Saturday, December 31, 2011

What A Wonderful Elvis Year

As 2011 draws to an end I find myself thinking about what a good Elvis year it has been. And browsing through the blog posts I've written during the last 12 months, here are some of my most memorable moments:

The absolute highlight was the release of my blog book, The Elvis Today Blog Book, in which I'd collected the 271 posts I penned from August 16, 2007 to January 8, 2010. As I'd worked hard with it since August the year before, it was a great feeling to finally hold the real thing in my hands.

Record wise it's been a fantastic year as well. The Follow That Dream label began the year with the fine release Live In Vegas, featuring the August 26 dinner show from Elvis' first Las Vegas engagement in 1969. Then, after the "what if" album Elvis Sings Guitar Man, the label took a dive with the two summer releases Stage Rehearsal and Amarillo '77. But Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon then made more than up for that, and closed the year with some excellent releases, such as 48 Hours To Memphis, He Touched Me, Promised Land and Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas.

On the Sony main label, Ernst Jorgensen compiled and produced the critically acclaimed 5 CD deluxe set Young Man With The Big Beat, that put focus on Elvis in 1956. The highlight on the set was Elvis' final show for the Louisiana Hayride on December 15, 1956, previously unreleased. And speaking of Louisiana Hayride, I must also mention Memphis Recording Service's release The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956, collecting all of the surviving Louisiana Hayride material with Elvis on one disc.

I recall I was a bit nervous one day in March when I was interviewed by the editor of the official news magazine for the University of Gothenburg where I'm currently holding a position as a public relations officer. Two months later the magazine was published, featuring an article spread over two pages titled A Life With Elvis under the heading In My Spare Time. Soon I found out I wasn't the only fan in the building where I work.

Another Elvis experience I remember really made me feel good. One evening in April, I gave a presentation about his religious music in a church. it was a fantastic feeling being able to present and listen to Elvis' gospel music in its right element.

Finally, I have to mention the pleasant correspondence I had with a veteran from the U.S. Navy and its Patrol Squadron VP-45 regarding an "Elvis ... if he's out there we'll find him!" crew patch I bought many years ago.

So, what does 2012 hold in store? I for one hope we'll see From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee and Moody Blue released in FTD's Classic Album Series. After all, Jungle Room Sessions from 2000 is one of their most popular titles, and the interest for the bootleg series Welcome To The Jungle proved that the demand among the fans for more outtakes from 1976 is high.

Oh, I almost forgot. On March 24 I'll attend Elvis Presley In Concert when the show is playing Copenhagen, and two weeks later, on April 7, when The Original Elvis Tribute (featuring Bobby Wood and Duke Bardwell, among others) is performing in Vara, Sweden, I'll be in the audience as well. So, surely looks like I'm in for another great Elvis Year!

Happy New Year!

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