“It was hard to understand how somebody who came in and took away so many people’s loneliness could have ended up so lonely . . . because he deserved a lot better.” –Bruce Springsteen on Elvis Presley
“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” –Thomas Campbell
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” –From “Citizenship In A Republic” by Theodore Roosevelt, Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, 1910.
“Should you go first and I remain for battles to be fought, each thing you’ve touched along the way will be a hallowed spot. I’ll hear your voice, I’ll see your smile, though blindly I may grope. The memory of your helping hand will buoy me on with hope.” –From “Should You Go First” by Albert Roswell, Poems That Touch The Heart, compiled by A. L. Alexander, Doubleday, New York, 1941.
Elvis Week officially kicks off today in Memphis. Of course, Elvis Week really occurs all over the world – wherever there is an Elvis fan. Most of us take a little extra time to remember and enjoy the music.
If you’re fortunate enough to be in Memphis, I envy you, but also hope you have a fantastic time. Elvis Presley Enterprises and others put on a variety of events, so it always looks like there is something for everybody.
Perusing the schedule, one thing that I’d definitely attend if I was there is Saturday’s screening of the 2000 documentary Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, which was written and produced by none other than Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick. Guralnick, along with Knox Phillips (Sam’s oldest son), will speak after the film.
Have a great week, everyone. Remember to crank up the Elvis!
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August 12, 2011, Update: Check out MJ’s fantastic post about visiting Graceland during Elvis Week 2007 on her blog.
Update #2: And here’s another one. This one is from the Elvis Today Blog with Thomas’ memories of Elvis Week 2005. The funny thing is, this was written shortly after Elvis Week 2007 – referenced in MJ’s post above.
August 18, 2011, Final Update: To bring things full circle, here are a couple of great blog posts from Memphis resident Deena Dietrich about Elvis Week 2011.
“Most of all, I’d like to thank you. And I’d like to tell you, this is the last day of our tour, and we couldn’t have asked for a better audience. You’ve really made it worthwhile. […] If you want us back, just let us know, and we’ll come back.” –Elvis Presley, June 26, 1977, Indianapolis, Indiana, concluding his final concert
This week, Warner Home Video and Elvis Presley Enterprises announced the Elvis On Tour Blu-ray and DVD release date as August 3. There will also be a special screening of the movie on August 14 in Memphis during Elvis Week.
You read that right, we’re only four months away from the Elvis On Tour release!
Elvis On Tour features Elvis on the road and in rehearsals in the spring of 1972. Sandwiched between 1970’s colossal That’s The Way It Is and 1973’s Aloha From Hawaii, MGM’s Golden-Globe-winning documentary often seems to be overlooked among Elvis events. The second documentary produced about him, Elvis On Tour also represents Elvis’ 33rd and final movie.
Previously available in wide release only on VHS, Elvis On Tour is finally making its debut on Blu-ray and DVD. So, it is a little late to the DVD party, but just in time for the high-definition Blu-ray party!
While there will apparently not be any previously unreleased footage in this release, the press release does mention a number of songs that were featured only in the 1992 home video Elvis: The Lost Performances.
My hope is that the 1972 songs from The Lost Performances will be available as fully restored bonus features, along with the original theatrical version of the film. Blu-ray movies also allow for the possibility of “branching” — where you can choose between variations of a movie.
As we count down the months to the Elvis On Tour release, The Mystery Train will have more articles celebrating this event. Keep checking back, folks.
This is a great time to be an Elvis fan!