Elvis is still king

Aug 15, 2006 2:19 AM

The anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death is tomorrow. I bring this up because a member of the Memphis Mafia, Jerry Schilling, has written a book I couldn’t put down called "Me and a Guy Named Elvis”¦ My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley."

This book is a must read. When Elvis died I was recording my third album at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. Bette Midler was also there and we all began crying when we heard of his death. It’s not just another book about Elvis. It’s about the relationship between them and it has the endorsement of both Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley.

Schilling will be in Las Vegas at Borders Books and Music (2190 N. Rainbow Blvd) on Aug. 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to sign copies of the book and to answer questions about Elvis. When Schilling talks about Elvis you can feel the pathos he still has for him.

Barry Manilow will take a break from his Hilton gig to undergo surgery to repair torn cartilage in both hips. Following his appearance at the Emmy Awards, he will have outpatient arthroscopic surgery at a Southern California hospital. Recovery and rehabilitation time is expected to be about eight weeks. Manilow will miss about 20 concerts at the Hilton, all of which will be rescheduled for next year. He will return to the Hilton Nov. 8-11 and Nov. 15-18.

Though none of the parties involved — MGM Mirage, Criss Angel or Cirque du Soleil — will discuss it, rumors keep circulating that the magician will be starring in a Cirque show at the Luxor in a couple of years.

In the meantime, the Luxor brass, at least through the end of the year, will fill its empty showroom with a diverse lineup of musical entertainers with Liza Minnelli (Oct. 12-14) the lone newsworthy name.

Drew Carey & The Improve All Stars will launch the series (Aug. 17-20) followed by Heart (Sept. 2-3), Pat Benater & Neil Giraldo (Sept. 15-16), Earth Wind & Fire (Sept. 21-23), Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts (Sept. 29-30), The Beach Boys (Oct. 20-21 and Dec. 25-31) LeAnn Rimes (Oct. 27-28) Olivia Newton-John (Nov. 16-18) and Styx (Dec. 1-2). Additional acts will be added.

The Society of Seven, a well-oiled Hawaiian review, comes to the Flamingo tomorrow with 3 o’clock performances. SOS will be a great added attraction at the Flamingo.

Speaking of the Flamingo, Toni Braxton’s sound system seems to be much improved.

I’m still awaiting the opening of the Steve Wyrick Theatre at Desert Passage that will also feature Ronn Lucas and Martin Nivera.

Mac King has been renewed for another five years at Harrah’s.

Last week your columnist went to see one of the major million dollar shows with New York friends and it was only 50 percent filled. I won’t name the show. Could it be the gas prices, the airlines, the ecomony, or all the above is to blame?

Is the Riviera going to be sold? Is the Sahara sold? Well, everybody is waiting.

Have we all been watching America Has Talent? America, wake up. One of the major acts is L.D. Miller, the 12-year-old harmonica player who was in the David Saxe show "Buck Wild." The consensus is that he should lose his brother, but Saxe told me on the phone that he might create something for him and the family. The entire family is talented.

Downtown — it could be a great song for Petula Clark to sing. I just heard that she’s coming back to perform at the Suncoast in January.

What is happening with the Golden Nugget? They’ve got a massive excavation on the side street, which will be part of a pool/aquarium. It would be nice to take a dip while temps hover at 100 degrees.

Have you seen what’s coming downtown? The library is being turned in to a museum of gangsters, or at least their contribution to the history of Vegas. Didn’t it seem safer and quieter here when the mob was in charge?

One of the greatest television shows I appeared on was The Mike Douglas Show in Philadelphia. I am very sad to report that Mike passed away on his 81st birthday last week. He was of the pioneers of TV talk shows and was very kind to this columnist, always making it fun for me. I am indebted to him for part of my legacy. With the passing of Mike Douglas and Johnny Carson, the only one left from that era is Merv Griffin, whose DVDs, which I am featured on, are selling like hotcakes.