I’m sure you’ve all heard of Elvis’ infamous ‘Jungle Room,’ and I’ve actually seen it a few times. But, did you know…
The area was an addition Elvis had constructed in the mid 60s as a den. He furnished it in Polynesian decor, including a waterfall of cut field stone, supposedly because his favorite spot to vacation was Hawaii. Some say it was to rile his father, Vernon, who hated the furniture. I can’t imagine Elvis, or anyone for that matter, would purposely decorate a room just to piss of his dad. 🙂 Most likely, it just so happened Vernon didn’t like the furniture. Inside the room, is one of the early ‘cell phones,’ one of those large, clunky models, which, at the time, was quite advanced technology. Taped to the front are hand-written instructions by Elvis.
Elvis simply referred to it as ‘the den’ but fans and the media dubbed it The Jungle Room after his death. (I’m thinking maybe Elvis actually invented the ‘man cave.’ :))
In 1976, it was used as a recording studio, and Elvis recorded his final two albums there, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee and Moody Blue. In spite of many critics claiming he was ‘washed up’ and had lost his voice, some fabulous songs resulted from those sessions, proving that Elvis still had that powerful, amazing voice. Some of my favorites: “Hurt,” “Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall,” “Danny Boy,” “The Last Farewell,” and “Love Coming Down.” Take a listen and judge for yourself if Elvis had ‘lost it.’
Have you heard the story about Jerry Lee Lewis showing up at Graceland in the middle of the night, waving a gun, then getting arrested? Here is the account that came from Harold Lloyd, Elvis’ cousin who was on duty that night.
Jerry Lee was armed, angry, and obviously inebriated — a dangerous combination for a man mere mortals call ‘Killer’, He was outta his mind, man’, recalls Loyd. ‘He was screamin’, hollerin’, and cussin’.
‘Get on the goddamn phone. I know you got an intercom system. Call up there and tell Elvis I wanna visit with him. Who the hell does he think he is? Tell him the Killer’s here to see him’.
Loyd panicked. ‘I just put my hands up in the air and said, ‘Okay, okay, Jerry, just take it easy’, Loyd retreated to the guard booth and picked up the house phone. One of ‘the boys’ answered and Loyd apprised him of the situation. Loyd was advised to call the cops, and wasted no time in doing so. He also called Elvis, who said if he came down there, he’d kill Jerry Lee, and to call the cops.
When the police arrived, Jerry Lee had the gun on his lap and his driver’s window was shattered. He refused to get out of the vehicle when ordered, and was arrested.
Below is Jerry Lee’s version. This might be closer to the truth. It seems those surrounding Elvis liked to keep him in seclusion and liked to manipulate his emotions in order to continue riding the gravy train of being employed by and/or friends with him.
What do you think? I’m afraid I will have to challenge Jerry Lee’s thinking that he could possibly compare to Elvis. I love his music, and he is definitely a legend, but he’s no Elvis Presley. But then, who is?
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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:
END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!
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?