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Thread: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

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    Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis
    by Wendy Geller in Stop The Presses!


    August 16 marks the 33rd anniversary of Elvis Presley's death--and time hasn't lessened any interest in the American icon's legacy. Every year, hundreds of thousands of devotees descend on Elvis's Memphis estate Graceland to pay their respects to his life and work. Despite being gone for more than three decades, he still managed to generate around $60 million last year in revenue from royalties and licensing. Heck--he's even got a Facebook account, and it has more than 1 million fans!

    It's a plain fact: America simply will never forget Elvis.

    Given all this, by now even the most casual fan probably is familiar with a number of factoids and curiosities about The King. So, in memoriam, let's go beyond peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches and explore a few things you may not know about Elvis. I compiled this list with the help of my father-in-law, Larry Geller, who as Elvis's former hairstylist is full of anecdotes and little-known facts about the man and the legend.

    --According to Robert Sillerman, former CEO of the company that owns 85% of Elvis Presley Enterprises, there are more than 84,000 performers whose principal occupation is impersonating Elvis.

    --"Elvis" was the middle name of Vernon Presley, Elvis's father.

    --The teenage Elvis signed his high-school friends' yearbooks with the name "Elvis Cat."

    --Despite being the "King of Rock And Roll," Elvis never received Grammy recognition for any of his signature rock hits. He did win three Grammy awards over his career, but they were all for gospel recordings. He did, however, receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1971.

    --Elvis played bass on his 1957 hit, "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care."

    --Elvis never performed live outside of the United States, save five Canadian shows in 1957.

    --After leaving the Army, Elvis made his first post-military appearance in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was a benefit concert in which all proceeds went to the USS Arizona Memorial building fund, honoring American sailors killed in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

    --Elvis's friends noted that he loved pepper on his eggs--in fact, he often poured so much pepper on his omelet that it appeared black.

    --Everyone knows about Elvis's iconic 1956 pink Cadillac. But did you know he also owned a nearly identical model in purple? Both cars are on display at the Graceland Museum.

    --Andy Kaufman was one of the first Elvis impersonators.

    --Comedian Johnny Carson once quipped, "If life was fair, Elvis would still be alive and all the impersonators dead."

    --Larry Geller was responsible for styling Elvis's hair for the sad occasion of his funeral. When setting about his task, he was startled to find that Elvis had half an inch of white-colored regrowth under his dyed black hair. Geller quickly improvised a touch-up job using a black mascara wand.

    Still hankering for some more uncovered sides of the Elvis legacy? Check out this trailer for At The Gates: Elvis Presley Boulevard--a film exploring Elvis's spiritual evolution, heritage, and influence on devoted fans; containing interviews with close friends Geller (the author of three books about Elvis), George Klein (author of Elvis, My Best Man), Jerry Schilling (author of Me And A Guy Named Elvis), and more.

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    Quote Originally Posted by GorDoom
    Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis
    by Wendy Geller in Stop The Presses!


    --Despite being the "King of Rock And Roll," Elvis never received Grammy recognition for any of his signature rock hits. He did win three Grammy awards over his career, but they were all for gospel recordings. He did, however, receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1971.

    --Elvis never performed live outside of the United States, save five Canadian shows in 1957.

    --Larry Geller was responsible for styling Elvis's hair for the sad occasion of his funeral. When setting about his task, he was startled to find that Elvis had half an inch of white-colored regrowth under his dyed black hair. Geller quickly improvised a touch-up job using a black mascara wand.
    I knew that about the Grammy's, but its hard to believe in regards to todays standards. With Elvis though, when he hit, rock was in its infancy & was generally eschewed by the establishment. Post 1962 he had only one #1 hit in '69 w/ suspicious minds. But even by that point the Grammy organization looked down in most cases on rock music, though by that point he was pop.

    The fact about never performing outside the USA really surprised me. He had a huge fan base outside the USA, anyone know why in the world he chose not to peform outside the country? ... that is a hard strategy to get.

    lastly, the fact about all his hair going white was ghoulish to read. Elvis was only 42 when he died but man did that guy quickly implode physically from around '74'-'77. at the end he looked like a wax shell of himself, even only 5 years back when he was very healthy for the famous televised hawaii concert. Only Keith Richards & Jim Morrison come to mind, in re to such a quick slide in looks due to the road, the difference being of course the former is thankfully still alive.

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    One story is that his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was an illegal immigrant from Holland. Parker was such a micro-manager, who never let Elvis off his leash, that Parker never let Elvis perform outside the U.S., for Parker would have had to go with Elvis and likely then not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. without some form of documentation, which Parker lacked. Early on, however, in 1956 I think it was, Elvis did perform once outside the U.S.--in Vancouver, B.C. Otherwise, the farthest Elvis got from mainland America was Hawaii.

    Edit: now having read the full post above, I see that he played five times in B.C., in 1957.
    Last edited by BoxofDaylight; 08-14-2010 at 02:59 PM.

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    Quote Originally Posted by GorDoom
    ... According to Robert Sillerman, former CEO of the company that owns 85% of Elvis Presley Enterprises, there are more than 84,000 performers whose principal occupation is impersonating Elvis....
    Yeah, and 83,999 of 'em do the late-era, karate-style jumpsuit Elvis. I prefer pre-Army Elvis, and I believe that in all my years, I have seen only one pre-Army-era Elvis impersonator live.

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    I think that Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's longtime manager and a man with a very shadowy past, may have played an important part in Elvis not performing outside of the United States and Canada. Much about Parker's early life didn't come to light until he was an old man, including the fact that he was born in Holland and buried his past after coming to the U.S, assuming a brand new name. There is some also question about whether Parker came to the U.S. legally.

    If Parker wanted to keep his past buried for one reason or another, this may have meant that he didn't want to go through the governmental channels to travel abroad. By all accounts, Parker was very much a "hands-on" manager in regards to Elvis, so it seems logical that he would not want his star touring without him.

    - Chuck Johnston

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    It's a plain fact: America simply will never forget Elvis.
    I think the world will never forget Elvis! I'm not really his fan but nevertheless I see him as the king of rock and roll. What Ali is in boxing.

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck1052
    I think that Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's longtime manager and a man with a very shadowy past, may have played an important part in Elvis not performing outside of the United States and Canada. Much about Parker's early life didn't come to light until he was an old man, including the fact that he was born in Holland and buried his past after coming to the U.S, assuming a brand new name. There is some also question about whether Parker came to the U.S. legally.

    If Parker wanted to keep his past buried for one reason or another, this may have meant that he didn't want to go through the governmental channels to travel abroad. By all accounts, Parker was very much a "hands-on" manager in regards to Elvis, so it seems logical that he would not want his star touring without him.

    - Chuck Johnston
    it sounds logical & is the only thing that seems to make any sense. Granted, travelly abroad was more expensive, esp then, but Elvis wouldve still made a mint. Esp by the 'mid '70's when his popularity here was waning some.

    the colonel was a true double edged sword for him & one it seems who had a psychological hold over presley. I will grant, that w/o the colonel Elvis probaly wouldnt have been able to emerge as the phenom he was. Parker was shrewd & efficient in fast tracking Elvis' popularity in the crucial years of '55-'56. it was a masterful job in re to parlaying tv & hwood so early along w/ his explosion in the music scene. But post army the Colonel undermined Elvis & really mismanged & over nannied his image. It cost Elvis a lot of credibility in the changing music scene. its just very surprising to me, by that point ('63-'65) that a more mature Elvis didnt see the writing on the wall & dump the Colonel. He really didnt need him by that point & was sacrificing a lot of $ w/ the Colonel huge % take. It seems he was the type that didnt want or feared the hassle or the Colonel really had some type of Machivellian grip on his mind.
    Last edited by HandToMouth; 08-14-2010 at 04:42 PM.

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    I was looking for the documentary about Colonel Parker that I saw a while back on youtube. I believe it’s gone. His real name is Dries van Kuijk by the way. But I’ve found something worth showing I believe. It’s from a local Dutch tv-station about the presenting of a remembrance plaquette at his birthhouse on his 100th birthday. You see some relatives with the usual bla bla what a great guy it was. But there is something that makes me laugh out loud. At 0.53 is said that Parker is seen by many as a very tuff businessman. Now to contradict this Parkers good friend and associate Eddie remembers him differently at 1.07 (I’m so happy this is in English! ):

    Gedenkteken Colonel Parker onthuld
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8NN0BMbjBs

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    Maybe this adds something:
    Elvis and the Colonel "The Colour of Truth is Grey."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-Ee12yoOjQ

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo Netherland
    I think the world will never forget Elvis! I'm not really his fan but nevertheless I see him as the king of rock and roll. What Ali is in boxing.
    it will be interesting 50 years from now as historians of pop culture look back at the 20th century. Who will they judge as the biggest cultural force in music for that century. Elvis, the Beatles, Sinatra, or Michael Jackson.

    Elvis will be tough to match. Talent wise, fair or not, he had the goods at a truely unique time in the West. The post ww2 babyboomer generation were ripe for what he could bring to the table.

    Matinee looks w/ an edge & a unique rock-a-billy voice that could authentically tap into black, gospel & country roots of emerging rock & roll. Couple that w/ the emergence of TV, consumeriasm, post ww2 optimism/econ stability, changing social mores & a nation just starting to embrace race relations and you had very fertile soil.

    again, it can be argued if he was the most talented (hell he wrote very few of his songs) but imo its hard to deny his timing & the impact it hit w/. Elvis was a 20th century cultural titan.
    Last edited by HandToMouth; 08-14-2010 at 04:45 PM.

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    Re: Beyond Peanut-Butter-And-Banana Sandwiches: Interesting Facts About Elvis

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck1052
    I think that Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's longtime manager and a man with a very shadowy past, may have played an important part in Elvis not performing outside of the United States and Canada. Much about Parker's early life didn't come to light until he was an old man, including the fact that he was born in Holland and buried his past after coming to the U.S, assuming a brand new name. There is some also question about whether Parker came to the U.S. legally.

    If Parker wanted to keep his past buried for one reason or another, this may have meant that he didn't want to go through the governmental channels to travel abroad. By all accounts, Parker was very much a "hands-on" manager in regards to Elvis, so it seems logical that he would not want his star touring without him.

    - Chuck Johnston
    thinking back on the elvis phenom and his relation w/ parker it interestingly seems to have had a lot of parallels to the dempsey kearns relationship.

    granted one was in sports the other music.... but the cultural forces of media, fame, greed, rags to riches, small town country to city lights etc are very similiar, along w/ the machiavellian control struggle of career choice latitude & % takes.

    outside of hwood, dempsey may have been amer's first cultural electronic celebrity. like the '50's, the '20's were a transformational time w/ a lot of post war optimism, econ growth & technological innovation. dempsey exploded as the nation became first wired via real time media between major wire service papers in the usa, along w/ radio & film.

    kearns parlayed this w/ rickard essentially creating the start of the mega gated event format covered by wire services live throughout the usa. it made dempsey huge but like elvis it obviously strained & diluted the product. yet dempsey in his army period ('24-'25 when he was inactive in hwood) was able to break away from the grip, elvis obviously never did.

    That same econ/cultural cycle & celebrity/manag participant in it seem to play itself out again & again when the right macro forces & timing converge.

    it's a format that is still executed today in music, sports & even politics. in the '50's it went exponential b/c of TV & even more prosperiety. in the '80's (think jackson/prince/madonna) it leaped further more w/ cable & melting of the cold war. And when our econ does come back in force, watch for another leap as the full amalgamation of the net, handhelds & the media take form. some new dempsey, ruth, elvis, mj, jordan or madonna will emerge. lady gaga is only fraction of what may come.
    Last edited by HandToMouth; 08-14-2010 at 05:41 PM.

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