Davide

Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:41 pm

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Two candid photographs taken at Fort Hood 1958

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Leaving Fort Hood

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Billy Smith : The troop train that carried him to the Military Ocean Terminal in Brooklyn,New York,had to stop on a spur track in Memphis.I went to the train to see him with my mama and daddy. The sergeant wouldn't let Elvis get off the train,but he let him come to the door,Some of the guys came,like george and Alan. Elvis was really glad to see us.We told him we'd be waiting for him to get home because we were trying to act jolly.I climbed up on the train and told him how much I was going to miss him,and he leaned down and hugged me and said,'Take care,little fella,and stay in touch. I'll be talking to you' We both got tears in our eyes,and then he said 'Don't forget me while I'm gone'
George Klein : This gorgeous brunette came up to me,I don't know if she went to Ole Miss at the time,but she was a typical Ole Miss beautiful girl,and she said her name was Janie Willbanks,and she asked if I would introduce her,I did and about two weeks later i get this call from Germany saying Who in the hell was that girl? Man she was good looking! Tell her to send me some pictures and write to me.

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Janie Wilbanks, the girl that Elvis met at the Memphis train station when the troop train passed through, had come to Grunewald,Germany, to visit her uncle, and stayed with Elvis for nearly a week around Christmas 1958 ***
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September 22nd 1958 : The troop train, en route from Fort Hood, Texas, crawled up through the Jersey commuter dawn that Monday, the first day of autumn. By the time they had passed under the Hudson, under Manhattan, and up into the light again in the Sunnyside yards, they were a couple of hours late, and just beginning the long, lazy arc that would take them from central Queens down through Brownsville, the Brooklyn Terminal Market, and East Flatbush, along the railroad cut just below Brooklyn College, and on to Borough Park, Sunset Park, and their destination on Fifty-Eighth Street at First Avenue.*
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Elvis was 23, a month past the death of his mother, to whom he had been utterly attached. On his lap, was a copy of Poems That Touch the Heart, a sentimental anthology someone had given him; the one he remembered later was called “Should You Go First,” about the death of a loved one. We imagine him looking out the window at Brooklyn homes, neighborhoods; glancing down at his book; thinking his thoughts. But not for long: it seemed that every one of the 350 other soldiers on the train wanted to meet Elvis, and he didn’t mind: “I don’t like to sit alone too much and think,” he would say that morning.

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The train arrived and Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick called “a scene worthy of P.T. Barnum [or] Cecil B. De Mille”: more than a hundred reporters, photographers, broadcast crews; Army brass; representatives of Elvis’s record company, music publishing company, management, and mobile entourage,But the fans of around hundred of them, were kept far away, beyond the gates.

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Brooklyn army Terminal,New York.The Brooklyn Army Terminal was formerly known as the Brooklyn Army Base (1918-1959), and was also known as the New York General Depot, and Army Transport Base.
The "BAT" is located in the Owls Head section of Brooklyn, and is comprised of 57 acres with the main entrance located at 58th Street and First Avenue.
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Elvis arrives at Brooklyn army Terminal. Photo by Alfred Wertheimer

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Photo by Alfred Wertheimer

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Colonel Parker escorts Elvis from the train to the first press conference

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Press Conference Newsreel
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Press Conference Newsreel

Clip 1 Press Conference http://www.itnsource.com/compilations/p ... =S31050701
Clip 2 Press Conference http://www.itnsource.com/compilations/p ... =S31050701

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Press Conference Newsreel Photo by Bill Ray

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Press Conference Newsreel



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Elvis with a friend


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Photo by Bill Ray. Colonel Parker with Elvis.

He kept them waiting for another hour, while the Three Hundred Eighty-Second Army Band under the direction of Chief Warrant Officer John R. Charlesworth played “All Shook Up,” “Hound Dog,” and “Tutti Frutti”,“Don’t be Cruel ” “I felt we should make it a Presley field day,” Charlesworth said. “Any man who takes care of his mother and father the way he does, I admire.”

Elvis takes care of his hair and listens to Colonel Parker.

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Photo by Alfred Wertheimer/This image was used for the book 'The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story Of Colonel Tom Parker And Elvis Presley' by Alanna Nash.

Finally Elvis emerged at about 11.00am and the questions began. His favorite songs were “Padre” by Toni Arden (!) and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. He had bought the Domenico Modugno single of “Volare” right away, but doubted he himself “could cut the mustard” singing in Italian. Jerry Lee Lewis’s recent (third) marriage to his 14 year-old (second) cousin? “If he really loves her, I guess it’s all right.” For himself, though, “it’s helped my career not to be married”. Nobody asked him about Brooklyn.

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Alfred Wertheimer: After he held forth in a press conference, supervised by this general in civilian clothes who would never leave his side because he was basking in the publicity Elvis was getting now from about 250 media people, television and magazines and still photography.
They were also using Elvis at the time for recruitment, so you also had these recruiting posters behind Elvis holding forth at the press conference which lasted approximately an hour. Then eventually Elvis did get onto the boat. See, what always interests me is the process. It's not the fact that he left for Germany and then was gone for a year and a half or so and then he met Priscilla over there as a 14 year old kid. What's interesting is, the story goes out that Elvis is being treated no different than any other soldier. And of course, Colonel Parker is there that day, his manager, and Elvis is holding forth at this press conference.
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(Below) Before the press conference starts, Elvis gave a staged farewell hug and kiss to WAC specialist Mary Davies of Albany, New York, who had been specially chosen for this honor.
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Alfred Wertheimer : Elvis held forth with a half-hour press conference. Who but Col. Parker could have arranged this? He probably worked out a deal with the Army brass, because Elvis stood in front of big “Join the Army” posters.
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Question : Elvis,What was the author of the book you were carrying,when you got of the train?
Elvis : I had just gotten the book,I don't know,One of the boys gave it to me on the train,and the title of the book was 'Poems that touch the heart'
Question : Have you had a chance to read it?
Elvis : Yes ma'am ,I read a couple of poems in it,I read one in particular called 'Should you go first',which is a beautiful poem,the author was unknown.

“Should You Go First"

Should you go first and I remain To walk the road alone,
I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear, With happy days we’ve known.
In Spring I’ll wait for roses red When fades the lilac blue,
In early Fall, when brown leaves call I’ll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain For battles to be fought,
Each thing you’ve touched along the way Will be a hallowed spot.
I’ll hear your voice, I’ll see your smile, Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain To finish with the scroll,
No length’ning shadows shall creep in To make this life seem droll.
We’ve known so much happiness, We’ve had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God That death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain, One thing I’d have to do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path, For soon I’ll follow you.
I”ll want to know each step you take That I may walk the same,
For some day down that lonely road You’ll hear me call your name.


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Photo by Alfred Wertheimer


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Photo by Alfred Wertheimer




LIFE
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Question : Have the other G.I.'s given you nickname that they have given you?
Elvis : Quite a few!
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Alfred Wertheimer : There was one Army General who would not leave Elvis’ side. He enjoyed being in the spotlight so much that he hovered around Elvis the entire time.Elvis and US Army Information officer Moss

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Photo by Alfred Wertheimer



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Lillian Portnoy approach's Elvis

Lillian Portnoy gets her kiss from Elvis

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The hoards of photographers and cameramen wanted to get film of Elvis going up the ramp from the dock to the second deck of the ship. Five soldiers were selected to join Elvis in the shot to make it look natural. Of course, Elvis was carrying going-away presents as well as his duffel bag.

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Photo by Ed Clarity

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Elvis marched up the gangplank with a borrowed duffel bag and onto the USS Randell

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Elvis then gave an interview with Pat Hernon in the library of the USS Randell just before departure at 14.00.
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Elvis : Well,I'm going to be very honest about it,I'm looking forward to Germany,I'm looking forward to seeing the country and meeting a lot of the people,but at the same time I'm looking forward to coming back here.


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Photo by Bill Ray

Craig Manson childhood memory.

Two weeks before my birthday in 1958, we sailed out of New York harbor aboard the venerable USS General George M. Randall, headed for Bremerhaven, West Germany. Every bit of the trip was a new adventure. Leaving New York, an escort of fire boats sprayed a misty salute to the Randall as she passed the Statue of Liberty. It would be more than forty years until I saw the Statue again.

Neither of my parents had ever been on a ship before. For us, me and my siblings, it was the ultimate adventure.Oh, there had been some hubbub that morning around Brooklyn Army Depot from whence we had departed. For some reason, the press was paying particular attention to one of the soldiers who was also travelling to Germany aboard the Randall; a recent draftee from Mississippi whose name was Elvis Aron Presley. The significance of this was mostly, but entirely lost on me. I was more interested in the ship itself and our new home in Germany than anything else. But throughout the voyage, there throngs of other passengers constantly surrounding Pvt. Presley. And, I’m told, he played the piano during the ship’s variety show one night. (I recall the show, but not Elvis specifically).

We arrived at Bremerhaven on schedule–on my birthday. If the significance of the presence of our fellow passenger the young one from Mississippi had not impressed me before, it certainly did as the ship docked at Bremerhaven.That’s a childhood memory I’ll never forget!++

Alfred Wertheimer : The ship had four decks and soon Elvis appeared on the top one – along with Col. Parker. Wertheimer wondered to himself, “What is Parker doing on a troop ship?” To give something to Elvis, it turned out. Elvis opened a box from Parker, and guess what it contained? Dozens of playing-card-sized autographed photos of Elvis. Then, Elvis flipped then one-by-one over the railing, and they fluttered down to lucky fans standing on the dock four decks below as the band played “Hound Dog.” Just your average troop deployment.

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Photo by Alfred Wertheimer




The September 23rd 1958 New York papers ;
Herald-Tribune “Elvis’s Latest Rock ‘n’ Roll is Ocean’s,”
The Daily News ran a back-cover photo of Elvis, with trademark lip-curl, on the gangplank, captioned, “Does he look happy?”
The Times buried a little item on page 29, amid some leftover brides and a traffic tie-up on the Hutch.
The Post ignored it, but ran an Elvis photo in Earl Wilson’s column to illustrate an item about the comic Dick Shawn’s act at the Latin Quarter, featuring such boffo yocks as, “On TV, they’ve toned [Elvis] down to an orgy.”

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Writer Marc Kirkeby* : "And rock ‘n’ roll? Call it coincidence or call it fate, but as the General Randall passed through the still-bridgeless Verrazano Narrows that September afternoon, the bell was already tolling. Jerry Lee Lewis, owing to the aforementioned nuptials, was banned from the airwaves. Little Richard, after freaking out on tour in Australia, had quit rocking and enrolled in bible college. Carl Perkins still had not recovered from a car crash two years earlier. In less than half a year, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and “Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson would be dead in a plane crash. A year after that, a London taxi accident would kill Eddie Cochran and cripple Gene Vincent. Then, in short order, Alan Freed and Chuck Berry would both be under indictment, Freed for paying off disc jockeys and Berry on a trumped-up morals charge (Berry went to jail; Freed never worked again and died, broke, in 1965)."


With thanks Davide
**I found this image from the recent Marty Lacker ebay auction.I would be pleased if someone has the image full frame without watermarks?
LIFE Magazine OCT 6 1958m
***Elisabeth Stefaniak - who was Elvis' secretary from Dec'58 - March'60(Thanks to E-Cat for the info regarding this
++Taken from here vivid-childhood-memory-my-mother-is-mugged-for-a-picture-of-elvis/
Last edited by davide on Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:53 am, edited 22 times in total.

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:21 pm

Thankyou for an excellent post!

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:30 pm

Magnificent post as always davide.

Sincerely
Brian
www.brian56.dk

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:53 pm

thank you Davide ::rocks

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:14 pm

awesome collection!

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 19

Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:52 pm

According to Elisabeth Stefaniak (who was Elvis' secretary from Dec'58 - March '60) Janie Wilbanks stayed at Grunewald during Christmas 1958.
Last edited by E-Cat on Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:46 am

To E-Cat

Thanks for the info - have updated

Davide

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:22 am

Very kool photos!

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:47 pm

Fantastic davde!
....This was a big deal (news) in'58
everyone one was taking Elvis...radio,newspapers,fans ect.
The ep "Elvis Sails" was played every Saturday for awhile as it was in the "TOP TEN" at our local station.
Thanks!

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:49 pm

Great topic, and tremendous photos!

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:17 am

davide wrote:To E-Cat

Thanks for the info - have updated

Davide


You're welcome!
Below a few more from Brooklyn (including some less cropped versions);


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Brooklyn Army Terminal

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courtesy: spearhead collection

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:45 am

Thanks again E-Cat - great set of photographs.As a follow up,I found this letter written by A.H. Portney to Life magazine in relation to the previous edition which mentions his daughter Lillian Portney

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Thanks Davide

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:39 am

Thanks for another fine thread, Davide!
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And some less cropped photos...
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:15 am

David, your posts are an absolute joy. Thank you for your latest!

Thoughts:

1) There was never a cooler US Army soldier than Presley.
2) Elvis handled the press, as usual, with aplomb.
3) Emotionally, the past 5 weeks had been some of the very worst of his life (Gladys died on August 14).
4) The complete Elvis Sails EP may be found here, on one of FTD's greatest-ever collections:


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50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong (FTD)
http://home.online.no/~ov-egela/50mill.html

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:47 am

Absolutely magnificent pics! Well done David and everybody who contributed!

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:40 pm

David,

Thank you very much for this fantastic topic...
Great story, outstanding pics !!

Ed

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:57 pm

Thank you Davide, as always you are doin a fantastic work and your posts are always enjoyable:)
Many new candids to my eyes also...
Sincerely
Lior :smt006

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:13 pm

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Alternative angle of Elvis and Lillian Portney

Davide

Uncropped

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Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:02 pm

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A new one from the same date - Elvis looks to be surrounded by RCA Victor management, and possibly representives from the William Morris Agency plus Colonel Parker,and his staff.

Davide

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:34 am

GREAT!! Many photos new for me. Thank you very much for all your hard work :smt006

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:11 pm

Stunning as always, Davide, thank you.

I'd forgotten that Wertheimeer was present at the "birth" and the "death" of the Elvis rock 'n' roll years.

Lucky guy ... great photographer ...

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:29 am

I checked my Army folder (3500 photos) and found ca 100 more photos of Sept 22, some by A. Wertheimer.
Below a few...(many more to come)

Enroute to Brooklyn Elvis and Charlie

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arriving at Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT)

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Steve Sholes is standing to the left of the blond girl (Ann Fulchino, RCA publicist)

Aboard the USS Randall

(the first 2 photos are taken in the Library)

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PS David, you still have Day by Day as the incorrect source for Janie Wilbanks staying at Christmas.

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:48 am

To E-Cat

Thanks for the great images,and hope to see some more from your collection -have updated the text regarding this
PS David, you still have Day by Day as the incorrect source for Janie Wilbanks staying at Christmas.[/quote]

Davide

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:45 pm

Two more unknown photos aboard the USS Randall

http://cgi.ebay.com/Never-Seen-Before-E ... 5637521f52

http://cgi.ebay.com/Never-Before-Seen-E ... 56375221df

Mississippi

Re: Elvis Sails - Brooklyn army Terminal September 22nd 1958

Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:58 pm

Mississippi wrote:Two more unknown photos aboard the USS Randall

#1 is a close alternate to a photo that has been posted , see also aboard the USS Randal section
#2 has been posted in resized format ,see also row 2 aboard the USS Randal section

thx you for your contribution MS :)