And now, a very special announcement….

Elvis Presley Enterprise’s big tourism push this year for Graceland is centered around the 55th anniversary of Elvis’ many accomplishments in 1956 (“2011 Graceland Tourism Campaign Commemorates 55th Anniversary of Groundbreaking Year” — Elvis.com).

“55th” seems to me like a rather arbitrarily chosen “major anniversary” year, though. Any excuse to keep the focus on 1956, right? The beauty of it is that EPE can pull all of this stuff back out in five years and change the text to say “60th anniversary.”

There have been some rumors lately, however, that Elvis Presley’s career actually extended beyond the years 1954 to 1958. In fact, I’ve looked into them and discovered the rumors to be true. In honor of these historical findings, I’ve decided to choose my own arbitrary Elvis year to focus on in 2011.

And now, a very special announcement….

The Mystery Train will honor the 44th anniversary of 1967 with special features on that Elvis year all throughout 2011.

12 thoughts on “And now, a very special announcement….

  1. Really Troy?? Elvis’ career extended beyond 1958?? I’m STUNNED!!! (-:

    Seriously though, I am right there with you when it comes to EPE’s ignorance in handling Elvis’ career. I have seen the recent shift in the marketing of Elvis’ career toward the strictly younger Elvis. As a fan of Elvis’ 1970’s material, it always annoyed me to no end to see that EPE marketed Elvis in such a way that it would appear that his career basically ended after the ALOHA FROM HAWAII special. You hardly ever saw a picture of Elvis post-Aloha, nor saw an Elvis song recorded post-Aloha released on a compilation album.

    But now, as you said, there seems to be a shift in the marketing strategy to focus on Elvis’ career pre-Army with less emphasis on his post-Army years. If you believe EPE, after Elvis came home from the Army, he recorded the ELVIS IS BACK! album, filmed G.I. BLUES, BLUE HAWAII and VIVA LAS VEGAS, recorded SUSPICIOUS MINDS and BURNING LOVE and that was it. Obviously there was SO much more accomplished by Elvis during those post-Army years. Some of it great, some of it not as good, but ALL of it Elvis!!!

    It’s just such a shame that the man’s namesake company chooses to treat his legacy this way…it really is. To quote one of the King’s own songs…”It Hurts Me”.

    TCB!
    Mike

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    • Thanks, Mike. I would say that, at least in the time I’ve been observing, since I’d say the early 1990s or so, EPE has always tended towards promoting (over-promoting) the 1950s Elvis to the exclusion of all others. Of course, there are exceptions to this. In the 2000s, they did a good job of suddenly remembering about the ’68 Comeback Special (with their incredible 3 DVD edition) and using a lot from that, and, from time-to-time, Aloha – though not nearly as much.

      It is strange to me that EPE has no problem marketing impersonators these days but shies away from certain material from the REAL Elvis. I will take the real Elvis on his worst day over an impersonator on his best. I’m a fan of Elvis and his music, not all of the associated junk and hype that sometimes goes along with it. I wish they would focus more on his artistry – like they did with the Comeback and Aloha sets – rather than the silliness.

      Sony (RCA/BMG/etc.) shares a lot of the blame, too, of course, since they are in charge of nearly all of the music releases rather than the estate. FTD does a good job of covering his later career (though at times it appears grudgingly), but those are very narrow releases that the general public never encounters.

      I don’t know, but I think it’s a bad sign when my comment is longer than my original post!

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      • I am so glad to meet another Elvis fan who agrees that there was so much more to Elvis than the 50’s era. It amazes me that there are so many people out there who haven’t got a clue about some of the FANTASTIC 60’s and 70’s studio recordings that Elvis made, which they have never heard because if you believe the radio stations, Elvis recorded HOUND DOG, DON’T BE CRUEL, TEDDY BEAR, LOVE ME TENDER and SUSPICIOUS MINDS. That’s all that I ever hear being played on the radio stations. In fact, it’s funny that when I met my wife 16 years ago, she was of the same mindset in terms of Elvis’ music. She was a casual admirer, but had never heard anything other than what was on the radio. Once I started playing recordings for her like FOOLS FALL IN LOVE or MY WAY, she couldn’t believe how much more great music Elvis had recorded that she had never heard. Just one personal example of the poor marketing and promotion of Elvis.

        I agree with you that the FTD label has been a savior in terms of releasing Elvis’ 1970’s material. Had it not been for Ernst and his team creating the FTD label for the fans, just imagine how much GREAT material would never have seen the light of day!! Yes, we all know that Elvis was not at his best in the 1970’s…we can’t change history! But still…there were some FANTASTIC performances captured on tape during the 1970’s!! Yes, obviously there were some not-so-great moments captured as well, but common sense would simply dictate that EPE could focus on the good stuff and just avoid the bad stuff, instead of avoiding an entire decade of Elvis’ career simply because there were some bad moments.

        Anyway Troy, I am so happy to meet another Elvis fan who feels the same way I do. It’s amazing to see that there are quite a few fans out there who share our opinions about the continued mishandling of Elvis’ career!! And, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your fantastic blog!! I subscribe to your newsfeed and am always thrilled when I see a new post appear!!

        TCB!
        Mike

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  2. What… Elvis recorded after 1958? Preposterous!!! If in the event he actually did do post 1958 as you say Troy then I would love to here about these recordings. I feel his voice may well have matured into a rich bar-atone type voice that many would inevitably want to sound like but alas FAIL. Focusing on 1967 he may have sung Gospel the likes of How Great Tho Art (George Beverly Shea), would that not be wonderful? But alas dreams are “Easy Come , Easy Go”.

    1970 – “Every dream i ever dreamed has come true a hundred times” that couldn’t have been Elvis, at least not according to EPE?.

    “Long shall ALL of Elvis’s music from all Era’s live”

    Cheers Troy, love ya posts.

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    • Thanks, Ray. Some interesting thoughts you have there… “What might have been” had Elvis’ career not ended in 1958.

      On a serious note, and I’m sure some will consider this blasphemy or whatever, but so be it… but, in all honesty, though I am sure I would still be a fan to some degree, I do not think I would be nearly the obsessive type Elvis fan I am had his career really ended in 1958.

      That is not a slam on his 1950s work. It is surely among the very best of his career. I do not dispute that. 1960 to 1977 is an important and underrated part of the tapestry that means as much and, in some cases, more to me, though.

      This will have to be fuel for future posts, though – as I’m supposed to be working on homework right now!

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