|mid March, 2005
Currently in the news: Songy/BMG UK's release of Elvis Presley singles
Go to earlier articles
- Adios, Apacheland: Elvis' building has left the movie set
(Arizona Republic, March 17, 2005)
Apacheland Movie Ranch is history. Community volunteers and workers from the Superstition Mountain Historical Society completed the dismantling of the Elvis Presley Chapel during the first week of March and moved it to the museum grounds, where it will be rebuilt. The chapel was the most distinctive landmark at the historic movie town, which had been the chief attraction and main gathering point for the Gold Canyon community until it was destroyed by fire on Feb. 14, 2004. ... The movies noted the success of the television Westerns and soon set up their cameras in Apacheland. Elvis Presley was the best-known star who appeared there, starring in Charro! The chapel was named after Presley because he guarded it during a scene in the movie. ...
- Performer inspires memories of Elvis
By June Robertson
(Whitehaven Appeal, March 17, 2005)
Love songs was the theme of the evening for Elvis Tribute performer Joe Kent's 3,234th performance at the Rock and Roll Cafe. Wearing a red satin shirt, black leather pants and a star-encrusted silver belt created by friend and longtime supporter Heather Crockett, Kent took requests from an enthusiastic audience of locals and out-of towners, including a group of Japanese fans who danced most of the evening. Kent performed many popular ballads from the Presley catalog, including "Loving You," "Fame and Fortune," "Good Luck Charm" and "Can't Help Falling in Love." These songs were especially meaningful for two brothers from Sweden, Lars-Goran and Daniel Johansson, who had wed their respective sweethearts at the Graceland Chapel the day before. Their father, Agne Johansson, was also celebrating his 59th birthday. ...
- HILTON LOVED ELVIS ROLE
(contactmusic.com, March 17, 2005)
ONE TREE HILL star TYLER HILTON realised a childhood dream when he played the young ELVIS PRESLEY in forthcoming JOHNNY CASH biopic WALK THE LINE. The heart-throb actor, who plays musician CHRIS KELLER on the hit teen drama, stars alongside JOAQUIN PHOENIX who portrays the late country music legend. Hilton, 21, tells MTV.COM of his audition, "They said, 'Do you know any Elvis songs?' I did because he's one of my favourite musicians from when I was a kid. "Afterwards, the casting lady said, 'You know, I think we'll have you come back and read some of Elvis' lines.' "I was really nervous about it, but the more I thought about it, I'm such a big Elvis fan, and I would have been bummed if anyone else got this part. I would've been so jealous. So I was happy to take it and I had a good time, too."
- Tyler Hilton Took Elvis Role So He Wouldn't Be Jealous
(mtv.com, March 16, 2005)
Tyler Hilton has some big shoes to fill - and they're blue and covered in suede.
The singer/songwriter, who has a recurring role on the WB's teen drama "One Tree Hill" as cocky musician Chris Keller, will be starring as a young Elvis Presley in the upcoming Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line." "I didn't even know I was going in to audition for it, so it blindsided me a bit," Hilton recalled recently. "They just wanted to audition musicians for the movie and I went in and played a Johnny Cash song. Then they said, 'Do you know any Elvis songs?' which I did because he's one of my favorite musicians from when I was a kid."
So the 21-year-old singer-turned-actor busted out a couple of Presley's tunes and landed a callback for the coveted role of the music legend. "Afterwards, the casting lady said, 'You know, I think we'll have you come back and read some of Elvis' lines,' " Hilton said. "I was like, 'Elvis's lines? That's crazy! I don't know if I can do Elvis. I'm not an Elvis impersonator.' "
Hilton dabbled a bit with acting in high school until he made the choice to focus on his music. Taking the plunge back into acting was not something the singer had anticipated. "I was really nervous about it," Hilton said, admitting he nearly walked away from the role. "But the more I thought about it, I'm such a big Elvis fan, and I would have been bummed if anyone else got this part. I would've been so jealous. So I was happy to take it and I had a good time, too.". ...
- Prepare for the Scottish Invasion! Tartan Day Celebrations in New York City - April 2-10
(Yahoo! Finance / PRNewswire, March 16, 2005)
What do Sean Connery, Elvis Presley, Shrek, golf, whisky, Grand Central Station and more than 12 million Americans have in common? They're all Scottish! In celebration of Tartan Day -- a national holiday honoring Scotland's rich culture -- VisitScotland will invite Americans to visit when it transforms Grand Central Station's Vanderbilt Hall into a Scottish Village with free public events April 2-10. ... The US Senate designated April 6 as National Tartan Day in 1998 to honor "the outstanding contribution of millions of Scottish-Americans to our great nation." The significance of April 6 dates back to the 1320 signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, which was used as the model for the American Declaration of Independence. ...
- U. basketball star raises migraine awareness: 28 million Americans are sidelined by the affliction's debilitating pain
By Linda Fantin
(Salt Lake Tribune, March 16, 2005)
What do University of Utah basketball star Andrew Bogut and Napoleon Bonaparte have in common? (Hint: It's not their height.) Both have conquered opponents while coping with migraine disease, a disorder so debilitating the World Health Organization wants it labeled a major public health threat.... During a migraine, the blood vessels on the surface of the brain swell, brought on by changes in the brain's chemistry, such as the release of potassium and amino acids or a lack of serotonin. The disease is considered hereditary - Bogut's grandmother has it - and symptoms go beyond beastly headaches to include nausea, vomiting, auras (light spots), sensitivity to light and sound, numbness and difficulty talking.
... Other famous people with migraines: Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Julius Caesar, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Virginia Wolfe, Lewis Carroll, Mary Todd Lincoln, Elvis Presley, Monica Seles, Terrell Davis, Loretta Lynn, President Kennedy and Mike Leavitt, former Utah governor and current Secretary of Health and Human Services.
- MARK KNOLLER
(CBC News, dated October 2002, found March 16, 2005)
Mark Knoller is an award-winning White House Correspondent for CBS News. He reports for CBS Radio News, as well as The Saturday Early Show. He also contributes to the weekend editions of the CBS Evening News and Up To The Minute. During his career as a reporter, he has covered every President since Gerald Ford. Knoller came to CBS News in 1988 after 13 years as a correspondent with the Associated Press Radio Network, where he was on the front lines of national news coverage -- everything from Presidential campaigns and hurricanes to the death and funeral of Elvis Presley. ...
- Exhibition Hall not worth saving
(news-press.com, March 16, 2005)
- The building settled unevenly, causing some structural problems. The north wall needs to be replaced. A concrete buttress supporting a roof beam on the northeast side has cracked and broken away, and needs to be fixed.
- The east end's window wall partially collapsed during Hurricane Charley, probably because the wood framing supporting the glass was badly decayed and damaged by drywood termites prior to the storm.
- During Charley, many shingles blew off and a lot of water came inside. This was caused both by the storm and deferred maintenance.
- A new roof is needed. Even with the hall's blue tarp, water continues to come inside.
- Roof leaks caused ceiling tiles to fall and extensive mold growth. Some of the mold could be toxic.
We usually believe in saving historic buildings from the changes that are obliterating our past. But sometimes, an old structure is simply not worth saving. That's the case with the deteriorated Fort Myers Exhibition Hall, which has stood next to the Caloosahatchee River in downtown Fort Myers for 51 years, right where the city wants to develop a modern waterfront entertainment and tourist attraction. We respect the motives and feelings of those who are trying to save the hall. The barrel-roofed building may look like a displaced aircraft hangar, but it has a rich history and sentimental value to many residents. Elvis Presley and Milton Berle performed there, and countless social events have made the hall a beloved part of the lives of generations of residents. ...
- Exhibition Hall can be repaired But contractor says restoration work will be extensive
By ALISON KEPNER
(The News-Press (Fort Myers, Southwest Florida), March 15, 2005)
Exhibition Hall can be saved, but the condemned building needs a lot of work to restore it. ... Exhibition Hall, built in 1954, served as Fort Myers' primary special event venue until the mid-1990s, when Harborside Event Center took over most bookings. Elvis Presley played there, and President Gerald Ford stumped for re-election there. But usually the hall was filled with local folks attending dances, concerts and weddings along the Caloosahatchee River. ...
- Elvis Festival in Tupelo Revamped
By April Thompson
(WREG, March 15, 2005)
Organizers of an Elvis Presley festival in Tupelo, Mississippi hope a new marketing approach will keep the event going. The festival organizer hopes to pre-sell ten thousand tickets. Only 8,500 tickets were sold last year. The seven-year-old festival has lost money the last two years. This year's festival is June 3rd-5th, and will feature a performance by Chuck Berry. Festival officials dismissed rumors that the event would end unless it earns a profit this year, but said it eventually must start making money.
- Story of Elvis Pressley's life returns to the small screen
By Ed Bark
(Center Daily Times / (Dallas) Morning News, March 15, 2005)
Just 21 days old on the day Elvis Presley died, high-intensity Irishman Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the latest ascender to The King's throne. So here he is onstage at the Scottish Rite Temple on Carondelet Street, where Masons usually call the tune. Preparing to replicate Elvis' first national television performance, on the Jan. 28, 1956, edition of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's Stage Show, Rhys Meyers revs himself by furiously wriggling his hands near his hips.
"Well since my baby left me, I found a new place to dwell ..." Guitar in hand, he slams into "Heartbreak Hotel," deftly matching his lips and gyrations with a piped-in recording of Elvis' one-and-only original. A couple of dozen extras whoop and squeal on cue to help prime the kid's pump during a taxing regimen of start-and-stop musical mimicry.
It's another day in the life of CBS' four-hour "Elvis," which was scheduled to wrap this week after a nearly two-month shoot. Director James Sadwith, with the acclaimed 1992 CBS miniseries "Sinatra" to his credit, then will have just two months to meet a May 8 premiere date. Camryn Manheim and Randy Quaid also star as Presley's beloved mother, Gladys, and his controversial manager, Col. Tom Parker.
The production covers Elvis from ages 18 to 33, when he made his now-fabled 1968 "comeback" appearance via an NBC special. So there could, of course, be a sequel, particularly if part one of "Elvis" somehow holds its own against ABC's "Desperate Housewives."
"They'd have to pay me a helluva lot of money, baby!" Rhys Meyers, 27, laughs during a break from filming. "I'd become Vegas Elvis then! I'd get my own Colonel on it!" Then he downshifts. "I don't know. Let's see how this one works first. I don't think it's an option right now. I'd have difficulty putting on that weight, first of all. I'd have difficulty taking it off, too." ...
- 4 will seek Yukon Liberal leadership
(CBC News, March 15, 2005)
There will be four candidates for the Yukon Liberal Party leadership. The current leader, Pat Duncan, will be challenged by realtor Arthur Mitchell, and former Grand Chief Ed Shultz. Ross River musician Elvis Presley is also a candidate. ...
- It isn't funny seeing our idols crash and burn
By Renee Graham
(Boston Globe, March 15, 2005)
Several weeks into the Michael Jackson trial, I'm still not sure whether the entertainer is guilty of child molestation. I don't know if he's on the brink of bankruptcy as prosecutors claim, or whether severe back spasms caused him to be late for court last week, prompting the judge to threaten to revoke Jackson's bail. All I know is the almost-unbearable sadness I feel watching my first idol falling to pieces. These days, it's cool to make Jackson jokes -- unless you're Jay Leno, who can never, ever be anything even remotely approximating cool. Few openly admit to being fans. Those who continue to give Jackson their unconditional support aren't just regarded as fanatics, but lunatics with no acquaintance with reality.
Now, watching the news, it's hard to reconcile the burnished images I remember from those years with the heartbreaking, tragic figure who shuffled into court last week in pajama bottoms and slippers.
I imagine this is how fans of Elvis Presley felt seeing their once-sleek, beautiful idol so hideously bloated toward the end of his life that he split the pants of his jumpsuit during a show.
Of course, despite a best-selling tell-all book by exiled members of his so-called ''Memphis Mafia" released shortly before his death, few knew the extent of Elvis's drug-fueled decline until after he died in 1977. With Michael, we've been watching it year by year, month by month, and now day by day. He's crumbling in real time, and regardless of how this court case concludes, everyone knows his life, career, or our memories of either will never be the same. ...
- Nothin' but a hound keitl
By MATT VOLZ
(news-miner.com / Associated Press, March 14, 2005)
... The Alaska Native answer to Elvis is actually a husband-and-wife team. Pua Maunu, a Hawaiian artist who works for the Haida Regional Authority, designed the mesh of pop culture and native Northwestern art. Johnson, her Tlingit husband and the model for her art, can only be described as a reluctant Elvis impersonator. "I really never did get up in front of people like that, especially white people," Johnson said. "I really kind of felt embarrassed until everybody started getting louder and whistling and they liked it--I know they liked it--so I just got into it."
After a smash debut at Juneau's premier fashion show a year ago, Johnson and Maunu now enjoy something of celebrity status. Maunu's costume was recently on display in the Juneau Douglas City Museum and Johnson gets autograph requests that he obliges by signing "Tlingit Elvis" with a flourish.
The costume design involves intricate painting, beadwork and feathers done in traditional Tlingit fashion, but unmistakably Elvis in its final presentation. Bold reds, aquamarine blues, blacks and yellows form the feathers, eye and claws of the cape's eagle, which is Johnson's tribal clan. Eagles also appear on his necklace and giant belt buckle. Feathers hang from the cape and from Johnson's flared white pants, which match his spotless white shirt with dangling tassels and a neckline that plunges to his stomach.
... The Tlingit King occupies a corner of turf in a world filled with Jewish Elvises, lesbian Elvises, Chinese Elvises and impersonators of all shapes, sizes and colors. It's that appeal across the ethnic and national spectrums that fans say make Elvis Presley as much a uniter as the most inspiring leaders. "Between Martin Luther King and Elvis, I don't know which one is more responsible for integration," said Joel Orelove. "It's wonderful the power that Elvis has to bring people together."
Orelove, a retired business owner, is something of an Elvis Presley historian. He has a collection of Presley artifacts that was part of the museum exhibit along with Tlingit Elvis. But Orelove is more than a collector -- he has researched Presley's roots five generations, is past president of the local fan club and even rode a dog sled at the start of the Iditarod dressed as Presley.
He said Presley has helped bring together people from the deep South to the chilly shores of Southeast Alaska, where racial tension between Alaska Natives and non-Natives still exists. Here in Alaska, he said, Elvis Presley is the great equalizer. "He changed the world. Here's this guy with no education, the poorest of the poor and he became the ruler of America," Orelove said.
Johnson, as a child, chopped wood and toted garbage to earn the 50 cents admission to see Elvis Presley movies in Angoon, a Native village of 480. When he didn't have enough money, he peeped through a crack until the owner spotted him and sent him on his way.
Before he met his wife, Johnson said, he drank too much, smoked too much marijuana, and was put in jail far too many times for disturbing the peace. Realizing he had to make a change, he said he first found God, then he found his wife and then he rediscovered Elvis. Now 50, he's sober, keeps fit and hopes to become a truck driver--just like Elvis before he was discovered. ...
- Jailhouse Rock - The Musical Eyes Broadway; London Staging to Close
By James Inverne
(Daily Journal, March 14, 2005)
Jailhouse Rock might actually soon rock to the "Jailhouse Rock." The London musical version of the famous Elvis Presley movie has so far been unable to use any of the film's classic Lieber and Stoller songs (it uses generic songs of the period instead). However, its forthcoming American production has, after more than a year of haggling, been granted the rights. The news comes at a welcome time for the show. The London staging is due to close at the Piccadilly Theatre on April 23 to make way for the Ewan McGregor-starring production of Guys and Dolls. There had been speculation that Jailhouse Rock might simply theatre hop. However, the producer Alan Janes and director Rob Bettinson have decided to close the show in the U.K. to concentrate on developing the new version for the U.S. (where Rene Sheridan will co-produce). It is hoped that the U.S. version, if successful, will spawn a U.K. tour in 2006. After that, a West End return is the aim.
Janes said in a statement, "It is sad to be coming to the end of the London run, but what we do have to look forward to is coming back to London with a completely new version of the show - and the song that has until now eluded us!" He has also said that the pair's hit Buddy Holly musical, Buddy, is destined to come back to Theatreland.
- Elvis Fest sings new marketing tune
By EMILY LE COZ
(Daily Journal, March 14, 2005)
TUPELO - A new marketing tactic for the Elvis Presley Festival this year could boost advance ticket purchases higher than the total number of tickets ever sold at any previous event. It also could steer the 7-year-old festival back into the black after two straight losses that have threatened its future. ...
- Elvis' time on coast still a mystery
(WHNT-TV, March 14, 2005)
The "Elvis in Biloxi" jigsaw puzzle is coming together piece by piece, with a few pieces still missing. In Ernst Jørgensen's latest research trip through South Mississippi, he has picked up more pieces of the puzzle that illustrates Elvis Presley's early years. For 18 months before Elvis became a national star with "Heartbreak Hotel," the Mississippi native and his two bandsmen performed anywhere that would have them. He spent at least six days on the Coast, in concert at Keesler Air Force Base, Slavonian Lodge and Biloxi Community House. ...
- Elvis Performs in Bismarck
(KFYR TV North Dakota News, March 14, 2005)
HE'S BEEN DEAD FOR MORE NEARLY 30 YEARS. BUT, THE MUSIC, MANNERISMS AND PURE ENTERTAINMENT QUALITY OF ELVIS PRESLEY DOES LIVE ON. AND TODAY, HE WAS ALIVE AND WELL AT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF NORTH DAKOTA. ... AS PART OF THEIR "MARCH IS FOR MUSIC" WEEKLY SUNDAY ACTIVITY. BILL SCHOTT HAS BEEN IMPERSONATING ELVIS FOR 28 YEARS, AND WAS NAMED ONE OF THE TOP TEN ELVIS IMPERSONATORS IN THE WORLD. HE PERFORMED
TODAY BEFORE A THRILLED CROWD OF ELVIS FANS WHO HAVE BEEN LOVING THE KING FOR DECADES. SCHOTT SAYS HE PERFECTS HIS TRADE BY WATCHING ELVIS MOVIES AND HIS MANY LIVE CONCERTS ON TAPE.
- Suspicious minds wonder if man is really son of Elvis
By RIC ROUTLEDGE
(Star Press, March 14, 2005)
There was a confirmed Elvis sighting Friday in Portland - well, sort of, maybe. Elvis Presley Jr. stopped by to promote his two concerts held in St. Marys, Ohio this weekend and to once again lay claim to what he considers his rightful birthright as the illegitimate son of Elvis Sr. Wherever Junior goes he lugs along a binder full of copies of letters, notes and clippings that refer to him as the son of Elvis. He has a copy of Elvis's will with highlighted sections that could be referring to more than one child. His birth mother, he said, is Angelique Delores Pettyjohn, a walk-on in the Elvis Sr. move "Blue Hawaii" who later played in "Clambake" and had roles on several TV shows.
He was born on Dec. 24, 1961, in a Gary, Ind., hospital. Why Gary? It's far from Hollywood, and near but not in Chicago, is Junior's best guess. He explains that he had his name legally changed in federal court several years ago, which he says the court would not have approved if his claim wasn't true. He shows you a passport that he could not have obtained without a birth certificate identifying him as such which came about after his legal name change.
But the people at Elvis Presley Enterprises, Graceland, Memphis, Tenn., seem unimpressed. "We think it was ill-advised for the judge to have granted him the legal name change, but that's all it was," said Todd Morgan, director of media and creative development for the company. "There was never proof of paternity." But some think differently. Jim Highley has known Elvis Junior for about 13 years. "I was very skeptical of him at first. I've seen a lot of impersonators that are nuts. But once you meet him, once you see him perform, you'll know in your heart that he is real. "You can just tell the genes are there, only drug free," said Highley, who has been the Mercer County Clerk of Courts for 29 years. Junior, kind of short and stocky has a facial resemblance to the famed singer. He certainly has the moves and "the look" down pat.
Neither Junior nor EPE seem interested in a DNA test. "I'm not seeking anything from the estate," Junior said. "My voice is my inheritance." "We choose to see the so-called Elvis Presley Jr. as a minor source of aggravation and amusement," Morgan said, "and just live and let live." EPE does, however, have a reputation for going to great length to protect the Elvis image and properties. "Elvis Presley Enterprises attorneys are very good, very touchy," Highley said, who helps promote Junior in the Midwest. "They keep an eye on impersonators. Go over the limit and you get a cease and desist letter. They would not let Junior get by with this if he wasn't real." Elvis Junior said he grew up thinking his name was Phillip Stanic and that he was born to Anna and Jacob Stanic who also went by the stage name of Vargas. They were circus performers. That's right circus performers. But Elvis Junior says that shouldn't be surprising. The Col. Parker who fostered Elvis Senior's career had a circus background and perhaps he thought this couple would perform in the states for a couple of years and then take baby back to Europe forever. Instead, they stayed in Las Vegas or rather they remained based in Vegas while they toured the world.
Junior still calls Las Vegas home, where he maintains an extensive collection of Elvis memorabilia. In fact, he's looking for a museum site to house the collection that, he says, is second only to Graceland's. He was given up for adoption, Junior believes, because having a child out of wedlock in that era could have had an adverse affect on Senior's career, according to Junior. Junior started out as a clown in the circus at age five. At 12 he began training big cats - lions, tigers and such - and his animals appeared in many movies, TV shows and commercials.
... Junior said he will probably never be "totally accepted" by the cult of Elvis Senior fans. "He was idolized so much." And he doesn't think he will be accepted by the masses until his book is published and until he comes up with a hit song. The book, he said, will include many stories about his famous father as told to him by other celebrities, and an account of his life. Junior said that when he learned he was a son of Elvis he had to make a decision on the direction his singing career would go. He tried to impersonate Elvis for a while complete with jump suits and sideburns. "But it wasn't me," he said. "I can't live my life as him." Elvis Junior has been engaged three times, but never married. Nor does he have any children, "at least none that I know of."