sábado, 26 de enero de 2013

Elvis performed on stage

The number of U.S. communities, towns, and cities in which Elvis performed on stage
The first town Elvis played was his hometown of Memphis on July 17, 1954, and the last was Indianapolis nearly 23 years later on June 26, 1977. Between those two, the citizens of 238 other U.S. municipalities welcomed Elvis to town.
Of course, Elvis performed in many of those cities multiple times. Shreveport, Louisiana, was the city in which Elvis appeared the most times—46 times, all but 2 of them for appearances on the weekly The Louisiana Hayride radio program during the 1954-56 period. With 33 stage shows, Memphis, not surprisingly, was the city in which Elvis appeared second most often. All but 5 of them were in 1954 and 1955. He also played his hometown in 1956, 1961, 1974, 1975, and 1976. Third on the list of most Presley-visited cities is Houston, with 16 appearances also spread out between 1954 and 1976. The rest of the top 10 cities most visited by Elvis include Las Vegas (15 appearances), Atlanta (9), Richmond (9), Cleveland (8), Jacksonville (8), Lubbock (8), and Dallas (8). Since Elvis also appeared in Ft. Worth 7 times through the years, he actually came to the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area 15 times.

martes, 22 de enero de 2013

Elvis’s Vigorous Vocalizing And Doc Pomus’s Lyrics Made “Surrender” a Chart-Topper in ’61

Elvis's Vigorous Vocalizing
And Doc Pomus's Lyrics Made
"Surrender" a Chart-Topper in '61

* * * * *
Elvis Presley Surrender sleeve By 1960 Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman had established themselves as one of pop music's top songwriting teams. That year Elvis's recording of their "A Mess of Blues" had appeared on the flip side of Presley's mega-hit single "It's Now or Never," which had been adapted from the Italian classic melody "O Sole Mio." For a follow-up, Elvis asked Freddy Bienstock of Hill and Range Music Publishers to come up with a new English-language version of "Torna a Surriento," another old, Italian ballad. An Anglicized version, "Come Back to Sorrento," had already been recorded by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, but Elvis's style required something more of an uptempo version.
Although Pomus and Shuman shared writing credit for "Surrender," according to Pomus's biographer Alex Halberstadt, Shuman wanted nothing to do with the song. "Why should I want to write for some redneck idiot who wants to sound like Mario Lanza?" Shuman asked. "You write it Doc, you've already got the music."
For Pomus, the lyricist in the duo, the assignment was not much of a challenge. "Writing words to an existing melody obviously took less work than coming up with a whole new song," Halberstadt explained, "and in the case of 'Surrender,' even Doc's title was just a near-homonym. The whole thing smacked of mediocrity." A blues nightclub performer prior to settling down into the song-writing business, Pomus recorded the demo himself. It was sent off to Hill and Range and neither Doc nor Mort thought too much more about it.
• "Surrender" recorded amidst a "religious epiphany"
Elvis recorded "Surrender" late in the evening of October 30, 1960, in the middle of a marathon session that produced his gospel LP "His Hand in Mind." Elvis's recording closely followed Pomus's demo. "Doc's lyric was dressed up in state-of-the-art schmaltz that made it onto the record," according to Halberstadt, "the Jordanaires egging [Presley] on to scale heroic vocal heights. Doc could hardly believe that Stuart Hamblen's 'Known Only to Him,' a sublime performance that inflamed Elvis's voice with what sounded like true religious epiphany, was recorded on the same night that yielded 'Surrender's' Neapolitan glitz."

Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus 1959

Mort Shuman (left) and Doc Pomus in a Hill and Range publicity photo, c. 1959
Initially Doc viewed "Surrender" as nothing more than just another job, but Elvis's delivery of the song astonished him, according to Halberstadt. "Presley imbued 'Surrender' with sly humor and an almost maniacal ardor, transforming it into a dramatic showcase for his genuinely amazing chops … Doc was humbled by the result. He had to admit that Elvis was a songwriter's dream. He could make a mediocre song distinctive, make a good one great, and make a great one indelible. When he wanted to, he sang anything—from spirituals to novelty pop—brilliantly, finding just the right emotional shading."
In February 1961, RCA shipped Elvis's "Surrender" single to distributors. On the flip side was the ballad "Lonely Man," which had been recorded for the soundtrack of Presley's soon to be released film, Wild in the Country.
Variety and Billboard reviewed "Surrender"
In its February 15, 1961, issue, Variety reviewed Presley new single in its "Best Bets" column as follows:
"Elvis Presley's 'Surrender' is an updating of the classic 'Come Back to Sorrento' and will be another runaway click because of the vigorous vocalizing that nobody seems to be able to match. 'Lonely Man' has a flavorsome country touch at which Presley is a sure hand, and it, too, is headed for big returns."
That same week, Elvis's new single led off Billboard's "Spotlight Winners of the Week" list. Amazingly, though, Billboard picked "Lonely Man" as the "A" side on the disc:
"Elvis Presley will continue his million hit string with this fine pairing. Top side is from his new movie 'Wild in the Country,' and it is sung with warmth. Flip, just as strong, is an updated version of 'Sorrento.'"
Elvis Presley Surrender sleeve "Surrender" fulfilled expectations on the charts. It debuted on Billboard's "Hot 100" at #24 on February 20, 1961. The next week it jumped all the way up to #4, and after spending two weeks at #2, it took over the top spot from Chubby Checker's "Pony Time" on March 20. "Surrender" held the top spot for two weeks, before yielding to "Blue Moon" by the Marcels. Presley's fifth straight #1 single rode the "Hot 100" for a dozen weeks, half of them in the top 5, before dropping off the chart in May.
"Surrender" had an almost identical run on Cashbox magazine's "Top 100 Singles" chart. From February through May 1961, it remained on the chart for 13 weeks, including two weeks at #1 and six weeks in the top 5.
• Pomus-Shuman became favorite writers in "House of Elvis"
"Surrender's" chart success was business as usual for Presley, but it boosted both the reputation and bank accounts of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. Halberstadt explained, "By the spring of 1961, when 'Surrender' rocketed to number one in nearly every market in RCA's global operation, Pomus and Shuman were already anointed as the favorite writers in the House of Elvis. Presley was again the world's biggest act, and Doc and Mort were each earning close to fifty thousand dollars a year, an amount unimaginable even a year earlier."
The duo would go on to write the Presley hit songs "Little Sister," "(Marie's the Name of) His Latest Flame," and "She's Not You," as well as iconic Elvis recordings, such as "Suspicion" and "Viva Las Vegas."
Ironically, though, although it was Elvis's twelfth #1 single and his fifth straight chart-topper, "Surrender" can also be viewed as the end of Presley's singles chart domination. He would only have two more #1 singles over the remaining 16 years of his career. The following short article in Billboard on June 19, 1961, a month after "Surrender" exited the "Hot 100," indicates that RCA may have overestimated the record's sales potential.
• Copies of "Surrender" given away in Canada
"Station CKWX [in Vancouver, B.C.] gave away 3,000 recordings of 'Surrender' by Elvis Presley this month in a contest which pulled in more than 10,000 letters. According to CKWX deejay Red Robinson, RCA Victor had 'over-pressed' the Presley disk, so they turned the excess wax over to the jock and suggested he build a promotion around it. Robinson offered the disk free to the first 3,000 dialers who wrote in and merely said they like Elvis."
 Alan Hanson

domingo, 20 de enero de 2013

Elvis Presley national TV appearances

 During his lifetime, Elvis Presley made 15 high profile national TV appearances, 11 of which came in 1956. The first six were on Stage Show, hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, in the first three months of 1956. That was followed by two shots on NBC's The Milton Berle Show on April 3 and June 5. Steve Allen featured Elvis on his NBC variety show on July 1. Ed Sullivan then signed Elvis for three legendary appearances on his CBS Sunday night variety show on September 9 and October 28, 1956, and January 6, 1957. The latter was Elvis's only TV appearance in 1957.
Presley fans and critics then waited over three years to see Elvis on TV again. His first public appearance after leaving the army was on Frank Sinatra's May 12, 1960, ABC special. For the next eight years Presley was seen only on the big screen, as he focused on his Hollywood career. Elvis recharged his waning career when he headlined his NBC "Comeback Special" on December 3, 1968. His last TV special during his lifetime came on April 4, 1973, when Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii was broadcast in the U.S. by NBC. Seven weeks after his death, another Elvis TV special was aired when Elvis in Concert ran on CBS.

sábado, 19 de enero de 2013

Elvis Presley game

The first Elvis Presley game was manufactured by Teen -Age Games Inc. in West Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1957.
There were five stages in the game:
Getting To Know Him
Learning To Like Him
Can't Do Without Him
Let's Go Steady
Get The Preacher

Elvis hit the $20 million mark in January 1964

Elvis hit the $20 million mark in January 1964

Elvis Presley’s career has always been defined by numbers—big numbers. In a January 15, 1964, article, Variety used some big numbers to assess Elvis’s career to that point. The article opened with the following paragraph.
“His imminent professional demise having been forecast annually since his dynamic arrival on the show biz scene in 1956, Elvis Presley heads into 1964 as easily the most robust corpse extant, his estimated gross income to date a lively $20,000,000.”
Variety then went out to reveal one big Presley number after another. According to RCA Victor figures released the week before, Elvis’s single record sales during his eight years with the company totaled 49,300,000. He also had sold 11 million LPs and 12 million EPs. The 15 movies in which he had appeared from 1956-1963 had brought in an estimated $75 million in box office receipts. Colonel Parker told Variety that Elvis had taken in $1.5 million in straight salary for his two 1963 films, It Happened At the World’s Fair and Fun in Acapulco, with 50% of the profits still to come on top of that.
So where did all that movie money go? Parker explained that the William Morris agency skimmed 10% off the top, with Elvis getting 75% and the Colonel 25% of what was left. Answering criticism that his share was too large, the Colonel explained that at least half of what he received from Elvis was put right back into the business, for such things as office expenses, advertising, and promotion. Elvis’s cut, according to Parker, went “straight to the Memphis accountants.”
The Colonel also explained that he had turned down all TV offers, which ranged up to $150,000, and personal appearances, estimated at $75-100,000 per week, because he said Elvis didn’t have the time to do them.

At Home(s) with Elvis

At Home(s) with Elvis

Elvis and his family moved quite a bit when he was young. Sometimes when times were especially hard for the family economically, they lived with relatives. It may have been one of the reasons Elvis dearly loved his mansion known as Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.  He and his family had finally found a comfortable, permanent place to live. No matter where he traveled or how much success he enjoyed, Elvis always considered Graceland "home".

Here is a list of Elvis' residences over the years:
  • 306 Old Saltillo Road, East Tupelo, MS
    The tiny home that Vernon Presley built with $180 in materials.
    It was Elvis' birthplace.
  • 510 1/2 Maple Street, East Tupelo, MS
    Rented house,  November 1940.
  • Pascagoula, MS
    From May to June of 1943 Vernon took work in the ship yards on of Mississippi Gulf coast. The family was so homesick they soon moved back to Tupelo.
  • Berry Street, East Tupelo, MS
    The Presley family bought this 4-room house on August 18, 1945 for $2,000, putting $200 down and making payments of $30 month plus 6% interest.
  • Commerce Street, Tupelo, MS
    They moved to this address July 18, 1946.  They had no longer been able to make the payments on their home on Berry Street and ha d been forced to sell it.
  • Mulberry Alley, Tupelo, MS
    This home was near the fairgrounds in an area known as Shake Rag.
  • 1010 North Green Street, Tupelo, MS
    Documents show this address in September 1947.
  • 370 Washington Street, Memphis, TN
    Elvis' first home in Memphis was this rooming house where they paid $11 a week to live.
  • 572 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN
    May 14, 1949 - Around this date they move to another rooming house.
    The rent was $9.50 a week.
  • 185 Winchester Street, Apt. # 185, Memphis, TN
    Sept. 20, 1949 Elvis and his family were accepted into this Memph is Housing Authority property called Lauderdale Courts. This two-bedroom apartment cost them $35 a month. In February 1952 they were allowed to sign a new lease with the rent raised to $43 a month. By Nov. 17, 1952 they were evicted because they made too much money to live in assisted housing.
    The combined family income was $4,133.
  • 698 Saffarans Street, Memphis, TN
    Records show the family was living here during January 1953.
  • 462 Alabama, Memphis, TN
    By March 1953 the family was living in an apartment in this home for $50 a month.
  • 2414 Lamar Ave., Memphis, TN
    In 1955 the family lived here.
  • 1414 Getwell, Memphis, TN
    In September 1955 this was their add ress and they paid $85 a month in rent.
  • 1034 Audubon Drive, Memphis, TN
    March 12, 1956 Elvis was making enough money to purchase this home for his family for $29,500 from the Welsh Plywood Corporation.
  • 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, TN
    On March 25, 1957 Elvis purchased his beloved Graceland for $102,500 from Mrs. Ruth Brown Moore.  This was his permanent home until he died here on August 16, 1977.
Additional homes during the Graceland years:
  • 906 Oak Hill Drive, Killeen, TX
    Home Elvis rented in 1958 during basic training at Ft.
    Hood, Texas.
  • Goethestrasse 14, Bad Nauheim, West Germany
    Home Elvis rented in 1959/60 while serving in the US Army in Germany.
  • 525 Perugia Way, Bel Air, CA
    Elvis rented this home twice. September 1960 to November 1961 and January 1963 - 1965.
  • 10539 Bellagio Rd., Bel Air, CA
    Elvis rented this home from November 1961 to January 1963.
  • 10550 Rocco Place, Bel Air, CA
    Elvis rented this home in February 1966.
  • 1174 Hillcrest Ave., Beverly Hills, CA
    Elvis and Priscilla bought this home in November 1967 for $400,000.
  • 144 Monovale, Holmby Hills, CA
    Elvis and Priscilla bought this larger home in December 1970 for $339,000.
  • 1350 Leadera Circle, Palm Springs, CA
    Elvis leased this home on September 21, 1966
  • Camino del Norte, Palm Springs, CA
    Elvis and Priscilla rented this home in April 1968 while looking for one to buy.
  • 845 Chino Canyon Rd., Palm Springs, CA
    Elvis and Priscilla bought this home in April 1970 paying $13,187.83 down and signing a mortgage for $85,000

viernes, 18 de enero de 2013

Elvis and Jimmy Rodgers show

Elvis and Jimmy Rodgers show

Bill Black         Jimmy Snow         Elvis Presley

This photo was taken in the summer of 1955.  This was the first Cadillac Elvis bought.  As we were driving down the road, Elvis suddenly pulled over at a paint store and bought a bucket of paint, and painted his name on both sides of this new Caddy.  This photo was taken just after he painted his name.
Forty years later at Grand Ole Gospel time,  a woman came to me and gave me this picture
that she took at the paint store in Florida.

This is a rare photo from the book "Elvis Day by Day".  This was taken in Meridian MS, in a parade at the Jimmie Rodgers Festival

Jimmy Snow & Elvis Backstage At The Ryman Auditorium
That night Elvis invited me to come and spend 3 weeks
at Graceland.  I read for a part in his new movie "King Creole"

Elvis' Favorite Foods

Much has been said and written about Elvis and food. Most of it has been greatly exaggerated or misrepresented. Here's some thoughtful and balanced reporting.

Elvis' environment while growing up did not expose him to gourmet cuisine. He ate simple, down-home, country cooking. As an adult he never acquired a taste for more elaborate fare. Some of his favorite foods were pork chops, meat loaf and steak. He liked his meats well done, saying he was "not ordering a pet." He liked fresh vegetables like crowder peas, creamed potatoes,
and sliced tomatoes. A favorite from his youth was a Southern delicacy he referred to as "soaks", which is cornbread in buttermilk. He also liked cheeseburgers and milkshakes. He did not care for seafood.

He had a fondness for banana pudding and another Southern delicacy - the peanut butter and banana sandwich. The recipe: It is quite simply a grilled sandwich similar to a grilled cheese in preparation. On lightly toasted bread spread peanut butter. Layer with lengthwise slices of banana. Then grill it in a skillet with butter or margarine until browned.
These are best served when warm.

jueves, 17 de enero de 2013

Elvis Concert Comedians

Elvis Concert Comedians

Following are profiles on comedians Sammy Shore and Jackie Kahane, who were opening acts for Elvis during the 1969-1977 concert era of his career:


In 1969, when Elvis began to perform live concerts again, his show was rounded out with opening acts performed by The Sweet Inspirations (his female backing vocal group) and the trumpet playing stand-up comedian Sammy Shore, whom Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker had seen Shore opening for singer Tom Jones. Shore had previously worked on TV and in movies. He opened for Elvis from 1969 until 1972, when he opened a club on the Sunset Strip called "The Comedy tore." The club became famous as a showcase for young comics. Later, his wife Mitzi gained control of the club in their divorce settlement and Shore returned to TV and movies, including roles in such films as the Mel Brooks comedy "History of the World: Part I" and the television show "Ed." Today, he tours with his comedy act. Sons Pauly Shore and Peter Shore are in show business. Pauly is best known as a stand-up comedian and comedic actor and Peter as a producer/director/writer.


For a brief time Nipsy Russell and then Bob Melvin replaced Sammy Shore as Elvis's opening comedian. Then Colonel Parker spotted Jackie Kahane opening for singer Wayne Newton. It was Kahane's clean, family-friendly jokes that inspired Colonel to offer him the Elvis show opening spot. Kahane fit in well in the Elvis circle. The then 45-year-old Montreal, Canada native had begun professional life as a druggist before he found his niche as a comedian. Other than Wayne Newton, Kahane worked with many stars such as the Will Masters Trio and Sammy Davis Jr., Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick and Tony Bennett. In 1961, Jackie Kahane, along with Bill Cosby, were named as Outstanding Comedians by "Time" magazine, an honor he cherished. Kahane opened for Elvis from 1972 until Elvis's death in 1977. It was Jackie Kahane who delivered the eulogy at Elvis's funeral. He then went on to form his own production company and to produce TV comedy shows such as "Off The Wall" and "Honeymoon
on Haven." He died of cancer in March of 2001.

Both Sammy Shore and Jackie Kahane joined the Elvis band mates reunion cast for Elvis in Concert '97 (an Elvis-video-interactive concert with original Elvis concert cast members live on stage) presented at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis on the twentieth anniversary of Elvis's passing.

Elvis former neighbors

Elvis' former neighbors part of Rhodes College documentary

The old Elvis homestead at 1034 Audubon
Shoun A. Hill, Special to The Commercial Appeal
The old Elvis homestead at 1034 Audubon
Before there was Graceland, a cozy home on Audubon Drive served as the King's original palace.
Christine Todd said her driveway was directly across the street from Elvis Presley's at his first home in 1956. Todd said she and other community members watched him evolve into an icon.
Clarence Harwell (left), owner of a downtown Memphis filling station where singer Elvis Presley was involved in a fight Thursday, October 18, 1956, showed up at the rock and roll king's home the following Thursday (10/25/56) to apologize for the incident. Presley was cleared in City Court of misconduct, but two station attendants with whom he tangled briefly drew fines for assault and battery. Presley lived at 1034 Audubon Drive at the time.
The Commercial Appeal files
Clarence Harwell (left), owner of a downtown Memphis filling station where singer Elvis Presley was involved in a fight Thursday, October 18, 1956, showed up at the rock and roll king's home the following Thursday (10/25/56) to apologize for the incident. Presley was cleared in City Court of misconduct, but two station attendants with whom he tangled briefly drew fines for assault and battery. Presley lived at 1034 Audubon Drive at the time.

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"The Elvis years were everybody's favorite to talk about," said Todd in a documentary that was being filmed in his old house off Park Avenue on Sunday.
Students in the Crossroads to Freedom Digital Archives and the Mike Curb Institute fellowship programs at Rhodes College interviewed the former neighbors of Elvis Presley as a way to connect the world with Memphis history in a new way. The interviews will be presented on the Crossroads to Freedom website as a series about Presley's activities, love interests and kindness during his 13-month stay in East Memphis.
Gayle Hughes, Rhodes senior history major, said she was drawn to the project because Elvis is such an icon.
"Whenever you talk about music, especially Memphis music you can't not mention Elvis and the contributions he has made," said Hughes.
Rhodes has overseen Elvis' old estate, which has been owned by the Mike Curb Institute for six years, since the home was purchased on eBay in 2006 by former MGM president Mike Curb and the institute was created by the Nashville music mogul.
John Bass, director of the Mike Curb Institute at Rhodes College, said this is a new set of stories being told about Elvis and his little known East Memphis pre-Graceland home.
"As stewards of the house we look for interesting things to do with the house," said Bass. "It's sorta the history of Elvis without Elvis in it."
At the Sunday documentary filming, guests enjoyed Elvis' favorite peanut butter and banana sandwiches and other staples of Memphis. They stood around reminiscing about the days Natalie Wood came to visit and how they couldn't cross the street without a police escort for most of the 13 months Elvis resided in the quiet neighborhood.
Larry Busby, owner of Front Street Deli, said he began his business endeavors with Elvis' move to the neighborhood.
"We didn't realize the enormity of Elvis Presley, but we figured it out quickly… when you couldn't get through Audubon Drive with a car," said Busby.
He said he began charging fans $1 to park in his driveway and front yard while his father was at work, but was unceremoniously shut down when his dad came home early one day and couldn't park.
Barb Metz-Steiner, former neighbor, said she had the best seat any girl of that time could've asked for — her bedroom faced the home.
"I could lay in my bed, look out my window and keep track of what Elvis was doing," said Metz-Steiner. "He was just the cutest thing and the biggest flirt I've ever known."
About 10 months into his stay, the frenzy became too much for the neighborhood and Busby said his father told him the king apologized to his neighbors and revealed he had bought "a house in the country," now known as Graceland, and that he would be moving soon.
"Sure enough a few months passed, the moving vans pulled up and Elvis was gone," said Busby.
© 2013 Memphis Commercial Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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backstage at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana on Saturday 11th June 1955.
2 above..New York on Sunday, July 1, 1956.
 Knickerbocker Hotel, Aug. 18, 1956
Scotty Moore, Elvis D.J. Fontana, Bill Black
"Heartbreak Hotel"
Chicago, IL - Thursday, March 28, 1957

Singer Paul Anka and his new bride, Anne, meeting Elvis on the "Viva Las Vegas" set, circa August 1963. They'd gotten hitched on February 16. Anne was the daughter of Lebanese diplomat Charles de Zogheb.

Elvis at the St. Jude's charity event in Long Beach, CA on February 14, 1964 where Elvis presented the USS Potomac to Danny Thomas

With Chips Moman, Bobby Wood and the band at American Sound Studios in Memphis during the famous recording sessions of January/February 1969

Ed Kollis - harmonica
John Hughey - pedal steel guitar on "In the Ghetto"
Reggie Young, Dan Penn - electric guitar
Bobby Wood - piano
Bobby Emmons - organ
Tommy Cogbill, Mike Leech - bass
Gene Chrisman - drums

martes, 8 de enero de 2013

From Joe Petruccio site


Elvis´s Cake




Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley Granted His Own Day On 78th Birthday

08 January 2013

lunes, 7 de enero de 2013



  • By Michael Lollar
  • Memphis Commercial Appeal
  • Posted January 4, 2013 at 5:40 p.m., updated January 4, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.
With her blonde hair and big smile, Anita Wood reminded some in Elvis Presley's inner circle of Marilyn Monroe. They thought she was destined to be Mrs. Elvis Presley.
Wood, who dated Elvis from 1957 to 1962, knew he dated other women. He told her that his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, just didn't want his fans to associate him with only one woman.
"You're my No. 1 girl," he assured her. In a letter from Germany during his Army tour, he told her, "Remember there is a lonely little boy 5,000 miles away that is counting the hours till he returns to your arms." He signed the letter, "Yours alone darling, Elvis Presley," then added a postscript: "No one reads this OK!"
Wood slowly realized she was one of many love stories in Elvis' life. Now 74, she will tell her story Sunday at a 6-9 p.m. Elvis Insiders Reception and Graceland Tour, an event scheduled for Elvis Birthday Week. Wood will be joined by another former Elvis girlfriend, Elisabeth Stefaniak, who worked as a secretary answering German fan mail for Elvis during his Army tour. She was among the women Elvis dated in Germany while assuring Wood of his undying long-distance love.
Stefaniak, a Graceland guest in the past, said she learned during her three-week affair with Elvis that she was one of several girlfriends and "just sort of accepted it." It was when Elvis met Priscilla Beaulieu, the 14-year-old daughter of an Air Force officer, that Stefaniak gave up on him. "I think he just flipped (for Priscilla) right there," she said.
Stefaniak began dating one of Elvis' Army buddies, Rex Mansfield, whom she eventually married. Mansfield said Elvis was "google-eyed over Priscilla. He'd say, 'I can raise her up the way I want to.'"
Wood had her suspicions about the philandering Elvis, but, "He was really good at making you believe you were the only one."
She and Elvis – who was born Jan. 8, 1935, and died in 1977 – met just as Elvis' rock-and-roll career turned him into a superstar. Wood, a singer who won the 1954 Youth Talent Contest at the Mid-South Fair, was first runner-up in the Miss Tennessee pageant in 1956 and won the swimsuit competition. She became a disc jockey in Jackson, Tenn., then co-host with Wink Martindale of television's "Top 10 Dance Party." It was there Elvis saw her and had one of his Memphis Mafia members call to ask for a date.
Wood said she already had a date that night and declined. She was surprised when he called the next week and asked her out again. Elvis and several Memphis Mafia members arrived in a black Cadillac limousine. After a stop at Krystal, where they bought dozens of burgers, they drove around town before heading for Graceland, where she met Elvis' parents. But the memorable part of the night was Elvis: "He was the best looking man I have ever seen before or after. He was a perfect specimen. Then his personality was down to Earth. We hit it right off. We had a lot in common. He sang me some songs."
Memphis Mafia member and actor Red West, who had seen dozens of girlfriends come and go, said Elvis and his entourage all were looking "for that certain one" during that time. "I thought she (Wood) would eventually become Mrs. Elvis Presley, but Germany changed all of that." Even when Elvis married Priscilla, he said, "I knew it wouldn't last forever. There was just too much being apart and too much going on and too much of everything."
Jerry Schilling, another in Elvis' entourage, said he thought Wood looked like Marilyn Monroe, but he did not get to know her very well because, "I was always afraid to talk to Elvis' girlfriends."
Wood said that was because Elvis "had a temper and was very jealous." When actor Nick Adams visited Elvis in Memphis, Wood said Elvis got mad at her and Adams when she talked to his guest. Wood, who eventually spent most of her time at Graceland, said she slept with Elvis in the same bed, but did not have sex with him. "He wanted to save that for marriage, and I did, too."
In his home in California, she once found a personal letter to Elvis from Priscilla and realized Priscilla was more than a fan. She had heard of Priscilla through newspapers and magazines that speculated on the relationship. When Elvis learned she had read the letter, she said, "Boy, did he get mad. He threw me up against the closet door. He said, 'Why did you read that letter? She is just a 14-year-old girl.'"
Finally, Wood said she came down the back stairs at Graceland one night and overheard Elvis and his father, Vernon, talking about her and Priscilla. "Elvis said, 'I'm having a terrible time making up my mind between the two of them.' I came on down the stairs and said, 'I'm going to make that easy for you. I'm leaving.'"
Later, as she learned more about Elvis' dalliances, she thought, "Well, he was just a jerk." With time she softened her attitude. In 1964, she married NFL player Johnny Brewer, who played for the Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints before dying of Lou Gehrig's disease two years ago. They had been married for 47 years and had three children. "Now I think of Elvis as my first love. Johnny was my true love, but Elvis was my first love."

Elvis Presley: Fall from Graceland