July 23 - Elvis' First Music Agency Contract Sold

American singer Elvis Presley's first music agency contract, signed by 'the King of Rock and Roll' in 1956, has been sold for 37,000 pounds at an auction in the UK. "There was significant interest in the auction from buyers all over the world especially from the US and UK both online and bidders on the phone," Aldridge said.

A pair of mint-green pyjamas, that Presley wore during his stay at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in the US in 1977, was also auctioned and fetched 8,000 pounds."He spent a week there recovering from exhaustion and they were left at his father's home," said Andrew Aldridge from the Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, an auction house in the UK. After Elvis died in August 1977, aged 42, the pyjamas went on display at the world famous Elvis-A-Rama museum for many years.

"The prices achieved reflect the continuing interest in the King of Rock and Roll," he said.

(Source: BBC)

July 22 - Riding The Rainbow Charts

The UK based Rockwell Music label released 'Riding The Rainbow - 1961 (Part III)'. It is a twelve track compilation, released on 180g 'electric blue vinyl' in a limited edition of 150 copies.  

Side One: Follow That Dream / Angel / What a Wonderful Life / I'm Not the Marrying Kind / Good Luck Charm / Anything That's Part Of You /  Night Rider


Side Two: Riding the Rainbow /  Home Is Where the Heart Is / A Whistling Tune / I Got Lucky / This Is Living / King Of The Whole Wide World

Charts


Elvis is listed with four titles in the latest US Billboard charts. 


The 'The Wonder Of You' album climbed from #5 to #2 on the Billboard Classical Album chart.
The 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' compilation re-entered the 
Billboard Country Album chart at #38.
The double album 'He Touched Me – The Billboard Gospel Music Of Elvis Presley, Volumes 1 & 2' re-entered the Billboard Christian Album chart at #28.
The 'Ultimate Gospel' compilation dropped from #22 to #29 on the Christian Album chart. 
The 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits’ dropped off the Official UK Album chart after a re-entry last week at #91
The 'The Real … Elvis’ is a re-entry on the Official Scottish Album chart at #39.
The 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits’ climbed from #88 to #86 on the Official Scottish Album chart.
The 'The Platinum Collection’ 3 CD compilation is a re-entry at #87 on the Official Scottish Album chart.

(Source: Rockwell Music / Billboard / The King's World / Official UK Charts)

July 21 - Remembering Elvis Once Again

LIFE magazine re-issued their 'Remembering Elvis Presley: The King Lives On' magazine once more.  

Synopsis:
Celebrate the King of Rock ’n’ Roll with this keepsake biography of Elvis Presley, lavishly illustrated with dozens of historic photos, including many from the archives of Life magazine. A detailed timeline traces Elvis’s life from when he received his first guitar to his glory days filled with recording, acting and gyrating for shrieking fans, to his great ’68 comeback comeback, and right up to his untimely death in 1977. Intimate photojournalism combines with insightful text to reveal Elvis behind the scenes . . . at Graceland and on the road, with Priscilla and Lisa Marie, in front of the cameras, and on the stage. Explore the days of “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender,” “Blue Christmas” and so many other unforgettable hits.

(Source: LIFE)

July 20 - Elvis's British Roots

The August issue of the English 'The Oldie' magazine has a front cover cartoon of Elvis Presley. Inside is a 2-page spread ('King of Britain'), intelligently and sympathetically written by Andrew M. Brown, with a picture of Elvis at Prestwick, Scotland.

From the publisher:
"It’s hard to believe that nearly forty years have passed since it fell to Reginald Bosanquet – at the very end of News at Ten on 16th August 1977 – to announce to the British people that there were unconfirmed reports Elvis Presley had died.

There was a commercial break and then, in an ITN newsflash, Reggie confirmed the awful news. Back then, all the newsreaders carefully spaced out the words ‘rock – and – roll’. Elvis probably only visited Britain for two hours, when stopping off for refuelling at Prestwick USAF base in 1960.

But he always had a peculiar affinity with the British, and he himself was more British than you might realise.  Along with those powerful genetic and cultural influences most people know about – the Red Indian ancestry, the black music that shaped him – the great bulk of Elvis’s heritage, like that of most white..."

(Source: Steve Morse on FECC / The Oldie)





July 19 - Elvis Presley´s First Music Contract For Sale

Music fans can buy a “piece of rock and roll history” when Elvis Presley’s first music agency contract is sold at auction, where it is expected to fetch up to £30,000. Elvis signed the contract, with the William Morris Agency, in New York on January 31 1956. He also initialed a rider authorizing certain people to act on his behalf, except for “fairs, one-nighters and engagements” handled by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The contract will go on sale at Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, on Saturday, where it is expected to fetch between £25,000 and £30,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “The contract represents the genesis for Elvis collectors. It helped take Elvis´s career to a new level and was a factor in him becoming the global phenomenon we know today. “This contact is quite literally a piece of rock and roll history.” The contract is signed by Elvis, then aged 21, in three places – two full signatures and one set of the initials EP – as well as a William Morris Agency representative. Elvis and the representative also initialed the rider. 

On the day before the signing, Elvis recorded his version of Blue Suede Shoes at RCA Studio 1 in New York. The contract is sold with copies of two photographs taken at the signing. The relationship between the agency and Elvis continued throughout his career.

(Source: DailyMail)

July 18 - Red West Died


Red West, the longtime confidante and bodyguard of Elvis Presley, died Tuesday night after suffering an aortic aneurysm at Baptist Hospital. He was 81.

Robert Gene West was born in Memphis, Tennessee to Lois and Newton Thomas West. An excellent athlete and former U.S. Marine, West played football for his high school and junior college (Jones County Junior College) teams and was a boxer in the Golden Gloves championships.

Red West was one of Elvis' closest friends. He first met Elvis in High School and went on to work for Elvis as a bodyguard until 1976. Elvis and Red West became close friends when Red volunteered to help drive Elvis, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana around the southern US states for their early tours of 1955-1956.


He contributed to several songs written by Elvis Presley in 1961 and 1962. He received help from Elvis Presley in writing two songs in the early 1960s, which were collaborations: "You'll Be Gone" and "That's Someone You Never Forget." "You'll Be Gone" was also co-written with Charlie Hodge, and appeared on the Girl Happy soundtrack album and as a 45 single in 1965. The single reached number 35 on the Canadian singles chart in 1965.

"That's Someone You Never Forget" was the final track on the 1962 album Pot Luck and was released as a 45 B side single in 1967 and was featured on the Artist of the Century compilation. Red also co-wrote "If You Think I Don't Need You" with Joey Cooper for the motion picture Viva Las Vegas. He teamed up with Joey Cooper again on "I'm A Fool", which Ricky Nelson recorded. "I'm A Fool" later became a hit for Dino, Desi and Billy, the partnership of Dean-Paul "Dino" Martin, Desi Arnaz Jr., and William "Billy" Hinsche.


Red West also co wrote the song "Separate Ways" for Elvis in 1972. The song was the title of an Elvis album released on RCA's budget album line, Camden, in Jan. 1973. The song "Separate Ways" was the B side release of the single "Always on My Mind" in November 1972. The single reached #20 on Billboard's Hot 100. It reached #16 on the Country Music Billboard chart. Again, largely due to the success of "Always On My Mind". Both songs struck a sad, melancholy tone thought to largely depict Elvis' mood and outlook following the recent separation of him and his eventual ex-wife Priscilla.


In 1976, West was involved in a series of heavy-handed incidents in Las Vegas with aggressive fans that got out of hand, drawing criticism by the media. More than that, West was becoming more vocal about Presley's drug problem and how he needed help. As a result, West, his cousin Sonny West, and a third bodyguard named David Hebler were fired by Elvis's father, Vernon Presley, who hated most of, if not all, the members of his son's entourage.

Red West was fired by Presley and subsequently helped write the book Elvis: What Happened, which was published weeks before Presley's death. The book, according to West in the book, was an attempt to help Presley, but believed by some to be an attempt to retaliate and earn an income after being fired.


This is what The Commercial Appeal (Memphis) ran on his passing:

Red West, the longtime and sometimes critical confidante and bodyguard of Elvis Presley who became a successful film and television actor after the singer's death, died Tuesday night after suffering an aortic aneurysm at Baptist Hospital. He was 81.

Born in Bolivar, Tennessee, the athletic Robert Gene "Red" West befriended Elvis at Humes High School, where the 6-foot-2 redhead protected the smaller pre-fame Elvis from bullies on at least a couple of occasions, according to Presley lore. He worked for Elvis for some 20 years, occasionally taking small roles in such films as “Flaming Star” and writing or co-writing such memorable Elvis songs as the 1972 hit "Separate Ways," the holiday favorite "If Every Day Was Like Christmas" and the 1975 masterpiece of infidelity, "If You Talk in Your Sleep," recorded at Stax.

West also composed or contributed to songs recorded by other artists, including Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone and Johnny Rivers. 

An ex-Marine, Golden Gloves boxer, karate instructor and genuine tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold (at least in his later years), West said it was his protective streak that motivated him to co-write "Elvis: What Happened?," a tell-all best-seller published only two weeks before Elvis' death on Aug. 16, 1977, that documented the singer’s drug dependency and unhealthy lifestyle,. West and his co-authors, fellow “Memphis Mafia” members and Elvis bodyguards Sonny West (a cousin) and David Hebler, assisted by Steve Dunleavy, a journalist, said the book was an attempt to encourage Elvis to give up his dangerous ways, but some outraged fans said the memoir was written out of spite, since the three men only a year earlier had been fired from Elvis’ employ by Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley.

As Elvis' friend, driver and bodyguard, West was among Presley's closest associates during the singer's meteoric rise, Army tour of duty, Hollywood stardom, late 1960s so-called comeback and 1970s decline. West's father, Newton West, died the same day as Elvis' mother, Gladys Presley, which only strengthened the men's bond. When Elvis was in the Army, West traveled to Germany to be nearer the singer, at Presley's request.

West, Elvis and others would frequently spar at the old Tennessee Karate Institute in Midtown, co-owned by West. "He was a tough son of a gun," said former kickboxing world champion Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, one of the studio's co-owners.

Prior to being fired, West and some of Presley's other bodyguards had received criticism for what the reference book "Elvis: His Life from A to Z" describes as "heavyhanded tactics" involving "too much physical persuasion," in an attempt "to keep the weirdos away from Elvis." West always defended his work for Elvis, while Vernon Presley said the firings were an attempt to cut Presley's expenses. 

Post-Elvis, West became a full-time actor, earning a regular role opposite star Robert Conrad in the late 1970s series “Black Sheep Squadron" (originally titled "Baa Baa Black Sheep"), about a squadron of World War II fighter pilots.

West's most famous role was in the 1989 Patrick Swayze cult classic “Road House,” but major critical acclaim eluded him until late in life, when he landed his first top billing and the first lead role of his career in the acclaimed independent drama “Goodbye Solo” (2008), which critic Roger Ebert labeled "a masterwork" and The New York Times called "a near perfect film."

“It took me 59 years to be an overnight success,” West told The Commercial Appeal, in a 2009 interview timed to the local release of the movie, in which he portrayed a taciturn old-timer contemplating suicide.

“I started out in this business as a stuntman, and it’s taken its toll on me,” West added. “I’ve had knee replacements, and I’ve got big calcium deposits in my neck from falling on my head so many times. So this is just in time.”

Eastwood never called, but others did. West appeared in such movies as Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Rainmaker” and Ira Sachs’ “Forty Shades of Blues,” both shot in Memphis, as well as Robert Altman’s made-in-Mississippi “Cookie’s Fortune,” Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers,” Bahrani’s “At Any Price” (with Dennis Quaid), the horror sequel “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” and the true-sports story, “Glory Road.”

On TV, he could be found in episodes of “Mannix,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” "Magnum P.I.” and  “The A-Team.” A 2015 appearance in the series “Nashville” was his final credit.

In a 2011 episode of "Memphis Beat," a TNT crime series set but not shot in Memphis, West played a cancer-stricken inmate serving time for the murder of the father of the series' star, an Elvis-impersonating police detective played by Jason Lee.

Red West and his wife, acting coach Pat West, had celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on July 1. A Messick graduate who met her husband while she was working as a secretary for Elvis, Pat West said Red had complained of pains Sunday afternoon and was taken to Baptist Hospital. Early in the evening, he died after suffering what she described as an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

“From the very start, we had a bond that was just unusual,” Pat West said of her husband. “He was just a straight shooter.”

Pat West said she and her husband usually skipped "Elvis Week," but they had been planning to participate in some activities organized this year by friend and longtime Elvis associate George Klein. "We wanted to go this year, this special year," she said, referring to the 40th anniversary of Presley's death.

According to most sources (including Wikipedia and the Internet Movie Database), Red West was born on Nov. 20, 1936, which would make him 80 at the time of his death. But Pat West said his actual birthday was March 8, 1936.

In addition to his wife, West is survived by two sons, actor John Boyd West, of Tampa, Florida, and Brent West, of Memphis; a brother, Harold West of Olive Branch; and six grandchildren. Memorial Park Funeral Home will handle services.

Charts

  • The DVD 'Elvis – The King Of Rock’n’Roll – 30 Hit Performances And More' dropped from #10 to #30 on the Australian Music DVD chart. 
  • The 6-DVD-Box 'The Elvis Collection' climbed from #45 to #36 on the Official UK Music DVD chart. 

You Ain’t Nothing But a BrewDog

Scottish craft brewery BrewDog has lost a trade mark dispute concerning their grapefruit infused IPA named ‘Elvis Juice’. UK IPO held that the registered trade mark rights of the Elvis Presley estate have been infringed by drawing a link between the star and the alcoholic beverage. As a result, the registration of the ‘Brewdog Elvis Juice’ and ‘Elvis Juice’ marks has been refused and the company may be forced to find a new name for their product.

This decision comes after two of the BrewDog’s founders went to great lengths in order to prove the name in question is not exclusive to the late King of Rock and Roll, by legally changing their forenames to Elvis. It is now clear that this move did not bring about the desired outcome, but it brought attention to a wide-spread issue – wrongful association between two undertakings, where one of them enjoys good reputation, and the other is perceived as taking unfair advantage of such reputation.

The reasoning behind the UK IPO’s decision to rule in favour of the Presley estate was based on the combination of two factors described in the Section 5 of the Trade Marks Act 1994. Firstly, the ‘Elvis’ (trade mark registered by the estate), ‘BrewDog Elvis Juice’ and ‘Elvis Juice’ marks were found to be highly similar. Secondly, although the goods in question are not identical or similar to the goods the estate produces or licences the production of, the reputation of the ‘Elvis’ mark was held to be strong enough to outweigh this. Moreover, UK IPO was of the opinion that the consumers may believe the ‘Elvis Juice’ beverage has been endorsed by the Presley estate, resulting in wrongful association.

Looking at the current legal framework and the legendary status of Elvis Presley’s name, this outcome is hardly surprising. However, BrewDog managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat by turning this seemingly hopeless situation into a great publicity stunt. The brewery gained a significant amount of attention from the media, their products were promoted, and the Presley estate’s reputation may end up suffering due to its participation in this David versus Goliath fight. The question thus remains: Who is the real winner here?

(Source: Essential Elvis / FECC / WikiPedia / The Commercial Appeal / The King's World / Lexology)

July 17 - Elvis Texas Tornado

Due soon from the Rock And Roll Majesty import-label is the 4 CD longbox 'Elvis Texas Tornado' containing four soundboard concert performances recorded in Texas. This will be in a very limited editon of only 400 copies. 

Concert 1: 
June 15, 1974 afternoon show as recorded at the Tarant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas.
previously released as "The Man In White" by the Lonestar label in 2002.
Concert 2: 
June 2, 1976 show as recorded at the Grand Hall Civic Center at El Paso, Texas.
previously released as "El Goes El Paso" by Audionics in 2004.
Concert 3: 
June 3, 1976 show as recorded at the Tarant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas.
previously released as "Holding Down The Fort" by the Madison label in 2006. If that's the case, i'm curious if the pre-show is also released here.
Concert 4: 
July 3, 1976 show as recorded at the Tarant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas. 
previously released on FTD Rockin' Across Texas.

(Source: e-mail)

July 16 - Greensboro '77

The Ragdoll importlabel announced the release of the CD 'Elvis - Greensboro '77' containing a previously unreleased audience-recording of the April 21, 1977 Evening Show performance as recorded from the audience at the Coliseum in Greensboro. It comes with an eight page booklet with rare photos from the actual concert. 

The show has previously been released on CD-R 'Getting Down In Greensboro' and  'Adios Greensboro'.

Tracks: Also Sprach Zarathustra - See See Rider - I Got A Woman - Love Me - If You Love me Let Me Know - You Gave Me A Mountain - Jailhouse Rock - O Sole Mio - It's Now Or Never - Little Sister - Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel - And I Love You So - Fever - My Way - Introductions - Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B Goode - Introductions (Incomplete) - Hurt (With Reprise) - Hound Dog - Funny How Time Slips Away - How Great Thou Art - Little Darlin' - Can't Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp


(Source: FECC)

July 14 - 40 Years On

Here is the cover-art for the 'Elvis Presley - 40 Years On' double budget CD release from the SM Originals label which is due August 11, 2017. 

CD 1: Return To Sender - She's Not You - Good Luck Charm - Rock A Hula Baby - Can't Help Falling In Love - Little Sister - (Marie's The Name Of) His Latest Flame - Wild In The Country - I Feel So Bad - Lonely Man - Surrender - Wooden Heart - Are You Lonesome Tonight? - A Mess Of Blues - It's Now Or Never - Stuck On You - A Big Hunk Of Love - I Need Your Love Tonight - A Fool Such As I - Suspicion - Hard Headed Woman - Wear My Ring Around Your Neck - I Beg Of You - Don't - Flaming Star - I Got Stung - Trouble - One Night - Such A Night - Follow That Dream

CD 2: Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You - My Baby Left Me - Hound Dog - Don't Be Cruel - Blue Moon - I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine - Love Me Tender - Anyway That You Want Me - Mystery Train - Love Me - Rip It Up - Too Much - All Shook Up - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear - G. I. Blues - Paralyzed - Kiss Me Quick - Party - Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do - Loving You - Trying To Get To You - Lawdy, Miss Clawdy - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone - King Creole - Jailhouse Rock - Treat Me Nice - The Girl Of My Best Friend - Fever

(Source: Amazon)

July 13 - Moody Blue

The CMT / STAR import cooperation 'Spliced Takes - Nashville Revisited' has been released in the 'Spliced Takes' series. 

Tracks: Devil in Disguise - Alternate Master - Please Don't Drag That String Around - Spliced take 3,4,5,5  - Gold in the Mountains - Spliced overdubbed master - Like A Baby - Alternate Master - Soldier Boy - Spliced take 2,7 - Thrill of Your Love - Spliced take fs,2,1,3,1 - I Got Stung - Spliced take 18,20 - She's Not You - Spliced take 3/WP 5 (overdub) - Put the Blame on Me - Spliced take fs,fs,fs,2  - Dirty, Dirty Feeling - Alternate Master - Kiss Me Quick - Spliced take 5,6 - Western Union - Spliced take 2,3,1,2 - His Latest Flame - Spliced take 10,12 - By and By - Spliced take 1,3,4 - Joshua Fit the Battle - Spliced take 3,2 - I Believe in the Man in the Sky - Spliced take 3,4,1 - Big Boss Man - Spliced take 5,9 - It Ain't No Big Thing - Spliced take 1,2,6 - Just Pretend - Spliced take 1,2 - Stranger in the Crowd - Spliced Rehearsal - Cindy Cindy 1,2,1,1 - Heart of Rome - Spliced take 3/ workpart 1 - I'll Never Know - Alternate "Overdubbed" Master - It Hurts Me - Spliced take 3,4,5 - I John - Spliced take 1,1,2 - Padre - Spliced take 8,11 (undubbed) - Amazing Grace - Spliced take 1,2 - In The Garden - Spliced Take 2,3 - Early Morning Rain - Alternate Master - Until It's Time For You To Go - Spliced take  7,8

Moody Blue Anniversary

Sony Music will release the original vinyl RCA album 'Moody Blue' as an 40th anniversary limited edition in clear blue 180 gram vinyl on September 1, 2017.

Description:
Moody Blue was Elvis’ final studio album released by RCA Records the month before his death in August 1977. The album was a mixture of live and studio work, and included the four tracks from his final studio recording sessions in October 1976 and two tracks left over from the previous Graceland session in February 1976. "Moody Blue" was a previously published hit song recorded at the earlier Graceland session and held over for this album. Also recorded at the February session was "It's Easy For You"" written by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber. Two other track on the album were composed by John Rostill the English bassist and composer, recruited by the Shadows to replace Brian Locking "Way Down" became a hit after Elvis’ death less than one month after this album's publication. The album was certified Gold and Platinum on September 12, 1977 and 2x Platinum on March 27, 1992 by the RIAA.

Side A 1.Unchained Melody – Live (Alex North and Hy Zaret) 2:36; 2.If You Love Me - Live (Let Me Know) (John Rostill) 3:02; 3.Little Darlin' – Live (Maurice Williams) 1:55; 4.He'll Have to Go (Joe Allison, Audrey Allison) 4:35; 5.Let Me Be There (John Rostill) 3:38 
Side B 1.Way Down (Layng Martine, Jr.) 2:41; 2.Pledging My Love (Don Robey, Ferdinand Washington) 2:50; 3.Moody Blue (Mark James) 2:53; 4.She Thinks I Still Care (Dickey Lee Lipscomb) 3:54; 5.It's Easy for You (Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice) 3:30

Platinum Goes Gold


The 2012 compilation 'The Platinum Collection' from the Not Now Music label was certified 'Gold’ by the UK BPI on July 7, 2017. The set received a Silver Certification December 9, 2016.

The UK record label first released 'Elvis - The Platinum Collection' back in 2012 and it  has been available as a 3CD set and a 3LP collectors edition in white vinyl, both containing 75 classic recordings between 1954 and 1962. The album even had it's own vinyl 45rpm single featuring 'That's All Right & Blue Moon of Kentucky', and the album even made the UK music charts reaching #71 on the Pop album charts and #17 on the UK Indie album chart.

(Source: Elvis Telegraph / Elvis Express / FECC)

July 12 - Import Chart Releases

The 'Country Memories' import-release has been released. It is a 'reproduction' of the original 1978 compilation with alternated takes and comes in a six panbel digi-pack. 

Charts

  • The 'ELV1S - 30 #1 Hits’ re-entered the Official UK Album chart at #91
  • The 'The Platinum Collection’ compilation dropped off the Official UK Album chart.
  • The 6-DVD-Box 'The Elvis Collection’ dropped from #9 to #19 on the Official UK Music DVD chart. 
  • The 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits’ is a re-entry at #88 on the Official Scottish Album chart.
  • The DVD 'Elvis – The King Of Rock’n’Roll – 30 Hit Performances And More’ climbed from #30 to #10 on the Official Australian Music chart. 
  • The 'Ultimate Gospel’ compilation remained steady at #11 on the Billboard Christian Album chart. 
  • The 'The Wonder Of You’ album remained steady at #5 on the Billboard Classical Album chart.  
(Source: Elvis Aktuell / Elvis The Man And His Music / FECC / Official Charts)

July 09 - At The Printer

The first volume of the 'Strictly Elvis' photobook by author Erik Lorentzen en photographer Alverson is at the printer. The book contains around 1400 pictures from the years 1973 until 1975 and is due August 2017. A second volume is set for publication in 2018.

Charts

The 'Ultimate Gospel' compilation climbed from #30 to #22 on the Billboard Christian Album chart. 
The 'The Wonder Of You' album remained steady at #5 on the Billboard Classical Album chart. 
The 'Elvis – The Platinum Collection' dropped from #89 to #98 on the Official UK Album chart. 

(Source: EM / The King's World)

July 08 - The Elvis Exhibit Has Left The Westgate Hotel

A company that used space at the Westgate for an Elvis Presley exhibit must pay the Las Vegas resort more than $2.2 million for defaulting on a lease, the resort’s chief operating officer said this week.

A court-appointed arbitrator in California ruled that Joel Weinshanker’s company, Exhibit A Circle, a Delaware limited liability company, owed the resort for 28,000 square feet of exhibit space that held 350 historical artifacts, including The King’s first gold album and his high school yearbooks.

“We are disappointed that the Elvis legacy had to be dragged through this court case, but we’re very happy with the outcome,” Westgate COO Mark Waltrip told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday. “Hopefully the Elvis fans will understand we’re doing everything we can to protect Elvis’ legacy, but there are some things we can’t control.” Weinshanker’s Las Vegas attorney, Ogonna Brown, could not be reached for comment.

The artifacts came into the Westgate’s possession after it signed an agreement in late 2014 to host “Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition — The Show — The Experience.” The Westgate closed the exhibit within a year after Weinshanker threatened to default on the lease. But a lawsuit filed in early 2016 by Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., which is licensed by the Delaware LLC, over ownership of the artifacts is ongoing in Clark County District Court. That suit was put on hold while the arbitrator ruled on the rent money.

“It’s a significant step that an independent judge reviewed all the facts and came to the conclusion that Joel Weinshanker purposely defaulted on a lease and owes us money,” Waltrip said of this week’s ruling. “We want to get paid what is due to us, and we want to make sure that the Elvis artifacts are protected and given to the proper home.”

Other artifacts loaned to Exhibit A Circle for the Las Vegas display include Elvis’ 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, a 1962 Lincoln Continental, jewelry and the first outfit worn onstage for Elvis’ first concert at the International Hotel in 1969.

A dispute over ownership of Elvis Presley artifacts remains unresolved in the midst of a legal battle in Clark County District Court. But an arbitrator in California recently ruled that the company that defaulted on a lease for an exhibit at the Westgate resort must pay more than $2.2 million.

“At the end of the day, Elvis lived in our hotel for 10 years and is a major part of the Las Vegas landscape,” said Mark Waltrip, the Westgate’s chief operating officer.

New Elvis / RPO 2017 Christmas Album


Producer Don Reedman is currently working at Studio 2 in Abbey Road Studios, London – along with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – recording new tracks for Elvis’ and Roy Orbinson’s Christmas releases. Just as Elvis himself did when recording seasonal tracks in the summertime, they had a Christmas tree and colourful lighting set up to help them get in the mood.

(Source: Las Vegas Review Journal / Essential Elvis)

July 06 - Follow That Release

The June / July Follow That Dream releases are out. A single CD of the 'Roustabout' soundtrack in the Classic Album series, 'Start Spreading The News - Elvis At Madison Square Garden' book and CD, a 2 LP Limited Edition of 'Too Much Monkey Business'.

On 'Roustabout':
We’ve had original soundtrack recordings by Elvis in the past and we needn’t dwell on their great success, but the new “Roustabout” album is undoubtedly on of the finest we’ve had! “It’s A Wonderful World” and “Big Love Big Heartache” are delivered smoothly to a smooth Latin-flavored accompaniment. Moist of the tunes however, are the hard-rocker variety, especially “Hard Knocks and “There’s A Brand New Day On The Horizon.” For a special gas, check out the lyrics on “Little Egypt” and “Poison Ivy League.” We’ve got great music, a great cover, the movie tie-in, advertising and promotion support.  53 years later, FTD is pleased to announce the long awaited “Classic Album” version of “Roustabout”. Reaching #1 on Billboard in February 1965, it would Elvis’ last chart topping album until “Aloha From Elvis Via Satellite” in 1973. Packaged in 7” format with a full color 16-page memorabilia booklet, it contains previously unreleased material and the recently discovered “I’m A Roustabout” track.    

On 'Start Spreading The News':
Details 'Start Spreading The News - Elvis At Madison Square Garden', book and CD. The Ultimate book about Elvis’ appearances in the Big Apple, June 1972. It comes with a CD of the concert on June 9, 1972.

On 'Too Much Monkey Business':
Based on the original 1981 “Guitar Man” album, FTD Vinyl’s new release contains all the tracks featured on the FTD CD release from 2000. The 2-LP features full overdub session data insert. Pressed on 180 Gram heavyweight vinyl, it’s availability is strictly limited as all previous releases.    

(Source: Follow That Dream)

July 04 - Japanese Elvis Collectors Seen In Kalamazoo

Expected soon from the E. P. Collector label is another release; "Breaking News - Elvis Seen In Kalamazoo, Michigan!"

From the press-release:
Our new CD is titled "Breaking News - Elvis Seen In Kalamazoo, Michigan!" (label E. P. Collector, catalogue number EPC 2017-12) recorded live from the audience in Kalamazoo, MI, April 26th, 1977.
Among the concert highlights are ”Big Boss Man“, „Heartbreak Hotel“, ”And I Love You So”, ”My Way” and “Early Morning Rain”.
This is a previously unreleased recording, taken from a 1st generation copy of an original audience recorded master cassette tape. Portions of the Kalamazoo concert were released from a soundboard tape previously, but this show has never been available on CD in its entirety before. You may ask your supplier for samples.

The CD is packaged in a nicely designed digipak filled with a concert review from the local press and a collection of images taken on April 26th, 1977 in Kalamazoo, MI. If you have enjoyed our May 1977 release called "Road To Nowhere" then you will surely enjoy our latest release, too.

Tracklist:
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 Theme) - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. medley: I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me - 05. Fairytale (part only) - 06. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 07. You Gave Me A Mountain - 08. Jailhouse Rock - 09. medley: O Sole Mio (Sherrill Nielsen / It's Now Or Never - 10. Big Boss Man - 11. Heartbreak Hotel - 12. Blue Suede Shoes - 13. And I Love You So (with false start) - 14. My Way - 15. Band Introductions - 16. Early Mornin' Rain - 17. What'd I Say - 18. Drum Solo (Ronnie Tutt) - 19. Bass Solo (Battle Of New Orleans - Jerry Scheff) - 20. Piano Solo (Tony Brown) - 21. Electric Piano Solo (Bobby Ogdin) - 22. School Day - 23. My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me (Kathy Westmoreland) - 24. Danny Boy (Sherrill Nielsen) - 25. Walk With Me (Sherrill Nielsen) - 26. Hound Dog - 27. Can't Help Falling In Love - 28. Closing Vamp & Announcements.

Everybody Let's Rock - From Japan With Love Vol. 3


Expected soon from the E. P. Collector label is the double CD "Everybody Let's Rock". 

From the press-release:
Recorded live from the audience in Las Vegas, NV, August 5th, 1972, D/S and M/S, this 2CD-set is subtitled "From Japan With Love Vol. 3" because it was recorded by a member of a Japanese fan club. 

The Las Vegas, August 5th, 1972 Dinner show was first released in 2008 on the CD "Directly From The 1972 Elvis Summer Festival". This earlier CD was taken from different, inferior source tape. Our new recording is of much better sound quality. The Las Vegas, August 5th, 1972 Midnight show is previously unreleased.

There is no need to discuss the fact that ALL shows from August/September 1972 are excellent! Natural highlights are especially ballads like "What Now My Love", ''An American Trilogy", "My Way" or "For The Good Times" and rock’n’rolls like „A Big Hunk O’Love” or "Johnny B. Goode" One song from Midnight show stands out: a cool, one-off of "Jailhouse Rock"! Needless to say that this is a rarity for 1972, and what a great version it is too - it easily beats all other 70's versions.

Both concerts are taken from a recently found first generation copies of original audience recorded cassette tapes. They were never before available in listenable sound, until now! You may ask your supplier for samples.

This CD is packaged in a nicely designed double digipak with great collection of quality images taken in August 1972. We are planning another CD taken from those "Japanese" tapes. So stay tuned! 

Tracks CD 1
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 Theme) - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. Proud Mary - 04. Never Been To Spain - 05. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - 06. Polk Salad Annie - 07. What Now My Love - 08. Fever - 09. Love Me - 10. medley: Little Sister / Get Back - 11. A Big Hunk O'Love - 12. The Wonder Of You - 13. Hound Dog - 14. Blue Suede Shoes - 15. My Way - 16. Suspicious Minds - 17. Band Introductions - 18. Introduction of actor and comedian Dick Shawn - 19. An American Trilogy - 20. Can't Help Falling In Love - 21. Closing Vamp.

Tracks CD 2
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 Theme) - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. Proud Mary - 04. Never Been To Spain - 05. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - 06. Polk Salad Annie - 07. What Now My Love - 08. Fever - 09. Carry Me Back To Old Virginia (one liner) / Love Me - 10. medley: Little Sister / Get Back - 11. Blue Suede Shoes - 12. The Wonder Of You - 13. Hound Dog - 14. Jailhouse Rock - 15. Heartbreak Hotel - 16. A Big Hunk O'Love (with false start) - 17. For The Good Times - 18. My Way - 19. Suspicious Minds - 20. Band Introductions - 21. Johnny B. Goode - 22. Band Introductions continues - 23. An American Trilogy - 24. Can't Help Falling In Love - 25. Closing Vamp. 

Presleyana VIII


Due later this year from Jerry Osborne is the book 'Presleyana VIII'. The book should currenbtly be in the finanl stages. 

(Source: FECC)

July 01 - Spliced Takes Nashville Revisited

Another volume in the 'Spliced Takes' series has been announced by the STAR / CMT import label entitled 'Spliced Takes Nashville Revisited'. They created more 'new' tracks with newly spliced takes. 

From the press-release:

Another "must have" release in this great series, this time even more edits / splices were done to make an exceptional album, where tracks sound so much different then what is out there, no fake overdubs, but some tracks have been overdubed, using snippets from the actual "recording sessions" 

Devil In Disguise for example does not fade out, but has a great new ending, including two guitar solos. 

Gold In The Mountains has been overdubbed with a more fuller drumbeat on some parts, and has been extended. 
Like A Baby "you do the intro" Elvis said during the session, but here, we have Elvis himself playing it, and on the end, the guitar has been included once more.
Dirty, Dirty Feeling sounds so much different since lots of parts from the session have been included, and it's Elvis who does the ending "Gone..." instead of Ray Walker.
Stranger In The Crowd , no complete outtake of this song excists, here we get an extended "rehearsal" version, which sound wonderful
It Ain't No Big Thing,  again our man does the intro, and a very different version is made.
I'll Never Know here outtakes are combined with the master overdubs.
On the first "Nashville" most tracks were from the sixties. Here we get a good portion of seventies selections, and well as a fifties track, all recorded in Nashville.

Tracks:

Devil in Disguise - Alternate Master - Please Don't Drag That String Around - Spliced take 3,4,5,5  - Gold in the Mountains - Spliced overdubbed master - Like A Baby - Alternate Master - Soldier Boy - Spliced take 2,7 - Thrill of Your Love - Spliced take fs,2,1,3,1 - I Got Stung - Spliced take 18,20 - She's Not You - Spliced take 3/WP 5 (overdub) - Put the Blame on Me - Spliced take fs,fs,fs,2  - Dirty, Dirty Feeling - Alternate Master - Kiss Me Quick - Spliced take 5,6 - Western Union - Spliced take 2,3,1,2 - His Latest Flame - Spliced take 10,12 - By and By - Spliced take 1,3,4 - Joshua Fit the Battle - Spliced take 3,2 - I Believe in the Man in the Sky - Spliced take 3,4,1 - Big Boss Man - Spliced take 5,9 - It Ain't No Big Thing - Spliced take 1,2,6 - Just Pretend - Spliced take 1,2 - Stranger in the Crowd - Spliced Rehearsal - Cindy Cindy 1,2,1,1 - Heart of Rome - Spliced take 3/ workpart 1 - I'll Never Know - Alternate "Overdubbed" Master - It Hurts Me - Spliced take 3,4,5 - I John - Spliced take 1,1,2 - Padre - Spliced take 8,11 (undubbed) - Amazing Grace - Spliced take 1,2 - In The Garden - Spliced Take 2,3 - Early Morning Rain - Alternate Master - Until It's Time For You To Go - Spliced take  7,8

Chart

  • The 3CD Box 'Elvis – The Platinum Collection’ climbed from #96 to #89 on the Official UK Album chart. 
  • The 6 DVD Box 'The Elvis Collection'  dropped from #9 to #19 on the UK Music DVD chart.  
  • The DVD 'Elvis – The King Of Rock’n’Roll – 30 Hit Performances And More' dropped from #13 to #30 on the Australian Music DVD chart. 
  • Elvis-CDs „Ultimate Gospel“ und „The Wonder Of You“ bleiben in den US-Hitparaden erfolgreich
  • The 'Ultimate Gospel' compilation climbed from #30 to #22 on the Billboard Christian Album chart. 
  • the 'The Wonder Of You' album remained steady at #5 on the Billboard Classical Album chart. 
(Source: The Music of Elvis Presley / The King's World)