WHY WE REMEMBER ELVIS PRESLEY (by Jeff Schrembs)

Why we remember Elvis Presley (by Jeff Schrembs All Rights Reserved

I received an email recently that was “unassigned” but asked my opinion in response to a simple question of “Why do we remember Elvis (Presley)”? At first glance, I thought….terrible question….waste of time to respond…far too…simple. But then I thought a little more and not only sent a written response but thanked the anonymous e mailer for their pertinent question.
The answer to “Why do we remember Elvis Presley” is oxymoronic in the sense of being both easy to answer and yet, on many levels, much more complex. Let me explain by giving just a few reasons.
The story of Elvis Presley, shared by word of mouth or by those who knew him (i.e. Charlie Hodge, Marty Lacker, Sonny West, Red West, Sandi Pichon, Joe Esposito, Lamar Fike, Priscilla, Lisa Marie, etc.) or by some wonderful authors such as Alanna Nash or by fans Worldwide, is one of great; poverty, inspiration, human frailties, wealth, loss, faith in God, belief in helping our fellow man, talent, blessings, love, pain(s), turmoil, and even life lessons.
Elvis Aron Presley, yes I use the spelling of his middle name as it was listed on his birth certificate, was a man who walked among us – who dreamed – who worked extremely hard – who was a loyal friend – who was quick to temper yet even quicker to reach out to help – who gave of his time and of his heart – and whose story I could spend the rest of my life writing about and never do his story or his life or his accomplishments…justice.
I have always believed so many things my Grandfather taught/told me. One of the “words of wisdom”, which I cherish to this day, was in response to my being “sad” that Elvis died (i.e. circa 1977) on August 16, 1977, when I was a teenager. Part of the dialog I still recall was “if more than 1 person remembers your name, or your passions, a year after your death you are a blessed man indeed”. He also shared that “a man can be measured, in part, by the quality of the company he keeps in public but more so in private”. These words, I believe, are part of the reasons why we remember Elvis Presley.
The quality of those who knew Elvis best were among the most talented, most loyal, most passionate, and most giving people one could ever have the honor of meeting. From Charlie Hodge to Marty Lacker to Sonny and Red West to Joe Esposito to Gladys Presley to Lisa Marie to Jerry Schilling to Sandi Pichon each of these people agrees that Elvis had qualities (and faults) that rendered him; the greatest entertainer who ever lived, an original in style/actions/mannerisms, unbelievably talented, and a truly unique person who they love – think of – and miss every moment of every day. Though Elvis “fans” may try to divide this group of individuals I remain steadfast in my resolve that context matters and if “it was good enough for Elvis to spend a minute of his time, let alone decades, then it is good enough for me”.
I also believe that another reason why we remember Elvis is that he used his God-given talents not only to (initially) enhance his Mother and Fathers standard of living but to help others he knew firsthand and so many more he learned about (i.e. on the TV, in the newspaper, or who were deemed to be in need and Elvis agreed to help monetarily) who were facing hardships (i.e. widowed family of a slain police officer, disabled persons, charity organizations, people who lost their possessions in a tornado, etc.). I have always said, and believed, that the greatest gift one can give is; from their heart and of their time. In the case of Elvis Presley, he did both and he did so with…grace.
At the height of his fame Elvis was drafted into the US Army (note: he received his draft notice by hand delivery during the week of Christmas 1957) and opted to forgo the comfort of doing “promotions for the US Military” and stood fast in this desire to be treated “like every other solider”. Through great hardships (i.e. being away from his family for the first time, losing millions in earnings, losing his beloved Mother Gladys on August 14, 1958, etc.) Elvis spent (approximately) two years in the US Army and earned the respect of his fellow military personnel but also from critics who had (falsely) believed that Elvis was contributing to juvenile delinquency and/or was not a Christian.
Another of the reasons we should remember Elvis is that he wore his heart on his sleeve (caution metaphor) and when he loved…he loved. When he was angry….the nickname “crazy” was applicable. When he cared tears were sure to come followed by grace, words of comfort, and so many times monetary contributions. Elvis shocked the World when he married Priscilla on May 1, 1967, and when the marriage deteriorated (note: I have written before about how Elvis and Priscilla both contributed to the marriage ending BUT I am biased towards Elvis “side” admittingly) he faced the cameras walking down the corridor/steps on October 9, 1973, and for months prior/during/afterward he recorded songs that reflected his hurt…his pain…his love. Among the applicable songs were; Always On My Mind, Separate Ways, It’s Over, I’ve Lost You, My Boy, Don’t Cry Daddy, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, etc.).
Part of what made Elvis “great” was that he never gave up and he had, including but not limited to, at least (four) MAJOR COMEBACKS that would have been career-ending for 99.9% of the general population. The first was when he was turned down by the Grand Ole Opry, which Elvis had “grown up on” and respected artist who performed there and told to “go back to driving a truck”. The second was when he went into the Army (i.e. from 1958 through 1960) unsure if he would even have a career to return to either in music or in the movies. The third was during the 1960s after he had completed his contractual obligations for movies and regained his rightful place as a great singer/entertainer by the incomparable and exceptional ’68 Singer Special entitled “Elvis” (aka 1968 Special, ’68 Special, Comeback Special, Elvis Comeback Special, etc.). The last “comeback” was after America, the World, and his fans first learned that Elvis was…human. That Elvis had marital problems. That Elvis had health issues. That Elvis took prescription medications. That Elvis was sad and he wrote notes/letters during the mid to late 1970s that were heartfelt and…moving. And yet in many ways learning that Elvis was “human” not only further endeared him to his fans, and I among them, but made us appreciate Elvis more for not giving up and for sharing his wonderful voice and stage presence throughout the United States via his live performances/concerts.
A more subtle part of “why we should remember Elvis” is that he loved, respected, admired, and appreciated performers of quality. Elvis listened to, collected, and played over and over musical styles ranging from Gospel to Opera to Rhythm and Blues to County to Folk and even to Rock and Roll. Elvis, through his life and through his actions, looked past the color of the person (which was how the press and far too many focused on during the 1950s-1970s and in some cases – sadly – even today) and surrounded himself professionally with the “best of the best” onstage. If anyone questions this set of facts one only needs to “Google” Myrna Smith and watch the videos of her talking about her relationship with Elvis personally and professionally. Sadly, like Gladys Presley, Vernon Presley, Charlie Hodge, etc. before her Myrna Smith passed away and this World lost a person of quality who, like Elvis himself, remains…irreplaceable.
Elvis left us three decades of quality work products. From TV appearances to music recordings to movies to live appearances to hundreds of thousands of photographs Elvis is seen through the prism of truth and that being of him doing his best, many times through trials and tribulations, and reaching heights deemed “unattainable” and he even had a public “stumbles” along the way. Throughout it all Elvis stayed true to himself and true to his faith in God.
Each of these examples is a small part of the “puzzle of Elvis Aron Presley”. He left us with his beloved daughter, Lisa Marie, and many friends/loved ones who remain (in my opinion) priceless living breathing parts of Elvis life who should be supported in each of their endeavors and “officially recognized” for their part(s) in the life of the man – the performer – and the legend that is Elvis Aron Presley.
Throughout our grief, which began on August 16, 1977, and remains to this day, Elvis taught us that life is…short. That in the (literal) “blink of the eye” Elvis left his World taking away from us a man of innumerable talents and who even these (approximately) four decades later is admired and respected Worldwide.
On a personal note, I remember Elvis for these reasons and so many many…more. I can recall the day I first heard Elvis’ latest release. I can recall times when the mailbox brought a new collectible, a new letter, or some cool promotional material. I played time and time and time again certain songs when I was happy and equally as impressionable when I was sad. I listened to Elvis’ vocal cords reach octaves of beauty and somehow/someway knowing Elvis sang words relevant to what I was going through I was left with the distinct acceptance that is would be…all right.
We share our memories, insights, thoughts, and words about Elvis online – in private – and in public forums. Some take the approach that they can recall obscure facts about Elvis’s life. Some use their positions to solely make money off the name “Elvis” and, as far as I am concerned, nothing is wrong with that as long as it is honest/disclosed. Some try to minimize the expertise of other Elvis Fans and hide behind fake names/websites. Some try to advance the lie that Elvis is still alive. While others spend their life rebuilding while never letting go of their relationship with Elvis…nor should they.
Elvis is part of millions of people worldwide. Elvis is also “regional” (I..e the South, Memphis, Tennessee, Mississippi, etc.). Elvis is also universal. Elvis can’t be categorized and yet…in some ways he can. Elvis will never be “copied”, and his talents done justice, but that doesn’t stop thousands from trying. So much of this World will never fully comprehend what the World was like with Elvis was in it or what it was like when a “new generation” put their efforts into the Beatles or the “Beach sounds” or the “English Invasion” and in the 1970’s sounds from hard rock to disco to “tech”. They can never know what it was like to be an Elvis fan when so many thought it was…” uncool”. Those same naysayers were among the first to cry when word came to them that Elvis had passed away. In some ways, Elvis was taken for granted and we, individually and collectively, should have let him know exactly what he meant to us. We are, and were, left with the burdens of the “what if(s)”.
Honestly, Elvis can never be explained, in totality and even to those who were there discrepancies exist. In a World where hand-held computers/phones take the place of social interaction, and companies are built making billions of dollars but don’t create anything “tangible”, there is a tendency to try to put Elvis into certain “boxes”. Elvis is far too complex to neatly fit into anything but his story is one of the American Dream and one of the decades of excellence. Nonetheless, Elvis Aron Presley’s “boy my boy” is a fascinating subject matter (in every conceivable aspect) warranting questions from all over the World to be answered even if they, at first glance, seem….simplistic.
Take care and may God bless you.

Jeff Schrembs
http://www.elviscollector.info/

Elvis Presley and banning his peacocks from Graceland

Here is a great article about Elvis banning his Peacocks from Graceland.

Here is the direct link:

https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/1399169/Elvis-Presley-peacocks-stained-glass-Memphis-Zoo-Elvis-Gold-Cadillac

Video/Audio Elvis in his own words

Why Elvis Presley’s legacy is in trouble

 

1956 Elvis boarding private plane American Airlenes  I have always liked, and respected, Elvis Presley onstage and more importantly offstage.

I’ve spent, thank you chronic sleep apena, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of hours; collecting, cataloging, converting to digital formats, etc. so many photographs – videos – recordings – books – handwriting/letters/notes/etc. And yet I have never once monetized my collection or my knowledge.

Elvis Presley’s legacy is in trouble because those such as Billy (Elvis’ cousin who was Elvis’ trusted friend and beloved cousin) & Jo Smith have not been formally recognized, respected, and honored as PRICELESS assets. This is an abomination that is decades in the making and it needs to stop…now.

Elvis Presley’s legacy is in trouble because people my age and even older were the LAST generation who grew up during Elvis’, whole and/or in part, career (i.e. 1954-1977). Those who shared their memories and knowledge. Those who shared their facts and favorites with fans locally and around the world. Those who paid their hard earned money to go to see him in concert and/or in movie theatres. Those who revealed in Elvis’ successes and understood his failures and even his being…human. These are the people who are (sadly) dying in record numbers. Each is irreplaceable and my heart and prayers go out to the families and loved ones

Elvis’ Presley’s legacy

…to be continued

Elvis was raw

Yeah I said it

Elvis was raw and from 1956-1958 the world witnessed it as they did in 1968 and 1969.

But, through the beauty of video and audio recordings, we can see it and hear it for ourselves.

You want the polished Elvis? Well, Toodie there never would have been any type of polished Elvis without the raw Elvis and the raw Elvis was the driving force. The basking in the martial arts, the legendary anger that warranted his nickname “fire-eyes”, and his ability to send you to the roof with energy, and yeah he did that all his life, but down back again with his ballads but behind those blue/brown/green eyes was always a fuse and onstage and before tv cameras it was lit. Gloriously lit.

Here is my top 7 Elvis raw examples in no order;

Tiger man

Trouble

Hound Dog (1956, 1957)

Baby, I don’t care

Mean woman blues

Shake, rattle, and roll

WM Elvis with fruthters rare canddiWM CHILDHOOD RARE Elvis standing with Gladys VernonWM 1971 Elvis with sweets RARERERRERERERERERERERWM 1970 Houston Livestock show Elvis onstage rareraerearerareaWM 1969 Elvis with Prisiclla RAREnbrownWM 1967 Elvis with Priscilla RARE E playhin cigarWM 1956 RARE candid Elvis wearing Brando hat quite the look

 

PS:   Contrary to John Lennon’s statement of “the Army killed Elvis”, aaaggghhhhh, what is a truth is that the Army caused Gladys to die (sooner) and her death killed Elvis in many ways but what was left – and what was to come – would be utter magic and he is missed. Man, he is missed.

 

Natalie Wood and Elvis Presley circa 1956

ACCORDING to Lana Wood Natalie’s sister: Intrigued by 21-year-old Elvis’ music and image, Natalie, then 18, had asked her Rebel Without a Cause co-star Dennis Hopper to introduce them. She was charmed by their first dates. “To go to the movies, he bought out the theater,” Natalie’s sister Lana Wood exclusively told Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “That’s not what she was used to.”
Elvis, meanwhile, was starstruck by Natalie, a former child actress. “She was in Miracle on 34th Street when he was a little boy,” Ray Connolly, author of Being Elvis: A Lonely Life, told Closer. The singer invited her home to impress his parents, but his mother Gladys soured on the actress quickly. “Natalie wore a very flimsy nightgown around the house,” Connolly shared. “Gladys was like, ‘Not in my house!’”
Natalie, meanwhile, found Elvis’ close relationship with Gladys troubling. “His mother said something like, ‘Come and sit on Mama’s lap,’” Lana recalled. “They were very affectionate, and it bothered Natalie. She called and asked our mom to make up a story about why she had to come home.”
Their brief romance ended with no regrets. “Later, he called her ‘Mad Nat,’ I think for how angry she got,” Connolly said. Natalie also put the trip behind her. “There were people that she idolized,” Lana said, “Elvis was not one of them.”
DIRECT QUOTE from Natalie Wood:

 A former child actress, she had blossomed into an 18-year-old sweater girl and Oscar-nominated actress by the time she met Elvis in 1956. However, in her following comments in the San Francisco News on October 14, 1956, she sounded more like a normal 14-year-old girl with a crush on Elvis.

“I saw his picture in the paper before he got very popular and I liked his eyes. I thought then I just had to go out with him. He’s really great and the most totally real boy I’ve ever met. He’s a real pixie and has a wonderful little boy quality. He’s very courteous and polite and so sweet! He’s the nicest boy I know. A wonderful dancer—and he sings all the time to me. All the girls in the country are in love with him—so why should I be any different?”
 
When Natalie Wood came to Memphis in 1956, and yes they dated briefly, she was the teenage queen of Hollywood and she was drop dead gorgeous. Their brief fling flamed out with both parties giving, to personal friends, different accounts. BUT there were witnesses to the relationship and there have been several interviews, books etc which go into detail about this period in the lives of these two vastly different (except in looks as both were blessed in those areas). The books authored by Alanna Nash comes to mind.
 

Elvis

The King got all shook up when he dated Natalie Wood.

Elvis was still dating his high school sweetheart Barbara Hearn whenhe met Natalie.

As a traffic light turned green, Elvis Presley gunned the engine of his Harley Davidson, causing his passenger, Natalie Wood, to hold her head scarf more tightly. At the height of the singer’s early stardom he’d brought his famous new girlfriend home to Memphis, Tenn. — but it didn’t work out the way either expected.

Intrigued by 21-year-old Elvis’ music and image, Natalie, then 18, had asked her Rebel Without a Cause co-star Dennis Hopper to introduce them. She was charmed by their first dates. “To go to the movies, he bought out the theater,” Natalie’s sister Lana Wood tells Closer. “That’s not what she was used to.”

Elvis, meanwhile, was starstruck by Natalie, a former child actress. “She was in Miracle on 34th Street when he was a little boy,” Ray Connolly, author of Being Elvis: A Lonely Life, tells Closer. The singer invited her home to impress his parents, but his mother Gladys soured on the actress quickly. “Natalie wore a very flimsy nightgown around the house,” Connolly says. “Gladys was like, ‘Not in my house!’ ”

Natalie, meanwhile, found Elvis’ close relationship with Gladys troubling. “His mother said something like, ‘Come and sit on Mama’s lap,’” says Lana. “They were very affectionate, and it bothered Natalie. She called and asked our mom to make up a story about why she had to come home.”

Their brief romance ended with no regrets. “Later, he called her ‘Mad Nat,’ I think for how angry she got,” Connolly says. Natalie also put the trip behind her. “There were people that she idolized,” says Lana, “Elvis was not one of them.” — By Louise A. Barile, reporting by Amanda Champagne-Meadows

“Gladys was embarrassed,” says Connolly. “She didn’t like the idea of this fast Hollywood girl with her son.”

 

EXTREMELY COOL ELVIS PRESLEY PHOTOS March 2020 edition

1956 or 57 Elvis at piano Sam Phillips1957 December 21 Elvis with farron young 3n1ARMY with Elvis measurementsBIO Elvis with Gladys Vernon Colonel September 27 1957 rarere1969 Elvis shaking hands Alex Shoofey and Joanie Adams Colonel Parker background1970 Elvis candid in black with shades vernon following jet ColonelPKR bald head1957 candid Elvis shaking hands outside Army registration Memphis1970 November 14 Elvis candid touching arm of pretty girl another there 2 kinda RARE candid1956 candid Elvis white tie 2 young girls kinda rare shot2

Elvis goes Army photos January 2020 edition

WM ARMY right arm full extended ready throw dart footballWM ARMY Elvis pointing finger while eating rareraeraesraWM ARMY Graceland lawn3WM ARMY funny look on his face coollcandidWM ARMY rare shot Elvis in snow 2 others E is pointingWM ARMY train peepingWM ARMY manuevers binoculars

You said you wanted RARE

You said you wanted COOL

You said your wanted Elvis in the Army

You said you wanted 7 photos

Well, Jack now you got ’em

 

 

Wednesday January 8, 2020 & Elvis Presley

RARE Elvis 1971 driverslicense

 

In less than 30 minutes it will be the 85th EIGHTY-FIFTH anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Elvis!

For whatever reason(s) I am really…sad.

Take care and may God bless you.

 

Jeff Schrembs

 

Happy New Year 2020 to Elvis Presley fans Worldwide

Elvis singing Happy New Year in concert

It has been my pleasure to share my opinions, insight, true stories, facts, documents, photographs, videos, handwriting, personal letters, etc. to Elvis Fans Worldwide these 7 decades.

Though this year has been tough on me missing the likes of; Marty Lacker, Joe Esposito, Red West, Sonny West, Sandi Pichon, Patti Perry, Todd Morgan, Colonel Tom Parker, Lamar Fike, etc. My heart, and prayers, will forever go out to their families as it will to Elvis’ family/friends/loved ones/etc.

I know not how much longer I can share things about Elvis as though I am getting better these cancer battles have taken their toll. But I will continue to do so as much as possible and I am thankful to WordPress, Graceland, Jack Soden, Google, ElvisCollectorInfo, ElvisCollectorWorldwide Fan Club, Elvis Collector Worldwide Forum, my Elvis blogs, etc.

I remain saddened that I am a member of a wonderful, yet declining, group of people who lived during the majority of Elvis’ life. To have seen him. To have heard his music firsthand. And I can tell you it was NOT always cool to be an Elvis fan especially from 1974-1977. The man was a blessing in the entertainment filed endowed with talents, and gifts, from God but more than that he was an exceptional man/person. I miss him

I have to go

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020 to you and your family.

Take care and God bless you and yours…always.

Jeff Schrembs

  • Please check out ElvisCollector.info as we have added much needed content AND please join our 100% free Elvis Collector Worldwide forum (google it and click on the link) and become a member with exclusive content AND please let others know about us and our sites via social media. After all we sure aren’t in this for the money…

 

 

Jeff Schrembs

Jeff Me INSTAGRAM Photo 2019

Man that PHOTO IS TOO BIG and I can’t resize it aaaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhh. But that is really me and YES it is recent for those thinking I was born in Prehistoric times