August 26 - King Of The Hilton

Anne E. Nixon, contributor to several Elvis Presley books, penned down here memories of the 40 Elvis Presley shows in the Las Vegas Hilton she visited between 1972 to 1976. 

Together with Richard Harvey she wrote a 300 page book in A5 sized book entitled "King Of The Hilton - Memories of Elvis Presley's Las Vegas" containing anecdotes, detailed records of the actual shows, musicians, Jump Suites, set lists, over 100 illustrations and more. The book is a limited, individually numbered edition and will be released October 2014 in the UK.

Inside this handsome book you’ll find:

*Complete first hand reports of every show of the final Vegas season in December ‘76.
*The famous 1974 ‘Desert Storm’ closing show as seen from a front booth.
*Over 100 illustrations including Hilton artefacts.
*The '74 monologues.
*Cancelled! The 1975 season.
*In-depth appendix of songs, suits and show times.
*Closing Night '73 'Monkey' show, exactly what happened on-stage .

Elvis Lives! (in a hologram)

Elvis is back in the building, sort of. Authentic Brands Group, which manages Elvis’ estate, and digital production company Pulse Evolution will bring the King back to life as a hologram. The companies plan to have Elvis shake, rattle and roll in live shows, commercials and movies.

Since digital Elvis will involve 11,500 moving parts, Authentic Brands Group CEO Jamie Salter said he won’t be available for projects until spring 2015 or live performances until fall 2015. But, Salter hinted that the King has a commercial deal with a Fortune 500 company. He’s also is in talks for four-night-a-week residencies in Las Vegas and Macau, and may even do special performances with a hologram Michael Jackson in the later location.

“We want you to go to the show and say, ‘Wow, oh my God! I saw Elvis 30, 40 years ago, and this is exactly the same thing,’” Salter said.

This isn’t the first time deceased musicians have been brought back using holograms. Tupac reappeared in 2012 at Coachella, and more recently, Michael Jackson hit the stage at the Billboard Music Awards in May thanks to Pulse Evolution’s technology. (Like Adweek, Billboard is owned by affiliates of Guggenheim Partners.)

Any hologram deals will have to go through the family’s final approval before being inked, but both Pricilla and Lisa Marie are completely behind using the technology, according to Salter. They’ve supported posthumous performances in the past, including when Lisa Marie sang a duet of Daddy Don’t Cry with Elvis in 1997 that used the original vocals and a video featuring her and her father.
Consultant David Deal said performances generate the most money for musicians today, and a hologram in the repertoire may significantly increase revenue for the deceased. It’s the perfect way to capture the stage charisma these artists were known for and to connect with a visual generation. “I think the only thing that needs to be in place is that the names have to be strong brands with a strong global following,” he said.

Gartner’s Andrew Frank added there’s tons of money in celebrity endorsements, considering that advertising budgets are on the rise. As the hologram technology gets better, he expects that we’ll see these digital counterparts directly interacting with people, including having them sing a personalized song or talk to a consumer on behalf of a brand.

The technology may even open doors for the living, argued Forrester senior analyst Anthony Mullen. Artists could virtually perform in multiple places simultaneously, solving a distribution problem similar to how MP3's have spread music faster than CDs and vinyl records.

Then again, musicians may want to read their contracts more carefully, he pointed out. This could mean the music industry may begin to negotiate for after-death digital image ownership while the artist is still breathing. “People talk about musicians selling their souls to the devil when they sign a deal with the record label. This could be a posthumous issue if today’s musicians agree to it,” Mullen said.

Mullen is also concerned that these singer spokespeople will be made to talk about products they never tried or endorse politicians they never would have voted for, while Frank is worried about fans accepting posthumous declarations of support. “We’re pushing the envelope for how much synthetic personality people are willing to go for,” Frank admitted.

(Source: Elvis Aktuell / FECC / Authentic Brands Group)

August 23 - Living The Pain

The SR import-label announced a new CD set; "Living The Pain". It features a the unreleased show from Las Vegas February 21, 1972. It comes in a new kind of deluxe long digi-pack four panels, containing a collection of live and candid photographs from early 1972 according to the press-release. The running-time of the set is 49,00 minutes. 

From the press-release:
As everybody knows SR concentrates it's work on early 70's live period of Elvis' activity, trying to produce always unreleased shows with Elvis at the top of his possibilities. With the new release, we are proud to present the complete show from February 21th midnight show,a rare show from a Vegas winter season always poor of official and unofficial releases.. Elvis' love of singing is clear in this tape and we are glad to give you the opportunity to listen to it.

The midnight show from February 21th, as presented on this CD, represents just one of the best shows of the season, If we look closely at the first Vegas act of 1972 we can see that Elvis concentrates on the music to produce great shows. The in-between song chat and banter have gone and each number is delivered promptly without even a pause for applause. The 'NEW' songs introduced do reflect the mood of the man and for sure the rocking days are over but the rendition of the early seventies repertoire is solid and sung with great ability.

Talking of these new additions we see some great songs, representative of his life from this stage on. Naturally we are referring to songs such as 'You Gave Me A Mountain' which has an autobiographical theme of a man who no singing the pain, but living it and 'An American Trilogy' which demonstrates his personal beliefs and patriotic views. Elvis also worked hard to promote his new single 'Until It's Time For You To Go.' Here are also included rare performance of Help Me Make It Through The Night together the classic Bridge Over Troubled Water..

This recording come from an early generation copy of the master tape, the sound quality is very good considering the early season. The sound was restored in a studio to achieve best possible results. We have spent hours in the studio over the digital restoration of the sound, to achieve the best possible results and to give you the chance to hear it with pleasure.

01. 2001 Theme 02. See See Rider 03. Proud Mary 04. Never Been To Spain 05. You Gave Me A Mountain 06. Until It’s Time For You To Go 07. Polk Salad Annie 08. Love Me 09. All Shook Up 10. Teddy Bear/ Don’t Be Cruel 11. Hound Dog 12. A Big Hunk Of Love 13. Help Me Make It Through The Night 14. Bridge Over Troubled Water 15. Suspicious Minds 16. Band Introductions 17. An American Trilogy 18. Can’t Help Falling In Love.

(Source: FECC)

August 22 - Weekend Charts

The "Heart And Soul" compilation climbed from #123 to #112 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart for the week ending August 30, 2014. The compilation also climbed on the Catalogue Album chart from #17 to #15.

The “The Real … Elvis” re-entered the Italian Album charts at #69. 

The “Elvis – That’s The Way It Is” set climbed from #81 to #69 on the Belgian Album chart. The set dropped off the German and Swiss Album charts. The "Elvis -That’s The Way It Is" set entered the Belgian Ultrapop Album charts at #90 this week. 

The DVD "King Of Rock ’n’ Roll" re-entered the Australian Music DVD chart once more at #39.

Final Countdown To The Release-date

The second edition of the "The Final Countdown To Midnight" have been released as a single CD and a DVD. 

New Releases

Two new compilations are due from SMBE Records on September 09, 2014; "60's: Elvis Presley" and "70's: Elvis Presley". Also due from Mischief Music on October 13, 2019 is a 3CD set entitled "Elvis Presley". More details when available. 

The King In Motion

The latest release from the Venus import-label "Wahoo From Omaha - The King In Motion Volume 2" has been released. This release is a 305 page book with pictures from1974. As a bonus the label added a CD and DVD. 

Inside The Graceland Guesthouse

Elvis Presley Enterprises posted a video with a preview of the guest room of the new Graceland guesthouse. 

(Source: Various / EPE / The king's world / Amazon)

August 21 - Famous Last Words

The publicity is ramping up for Ginger Alden's soon to be released book. Recent publicity features an article on Elvis' final words. "I'm going to the bathroom to read". Those were the words Elvis Presley said to his fiancee, Ginger Alden, early in the morning of August 16, 1977, at his Memphis mansion, Graceland. They were the last words he ever spoke.

The king of rock'n'roll couldn't sleep and didn't want to disturb his beauty queen lover. "OK, but don't fall asleep," she responded before closing her eyes again, leaving his reading light on. Hours later, at 2pm, she woke and noticed Presley hadn't returned to bed. She knocked on the bathroom door, calling his name, and then opened it. "That's when I saw him there."

In her upcoming memoir, Ginger and Elvis, due out in a Berkley hardcover edition on September 2, Alden recounts the details of her short-lived romance with Presley. In it, she reveals how she found the singer slumped over on the bathroom floor. When she bent down to touch him, his skin was cold.
"I slapped him a few times and it was like he breathed once when I turned his head," she said.

Alden tried opening an eye. "It was just blood-red, but I couldn't move him. I didn't want to think he was dead. God wouldn't want to take him so soon." She pressed the intercom that rang in the kitchen and called for help.Despite rapid first aid from Presley's old army mate, Joe Esposito, the 42-year-old died from an overdose of medications. The beauty queen caught Presley's eye at a fairground. She was 20 at the time - and as many years younger than him. He is (supposed to have) proposed to her on January 26, 1977, in his bathroom, the very place he later died.

Elvis – That’s The Way It Is

The blu-ray edition of "Elvis - That's The Way It Is" was released in Germany. 

(Source: Elvis Information Network)

August 20 - Collecting Elvis Cars

Volume 69 in the German "Elvis Sammlung"  was released by De'Agostini in cooperation with EPE. This volume contains the usual magazine, memorabilia reproductions and a mini-poster for "Elvis Golden Records Vol. 4".

Dollars for Elvis’ Rolls-Royce

$396,000 was paid for Elvis Presley's 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V during Bonhams auction. The past 20 years the car, loaded with 1963 gadgets, was part of a private collection. 

(Source: Elvis Memories / The King's World)

August 17 - Adios Lincoln And Rattling Plates, Aces 'n' Eights

The “Heineken” single “Bossa Nova Baby (Viva Elvis Remix)” was released as a vinyl single by Music on Vinyl (Cargo Records).

Elvis The New Leader in Las Vegas

The Essential Elvis book "Elvis - The New Leader in Las Vegas" was released. This 144 page book is dedicated to Elvis Presley in 1969 and is limited to 1000 copies.  

Rattling Import Releases

The Straight Arrow import-label announced two new releases: "Adios Lincoln" and "Rattling Plates, Aces 'n' Eights" (the fifth volume in the "booth tapes" series).

From the press-release - Adios Lincoln: 

Monday, June 20, 1977,8:30 pm, Lincoln, NE, Pershing Municipal Auditorium. Most of Elvis’ musicians prefer not to talk about Elvis’ final tours, but whenever they do, they usually agree that final tour was one that should have never been undertaken. It was simply one tour too many. At this stage it was impossible to hide the fact that Elvis was in serious problems. 

In any case, the Lincoln concert is one of the finest shows from that last tour. Elvis sounds much better than in Omaha the day before. Surprises include a well-sung ‘Help Me’ and arguably the best ever version of ‘Unchained Melody’, which for the first and only time was performed before the band introductions. Interestingly, and completely unknown until now, is that Elvis asks J.D. Sumner and the Stamps to perform 'Walk That Lonesome Road' during the band intros, which is very unusual for the time frame. 

The June 20, 1977 show was first issued on CD in 2004 ("Elvis Rocks Lincoln"). This sloppy edition was taken from an incomplete source, missing 17 minutes. For the first time Straight Arrow offer this concert complete. Using two independent original audience recored tapes, Straight Arrow's sound engineer was able to restore all 73 minutes of Lincoln concert. 
This new CD edition is limited to 500 copies. Do not miss one of the best shows from Elvis Presley final tour!

01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me - 05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. Jailhouse Rock - 08. O Sole Mio (Sherrill Nielsen) / It's Now Or Never - 09. Love Me Tender - 10. Little Sister - 11. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - 12. Help Me - 13. Unchained Melody - 14. Introduction of vocalists, musicians - 15. Walk That Lonesome Road (J. D. Sumner and The Stamps) - 16. Introduction of vocalists, musicians continues - 17. Early Mornin' Rain - 18. What'd I Say - 19. Johnny B. Goode - 20. Drum Solo (Ronnie Tutt) - 21. Bass Solo (Blues, Jerry Scheff) - 22. Piano Solo (Tony Brown) - 23. I Really Don't Want To Know - 24. Electric Piano Solo (Bobby Ogden) - 25. Jazzing In Vegas (Joe Guercio Orchestra) - 26. Hurt - 27. Hound Dog - 28. Can't Help Falling In Love - 29. Closing Vamp / Announcements.

From the press-release - Rattling Plates, Aces'n'Eights (From "booth tapes" Vol. 5):

Friday, August 24, 1973 Dinner Show, Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, NV. 

Liner notes: Imagine being a singer, and really putting your heart into a song. At the same time, your audience is having dinner, and some of them plainly don’t give a fuck about you or your singing. They are talking loudly, making noises with their plates, smoking one cigarette after another… Doesn’t sound very enticing, does it?

By 1973, it was clear that Elvis’ Las Vegas shows had a negative effect on the singer. But even at this stage, he was still impressive as a singer and a performer, and especially on those nights where he really turned on the power, there was nobody like him in Vegas -- or anywhere else, for that matter. 
The August 24th, 1973 dinner show is unreleased in any form and was sourced from an original, excellent sounding „booth“ tape. What is perhaps most surprising, is that Elvis was still quite focused three weeks into the engagement. In earlier years, the standard had sometimes slipped a bit in the third week, even as early as August ’70! Now he delivers a strong show, with ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ and ‘Big Hunk O’ Love’ being the show highlights. ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was not a regular during this season up to this point, but he delights the audience with a snappy version of his first million seller. And who knows, at this stage he may well have concluded that he’d found his own ‘Heartbreak Hotel’…

This show was rediscovered recently and we believe that you will agree with us that this is another great find. A real must - not just for the hardcore collector. Another quality Straight Arrow release!

01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me - 05. Steamroller Blues - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. Blue Suede Shoes - 08. Medley: Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On / Your Mama Don't Dance / Flip Flop And Fly / Jailhouse Rock / Hound Dog - 09. Love Me Tender - 10. Fever - 11. Bridge Over Troubled Water - 12. Suspicious Minds - 13. Introductions of singers, musicians, orchestra - 14. Release Me - 15. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - 16. An American Trilogy - 17. A Big Hunk O'Love - 18. Heartbreak Hotel - 19. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - 20. Can't Help Falling In Love - 21. Closing Vamp.

Michael A. Hoey Died

Michael A. Hoey, Elvis Screenwriter, Dies at 79. Michael Hoey spent his childhood years growing up in Hollywood before embarking on an accomplished career as film editor, script writer, producer and director. He died Sunday of cancer at his home in San Clemente, Calif aged 79. During his long and interesting career Michael worked on six Elvis films: Tickle Me; Double Trouble; Spinout; Speedway; Stay Away, Joe and Live A Little, Love A Little. Hoey wrote the screenplay for Elvis Presley films, "Stay Away, Joe" and "Live A Little, Love A Little," both released in 1968. 

He also worked with some of Hollywood's greatest studio bosses and celebrities from Walt Disney and Darryl Zanuck to Charlton Heston, John Wayne, Jane Wyman and director, John Ford. Hoey's memoir, 'Elvis, Sherlock & Me' is a fascinating account of Hollywood behind the scenes, the studios, the stars, television, and of course Elvis. He earned two Emmy Award nominations as a writer, producer, director and editor of the 1980s TV musical series, "Fame," and served as executive producer of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

The family plans a small memorial service, with his ashes scattered at sea.

(Source: FECC / For The Good Times / Elvis Information Network)