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

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Elvis “the searcher” HBO 2 part series

I have a lot to say about this but I’m on my iPad and typing would take so long they would have to “search” for me as I would expire it would take so long.

I will update this in the upcoming week so stay tuned

Ask ME Elvis (3/2018) edition

Hello.

Here were go.

Was Elvis a drinker?   Yes. He drank water, Pepsi, sweet tea, coke, mountain valley spring water, peach bourbon (rarely), and screwdriver (rarely).

Was Elvis mean?  Could be. Elvis had a bona fide temper courtesy of his beloved mother Gladys. If you look into Elvis’ eyes, especially during the early concerts – tv appearances = movies – etc., you can see he has the propensity of getting mean in a second. His nickname of “fire eyes” was justified. Also, back in 56 when Elvis was sucker punched while at a gas station, Elvis was sitting in driver’s seat, Elvis got out and fought the older taller man and gave the dude a black eye, bruised cheek, scuffed nose, and a memory not to mess with Elvis.

Was Elvis strange?  Aggh?  Whaa? I invoke my old man Elvis can and refrain, respectfully, from answering. Remember to brush your teeth kids.

to be continued.

Prayers for Lisa Marie Presley, her children, and her family/loved ones.

Recently it has been (sadly) reported on and on about the details of Lisa Marie’s divorce proceedings. Having young children, and some over 18, divorce/custody issues are NEVER “fun”. It takes tolls each minute of each hour of each day. Lisa Marie Presley has to be strong for her children as their mother and her decisions will affect each of them throughout their lives.

I hope others will pray for Lisa Marie Presley and her family as well as for our fellow man. This world needs more forgiving, love, empathy, etc. for each of us carries the weights of our decisions. Our actions. And our choices even when there is only one “choice”. We are so “busy” and inundated with bad news/evil far and away, we don’t convey our thanks/love to one another or to our maker which everything flows from.

 

*** this article was written by Jeff Schrembs 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***

I added this, after thought and prayer, true story for context and the hope it will lead to more understanding. More support. More prayers. etc.

At nine years old, after staying with her father over summer break, on August 16, 1977, couldn’t sleep. Her father came into her bedroom, where Lisa was on her white oval shaped bed and consoled her – kissed her forehead – and said goodnight.

Hours later Lisa Marie learned of her father’s death through the wailing of her grandfather Vernon, the cooks, members of the Memphis Mafia, etc. it was chaos. Little 9-year-old Lisa Marie picked up the red phone in Gracelands kitchen by the 4 closed circuit cameras (black and white) and put her finger into the first hole (of the telephone number) and repeated this 9 times. Linda Thompson, who had been Elvis’ girlfriend from 1972 (approx) until 1976, answered and heard Lisa Marie say “my daddy’s dead…my daddy’s’ dead”. Linda asked to speak to an adult and confirmed this nightmare was real.

Grown men, with various black belts in the martial arts, wept and fell to their knees crying. Vernon was inconsolable and he was frail due to his age and deteriorating medical issues. Women were in a state of shock but still tried to comfort Lisa Marie.

At times Little Lisa Marie tried to comfort her grandfather but he was unable to respond as his heart was literally…broken.

Lisa Marie was surrounded by men and women she knew and scores of others she did not. She was told her mother, and Linda Thompson was flying into Memphis. Lisa asked if her father would be back from the ambulance ride.

Over the next (approximately) year she would see her grandfather Vernon (sadly) die. She attended his funeral a little more mature knowing the finality of death which she endured so many feelings/emotions/loss of her father’s death. Lisa Marie was traumatized x 10000.

Legally her mother, Priscilla, now became the executor of Elvis’ estate as Vernon had died and everything went to Lisa but she was a minor so until she was 18 Priscilla would oversee everything. When her 18th birthday came she wasn’t ready so she let her mother run things until Lisa was 21. At 21 she still wasn’t able so it was extended until Lisa was 25 years old.

Immediately upon her father’s death, there were stories written, tv shows about, newspapers full of, etc. the attacks (by so many through decades upon decades ) of hearing so many accused her father of being a drug addict. That he tried to kill himself. That he was really still alive.

Lisa Marie is a talented, smart, and loving mother to her children. She never asked for this. Does anyone know how much time it takes to get over your father’s death? Or how that affects one’s decisions? One’s life? The same questions about her grandfather Vernon’s death? Keep in mind this was a very close family who openly shed tears for the death of Elvis and then Vernon. These tears were not limited to August of 1977 as for many they continue through the typing of this post.

I wish Lisa Marie, and her family, happiness – success – good health – stability – long life, etc. and that this divorce, and the monetary aspects, gets resolved very soon. Lisa Marie, like all others, should garner our sympathy and support for life is so very…very short.

When one, as this has been my experiences, falls in love and then marries before men/witnesses/God it is a beautiful thing. To have children born out of this love is a blessing. Hence, it is horrendous to have to go through divorce proceedings not only for the “adults” but also for the minor children.

No amount of money will heal the (temporary and permanent) scars on ones’ emotional state, mental state, physical state, parental state, and even the monetary state regardless of one’s last name (which in this case is beloved but brings forth far too much scrutiny, chatter, gossip, etc.) so facts and context matters but always secondary to what is right including the respect and appreciation we each should have for all of our fellow men including Lisa Marie.

Lastly, I don’t ask (with all sincerity and humility) others to pray, support, show compassion about. not feed into hurtful statements, etc about Lisa Marie Presley because of her name but…in spite of it.

Take care and may God bless you and yours…always.

Jeff Self Photo 2018 BEST ONe

The incomporable Elvis Presley (part 1)

Let us get my biases out front and center. I am an Elvis Presley fan. I have been for six decades. I have written about Elvis. I have collected Elvis and man if I had a fraction of what I have “lost”, pertaining to specific items involving Elvis – Colonel Parker – Gladys Presley – Vernon Presley – and others, it would blow your mind (I am thankful that I took the time to take photographs, to put hours upon hours to scans, to transfer to computer disks, I did extensive digital backups and I encourage others to do so for their important documents, photos, videos, etc.). I was a die-hard Elvis fan while in elementary school, middle school, and high school. I can assure you that during most of those years it was not “cool” with my peers as they were into hard rock, drugs, non stop partying, and even some music that I enjoyed. I’m not judging them but pointing out differences. Additionally, there were errie simalarities between me and Elvis and here are a few; we are approximately the same height, the same shoe size, the same blood type, both of us have a leg that is slightly shorter than the other, both of us had siblings that died at birth (sadly) and I miss my sister every day God bless her, we both sang in church, going back to Elvis’ time at Lansky’s in 1956 we have the exact same measurements (i.e. suits, pants, jackets, shirts, etc.) as I had at the same age, we both walk with a unique gait in part because of the leg length, our first child was a daughter, etc.  To add to the mix I got the nickname “Elvis”, I can’t recall where it originated as I didn’t walk around wearing Elvis shirts, and I have the yearbooks to prove it (i.e. friends, respected persons, etc. opted to use that surname). Also, I never sugar coated Elvis temper. HIs shortcomings. His anger. Hence, I didn’t think he was imperfect but I acknowledged his admirable qualities as I was “informed” on a level few, if any, have obtained (i.e. as I have literally put in years and years and years and years and years and blessed to have firsthand relationships pertaining to Elvis the man and the performer).

No one was with Elvis every second of his life and (sadly) many who were, at times, have passed away. But fortunately they, individually and collectively, gave interviews. They wrote books. They took photographs. They took videos. They left behind a lot to digest. Combined with Elvis’ three decades of professional works, his personal notes, the fact that he was the most photographed person of all time, etc. it does lend itself to garnering insights in, and truths about, so many aspects of his life.

No one was like Elvis. No one sang like Elvis. No one naturally moved like Elvis. To say he was unique is an understatement. But let’s go into some aspects about Elvis that aren’t generally known and in full disclosure, this will be a multi-part series/posts.

Some Elvis song gems:

Elvis put his soul into his music so I encourage you to seek out and listen to these songs in no specific order. All videos courtesy of YouTube.

Elvis Presley and . . . Chess (Part 1)

 

Chess is a game that has been around (literally) thousands of years. It is thought to have primarily originated in India but components of China also lay claim. There is no confusion about Chess being played, studied, etc. in terms of military aspects with the “winner” limiting the opponents King so that it is trapped vertically, diagonally, and horizontally (i.e. checkmate) by one piece (the Queen) or combinations of other pieces such as; pawns, rooks, knights, and bishops. Basically, a class system summarized on a board.  Though I have played Chess all my life, and I am ok at it, it is a game that (up until the recent advent of high tech computers that can process thousands of calculations) is seldom mastered.

I encourage others to play chess for there are numerous benefits. You don’t need a lot of money and on computers, or with the assist of computers, you can play against a virtual opponent. Playing Chess forces one to look 1, 2, 3, etc. steps ahead which change fluidly in response to the opponents move(s).

Before I get to Elvis I want to make another point and that is since Chess is thousands of years old the game is over as specified herein but the Queen has the greatest power as she holds the greatest power, mobility, etc. I think it’s kinda cool that even back in the ages when women, in general, were second-class citizens that women (deservingly so) were openly given this status.

There are conflicting accounts of Elvis’ interest, or lack of, pertaining to Chess. But all agree that as an adult Elvis owned a Chess set as part of his decor. And everyone who knew Elvis, personally or professionally, remark about his quick wit, intelligence, photographic memory, etc some of which are great assets when it comes to playing Chess.

Pawns – in Chess there are more pawns (8) that any other pieces. The pawns represent the lowest class (not my opinion but in this context) but they can, in combination, be used to win the game known as “checkmate”.

Knights – they come in pairs and have a unique ability, or disability, wherein they move (forward or back) two spaces and then one space to the side. The name “Knights” is self-evident.

Bishops – they come in pairs and their unique ability (other than the Queen) is that they move diagonally, forward or backward, but they cannot deviate from the board color which they are initially placed before the game commences. The name “Bishop” is self-evident pertaining to a respected place in Christianity/Religion.

Rooks – they come in pairs and their unique ability (other than the Queen) whereby they can move forward or sideways in more than one space at a time. The name “Rook” is not known to me off the top of my head but it is sculptured in the form of a standing castle.

Queen – there is only one and as I have stated herein her powers are the greatest insofar as the ability to move (note – they do not have the power to move as the Knights do).

King – there is only one and every effort is made to protect the King. The King is limited to one space at a time.

Elvis Presley.

Pawn – To know Elvis you have to understand that he was born to parents who were not educated. I state this with great respect for Gladys and Vernon but it is a fact. They (Elvis, Gladys, and Vernon) were poor. Dirt poor. Bitterly poor. Without assets. Without means. Gladys could not read or write. She never had a drivers license.

What they lacked in education and means Gladys loved Elvis, as he did her, with her entire essence. Vernon loved Elvis but you just have to look at photographs, or videos, to see that Elvis is almost always touching Gladys when she is near. He holds her hand. He touches her face. He puts his arm around her.

SOLELY related to a class system in relation to Chess, and before Elvis gained monetary independence, the Presleys would be pawns. They have collective power. They cannot move freely as they are dictated to by their lack of means. Lack of education. Lack of political connections.

Knights – historically knights were sworn and dedicated (wholly) to the King. They were protectors. They had unique power and access. I would say that this is similar to the members of the “Memphis Mafia.

Bishops – since the name is historically rooted in Christianity the Bishop was assigned to look over their community. To be a person of honor. Of charity. A teacher of God, and when he walked the earth and afterward Jesus, to the rich and poor alike in their relationship with God. Though Elvis did not have a singular Bishop Elvis, Gladys, and Vernon (again before Elvis’ success) put great emphasis on their preacher/pastor very similar to a Bishop and they benefited from this pertaining to; church services, church gatherings, medical care, food/meals, as a fundamental social outlet

… to be continued

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

 

Merry Christmas 2017

To each and every Elvis Presley fan, casual viewer of this blog, Jack Soden, Lisa Marie, Linda Thompson, Alanna Nash, Sandie Kaye Stevens, Martine Prizzo (pardon if I misspelled the name but she is a good friend and knowledgeable about Elvis Presley and other great rock and roll artists as well as being one of my Facebook friends) Sandi Pichon, Billy Smith, Larry Geller, Russ Howe, Paul Lichter, etc I want to wish you and yours a blessed and Merry Christmas 2017.

God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. I believe this and I respect others who may have a different emotion, opinion, etc. But on this day, the 25th of December 2017, families come together  and express their friendship and love for another and that is a beautiful thing indeed.

This life we have, and man I know the trials and tribulations that I have gone through from the first breath I took and (sadly) that my children have endured and are enduring, provides us with bountiful opportunities>

To those who are in prison/jail (excluding those of pure evil and have harmed others), and to their families and loved ones, I pray for you as your lives are deserving of respect and second chances. May you know that others are praying for you and wishing you success, good health, and happiness.

This time of year has always been the hardest for me (i.e. from mid September until January the 7th) as the worst things I have ever endured have happened on these dates. But, some of my children and their mother were born during this time period so even through the darkness their light comes through.

 

Take care and may God bless you always.

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

 

PS: Here are 7 cool Elvis photos. Enjoy and let others know about our sites/blogs via social media.

The first photo is of Elvis with Priscilla circa 1968.

The second is of Colonel Parker visiting Elvis while Elvis was in the US Army. The photo is circa 1959.

The third is Elvis’ beloved mother Gladys in the backyard circa 1957. Very rare.

The fourth is Elvis signing autographs. Notice his ring and bracelet. The man had style.

The fifth is a drawing I made in high school. It became a part of my portfolio, and acceptance, when I attended college at the Art Institute. My drawing is from a publicity photo of Elvis circa 1956.

The sixth is circa 1969 of Elvis with Priscilla and Tom Jones with Tom Jones wife.

The seventh is a personal note, with signature, of Elvis’ handwriting. The man was (wholly) unique as was his signature and his handwriting.

Elvis with Prisiclla 1968 canddid Elvis red stacf both standing rare nad need2fix

Elvis with Colonel Parker US Army base rare shotWM 1956 Gladys next car wearing hat arms back RAREREREREAREREREREREEP 69 candid rare8888005WM My Elvis DrawingWM Priscilla Tom Jones E and wifeHANDWRITING best of everything little bit bless you

I want us back

Though the images in this video/photo montage are of Elvis Presley the song, and in many ways seems legitimate meaning Elvis sang/recorded it, is not. But it is a wonderful song and, in various aspects, it sure sounds like a beautiful song I would have loved for Elvis to have recorded (note: this song was written decades after Elvis’ death).

Your comments are always appreciated.

Please tell others about this blog, our sites, and http://www.ElvisCollector.info AND the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

Take care and may God bless you always

 

 

Thoughts, prayers, and thanks always to the family of; Marty Lacker, Patti Perry, Todd Morgan, Red West, Sonny West, Lamar Fike, Joe Esposito, Scotty Moore, Bill Black, Mryna Smith

Published with expressed permission mr schrembs 2017 all rights reserved

1971 Elvis onstage white jumpr with circular slotted oneof the BEST shots

 

The holidays have started and three more approaching; Hanukkah, CHristmas, and New Years. I hope, and wish, everyone is healthy – happy – and enjoying the life you have this day.

I’m sad. Real sad. And not just because of the carousel of bad health news and missing my children 24/7. I’m sad for the families who have lost loved ones. Families who are dealing with heath issues. Families without transportation. Families without means. Families who are broken. But, because this is an Elvis Presley related blog (and thank you for visiting and we sincerely appreciate it) those mentioned herein.

Inasmuch an I am (personally) sorry, and sad, I have been thinking a lot about those who have passed that not just “shared” a life with Elvis but were integral in the life of Elvis. Those who were essential accounts, firsthand accounts, of his life. His moods. His faults. His dreams. His accomplishments. His shortcomings. His career. His loves. His losses. His giving. His temper. We look back now and see the accomplishments but we forget that Elvis was the best. He did not have the perspective as we do to look back with envy. He was working. He was experimenting. He was living his life. He had no idea how things would play out. He tried. And he tried again. He stayed true to himself. His love of his mother. His life in destitute poverty. His being laughed at and bullied for being different. What all seems like glitz and glitter now only came about because of the summary of all these actions. All these feelings. All these efforts. It looks easy now, because Elvis made everything look easy and it was real and graceful, but he endured hardships and the harshest of criticism and attacks. The Grand Ole Opry, who he grew up listening to and respected, telling him to “go back and drive a truck” while laughing at him as they turned him down to perform at the Opry. How about being called satan? How about being blamed for the rise in delinquency in youths and their violence? How about having derogatory names, and inferences, about his beloved mother? I could go on and on.

My thoughts are on the families, the loved ones, the friends, etc. of those whose loved ones have passed and are still mourned who were in Elvis’ life. In so specific order they are; Patti Perry, Lamar Fike, Red West, Sonny West, Scotty Moore, Bill Black, Myrna Smith, and Joe Esposito. Also, Todd Morgan my friend who started at Graceland when it opened and bridged the gap (and I will forever respectfully ask that Billy Smith be given a PERMANENT recognition by EPE/Priscilla/Lisa Marie and make every effort to allow him to share what he wants and never have to worry about money again) between the fans and the estate. To those who know me I don’t take “friendship” lightly and Todd and a few others named in this post were my friends. I miss them. I will always.

May God bless those families/loved ones/friends of those mentioned here and THANK YOU for all you have done and I’m forever sorry for your loss. They were individually and collectively unique and essential. Elvis fans are forever in their debt and count me among them.

Take care and may God bless you all.

 

Jeff Schrembs