I ran across this awesome recording from a concert in August of ’69. Not only is it interesting to hear Elvis’ version of some of the events in his career, he is funny and charming as he tells it. Check it out:
And… Did You Know…
After Elvis commemorative stamps were released (January 8, 1993), fans put them on envelopes and purposely sent them to bogus addresses, so they could have the envelope returned with “Return to Sender” and an Elvis stamp. I didn’t get in on that trend, but I do have a few sheets of those stamps. :)
When Elvis was just a teenager, he heard the gospel group, the Jordanaires, and became a fan. He once told them, “If I ever get a contract with a major company, I want you guys to back me up.” According to Gordon Stoker, of the Jordanaires, when Elvis began recording for RCA in January 1956, he requested them as backup vocalists, but Chet Atkins, who was producing the record, told Gordon that this ‘new-probably-wouldn’t-be-around-long kid, named Elvis Presley’ wanted the Jordanaires, but since this kid was just a ‘flash in the pan,’ he told Gordon to take Ben and Brock Speer. Elvis was not pleased, and at a later recording session, once more insisted he wanted all of the Jordanaires. This time, his request was granted and the Jordanaires did back up for Elvis for the next 14 years, until he went to Vegas, where he was doing two shows a night. The schedule was too heavy for them, and they stopped touring with Elvis.
(Side note: Elvis hated to wear jeans, because they reminded him of when he was poor, so about the only time he wore them was for movie roles)
Red West, Elvis’ ‘friend’ and part of the Memphis Mafia wrote several songs that Elvis recorded, among them, “Separate Ways.” Many people thought Red wrote it about Elvis’ and Priscilla’s split, but he actually wrote it about his separation with his own wife. Elvis changed the words (which were about Red’s son, Ben) from ‘the tears that he will cry’ into ‘the tears that she will cry’ to fit Lisa Marie.
Elvis wanted the intro to “Guitar Man” to sound like it did when Jerry Reed played it, and the only way to make that happen was to get Jerry himself. Jerry was fishing on the Cumberland River when he got the call from Felton Jarvis that Elvis wanted him to play on the record. He quickly agreed and headed to the studio in Nashville. Jerry was very anxious. He sat down to play, and Elvis said, “Just do those licks for me like you did on your original version.” Jerry made about three or four attempts and kept making mistakes. Finally, he looked up at Elvis and said, “God, you’re handsome!” Elvis thought it was funny that Jerry was so flustered, he was nervous as well.
Next week I am going to Vegas to present workshops at a writer’s conference. As it happens, that is the weekend a new venture: “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience” opens in Vegas, and I have a ticket to the exhibit, not the show, but the exhibit is the main thing I’m interested in. Check out details here:
Can anyone guess how excited I am???? :)
Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.
Learn more here, including how to donate:
On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. :) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.
All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?