- Bob Marley to become richest dead celebrity
(cnn.com, November 20 2009)
Is reggae superstar Bob Marley bigger than Jesus? That's debatable, but the music legend who died 28 years ago is about to challenge Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson for the title of richest dead celebrity.
Toronto-based private-equity firm Hilco Consumer Capital has struck a management deal with the Marley estate, which is expected to generate worldwide annual sales in excess of $1 billion by 2012. That seems like a huge number, but by some estimates the Marley name, sound, and image already generate as much as $600 million in pirated merchandise. ...
- Meet the Cousins
By Erica K. Landau
(browardpalmbeach.com, November 20 2009)
Author/actress/Elvis's cousin Edie Hand will be at Borders Saturday to sign copies of her latest novellas A Christmas Ride: The Miracle of Lights and The Soldier's Ride. Although those don't have anything to do with Elvis, she has paid homage to the Hillbilly Cat through works like Elvis: Precious Memories, All Cooked Up: Recipes, Memories from Elvis' Friends and Family, and The Genuine Elvis: Photos and Untold Stories About the King, the last of which she described in an interview with the Memphis Flyer:
"Twelve years ago, I worked with the Elvis fan clubs, helping them collaborate on a Presley family and friends cookbook. Then one day, Ronnie and Joe and I were talking about making something new for the fans, and I said, well, I'll check into it. We found a lot of real stories that hadn't been told. Louise Smith hadn't shared her stories with anyone else."
Louise Smith was married to Elvis's other cousin, Gene Smith. While it may seem like Hand's just another relative milking her genetic connection till the bitter end, she actually donates a lot of her profits to various organizations like St. Jude's, Camp Smile-A-Mile, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. She'll be signing books from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Borders, located at 2240 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Sat., Nov. 21, 2 p.m., 2009
- Elvis ring with Asheville connection to be sold
(Asheville Citizen-Times, November 16 2009)
Throughout the realm of Elvis fans, the news is out -- the King's ring is for sale. ...
- Buddy Holly Guitar To Go On Auction Block
(kypost.com / AP, November 15 2009)
The guitar that Buddy Holly customized himself as a tribute to Elvis Presley is going to be auctioned. Christie's auction house will sell Holly's Gibson J-45 guitar. Holly did leatherwork as a hobby and he covered the guitar in leather because he had seen Presley play a leather-covered guitar in 1955. ... Original 78's of Presley's first five singles for Sun Records will also be on the block. The auction will take place in New York on December 3.
- 'Elvis People' views celebrity obsession: It's not about the 'King,' but rather, about the fans of the 'King'
By Ann Hicks
(The Greenville News, November 15 2009)
Grissom is the author of "Elvis People," which opens at the Warehouse Theatre on Friday for a four-week run.
- JFK and Elvis on the wall
By Bob Greene
(cnn.com, November 15 2009)
Editor's note: CNN Contributor Bob Greene is a best selling author whose new book is "Late Edition: A Love Story."
At an auction at a gallery in New York recently, a piece of artwork sold for a higher price than had been anticipated by the auctioneers: $4,080. It wasn't a very big piece of art -- just 8-by-10 inches. Technically, it wasn't even art. It was a glossy black-and-white photograph. It had a slight imperfection: there were staple holes in the upper left-hand corner.
Someone had written all over the front of the photograph. The person who had scrawled on it was, in fact, the subject of the photograph. He had written:
"To Patricia Keating, with very best wishes, John Kennedy" That is what made the photo so valuable to someone: Kennedy had held it in his hands, had run his pen over it. The owners of Swann Galleries, where the signed photo was auctioned, believe that Kennedy had autographed the picture in 1956, when he was a United States senator. The picture itself wasn't worth much; but his signature, personalized to Patricia Keating. ... "As far as we know, she wasn't anyone famous," Rebecca Weiss, a Swann Galleries employee, told me on the day after the auction. "There's no particular significance to her name."
Then why would someone pay more than $4,000 for the photo? Weiss told me that the identities of the buyers and sellers at Swann auctions are kept confidential, so she could not disclose who had consigned the photo for sale, or who had purchased it. But she said there is a pretty safe rule of thumb about the sale of autographs of renowned men and women: "What people are buying is the mystique. They are taking home the autograph knowing that this person once actually touched this item, this person once actually left this imprint, this signature." She clearly knows what she is talking about; just this weekend, it was announced that another auctioneer had sold what is purported to be perhaps the last autograph Kennedy ever signed: a copy of the Dallas Morning News that he reportedly signed for a woman upon his arrival in that city on November 22, 1963. A man in California purchased it for $39,000.
In our digital age, in which images and data are transferred from person to person with the tap of a key, it would seem to be an anachronism: the idea of placing enormous monetary value on pieces of paper upon which prominent individuals once wrote their names. But that personal touch seems to have remained precious; Weiss said that many, if not most, purchasers of autographed items display them as if they were rare paintings: framed and mounted in places of honor.
She didn't have to convince me. I have only two pieces of art hanging in my home, and neither would qualify as art in the conventional sense. But I wouldn't trade them for Picassos or Van Goghs.
The first is an original theater lobby poster for the greatest movie about newspapers ever made: 1952's "Deadline -- U.S.A.", starring Humphrey Bogart.
The other piece of art is an autograph -- actually, an entire (if brief) handwritten letter. It is a thank-you note. A thank-you note written to a laundry.
At the top of the piece of paper, embossed in the italics/script font style of 1950s suburban-housewife stationery, are the words: "From the home of ... Elvis Presley" And beneath it, in blue ballpoint pen: "I should like to commend your Laundry for doing a fantastic job on my clothes, you show esceptional care. Sincerely E.P."
That's just how, while living in a house on Audubon Drive in Memphis, Tennessee, in the years before he moved to Graceland, he wrote it. "Laundry" capitalized in the middle of the sentence; a comma instead of a period after "clothes"; "esceptional" instead of "exceptional."
I can't imagine a more wonderful or telling artifact from Presley's life. Who writes thank-you notes to their laundries? The young Elvis, that's who. There's such an essential sweetness to it -- to the very fact of the letter, to the formality of his introduction ("I should like to commend..."), to the adjective he chose ("a fantastic job on my clothes"). I purchased the letter from a gallery two decades ago (for a price that made me bite the inside of my mouth), and I would rather own it than the Mona Lisa.
I was about to say that I would never part with it, but in fact I once did, for several months. An exhibit called "American Originals: Treasures from the National Archives" was touring the country, and was scheduled to make a long stop at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences. Included in the exhibit were the original Louisiana Purchase Treaty, Thomas Edison's 1879 patent application for the electric lamp and the instrument of surrender of the German High Command during World War II.
I thought Elvis belonged there, and persuaded the curators of the museum to accept his thank-you letter on loan. The National Archives said they would not object, so long as Elvis' note was not in the same room with the more austere documents.
It worked out fine; I thought Elvis would like it that way. He always was proud to be an outsider. In the hallway adjacent to the entrance to the main exhibit -- visitors saw it right as they walked in -- was Elvis' handwritten letter, in a display case, with a plaque that read: "This note, written by Elvis Presley when he was on the verge of becoming a star, provides an example of how seemingly trivial documents can increase in value and cultural significance as a result of historic events. It also shows that despite his growing fame in the early 1950s, Presley cared about the feelings of others."
Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? I can fully understand why someone in New York the other day would purchase the photograph that John Kennedy once signed for Patricia Keating, whoever she may have been. You don't have to be Patricia Keating to comprehend the value of that picture, just as you don't have to be Elvis' laundry to comprehend the value of that thank-you note.
Great art, like great beauty, is where you find it. It is, as they say, in the eye -- or the laundry bag -- of the beholder.
- Elvis hair strand sold for £1,055
(bbc.co.uk, November 14 2009)
A strand of hair from Elvis Presley, saved by his personal barber, has raised £1,055 at auction. Homer Gill Gilleland toured with Elvis for more than 20 years. He dyed the singer's hair black and then cut it, saving strands in a towel. Friends of Mr Gilleland said he would then bundle up the towel, with hair inside, and take it home in a bag. The piece of hair had been expected to fetch up to £250 at Saturday's auction in Devizes, Wiltshire.
After Elvis's death in 1977, Mr Gilleland is said to have started selling strands of the hair in a souvenir shop on the street opposite the singer's home Graceland in Memphis in the US.
The strand which was auctioned was given to Thomas B Morgan Jnr in 2002 by the barber. Mr Morgan worked in the Sheriff's Office of Shelby County and knew Elvis. The hair, which comes with a certificate of authenticity, is mounted in a frame alongside a photograph of Elvis. It was auctioned at Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes. In November 2002, a strand of Elvis's hair sold for 115,000 US dollars (about £70,000) in an internet auction.
- ELVIS PRESLEY - PRESLEY'S 75TH BIRTHDAY ALBUM
(contactmusic.com, November 13 2009)
ELVIS PRESLEY will celebrate his birthday from beyond the grave - a new career-spanning album is to be released to mark his 75th year. The three-CD pack, titled Elvis 75, will contain 75 songs - one for each year since The King was born.
The record will span the entirety of Presley's career, from early hits Hound Dog and Heartbreak Hotel to 2002's JLX remix of his track A Little Less Conversation. The album will be released in January (10) - four days before Presley's birthday - along with a four-CD release entitled Elvis 75 - Good Rockin' Tonight, which will include 100 songs, an essay, and an 80-page pamphlet featuring rare photos of the star. ...
- Presley's hair to go under the hammer
(hindustantimes.com / ANI, November 9 2009)
A strand of hair Elvis Presley's hair saved by his barber will soon be up for grabs at an auction. Homer Gill Gilleland, who trotted the globe with the King of Rock n Roll for more than 20 years, gave the precious lock to Thomas Morgan Jnr in 2002, reports the Daily Star. The strand is expected to fetch more than 250 dollars when it goes under the hammer at Henry Alderidge and Son in Devizes, Wilts, on November 14.
Other Elvis memorabila, including a dessert plate owned and used by the star, will also go on sale. In 2002, bidders paid a whopping 115,000 dollars online for a strand of Elvisıs hair.
- The Biggest Bet in Vegas
By Christopher Palmeri
(news.yahoo.com, November 2 2009)
Every Friday morning, James J. Murren heads to the Las Vegas Strip in his chauffeur-driven SUV to check on the status of his dream project. "Look at that," says the chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage, pausing inside the Aria Resort & Casino. "The marble, the vaulted ceiling -- it looks like the Vatican."
Not everyone shares Murren's enthusiasm. Aria is one of four hotels in MGM's CityCenter resort, which will start opening its doors to the public in December. The $8.5 billion development is the debut that every casino manager in Vegas dreads. It will add 4,800 new hotel rooms to one of the country's most saturated markets, not to mention 2,400 condo units and a Cirque du Soleil tribute to Elvis Presley. With luxury rooms in Vegas already approaching roadside motel prices, many worry that the tsunami of fresh supply will drown the city's nascent recovery. And the biggest victim of CityCenter's launch may prove to be MGM itself, which dominates the Vegas landscape with nine other casinos and is staggering under $12 billion in debt. ...
- The Fight To Save Miami Marine Stadium
By Eliott Rodriguez
(cbs4.com, November 2 2009)
The fight to save the Miami Marine Stadium is gaining momentum.
The stadium, which was built in 1963, has been closed since Hurricane Andrew. It's fallen victim to 17 years of total neglect. The walls are marred with graffiti, chairs are falling apart, metal rails are rusted and concrete is crumbling. On a recent visit, the only sign of life was a raccoon roaming the 6,500-seat facility. It's sad to see the empty stadium overlooking a modern city skyline, but despite all the rust and decay, the movement to save the one-of-a-kind Miami landmark is stronger than ever.
In October, the stadium was placed on the World Monument Fund's watch list of threatened monuments. Earlier this year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation put it on its most endangered list. Singer Jimmy Buffet is now appearing in televised public service announcements in support of the stadium. All this is happening while a grassroots group called Friends of Miami Marine Stadium has grown to some 1,000 members. "It's a symbol of everything that's great about Florida -- boats, music, water and great Florida fun," Buffet says in the video, which includes scenes from a 1985 concert. Buffet calls on supporters to contact their commissioners to save the stadium. The spot ends with the web address for Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, www.marinestadium.org.
... Don Worth, who heads Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, believes the community has finally realized the importance of the stadium. Besides power boat races, it hosted hundreds of concerts and other events. It was the spot where Richard Nixon got a huge hug from Sammy Davis Jr. during the Republican National Convention in 1972. It even has an Elvis connection, having been featured in the Elvis Presley movie "Clambake" in 1967. ...
- Michael Jackson's This Is It Extends Its Stay
(fmqb.com, November 2 2009)
After Michael Jackson's This is It raked in $101 million worldwide in its first five days, Sony has decided to extend the run of the film beyond its originally planned two-week engagement. This Is It now will be in U.S. theaters through Thanksgiving weekend, and Sony plans to extend the run of the movie overseas on a country-by-country basis. The movie earned $21.3 million domestically over the weekend, bringing its U.S. total to $32.5 million since it was released on Wednesday. The totals easily made This Is It the #1 movie in America, beating out the #2 thriller Paranormal Activity, which brought in $16.5 million. This Is It also pulled in $68.5 million overseas, including $10.4 million in Japan, $6.3 million in Germany, $5.8 million in France and $3.2 million in China, according to Billboard.com.
As reported last week, the Jacko-mania that has ensued since his death has landed Jackson on Forbes' annual list of the top-earning dead celebrities. Jackson's estate has accumulated $90 million since his death in June, which put him at #3 on the list behind French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and composing duo Rodgers & Hammerstein. Elvis Presley, who normally leads the pack of dead celebs, was knocked down to #4 this year.
- AFN honors Elvis-loving Fairbanks minister Anna Frank
By Mary Beth Smetzer
(newsminer.com, November 1 2009)
For the Rev. Anna Frank, itıs all about God's plan, with a little bit of Elvis thrown in for fun.
Anna laughs about the Elvis posters and paraphernalia that fill her office at the Episcopal Diocese of Alaska chancery, which she jokingly refers to as her "Elvis shrine."
"I even have an Elvis phone, and I get an Elvis calendar every year," she adds with a laugh.
Anyone who knows Anna enjoys not only her humor, but respects her lifelong involvement helping out people throughout the Interior and beyond -- first as Minto postmaster and health aide and for the past 26 years in her multiple roles as an Episcopal minister.
"Anna does lots," said the Rev. Scott Fisher, vicar at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church. "It's easier to figure out what Anna doesn't do. She's involved in fundraisers, funerals, baptisms, weddings, flood victims, garage sales, counseling, plus being a grandmother and great-grandmother, and listening to Elvis Presley.
"She's just good," Fisher continued. "She can be compassionate; she can be tough. She can be the grandmother and say 'do this and don't do that.' She's a great lady."
In 1983, Anna became the first Native American woman ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. In the intervening years, her work and reputation has spread nationally and internationally and she has been recipient of many prestigious awards.
Last month, Anna was honored with the Alaska Federation of Natives President's Award for Public Service at the AFN convention in Anchorage for her years of service and prison ministry outreach. She calls the latest recognition all part of "God's plan." ...
Rev. Anna Frank poses in the Episcopal Diocese Offices.
Frank was honored with the President's Award for Public Service at this year's Alaska Federation of Natives Conference in Anchorage.
Behind her is a portrait of Peter Trimble Rowe, the first missionary Episcopal Bishop in Alaska, who served from 1895-1931.
- Hip-Hop King shakes The Bank
By DENIS ARMSTRONG
(jam.canoe.ca / Sun Media, November 1 2009)
He's sold more records than Elvis and holds the record for No. 1 albums in the Billboard 200. He co-owns the NBA's New Jersey Nets and swank nightclubs. He's the former CEO of Def Jam Records and he's married to Beyonce.
Yeah, life's sweet for Jay-Z, and the King of Hip-Hop has paved the way for younger producer-musicians such as Timbaland, Ruff Ryders, The Neptunes and Kanye West, and at last night's big jam at Scotiabank Place, it's obvious Jay-Z isn't done with music yet. ...