Elvis History E-Zine #4 — July 2008

It's Time for the July Issue
of Elvis History E-Zine
by Alan Hanson

This is the fourth issue of Elvis History E-Zine. The subscription list continues to grow, so if this is the first issue you've received, welcome and thanks for subscribing. If you missed them, you can easily read the first three Elvis History E-Zine issues by clicking on the back issues link below.

Contents of Elvis History E-Zine #4

• July Anniversaries … A list of important events that occurred in July during the life and career of Elvis Presley.

• The Closed-Circuit Elvis Show That Never Was … In 1958 there was a plan for Elvis to perform in a nationwide TV broadcast to be shown in theaters.

• The Day Elvis’s Name Came Up in Congress … Elvis's name was used by two U.S. Senators during a confrontation in Congress in 1958.

• Scottish Teenagers Wreck Theatre After Elvis Movie … Maybe the Colonel was right in never booking Elvis in Britain.

• July Birthdays … A list of people in Elvis’s world who were born during the month of July.

• Quotation of the Month … Read what Elvis said back in 1961 when asked where his career would be 10 years from then.

• What’s new and what’s coming … on Elvis-History-Blog.com.

July Anniversaries in Elvis’s Life and Career

July 1 — 52nd anniversary of Elvis’s appearance on The Steve Allen Show in 1956. Elvis wore a tuxedo and sang to a hound dog.

July 2 — 52nd anniversary of Elvis recording “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog” at RCA’s New York City studios in 1956.

July 2 — 50th anniversary of the nationwide release of Elvis’s fourth movie, King Creole, in 1958.

July 3 — 51st anniversary of the death of Judy Tyler, Elvis’s co-star in Jailhouse Rock. Tyler and her husband died in a car accident in Wyoming.

July 4 — 54th anniversary of the first meeting of Elvis, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black at Scotty’s apartment in Memphis in 1954.

July 5 — 54th anniversary of Elvis, Scotty, and Bill recording “That’s All Right, Mama” at Sam Phillips’ Memphis recording studio in 1954.

July 6 — 42nd anniversary of the nationwide release of Elvis’s movie Paradise—Hawaiian Style in 1966.

July 7 — 43nd anniversary of the nationwide release of Elvis’s movie Tickle Me in 1965.

July 9 — 51st anniversary of the premiere of Elvis’s movie Loving You at Memphis’s Strand Theatre in 1957.

July 13 — 32nd anniversary of Vernon Presley’s fateful 1976 firing of Elvis bodyguards Red West, Sonny West, and Dave Hibler. The next year the three would author the tell-all book Elvis: What Happened?

July 30 — 54th anniversary of Elvis’s stage appearance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis. It was during this show that Elvis first became aware of how his audience reacted his nervous leg movements.

July 31 — 39th anniversary of Elvis’s first appearance at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. It was his first live appearance in 8 years.

The Closed-Circuit Elvis Show That Never Was

Before Elvis entered the Army in March 1958, his fans were hoping to see him perform one last time. Lee Gordon, who had promoted all three of Presley’s 1957 concert tours, put together a plan and pitched it to Colonel Parker. Gordon’s idea was for a closed-circuit theatre “Farewell to Elvis Presley” show. Gordon expected to sell the closed-circuit TV package to between 200-250 theatres around the country. All seats would sell for $1, with a total of about 700,000 seats available. Elvis would receive a guarantee of $200,000 for his performance.

Of course, Gordon’s plan never became reality, probably because there was not enough time to implement it before Elvis’s army induction. That’s was unfortunate, not only for Elvis’s fans in 1958, but also for his fans today. How exciting it would be to have available a professionally filmed Elvis stage show from 1957.

The Day Elvis's Name Came Up in Congress

On February 4, 1958, Elvis’s name was cited in the United States Senate during a confrontation between Senators Estes Kefauver or Tennessee and Everett Dirksen of Illinois. It happened when the Senate’s Anti-Monopoly Subcommittee was questioning Harlow Curtice, president of General Motors. Kefauver pointed a finger at Curtice and directed him to supply the committee with the income of all General Motors executives before and after income taxes.

Then Dirksen, a defender of the automotive industry, interrupted Kefauver to say, “If that is done, I also want Mr. Custice to supply the same information for such well known figures as Elvis Presley, the celebrated torso shaker from Tennessee.” A little taken aback, Kefauver responded, “I don’t know anybody else in Tennessee who makes as much as Elvis Presley.”

Custice promised to obtain as much of the requested information as possible. Presley’s income for the previous year would indeed have been impressive. He received about $500,000 from his 1957 concert appearances and probably an equal amount from his two movies that year, Loving You and Jailhouse Rock. On top of that would have been royalties from dozens of Elvis-themed products on the market and payments from RCA for his top selling records, including “All Shook Up,” “Teddy Bear,” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

Scottish Teenagers Wreck Theatre After Elvis Movie

“Riot” is a word often associated with Elvis’s personal appearances in the 1950s. The fact is that, while “pandemonium” often ensued, rioting rarely, if ever, occurred at a Presley concert in the fifties. Variety, however, reported the riotous behavior of teenagers at a Glasgow, Scotland, theatre on January 28, 1958.

“Teenage patrons flattened five rows of seats to the floor in a cinema here during the last showing of the Elvis Presley pic ‘Loving You.' Youths wrecked almost 100 seats in the back rows of the stalls. They slashed upholstery and tore metal frames apart.”

Makes you wonder how wild Scottish teenagers would have gotten had they had the chance to see Elvis’s stage show live in Britain in the fifties.

July Birthdays in Elvis’s World

July 7 — Producer Sam Katzman, responsible for such Elvis movies as Kissin’ Cousins and Harum Scarum, was born in 1901. He died in 1973.

July 12 — Milton Bearle, who featured Elvis twice on his popular network TV show in 1956, was born in 1908.

July 16 — Barbara Stanwyck, who appeared in Elvis’s 1964 movie Roustabout, was born in 1907. She died in 1990.

July 20 — Actress Lola Albright, who appeared in Elvis’s 1962 movie Kid Galahad, was born in 1925.

This Month’s Quotation

At a news conference at Graceland in February 1961, Elvis was asked, “What would you see as your place in the entertainment world ten years from now?” He responded: “The only thing that I can say is that I’m trying to make it acting, you know, and it takes a long time, a lot of work, and a lot of experience, but I’m trying to make it that way, and if I can get established that way, I’m okay. I don’t know how long the music end of it will last … I’ve got no idea, really.”

What’s New and What’s Coming on Elvis-History-Blog.com

During June I posted my reviews of five Elvis movies on the site. They are "Viva Las Vegas," "Roustabout," "Girl Happy," "Tickle Me," and "Harum Scarum." Check them out. The movie reviews are the most read pages on the site, and the most commented on.

Don't forget to check out the images posted in the Elvis Photos section. Galleries #1-5 contain photos taken of Elvis in 1957. Galleries #6-8 contain 6 photos each that I took during Elvis's 1976 appearance in Spokane. One viewer called the photos "awesome." You can purchase 8 X 10 enlargements of the photos for $6 each.

My next weekly blog entry will be posted on Thursday, July 3. Also, during July, I'll continue my weekly reviews of Elvis's movies. Next in line are "Frankie and Johnny," "Paradise—Hawaiian Style," and "Spinout."

Like this E-Zine and Elvis-History-Blog.com? Pass it on!

Tell your Elvis fan friends, the members of your Elvis fan club, and everybody else you know to go to elvis-history-blog.com and sign-up for this E-Zine. Consider purchasing a copy of Elvis’57: The Final Fifties Tours for yourself or as a gift for a friend. I’ll be back in your mailbox a month from now with the August issue of Elvis-History E-Zine. Until then, I'll see you in my weekly blogs on Thursdays, and I look forward to getting your feedback.— Alan Hanson