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Elvis trivia contest

November 5, 2007 |  3:30 am

Update: The 1947p's/LAPL's own Mary McCoy delves into ProQuest and turns up some ready answers, noting: "Gotta leave some for the rest of the kids to answer - no one likes a ProQuest-it-all!"

Update II: I'm going to start filling in some of the answers--but very slowly just to give people one more chance to show off their expertise in Presleyana.

Update III: OK, here are the rest of the answers. Hope you had fun with that--I sure did.

And in case you're wondering, as I was, The Times apparently never shot Elvis in the 1950s. All we have are handout pictures. I would love to know the reason behind that.

I had so much fun doing yesterday's post on Elvis Presley that I had to share some of these wonderful factoids:

1957_0512_tab_hunter1. In 1957, columnist Hedda Hopper listed Elvis Presley among the worst-dressed male personalities of the previous year. Who else was on the list?

  • Marlon Brando? (David Andrews) Bingo! He was one of them.
  • James Dean? No. He died in 1955.
  • Tab Hunter, at right. I should dig up some of the 1957 profiles of Hunter to show what he was trying to contend with. He told Hopper: "I'm a product of Hollywood publicity." Fairly astute for a young man of 24.
  • Dennis Hopper (Gee, ya think?)
  • Spencer Tracy.
  • Paul Newman (What?)
  • Maxie Rosenbloom
  • Pa Kettle (Oh don't pick on poor Pa Kettle. That's as bad as saying Tugboat Annie is a slob. Oh wait, she says Tubgoat Annie is a slob).
  • Bing Crosby, whom she singles out as a particularly notorious offender. He wears a shirt that looks like an Italian sunset with his best suit!

She also listed the worst-dress female personalities, including:

  • Jayne Mansfield? (David Andrews) Bingo!
  • Marilyn Monroe? (David Andrews) Absolutely.
  • Natalie Wood
  • Joan Collins
  • Shelly Winters
  • Judy Garland
  • Leslie Caron
  • Judy Holliday
  • Marjorie Main

Hedda Hopper's fashion tips for gals: "Some of them prefer slacks and turtle-neck sweaters, which are all right in their place, but not walking down Wilshire Boulevard, Fifth Avenue or Bond Street." That's it, ladies, no slacks and sweaters on Wilshire!

1957_1106_presley1_22. On what campus was Presley performing when someone threw eggs at him from the balcony?

  • University of Alabama? No. But an interesting guess. 
  • Villanova University? (Mary McCoy). Bingo! Juniors William Quinn, William B. Oates, James Stark and John Edit denied egging Presley.

3. What was the name of the neighborhood where Presley bought Graceland in 1957?

  • Graceland was near Whitehaven, a suburb south of downtown. (Mary McCoy). Exactly right. According to The Times, Graceland was in Whitehaven.

4. What polite, modest, young TV personality emerged in 1957 who was described as a wholesome alternative to Presley?

  • Pat Boone? No. Boone was offered as a wholesome alternative, but this man was described as representing a wholesome, literate, intellectual alternative to Presley.
  • Charles Van Doren? (David Andrews) Incredible but true. "It's a long time--if ever--since the public has been so impressed by an intelligent, courteous, modest young man such as Van Doren." Charles Mercer, Associated Press.

5. 1962_0519_dern What future movie star was kicked off the university track team for refusing to trim his Elvis-like sideburns?

  • Michael Landon? No, but that's a great guess!
  • Bruce Dern? (Mary McCoy) Bingo! Bruce Dern, star of Penn's two-mile relay team, quit rather than shave his sideburns.  (At right, tragedy at the Dern home, 1962).

6. Bootleg Presley recordings were selling for 50 rubles ($12.50 USD 1957) in the Soviet Union in 1957. These bootlegs were not vinyl but on another medium. What was it?

  • Acetate? No.
  • Wire recording? No.
  • Reel-to-reel magnetic tape? No. The Soviets used a nontraditional recording medium.
  • Shellac? No. The Soviets were using an improvised medium never intended for recording.
  • Used X-ray film? (Mary McCoy). Absolutely. This was known as "music on bones."

7. What folk music expert said: Elvis Presley is "a crime against society. Rock 'n' roll is going to die. In fact the process has already started."

  • Pete Seeger? Interesting guess. No, but I wonder what Seeger thought of Presley.
  • Alan Lomax? Excellent guess. But no.

  • Burl Ives? Excellent guess! But no.
  • Woody Guthrie? Excellent guess. But no.
  • Dorothea Dix Lawrence? (Mary McCoy). Absolutely right. Lawrence cataloged 378 verses of "Frankie and Johnnie" (a.k.a. "Frankie and Albert").

1957_0513_moth 8. Two young women making a promotional tour of the country ran into Presley as he was parking his Cadillac at the Beverly Wilshire. What were they promoting and what scary prop did they have with them?

  • National Mothproofing Month? (Mary McCoy) Bingo! Mary Hall and Cherry Gordon (at right, behold the fearsome terror of proto-Mothra) were carrying a 35-pound giant prop moth nicknamed "Max the Monster." Elvis said: "What's that?" They replied: "Pat Boone."

9. What famous Presley movie was briefly given the working title "Treat Me Nice?"

  • "Jailhouse Rock?" (Delilah Schelen) Exactly right.

10. What rumor about Presley was hotly denied in a 1957 magazine article? (Note: There may be many rumors, I'm thinking of a specific rumor listed in The Times).

  • That he was married? No.
  • That he had left the building: "One rumor even had it that he was dead," The Times said May 2, 1957. "You may think he's out of this world or down the tube but you'll have to agree he's far from dead!

11. What actress wasn't allowed to visit Presley while he was filming in 1957?

  • Natalie Wood? No, another actress was specifically banned from visiting him, according to The Times.
  • Debra Paget? No. Interesting guess, but no.
  • Mae West? Interesting guess. But no.         
  • Tura Satana? Well that's different. No, but interesting guess.
  • Vampira? Oh very interesting guess. But no.
  • Jayne Mansfield? No. Unless you are a total Elvis freak you have never heard of this woman.
  • Yvonne Lime. "Another studio spokesman said Miss Lime was refused admittance this week to the set where Presley is working." (Don't tell me you've never heard of her! She appeared in "High School Hellcats" and "Dragstrip Riot," and was Policewoman Gloria Harbor in "Dragnet 1967").

12. What was the name of the manager at radio station KEX who fired disc jockey Al Priddy after he played Presley's recording of "White Christmas?" What was the reason?

  • Nobody even tried this one. How sad. KEX manager Mel Bailey said Al Priddy was fired because he played Presley's recording of "White Christmas." The record was banned at the Portland, Ore., station because "it is not in the good taste we ascribe to Christmas music. Presley gives it a rhythm and blues interpretation. It doesn't seem to me to be in keeping with the intent of the song," Bailey said. 

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