- Blago finds a fan in Oak Lawn: Elvis' stepbrother
By TINA SFONDELES
(southtownstar.com, April 25 2010)
It's no secret Blago loves Elvis - but apparently, one of the King's relatives has a mutual respect for Illinois' embattled ex-governor.
Presley's stepbrother, Rick Stanley, was the featured speaker at First Church of the Nazarene in Oak Lawn on Saturday night, and the state's most famous Elvis fan was in the house. "I'm very honored to have you here,'' Stanley told Rod Blagojevich as more than 100 in the audience applauded. "I can't say your last name, but I thank you for coming."
Stanley's mother married Presley's father in 1960. Stanley, 56, battled addiction while serving as Presley's "personal aide" but came clean and became a Christian two months after the singer's 1977 death from drug abuse.
Blagojevich, who sat in the first pew with wife, Patti, and daughter, Annie, said nothing about his upcoming federal trial on corruption charges - but said he could relate to Stanley's message. "I can't imagine what it would have been like being governor if I didn't have a faith in something bigger and more important than you to guide you to try to do the right thing for people," he said.
- Elvis' kin 'honored' to see Blagojevich
By TINA SFONDELES
(CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, April 25 2010)
It's no secret Blago loves Elvis -- but apparently, one of the King's relatives has a mutual respect for Illinois' embattled ex-governor.
Presley's stepbrother Rick Stanley spoke at First Church of the Nazarene in Oak Lawn Saturday night, and the state's most famous Elvis fan was in the house.
"I'm very honored to have you here,'' Stanley told Rod Blagojevich as more than 100 in the audience applauded. "I can't say your last name, but I thank you for coming.'' Stanley's mother married Presley's father in 1960. Stanley, now 56, battled addiction while serving as Presley's "personal aide" but came clean and became a Christian two months after the singer's 1977 death from drug abuse.
Blagojevich, who sat in the first pew with wife Patti and daughter Annie, said he could relate to Stanley's message. "I can't imagine what it would have been like being governor if I didn't have a faith in something bigger and more important than you to guide you to try to do the right thing for people," he said.
- Set for Heartbreak Hotel? UK's Brown enlists Elvis
By DAVID STRINGER
(news.yahoo.com, April 24 2010)
Prime Minister Gordon Brown turned to an Elvis Presley impersonator Saturday to add razzmatazz to his lackluster election campaign as opinion polls indicated his governing Labour Party was in third place.
In an unlikely campaign event, the often solemn Scot was serenaded by Presley lookalike Mark Wright -- who performed a version of "The Wonder Of You," as Brown sought to kick start his faltering attempt to retain power in Britain's May 6 ballot. "As you get nearer to election day you are always upping the tempo," Brown told reporters as he arrived in Corby, central England, to make a speech on health care.
Brown's main rivals -- Conservative Party chief David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg -- are widely regarded as having performed better than the prime minister in the country's first televised election debates. The second of three clashes aired Thursday, with a final showdown scheduled next week. Most polls published late Saturday showed both opposition parties -- including the perennially third-ranked Liberal Democrats -- ahead of Brown's Labour.
... George Osborne, Conservative lawmaker and economic spokesman, said the polls showed Brown's appearance with Elvis was timely. "According to the polls, the public are fast reaching the conclusion that Gordon Brown should leave the building," he said in an e-mail to supporters. ...
- Brown ups tempo with 'Elvis' in election fight
(news.yahoo.com, April 24 2010)
[British] Prime Minister Gordon Brown was joined by an Elvis Presley impersonator on the campaign trail Saturday as he declared he was "upping the tempo" less than two weeks before the May 6 election.
Welcoming "Elvis" on stage during an appearance in Corby, central England, Brown cracked a joke at the expense of David Cameron's Conservatives, who are leading the close-fought race in the opinion polls. "Only four percent of people in the world now still believe Elvis Presley is alive," Brown said.
"But I think there is only about four percent of people by the end of this election campaign that will believe that the Conservatives are not a risk to economic recovery in this country." ...
- 'Hound Dog' writers were in tune with Elvis
By Joe Brown
(lasvegasweekly.com, April 21 2010)
Now that all the hoopla has died down around Cirque's Viva Elvis, it's time to hear what the legend and the hype was built on.
RCA has just released a deluxe Legacy Edition of live anthology On Stage, focusing on Presley's first two residencies at the Las Vegas Hilton, then called the International Hotel. These 1969-70 shows marked a comeback of sorts for Elvis - who had spent eight years prioritizing crappy movies over music - and for Vegas, too, which was revitalized by his star power.
Everything here has been heard before - there are literally hundreds of Elvis reissues and compilations out there - but On Stage is a primo repackaging of peak Presleyiana, with superior sound, augmented with 10 bonus tracks, for a total of 32 songs on two CDs.
The superb TCB band, which included James Burton, Glen D. Hardin and the Sweet Inspirations, is both tight and loose, and the King's singing is, well Elvish, hot-rocking on some songs ("Polk Salad Annie") and corny and lugubrious on others (Englebert Humperdink's "Release Me"). He does his own hits, too, of course, but it's surprising how current for the time - and how pop - Elvis' repertoire and styling was. Early in the set, he introduces a song by a newcomer named Neil Diamond - that would be "Sweet Caroline."
Above all, On Stage shows a relaxed side of Elvis, who is clearly enjoying himself, flirting with the crowd, joking and joshing the band. After listening to this set, I finally "got" Elvis.
- Cirque du Soleil make Jacko tribute
(uk.news.yahoo.com, April 21 2010)
Following their famous Las Vegas shows using music by The Beatles and Elvis Presley, Cirque du Soleil are to release a Michael Jackson spectacular.
Initially going on tour before taking residency in Sin City in 2012, the show profits will be split between Cirque and the Jackson estate.
This will go some way to recouping the rumoured debts left after Michael's death. The revenue from the This Is It movie and record-breaking album deal last year have also meant huge financial gains for the late singers' estate.
Jackson's mother Katherine said in a statement: "Our family is thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way." John Branca, co-executor of the estate added: "Having attended Cirque du Soleil performances with Michael, I know he was a huge fan. We are excited to be partners with Cirque du Soleil to give Michael's fans a truly unique way to hear, see and feel Michael's music."
- Edmunds County man spent time in Army with Elvis
By Jeff Bahr
(aberdeennews.com, April 21 2010)
Val Malsom, who now lives at the Golden Living Center in Ipswich, was in the Army with Elvis Presley in 1958 and 1959. He and his wife, Juliana, celebrated their 50th anniversary in December.
Elvis Presley had it pretty cushy in the Army. In basic training, he never even polished his shoes. He never made his bed, said Val Malsom of Ipswich, who was in the Army with Presley. The singer paid other soldiers to do those jobs for him. But he paid handsomely. He gave two soldiers $40 a month each to carry out those duties. That was a lot of money in 1958 and '59, when Presley and Malsom were in the Army.
If Presley had asked Malsom to shine his shoes, the South Dakota man would have said no. He never has liked shining shoes. He still doesn't like to polish shoes, said Malsom's wife, Juliana. He's OK with dirty shoes.
Malsom, who turns 75 next month, was in basic training with Presley in Fort Hood, Texas. They traveled on the same ship overseas and were stationed at the same base in Germany. Even though they had different work ethics, He was a real nice guy to work with, Malsom said. They talked a few times.
Presley, who hit it big as a singer before joining the Army, had his car with him in Germany. Did Malsom see it? I rode in it, says Malsom. After evenings in town, Elvis gave the other soldiers a ride home. As Malsom recalls it, the car was a Cadillac.
For Malsom, the Army wasn't followed by a life in blue suede shoes. He was a longtime Edmunds County farmer, living north and and east of Craven. He later worked 14 years at Meyers Tractor Salvage in Aberdeen.
When Presley's music came on the radio, he didn't pay a lot of attention. He was too busy, said Juliana. For a while, their farm included 38 dairy cattle. But Malsom enjoyed the freedom of farming. He was known for his mechanical skills. He even invented some gadgets, including a device that prevented doors from blowing off the hinges in heavy wind. Juliana would have helped with the farming, but he didn't let her. He never let me run the equipment. He said I had enough to do, she said.
Juliana, a native of Linton, N.D., married Val on Dec. 29, 1959.
They now have six children. Two girls, age 14 and 15, died in a car accident in 1980. They have 14 grandkids and one great-grandchild. A large crowd attended their 50th anniversary open house in December. Showing a picture of their offspring to a visitor, Juliana said, See what two people can do.
Val and Juliana met at a wedding in Aberdeen. Val's uncle married Juliana's sister. I was maid of honor and Val was an usher, she said. Juliana's sister urged her not to have anything to do with her husband's nephew. Nobody ever bothered to introduce Val and Juliana. We're still waiting to be introduced, she said. After 50 years and a bunch of kids, it's a little late for that. But Juliana is glad she ignored her sister's advice. She thinks she wound up with a pretty good guy.
For them, an appropriate Elvis song would be Love Me Tender.
- Elvis fan club starting for kids
By M.Scott Morris
(NEMS Daily Journal, April 20 2010)
Pretty soon, if someone says, "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog," that'll be a good thing.
The Tupelo Elvis Presley Fan Club is expanding to accept members from birth to 18. The new group will be known as the Little Hound Dogs. "t's $10 for a lifetime membership," said Diane Witt, chairwoman of the Little Hound Dogs committee. "That's a great deal."
For people older than 18, a lifetime membership costs $100.
Everyone's invited to the new group's first meeting, which will be 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Neely building in Veterans Park. Hot dogs will be served.
Fun is certainly an objective of the Little Hound Dogs, but so is service. The Tupelo Elvis Presley Fan Club has raised money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Tupelo Regional Rehabilitation Center and the March of Dimes. "For the Little Hound Dogs, we'll do things to benefit the Humane Society," Witt said. "That's mainly because children love animals and Elvis loved animals."
The adult version of the fan club has about 700 members, including international fans. The Little Hounds Dogs is a way to boost the numbers, and to help keep Elvis' memory alive and well for future generations.
For more about the group, visit www.tupeloelvispresleyfanclub.com.
- Elizabeth Stanley Cannot Shake "Hound Dog"
(playbill.com, April 20 2010)
Elizabeth Stanley currently heats up the microphone in Million Dollar Quartet with her renditions of "Fever" and "I Hear You Knockin'" as Dyanne, lady friend of Elvis Presley in the musical. The actress herself has a personal history with the Kingšs music.
The subject of Playbill.com's latest Cue & A, the sultry Stanley reveals how she got her Equity card:
I got my card doing summer stock at Theatre by the Sea in Rhode Island. I played Ariel opposite Matt Cavenaugh in Footloose. In that same contract, I was the swing for Smokey Joe's Cafe (I even went on for the BJ track and got to sing "Hound Dog," which is what I sang in my audition for Million Dollar Quartet!!)
The Camp Point, IL, native also talks of Xanadu, Katherine Heigl, her turn on "Fringe," Evita aspirations and more.
Elizabeth Stanleyphoto by Joseph Marzullo/WENN