concerts to movies and Vegas and back out on the road, with special events like the satellite special and the comeback special in between. But the splendid turnaround of the comeback special just fell into the Colonel’s lap. As we all know, he basically tried to thwart that. And if Elvis hadn’t died, I really don’t think the Colonel knew where to take him next, except that he allegedly had been talking to Peter Grant about taking him overseas, since the Colonel himself couldn’t go. Would that have really happened? I don’t think anybody knows. But can you imagine how that would have rejuvenated Elvis? And the money it would have made for both of them? 


Q. You stated in an interview that the Colonel was "the promoter of promoters", but looking back now, wasn't he just a “carny” traveling from town to town setting up shows and making a dime at the expense of the main attraction? Basically, living his childhood dream?


Alanna: Well, he was a great promoter, no doubt about that. But he fell down tremendously as a manager, because his own needs superseded those of the best interests of his client.  But he was far greater than just an itinerant carny. 


You could make the case that he’s the father of American popular culture as we know it today, applying the carnival techniques of marketing and merchandising to rock and roll. Every time you buy a t-shirt at a concert, you’re going back to Colonel and Hank Saperstein with Elvis charm bracelets, Elvis lipstick in “Hound Dog” orange, and Elvis scarves, dolls, plastic guitars, and glow-in-the-dark busts. Every time you buy a souvenir booklet at any kind of show from a vendor who walks the aisles at intermission, it’s the Colonel selling Eddy Arnold songbooks. 


As Bob McCluskey, former general promotion manager for RCA Victor, told me, “The specter of Tom selling pictures and records down the aisles of a venue was one to behold. That, to my knowledge, no pop manager had ever done.” 


And let’s not forget that William Morris did not book Elvis on the Dorsey Brothers’ show. They dragged their heels on Elvis, not seeing the full potential. Parker used an independent agent, Steve Yates, to book those four consecutive weeks, later six weeks, on CBS-TV’s Stage Show, where he debuted his RCA single, “Heartbreak Hotel.” When the Morris office found out about it, Harry Kalcheim fired off a blustery note. Parker answered him by saying, “I don’t think this artist was pitched full force. You know as well as I do offering a new artist is one thing but selling one is another. If I waited for someone to call me with deals all the time, I would have to start selling candy apples again.” He out-thought and out-worked all those guys.

Q. Elvis fans generally said Elvis was depending on the Colonel, but it obviously also was the other way around as he "declined / refused" to manage other artists or more artists at the same time. What do you think, could the Colonel have become “the promoter of promoters" if he had continued to work with country artists? 


Alanna: Well, remember that country performers were always seen as the red-headed stepchildren of the entertainment business. They were looked down upon to a large extent, especially by New York and West Coast bookers, who considered them déclassé and thought there was no money in them. But Parker knew that wasn’t true, and from his days in the carnivals and Gene Austin’s Star-O-Rama Theatre, he knew how to get folks into the big tent. And remember, too, that he built Eddy into a household name, so perhaps he would have been the country promoter par excellence. Those Grand Ole Opry stars who relied on him for bookings were majorly impressed with him. 


Here’s what Minnie Pearl told me: “When I came along, nobody owned their home. They lived in trailers or rooming houses. Nobody had any insurance, and very few of them had bank accounts. They carried all the money they had with them. When one of ’em got ready to buy a house, the real estate man would say, ‘How do you intend to take care of this?’ And they’d say, ‘Will cash do?’ They had no idea how big this thing was going to be.” But for Parker’s first country show, he lined up a promotion with a grocery store chain to sell discount tickets with a newspaper coupon. Minnie remembered that the audience was large enough to fill the house for several performances. “It was the first time we had any connection with anything like that,” she said. “The store paid for the advertising, and many more tickets were sold, because every (grocery) cashier in a three-county area was working what amounted to a box office. The man was thinking even then.


Q: Professor Howard DeWitt, in his book, ‘Elvis: The Sun Years’, commented that “the Colonel’s Svengali-like behavior cut Elvis out of much of the decision making”. What is your perspective on this? Do you have any idea why Parker did not put a clause in the movie contracts which would have allowed Elvis to have some input on the scripts and particularly the songs that were chosen for the movies? 


Alanna: Elvis was a passive person, as are most artists. He wasn’t confrontational, and that had been drilled into him since he was a small child and Vernon went to prison: don’t make waves. On top of that, he didn’t want to fool with business, and Vernon was supposed to be looking out for that with the Colonel. Money was success and money was power. 


The Colonel put it to Elvis succinctly: “We do it this way, we make money. We do it your way, we don’t make money.” I mean, look at the initial box office of “Flaming Star” and “Wild in the Country.” Colonel would have explained it to Vernon that way, as well, and that’s all Vernon needed to hear. Remember what Hal Wallis said: “The idea of tailoring Elvis for dramatic roles is something that we never attempted. We didn’t sign Elvis as a second Jimmy Dean. We signed him as a number-one Elvis Presley.”


Q: Following up on that, what is your opinion regarding the two publishing companies owned by Parker that filtered the songs offered to Elvis? Another example of the Colonel taking care of his own business? How bad was it for his career? 


Alanna: Yes, but also another example of the Colonel’s loyalty. He had built his team with Eddy Arnold, and he was loyal to them with Elvis. That included William Morris and RCA and the Aberbach music publishers. Now, does it also mean the Colonel knew he had sway with them? Of course! But the Colonel put a lot of store in loyalty and respect, even though we may think his ideas about such things were distorted. 


And he also saw this: By the end of 1945, when most New York publishers saw no percentage in what was then called country-and-western music, the Aberbachs had three songs at the top of the charts and US$50,000 in the bank. The Colonel wasn’t about to argue with success. Now, you asked, “How bad was it for Elvis’s career?” Well, just look what happened when Elvis finally bucked Colonel in that regard with Chips Moman. 

Q: In 1960, Elvis got US$125,000 to perform two songs on the Frank Sinatra show. In 1969, Elvis' contract with the International paid US$100,000 a week for a four-week engagement. US$125,000 in 1960 would be worth close to US$151,000 in 1969. Do you think that Elvis was grossly underpaid? And it got worse in the following years. Was Parker already into heavy gambling at this time and would it have influenced the negotiations?


Alanna: You have to look at what other people were getting in Vegas at the time, and I don’t have those figures handy. But coming off of those dreadful movies, and looking pretty washed up before the Singer special, Colonel may have been working a little bit of a miracle to get Elvis that much at first. 


But yes, of course, one reason Parker took him to Vegas was so he could gamble. That unquenchable thirst would have definitely influenced future negotiations. When they worked the tablecloth deal, Alex Shoofey, the executive vice president of the International Hotel, was amazed that Parker hadn’t asked for a sliding scale, considering the amount of business Elvis brought to the hotel and its casinos. Shoofey later told people that Parker said, “’Now tell me again. You’ll give me the same money for the five years?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I mean, this was unheard of that anybody would sign for five years for the same amount of money, no increase. So he took the tablecloth, he wrote the contract on the tablecloth, and he signed it. He was very receptive, very cooperative, and very easy to deal with.”


Q: Of all the books you have written, which one is your favorite on Elvis and which is your favorite non-Elvis release?


Alanna: I’ve always said “The Colonel” is my best Elvis book, simply because it was such a major test of my interviewing, investigative, and writing skills. For that reason, it is still my favorite of my Elvis-related books. My favorite non-Elvis release is my biography of NBC News anchorwoman Jessica Savitch, “Golden Girl”.  


Q: With more than 3,000 titles published, the Elvis book library is one of the most eclectic for any person. It traverses biographies, memoirs, reference books, music related volumes, Elvis’ live performances, Elvis’ radio, TV and film impact, photo-books, conspiracy stories, academic analyses, Elvis as art, Elvis and race, Elvis and religion, genealogical research, general literature, Elvis for younger readers, more than 300 fiction titles, and a similar number of non-English language releases. 


There are many more Elvis books released each year than Elvis music albums. What is your perspective on this phenomenon?


Alanna: Elvis is the quintessential American story, and he is emblematic of the full dramatic scope and historical arc of this country, from his rise from obscurity to his conquering of the world to his tragic self-destruction, and the growing pains of the nation. He is beautiful, he is irresistible, his music and his appeal is timeless, and he’s the most important figure of the 20th century. How can we ever look away?


Q: Alanna, do you read many books about Elvis and, if yes, what are some of the more interesting titles you have found in recent years?


Alanna: I don’t, honestly. When I’m in Elvis World, I’m all in. But when I’m not in Elvis World, I try not to think about it. Quite frankly, some of the fans are really petty and mean-spirited. Elvis has been my life’s work. But it hurts me to see what has happened around Graceland, and the really brutal and vicious things that people do and say to each other in his name. He would never want that, and it makes me sad. 


Q: A surprisingly popular sub-genre in the Elvis library is conspiracy theories, including Elvis having faked his death, Elvis was murdered, illegitimate children, claimed brothers and sisters, letters by Elvis to his secret spiritual confidante, and secret recordings. Have you explored any of these and do you have a view on their role in the Elvis story?


Alanna: I have not, though such things always swirl around glamorous figures and tragedies. However, there have to be illegitimate children. Lamar got close to identifying a son in Shreveport, a child adopted by a prominent banker, and he basically got run out of town. The sheriff paid him a visit. 


Q: Some fans are critical of how the Elvis estate is being operated. In particular, admission prices to tour Graceland and attend Elvis in Concert performances have risen to a level which many fans can’t afford. This contrasts with the Colonel’s policy of keeping prices to a level that all fans could afford, i.e. Elvis was available to all fans regardless of socio-economic status. What is your view on this issue?


Alanna: As I said, it makes me sad. And it chagrins the historian in me to see the real man become obscured or swallowed up by the myth that emerges from the estate’s marketing and merchandising campaigns. 


Q: Similarly, with fundamental changes in book production technology, the Elvis book world has become essentially a tripartite structure involving mainstream commercial releases, quality fan club titles, and for want of a better term, vanity, print on demand (POD) releases written by individual fans.


While commercially produced and POD releases are affordable for most readers, the excellent coffee- table volumes produced by larger Elvis organizations have prices that are prohibitive to many fans, and they are books that won’t be found in your local library. How could access to these more expensive books be facilitated to a greater number of fans?


Alanna: I honestly don’t know. 


Q: Interest in Elvis continues at a high level and demand appears to be still predominately driven by those who became fans when Elvis was alive. How can EPE and Sony maintain and preferably increase interest in Elvis among new generations? 


The movie will obviously give Elvis’ legacy a boost, and with an Elvis inspired rap album also being released by Warner Bros. and the expected launch of a dedicated live-streaming Elvis Presley channel (Cinedigm and EPE), do you think EPE and Sony can reach a new / younger fanbase?


Alanna: Yes, I think they can. But what is the trade-off? That’s what makes me nervous. Elvis, the man and the deep, trailblazing artist keeps being repackaged and rebranded as simply a commodity. In 1994, Parker took a jab at the estate, insisting he had never “exploited Elvis as much as he’s being exploited today.” I could see the Elvis potato head and the Presley sink strainer eventually morphing into a Mickey Mouse action figure strumming a guitar.


Q: Apart from your Elvis books one of your other critically acclaimed releases is the original biography, Dolly / Dolly The Biography, about the legendary Dolly Parton. Now in her seventies, Dolly goes from strength to strength, her latest triumph being topping the New York Times best-selling fiction list with her witty thriller, (written with the world’s leading fiction writer, James Patterson), “Run, Rose, Run”. 


When did you last catch up with Dolly?


Alanna: I haven’t actually interviewed Dolly since 2016. I had a tragedy in my life the following year, and I’ve been a bit underground since then, preparing a book about it. 


Btw, years after I wrote my book about Dolly, I found out that we are related, something she suspected from our first meeting in 1977, just by looking at me, and learning that my mother was from Sevierville, Tn., Dolly’s hometown. I had two genealogists run it. It’s not close enough to get in the will, but it’s enough for bragging rights. We are fifth cousins, once removed, through our mothers. I told Dolly that in 2016 and gave her the documents. She put her hands together and squealed as only Dolly can, and reached an outstretch hand across the table and said, “Hello, Sis!” She was adorable.  


Q: When you compare Elvis and Dolly as popular culture icons, how do rate them as a person and as an artist (taking care of their business)?


Alanna: If Elvis had been half the business person Dolly is, he would have run rings around the Colonel.


Now that’s a nice thought to hold on to, and wrap up this interview. Alanna, thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. We appreciate your insight and thoughtful answers. 


The updated edition of Alanna Nash’ 'The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley' was released July 21, 2022 as "the legendary partnership at the heart of a major motion picture”. 

For more information on the book and Alanna Nash visit her website at >>>

Photo credits: "Portrait Alanna" by Vivian Knox-Thompson, "Elvis and Alanna in Randers" by Anthony Stuchbury.