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Presleys in the Press

January 2005

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Links are provided to the original news sources. These links may be temporary and cease to work after a short time. Full text versions of the more important items may still be available on other sites, such as Elvis World Japan or Elvis News, or available for purchase from the source.

late January, 2005

  • It's the end of Lonely Street for the King
    By Cary Aspinwall
    (Arizona Republic, January 28, 2005)
    The statue of the King of Rock and Roll outside the newly opened Hearthrob Cafe was an eye-catcher, but apparently it caught the eye of Gilbert's code compliance officers. Turns out the fiberglass King was a sign without a permit. Owner Marty Bertzyk had said the restaurant would put the statue out "until the city says we can't."

    Famous last words, it would seem. The day after an article about Elvis shaking up things in Gilbert's downtown appeared in The Arizona Republic, Hearthrob received a visit, and a warning ticket, from the folks in code compliance. "As soon as we put it up, they came and made us take it down," Bertzyk said. Bertzyk, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Bonita, said he was confused because the restaurant's previous incarnation, Gonzo's, had bronze statues of boys playing baseball out front. He assumed replacing the ballplayers with the King would be no big deal. "It's not a sign," he said. "It's not permanent."

    Perhaps the statue of the young rock rebel in front of the restaurant at 302 N. Gilbert Road, was simply too much of a hunka-hunka burnin' love for Western-themed downtown Gilbert. Maybe the town's code enforcement folks would have preferred the older, white-jumpsuit-Vegas-crooner Elvis? Adam Adams, the town's code compliance manager, said it wasn't a problem with Elvis himself, but rather how the statue was being used. "The manner that they were using it in falls under the town's sign definition," Adams said. No permit, no sign allowed. But there's a chance the King could make a comeback if Hearthrob's owners apply through the proper channels, he said. The restaurant's plan was to rotate displays of the attention-getting statues during business hours, which include two Elvises, Marilyn and the Blues Brothers. It's probably a good thing that they hadn't put Marilyn Monroe out yet, what with the added indecency fines they might have faced had her billowy white dress blown skyward on a blustery day.

    Now, if Hearthrob wants to put Elvis and his celebrity friends back out, they'll have to apply for a permit. Unless they're looking for a little "Jailhouse Rock."

  • Iraqi expats voting in Illinois feel duty-bound to visit polls
    (Mercury News / Associated Press, January 28, 2005)
    Mona Al-Mugotir drove the 850 miles from Omaha, Neb., to Chicago and back just to register to vote in the Iraqi elections, then drove it again after she lost her registration form, and yet again on Friday to vote. But she says the hours spent crisscrossing America's frozen heartland are a small price to pay to have a voice in the future of her homeland. ... It was such a celebration atmosphere that 53-year-old Benjamin Nissan didn't make much of a stir - at least among those voting - when he showed up to cast his ballot dressed as Elvis Presley, complete with electric blue suit and ink-black hair and mutton-chop sideburns. "I love Elvis and I like it (voting)," said Benjamin Nissan, a Chicago beautician who left Iraq in 1977. ...

  • Elvis has left the church, not the city
    By Maggie Downs
    (Enquirer, January 28, 2005)
    Cincinnati's freakiness is not something that needs to be exhumed. It's right there in your face, waiting for some attention - kind of like the Elvis impersonator who used to go to my church. He came to services with pork-chop sideburns, a white jumpsuit and rhinestone-studded sunglasses that he never removed. ...

  • Confederate Elvis Flag Leaves a Colorado Building
    (American Library Association, January 28, 2005)
    A Denver Post columnist has mischaracterized as racist a school media center display of a Confederate flag with an image of Elvis Presley superimposed on it, according to Monarch High School librarian Lanene Dente and Principal Chris Rugg. The January 25 column by Cindy Rodriguez quoted from a protest letter that characterized the image as "screen-printed bigotry." The letter was signed by 15 area high-school speech coaches who first saw the flag hanging from the Louisville, Colorado, media center ceiling while they attended an October 20 tournament at the school.

    Rugg told American Libraries that he and Dente had researched the image and were confident that it "did not represent the Confederacy." He explained that the one complaint he received about the flag prompted them to discover that the Confederate symbol is part of the Mississippi state flag and that Elvis was born in Tupelo. They concluded that the flag was symbolic of nothing more than Mississippi's pride in being Presley's birthplace. Dente added, "I felt I had made an informed decision" about retaining the flag. As to the protest letter, Dente and Rugg said that they had not known of its existence until the Post article appeared.

    Dente explained that the Confederate Elvis appeared along with 17 other flags "only as a colorful display" to make the high-ceilinged media center more inviting. She bought them as a bagged lot at a Salvation Army sale last summer; the resulting exhibit included the bag's contents, which also contained a checkered NASCAR racing flag and the flags of several Asian and European countries. Citing her 34 years of school library experience, she added, "As a librarian, my responsibility is to provide displays that are representations of different ideas."

  • School's flag no mere "novelty"
    By Cindy Rodriguez
    (Denver Post, January 25, 2005)
    The Confederate flag no longer hangs in the library at Monarch High School in Louisville. Librarian Lanene Dente took the flag down, along with 13 others, a few days ago to make room for a new display - but not because of complaints. Dente showed me the flag Friday. It was clearly Confederate but with a twist: The face of Elvis Presley is emblazoned on it. She doesn't understand why the flag upset students and teachers. "I was just trying to add a colorful display," Dente said. Principal Chris Rugg agreed: "I understand political correctness and where people come from, but I see those as novelty flags."

    Color? Novelty? Fifteen high school speech coaches who signed a letter of protest and shared a copy with me say they are disgusted by that characterization. "To minimalize this as a decoration is incredibly insulting," said Donna Riffe, speech coach at Wheat Ridge High. "Having that symbol hanging up in a school takes us back." Back to the Jim Crow South. Back to the Civil War. Back to slavery. Civil rights groups consider the Confederate flag a hate symbol for a reason. ...

  • Are nonprofit hospitals gouging the poor? 46 lawsuits allege uninsured are charged the most
    By Ceci Connolly
    (MSNBC / Washington Post, January 28, 2005)
    TUPELO, Miss. - When Tim Gardner was born at the hospital here 53 years ago, it was just "one little building on the hill" in a town best known as Elvis Presley's birthplace. From those humble beginnings, North Mississippi Medical Center has grown into the largest non-metropolitan hospital in the country, a booming enterprise with a complex of glass and marble buildings and 40 satellite clinics stretching into Alabama and Tennessee. The company, incorporated in Delaware, has nearly $300 million in the bank and "exceptional profitability," according to one Wall Street rating agency. And it pays no taxes. As one of 4,800 nonprofit U.S. hospitals, North Mississippi Medical Center is exempt from federal, state and local taxes in return for providing care to "charity patients."

    But when Gardner, who is uninsured and suffers from heart trouble, asked for more time to pay off a $4,500 bill, the response came in the form of a summons. The hospital sued him for the balance plus $1,100 in legal fees. Now Gardner and hundreds like him are at the center of a nationwide battle over whether nonprofit hospitals -- often flush with cash, opulent buildings and high-paid executives - are fulfilling their mission as charitable institutions. ...

  • Give respect to Scotland's Bard [letters to the Editor]
    By David M G Berry
    (Edinburgh Evening News, January 28, 2005)
    RABBIE BURNS would be surprised by the lack of honour bestowed on him today. The English give much more respect to their Bard, Shakespeare. I have studied the life of Burns, and written and delivered at least three 'Immortal Memories' and attended dozens of Burns Suppers. I'll wager I'm the only Scot that accompanied four female Japanese students singing Burns' songs on the top of Arthur Seat on his birthday! What some Scots seem to forget is that he was the Elvis Presley of his day. Good-looking, talented poet, songwriter, folk singer - no wonder women of all social standings flocked to his side. Burns is not just our national poet but also a national treasure, known all over the globe.

  • In Brief: Maroon 5, Wilco (9th item)
    (ROLLING STONE, January 28, 2005)
    ELVIS PRESLEY's previously unreleased version of KRIS KRISTOFFERSON's "For the Good Times" will be featured on Love, Elvis, a twenty-four-track compilation of the King's love songs, due January 25th. ...

  • The President and the King
    By Delia M. Rios
    (Newhouse News Service, January 28, 2005)
    "Dear Mr. President," the King scrawled on American Airlines stationery. "First I would like to introduce myself." But the man who presented himself unannounced at the northwest gate of the White House early on Dec. 21, 1970, a five-page letter in hand, needed no introduction. Elvis Presley was knocking on Richard Nixon's door. He wanted a job: as a federal agent combating drugs. ...

  • Hard-Headed Woman: The gospel according to Wanda Jackson
    By Greg Cahill
    (Metroactive Music, January 28, 2005)
    ... In the mid-1950s, at the dawn of the rock 'n' roll era, she became one of the fledgling genre's first female stars, an energetic 18-year-old rockabilly queen who dated Elvis, made frequent stabs at the Top 40 and tore through the music industry like a Midwestern tornado. These days, Jackson--who performs Jan. 28 in Fairfax--is a legend.

    ... In 1955 Jackson hit the road as the opening act for Elvis Presley, just months before Elvis' career exploded. The two hit it off, dating for nearly a year. Elvis gave Jackson his ring. He also encouraged her to stretch out beyond country by singing rockabilly. "We were both just kids doing what we knew we were born to do and having a great time," Jackson recalls. "He thought that I should be doing the type of music he was doing -- we didn't really have a name for it then. My argument was that the audience was all girls and wouldn't take to me. Ultimately, he was right." Capitol Records, then the world's largest record company, saw the potential in a female rock singer with the ability to cross over to country fans, and signed Jackson to a contract that would last 18 years, until Jackson herself asked to be dropped from the label. ...

    (, January 28, 2005)
    LATEST: ELVIS PRESLEY'S record label have finally agreed to release all the late rocker's singles - after fans accused the company of rigging the British singles chart, so Presley's re-released hits all hit the number one spot.

    All 18 of the JAILHOUSE ROCK star's UK number one singles are being re-released in successive weeks, in a bid by SONY/BMG to cash in before the 50-year copyright protection on sound recordings expires on his earlier hits across much of Europe.

    Hoards of Presley fans have complained the singles are unobtainable - since only 20,000 copies of each song are being released, in a ploy to ensure each CD is sold out by the time the next song hits the shops, maximising the chance of securing the Number one spot.

    But Sony/BMG have apologised to fans, and are making amends, by dispatching all of Presley's songs. A spokesman for the label says, "In reaction to fans' comments and stock availability, the company has decided to make all Elvis singles available in non-limited, non-numbered editions."

    By Anna Burdett
    (News & Star, January 27, 2005)
    CARLISLE has gone Elvis mad and fans have been queuing outside music shops to snap-up his latest limited edition singles. Virgin Megastores in The Lanes sold out of the single It's Now or Never in ten minutes and every shop in the city was similarly inundated by fans on Monday when it was released. Jayne Boothman, manager at Music Zone in Scotch Street, said she had never seen such a massive reaction to a single. Eighteen Elvis singles - including Blue Suede Shoes and Jailhouse Rock - are being released by Sony BMG to coincide with what would have been his 70th birthday.

    At HMV in The Lanes, fans queued outside and were limited to one copy each because of the demand. Assistant manager Simon Altringham said: "We have had to stop taking people's orders for the CD. We sell them for 3.99 but people could pretty much make up their own figure if they sell them on." Speculators nationwide have been snapping up the singles, five of which have already been released, and are selling them for up to 50 on the internet site eBay.

    ... West Cumbrian Elvis fan George Mattinson, of Dearham, said the record company was engineering the shortage in a bid to get a high chart entry, as fans have to rush out and buy the singles on the first week of release to ensure they get a copy. "They are only releasing so many copies of each single so the average person on the street struggles to get hold of it," he said.

    (, January 26, 2005)
    ELVIS PRESLEY'S record label have been accused of rigging the British singles chart, so his re-released hits all hit the number one spot. All 18 of the late rock legend's UK number one singles are being re-released in successive weeks, in a bid by SONY/BMG to cash in before the 50-year copyright protection on sound recordings expires on his earlier hits across much of Europe.

    But fans of The King are complaining the singles are unobtainable - as only 20,000 copies of each song is being released. Some record stores are only receiving two copies of each song in a ploy to ensure each CD is sold out by the time the next song hits the shops, maximising the chance of securing the Number one spot. Sony/BMG have pledged to make more copies available, but a secret document sent to record shops yesterday (25JAN05) reportedly tells retailers not to expect any more.

  • Finding Sri Lanka, and then discovering it
    By Robert Marquand
    (Christian Science Monitor, January 28, 2005)
    Before the tsunami, Sri Lanka was not easy to enter - at least not for a foreign correspondent. You visited the embassy, met a diplomat, shared a cup of milk tea, then got your visa a week later. Or longer. After the tsunami, I got there in a day. ... Even after we spent two weeks in damaged villages, coastal landscapes, and refugee centers, one of the tsunami "side stories" was the amazement locals felt at simply being recognized by the outside world. In a way that citizens from large nations don't always "get," there is a profound desire by those in smaller locales to be acknowledged in the control centers of the world. The tsunami was a global-scale tragedy in an era of globalization. Many Sri Lankans expressed hope that Americans and Europeans will better know where Sri Lanka is.

    "I think Americans ... have no idea what it is like to be from a small but proud country," said a diplomat from a small Central European nation. "You go abroad, and the first questions aren't about who you are. They are always 'Where are you from?' When you say 'Sri Lanka,' or 'Moldova,' and the retort is, 'Where is that?' - well, it is absolutely crushing."

    Yet suddenly after the tsunami, world leaders crowded this nation's tropical-scented hotel lobbies. Sri Lankans are proud that science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke lives here and owns a scuba-diving school (wiped out in the wave). But a dazzling new level of fame arrived: US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Kofi Annan of the United Nations, James Wolfensohn of the World Bank, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fisher. Sri Lanka's president said half her time in the days after the tsunami was spent greeting dignitaries.

    ... "It took the war in Vietnam for Americans to pay attention to Southeast Asia," says Kingsley Wickramaratne, governor of south Sri Lanka. "Very few Americans knew about Vietnam or Laos or Cambodia until the 1960s," he says. ... Aid is arriving from the centers of globalization. A need for clothes in the aftermath was eased when a boatload of T-shirts and sweat pants was distributed on Day 2. Displaced children were found wearing a certain jet-black T-shirt with American rap and rock stars depicted in a cheap air-brush style: Eminem. Nirvana. Snoop Dogg. Aerosmith. Even the image of Elvis Presley was seen amid the tsunami rubble. ...

  • OBIT/eMax Announces the Passing of a Legend, Ray Peterson
    Source: eMax Holdings Corporation
    (BUSINESS WIRE, January 28, 2005)
    eMax Holdings Company, Inc today announces the passing of a legend, friend, and one of EMXC founders Ray Peterson. Ray Peterson has been called an "Entertainer's Entertainer" and a "Singer's Singer", but most of all he was "The Golden Voice of Rock 'N' Roll". Mr. Peterson, died Tuesday at his home in Smyrna, Tenn., outside Nashville. ... His first single was an unusual, almost gospel version of the Little Willie John 1956 hit, "Fever" written by Otis Blackwell, and that fell somewhere between the bluesy John arrangement and the later, sexier take by Peggy Lee. Rays first hit success came with his seventh single "The Wonder Of You". It was a gentle ballad written by veteran Baker Knight, and became a Top 30 success in the summer of 1959. Elvis Presley was so taken with Ray's heartwarming rendition that he called Ray and asked if he too could record it. A very flattered Ray Peterson told Elvis that he didn't have to ask - he was Elvis Presley. Elvis replied, "Yes I do - you are Ray Peterson". Rays biggest success came with "Tell Laura I Love Her" . The quietly effective production and Ray's dramatic vocal combined in a song that caught the ear of numerous teens and made it a No. 7 hit on Billboard's Hot 100. ...

  • Ray Peterson, singer of 'Tell Laura I Love Her,' dead at 65
    (The Tennessean / Associated Press, January 27, 2005)
    Ray Peterson, whose 1960 hit "Tell Laura I Love Her" exemplified the teen-tragedy song popular in early rock 'n' roll, has died. A mortuary [official] says the Denton, Texas-born singer died Tuesday at his home in the Nashville suburb of Smyrna, Tennessee. He was 65 and had been battling cancer. Billed as "The Golden Voice of Rock 'n' Roll," Peterson began singing as a child. His youth was marked by a prolonged struggle with polio, and he sang to entertain his fellow patients in a Texas hospital. ... Peterson's version of "The Wonder of You" reached the top 30 in 1959, and Elvis Presley later hit the pop charts with a cover version. ...

  • Don't Look Back
    By Gary North
    (Gary North Archives, January 27, 2005)
    I have an idea for a book. You may be able to help me. I'm looking for stories of truly money-transferring entrepreneurial decisions: in business, government, sports, etc. Such a decision should be in the category of company-changing for both the beneficiary and the loser. The all-time example from sports is the Boston Red Sox's decision to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. A classic example in the entertainment industry is Sam Phillips' 1955 decision to sell Elvis Presley's contract to Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk (aka "Col." Tom Parker) for $35,000. In business, IBM's decision to let Bill Gates keep the right to license what became DOS has to be the biggie of our generation. If you have a favorite - one that is reasonably well known in a particular field send it to me, with a link or two to Web sites that describes it. ...

  • [No title]
    By Maurice Colgan
    ((PRLEAP.COM, January 27, 2005)
    As U2 announced their massive concert plan for Dublin Ireland, and their planned World Tour starting in San Diego California, Bono's idol Elvis Presley was in the news big-time. Bono may have to add another verse to his controversial Elvis poem.

    The British Broadcasting Company better known as the Beeb is still recoiling from a barrage of e-mail initiated by its disgraceful, and now notorious insult to Elvis Presley fans on the Top of the Pops television show, Friday the 21st January 2005. International Media coverage of the BBC/Elvis story, including press releases from as far apart as India, Australia, New Zealand, New York, and the UK, is drawing a lot of attention on Elvis news.

    Commerce orientated knows Elvis Presley means Business. In a recent article on its web-pages by journalist Mathew Lynn we are informed Elvis is, "Still King! What Elvis Can Teach Us About Brands?", an example of how the Elvis SALE never ends. Now the BBC and the rest of the International Media know, Elvis fans mean business too!

  • Meet David, the DJ who mixed it with Elvis
    (Belfast Telegraph, January 27, 2005)
    He may only have come to some people's attention when his mixing of the Elvis track A Little Less Conversation went to No 1 20 years after the King's death, but David Holmes has been having a huge impact on the music scene for much longer than that. And the DJ, producer, and soundtrack composer David Holmes will play at Deep Fried Funk in The Nerve Centre on Saturday, February 5 - his first set at the club in four years. ... In 1998 he scored Soderbergh's Out of Sight and a year later Soderbergh called him back for Ocean's Eleven and, of course, that Elvis track. ...

  • Retro chic at the Manhattan Village Show
    By Barbara Heins
    (, January 27, 2005)
    If you held on to a pair of bell-bottomed dungarees or kept those sherbet-colored shirts and jackets that adults found hideous in the 1960s and '70s, you were prescient. Those duds are in vogue again. So start digging through the depths of the closet and attic boxes for the gypsy skirts, peasant blouses and caftans. If you didn't keep them, not to worry: tomorrow and Saturday, there's the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, with 79 dealers of vintage clothing and textiles. ... Ornstein also organized an exhibit of rock star-inspired clothing starting with the peg-leg tight trousers worn by Elvis Presley in the '50s and the bowl-style haircuts of the Beatles in the 1960s. The exhibit continues through Joplin's bohemian styles, the "Saturday Night Fever"-inspired disco era of the late 1970s and the "harlot look" Madonna made popular in the 1980s, according to Infield. The show, now in its 13th year, draws vintage clothing collectors and designers. ...

  • Famed hurricane-damaged resort in Hawaii may reopen
    (USA Today / Associated Press, January 28, 2005)
    The Kauai Planning Commission has approved a $200 million restoration of the famed Coco Palms Resort, which has been closed since it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Iniki in Sept. 1992. Developer Richard Weiser plans to spend that amount to restore the hotel to look as close as possible to the Coco Palms in its glory days in the 1950s and 1960s. The resort was used as a set in the 1961 Elvis Presley movie "Blue Hawaii." It will have 104 rooms, about 90 less than the original to make space for 200 condominiums. ... Weiser has won over most critics of the project, but a few Hawaiian activists protested the hotel plans at the commission meeting. They want the property, which was the home of Deborah Kapule, wife of King Kaumualii and the last reigning queen of Kauai, preserved as a cultural park, even though there are no funds to build one.

  • Council approves restoration of famed resort
    (KPUA Hawaii News / Associated Press, January 27, 2005)
    The Kauai Planning Commission has approved a 200 (m)million dollar restoration of the famed Coco Palms Resort. Developer Richard Weiser plans to spend that amount to restore the hotel to look as close as possible to the Coco Palms in its glory days in the 1950s and 1960s. After the Planning Commission approved all the permits yesterday, Weiser said construction will begin this summer and the resort should be open by the middle of 2007. The resort has been closed since it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Iniki on September 11th, 1992. It was used as a set in the 1961 Elvis Presley movie ``Blue Hawaii.''

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