FOR all WHO seek knowledge and harbor an abundance of curiosity.
Welcome back everyone, I am Alley Jean and this is my dog Kingsley, and today we are setting the time machine controls for 1970.
So, today is all about, Taking Care of Business; Elvis Presley’s infamous personal logo!
Being an eighties baby, I was hit with the aftershock that carried over thirty years later from the rock & roll earthquake of 1956.
The first time I heard Heartbreak Hotel it was biblical.
The first time I saw his face on a record… he looked perfect.
A rock-n-roll bible would start with, “In the beginning, God made Elvis.”
When I heard Lawdy Miss Clawdy, it made my heart race and truly dance for the first time. I spun around the room so fast I almost fell out the front window!
After Elvis had his successful 1968 comeback he began touring again and called his band, TCB (Taking Care of Business) This time period is when the TCB logo design was made.
So let’s go! (sounds of time machine taking off)
So here we are in Tennessee on June 4th, 1970. I’m sipping a sweet tea outside RCA Studio B in Nashville. Kingsley and I are waiting impatiently for the King to arrive along with other fans. I notice Felton Jarvis, record producer, step out of the building for a minute. He takes a look around and goes back inside.
A car pulls up and there he is! When Elvis steps out of the car he appears relaxed and in charge. He’s wearing a denim-like shirt (he can make anything look fancy) and a black silk scarf. His hair looks so soft I just want to sleep in it! He eagerly walks over to greet his fans; there are so many fans that I am afraid I won’t be able to meet him! Wait, the fans are parting like the sea… and he is smiling and walking my way! My prayers have been answered! I am so excited and thought this wouldn’t happen… and… he goes straight to Kingsley.
“That’s a beautiful dog.” Elvis says as he pets Kingsley’s head.
I secretly can’t help but to want to be petted also.
Elvis says, “look at that lip this dog has goin.” Boy, he keeps it goin’ too! I did thirty-one pictures like that.”
I reply, “He’s named after you Elvis, we’ll sort of. His name is Kingsley.”
Elvis adds, “I love dogs, I have two Great Danes at home, Brutus and Snoopy.”
Fans begin shoving pens and pictures to autograph and Elvis happily obliges.
Elvis begins heading towards the studio doors and on the fly, I make up a story based on facts I know. “I have friends at Schwartz and Ableser Jewelers who were kind enough to show me the final design of the TCB jewelry they’re making for you. Where did you come up with the TCB logo design?”
Elvis responds, “Oh man, I can’t wait to get those necklaces! How are they lookin?”
“They look fantastic, I think they’re going to be done in October.”
“Me and Pricilla just used the initials and we both drew different lightning bolts trying to choose one. She can draw better than me.”
“What inspired the lightning bolt?” I ask.
Felton Jarvis pokes his head out the door and tells Elvis, “We’ve gotta get started.”
“Walk with me.” Elvis says.
“Well, I have my dog.”
“You can bring him too. You can stay for a couple rehearsals.”
As we walk down the hall I ask, “What was the inspiration for the lightning bolt?”
“Well as a kid I read a lot of comic books. Mostly Freddie Freeman who was Captain Marvel Jr. My style is a lot the same. At the shows, I wear jumpsuits and capes like the superheroes I dreamed of being, as a boy. Captain Marvel Jr. taught me the most about patriotism and love of country. There’s a fella that used to work for the west coast mafia I know that had a lightning bolt symbol I kinda liked. He said it meant ”in a flash”. And there was a patch on my army outfit from the 3rd armored division that also had a lightning bolt now that I think about it.”
We reach the studio and there is Glen Hardin, James Burton, Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff, and others all manning their instruments waiting for Elvis.
“What’s your name?” Elvis asks.
“Well Alley Jean stand over there and keep Kingsley cool and what do you want to hear?”
“How about Mystery Train?” I ask.
“Alright and then I’ll do Tiger Man for Kingsley.”
“Thank you so much, Elvis. We all love you very much.”
I hugged him and kissed his cheek. There was so much I wanted to say but I can’t change history.
Elvis went over to the band, mouthed a few words, and launched into Mystery Train which flowed into Tiger Man.
It was powerful.
As we quietly walked out he waved goodbye while talking with the band.
The whole way back to the time machine I felt like I was walking on air.
Now it’s time to set the controls for home. (sound of time machine taking off)
Thinking over the TCB logo I recognize that the lightning bolt symbolizes strength, spirituality, ancient magic, intelligence, enlightenment, power, and a light in the dark. It has been used across cultures since ancient symbolism began illustrating its significance and is also known as a thunderbolt. A perfect symbol for the alpha male rock star.
Monogram logos (abbreviated logos) are used effectively when a business has a long name and wishes to simplify the logo or mark using only the first initials of each word. They become more powerful when you combine them with a symbol. They are also great for family-owned businesses and have been turned into powerful high-end brands going back hundreds of years.
Join me next week for another Alley Jean’s Brand Time Machine travel!