Happy Birthday, Elvis! Fun facts, tributes and remembrances

Today would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday, of course, so I have rounded up King-related news from all over the world to observe the occasion. While you are in an Elvis mood, be sure to check out our story from earlier in the week on an event in Washington to commemorate the bizarre 1970 meeting of Elvis and President Richard Nixon. It was featured on Yahoo's home page throughout the morning.

On to the links:

* The Washington Post reports that the National Portrait Gallery opens today an exhibit of Elvis portraits "ranging from realistic portrayals to mythical, spiritual and earthly images goes on display with works by such artists as Andy Warhol, Ralph Wolfe Cowan and Red Grooms." The exhibit runs through Aug. 29. The portrait gallery is a Smithsonian museum, so admission is free.

* There are plenty of Elvis fun-facts out there today, some of which are probably not all true. At any rate, they are amusing. Here's one from Newsday, which includes such nuggets as:

He met Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in 1975, but Wilson says the meeting ended badly when he made an unexpected karate move on Presley after Presley asked him not to.

Along with a computer-simulated picture of what Elvis might have looked like at age 75, the Sun tabloid has its own list of 75 Elvis facts, including this one:

At its height his daily food intake was an estimated 94,000 calories a day. An Asian elephant consumes only 50,000.

Totally unbelievable, right? But read the very next one on the list ...

He loved Fool's Gold Loaf, a hollow loaf filled with a jar of peanut butter, a jar of grape jelly and a pound of bacon. It had 42,000 calories. 

A couple of Fool's Gold Loafs, and Elvis would only need about 10,000 more calories to make his daily quota.

* ABC's Nightline travels to Las Vegas to check in on the city's continuing love affair with the King. A diverse cross-section of Elvis tribute artists -- a little person, an African American, a woman -- are featured.

* A 39-year-old man in Colombia has changed his name to Elvis Presley as he strives toward "total emulation of his beloved hero."

* The New York Times' Diners Journal blog shares a recipe for Elvis' beloved fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, and even suggests a wine pairing (a cab-merlot mix).

* Speaking with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show, widow Priscilla Presley suggested that were Elvis alive today, he might be doing some preaching along with his singing.

"He loved to teach and loved the Bible. He always would have been dedicated to his music, that's for sure.

* The Chicago Sun-Times checks in with disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a big Elvis fan who has even done some EP tribute work to help pay the bills. Besides being a fan of Elvis' music and movies ("a nice happy world with happy endings"), Blago is superstitious about the King:

And Elvis' Jan. 8 birthday is not just any day in the Blagojevich datebook. In his memoir, The Governor, Blagojevich said he launched all his campaigns on Jan. 8. "I picked it because, as a big Elvis fan, I liked the karma of starting on his birthday," Blagojevich writes.

And then ...

His federal corruption trial is scheduled to begin June 3. In Elvis' world, June 3 is the day Elvis graduated from Humes High School in Memphis, where he majored in shop, English and history (and got a C in music).

Special thanks to newsroom librarian Rosemary Nelms for gathering these links.



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  • About Links to Memphis

Deputy Online News Editor Mark Richens takes you through all the news about Memphis from sources outside the Mid-South.