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Elvis Presley News

February 2006
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mid February, 2006

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  • With a Client List Including Marilyn, Elvis and James Dean, CMG Worldwide CEO Mark Roesler '78 Has a Story To Tell
    (De Pauw University, February 24 2006)
    As chief executive officer of CMG Worldwide, Inc., Mark Roesler represents some of the world's most famous people -- alive and dead -- from Marilyn Monroe to Sophia Loren. Today, the 1978 graduate of DePauw University discussed his work and the company he founded on Indianapolis radio station WICR. Roesler started a roofing business the summer of his freshman year at DePauw, and used the funds to finance his education at the University, and later, a law degree and MBA. He began his career working with Curtis Publishing's Saturday Evening Post, which holds the rights to Norman Rockwell's painting. Roesler found the field of intellectual property fascinated, and launched CMG Worldwide exactly 25 years ago. His first client? The estate of Elvis Presley.

  • With a Client List Including Marilyn, Elvis and James Dean, CMG Worldwide CEO Mark Roesler '78 Has a Story To Tell
    (De Pauw University, February 24 2006)
    As chief executive officer of CMG Worldwide, Inc., Mark Roesler represents some of the world's most famous people -- alive and dead -- from Marilyn Monroe to Sophia Loren. Today, the 1978 graduate of DePauw University discussed his work and the company he founded on Indianapolis radio station WICR. Roesler started a roofing business the summer of his freshman year at DePauw, and used the funds to finance his education at the University, and later, a law degree and MBA. He began his career working with Curtis Publishing's Saturday Evening Post, which holds the rights to Norman Rockwell's painting. Roesler found the field of intellectual property fascinated, and launched CMG Worldwide exactly 25 years ago. His first client? The estate of Elvis Presley.

    "What we're talking about is timing here," Roesler told WICR. Twenty-five years ago, the Elvis Presley estate wasn't worth anything." Even though it recently sold for $100 million, "twenty-five years ago, when I was representing it, there weren't really rights for deceased celebrities so it was really no big deal." Mark Roesler changed all that. He is recognized as the foremost authority in the evolving area of the right of publicity. He is credited with establishing the rights of deceased personalities throughout the world and has been a pioneer in protecting intellectual property rights abroad.

    In the early 1980s, Elvis' heirs "were in the midst of a nasty breakup and a lawsuit with Col. (Tom) Parker (Presley's manager)," Roesler told Rubicon Salon host Ingrid Cummings. Until that point, "Col. Parker did all the merchandising around Elvis. They were getting ready to open Graceland and they said, 'Do you think that we can find some companies to do some collectable plates and figurines like you did with Norman Rockwell?' And we said, 'We'll try to do that.' And so, when I started doing that, I started saying, 'Gosh, how do we protect these rights? We'd better go out and get some trademarks for Elvis Presley." ...

  • When Elvis met Nixon
    (, February 24 2006)
    Ask yourself, what do you think is the most popular presidential photo at the National Archives? A President's Day quiz put this in my mind. Harry Truman holding the famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline? The photo of Nixon on the helicopter, waving his arms on resignation day? Miss Monica on the rope line hugging President Clinton? None of the above. But the answer triggered more questions, so I browsed the wonderful Web site of the National Archives to recreate one truly meaningless moment of history. Meaningless, except that more people request this photo from the Archives than any other presidential moment: the day Nixon met Elvis.

    On Dec. 21, 1970, the presidential office received a call from the guards at the northwest gate that Elvis Presley was delivering a personal letter to the president. On his mind, said Elvis, was his wish to be appointed a federal agent at-large in the war on drugs, with an official badge. He wanted this to be kept very private, he said, because "The drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc., do not consider me their enemy." Presley also said he wanted to bring along a gift for the president, a World War II Colt .45. Elvis was told to go back to his hotel and wait for a call. He explained that he already was operating undercover. At the Washington Hotel, Elvis was registered under the name Jon Burrows. Chief of staff H.R.

    Haldeman approved a personal meeting for Nixon and Elvis that afternoon. An aide was detailed to scare up an honorary agent at-large credential of some sort, and presidential talking points were prepared for the meeting. Nixon was told to thank the entertainer for his offer to help stop the drug epidemic and ask him to work with the White House staff. Get Presley to commit to work on a new rock musical theme, "Get High on Life," the president was instructed. Get him to do a TV special exposing the anti-establishment themes in rock lyrics.

    Remember, now, the rock star who arrived at the Oval Office with two body guards was the 1970 version, the younger, slimmer, primal Elvis who still electrified millions of fans. Elvis carried a sackful of badges and police paraphernalia, eager to show the president. White House aide Egil Krogh described Elvis' outfit as rock-star resplendent, with "tight fitting dark velvet pants, a white silky shirt with very high collars and open to below his chest, a dark purple velvet cape, a gold medallion and heavy silver-plated sunglasses with "EP" built into the nose bridge." Around his waist was a belt with a huge four-by-six inch gold buckle.

    The White House photographer snapped 28 pictures of the meeting. According to the official White House memorandum, Presley mentioned that he has been studying communist brainwashing and the drug culture for 10 years. He also condemned the Beatles as a real force for anti-American spirit. Mostly the president only "nodded in agreement." At some point in this strange conversation, Nixon must have wondered who let Elvis in. Assured that his badge as an agent of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs would be ready soon, Elvis grew emotional. "Presley again told the president how much he supported him, and then, in a surprising, spontaneous gesture, put his left arm around the president and hugged him." All Elvis really wanted was another badge.

    That's the story behind the most popular presidential photo in the National Archives. Frankly, I wonder if they weren't both stoned.

  • Bocelli Gives New Spin on Old Classics
    (Yahoo! News / AP, February 24 2006)
    When Andrea Bocelli started the planning for his latest pop project, the classical crossover star imagined himself singing the great songs popularized by Frank Sinatra. But the Italian tenor realized something was getting a bit lost in the translation - mainly, the right words. ... "When you you're singing a song, it's very important to make it believable with your words. ... and of course the English is best for this purpose." The world may have to wait a while to hear Bocelli sing "I Get a Kick Out of You," or "I've Got You Under my Skin," but Bocelli does lend his voice to other romantic classics with his new album, "Amore." Released late last month, it's been a top seller.

    "We wanted to present to my audience some great songs that are often forgotten," said Bocelli. Well, not all are forgotten. Among the songs that might ring a bell to listeners include Elvis Presley's "I Can't Help (Falling in Love With You)," and "It's Impossible," sung this time in Italian and performed with the big-voiced Christina Aguilera. But some of them may be unfamiliar to the ears of mainstream music listeners - the core audience for Bocelli, who has sold over 50 million records worldwide with his soaring, operatic tenor made palatable for pop audiences. For "Amore," he resurrected some of his favorite classics, like the Italian song "L'Appuntamento" and the French song "Les Feuilles Mortes." "Great songs are never old," said Bocelli. "The greatness of a song, a piece is carried over from one singer to another one and by passing this on, its like the song is reborn each time." ... Bocelli is set to perform the song at the Olympics' closing ceremonies on Sunday.

  • Mogul ponders Graceland theme park
    (Yahoo! News, February 24 2006)
    The billionaire media mogul who holds an 85 per cent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises says he wants to turn Graceland into an international tourist attraction on par with the Disney or Universal theme parks. Meeting with city and business officials Thursday, Robert FX Sillerman said he has plans to spruce up the area around the Memphis mansion where Presley died in 1977 and double the 600,000 annual visitors. "As we are upon the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's explosion into our culture, it is only fitting that Graceland assumes an even more prominent role in American culture and tourism," Sillerman said.

    Presley got his first gold record and made his first network TV appearances 50 years ago, culminating in his performance on Ed Sullivan's top-rated variety show in September 1956.

    Sillerman, who also owns the hit TV show American Idol, paid $US114 million ($A154.56 million) for his share of Elvis Presley Enterprises last year and made it part of his publicly traded company CKX Inc. Under EPE's management of tourism and licensing, Presley earned $US45 million ($A61.01 million) last year and topped Forbes magazine's list of top-earning dead celebrities. Sillerman's goal is to enhance the "total fan experience" at Graceland to compel visitors to spend more time and money there. The company is working with Orlando, Florida-based Bob Weis Design Island Associates to improve the tourist area around Graceland while keeping intact the historic home owned by the singer's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. "We do know that the area that Graceland sits in is not the most attractive area," he said. "We know that that needs enhancement, if you will. Beyond that, the plans aren't specifically developed enough to know what that partnership form is going to take. "But we do know that this is not something that Elvis Presley Enterprises and the Elvis Presley family can undertake by themselves."

    Sillerman, who has been speaking with investors and developers, said he will ask local governments to help improve some of the public spaces around Graceland. He said he wants to expand the visitor centre and exhibit space to showcase thousands of pieces of Elvis memorabilia that have never been seen. There's also the possibility of a new hotel or an expansion to the existing Heartbreak Hotel near Graceland.

  • Elvis Presley's Horn Section Joins John Krondes and The Elvis 'Hit Making Team' In Historical Recording Project
    (PRWEB, February 24 2006)
    Music fills the air again, trumpets are sounding and resonating across the oceans and the dream lives on! In Rip Van Winkle like fashion, the world's music fans are waking up after a 29-year dark songless nightmare to the new day. Along with the rise of the sun over the horizon, this new day begins with the ascension of the Elvis "Hit Making Team". The day the music died August 16, 1977, the passing of Elvis Presley, many experts believe the era of good music and song expired with him. Believe it or not, this New Day has risen with a complete Elvis Revival. For the very first time since 1977, virtually all of Elvis Presley's original "Hit Team" and music entourage have somehow or another found their way back together again in the studio in an earth-shaking project.

    Beginning with "The End", a beautiful new recording by John Krondes and The Jordanaires of the song Elvis sang to his future wife Priscilla on the night they met, has come a fresh start. This new dawning is being looked at as a second chance for popular song. John Krondes, the young singer/songwriter has awoke to find himself as well in the midst of this magical dreamland turned Reality. This state of actuality is a new beginning for music. For the last two years, the gates of Rock 'n Roll Heaven have called together again just about all of Elvis Presley's "original" music making unit. John Krondes and the Jordanaires along with the rest of the Elvis "Hit Making Team" are just a few months shy of delivering the first compilation of new recordings by the E.P. Music Operation in nearly 30 years.

    The "Hit Making Team" with John Krondes includes the TCB Band, Elvis Presley's Memphis Studio Band "The Memphis Boys", Jordanaires, Sweet Inspirations, Millie Kirkham, D.J. Fontana, Original Elvis Composers, producers, arrangers, additional Elvis musicians, Joe Esposito and now the Elvis Horns. Sounding a bit like the Aloha from Hawaii concert, players from the Aloha Section and Las Vegas Hilton horn sections, along with trumpeter Jack Feierman from the '68 Comeback Special shook the walls of Westlake Recording in Los Angeles with that sweet familiar sound. Elvis Presley's Leading Brass men rose to the occasion and joined the reunion, further completing the Elvis circle and dream come true for music fans. Leading the way are Walt Johnson (Elvis' lead Trumpet), Sam Cernuto (Elvis' Lead Trombone) and Marty Harrell (Elvis' Bass Trombone).

    Deja Vu, paramnesia, magic, illusionistic, entrancing....Yeah, that's it, supernaturally cool! Fans and experts alike are still scratching their heads wondering how this is all possible. Well, the best answer we have is call Rock 'n Roll Heaven and speak with John Belushi (President of The Rock 'n Roll Commission), he has the score. Note, If AT&T is too costly from your area, try the Ouija Board. What is earthly tangible regarding John Krondes and The Elvis "Hit Making Team" is some real powerful new music that makes you feel good and tingles the senses. As fanciful a tale as it may seem, this reunion with the Presley Hit Makers and John Krondes is real, ready and rockin' radio around the sublunary world.
    "The End" and "Vegas In The Morning" by John Krondes and The Jordanaires with the "Hit Making Team" is readily available at and other major internet retailers. For download junkies, we are ipod ready at ITunes, Emusic, MSN Music and Real Networks. Click the following link to download "The End" at ITunes:

    Welcome to the "New Day" where the Magic of Elvis' Music Is Back!.... And just remember fans, "The End" is just the beginning!

  • Deputy minister faces wrath of crowd angry over candidate
    (Herald Online, February 24 2006)
    South Africa -- A GOVERNMENT deputy minister campaigning door-to-door in a Motherwell ward yesterday was surrounded by a group of angry ANC members and taken to task over the party's choice of candidate for the area. About 500 people sang, danced, brandished placards and booed at Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi when he told them there was little he could do now to remove the candidate the crowd claimed had been imposed on them by the ANC. Two ministerial bodyguards had to push away the crowds to get closer to the minister and offer him protection. "You failed us," said a man who wanted to be identified only as Elvis. You are coming now because you want us to vote. We won't vote. That's it." ...

  • Cup winner to follow Elvis' path
    (Sportal, February 23 2006)
    The winner of the Group One Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11 will be officially invited to participate at the world renowned Royal Ascot meeting just outside of London the Victoria Racing Club announced on Thursday. The winning connections will also be in line for a $500,000 bonus should the horse triumph in the Prince Of Wales' Stakes (2000m) a race that former Caulfield Cup winner Elvstroem [nicknamed "Elvis"] ran third in last year behind champion galloper Azamour.

  • CKX, Inc. Meets With Memphis Officials to Discuss Enhancing Graceland
    Source: CKX, Inc.
    (Financial News - Yahoo! / PRNewswire-FirstCall, February 23 2006)
    Company looks to preserve Elvis Presley's historic home, while adding to visitors' experiences and the Memphis economy
    Capitalizing on the ever-growing national and international fascination with Elvis Presley, CKX, Inc. -- which controls Elvis Presley Enterprises and substantially all assets comprising the Presley estate -- has held meetings with prominent Memphis, Tennessee officials to explore ways to expand upon and further promote the legacy of the King of Rock and Roll. With Graceland already the most visited private residence in America, the discussions have focused on CKX's desire to grow the Graceland experience as the centerpiece of the Whitehaven section of Memphis. While plans and designs have not been finalized, CKX outlined significant aspects of the proposal to officials.

    Robert F.X. Sillerman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CKX, commented, "As we are upon the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's explosion into our culture, it is only fitting that Graceland assumes an even more prominent role in American culture and tourism." Working in conjunction with Bob Weis Design Island Associates, a world-renowned design firm, the goal is to enhance the visitor's experience in the area surrounding Graceland while preserving the integrity of the original mansion.

    "For years, Elvis Presley Enterprises and the Presley family have envisioned a project like this," said Jack Soden, Chief Executive Officer of Elvis Presley Enterprises. "We are thrilled to be able to move this concept forward." Sillerman added, "To date, Elvis's fans have only seen a small fraction of the hundreds of thousands of Elvis artifacts currently warehoused. We're thrilled that beginning next month, with the Elvis '56 and Elvis After Dark exhibits and continuing through the proposed expansion, fans will have the opportunity to view more and more of this never-before-seen array of items."

    The Elvis '56 exhibit is part of Graceland's year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the year Elvis Presley's career exploded and the music and popular culture of the world changed forever. The exhibit highlights his historic television appearances, his memorable concerts, his first mega-hit recordings, his first movie, the introduction of the big business of Elvis merchandising, and the first home his success allowed him to purchase for his family.

    The Elvis After Dark exhibit is themed around that fact that, for much of his life, Elvis Presley was a "night person." After the sun went down, he'd go on after-hours shopping sprees at department stores; rent out the Memphis Fairgrounds as his own personal amusement park; turn the Memphian movie theater into a private screening room for himself and his friends; host parties at home and at local clubs; or schedule late-night appointments with his jeweler. In short, he made Memphis his nighttime playground. ...

  • Charley Pride: Country music's Jackie Robinson? Instead of following his idol's trail, he blazed his own
    By Jason Ratliff
    (Minor League Baseball, February 23 2006)
    Charley Pride is the Jackie Robinson of country music. It's an obvious analogy. Each overcame unspeakable odds and racial injustice to become the first African American to ply his trade in an otherwise white world. Each navigated a sociopolitical minefield with the exact balance of grace and determination necessary to attain his goal. And each, as a result, became the first black inductee into his profession's Hall of Fame. ... Robinson was, in fact, the key chosen to unlock the gates of Major League baseball for the multitude of black players who followed him. Pride, on the other hand, was alone in his pursuit. ...

    ... one advantage Pride had that Robinson did not came into play. Pride could launch his career without being seen by his audience, but Robinson couldn't play baseball without being in front of several thousand fans. Clement had promised country music legend and rising RCA executive Chet Atkins that he could hear the audition tapes first. Atkins initially turned them down but later had a change of heart. "I was on the verge of pressing them up myself," recalled Clement. "But I ran into Chet one day at RCA at the Coke machine, and he said, 'What have you done with that colored boy? I've been thinking about that, and we may be passing up the next Elvis Presley.'"

    ... Like Robinson, once Pride cleared that first big hurdle [acceptance by a white audience], he was on his way -- on his way to 70 million albums sold (second in RCA history to only Elvis Presley), 36 No. 1 hits and enshrinement in the Country Music Hall of Fame. "To say that [Robinson] was my idol would be an understatement," Pride once said. "As far as I was concerned, Jackie Robinson had rewritten the future." And it was that rewriting of the future that paved the way for Pride to rewrite country music history.

  • ROCKABILLY FUN: They know Elvis -- sort of
    (Ledger-Enquirer, February 23 2006)
    When three Tacoma, Wash. musicians formed the rockabilly act The Dempseys 11 years ago, they naturally loved the music of Elvis Presley. But they probably never imagined that they'd actually get to play with Elvis. I know what you're thinking. "No, that's impossible. They couldn't have played with Elvis," you're thinking. "Elvis is working as a short-order cook at that greasy spoon near Atlanta, and he said his playing days are over." Well, you're right. Elvis' playing days are over. So in the interest of full disclosure, it's not, technically, Elvis who they played with. It's Tyler Hilton , the guy who played Elvis in last year's acclaimed Johnny Cash biopic, "Walk The Line."

    The Dempseys, on the other hand, are the band playing at The Loft in Columbus on Saturday. That the group was cast as Elvis' backing band is probably enough incentive for many folks to come out. Fuel to the fire: They were actually hired by Elvis Presley Enterprises to be the house act at a club called Elvis Presley's Memphis a few years back. ... The band -- drummer Ron Perrone is the third member -- moved to Memphis eight years ago and immediately landed the gig at the Elvis club. Their screen time in "Walk The Line" is memorable. They play Elvis' Blue Moon Boys, which is the band that Johnny Cash spies loading into a recording studio as Cash is about to launch his career. Later on, the group is on stage backing Elvis and Roy Orbison. Saturday, Joey Allcorn & the Hillbilly Band opens the show at 9 p.m. The Loft is at 1032 Broadway. Cover is $5. Details: (706) 596-8141,

  • Accident ruled in Wales hotel jump
    (UPI, February 22 2006)
    A coroner ruled accidental the death of man who fell to his death from the sixth floor of a hotel in Cardiff Bay, Wales, as he clowned around with friends. Martyn Murphy, 29, jumped from a balcony at the St. David's Hotel and fell 80 feet to the water below, not realizing it was only four feet deep. The Western Mail reports Murphy had been dancing on a table and doing an impression of Elvis before the jump. Friends told an inquest Murphy had been drinking champagne and Jack Daniels, as well as taking cocaine. A pathologist testified his blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit for driving.

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