From ELVIS WORLD magazine in Memphis, the first update, as the fans begin arriving for Elvis' birthday Wednesday:
A Small Crowd In '03.
This being the 50th anniversary of Elvis' graduation from Humes High School, Graceland saluted the Humes Class of '53 at its club presidents dinner Saturday night (4th) at The Peabody. Attendance was quite sparse compared to other such lunches and dinners in years past.
Maybe EW got it wrong, but we were of the understanding the Humes alumni from 1953 would be invited to this affair and this would evolve into their class prom (which was also held at the Peabody 50 years ago).
Only 4 Humes graduates showed up and of these, only George Klein was from the class of '53 (he being class president). Buzzy Forbess, who lived with Elvis in Lauderdale Courts, and Gene Raspberry, who was a freshman the year graduated, were invited on stage to tell their stories of being with Elvis during his Humes years.
Buzzy (as he did as our EW Lunch speaker at Marlowe's in August 2001) spun some insider stories about Elvis and his music. Raspberry recalled only Elvis' appearance in the talent show, where the program listed him as "Elvis Prestley." And Klein told only one story -- of when Elvis was in the 8th grade.
As only Graceland would, the club presidents dinner kicked off with a dog fashion show in an effort to try to raise funds for the Memphis Humane Shelter. Doggies trotted across the dance floor a full 30 minutes before anyone had a bite to eat and -- not swearing here, but it "looked like" it -- one little doggie squatted on the dance floor
and left his "calling card," which was quickly scooped up.
Jack Soden, CEO of Graceland, thanked the fans for their over-the-top support in 2002 and said special plans are already being made for huge Elvis promotions through the year 2008.
ELVIS WORLD LUNCH at Marlowe's today drew some 40 fans from 3 countries. We were not expecting many fans. As we've been predicting the past six months, everyone left it on the playing field in 2002 and 2003 attendances are expected to be far, far below last year.
34 NEW GOLD & PLATINUM RECORDS will be awarded to Graceland on Wednesday, the day of the annual birthday cake cutting. These, of course, will come from "A Little Less Convesation" and "30 #1 Hits" releases of 2002.