Cyber Club  


  Newsletter 52

     www.elvisly-yours.com  

 

June 2008

 

      www.elvisly-yours.com




In this issue
:

Bill Burk   Maureen's Day 3   Barbara Leigh Audio Book  Caught in a trap  
Tommyrot    Rex and Elisabeth    New Elvisly Yours Memorabilia   Memory Lane  

Get your friends to join the Elvisly Yours Cyber Club. Please forward this Newsletter to family and friends

This Cyber Newsletter
is dedicated to Bill Burk

Bill Burk
Bill Burk

Many of you reading this newsletter will have already known Bill Burk died April 24th 2008 at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Connie Burk; former wife and friend, Frances Burk; his sons Gary Burk (Shirley); Randy Burk and daughter and eight grandchildren, Scott Burk, Travis Burk, Hannah Burk, Madison Willis, Megan Royds, Jesse Burk, Jessica Burk and Zachary Burk. Bill was 75 years old and led an amazingly full life.

I can't think of anyone in the Elvis World who was more respected than Bill Burk. He was a legend to Elvis fans all over the world and he was my friend for 27 years. I first met Bill in 1981 at the old Holiday Inn Rivermont, overlooking the Mississippi River. It is now luxury apartments. I had been told that Bill was the best contact for 'anything' Elvis in Memphis. Bill was a very important columnist for the Memphis Press Scimitar and had his photo adorning adverts on the side of newspaper vans and on billboards around Memphis. Bill agreed to write a column and provide rare photographs for an agreed fee for my Elvis magazine in Britain I had just published; it was called Elvisly Yours. Bill introduced me to George Klein and Jimmy Kingsley, to my Memphis lawyers and even helped me find my first Memphis employee.

In all the years of writing Bill had never received such a response as he got from the first feature he wrote for Elvisly Yours. He received over 800 letters I believe and one of those letters was from a young Danish girl; her name was Connie. They continued to correspond, eventually met, fell in love and were married in 1987. Bill always told me Connie saved his life. He became a kinder, more caring and better person, the Bill we all knew and loved. It seemed nothing was too much for Bill and he entertained thousands of fans and so many fan clubs that went to Memphis. He always seemed to find time for everyone and was my main contact in the world for Elvis News. If you got the story from Bill you knew it was right. We exchanged hundreds of emails and I am proud to stock some of Bill's wonderful books. In 2002 I reprinted "Elvis in Canada" for him with a much better, heavier cover and a glossier production than his original magazine.

The last two years of Bill's life were very tough. He had cancer, was badly hurt in a car crash, lost his aunt and mother and suffered seriously from fluid on the lung. On Thanksgiving last year he lost his son Michael and he never recovered from the shock. After Michael died Bill found it hard to cope and become motivated. I know the feeling Bill was going through having lost my darling Maureen in March 2007.

I firmly believe if Michael had not died Bill would still be with us. As I wrote in my tribute to Bill in the Commercial Appeal Memorial Book, God knew Bill was tired and took him to rest. All the deaths in his family, his ill health and difficult recovery from an accident became too much and now Bill has gone to a better place.

My heart goes out to Connie, Bill's children and grandchildren. Bill and Connie were devoted to each other and now there will be a big void in her life. Please Connie, take my advice and do something great in Bill's honour. Publish one final "Elvis World, just devoted to Bill Burk. I have found it very therapeutic raising money in Maureen's memory and having a "Counselling Room" named after her at the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre. It is a small, cozy room and is simply called "Maureen's Room". It is used to counsel some of the 15,000 people who visit LJMC each year.

When Maureen died Bill and Connie were some of the first to contribute to my fund raising for LJMC and Bill publicised my campaign to Elvis fans and fan clubs worldwide. Bill dedicated his next "Elvis World" to Maureen and now just over a year later the world has lost Bill. The Elvis World will never be the same, no more Bill Burk books to enlighten us, no more Newsletters filled with fascinating drivel, no more Elvis News updates on the latest happenings in the Elvis World. Bill was going to write an autobiography and I wonder if Connie has enough material to publish it in Bill's memory?

If you want to read Bill's Obituary and post a tribute to Bill on the Commercial Appeal website click:

www.legacy.com/CommercialAppeal/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=108366418

If you would like to donate to St. Jude's Hospital in Bill's memory click: www.stjude.org

Since I started this Newsletter I have now heard back from Connie and she sent the wonderful lead photo of Bill for this Newsletter and photo in "Memory Lane". In Connie's words:

"I am taking it one day at a time, not making any major plans or changes right now. Except 'Elvis World' has ceased publication - with Bill's death, there can be no more Elvis World, simple as that! That was so much a part of him! Sadly, he did not get very far in writing the autobiography, so that will not be published."


Why our Cyber Newsletter has not
been published recently...

I could not bear to be home for last Christmas and New Year after losing Maureen. We were always together over the holidays and even though I have a very large family Christmas without Maureen was too hard to bear in England, so I visited dear friends in San Francisco. I flew on Christmas Day and returned New Year's Eve. I made the right decision and had a pleasant time in San Francisco where Maureen and I spent some fun Christmas holidays over the years. When I got back to London and planned to do the next Newsletter I suffered badly from jetlag. I have travelled the world and been to America over 70 times, yet never experienced jetlag so bad. I could just not get motivated to write the Newsletter.

A lot of effort goes into writing each Newsletter and since losing Maureen I have lost a lot of motivation. It takes many days of writing and re-writing, scanning and sending emails to my Webmaster. Whereas I could do many things at the same time when Maureen was alive, now it is a struggle to do even one project. They say time heals but it hasn't for me. Coming home to an empty house without Maureen to greet me is very hard.

I signed a Worldwide Licensing deal with a well-established and respected International Licensing Agency "Licensing Management International" at the end of 2008 and I went with the "Geordie Elvis" to the Toy Fair and Spring Fair in February to promote Elvisly Yours. Everyone loved the Geordie Elvis, Ian Coulson. Later in the month I was back in America visiting my sisters who have apartments in Delray Beach, Florida. There was a bit of a family get-together for my sister Dena's birthday with other family members including my cousin Calvin and his wife Christine from Winnipeg. I saw my first live, wild alligator in the Everglades. There was no time to write the Newsletter with so much going.

When I returned to Britain I was determined to finally raise the £5,000.00 target I had set for the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre. I wanted to raise the last £1,175.00 by March 27th, the 1st anniversary of Maureen's death and dedicate a room at LJMC on my birthday March 28th. I wrote to family and friends and my dreams came true when a old friend from University sent a cheque for £500.00, a teacher friend of Maureen sent £100.00 and other contributions meant I had reached the total of £5,000.00. I wanted the dedication to be something special and had three Elvises, Diana Ross and Joe Pasquale look-alikes attend the dedication and then meet, greet and entertain cancer patients at the hospital. It was a huge success, but more on that later.

The weeks had turned into months without finding time or motivation to publish the Newsletter and in April I was negotiating and finalising more Licensing Agreements. By the end of this year Elvisly Yours memorabilia will be available in all the largest Chain Stores, Supermarkets, Mail Order catalogues and TV Shopping Channels.

I have never known why but very few fans of the many thousands who read Elvisly Yours Newsletters bother to order any memorabilia advertised in the Newsletter. I cannot keep on sending out Newsletters without the support of more fans. Most fans love our Newsletters and we get many complimentary comments but nice words don't pay the bills, don't pay for my webmaster, artwork and wages. We really need many more fans to buy Elvisly Yours products to finance the cost of producing and distributing our Newsletters.

There has been a long holiday weekend in the UK giving me some time to start this Newsletter and I hope finish it in the week. However, there are so many different things happening each day at Elvisly Yours it is hard to find time to do everything, plus I get 10,000 Elvis related emails a year that have to be answered.


"Maureen's Day 3"

Maureens Room
Maureen's Room at LJMC
"Maureen's Angels"
"Maureen's Angels" entertaining
in a cancer ward
Entertaining
Entertaining with Lee, Deanne & Ian
To view more photos from
'Maureen's Day 3' click here
March 28th 2008 was "Maureen's Day 3" at the Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex. It took me much longer than originally planned to raise £5,000.00 for the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre in memory of Maureen. It took almost a year. I would like to thank family, friends, fans and business associates who contributed generously to my appeal. Sadly, only a few fans contributed, except Hazel Tomlin who had an Elvis night in a UK local pub and raised £530.00. Fund-raising August 16th 2007 only raised £229.00 with five Elvises singing all day outside the shop for 'Maureen's Day 1'. £515.00 was raised September 14th 2007 for 'Maureen's Day 2' with six elvii and ten celebrity look-alikes at the Trocadero in central London. There was the donation of £500.00 from an old University friend whose wife also died last year, a donation of £150.00 from another friend, several donations of £100.00 from family,  friends and businesses. Instead of my taking fees for TV & Radio interviews  I asked  media for a donation to LJMC. Less than 40 people sent a cheque or donated online, but £5,000.00 was eventually raised.

March 28th 2008 was a wonderful day. After the dedication at LJMC for "Maureen's Room" 3 Elvises (Ian Coulson, Lee Jackson & Vince Citrano), Diana Ross (Deanne Keane) and Joe Pasquale (Nigel Wright) went around the cancer wards and cancer treatment centres to entertain the patients, nurses and other hospital staff. The reaction was amazing. Some very sick people were smiling, laughing, singing and even dancing. There was a buzz about the hospital even for the wards that weren't visited. One girl was in tears, she loved Elvis and in a room by herself, she had lost all her hair but there she was singing along with three Elvises holding her hands and singing "Love Me Tender". I was inspired to arrange this visit by the film 'Patch Adams' with Robin Williams, Maureen's favourite film.

Maureen hated hospitals since she was a little girl and was hospitalised at age 5 but in those days her parents could not visit her. Later her father had a serious chest illness and he was disgracefully put in a mental asylum because there was no suitable hospital to care for his illness. She had planned to write a book about how hospitals should be radically altered to make them people friendly. Entertaining hospital patients would be a major step forward. All Elvis wanted to do was entertain and make people forget about their problems. When the patients were entertained at Mount Vernon Hospital everyone gained. Nurses came up to the entertainers and me telling us how much better the patients felt for the visit.

I approached my local Member of Parliament, James Clappison, to help me introduce 'Entertainment' to the National Health Service. Both James' parents died from cancer and he said he would do everything he could to help my campaign. My next project is "Maureen's Day 4" when I will take a group of Elvises and celebrity look-alikes to the Houses of Parliament to entertain the MPs inside or outside Parliament to prove entertainment does work. Then, we will go just across the River Thames to St Thomas' Hospital to entertain patients in the large cancer centre. We will invite the media to attend and put pressure on the National Heath Service to start Entertainment programmes, at least on a Trial basis.

I plan to call the 'Entertainers' and the NHS Project "Maureen's Angels". Look out for future stories in the media, on our website and Newsletters.

 

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Barbara Leigh's New
Audio Book...

"The King, McQueen and the Love Machine"
 
Barbara Leigh
Barbara Leigh
Barbara and Vampirella
Current picture of
Barbara Leigh and the
Vampirella mannequin
Barbara and Gerry
The audio book is dedicated to her son Gerry Haynes who died in 1994 aged 30

Over the years that I have published Elvisly Yours Cyberclub newsletters I always got a thank you email from a lady called Barbara Leigh usually saying how much she enjoyed the Newsletters. I often wondered whether this Barbara was the same Barbara Elvis dated and took up the courage to write to her. Sure enough Barbara was the Barbara Leigh. I was delighted that someone so close to Elvis and of Vampirella and Playboy fame should enjoy all the hard work that goes into each Elvisly Yours Newsletter. We started regular email correspondence. It is sort of neat getting emails from Playboy where she works. Barbara told me she had planned an audio book of her relationships with Elvis, Steve McQueen and Jim Aubrey (CEO of MGM). This labour of love took a long time coming. Barbara made it very clear this was no “kiss and tell” story, not an expose of intimate secrets of these famous men. It was a series of love stories, the love she had for three very different men at the same time, in her very intriguing life.

Barbara sent me a copy of the audio book last week and I listened to the three CDs over mostly the holiday weekend in Britain. I have never heard an audio book before and did not know what to expect. It is an interesting mix of a continuous narration by Barbara telling her story with the drama of a play with actors playing different parts, except Barbara Leigh and Joe Esposito play themselves. Joe also provides the introduction. It was Joe that pointed Barbara out to Elvis as Jim Aubrey’s date when she went to his concert in Las Vegas when they were filming “That’s The Way It Is”. Elvis Presley is played by Paul Casey, Steve McQueen by Tim Tomerson and Jim Aubrey by David Hedison. These actors are friends of Barbara and not meant to be sound-a-likes, simply giving feel for the part. 

Barbara was and still is stunningly beautiful and she had love affairs with two of the most desirable men on the planet and one of the most powerful men in the Entertainment World. I think every woman who loves Elvis or Steve McQueen will have to buy this audio book. It will also appeal to all women who buy the tabloids, Hello, OK and drool while reading gossip columns. Just imagine being the mistress of Presley, McQueen and Aubrey all at the same time, all knowing you are seeing the other famous lovers?

What men and women will consider an X-rated life is told in a U-rated style. Barbara’s voice is sweet, almost virginal, as if she is reading a fairy story to children. In essence, her story is a “fairy story”, except it was true. I believe women particularly will want to hear how she managed to cope with the challenge of three love affairs to men each of whom were also married at the time. The early 70s were a time of rapid social change with female emancipation after the introduction of the ‘pill’ in the USA and women like Barbara became more self-confident and more predatory in their relationships. Her story is told in a real “Mills and Boon” style, commented Ian Coulson, the Geordie Elvis.

Men who drooled over Barbara’s appearance in Playboy and her as Vampirella will want to add to their collection of Barbara Leigh’s memorabilia. Each CD has a fabulous photo of Barbara and early orders will receive a signed photograph.

Barbara does not set out to shock but simply tells her story with dignity, sympathy, love and care. There is a part that will shock on the third CD but I will not disclose these very personal details about Barbara and I recommend you buy the audio book to find out.

What a fabulous title “The King, McQueen and the Love Machine” the latter being a sort of nickname for Jim Aubrey. The cover is another fabulous photo of Barbara, stunningly beautiful and she must have never had a bad hair day. How many women could look that gorgeous with their hair being soaking wet?

The audio book is reasonably priced at $25.00 for 3 CDs with signed photo. Mailing $5.00 US, $10.00 overseas. Everyone who has heard Barbara's audio book has loved it. It is a unique dramatization of a unique period in her life as if Barbara is personally telling the story just to you and you are listening in on her conversations with Elvis, McQueen, Aubrey and others.  BUY IT TODAY !!!

HOW TO ORDER:

You can order this audio book of Barbara Leigh from eBay and Amazon.com or why not directly from Barbara with perhaps some additional signed photographs.

Read the Press Release  

and read the Playboy Review:   www.playboy.com/blog/2008/05/sex-and-the-seventies.html.

If you have any questions email Barbara Leigh: baralee16@ca.rr.com


Elvis Fans in the UK are in for a treat
this Christmas with an Elvis-themed
play called "Caught in a Trap"
Sound of Music star Connie Fisher makes her television drama debut in a brand new play for ITV1, called "Caught in a Trap". In her first television role after her success as Maria in the critically acclaimed stage musical, Connie plays Gemma Perkins, a young woman who is obsessed by Elvis Presley.

Filming has just finished on locations in London on this drama being produced by Greenlit Rights.

Connie says: "I am thrilled to have been cast in my first television drama and I am very excited to be in front of the camera." She is joined by a prestigious cast with Jim Carter (The Oxford Murders, Cranford) playing her father, Geraldine James (Heist, The Last Enemy) as her step mother and Joe Absolom (Doc Martin, Vincent) as her would-be boyfriend.

Gemma Perkins seeks solace in her secret passion - Elvis Presley. She's obsessed with the rock and roll legend. He never lets her down, unlike every other aspect of her life. Living at home with her overbearing stepmother and down trodden father, Gemma has a boring, and low paid job emptying car park meters. She's just waiting for something amazing to happen, for her life to really begin.

But then her life takes a dramatic turn when she finds an easy way to fund her obsession with Elvis Presley, and that spending gives her a sense of thrill she's never experienced before. Gemma starts to dip into cash from the parking meters and goes on a spending spree with Elvis memorabilia top of her shopping list. But the spending spirals out of control, and Gemma is in serious danger of being caught in a trap.

Caught in a Trap is written by award winning new playwright James Graham. He won the Catherine Johnson Award for Best Play 2007 for his play Eden's Empire, and was awarded the Pearson Playwriting Bursary in 2006. He is writer in residence at the Finborough Theatre.

Producer Jill Green says: "Connie has more than proved herself as an actress in her role as Maria in The Sound of Music. We thought she would be perfect for the role of Gemma Perkins in Caught in a Trap. "Connie has a vulnerability about her and an interesting face which betrays a range of emotions which we require for this role. She has an accessibility, and is a person we can all relate to." A Greenlit Rights Production for ITV1.

The play is purely fiction with made up characters but it was very loosely inspired by the story of Julie Wall who stole £557,327.00 over ten years from the parking meter department of a Lincolnshire Council. She spent it all on Elvis records and some memorabilia that she hid in the loft of her parent's home. Julie was given three years in prison but has since been released and started a new life in another town. I offered to help the Crown Prosecution Service and liquidator to stage an Auction of the Elvis Collection in Las Vegas. They did not take my advice but instead held the Auction in Derby, on a Sunday of all days. Instead of raising even more than £500,000.00 they ended up selling the lot for a little over £100,000.00. Big spenders and big collectors would have attended an Auction in Las Vegas. They could of put on a huge Elvis Convention to support the Auction and I believe made more than $1 million besides profits from the Event. I can find no records of Julie ever ordering from Elvisly Yours, her collection was mostly rare records. I was given the complete catalogue of the collection that was auctioned by the liquidator.

Elvisly Yours will be helping ITV and the producers to promote the Play that Elvis fans will love, as there will be lots of Elvis songs. ITV has a special license to use Elvis singing. Ian Coulson and I were invited on the set of "Caught in a Trap" and were fascinated by all the work that goes into such a production. We were introduced to Connie Fisher who is excellent for the part and a very sweet girl also Nicholas Parsons who has a cameo part in the Play, as a Game Show host asking a question about Elvis. A DVD of the Play will be released soon after it is aired and we will keep you informed of the schedules for the Play and DVD.

World's Best Elvis Playing Cards


Front and back of the Elvis card pack


Elvis playing cards £9.95 for 2 packs, £5.95 for 1 pack
 p&p £1.00 p&p, £2.00 Eu, £3.00 world
1 pack -
2 packs -

 
RCA Calendar card

Order two packs of playing cards now and receive this special RCA 1979 calendar that was released in Tupelo. Elvisly Yours bought all the remaining stock in 1983 and has never offered it for sale to our customers.


Tommyrot.Tommy Steele
Never Met Elvis in London
Tommy Steele
Elvis - Never Been To London
Did those feet in blue suede shoes
Ever pace our pavements grey?
Had the holy lamé god
Come to England for a day
Sampled '50s fish and chips
All washed down with PG Tips?

What might he have made of us?
Pinstripe suits and bowler hats
Staring from a London bus
Over blocks of council flats
Like the ghost of rock 'n' roll
In a fog of fags and coal

Did he pass himself
off then
As some ordinary chap?
Gazing out across Big Ben
Instant coffee and evap
While the waitress serving tea
Told herself it couldn't be.

Was he even here at all?
Curling lip and hair jet black
In that phone box by the wall
Waiting for his pennies back
After pressing Button B
Elvis calling Tennessee

No, the King did not appear
Never saw the guy round here
Still the legend lingers on

And the mystery train has gone
.
A poem by Martin Newell
Sunday Express poet and Elvis fan

I received numerous calls from the media asking me about Tommy Steele's claim to have taken Elvis on a secret tour of London. For fans from overseas Tommy Steele was a rock 'n' roll singer in 1950s in the UK and had several hit songs. I even bought one of his singles when I was a kid. He made several movies always with a big smile and he is a happy go lucky character with a strong cockney accent. I eventually gave several interviews to TV and Radio disputing this ridiculous story of Tommy Steele.

Apparently, on BBC Radio 2 a famous impresario Bill Kenwright mentioned during an interview that Tommy Steele had told him he had secretly taken Elvis around London in 1958. I just did not believe him but made double sure by contacting Larry Geller and Rex Mansfield. Larry confirmed it wasn't true. Rex was in Germany with Elvis throughout his army career and if anyone would know the truth it would be Rex. This is Rex's response to Tommy Steele's fantasy :

Elvis never set foot in London in the late 50's or at any other time in his life. The only time he ever set foot on British soil was when our military air transport plane landed in Prestwick, Scotland in early March 1960 on our way back to the USA from Frankfurt, Germany. I think we refueled at Prestwick and picked up some other soldiers who where also on their way back to the USA to be discharged from the Army in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Why Tommy made up such a story is unknown and rather than come clean and tell the truth Tommy is saying this was a private matter between him and Elvis. In March 1958 Elvis was drafted in the Army. He trained in Texas, then his mother died in August. He arrived in Germany 1st October 1958. Elvis was very much grieving his mother's death. But, somehow Elvis phoned Tommy Steele and asked him to take him around London, as if Elvis could just leave the Army base and had none of his friends/bodyguards with him.Tommyrot!!! The BBC radio presenter Geoff Barker did a programme on Elvis' Army career and his comment about Tommy Steele's fantasy was "little white bullshit". to paraphrase Steele's song "Little White Bull".

Read a Daily Express article featuring Rex's response:
www.express.co.uk/posts/view/42221/The-return-of-the-King-


Rex and Elisabeth Mansfield
launch new Web site

Rex and Elisabeth
Rex and Elisabeth
Elvis and Rex
Elvis and Rex
Rex and Elisabeth Mansfield, who befriended Elvis Presley while in the Army, have announced the creation of a new Web site dedicated to their famous friend.

Rexadus.com was launched March 24, 2008, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley and Rex Mansfield's induction in the US Army at the Kennedy Veterans Memorial Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. That was the first time that Mansfield ever laid eyes on the world's greatest entertainer.

"Elvis Presley was not what I had expected him to be. I saw him for the first time sitting resolutely by himself on a front row chair in the induction room, dressed in a multi-colored, checkered sport coat with stylish motorcycle-type boots," Mansfield recalled. "I immediately wanted to protect him, for reasons I could not begin to understand."

Mansfield became one of Presley's closest friends in the Army, whom Elvis nicknamed, "Rexadus." The two men served together in Germany, where they met 19-year-old Elisabeth Stefaniak at the Tower Theater in Grafenwohr. Elisabeth became Presley's German secretary and was poised to work for him at Graceland. Instead, she married Rex Mansfield. The two have been married for nearly 48 years.

Rexadus.com will feature a 50th Anniversary commemorative edition of their book, Sergeant Presley: Our Untold Story of Elvis' Missing Years. The updated version of their book is a lively account of their years with the King (1958-1960) with chapters written by both Rex and Elisabeth Mansfield. Priced at $37,
Sergeant Presley contains many never seen before photos of Presley taken during the Army years.

The site will also contain limited edition fine art prints of Presley in the Army, profiles of Rex and Elisabeth Mansfield, copies of official U.S. Induction and Discharge papers, autographed photos, blogs, frequently asked questions and other multi-media media.

For more information on the Web site, go to www.rexadus.com.


Last Remaining stock of Bill Burk’s Trilogy of books:
Tupelo, Humes and Sun Years
  The Tupelo Years The Humes Years      The Sun Years    Elvis in Canada
Tupelo Years
Humes Years
Sun Years
Elvis in Canada
£15.95
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Ov £5.00

Add to Order
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Ov £5.00

Add to Order
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Add to Order
£7.95
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Elvis the King' t-shirt
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ELVIS SUNGLASSES


Sunglasses
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Magnets

New Magnets
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ELVISLY YOURS Competition Winner

The winner of the Elvisly Yours monthly draw is June Kingston, Cheshire, England

She receives the Elvisly Yours Slim 2008 calendar.

Remember, each month a member of the Elvisly Yours Cyber Club will be drawn at random to win an Elvis prize. Get your family and friends to join our FREE Elvis Presley Club. 

They can simply join ONLINE at www.elvisly-yours.com 


Fantastic, new Elvisly Yours Watches
Gift box
Ladies Diamante Watch
Ladies Pink
Aloha Watch
Gift Box
Ladies Diamante Watch
(with Blue Suede strap)
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Gents Aloha watch
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Retro Clock
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Retro Alarm Clock
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More Elvisly Yours Licensed Memorabilia
Elvis Duvet
Since February 2008 Elvisly Yours with its Licensing Agency, "Licensing Management International" have been negotiating major Licensing Agreements for a wide range of new Elvisly Yours Licensed products.

Negotiations take many months, then there is a lead time of 3-6 months to get the product to market. After the huge success of the new Zeon Elvis watches now more companies are looking to Elvisly Yours to license Elvis products. By September/October 2008 major chain stores, supermarkets, mail order catalogues and TV shopping channels will be selling duvets, sheets, pillowcases, fleecy blankets, cushions, towels, curtains, beanbags, boxed mugs, metal coaster sets, key rings, new t-shirts, skinny t-shirts, kitchenware, tea towels, kitchen gloves, tea cosies and teapots, casual shirts, skirts, ties, teddy bears and soft toys to name but a few. You will also be able to buy these new Elvis products from Elvisly Yours by mail order or from our Elvis Shop at 233, Baker Street, London NW1.

Elvisly Yours prides itself on our fantastic designs, all approved by me until I believe we have reached perfection. Just look at the duvet, pillowcases and curtains manufactured by ZAP Ltd that you will be able to buy soon. There has never been such a dramatic design for an Elvis duvet anywhere in the world. It will be available from October 2008 in single, double and king size.no more boring duvets; you will soon be able to sleep with Elvis. Look out in the Media for the launch of this fabulous duvet and pillowcase set.


GOING DOWN MEMORY LANE

Bill Burk
Bill Burk in Marlowe's Memphis
Bill, Elvis and friends
Bill and Elvis friends 1982 Memphis hotel
Bill
Notice Bill in the centre of things
again, a larger than life character
Bill
Bill in the centre, Quality Inn Memphis

Bill Burk Memories
When Maureen and I first went to Memphis in December 1980 we were there to pay our respects to Elvis and look for Elvis memorabilia to buy to ship back to England to sell to the fans. Our first Elvisly Yours magazine/catalogue had been hugely successful and I wanted to add to our Elvis range with Elvis memorabilia from Memphis. We were shocked at the poor quality of products, poor design and poor range. I bought mostly magazines and photos rather than memorabilia.

I thought we could ship better Elvis products from England to Memphis and my next trip I took cases of our products and showed them to all the independent stores opposite Graceland and EPE. Everyone loved our Elvis memorabilia and I started to take orders and think about setting up a permanent office in Memphis.

Since it is so expensive to advertise I have always worked with the media for PR. Everyone told me I had to contact Bill Burk. He was a very popular columnist writing for the Memphis Press Scimitar, was a friend of Elvis and an expert.

I have to thank Bill for putting me in touch with so many people in the Elvis World in Memphis. Bill knew everyone and everyone respected Bill. Just using his name meant many doors were opened. He introduced me to my lawyer, Harold Streibich and his partner Peter Brown. Harold was also the lawyer of Sam Phillips so I was in good company. I remember the first thing Harold said to me as I went into his office, "have you got your chequebook with you?".Welcome, son, to Memphis Law.

I have never understood why Bill was not on the EPE payroll for his knowledge, contacts and expertise. I believe it was gross stupidity, ignorance and jealousy. I  think Bill was always disappointed his skills, knowledge and contacts were not respected by EPE. They even stopped buying his wonderful books. I think Bill's biggest crime in the eyes of EPE, he was too honest. Back in the 1980s I wrote in Elvisly Yours they could have replaced EPE's Management with baboons and have made even more money. It is the magic of the name "Elvis" that brought in the $millions and mismanagement at Graceland has lots countless $millions. How could you run an Elvis Restaurant in Memphis and go bust? EPE achieved that distinction.

I saw the wonderful potential of building a relationship with Bill and asked him to write for Elvisly Yours in 1981 and also he supplied some wonderful photographs. Bill wrote a nice article about Elvisly Yours in the Memphis Press Scimitar. After I published issue no.4 of the original series of Elvisly Yours I showed a copy to Billy Smith on a visit to Graceland. He grabbed the copy from me and ran away. Later I discovered he had seen a rare photo of his late brother Bobby leaning over Elvis' car as he drove into Graceland. Billy had never seen that photo and had to have it to show his family.

In 1982 Elvisly Yours organised our first fan club tour to Memphis and Tupelo. Bill had written more features for Elvisly Yours magazine and he was guest of honour at a party for the Elvisly Yours Fan Club to meet Elvis' friends. Bill persuaded George Klein, Alan Fortas and Jimmy Kingsley to come along to meet the British fans. I also invited Jack Soden, his girlfriend and secretary at the time, Joni and Beth Pease. This party was the start of ten wonderful years of a tradition for Elvisly Yours Fan Club Tours to Memphis and Tupelo. Each visit we would organise a wonderful welcoming party with Elvis' family and friends at our hotel, thanks to Bill's original efforts to encourage Elvis friends to meet our fan club. In all the years not one member of Elvis' family or friends asked for a fee to attend our parties or tried to sell books or memorabilia. Some even bought prizes for the fans to raffle in auctions. When Linda Gail Lewis
performed concerts at our hotel in later years a nominal charge was made for fans, about $5.00 for superb music. The last Elvisly Yours Tour was in October 1992 and after 52 visits to Memphis I retired from the Elvis Tour business. Because of Elvisly Yours the price of tours to Memphis dropped dramatically. After the retirement tour prices went through the roof with the UK Elvis Fan Club. It is far, far cheaper to book a vacation to Memphis and Tupelo by yourselves, even with the massive savings the UK Elvis fan club makes on air tickets and hotel prices. More on Bill in the next Newsletter.

Graceland
Graceland
Marlowe's Restaurant
Inside Marlowe's Restaurant, Memphis
Rum Boogie Cafe
Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis
Ice skating
Mall of America Ice Skating Ring Rink
 
FDC
1st Day Cover UK 16p
8th Jan 1985
Order
US FDC
1st Day Cover UK/USA/USA Stamps
Order

Places we loved to visit in Memphis
Having been to Memphis 52 times I am pretty familiar with almost everything about Memphis, as well Tupelo. For 3 years Maureen and I had an apartment in the Germantown area of Memphis. Since I was going to Memphis 4-5 times a year on business and defending a lawsuit with EPE it made sense for us to have an apartment in town. It was a beautiful apartment backing on to a nature reserve and so cheap. Memphis is really inexpensive for property. In a poor London neighbourhood you would get one room for what a two bedroom apartment costs in Memphis, in an exclusive part of town.

There were places we loved to eat in Memphis and I recommend to any fans that come by Elvisly Yours on Baker Street planning a visit to Memphis. Sadly, some places are now closed. There was 'Fred Gangs' near the airport, the 'Butcher Shop' downtown, 'Public Eye' for ribs in 'Overton Square' plus lots of other good restaurants there. 'Pizza Hut' in Memphis is 100 times better than in the UK and spicy chicken at KFC. For breakfast 'Shoney's' is wonderful. For very good, very cheap southern food try 'Po Folks' on Union downtown. Also, 'Piccadilly Café' in the Graceland area has excellent buffet style meals all day. 'Marlowe's' is a place where fans hang out if you want to meet Elvis fans in Memphis and where Bill Burk had his wonderful lunches for Elvis Weeks during January and August.

For records you must visit "Poplar Tunes" on Union, downtown. It is where Elvis would hide behind the counter watching fans buy his records. It has the best selection of Elvis records in the world and lots of vinyl. For shopping boutique style, go to Overton Square, the 'Chelsea' of Memphis very few fans get to visit. You used to be able to visit Khang Rhee's Karate Studio near Overton Square but he moved way out to East Memphis years ago. It is worth the trip just to buy his wonderful karate photos of Elvis and Khang Rhee will sign each photo with his amazingly beautiful handwriting.

For general shopping go to Mall of America which is a large mall in easy driving distance of Graceland. It even has its own ice skating ring and has a wide variety of stores. I always loved the name "Piggly Wiggly" which is a supermarket chain reasonably priced. In fact, everything in Memphis is reasonably priced except buying souvenirs at Graceland. Boycott Graceland stores and go down the road south a few miles to Southland Mall where you can get Elvis souvenirs at well below Graceland prices.

For nightlife you have to go to Beale Street and my favourite place is "Rum Boogie" which plays fabulous soul music. The drinks are not expensive and the food pretty good. Try a visit to Silky Sullivan and say hi to Silky for me and Sid Shaw sent you. Silky is one of the greatest characters in Memphis and has a fine bar with great music; he is an institution in Memphis. 

In the next Newsletter I will write about places to visit in Tupelo.

ELVIS PRESLEY STAMPS
Over the years there have been many Elvis Presley stamps issued all over the world, even a book has been written about these stamps. Sadly, in the UK there has never been an Elvis stamp. I persuaded the Royal Mail to have the next best thing, an Elvis 1st Day Cover. Instead of an actual stamp there was a hand stamp of a guitar and a commemoration of Elvis' 50th birthday on January 8th 1985. Elvisly Yours became a Post Office for one day and people could come into our store and have their own envelopes cancelled with the hand stamp or buy our specially printed Elvis envelope cancelled by a post office worker on the day.

I had asked the Post Office to make an announcement about our Elvis 1st Day Cover but they refused, as it was also the 250th

Anniversary of the Times Newspaper with a special stamp book. Instead, I contacted the media, sent them photos of our Elvis 1st day Cover and we hit the jackpot. Britain's best selling tabloid, the Sun with a readership of 10 million wrote an editorial saying it was wonderful Her Majesty's Post Office had honoured Elvis' 50th birthday. TV and radio stations as well as most UK newspapers publicised the "stamp". Fans all over the UK besieged post offices throughout the country asking for the stamp.

During that day I got a phone call from the CEO of the Post Office asking what was going on. He had to send out notices to 29,000 post offices and sub-post offices announcing the 1st Day Cover was only available from Elvisly Yours and gave our telephone number and address. We sold out 10,000 covers in two days with just two telephone lines. We were allowed to print more and I decided to print another 35,000.00. Alas, the sales curve shot up then shot down as people thought they were sold out. I still have some in stock that are available from our online shop.  I will also frame them to sell later this year in all different stamp denominations  and some with the US Elvis stamp.

All these years later I had an intriguing email from David Barjinder in England who has sent me a photo showing there were two Elvis stamps in the USA. I had only believed there was one stamp. According to David: "Jan 8th the first issue had the word "ELVIS" on the stamp. When the second edition came out on June 16th 1993, the stamps now says "ELVIS PRESLEY" image attached, this allow the City of Cleveland to declare this a First Day Cover stamp twice. This is by far the rarer of the two stamps issued and both are legal tender. I think the reason for the Cleveland stamp is it is the home of the "Rock 'n' Roll" Hall of Fame.

Stamp

If anyone can provide more information on this phenomenon about the two US Elvis stamps I would be grateful to hear from them:  sid@elvisly-yours.com.


SYMPOSIUM on ELVIS PRESLEY  
includes a thesis by Sid Shaw, DisGraceland and 21 more papers by experts in the Elvis World   
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tel: 020 7486 2005 

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