Last Man Standing, Jerry Lee Lewis, RIP

Jerry Lee Lewis, the last pioneer of the SUN Records Rock n’ Roll era still standing, died this morning at age 87.

His representative Zach Farnum, released this message: “Judith, his seventh wife, was by his side when he passed away at his home in Desoto County, Mississippi, south of Memphis. He told her, in his final days, that he welcomed the hereafter, and that he was not afraid.”

Lewis taught himself to play piano when he was 9 and sang in church, drawing inspiration from preachers and musicians that traveled through his hometown of Ferriday, Louisiana.

Lewis married his 13 year old cousin, Myra in 1958.

At 10, Lewis’ father mortgaged their family farm to buy him his first piano. He performed for the public for the first time at a local car dealership when he was 14.

See Great Balls of Fire Cornbread recipe here

Lewis crashed into the gates of Graceland, the famed home of Elvis Presley

Through Sam Phillips’ SUN Records in Memphis, Tennessee, Lewis began with the likes of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Charlie Rich as one of the original rock and rollers.

Lewis with Sam Phillips

Considered a music pioneer, Lewis released a number of timeless hits including “Great Balls Of Fire”, “Whole Lot of Shaking Going On” and “Breathless” before pivoting to country music and topping the charts with tunes like “What Made Milwaukee Famous,”“There Must Be More To Love Than This” and “Would You Take Another Chance On Me.”

Revisiting SUN studio site of the MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET

Over the course of his career, he won several Grammys and was an inaugural inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

When Lewis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, country star Hank Williams Jr. said Lewis “doesn’t ask for your attention, he demands it.”

“He doesn’t take a stage, he commands it,” Williams said.

Lewis with Mick Jagger

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In God We Trust

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor

My First Big Interview Was With Elvis Presley

In the early spring of 1976, my Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) journalism professor Jeff Henderson, asked his class on the second floor of Old Main to write down the names of two people we would like to interview if we could. 

When he called on me to reveal my answers, embarrassingly, I said “Elvis Presley and Clint Eastwood.”

Spontaneously, my classmates laughed. Their answers were reasonable…and safe: the police chief, fire marshal, county commissioner, etc. But Jeff held his hand up and looked me seriously straight in the eyes and asked, “Why don’t you?”

WHY DON’T YOU?

“Look, Jack. You just came back from winning Investigative Reporter of the Year Award out of every university in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Association,” he smirked, then grinned. “So, my question to you is—why don’t you?”

I thought of scores of reasons why I couldn’t. Jeff’s question would have profound impact the rest of my life. So, why don’t I? Within eight months, I interviewed both Presley and Eastwood.

I traveled to Memphis during Spring Break with one mission in mind: To do the impossible by interviewing Elvis.

Just a few days after my arrival, staying at a nearby (from Graceland) Howard Johnson’s, I was called in by a local radio station to be interviewed myself because there was much buzz (was that even a word, other than the sound a bee makes, in ’76?) about Elvis.

It was recently announced he’d be performing in his hometown later that summer. Months away and thousands of fans had been camped out for two days in line to buy tickets.

The day before, I drove by the Mid-South Colosseum and was astonished. People were in tents, sleeping bags, lawn chairs and on blankets waiting. Although it was hot and humid, they were happy.

Through the years I’ve found dedicated Elvis fans to be among the happiest people on the planet. Their camaraderie expands beyond man-made limiting boundaries such as race, politics, religion and sex. Generally, they’re united.

Two nights before, I gained quick notoriety among Memphis fans for gaining the “impossible dream.” I scored an interview with Elvis Presley!

As a young journalism student from then Southwest Texas State, I did my homework. The stars were aligned:

🔹Local fans were not swarming around Graceland,

🔹It was a time sandwiched between Elvis’ mother Gladys’ birthday week (reasoned he may leave to visit her gravesite) and Mother’s Day. Yes, it was a long shot, but I was giving it all I could.

🔹With donuts, coffee and burgers from the Hickory Log cafe, I befriended Elvis’ cousin Harold Loyd and other Graceland gate security guards at night…and Uncle Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge and others during the day in between naps (Elvis was a night owl, so I had to be).

Harold Loyd

.

🔹The big card up my sleeve was the ace in the hole: I was President of the Texas Chapter of the official Elvis Presley Graceland Fan Club.

Invited to the radio station because of the spike in interest of the upcoming concerts and me landing the interview, the DJ began asking questions in rapid fire.

I answered them as fast as he spit them out, but when he paused for a commercial break, I defaulted to my normal mode of operation–to engage in conversation rather than his Q&A approach.

Elvis’ Bicentennial Harley.

.

He started taking live listener calls. It was compelling enough that he kept me on air for over an hour.

I was psyched, of course, but somehow all this excitement calmed my youthful ego. I was very thankful for meeting Elvis, but especially grateful for his kindness. When you hear or read how nice he was to fans, believe me, it was very genuine kindness.

Shaking the hand of the man my parents, my sister Bobbi and I would see on the giant screens of the Trail or Mission Drive-In theaters, watch on TV, or read about in magazines and newspapers, was a surreal and humbling experience.

Meeting Elvis taught me much, including the value of doing homework, being prepared, investigation and a more engaging approach to interviewing.

Most of all, it taught me to never let self-imposed obstacles get in the way of my dreams.

Photos of Dodie and me taken at Graceland, SUN Studio, on June 24, 25 2020.

The following August, I was able to meet Elvis briefly backstage at Hemisfair Arena in San Antonio to present him some official honorary documents from the City, Bexar County and a Texas-shaped award from fans across the state.

Two of my favorite journalism classmates under Jeff Henderson, Janis Johnson and Vicky Highsaw, joined me on the front row center section for the Elvis concert.

Photos taken from front row, center at Elvis Presley’s August 18, 1976 concert.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

What Happened to Elvis Presley’s Wedding Ring?

Elvis Presley unveiled his wedding band ring at The Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas on Monday, May 1, 1967, the day he wed Priscilla in a ceremony that celebrated one of the most famous marriages of the 20th century.

The band is decorated with eight baguette-cut diamonds within a border of sixteen fill-cut diamonds. It sold at an auction for $90,000 in 2006.

Note: At the same auction by Profiles in History, the original Cowardly Lion costume worn by actor Bert Lahr fetched $700,000. Presley’s band had an expected sale price of $100,000 – $150,000.

Here is some information about the wedding band from 2006:

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Lisa Marie Presley Tells Thoughts on Elvis Biopic Movie

“Channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully”

The day before the May 15 release of Lisa Marie Presley’s album,  Storm & Grace, the daughter of the most famous entertainer in history sent a social media message to the world regarding the upcoming Elvis movie.

This release, her first album in seven years, is also her Universal Republic/XIX Recordings debut. Presley is managed by Simon Fuller, CEO and Founder of XIX Entertainment. The album was produced by 12-time GRAMMY® winner T Bone Burnett and recorded at The Village in Los Angeles.

“When Lisa Marie’s songs arrived, I was curious,” Burnett said. “I wondered what the daughter of an American revolutionary music artist had to say. What I heard was honest, raw, unaffected, and soulful. I thought her father would be proud of her.”

“The more I listened to the songs, the deeper an artist I found her to be,” he continued. “Listening beyond the media static, Lisa Marie Presley is a Southern American folk music artist of great value.”

Since 2019, Lisa Marie has met several times with director Baz Luhrmann about the Elvis movie. She told Us Weekly, “I have been involved with Baz. He has come to my home and he has been emailing me… In fact, we’re going to be having another lunch at my home. He’s keeping me on top of everything. It’s been wonderful. He is a genius. I’m not getting involved with any kind of telling him what to do or how to do it or suggestions. No, no. I think this will be very stylized, very different.”

The movie follows a young Elvis, played by Austin Butler, as well as his dealings with his wife, Priscilla (played by Olivia DeJonge) and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks.)

When prompted about what she thought of the Colonel Parker role, Lisa Marie said, “Tom Hanks can pretty much capture anybody as far as his acting ability and how professional he is and how deep and deeply involved he gets with the character…I’m extremely pleased. I think that it’ll be very good.”

During filming, Tom spoke about a conversation he had with Priscilla, who revealed she had great affection for Colonel Tom, which is a different perception to that which many have.

He told late night host Stephen Colbert: “I was expecting to hear stories about the distrust she had for Colonel Tom Parker over these many years.”

On her post, Lisa Marie revealed she has seen Luhrman’s movie twice. Her thoughts?

“It is nothing short of spectacular,” she said. “Absolutely exquisite.”

“Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully.”

“In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully.”

“You can feel and witness Baz’s pure love, care and respect for my father throughout this beautiful film, and it is finally something that myself and my children and their children can be proud of forever.

“Elvis” will be released in theaters June 24, 2022.

Favorite Fan Photos

Elvis Presley, The Rockin’ Motorcycle King in Photos

Elvis Presley, The Rockin’ Motorcycle King in Photos

Elvis Presley, The Rockin’ Motorcycle King in Photos

More Rare or Unseen Elvis Presley Pictures From the 60s

More Rare or Unseen Elvis Presley Pictures From the 60s

More Rare or Unseen Elvis Presley Pictures From the 60s

25 MORE Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the Army

25 MORE Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the Army

25 MORE Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the Army

20 Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the U.S. Army

20 Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the U.S. Army

20 Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the U.S. Army

20 Elvis Presley Photos You May Have Never Seen From The 1960s

20 Elvis Presley Photos You May Have Never Seen From The 1960s

20 Elvis Presley Photos You May Have Never Seen From The 1960s

Elvis Presley: Rare Shots From the 1970s

Elvis Presley: Rare Shots From the 1970s

Elvis Presley: Rare Shots From the 1970s

Elvis Presley Movies Ranked

Elvis Presley Movies Ranked

Elvis Presley Movies Ranked

10 Rare Elvis Presley Photos in the 1950s

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.
Visit Graceland

Top Songs Elvis Presley Fans Wished He Would Have Recorded

Over 3,400 Elvis Fans Around the World Polled

Elvis Presley was flat out the world’s greatest singer. The King of Rock and Roll has been gone longer than the number of years he lived, but the truth of his legacy keeps marching on.

Even now, the recorded voice of Elvis has been heard by more people on earth than any other human being in history.

With his amazing versatility, he mastered and broke records (no pun intended) across music barriers.

Jack Dennis polled Elvis fans across the world from August 1-December 1, 2017 and again for CleverJourneys from January 3-May 1, 2022 to find out which songs they believe or wished he should have recorded. Over 3,400 fans (3,421 to be exact) responded.

Note: Jack Dennis (Texasjackson) was the president of the Texas Chapter of the Official Elvis Presley Graceland Fan Club in the late 1970s and at the time of Presley’s death in August 1977. He continues to maintain friendships with Elvis’ friends, family and fans globally.

Here are the top 50 songs Elvis fans wished he would have recorded.

I Will Always Love You 

Originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton in 1973, “I Will Always Love You” is the number one song Elvis fans wished he would have recorded. The song won an Emmy for Best Recording of the Year by Whitney Houston in 1992 (from the movie “Body Guard”). Other notable covers were by Kenny Rogers in 1983 and Connie Talbot in 2007.

Old Rugged Cross

“The Old Rugged Cross” is the number two choice of Elvis fans. It is a popular hymn written in 1912, the year Elvis’ mother Gladys was born, by evangelist and song-leader George Bennard.

In order of Elvis fan choices here are the other 48 songs they wished he would have recorded:

3. Hallelujah

4. He Stopped Loving Her Today

5. I Fall to Pieces

🔹Need You Now


🔹Today I Started Loving You Again

🔹The Most Beautiful Girl


🔹I Love a Rainy Night


🔹Save the Last Dance For Me


🔹Fire & Rain


🔹Brown Eyed Girl


🔹All Summer Long


🔹When a Man Loves a Woman


🔹Autumn Leaves


🔹The Prayer


🔹One Pair of Hands


🔹The Lighthouse


🔹Tears From Heaven


🔹Don’t Pull Your Love


🔹Puddle of tears


🔹Crazy Little Thing Called Love


🔹Rock n Roll is King


🔹Miss Ann


🔹Shake a Hand


🔹Send Me Some Lovin


🔹I Told You SO


🔹Don’t Close Your Eyes


🔹Let It Be

🔹Me and Bobby McGee

🔹Fire


🔹Only the Lonely


🔹Piece of My Heart


🔹Delilah


🔹Only You


🔹Bohemian Rhapsody


🔹Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

🔹To Love Somebody


🔹Candle in the Wind


🔹Annies Song


🔹Oh Holy Night


🔹Sleigh Ride


🔹You Lift Me Up


🔹Behind Closed Doors


🔹The Keeper of the Stars

🔹In the Still of the Night


🔹There Goes My Baby


🔹Kansas City

🔹Sittin on the Dock of the Bay


🔹I’m a Honky Tonk Man

Favorite Fan Photos

Elvis Presley, The Rockin’ Motorcycle King in Photos

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/elvis-presley-the-rockin-motorcycle-king-in-photos/embed/#?secret=PiyyBRSf3r#?secret=bmFIRMFK45

More Rare or Unseen Elvis Presley Pictures From the 60s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/06/10/more-rare-or-unseen-elvis-presley-pictures-from-the-60s/embed/#?secret=uTktdtSy6l#?secret=M1T0AJRS5z

25 MORE Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the Army

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/25-more-rare-photos-of-elvis-presley-in-the-army/embed/#?secret=UOyeJk5X5D#?secret=on4xtc033j

20 Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the U.S. Army

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/20-rate-photos-of-elvis-presley-in-the-u-s-army/embed/#?secret=IgHEGbNvxs#?secret=SKZZ5wdVuD

20 Elvis Presley Photos You May Have Never Seen From The 1960s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/20-elvis-presley-photos-you-may-have-never-seen-from-the-1960s/embed/#?secret=GgcHR62Mnp#?secret=fpAp549wBW

Elvis Presley: Rare Shots From the 1970s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/elvis-presley-rare-shots-from-the-1970s/embed/#?secret=fee25bCw4D#?secret=RzVA6HMpi1

Elvis Presley Movies Ranked

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/elvis-presley-movies-ranked/embed/#?secret=IM0okZpvDG#?secret=K8Zg16VZEN

10 Rare Elvis Presley Photos in the 1950s

Please Support These American Owned Businesses Today

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Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.
Visit Graceland

Elvis Presley’s Texas Home During Basic Training in 1958 Still Visited by Fans

In 2020, defying lockdowns and wearing masks, we took a 32 day roadtrip from the Texas Hill Country to Washington DC and back.

Our first stop was near Fort Hood in a central Killeen Texas neighborhood. If the walls of the circa 1950 ranch-style house at 605 Oakhill Drive could talk, they’d sing!

Photo by Loralyn ‘Dodie’ Dennis

It’s a nice house but doesn’t have any visual features that dramatically set it apart from the other homes in the area not far from Conder Park. It’s a one-story, brick home with a rather large mailbox out front.

As big Elvis Presley fans, we thought there might be a landmark sign designating it as the house the most famous entertainer in history lived while going through Army training.

At the height of his early fame, the Army drafted Elvis in 1958, and at the Memphis induction center, he received his shots, his buzz cut, and his orders. On March 28, he and others were sent by military bus to Fort Hood, the Second Armored Division, General George S. Patton’s “Hell on Wheels” wild bunch.

Enroute the new troops stopped for a restaurant lunch break in Hillsboro causing “a small riot” when teenage customers recognized him. 

Elvis didn’t want any special treatment offered. His desire was to be just another G.I. His fellow soldiers saw that in him and Elvis became one of the guys.

Private Simon Vega recalled, “I thought he was gonna get special treatment but he did KP, guard duty, everything, just like us.” 

When basic training was completed, the Army allowed soldiers to live off base as long as they had dependents living in the area. It was not long before Elvis’ parents, grandmother, and a friend traveled to Killeen where they found a three-bedroom home to rent from Chester Crawford, an attorney who charged an outrageous $700 a month.

Soon crowds began showing up on Oakhill Drive to catch a glimpse of Elvis. It was common for him to stand outside and talk to fans for hours. Occasionally, he detoured through neighbors’ backyards to avoid the crowds, and according to neighbor Janie Sullivan, the clothesline in their yard once caught Elvis and the dog bit him. 

Elvis with friend Red West (far right)

Not everyone was thrilled by Elvis’ presence in the neighborhood. Some Oak Hill residents called the police to complain about the clouds of dust stirred up by the cars and the carnival-like atmosphere.

While completing an additional ten weeks of advanced tank training, Elvis had to take emergency leave to fly to Memphis to be with his mother, Gladys, who had returned home to be hospitalized. She died two days later on August 14.

After his mother’s funeral, Elvis returned and put in long days at Fort Hood learning to be a tanker. During his final days at Fort Hood, large crowds gathered outside his house, and some nights a hundred people kept vigil. The last night, on September 19, 1958, Elvis and his gang gathered at the home to make the drive to the troop train that would take him and 1,360 other G.I.s to Brooklyn to sail for Germany.


Biographers and friends reported that Elvis’ time at Fort Hood and in the Army was among the happiest of his life. For a time, he was almost “just another soldier.” Everyone agreed that Elvis was a good soldier, one of the best in the company.

His longtime girlfriend, Anita Wood, said, “he had finally found himself.”

Elvis said later, “I learned a lot about people in the Army. I never lived with other people before and had a chance to find out how they think.” 

In 1958, longtime Killeen resident Edith Carlile lived four doors down from the house Pvt. Elvis Presley lived in with his parents, Vernon and Gladys. Presley rented the home for seven months from a local lawyer when he was stationed at Fort Hood.

“The street was extremely crowded with cars going by,” said Carlile, who lived next door to the house Presley lived in before she passed away a few years ago. “People were standing in the yard, wanting to touch him, kiss him.”

Carlile was a mother of four at the time, and wasn’t really into the rock ’n’ roll music that Presley is famous for.

“I’m not a fan of music of that age,” Carlile told a local news reporter, adding she was more into the tunes of the big band era.

Her children did get autographs from Presley, but Carlile said she threw the signed pieces of paper away years later.

She said the rock ’n’ roll king dated a few of the local girls when he was here, and his presence made a big impact, especially in the Oakhill Drive neighborhood, which in 1958 was home to lawyers, business owners and other upper-middle class families.

More than 64 years later, the house is still standing, and although it’s aged, the outside doesn’t look dramatically different from when Presley lived there.

Surprisingly, more recent owners of the Presley’s rental house indicated they didn’t even know the house had once been lived in by Presley when they bought it some years ago.

To this day Elvis fans regularly pop by the house to take a video, some puctures or inquire about the former home of the King.

On display at Graceland complex in Memphis, Tennessee

Some drive hundreds of miles to do so. Others want to peep inside or look at the backyard.

Although there has been updated renovations (exterior windows and roof) owners are reluctant to offer details.

In November 2006, the 2,400-square-foot house was placed for purchase on eBay.

The owner at the time, Myka Allen-Johnson, a sales representative for CenTex Homes, said she wanted to sell the home to someone who would understand the historical significance.

“I didn’t buy the house with the intention of selling it on eBay,” Allen-Johnson told the Killeen Daily Herald in 2006. “I just don’t want people to forget that he lived here in Killeen.”

Ft. Hood front gate 1958

Penny Love was 3 or 4 years old and lived around the corner in 1958. She recalls her family seeing Presley sneak through her backyard to avoid the crowd that waited out front. She said she would sometimes sit on Presley’s father, Vernon’s lap on the front porch.

The community has missed out on any significant tourism and marketing opportunities over the years. In August 1958, Presley fans petitioned the Killeen City Council to change the name of Oakhill Drive to Presley Drive, bringing nationwide publicity to the area. Today, however, Oakhill is still the name of the street.

The owner said she allows Presley fans to take a quick picture of the front of the house. But those who try to pry closer are not totally welcome.

The backyard has a steep incline, she said, which can be dangerous, and a German shepherd patrols back there, too.

Favorite Fan Photos

Elvis Presley, The Rockin’ Motorcycle King in Photos

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/elvis-presley-the-rockin-motorcycle-king-in-photos/embed/#?secret=mCsDyQTdl8

More Rare or Unseen Elvis Presley Pictures From the 60s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/06/10/more-rare-or-unseen-elvis-presley-pictures-from-the-60s/embed/#?secret=OrH73oXJB4

25 MORE Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the Army

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/25-more-rare-photos-of-elvis-presley-in-the-army/embed/#?secret=QM7UuXuv5W

20 Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the U.S. Army

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/20-rate-photos-of-elvis-presley-in-the-u-s-army/embed/#?secret=aoCYSwtQ3k

20 Elvis Presley Photos You May Have Never Seen From The 1960s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/20-elvis-presley-photos-you-may-have-never-seen-from-the-1960s/embed/#?secret=dQQFfwxfNP

Elvis Presley: Rare Shots From the 1970s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/elvis-presley-rare-shots-from-the-1970s/embed/#?secret=4h7ZdpV2LL

Elvis Presley Movies Ranked

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/elvis-presley-movies-ranked/embed/#?secret=4IUVI49WXl

10 Rare Elvis Presley Photos in the 1950s

Please Support These American Owned Businesses Today

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!
CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.
Visit Graceland

Barbara Eden to Appear at Graceland for Elvis Week 2022

Barbara Eden will make her first-ever appearance at Elvis Week 2022 on August 15 at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee as a special guest at Conversations on Elvis. In memory of the 45th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing, she will share some of her favorite memories of co-starring alongside Elvis in the 1960 film “Flaming Star.”

Throughout her illustrious career, Barbara Eden has starred in over 25 feature films, five network TV series, and 19 top-rated network made-for-television movies. Her iconic “I Dream of Jeannie” NBC Television series, launched in 1965, became an instant hit.

Flaming Star

In addition, Barbara is a New York Times bestselling author with her memoir, Jeannie Out of the Bottle. She most recently released her debut children’s book, Barbara And The Djinn.

Barbara also guest starred on Nickelodeon’s #1 animated Pre-School series Shimmer & Shine lending her voice, for the first time, as Empress Caliana.  Barbara keeps busy acting, making personal appearances, touring, participating in numerous charity events and home life, all of which are a part of her regular agenda.

Tickets for Elvis Week 2022 are on sale now. Click here for more information.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Elvis Presley, Music in Black and White

Three Music Historians Open the Blinds of Truth on How He United People of All Races

With Over 40 Historical Photos

Presley fans across the globe realize that knowing the truth about Elvis Presley and the subject of racism requires knowledge about his early childhood and an exploration of the facts of his life throughout his career.

The great American musical pioneers of the 1950s were precise in their adamant characterizations of Presley being a uniting force. They often described him as the person who did far more for bringing blacks and whites together than anyone culturally.

According to three of the finest music culture researchers around the world, they all agree that Presley was a catalyst and powerful (as an individual human being and a worldwide example) influencer from the beginning and still continues to be.

Elvis with B.B.King, 1956

Some time ago, I reached out to three experts on the topic to set the record straight. Their cumulative research represents over 85 years of study, exploration and documentation in the field of culture, music history and Elvis Presley. These specialists are: 

  • Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello
  • Craig Philo (CP) is a music researcher and historian from Sheppey, in Kent, U.K.
  • Jay Viviano (JP) is a pop culture historian with over 20 years of experience in research of icons of the 50’s and 60’s, with a strong concentration on Blues artists.

Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello (GPA): “Critics and the uninformed should put themselves “in the position the 7-year-old Elvis Presley found himself in, circa 1942. He was white, but living in an area of Tupelo, Mississippi, totally surrounded by African Americans.

With an unerring ear and a photographic memory, he totally absorbed everything he heard, LIVE, at the gospel churches attended by African Americans. Now, this was not Georgia, Florida, New York, or Illinois, let alone California, Washington State, but Mississippi, a state which was then the poorest of the then 49 states of the Union.”

Craig Philo (CP): “Sam Bell, a childhood black friend in Tupelo, feared for his friend when Elvis made his life changing journey to Memphis at the age of 13 with his beloved parents. You see, perhaps old Sam knew a thing or two about human behavior, knew how his friend’s open and honest approach to all he came in contact with, driven into him by his mother not to hurt another’s feelings would someday hurt him, how right he was!”

Sam Bell

GPA: “Then, at age 13, with his parents, he moves to the second poorest, Tennessee, actually to Memphis, the crossroads of urban and city blues.

Forget about the ear and the memory as, by now, starting at age 16, we are talking about a human being who MUSICALLY loves and masters everything around him–namely R&B, the Blues, and Gospel of all denominations, plus European ballads, Country and Western, Opera, Neo-classical recordings, Pop, you name it, he masters it.

And to top it all, he is armed as well with the most eclectic and elastic voice in history. In 1954, it became the most important, which it remains to this day. And that is why BB King was so impressed when he first met him, a lad of 17. ‘He knew more blues and gospel songs than anyone I had ever met’ and years later added, ‘I understand why they call him the King.’ Nuff said, from the King of the Blues.”

Downtown Memphis

Jay Viviano (JV): “Reverend Milton Perry was an early Civil Rights activist in the 1950s. He had Elvis’ back just like many other great legends did. He published an open letter to Black America in a 1957 magazine that stated, after spending time talking to not only white people, but Black people in the R&B and Blues community, as well as African Americans that knew him as a child in Tupelo.

‘I found that an overwhelming majority of people who know Elvis speak of this boy as a boy who practices humility and a love for racial harmony,’ Rev. Perry wrote. ‘I learned that he is not too proud or important to speak to anyone, and to spend time with his fans of whatever color, whenever or wherever they approached him.’”

GPA: “Elvis stealing from black music? Tell it to BB King, Otis Redding, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Cissy Houston, Darlene Love, Jim Brown, Mohammed Ali, Jesse Jackson, Al Green, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Sammy Davis Jr. Count Basie, even Public Enemy’s Chuck D, who reconsidered his 1989 views in Fight the Power, and he did so in 2002, as well as to hundreds of other notable African Americans I have on record saying that was NOT the case with Presley.”

JV:BB King, bluesman Little Milton and Little Richard referred to Elvis as an ‘Integrator.’ And they both use the words ‘that guts it took for Elvis to do what he was doing’ in their own interviews.

Elvis ticked off mainstream racist white America when he came on the scene–especially the KKK and white Citizens Council members—by hanging out with black folks in public, speaking respectful of black artists and continually defending rock and roll, R&B and blues music to the point that young white American kids were paying attention and opening up their minds.

This drove their parents (meaning mainstream racist white America) to anger against Elvis. For his first two years on the scene he was public enemy number one. Little Richard in a later interview in his life praised Elvis passionately for his impact on young white America.”

CP: “In all my time on researching Elvis Aaron Presley I have never ever once come across any racial behavior or activity. Indeed the only stuff you will find was a slanderous lie that’s gathered mythical proportions through the years originally reported by Sepia magazine in April of 1957 and consequently torn to shreds by none other than the great Louie Robinson of Jet Magazine.”

GPA: “In fact Louis Robinson, the talented African American writer who Jet Magazine commissioned to go to LA and interview Presley on the MGM set of “Jailhouse Rock”, in 1957, to obtain his views on racist and other “copycat” remarks which appeared in SEPIA, a magazine geared towards the African American market in the US South. But unlike Jet and Ebony, it was owned by white anti-integrationist and based in Fort Worth, TX.

Robinson has just passed away. He unequivocally stated the rumors were false, so this mentioning of Presley as one who stole, or copied, from African Americans and coming from a prestigious magazine as Ebony tells me (that any writer who differs), well how can I put this, is ill informed.”

JV: “The truth though, which stands up to scrutiny, is that there simply was no other white man as famous as Elvis back in those days that took so many hits for proudly befriending the black community.


The ridiculous fact that people try to spread the opposite as ‘some sort of truth’ makes it paramount that this is handled aggressively.”

CP: “When actor Sidney Poitier and tennis great Arthur Ashe wanted to write books, they sought Mr. Robinson’s help.

‘Never in my life have I known a better man,’ Poitier said.

Yes, Robinson went and interviewed Elvis on the set of Jailhouse Rock. The fact Presley was never in Boston when the quote was reputedly made matters little to some. It was and remains a vicious lie concocted by a fearful white middle America as a weapon to try and cut down this brave and carefree spirited individual whose only crime was to record the music he loved and respected. And at all times in doing so paid reverence and respect to those black artists that he deemed did it better than he did. After all, there is no color in music!”

JV: “People need to get over their ignorance about American history. Elvis did himself NO favors back then by hanging out and letting himself be photographed with black folks. Racism was a common blatant practice of the day. It was these very things that made Elvis hated by many older white folks, yet respected by the black community.

Reverend Milton Perry concluded his statement by saying ‘Presley set an example of wholesome Brotherhood. I find something to admire in Presley and that is his attitude on the racial issue. And that it would be good if other people in the South in other parts of the nation emulated his attitude’.”

GPA: “Notice that, in the US, of all the early Blues, Country and Western, Gospel and R&B masters, the ones who sprang from them, namely Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Bill Haley, Little Richard and Ray Charles, let alone the ones who sprang from or appeared in the scene IMMEDIATELEY after them; namely Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent and say Eddie Cochran, the only one whose MUSICAL palette was totally complete was Elvis Presley.

Otherwise, how can one explain that the top singer in the world, on December 4, 1956, should start, the guitar now firmly in his arms, the so called Million Dollar Quartet session with an Agustin Lara song from 1941, the classic “Solamente una vez.” Only Elvis, in this case with (his mother) Gladys’ music taste’s help, was destined to rule.”

JV: “Interestingly, not only did Elvis have the same Blues background as many blues men had, but also their same Country and Western roots. As so many Blues artists did indeed, in many of their interviews, state they had strong Country and Western music influences as well. 

Otis Blackwell had strong country and Western roots. Some in the Blues and R&B community accused him of being too country. That explains why he and Elvis were probably such a perfect fit right out of the gate for Elvis to end up doing a handful of his songs. I always thought these dynamics were interesting and things aren’t always cut and dry as people assume.”

CP: “Is it so farfetched or is it just simple logic that of the time in mid-50’s segregated America that it took a white kid to bust open the doors for all these truly great black artists?

Is it right that Presley gets lambasted and ridiculed by so many because he was that one?

People seem to forget the song that catapulted him to stardom in the south had on the backside of it ‘Blue moon of Kentucky’ steeped in Bluegrass/Country, until Presley spiced it up as he did with ‘That’s Alright,’ which is in no way a theft of any kind! Crudup is in there but so too are other influences. Presley was not a COPYCAT! A COOL CAT YES!”

JV: “I mean is there anybody that SERIOUSLY would say, if they could go back in time, they would tell Muhammad Ali, James Brown, BB King, Bobby blue Bland, Etta James, Sammy Davis Jr, Jackie Wilson and many others, they were wrong for proudly calling Elvis their friend and stating he was a help to black artists. 

Many of them said it wasn’t until Elvis got other white kids across America listening to rock and roll that it was after that, their own records started to skyrocket in sales. And if we go back and look at the physical numbers and sales charts we see this is true.

Even modern activists that have been around since the 1960’s civil rights movement have admitted they were wrong about Elvis. Nikki Giovanni there for the movement since the 1960s is a perfect example: ‘I’m glad to find out I was wrong about Elvis.’

Dret Scott Keyes when becoming aware of the integrity Elvis had, always pointing out the black music influence on him, just as he did the country and western and white pop artists, ‘Elvis was honest.’
And they’re certainly not the only ones.

The R&B community acknowledge him and inducted him into the R&B Hall of Fame the same year along with Little Richard, Bobby Rush and other legends that had publicly praised Elvis.”

CP: “When a reporter referred to Elvis as the ‘King of Rock ’n’ Roll’ at the press conference following his 1969 Las Vegas opening, he rejected the title, as he always did, calling attention to the presence in the room of his friend Fats Domino, ‘one of my influences from way back.’ He often paid homage to Fats recognizing no one could sing those songs like he did.

From close friends to the many, many black entertainers that he adored or merely those that met him briefly, have come out and said PROUDLY he was my friend. To quote Muhammad Ali, ‘Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you’d want to know.’ Sammy Davis Junior another also was quoted as saying “the only thing that’s matters, is that he was my friend.”

Fats Domino and Elvis

GPA: Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey was highlighted on a recent Black History Month television program and I the “mention of Mahalia Jackson and Elvis Presley having recorded the Reverend’s ‘Take my Hand Precious Lord.’ There was another song also penned by the Reverend which was, in fact, written for Mahalia in 1937 and which Presley sang live, on January 6, 1957, during his third appearance at the Ed Sullivan Show, at CBS.

The audience, estimated by Trendex, the precursor of Nielsen, at 50 million. As this may be the largest audience ever assembled on US television for a gospel song, ever, and that includes Obama’s swearing in which drew less than 50 million. It may be important to take note of what became of it.

Presley wanted to sing it, as he had promised his mother that he would do, but Ed Sullivan was initially against it. During rehearsals that same day, the decision to film Presley from the waist up only was taken by Sullivan, for other reasons, so eventually Sullivan eased on Presley’s request.

Elvis was allowed to sing it that night, immediately following Sullivan’s announcement that Presley wanted specifically for those watching to send their contributions towards the lessening of the plight of some 250,000 Hungarians fleeing the Soviet intervention of their country and which had taken place on both the 24th and 31st of October of 1956. Sullivan added that Presley wanted to dedicate the song to the Hungarians.

By the end of 1957, in the next 11 months, some $6 million were received as a result of Presley’s request. In 2010, the Mayor of Budapest honored Presley posthumously by making him a citizen of that city and naming a park facing the oldest and most beautiful bridge, the Margaret Bridge, after him.

Elvis Presley Park, Budapest

The song’s delivery by Presley was so earnest, that it brightened the hearts of the 50 million watching, and they in turn, as I said, sent the equivalent of $49.5 million in 2016 dollars (SFR 26 million at the 1957 SFR 4.31 to the US$ exchange rate). So, the Reverend’s song brought a happy ending, via Elvis, as the refugees settled for life in both Vienna and London.”

JV: “Just one example is Elvis being the ONLY white artist that bothered to show up at charity events for black folks. Google ‘Elvis Goodwill Review Memphis.’ Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Bill Haley and many other white artists, were NOT doing these things. And many of the black artist from those days have pointed this out, while making it very clear, Elvis WAS.

People need to get over the NEED to inaccurately, continue to portray Presley as just some ‘cold-hearted cultural bandit.’ We need to quit believing the lies and rumors that keep getting passed on over the decades as “truth” and to start respecting the words of our legends who said otherwise.

Elvis Presley With Sweet Inspirations Astrodome March 3, 1974

To even try to disagree with these things or argue against it only makes those that do look bad, and it’s a disrespect to our great black legends that have praised and defended Elvis.

There were white guys back then that were cheap imitations, just jumping on the bandwagon, like Pat Boone, and others that are guilty of appropriation, but James Brown, BB King, and many others said Elvis was NOT the one. They pointed out Elvis came from extreme poverty and humble conditions and new and respected the music he was singing.

The R&B community has done the research themselves in recent years and found out Elvis was incorrectly labeled ‘a racist and cultural thief.’ They have done their part trying to publicly honor Elvis in many ways the last few years and help clear Elvis name of slanderous claims of him being a ‘racist thief.’

Many have paid attention to many of our great black legends from the past who have defended Elvis in their interviews and in their own autobiographies, basically stating how much credit EP always publicly gave to black artists in his interviews and how much help he was to the black community ….especially when we consider the KKK is documented to have hated Elvis.”

CP: “For far too long accusations of cultural thief, racist and white trash have been disgracefully hung around Presley’s neck like a blinding Vegas neon sign. The time has come once and for all for this crap to be debunked–blown to smithereens. You can label it anyway you like, but purely and simply, isn’t it time the real truth was told?

Now telling the truth, researching the truth is far different from listening to rumor. If you think by cupping your ear to listen with intent to nasty whispers and needless tittle tattle in trying to dirty a man’s name is without shame, then continue. The real shame here is that actually that man stood for so much that was right with the world. Still, if that is OK and of noteworthy behavior to you then stand up and be counted and look like the fool you are. Do some reading! In all seriousness it borders on stupidity and ignorance of biblical proportions.”

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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This Anti-COVID Regimen We’ve Used Two Years Has Kept Us Safe

By Dodie Dennis

Being a registered nurse for 40 years, as soon as we heard about COVID-19 pandemic, I did extensive research to find the right supplements and foods for Jack and me to fight it. (Shown at the bottom of this article).

Both of us agreed we would not be taking any so-called experimental vaccines that were rushed into development and not adequately proven.

We elected to modify our vitamins, minerals and food intake instead.

Hard to get.

Hydroxychloroquine, which has been around since 1946, has been used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to malaria and others.

The more research I did, talking with and learning from physicans, nurses and researchers, I decided on a regimen for us.

Let me just say, we have taken road trips through Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Colorado since June 2020.

Some of the crowds we’ve been in included Graceland, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, D.C., Ark Encounter, Branson, Royal Gorge, Sea World, concerts, various zoos, museums and theaters.

We are not fond of wearing masks, but out of respect for others, we do so only in medical offices, hospitals, businesses or restaurants that require it (usually we go someplace else).

We have relatives that had COVID, some two or three times, even after taking the jab. We know more people who have died from it who were recently jabbed. We also know many nurses and even doctors who will not get jabbed. We are respectful to any individual for whatever their choice is, but we will not be jabbed.

Our Anti-COVID Regimen

🔹Today we eat a low sodium (under 2,000 mgs a day) diet. We emphasize more vegetables and fruit, and smaller entrees of meat, chicken, seafood, etc. We do prefer chicken (not fried) over meat.

🔹The #1 thing we take every evening is zinc with tonic water. It’s the closest thing to hydroxychloroquine that we know of. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t require a prescription.

🔹Tonic water contains quinine, which has been used for centuries to treat malaria.  Chloroquine is a relative of quinine — both are extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree. Quinine has been around for centuries, discovered by Peruvian natives in the 1820s.

There are a few reasons why quinine and chloroquine work as an anti-viral. First they can change the pH in the cells, making them more alkaline (thus impairing virus’s ability to replicate).
 
Second, quinine and chloroquine help bring otherwise bio-unavailable zinc into your cells, and the zinc inhibits the virus’s ability to replicate inside your cells.

🔹Sunlight (vitamin D) also minimizes the effects of viruses.  A 2020 study found that people with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to die from coronavirus. 

🔹Vitamin C is used to help our God given immune systems fight off any viruses we come in contact with. We take Emergen-C containing 1000 mg of Vitamin C as well as B Vitamins and other antioxidants.

🔹We also take a proprietary blend of CoQ10, Citicoline, and refined fish oil.

🔹In addition, we consume Green Pasture Products such as fermented Cod Liver Oil along with their Concentrated Butter Oil.

🔹Concentrated Butter Oil is made from milk produced by rapidly growing greengrass fed cows. It is extracted and concentrated through centrifugation. The speed of grass growth, timing of grazing, species of grass, climate, and extraction method are all-important factors in making real Concentrated Butter Oil.

Their blend contains naturally occurring Vitamins A and D. It’s a natural source of Omega Fatty Acids.

🔹This cod oil is so good for your heart, brain and joints. I’ve tried many brands over the years (former national champion volleyball player) and Green Pasture helped me in just a matter of days like no other.

🔹But my go to, especially for joint health, is without a doubt the Green Pasture Skate Liver Oil.

🔹Last, but not least, we take probiotics that supports gut health–the basis for immune system health.

Highly recommended!

This article is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Health information articles provide general health information and are not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a physician or other health professionals. We advise you to contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Our Readers Favorite Elvis Presley Articles & Photos

The recorded voice of Elvis Presley has been heard by more people than any other in human existence. Elvis remains arguably the most famous and recognizable entertainer in history. From music, movies and memorabilia, his lifetime earnings were $4.3 billion–worth $19 billion today. His earnings since his death on August 16, 1977 far exceed that.

Here are some of our readers favorite articles about Elvis from Clever Journeys, beginning with the most widely viewed.

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/06/07/presleys-cousin-harold-loyd-reveals-secrets-of-young-elvis/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/06/17/b-b-king-others-knew-and-defended-elvis-presley-against-all-racist-assertions/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/06/25/the-shrewd-11-year-old-who-wouldnt-negotiate-with-elvis-presley/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/06/21/behind-the-scenes-of-elvis-on-tour-1972-in-texas/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/06/22/8-year-old-denise-sanchez-met-elvis-before-she-died/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/11/13/a-true-story-of-elvis-presley-and-june-juanico/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/07/26/how-elvis-became-a-guitar-man/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/08/15/the-day-elvis-heart-stopped-hurting/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/08/21/2756/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/10/25/sam-phillips-introduced-elvis-presley-johnny-cash-roy-orbison-jerry-lee-lewis-and-many-others-to-the-world/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/08/01/elvis-presleys-1st-1-national-hit-record-released-66-years-ago-today/?preview=true

Favorite Fan Photos

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/elvis-presley-the-rockin-motorcycle-king-in-photos/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/06/10/more-rare-or-unseen-elvis-presley-pictures-from-the-60s/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/25-more-rare-photos-of-elvis-presley-in-the-army/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/20-rate-photos-of-elvis-presley-in-the-u-s-army/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/20-elvis-presley-photos-you-may-have-never-seen-from-the-1960s/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/elvis-presley-rare-shots-from-the-1970s/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/elvis-presley-movies-ranked/?preview=true

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/10-rare-elvis-presley-photos-of-the-1950s/?preview=true

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Elvis Presley Jumpsuit Sells For $1,012,500; Hunk of Hair: $72,500

Each August, the anniversary month of Elvis Presley’s death in 1977, worldwide events commemorate the most iconic entertainer in history.

In his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, the city hosts thousands of fans to Elvis’ Graceland and museum complex, as well as local venues and events.

Germany, England, Japan, Brazil, France, Australia (unless they are in government forced lockdowns), India, Denmark and other countries host such Elvis events.

Elvis earns more money now than he did alive…and even then, his income was phenomenal.

In August 2021, Elvis Presley‘s iconic white eyelet jumpsuit and cape worn by the legendary musician at a string of shows was sold for more than a million dollars.

Most famous for wearing it at one of his Madison Square Garden performances, the white and gold jumpsuit even graced the cover of one of his best selling live albums.

The jumpsuit, designed by Bill Belew, was sold by Kruse GWS Auction the entertainment memorabilia auction house specializing in celebrities, started with an opening bid of $350,000 while the cape was going for $50,000.

World Record in Auctions

The Elvis Presley Eyelet Jumpsuit and Cape from his 1972 Madison Square Garden performances in New York have sold for $1,012,500, with the auction house reporting it as a world record price.

The jumpsuit, designed by Bill Belew, was sold by Kruse GWS Auction.

Kruse GWS Auctions also collaborated with Presley’s ex-wife Priscilla and has begun taking live bids for a private lunch with her.

Elvis hair collected by his barber.

A chunk of Elvis Presley’s hair sold for $72,500.

 In 2017, during Elvis week celebrations, a wide array of Presley memorabilia was on the block that raked in a total sum of $1.5 million.

A man watches a video of Elvis Presley performing during the grand opening of the new "Elvis Presley's Memphis", a $45 million, state of the art entertainment and museum complex, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Brandon Dill - RTS117IA

Elvis Presley genuine autographs generally sell in the $400-$2500 range. This autograph recently sold for $862.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Elvis Presley’s 1st #1 National Hit Record Released 66 Years Ago Today

In previous writings and conversations over the years, when I asked if others could name Elvis Presley’s first #1 rated national record, the answers were inevitably “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” or “Hound Dog.” Ocassionally, “Love Me Tender” or “Jailhouse Rock” were mentioned.

Scotty Moore & Elvis Presley

Even most big time Elvis fans were wrong. The first #1 national hit was released on August 1, 1955. Although I wasn’t born until four months later, I remembered the date because it was my maternal grandmother, Ruby Floyd’s, 45th birthday.

A few years or so later, she’d play Elvis Presley’s greatest hits album and we would dance to each song on both sides of the disc. It’s little wonder I became a solid lifelong Elvis fan.

The first night of showing a new movie at the Trail or Mission Drive In theaters in San Antonio, my family would be there early–in time to be parked front and center and catch the cartoons and upcoming attractions previews.

Bill Black, Scotty Moore with the addition of Johnny Bernero on drums were the musicians.

Elvis’ first national hit was actually his last recording at Sun Studios and was cut on July 11, 1954 but released on August 1st over a year later.

Johnny was actually a full time plumber who worked opposite Sun Studios, but was hired by Sam Phillips to play drums from time to time.

Johnny was a bit older than the rest of the group and was more of a western swing style drummer, evidenced from the groove he plays on this track. He was offered the job as Elvis’ drummer but turned it down due to having a family.

Johnny did go on to record under his own name at Sun, however the singles weren’t released at the time and he never became successful in the music industry. You can find some of his recordings on line now though.

Scotty Moore’s guitar had a Nashville steel guitar sound, and Bill Black played a clip-clop rhythm on his large stand-up bass (now owned by Sir Paul McCartney).

Elvis sang a brooding vocal. This is the closest the trio came to a traditional country song while at Sun.

Elvis, Bill & Scotty at Sun Studio with Sam Phillips.

The song reached the Billboard national country music chart #1 position on February 25, 1956 on the Billboard C&W Best Sellers in Stores chart. It remained there at #1 for 2 weeks, and spent 5 weeks at #1 on the Billboard C&W Most Played in Juke Boxes chart.

The record reached #4 on the Billboard Most Played by Jockeys chart. It was the first recording to make Elvis Presley a nationally-known country music star. The song remained on the country charts for 39 weeks.

The single reached no. 2 on the Cash Box Country singles chart on the March 10, 1956 Top 15 Country Best Sellers Chart.

The flip side of this release, “Mystery Train”, peaked at the #11 position on the national Billboard Country Chart.

What was Elvis’s first #1 song? None other than “I Forgot to Remember to Forget.” (Click to YouTube clip)


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Cynthia Leal Massey, award-winning Texas author.

‘What Lies Beneath Texas’ now available. Click for details.