I am very happy and gratified to have reached a total site visitor count of one million today.  I began this website in mid May, 2009.  I have fought tooth and nail to keep this site accurate, strong and open to everyone.  I take it so very seriously that I am standing up for, and presenting the truth about, the man the world knew and loved as Elvis Aron Presley.  It is one of the greatest honors of my life to be blessed with the trust and friendship of the amazing man who was Elvis and who is now Jesse.  

I thank everyone so very much for visiting my site and making it possible for my site to have achieved this fantastic number of visitors.

I also am very thankful to Mark C. who rescued my site when it was sabotaged under the watch of my former web host, TipTop.  Had it not been for Mark stepping forward with his legal counsel to rescue my domain name and to salvage all of the material from my original site, I would have had to start all over and would have lost about 2 years of my original work.

Most of all, I thank Jesse for being there with his moral support and his friendship…and, most of all, for his permission to use my real name to defend myself against all the lies which had already been spread on the Internet about me.  That occurred after Jesse’s book was published in 2001 when a few very mean-spirited people recognized that I am Shuma in Jesse’s book.  Had that not taken place, I would have never shared my friendship with Jesse here on my site nor in any other public manner.

Again, my heartfelt thanks to everyone for making this possible.



Choose who must hold the title of the king for 2016!  

Elvis Presley – The King of Music 2015. All Hail The King!


I vote every single day and I hope everyone who reads this will do so also for every day the rest of this year.

Lets make it happen again for this new year of 2016!



Lets make it happen again for this new year of 2016!

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.



Earlier today when I checked on the visitors to my site, I was so happy to see that the number of visitors from foreign nations is very strong.  This has been true pretty much constantly.  But, I loved seeing the visitors in just 59 minutes was as shown below:

I am so very grateful to ALL of my visitors for making my web site the success that it has become.


Graceland has created another of their wonderful videos of  “Hidden Graceland” which is so very enjoyable.  Jesse does watch these too when I send them to him and has commented.

Gates of Graceland – Hidden Graceland, Part 3


Published on Oct 18, 2016

Join Host Tom Brown and Graceland Director of Archives Angie Marchese as they take you on a tour of Hidden Graceland in the latest episode of The Gates of Graceland. See unseen areas of Elvis’ parents’ bedroom, the kitchen and much more.



6-Foot Guitar Statues Once Again Honor Elvis in His Hometown


TUPELO, Miss. — Oct 27, 2016, 12:56 PM ET

Guitar-shaped statues that honor Elvis have been reinstalled in the Mississippi town where the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was born.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal ( ) reports the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association installed 14 of the 24 statues honoring Elvis alongside downtown sidewalks on Wednesday. The rest were placed in other parts of town.

The 6-foot replicas of Elvis’ first guitar were designed and painted by area elementary students in 2010. They were installed in Tupelo, but were removed at the start of the of the Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail construction.

Association director Debbie Brangenberg says most didn’t need any repairs, but three are being refurbished.

She said tourists and residents love the guitars, which she says fit in great with the new downtown landscape.

Iconic Elvis guitar statues reinstalled downtown

Posted on October 27, 2016 by Zack Orsborn in News

By Zack Orsborn

Daily Journal

TUPELO – After two years of construction, Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association began reinstalling some of the iconic Elvis guitars alongside the downtown sidewalks on Wednesday.

DTMSA took down 14 of the guitars – designed and painted by area elementary students through a partnership with Tupelo Public School District installed in 2010 – at the genesis of the Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail construction.

Fourteen out of the 24 guitars were installed in downtown Tupelo while the rest were placed between Green Street and U.S. Highway 45. A few are on display at the Tupelo Automobile Museum and the BancorpSouth Arena.

Debbie Brangenberg, DTMSA director, welcomed the six-foot replicas of Elvis’ first guitar reinstalled by Boyd Yarbrough.

“The guitars fit in great with the new downtown landscape,” she said. “Pedestrians and tourists love them. They make wonderful photo opportunities.”

Brangenberg said one of her favorites was the guitar installed by Tupelo Hardware Store because of the way it captures the essence of Elvis.

Downtown vendors and businesses joined in her excitement.

“They’ve come outside and said they were happy to see them back,” she said.

Brangenberg said the majority of the guitars, stored in a warehouse, did not need any repairs, but three of them are in the process of being refurbished and will be installed later.

“We also have one new one that was donated by Cooper Tire,” she said 

The Tupelo Guitar Art Project stemmed from Kit Stafford, an art teacher at Thomas Street Elementary. Each school within the Tupelo Public School District was responsible for coming up with the designs and painting their respective guitars while also doing “extensive research” on Elvis’s life.

As part of the 75th birthday anniversary of Elvis Presley, the first guitar was installed in front of Tupelo Hardware Store.

The guitars fit into DTMSA’s mission of sustaining and enhancing the downtown experience to “make strangers talk, children ask questions and calm a hurried life.”

The project was funded through a $14,000 grant from the Elaine Dundy and Roy Turner Endowment Fund.

Thomas Wells | Buy at PHOTOS.DJOURNAL.COM
Metal guitars that were hand painted by students of the Tupelo Public School District wait to be reinstalled along East Mian Street Wednesday morning following over a year in storage as work on the strecth of road was completed.

Thomas Wells | Buy at PHOTOS.DJOURNAL.COM
Keith Cox, from left, Boyd Yarbrough and Jacob Whaley begin to reinstall the “Elvis Guitars” along East Main Street Wednesday morning after they were removed during the renovation to the road over a year ago.

Thomas Wells | Buy at PHOTOS.DJOURNAL.COM
Boyd Yarbrough gets ready to secure the first “Guitar” to the concrete as his crew gets to put them back in place now that East Main construction in now complete.






I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone who is a citizen of the USA to vote this coming Tuesday.  The very soul of our great nation is at stake.  This is the most important and critical election in our lifetime.  Remember, the president we elect will be choosing justices for the Supreme Court who will determine the direction of our nation for many decades to come.  These justices will be making decisions to uphold our constitution or to destroy the very foundation upon which our nation was founded.  We are in danger of losing our freedom to bear arms to defend our homes and families; our freedom of religion; our freedom of speech; our access to good health care; our being able to say that we live in a FREE COUNTRY.  



Our good friend, Elaine, shared the following news in a message to Jesse and I want to share it with others as well. Congratulations to Jesse!


A good friend to Jesse and me shared the following article with me and so I share it here for my visitors as well. Please bear in mind that some of this would not be pleasing to Elvis then nor to Jesse now.  But, it is interesting nonetheless.

Why Elvis never left the building

A new book examines the enduring appeal of Graceland, 40 years after Elvis

Brian Bethune

November 5, 2016


By Ted Harrison

Next Aug. 16 will mark the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, and that has the operators of Graceland, Presley’s Memphis home-cum-shrine-cum-official National Historic Landmark, bracing for a spike in visitors. Perhaps, though, the more significant anniversary comes next month. The immortal phrase “Elvis has left the building” was first uttered 60 years ago, on Dec. 15, 1956, by a concert promoter anxious to disperse a crowd of fans. As far as Harrison is concerned, Elvis has never left, period.

His estate still generates in excess of $40 million in revenue every year. His fan base remains legion: when the game show Family Feud posed the question, “Who would people mean by a reference to ‘the king’?” 81 per cent replied “Elvis,” while only seven per cent in religious America answered “Jesus.” Princes William and Harry have been to Graceland, while U.S. president George W. Bush personally escorted Japanese prime minister and superfan Junichiro Koizumi there in 2006, taking care to have the Air Force One chef prepare a Presley favourite en route, fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Perhaps the most telling detail pertains to the “tribute artists:” there were already 170 known Elvis impersonators at the time of the King’s death; current estimates range from 50,000 to 200,000.

But the economics of the Elvis cult are not what most interests the author. The mystical aspects of Presley’s afterlife means he outshines other celebrities who died young and suddenly, even Princess Di. His closest parallels are medieval saints. Yes, Elvis devotees have ascribed healing miracles to him (top that, Michael Jackson). There are stories of a glowing blue light hovering over the tiny Presley home in Tupelo, Miss., on the night he was born. Graceland—consider its name—really is a shrine, something Paul Simon recognized as early as 1985 when he began recording the album and song named after Presley’s home: “I have reason to believe / We all will be received / in Graceland.” The highlight of the annual Elvis Week there is the candlelight vigil on the night of Aug. 15, when thousands of fans wind by Elvis’s grave in the Meditation Garden. Geoffrey Chaucer, on the road to Canterbury, would have found it comfortably familiar.

Where Elvis transcends even the cult of St. Thomas Becket is in the significant number of fans who refuse to believe he actually died in 1977 or who claim that if he did, it was only to take up existence on another plane, from which he remains in contact with the living. That, in our supposedly secular age, is not Elvis as saint, but Elvis as that other king, Jesus.


Franklin Graham: Clean Out The Swamp, Fix The Nation, Continue To Pray

“… we’re on the verge of losing this country.“

Franklin Graham

November 5 at 5:16am ·

WikiLeaks is giving us a much clearer picture of the depth of the corruption that is thriving in our nation’s capital. It truly is a swamp that needs to be drained. And it’s not just in one party, it’s widespread. The pervasiveness of this is unbelievable. Our political system is broken, and it will take strong, tough leadership to begin fixing some of this. I encourage you to give it a lot of prayer and get out and vote. I’ve heard of some Christian leaders actually encouraging people to boycott the election—and those leaders are absolutely wrong. The Apostle Paul was a citizen of Rome and exercised his right as a citizen of Rome to appeal to Caesar. We are citizens of the United States of America, and we need to exercise our rights by voting. We’ve got to let the Christian voice be heard at the ballot box before it’s too late.



I want to share with everyone that Jesse did phone us yesterday afternoon.  Unfortunately, we were not home when he called and so he left a good message. As disappointed as I am to have missed speaking with him, I am thankful to know that he is OK.  He said he was quite sick last week with a virus.  He says he is OK now.  He said he will call again when he has a chance.



Elvis fans keep the King alive as a second date in Melbourne is added to tour


November 9, 2016

Elvis ‘Live on Screen’

Elvis Presley confidante and former manager, Jerry Schilling spoke with Denis Walter about “Elvis. The Wonder Of You 2017″ Tour.

Sorry, the King isn’t back; Elvis will be performing on the big screen, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Another show has been added in Melbourne due to popular demand.

“He was a pretty smart cookie and he had a lot of broad creative juices … he loved symphonic music and opera and he just loved music. He didn’t care where it came from if it was great music,” Mr Schilling said.

He said that Elvis was gone too soon and did not get to do all the things he wanted to do.

“Rather frustrating for him was that he didn’t get to tour in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England, all these places he wanted to go…  I think I lost my friend at an early age because of creative disappointment,” he told Denis Walter.

 “I give Priscilla [Elvis’ wife] a lot of credit, she was a hands on executive producer on If I Could Dream, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra first album, and The Wonder of You, the second album, and the title for this tour…. so it’s going to be a real emotional tour, and real rocker as well.”

Mr Schilling will be coming to Melbourne along with a 40-piece orchestra as part of “Elvis. The Wonder Of You 2017″ Tour at Margaret Court Arena, Friday 9 and Saturday 10 June.


Jesse did phone back this afternoon and we did have a good visit.  He was quite ill last week but he assured me that he is well now.  He said that he did have an enjoyable time with the neighborhood children who came calling while trick or treating on Halloween.  He said they were very colorful.  


It is hard to believe that it has been so long since this event took place…

Mid-South Memories for Nov. 8

The Commercial Appeal 8 p.m. CST November 7, 2016

25 years ago: 1991

Graceland gained a spot Thursday on the National Register of Historic Places, keeping Elvis Presley ahead of his time even in death. The National Park Service now honors the place Elvis called home from 1957 to 1977 when he died. “It’s very, very rare that a site is placed on the register when its the home of a famous person whose achievements are less than 50 years old,” said George Berklacey, chief spokesman for the National Park Service. But the keeper of the national register, Jerry Rogers, felt Graceland and Presley were “an exceptional significance,” Berklacey said.


I am so thankful for the outcome of the election as is Franklin Graham who wrote on his Facebook page the following:

Franklin Graham

16 hrs ·

Did God show up? In watching the news after the election, the secular media keep asking “How did this happen?” “What went wrong?” “How did we miss this?” Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up.

While the media scratches their heads and tries to understand how this happened, I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country.

President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are going to need a lot of help and they will continue to need a lot of prayer. I pray that President-elect Trump will surround himself with godly men and women to help advise and counsel him as he leads the nation. My prayer is that God will bless America again!

Official Facebook page for Franklin Graham President of Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.



James Burton

November 9 at 4:25pm ·

photo: James Burton performing at Graceland’s ‘Guesthouse’ Hotel





This documentary is a collection of memories of Elvis and includes many interviews with people who met, knew or who were/are fans of Elvis.

Elvis Who? – A short documentary on the King of Rock n Roll

Alex Giordmaina  

Published on Feb 7, 2015

HighRes Photography and celebrities talk about the The King



I came across this video regarding the Elvis display at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.  I don’t recall having seen it before so I hope I am not duplicating something which I have shared earlier.  

Behind the Scenes: Rock Hall’s New Elvis Presley Exhibit

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame


The Rock Hall takes viewers behind the scenes of its new Elvis Presley exhibit in Cleveland, with insights from Angie Marchese, director of archives at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.



The Texas Elvis Festival will be taking place once again in 2017 for those who may wish to plan to attend.

Texas Elvis Festival 2017 promo

Tees Events Ltd

Published on Nov 13, 2016

Texas Tribute to Elvis Festival Licensed by Elvis Presley Enterprises produced by Tees Events USA LLC. “IF YOU ONLY ATTEND ONE EVENT ALL YEAR, THIS SHOULD BE THE ONE!” Elvis Fans across the globe get ready for an amazing festival honouring the life, music and fans of Elvis Presley. On 26th May – 28th May 2017 the second annual Texas Tribute to Elvis festival held at the legendary South Fork Ranch Dallas Texas will be unlike any event you have ever experienced before. 

Elvis Presley – Yellow Rose of Texas

Tees Events Ltd

Uploaded on May 21, 2015

Elvis Presley – Yellow Rose of Texas (The Eyes of Texas) from the movie Viva Las Vegas.



Here is more about the upcoming documentary of Elvis’ career.  As I wrote earlier, I do hope that this will be done appropriately and with all the respect which Elvis deserved and which Jesse deserves.

Career-Spanning Elvis Presley Documentary Heading to HBO

Two-part, three-hour film to feature new interviews with collaborators, never-before-seen photos, unprecedented Graceland access

CBS Photo Archive

By Daniel Kreps

HBO is putting the finishing touches on a two-part, three-hour documentary dedicated to the life and music of Elvis Presley.


Inside Elvis Presley’s Legendary Man-Cave Studio

Singer made final recordings in Hawaiian-themed Graceland den known as the Jungle Room

Director Thom Zimny will helm the project based on a script by Alan Light; Zimny previously worked with HBO on a pair of Bruce Springsteen documentaries, 2015’s The Ties That Bind and 2010’s The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Deadline reports that the documentary, which tracks Presley’s life from childhood to his final Jungle Room recording sessions in 1976, was made with the complete cooperation of the Presley estate.

The still-untitled film will also feature “unprecedented access to Graceland archives,” never-before-soon photos, footage from inside Presley’s homes and new interviews with musicians, producers, engineers and directors that worked with “the King.”

“The producers came to HBO and Sony with the idea for a film drawing upon very rare footage that captures Elvis’ musicianship in a new and exciting way,” said president of HBO miniseries Kary Antholis said in a statement. “The artistry on display in that footage reminded us of the great work by Jon Landau and Thom Zimny on HBO films documenting the studio artistry of Bruce Springsteen, and we are thrilled to have them at the helm to lend their unique cinematic perspectives to this iconic, complex and singular artist.”

No broadcast date for the Presley documentary has been announced.

2016 has seen a wave of Presley-related releases, including a massive 60-disc box set featuring every album he recorded between 1956 and 1977. Presley’s final recordings were also compiled for the reissue Way Down in the Jungle Room.



ON THIS DAY: Tuesday 15 November 2016

Rock ‘n’ roll idol Elvis Presley becomes silver screen icon Cowboy King: Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender movie debut.  Sixty years ago today the world witnessed The King’s first foray into film. November 15 1956 saw Elvis the Pelvis make his screen debut in Love Me Tender’s New York premiere. The black and white celluloid smash, costing $1,250,000 to produce, netted $4.5 million at the box office. The musical western, named after the song, was only time in Elvis’s acting career he didn’t receive top billing. Originally titled The Reno Brothers, its name was changed to match his single after achieving record million-plus advance sales. Playing youngest brother Clint, who (spoiler alert!) dies during final shoot-out tragedy, it signaled a dream come true for the formative cinema usher who idolised James Dean, Marlon Brando and Tony Curtis. Career steer: Horseback Presley’s first film foray in musical western But boss Colonel Tom Parker thwarted his wish to become a serious straight actor, cross-promoting Presley’s films with soundtracks such as this film’s four-track EP. Screen-testing over three days, drama coach Charlotte Clary declared him “a natural born actor”. In little more than a month he recorded all songs and finished filming scenes. The Paramount Theater premiere prompted 20th Century Fox’s release of unprecedented 575 movie prints. Generally well received, The Los Angeles Times wrote: “Elvis can act. The boy’s real good, even when he isn’t singing.” Six decades after its release, the 89-minute film remains a favourite among Elvis followers but the man himself regretted cinema reaction that saw, and moreover heard, female fans’ screams drown his dialogue.

Read more at:


Announcement from Graceland:

T.G. Sheppard to Flip the Switch at Graceland’s Lighting Ceremony

NOVEMBER 15, 2016

Graceland will officially begin the holiday season when Country Music Award winner singer-songwriter T. G. Sheppard “flips the switch” on the traditional lights and decorations during the annual lighting ceremony on Thursday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m. CST and lights up Elvis Presley’s iconic home for the season. 

The extensive Christmas display at the king’s castle includes hundreds of blue lights along the driveway, a life-size Nativity scene, Santa and his sleigh, and much more, all originally displayed at Graceland by Elvis and the Presley family. The interiors of Graceland mansion will feature the Presley family’s Christmas décor starting on November 17 for seasonal holiday tours through his birthday celebration in January. Included will be his traditional red velvet drapes as well as Presley family Christmas artifacts on display around several trees throughout the home.

Santa will arrive to greet the fans and children and will be available for photos following the lighting ceremony. The lighting event featuring T. G. Sheppard is free and open to the public.

While promoting records for RCA, T.G. formed a close personal and professional relationship with Elvis, who appreciated T.G.’s unique style and personality. As a token of their friendship, Elvis gave T.G. his first tour bus in 1976, helping to provide him with the confidence to give up the promotion business and hit the road full time.

Following the lighting ceremony, The Guest House at Graceland will offer tours of the new 450-room luxury resort along with complimentary hot chocolate and candy canes.  A special holiday package that includes tickets to visit Graceland while decorated for the holidays is available for booking through The Guest House at Graceland. Learn more about the ‘Tis the Season package.

See the Christmas lights on our live Graceland cam!

I have read somewhere (can’t recall exactly where) that Elvis suggested the initials “T. G.” for T. G. Sheppard…as in “The Good Shepherd”.  *see my footnote below

Below is an interview with T. G. in which he tells about Elvis giving him his first tour bus.

TG Sheppard talks about Elvis giving him a tour Bus

Kelly Lang

Published on Mar 21, 2015

Country Music Legend, TG Sheppard, filmed a clip for Geraldo about Elvis giving him his first tour bus. This is behind the scene footage of that show interview

footnote:  Obviously, my memory is incorrect or the statement which I read about Elvis suggesting T. G.’s name was incorrect.  Below is a statement made by T. G. in an interview which clears this up:

“Though his career was picking up steam, Sheppard knew how stable the business was — so he kept his job at RCA under his real name of Bill Browder, fooling one of his best friends and  one of the artists he promoted in the process. “Elvis would go around the house singing the chorus of ‘Devil in the Bottle,’ because it had gospel overtones in it with the background singers. It freaked me out when I would be at Graceland, and I heard him singing it. Then, one day, I walked into Graceland, and there sat Elvis. As soon as I came in, he said, ‘Bill?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir?’ He said I could have told him that I was T.G. Sheppard. I told him, ‘I couldn’t tell you because I was afraid I would lose my job with RCA.’ His comeback was ‘Well, you fool. Don’t you know I am RCA,’” he noted with a laugh.”



Evidently something has gone wrong with the live cast from Graceland of the Christmas Lighting Ceremony.  I have been on the Graceland live cam and through Livestream since 6:00 PM Graceland time and the ceremony has not been shown.  I just now copied the last posted message by Graceland which I will display below:

Elvis Presley’s Graceland

32 m

We’ll post the ceremony shortly – stay tuned!

Graceland stated, in earlier announcements, that they would be showing a video of the entire ceremony on their Facebook page afterward.  So, hopefully we will be able to view it on there providing that it still takes place.  This is sad…

Below is a capture of all that there is to see now:


You may also view it here below:

I am attempting to copy this onto a DVD to send to Jesse tomorrow.





I sent the below video of the Graceland Christmas Lighting Ceremony to Jesse on my DVD today.  I enjoyed seeing this “behind-the-scenes” view of the ceremony and thought that my visitors will like it also.  I know that Jesse will enjoy this view most of all.

And NO, to squelch any rumors before they start, the man in the Santa suit with the sequined cape and who they called “Santa Elvis” IS NOT REALLY ELVIS!!!!! 

Christmas at Graceland 2016.

Mikael Boström

Published on Nov 17, 2016

Elvis’ friend and country star TG Sheppard will flip the switch on Graceland’s Christmas lights at the annual Lighting Ceremony at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, November 17.


For those who live in Australia, an interview regarding the upcoming “Wonder of You Tour”.

Elvis’s Best Friend Jerry Schilling talks about “The Wonder Of You Tour” in new Interview


Published on Nov 17, 2016

Brand new interview with Elvis’s best friend Jerry Schilling talking about the Elvis “The Wonder Of you Tour”



Jesse did phone me late this afternoon…he sounded wonderful and we had a good visit.  No real news to share this time…just chatted about some mutual friends, etc.  He did say that he occasionally gets to go out for rides and, once in a while, he gets to stop in small shops to browse around which he enjoys.  He said that he really wishes he could go to theaters to see movies…he does miss that a lot.  I asked if he is well since having the virus recently and he said that he is doing fine from that episode.  I think I forgot to share something he said during one of our recent conversations which I loved:  He said that “the only good thing about winter is football“.   We were talking today about missing nicer weather so he can get outdoors more.



I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone here in America a most bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving this week.  May your travels all be safe and happy.

One of the greatest blessings in my lifetime has been growing up with Elvis’ songs and movies and his very positive and strong influence in my life.  Of course, an even greater blessing has been that of being his personal and trusted friend for almost a quarter of a century.  Jesse is one of the greatest gifts in my life for which I am thankful at Thanksgiving and every day of every year.

Below, is a short poem which I wrote for him many years ago.  As you can easily see, I am not a poet by any stretch of the imagination.  But, I did enjoy composing this in his honor.  I have it framed and hanging over my desk at all times.

I later added another brief stanza to it which relates to the Statue of Liberty.  I have never taken my copy out of the frame to add this additional verse:

With the noble face of Liberty,

His glorious voice set the masses free.



Jesse phoned me again last night for just a chat.  He is fine and has received my mail which I sent last week and we talked about some of the topics of my letter to him.  So, there is no news to share this time but wanted to let my visitors know of his latest call.


I bought this very good DVD of an interview with Charlie Hodge back when it came out around 2003 and enjoyed it very much.   The title of the DVD which I own is “The Elvis I Knew“.  When I came across this on YouTube, I wanted to share it here with my visitors.

Below are scans of the front and back cover of my copy of the DVD:

Charlie Hodge – The Friend He Knew

Robert van Beek  Published on Mar 20, 2016

Charlie truly was a loyal and devoted friend to Elvis whose loyalty to Elvis never wavered through Charlie’s last day on earth.  I have his book also which is very good.  I can’t recall if I have featured his book here on my site before or not.  

Here is the link to Charlie’s book on Amazon for those who may not have seen it before:


It has been confirmed by the children of Joe Esposito, an hour ago, that Joe did pass away Wednesday morning.  I am so sorry to have to report this.  I did not want to post it here on my site until I knew for sure that it is true.  Sadly it is true.  Below is the announcement of Joe’s passing from Facebook.

My sincerest sympathy to his children and, of course, especially to Jesse.

Joseph Esposito

1 hr · 

“Thank you all for the messages. It is true that our father passed away this morning. Hopefully he is with his wife Martha and Elvis now looking at all of these messages of love. More info for donations etc to come. He truely loved all of his fans and lived to keep Elvis’ memory alive. Thank you all for your love and support.”


Joe Esposito has 3 children, Debbie (born 1962) and Cindy (born 1966) from his first marriage to Joan (Roberts) and Anthony (born 1985) from his second marriage to Martha Gallub. Martha Gallub Esposito died on March 19, 2012, after a long fight with cancer.

Joe Esposito died November 23, 2016 after a year of declining health.




Joe Esposito Dies at 78; Spent 20 Years Assisting Elvis Presley



Joe Esposito with Elvis Presley around 1963 at a birthday party for Tom Parker, Presley’s manager.

Joe Esposito, who was Elvis Presley’s right-hand man, close friend and road manager for nearly two decades, died on Wednesday at his home in Calabasas, Calif. He was 78.

The cause was complications of dementia, his daughter Cindy Bahr said.

Mr. Esposito met Presley in 1959, when both men were serving at an Army base in Friedberg, in what was then West Germany. “It was just a click,” Mr. Esposito told Larry King on CNN in 2002. “There was something I liked about him, and something he liked about me, too.” They became fast friends, and Presley asked Mr. Esposito to work for him after they left the Army.

Mr. Esposito, detail-oriented and dependable, became an invaluable assistant, organizing Presley’s daily life, acting as his personal alarm clock and reading lines back and forth on film sets.

“When you worked for Elvis it wasn’t eight hours a day or 10 hours a day,” he told The Las Vegas Sun in 2007. “It was 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because we did everything together. We went on vacations together. We traveled together. Everything we ever did we all did it together.”

A native of Chicago, Mr. Esposito was an anomaly in the so-called Memphis Mafia, the entourage of Southerners surrounding Presley.

When Presley toured, Mr. Esposito was his road manager, hovering over performances, shepherding his star virtually step by step and catering to the sometimes unusual demands of a Presley concert. When Presley walked offstage, for example, Mr. Esposito and his team met him with buckets of ice water so that he could submerge his arms and soothe the scratch marks left by frantic fans as they grabbed for the silk scarves he handed out.

Mr. Esposito was a best man, along with his fellow Memphis Mafia member Marty Lacker, at Presley’s wedding to Priscilla Ann Beaulieu in 1967. His wife at the time, the former Joan Roberts, was matron of honor.

In 1977, after receiving a distress phone call from Ginger Alden, Presley’s fiancée — Presley had divorced his wife in 1973 — Mr. Esposito rushed to find Presley dead in a bathroom at Graceland. He later broke the news to Priscilla Presley and to Tom Parker, Presley’s manager. He was a pallbearer at Presley’s funeral.

He wrote several books about Presley, including “Good Rockin’ Tonight: 20 Years on the Road and on the Town with Elvis” (1994), with Elena Oumano.

“We were close,” he told The Las Vegas Sun in 2010. “He was my best friend. I’m always reminded of him, whenever I hear a song or his name or the title of a show somewhere. It amazes me, still. I’ve had a hell of a life because of him.”

Joseph Carmine Esposito was born on Jan. 22, 1938, in Chicago to Italian immigrant parents. His father, Frank, worked as a mechanic for the Chicago Transit Authority. His mother, the former Antoinette Pecora, was a homemaker.

After graduating from Marshall High School, he was drafted into the Army. Like Presley, he did his basic training at Fort Hood, in Texas, although the two did not meet there.

Their paths first crossed in Germany, where Mr. Esposito was given the job of payroll clerk at the Friedberg base. A friend of his, the base photographer, who often took pictures of Presley, invited Mr. Esposito to take part in one of the touch football games that Presley organized near his rented house.

In a sense, Mr. Esposito’s job, on leaving the service, was to be both friend and concierge.

“I set up his itinerary for him,” he told The Las Vegas Sun. “I made sure he knew where he had to be, where security needed to be. I made sure transportation was all set up. I’d make sure the valet had all his clothes together.”

When Presley was pursuing a film career, Mr. Esposito had bit parts in several of the movies. He played a carnival man in “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and a gambler in “The Trouble With Girls.”

After Presley’s death, Mr. Esposito worked for the producer Jerry Weintraub as a road manager for Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees and others. He was later a partner in a food company, a limousine-service operator in Los Angeles and a casino host at Wynn Las Vegas.

His first marriage ended in divorce. His second wife, the former Martha Gallub, died in 2012. In addition to his daughter Cindy, he is survived by another daughter from his first marriage, Debbie Esposito; a son from his second marriage, Anthony; a brother, Frank; a sister, Phyllis Soohen; and three grandchildren.

Mr. Esposito did his best to keep the Presley flame burning. He frequently appeared at Presley conventions and was a consultant on numerous documentaries, notably the 1981 film “This Is Elvis” and the 2005 CBS special “Elvis by the Presleys.” In “Elvis: The Movie,” a 1979 television film directed by John Carpenter, he was played by Joe Mantegna, opposite Kurt Russell as Presley.

Correction: November 30, 2016

An earlier version of this obituary misstated the maiden name of Mr. Esposito’s mother. She was the former Antoinette Pecora, not Percora.

A version of this article appears in print on November 29, 2016, on page B14 of the New York edition with the headline: Joe Esposito, 78; Spent 20 Years Assisting Elvis Presley. Order ReprintsToday’s Paper|Subscribe


Good news about James Burton’s son, Jeff.  Prayers requested for tomorrow.

James Burton

14 mins ·

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone! We have been so blessed this year and Thank God from whom all blessings flow that GOD heard your prayers and saved our son Jeff!!! After Jeff had 2 heart attacks last August he was taken off the transplant list because he was too sick. Now they think his heart has healed and they will testing it for 4 hours tomorrow. If he passes the test they will put him back on the transplant list again. Please keep him in your prayers in the morning. PRAYER WORKS!!! Our family can not explain how much we appreciate YOU & YOUR FAITH!!! Thank you all so much. Love, The Burton Family.


Graceland has announced the schedule of events for the celebration of Elvis’ birthday.  Below is the link at which you may read the details.


Join us in Memphis as we celebrate Elvis’ Birthday on January 5 – 8, 2017.

Ticket On-Sale Dates

  • Tickets for Graceland Insiders will go on sale on Wednesday, November 30. 

  • Tickets for the General Public will go on sale on Thursday, December 1. 

The Birthday Proclamation event will take place as shown below:


Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony
9:30 a.m. Graceland’s North Lawn. Free admission. Enjoy a ceremony with Graceland/EPE officials, a birthday cake cutting and proclamation of Elvis Presley Day by Memphis and Shelby County officials. Fans who are unable to attend can watch the ceremony live via Elvis Presley’s Graceland Livestream.

Birthday Cake and Coffee 
10:30 a.m. Chrome Grille, Graceland Plaza. Complimentary birthday cake and coffee served at the Chrome Grille restaurant across the street from the mansion following the ceremony. Free to all who attend.



Graceland released today, on YouTube, another in their series of videos “Gates of Graceland“.  I just watched it and found it very pleasant.  I am sharing it below for those who may not have seen it yet.

As you will see, this one is centered around an interview with Jerry Schilling inside Graceland.

Gates of Graceland with Jerry Schilling


Published on Nov 28, 2016

Elvis’ friend Jerry Schilling shares his memories of Graceland and Elvis in the latest episode of Gates of Graceland.

While watching the above new video, I again came across the below video interview at Graceland with Jerry Schilling and others in the 1980’s.  This one is also very enjoyable.  You can see things in this older video which have been gone from Graceland for many years or updated in some way.

Behind The Gates by Schilling in the 80s

Jacquie Ulmo

Uploaded on May 6, 2009

A very rare and interesting video of Graceland in the 80’s… narrated by a young Jerry Schilling together w/Joe Esposito… Something to keep in your files for the rest of your days, if you are an Elvis Fan…



Here is some good news…

Music By Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard and More Entering Grammy Hall of Fame

By Carrie Horton November 28, 2016 4:06 PM

Getty Images / Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Elvis PresleyMerle HaggardBonnie Raitt and the Everly Brothers are among a diverse group of musicians who will be honored by the Recording Academy in 2017. The four iconic country acts will have recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame — “Jailhouse Rock,” Okie From Muskogee, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Wake Up, Little Susie,” respectively — at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

“The Grammy Hall of Fame represents all genres of music, acknowledging the diversity of musical expression for which the Academy has become renowned,” says President and CEO Neil Portnow in a press release. “Memorable and inspiring, these recordings are proudly added to our growing catalog and are an integral part of our musical, social and cultural history.”

When Presley recorded “Jailhouse Rock” in 1957, the song quickly became his 10th No. 1 hit, soaring up the charts and causing Presley pandemonium to reach even greater heights. As the years have passed, the song has remained a classic, listed at No. 67 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list and also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll ranking.

Read More: Music By Presley, Haggard and More Entering Grammy Hall of Fame |

By ABC News | November 28, 2016



Tom and I are having a very difficult week because we had to put our sweet cat, Tarheel, to sleep.  Even though he had been in a state of declining health and we knew this was coming, it has still been heartbreaking for us.  I have been extremely sad because of this.  He was such a sweet spirit and a blessing in our lives…so it does hurt so bad.

So, please forgive if I am not quite as active here on my site nor in responding to any correspondence.  

Here is a photo of him as he looked when his health was better:


‘Elvis Presley’s Memphis’ Opens March 2017 With Grand Opening Celebration Events

NOVEMBER 21, 2016





Elvis Presley’s Graceland announced the official opening date for its new, $45 million, 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art entertainment complex, now named “Elvis Presley’s Memphis,” which is currently under construction across the street from Graceland Mansion. March 2-5, 2017 will be the Grand Opening Celebration weekend, as Graceland welcomes visitors from around the world to its largest and most significant expansion since first opening to the public in 1982.  The opening four days of Elvis Presley’s Memphis will feature major celebration events each day, including live concerts that will celebrate Elvis’ incredible life and career, and honor Memphis’ rich musical legacy across genres, including Blues, Rockabilly, R&B, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll.   

Tickets for “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” are now available for opening weekend and throughout the rest of 2017, as a combined ticket with the Graceland Mansion tour, at  Opening weekend packages that include a hotel stay at Graceland’s new, world-class AAA Four-Diamond rated resort, The Guest House at Graceland, are available at or by calling 901-332-3322 or toll-free at 800-238-2000.

The largest entertainment complex of its kind, and exponentially bigger than Graceland’s current visitor center, “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” will enable music fans, pop culture enthusiasts and Memphis visitors to follow the path that Elvis took, surround themselves with the things that he loved, and experience the sights and sounds of the city that inspired him.  Guests will fully immerse themselves in his life and career like never before — his roots, his influences and his artistry. 

While the acclaimed Graceland Mansion tour will continue to present the personal and family side of Elvis’ life, “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” will tell the rest of the story, exploring the beginning of the incredible music and pop culture explosion that all started here in Memphis, with the greatest entertainer of all time. 

“For over 30 years, our fans and visitors have loved the Graceland experience, but our facilities haven’t enabled us to share much more than a small piece of the story,” stated Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner, Graceland Holdings, LLC.  “Now with ‘Elvis Presley’s Memphis,’ you will be able to truly experience all that Memphis offered Elvis, walk through the streets in his footsteps, see what he saw, feel what he felt, live the life of ‘the king.’  No one lived life bigger than Elvis — now is the opportunity to truly experience it for yourself.”

As “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” opens, a new tour experience will also debut.  The new “Ultimate VIP” tour experience, Graceland’s most exclusive tour option, will take a small group of visitors on an unprecedented journey through Elvis Presley’s life story and the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Led by an expert tour guide, visitors will tour Graceland Mansion and explore all of “Elvis Presley’s Memphis,” including the new Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, Elvis Discovery Exhibits, Elvis’ Custom Jets and an exclusive Ultimate VIP Tour Exhibit. Guests who book this experience will also enjoy transportation for their tour in a special vehicle, access to the Ultimate Lounge at Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a special photo opportunity, a special Graceland Archives “show and tell” session, options to purchase special merchandise only available to Ultimate guests and a meal with table service at one of the new restaurants at Elvis Presley’s Memphis.  Ultimate VIP tours are available for purchase at or can be combined with a Guest House at Graceland resort package by calling 901-332-3322 or toll-free at 800-238-2000.

The cornerstone of the “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” experience will be “Elvis: The Entertainer,” a 20,000-square-foot museum celebrating Elvis’ incredible music, movie and live touring career.  This museum will feature hundreds of artifacts from the extensive Graceland Archives, from Elvis’ early days in Tupelo, Mississippi, through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, service in the U.S. Army, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more.  “Elvis: The Entertainer” will be the largest and most comprehensive Elvis museum in the world.

A new Elvis Presley Automobile Museum called “Presley Motors” will showcase over 20 of Elvis’ automobiles and motorized vehicles, including Elvis’ iconic Pink Cadillac, and also feature a theater space showcasing Elvis movie clips focused on cars and racing.

A 20,000-square-foot “Graceland Soundstage” will play host to a variety of live music acts during the Grand Opening Celebration, showcasing the rich music history of Memphis and the best of Memphis music today.  The Soundstage will be an extraordinary venue for live music performances, movie screenings and premieres, video productions, with theater seating for up to 1,700 people.  It will also be usable for private events, corporate meetings, conferences and trade show exhibitions.

“Discovery” exhibit spaces will showcase aspects of Elvis’ life, career and interests in greater depth, from the music genres that influenced Elvis from his earliest days – Rhythm & Blues, Southern Gospel, Country & Western — to today’s music artists who continue to be influenced by Elvis and his body of work. 

The new facility will also feature two themed restaurants named for Elvis’ parents, Gladys and Vernon.  Gladys’ Diner will feature classic American fare, including Elvis’ favorite — grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  Vernon’s Smokehouse will feature authentic Memphis BBQ, smoked in-house.  A coffee bar and ice cream shop will also be located within the complex, along with new retail stores offering the most extensive collection of Elvis merchandise found anywhere in the world.

“Elvis Presley’s Memphis” will also feature Elvis’ two custom airplanes, the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, which continue to be a very popular part of the existing Graceland experience.  The iconic planes will remain across the street from the Mansion, adjacent to the new venue.  

“Elvis Presley’s Memphis” is Phase 2 of the planned Graceland expansion and development.  Combined with the $92 million Phase 1 project, The Guest House at Graceland 450-room resort hotel, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. is investing a total of $137 million in the Whitehaven community of Memphis to further enhance the Memphis and Graceland experience for visitors from around the world.  Inspired by Elvis’ personal style and the iconic Graceland Mansion, The Guest House at Graceland opened on October 27, 2016 and is the largest hotel project in Memphis in over 90 years. The resort hotel, which is situated just steps from Graceland Mansion, features 430 guest rooms and 20 specialty suites with design and décor supervised by Priscilla Presley.  The hotel also features two full-service restaurants, a lobby bar, a 464-seat theater, outdoor pool and conference, event and catering facilities.  Last week, the resort received the AAA Four Diamond rating, joining the exclusive ranks of top hotels and resorts in the country.

For more information on the Grand Opening Celebration March 2 – 5, 2017, to book your tour visit or explore Guest House at Graceland hotel packages that includes tickets to tour “Elvis Presley’s Memphis,” visit or call 901-332-3322 (toll-free at 800-238-2000).


I have just constructed the next page of my Current News and Events for the month of December, 2016.

Please visit the link below for the new page:



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