Lawdy, Miss Clawdy, Presley would be 80 on January 8!
We’re All Shook Up. He’d be nothin’ but an old Hound Dog. But That’s All Right; Don’t Be Cruel.
Here’s where to love him tender on or around Jan. 8, in or around Washington, D.C.:
- On Jan. 8 at 7:15 P.M., see the documentary “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is!” (click here for official trailer) at AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland just outside D.C.
The 1970 documentary was recorded live during Presley’s triumphant return to the stage with his first full-fledged tour in 13 years, says the American Film Institute (AFI). Filmed mainly during the three-night Elvis Summer Festival at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, this doc was directed by Denis Sanders (Oscar®-winning documentary short “Czechoslovakia 1918–1968”), with cinematography by Lucien Ballard (“The Wild Bunch”).
- You can pay homage to the King at his dreamy portrait in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. It’s appropriately in the NPG’s “American Cool” section.
This “Gone with the Wind” meets “Giant” circular portrait is the only one Elv the Pelv ever sat for. It’s by Ralph Wolfe Cowan, and is similar to Cowan’s seven- by four-foot version in Graceland.
The painter has said that Presley walked into Cowan’s portrait painting gallery at Caesar’s Palace in the early 1960s, put his hands across the door, and said, “You can’t get away from me this time…and I’ll wear whatever you want.” He’s in tight blue jeans and a flowing scarlet shirt.
The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is sure to have at least one Elvis question in its ‘Rock and Roll is Here to Stay!’ Pop Quiz on Jan. 31 at 6:30 P.M. The highest scorer wins a prize at the free event at these trivia nights, part of the museum’s monthly “After Five” series.
The NPG also has an online slideshow of its 2010 exhibit, “One Life: Echoes of Elvis“, honoring what would have been his 75th birthday.
- “When Nixon Met Elvis” (Dec. 21, 1970 at the White House) is another online exhibit, on the National Archives website.
Elvis Went A’walking right up to White House security agents and gave them his handwritten letter to President Richard Nixon. In the five-page letter, Presley requested a meeting with the President, and an appointment as a federal agent in the war on drugs. The generous superstar adds, “P.S. …I have a personal gift for you which I would like to present to you and I hope that you can accept it…” The gift was a World War Two-era Colt 45 pistol.
Within hours, the King of rock ‘n roll met the leader of the free world. Presley was not allowed to present the gun and bullets to the President, but Nixon’s aides accepted it on his behalf.
To see a CBS News report on the meeting, click here.
The famed photo of Presley and Nixon remains one of the most requested of all the National Archives’ holdings of some 15 million images, the Archives says. (On a similar note, the Elvis 1993 commemorative stamp is by far the most popular, with 124.1 million saved. The next most popular one, “Wonders of America”, trails at 87.5 million saved, say the U.S. Postal Service and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.)
The Presley-Nixon picture is emblazoned on dozens of items in the National Archives shop. Their mug shot is on coffee mugs, snow globes, puzzles…
That impromptu White House meeting with the President, known for his Suspicious Mind, is far, far away from the two-room house where Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi 80 years ago on Jan. 8.
And although Elvis died long, long ago, in 1977 at age 42, millions of us still feel Burning Love.
For more info: AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Maryland, 301-495-6700. National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets, NW, Washington, DC. 202-633-1000, Free. Stay tuned for planned exhibitions, being arranged by Washington, D.C.’s Govinda Gallery, of Alfred Wertheimer’s candid, intimate photographs of Elvis.