Goodnight everyone, and have a long-lasting weekend!

Saturday is Elvis’ birthday. The King would have been 87.

Let’s jump right into this weeks’ feature with a twin spin and more to come!

 Elvis in Vegas, 1969. Images by Bob Klein/©Elvis Presley Enterprises.

In August of 2019, a full 42 years after Elvis was found dead at his Graceland mansion, Sony released an amazing 11-CD boxed set from his run at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1969 including the two tracks you just heard. The 1969 Vegas engagements, 57 sold-out shows, marked Elvis’ first return to the live stage in eight years.

“Thanks to an insatiable demand for proven hitmakers, there is a bonanza in the boneyard.”
Forbes.com

The 2021 Forbes list of Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities ranks Elvis at #7. The legend amassed $30 million in total earnings last year.

Elvis is the Energizer Bunny of popular music, still generating recordings year after year. That’s our theme this week.

Several recent recordings have featured Elvis’ original vocals with backing from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 

“The label would have never allowed him to have an orchestra,” said Priscilla Presley “And if it was up to [manager] Colonel Parker, he would have had Elvis just singing — no background, no nothing. I think we have given him the freedom here to experiment with all the orchestras he would have loved in the pieces.

Priscilla said these new remixed albums are Elvis a deliberate effort to keep Elvis relevant.

“I’m confused about where the music industry is,” she said. “We are losing our labels. Social media has come in, YouTube, iTunes; it’s all very confusing. Years ago, you didn’t mess with an artist’s music. You didn’t touch it. You left it alone. But now DJs are blending music, blending artists, blending songs. We have to keep Elvis current.”

The Christmas season might have just ended but the frosty season remains, and will be for much too long in my view.

From 2017, the 3rd collaboration between Elvis and the Orchestra…

Graceland Christmas – Limited Edition Canvas | Thomas Kinkade Studios

This album reached #1 in the US…on Billboard’s Top Classical Albums.

In 2003, RCA released ELVIIS: 2nd to None, a collection of Elvis songs as the sequel to the previous year’s highly successful ELVIS: 30#1 Hits.

The album included Elvis’s #1 singles that did not appear on the previous release, including this Paul Oakenfold remix of a single from Elvis’ 1969 film “A Change of Habit.”

Elvis was still cool. Still hip, 26 years after dying.

Elvis 2nd To None Music CD Album

The album went to #3 on the Billboard chart. That’s the whole shootin’ match. Not the Classical chart.

Big boxed CD sets chronicling Elvis’ work in an entire decade were produced, the first about the 50’s in 1992. Then the 60’s in 1993. And “Walk A Mile In My Shoes – The Essential 70’s Masters” in 1995.

In concert Elvis put his stamp on Hank Williams and then Joe South.


These are just some examples of Elvis’ continuing recording success. There have been compilations, collections, remixes, soundtracks, live shows. Interest in Elvis keeps growing with no end in sight.

Cinedigm’s The Elvis Presley Channel debuts on Saturday, his birthday, with archival content, concerts and more. In the fall, Netflix will premiere an animated adult series called ‘Agent King,’ in which Elvis will explore an alternate history where he faked his own death to fight crime with a secret government spy program.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

From 2016…

Priscilla Presley will be among those cutting a ceremonial cake during the Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony on Saturday.

It’s ELVIS Week – Aloha!

TODAY IS THE FINAL DAY OF ELVIS WEEK.

TODAY AT GRACELAND:

BLUE HAWAII LUAU & MOVIE

7:00 pm. Back Lawn, Guest House at Graceland.
Tickets: $100 – SOLD OUT

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of one of Elvis’ biggest films, “Blue Hawaii,” with a luau to close out Elvis Week 2021. Featuring live Polynesian entertainment, a delicious Hawaiian-inspired dinner on the Guest House back lawn, and Elvis’ Blue Hawaii on the big screen under the stars, this will be an unforgettable end to an amazing week! Tickets for this event are limited so we encourage fans who would like to attend to order early! In the event of rain, this event will move to the Guest House Ballroom/Theater.



It’s ELVIS Week: ELVIS onstage

TODAY AT GRACELAND:

ELVIS IN CONCERT

7:00 pm. Soundstage at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s Memphis.
Tickets: $75, $65, $55  
BUY NOW
Also included in the Elvis Week Platinum and Gold Packages

Celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at Graceland during this live concert experience featuring amazing on-screen performances by Elvis himself, backed on stage by a live band with special guest appearances by Priscilla Presley, TCB Band members guitarist James Burton and piano player Glen Hardin, plus Terry Blackwood and The Imperials and former member of JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet Larry Strickland. A not-to-be-missed concert event! $85 seats are sold out. 

With solos by Hardin and Burton…

ALSO:

A TRIBUTE TO SUN STUDIO FEATURING JOHN PAUL KEITH

2:00 pm. Guest House Theater, The Guest House at Graceland.
Tickets: $29 
BUY NOW
Also included in the Elvis Week Platinum Package

Join us for a special afternoon performance at the Guest House Theater with singer, songwriter and guitarist John Paul Keith in a tribute to Sun Studio. Featuring music from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash to Jerry Lee Lewis and others, this show will pay tribute to legendary Sun artists and the music born out of 706 Union that changed the world. 

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May be an image of outdoors and brick wall

It’s ELVIS Week: He Touched Me

Today at Graceland

ELVIS WEEK GOSPEL BRUNCH

10:00 am. Guest House Ballroom, The Guest House at Graceland.
Tickets: $70 
BUY NOW
Also included in the Elvis Week Platinum and Gold Packages 
Enjoy a Memphis-style brunch at The Guest House at Graceland while enjoying Elvis gospel music by Terry Blackwood and The Imperials. Terry Blackwood performed with Elvis as part of The Imperials – including during Elvis’ return to Vegas in 1969 and in the studio during Elvis’ recording of his Grammy award winning album “He Touched Me.” Advance ticket sales only for this event.

ALSO today at Graceland:

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

8:30 pm. Gates of Graceland.
After an opening ceremony at the Gates of Graceland, fans are invited to walk up the driveway to Elvis’ gravesite and back down carrying a candle in quiet remembrance. Gates remain open until all who wish to participate in the procession have done so, which typically takes until the early morning hours of August 16, the anniversary of Elvis’ passing. The Candlelight Vigil will be open for all to attend. No special passes or wristbands are required to participate in the Candlelight Vigil. All guests will be required to pass through security checkpoint. Can’t be in Memphis for the vigil? The Candlelight Vigil Ceremony will also be available to watch online.

OTHER ELVIS WEEK BLOGS:

The Jungle Room

The Nashville Sessions

Horses

Day One

It’s ELVIS WEEK: The Nashville Sessions


Reported Thursday by soundslikenashville.com about a new boxed Elvis set:

Elvis Presley was known as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but he had a strong connection to Nashville, recording some of his most enduring material on Music Row. And now with a new box set, his final sessions in country’s capitol city are all in one place.

With Elvis: Back In Nashville, fans can enjoy a “definitive presentation” of Presley’s week-long 1971 Nashville studio sessions, the springtime recording block that would end up being his last in Nashville.

A 4 CD/digital collection that features 82 songs in their original format, the project finds Presley feeling rejuvenated after returning to the stage, and working with a tight group of Nashville studio musicians. With his sound evolving, these sessions were intended to fuel a whole year or more of releases as Presley planned his comeback, so he went to Nashville and recorded as much as possible. Elvis: Back In Nashville is the end result.

Today at Graceland:

NASHVILLE MARATHON SESSIONS 50TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT

7:00 pm. Soundstage at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s Memphis.
Tickets: $78, $68, $58, $48 

Also included in the Elvis Week Platinum and Gold Packages 
Celebrate Elvis’ Nashville Marathon Sessions at Nashville’s Studio B in 1970 and 1971 with musicians James BurtonDavid Briggs, and Charlie McCoy, who shared the studio with Elvis during these legendary recordings. Joined by vocalists Terry Mike Jeffrey and Dean Z, this concert will feature an unforgettable evening of music and storytelling with special guest host Tom Brown. From fan favorites songs such as “Just Pretend” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to “I’ve Lost You” and “Stranger in the Crowd” – enjoy a very special night of Elvis music at the Graceland Soundstage.

Music experts say it’s the greatest country song of all-time. From Elvis’ Nashville sessions:

OTHER ELVIS WEEK BLOGS:

Horses

Day One





It’s ELVIS WEEK: Horses

Today at Graceland:

GRACELAND STABLE TOURS

Tour Times: 10:00 am, 11:00 am and 12:00 pm. Graceland Stable. Limited tickets remain.
Tickets: $20 – SOLD OUT


Back by popular demand, fans can tour the stables at Graceland during Elvis Week 2021! Artifacts on display as part of the Elvis Presley Stable Tour include saddles used by Elvis and his entourage, personal western wear worn by Elvis, checks and documents related to the purchase of some of Elvis’ horses, and home movie footage of Elvis on horseback at Graceland. Tours may be canceled or rescheduled due to inclement weather.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SUMMER RERUN: Elvis & Britney

EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER, I’M RE-POSTING SOME OLD BLOGS I THOUGHT WERE INTERESTING AND WORTH A SECOND LOOK, OR A FIRST GLANCE FOR MY MANY NEW READERS.

Today Elvis Week 2021 began in Memphis.

Those who don’t know or respect the history and legacy of Elvis may, unfortunately only view Elvis as critics suggest, a bloated caricature of himself.

Amazingly, decades after his death, we still talk, write, discuss, compare, analyze anything and everything Elvis.

Britney reminded me of Elvis

By Kevin Fischer

Thursday, Sep 13 2007, 08:38 PM

I AM AN ELVIS FAN. I NEVER WILL MAKE ANY APOLOGIES FOR THAT.

I feel myself feeling sorry for Britney Spears this week.

And I’ll tell you why.

https://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/178984/britney-spears.jpg

Women, yes, women of all shapes and sizes happily shout, “She’s too fat, she’s too fat,” knowing all too well they will never be as thin as Britney is.

Jay Leno, a fellow of sizeable girth, has no shame ridiculing Britney’s physique.

And I could go on and on.

Imagine if Britney had emerged onstage at the MTV Awards with the same outfit 9 out of 10 insecure Milwaukee women wear every wedding or every weekend night out: the ever so safe black dress or black blazer and black slacks.

What are you hiding ladies??????

What would the critics have said then?

Why is Britney so covered up?

When the *** puts clothes on, you still find fault?

Look, anyone with a brain knows Britney Spears is not fat. And yes, we build stars up, just to shoot them down.

Not me.

Not this week.

The nostalgic bones in my body traveled back to the summer of 1977.

One of my boyhood heroes (the other was Hank Aaron) stunned the world by his premature death at the age of 42.

CBS had been following Elvis around all summer, filming his concerts for a TV special that would coincide with an RCA album, Elvis In Concert.

I watched TV that night along with millions of others, as Elvis was captured, walking on stage for the last time. As difficult as it is for true Presley fans like me to watch, it solidified in my mind how dedicated this man was to his craft, to his audience, to his fans. Pay close attention to Elvis’ face as he’s just ready to go on, his eyes reaching toward heaven, the look of nerves felt by the greatest entertainer ever. He could have sat home at Graceland. He chose, instead, to give his fans what they wanted.

The broadcast of that CBS-TV special has never been shown again since its first airing in 1977.

Why?

Isn’t it obvious.

Look what’s happening to Britney Spears, a young woman with virtually no body fat accused of being overweight.

Was Elvis too fat?

Let’s say he was. True Elvis fans didn’t care. His second golden records’ album had the very appropriate title of “50,000,000 Fans Can’t Be Wrong.”

Of course, there will always be the imbeciles who wouldn’t know good music from their electric shaver. Whatever trash they’re listening to is only possible because of Elvis.

Britney made me realize it again this week.

Elvis wasn’t too fat.

Was he heavier than he was on those historic Ed Sullivan shows? Of course he was. Were you heavier at 42 than you were at 22?

Let’s imagine Elvis at 42 years of age, walking into a bar in Milwaukee. Would people fall off their bar stools, aghast at how obese this man was?

No.

The fact is, when Elvis died, he looked like your average 40-year old guy.

But because he was Elvis, it was so easy to take shots.

Elvis worked his butt off.

Two shows a night, every night, in Vegas.

No one, not Sinatra, not Newton, not anybody did that, especially after Elvis died. His good friend, Wayne Newton said it just became a rule after Elvis passed on that you just didn’t do two shows a night, period.

Elvis performed vigorously when he probably should have taken some time off. That only adds to his legend and greatness.

Watch this next video from one of his last concerts (as difficult as it may be for true fans) with narration from one of his best friends, George Klein.

As you watch, you fall into one of two camps.

You either admire the man for, despite his struggles, having the passionate will to storm that stage and satisfy his fans, or you are one of the shallow-minded that sophomorically just can’t resist a snicker and ugly joke.

Here’s what I say.

Elvis on a bad day was better than anybody else. Thank you Britney, for making me realize it.

It’s ELVIS WEEK 2021: Day One

Elvis Presley's Graceland Announces Plans for Elvis Week 2021 in Memphis |  Business Wire



Events begin today. Most feature Elvis tribute artists (Graceland doesn’t use the term impersonators).

For me I have no use for the King wannabes. I think they do more damage than good to the overall image of the King.  I’ll always choose to watch and listen to the real deal.

An exception has always been Milwaukee’s own Tom Green. I appreciate his reverence, and his font of Elvis knowledge. When he hosted a weekly Sunday morning radio show on WRIT I never missed.

One night a ton of years ago I was standing in line at Kopps at 76th and Layton, wearing a leather jacket from Graceland. A woman behind me began conversation about Elvis and suddenly, somehow, and I don’t remember why, the subject got around to Green. I told the woman exactly what I wrote in the above paragraph.

Suddenly the woman was gone, but quickly reappeared before I put in my custard order with a CD of Green to give me.  She happened to be Green’s significant other.

Visitors to Graceland this Elvis Week will crowd into Graceland. Lots to see.

Friday Night Forgotten OIdie: Roses

Baker Knight wrote “The Wonder Of You” in 1959. Ray Peterson recorded the song and it peaked at #25. Peterson’s next single did much better in 1960, “Tell Laura I Love Her.”

Knight recalls Elvis took notice of “The Wonder of You.”

“In fact, Presley liked Ray Peterson’s version so much that he asked Ray to visit a movie set and meet with him. Elvis took Ray out to lunch, almost asking permission to cut the number,” said Knight.

“Elvis did not record the song then. But he never forgot it, either. A decade later, Knight got a call that sent him into the clouds. ‘I had just gotten a divorce, was living in an apartment in Ventura. I was always a night person and slept during the day. Anyway, the phone rang 7:30 in the morning. I couldn’t imagine who would be calling me at that time. On the line was one of the folks in Elvis’ band, Glen Hardin. He asked me if I could give him the words to ‘The Wonder Of You’. Elvis needed them because he had decided to do the song on stage that very night.” That evening Elvis sang “The Wonder of You” for the very first time in front of a sellout crowd at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. His live version was released as a single, sold more than two million copies, and reached #9.

But that’s not this week’s forgotten oldie. Flip the single over…

Lot Detail - 1972 RCA In-House Gold Record Award for Elvis Presley's "The  Wonder of You" 45 Single