Radio 2 Elvis Season

Episodes

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Broadcast
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20100102
20100102

Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building. Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976. Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work. Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts. We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito. On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb. Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis. Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969. His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week. That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata. When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight. After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage. Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight. The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff. Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last. Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms. It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city. It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels. The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music. This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city. Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy.

Rob Brydon explores the time Elvis spent in Las Vegas and his influence upon the city.

20100105
20100105

Dear Mr. President. First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office."

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon. In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a "Federal Agent at Large". He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups. He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil "Bud" Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis. We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office. He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

Martin Sheen tells the story of Elvis Presley's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

20100107
20100107

"In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up.

A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now.

35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit.

She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace.

She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years.

Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, & Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

Suzi travels to Memphis to explore her life-long fascination with Elvis Presley."

20100107

"In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up.

A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now.

35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit.

She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace.

She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years.

Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, and Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

Suzi travels to Memphis to explore her life-long fascination with Elvis Presley."

20100107

"In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up.

A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now.

35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit.

She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace.

She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years.

Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, and Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

Suzi travels to Memphis to explore her life-long fascination with Elvis Presley.

"

20100107

In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up. A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now. 35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit. She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace. She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years. Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, & Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

Suzi travels to Memphis to explore her life-long fascination with Elvis Presley.

20100107

In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up.

A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now.

35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit.

She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace.

She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years.

Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, & Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

Suzi travels to Memphis to explore her life-long fascination with Elvis Presley.

20100107

In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up.

A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now.

35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit.

She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace.

She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years.

Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, and Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

Suzi travels to Memphis to explore her life-long fascination with Elvis Presley.

*20100102
*20100102

"Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building.

Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976.

Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work.

Presley's manager, Col.

Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts.

We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito.

On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb.

Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis.

Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969.

His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week.

That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata.

When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight.

After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage.

Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight.

The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff.

Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last.

Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms.

It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city.

It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels.

The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music.

This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city.

Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy.

Rob Brydon explores the time Elvis spent in Las Vegas and his influence upon the city."

*20100102

"Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building.

Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976.

Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work.

Presley's manager, Col.

Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts.

We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito.

On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb.

Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis.

Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969.

His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week.

That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata.

When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight.

After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage.

Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight.

The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff.

Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last.

Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms.

It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city.

It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels.

The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music.

This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city.

Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy.

Rob Brydon explores the time Elvis spent in Las Vegas and his influence upon the city.

"

*20100102

Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building.

Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976.

Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work.

Presley's manager, Col.

Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts.

We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito.

On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb.

Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis.

Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969.

His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week.

That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata.

When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight.

After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage.

Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight.

The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff.

Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last.

Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms.

It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city.

It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels.

The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music.

This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city.

Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy.

Rob Brydon explores the time Elvis spent in Las Vegas and his influence upon the city.

*20100105

"Dear Mr.

President.

First, I would like to introduce myself.

I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a ""Federal Agent at Large"".

He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups.

He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil ""Bud"" Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis.

We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office.

He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

Martin Sheen tells the story of Elvis Presley's 1970 meeting with President Nixon."""

*20100105

"Dear Mr.

President.

First, I would like to introduce myself.

I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a Federal Agent at Large.

He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups.

He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil Bud Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis.

We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office.

He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

Martin Sheen tells the story of Elvis Presley's 1970 meeting with President Nixon."

*20100105

"Dear Mr.

President.

First, I would like to introduce myself.

I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a Federal Agent at Large.

He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups.

He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil Bud Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis.

We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office.

He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

Martin Sheen tells the story of Elvis Presley's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

Dear Mr.

President.

First, I would like to introduce myself.

I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a ""Federal Agent at Large"".

He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups.

He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil ""Bud"" Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis.

We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office.

He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

Martin Sheen tells the story of Elvis Presley's 1970 meeting with President Nixon."

*20100105

Dear Mr.

President.

First, I would like to introduce myself.

I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a "Federal Agent at Large".

He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups.

He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil "Bud" Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis.

We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office.

He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

Martin Sheen tells the story of Elvis Presley's 1970 meeting with President Nixon."

*20100105

Dear Mr.

President.

First, I would like to introduce myself.

I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a Federal Agent at Large.

He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups.

He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil Bud Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis.

We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office.

He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

Martin Sheen tells the story of Elvis Presley's 1970 meeting with President Nixon.

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis
Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis

""

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis20100101
Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis20100101

Radio 2's Elvis Season continues with another chance to hear about The King, in the words of his fans.

This programme first broadcast in August 2007, as part of Radio 2's long-running oral history series, and offers an insight into the way Elvis impacted on everyday lives.

Another chance to hear about 'The King', in the words of his fans.

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis20100101

"Radio 2's Elvis Season continues with another chance to hear about The King, in the words of his fans.

This programme first broadcast in August 2007, as part of Radio 2's long-running oral history series, and offers an insight into the way Elvis impacted on everyday lives."

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis20100101

"Radio 2's Elvis Season continues with another chance to hear about The King, in the words of his fans.

This programme first broadcast in August 2007, as part of Radio 2's long-running oral history series, and offers an insight into the way Elvis impacted on everyday lives.

"

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis20100101

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis20100101

Radio 2's Elvis Season continues with another chance to hear about The King, in the words of his fans.

This programme first broadcast in August 2007, as part of Radio 2's long-running oral history series, and offers an insight into the way Elvis impacted on everyday lives.

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis20100101

Radio 2's Elvis Season continues with another chance to hear about The King, in the words of his fans.

This programme first broadcast in August 2007, as part of Radio 2's long-running oral history series, and offers an insight into the way Elvis impacted on everyday lives.

Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis2010010120100101

"Radio 2's Elvis Season continues with another chance to hear about The King, in the words of his fans.

This programme first broadcast in August 2007, as part of Radio 2's long-running oral history series, and offers an insight into the way Elvis impacted on everyday lives.

Radio 2's Elvis Season continues with another chance to hear about The King, in the words of his fans.

This programme first broadcast in August 2007, as part of Radio 2's long-running oral history series, and offers an insight into the way Elvis impacted on everyday lives."

Elvis And Dewey20091229

As Radio 2's Elvis Season continues, Paul Gambaccini tells the fascinating story of a pioneering disc jockey who played a part in the birth of rock 'n' roll in Memphis and early career of Elvis Presley.

A full two years before Alan Freed "discovered" rock 'n' roll, Dewey Phillips was playing rhythm and blues on WHBQ to an audience of black and white listeners. His zeal for rhythm & blues and country set the stage for both Elvis' subsequent success and the rock 'n' roll revolution of the 1950s. Significantly, Dewey captivated a huge white audience with previously forbidden "race" music.

Dewey was the first DJ to introduce an Elvis record on the radio in July 1954. On his Memphis radio show Red, Hot & Blue, he played an acetate of the first single That's All Right (Mama) cut for him by the owner of Sun Studios, Sam Phillips (no relation). Legend has it that Dewey played the song anywhere from seven to eleven times in a row and he interviewed Elvis that night.

Elvis always acknowledged his debt of gratitude to Dewey - not only for his first radio exposure but also for the influence on his musical development through hearing the exciting mix of blues and country records every night.

The programme includes extracts from Dewey's radio and TV programmes of the 50s and early 60s. Interviewees include Louis Cantor - author of Dewey And Elvis - who worked on Memphis radio station WDIA; Charles Raiteri - another Memphis radio veteran; Humes High School classmates of Elvis: George Klein and Jerry Schilling; and an archive interview with the late Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson.

Paul Gambaccini tells the story of the pioneering DJ who helped to launch Elvis' career.

Elvis: Gospel According To The King20091226

Radio 2 presents two weeks of special programming leading up to Friday 8 January - when Elvis Aaron Presley would have celebrated his 75th birthday.

The season covers the music, the films, the brand, and Elvis Presley's personal life, including a 1970 meeting with President Nixon to discuss his desire to be appointed "Federal Agent At Large". Presenters include Martin Sheen, Jerry Hall, Rob Brydon and Suzi Quatro, who travels to Graceland 35 years after Elvis invited her to his home.

First up is Gosepl According To The King, in which Jerry Hall explores the importance and influence of gospel music in Elvis Presley's life. Long before he became known as the "King of Rock 'n' Roll", Elvis was a poor kid from Tupelo, Mississippi who was fascinated by the power and the passion of gospel music.

He grew up singing spiritual music with his family in his local church and when they moved to Memphis they regularly attended all night gospel sessions at the Ellis Auditorium. As a teenager Elvis was allowed to sneak in the back door because he couldn't afford a ticket. After he became a huge rock star Elvis would regularly return to the 'all night sings' and join his favourite gospel groups on stage.

The only three Grammy Awards Elvis won were for his gospel recordings, he incorporated gospel songs into his stage repertoire and even convinced studio bosses to include gospel songs in several of his movie soundtracks. Throughout his life it was the gospel music that he turned to for inspiration and consolation: "Elvis was never happier than when he was surrounded by his friends belting out the gospel songs he remembered from his childhood when he attended church with his parents" (Priscilla Presley)

The documentary features members of gospel groups who recorded and performed with Elvis including The Jordanaires, The Imperials & The Sweet Inspirations; musicians DJ Fontana, James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Jerry Scheff and Ronnie Tutt. There is also archive material from Sun Records founder Sam Phillips who recorded the famous "million dollar quartet" sessions on 4 December 1956, when Elvis sang gospel songs with Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.

Rob Brydon's World Of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years
Rob Brydon's World Of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years

""

Rob Brydon's World Of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years

Rob Brydon's World of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years20100102

"Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building. Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976. Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work. Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts. We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito. On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb. Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis. Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969. His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week. That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata. When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight. After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage. Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight. The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff. Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last. Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms. It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city. It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels. The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music. This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city. Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy."

Rob Brydon's World Of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years20100102

"Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building. Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976. Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work. Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts. We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito. On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb. Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis. Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969. His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week. That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata. When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight. After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage. Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight. The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff. Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last. Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms. It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city. It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels. The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music. This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city. Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy.

Any programme explorinRadio 2 Elvis Season

Suzi Quatro's Elvis

20100107

In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up. A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now. 35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit. She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace. She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years. ThenRadio 2 Elvis Season

Rob Brydon's World Of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years20100102

"Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building. Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976. Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work. Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts. We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito. On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb. Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis. Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969. His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week. That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata. When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight. After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage. Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight. The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff. Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last. Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms. It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city. It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels. The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music. This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city. Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy.

Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building. Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976. Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work. Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts. We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito. On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb. Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis. Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969. His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week. That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata. When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight. After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage. Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight. The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff. Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last. Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms. It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city. It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels. The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music. This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city. Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy."

Rob Brydon's World of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years20100102

Rob Brydon's World Of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years20100102

Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building. Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976. Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work. Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts. We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito. On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb. Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis. Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969. His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week. That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata. When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight. After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage. Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight. The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff. Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last. Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms. It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city. It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels. The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music. This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city. Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy.

Rob Brydon's World of Elvis: The Las Vegas Years20100102

Welcome to Las Vegas, where Elvis has not left the building. Graceland may be home to his shrine but Elvis forged a lasting bond with the Las Vegas, thanks to a seven-year run between 1969 and 1976. Rob Brydon, an Elvis fan, revisits this golden period in a remarkable career.

The 1969 Memphis Sessions at American Studios in Memphis re-established Presley as a musical force, returning him to the charts and producing some of his most acclaimed work. Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, was planning Presley's return to live concerts with a series of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas later that year.

Elvis assembled a new live band for his first Las Vegas concerts. We hear about rehearsals in the summer of 1969, and the buoyant mood within the Presley camp, from lead guitarist James Burton and legendary Presley road manager Joe Esposito. On July 31 1969, Elvis walked out on stage in front of a paying audience for the first time eight years.

The band, as we hear through live recordings, were superb. Singers Myra Smith and Estelle Brown reveal what it was like performing on stage, night after night, with Elvis. Things went well and Elvis went on to perform regular shows there for seven years - a total of 637 consecutive sold-out performances in front of 2.5 million people.

Presley completed his four week stint on 28 August 1969. His fee for that initial season was in the region of 100 thousand dollars a week. That month the Hilton took one and a half million dollars...and that figure doesn't even include takings from the casino!

When Presley returned in January 1970 for his winter season, he and his entourage made a considerable impact on life at the Hilton International Hotel, as we hear from valet Lonnie Pope and bell boy Dan Hakata. When Elvis swept into town, he would set up in his hotel suite and establish a routine: karate, rehearsals with the band and then two shows a night - at 8 pm and midnight. After the shows, he would retire to his 30th floor suite, sit at the piano and sing the gospel songs of his childhood.

But things did get pretty intense on the road and the FBI and Presley's personal body guards were on full alert following a death threat which claimed the King would be shot on stage. Jerry Schilling, one of Presley's inner circle and Memphis Mafia, talks us through the events surrounding Presley's security.

Any programme exploring this period has to acknowledge Presley's use of prescription drugs and his escalating weight. The Presley jump suits in white, blue and orange would become synonymous with Elvis in Vegas but the bespoke jumpsuits had to adjust to his expanding midriff. Band members reveal how Elvis' personal problems affected life on stage and off.

That winter of 1976 was Presley's 15th season at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel and his last. Grappling with his weight and personal problems, it was while preparing to play yet another series of concerts, the Presley heart gave up in the bathroom of Graceland on 16 August 1977.

Over thirty years later, Elvis remains an iconic figure and his presence can still be felt on the streets of Las Vegas, in the bars and in the showrooms. It would be fair to say the King of Rock 'n' Roll changed the way we see the city. It's not just the scores of Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, or the hundreds of images you see in the tacky gift shops and hotels. The city's profile was shaped by him as he brought glitz and a new glamour.

And this month he is re-launched in a new Cirque De Soliel show, celebrating his life and music. This new Vegas show confirms Elvis has not left the building and reconnects the King with the city. Cirque production manager Michael Anderson and the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman explore Presley's contribution to the city and legacy.

Suzi Quatro's Elvis
Suzi Quatro's Elvis

""

Suzi Quatro's Elvis

Suzi Quatro's Elvis20100107

"In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up. A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now. 35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit. She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace. She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years. Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, & Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself."

Suzi Quatro's Elvis20100107

"In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up. A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now. 35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit. She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace. She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years. Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, and Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up. A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now. 35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit. She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace. She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years. Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, and Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself."

Suzi Quatro's Elvis20100107

Suzi Quatro's Elvis20100107

In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up. A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now. 35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit. She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace. She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years. Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, and Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

Suzi Quatro's Elvis20100107

In a Memphis hotel room back in 1974, Suzi Quatro answered the phone, expecting another routine query about her tour or current hit, and heard a version of Elvis Presley's All Shook Up. A huge Elvis fan, she was surprised, amazed and a little nervous to discover that the call was actually from the King himself, inviting her to visit him at his house, Graceland.

Suzi couldn't accept the invitation and she never went to Graceland..until now. 35 years after the event, Suzi travels to Memphis to make that long-delayed visit. She explores her life-long obsession with Elvis, the connection she feels with him, and his influence on her career.

On the way to Graceland, and in an attempt to discover the man behind the image, Suzi visits Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace. She meets some of his childhood friends who share some of their precious memories, including the reason why Elvis was hopeless at fishing and the moving story behind the final resting place of his still-born twin brother Jesse.

In Memphis itself, Suzi sees the council flat that was the Presley's first big city home, his school and the places where he made his first music, and meets the girl who Elvis walked home from school every day for four years. Then it's on to Beale Street where Elvis found his musical direction, Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings, & Audobon Drive where he bought his first house.

Life long friend George Klein offers his own personal insight into the Presley psyche, before Suzi finally makes the long-delayed - and highly emotional - visit to Graceland itself.

When The King Met The President

""

When The King Met The President

When The King Met The President20100105

"

Dear Mr. President. First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.""

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon. In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a ""Federal Agent at Large"". He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups. He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil ""Bud"" Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis. We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office. He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting."

When The King Met The President20100105

"Dear Mr. President. First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon. In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a Federal Agent at Large. He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups. He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil Bud Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis. We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office. He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting."

When The King Met The President20100105

"Dear Mr. President. First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon. In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a Federal Agent at Large. He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups. He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil Bud Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis. We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office. He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

Dear Mr. President. First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.""

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon. In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a ""Federal Agent at Large"". He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups. He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil ""Bud"" Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis. We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office. He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting."

When The King Met The President20100105

When The King Met The President20100105

Dear Mr. President. First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office.

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon. In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a Federal Agent at Large. He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups. He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil Bud Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis. We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office. He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

When The King Met The President20100105

Dear Mr. President. First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office."

Martin Sheen looks at the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 1970 meeting with President Nixon. In a storyline as fascinating as any created for President Bartlet's White House, he reveals how Elvis approached Nixon to offer his services to the United States Of America.

Elvis expressed a desire to be made a "Federal Agent at Large". He wanted to communicate with, and report on, what he felt were harmful factions threatening America and he believed his star status would allow him a non-threatening entrance into the closed environment of these groups. He arrived at the White House gate on the morning of December 21 with two bodyguards and some family photos and a commemorative World War II pistol intended as gifts for the President.

Contributors include President Nixon's aides, Egil "Bud" Krogh and Dwight Chapin, who were in the meeting with Elvis. We'll also hear from Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' inner circle, who was with him in the Oval Office. He reveals why the meeting was so important to The King and how the relationship continued beyond the first meeting.

01Elvis: Movie King Or Celluloid Sellout?20091228
01Elvis: Movie King Or Celluloid Sellout?20091228

Radio 2's Elvis season continues with Paul Morley exploring the film career and music of Elvis Presley and considering whether his multi-million dollar movie career damaged his artistic credibility.

Movie producer Hal Wallis declared that a Presley picture was "the only sure thing in show business". During his career The King made 33 films and, despite having no training, he was one of the highest paid actors of the 60s, with his film soundtracks alone grossing around $280 million.

Elvis wanted to be taken seriously as an actor but he was pigeonholed into making musical comedies and turned down the opportunity to act opposite Elizabeth Taylor in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and the Oscar-winning role played by George Chakiris in West Side Story. Despite his box office success, he gave up films in 1969.

Part one looks at the early Elvis films and explores his ambitions to be a serious actor. Through interviews with songwriters Lieber and Stoller and Elvis's close friend Jerry Schilling, we explore the early films Jailhouse Rock, King Creole and Viva Las Vegas.

. Paul Morley explores the stories and music from Elvis' early films.

01Elvis: Movie King Or Celluloid Sellout?20100102

01Elvis: Movie King Or Celluloid Sellout?20100112
01Elvis: The Brand20100104

Paul Gambaccini explores the continuing potency of the Elvis brand. Made to commemorate what would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday, this is less the story of his music (though we will hear some of that), more an enquiry into his undiminished fame and power as an American icon.

In the first programme, Paul unlocks the components of the brand as they evolved in Elvis's lifetime. Paul Gorman (author of The Look) considers Presley's changing but always identifiable styles - from the pink and black suits of the rockabilly years, to the comic book jumpsuits of the Vegas years.

Paul also reflects of the mythology of Elvis' life, with the help of "Memphis Mafia" member Jerry Shilling; former girlfriend Betty Burger; and critics Greil Marcus and David Hepworth. He covers the early poverty, Presley's encounter with Sam Phillips of Sun Records, his army career, the profligacy and, of course, the music, to give an account of why Elvis is STILL a highly bankable brand.

Tomorrow: Dead Elvis...has not yet left the building.

. Paul Gambaccini explores Elvis Presley's undiminished fame and power as an American icon.

1The Elvis Trail20100108
01The Elvis Trail20100108
1The Elvis Trail20100108

Following his journey along the trails of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Judy Garland, Michael Freedland takes to the road again to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth.

First stop is the town where Elvis was born, shortly before dawn, on 8 January 1935 - Tupelo in Mississippi. Michael visits the birthplace museum where director, Dick Guyton, guides us around the two-room shack built the year before Elvis' birth, by his father Vernon and grandfather Jesse. Whilst here, Michael chats to some of the visitors and marvels at their loyalty and devotion to the King, as many of them return year after year like pilgrims to a shrine. The religious imagery recurs throughout this trip.

Moving on from the house, Michael visits the tiny but beautiful First Assembly of God church where Elvis sang as a boy. Helping to tell the story of his early years are several of his school friends; Guy Thomas Harris, James Ausborn, Azalia Moore and a cousin, Sybil Presley; whilst Steve Holland, a member of the local assembly, provides some economic and political context.

James Ausborn, a special friend of Elvis' and brother of Mississippi Slim, the musician and local DJ who promoted Presley's career, takes Michael to Johnnie's Drive-In, to see where Elvis sat and ate his burgers and drank his special Royal Cola. Later, on the "right" side of the tracks in Tupelo, Michael meets genealogist Julien Riley, who tells us that Elvis was actually not a Presley but a Wallace, with links back to Scotland!

At one of Elvis' schools in Tupelo, Milam High, Michael meets up with several more of his friends, including psychiatrist Billy Welch who used to sing with the King at school, and harmonica player Jimmy Gault. At the Elvis Presley Heights Museum, the trail leads to Bill and Linda Kinard, who've amassed a good deal of Presley memorabilia, including the famous pink Cadillac.

Whilst there, Michael talks to the policeman who was on duty the night Elvis made a legendary home performance in front of a near "riot" of Tupelo girls; Presley cousins, Charlene Presley and Edie Hand; collector Joyce Logan; and DJ Charlie Watts, who interviewed Gladys and Vernon Presely and Elvis himself. Extracts from these interviews are included, the interview with Gladys being the only known example of her recorded voice. Charlene later takes Michael out to Priceville Cemetery where Elvis' stillborn twin brother Jesse Garon is buried at a secret location.

At Lawhorn school Michael talks to school friends Don Winders and Shirley Gillentine, who won a talent competition, knocking Elvis into fourth place! At the local cinema, Elvis's black friend Sam Bell explains how they used to go to the movies, but in segregated seats, and how Elvis would sneak over into the black section to sit with Sam.

The visit to Tupelo ends at the famous hardware store where Elvis was bought his first guitar; and the store is exactly as it was in 1945.

. Michael Freedland follows the life of Elvis Presley, starting at his birthplace.

02Elvis: Movie King Or Celluloid Sellout?20100111

02Elvis: Movie King Or Celluloid Sellout?20100115
02Elvis: The Brand

02The Elvis Trail

02The Elvis Trail

02 LASTElvis: Movie King Or Celluloid Sellout?20091229

Movie producer Hal Wallis declared that a Presley picture was "the only sure thing in show business". During his career The King made 33 films and, despite having no training, he was one of the highest paid actors of the 60s, with his film soundtracks alone grossing around $280 million.

Elvis wanted to be taken seriously as an actor but he was pigeonholed into making musical comedies and turned down the opportunity to act opposite Elizabeth Taylor in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and the Oscar-winning role played by George Chakiris in West Side Story. Despite his box office success, he gave up films in 1969.

In part two, as the Elvis movie machine is in full swing, we look at to what extent his film career was being run by Colonel Parker and how the Elvis movie "formula" was born. In rare archive, Elvis discusses his film career, and talks about his resentment of being pigeonholed into contracts - making fast turn-around musical comedies.

Were the films an embarrassing episode in the King's career, or are their forgotten musical gems and global success at the box office worthy of celebration today?

. Paul Morley explores the movie career and overlooked film music of Elvis Presley.

02 LASTElvis: The Brand20100105

Paul Gambaccini continues his exploration of the Elvis brand by looking at how, though the King may (arguably!) be dead, the Elvis brand is still alive and gyrating.

He considers some of the latest attempts to reinvent, package and market Presley such as the Cirque du Soleil show, Viva Elvis, which has just opened in Las Vegas. He looks at the ingenious, and some argue exploitative, branding strategy of the almighty force that is Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Contributors include die-hard British fan, Peter Phillips, who talks about plans for launching the first Elvis Presley Tribute Artist World Cup; and branding guru Jasmine Montgomery, who considers whether the brand could go on thriving forever.

. Paul Gambaccini explores Elvis Presley's undiminished fame and power as an American icon.

2The Elvis Trail20100115
2The Elvis Trail20100115

Following his journey along the trails of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Judy Garland, Michael Freedland takes to the road again to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth.

First stop is the town where Elvis was born, shortly before dawn, on 8 January 1935 - Tupelo in Mississippi. Michael visits the birthplace museum where director, Dick Guyton, guides us around the two-room shack built the year before Elvis' birth, by his father Vernon and grandfather Jesse. Whilst here, Michael chats to some of the visitors and marvels at their loyalty and devotion to the King, as many of them return year after year like pilgrims to a shrine. The religious imagery recurs throughout this trip.

Moving on from the house, Michael visits the tiny but beautiful First Assembly of God church where Elvis sang as a boy. Helping to tell the story of his early years are several of his school friends; Guy Thomas Harris, James Ausborn, Azalia Moore and a cousin, Sybil Presley; whilst Steve Holland, a member of the local assembly, provides some economic and political context.

James Ausborn, a special friend of Elvis' and brother of Mississippi Slim, the musician and local DJ who promoted Presley's career, takes Michael to Johnnie's Drive-In, to see where Elvis sat and ate his burgers and drank his special Royal Cola. Later, on the "right" side of the tracks in Tupelo, Michael meets genealogist Julien Riley, who tells us that Elvis was actually not a Presley but a Wallace, with links back to Scotland!

At one of Elvis' schools in Tupelo, Milam High, Michael meets up with several more of his friends, including psychiatrist Billy Welch who used to sing with the King at school, and harmonica player Jimmy Gault. At the Elvis Presley Heights Museum, the trail leads to Bill and Linda Kinard, who've amassed a good deal of Presley memorabilia, including the famous pink Cadillac.

Whilst there, Michael talks to the policeman who was on duty the night Elvis made a legendary home performance in front of a near "riot" of Tupelo girls; Presley cousins, Charlene Presley and Edie Hand; collector Joyce Logan; and DJ Charlie Watts, who interviewed Gladys and Vernon Presely and Elvis himself. Extracts from these interviews are included, the interview with Gladys being the only known example of her recorded voice. Charlene later takes Michael out to Priceville Cemetery where Elvis' stillborn twin brother Jesse Garon is buried at a secret location.

At Lawhorn school Michael talks to school friends Don Winders and Shirley Gillentine, who won a talent competition, knocking Elvis into fourth place! At the local cinema, Elvis's black friend Sam Bell explains how they used to go to the movies, but in segregated seats, and how Elvis would sneak over into the black section to sit with Sam.

The visit to Tupelo ends at the famous hardware store where Elvis was bought his first guitar; and the store is exactly as it was in 1945.

. Michael Freedland explores Elvis Presley's birthplace of Tupelo.

02The Elvis Trail20100115

03The Elvis Trail
03The Elvis Trail

03The Elvis Trail

3The Elvis Trail20100122
3The Elvis Trail20100122

Michael Freedland continues his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth and reaches Memphis, Tennessee, where the Presley family settled in 1948.

Here Michael not only visits the world famous Graceland - how could he not?! - but he also tours the iconic Sun studios. He talks to the hit songwriter Stan Kesler; Elvis's great friend, former DJ George Klein; and movie co-star, Susanna Leigh. In the renowned Peabody Hotel, Michael meets the tailor Bernard Lansky - now 82 years old - who was responsible for Elvis's taste in sharp and original clothing at an early age.

Perhaps the highlight of the Memphis trip though, is the visit to the Lauderdale Courts, the housing project where Elvis lived with his family when they were beginning to escape from the grinding poverty they had experienced in Tupelo. There Michael meets a whole bunch of Elvis's friends: Jerry and Neil Niker, Fred Frederick, bassist Bill Black's brother Ken, Blanche Jordan Scott, Gene West, Jack Berelson, and special friend Buzzy Forbess. Many of these people still meet regularly to talk over old times and keep up with each other all these years later.

Other contributors include Graceland cook, Nancy Rooks, who tells of late night chats with Elvis on religious matters; Mike Freeman who talks to Michael about Elvis's first house in Audubon drive; school friend Gene Bradberry, businessman Bill Haltom whose father was Elvis's pastor; Buddy Chapman, the Memphis police director at the time of Presley's death; Elvis's secretary Becky Yancey; Elvis's very special frind and nurse, Marian Cocke; gospel singer Jimmy Blackwood; and, intriguingly in a rare interview, Dr Nichopoulos - Elvis' personal physician Dr Nick.

. Michael Freedland continues his journey in Memphis, Tennessee.

03The Elvis Trail20100122

04The Elvis Trail
04The Elvis Trail

04The Elvis Trail

4The Elvis Trail20100129
4The Elvis Trail20100129

Michael Freedland continues his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth in Memphis, Tennessee, where the Presley family settled in 1948.

Here Michael not only visits the world famous Graceland - how could he not?! - but he also tours the iconic Sun studios. He talks to the hit songwriter Stan Kesler; Elvis's great friend, former DJ George Klein; and movie co-star, Susanna Leigh. In the renowned Peabody Hotel, Michael meets the tailor Bernard Lansky - now 82 years old - who was responsible for Elvis's taste in sharp and original clothing at an early age.

Perhaps the highlight of the Memphis trip though, is the visit to the Lauderdale Courts, the housing project where Elvis lived with his family when they were beginning to escape from the grinding poverty they had experienced in Tupelo. There Michael meets a whole bunch of Elvis's friends: Jerry and Neil Niker, Fred Frederick, bassist Bill Black's brother Ken, Blanche Jordan Scott, Gene West, Jack Berelson, and special friend Buzzy Forbess. Many of these people still meet regularly to talk over old times and keep up with each other all these years later.

Other contributors include Graceland cook, Nancy Rooks, who tells of late night chats with Elvis on religious matters; Mike Freeman who talks to Michael about Elvis's first house in Audubon drive; school friend Gene Bradberry, businessman Bill Haltom whose father was Elvis's pastor; Buddy Chapman, the Memphis police director at the time of Presley's death; Elvis's secretary Becky Yancey; Elvis's very special frind and nurse, Marian Cocke; gospel singer Jimmy Blackwood; and, intriguingly in a rare interview, Dr Nichopoulos - Elvis' personal physician Dr Nick.

. Michael Freedland continues his journey in Memphis, Tennessee.

04The Elvis Trail20100129

05The Elvis Trail

05The Elvis Trail

5The Elvis Trail20100205
05The Elvis Trail20100205

"

Michael Freedland continues his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth.

This week, he stops off in Nashville.

In Nashville, Michael visits the famous RCA Studio B where Presley recorded so many of his famous hits after he'd already hit the big time with Sam Phillips at Sun - tracks like Are you Lonesome Tonight? and It's Now Or Never.

At the studio Michael chats to Ray Walker of The Jordanaires (who sang backing vocals on many of Elvis' recordings); singer TG Sheppard; and former girlfriend, Ann Ellington Wagner.

Later on in Nashville, we hear from Million Dollar Quartet producer Cowboy Jack Clement; Ryman Auditorium marketing manager Brian Wagner; Grand Ol' Opry singer Carol Lee Cooper; bodyguard Sonny West; country singer and impersonator Ronnie McDowell.

Michael also takes a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ernest Tubbs Record Store, where Elvis used to appear on the radio show, the Midnight Jamboree.

Michael Freedland continues his journey in Nashville, Tennessee."

05The Elvis Trail20100205

"Michael Freedland continues his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth.

This week, he stops off in Nashville.

In Nashville, Michael visits the famous RCA Studio B where Presley recorded so many of his famous hits after he'd already hit the big time with Sam Phillips at Sun - tracks like Are you Lonesome Tonight? and It's Now Or Never.

At the studio Michael chats to Ray Walker of The Jordanaires (who sang backing vocals on many of Elvis' recordings); singer TG Sheppard; and former girlfriend, Ann Ellington Wagner.

Later on in Nashville, we hear from Million Dollar Quartet producer Cowboy Jack Clement; Ryman Auditorium marketing manager Brian Wagner; Grand Ol' Opry singer Carol Lee Cooper; bodyguard Sonny West; country singer and impersonator Ronnie McDowell.

Michael also takes a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ernest Tubbs Record Store, where Elvis used to appear on the radio show, the Midnight Jamboree.

Michael Freedland continues his journey in Nashville, Tennessee."

5The Elvis Trail20100205

Michael Freedland continues his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth. This week, he stops off in Nashville.

In Nashville, Michael visits the famous RCA Studio B where Presley recorded so many of his famous hits after he'd already hit the big time with Sam Phillips at Sun - tracks like Are you Lonesome Tonight? and It's Now Or Never. At the studio Michael chats to Ray Walker of The Jordanaires (who sang backing vocals on many of Elvis' recordings); singer TG Sheppard; and former girlfriend, Ann Ellington Wagner.

Later on in Nashville, we hear from Million Dollar Quartet producer Cowboy Jack Clement; Ryman Auditorium marketing manager Brian Wagner; Grand Ol' Opry singer Carol Lee Cooper; bodyguard Sonny West; country singer and impersonator Ronnie McDowell. Michael also takes a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ernest Tubbs Record Store, where Elvis used to appear on the radio show, the Midnight Jamboree.

. Michael Freedland continues his journey in Nashville, Tennessee.

05The Elvis Trail20100205

Michael Freedland continues his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth.

This week, he stops off in Nashville.

In Nashville, Michael visits the famous RCA Studio B where Presley recorded so many of his famous hits after he'd already hit the big time with Sam Phillips at Sun - tracks like Are you Lonesome Tonight? and It's Now Or Never.

At the studio Michael chats to Ray Walker of The Jordanaires (who sang backing vocals on many of Elvis' recordings); singer TG Sheppard; and former girlfriend, Ann Ellington Wagner.

Later on in Nashville, we hear from Million Dollar Quartet producer Cowboy Jack Clement; Ryman Auditorium marketing manager Brian Wagner; Grand Ol' Opry singer Carol Lee Cooper; bodyguard Sonny West; country singer and impersonator Ronnie McDowell.

Michael also takes a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ernest Tubbs Record Store, where Elvis used to appear on the radio show, the Midnight Jamboree.

Michael Freedland continues his journey in Nashville, Tennessee.

06The Elvis Trail

06The Elvis Trail

06The Elvis Trail20100212
06The Elvis Trail20100212

06 LASTThe Elvis Trail20100212

"Michael Freedland concludes his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis' birth.

This week he travels to Las Vegas, before driving through the Mojave desert to arrive in LA.

In Vegas, Michael takes a tour of the King's Ransom exhibit at the Imperial Palace Hotel, a museum run by Jimmy Velvet.

He talks to devoted fan, Vicky Sisler; fan club supremo Sue Land; one of Elvis' Memphis Mafia Joe Esposito, who actually met Elvis out in Germany when they were doing their national service; Linda Thompson's brother Sam, another Presley bodyguard; and jeweller Stuart Small, who has many tales to tell of Elvis' legendary generosity.

In LA, we explore Elvis' film career, talking to co-star Celeste Yarnall; screenwriter Michael Hoey; friend, impersonator and Mafia protege, Jimmy Angel; his hairdresser and spiritual companion, Larry Geller; and former girlfriend Linda Thompson, who speaks candidly of her time with Elvis.

Michael also spends an extraordinary evening in the home of one of Presley's songwriters, Don Robertson, who manages to play the piano despite a recent stroke.

What comes out of all these conversations? A truly rich and insightful picture of Elvis the man, and Elvis the singer.

A man with a fierce temper but a man with a tremendous respect for people, who Yes, Ma'amed and 'No, Sirred'; a lonely man with a thirst for friendship, companionship; a man who could spend all night on the dodgems but who had an insatiable spiritual desire to find out what his purpose on earth was; a great singer and superstar who yearned for the ordinary things in life; a man of huge generosity, who gave away millions of dollars worth of cars, houses and jewels to friends and often complete strangers; a shy man, a modest man, a man of simple tastes; the King of Rock 'n' Roll."

06 LASTThe Elvis Trail20100212

"Michael Freedland concludes his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis' birth.

This week he travels to Las Vegas, before driving through the Mojave desert to arrive in LA.

In Vegas, Michael takes a tour of the King's Ransom exhibit at the Imperial Palace Hotel, a museum run by Jimmy Velvet.

He talks to devoted fan, Vicky Sisler; fan club supremo Sue Land; one of Elvis' Memphis Mafia Joe Esposito, who actually met Elvis out in Germany when they were doing their national service; Linda Thompson's brother Sam, another Presley bodyguard; and jeweller Stuart Small, who has many tales to tell of Elvis' legendary generosity.

In LA, we explore Elvis' film career, talking to co-star Celeste Yarnall; screenwriter Michael Hoey; friend, impersonator and Mafia protege, Jimmy Angel; his hairdresser and spiritual companion, Larry Geller; and former girlfriend Linda Thompson, who speaks candidly of her time with Elvis.

Michael also spends an extraordinary evening in the home of one of Presley's songwriters, Don Robertson, who manages to play the piano despite a recent stroke.

What comes out of all these conversations? A truly rich and insightful picture of Elvis the man, and Elvis the singer.

A man with a fierce temper but a man with a tremendous respect for people, who Yes, Ma'amed and 'No, Sirred'; a lonely man with a thirst for friendship, companionship; a man who could spend all night on the dodgems but who had an insatiable spiritual desire to find out what his purpose on earth was; a great singer and superstar who yearned for the ordinary things in life; a man of huge generosity, who gave away millions of dollars worth of cars, houses and jewels to friends and often complete strangers; a shy man, a modest man, a man of simple tastes; the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

"

06 LASTThe Elvis Trail20100212

"Michael Freedland concludes his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis' birth.

This week he travels to Las Vegas, before driving through the Mojave desert to arrive in LA.

In Vegas, Michael takes a tour of the King's Ransom exhibit at the Imperial Palace Hotel, a museum run by Jimmy Velvet.

He talks to devoted fan, Vicky Sisler; fan club supremo Sue Land; one of Elvis' Memphis Mafia Joe Esposito, who actually met Elvis out in Germany when they were doing their national service; Linda Thompson's brother Sam, another Presley bodyguard; and jeweller Stuart Small, who has many tales to tell of Elvis' legendary generosity.

In LA, we explore Elvis' film career, talking to co-star Celeste Yarnall; screenwriter Michael Hoey; friend, impersonator and Mafia protege, Jimmy Angel; his hairdresser and spiritual companion, Larry Geller; and former girlfriend Linda Thompson, who speaks candidly of her time with Elvis.

Michael also spends an extraordinary evening in the home of one of Presley's songwriters, Don Robertson, who manages to play the piano despite a recent stroke.

What comes out of all these conversations? A truly rich and insightful picture of Elvis the man, and Elvis the singer.

A man with a fierce temper but a man with a tremendous respect for people, who Yes, Ma'amed"" and 'No, Sirred'; a lonely man with a thirst for friendship, companionship; a man who could spend all night on the dodgems but who had an insatiable spiritual desire to find out what his purpose on earth was; a great singer and superstar who yearned for the ordinary things in life; a man of huge generosity, who gave away millions of dollars worth of cars, houses and jewels to friends and often complete strangers; a shy man, a modest man, a man of simple tastes; the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

"""

06 LASTThe Elvis Trail20100212

Michael Freedland concludes his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis' birth.

This week he travels to Las Vegas, before driving through the Mojave desert to arrive in LA.

In Vegas, Michael takes a tour of the King's Ransom exhibit at the Imperial Palace Hotel, a museum run by Jimmy Velvet.

He talks to devoted fan, Vicky Sisler; fan club supremo Sue Land; one of Elvis' Memphis Mafia Joe Esposito, who actually met Elvis out in Germany when they were doing their national service; Linda Thompson's brother Sam, another Presley bodyguard; and jeweller Stuart Small, who has many tales to tell of Elvis' legendary generosity.

In LA, we explore Elvis' film career, talking to co-star Celeste Yarnall; screenwriter Michael Hoey; friend, impersonator and Mafia protege, Jimmy Angel; his hairdresser and spiritual companion, Larry Geller; and former girlfriend Linda Thompson, who speaks candidly of her time with Elvis.

Michael also spends an extraordinary evening in the home of one of Presley's songwriters, Don Robertson, who manages to play the piano despite a recent stroke.

What comes out of all these conversations? A truly rich and insightful picture of Elvis the man, and Elvis the singer.

A man with a fierce temper but a man with a tremendous respect for people, who Yes, Ma'amed and 'No, Sirred'; a lonely man with a thirst for friendship, companionship; a man who could spend all night on the dodgems but who had an insatiable spiritual desire to find out what his purpose on earth was; a great singer and superstar who yearned for the ordinary things in life; a man of huge generosity, who gave away millions of dollars worth of cars, houses and jewels to friends and often complete strangers; a shy man, a modest man, a man of simple tastes; the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

06 LASTThe Elvis Trail20100212

Michael Freedland concludes his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis' birth.

This week he travels to Las Vegas, before driving through the Mojave desert to arrive in LA.

In Vegas, Michael takes a tour of the King's Ransom exhibit at the Imperial Palace Hotel, a museum run by Jimmy Velvet.

He talks to devoted fan, Vicky Sisler; fan club supremo Sue Land; one of Elvis' Memphis Mafia Joe Esposito, who actually met Elvis out in Germany when they were doing their national service; Linda Thompson's brother Sam, another Presley bodyguard; and jeweller Stuart Small, who has many tales to tell of Elvis' legendary generosity.

In LA, we explore Elvis' film career, talking to co-star Celeste Yarnall; screenwriter Michael Hoey; friend, impersonator and Mafia protege, Jimmy Angel; his hairdresser and spiritual companion, Larry Geller; and former girlfriend Linda Thompson, who speaks candidly of her time with Elvis.

Michael also spends an extraordinary evening in the home of one of Presley's songwriters, Don Robertson, who manages to play the piano despite a recent stroke.

What comes out of all these conversations? A truly rich and insightful picture of Elvis the man, and Elvis the singer.

A man with a fierce temper but a man with a tremendous respect for people, who Yes, Ma'amed" and 'No, Sirred'; a lonely man with a thirst for friendship, companionship; a man who could spend all night on the dodgems but who had an insatiable spiritual desire to find out what his purpose on earth was; a great singer and superstar who yearned for the ordinary things in life; a man of huge generosity, who gave away millions of dollars worth of cars, houses and jewels to friends and often complete strangers; a shy man, a modest man, a man of simple tastes; the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

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6 LASTThe Elvis Trail20100212
6 LASTThe Elvis Trail20100212

Michael Freedland concludes his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis' birth. This week he travels to Las Vegas, before driving through the Mojave desert to arrive in LA.

In Vegas, Michael takes a tour of the King's Ransom exhibit at the Imperial Palace Hotel, a museum run by Jimmy Velvet. He talks to devoted fan, Vicky Sisler; fan club supremo Sue Land; one of Elvis' Memphis Mafia Joe Esposito, who actually met Elvis out in Germany when they were doing their national service; Linda Thompson's brother Sam, another Presley bodyguard; and jeweller Stuart Small, who has many tales to tell of Elvis' legendary generosity.

In LA, we explore Elvis' film career, talking to co-star Celeste Yarnall; screenwriter Michael Hoey; friend, impersonator and Mafia protege, Jimmy Angel; his hairdresser and spiritual companion, Larry Geller; and former girlfriend Linda Thompson, who speaks candidly of her time with Elvis. Michael also spends an extraordinary evening in the home of one of Presley's songwriters, Don Robertson, who manages to play the piano despite a recent stroke.

What comes out of all these conversations? A truly rich and insightful picture of Elvis the man, and Elvis the singer. A man with a fierce temper but a man with a tremendous respect for people, who "Yes, Ma'amed" and 'No, Sirred'; a lonely man with a thirst for friendship, companionship; a man who could spend all night on the dodgems but who had an insatiable spiritual desire to find out what his purpose on earth was; a great singer and superstar who yearned for the ordinary things in life; a man of huge generosity, who gave away millions of dollars worth of cars, houses and jewels to friends and often complete strangers; a shy man, a modest man, a man of simple tastes; the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

. Michael Freedland concludes his journey to mark the 75th anniversary of Elvis' birth.