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.

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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

 

Elvis Presley December 31 2017

If one can imagine being the greatest entertainer in the world at 21 years old, blessed and keeping his promises made to his mother when he was a child of buying her a big house and never having to worry about money, etc. 1957 was a year of success on every level,  having created history in many entertainment fields such as; TV viewing numbers, record sales, and being in successful films everything (besides Elvis being away from Gladys for appearances/concert/movies) was going great in Elvis’ life onstage and off.

WM BIO Gladys   WM BIO 1956 Elvis with Gladys n kitchen rarereere8888888

1WM BIO 956 GRACELAND Vernon and Glayds V has hat rarere888888BIO 1955 3n1 of ELvis in photobooth smoothering1956 elvis gladys holding teddy bear rare indeedBIO 1956 Elvis with Gladys and Vernon fishing on boat     BIO Army induction Elvis with Gladys and Vernon full length his hand lovingly Gladys back head

But, after Elvis and Gladys and Vernon (and a few other persons) had decorated the home – put up the christmas tree (it was silver and the most expensive one available) – and prepared for Christmas which was upcoming a knock came to the door. Elvis Presley was officially served with US Army draft notifications. As Elvis opened the envelope he turned to Gladys who had been sobbing feeling the weight of the world. How? Why? Why now? The photographs, and I have them all, of Elvis reading the draft notification paperwork shows a stunned Elvis holding a little dog under one arm reading the paperwork again and again. Elvis tries to smile to lighten Grady’s burdens but his head is spinning thinking “my career is over – all of this is over”. Waves of emotions showed on Elvis, Vernon’s, and Gladys faces and body language. Elvis departed to get himself together so he could assure Gladys, his beloved mother, that all would be fine.

Knowing that this would be the last Christmas, and New Years, spent at home for two years the family that was born into bitter poverty had always survived…together. But, that was to change and change soon.

Unlike other entertainers Elvis would NOT go into the military as a goodwill ambassador, or do concerts for US civilians to buy bonds to support the military as so many others had done, but that Elvis would (with few exceptions) go through his tenure in the Army as did his fellow inductees.

Word soon spread among the family members, and close friends, and all failed to alleviate Gladys’ soulful mourning. She was inconsolable. The understanding between Elvis and Gladys and Vernon pertaining to everyone else was that they were not to speak about Elvis’ leaving but try to make the holidays one of precious memories, laughter, and togetherness. As was the case his entire life Elvis did everything 24/7 to let his mother know he loved her above all else (excluding God/Jesus) and it would be all right. She was physically, emotionally, and mentally devastated and the tolls it would take on her would manifest themselves each and every moment of each and every hour of each day without end. No one knew how much their world was to change nor did they even contemplate the fact that this would not only be the last Christmas/New Years at home but the last that Elvis, Gladys, and Vernon would be together at all for Gladys would (sadly) pass away approximately eight months later on August 14, 1958 at the age of 46 (note: Elvis never knew she was 46 years old as throughout his life he was told she was 4 years younger than she really was so when she passed Elvis believed her to be 42 years old. August, the second week of August, 42 years of age would sadly not be the only significant dates in the lives of a Presley dying for Elvis would follow her on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42).

…to be continued

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 to everyone and may God bless you and yours…always.

Jeff Schrembs 2017/2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

 

 

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

 

Beautiful underrated Elvis ballad with exceptional candid home movies

The grass won’t pay no mind is one of Elvis’ underrated ballad. Elvis loved this song and it showed in his voice. His inflections.
Neil Diamond wrote this song and Elvis recorded several of his songs but Elvis loved the simplicity yet meaningful words and the…beauty.
Whoever put together this video, with its two cutaway screens, did an exceptional job. It shows a happy and healthy Elvis. The same with Priscilla. It is just flat out good to the soul. It does take a while to get used to.
And to those who watch CLOSELY you will see Elvis, at the very end, slowly raise his middle finger. I have the complete video and Elvis cracks up and whoever is taking the video must have too as the camera goes side to side. Elvis had an incredible humor.
I love this song.
I love this video.
And I am honored to share it with you.
Take care and may God bless you.

 

 

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

Elvis and October 9, 1973

DIVORCE 4n1 photos October 9 1973 interesting yet sad candids   It has been well documented that (sadly) Elvis and Priscilla’s marriage began to deteriorate in 1971 and, with increasing torment for both, Elvis filed for divorce from Priscilla with it being finalized on October 9, 1973. These photographs capture Elvis and Priscilla walking out of court. Elvis appears to be heavy (i.e. gained weight). Priscilla appears to be fine. At times they held hands and, as one photograph confirms, Elvis reached over and kissed her. Priscilla would later state that “as we walked out of court I held Elvis’ hand. They were swollen and I was shocked at how bad he looked. I was worried. Elvis had always taken great pride in his appearance and I wasn’t prepared for how he looked. I knew the divorce, and seeing Lisa Marie, weighed heavily on him and we both made mistakes. He leaned over to me and sang part of the Dolly Parton song I will always love you”.

What many Elvis fans don’t know is that Elvis made a specific request of Priscilla in the divorce filings/proceedings which the presiding Judge upheld and that was Priscilla was not to use the Presley name. She was court ordered to legally change her last name. Elvis did not make this demand at the spur of the moment. He made it a center piece of his divorce. Many of those close to Elvis, including family members – coworkers – loved ones – friends – etc, have said that “Elvis was adamant on Priscilla losing the right to be called Presley. There was no doubt that Elvis loved her very much but there were other emotions involved. Elvis never thought his marriage would come to an end “. He had invested much in the relationship and as photographs and videos attest Elvis dotted on Priscilla. Elvis showed PDA. Elvis was always intimate and gentle behind closed doors with Priscilla. Openly he was caring, and loving and the photos and videos of the late 1960’s show that this was among the happiest times in Elvis’ life.

At the time of Elvis’ divorce I had been a fan for decades. Many magazines had storylines about the problems in their marriage for a few years. When the divorce was realized the story became more sensational with obvious leaks from firsthand accounts. The american love story between Elvis and Priscilla had come to an end (legally) approximately six and a half years of marriage.

We never contemplated that Elvis would pass away four years later. We had seen Elvis recently on TV on the Aloha from Hawaii concert and Elvis looked fine and sounded exceptional. noticeably Elvis included many love, divorce, children, etc. songs that meant a great deal to him. Since my own parents were divorced, and at the time I was the only one of my peers/classmates whose parents got divorced. It was almost unheard of and Elvis could have married just about any woman in the world as fans we worried and we hadn’t seen Elvis this sullen/sad since (sadly) his beloved mother passed away on August 14, 1958.

Those close to Elvis say between the divorce, the reality that Lisa Marie was not always nearby, his failing health (mentally, emotionally, physcially), his financial burdens, and no other major professional endeavors in the works (i.e. unlike the 1968 comeback TV special by Singer, his return to live performances in 1969 after a seven year absence, the pent up deamand by fans to see Elvis in concert across the United States/World, the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii tv special which was watched by an estimated audience of ONE BILLION people, etc.) it was a combination that adversely affected Elvis 24/7. Worth noting is that Elvis never knew how much he was loved. How much he was admired. How much his music meant to people. How many cared about him. Today it is a no brainer but Elvis had serious doubts about his legacy and the choices he had made in his life.

Elvis was wholly unique. I am sad that generations never had the chance to see Elvis alive, in concert, releasing great music, and/or seeing him in his prime. Looking, and smiling, like no one else..ever. He was remarkable.

Thank you for visiting and please check out http://www.ElvisCollector.info and let others know about us. Take care and may God bless you and yours.

Elvis 1977

Last Vacation Elvis with Ginger nice frontal shot.jpg   I have, throughout my life, have read so many books, magazines, articles, blogs, posts, etc. about Elvis’ life onstage and off in every aspect of his life. The year 1977 is widely known as the year Elvis died. Sadly, Elvis did die on August 16, 1977 but in this article/post I choose to write about how he (in part) lived in 1977.

Though these eyes are failing me I have seen so many Elvis photographs, videos, etc. throughout his entire life including 1977. Thus I have the benefit of (approximately) six decades of being a fan. A historian. An expert. An author. All of these things pertaining to Elvis Presley.

Many have watched the 1977 tv concert which showed a very sickly Elvis Presley. He never should have been on that stage he should have been receiving, ongoing and by the greatest physicians on this earth, medical care for his illnesses (i.e. physical, mental, emotional, etc.). The adverse effect the book “Elvis what happened?”. written by two of ELvis most trusted friends/employees Red West and Sonny West along with Dave Hebler cannot be minimized. It decimated him. It hurt him to the core. It hurt him at a time when he was suffering enough. Actually…more than enough.

… to be continued

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

 

Red West passed away July 18, 2017

  • I just don’t have the words but my prayers go out to the family and loved ones.
  • To be continued…

PRESS RELEASE:

  • Courtesy of Hollywood online
  • Red West, a boyhood friend and member of Elvis Presley’s “Memphis Mafia” who appeared in many of the singer’s movies as well as in Road HouseBlack Sheep Squadron and Goodbye Solo, has died. He was 81.

West died Tuesday at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis after suffering an aortic aneurysm, his wife, Pat, told The Commercial Appeal newspaper.

West appeared as a stuntman/actor on dozens of episodes of CBS’ futuristic Western series The Wild Wild West in the 1960s and a decade later had a regular role as Sgt. Andy Micklin on another Robert Conrad-starrer, NBC’s Black Sheep Squadron.

He portrayed Red Webster, the owner of an auto parts store who gets his revenge against Ben Gazzara’s character, in the Patrick Swayze classic Road House (1989) and was Sheriff Tanner in the Walking Tall movies released in 1973 and 1975.

As a leading man, West garnered acclaim when he played an old-timer who forges a friendship with a Senegalese cab driver (Souleymane Sy Savane) in director Ramin Bahrani’s North Carolina-set drama Goodbye Solo (2008).

A native of Memphis, West played football in junior college, served in the U.S. Marines and became a Golden Gloves boxer and karate instructor. He first connected with Presley when both were students at Humes High School, he recalled in a 2008 interview.

“Elvis was always different,” he said. “We had crew cuts and wore T-shirts and blue jeans; Elvis had the long ducktail, the long sideburns, and he wore the loud clothes and naturally was a target for all the bullies. One day luckily I walked into the boys’ bathroom at Humes High School and three guys were going to cut his hair just, you know, to make themselves look big or make them feel big or whatever, and I intervened and stopped it.”

After Presley began his recording career, West served as his driver and then worked as one of his bodyguards for years. Meanwhile, he appeared alongside Presley in 18 films, including Flaming Star (1960), Blue Hawaii (1961), Girls! Girls! Girls!(1962), It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964) and Live a Little, Love a Little(1968).

West also wrote or co-wrote such Presley songs as “Separate Ways,” “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” and “If You Talk in Your Sleep” and worked with singers Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone and Johnny Rivers as well.

One year after he was fired by Presley’s father and two weeks before Elvis’ death on Aug. 16, 1977, the tell-all book Elvis: What Happened?, co-written by West, was published and became a controversial best-seller.

West, who studied with the acclaimed acting teacher Jeff Corey, also appeared in at least two movies filmed in his hometown — Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker (1997) and Ira Sachs’ Forty Shades of Blue (2005) — and on a 2011 episode of the TNT series Memphis Beat.

His film résumé also included Two for the Seesaw(1962), The Americanization of Emily (1964), The Legend of Grizzly Adams (1990), Natural Born Killers(1994), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer(1998), Cookie’s Fortune (1999) and Glory Road(2006), and on TV he was seen on BonanzaMannixGet SmartThe Six Million Dollar ManThe Fall Guy and Nashville.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Pat — who was one of Elvis’ secretaries — and sons John and Brent.

Rare 1972 video Elvis receiving 2 gold records

Via YouTube comes this exceptionally rare video of Elvis (1) showing off his humor while trying to tie the LARGEST tie of all time and (2) receiving two gold records from RCA for Elvis’ Madison Square Garden album and for the 45 single “words” which was written by one of the Bee Gees.

Enjoy: