Elvis- the younger years

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Elvis, the younger years, not only for him but also for me. I was 9 when Elvis died and to me it felt like losing a close family member, His music meant a lot to me in my younger years and even to this day.

Born on January 8,1935 Elvis Aaron Presley was born as part of a twin. Unfortunately his twin brother Jessie Garon Presley did not survive the birth.

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Elvis was haunted by this his entire life.  His mother Gladys used to say Elvis had the energy of 2 people.

For Elvis Presley, childhood and adolescence were difficult and often involved working to help the family with finances. He picked up music early from local gospel groups and picked up the guitar when he was only 11 years old.

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Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Love (née Smith; 1912–1958) and Vernon Elvis Presley (1916–1979),[7] in the two-room shotgun house built by Vernon’s father in preparation for the child’s birth. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered stillborn 35 minutes before his own birth.[8] Jesse was buried in an unmarked grave at Priceville Cemetery in Tupelo

Elvis grewup within a close-knit, working class family, consisting of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who all live near one another in Tupelo. There is little money, but Vernon and Gladys do their best to provide for their son, who is the center of their lives.

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They move from one house to another in Tupelo. Elvis attends the Assembly of God Church with his family, and the music and preaching register deeplywith Elvis Presley. Childhood influences include black blues-men in the neighborhood and country music radio programs enjoyed by his family.

In September 1941, Presley entered first grade at East Tupelo Consolidated, where his instructors regarded him as “average”.He was encouraged to enter a singing contest after impressing his schoolteacher with a rendition of Red Foley’s country song “Old Shep” during morning prayers. The contest, held at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, 1945, was his first public performance. Ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy; he stood on a chair to reach the microphone and sang “Old Shep”. He recalled placing fifth.

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A few months later, Presley received his first guitar for his birthday; he had hoped for something else—by different accounts, either a bicycle or a rifle. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family’s church. Presley recalled, “I took the guitar, and I watched people, and I learned to play a little bit. But I would never sing in public. I was very shy about it.”

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In November 1948, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. After residing for nearly a year in rooming houses, they were granted a two-bedroom apartment in the public housing complex known as the Lauderdale Courts.Enrolled at L. C. Humes High School, Presley received only a C in music in eighth grade.

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When his music teacher informed him that he did not have an aptitude for singing, he brought in his guitar the next day and sang a recent hit, “Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Me”, in an effort to prove otherwise. A classmate later recalled that the teacher “agreed that Elvis was right when he said that she didn’t appreciate his kind of singing.” He was usually too shy to perform openly, and was occasionally bullied by classmates who viewed him as a “mama’s boy”. In 1950, he regularly began practicing guitar under the tutelage of Jesse Lee Denson, a neighbor two-and-a-half years his senior. They and three other boys—including two future rockabilly pioneers, brothers Dorsey and Johnny Burnette—formed a loose musical collective that played frequently around the Courts.

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That September, he began ushering at Loew’s State Theater.Other jobs followed, including Precision Tool, Loew’s again, and MARL Metal Products.

Elvis works at Parker Machinists Shop right after graduation. That summer, he drops by The Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun label, and makes a demo acetate of “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” for a cost of about $4.00 as a birthday present for his mother, Gladys. Sam Phillips records Elvis singing “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin,” and afterwards tells his assistant Marion Keisker something that made her write down in her notes, “Good ballad singer. Hold.”

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The rest is history.

Finishing with one of my favourite Elvis songs.

Happy Birthday King of Rock N Roll

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Elvis in the Army

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On this day 60 years ago in 1957, while spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his newly purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley receives his draft notice for the United States Army.

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Presley was originally scheduled to be inducted on January 20, 1958. However, due to commitments at Paramount and the filming schedule of his latest film, King Creole, Presley had to personally write to the Memphis Draft Board to request a deferment. He explained to them that Paramount had already spent up to $350,000 on pre-production of the film, and that many jobs were dependent on him being able to complete filming, which was due to begin on January 13. They granted him an extension until the middle of March. When news of the extension broke, angry letters were sent to the Memphis Draft Board complaining about the “special treatment” that Presley was receiving. According to Milton Bowers, head of the draft board and angered by the public outcry, Presley “would have automatically gotten the extension [anyway] if he hadn’t been Elvis Presley the superstar”

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After six months of basic training–including an emergency leave to see his beloved mother, Gladys, before she died in August 1958–Presley sailed to Europe on the USS General Randall. For the next 18 months, he served in Company D, 32nd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armor Corps in Friedberg, Germany, where he attained the rank of sergeant.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

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Elvis Presley-Special Drugs Enforcement Federal Agent

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What do you need to do to become a special agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous

Well actually not that much. All you do is you book a flight to DC, on board you write a letter to the President of the USA.

Once you land you take a limo to the White House and drop the letters off.

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Well that’s what Elvis did and it worked out for him.

Elvis was traveling with some guns and his collection of police badges, and he decided that what he really wanted was a badge from the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs back in Washington. “The narc badge represented some kind of ultimate power to him,” Priscilla Presley would write in her memoir, Elvis and Me. “With the federal narcotics badge, he believed he could legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished.

It all started a few days before the photo was taken. In December of 1970, Elvis Presley spent $100,000 on Christmas presents — 32 handguns and 10 Mercedes-Benzes. His wife, Priscilla, and his father both reprimanded the king, telling him that maybe $100,000 was a little much to spend all at once.

So, naturally, Elvis needed to get some space from all that negativity and did what anyone would do. He took his presents and hopped on the next available flight out of Memphis, and headed to Washington D.C. Then, he got bored and hopped on another flight to Los Angeles.

After just one day in Los Angeles, Elvis asked Schilling to fly with him back to the capital. “He didn’t say why,” Schilling recalls, “but I thought the badge might be part of the reason.”

On the red-eye to Washington, Elvis scribbled a letter to President Nixon. “Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out,” he wrote. All he wanted in return was a federal agent’s badge. “I would love to meet you,” he added, informing Nixon that he’d be staying at the Washington Hotel under the alias Jon Burrows. “I will be here for as long as it takes to get the credentials of a federal agent.”

After they landed, Elvis and Schilling took a limo to the White House, and Elvis dropped off his letter at an entrance gate at about 6:30 a.m. Once they checked in at their hotel, Elvis left for the offices of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. He got a meeting with a deputy director, but not approval for a bureau badge.

Meanwhile, his letter was delivered to Nixon aide Egil “Bud” Krogh, who happened to be an Elvis fan. Krogh loved the idea of a Nixon-Presley summit and persuaded his bosses, including White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman, to make it happen. Krogh called the Washington Hotel and set up a meeting through Schilling.

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Around noon, Elvis arrived at the White House with Schilling and bodyguard Sonny West, who’d just arrived from Memphis. Arrayed in a purple velvet suit with a huge gold belt buckle and amber sunglasses, Elvis came bearing a gift—a Colt .45 pistol mounted in a display case that Elvis had plucked off the wall of his Los Angeles mansion.

Which the Secret Service confiscated before Krogh escorted Elvis—without his entourage—to meet Nixon.

“When he first walked into the Oval Office, he seemed a little awe-struck,” Krogh recalls, “but he quickly warmed to the situation.”

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While White House photographer Ollie Atkins snapped photographs, the president and the King shook hands. Then Elvis showed off his police badges.

Nixon’s famous taping system had not yet been installed, so the conversation wasn’t recorded. But Krogh took notes: “Presley indicated that he thought the Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit. The President then indicated that those who use drugs are also those in the vanguard of anti-American protest.”

“I’m on your side,” Elvis told Nixon, adding that he’d been studying the drug culture and Communist brainwashing. Then he asked the president for a badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

“Can we get him a badge?” Nixon asked Krogh.

Krogh said he could, and Nixon ordered it done.

Elvis was ecstatic. “In a surprising, spontaneous gesture,” Krogh wrote, Elvis “put his left arm around the President and hugged him.”

Before leaving, Elvis asked Nixon to say hello to Schilling and West, and the two men were escorted into the Oval Office. Nixon playfully punched Schilling on the shoulder and gave both men White House cuff links.

“Mr. President, they have wives, too,” Elvis said. So Nixon gave them each a White House brooch.

After Krogh took him to lunch at the White House mess, Elvis received his gift—the narc badge.

At Elvis’ request, the meeting was kept secret. A year later, columnist Jack Anderson broke the story—“Presley Gets Narcotics Bureau Badge”—but few people seemed to care.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

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Elvis Presley and Robert Johnson

Why did I use the names of these 2 artists as the title of this blog? For they had nothing in common.

Well that is not entirely true. Both were born in Mississippi and both died on the 16th of August, Elvis 40 years ago today and Robert Johnson 79 year ago today. Both were pioneers in their music genre.

Also they both shaped my musical taste. It is a simple fact that there will never be any stars of their magnitude again.

Elvis was and is the undisputed King of Rock N Roll.

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Whereas Robert Johnson was and is the undisputed King of the Blues.

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Both men were legends and met untimely deaths and both were victims of circumstance.

I will not go to deep into their lives because there is nothing more that I can add to their stories. Below are 2 blogs though I have done in the past.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/02/23/elvis-and-the-colonel/

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/04/27/did-robert-johnson-sell-his-soul-to-the-devil/

Let’s celebrate their lives with some of their music.

 

RIP Elvis and Robert. Thank you for the music

Survivor Guilt

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Survivor guilt is a particular type of guilt that may develop in people who have survived a life-threatening situation. Individuals who believe it is unfair that they survived when others died and/or believe they did not do enough to save the lives of others may come to experience survivor guilt after trauma or a catastrophic event.

Waylon Jennings was a guitarist for Buddy Holly’s band and initially had a seat on the ill-fated aircraft on The Day the Music Died on February 3 1959.

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But Jennings gave up his seat to the sick J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson, only to learn later of the plane’s demise. When Holly learned that Jennings was not going to fly, he said, “Well, I hope your ol’ bus freezes up.” Jennings responded, “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes.” This exchange of words, though made in jest at the time, haunted Jennings for the rest of his life. Jennings, who later became a country music star, expressed survivor’s guilt about Richardson’s death.

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https://dirkdeklein.net/2017/02/03/the-day-the-music-died/

In 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sank in the Philippine Sea. Most of the crew survived the sinking but were left adrift for days. Only 317 survived the whole ordeal. The Captain of the USS Indianapolis, Charles B. McVay III was court-martialed for hazarding his ship. Despite the captain of the Japanese sub standing up for McVay, he was convicted of gross negligence. Living with survivor’s guilt and hate mail for years, McVay killed himself in 1968.

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In an interview on Lifetime TV’s Unsolved Mysteries, Lawrence “Larry” Geller, one of Elvis Presley’s closest friends, reported that Elvis, as a “twinless twin”, was plagued by guilt over the death of his infant brother, Jesse Garon, who was stillborn.

 

Elvis had confided to Geller about his concerns that maybe he had absorbed more than his share of the nutrients while he was developing inside his mother’s womb, causing his twin brother to starve to death before he was born. Elvis had also related to Geller about how his mother had tried to comfort her son by assuring him that “they would all meet in Heaven” after their lives on Earth were completed.

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https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B018EFJ9FY?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Elvis and the Colonel

It may surprise many people but Elvis never performed outside of the Americas. The only country outside the US he ever toured was Canada, and even with that it was a short tour of about 5 concerts.In 1957 Elvis performed two shows at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on April 2, two shows at the Auditorium in Ottawa on April 3, and one show at Empire Stadium in Vancouver on August 31.

Elvis did spend some time in Germany serving the US army, and whilst there he did visit Paris and he did have a stop over in Scotland.Between 1958 and 1960

The reason for not going abroad is not because he didn’t like travelling or was afraid to fly, which some have suggested, no the reason is more simple than that albeit also a bit sinister.

The reason was Colonel Tom Parker, he is often seen as the man behind Elvis’s success but in fact he wasn’t a nice man at all.

Colonel Thomas Andrew “Tom” Parker (born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk; June 26, 1909 – January 21, 1997)

“The Colonel” displayed a ruthless devotion to his own financial gain, rather than his client’s interests, and took more than the traditional 10–15 percent of his earnings (reaching up to 50 percent by the end of Presley’s life). Presley said of Parker, “I don’t think I’d have ever been very big if it wasn’t for him. He’s a very smart man. For many years, Parker falsely claimed to have been born in the United States, but it eventually emerged that he had been born in the Netherlands.

http://www.geni.com/people/Dries-van-Kuijk-alias-The-Colonel-Tom-Parker/6000000034574144222

These are some of the theories believed Col.Parker used as excuses .

  • Parker’s claims that foreign security was poor, relative to the USA.
  • Parker’s belief that outside influences (managers, agents etc.) would inform Presley of how unusual his contract with Parker was.
  • Parker’s claim that there was a lack of venues large enough to accommodate a star of Presley’s stature. All of these excuses were given to Presley when he would show an interest in touring abroad and, known to avoid confrontation, Presley would never argue against them.
  • Some promoters wanted to charge fans the equivalent of $100 per ticket. Parker did not wish the fans to be ripped off, and this was another reason he turned down overseas offers.

In fact Col.Parker had entered the USA illegally

At age 15, Parker moved to Rotterdam, gaining employment on the boats in the port town.At age 17, he first displayed signs of wanting to run away to America to “make his fortune”.A year later, with enough money to sustain him for a short period, he entered America illegally by jumping ship from his employer’s vessel. During his first visit there, he traveled with a Chautauqua educative tent show, before returning briefly to the Netherlands. there were questions about a murder in Breda in which Parker might have been a suspect or at least a person of interest.This might have motivated Parker to avoid seeking a passport, as the Netherlands has an active extradition treaty with the United States, and Parker might have wanted to avoid criminal arrest by Dutch authorities in that case.

Parker returned to America at age 20, finding work with carnivals due to his previous experience in the Netherlands.He enlisted in the United States Army, taking the name “Tom Parker” from the officer who interviewed him, to disguise the fact he was an illegal immigrant.

He never became Colonel either, in fact he had deserted the Army He was punished with solitary confinement, from which he emerged with a psychosis that led to two months in a mental hospital,and he was discharged from the Army due to his mental condition.

After the Army Tom Parker had several jobs in fact he was barely surviving the great depression.

His first steps into the entertainment industry were taken in 1938 , when he met one of America’s first crooners Gene Austin.

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Austin offered Parker the opportunity to move to Nashville, Tennessee, where music was becoming big business, but for reasons unknown Parker turned him down. Instead, Parker decided to stay in Temple Terrace, Florida, with his family, perhaps to avoid having to fill in paperwork that could expose his illegal status.Within a year, however, he had the opportunity to become a legal citizen within the United States by way of the 1940 Alien Registration Act; a bill passed by the United States Government to allow illegal aliens the chance to become US citizens in return for their promise to fight for the country during World War II, if required. Parker decided against registering, possibly to prevent his previous Army record from becoming public.

This is indicates the paranoia ‘Colonel Tom Parker’ was suffering from.

He did manage a few more artists, Minnie Pearl,Tommy Sands and Hank Snow

However in 1955 Parker became aware of this young singer called Elvis. In February 1955 Elvis signed a contract with Tom Parker, which basically sealed his fate in relation to touring outside of America.

There is no doubt that Tom Parker did turn Elvis into the icon he has become, but I believe Elvis would have become the star he was anyway even without Tom Parker.

Following Presley’s death, Parker set up a licensing operation with Factors Etc. Inc, to control Presley merchandise and keep a steady income supporting his estate. It was later revealed that Presley owned 22% of the company, Parker owned 56%, and the final 22% was made up of various business associates.[Due to an ill-advised agreement between Parker and Presley that gave RCA sole ownership of all his recording royalties prior to 1973, the estate was relying heavily on the income from Factors Etc. Inc. However, because Parker was still entitled to 50% of all Presley’s income, and after taxes were taken off, the overall amount going towards the upkeep of the estate was less than $1 million a year.

In January 1979, it was discovered that Presley had lost out on royalties for songs on which he had been listed as an author and/or composer because Parker had unwisely advised him not to sign up to ASCAP or its younger competitor,BMI.Experts in the field at the time estimated that it had potentially cost Presley millions of dollars and worse for Parker, it had also potentially cost him those millions of dollars.

By 1980, the cost of running the estate was estimated to be as much as $500,000 a year.Priscilla and the Trust were prepared to let Parker continue to handle Presley’s business affairs, and petitioned the court to that end.However, Judge Joseph Evans, aware that Lisa Marie Presley was still a minor, appointed attorney Blanchard E. Tual to investigate Parker’s management.Tual, once appointed as Lisa Marie’s guardian ad litem, chose to investigate the entire period of Parker’s management of Presley; his preliminary finding was that Parker’s management deal of 50% was extortionate compared to the industry average of 15–20%.He also noted that Parker’s handling of Presley’s business affairs during his lifetime, including the decision to sell off past royalties to RCA for $5.4 million in 1973, was “unethical” and poorly handled. During a second, more detailed investigation, Tual discovered that all earnings were paid directly to the Trust instead of Parker. By this time, with the IRS demanding almost $15 million in taxes, the estate was facing bankruptcy.The truth about Parker was now known.

On August 14, 1981, Judge Evans ordered EPE to sue Parker for mismanagement. In response to this, Parker countersued.The case against Parker was settled out of court in 1983, with the estate paying him $2 million,and the termination of his involvement in any Presley related earnings for five years.He was also ordered to hand over any Presley audio recordings or visual images that he owned.

Parker had worked as a “consultant” for Hilton Hotels since Presley’s death,with some believing he was working to pay off debts owed to the casino from his gambling during Presley’s performances there.Part of this role resulted in Parker keeping the same fourth-floor suite he occupied when Presley was alive, but by 1984, with his gambling debts reportedly rising again, he was evicted.On the surface, however, relations between the two were as good as ever, with Parker helping the Hilton to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Presley’s death.

The disputes with the Presley estate did not terminate his association with his most high-profile client. Parker appeared at posthumous events honoring Presley, such as the 1993 issuing of the United States Postal Service stamp honoring the King of Rock and Roll. He also became friendly with the estate again, attending special ceremonies and events in Memphis, invited by Priscilla. However, he did occasionally step on their toes by commenting negatively on some of their decisions. In 1994, following the marriage of Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson, Parker stated that Presley would not have approved,and in 1993, interest in Presley’s enduring legend, interest that is sometimes notable for its obsessiveness, provoked Parker to remark, “I don’t think I exploited Elvis as much as he’s being exploited today.

In 1994, a Golden Palm Star on the Walk of Stars in Palm Springs, California was dedicated to him.

I don’t know what is more amazing, the fact that the Colonel was Elvis’s manager for so long or that it was. The mystery of Colonel Parker’s identity could have already been solved in 1960, when Drees van Kuijk’s(aka Col. Tom Parker) sister recognized her brother when she saw his picture with Elvis in a newspaper. Until now it is still unclear why the authorities didn’t act.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/colonel-parker-managed-elvis-career-but-was-he-a-killer-on-the-lam-108042206/?no-ist

Ironically because of all this Elvis became the front runner in technology in a way. Not many artists before him had done global concerts via satellite. His concert Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite was broadcast to more then 40 countries. Viewing figures have been estimated to be between 1 and 1.5 billion viewers worldwide. The show was the most expensive entertainment special at the time, costing $2.5 million.

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I have been an Elvis fan all of my life and until this day I still vividly remember where I was when I heard the news when he passed away. I was about 9 at the time, when I came home from school that day,my mother told me the news.I pretended as if it meant nothing to me, but I ran up the stairs and cried like I never cried before, It felt like I just lost a close friend or family member.

This is one of my favorite songs by the King.