|mid June 2008
- Elvis fan builds gala Graceland: Walter Gibb built a three-dimensional timber replica of Graceland
(BBC News, June 20, 2008)
An Elvis Presley fan from Grangemouth has converted his house into Graceland for his local gala day. It took Walter Gibb and his family 11 weeks to make the three-dimensional timber replica of Elvis's Memphis home.
... Mr Gibb said he wanted to raise the profile of the gala day which has been under threat in recent years. "Rather than doing a Disney or a cartoon character theme, which a lot of children do and which is lovely, we decided to go for something different this year," he said. His daughter shares his passion for the "king of rock 'n' roll" and she suggested the Graceland theme. Mr Gibb said: "None of us had been there before so off the internet we got pictures of Graceland and we recreated it out of timber in a three-dimensional effect. "Rather than just doing a flat screen and painting it, we decided to look into it seriously and try to create it as close as we could." ...
- Hollywood Memorabilia Auction
(kvbc.com, June 20, 2008)
Treasures from Hollywood's history are on display in Las Vegas before it all goes on sale to the top bidder. More than 400 one-of-a-kind items from movie's biggest stars, including Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, John Travolta, and Elvis Presley will be auctioned off. The auction will include Elvis' black suit worn in "Viva Las Vegas," a UNLV varsity jacket with Sammy Davis, Jr.'s name on it, and several pieces that once belonged to Frank Sinatra.
The Hollywood Memorabilia Auction is on Saturday and Sunday at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino's Mezzanine. The auction is free and open to the public. The items are also available for preview at the Symbolic Gallery on Dean Martin Drive, Thursday and Friday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Iconic Plastic Toy Turns 50
Posted By: Lindsey Clark
(todaysthv.com / Associated Press, June 19, 2008)
The Hula Hoop, the iconic toy that had more hips swiveling than Elvis Presley did, turns 50 Thursday. It may be hard to believe in an age of high-tech gadgetry and video games, but the Hula Hoop used to be the coolest toy around. ...
- Cohen, Whalum sing the praises of gospel music
By Bartholomew Sullivan
(Commercial Appeal, June 19, 2008)
Memphis City Schools board member Rev. Kenneth Whalum Jr. was on hand at the nation's Capitol Wednesday when U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen and U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln praised the Mid-South's gospel music heritage. "I mentioned the fact that Elvis had three Grammys and all of them were gospel, and that WLOK in Memphis, Art Gilliam's station, was a gospel station celebrating its 50th anniversary," Cohen, D-Tenn., said after the program of speeches and singing.
"Gospel music is important to the musical tradition of America but particularly in Memphis." Whalum's New Olivet Baptist Church held a local "Salute to Gospel" last week and he and wife, Sheila, brought a group of children to Washington this week. On Wednesday night, the Lincoln Theatre in Washington planned to hold a "Grammy Salute to Gospel Music," headlined by Patti LaBelle. Lincoln, D-Ark., is a sponsor of a resolution recognizing September 2008 as Gospel Music Heritage month. The resolution notes that some of the biggest names in music came from the gospel tradition, including Memphians Elvis Presley and Al Green.
- French toast fit for the The King: a twist on an old favorite
By DREW LONG
(thetimesnews.com, June 18, 2008)
I don't know if Elvis ate French food, but I doubt it. Still, it was The King that I was thinking about the other day when I was thinking about French toast.
Ah, French toast. The fancy cousin to pancakes that doesn't seem as fussy - or European - as crepes and more accessible than waffles for those of us without a waffle maker.
Growing up, French toast was always more common in the Long household than pancakes. Even with the add-water-and-stir-mixes that have been around longer than me, dipping bread in batter will always be easier than mixing and fussing with a batter patty.
Sure, you can't turn French toast into an art project (cactus-shaped pancakes, anyone?), but who cares? It's all about the taste, right? And when it comes to taste, French toast wins hands down.
OK, that's not necessarily true. Naked and alone, pancakes can taste better than French toast. But when you start introducing additional ingredients, French toast takes the cake.
As popular as it is to stick bits of fruit and nuts to pancakes, flapjacks are not the best vehicle to carry off the extra ingredients. Rather than gelling with the pancake, the add-ins just sit there like trail mix stuck in Jell-O.
That's not the case with French toast, which can just as easily be considered a battered and fried sandwich.
And that's why I was thinking of Elvis.
Anyone who knows anything about Elvis Aaron Presley knows the man had a love affair with a sandwich: peanut butter and bananas fried in butter. Those among you who haven't tried "The Elvis" haven't lived. The deliciously staggering amount of fat and calories, which are as much a part of the sandwich as the butter it's fried in, would have done The King in if the pharmaceuticals hadn't gotten him first.
So how can you improve on such a sandwich? Add syrup and powdered sugar.
The Elvis is a natural candidate for French toast. Basically, all you do is dip The Elvis in egg batter, fry it in butter and cover it with syrup and powdered sugar. I threw in a couple breakfast sausages to give the breakfast the savory balance such a sweet meal needs. Besides, The King was a good Southern boy who loved pork like he loved his mama.
The dish is phenomenal. Hot peanut butter dripping from the crispy French toast into an amber pool of syrup and sugar tastes as good as it sounds. You might be tempted to tell yourself the bananas offer some redeeming value, but we both know it's a lie. The sweetness and soft texture of the warmed-through bananas are what's important, not the potassium.
With only sticky residue remaining on the plate, you'll feel more like bloated Las Vegas Elvis than svelte "Viva Las Vegas" Elvis, but you'll see my point. More importantly, you'll see French toast in a whole new light.
You'll begin to see its potential. You'll realize that instead of peanut butter and bananas, you could use preserves and fresh fruit, or Nutella, the addictive chocolate and hazelnut spread. Instead of cinnamon raisin bread, you'll mull the possibility of egg bread or plain old white bread, the way Elvis would've wanted it.
You'll also understand why the pancake is so very limited.
You might even want to thank me for opening your eyes to the world of possibilities that is French toast, but don't. Thank The King.
Peanut Butter and Banana French Toast
4 slices of cinnamon raisin bread (or whatever bread you have on hand)
3 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of peanut butter
2 bananas, sliced into bite-sized disks
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
4 breakfast sausage links (or strips of bacon)
Take the sausages out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes ahead of time to allow them to lose some of their chill. Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add the sausages. Cook the sausages for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness, until done.
While the sausages are cooking, prepare the egg batter by whisking together the eggs, milk, nutmeg and cinnamon. Also, prepare the French toast by spreading the peanut butter on all 4 slices of bread, placing the bananas on 1 piece from each pair, and closing the sandwiches.
Once the sausages are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the butter to the still hot pan - the leftover pork fat in the pan will add extra flavor to the French toast - and move the egg batter and sandwiches close to the stove. When the butter is melted, dip both sides of the first sandwich into egg mixture, coating thoroughly, let some of the batter drain off and add to the pan. Immediately do the same with the second sandwich.
Cook the French toast for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until the bread is crusty. Remove from the heat, cut in half and place on the plate. Before serving, drizzle with syrup, dust with powdered sugar and add the sausages.
Tip: If you use thick slices of bread - like me - the French toast might need a little extra help in the oven to finish cooking. As you're getting started, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If the sides of the sandwiches are still a bit moist with batter after cooking on the stove top, stick the pan into the preheated oven for about 3 minutes. Pull them out, cut them in half and add the syrup and sugar.
Makes 2 hearty servings.
- ELVIS AND PATSY CLINE IMPERSONATORS TO PERFORM IN CONCERT
(Canton Daily Ledger, June 18, 2008)
Junior Talley and Alisa Talley will perform as Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline at 7 p.m. June 21 at the Donaldson Center in Wallace Park, 250 S. Avenue D, Canton. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the Daily Ledger, 53 W. Elm St., Canton.
- Suit over Elvis house doesn't bend Uri Geller's way
(KansasCity.com, June 18, 2008)
Celebrity psychic Uri Geller and two partners have lost a federal lawsuit claiming the former owners of Elvis Presley's pre-Graceland house breached an eBay contract to sell the home.
Geller gained fame in the 1970s for his alleged power to bend spoons and other objects with his mind. He and his partners bid $905,100 for the home in a 2006 auction by Cindy Hazen and Mike Freeman. The deal fell apart. On Tuesday, a judge ruled that the auction was more of an advertising vehicle than a binding sale. Even if it was a contract, the judge said, Geller and his partners breached it when they altered the closing terms after the sale.
- Geller loses bid to undo sale of Elvis' home
By Michael Lollar
(Memphis Commercial Appeal, June 18, 2008)
Spoon-bending London "psychic" Uri Geller and two partners lost their bid in federal court Tuesday to overturn the sale of Elvis Presley's former house on Audubon Drive in East Memphis.
Geller and his partners bid $905,100 for the house in an eBay auction in 2006, but the contract was not completed. Geller's group made changes to the contract, delaying the sale when they marked out a provision giving owners Cindy Hazen and Mike Freeman 60 days to move from the property.
When negotiations for a closing date postponed the sale, Hazen and Freeman then decided to sell the house for $1 million to Nashville record producer Mike Curb, who then worked with Rhodes College to use the home as part of a new Mike Curb Music Institute.
Presley and his family lived in the ranch-style house for about a year. He was forced by throngs of fans to move to more secluded Graceland in 1957.
U.S. Dist. Judge Jon McCalla said the eBay auction was not a binding sale because eBay auctions specifically advertise themselves as vehicles "for sellers to advertise their real estate and meet potential buyers." Even if it were a contract, McCalla said Geller and his partners would have breached it when they altered the closing terms after the sale.
Hazen said, "I'm relieved that this is all over and, given that Uri and his partners were malicious, I am delighted that Mike Curb and Rhodes College own the property."
- WILLIAMS ISLAND Aventura man behind Elvis Presley hits honored
(MiamiHerald.com, June 17, 2008)
Williams Island resident Sid Tepper, 89, holds a copy of his first big hit, "Red Roses for a Blue Lady." The songwriter, who co-authored hundreds of hits, was honored last week by the Surfside and Miami Beach commissions.
The year was 1964, and Sid Tepper was writing songs with his partner for the movie Viva Las Vegas, starring Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret. They were crafting The Lady Loves Me -- a duet with the two stars -- when the phone rang. Suddenly, they were under the gun.'The director says, 'Elvis and Ann-Margaret are at the swimming pool on the diving board, and we want the last line to match [her] pushing Elvis into the water,' '' Tepper recalled. "Talk about pressure and deadlines!" But the longtime writing team of Tepper and Roy Bennett knew how to pull it off; between 1945 and 1970, they published more than 300 songs, including 47 for Presley. To match the pool theme, the last line of the song became "The gentleman's all wet."
Tepper, a Williams Island resident who turns 90 on June 25, was honored Tuesday by the Surfside Town Commission. He lived in Surfside for 35 years after breaking with Bennett and moving from New York.
... Tepper and Bennett's first hit was Red Roses for a Blue Lady in 1948, recorded by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. In the next 22 years, the songwriting team wrote for a host of famous clients including the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, the Ink Spots, Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, Eartha Kitt, Connie Francis and Cliff Richard. Other hits included The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane, Suzy Snowflake, The Young Ones and Nuttin' For Christmas.
Their songs for Presley included G.I. Blues, New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and It's a Wonderful World. He never met The King, but Tepper was impressed with how quickly Presley caught on to melodies. "He had a fantastic ear," he said in his condo office, surrounded by sheet music, photos and other mementos from his long career. "[Elvis] could hear a song, listen to it twice, and sing it like he knew it all his life." ...
- 36,000 Iowans homeless as floodwaters recede
By Alan Gomez, Marisol Bello and Judy Keen
(USA TODAY, June 16, 2008)
... Floodwaters began to recede Sunday in Iowa's two largest cities, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, and the Iowa River crested in Iowa City after swamping part of the University of Iowa, but many communities face daunting cleanup and recovery efforts as the waters still threaten communities elsewhere in the region. Downstream Iowa communities such as Wapello, Burlington and Keokuk are braced for record flooding. Davenport put out an urgent call Sunday for volunteers to fill sandbags to reinforce two levees.
The National Weather Service predicts record flooding on the Mississippi River on Wednesday and Thursday at Canton, Hannibal and Louisiana, Mo., and Quincy, Ill. Authorities in Alexandria and Canton called for voluntary evacuations Sunday. Workers rushed to add 3 feet of sandbags to Canton's 27.5-foot levee. The river is forecast to crest there at 28 feet 14 feet above flood stage. ... For a week, relentless storm systems that spawned tornadoes and dumped torrents of rain have flooded huge portions of the upper Midwest. Flooded rivers and breached levees forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate, caused millions of dollars of damage, covered vast stretches of farmland and strained the patience of people across the region.
... About 36,000 Iowans in 11 counties are homeless, Gov. Chet Culver said Sunday. In Cedar Rapids, 25,000 people were forced from their homes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is taking applications for disaster assistance. ... Sharon Hicks did get a look at her house. After taking a few steps in, she looked down at the water-soaked floor and said, "I don't want to look. It's a disaster." Hicks left with a bag full of wet clothes and pictures of her late mother and late sister that hung unharmed above the flood level. The house was a muddy mess. Her collections of Elvis Presley mementos and Native American art were scattered on the floor. A cabinet was on the wrong side of the room. ...
- Famous choose Peter Pan buses
By JACK FLYNN
(The Republican, June 15, 2008)
Elvis Presley did it. So did Presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, boxing
legend Muhammad Ali and dozens of Miss America candidates. For a few hours or a few months, they took a seat on a Peter Pan bus, joining the estimated 100 million
lesser-known riders served by the Springfield-based bus giant during the past 75 years. ...
- Elvis is America's answer to Shammi Kapoor, says Aamir
(Yahoo! India News, June 15, 2008)
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan is so impressed by yesteryear's star Shammi Kapoor and his distinct dance moves that he says Elvis Presley is America's answer to the sixties actor.
'Shammiji is said to be India's answer to Elvis Presley, but I say that Elvis Presley is America's answer to Shammi Kapoor,' said Aamir Saturday at a felicitating ceremony of the veteran actor for his outstanding contribution to the Indian cinema.
Shammi Kapoor, who became a heartthrob among the masses in the 50s and 60s, was felicitated by 10th Osian's-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema. Legendary filmmakers of his era Shakti Samanta, who made hits like 'Kashmir Ki Kali' and 'An Evening in Paris' with him and Lekh Tandon, who directed him in 'Professor', gave him the award. Mesmerised by the dancing and performing skills of the legendary actor, Aamir said: 'The mark of a good actor is the belief with which he gives a shot and Shammiji gave his each shot with a strong belief and that makes him a great actor of all times.' Lauding the humbleness and simplicity of the legendary actor, Aamir added: 'In spite of being such a big star, he was not aware of his celebrity status that even I fail to do sometimes.' ...
- 'Odd' adventures keep coming
By Russ Long
(NewsOK.com, June 14, 2008)
Dean Koontz's "Odd Hours" (Random House, $27) is the author's fourth novel about a fry cook named Odd Thomas, whose ability to communicate with the dead comes with added responsibility to meet challenges presented by international smugglers.
Thomas' storied reputation began in the town of Pico Mundo, Calif., among a circle of select friends, such as deceased Elvis Presley. He is accompanied in this story by the ghost of Frank Sinatra and his dog Boo. Odd Thomas is haunted by persistent dreams of an all-encompassing red tide tsunami, ending all civilization. ...
- THE IMPERSONATORS:
Popular tribute acts 'a little time machine'
By CHARLES RUNNELLS
(news-press.com, June 13, 2008)
Frank Sinatra does it his way every Thursday at Parrot Key Caribbean Grill. Then Elvis Presley offers the ladies a hunka, hunka burnin' love. And itıs not unusual to find Tom Jones there, too - tight pants, hairy chest and all.
Itıs an impossible triple bill - mainly since two of those singers are, you know, dead - but that doesn't stop the sequins from flowing like Bud Light at this Fort Myers Beach bar. Especially with performer Frank Torino taking on all three roles. ...
- Seminole Immokalee Casino debut new Vegas-style slot machines
By TRACY X. MIGUEL
(Naples Daily News and naplesnews.com, June 12, 2008)
Vegas has entered the building. Riding on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, an Elvis Presley impersonator along with Seminole Tribe of Florida Councilman Max Osceola Jr. brought the wild of Sin City into the Seminole Immokalee Casino on Thursday for the debut of the new Vegas-style slot machines.
Cheers of a crowd of more than 200 people, many wearing Elvis-style gold sunglasses, were heard above the blaring Elvis music throughout the casino. "This is just the beginning of many things to come,' Tony Sanchez Jr., general manager at Immokalee casino, told the crowd. "I invite everyone to jump on the ride." Osceola said there are plans to add a casino hotel, a venue and retail stores, emulating the tribe's Hollywood casino.
... Elvis impersonator Chris McDonald, of Fort Lauderdale, began to sing Viva Las Vegas as multi-color streamers popped, bursting into the crowd. ...
- Elvis Fest weekend called 'proud' one
By CARLIE KOLLATH
(Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, June 12, 2008)
The official numbers won't be ready until Tuesday, but the Elvis Presley Festival organizers say the initial numbers "look good." "I thought we had a great year last year. It just didn't look good on the books," Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, which organizes and puts on the community event. "I thought this year was grand. Maybe it will look good on the books. It was a weekend we can be proud of."
She added that the net income or loss will change over the next 30 days as bills come in for items like electricity, water and sales tax. Last year, the Elvis Presley Festival lost about $50,000, and the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association pledged to make this year's festival income neutral or income producing.
One of the major differences was the event was scaled back from two outdoor stages to one. In addition, this year the festival had more children's activities and eight hours of free music on Main Street to help draw local attendees. ...