Tag Archives: Suspicious Minds

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 74 – Featuring Elvis in My Books

[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!]

tumblr_mumjoiPP5L1rrnekqo1_1280

Elvis was an avid reader, another reason to admire and respect him.  I love that he and I have that in common. 🙂

As an author, I am honored that I can combine my love for Elvis, my love of reading, and my love of writing by mentioning Elvis in my books. For today’s post, I am sharing just a few samples of excerpts where I’ve done so…

 

Death Notice Cover

It’s a bit challenging to work in mentions of Elvis, since my characters are young and most were not born when he passed away. While I am well aware that all generations, even the one being born now, will produce many Elvis fans, I thought I should sometimes give reasons for my youthful characters being fans.

Here is how I did it in Death Notice:

Excerpt:

“Suspicious Minds” by Elvis came on the radio and I turned it up, feeling my spirits lift. I had inadvertently become an Elvis fan in college while doing a paper on the impact of celebrities on society. Whether or not one appreciated Elvis’ talent, there was no denying he was a phenomenon, the likes of which had never been seen before and would probably never be seen again. Not only did I find I loved his music, I’d discovered why he had the impact he had. He had this boyish, southern charm, but at the same time, a deeply embedded raw sexuality that was powerful and intoxicating. It was fortunate that he only used that power for entertainment. If he’d been a terrorist or a cult leader, he could have easily taken over the world. I was only six when he died, a few years younger than his daughter. Had I been ten years older, I was certain I’d have been a part of the frenzied, screaming masses, fainting and tossing my panties up on stage.

**********************************************************************

LibertyAwakened

This was fun, since Eli is a vampire, but Liberty doesn’t yet know it. So, his response is a bit ‘tongue in cheek’.

Excerpt:

Though the music coming from the party was muted, Liberty recognized an Elvis Presley song, “One Night.” She grinned at Eli. “You like Elvis Presley? Isn’t he a little before your time?”

His lips twitched with amusement and he shrugged. “You might say I’m an old soul.”

**********************************************************************

11. THICKER THAN WATER 8.12

(Can you tell I really love ‘Suspicious Minds’? :))

Excerpt:

Jake fell silent and flipped on the radio. “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis was playing. She glanced at him from the corner of her eye. Did he remember how much she liked Elvis? How he’d teased her unmercifully about it? Nothing showed on his face, but he must remember. Had he shoved every memory of their time together out of his mind?

**********************************************************************

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_750

And this story holds a very special place in my heart. I was able to really let loose with the Elvis thing, since the story is set in 1957. It was released on Elvis’ 80th birthday…

Chapter One

Mapleton, Tennessee, November, 1957

Toby Lawson closed her eyes and shut out all sounds of the diner, except for Elvis Presley’s voice. He was crooning about how she was the only one for him…no matter where he went or what he did… he’d spend his whole life loving her…

Rough hands landed on her waist and shattered the fantasy. She caught a whiff of hair tonic and too much cologne and snapped her eyes open. Wes Markham’s hateful face replaced the image of Elvis’ beautiful, crooked smile and smoldering blue eyes.

**********************************************************************

There are many more, but I won’t bore you with all of them. I just thought it would be fun to share a few. Hope you enjoyed.

Thank you for stopping by…Happy Friday! 

**** I just saw that my publisher put the ebook version of Death Notice on sale for 99 cents. Thicker than Water and End of Lonely Street are also 99 cents, and Liberty Awakened is $2.99. I’m sharing the Amazon links below, just in case anyone is interested:

DEATH NOTICE ON AMAZON – 99¢

LIBERTY AWAKENED ON AMAZON – $2.99

THICKER THAN WATER ON AMAZON – 99¢

END OF LONELY STREET ON AMAZON – 99¢

 

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

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/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ 80th birthday, 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?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 62 – Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker

A little over 60 years ago, in August of 1955, Elvis signed a contract with manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The Colonel negotiated a deal with RCA for Elvis’ Sun contract for an unprecedented $40,000, $5,000 of which was a bonus for back royalties owed by Sun Records (Elvis was 20, and officially a minor, so his father had to sign the contract).

elvis and colonelc14a12cdb06b577407f_six_column

Over the years, many differing accounts regarding their relationship have surfaced. From what I can gather, based on snatches I’ve heard from sources that should be reliable, Colonel Parker was both beneficial and detrimental to Elvis’ career.

No one can argue that Elvis rose to mega superstardom never seen before or since. But how much of that had to do with the Colonel and how much was solely due to Elvis’ phenomenal talent and charisma? It appears the Colonel was more concerned with money than what was good for Elvis. While Elvis received 50% of the profits rather than a per picture fee, he was also more or less forced to star in movies that were considered laughable by some (although I personally enjoyed them immensely), rather than serious movies he could be proud of. As most know, the only movie Elvis made that he liked was King Creole. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of James Dean and Marlon Brando, but supposedly, the Colonel held him back from that. Robert Mitchum wanted Elvis to play in ‘Thunder Road’ but the Colonel refused to allow it.

Other notable Elvis/Colonel facts…

  • By the end of Elvis’ career, the Colonel was taking 50% of Elvis’ earnings, rather than the standard 10% for managers.
  • The Colonel never served in the military, but was given the ‘title’ by a pal. And, while Elvis never learned this, the Colonel’s true name was Andreas Cornelis Van Kujik and he was born in Breda, Holland and in the U.S. illegally. Elvis would have loved to tour overseas, but he was never able to because the Colonel feared deportation.
  • Scotty Moore, who was Elvis’ first manager and his original guitarist tells of a time early in Elvis’ career, before he made it big, when Elvis promised Scotty and Bill Black 50% of his earnings. Scotty told him that was way too much. He said Elvis would make it big and he shouldn’t offer such a high percentage. Scotty told Elvis that, if he wanted to, he could just give them 1%. Elvis agreed, but Parker took over his career and shut Scotty and Bill out of the earnings. Scotty did approach Elvis about it, but the Colonel had so much control over Elvis, he was more or less helpless. Obviously, Elvis was known for his kind heart and generosity, so he most definitely well-compensated those who worked for him. But as far as any contractual agreements, those were all controlled by Parker.

More Elvis Presley photos+ 10,000+ more pictures www.morethings.com/photo_gallery_index.htm

This is a rare and fascinating interview by Ted Koppel with Colonel Parker:

http://coloneltomparker.elvis.com.au/interview_colonel_tom_parker_1987.html

He starts out by saying he had little to do with Elvis’ success, but by the end, he is definitely giving himself a great deal of the credit. He also states that no one told Elvis what to do, but then admits to turning down a script that the producer said could almost guarantee Elvis an Academy Award because they couldn’t pay them what they wanted. I’d say that is a pretty damning admission. No doubt in my mind, the Colonel held Elvis back from doing the serious acting he desired.

I feel that the Colonel was a crafty manager and knew how to make a buck, but I don’t believe that he was the best choice for Elvis, and that Elvis could have done what he did, and perhaps exceeded that and at least had an opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a serious actor, with someone else managing him. What do 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/

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.

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?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

4 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 61 – Elvis the Lonely

It’s difficult to understand why, but in spite of Elvis’ fame and the hordes of people who were almost always around him, he was actually very lonely. I think maybe that’s one of the reasons he surrounded himself with so many people, to fight that loneliness. I remember reading this story a while back, from a member of his entourage although I don’t recall which one, (this is the way the story was relayed):

“Elvis had been ill with a cold and he was in the music room playing gospel songs on the piano. I walked into the room and said, ‘How are you feeling, Elvis?’

‘Alone,” said the king.’

Piano-4

Many people who knew him have told similar stories. Longtime girlfriend Linda Thompson said Elvis told her that he was intensely lonely on the inside.

From friend, hairdresser and confidante, Larry Geller (taken from this website:  http://elvispresleybiography.net/index.html)

“Elvis sat in silence for a moment with his eyes fixed on the ground, then looked up at me. ‘No one knows, Larry. No one knows, an’ it might surprise you just how God-awful lonely I get, how empty my life feels sometimes.'”

When I first heard Elvis sing ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ back in 1973 during the Aloha from Hawaii concert, and he began with, “I’d like to sing a song that’s probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard” it had a huge impact on me. He’d done Don’t Cry Daddy, In the Ghetto, Long Black Limousine, Mama Liked the Roses, and no doubt heard countless sad songs in his life, yet a song about loneliness was ‘probably one of the saddest’ to him.

Watch the clip and listen to the haunting sadness in his voice. 😦 (Pay special attention to what he does at around :46 seconds. I must apologize in advance for the sexiness he throws in there. The man couldn’t do anything, even be lonely and sad, without also being extremely hot and sexy 🙂 )

Here, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry is sung by Hank Williams, Sr, who wrote it (and was one of the saddest men I’ve ever heard of.) This song was my dad’s favorite, so it makes me a little sad to listen to it, but it’s sort of a good kind of sad, because it reminds me of my daddy. 🙂

Two legends, two men who had so much talent and such a bright future, but were extremely lonely souls who died too young.

I’ve been alone a lot in my life. I live alone, and I spend a great deal of time by myself. But, I can honestly say, I never feel ‘lonely.’ There is a huge difference between being alone and loneliness. So sad that someone like Elvis had to experience it so intensely.

sad2

I have to wonder if Elvis feeling lonesome had something to do with his stillborn twin, Jesse Garon. Elvis always felt a part of him was missing, and he wondered what his purpose in life was, why he lived when his brother didn’t, and why fame came to him of all people. Most likely, it also stemmed from losing his mother, at a fairly young age, just when he was making it big.

sad1

What do you think? Any ideas about what contributed to his loneliness?

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

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/

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.

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?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

3 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 60 – The Stories Behind the Songs

Listening to Sirius XM Elvis radio, I am privy to all kinds of heretofore unknown tidbits, many times, straight from the mouths of those who were there. I’ve heard a lot of interesting facts about songs Elvis performed, and I’d like to share some of those with you…

In the Ghetto (Written by Mac Davis, recorded by Elvis in 1969)

This was a huge hit for Elvis. Elvis added the last line himself, where he repeats: “And his momma cries”

Mac Davis on how the song came to be:

“I grew up in Lubbock, Texas, and it was a ghetto in every since of the word, but we didn’t use that word back then. I was trying to come up with a song called ‘The Vicious Circle,’ how a child is born, he has no father, and the same thing happens. The word ‘Ghetto’ became popular in the late ’60s to describe the poor parts of town. A friend of mine, Freddy Weller, who used to play guitar for Paul Revere And The Raiders, showed me lick on the guitar one day. I went home and fiddled around with it, I wrote the song and called him up at 4 in the morning and sang it to him. He called me a dirty name and hung up on me. He knew I’d written a hit with his lick, but that’s the way it goes.”

Don’t Cry Daddy  (Written by Mac Davis, recorded by Elvis in 1969)

Again, in Mac’s own words…

“At the time I was going through a divorce. I had my son, Scotty, for the weekend and was about to take him home. I had some time to kill, and I flipped on the five o’clock news. Scotty was about five or six years old. It just happened to be the broadcast where they were showing some film of the massacre in Vietnam. It was a very famous horrific incident where some of our guys shot to death some women and children villagers. They were showing some scenes of the bodies, and apparently I started crying and didn’t even realize it. The next thing I know Scotty was patting my back and trying to comfort a grown man going, “Don’t cry daddy.” That’s where the inspiration came from for “Don’t Cry Daddy.” My songwriter’s brain made it totally different. By the time I got Scotty home to his mother’s…on the way back to my house I had the chorus written.”

This song was recorded in 1997 as a duet with Lisa Marie, with Elvis’ voice dubbed in.

One Night  (Written by Dave Bartholomew and Earl King, recorded by Elvis in 1957)

Elvis first recorded the original version in January, 1957: One Night of Sin. His manager and record company felt the lyrics were too suggestive and risque, so the lyrics were changed (some say by Elvis himself) and the song became and was re-recorded as “One Night With You,” a mega hit for Elvis. Here is the original version:

All Shook Up  (Written by Otis Blackwell, recorded by Elvis in 1957)

According to songwriter Otis Blackwell, he was trying to come up with a follow-up song to “Don’t Be Cruel.” He used to joke that he could write a pop song from any phrase or theme.  In the autumn of 1956, one Blackwell’s bosses at his publishing offices dropped an unopened bottle of Pepsi on the ground. When he removed the cap, the soda exploded all over his white shirt. In frustration, Blackwell’s boss slammed the half-emptied Pepsi bottle on Blackwell’s desk. “There,” he said, tersely. “Write a song about that.” Blackwell studied the bottle closely for about a couple of seconds before finally shaking it again. Legend has it, he wrote the lyrics to “All Shook Up” before the bubbles had completely settled back into the beverage.

Softly as I leave you (Composed in Italian by Giorgio Calabrese and Tony De Vita. English songwriter Hal Shaper added English lyrics to it in 1961. This song wasn’t actually recorded by Elvis, but was only done in concerts.)

Elvis told a story about the song when he performed it in Vegas. Elvis said that he’d heard the story from some people in Florida. It was based on a man, who was dying. His wife was sitting by his bedside. As she began to doze off, he felt himself beginning to die and he wrote the words to the song on a notepad. Supposedly, Elvis insiders claim that this explanation was just an example of his flair for storytelling, so it likely isn’t accurate. If that’s so, then it just goes to show Elvis had a creative imagination. No matter whether it’s true or not, I think it’s pretty awesome. Side note:  Elvis doesn’t actually sing this song; he speaks the words while his backing tenor Sherrill Nielsen sings it.

Heartbreak Hotel: (Written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton, recorded by Elvis in 1956)

I’m sure you’ve all heard this story, I think I’ve told it on my blog before, but it’s highly interesting, to me, so I’m sharing again. The below is from the article found at this link: http://performingsongwriter.com/heartbreak-hotel/

A suicide note was the unlikely inspiration behind the song that became Elvis’ first No. 1 hit and million-selling single.

Steel guitarist and session musician Tommy Durden read a newspaper article about a man who had killed himself, leaving behind a piece of paper with the haunting words: “I walk a lonely street.”

Durden brought the article to his friend and cowriter Mae Boren Axton. A 41-year-old high school English teacher who moonlighted as a journalist and a songwriter, Axton had notched a few hits in the early ’50s with artists such as Perry Como and Ernest Tubb. In late 1955, she took a part-time position as a public relations secretary for Elvis’ manger, Colonel Tom Parker. When Mae first met Elvis, she felt he had everything he needed to become a star except a hit song. “You need a million-seller and I’m going to write it for you,” she promised.

As Axton and Durden discussed how they could turn the newspaper article into a song, Axton suggested that there be a “heartbreak hotel” at the end of the lonely street. With that flash of inspiration, the pair was off and running. Painting a picture of a place where “broken-hearted lovers cry away their gloom” and “the desk clerk’s dressed in black,” they managed to convey in very few words a mood that was both romantically charged and funereal.

Side note: Elvis purchased his first home, the one on Audubon Drive, with the money he made from Heartbreak Hotel.

Are You Lonesome Tonight: (Written by y Roy Turk and Lou Handman in 1926, recorded by Elvis in 1960)

I remember, right after Elvis passed away, this was probably the hardest song to listen to. The lyrics, ‘If you won’t come back to me, then they can bring the curtain down’ made my sisters and I sob uncontrollably. :/

Elvis was reluctant to record this song, because he was afraid he couldn’t do it justice. His manager, Tom Parker, convinced him to do so, because it was his wife’s favorite song. (And, you guessed it, huge hit!) Supposedly, Elvis had the studio lights completely turned off while recording the song. As he finished, he bumped into a chair, knocking it over, and the sound can be heard if you listen to the record on headphones.

Side note: The spoken part is loosely based on a speech by Jacques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Act II Scene VII:

All the world’s a stage, and all men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.

A version of Elvis performing the song on stage and getting so tickled he can’t finish the song, aptly named, The Laughing Version, is extremely popular with fans. It’s adorable…take a listen:

I hope you’ll actually take the time to listen to these videos, they are awesome, amazing, fantastic. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m an obsessive Elvis fan, honest I’m not ;))

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

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/

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.

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?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

5 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 59 – Why We Love Elvis

Well, the title might be a little misleading and/or redundant. The whole concept of my blogging each Friday about Elvis has to do with why I love him, but I wanted to share a post my sister and Elvis buddy, Ruth Robertson Zimmerman posted to Facebook on the anniversary of Elvis’ death. I believe she sums it up pretty well…

11899946_10206329452627022_491566853508802083_n

I just have to share what is on my heart & mind today….
I can’t believe I was 13 when I lost Elvis & that it’s been 38 years. 
I know how a lot of people think of him..talking about him eating cheeseburgers (don’t we all love them?) or him being a druggie (he took prescription drugs & never had an iv put in his arm so he could be given anesthesia type drugs) or about him dying on the toilet (he didn’t…they found him on the floor) but that just means you don’t see Elvis through my eyes for who he truly was!
Elvis is my comforter…when life has made me so sad nothing else will do.
Elvis is my entertainment…no song, no movie, no documentary will ever be better in my life. (From Alicia – PLEASE watch this…wow, it’s spectacular…)

Elvis is goodness thru & thru…when I thought the entertainment world had gone to Hell in a handbasket, he proved different.

wow312097dafc53cd110c6b62f0
Elvis is love…I have never & will never love another mortal human that I have never met more than I love him.
Elvis is family…not a part of MY family but he was/is such a commonality with me & my close sisters. 
Elvis is gorgeous…I have never looked at a picture on anything or anywhere that trips my trigger like he does.

wow9f33732b4d3ee7a6d1fd995f
Elvis is memories…some of the best I have. Especially the 3 concerts I got to go to with my sisters…and getting to finally go to Memphis with my sister Alicia!
Elvis is dedication…he was so dedicated to his fans…it killed him. I was one of them…does that make me guilty?? I sure feel that way sometimes.
Elvis is Godly…no matter how famous, rich, or adored he was…he never ever forsook his upbringing. You can guarantee every concert he performed, there would be a gospel song or 2 included.
Elvis is respect…I loved the way he loved his momma! I have one I feel the same way about! 
Elvis is laughter…I have cracked up so many people over the way I adore him! Imagine the fun I have trying to explain it!
and finally….
Elvis is heartbreak…I will always believe his life changed who I was…I know his death has. It’s a hurt I feel quite often. I cry sometimes…still! 
But especially today…August 16th…as I mourn the 1st love I lost!

I have to agree with Ruth (no surprise there, right? :)). Even now, while I’m still sad over his death, listening to Elvis or watching one of his movies makes me happy. I am especially grateful to Elvis Radio on Sirius, because not only can I listen to him 24/7 in my car (well, in actuality, since I own almost every song he’s ever recorded, other than the rate, outtake songs, I could listen to Elvis CD’s 24/7), but I also appreciate the interviews with people who knew him, the little details we get to learn about him that we never knew. And, I love that so many of today’s and past entertainers do promo plugs on the station, I’ve heard Paul McCartney, Michael Buble, George Jones, and many others plug Elvis radio. So cool!

I’m very grateful to have grown up with sisters who loved Elvis, a mother who loved him, and a father who understood. 🙂

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

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/

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.

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?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

7 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 40 – Why Elvis is the King of Music

A poll to crown ‘King of Music’ is in the works, and I have been religiously reminding Elvis fans on Facebook to vote for him daily. When I first discovered the poll a few months back, Michael Jackson was ahead. Now, Elvis is ahead by over 15,000 votes. The voting goes until January, 2016, so lots of time left, but I can’t imagine that anyone besides Elvis will end up with the crown. Here is the link if you want to take a look and vote. (You can vote once every 24 hours) 

http://thekingofmusic.com/

Of course, being a rabid Elvis fan for as long as I can remember, I am definitely biased as far as who should win King of Music. I’ve read comments on the website and people have posted stats and opinions and presented their own arguments for why their guy (mostly between Elvis and MJ), deserves to win. Everyone has their own opinion and tastes, and yes, statistics do back up an entertainer’s success. (However, I can’t imagine anyone attempting to pit another entertainer’s stats against Elvis’. No other singer has accomplished what he did, period.) Setting all of that aside, this contest is for the KING of MUSIC, correct? You would have to take into consideration which entertainer had the biggest impact on music, which one blazed a trail that earned him a ‘superior’ spot. And, when you take the word ‘music’ – surely a singer whose work spanned so many different categories embodies the very soul and definition of ‘music.’

EP 0dfa0dbd12732863a639882EP 620675e867e51535232bad3

Consider all of Elvis’ genres: (and I’ve provided an example of a song in each)

(Do yourself a favor and watch these videos…pure pleasure! Especially Lawdy Miss Clawdy and Just Pretend and Suspicious Minds…okay, okay, I love them all!)

Early rockabilly:  That’s All Right, Mama

Rock and Roll:  Hound Dog

Ballads: Until It’s Time for You to Go

Blues: Reconsider Baby

Soul: Lawdy, Miss Clawdy

Country: Just Pretend

Gospel: How Great Thou Art

Pop: Suspicious Minds

Then you have the songs that were just…Elvis. His movie songs, his covers, his rare recordings. No one can or will ever touch the magnitude of what Elvis has done for music. So, you can have your opinions and you can quote stats. But, there is only ONE King of Music…

Okay, I won’t keep you in suspense, it’s Elvis Presley!!! 😉 

Who is YOUR King of Music? (I promise I won’t ban you if it’s not Elvis :)) 

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

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

6 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part XVI – The Ultimate Celebrity

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.

EP close up beautiful EP 68 sexy EP Wink

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. :))

Elvis uniformEP in service

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.

Elvis cowboy Elvis in jeans

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 March of Dimes Elvis with gold record

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

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under Entertainment, For Writers

Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 7 – Anniversary of That’s the Way It Is

Elvis: That’s the Way It Is was Elvis’ first non-dramatic film, a documentary chronicling live performances from The Elvis Summer Festival at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. The film features shows Elvis performed on August 11, 12, and 13, 1970. Who would have imagined that, seven years later, he would be gone? He was so vibrant and sexy and alive at the time that it is mind boggling to think about. 

One of the things I loved about the film was that it not only showed some amazing concert performances, but it showed the ‘behind the scenes’ Elvis hanging out with his entourage, rehearsals, fans commenting on what they love about him, and celebrities such as George Hamilton, Cary Grant, Juliet Prowse, and Sammy Davis, Jr. arriving for opening night. 

I was only nine years old when the film released, and I remember watching it, enthralled. At the time, I had never been to an Elvis concert, and it was a thrill to see him perform. And, to see glimpses of the ‘real’ Elvis in how he interacted with his friends and the people who worked with him. 

That’s the Way It Is featured some fabulous songs, some that people who aren’t true Elvis fans aren’t all that familiar with, such as How the Web Was Woven. Here is a brief clip of him singing part of the song in rehearsals as he plays the piano. Watch what he does at the end: 

Here is a recording of the entire song: 

One of my very favorite songs from the performances is Just Pretend. I love it so much, I named my first romance after it (I wrote it when I was eleven). I also named my hero Lonnie Beale after Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me. And, I described him as looking like Elvis. 🙂 I still have the story, written mostly in pencil with the first page missing from the tattered spiral notebook. At the end, my heroine thinks Lonnie died in a plane crash, but as it turns out, (Spoiler alert!) he’d taken a different flight and he comes to her where she’s crying on the beach, and he sings Just Pretend (which has a line, “I’ll come flying to you again.” – see how I cleverly wove that in?) It was a riveting moment, LOL. 

Here is his concert performance of Just Pretend: 

Wasn’t he so sweet to his fans? Lucky, lucky woman. 

I was excited to learn that the re-mastered version of That’s the Way It Is will be showing in select theaters this month. It is coming to Oklahoma City, and I must go. So, I’m off to check on tickets. Until next time…  

14 Comments

Filed under Entertainment

Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan Part 4 – Impersonators

I do not care for Elvis impersonators. I have always found them a bit cartoonish and unsettling. That is not to say I don’t enjoy a respectful tribute, even if the singer is dressed as Elvis. But, I find it very annoying when people think they sound like Elvis. No one sounds like Elvis. He was the one and only, always and forever.

Often imitated, but never duplicated:

 

I will have to say, though, I do have a few fond ‘impersonator’ memories. Not long after Elvis passed away, an impersonator put on a show in Oklahoma City. I don’t even recall his name, but he was respectful, and he did a good job. My sisters and I soaked up every radio show, every interview, every tv special, etc, after his death. So, of course, we had to attend that. One thing that sticks out clearly in my mind is when the guy sang “It Won’t Seem Like Christmas Without You.” The line in the song is, “If I get the one thing I’m wishing for, then I’ll see you tonight in my dreams.” The impersonator changed it to say, “Yes, Elvis, we’ll see you tonight in our dreams.” Which, of course, made my sisters and I sob uncontrollably. 🙂

For my fortieth birthday (which, it’s kind of odd that I celebrated since I’m only twenty-five, but anyway…), my sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Tom Zimmerman, took me to Memphis for my birthday. We were on Beale Street and a young guy dressed in a gold lamé suit was performing. He was adorable and respectful, and he sang very well, but he didn’t try to make his voice sound like Elvis.  Those are the kind of ‘impersonators’ I can enjoy. Not the fat guys with black wigs and ridiculously bushy sideburns who lower their voice and think they sound like the King.

Below is a photo of my son, Presley. Some of you probably saw it on Facebook, but I still thought I would share it here. He is not an Elvis impersonator, and he normally does not wear Elvis Presley jumpsuits. 🙂 He does, however, love Elvis music. I didn’t force it on him, I swear. He was on a cruise, and he entered a Karaoke contest singing Elvis songs. I didn’t get to see it, but I would imagine, based on his personality, he really gave them a show. He ended up winning the contest, and they gave him an Elvis costume to wear and brought him on stage for the finale.

Pres in Elvis outfit

Although I wasn’t there to see it live, he brought home a DVD, and I watched that. It was so much fun! He did a really good job and put on quite a show. And, you guessed it, he made his mama proud. 🙂

6 Comments

Filed under Entertainment

Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan, Part 3 – The Music

Obviously, I can’t say everything I want to say about Elvis’ music in one post, so there will most definitely be more, so stay tuned. 🙂

In twenty-three years, Elvis recorded almost a thousand songs, although the number that was actually released during his lifetime was just over seven-hundred. Thanks to Elvis radio, I have the opportunity to hear a lot of those rare recordings and outtakes where Elvis was himself, and he was human, and having fun with the guys. I love the ones where he is laughing–his adorable, sexy, infectious laugh. The people who worked with him said he had a talent for arrangements and was a perfectionist, who would keep at it until he had the recording just the way he wanted. They also say he could memorize lyrics more quickly than anyone they’d ever known. It’s funny that, even with Elvis’ unparalleled fame and popularity, the only music he ever won awards for was his gospel. I’ve never been able to figure that out.

One thing I love about Elvis music is that it spanned so many genres. With blues, country, rock, pop, soul, and gospel, there’s something for everyone. I have three children, who all ‘like’ Elvis, but my twenty-one-year-old son, Presley, LOVES Elvis. I didn’t force it on him, even with the name, I promise. 🙂 He actually could have grown up resenting me for the name, but he is proud of it, and truly loves Elvis. He’s on a cruise right now, and he called me last night to ask me about the lyrics to Jailhouse Rock. He wasn’t sure he could remember them all. I remembered them, but not exactly in order. (I know, it’s shameless, but we only had a few minutes to talk, and I was under pressure to hurry, and that song has a lot of short verses. It’s hard to remember the correct order.) Presley was a finalist in a Karaoke contest (in which he’d earlier sung Suspicious Minds) and was going to be singing Jailhouse Rock in the finals. After we hung up, a memory came to me of when he was around fifteen months old, and he was slapping his little hand on the stereo saying ‘Wock, wock,’ wanting me to play Jailhouse Rock. I did, and he started dancing and bobbing his head and snapping his fingers. SO freakin’ cute! (I have it on home video. It’s precious!)

Oddly, some of my favorite Elvis songs are the lesser known ones; many of them only a true Elvis fan would have heard. I re-discovered this one recently, and was struck once again by just how beautiful his voice really was. It gave me chills.

 

 

This is one of my favorites of Elvis’ early recordings, Love Me. There’s something about the way he starts the song, that first line, that makes me weak all over. 🙂 Enjoy this adorable video of him singing the song on the Ed Sullivan show.

 

 

Over the years, Elvis’ music had brought me a great deal of joy. It sounds odd, but if I’m stressed or upset, I can listen to his music, and it makes me feel better.

I have a confession to make, though. I don’t ‘love’ every song Elvis ever did. Even some of his most popular ones were not my favorites; such as Love Me Tender, Hound Dog, Blue Suede Shoes. I know, I know, I should be ashamed. 🙂 However, there were plenty of his songs that I DO love, obviously. I could list them, but we don’t have all day, right?

What about you? What are some of your favorite Elvis songs?

 

14 Comments

Filed under Entertainment