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My way – Elvis Presley’s timeless take on this legendary song

Courtesy of YouTube

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Remembering those who; are connected to Elvis Presley and have (sadly) passed away

The holidays are upon us but those who have passed, along with their families, you will always remain in our; hearts, minds, thoughts, and soul.

Pertaining to Elvis Presley, and those in which he loved – befriended – worked with, we acknowledge you with:


Our heartfelt thanks, prayers, and thoughts (eternally) go out to the loved ones, friends, and family members as well.  May God bless you in every way.

In no specific order we remember now;      

Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977),

Vernon Elvis Presley (Elvis’ Father) April 10, 1916 – June 16, 1979,    

Gladys Love Presley (Elvis’ beloved Mother) April 25, 1912 – August 14, 1958,       

Minnie Mae Presley (aka: Dodger Elvis Grandmother and Vernon’s’ Mother) June 17, 1890 – May 8, 1980,  

Jessie Garon Presley (Elvis’ twin brother born before Elvis as a “stillborn child “January 8, 1935 – January 8, 1935 ),

Charlie Hodge (died March 63, 2006). Elvis’ friend and his onstage “right hand man who gave Elvis his water and his scarfs”) as well as decades of dedication and laughter.

JD Sumner (died November 16, 1998). Elvis loved his deep voice and is credited with hitting the “lowest note” ever recorded who also sang back up with Elvis onstage for years via JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet).

Myrna Smith  died on December 25, 2014. Myrna was an integral park of Elvis’ concert appearances, in the 1970s and in may Elvis Presley records (45, 33, 77, extended). Elvis and Myrna had a professional and playful relationship. They both resected each other’ singing abilities and Myrna enjoyed being around Elvis. She always had an “open door policy” to allow Elvis or Lisa Marie Presley to visit with.


Lamar Fike (who passed away January 22, 2011 at the age of 75) who was Elvis’ beloved friend of (approx.) twenty years and was Elvis’ “lighting manager” for Elvis’ Concerts and a source/recipient of Elvis’ humor.


Janelle McComb (who passed away July 25, 2005 at the age of 84). From EPE – Janelle McComb died on July 25 in Tupelo due to a congestive heart failure. Janelle was a friend of the Presley family since Elvis was four years old and remained close to Priscilla and Lisa Marie. As far as know, Janelle was 84 years old and was the driving force behind the Tupelo Youth Center, the renovation of the birthplace, the construction of the museum and the Elvis memorial Chapel. Janelle possessed a treasure of letters, notes and pictures from Elvis, which were never made public. Few fans know that Janelle was a gifted writer herself. For Lisa’s 4th birthday, she wrote a poem, called The Priceless Gift. Elvis was so touched by it, that tears filled his eyes. In fact, he was so impressed that he commissioned a second poem in 1976, this time as a Christmas gift for his father. One year later, shortly after Elvis had passed away, it was Vernon’s turn to call on Janelle, and ask her if she could write a poem for the gravestone. Janelle did, and it’s that poem that millions of fans all over the world have read in the Meditation Garden. Later, when the Eternal Flame was installed.

Patti Parry (i.e. Thursday October 27, 2011) died. Patti was a beloved, and trusted, trusted friend to Elvis for 17 years. Patti, like so many unique and talented people associated with Elvis will be (forever); missed, mourned, celebrated for their lives, and loved.

 John Wilkinson died, on January 11, 2013 at age 67, after battling cancer. John was a remarkably talented musician and played with Elvis for nine years and up to Elvis’ death in August of 1977.

Todd Morgan (of EPE) who passed away at the age of 45 on March 1, 2008.

 Al Wertheimer died on October 20, 214. Mr. Wertheimer was a professional photographer who captured exceptional photographs of Elvis in 1956. In this photo he is holding his most famous Elvis photograph entitled “the kiss”.

They, individually and collectively, will never forgotten as they remain forever in each of our hearts and we miss them  (in countless ways) all our lives.

We continue to have the family members, friends, and loved ones of each of these individuals in our thoughts and prayers. May God allow you the time to heal and may your pain be gradually replaced with fond memories now…and each day hereafter. May there come a day when all of us will be reunited on the “other side” and what a glorious day that will be.


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Elvis Presley and his commitment to charities

1956 March of Dimes being kissed

It is important to know that during Elvis’ lifetime, between his Fathers beliefs seeing firsthand the abuses of the IRS and that of Colonel Parker who was an illegal alien always fearful that his illegal status would/could be caught and thereby ruin his managing career as well as face criminal prosecution, that Elvis Presley (1) was in the HIGHEST tax bracket each year including when the highest tax bracket was 95% (yes, ninety five percent) (2) was afraid of the powers/possible abuses of the IRS (3) did not “deduct/apply for a credit/claim a tax write off(s)” for most of his charitable givings and (4) routinely sent his return into the IRS with a note saying “tell me what, if anything, I owe you”.

This fundamental point has been either omitted, or minimized, by far too many “biographers” writing about Elvis Presley but it is a point worth understanding for it goes to the INTENT of Elvis’ charitable endeavors and that was simply…the purity of his heart and his desire to help his fellow man.

Having grown up poor, and seeing the importance of growing food and/or having access to individuals who grew their own food even if it was a “truck patch” (as made memorable in the song “Polk Salad Annie”), and being surrounded by family/friends/fellow church goers equally as poor Elvis learned early on what it meant to receive food/clothes/etc, from others as well as the grace/honor in freely helping out others in need both publicly and privately.

Elvis Presley (from his first days of performing in 1954 through his untimely death in 1977) was a pioneer as an Entertainer, in fashion, in his incorporation of Gospel Music into his Concert appearances, hairstyles, producing/arranging his musical recordings, and as a person how gave strangers, those close to him, and worthwhile charities his time…and his money.

Some of Elvis’ charitable contributions are engrained in Elvis Presley Fans memories but some, as an example his 1957 donation to his High School Ala mater Humes High School in the amount of $ 1,050.00 so that all of the students could attend the (annual) E. H. Crump Memorial football game for the Blind in Memphis, Tennessee, have been overlooked and/or not fully acknowledged.

In 1956 and in 1957 Elvis opted to perform life concerts at the Tupelo Fairgrounds in order to raise money for the “Elvis Presley Youth Foundation”. On July 4, 1956 Elvis performed at Russwood Park in Memphis selling 14,000 tickets. The proceeds went to the “Cynthia Milk Fund” and to the “Variety Club’s home for Convalescent Children”. During these same years (i.e. 1956 and 1957) Elvis posed for national ad campaigns to prevent Polio and to raise money for the March of Dimes.

Elvis routinely sought out to visit and to give a hug to children faced with “life threatening illnesses”. Elvis personally visited Hospitals with the intent to simply show the children that…he cared. In spite of the smiles Elvis mustered, for the cherished photographs that fans took of Elvis with these children, these interactions affected Elvis deeply and many times Elvis was moved to tears and attempting to compose himself while waving goodbye to the groups gathered in an attempt to get a glimpse of the King of Rock and Roll.

Elvis often donated the stuffed animals that he had received from fans Worldwide, which numbered in the hundreds, to children at local Hospitals in addition to allowing his own clothes, personal possessions, to be auctioned off for charity. Throughout his life Elvis would visit with the “Graceland Secretary s”, who among other tasks went through Elvis’ mail, and if a photograph, a request, or a story touched Elvis he would immediately take steps to help the people involved.

Whether it was paying off people’s debts, helping a family whose Father had died in the line of duty, paying off someones mortgage, buying them a home, buying them a car, or giving a disabled person a new wheelchair if Elvis knew about it…he helped. I have always believed that the greatest gift one can give…is of themselves and this is true of Elvis Presley. Interestingly, more times than not Elvis asked one thing for the money he routinely gave to others and that was for his giving to remain solely between him and those who were tasked to making sure the people received the money.

Some of the more publicized charities Elvis gave to were;

  1. On March 24, 1961 Elvis performed in Hawaii for a benefit concert, held at the Bloch Arena, to raise money for a memorial for the USS Arizona which had sank during the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 historically known as “a day that will live in infamy”. Elvis raised $ 65,000.00 and a plaque was prominently placed, at the memorial site, acknowledging Elvis’ efforts in raising the money. Sadly, the plaque was removed due to the acts of a few powerful “non-Elvis fans” and the return of this plaque remains an emphasis of mine and should be to Elvis Presley Fans Worldwide.
  2. In in 1964 Elvis bought the FDR Presidential Yacht named the Potomac and donated it to the St. Judes Children s Research Hospital, who ultimately sold it for an amount of $55,000.00, spearheaded at the time by entertainer Danny Thomas (Father of Marlo Thomas aka: “That Girl” TV Star and wife of Phil Donahue the talk show host). One bit of humor involving this event was that Colonel Parker, upon inspecting the yacht the morning that Elvis would personally present the yacht to Danny Thomas with many members of the press being present, saw that the yacht was in dire need of maintenance including paint. As only the Colonel would he authorized ONLY the side of the yacht that would be photographed to be freshly painted leaving the rest of the yacht discolored with peeling paint evident.
  3. In 1968 Elvis allowed one of his Rolls Royce to be auctioned off for a charity that assisted mentally retarded children.
  4. In 1973 Elvis performed the first “live concert/broadcast via Worldwide satellite”, which was seen by a record audience of over ONE BILLION people, known as “Aloha from Hawaii”. This concert was actually a benefit concert for the Kuiokalani Lee Cancer Fund. The goal was to raise $ 25,000.00 but this amount was greatly exceeded and actually raised $ 75,000.00.
  5. In 1975 Elvis gave a concert in Jackson Mississippi that raised in excess of $ 100,000.00 for victims of a tornado. This concert was deeply personal to Elvis because when Elvis was a child a tornado tore through his hometown in Tupelo, Mississippi and killed many people. Also, in 1975 during the month of July Elvis bought and then gave away 13 Cadillac s including to (bank teller) Mennie Person who was admiring Elvis’ limo that was parked outside of the dealership. Elvis also gave her a check to buy new clothes and in return Elvis received a hug and a kiss and a memory that was…priceless.

For every charitable act mentioned in this article there are many more that Elvis performed during his lifetime (such as annually presenting checks to approximately 50 Charities/Organizations each year in Memphis and each check was for a minimum of $1,000.00, giving over $10,000.00 to the Memphis Jewish Community Center Building Fund, etc.,).

As a DIEHARD Elvis Presley Fan, Collector, Advocate, Historian, and Expert I believe that one of the primary lessons that Elvis left was (among others); that we are all equal in Gods’ eyes and helping those in need is honorable.

No publicity, no tax write off, etc. is the path that Elvis chose as he believed and when one compares his efforts to those in the “entertainment industry” today there is clearly a vast distinction in intent. While all giving, to those in need, is honorable when one gives SOLELY for the purpose of giving, and derives on monetary benefit (i.e. tax write off), it is deserving of our respect and acknowledgment hence the reason for this specific article.

In recognition of Elvis’ charitable contributions Memphis Mayor William Ingram, along with the Governor of Tennessee Buford Ellington, officially declared October 29, 1967, “Elvis Presley Day” in the city of Memphis and in the State of Tennessee.

Some of the Charities that Elvis donated to, supported, etc. were (in alphabetical order) as follows:

American Cancer Society
Arthritis Foundation
Bethany Maternity Home

Braille Institute of America
Father Flanagan’s Boys Town of Nebraska
Fraternal Order of Police
Goodwill Industries
Junior League
Kidney Foundation
Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center

March of Dimes

Motion Picture Relief Fund

Muscular Dystrophy Association
Salvation Army
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
United Cerebral Palsy Association

Following in her Fathers’ footsteps Lisa Marie (with kudos to Priscilla Presley, EPE, and Jack Soden as well) has given her time, name, and money to worthwhile Charities publicly and privately. These Charities include, but are not limited to, the following: Presley Place, The Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center, and the Red Cross.

In closing, Elvis Aron Presley (yes I use the name given his at birth and not “Aaron”) was a pioneer in his charitable endeavors and his deeds are worth aspiring to. None of us are “perfect”, and Elvis certainly was not, but to give unto others is one of the ways that we honor God and I hope that Elvis Presley Fans Worldwide will continue to give to others in need as they have for over five decades now.

May God bless you. Thank you for reading this article and take care.

Your “friend in Elvis”,

Jeff Schrembs


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Remembering Elvis Presley and those who he loved/befriended

Elvis Presley left behind (3) three decades of extraordinary works in; live appearances, concerts, movies, TV appearances, person, the music industry and in those whose lives he touched.

To those who have passed away (in no specific order):

Elvis Presley

Gladys Love Presley

Vernon Elvis Presley

Minnie Mae Presley (aka Dodger)

Aunt Delta

Mryna Smith

Patti Parry

Lama Fike

Junior Smith (Elvis’ cousin)

To those who are still with us may God bless you. They are; Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, Billy Smith, Sandi Pichon, Sandie Kay Stevens, June Juanico, and Barbara Hearn.

Lastly, thanks to those who have shared their talents and memories about Elvis in various media forms; Alanna Nash, Paul Litcher, Russ Howe, and to those who have websites (please see http://www.ElvisCollector.info for links in which I highly recommend) that allow fans to interact and to learn about Elvis onstage and off.

Take care and may God bless you.

Jeff Schrembs

Me October 24, 2014

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Results of Elvis Presley auction September 2014

The King of Cadillacs! Plush red car bought by Elvis Presley to drive on his honeymoon with Priscilla sells for £55,000

  • 1967 Cadillac Coupe de Ville bought by Elvis after 1967 Las Vegas wedding
  • Drove Priscilla back to Graceland in it and became one of his favourite cars
  • The pair, married for six years, used to take it to their Mississippi ranch 
  • ‘Piece of rock and roll history’ was bought by a private collector at auction  

It was bought by the King after he married Priscilla in 1967 and became one of his favourite cars to cruise around Memphis in – but Elvis Presley’s red Cadillac has sold for just £55,000.

The famous 1967 Coupe de Ville took the singer and his new wife from Las Vegas back to his Graceland mansion in Tennessee after their wedding.

The iconic couple regularly took the car to Elvis’s 163-acre Circle G ranch in Mississippi where they spent some of their honeymoon.

The 1967 Cadillac 1967 Coupe de Ville, owned by Elvis Presley was bought by a private collector at a sale in Las Vegas for just £55,000

The 1967 Cadillac 1967 Coupe de Ville, owned by Elvis Presley was bought by a private collector at a sale in Las Vegas for just £55,000

It was bought by a private collector at a sale in Las Vegas held by classic car auctioneers Barrett Jackson on Thursday.

Elvis, who by that point was earning $1 million a movie, became known for his love of Cadillacs and would often splash out on the chrome-covered cars as gifts for friends and family.

He once even bought a Cadillac for a total stranger who he had spotted admiring his own car.

The red 1967 Coupe de Ville is said to have some of the best documentation of any of Elvis’ cars, with registration papers clearly showing it listed as belonging to him and giving his address as Graceland, Memphis.

An old photograph of the Cadillac taken when Elvis Presley owned it 

An old photograph of the Cadillac taken when Elvis Presley owned it

Just married: Elvis Presley sits cheek to cheek with his bride, Priscilla, following their wedding on May 1 1967 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Just married: Elvis Presley sits cheek to cheek with his bride, Priscilla, following their wedding on May 1 1967 in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Presleys drove the car from Las Vegas back to the singer's Graceland Mansion in Memphis following their wedding

The Presleys drove the car from Las Vegas back to the singer’s Graceland Mansion in Memphis following their wedding

It was owned by American collector Mike Moon since 1979 and had been on display at The Elvis Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

The mint condition motor boasts a huge 8-cylinder engine, a three-speed automatic gearbox and black leather interior.

Craig Jackson, director of Barrett Jackson, said: ‘Elvis and Cadillacs go hand in hand – he was famous for the amount of Cadillacs he bought.

‘He bought a lot of Cadillacs for other people and gave a lot of them away too but this was one he kept for himself.

‘People would see Elvis driving this car around Memphis. It was an important part of his life.

The sales document for Elvis Preserly's Cadillac with his name scrawled on the page

Elvis and Priscilla pose for a photo taken in Beverly Hills in 1969

The sales document for Elvis Presley’s Cadillac with his name scrawled on the page (left) and the singer poses with wife Priscilla in Beverly Hills in 1969

The car was owned by American collector Mike Moon since 1979 and had been on display at The Elvis Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The car was owned by American collector Mike Moon since 1979 and had been on display at The Elvis Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

‘It is pretty significant because it’s the one he drove on his honeymoon with Priscilla. It’s another piece of rock and roll history.

‘It’s got more documentation signed by Elvis than pretty much any other car he owned.

‘This car has been in several museums over the years. It is unique because it hasn’t been passed through private collectors until now.’

The Las Vegas auction also featured the 1970 Rolls Royce given to Johnny Cash by ABC studios.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2773509/The-King-Cadillacs-Plush-red-car-bought-Elvis-Presley-drive-honeymoon-Priscilla-sells-55-000.html#ixzz3Es5Gzmo3
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Elvis Presley’s US Army induction video via YouTube

* published with permission of Jeff Schrembs

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Military bases Elvis Presley was stationed in

WM ARMY Billy looking E uniform


Fort Chaffee, Arkansas

Where Elvis got his famous military haircut


Fort Hood, Texas

Elvis underwent basic training here.


Military Ocean Terminal, Brooklyn, New York

Elvis departed to Germany from here.


Friedburg Army Base, Ray Barracks, Germany

Elvis was stationed here in barracks 3707, bunk #13


Prestwick Air force Base, Scotland

Elvis’ plane made a brief refueling stop here on its way back to America.


McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey

Elvis’ plane landed here on his return to the United States.


Fort Dix, New Jersey

Elvis was discharged here


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