[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!]
This coming Tuesday, August 16th, marks the 39th anniversary of Elvis’ death. I know I’ve said this before, but it just does NOT seem like it has been nearly four decades since we lost him.
‘Elvis Week’ is, as the name implies, a week honoring Elvis. It began in 1978, the year after he passed away, starting with a small group of Elvis fans. It has grown like crazy and now is a huge event spanning several days and including multiple guests and a horde of attendees. More evidence that no other entertainer ever has, or ever will, have the kind of impact on the world that Elvis had.
I have yet to visit Graceland during Elvis week. On one hand, I would love to so that I can help be a part of something so monumental and be with thousands of other Elvis fans. On the other hand, I prefer visiting Graceland when it’s not quite such a frenzy of people and activity.
There are many events during Elvis week I would love to see, especially the presentations by those who actually knew him, his friends, co-stars, etc. But something I have no interest in whatsoever—and it is one of the main things Elvis week features–are the Tribute Artists. As I’ve said many times, I do NOT like Elvis impersonators. If it’s not the real thing, then it is nothing to me, not even the slightest bit interesting, appealing, or entertaining. I don’t understand why Graceland and those who knew and loved Elvis are so gung-ho about these guys who try to dress and sing like him. Yes, I know they changed it to ‘Tribute Artists,’ presumably to sound less like they are simply imitating and, in some cases, not very well. To me, rather than being a tribute, I find it a little disrespectful. I know ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ but again, I don’t need an imitator. I need the REAL thing. But maybe that’s just me?
Here are some events that I would love to attend:
- A Sock Hop with DJ Argo – Elvis music, dancing, games, and giveaways.
- Hound Dog Tour: A Musical City Tour Celebrating Elvis by Backbeat Tours – A tour going from BB King’s Blues Club on a bus playing Elvis music. It shows where he grew up, where he went to school, where he worked, and sites important to his early career. It includes an optional visit inside the Presley family apartment at Lauderdale Courts – meticulously restored to its 1950s appearance, a visit to Apartment 328 of the Courts is like taking a step back in time, offering an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of Vernon, Gladys, and young Elvis. The tour includes exciting sites such as Sun Studio, Elvis’ Audubon Drive home, Humes High School, the Overton Park Shell (the amphitheater where he performed his first big show in 1954), Lansky Bros. clothing store, the Memphian Theater and the Chisca Hotel (home of the WHBQ radio station).
- The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley – Performances by gospel singers who shared the stage with Elvis, and some who were influenced by his music. Elvis imagery and videos will play on a big screen throughout the performance.
- Conversations on Elvis: Elvis Co-Stars – Two of his co-stars this year that I would really like to see are Warren Berlinger, one of his co-stars in “Spinout” and Celeste Yarnall, a co-star in “Live a Little, Love a Little” This is Elvis and Celeste from the movie:
- An Afternoon with Elvis’ Piano Man, Glen D. Hardin – Elvis’ Piano player shares music and stories.
- The Sound and Soul of Memphis – Blues music by local musicians. Performances of Elvis song and other rock, blues and soul music.
- The Candlelight Vigil
- George Klein’s Elvis Memorial Service
Some interesting tidbits about Elvis week can be found here:
Maybe I’ll try to go next year. The 40th anniversary of his death should be quite a blowout. Thank you for joining me. Have a wonderful weekend!
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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?