* published with permission of Jeff Schrembs
* posted with permission of Jeff Schrembs
To those who are separted from their family or loved ones, on this day or another, we hope that this will be the last labor day in which you are apart. Nothing in this world matters more than (God first) the relationship between children and their parents and/or between loved ones/family.
May God bless you one and all.
From the moment Elvis signed with Colonel Parker, to be his exclusive Manager, throughout this very year (i.e. see “Elvis Potato Head” for an example) there have been many Elvis Presley Collectibles.
Whether it was for “official Elvis photos”, sold during Elvis’ live appearances/concerts, or Elvis dolls or Elvis perfume or Elvis bracelets or even Elvis Presley tennis shoes during the 1950’s there were many Elvis Presley Collectibles through the contractual agreement between Elvis Presley Enterprises (aka: EPE which was established in 1956) and the merchandisers. .
Here are a few that have withstood the test of time and are highly collectible.
Elvis Presley Lipsticks
Elvis Presley Enterprises was established in the summer of 1956 by Colonel Tom Parker in a deal with Hank Saperstein. Saperstein had successfully merchandised Wyatt Earp, the Lone Ranger, Lassie, and other icons of American pop culture. The Colonel and Saperstein approved 18 licensees, who produced about 30 products. Among them were Elvis Presley Lipsticks, which Saperstein claimed would be so popular “they would walk off the counter.”
Shades included Hound Dog Orange, Heartbreak Pink, Cruel Red, Tender Pink, Tutti Frutti Red, and Love-ya Fuschia. Each lipstick came attached to a card with a picture of Elvis and the tag line, “Keep me always on your lips.” The lipsticks are a popular collectible today, partly because the colors were named after Elvis songs. A tube attached to the original card is quite valuable, while the lipstick chart that lists all the colors is extremely rare.
Elvis Presley Sneakers
After the Saperstein deal, fans could literally dress themselves from head to toe — hats to shoes — in Elvis Presley merchandise. Elvis Presley Enterprises licensed the Randolph Manufacturing Company to make Elvis canvas sneakers in 1956.
Two different colors were available, a green and black pair and a black and white pair. The former are the most valuable, though sneakers in both colors are rare and highly sought collectibles. The tan-colored box that the sneakers came in featured a photo of Elvis on the front and the back. The photo on the front was a shot of Elvis performing, which was the famous pose used on his first album cover.
The photo on the back was a dreamy portrait, with “Love Me Tender” printed at the top and Elvis’ signature at the bottom. The box is now considered extremely rare. A pair of sneakers in the box is currently worth up to $4,300.
Elvis Presley Record Player
Two models of the “Elvis Presley Autograph” record player were produced in the fall of 1956 by RCA Victor. Both were covered with blue vinyl contrasted with a light blue-gray tweed material, and both were distinguished by Elvis’ signature, which was stamped in gold on the top.
The more sophisticated model, which sold for $47.95, could play up to fourteen 45-rpm records automatically. Those on a budget could put down one dollar and pay one dollar per week at participating RCA dealers. A bonus was included with this model in the form of an Elvis three-record EP set that featured 12 songs.
The other record player was a four-speed model that cost $32.95, or 75 cents down and 75 cents per week. The less expensive model came with a two-record EP set with eight songs. Both record players came with an instruction booklet titled “How to Use and Enjoy Your RCA Victor Elvis Presley Automatic 45 Victrola Portable Phonograph.”
Love Me Tender Necklace
Several pieces of jewelry were manufactured by Elvis Presley Enterprises in 1956, including a charm bracelet, a pair of earrings, a pin, and the Love Me Tender necklace. The necklace was issued to coincide with the release of Elvis’ first movie, though nothing about the design of the trinket relates to the film.
Available in a gold or silver finish, the heart-shaped pendant bore an engraving of Elvis playing the guitar. The card to which the necklace as attached is dark blue and white and contains a printed list that names four of Elvis’ songs from 1956.
The necklace and card together make a nice keepsake commemorating that all-important year for Elvis. The gold finish version is slightly more valuable than the silver finish to collectors today, and a necklace still attached to its card increases the value of the item by almost twice as much.
The Pink Items
In 1956, Elvis Presley Enterprises issued an autograph book, diary, scrapbook, photo album, and record case as a set of must-have accessories for every teenage girl. All of the items were dusty pink and featured the same black line drawing of Elvis with white highlights. The collectibles are commonly referred to as the pink items. The material used to make the items was a stimulated leather called “leatherette.”
The drawing was based on the photo that adorned the cover of his first album, Elvis Presley. A small hound dog also graced the covers, which was a reference to Elvis’ biggest hit single of 1956.
The scrapbook and photo album are the largest items in the set, but the diary is extremely difficult to find, making it the most valuable collectible.
The Elvis Presley Hat and Head Scarf
The 1950s was an era of crew cuts and curly pony tails, and Elvis Presley Enterprises licensed several hats and scarves to take advantage of the fashions of the day. The head scarves, which were made of a blend of rayon and silk, featured a four-color print of Elvis. The largest scarves measured 32 inches square and cost under $2. Women’s kerchiefs and hankies were also available, as was a more exotic-looking form of head gear — the Elvis turban!
Comfortable and casual, crew hats became popular among teenage boys. Even Elvis was known to don one on occasion. Elvis Presley Enterprises sold two different styles of gabardine crew hats. Both featured titles of popular Elvis songs in the wide band around the crown. The more common style included a portrait of Elvis inside a yellow burst; the other showed a picture of Elvis clasping his hands by his face. The latter is currently higher in value, and both hats inflate in value if the original price tag is still attached.
Elvis Presley Bubble Gum Cards
In 1956, Elvis Presley Enterprises authorized the Topps Gum Company to produce a set of Elvis cards to add to its line of collectors cards. The color cards sold in packages of five for a nickel, bubble gum included. Single cards sold for a penny.
The complete set contains 66 cards, which are divided into two parts. The first set includes cards 1-46 and is referred to as the Ask Elvis Series. Each card in this part features a question for Elvis and his answer and signature on the back. Cards 47-66 depict scenes from Elvis’ first film, Love Me Tender, and feature details about the movie on the backs.
All of the cards are colorized black-and-white photographs. Counterfeit reproductions of this set of cards were produced in black and white, which makes them incredibly easy for collectors to identify.
Teddy Bear Perfume
Teen-Age, Inc., came up with Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear” Eau de Partum in 1957, licensed by Elvis Presley Enterprises. The name was undoubtedly inspired by the success of Elvis’ hit single, “Teddy Bear,” as well as by the rumors that he collected teddy bears.
The tall, slender bottle with a white cap featured a photo of a smiling Elvis from the mid-1950s. The perfume came in a plain yellow box with a look that was supposed to simulate cork. There was no writing on the box.
Later, Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear” Eau de Partum was reissued with the bottles bearing a 1957 copyright. However, the photo of Elvis on the label was clearly from the 1960s. Also, the bottle shape is square, and the cap is a metallic color. The date of reissue is not known, but the reissued perfume is worth considerably less than the original.
Elvis Presley Guitar
Elvis was credited with starting a boom in guitar sales that reached mammoth proportions by 1957. Elvis himself generally used his guitar more as a prop than a musical instrument, but popular imagery of the era usually associated him with a guitar. That year, Elvis Presley Enterprises licensed the Emenee Music Company to manufacture several different toy guitars bearing Elvis’ name and likeness.
The “Teddy Bear” and “Hound Dog” models originally sold for $12 and came in both four-string and six-string versions. The “Love Me Tender” guitar was more elaborate. The two-tone plastic body measured about three feet long and came in a carrying case. The “Love Me Tender” model, which was sold only through Sears’s stores and catalogs, also included a small songbook and an automatic chord player. The four-string versions of all three guitars are rarer and therefore more valuable.
Dog Tag Jewelry
To commemorate Elvis’ induction into the army, or more likely to exploit it, Elvis Presley Enterprises issued jewelry reproductions of his dog tags, complete with his proper serial number — 55310761. The dog tag jewelry included two styles of bracelets, sweater holders, anklets, necklaces, and key chains. The jewelry featured a chrome finish over a brass base.
Currently, the sweater holder is the most valuable piece. Several years ago, many boxes of dog tag jewelry were uncovered, and consequently, the jewelry is not as valuable as other Elvis collectibles. The dog tags remain popular items, however, because they represent Elvis’ stint in the service. In 1977, reproductions were produced, which were not made of chrome over a brass base but instead were tinted gold. The originals have a copyright date of 1956, though they were not issued until 1958.
Among the most delightful of all magazines about Elvis Presley are the teenzines (teen magazines) from the mid to late 1950s. They are also among the most valuable because they cover the burgeoning days of rock ‘n’ roll, an exciting period in American popular culture. This period is of interest to a variety of collectors in addition to the Elvis fan.
Teenzines fall into two groups: single publications that focus entirely on Elvis Presley and regularly issued magazines that feature cover articles about Elvis. One of the most sought-after single-issue magazines is Elvis Presley: Hero or Heel? which addresses the question all parents wanted to know in 1956. Another is Elvis Answers Back, which included a 78 rpm flexi-disc recording with the voice of Elvis attached to the magazine. The most colorful regularly issued teenzines of the era include Dig and Hep Cats.
Elvis’ first four films represent the oldest and most popular phase of his film career, making the 1950s movie memorabilia the most valuable. The most sought-after movie collectible is probably the one-sheet — a poster that measures 27×41 inches. At almost $1,500, the one-sheet for Jailhouse Rock is the most valuable.
Lobby cards, which measure 22×28 inches and come in sets of eight, follow one-sheets in popularity. Complete lobby-card sets for the 1950s movies are scarce, making them worth a great deal. The set from Love Me Tender is valued at about $850. However, the set was reissued after Elvis died, and the reissues, which are marked with an R preceding the date in the lower right corner, are not nearly as valuable. Generally speaking, the memorabilia for Jailhouse Rock is the most valuable of Elvis’ films. The movie King Creole was rereleased in 1959, with a whole new set of posters and lobby cards. The 1959 memorabilia is not as valuable but features a better selection of images.
As Elvis’ image changed from rebellious rock star to family-friendly movie star in the 1960s and concert giant in the 1970s, collectibles that bore his image also changed. See the next page to learn about Elvis collectibles in the 1960s and 1970s.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.