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Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 37 – Elvis in the Army

I’m sure everyone knows the details of Elvis’ stint in the Army, but since the anniversary date is coming up, I thought I would use that as my blog topic. March 24th will be the 57th anniversary of Elvis’ 1958 induction into the Army, a day dubbed “black Monday” for his fans by the press. Elvis was drafted, and while he could have gone into Special Services, or avoided the draft altogether, he chose to serve. His decision resulted in many changes in his personal life and career. One thing it did was to alter the opinions of many of the older generation who gained a newfound respect for someone they’d previously accused of being vulgar, animalistic, and offensive.

christi 2

Although he was terrified he would lose his foothold to fame, and he was terribly homesick, Elvis served his two years on the army, working alongside the others, requesting to be treated like any other soldier. Elvis pulled KP duty like the other soldiers, became a pistol sharpshooter, and mastered the tanks obstacle course. When Elvis was asked about his decision to serve as a regular soldier instead of as part of the service club. He said, “I was in a funny position. Actually, that’s the only way it could be. People were expecting me to mess up, to goof up in one way or another. They thought I couldn’t take it and so forth, and I was determined to go to any limits to prove otherwise, not only to the people who were wondering, but to myself.” In doing so, Elvis gained the respect of his fellow soldiers, who have attested to his wish to be seen as a regular soldier, despite his fame, and to his generosity while in the service. He donated his Army pay to charity, purchased TV sets for the base, and bought an extra set of fatigues for everyone in his outfit.

army_elvis

During his time in the service, two life-altering experiences occurred. His beloved mother, Gladys, passed away and he met Priscilla, who would later become his wife. Elvis also made many friends in the service, among them, Joe Esposito, who would become his assistant/road manager/right hand man, and Charlie Hodge, who sang with Elvis, handed him his scarves and water on stage, and performed various other important tasks. Both men loved Elvis dearly and stuck with him to the end.

The most tragic event in Elvis’ life, of course, was the loss of his mother. He was in Texas when Gladys became ill, he requested emergency medical leave, but it was denied. After he threatened to go AWOL, the army approved his leave, and the officer who originally denied his request was disciplined. It’s a good thing Elvis was able to be by her side. I can’t fathom how much more difficult her death would have been for him had he not seen her one last time.

elvis military

Elvis had many admirable qualities, but his serving in the Armed Forces might be one of the most impressive, if you really put it into perspective. In today’s world, can you imagine Justin Bieber, the members of One Direction, or Justin Timberlake taking a break from their career to serve in the Army? (I realize Bieber is Canadian, and I think One Direction is British, and I adore JT, I’m just making a point here :))

elvis military 2

As we all know, Elvis did NOT lose his foothold to fame. Although he didn’t perform live for 8 years after his return, and most of the records he made were movie sound tracks, the first record he recorded after his return was phenomenal, containing songs like Thrill of Your Love, Like a Baby, and Reconsider Baby. (I realize this might come as a shock, but I actually own the CD) :) I’ll close with a video of one of my favorite songs from the original track list:

 

Don’t forget about the giveaway. One commenter on this previous blog post will win:

Prize

EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

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.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

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?

***ONLY $1.99***

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

 

5 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 36 – Elvis the BadA$$

Today is Friday the 13th, so I thought it fitting to center the post around some of the danger Elvis encountered in his lifetime. What a lot of people might not know is that Elvis wasn’t just a pretty face, a sexy body, an incredible talent, a phenomenal singer/entertainer, etc, etc, he was also a bit of a tough guy. Just the fact that he went into the army and insisted on being treated like any other soldier, pulling KP, marching with a pack, sleeping in the snow, and so forth shows his toughness. But, he was also a Karate expert and had some altercations over the years that demonstrated his badass-ness.

SIDE NOTE:

Here is an awesome interview right after Elvis returned to Graceland from the Army. The interview took place in Vernon’s office at Graceland. Isn’t he just so adorable and sexy, yet down to Earth?

 

 

A few of the many incidents over the years…

At a concert in Vegas, Elvis was rushed on stage by a group of men who had been drinking all day and listening to their wives and girlfriends go on and on about how beautiful Elvis was. Elvis managed to get in a Karate kick before the men were taken into custody.

George Klein, one of Elvis’ best friends, tells a story of a threat to Elvis while in Vegas that was taken seriously enough that the FBI recommended Elvis cancel his show. Elvis refused to run and hide, but he did ask a few of his guys to be in the audience, armed with guns. At one quiet moment in the show, a man from the balcony yelled out, “Hey, Elvis!.” Elvis dropped into a Karate stance and yelled back, “What?” The guy said, “Sing Hound Dog.” Elvis immediately launched into Hound Dog and later told George it was ‘the best Hound Dog he’d ever done.’

One night in October, 1956, Elvis was at a gas station in Memphis and the station attendant became angry because girls were hanging around Elvis’ car. He became aggressive with Elvis and cuffed him on the back of the head. A fight broke out, and another guy, who was 6’4, jumped in. Elvis took them both on and held his own until police arrived. When the officers asked Elvis for his name, he joked, “Well, maybe you’d better put down Carl Perkins.” :)

All three were brought into Court, Elvis was acquitted but the other two were charged with assault and battery and fired. Look at that overgrown bully in the center. 

1956_edHopper_elvisx

Here are some interesting newspaper articles from the time.

Click here for articles

What would be his final incident occurred in June, 1977, just two months before his death, in Madison, Wisconsin. Elvis was riding in his limo and noticed two guys at a gas station (what was his deal with gas stations? :)) attacking a young guy. Tom McCarthy, a Madison detective was in the limo with Elvis and recalls Elvis saying, “Look at those two punks. I don’t go for this two on one deal.” Before anyone knew what was happening, Elvis had bailed from the limo and confronted the attackers, ready to fight. The guys were so shocked and overwhelmed that Elvis was standing in front of them, that they immediately backed off their victim, and ended up shaking hands and apologizing.  

How many of today’s celebrities would jump into a brawl to try to protect some stranger? Even though none are as legendary and famous as Elvis, I can’t see them putting themselves in harm’s way like that for their fellow man, can you? 

Don’t forget about the giveaway. One commenter on this previous blog post will win:

Prize

Click here for giveaway details

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

 

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.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

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?

***ONLY $1.99***

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 35 – AWESOME Elvis Gift Bag Giveaway

This week, I am rolling out a contest and giving away a really great gift bag that only Elvis fans will be interested in. Along with it, I’m sharing a little trivia. (Well, you’ll have to come back to get the answers to the trivia)

GIVEAWAY: One commenter will win this Elvis gift bag simply by answering the below questions. You do not have to get them correct to win, but you do have to attempt to answer each.

ALSO, the first 5 people to email me at AliciaMDean@aol.com with the Subject line: EOLS will receive a free Ebook copy of End of Lonely Street. (you do not have to be a U.S. Resident to receive the ebook. Please include your preferred format in the email: PDF, Gifted through Kindle or Nook)

Prize

*** TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

No purchase necessary to win.

The contest is in no way sponsored by Facebook, and Facebook is in no way associated with this contest. Alicia Dean is responsible for delivery of all prizes.

Must be a U.S. residents to be eligible (must provide a U.S. shipping address). Taxes due, if any, on prize winnings, are the sole responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law.

In three weeks, on March 27, 2015, one name will be drawn from all commenters who attempt to answer the questions.

Gift Bag includes:  

Elvis Platinum Collection 3 disc CD (See track list below)

Four Pak of movies:  GI Blues, King Creole, Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas

18 Oz Elvis Acrylic drinking glass

Elvis Gold Playing Card Gift Tin

The Elvis bag itself :)

Side note: I want to remind everyone to please vote for Elvis in the ‘King of Music’ poll. He is ahead of Michael Jackson, and we want to keep it that way. You can vote every 24 hours. Here is the link: http://thekingofmusic.com/ 

10 questions total. Some are Elvis questions and some are questions about END OF LONELY STREET, my 1957 Vintage Historical Short Story. Without having read the story,  if you’re an Elvis fan (and read the below blurb), you should be able to answer these questions.

Please provide all answers in one comment. You do not need to list the questions, simply provide the answers. Have fun!

1) What was Elvis’ first million selling record?

2) Where did the idea for Heartbreak Hotel come from?

3) Name 5 Elvis songs with a girl’s name in the title:

4) Which of Elvis’ movies was he most proud of?

5) One of Elvis’ early jobs was an assembler at MARL Metal Products. Why did his mother make him quit?

6) What year did Elvis purchase Graceland? 

7) Name this movie:

ftd07

END OF LONELY STREET – 1957 Contemporary Romance Short Story questions:

8) Which of these movies is mentioned in the story:

  1. Jailhouse Rock
  2. Change of Habit
  3. Blue Hawaii

9) Which of these songs is NOT mentioned in the story:

  1. Playing for Keeps
  2. Love Me
  3. It’s Now or Never

10) What career is Toby pursuing?

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

Blurb:

Can she let go of the past, before it destroys her future?

All Toby Lawson wanted was to go to college to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and the painful memories of finding her and the guy Toby loved kissing. 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, helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, and even though she knows her mother initiated the kiss, and that he didn’t kiss her back, she can‘t seem to get past what happened. He soon realizes that the true problem lies in Toby’s belief that she’s not good enough for him and in her fear that 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?

TRACK LIST:

Disc: 1
1. Can’t Help Falling in Love
2. (Marie’s the Name Of)Latest Flame
3. Surrender
4. It’s Now Or Never
5. Stuck On You
6. Wooden Heart
7. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
8. A Big Hunk O’love
9. Little Sister
10. Rock-a-hula Baby
11. A Fool Such As I
12. I Need Your Love Tonight
13. One Night
14. I Got Stung
15. Hard Headed Woman
16. Don’t
17. Jailhouse Rock
18. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
19. All Shook Up
20. Too Much
21. Love Me Tender
22. Hound Dog
23. Don’t Be Cruel
24. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
25. Heartbreak Hotel
26. I Forgot to Remember to Forget
Disc: 2
1. The Girl of My Best Friend
2. King Creole
3. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
4. I Feel So Bad
5. Wild in the Country
6. Flaming Star
7. Lonely Man
8. I Gotta Know
9. A Mess of Blues
10. Fame and Fortune
11. My Wish Came True
12. Don’t Ask Me Why
13. Doncha’ Think It’s Time
14. I Beg of You
15. Treat Me Nice
16. Loving You
17. Peace in the Valley (For Me)
18. Playing for Keeps
19. Poor Boy
20. When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold
21. Love Me
22. Any Way You Want Me
23. My Baby Left Me
24. Blue Suede Shoes
25. I Was the One
Disc: 3
1. There’s Always Me
2. Give Me the Right
3. It’s a Sin
4. Sentimental Me
5. Starting Today
6. Gently
7. I’m Coming Home
8. In Your Arms
9. Put the Blame On Me
10. Judy
11. I Want You With Me
12. I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell
13. Blue Hawaii
14. Almost Always True
15. Aloha Oe
16. No More
17. Moonlight Swim
18. Ku-u-I-po
19. Ito Eats
20. Slicin’ Sand
21. Hawaiian Sunset
22. Beach Boy Blues
23. Island of Love
24. Hawaiian Wedding Song

EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

8 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 35 – Elvis Fans Outraged at Dale Earnhardt, Jr.?

Before I begin, I want to remind everyone to please vote for Elvis in the ‘King of Music’ poll. He has been neck and neck with Michael Jackson, sometimes falling behind, and we all need to rally and cast our votes. You can vote every 24 hours. Here is the link: (I believe voting ends this Sunday, but I’m not certain) 

http://thekingofmusic.com/

It appears that many Elvis fans are upset with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for driving Elvis’s ‘73 Stutz Blackhawk III at the Charlotte Motor Speedway last year. (Yes, it’s old news, but I just learned of it, and I’m intrigued) Those who are upset claim it’s disrespectful to remove the car from Graceland, that it’s a piece of history and should be left alone. 

The car was the last one that Elvis ever drove. This picture of Elvis in the car is from just after midnight on the last night of Elvis’ life and shows him driving through the gates of Graceland. Very, very sad. :(

elvis in car 6zk0yvtiyvho4ae

I am one of the most rabid, diehard, protective Elvis fans you’ll ever find. But I’m not upset at all that he drove the car. I think it’s actually pretty awesome for a few reasons… 

  • Dale is a TRUE Elvis fan, and he has nothing but respect for the King
  • Elvis himself loved cars, loved racing, and I feel certain he would have heartily approved
  • The car was driven at Charlotte, where Elvis filmed his 1968 movie, Speedway, with Cale Yarbrough, Richard Petty and other drivers of the era, so to me, it’s only fitting.

Dale was honored to sit in the place where Elvis once sat, especially considering their shared love of cars.

dale ug18aopkude dale 33-lg

 

Some quotes from Dale:

After visiting Graceland: “You get the feeling you’re around something great here”

When asked: If you could have anything that was Elvis’ what would it be?

“His attitude,” he said. “[His] mannerisms. How people were drawn to him. His charisma, swagger. He had it all. That’s what I enjoyed about him. When you walk into a room and you changed the room, that’d be kind of cool.”

 

According to a press release from Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Elvis purchased the ’73 Blackhawk III on Sept. 6, 1974, through a General Motors lease agreement after putting down a $20,000 deposit. It had Pontiac’s 230-horsepower V-8, a red leather interior, and an 18-karat gold trim package. The singer made it known that only he would be driving this one, perhaps a caution he developed after the first ’71 was severely damaged in an accident. According to Elvis lore, the King often invited members of his entourage to ride with him in other cars, but in the Blackhawk III he was just as likely to be by himself. Over the next three years, Elvis put 8,450 miles on the ’73.

You know, I found it odd that Elvis would only lease it with a 20,000 down payment. Twenty grand was a lot of money in 1974, but still, with Elvis’ wealth, surely he could have purchased it outright. I wonder why he chose to lease it. 

 

I am not a NASCAR fan, but if I were, Dale would be my favorite driver. This is a car he drove in Richmond in 2007. Who doesn’t love a man who would choose to drive a car like this?

dale elvis car ault

 

So…what do you think about Dale Earnhardt, Jr. driving the Blackhawk? A disgrace or a tribute?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 *** Tune in to Bill Rock’s Saturday Elvis Memories show on Sirius Elvis radio at 6:00 CST. Not only is it a fabulous show where Bill plays some of the best Elvis music ever recorded, but he shared memories from Elvis fans. This Saturday, I’m honored that he will be sharing an email that I sent him, on the air. Be sure to listen!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

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.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

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?

***ONLY $1.99***

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

3 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 34 – Just Pretend, Elvis no Velvet

At one time, I had an ‘Elvis box’ filled with various treasures I’d collected over the years, including James Burton’s autograph (Elvis’ guitar player, for those who don’t know. My sisters and I saw him in the aisles before an Elvis concert, and he was kind enough to sign), leaves off a bush from my first trip to Graceland, concert ticket stubs, and newspapers from the time of his death. Somewhere, in one of my moves to a new location, the box disappeared. :( However, I still have many, many Elvis items, memorabilia, etc. I ran across some things this week that I thought I’d share. 

The summer following his death, my sister’s friend, Paula Starr and family were taking a trip to Memphis and Nashville. My sister couldn’t go, I can’t recall why, so Paula invited me. At the time, they were not offering tours inside the home, and, there was no ‘Elvis Presley Enterprise’ with the buses and shops, etc. It was just his home, and we were met at the gate by Vester, Elvis’ uncle. We paid our money and were admitted to the grounds. This is Paula and I in front of the house. I was almost 17. (I’m on the right, in the orange Elvis shirt. I’m not smiling, I think I was very sad the entire time)

PualandI graceland250220_065853

After his death, there were tons and tons of publications, specials, etc. The media was flooded with Elvis news and interviews, etc. I ran across this magazine from 1977. I don’t know if you can see, but it was only $2 and it is filled with fantastic pictures and articles. (I found a few others as well).

Magazine219_190811

 

And the copyright:

copyruigt 9_190840

 

An artist friend of mine, Steve Cass, presented this charcoal drawing to me in around 2005, I believe. He called it ‘Elvis, No Velvet’ because so many Elvis paintings were done on velvet, and he wanted to highlight the fact that he didn’t do his on velvet. This is a drawing of the original painting, which he sold. Sadly, Steve passed away a few years later. (As you can see, it was signed to me, my ‘real’ name is Alice. I will treasure it forever)

no velvet

 

This is a pic I took at a 1976 Oklahoma City concert, my second Elvis concert. The quality is horrible. My camera sucked, and I was not close to the stage, but if you’re an Elvis fan, I’m sure you can tell it’s him. Even in this grainy, out of focus, small photo, that walk is unmistakable.

concert 150219_190746

I have mentioned before that I wrote my first ever story at age 11, and it was a romance, about a hero who looked like Elvis. It was titled ‘Just Pretend’ (after the Elvis song) and I named my hero Lonnie Beale after Elvis’ character in one of my favorite movies, Tickle Me. Side note, I named my heroine’s mother Ruth as a tribute to my sister and lifelong Elvis buddy, Ruth, who was also the first to read my masterpiece :) Below are a few shots from my hand-written story. I’m not sure if you can read it, it’s in faded pencil and hard to read ink, but actually, my handwriting was better then than it is now. :) For the first time ever, an exclusive peek at Just Pretend by Alicia Dean…

Just pretend 1190914

 I don’t know if you can read this, but in the excerpt above, my heroine Trish’s younger sister has been getting to know Lonne, or Dr Beale, and has discovered his favorite singer is Elvis, etc, etc

Just Pretend 2191020

Apparently, in the scene above, I was revising and decided that section must go. I guess I decided that it wasn’t necessary to be specific about which song she was listening to, nor was it necessary to share the lyrics. In my rewrite, I just have Trish listening to Elvis records, in general. :) (How nice would it have been to have a computer back then, or heck, I’d have been happy with a typewriter :)) 

Now, for your viewing and listening pleasure, here is Elvis singing Just Pretend and being precious to a fan in the audience. 

 

EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

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.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

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?

***ONLY $1.99***

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

 

 

8 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 33 – The Movies – Follow that Dream, Kid Gallahad, Girls, Girls, Girls

I have seen all of Elvis’ movies over the years, multiple times, but I am watching them again (I have them all on DVD) and blog about them from time to time. I am up to Elvis’ 9th 10th and 11th movies. (All from 1962)

Follow that Dream

 

ftd07

This movie was filmed in July, 1961, which was the month and year I was born, just a little bonus fact. :)

About: Elvis plays Toby Kwimper, the son of a backwoods man who takes in homeless children, one of them being Holly, a young woman who becomes Elvis’ love interest. The family runs out of gas by a highway that is as yet unopened and they decide to homestead on the property. A government official is determined to get them off the property, and he and a social services woman whose advances are scorned by Toby, wreak havoc for the family, but in the end, honesty and goodness prevail. The movie culminates in a courtroom scene where the social service woman is trying to paint the Kwimers as depraved unfit people and trying to take away the twin boys and the little girl they’re raising. There is a cute little twist that I always loved. The woman cites a word association test she earlier gave to Toby, but she warps his answers to make him appear to be a despicable human being. Toby (Elvis) is representing himself and he makes a whispered suggestion to the judge. The judge announces that the woman should give Elvis’ father a word association test on the spot and analyze his answers. She does, and as the Judge reads the answers aloud, she associates something vile with each one. For example, the word was ‘moon’ and the response was ‘shine’ and she states that it proves he’s an alcoholic. The judge says, “What about Shine on Harvest Moon?” – As it turns out, the judge was reading his own answers, just to prove that she was purposely twisting anything the Kwimpers said. (Okay, that was lengthy, but since I was a child, I just really love that scene :))

 Side notes: During filming, Elvis met Tom Petty, who was only 11 years old at the time. Petty’s uncle was involved in the production of the movie. Shortly afterwards, Petty swapped his slingshot for a friend’s collection of Elvis records.

 The movie was based on the 1959 novel, Pioneer, Go Home, by Richard P. Powell.  At first, the author was unhappy about Elvis in the role, but once he saw his performance, he was pleased.

 My favorite song from the movie: I’m Not the Marrying Kind or Angel 

Favorite scenes: 

There were soooo many. This movie is adorable, funny, sweet, charming, exciting, etc, etc. The Kwimpers are so naïve and good, that they don’t realize when a group of gangsters move in next door that they’re really bad guys. Many of my favorite scenes are just the funny moments from the movie, such as when the gangsters try to blow up the Kwimpers’ house, because Toby has become Sheriff and he imposes laws on them. They leave a homemade bomb beneath the house, and Elvis and Holly find it and, while they don’t know what it is, they think the ‘fellas’ must have left it accidentally, so they return it, leaving it outside their door and of course, it blows up the gangsters’ house. I also love the scene at the end, after the courtroom scene, when Holly has decided to make her move on Toby. She goes outside to where he’s lying on the porch bench, singing Angel. She sits next to him and asks him to show her what that social service woman did to make him kiss her. Elvis tells her, step by step, and it’s very sweet, very romantic. Elvis really had a knack for those romantic scenes and generating chemistry with his female leads. But, my favorite part was when he told Holly that ‘she run her fingers along his forehead’ and Holly said, “Like this,” and stroked his forehead. Elvis said, “Well, not so much like you was ironing a shirt, it was a little softer.” Haha, adorable! Below is a clip of the scene. Enjoy!

 

 

Kid Gallahad

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I’ll never forget, as a kid, watching this movie and seeing Elvis getting hit, over and over, and his beautiful face covered in blood. It was pretty traumatic.

When I was married, my husband was a huge Charles Bronson fan. I told him that Bronson once played second fiddle to Elvis in a movie. Obviously, he knew what a super star Elvis was, but as far as movies, he couldn’t imagine Bronson having lesser billing in a movie. So, of course, I had to prove it. 

About: Elvis plays Walter Gulick, who has just gotten out of the army. He hitches a ride to Cream Valley, where he was born, and winds up at an inn and boxing camp run by Willy, played by Gig Young. Elvis is looking for a job and ends up sparring with one of Willy’s boxers. Elvis is taking a beating, then suddenly knocks the guy out with one punch. Elvis becomes a boxer and romances Willy’s sister, Rose, who comes to the inn to check on Willy because she finds out he’s in trouble. As it turns out, he’s mixed up with the mob. Of course, in the end, Elvis helps save the day and everyone lives Happily Ever After. (Bronson plays a trainer and cut man) 

Side notes: The film is a remake of the 1937 movie starring Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. It was directed by Michael Curitz, the same guy who directed King Creole.  

Junior welterweight champ Mushy Callahand, who appeared in the movie, trained Elvis to box. 

A few of Elvis’ close friends, and part of the ‘Memphis Mafia’ also had small roles in the movie: Red West as an opponent and Sonny West and Joe Esposito had bit parts. 

My favorite song from the movie: I Got Lucky or Home is Where the Heart Is 

Favorite scenes: 

I always love Elvis fight scenes, and this movie had plenty. (Although, since he was so often hit in the face, these scenes aren’t quite as easy to watch) One of my favorites was when he was wearing a white undershirt and the mobsters had just crushed Charles Bronson’s hands, and Elvis came downstairs and beat the hell out of them. I also love the scene where Willy (Gig Young) is telling Elvis to stay away from his sister, and Elvis tells him off. He says he’s marrying Rose, not because she’s Willy’s sister, but in spite of it. I love Elvis’ intensity in movies when he’s passionate about something.

 

Girls, Girls, Girls 

 

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About: Elvis plays Ross Carpenter, a fisherman whose dream is to own his own boat. But, he grew up an orphan and is struggling to raise the money. He meets Laurel, played by Laurel Goodwin, and falls in love, not knowing that she’s wealthy. She ends up buying a boat for him, but it makes him angry because he doesn’t want a hand out. 

Side notes: This is the only of Elvis’ feature films that was nominated for a Golden Globe, which I find very strange. It wasn’t in my top favorites. 

The movie was Laurel Goodwin’s screen debut. 

Favorite song from the movie: Elvis’ big hit, Return to Sender, was featured in this movie, and it’s one of my favorites, along with Because of Love and the title song, Girls, Girls, Girls. 

Favorite scenes: I can tell you what isn’t my favorite scene, or at least as far as Laurel. She and Elvis are having dinner and end up doing a dance to a song, The Walls Have Ears. She looks like a dork. J Just to prove it, I’ve shared the clip below. Some of my favorites are when Elvis is singing with two little Chinese girls. It’s adorable. Also, a scene where Elvis and Laurel are standing on the porch in a thunder storm. I love storms, so Elvis in a romantic scene during a storm is right up my alley. :) I also love the scene after Elvis finds out Laurel bought the boat for him. He’s angry because he doesn’t want handouts. He tells her that, as an orphan, the only thing he ever had was handouts, so that he got to wondering if the food he ate was something no one else wanted. Again, love his anger/intensity.

 

 

Thank you for joining me. Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think?

 

EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

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.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

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?

***ONLY $1.99***

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

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Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 32 –  Reblog – The Ultimate Celebrity and More…

I apologize, but this has been a crazy week, so rather than post a new blog, which I didn’t have time to write, I am reposting an older blog. Hopefully, some of you will be seeing it for the first time. :)

 ***Keep an eye out for an upcoming contest where one lucky winner will receive this prize, along with a $10 Amazon Gift card. Follow my blog in order to receive notifications, including details of the contest. 

Prize

 

As everyone knows by now, in my opinion, Elvis had it all. He was insanely gorgeous and sexy. His voice was phenomenal, magical. He could dance, he could act. He was generous and down to earth. And, people who met him said he had this special charisma that was impossible to put into words, impossible to resist.

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And, Elvis did things that no other entertainers will ever do. Can you imagine performers of today; Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Bruno Mars, and others like them, taking two years away from their careers to serve in the armed forces? (I guess these are good examples of the currently popular male singers. Either way, you get my point. :))

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Elvis was so special, that my sister, Ruth, and I had to make a ‘deal’ when we played Barbies. Instead of having actual Ken dolls (we didn’t have a lot of money, so we had to make do with just the Barbies themselves), we would have imaginary guys for our Barbie boyfriends. However, since we would both want Elvis, and neither would give in, and it would be unfair for either of us to have him for our BB’s (Barbie Boyfriends), we struck a bargain. Neither of us could pick Elvis. He was just too untouchable, off limits. :) Instead, we had to settle for guys like David Cassidy, Donny Osmond, Bobby Sherman, and so forth. Somehow, we made do. 

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Elvis generosity is legendary. He purchased FDR’s Yacht in 1964, intending to donate it to March of Dimes, but they refused the gift, saying the upkeep was too much. He ended up donating it to St. Jude’s Children’s Research hospital. I’ve heard stories, although I’m not sure how many of them are true, about his giving nature. One story is about a man who saw Elvis and a friend in Memphis one day. Elvis was searching his pockets for a dime to make a phone call. The man gave him a dime, and Elvis asked for his address so he could send him a thank you note. A few weeks later, the man received a letter from Elvis with the news that he’d paid off his mortgage. Of course, the stories about his giving away cars is almost as well-known as Elvis himself. One of my favorites is the story about the black lady who worked as a housekeeper at a hospital in Memphis. She was walking down Union Avenue and saw a stretch limo in front of a dealership with its doors open. She stuck her head in to look inside and commented on what a beautiful car it was. Elvis was in the car, and he instructed the man with him to order her one just like it. I also heard that, In 1975, he bought an electric wheelchair for a poor woman in East Memphis, and that he picked her up and personally sat her in it. The woman’s teenage daughter told Elvis she liked his car. He gave it to her and even gave her boyfriend a job. Even if some of these stories are exaggerated or fabricated, enough has been documented about his philanthropic nature for me to be certain he had a kind and giving heart.

 EP BlueEP March of Dimes

Who is your ultimate celebrity? Why? Is it mainly because of their talent and appeal, or does it go deeper than that?

 

 

EOLS Charity

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:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

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.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

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?

***ONLY $1.99***

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

 

1 Comment

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment