Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Elvis - An Army Trilogy Volume II

The soon to be released Elvis An Army Trilogy Volume 2 by Andreas Roth, famed author of The Ultimate Elvis In Munich Book.

No, you did not miss Volume I. It is still in the making, as is Volume III. 

Which makes me think ... who of you have, since becoming fans, also read piles of books on Elvis? At first perhaps mostly those available via normal retail outlets, then moving on to the loads of quality self-published gems, which - it seems - are not going out of fashion any time soon. Elvis fans are indeed in need of long arms and deep pockets. Local folk singer Lucas Maree said it best: Ek sou kon doen met 'n miljoen!

Maybe you remember one of the treasures from 2004 - the stunner, The Ultimate Elvis In Munich Book. The author, Andreas Roth, from Munich, Bavaria, will luckily release his second book soon.

Elvis - The Army Trilogy Volume II is a 240-page, hard-bound coffee table book covering Elvis' army period from November 1958 - June 1959. According to the author this book features some 300 rare photos and documents, including more about Elvis in Munich.

The price will be €55 plus S&H. I'm looking forward to this one. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Elvis On My Mind

In our beloved country we literally have few to no tributes to Elvis' music where jumpsuits are not involved. Luckily, one such eventuality will eventuate in Cape Town, shortly.

The place to be on Saturday 26 September 2015 at 7 p.m. is the Hillcrest Quarry Wine Estate, Durbanville Hills, where The Steyn Family Band will present pop superstar Nicholis Louw in his ELVIS ON MY MIND show, entertaining us with all of Elvis' most popular songs.

Seats are unreserved, the doors will open at 6 p.m., tickets are R120 p.p. and available at Computicket.

So, C'mon Everybody, let's put on our Blue Suede Shoes, hop in our pink Cadillacs and Have A Party Down In The ... Quarry!


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Does Elvis Still Matter?

"No Elvis, probably no Beatles, no Rolling Stones, no Bowie, no U2, no T Rex. I doubt even guys like Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry would have ever had the high-profile careers they had without Elvis crashing the party.

Would most of us even care who Bill Monroe is without Elvis' cover of "Blue Moon of Kentucky"? He may not have invented rock and roll, but he was the first guy to break the sound barrier, and he is still sending a sonic boom through our society that will never be reversed. And they didn't film him originally from the waist up only for nothing!"

- William Michael Smith, Houston Press.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Statue In Tupelo

New Elvis Presley statue in Tupelo at The Birthplace.
When four of us visited the US for the first time in 2007, Tupelo was one of the stops. Of course. At the time there was a wonderfully done statue of Elvis as a boy of about 11, at The Birthplace, you've all seen it.

Looks like it has been upgraded or these ones added? We look forward to visit there again in 2017. I know, it's been 10 years. Too long. But what can you do when you reside at the most southern part of Africa?

In 2005, during our (also only) trip to London we were fortunate to have been guests of the accomplished Elvis author, Julie Yeardye, and her husband Trevor, when we visited with them for a few days in the country side of Tring.

At the time we were amazed to hear them talk about attending Elvis weekends and events all over the place, from the UK to Spain to the US. How fortunate you guys are in countries with a great number of Elvis fans. You have awesome opportunities and singers of Elvis music. I hope you cherish and support them as much as you can.

Tupelo, Memphis, Nashville, et al, we will see you again, shortly.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

If I Can Dream

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream Philharmonic Orchestra RCA Sony CD 31 October 2015
Sony Legacy Recordings will bring us a new collaboration between Elvis and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with the imminent "If I Can Dream" CD, scheduled for release on 31 October 2015.

Interestingly the lineup includes five songs from the 70s, eight from the 60s (amongst them a possible hidden gem - for the mainstream public, that is) and one 50s song. Elvis sang most of these on stage during his concert years, so I wonder if the live or studio versions will be used (where applicable). I suspect the latter.

At least it's a different concept, with a duet or more incorporated. Elvis' voice, the best ever, together with arguably the best ever orchestra - it just might turn out to be a pretty cool fusion. Hopefully Classical fans might love it, too. Let's wait and see, or rather, hear.

A single, If I Can Dream, b/w Bridge Over Troubled Water, will accompany the album. It seems as if Sony will back this release with a bit of promotion. It all depends who/what else is released at the same time. If the album (or single) makes a splash, it can take Elvis to the charts again. I think if there is one country that can make it happen, it might be the UK. Those guys are so devoted when it gets to Elvis releases. As such I will get my copy from them.

You can reserve a copy at Amazon US, or UK (with the different cover to the left), or Essential Elvis. I tried the online shops Loot and Takelot, without any luck ... get with the program, you guys. I guess they will have the new CD in stock towards November, as might Musica (hopefully).

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Elvis Before Graceland

Little is known about the time just after Elvis graduated till he rocked the world. Until now.

The years of 1952 through 1954 are critical in understanding Elvis, because they helped form the man, his dreams, and his direction in life. It is only natural to ask what life was for Elvis in these trialing years, and what the defining factors were that projected him down the path he took later.

James Tipler, Elvis' former boss at Crown Electric, was in the unique position to shed plenty of light on those years. Mr. Tipler experienced both the young and the older Elvis, and his record tells an untold story that answers many other questions about the latter Elvis. 

What kind of job did Elvis do while he was at Crown Electric? What was the quality of work he put in? Was he as good and disciplined there, as he turned out to be later in life, during gruesome concert schedules that required such a strong will? Why did he invest in his former employer’s business, even after he made it big? Why did he suddenly stop buying his concert clothing from Lansky's? Why did he choose to live in Memphis after achieving the success he had? What was the true reason why Elvis never performed outside the U.S.?

"Elvis Before Graceland" is advertised as a treasure trove of documents, photos, and events never released or told before, and a must-read for all who are interested in Elvis' earlier life.