[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]
Some miscellaneous bits and pieces for today’s post. 🙂
Riviera Boulevard in Vegas is being renamed Elvis Presley Way. The road will start at Las Vegas Boulevard, cross Paradise Road and loop through the valet area of the Westgate, where Elvis launched his comeback in 1969. Back then it was called The International. The name was later changed to the Las Vegas Hilton, then in 2014, was renamed Westgate.
I would say the renaming is way overdue. Elvis’ success and impact in Vegas is legendary. After his ’68 TV special and eight years of making movies and not performing, Elvis was nervous about returning to live performances. But, wow, did he ever knock it out of the park. Elvis had an eight-year run of sellouts in the 1,150-seat main theater. Previously, his record of sold-out shows from July 1969 to December 1976 was listed as 837. But, after research, Graceland’s chief archivist revised the number to 636 last year as Graceland’s partnership with Westgate was being worked out.
A Billboard’s review from Elvis’ opening show in Vegas, July 31, 1969: “It was not the Elvis with the rough edges of the middle 1950s on stage Thursday. It was a polished, confident and talented artist, knowing exactly what he was going to do and when … it was the Elvis of the past as he ‘Put the feeling into the songs, and let the vibrations of the music have their say, swinging hips, revolving pelvis and moving shoulders.’”
Elvis closed at the International on August 28, 1969. Two weeks later Varietyreported the record numbers. During the engagement’s 29 shows, Elvis set Las Vegas attendance and gross records. With the minimum charge set at $15 per customer, the 101,509 attendees paid a total of $1,522,635 to see Elvis. Average attendance in the 2,000-seat capacity show room was 1,750. Weekends were standing room only. Following Elvis at the International were his recent movie costar, Nancy Sinatra, along with the Osmond Brothers.
This ad for That’s the Way It Is, which was comprised mainly of Vegas rehearsals and performances, gives us a good glimpse into what those concerts were like:
I assume most everyone has heard that Elvis’ physician, George Nichopoulos, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 88. A lot of controversy has surrounded him since Elvis’ death. He was charged with over-prescribing to Elvis, but acquitted. However, his license was finally stripped in 1995 because of the same type of accusations. I won’t go into detail about my feelings on ‘Dr. Nick’ as he was called, and I know Elvis was a grown man, but I also know that Dr. Nick was a trained, professional physician, and Elvis placed his care in the man’s hands. I think he was greedy and careless and thoughtless and that he contributed to Elvis’ death, even though I can’t solely place the blame on him. I will say, I think it’s tragic that he lived more than twice as long as Elvis did.
I have been collecting Elvis items for as long as I can remember. In 1972, we had a house fire that wiped out most of our belongings, including my Elvis collection. I started all over. One year, during a move, I lost another box of Elvis memorabilia. I thought I’d lost the collection of Elvis LP’s I owned, because I hadn’t seen them in years. Last weekend, I was organizing and rearranging and I went through a few old boxes I’d had packed away for a long time. Guess what? I discovered my album collection! I discovered some other items as well, but I cannot begin to express how thrilled I was that I hadn’t actually lost them. I have over 30 albums, including a multi-record set. They are very old, the covers are tattered and I’m not sure if many of them will still play, but I treasure them. A neighbor was helping me unpack the boxes, and he was blown away by the Elvis pictures, albums, knick knacks, etc, that I have. He said that I should sell them, that many of them were probably worth a lot of money. I just don’t think I can bring myself to part with them. When Elvis passed, my sisters and I were appalled at all the people who came out of the woodwork trying to turn a buck off of his death. I swore I’d never be one of those people. I’m not really sure the items would sell for that much, anyway. If the albums were in pristine condition, they probably would. But, they are worn and frayed and well-used, well-loved. They’re worth much more to me than any money I could make off of them.
Here are just a few…
These are a few of the tin wall-hangings I ran across…
As I said, I’ll treasure them and do not wish to sell. But, just out of curiosity, I might check around and see if they actually do hold any monetary value.
Thank you for stopping by…Happy Friday!
~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*
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?