|early March, 2005
Currently in the news: Songy/BMG UK's release of Elvis Presley singles
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- Falcon Hill leader dies after a jog - Principal's mantra: 'Teach them well'
By Annemarie Moody
(Arizona Republic, March 5, 2005)
The death of Don Erickson, principal at Falcon Hill Elementary since 1998, had students, staff and teachers in mourning Friday. Erickson, 53, who has been with Mesa Public Schools for 30 years, died Thursday.
He came home from a two-mile jog at about 5 p.m. and collapsed, his family said. "His life revolved around serving people, and he had a great love for his kids," Lautenschlager said. "As a daughter, I can't count the number of times I went to him with a problem and found peace." Erickson was president of the Alta Mesa Stake for Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints for about six years, she said. ... [parent and kindergarten instructional aide Kari Stonehouse, 42] said her children, Clayton, 11, and Shalee, 12, saw Erickson as a "larger-than-life person." Erickson was a physical education teacher when he started in Mesa in 1975, and retained his sense of athleticism and competition, often joining students at recess in basketball games. Several times a year, Erickson would do his Elvis impersonation for the kids. He once sang a takeoff on a famous Elvis song that he renamed "You Ain't Nothing but a Groundhog" for Mike Nowotarski's sixth grade over the intercom on Groundhog Day in his first year at Falcon Hill. ...
- Let the pop stars make your day
By Eric Lochridge
(Rapid City Journal, March 5, 2005)
BOOK REVIEW: Popstrology by Ian Van Tuyl, Bloomsbury Publishing 2004
Has your horoscope ever let you down with a one-star day? Have you begun to wonder if there's a slight chance that astrology might not be the life-guiding force you once thought it was? Then maybe you need to shift your gaze to a different set of stars - the pop stars. This is the theory of Ian Van Tuyl, the author of "Popstrology: The Art and Science of Reading the Pop Stars." According to Van Tuyl, the "popstrological era" began in April of 1956 with Elvis Presley's first No. 1 single and ended in August 1989 - 33-1/3 years later - with Richard Marx's No. 1 "Right Here Waiting."
Van Tuyl's probably-tongue-in-cheek theory is that pop culture's role in shaping your destiny is at least as strong as the gravitational pull of the constellations. If you were born in the popstrological era, you were born under a sign determined by what the top pop single was the week you were born and by who the dominant pop star was in the year of your birth. ... Similar pop stars are grouped into "constellations," based on their cultural influence. The Hot Hairdo constellation includes artists whose hair made a lasting impression - the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Duran Duran and Milli Vanilli, among others. Mustache Rock groups held sway in the 1970s (Grand Funk Railroad, the Eagles, Boston). ...
- Animal acts: Pet names for bands and their songs have a long pedigree
By Steve Packer
(Sydney Morning Herald, March 5, 2005)
A certain type of squalid human emerged in the second half of the 20th century which came to be known as a "rock'n'roll animal". What cheek. What ingratitude. Where would rock music be without its furred, feathered and fanged friends? The phrase implies excess, vandalism and, in the words of the Beastie Boys, the "fight for the right to par-ty!".
The time has come to give the animals - the genuine beasts - due recognition, not least because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the recording of Elvis Presley's Hound Dog. Well almost. The song came out in June 1956, but because it was first recorded by Big Mama Thornton in 1953, there's a moral imperative to jump the gun. (Besides, it makes more sense when sung by a woman.)
A compilation of all of the dog-related songs since Hound Dog would run for many hours, depending on how far you wanted to push it. The likes of Doggin' Around and Black Dog are obvious, but what about Freak on a Leash or Don't Be Cruel (the flip side of Presley's Hound Dog and loosely the concept in reverse). Rock music likes its dogs big and metaphorical. Breed is rarely specified, but you know they're not thinking shitzu. Nobody wants to be Patti "waggily tail" Page about it. The main archetype was a mythical mongrel from blues music, which makes dogs earthy, soulful and sometimes mean. ...
- SHOW REVIEW: 'Music and Passion'
By MIKE WEATHERFORD
(REVIEW-JOURNAL, March 4, 2005)
Barry Manilow never makes it easy for nonbelievers to decide what they think about him. At one point in his new "Manilow: Music and Passion" show at the Las Vegas Hilton, he emerges on a side stage, decorated as the "Rock Bottom Bar," in a lime green blazer. This serves to illustrate how every entertainer starts somewhere, usually in the lounge. ... "Music and Passion" isn't a drastic departure for Manilow, nor does it demand that we reassess him. For better or worse, it feels like a show from a veteran Las Vegas entertainer that could have been there a long time already. While another contentious pop icon, Celine Dion, went to some effort to broaden the appeal of her Las Vegas show beyond loyalists, this one may be more like Elvis Presley's final years on the same stage: a necessary pilgrimage for the devout, but nothing to inspire the mildly curious. ...
- Engelbert's Bridgewater date
(manchester Online, March 4, 2005)
IN a career spanning more than 35 years, Engelbert Humperdinck has sold over 130m records, won 64 gold albums, 24 platinum albums, had four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
And if that isn't impressive enough he counted Elvis Presley among his closest friends and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for achieving 56 consecutive weeks in the charts with his mega hit, Release Me. ...
- 'Elvis' monitors Jackson trial
By MIKE MORRIS
(Union Democrat, March 4, 2005)
Dressed as Elvis, part-time foothill resident Matthew Tuttle held a sign reading "Jailhouse Rock Michael" as he stood outside the courthouse in Santa Maria on the opening day of Michael Jackson's child molestation trial. On Wednesday, the self-described "King" was chosen by lottery to sit inside the courtroom behind "The King of Pop" and hear trial testimony. "I just thought it would be kind of a funny thing to do, something to tell my grandkids," Tuttle said yesterday from Santa Maria, where he's been staying in a motel room since Monday. As an Elvis impersonator, Tuttle said he also went because Jackson was briefly married to Elvis' only child, Lisa Marie Presley, in the mid 1990s.
Tuttle, 30, divides his time between a home in Sonora and working in Las Vegas as an "Elvis tribute artist." He doesn't like the word "impersonator" because he said there is a "bad stigma" associated with it. In Las Vegas, Tuttle is booked mainly for conventions and trade shows, he said. Tuttle left Nevada for Santa Maria on Monday and within the week he plans to return to Sonora.
But for now, he's enjoying the madness of Jackson's trial. "It's like a media circus," he said. "There's definitely a party atmosphere, like Mardi Gras. And there's a bunch of religious wackos, too. It's like a mecca, a pilgrimage, for all of his fans." Tuttle said people from countries as far away as Japan and Spain gather outside the courthouse and sing Jackson's hit songs, including "Thriller," "Beat It" and "We Are the World." He also said several other tribute artists gather outside to do the moon walk and Jackson's signature crotch grab. "There's a female that's pretty good. That's the thing, you can be a man or a woman and be a good Michael Jackson - it doesn't really matter," Tuttle said. "It's kind of funny to watch the spectacle." Tuttle said Gary Coleman, who he describes as "the 4-foot man-child," interviewed him for a comedy radio show.
Because most people outside of the courthouse are Jackson supporters, Tuttle said he wanted to stir some controversy so he carried the "Jailhouse Rock Michael" sign Monday. "His fans talked a lot of trash to me. I think they wanted to start a fight," he said, noting the area was filled with police officers to guard against such a conflict.
People aren't allowed to wear costumes in the courtroom, so Tuttle only dressed up Monday because he wanted a shot at seeing the trial firsthand. On Wednesday, Tuttle was picked to sit in the audience. Audience members were picked by lottery because so many people want inside the courtroom. "He was like a little kid - eating candy, stretching. He couldn't sit still," Tuttle said of Jackson. "He's very shy in person. I thought he'd be more charismatic, but he's like a shy little girl."
Tuttle heard testimony from a woman hired in 2003 to help rehabilitate Jackson's image after the airing of a damaging documentary. She testified that Jackson's associates hoped to portray his accuser's mother as a "crack whore." Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at his Neverland Ranch in 2003, allegedly giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive after the documentary aired.
"I think it would be kind of a shame to see someone that makes so many people in the world happy just rot in jail," said Tuttle, who calls Jackson his generation's Elvis. A Fresno native, Tuttle attended the University of California, Berkeley, before going to law school at the University of California, Davis. He became a criminal defense lawyer in Merced, where at times he handled child molestation cases. Tuttle, who comes from a family of attorneys, no longer practices law. He said he was always upset and stressed as a lawyer so he sought a happier life portraying his hero, Elvis. He moved to Sonora in 2003, after leaving behind both the law business and his wife, whom he said looks like Priscilla Presley.
- Elvis is in the garden
By BOB CURTRIGHT
(Wichita Eagle, March 4, 2005)
Elvis Presley contests are among the events sprouting at this weekend's Garden Show. Think you sound like Elvis when you croon to yourself in the shower? Any chance you can look like him given a little advance warning? Then try your hand -- and, of course, your hip -- at convincing a panel of local judges that you are The King reincarnated for cash prizes at Wichita's Lawn, Flower and Garden Show this weekend. ...
- Testimony at Jackson trial suggests enemies behind allegations
By LINDA DEUTSCH
(napanews.com / Associated Press, March 3, 2005)
Michael Jackson's infamous relationship with Sony Music became a subtext for testimony at his molestation trial Wednesday, with suggestions by a witness that associates were plotting behind his back to wrest away his co-ownership of a valuable song catalogue that includes the music of the Beatles. The unexpected testimony came from Ann Kite, who was hired briefly in 2003 to work on public relations damage control after the airing of a documentary in which Jackson said he let boys sleep in his bedroom. She suggested that some of the men charged as unindicted co-conspirators in the molestation case were actually enemies of Jackson's interests who were planted in his inner circle to bring about his downfall.
... Jackson's stake in Sony/ATV, which includes catalogues for the Beatles and many Elvis Presley songs, was estimated by Forbes magazine several years ago to be worth at least $350 million. Jackson bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Sony for about $95 million in 1995, but retained a half interest. Kite, who said she only lasted on the job for Jackson for six days and never met the pop superstar, said she tried in that short time to shift the attention of his associates to crisis management but to no avail. "Michael was going to get skewered on national TV and there was no plan of action to protect his interests from scurrilous allegations," she said. ...
- Elvis Presley stock makes big leap from over-the-counter trade
By Michael Lollar
(Commercial Appeal, March 3, 2005)
The company that now owns 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises moved Monday from an over-the-counter stock offering to a full-fledged member of a major stock exchange, NASDAQ. ... Elvis Presley has been traded publicly since Dec. 17 when 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises was acquired by New York media mogul and producer Robert F. X. Sillerman. He acquired the company through an inactive corporation, Sports Entertainment Enterprises Inc., which had traded under the name SPEA. As word of his Elvis acquisition spread, the stock price climbed from a 52-week low of 6 cents a share to as high as $23.40 a share.
The rising volume qualified the company to join NASDAQ, where it debuted Tuesday under the ticker symbol CKXE. The stock, which closed Monday at $16.75 a share, closed Tuesday at $18.48 a share.
At EPE, chief executive officer Jack Soden said, "We're excited and delighted. It's just one more step. NASDAQ has some of the most creative and exciting stocks in the world." ... Sillerman said the financial security the deal provides means "the estate can be run with a somewhat more risk-oriented and expansive approach. ... One can invest in tomorrow."
- New Graceland Historical Exhibit Focuses on Elvis's Life In Memphis
(Yahoo! Finance / Business Wire, March 3, 2005)
* Vintage Black & White photos by famous Memphian photographer Don Newman help tell the story of where Elvis lived, worked, shopped & performed. Memphis Heritage involved with Exhibit and will benefit from special Calendar.
Visitors to Graceland this year will be treated to an extraordinary new exhibit about Elvis's life in Memphis, featuring several mural-size Don Newman photographs taken in the late 30's, 40's, 50's and displayed with Elvis artifacts from the Graceland Archives. The "Elvis Presley's Memphis" exhibit is located in the Sincerely Elvis Museum in the visitor center complex across the street from Graceland Mansion. The exhibit, which will be in place for one year, explores Elvis Presley's ties to the city he loved and called home, and was mounted with the support of Memphis Heritage, a local historical organization.
The new exhibit includes a downtown Goldsmith's department store display featuring a Newman photo of the Main Street landmark from the days when Elvis shopped at the city's finest store. Items in that display include a record cabinet, a phone lamp and a black circular chair with leopard print seat cushion - all purchased by Elvis at the downtown Goldsmith's - plus samples from Elvis's personal record collection.
The exhibit follows the life of Elvis in Memphis through other displays such as The Claridge Hotel, Lansky Bros., Mid-South Coliseum, Lowenstein's and the Sears superstore on Cleveland. The Britling's Cafeteria display is dedicated to Elvis's mother Gladys, who once worked at the local restaurant, and offers a rare look at some of her personal effects and the Presley's 1953 tax return.
The exhibit was made possible with the help of Memphis Heritage. The organization's annual fundraising Memphis Heritage calendar is sponsored entirely by Elvis Presley Enterprises, and is a unique 18-month edition featuring Newman photographs of Memphis as they relate to Elvis and the Memphis he knew. The content is supplemented by anecdotes and images of artifacts and documents from the Graceland Archives. The calendar is available on www.memphisheritage.org and in Graceland stores and elsewhere in the city.
- WIN Elvis VIP Box Tickets: The King is back in the building!
By Graham Walker
(Sheffield Today, March 3, 2005)
ELVIS Presley left the building almost 30-years ago - with his untimely death, back in 1977.
But we have VIP tickets to be won to see his larger than life comeback at Sheffield's Hallam FM Arena on Saturday, April 30. Elvis - The Concert, celebrating what would have been his 70th birthday year, features video footage of him performing live from the early 1970s, projected onto big screens above the stage. The producers have removed virtually all sound from the film except for the great man's voice. And performing the music live on stage is a 16-piece orchestra including a group of original Elvis bandmates and backing singers. The tour has including Elvis backing groups The Sweet Inspirations, JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, The Imperials, Voice and the TCB Band. Elvis performed over 1,000 concerts before an estimated audience of 20 million fans, but he never realised his ambition to appear in the United Kingdom. Today's technology is now making the dream come true.
- Jenny Eclair gets Fame Academy boot
(itv.com, March 3, 2005)
Comedienne Jenny Eclair has been voted off Comic Relief Does Fame Academy. She joined Al Murray - who was first to be voted off - in being relegated to the audience for future shows. Among those surviving the chop were DJ Edith Bowman who sang the Lulu classic Shout, Comedian Adrian Edmondson and his rendition of Elvis's A Little Less Conversation and Blue Peter's Konnie Huq with the Atomic Kitten hit Whole Again. ...
- 'Not much has changed' at Broadway Pizza House
By Lindsay Sonsky
(Commercial Appeal, March 3, 2005)
Inside the shop, which has sat on Broad Street for 29 years, Dewana Ishee retold her mother's story of how the Elvis decor came to be. Shortly after her parents opened the pizzeria, her mother, an Elvis fan, hung a small picture behind the counter. A customer claiming to work for Presley spotted it and told her he'd bring her more to hang in the shop. She didn't think much of it, until the man showed up with armfuls of portraits. Since then, people have just kept adding to the collection. Recently, feeling the look was outdated, Ishee attempted removing the images of Elvis but customers started complaining and soon they were right back up again. ...
- Zimbabwe Press Crusader Based in England
By MATTHEW J. ROSENBERG
(Yahoo! News / Associated Press, March 3, 2005)
From a cramped dining room in southern England, Wilf Mbanga has become a crusader for Zimbabwe's free press - the latest endeavor in a life that has tracked the shifts in Zimbabwe's history over the last 40 years.
With the help of his wife and dozens of writers working for free, Mbanga is publishing The Zimbabwean - an exiles' view of a country where journalists can be jailed for reporting without permission and the news media is now firmly controlled by the government. For Mbanga, a black man who grew up when Zimbabwe was white-ruled Rhodesia and who later became a confidant of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, it has been a long journey from outsider to insider and back out again. ... Mugabe's message of reconciliation impressed Mbanga, whose wife's grandparents were white settlers. They also shared a love of the same music - "Elvis Presley, Pat Boone," Mbanga says, chuckling. ...
- Three parts Galliano a potent cocktail
By Maggie Alderson
(Sydney Morning Herald, March 3, 2005)
At the Christian Dior show in Paris, John Galliano was wearing a very pale blue silk tuxedo suit, no undies, a white hat, lashings of Man Tan and an extremely cheeky expression. ... Jackets and coats were a mix of Georgie Girl leather coats; variations on the flying jacket with Elvis Presley Vegas-period collars; the 1980s big-shoulder boyfriend tuxedo; and Galliano's reworked historical styles. ...
- Hip Manhattan textile designer debuts new furniture line
By PAUL NOWELL
(TheState.com / Associated Press, March 2, 2005)
Elvis Presley and Humphrey Bogart. Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart. All famous names whose style has been easily - and profitably - translated into branded furniture lines in recent years. Now, Elite Leather is ready to find out whether the tongue-twister name of Lulu de Kwiatkowski, one of New York's hottest fabric designers, can move furniture from showrooms to living rooms. ...
- Elvis tribute song for Dundee debut
(Evening Telegraph, March 2, 2005)
A moving song, written by a late Dundee musician in honour of his hero Elvis Presley, will be performed in the city for the first time later this month. "Why Can't They Leave Him Alone?" was penned by former Dundee entertainer George Christie in 1987 to express his disgust at people profiting from the death of the King by selling stories and scandalising his memory.
The song was adopted as the anthem of the official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain, who empathised with the feelings in the song. It also struck a chord with Elvis impersonator Richard Atkins, who started performing it live on tour with Rockin' on Heavens Door, a performance of covers from the likes of Buddy Holly, Elvis, Eddie Cochran and Roy Orbison. The tour comes to the Whitehall Theatre on March 25 and will be the first time George's song has been performed in his home town. ...
- Elvis-themed bed and breakfast on auction block
By Linh Tat
(USA Today / Associated Press, March 1, 2005)
TUPELO, Miss. -- The Blue Suede Shoe Bed & Breakfast, a split-level house located near where more than 100,000 people annually pay homage to rock 'n' roll great Elvis Presley, is on the auction block. Owner Joey Brewer has put the business up for sale on eBay. Opening bid: $325,000. Brewer's parents, Billy and Linda Brewer, bought the property for their son. Brewer said he wanted to renovate the house for a bed and breakfast and catering site, but has decided to sell the property to someone who can turn the home into a first-class tourist attraction. And why not? It's located on Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, a literal stone's throw from the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum. "I want it to do justice for Tupelo," Brewer said, explaining his reason for selling. "I want Tupelo to be proud of it." ...
- Lonely, Elvis? Newark's a new place to dwell: Organizers for city's 50th birthday bash also seek kangaroo costume
By Linh Tat
(Inside Bay Area, March 1, 2005)
Elvis fans shouldn't have to travel all the way to Graceland; they should be able to see The King shake his hips right here in town. That's what Newark Days organizers are hoping for, as they continue their search for a professional Elvis impersonator to wow audience members during the city's annual birthday bash. Organizers of this year's four-day celebration, which will run Sept. 22-25, promise this will be the largest production ever, as it commemorates the city's 50th birthday. ... They're also hoping to have Elvis gyrate on stage that weekend. "When you think of the '50s, the first thing that comes to mind is Elvis," Sisk said. "We want to find Elvis. I know he's out there. He's been spotted many, many times." In addition to calling out for Elvis impersonators, Newark Days organizers are searching for former Miss Newarks and those who once held the titles of "Little Miss Newark" or "Little Mr. Newark" for a reunion. Also, a large kangaroo costume is needed so that Arknew, the city's mascot, can walk in the parade. ...
- Elvis tribute to move into bigger venue
By Karen D'Souza
(Mercury News, March 1, 2005)
Those blue suede shoes are hitting the road. San Jose Stage Company has announced it will produce ``Idols of the King,'' a musical tribute to Elvis, at the newly restored 1,100-seat California Theatre this summer instead of at the company's own 200-seat home. San Jose Stage officials cited strong group ticket sales, better acoustics and more backstage breathing room as reasons for the change. The musical, which spins around hits such as ``Heartbreak Hotel'' and ``Jailhouse Rock,'' will be at the California July 13 through Aug. 7.
- Memphis school children, impersonator sing altered hits of Elvis
(Herald Standard, dated January 4, 2004, found March 1, 2005)
This year's Hanukkah program at Beth Sholom Synagogue featured a uniquely Memphis touch - telling the story of the religious miracle through retooled versions of Elvis Presley's hits.
The synagogue featured an Elvis impersonator and students from Solomon Schechter Day School singing slightly altered hits of the King, including "Blue Suede Jews" and "Heartbreak Kotel," a reference to Jerusalem's Western Wall that's also known as the Kotel Ha Maaravi.
"It's a fun way to get the kids involved in the history of what Hanukkah means," said Jonathan Ross, who helped produce the program. "Since we're in Memphis and Elvis is such a force here, we thought it would be a perfect way to blend modern culture and ancient customs."