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Elvis Presley News

December 2009
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  • Coming in 2010: Another Elvis-themed romp on a Carnival cruise ship
    (USAToday, December 15 2009)
    Forget Las Vegas. The place to be next November if you're an elvis fan is -- once again -- on a Carnival cruise ship.

    That's right, the King of Rock 'n' Roll (or, at least, a number of people who look remarkably like him) is making another appearance on the high seas next year year as Carnival hosts a fourth "Elvis Cruise" -- a four-night, all-Elvlis-all-the-time extravaganza. The voyage, announced today by organizer Sixthman LLC, will take place on the 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination as it sails out of Jacksonville, Fla., to the Bahamas. The trip begins Nov. 4, 2010. ...

  • 'Viva Elvis' Set To Rock Vegas Strip
    (, December 15 2009)
    Tickets Now On Sale
    If the early buzz is true, "Viva Elvis" will do for the King of Rock 'n' Roll what "Love" did for the Beatles. That is, combine the Cirque du Soleil brand with one of the most iconic musicians of all time, creating a must-see Las Vegas Strip attraction and leaving both sides laughing all the way to the bank. Tickets to ³Viva Elvis² are now on sale, with preview performances scheduled later this week. Despite prices ranging from $86 to $149, the most expensive for a Strip Cirque show, "Viva Elvis" has two powerful forces working in its favor.

    First, it has Elvis, a star who is as much a symbol of the city as the Rat Pack or Vegas Vic. The music alone should be enough to draw fans, but combine it with the spectacle of Cirque du Soleil and youıre likely to get a show that blows away the countless impersonators who have trekked through Las Vegas.

    Second, it has the benefit of opening inside the ARIA Resort and Casino. The centerpiece of the CityCenter project debuts Wednesday with all the hoopla of Presley's "Aloha From Hawaii" concert, including a fireworks show at 11:05 p.m. Doors open to the public at 11:50 p.m. ...

  • All broke up: Elvis resort dream dashed, property to be sold
    (, December 14 2009)
    The Strip property once planned for an Elvis Presley-themed resort is scheduled to be auctioned off through a prepackaged bankruptcy proceeding, but the timetable has already gone off track.

    FX Real Estate and Entertainment Inc., which spent a decade assembling 17.7 across from CityCenter, defaulted in April on $475 million in loans on the site. ... the demise of the FX Real Estate plan, to build 4,000 hotel rooms, as many as 500 condominiums, a casino and shopping area, opens a window into how the value of Strip property has slid during the recession.

    Entities tied to New York entertainment and media mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman began buying the parcels at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue in March 1998, ultimately paying $253.8 million. As financing dried up, however, so did the chances for building a resort based on Elvis Presley, his Graceland mansion and boxing star Muhammad Ali. Yet another Sillerman company controls the licensing rights to both Elvis and Ali.

    What's left is the mixture of businesses including the Harley-Davidson Cafe, a Travelodge motel and the Hawaiian Village shopping center that Sillerman built. In the nine months through Sept. 30, these tenants generated $13.9 million in rental payments, enough to maintain the properties but well short of covering the debt service. As a result, the value has been written down to $140.8 million after being carried on the book at $544 million as recently as last year.

    This means it is likely that both the shareholders of FX Real Estate and the junior lenders will see their stakes wiped out in any sale.

  • BMS students portray historic figures, celebrities at 'House of Wax'
    (, December 14 2009)
    Bueker Middle School students had the chance to be somebody else Friday, Dec. 11, when the school held its annual "House of Wax."

    Sports and music stars were the most common choices made by students, who researched the life of their subjects, wrote a short account of that person's life, dressed up in clothing reminiscent of what that person would have worn and stood very still in the hallways of BMS awaiting a tap on the shoulder. When tapped, students would recite some facts about their subjects' lives. Several students chose a figure outside their gender or race, such a young girl who portrayed comedian Chris Rock and Jayde Meyer, 11, who portrayed singer Ella Fitzgerald.

    Students had a variety of reasons for their choices. Several chose their subjects based on similar personal interests, such as singing, sports, and even photography, as in the case of 12-year-old Addison Brightwell, who dressed as photographer Margaret Bourke-White.

    Others selected their figure based on that person's achievements that they saw as laudable, as with Quizonte Falls, who impersonated writer Langston Hughes.

    Still others chose based, at least partially, on looks -- 12-year-old Alexis Sisic said she chose Betsy Ross because "she looks really good," and Daniel Foose, 11, chose Elvis Presley because, he said, people have commented on physical similarities between him and Presley.

    This year's House of Wax is the first large project for which students used the 6+1 Writing Traits program, a new program to the district, said BMS Principal Lance Tobin. The six traits focused on are ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions, and the +1 is presentation, said Tobin. In this assignment, students focused on the voice and presentation traits, he added. ...

    Daniel Foose, 11, portrayed Elvis Presley
    during Bueker Middle School's House of Wax event Friday, Dec. 11.
    (Geoff Rands/Democrat-News)

  • Mariah Carey takes 'Angel' on the road
    By Tjames Madison
    (, December 14 2009)
    Mariah Carey returns to the road next year, mapping an eight-week North American tour in support of her latest studio album, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," which surfaced in August. ... "Memoirs" is the follow-up to Carey's 2008's "E=MC(2)," which featured the record-breaking cut "Touch My Body," which made history when it became Carey's 18th No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 chart--surpassing Elvis Presley's record. The Beatles hold the all-time high of 20 No. 1 songs on that chart.

  • Music: King gone, not forgotten: Box set breathes new life into ghosts of Elvis past
    By Greg Cahill
    (, December 14 2009)
    "It's easy enough to understand a dead, but evanescent Elvis Presley as a cultural symbol," Greil Marcus wrote in his 1991 book Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession, "but what if he -- it -- is nothing so limited, but a sort of cultural epistemology, a skeleton key to a lock we've yet to find?"

    Thirty-two years after the King of Rock went belly up on the floor of his Graceland bathroom, with a pharmacopoeia of drugs coursing through his veins, the man who composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein once called "the greatest cultural force of the 20th century" continues to charm: 20 Elvis singles reissued in the UK in 2005 rocketed into the Top 5 -- three of those topped the pop charts.

    A new four-CD box set, Elvis 75: Good Rockin' Tonight (Legacy/RCA), gathers 100 digitally remastered tracks, from 1953's "My Happiness" to material from 1977's Moody Blue album, and includes a deluxe 80-page booklet with rare photos and a 7,000-word essay.

    The release, the first four-disc retrospective spanning Elvis's entire career, commemorates the upcoming 75th anniversary of the rocker's birth in a two-room shotgun shack in East Tupelo, Mississippi. There's nothing here that any self-respecting rock hound hasn't heard before: Previous anthologies collected all the singer's Number One hits or focused on specific periods of his career (rockabilly, film star, etc.). And earlier sets have included previously unreleased alternate takes and rare live tracks.

    Good Rockin' Tonight showcases the Elvis that baby boomers grew up with on the turntable, shielded and uncorrupted by the scandal and eccentricities that dogged him outside of the recording studio.

    The classic early recordings, such as "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Hound Dog," still sizzle with a snarling sexuality coupled with an ace rockabilly band that delivered ricochet rim shots, slap-back bass and stinging guitar licks.

    The crooner also reveals a naked vulnerability on his ballads. And while you may argue that some of the mid- to late-Elvis is forgettable, such '60s and '70s tracks as "Burning Love," "Suspicious Minds" and "Polk Salad Annie" are bona fide classics.

    And there are plenty of surprises, such as his understated bluesy vocal on "The Fool," from the underrated 1970 Elvis Country album.

    Forget the bloated, drugged and deluded Elvis who sweated profusely on stage and stumbled through his lines at those humiliating Vegas shows. The artist heard on these recordings retained his good humor and vocal chops till the end. Indeed, these tracks are infused with a certain sincerity -- such a rare commodity today -- that rises above all the cultural baggage that Elvis, the legend, has been forced to lug around for nearly four decades.

    These tracks echo the humanity lost in the decades-long pursuit of greed and ambition. After all, Elvis -- even Dead Elvis -- is a babe in the woods compared to Bernie Madoff, Octomom and the White House party crashers.

    Does he hold the key to Marcus's elusive epistemology? Perhaps. Maybe the King of Rock is just the guy to unlock the door to boomers' misplaced youth after all.

    Meet the leather-clad, hip-gyrating, lip-curling ghost of Christmas past.

  • Hard Rock Cafe to unveil rock collectibles
    By Tuoi Tre
    (vietnewsonline, December 12 2009)
    Some 174 rock collectibles from some of the giants of the game, including John Lennon, Elvis Presley and Jon Bon Jovi will be on shown at the Hard Rock Cafe in Ho Chi Minh City next week.

    The collection features the outfit late Beatles front man Lennon wore when he performed the anti-war anthem "Give peace a chance" in 1969 in Washington D.C., Elvis Presley's baseball uniform and a guitar signed by the members of the Eagles.

    British singer-songwriter Rod Stewart's jacket, a denim jacket of Bon Jovi front man Jon Bon Jovi, considered a must-have fashion accessories of the 1980s, and magazine covers featuring some of the biggest acts in rock are also among the display items.

    The exhibition, to open on December 15 at 39, Le Duan Street, District 1, is to mark the launching of the first Hard Rock Cafe in Vietnam. ...

  • French rocker in induced coma in Los Angeles
    ( / AP, December 12 2009)
    French rock legend Johnny Hallyday had a botched operation in France and is now in a medically induced coma in a Los Angeles hospital as he recovers from surgery to fix the damage, his producer said. Hallyday, 66, is expected to recover, producer Jean-Claude Camus said.

    Hallyday is France's biggest rock star, though little known outside of Europe. Beyond his music, Belgian-born Hallyday - whose real name is Jean-Philippe Smet - is best known for his glitz, amorous affairs, Harley-Davidson motorcycles and a Frenchness as absolute as Elvis Presley's Americanness. ...

  • Johnny Hallyday: aggredito il chirurgo che l’ha operato
    (, December 12 2009)
    Milioni di fan con il fiato sospeso per le sorti di Johnny Hallyday, l'Elvis Presley francese in coma farmacologico da alcuni giorni. Un bollettino rassicurante arriva dal presidente Sarkozy, che a lui molto vicino, e stato aggiornato dal fratello del cantante. Alla Clinica Cedars Sinai di Beverly Hills si e intanto radunata una folla di star e parenti. Ad attendere il suo risveglio anche l'amico Charles Aznavour. ...

  • Elvis: Return to Tupelo [Movie review]
    By Phil Bacharach
    (, December 11 2009)
    List Price: $24.98
    Elvis: Return to tupelo doesn't exactly cover new ground, but this spry and handsomely crafted documentary offers a concise overview of Elvis Presley's meteoritc rise from Mississippi shotgun shack to King of Rock 'n' roll.

    The documentary traces Elvis' origins from Tupelo, Mississippi, to his breakout year of 1956, when he singing sensation with the trademark snarl and gyrating hips made a triumphant return to the town of his birth for a benefit concert. The film contends Presley's dirt-poor upbringing made a indelible impression on his persona.

    ... Elvis: Return to Tupelo is certainly a passable documentary, but it is aimed squarely at casual to very-casual fans. It sheds no new light on an icon who doesn't lack for a wealth of biographical material.

  • Elvis Presley's wife, daughter celebrate singer's 75th birthday
    By Jon Zahlaway
    ( LiveDaily, December 11 2009)
    Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley -- wife [ie, ex-wife - Ed.] and daughter of the late Elvis Presley -- will mark what would have been the late music legend's 75th birthday next month during the opening days of what is to be a year-long observance of the milestone at Presley's famous Graceland estate in Memphis.

    According to a press release, the Jan. 7-10 event will include Graceland tours, a Memphis Symphony Orchestra performance dubbed "Elvis Birthday Pops" and an "Elvis Presley Day Ceremony" that will feature Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley. The 75th birthday celebration will also feature additional events throughout 2010, according to organizers. Complete details are available at Presley's website.

  • The National Portrait Gallery Presents Two Exhibitions on Elvis Presley in 2010
    By Jon Zahlaway
    (, December 10 2009)
    The Smithsonianıs National Portrait Gallery will recognize the influence of the "King of Rock n' Roll," Elvis Presley (1935­1977), on American life, history and culture with two exhibitions in 2010. "One Life: Echoes of Elvis" opens on Presley's 75th birth anniversary and is a one-room exhibition devoted to the evolution and influence of Presleyıs image after his death. The traveling exhibition, "Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer," shows a young musician just about to rise to fame.

    "One Life: Echoes of Elvis" Opens Jan. 8, 2010
    "One Life: Echoes of Elvis" explores the image and story of Presley since his death. The world remains enamored with Presley's music and image even though he died more than 30 years ago. His records continue to sell by the millions, his home is the second-most-visited private residence in the United States (second only to the White House) and public interest in his music, career and life has yet to subside.

    "The life of Elvis Presley continues to fascinate us," said Martin Sullivan, director of the museum. "'One Life: Echoes of Elvis' explores how Presley continues to generate intrigue through portraits created after his death; 'Elvis at 21' captures that moment just before his catapult to superstardom."

    "Echoes of Elvis" includes works by Robert Arneson, Ralph Wolfe Cowan, William Eggleston and Red Grooms. Howard Finster's folk-art portraits of Presley as a baby and a soldier are both human and tributary moments in Finster's glorified ideal of the singer. Also included is the U.S. Postal Service commemorative stamp created by Mark Stutzman. Released in 1993, the Presley stamp is the most popular stamp of all time, with a printing of 500 million.

    "Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer" Opens Oct. 30
    The museum opens the second exhibition about Presley, "Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer," Oct. 30. Wertheimer was hired by RCA Victor in 1956 to shoot promotional images of a recently signed 21-year-old recording artist. Wertheimer had unparalleled access to Presley and documented him on the road, backstage, in concert, in the recording studio and at home in Memphis, Tenn. "Colonel" Tom Parker, Presley's manager, restricted contact just a short time later. The photographs document a remarkable time when Elvis could sit alone at a drugstore lunch counter.

  • Rare Elvis Presley's photographs on display in London
    By Jon Zahlaway
    (, December 9 2009)
    London, Dec 9 : Unseen photographs of King of Rock Elvis Presley have been put on display for the first time in London. The intimate photographs, taken by legendary photographer Alfred Wertheimer, show the young singer aged 21, at his most relaxed and unguarded. One of the candid pictures show him kissing a girl moments before going on stage in Vancouver, while another shows him shaking his hands dry in a train toilet. The third photograph features the 'Rock n Roll' star reclining on a sofa, opening what appears to be fan mail, reports the Telegraph. Other images show him rehearsing, sleeping, travelling and relaxing with his family.

    The rare pictures were taken on Presley's tour of the United States and Canada in 1956, just as he was on the brink of stardom. Wertheimer, a photojournalist, was asked by Presley's record label RCA Victor to capture the star for the day. He was so impressed with Presley's ease in front of the camera that he continued to take pictures afterwards, following him on the tour.

  • Elvis Presley | Elvis 75: Good Rockin' Tonight
    (, December 8 2009)
    There's a plethora of Elvis Presley albums on the market, most of them compilations and box sets, each focusing on certain hits, eras, and/or styles. Meanwhile, the plague of Elvis impersonators who haunt our cultural stage, not to mention those millions of fans who can't be wrong, serves as a constant reminder that the King is never really dead.

    Elvis 75: Good Rockin' Tonight is, at first glance, just another product of the never-ending Elvis mill: a four-CD box set conveniently tied to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Presley's birth. But it's also the first box set to survey the entirety of his 24-year career, covering hits and deep cuts alike.

    From the seminal Sun Records sessions and salad days at RCA to the post-washed-up artistic rebounds and the unadulterated thrill of the TCB band, Elvis 75 serves up Presley both trim and bloated, high and low, a man who was always successful even when he was desperately grasping for something new. Put all that enduring idolatry and marketing aside and it's not even an argument as to whether the dude made four discs of killer music in his lifetime. Get this and you'll never need to hem and haw over another Elvis comp again.

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