The Elvis Presley Expert

featuring Jeffrey Schrembs

Elvis Presley and some of his pets

Before Michael Jackson and his pet monkey. Before there was Paris Hilton with her miniature dogs which are now emulated by, seemingly, everyone who lives in California. Long before them, and others, was Elvis and his pets.

It has been rumored that when Elvis was two years old that when his rooster died he cried for several days. Without live pets Elvis could always turned to his teddy bear named “Mabel.”

Neighbors recalled that as a boy he looked after two small dogs that he named “Woodlawn” and “Muffy Dee.” When he was serving in the army and was stationed out in Germany, he kept a poodle named “Champagne.” Interestingly in an interview circa 1956 Elvis stated that he sang “Old Shep” and called upon the feelings he carried as a boy when a pet dog died. 

He liked giving dogs as gifts to the women in his life he loved. He gave his beloved mother, Gladys, a dog called “Sweet Pea;” he gave a toy poodle named “Little Bit” to his early girlfriend, Anita Wood; he gave a poodle named “Honey” to his wife Priscilla; and he gave “Foxhugh,” a Maltese, to one of his last girlfriends, Linda Thompson.

By the end of 1960, Elvis’ pet collection at Graceland included a monkey, spider monkeys, peacocks, chickens, pigs, poodles, and a Great Pyrenees dog called “Muffin.” Elvis had a chow called “Get Low” in the seventies who outlived his master by a year.

Elvis wasn’t so fond of cats, although stray that turned up on the Graceland grounds would be found new homes. He did reputedly have a pet cat called “Wendell,” named after his co-star in his movie Loving You, Wendell Corey.

When Elvis and his family moved to Graceland mansion in 1957, the barns were stocked with pigs and chickens. That year, Elvis drove out to the country, filled the back seat of his Cadillac with geese and brought them back to Graceland to keep the lawn trim.

Elvis also kept a few donkeys he had been given in the drained Graceland swimming pool when he first moved in, until work was finished on the fence around the property. Thought the larger farm animals were gradually pensioned off, Elvis retained a hen house at Graceland for a supply of fresh eggs. At one time or another, Elvis also had goats and turkeys (one called “Bow Tie”).

Elvis donated a wallaby to the Memphis Zoo after receiving it as a gift from Australian fans in 1957. He became a serial wallaby donator by repeating the gift in 1962.

Elvis was briefly a cattle rancher when he bought the Circle G Ranch in 1967. He bought horses for all his entourage and his wife Priscilla. Elvis loved riding his horse “Rising Sun.” He often went out riding with Priscilla, he on “Rising Sun” and she on “Domino,” the horse Elvis bought for her. Once “Rising Sun” got upset and started running amok with Elvis on him. Elvis couldn’t so anything to stop him. Finally, after a wild, uncontrolled ride, “Rising Sun” came to a stop. Most people would have been scared in such a situation, but Elvis was furious. According to a witness, Elvis jumped off the horse and -literally- punched him in the face (much like the famous scene in the Mel Brooks movieBlazing Saddles a few years later).

For a while, he had a peacock on the Graceland grounds, but the bird started damaging the cars, after which it was given away. He also owned myna birds, one of which could say, “Elvis! Go to hell.” The Graceland menagerie included mules at one time. Snakes that happened to venture onto Graceland had a rough time. A maid remembers Elvis blazing away with a rifle at a tree after a snake was seen slithering up the trunk. 

He acquired his first monkey, a spider monkey called “Jayhew” back in 1956, to liven up his home. His best known pet was a very fresh, mischievous chimpanzee called “Scatter.” Elvis loved this crazy monkey, but hardly anyone else shared the King’s affinity. Elvis enjoyed walking around and carrying “Scatter” on his shoulder and often brought him out to Hollywood when he was filming movies in the ’60s. “Scatter” liked to wear clothes, drink whiskey, and tear up rooms. Elvis bought him a wardrobe of suits and ties. “Scatter” had the annoying (at least to the women involved) habit and penchant for pulling up women’s dresses.”Scatter” was reputedly poisoned in revenge by a maid he had bitten. Other sources pin his demise on alcohol-related liver problems.

Hospital mirrors turned into circus mirrors? by Jeff Schrembs

Recently I was waiting several hours for a pre-scheduled medical appointment. Boredom, along with a dying iphone and decades old magazines scattered about, is (truly) rampant.

Thus I pulled out my phone, stood before the mirror, and took this self pic.
Jeff June 25 2014

To those who know me know I don’t like to have my pictures taken. But, I will take a 64 SD card and fill it up taking pictures of my family and/or loved ones. Perplexing.

It wasn’t until I had gotten home that I realized that, for whatever reason(s), the mirror distorted my proportions. I first thought it may be an abnormality but as I compared it to the other “exciting” pictures I took within minutes I confirmed that it adversely effected every one of the photographs.

Anyway I have learned two things from this visit. The first is that for the (approximately) 1 1/2 hours that I was seen, and grateful to have wonderful medical care, worked out to be $ 2,8745 per hour. The second thing was that don’t spend your money going to carnivals, or circuses, just to look into the “distortion mirrors”. Take my advice and just run in, camera in hand, to your local hospital or doctors office and snap a few pictures using their mirrors. The effects will be the same.

Take care

Jeff Schrembs

One of Elvis Presley’s underrated songs “the thrill of your love”

Courtesy of YouTube – audio only

Elvis’ recording, in 1960 when Elvis completed his military obligation’s and wanted to show fans that his album entitled “Elvis is back” would silence all of the critics and showcase/confirm that Elvis was still the “king of rock and roll”, of “the thrill of your love” is a great recording made when Elvis was vocally on top of his game and eager to reconnect with his fans.

This recording, with the Jordanaires, is unique and soulful and no matter how many times I have heard this recording it never ceases to impress.

I hope you enjoy it and if you are interested in purchasing this song, or albums which include this song, please visit http://www.Elvis.com the official Elvis Presley website.

Remembering the twin brother of Elvis Presley (by Jeff Schrembs)

2014 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – Jeff Schrembs

There remains confusion concerning the birth of Elvis Presley and his twin brother Jessie Garon.

Here are the most cross referenced and first hand accounts concerning this matter.

Jessie Garon Presley was named after Vernon Elvis Presley (Elvis’ father) father Jessie D. Pressley (note – he changed it to Presley) who was, at one time, the husband of Elvis’ beloved grandmother aka “Dodger”. Gladys and Vernon, Elvis’ parents, were set on this name and never gave a thought about another name and never planned on having twins though it ran in the family.

Jessie was born first on January 8, 1935 and (sadly) was born stillborn meaning he was dead and it broke the hearts of Gladys and Vernon.

Only after Gladys’ repeated complaints, right when the doctor was leaving, about “I think there is another one” did they discover that there was an identical twin. They quickly came up with the name “Elvis” from using Vernon’s middle name. The middle name of “Aron” rhymed with the firstborn son middle name.

Here is the photograph of the cemetery where Elvis’ twin brother, Jessie Garon Presley, was initially laid to rest.

Jessie burial site

 

 

Thanks YouTube – DJ Fontana recalls the ’68 special video

March 24, 2014 new content added to www.ElvisCollector.info

If you are an Elvis Presley fan.

If you are curious about Elvis.

If you wonder about Elvis offstage.

If you have questions about his upbringing.

If you like seeing, reading, hearing, watching, etc. rare and unique content about Elvis.

If you desire to learn more about him.

Then please check out http://www.ElvisCollector.info and if you are really an Elvis fan become a free member of our (currently in beta testing) Elvis forum (and bookmark it please because it is long – sorry) of http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

What EPE can do now to ensure future generations of Elvis fans

These are just some of the ideas off the top of my head but I have been thinking of after approximately (6) six decades of being an Elvis Presley fan.

1)      Immediately reach out to each and every member of the Memphis Mafia (i.e. Billy Smith, Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West, etc.) and; formerly acknowledge each of them, make them a permanent place in whatever official endeavors they desire, lastly ask for their input.

2)      Crackdown on the (literally) thousands of Elvis films, songs, etc. that are “available” online but can easily be downloaded/copied/etc.

3)     Quit diminishing Elvis’ life, onstage and off, for the last years of his life. During these years he had incredible concerts, etc. What he endured should be made, into context, part of Graceland/EPE. An example is to have a display at Graceland that tells the story of the portable recording truck, of RCA, that recorded in the Jungle Room. Not only is it interesting but it has historical significance.

4)     Along with each member of the Memphis Mafia, as stated herein, bring together the talents of Alanna Nash (the foremost Elvis Presley expert – author – historian). These individuals are a priceless asset and should be a consistent part of the current plans (about Elvis) but also future endeavors.

5)     Don’t put Elvis out of reach for the majority of people here in the United States but also overseas. A perfect example is “circus” (whatever). Though it may be beautiful and captivating due to the geographical location, and the price of admission, it is well beyond the access of 99% of Elvis fans. Elvis had his chance to be apart of the circus, in his film(s) in the 1960s, so enough of that.

6)    Update consistently Elvis Presley fans and include them, showcase them, tap their memories about seeing Elvis onstage (during his lifetime) and realize that there should be more than just; Elvis week or Elvis impersonators. Focus on substance.

7)     Create packages that not only involve RCA, or Sun, but together with those mentioned previously put together a series of “Elvis year by year” that is the ultimate documentary/commentary etc. Fans would not only love this but by including those who knew Elvis for 3 decades it involves insights that, as of the writing of this article, have never formally been made available.

I’ll end this at 7.

There is an ever diminishing window to capture, compile, etc. not only the younger (potential) Elvis fans but ensure that Elvis’ style, accomplishments, hopes, dreams, shortcomings, life offstage, incredible voice, and being the greatest entertainer who ever lived would be available and in doing so Elvis will continue to shine.

PS:    If Elvis wanted to have done any “duets” he certainly had his chances. Though each of those artists who performed on the “duets” is talented the fact is that Elvis, his life and his music, stands the test of time. All one has to do is have the ability to listen and everything else will fall in place.

Jeff Schrembs

Respect for Elvis Presleys’ Memphis Mafia (2014)

1968 on set Colonel Parker and Memphis Mafia  Elvis Presley, and his life story, is (even after all these years) one that continues to garner curiosity and bring forth legions of new fans along with the “established fans’ that either grew up with Elvis or were alive when Elvis was. Either way I am happy that Elvis’ works, and his life onstage and off, continue to be respected and sought out.

Elvis death was a shock heard around the world. He left behind; his daughter Lisa Marie, his Father and Grandmother, his family members, his loved ones which include those who worked with Elvis and/or were part of his “Memphis Mafia”.

My heart will always go out to Lisa Marie and I am proud of her for her charitable works which were always a part of Elvis (with the majority of such being privately given) throughout his life. I wish Lisa Marie, her husband, and her children nothing but happiness – peace – and joy pertaining to all of their endeavors. And I encourage Elvis fans to seek out her works and support her charities, in any way that you can, some of which are named by www.Elvis.com and here is the direct link: http://www.elvis.com/about-epe/giving.aspx   and here is another: http://www.elvispresleyfansofnashville.com/8/post/2013/08/lisa-marie-presley-new-song-charity-partnership.html.

Elvis left behind men who; grew up with Elvis, worked with Elvis for decades, loved Elvis, respected Elvis, and when Elvis died not only lost their friend but their employer and also those who never had the chance to make amends or let Elvis know (on a consistent basis) how much they cared for Elvis.

With each passing year, or decade, we have (sadly) lost individuals who Elvis trusted and loved. Here is a link to www.ElvisCollector.info that lists some of them: http://www.elviscollector.info/Pages/aboutus.aspx so just scroll down and it is under the “condolences” section in red.

Those individuals who remain are living and breathing witnesses to Elvis, onstage and off, and I am thankful for each of them for sharing some of their memories and equally as thankful for keeping aspects about their friend…private.

I encourage every Elvis fan, individually and to share via social media and with others, to seek out each of these men’s works (TV, books, videos, photographs, movies, etc.). I have nothing but respect and appreciation to each of them and to their family members. and they are priceless assets who are deserving of being (officially) a part of EPE in every aspect. Though some of them are many are not and I hope that it changes for time is too short and I have always believed that “if they were “good” enough for Elvis they should be good enough for aspects associated with Elvis and those at EPE.

To those who attempt to judge these men, for whatever reason(s),  for something they s(supposedly) did or said (at a specific period of time) I say that they were; loved, respected, employed by, shared their dreams – thoughts – and lives side by side with Elvis for decades. Elvis was not perfect and I believe in context when it comes to this subject. I believe that Elvis, as we all do, died with regrets and these men, as we all do, live with regrets but nothing should ever take away their role in the life of Elvis Presley…onstage and off.

These men are (including but not limited to); Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West, Billy Smith, Jerry Schilling, and Joe Esposito.

Thankfully they have written books, or contributed to books by Alanna Nash (which I highly recommend), and (in many cases) continue to share their stories online and in interviews. Additionally, some of them have worked with Sandi Pichon who is a (justifiably) who continues to be an “advocate” for Elvis – his accomplishments – and gives of her time to give her firsthand accounts about Elvis. I am thankful to each of these individuals and for putting things in context and for factually stating both the good and the “not so good” with the good far surpassing the “not so good”.

THANK YOU Memphis Mafia, your family members, and loved ones.

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

2014 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

Elvis Presley – Christmas Album Edition

Elvis.

Elvis Presley.

No matter which name you use 99.9% of the public will know of who you speak.

When it comes to Elvis collecting I have written about the “in’s and out’s” for decades. I encourage you to seek out my blogs and to visit www.ElvisCollector.info. However, when it comes to Elvis and Christmas (his favorite holiday) the two go together like…Elvis and Christmas.

There are a few collectibles, pertaining to Elvis and Christmas, that every collector should have as these were issued during his lifetime (i.e. January 8, 1935 through August 16, 1977).

The first is to own each of his Christmas Albums and by the magic of this blog…here they are.

1957 Elvis ´Christmas album LOC-1035 / usa

us 200                 #1 uk                       #2 germany             #-

This is the original u.s. Christmas album released in November 1957. it is surely the ultimate Elvis package which rca-victor ever produced in the united states. it was only available until October 1959, when the record was released in a single pocket sleeve with a different cover.(see also lpm-1951 pictured below). it´s also the last album released before elvis left for the u.s. army. this album re-entered different charts around the world many times.

1959 Elvis ´Christmas album LPM-1958 / usa

reissue of his 1957 Christmas album with different cover.

Item image 

1970 Elvis ´Christmas album

us                                        #2*** uk                                       #7 germany                              #—–

***billboard Christmas album charts.

In the 1970´s billboard would not note Christmas albums on their hot 200 charts. This album includes 8 songs from his 1957 Christmas album (loc-1035) plus 2 newer recordings. (“if everyday was like Christmas” and ” mama liked the roses” recorded in 1967 and 1969 respectively).  it re-entered the holiday or album charts many times again, in several different countries. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THIS IS ELVIS ´MOST SUCCESSFUL ALBUM (Christmas or otherwise).

 

1970 Elvis ´ Christmas album cas-2426 / usa (reissue 1975)

reissue on the Pickwick record label by arrangement with rca

 

1971 Elvis sings the wonderful world of Christmas anl1-1936 / usa (reissue mid 1970´s)

us                           #2***

***holiday album charts

In the 1970´s billboard didn´t include Christmas albums in their regular hot 200 album charts. this album entered the holiday album charts many times in the following years and reached twice #1 in 1972 and 1973 respectively. by 2009 it had sold 3 million copies worldwide.

Elvis recorded this album earlier  in 1971 at rca´s studios in Nashville.

Elvis Presley and Christmas (Army edition)

Christmas 1958 was especially hard for Elvis.

On August 14, 1958  he had lost his beloved mother Gladys.  Now, he was stationed in Germany as a soldier in the U.S. Army, far from home and also concerned about his music and film career being on hold.
Elvis’ fellow soldiers had decorated the company Christmas tree. They had taken up a collection and given a party for the orphans in nearby Friedberg. Elvis had visited the area promoting the new Salk polio vaccine.  On the day that some of the men were to go on holiday leave and furlough, they had to have all their equipment cleaned and inspected and they could not have their passes before 1700 hours.
Some of the guys were humming and singing Christmas songs.  One soldier asked Elvis to
show them how he did his Christmas songs.  He finished polishing mirrors in the latrine and then joined the crowd.  He told them to “make an instrument.”  Out came spoons, combs with wax paper, and makeshift drums using tent pins for drum sticks.  They sang a rock version of “White
Christmas” with great fervor.

It was almost 1700 hours and one soldier asked before they went would Elvis sing “Silent Night.”  Elvis took the guitar and asked his sergeant to help him.  Recalls Sergeant Jones, “Elvis sang as if in a trance, totally oblivious to the spoons, combs, and tent pins…Somewhere along the way the instruments fell silent and only Elvis’ voice could be heard.  Those going on pass didn’t interrupt.  They simply walked silently by Elvis, touched his shoulder and walked out the door.  Not another word was spoken after the song until Elvis broke the spell. ‘Merry Christmas,  everyone,’ he said.  ‘Merry Christmas Elvis!’
they replied in unison.”

On Christmas day Sergeant Jones came by the barracks to look in on those not on leave.  He
expected to find a somber place.  Instead the barracks were jumping.  Elvis too had thought of the others with nowhere to go and had stopped by with a visiting movie actress.
He took the time to introduce her to each soldier before they were off to see a show in Frankfurt.  After he left one soldier told Jones, “‘You know, Sarge, that Elvis, he sure does know how to make people feel good.”  Jones replied, “Amen.” And then “Amen!” the guys in the barracks shouted back.

 

FOOTNOTES about Elvis in the US Army (i.e. 1956 – 1960)

Elvis received his “official draft notice”, which was hand delivered, the 3rd week of December 1957 at his home in Memphis Tennessee aka Graceland.
Elvis was drafted into to the Army on March 24th 1958 as Army Private 53310761. He had to go on an army tour to West Germany. Hundreds of German fans where waiting to while Elvis was came in at Bremerhaven on October 1 1958.
Elvis would stay for 18 months in the little town called Bad Nauheim near his army base The Ray Barracks in Friedberg. On March 2 1960 Elvis� army tour with the US Third Division was over. Elvis would fly back home to the United States after waving goodbye to the German fans who were waiting in the cold.

Elvis would give away a special goodbye to his girlfriend Priscilla who would be his future wife.
The plane was leaving fromt Rhinemain air base and would make the first stop at Ayrshire Prestwick Airport in Scotland. Elvis would stay there for a two-hour stop at the home for the 1631 USAF unit.
The news that, Elvis would flying in that day, went very fast and in a short time local fans rushed to the airport to greet the King of Rock n� roll. The most fans were in the terminal building where he was passing by.

Without influence of Colonel Tom Parker Elvis was relaxing with fans and was signing autographs and even gave a short low-key press conference. Elvis was officially greeted by Commander Russell Fisher and Majors Ed Miller and Ben Bacchus who would lead Elvis during his time in Scotland.

In those 2 hours Elvis was at Prestwick he even called Priscilla on the phone, who was still in Frankfurt Germany.
After the two hour break in Scotland Elvis was flying to Mc. Guire Air Force base near Fort Dix in New Jersey. On 07:42 Elvis landed in a snowstorm and put his first foot back on United States ground after a 18 month visit to West Germany. The promise Elvis made to return to Europe and do a tour is one he never fulfilled. After March 2 1960 Elvis would never come outside the United States again.

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