Billy and Jo Smith two eternally loved by Elvis

Billy Smith and Elvis Presley were cousins. His firsthand witness to Elvis Presley, onstage and off, and the memories created are second to none. Billy was there for the majority of Elvis’ career and shared his life with Billy, and that of his beloved wife Jo, as well as confided in him. Trusted him. Loved him. And knew him on a basis that no one else came close to.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you check out their YouTube site, that includes their two sons, which is Memphis Mafia Kid. Their recollections, intelligence, humor, and “down homeness” draws you in and never fails to educate and entertain.

I have the utmost respect for Billy and Jo. Always have. They are a priceless source when it comes to Elvis Presley let alone they are just good and respectable people, great parents, and soulmates.

WM ARMY Billy looking E uniformWM 1971 or 72 Elvis with LInda Billy Smith Graceland Golf cartElvis with BIlly Smith Follow that Dream

Elvis and Gladys Mothers Day edition

Elvis was Gladys world.

Gladys was Elvis world.

Their relationship is legendary and yet they were two people with different life experiences. Different dreams. And yet their bond surpassed wealth, fame, and riches.

Elvis tried to jump into Gladys’ burial plot, on top of her casket, while crying uncontrollably saying “I’ve lost everything”. I’ll give it all up to be with you. I can’t go on without you Satin-in (his nickname for her since childhood). My God please bring her back.

When Elvis decided to record Momma liked the roses he was torn between, even these years after her passing, being incredibly sad and recording a remembrance song not only for him but for all others who lost their mothers. Though it was an emotional recording you can hear the love and respect he had and the words torn from his very soul.

Elvis sent flowers to her grave on a weekly basis. He visited her grave as much as possible and every time he knelt and cried. A heartbreaking cry. He confided, on one occasion as he rarely shared his loss, that what sustained him was his belief in God/Jesus and that there was an afterlife where he believed Gladys was. In a new body never to hurt again. Never to cry again. And always looking out for Elvis and being there with him.

Priscilla recalled that one time she went, without Elvis knowing, into the attic at Graceland and there were all of Gladys clothes neatly hung or folded. Her personal things. She could smell Gladys perfume. She saw how short in height she was. She went through her jewelry and fawned at the most expensive pieces knowing that she was embarrassed when she received them as she said “son you don’t need to spend so much on me” and “the best present you can give me is your time. that means more to me”. But Elvis had, since childhood, promised to provide for her. To buy her a house. To buy her a nice new car knowing she couldn’t drive and didn’t own a drivers license. To ensure she never again had to work backbreaking labor as she had most of her life.

In August of 1958, while Elvis was in the US Army, Gladys became very sick. Elvis immediately put in an emergency leave request. It was denied. He appealed in perform. He was denied. It was only after he threatened to go AWOL was his leave approved.

When Elvis made it to Gladys hospital room she perked up. Her color seemed to come back. Her voice was audible. Elvis never stopped holding her hand, kissing her, running his fingers through her hair, telling her how much he loved her, and refusing to leave her side.

There came a time after the doctor said it was fine and Vernon asked for the 50th time, that Elvis left the hospital room and went back to Graceland. Sadly, Gladys died before he could make it back to the hospital. To say he was devastated was an understatement.

Gladys died on August 14, 1958, at the age of 46 but Elvis was always told she was 4 years younger thus dying at age 42. Sadly, Elvis would die on the same month – the age he thought she was being 42 – and even the same week (i.e. August 16, 1977).

If you have your mother cherish her. Tell her you love her. Make amends with her. Spend time with her. As Elvis once said during an emotional exchange “if you don’t love your mother with all your heart it’s against God and human nature. Your mother should be the greatest love and you should let her know it every day. You should take care of her and provide for her. She gave you something you can never repay…life”.

Elvis Presley rare pictures 10/18 edition

WM CHILDHOOD class CLOSEUP around 15 RARESTx999WM CHILDHOOD ROTC Elvis standing in groupwm Elvis takn photos 68 veryveryvery rareWM Elvis with Priscilla n car RAREWM RARE 1960 autographs allroundWM RARE 1969 at gate making fistWM RARE 1957 Elvis on tractor Graceland with can RARERERRERERERWM RARE 1970 brown leather police

Billy & Joe Smith YouTube endeavors

I have the utmost respect for Billy and Jo Smith. I always have. I always will. Not because they are related to Elvis but for the quality of their character and convictions. I wish them and their family always the best.

From YouTube comes this channel authored by the Smith family and it contains worthwhile information and I HIGHLY recommend Elvis Presley fans around the world to check it out – leave comments – and spread the word. I will have more to say about this in the future.

The YouTube channel is Memphis Mafia Kid and I applaud their efforts. Here is one of the links:

 

Take care and may God bless you.

Thank you

THANK YOU graphic

 

I wanted to take the time to say THANK YOU to Elvis Presley fans worldwide, the friends/loved ones’ of Elvis who are still around, the family/friends of those who have (sadly) passed away but were an integral part of Elvis’ life story, Lisa Marie, Linda Thompson, Priscilla, Jack Soden, all of the hardworking staff at Graceland, and to those I have been blessed to know as a direct result of being an Elvis fan including but not limited to; BIlly Jo Smith and family, Alanna Nash, Sandie Kaye Stevens, Sandi Pichon, Kathy Westmoreland, etc. To anyone I failed to list please accept my apologies.

In less than a week will be the “anniversary” of the (sadly) passing of Elvis who passed away on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42. I still can’t believe that I have lived on this earth not only as long as Elvis did but T H I R T E E N years…older. My heart and prayers go out to so many who on August 16, 1977 lost their father. Their friend. Their relative. Their co-worker. Their son. Their nephew. I know that time does not heal all wounds but please know how thankful I am to you and yours and may God grant you good health and success on this “anniversary” and the other 364 days of each year.

We are the last generation that lived during Elvis’ wondrous career and (sadly) far too many of us pass away each year and I encourage Elvis Presley fans everywhere to seek out these individuals. To say thank you. To support their professional endeavors Elvis related or not.

Take care and may God bless you always.

Jeff Schrembs

The last generation attached to Elvis is disappearing (sadly) with each passing day {Part 1}

WM Elvis with Muhammad Ali BEST DETAILWM 1957 Elvis in middle two young student reporters school rareareWM 1950s Elvis on roller coaster in front arms uWM 1971 Elvis with sweets RARERERRERERERERERERERI sometimes have to catch myself to affirm, and remind, that the majority of the World was not alive at any time during Elvis’ lifetime. Yeah, I’m 55 years old and somedays I feel 5555555555 years old but that is a heck of a set of facts to grasp 24/7 for me and other Elvis fans.

Elvis was not a myth. He was not perfect. He was not a hologram. He wasn’t made up of just his successes. His records were not always popular. In fact, many times in the 1970’s he was made fun of in the press. His inaction’s on stage were ridiculed. His fans were accused of trying to relive their childhood. The younger generation  of the 1960’s and 1970’s, majoritarian speaking, made fun of Elvis. His weight. His music. And his heritage.

 

Elvis Presley sentimental side

You know Elvis?

You think you know Elvis?

You sure you know Elvis?

Well, all righty then

Today I get to share with you some of MY favorite Elvis tunes that have calmed me through my storms and believe me I’ve had some B  I   G    storms.

Now, PLEASE do yourself a favor and listen to each of these songs in their entirety and perhaps you will join my sentiments (bada bing – did you see what I did there? Circling to the title of this post?). Courtesy of YouTube, and I am not commenting on the video aspect just the audio, Let’s go:

Until next time I hope you enjoy this blessing we call…life.

Take care and may God bless you and yours.

 

Thoughts about Elvis’ legacy going forward

I have said it since I was much much younger that I am part (sadly) of the last generation who lived during Elvis’ lifetime. The future was unknown as Elvis was contractually obligated to do (approximately) 3 moves per year and he NEVER saw the scripts. Never had script approval. That’s right Elvis Presley the most successful actor in movie history, for the criteria being that every one of his movies made money for the movie studio NET which is almost impossible as movie studios accounting practices require a PHD, was bound to the script. The character. The locations. The songs. As Priscilla has stated, and so many of those close to Elvis watched, Elvis was absolutely 100% C R U S H E D by the increasing lack of quality movies. Man even me being a fan opted to go to the movies with a large frosty beverage and a heart attack large popcorn just to walk into the theater knowing Elvis had to be, at times, embarrassed. But give the man credit he did his best and if he used drugs then, and many say he did, this isn’t funny but I don’t know how else he got through SOME of these movies.

I miss Elvis.

I miss Elvis as a living breathing example of a man using his god given talents and worked hard to pursue his craft and against all odds being a great, and successful, entertainer for three DECADES. There will never be another Elvis because there will never be circumstances that Elvis leaned on to inflect in his songs. Yeah he had a photographic memory, perfect tune, 4 1/2 octave range, incredible voice, and to everyone who saw him said “he looks even better in person”. WHAT? Did I catch that? Looks better in person? Man I can barely get a respectable FB self photo to look anything like me and this man takes photographs that are almost unworldly.

You know I have spent a great deal of my time this past years further cataloging, indexing, enhancing what is there, etc. photos. It has been a positive distraction while battling the “C” word and all that goes with that and I got news for you jack it ain’t kids games.

*** Note – I type exactly as fast as I think and that is why I have so many typographical errors and I don’t want anyone puzzled to my meaning as I use words in my writing that I use in real life so relax man it ain’t so bad

I miss Elvis knowing he never allowed his music to be altered. Enhanced. Digitally auto tuned. Or any of the state of the art software they have now that can make a cricket sing America the Beautiful on par with, as an example, Whitney Houston. Elvis MOVED on stage. He had real musicians. He had real hand picked singers. He sounded as good, if not better, in person than in recordings. Amazing then. Amazing now.

Well, for now I gotta go. God willing I’ll see you soon

Take care and may God bless you

Jeff Schrembs

 

 

Praise for all involved in “Elvis Presley the searcher” (this blog post is part 1)

People ask, and question, me all the time about why Elvis? Who gives you the right to say your an expert? How do you know? To the following extreme of “you are the greatest”. “How are you old enough to know all about Elvis when you photo looks different (note – I do have to say, SOLELY because my experiences with being photographed is that maybe 1 out of 80044444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444 photos looks remotely like me), compliments are always appreciated and YES those are my recent photos and I make them and date them so my image is not used by anyone else which is coming more routine and I dislike that.

Even members of my own family mock, undermine, question, etc. my discussions about Elvis Presley. I could write a novel in response but to synthesize it and/or condense it I would say “I am part of an ever smaller generation who was the LAST to be alive during most if not all of Elvis’ career. Also, it was not always “cool” to like Elvis in the 60’s and 70’s and in the mid to later 70]s there was outright mockery. In fact there were so many social issues, hard core drug usage (to each their own but I’ve never), plethora of music/musicians, etc. to most teenagers Elvis had been a pioneer but his time had come and gone which I disagreed with”. Hence, when you combine being a lifelong fan, collecting Elvis records/etc. for decades, read so many different articles/newspapers/books about Elvis that span from fan hood to hatred. I always put an emphasis of context backed by facts.

There are many people of quality who are, whole and/or in part, experts concerning Elvis. Sadly, through the years so many have passed away and my hearts, prayers, and thoughts are always with the family/loved ones of those who have passed. Thus they are experts. Firsthand experts such as; Jerry Schilling, Billy Smith, Priscilla, Lisa Marie, Jack Soden, staff at Graceland/EPE, Linda Thompson, Ginger Alden etc. just to name a few (note I apologize if I have left anyone out). Secondly you have experts who have done extensive research about Elvis. These names come to mind; Alanna Nash, Sandie Kaye Stevens, Russ Howe, Steve Binder, Phil Arnold (we highly encourage you to check out his exceptional website of http://www.Elvisblog.net), and those we list on http://www.ElvisCollector.info on the “link” page.

I always knew, backed up by the music, that Elvis was wholly unique. That Elvis had been blessed. That Elvis was human. He knew great poverty. Great loss. He knew great success. Happiness. And he was a living breathing oxymoron as the contrast was vivid. That you could see in Elvis whatever you wanted. He was a mirror. You want to see a southern boy/man? Well Elvis is. You want to see passion? Yeah he had it? Talent? Check. A mean streak? Who doesn’t? He was the greatest entertainer who ever lived in every entertainment aspect but the fact that he is the greatest gospel singer, the most successful singer of Christmas music, and I could go on and on.

This post is part 1 about the exceptional HBO 2 part series entitled “Elvis Presley the searcher” and to everyone involved I say THANK YOU. GREAT JOB.

Take care and may God bless you always.

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

Elvis Presleys 83rd birthday 1/8/2018

BIRTHDAY 21           BIRTHDAY on his 25thBIRTHDAY with actors from Wild in the Country      BIRTHDAY with Delores Hart Elvis with cigar   1960 January 8 Elvis birthday in Germany in US Army rareraw at pianoBIRTHDAY set Wild

 

Elvis Presley was born 83 years ago today, January 8 1935, to Gladys Love (Smith) Presley and Vernon Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley is, was, and forever will be the greatest entertainer who ever lived. Fortunately, Elvis left behind three decades of exceptional works in; music, tv appearances, movies, and live concerts.

I believe that God grants us all blessings, talents, etc. for each of his is made by the hand and grace of God. Elvis pursued his talent(s) which was both brave and honorable. He never imagined, being born and raised in the throes of bitter poverty, that he could make a living signing let alone achieve the highest accolades in his various endeavors. I hope that everyone would pursue their talents/gifts for it stirs the…soul.

We are the last generation, as I have been an Elvis Presley fan these six decades now, who lived during Elvis’ lifetime. There is no substitution for that. It can’t be recreated for the decades in which Elvis lived were in periods of times that were wholly unique as was Elvis.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Elvis.

And a heartfelt thank you to Billy Smith, Alanna Nash, Sandie Kaye Stevens, Jerry Schilling, Russ Howe, Sandi Pichon, Martine Prizzo, Kathy Westmoreland, Linda Thompson, Paul Lichter, Phil Arnold, etc. I highly recommend that you seek out, support, obtain, tells others about, etc. the vast variety of exceptional works pertaining to Elvis’ life onstage and off.

Take care and may God bless you and yours always.

Jeff Schrembs