Friday, September 12, 2008

Elvis Presley And His Trademark Jumpsuits - Part 2

Elvis Presley was reputed to have worn more than 120 of his iconic jumpsuits during his concerts in the 1970s. The jumpsuits were in different designs and colours, from white to blue, red and black. His earlier jumpsuits came with matching capes but these were omitted in later designs. About 90 of his jumpsuits are being kept in Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee, USA of which more than 50 are on display at the museum there . Elvis's jumpsuits were truly haute couture works of art and many were embellished with the images of birds or animals like an eagle, peacock, tiger, or Chinese dragon.

Recently, one of Elvis's favourite jumpsuit, the "Peacock" jumpsuit was sold for a record US$300,000 (MR986,000) in an online auction in New York. Two of his jumpsuits, namely the "American Eagle" jumpsuit which he wore in the "Aloha From Hawaii" concert in 1973 (see video clip above) which was telecast live to an estimated one billion television viewers worldwide, and the "Sundial" jumpsuit which he wore in one of his last appearances in 1977 are valued at up to US$1 million (MR3.3 million) each. I believe his "Chinese Dragon" jumpsuit would fetch a world record price if it was put up for auction in China or Hong Kong

Elvis was hugely popular in Asia - in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South East Asia. In China and the Chinese speaking communities around the world, he is known affectionately as Mao Wong meaning King Cat in Chinese. In Japan, Elvis has a large fan base and many of his fans dress up to look like him. Former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi who was born on the same date (January 8) as Elvis is reported to be a big fan of The King.

In Malaysia, the anniversary of the birth or death of Elvis is commemorated every year in some restaurants and pubs with performances by Elvis impersonators. A couple of years ago, a restaurateur in Kuala Lumpur had an Elvis birthday bash by displaying a pink Cadillac, similar to the one owned by Elvis in front of his restaurant. Elvis impersonators also gave a performance in front of the restaurant during the lunch hour and caused a massive traffic jam in the vicinity. Elvis would have been 73 if he were alive today.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Elvis impersonators were aplenty in Malaysia. One of the first and most successful impersonators was Rocky Teoh of Taiping. Rocky had some success as a recording artiste and released several albums of cover versions of songs by Elvis and other singers. Rocky and his backup band, The Fabulous Falcons of Ipoh toured Malaysia and Singapore from 1965 to 1967 performing in Cathay Organisation cinemas to packed audiences everywhere. They also toured Thailand in 1966. Rocky Teoh died tragically on September 8 1990 at the age of 44 in a road accident in Kuala Lumpur.

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> Elvis Presley And His Trademark Jumpsuits - Part 1

> Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100

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