Elvis' 75th birthday keeps his earnings shaking

Thu Jan 7, 2010 8:54am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Belinda Goldsmith

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Elvis Presley may have left the building nearly 33 years ago, but a raft of new events and books released this week to mark what would have been his 75th birthday ensure The King lives on -- and so do his earnings.

Presley, who died in August 1977 aged 42, is one of the top earning dead celebrities, bringing in $55 million in 2009 according to Forbes.com and marketed by Elvis Presley Enterprises which entertainment mogul Robert Sillerman revitalized in 2005.

His birthday, on January 8, will be marked with a cake-cutting ceremony at his Graceland home, a new exhibit of his costumes, movie marathons, a Facebook application, a cruise later in the year, and a new Jailhouse Rock doll in the Barbie collection.

Around the world other events are being held to mark the day, such as a gathering in the Australian town of Parkes where Elvis impersonators will don lame suits and perfect quiffs for an annual Elvis Festival despite temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius.

Three new books about the singer, whose life has been scrutinized in up to 50 other books, will also add fuel to the marketing flame in whose spotlight Presley remains young, hazing over his final years of battling poor health and weight gain.

Author Alanna Nash examined the role of the women in her fourth book on Presley, "Baby, Let's Play House," concluding an unhealthy bond with his mother, Gladys, and the loss of a stillborn twin brother set him up for doomed relationships.

"I think what he wanted from a women was to be mothered but he only went out with younger women so that never happened," Nash told Reuters after interviewing a list of lovers, friends, co-stars ad family members for her book.

"But what really surprised me was that I found he remained emotionally aged about 15 to 17. I think this is why he continued to like 14-year-old girls and found a lot of happiness in mentoring them. He was stuck as a teenager himself."   Continued...

<p>Elvis fan Ulf Bender of Germany poses with a microphone that Elvis used at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee where Elvis recorded several of his first songs on August 16, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>