AN ELVIS STORY
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DID CILLA TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ELVIS?

According to Jo Alden (Ginger's mother), she did....... JO ALDEN - Elvis would talk with Priscilla all the time when Lisa was there and when Ginger was there. They had a good relationship because of Lisa, you know. Priscilla was kinda taking advantage of Elvis. Along in the spring Priscilla was going to get into the jewelry business. Elvis would laugh and say, "Oh, Priscilla is always trying something, something new, and something different". Way up toward the last, Priscilla called. She wanted to go on a trip overseas, and she wanted to use Elvis' plane. Elvis told her, "No. You fly commercial". Then what was it? Oh, she wanted Elvis to set her dad up in the imported wine business. Elvis wouldn't do it.



NEARING THE END OF THE TOURS

As Told By...

ARLENE COGAN - I went on most of the last tour, followed the show from city to city, mainly because I was just worried about Elvis' health. I felt that he was unhappy, and I felt for the first time in my life that it was more important for him to see me sitting there than it was for me to see him. I wanted him to know somebody was there that cared about him. I went with a friend, Rose Clayton, to see him in Knoxville, Louisville, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Binghamton, Omaha, and Lincoln. (He cancelled two dates during that tour for health reasons). I had planned on going on to Indianapolis, but for some reason, I just came on back home to Memphis and didn't see that last concert.

MYRNA SMITH - I saw a change in Elvis physically, but not so much while it was occurring as when I reflect on it now. The concerts [filmed for the CBS Tv special] weren't shown on TV immediately. While we were doing them, I thought he looked great. You know, being around somebody all the time, you don't notice so much how they really look. I knew he had put on weight, but I didn't think, "Gee, he looks bloated", or any of that until I saw one of the concerts on TV later.

BOBBY OGDIN - No matter how he was feeling, Elvis always nailed "How Great Thou Art" in his stage show. It was really pretty magical. His voice was always great for that song even when he wasn't "in voice". It was real special, real heavy.

BILL RANDLE - The last time I saw Elvis Presley, he came to a class of mine. I was teaching at the University of Cincinnati. He came anonymously, only three or four people saw him. He was bloated and fat. I'm a martial arts person, so wherever I work I always have a kicking board or a punching board on the wall. Elvis was a student of Mr. [Ed] Parker, who was a very good karate fighter. He practiced on my wall for about fifteen minutes and told me he was very happy with his life and left. I went to see him at his concert that night.



THE VERY LAST SHOW

As Told By...BOBBY OGDIN - In Indianapolis - the very last show we did with him - he was overweight, but he went back and forth a lot on his weight, so he didn't seem any different from normal at that show. We really didn't have any indication he was sick. Oh, before that sometime's he'd come onstage sleepy, you know, from having just gotten up an hour or so before. But other times he'd be full of energy and ready to go. When he'd come to the stage sleepy the energy would always pour in from the audience. It was like a tidal wave. He'd feel that big wave, and about a song or two into the show he'd get really into it. It must have been a huge boost to have had twenty thousand people directing their energy onstage to you.

JO ALDEN - Ginger was with Elvis in Indianapolis [June 26, 1977]. She always had to leave just before he ended his show and go wait in the car, because the crowd would be right behind him and he had to get away fast. It's so sad; at his last concert she was already in the car when he walked offstage for the very last time.



ELVIS IN THE GUINESS BOOK

Elvis in the Guinness World Record book

Most Hit Singles On US Chart...Elvis Presley had a record 149 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1956 and 1996. THe King of rock 'n' roll took his first step towards a musical career at the age of eight, when he won $5 in a local singing contest in Tupelo, Mississippi performing the Red Folley ballad, "Old Shep".

Most US No. 1 Albums By A Male Solo Artist...Elvis Presley had a record nine solo albums reach the number one spot on the US chart. They were - Elvis Presley (1956), Elvis (1956), Loving You (1957), Elvis Christmas Album (1957), GI Blues (1960), Something For Everybody (1961), Blue Hawaii (1961), Roustabout (1964), and Elvis - Aloha From Hawaii (1973)

Most Weeks On UK Singles Chart...Elvis Presley's 111 hits have spent a total of 1,149 weeks in the UK singles chart since "Heartbreak Hotel" debuted on May 11, 1956. In the weeks following his death on August 16, 1977, his record sales predictably rocketed. Sales of the tragically fitting "Way Down" went way up - propelling Presley once more to the number one spot.

Most Consecutive Weeks On UK Singles Chart...Elvis Presley is the artist with the most consecutive weeks in the UK chart. His 13 hit singles, from "A Mess Of Blues", in 1960, to "One More Broken Heart For Sale", in 1963, spent an unbroken 144 weeks in the chart.



Most Hit Albums On UK Chart...As of February 2001, Elvis Presley had 100 hit albums in the UK chart. This is just one of the 15 records held by The King - others include "Most No.1 Singles In The UK Chart", "Most No.1 Hit Singles By A Solo Artist", and "Most Fan Clubs."

Most RIAA Certificates Held By A Single Artist...The recording artist with the most certified titles ever is Elvis Presley with 235. This total is comprised of 132 gold, 70 platinum, and 33 multiplatinum certificates. RIAA stands for the Recording Industry Association of America. Most Platinum Certificates For Record Sales The only audited measure of record sales in the USA is certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Elvis Presley holds the record for the most platinum certificates issued by the RIAA, with 70.

Most Charted Artist...Elvis Presley's records spent a cumulative total of 1,155 weeks on the UK singles chart since his first hit Heartbreak Hotel released on May 11, 1956.

Most Fan Clubs...There are more than 613 active Elvis Presley fan clubs worldwide, accounting for a total membership 510,489. The longest running of these is the French "La Voix d'Elvis", founded in January, 1956, by Evelyn Bellemin. It currently has 30 members. His fans take all kinds of guises - there's even a group parachuting Elvis impersonators called the "Flying Elvi", the 10 high-altitude look-alikes can be booked to drop in on any occasion!



Richest Dead Celebrity...In the year 2000, 23 years after he died of a heart attack, Elvis Presley earned $35 million (25 million.) Since he first launched his recording career, Elvis has sold more than one billion albums, generating fat royalty checks for his family. Elvis left daughter Lisa Marie his Graceland mansion in Memphis, TN., which earns $15 million (10.5 million) annually in admission fees, while $5 million (3.5 million) was earned by selling Presley related articles like T-shirts and toys. Some folks say he's still working at a gas station in Tennessee, or stacking shelves in a local Wal-Mart, or performing as a wedding singer. But the career of the dead Elvis is proving to be much more lucrative than any of these professions. In 2000 the Elvis estate earned $35 million from record sales, merchandise, and licensing deals.



WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Elvis is an icon. Let's look at how people become icons and how you too could end up immortalised in history! An important first step is to capture a moment or happening in history. Elvis is a great example - he didn't invent rock 'n' roll, but his charisma, stage presence, and great voice brought it to a whole new audience. Like the film star James Dean (who was one of Presley's heroes), Elvis also captured a new spirit of rebellion among America's youth in the 1950s. The way Elvis used to gyrate his hips caused controversy back then, but icons are often controversial - just look at Eminem.

CHECK THIS OUT...In 1970 there were 250 professional Elvis impersonators. Today there are estimated to be 35,000. If this trend continues at the same rate there will be 700 million Elvis impersonators by 2060 - that's double the population of the USA and Canada combined.

Most Durable Elvis Impersonator...The world's most durable Elvis Presley impersonator was Belgium's Victor Beasley. The boundless Belgian had been belting out The King's tunes since 1955, a total of 48 years, and spanned every stage of the late King's career - from the early rockabilly days right through to the lavish showmanship of the Vegas era. Like Elvis, Vick also developed his singing voice at a local church, and in another parallel with the life of the King, did military service in Germany. "They were stationed very close," explained Vick's wife. "But unfortunately they never met." The boogieing Belgian - whose favorite number was "Pledging My Love" - had transformed his home in Wuurstwezel, just outside Antwerp, into a shrine to The King, which he named "Small Graceland". He had also recently been made an honorary citizen of Tupelo - the King's birthplace.



Most Valuable Hair...The most valuable hair clippings sold at auction are a mass of dark black cuttings from the head of Elvis Presley. The King's curls were sold by his personal barber, Homer "Gill" Gilleland, for $115,120 (72,791), buyer's premium included, to an anonymous buyer during an online auction held by MastroNet Inc., Oak Brook, Illinois, USA, on November 15, 2002. The lock of hair is approximately 8 cm (3 in) in diameter and is accompanied by letters of authenticity from Tom Morgan Jr. (detailing their history), John W Heath (the world's foremost Elvis memorabilia expert) and John Reznikoff of University Archives (the world's most respected authority in the field of hair collecting).


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