IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO, PLEASE DO VISIT THE BELOW PETITION AND SIGN FOR ELVIS’ BIRTHDAY TO BE MADE A NATIONAL HOLIDAY.
Choose who must hold the title of the king for 2016!
Voting has ended for 2015 for THE KING OF MUSIC. ELVIS HAS WON!!!
Elvis Presley – The King of Music 2015. All Hail The King!
PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO VISIT “THE KING OF MUSIC” POLLING SITE AND VOTE FOR ELVIS EVERY SINGLE DAY DURING 2016. WE SIMPLY CANNOT LET ANYONE ELSE CLAIM ELVIS’ RIGHTFUL TITLE. BELOW IS THE LINK TO THE SITE FOR VOTING:
Lets make it happen again for this new year of 2016!
MORE GOOD NEWS FOR 2015
The Song of Ages 2015 is Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley.
Let’s all remember to vote every single day in 2016 for this same song again or any Elvis song which may be added to the list. Below is the link for voting for the new year.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2016
I want to let everyone know that Jesse phoned this afternoon for a brief visit. He is doing all right. He wanted to discuss one particular topic and so we did not speak too long this time since we spoke so recently. As always, it made my day to hear his voice.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 3016
CMT Orders Scripted Series Based on Early Careers of Elvis, Johnny Cash
CMT Orders Scripted Series Based on Early Careers of Elvis, Johnny Cash
FEBRUARY 3, 2016 | 03:00AM PT
CMT will partner with “Hatfields & McCoys” producer Thinkfactory Media to produce a limited drama series that chronicles the rise of rock ‘n’ roll.
The premiere of the eight-episode scripted series, which will be based on the Tony Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet,” will mark the 60th anniversary of the famed “Million Dollar Quartet” jam session that was recorded by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins in Dec. 1956.
Set in the early days of Memphis’ Civil Rights era, the series will document the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and the rise of the genre’s pioneering musicians during periods of extensive political change and social unrest.
CMT and Thinkfactory Media will begin a nationwide casting search for the roles of young Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, Ike Turner, Carl Perkins and other supporting characters beginning Feb. 3, with auditions to be held at the historic Humes Preparatory Academy Middle School, Presley’s alma mater, on February 13.
“‘Million Dollar Quartet’ will capture the star-crossed Memphis moments which led to the most explosive pop culture movement of the 20th Century, the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” said Brian Philips, CMT president. “The characters are all larger-than-life, so casting is a daunting challenge, but we’re counting on the magic of Memphis to come alive again! This is among our most ambitious projects ever, and we entrust it to a proven epic filmmaker, Leslie Greif.”
“We are thrilled to be working with CMT as they enter the scripted drama arena,” said Thinkfactory Media CEO and founder Leslie Greif, who will serve as an exec producer on the series. “At Thinkfactory Media, we pride ourselves in finding, developing and delivering products that fit the networks we work with, and ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ is perfectly suited for CMT because of its deep ties to country music and Nashville,” she said.
In addition to Greif, Jayson Dinsmore, Julia Silverton and “NCIS: Los Angeles’” Gil Grant will exec produce. Colin Escott is attached to produce.
The “Million Dollar Quartet” project is CMT’s second scripted series announced for 2016 — the network’s Billy Ray Cyrus-led ensemble comedy “Still the King” will premiere this summer.
Production for CMT’s “Million Dollar Project” adaptation is set to begin in Memphis this spring.
More on the above story…
Casting Call For Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash And More Begins For CMT’s ‘Million Dollar Quartet’
In a bold move similar to how NBC chose a newcomer to fill Dorothy’s shoes in The Wiz in 2015, CMT is launching a casting call this month to find fresh faces to portray young versions of musicians Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for a new scripted TV show tentatively titled Million Dollar Quartet.
The eight-episode drama, adapted from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, will focus on the quartet members, who were all 20-somethings when they joined forces for a history-making jam session at Sun Records Studios in Memphis in 1956 during the Civil Rights Movement.
“Million Dollar Quartet will capture the star-crossed Memphis moments, which led to the most explosive pop culture movement of the 20th Century, the birth of rock ‘n’ roll,” CMT President Brian Philips said in a statement. “The characters are all larger-than-life, so casting is a daunting challenge, but we’re counting on the magic of Memphis to come alive again.”
The show — debuting this year to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the recordings that spawned from the Dec. 4, 1956, gathering — will begin production in Memphis this spring after wrapping up auditions for the quartet as well as B.B. King, Ike Turner and more supporting characters.
CMT, the country-centric Viacom network, and production company Thinkfactory Media will hold the casting call at Presley’s former school, Humes Preparatory Academy Middle School, on Feb. 13. They encourage people to come prepared in 1950s-inspired hair and attire. Callbacks will immediately happen on Feb. 14.
Seperately, at a later date, CMT will announce who will star as Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records. Executive producers include Leslie Greif, Gil Grant, Jayson Dinsmore and Julia Silverton, while Colin Escott will serve as producer.
CMT describes the series as such: “Guided by Sam Phillips, young musicians like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis combined the styles of hillbilly country with the 1950s R&B sound created by artists like Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Fats Domino and Ike Turner, and changed the course of music forever. The series chronicles these young artists’ often jarring and sudden meteoric rise to fame in the face of sweeping political change and social unrest.”
Strip Scribbles: Elvis Presley star, …
By Robin Leach (contact)
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 | 5:03 p.m.
The late Elvis Presley received new recognition on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars this morning when the Viva Las Vegas Elvis Presley Fan Club installed a new star for the King of Rock and Roll outside Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas.
Elvis’ star is now located near Engelbert Humperdinck’s, initiating a new line of future stars. Since 2004, the walk project has honored people of prominence with placements along a 4-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard.
Elvis was originally inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars in September 2008 sponsored by the Viva Las Vegas Club. The club raised the current $20,000 fund requirement with donations from fans worldwide.
After an unveiling ceremony at the Riviera, the star was installed in front of the hotel where it remained until May when the Riviera closed. All of the stars in front were removed by request of the new building owner, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
The 7-year-old Elvis star was determined to not be in suitable condition to be re-installed. It was given to the club, who donated the star to the Neon Museum, where it will be included in an upcoming Riviera exhibit.
For the new star, the Las Vegas Walk of Stars coordinated arrangements with the Viva Las Vegas Club. The walk organization funded the replacement and installation; the club paid for the survey fee. The star is made of solid red granite, measures 3 feet square, is 2 inches thick and weighs more than 600 pounds. All donor names are on a list in the memory packet installed underneath the star.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2016
My friend, Jeannette, shared this video with me on Facebook. I love this rehearsal footage and this video has the full rehearsal so I want to share it here. I think Jesse will enjoy seeing this also.
Elvis Presley TTWII Rehearsal July 14, … 1970 MGM
DJleaD1981 Published on Dec 16, 2015
This is an interesting article which contains three good videos of Elvis songs…
Can you guess which Bob Dylan songs Elvis Presley sang?
February 3, 201612:48 PM MST
Since Elvis Presley was not a songwriter, he was always on the lookout for a good song to sing. He rose to worldwide fame in the 1950s hailed as The King of Rock and Roll as a result of having an uncanny ability to select the right songs to record that shot to the top of the charts.
So it’s not surprising that Presley was astute enough to cover songs by Bob Dylan and The Beatles, a band who as John Lennon explained would not exist without Elvis.
And it wasn’t just The Beatles that looked up to Presley. It may sound far-fetched, but Elvis was a huge influence on Bob Dylan. As a teenager growing up in Hibbing, Minnesota, Dylan idolized Elvis. He played in several rock and roll bands during high school and afterwards, but none of his groups ever seemed to stay together.
Dylan realized early on that if he wanted to make it in the music business, his best chance would be to go out on his own. In just a few short years, Dylan made a name for himself in the folk music genre. A great result of Dylan’s success was when his idol Elvis Presley officially recorded two of his songs.
Elvis sings Bob Dylan’s “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”
In 1966, Elvis recorded Bob Dylan’s “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” which appeared on hisSpinout soundtrack album. Elvis was inspired by Odetta’s version of the song, since Dylan had not yet released his own version at that point. Elvis Presley recorded the song on May 26, 1966 during sessions for his gospel album, How Great Thou Art.
Elvis sings Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
Presley recorded Dylan’s 1962 classic “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” on May 16, 1971 at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville. Elvis originally recorded a 12-minute version of the song, repeating the verses several times. An edited version of the song under 3 minutes in length was featured on the 1973 album, Elvis.
Elvis sings Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”
Elvis also sang an informal version of Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” (two verses only) during a recording session on May 20, 1971. It was later released in the box set of Presley’s 1970s songs, Walk A Mile In My Shoes.
It’s no question that Elvis’ beautiful singing voice rendered great versions of these Dylan songs. Dylan was later quoted as saying: “The highlight of my career? That’s easy, Elvis recording one of my songs.”
Elvis was very close friends with a small group of officers in the Denver, Colorado police department. He had an ongoing association with them over a number of years…from 1970 until 1977. A dear friend of mine, Nita, told me about the below book which she had just bought and read last week. It sounded very good and so I bought it as well. I thoroughly enjoyed Officer Cantwell’s story of his friendship with Elvis. Of course, Officer Cantwell is not “in the know” that Elvis did not really die. Few people around him were or are to this day…but nonetheless, his is a very interesting book. It is about Elvis, the man, not the superstar image. This is my kind of book. I will be sending my copy of this book along to Jesse tomorrow as a gift. I think he will enjoy reading about their friendship from Officer Cantwell’s perspective.
Here is the link from which I purchased my copy:
The Elvis Presley I Knew: Beyond the Headlines and Scandal to the Heart of the Superstar (Color Version) Elvis-Color Edition
Below is a scan of one page of Officer Cantwell’s book which I found to be important and very significant. Bear in mind that this book was written by a man whose profession was as a “narc” officer.
SENT TO JESSE THROUGH THIS POINT ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2016
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2016
My Facebook friend, Jeannette, shared the following image with me. It is from the Elvis – All That I Am Facebook site. This is exemplary of how miserable Elvis was and how much he wanted out of his life as “Elvis, the image“. I am so very thankful that he found that way out.
I remind the fans that this was written by the same man who the “Memphis Mafia” continues to say, to this day, loved being “ELVIS” and would not have wanted to change his life. Hmmmmm…maybe they did not really know him and/or were not paying attention????
Jesse told me “The last two years of my life were misery“. This is a direct quote of what he spoke to me himself over the phone several years ago.
Before I was so blessed to hear directly from Elvis in the spring of 1992, I was a soul possessed to educate myself (and anyone else who would listen) to the fact that Elvis was still alive and that he had done some work AFTER 8-16-1977 in the music and movie industries from behind the scenes. The primary focus of my attention was the Orion (the singer) and Orion Pictures (the movie production company). I was able to prove the trail of clues which threaded through the singer and then continued on without missing a beat to the Orion movies. You may see all of my material on my three pages devoted to the topic of ORION. Here are the links to my ORION pages:
One of the facts which I found way back then was that, during the same year in which Gail Brewer-Giorgio’s book “The Most Incredible Elvis Presley Story Ever Told” (which was later published as “Is Elvis Alive?“) became the bestseller and the topic of conversation everywhere in 1988, Orion Pictures put out several movies which were very much Elvis- flavored. Even more important than Orion Pictures waving Elvis flags in some of their movies was the fact that Orion Pictures was shooting films in Memphis in 1988. Below is an excerpt from a document which was compiled by a Tennessee agency regarding the movies which were filmed in Tennessee. I have circled those in 1988 which were shot in Memphis…take note of the ORION PICTURES/CLASSICS presence.
Also I have included one item from another page of this same document…showing that, in 1991, one of Orion’s biggest hit movies “SILENCE OF THE LAMBS” also was partially filmed in Memphis.
As you will see in my continued article below, it is quite an economic shot-in-the-arm for the cities in which movies and shows are filmed…so the states and cities profit greatly from the film locations.
My point is that the above shows that “someone” involved with Orion Pictures wanted to throw a lot of business into Memphis. So, who do we know who loved Memphis and always wanted Memphis to be seen in a very good light? Also, who would have loved to throw out some clues to get people to subconsiously connect Memphis and Elvis with Orion Pictures during the 1988 “Elvis alive” craze?
State approves $4 million grant for CMT’s “Million Dollar Quartet” television series
Friday, February 5, 2016 12:00 am
It’s been 60 years since Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins made a recording in the Sun Records studio in Memphis that brought the singers to be known as the “Million Dollar Quartet.”
Coinciding with that anniversary, CMT will air an eight episode scripted television series later this year to adapt the Tony Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet.”
The series will be filmed in Memphis starting in the spring. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has approved a $4.3 million grant for the project.
“Memphis is the birth place of rock ‘n’ roll music, and we are ecstatic to be able to support a television series that tells the story of the city’s role in one of the most influential cultural phenomenon of the last century,” said ECD Commissioner Randy Boyd in a statement announcing the grant. “This is truly a Tennessee story.”
The series, with the working title “Million Dollar Quartet,” will focus on the lives of Presley, Cash, Lewis and Perkins, as well as record producer Sam Phillips, who made the 1956 recording at Sun Records studio.
“The series chronicles these young artists’ often jarring and sudden meteoric rise to fame in the face of sweeping political change and social unrest,” according to a casting call from CMT.
CMT is partnering with Thinkfactory Media to create the series. The production company is holding a nationwide casting call for actors to portray the iconic singers, as well as BB King, Ike Turner and Trixie Dean, Presley’s girlfriend. The casting call will be on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Presley’s alma mater, Humes Preparatory Academy in Memphis.
Recruiting the project
Even though the story is set in Memphis, it wasn’t a sure thing that the series would be filmed in Tennessee.
Tennessee officials had to recruit the project to be filmed here, said Clint Brewer, ECD assistant commissioner for communications and marketing.
“It was a competitive project,” Brewer said. “They were looking at another location.”
The film company is receiving a grant of up to $4.3 million through the Tennessee Entertainment Production Incentives program, Brewer said. The grant will reimburse 25 percent of the film company’s qualified expenditures, the maximum amount allowed under the program.
The economic impact of the project will include spending at local businesses near the site and a projected 160 film crew positions, Brewer said.
Officials are excited about the marketing value of a production like “Million Dollar Quartet.” Brewer compared the potential to that of ABC’s drama “Nashville.”
“Every episode gets viewed by about 8 million people globally in about 50 countries, there’s a big audience for it,” he said.
“We hope this will be the same way. There’s a big upside in the marketing when a show like this goes on.”
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2016
I enjoyed reading about some of Elvis’ experiences when he was just starting out and the interesting hardships he encountered back then…
Texas put Elvis Presley over the top during the beginning of his career
Elvis Presley said Texas put him on top in his early career.
Graphic by Jack Dennis, Photos courtesy of Texas Elvis Fan Club archives
“I owe a lot to Texas,” Elvis Presley once told a Dallas newspaper reporter. “They’re the ones who put me over the top.”
In honor of the Lone Star State’s association with Presley, and the 60th anniversary of his banner year of 1956, Texas will pay a special tribute to the King of Rock n’ Roll on March 4-6, 2015 during the largest Elvis Presley festival in state history. Promoters of the event said today that Texas is the perfect place for the festival.
This inaugural Texas Tribute to Elvis Championship and Festival is hosted by Tees Events USA LLC and will take place at the legendary South Fork Ranch near Dallas. Tees Events has received accolades for their successful and very popular Europe’s Tribute to Elvis events. Fans will be entertained throughout the three day experience with special guests and thecompetition worthy of being one of the global official heats for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.
Elvis first crossed into Texas on Nov. 21, 1954 after nearly starving in Louisiana. A booking agent had seen Elvis, along with Scotty Moore and Bill Black, appearing as the Blue Moon Boys during a Louisiana Hayride performance and offered them two weeks’ worth of gigs in some of the area nightclubs. When they showed up for the first show, they soon discovered this particular agent had been blacklisted by the clubs. The Blue Moon Boys were stranded. With no place to stay and little money for gas or fuel, they made a call to the Hayride for help. Some of the staff called around Shreveport and was able to secure a few appearances at nearby taverns.
Tillman Franks, of the Hayride, reached out to his buddy Tom Perryman, a DJ in Gladewater, Texas who found the band a show at the Mint Club in that little town. When Moore called Frank to inquire about any more work, the Boys had made their way to Houston for gas money and a meal in a dance hall before they performed. There was a little money left to put Elvis on a bus while the Moore and Black drove to Gladewater.
When Perryman and his friend Hal Long met Elvis at the Gladewater bus stop, they could tell he was famished and tired. They drove Elvis to his first meal in a Texas restaurant, the Green Hut café, while Long’s wife, who worked at a nearby cleaners, took his jacket for pressing.
That evening, Perryman saw Presley perform for the first time and was impressed how the women began swarming the stage. During a break, Elvis signed autographs on photos for fifty cents. Some of the East Texas women posed for pictures and received hugs or stole kisses from Presley. The DJ felt so sorry for the band he decided not to take his 25% commission. Elvis went to bed for his first full night of sleep in Texas on Nov. 22, 1954 at the Res-More Motel, with $90 to split with Scotty and Bill.
Here are other little known facts about Elvis Presley’s 1950s shows in Texas:
The first Texas lunch ever served Elvis was the next day at Gladewater’s Green Frog restaurant. He ate barbeque. After Scotty and Bill woke up, they traveled back to Houston for a better paying performance. Elvis wired his parents money and a telegram:
“HI BABIES. HERE’S THE MONEY TO PAY THE BILLS. DON’T TELL NOONE HOW MUCH I SENT I WILL SEND MORE NEXT WEEK. THERE IS A CARD IN THE MAIL. LOVE, ELVIS”
- Elvis played his first game of sports in Texas on Dec. 17, 1954 at the Hawkins High School gym, where the band was playing that night. The Hawkins Hawks basketball team were practicing while they were setting up their equipment on the makeshift stage. Elvis asked if he could play and soon he and the Blue Moon boys were dressed in gym shorts and T-shirts provided by the friendly team.
- Elvis’s first New Year’s Eve performance was on Dec. 31, 1954 at Eagle Hall in Houston. By this time, the band quit their regular jobs in Memphis: Scotty at his brother’s dry cleaners, Bill at Firestone Tires, and Elvis, a truck driver for Crown Electric.
- During three of Elvis’s earliest Texas performances, he inspired several teenage audience members to become successful singer-songwriters: Roy Orbison was on the front row of his Feb. 16, 1955 show in Odessa High School Field House. In the crowd of Elvis’s performance on the afternoon of June 3, 1955 at Lubbock’s Johnson-Connelly Pontiac Showroom was Mac Davis. That night at the Fair Park Coliseum, Buddy Holly was in attendance.
- During an eight day tour in October 1955, Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys drove 2037 miles in Texas, averaging over 250 miles between each gig.
- When the band appeared in Lubbock the first time in 1954, their take was $75 that evening. By the time they returned on April 10, 1956, they earned over $4,000 to perform in front of 10,000 people. It took a team of 20 local police officers to keep the 1956 crowd at bay.
- The first time caravans of buses were used to carry fans to attend an Elvis performance was in Texas. On April 13, 1956 three busloads of students from White Deer High School arrived at Amarillo’s Municipal Auditorium for that evening’s show. Teachers and chaperones reported the bus ride return was far from uneventful as girls continued crying, screaming and sobbing on the long trip back.
- Two days later, at the Municipal Auditorium (now the Tobin Center) in San Antonio, over 3,000 fans caused a near riot at the back stage door attempting to get an autograph between Elvis’s afternoon and evening shows.
- The Oct. 11, 1956 Dallas Cotton Bowl show broke records with over 26,000 fans in attendance watching another Elvis first. The King rode a convertible onto the center stage in the stadium. Years later, Elvis would repeat the convertible ride to the stage during Houston Astrodome appearances.
- Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’s manager awarded super fan Kay Wheeler with passes to Dallas, San Antonio and Waco shows for her hard work as the founder and national president of a 10,000-member strong Elvis Presley Fan Club.
- His Oct. 14, 1956 performance in San Antonio would be Elvis Presley’s last Texas performance until 15 years later.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2016
The definitive truth about Elvis Presley and racism according to B.B. King
San Antonio Headlines Examiner
February 1, 2016
B.B. King knew “the definitive truth about Elvis Presley and racism. “Graphic and B.B. King photo by Jack Dennis; Other photos courtesy of Texas Elvis Fan Club archives
“Let me tell you the definitive truth about Elvis Presley and racism,” The King of the Blues,B.B. King said in 2010. “With Elvis, there was not a single drop of racism in that man. And when I say that, believe me I should know.”
A few years before Presley walked into Sam Phillip’s Recording Service at Sun Studios in Memphis, Riley B. King was beginning his recording career there in 1951. King does remember when he first met the young Presley, it was obvious how respectful and comfortable he was around bluesmen. King, in his 1996 autobiography, said Presley “was different. He was friendly. I remember Elvis distinctly because he was handsome, quiet and polite to a fault. Spoke with this thick molasses southern accent, and always called me ‘sir’. I liked that.”
There has been much debate and speculation in the music world this weekend about Presley’s impact on music as it relate race. Perhaps it’s because of the controversial lyricsfrom a new Macklemore song called “White Privilege II which suggests Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea and Elvis Presley are “so plastic, you’ve heisted the magic” from the black culture. Others suggest its because of some other of the growing division in America between races the last seven years. Many think it could be making news because of Will Smith’s decisionto boycott the Academy Awards.
In an Oct. 10, 2010 interview with this writer in his tour bus behind the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, Texas, King was particularly open in his comments. Perhaps it was because present of Hilton Conrad Joseph, a saxophone player for King in the 1970’s and 80’s that the writer helped arrange the two to see each other after more than 20 years). King enthusiastically shared his thoughts about happiness, his famous guitar (“Lucille”), musical influences and Elvis, “the other King.”
“All of our (Presley’s and King’s) influences had something in common,” King explained. “We were born poor in Mississippi, went through poor childhoods and we learned and earned our way through music. You see, I talked with Elvis about music early on, and I know one of the big things in heart was this: Music is owned by the whole universe. It isn’t exclusive to the black man or the white man or any other color. It shared in and by our souls.”
“I told Elvis once, and he told me he remembered I told him this, is that music is like water,” King pointed out. “Water is for every living person and every living thing.”
King raised his finger up as if Elvis was still in front of him, and profoundly declared, “Water from the white fountain don’t taste any better than from the black fountain. We just need to share it, that’s all. You see, Elvis knew this and I know this.”
“Many people make the mistake of being wrong about all of this,” King continued. “If you ask anyone, I’m talking about people from all kinds of music—Blues, Soul, Country, Gospel, whatever—and if they are honest with you and have been around long enough to know—they’ll thank Elvis for his contributions. He opened many doors and by all his actions, not just his words, he showed his love for all people.”
“People don’t realize that when ‘That’s All Right, Mama’ was first played (by Dewey Phillips in July 1954) no one had ever heard anything like that record,” King stressed. “It wasn’t just country. It was Rhythm and Blues. It was Pop music. It was music for everybody. This is important.”
King spelled out that there were two very specific music influences that he had in common with Presley.
“I was barely 11 years old, when one of the greatest influences of my life, Robert Johnson, was recording just across the street from this (Majestic) theater recording his first ever songs,” he revealed.
King was talking about how, on the corner of Houston and St. Mary’s streets in San Antonio,at the Gunter Hotel, Johnson changed the music world forever. King grew up listening to the 16 songs Johnson recorded in the Gunter and “that had a lot to do with where I am today.”
“Johnson came from the same dirt Elvis and so many of us did,” King submitted. “It was the world of sharecropping, and to survive that hard work bending over all day long, there would be plenty of singing. Elvis’s momma and daddy did their share of it—both the picking and the singing. It was called survival. It was called life. It was just as important to us as water. It was as important to those of us who had it in our souls as the water.”
“The other big influence was Jimmy Rogers,” King said. “Some people want to say he was the Father of Country Music, but like Elvis, he was more than that. He was a big influence on not just me. I used to listen to my aunt’s records of Jimmy Rogers and that was a real treat. I liked that ‘Mississippi Delta Blues’ and to listen to him yodel.”
“I never did yodel,” King laughed. “But Jimmy Rogers could sure yodel. He was very good at it. But yes, he influenced more than country music, he influenced Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters as much as he did Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson. See, Elvis did that too, but only much wider. Elvis influenced everybody’s music and it was for the good of all of us.”
“Now, where did Jimmy Rogers learn his music from,” King asked, before he gave the answer. “He learned it working alongside the black railroad workers and hobos. Elvis lived and played with black children back in (Tupelo) Mississippi. He told me that when he was just a baby and his mama had to work, he was cared for sometimes by his grandmamma, but mostly by a neighbor black lady.”
Rogers turned out to be the first superstar in the country music field. Born in 1897, his mother died when he was barely seven years old. He spent his childhood residing with several relatives in southwest Alabama and southeast Mississippi. His father found him a job working for the railroad as a water boy for the railroad and Rodgers soon fit in among the rail workers and hobos. He enjoyed listening to gandy dancers, African American workers, who would sing hymns and work songs daily. He learned to pick a guitar from some of them.
“People today will say things about Elvis they just don’t know about,” King commented. “They want to say this is black music, this is white music, this is country music. But when Elvis came along all that was suddenly washed down the drain.”
“Before Elvis we had Little Black Sambo, separate black restrooms and water fountains, and colored events that kept us away from the whites,” King noted as he mention that Presley would attend events especially designated just for African-Americans. In June 1956, Presley ignored Memphis’s segregation ordinances by attending ‘colored night’ at the local fairgrounds amusement park. The following December, King was there as Presley opened up almost unbreakable racial barriers by attending and supporting the segregated WDIA black radio station’s annual fund-raising event for ‘needy Negro children’ at Memphis’ Ellis Auditorium.
King wrote in his autobiography that he “liked Elvis. I saw him as a fellow Mississippian. I was impressed by his sincerity. When he came to the Goodwill Review (the event WDIA fund raisers of 1956 and 1957), he did himself proud.”
“The Goodwill Revues were important,” he wrote. “The entire black community turned out. All the DJs carried on, putting on skits and presenting good music.”
“When Elvis appeared (in 1956) he was already a big, big star,” King continued. “Remember this was the fities so for a young white boy to show up in an all-black function took guts.”
“I believe he was showing his roots and he seemed proud of those roots. After the show he made a point of posing for pictures with me treating me like royalty,” King recalled. “He’d tell people I was one of his influences. I doubt whether that’s true but I like hearing Elvis give Memphis credit for his musical upbringing.”
“Back in ’72, Elvis helped me get a good gig at the Hilton Hotel while he was playing in the big theater,” King acknowledged in 2010. “He put in a call for me and I worked in the lounge to standing room only. Elvis fans came in different colors but their love of good music was all the same. They were always a good audience.”
“Many nights I’d go upstairs after we finished our sets and go up to his suite,” King confessed. “I’d play Lucille (his guitar) and sing with Elvis, or we’d take turns. It was his way of relaxing.”
“I’ll tell you a secret,” King winked and laughed. “We were the original Blues Brothers because that man knew more blues songs that most in the business—and after some nights it felt like we sang everyone one of them. But my point is, that when we were hanging out in the Hilton in the 70s, Elvis had not lost his respect, his ‘yes sir,’ his love for all fields of music. And I liked that.”
At the same time “Heartbreak Hotel” was climbing the charts in March 1956, Billboardmagazine featured an article called, “Barriers Being Swept Away in C&W, Pop and R&B Fields. “Hard and fast cleavages between the country and western, pop, and rhythm and blues fields are rapidly breaking down,” writer Paul Ackerman penned. “Perhaps the most interesting example of the breakdown of categories, however, is the current overlapping of the country, rhythm and blues fields … The outstanding example of this type of performer today is Elvis Presley, recently with Sun Records and now on the Victor label.”
When Sam Phillips, as Sun Records, released a Presley record, he made sure each bop/rock/pop song had a country tune on the flip side to appeal to both type of listeners. RCA took this innovation even further by marketing Presley in Country, Rhythm and Blues, and Pop fields. By May of 1956, Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” became the first “Double-Triple Crown” in Billboard history.
In his autobiography, King said he held no grudges because “Elvis didn’t steal any music from anyone. He just had his own interpretation of the music he’d grown up on, same is true for everyone. I think Elvis had integrity.”
“If anyone says Elvis Presley was a racist,” charged B.B. King in the 2010 interview. “Then they don’t know a thing about Elvis Presley or music history.”
Jesse phoned me tonight and we had a good visit. He is doing well. We had several topics to discuss this time and so I haven’t anything to share from our visit. He again emphasized to me to pass along his thanks to every person who did something for him and little Nick. He appreciates everything so much and does not want anyone to feel that he did not enjoy their acts of kindness.
SENT TO JESSE THROUGH THIS POINT ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2016
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016
Graceland just released another of the Hidden Graceland tours a few days ago. This one shows lots of things we’ve never seen before.
The Gates of Graceland – Hidden Graceland, Part 2
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2016
Jesse said to me during one of our phone conversations years ago “I’ve had a hard life. People don’t think that I have, but I have.”
For those who are new to the history of Elvis, I refer you to the list of shows he did in 1954 and 1955. This is an eye-opener for those who think that he just suddenly burst upon the scene in 1956.
Hard working man….Elvis concerts….
17 July Memphis TN, Bon Air Club
30 July Memphis TN, Overton Park Shell
1 August West Memphis TN, KWEM Radio
7 August Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
16 August Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
18 August Memphis TN, Bellevue Par
27 August Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
29 August Memphis TN, Kennedy Hospital, Gerwell Road 9 September Memphis TN, Lamar Airways Shopping Center
18 September Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
24 September Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
25 September Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
1 October Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
2 October Nashville, Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium
6 October Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
8 October Atlanta GA, Silver Slipper
9 October Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
13 October Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
16 October Shreveport Louisiana, Hayride, Municipal Auditorium
20 October Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
23 October Shreveport Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium
29 October Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
30 October Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
6 November Shreveport Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium
8 November Memphis, Memphis State
13 November Shreveport Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium
17 November Memphis TN, Eagle’s Nest
19 November Shreveport Lake Cliff Club
20 November Shreveport Louisiana Hayride
21 November Houston Texas, Magnolia Gardens
21 November Houston Texas, Cook’s Hoe-Down Club
22 November Gladewater Texas, KSIJ Radio, Mint Club
23 November Gladewater Texas, Roundup Club
24 November New Boston Texas
25 November Houston Texas, Palladium Club
26 November Houston Texas, Palladium Club
27 November Shreveport, Louisiana Hayride
2 December Helena Arkansas, Catholic Club
3 December Texarkana Arkansas, Municipal Auditorium
4 December Shreveport, Louisiana Hayride
10 December Memphis, Eagle’s Nest
11 December Shreveport, Louisiana Hayride
18 December Shreveport, Louisiana Hayride
22 December Shreveport, Lake Cliff Club
25 December Shreveport, Louisiana Hayride
28 December Houston Texas, Cook’s Hoe-Down Club
1 January Houston Texas, Eagles Hall
4 January Odessa Texas, High School Auditorium
5 January San Angelo, City Auditorium
6 January Lubbock, Cotton Club
7 January Midland, Midland high School
12 January Clarksdale Ms, City Auditorium
13 January Helena Arkansas, Catholic Club
14 January Marianna Arkansas
17 January Boonsville Ms, Northeast Mississippi Community College
18 January Corinth Ms, Acorn Country Courthouse Assembly Hall
19 January Sheffield AL
20 January Leachville Arkansas
21 January Sikeston MO
24 January Hawkins Texas
25 January Tyler Texas
26 January Gilmer Texas
27 January Longview Texas
28 January Gaston Texas
4 February New Orleans
6 February Memphis
7 February Ripley Miss.
10 February Alpine Texas
11 February Carlsbad NM
12 February Carlsbad NM
13 February Lubbock Texas
13 February Lubbock Texas
14 February Roswell NM
15 February Abilene Texas
16 February Odessa Texas
17 February San Angelo Texas
18 February West Monroe LA
20 February Little Rock, AR
21 February Camden AR
22 February Hope AR
23 February Pine Bluff AR
24 February Bastrop LA
25 February Texarkana AR
26 February Cleveland OH
2 March Newport AR
2 March Newport AR
4 March DeKalb, Texas
8 March Helena AR
9 March Poplar Bluff MO
10 March Clarksdale MS
19 March College Station Texas
19 March Houston, Texas
20 March Houston, Texas
20 March Houston, Texas
30 March El Dorado Arkansas
31 March Longview, Texas
1 April Odessa, Texas
2 April Houston, Texas
7 April Corinth MS
8 April Glover MO
10 April Houston, Texas
10 April Houston, Texas
13 April Breckenridge, Texas
14 April Gainesville, Texas
15 April Stamford, Texas
15 April Stamford, Texas
16 April Dallas, Texas
20 April Grenada, MS, American Legion Hut
22 April Texarkana, AR. Arkansas Municipal Stadium
23 April Waco, Texas Heart O’ Texas Coliseum
24 April Houston, Texas Magnolia Gardens
24 April Houston, Texas Cook’s Hoe-Down Club
25 April Wichita Falls, Texas M-B Corral Club
25 April Seymour, Texas High School Auditorium
26 April Big Spring, Texas City Auditorium
29 April Lubbock, Texas Cotton Club
30 April Glade Water, Texas High School Gymnasium
1 May New Orleans, LA Municipal Auditorium
2 May Baton Rouge, LA High school Auditorium
4 May Mobile, AL Ladd Stadium
5 May Mobile, AL Ladd Stadium
7 May Daytona Beach, FL Peabody Auditorium
8 May Tampa, FL. Fr Homer Hesterly Auditorium
9 May Fort Myers, FL City Auditorium
10 May Ocala, FL South-Eastern Pavilion
11 May Orlando, FL Municipal Auditorium
12 May Jacksonville, FL Gator Bawl Baseball Park
13 May Jacksonville, FL Gator Bawl Baseball Park
14 May New Bern, NC Srine Auditorium
15 May Norfolk, VA Norfolk City Auditorium
16 May Richmond, VA Mosque Theatre
17 May Asheville, NC City Auditorium
18 May Roanoke, VA American Legion Auditorium
19 May Raleigh, NC Memorial Auditorium
20 May Kilgore, Texas KOCA Radio
22 May Houston, Texas Magnolia Gardens
22 May Houston, Texas Cook’s Hoe-Down Club
25 May Meridian, MS American Legion Hall
26 May Meridian, MS Junior College Stadium
28 May Dallas, Texas Sportarium
29 May Forth Worth, Texas North Side Coliseum
29 May Dallas, Texas Sportarium
31 May Midland, Texas High School Auditorium
31 May Midland, Texas High School Field House
1 June Guymon, OK High school Auditorium
3 June Lubbock, Texas Johnson Connelly Pontiac Showroom
3 June Lubbock, Texas Fair Park Coliseum
5 June Hope, AR Fair Park Coliseum
8 June Sweetwater, Texas Auditorium
10 June Breckenridge, Texas American Legion Hall
14 June Bruce MS High School Gymnasium
15 June Belden MISS High School Gymnasium
17 June Stamford, Texas Roundup Hall, High School
18 June Dallas, Texas Sportarium
19 June Houston, Texas Magnolia Gardens (matinee)
19 June Houston, Texas Cook’s Hoedown Club (eve)
20 June Beaumont Texas
21 June Beaumont Texas
23 June Lawton, OK McMahon Memorial Auditorium (8pm)
23 June Lawton, OK Southern Club (11pm)
24 June Altus, OK
26 June Biloxi, MS Slavonian Lodge Auditorium
27 June Kessler, MS Air Force Base
28 June Kessler, MS Air Force Base
29 June Mobile, AL Radio Ranch Club
30 June Mobile, AL Radio Ranch Club
1 July Plaquemine, LA Casino Club
3 July Corpus Christi, Texas Hoedoen Club
4 July Stephenville, Texas City Recreation Hall
4 July DeLeon, Texas Hodges Park (afternoon)
4 July Brownwood, Texas Soldier’s & Sailor’s Memorial Hall (8pm)
20 July Cape Girardeau MO Cape Arena
21 July Newport, AR Silver Moon Club
25 July Fort Myers, FL City Auditorium
26 July Orlando, FL Municipal Auditorium
27 July Orlando, FL Municipal Auditorium
28 July Jacksonville, FL Gator Stadium Baseball Park
29 July Jacksonville, FL Gator Stadium Baseball Park
30 July Daytona Beach, FL Peabody Auditorium
31 July Tampa, FL Ft Homer Hesterly Armony
1 August Tupelo, MS Fairgrounds
2 August Muscle Shoals, AL Sheffield Community
3 August Little Rock, AR. Robinson Auditorium
4 August Camden, AR. Municipal Auditorium
5 August Memphis Overton Park Shell
7 August Houston, Texas Magnolia Gardens (matinee)
7 August Houston, Texas Cook’s Hoedown Club (eve)
8 August Tyler, Texas Mayfair Building
9 August Henderson, Texas Rodeo Arena
10 August Gladewater, Texas Bear Stadium
11 August Longview, Texas Reo Palm Isle Club
12 August Kilgore, Texas Driller Park
22 August Wichita Falls, Texas Spudder Park
23 August Bryan, Texas Saddle Club
24 August Conroe, Texas High School Football Field
25 August Austin, Texas Sport Center
26 August Gonzales, Texas Baseball Park
1 September New Orleans, LA Pontchartrain Beach
2 September Texarkana, AR Arkansas Municipal Stadium
3 September Dallas, Texas Sportarium Then Round Up Club
5 September Forrest City, AR St Francis Country Fair and Livestock Show
6 September Bono, AR High School Gymnasium
7 September Sikeston, AR National Guard Armony
8 September Clarksdale, MS City Auditorium
11 September Norfolk, VA City Auditorium
12 September Norfolk, VA City Auditorium
13 September New Bern, NC Shrine Auditorium
14 September Wilson, NC Fleming Stadium
15 September Roanoke, VA American Legion Auditorium
16 September Asheville, NC City Auditorium
17 September Thomasville, NC High School Auditorium
18 September Richmond, VA WRVA Theater
19 September Richmond, VAWRVA Theater
20 September Danville, VA Fairgrounds
21 September Raleigh, NC Memorial Auditorium
22 September Kingsport, TN Civic Auditorium
28 September Glober, MO B&B Club
3 October College Station, Texas G Rolle White Coliseum, A&M University
4 October Paris, Texas Boys Club Gymnasium
5 October Greenville, Texas City Auditorium
6 October San Marcos, Texas Southwest Texas State University (matinee)
6 October Austin, Texas Skyline Club
8 October Houston, Texas City Auditorium
10 October Brownwood Texas Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall
11 October Abilene, Texas Fair Park Auditorium
12 October Midland, Texas High School Auditorium
13 October Amarillo, Texas City Auditorium
14 October Odessa, Texas
15 October Lubbock, Texas Fair Park Auditorium later at Cotton Club
16 October Oklahoma City, OK
17 October El Dorado, AR Memorial Auditorium
19 October Cleveland, OH Circle Theatre
20 October Film locations (day) Circle Theatre (eve)
21 October St Louis MO Missouri Theatre
22 October St Louis MO Missouri Theatre
23 October St Louis MO Missouri Theatre
24 October Newport, AR Silver Moon Club
26 October Prichard, AL Greater Gulf States Fair Blakely Island
6 November Biloxi, MS Community House
7 November Keesler, MS Airmen’s Club, Keesler Air Force Club
8 November Keesler, MS Airmen’s Club, Keesler Air Force Club
12 November Carthage, Texas Carthage Milling Co (aft)
13 November Memphis, Ellis Auditorium
14 November Forrest City, AR High School Auditorium
15 November Sheffield, AL Community Center
16 November Camden, AR City Auditorium
17 November Texarkana Arkansas Municipal Auditorium later Hut Club
18 November Longview, Texas Reo Palm Isle Club
19 November Gladewater, Texas High School
25 November Port Arthur, Texas Woodrow Wilson Junior
2 December Atlanta, GA. Sport Arena
3 December Montgomery, AL State Coliseum
4-7 December Indianapolis, IN Lyric Theater
8 December Louisville, KY Rialto Theater
19 December Memphis, Ellis Auditorium
Then, things really got crazy…his life was never really his own until after August 16, 1977.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2016
I wish everyone a lovely Valentine’s day.
Hope your day is filled with love and making good memories.
I liked seeing this photo of Elvis. He had just been introduced by the person on stage as he was a member of the audience at someone else’s show in Vegas.
I liked reading this letter written to the L.A. Times and published by them:
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