Elvis History E-Zine #12 — March 2009

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

This is the 12th and final issue of Elvis History E-Zine. After a year of sending out this monthly E-Zine, I've decided to spend more time on improving my web site, Elvis-History-Blog.com. I appreciate all of you who have subscribed to this E-Zine and hope you'll continue to read my weekly Elvis blog on Elvis-History-Blog.com. For those of you who have not been a subscriber to this E-Zine from the beginning, you can still read all of the issues you missed by clicking on the "back issues" link at the bottom of this issue. Also, over the next month or two, I'll be converting the 12 Elvis History E-Zine issues into web pages that will be accessible from a new "Elvis Month-by-Month" section on the button bar of Elvis-History-Blog.com. Again, thanks for your support of Elvis History E-Zine.

Contents of Elvis History E-Zine #12

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

• March was “Elvis Movie Month” during the King’s Hollywood Career … Principal photography began on seven Presley films during the month of March. Three other Elvis movies opened nationwide during March.

• A Texas Third-grader a Sent Cowboy Hat to Elvis in March 1957… See what an eight-year-old girl did to make sure Elvis received her gift.

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

• A March Quote from Elvis … Read why Elvis said he headed straight for Graceland when he finished work on a movie or in the recording studio.

March Anniversaries in Elvis’s Life and Career

March 5 — 49th anniversary of Elvis’s honorable discharge from the army at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1960.

March 20 — 49th anniversary of Elvis’s first post-army recording session at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville in 1960.

March 21 — 48th anniversary of the start of the Blue Hawaii recording sessions at Radio Recorders studio in Los Angeles in 1961.

March 24 — 53rd anniversary of Elvis’s fourth and final appearance on “Stage Show,” hosted by the Dorsey brothers, in 1956. Elvis sang “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Money Honey.”

March 24 — 51st anniversary of Elvis’s induction into the army in Memphis in 1958.

March 25 — 48th anniversary of Elvis’s benefit show for the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Bloch Arena in Honolulu in 1961.

March 26 — 53rd anniversary of the start of Elvis’s three-day screen test for Hal Wallis at the Paramount studios in Hollywood in 1956.

March 26 — 53rd anniversary of Elvis signing the agreement that made Colonel Parker his “sole and exclusive Advisor, Personal Representative, and Manager” in 1956.

March 28 — 52nd anniversary of Elvis first wearing his gold lamé suit in public during a concert at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago in 1957.

March 28 — 37th anniversary of Elvis recording “Burning Love” at RCA’s Hollywood studios in 1972.

March was “Elvis Movie Month” during the King’s Hollywood Career

Elvis often made a movie in the spring for release during the holiday season later that year. Principal photography began on the following Elvis movies during the month of March.

King Creole — Paramount began location shooting in New Orleans on March 3, 1958.

Blue Hawaii — Paramount began three weeks of location shooting in Hawaii on March 27, 1961.

Roustabout —Paramount began location shooting at the Hidden Valley Ranch, north of Los Angeles, on March 6, 1964.

Harum Scarum — MGM began shooting in Los Angeles on March 15, 1965.

Clambake —United Artists began shooting in Los Angles on March 22, 1967.

Live a Little, Love a Little — MGM began shooting in Los Angeles on March 13, 1968.

Change of Habit —Universal Studios began shooting in Hollywood on March 12, 1969.

The following Elvis movies were released nationwide during the month of March.

Frankie and Johnny — released by United Artists on March 30, 1966

Easy Come, Easy Go — released by Paramount on March 22, 1967.

Charro! — released by National General on March 13, 1969.

Texas Third-grader Sent Cowboy Hat to Elvis in March 1957

On the morning of March 19, 1957, Mrs. C. R. Hughett, 53, walked up to the desk of Robert Johnson, a writer for the Memphis Press Scimitar. She handed him a letter of introduction from Carolyn George, an eight-year-old third-grader in Cleburne, Texas, near Fort Worth. It seems Carolyn was an Elvis Presley fan and had saved up her allowance for six months to buy Elvis a present. Once she had purchased the gift, she wanted to make sure that Elvis got it, so she asked her grandmother, Mrs. Hughett, who had a pass on the Santa Fe railroad, to deliver the package for her.

Carolyn had read some of Johnson’s articles about Elvis in the Press Scimitar, so she wrote a letter to him and asked her grandmother to deliver the gift to Johnson for him to pass on to Elvis. The letter read in part:

“This is to tell you about my grandmother. I’m sending her to Memphis to represent me, as I am in school and my Mommy won’t let me come now. I fell in love with Elvis Presley when I saw him on the Ed Sullivan show, and then my Grandmother Nanny took me over to Dallas to see him last October.

“I have saved my money and bought a real Texas Stetson for him because he stands tall like a Texan … I have all of Elvis’ records, over 50 of his pictures in my bedroom … Mr. Johnson, please be nice to my Nanny and please do see that Elvis gets these things and you come to Texas and I will roll out the red carpet for you, podner.”

When Mrs. Hughett handed over the Stetson and other gifts for Elvis to Johnson, she told him, “I think Elvis is a good performer, but this means nothing to me except pleasing my grand-daughter. I know there is no sex—they talk about that all the time—when a child like this can respect and admire him so much. He must be a fine boy.” (Source: Memphis Press Scimitar, March 20, 1957)

March Birthdays in Elvis’s World

March 13 — Mike Stoller (of the Leiber-Stoller song-writing team) was born in 1933. He co-wrote such Elvis hits as “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Don’t.”

March 15 — D.J. Fontana, Elvis’s drummer, was born in 1931.

March 16 — Ray Walker, bass singer for the Jordanaires, was born in 1934.

March 17 — Actor Kurt Russell, who was only 11 years old when he appeared in It Happened At the World’s Fair, was born in 1951.

March 19 — Ursula Andress, Elvis’s costar in Fun in Acapulco, was born in 1936.

March 20 — Jerry Reed, writer of Elvis songs “Guitar Man” and “U.S. Male,” was born in 1937. He died in 2008.

March 29 — Arthur O’Connell, who costarred with Elvis in Follow That Dream and Kissin’ Cousins, was born in 1908. He died in 1982.

March 30 — Red Robinson, the hall of fame DJ who recorded Elvis’s 1957 press conference in Vancouver, B.C., was born in 1937.

March 31 — Hoyt Hawkins, a member of the Jordanaires, was born in 1927. He died in 1982.

A March quote from Elvis Presley

“When I complete a movie or a record session, I head for Graceland as fast as I can. I withdraw not from my fans, but from myself. After work, I just give out. I like to come back here to think and relax. I guess in that respect I have withdrawn, but here it’s quiet and I can reevaluate myself and see where I’m going.” — The Commercial-Appeal Mid-South Magazine, March 7, 1965

My current blog on Elvis-History-Blog.com is an Academy Awards type survey for Elvis movies. I hope you'll go to my blog site, listed below, and vote. The results, which should be interesting, will be announced in my March 5 blog.


My lengthy article on Elvis’s experiences in Seattle while filming It Happened At the World’s Fair in 1962 is now posted on Elvis-History-Blog.com in the “Elvis History” section.

Again, this is the final issue of Elvis History E-Zine. I’ll continue to see you in my weekly Thursday blogs on Elvis-History-Blog.com, and I look forward to getting your feedback. — Alan Hanson