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One Day In Bad Nauheim – March 1959


By Bob Pakes
Bad Nauheim postcard 1959A lot of photos from this day exist in beautiful full-color. But some of the March ’59 pics are ‘only’ in black and white. And regretfully, these pics have been copied and cropped so often over the years, one really wonders how incredible the original full-color pics must have looked like!
Maybe not all photos were actually shot in color? And how about any indoor-shots? 19 different photos are presented in this topic. But do more exist? Probably.
Due to the fact that both RCA and Elvis’ management used the ‘production’ of this day for various official releases/occasions, one would assume the shoot would have been well-documented. But this is not the case. The photographer and the exact date of the shoot are unknown. Even though photo-shoots were quite uncommon during the army-years, not much is known about these unique photos.
I have taken the best possible photos and collected them in this topic. But if you feel you can add more info or pics of better quality, PLEASE do so! Danke schön.




plattegrondkopieOn this map of the Bad Nauheim citycentre, the locations have been marked where most of the shooting took place:
1. The old gate / ‘Burgpforte’
2. The restaurant / ‘Gasthaus Zur Krone’
3. The church / ‘Dankeskirche’
4. Bridge nr. 1
5. Bridge nr. 2






Let’s start our tour of Bad Nauheim with it’s most famous Elvis-location: the Burgpforte.
Here we have Elvis posing in front of the arch, with his back against the wall, and looking straight ahead.
In the background we see a woman walking towards the arch. A couple is approaching her.


Nauheim - 02 01c
A few seconds later. The woman has passed the couple, and Elvis is now looking into the camera.


Nauheim - 03ccccc (A Date With Elvis)
Once again, a few moments later. Elvis in about the same postion, but this time there are no people in the background.

This pic is scanned from the book:
A Date With Elvis

The Vik bootleg-label released an EP, Soldier Boy, with a cover that is a bit less cropped on the left:
Soldier Boy (Vik EPA-1058)


Nauheim - 5cc (Like Any Other Soldier)
A slightly different pose, with his shoulder now leaning against the wall. Underneath the arch we can see some (different) people who are about to cross the street.
This of course, is the famous photo that was used for the cover of the A Big Hunk O’ Love single (in the USA and Australia) and EP (from Germany). It was also used by RCA Japan as the cover for their Stuck On You single release.


Nauheim - 04 ccccc
Only moments later. The three people have nearly crossed the street, and Elvis is now looking up.




Nauheim - 60cc (Like Any Other Soldier)


Just around the corner of the Burgpforte, in the Burgstrasse, is the restaurant (Gasthaus Zur Krone) that Elvis is passing here. Elvis is walking in the direction of the Borgforte, so one can assume this photo was taken a bit earlier.

This pic is scanned from the book:
Like Any Other Soldier

The restaurant is still in the exact same style as it was in 1959. The photo below was taken during my visit to Bad Nauheim in september 2012.




Nauheim - 50c


These photos were taken in front of the church, the Dankeskirche.


Nauheim - 51c


Nauheim - 52c
In this photo Elvis appears to be looking at a different photographer.
Take a look at the ’59 Christmas card (below), in the shot with the horses Elvis is again looking in a different direction.


Nauheim - 40c
From the same location, in front of the church: the Lord is my German Shepherd.
At first glance this appears to be an excellent quality picture, but a closer look learns us that his uniform suddenly turned from green to blue …


Nauheim - 41c (Private Presley)

This pic is scanned from the book:
Private Presley


Nauheim - 42c
In nearly all of the March ’59 pictures, Bad Nauheim seems to be quite deserted. However, in this pic (and also on the first bridge) we can see a small ‘audience’.
Bad Nauheim was a quiet and tiny town when Elvis lived there. But the lack of people, as well as the well-dressed locals that can be seen in the pictures, fuel the thought that the day of the shoot could have been a sundaymorning.
Vernon Presley is standing next to his son.


The Christmas card that was sent out in 1959 on behalf of The Colonel and Elvis.
It’s interesting to notice that the two pics used for this card both show Elvis in a slightly different pose compared to the ones posted in this article.
“Holiday Greetings To You All From Elvis And The Colonel”


47 years later (in 2006) EPE revived the ’59 Christmas spirit by sending out that year’s wishes in the same style.
The back- and frontcover of the CD Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees are shown here.
“Holiday Greetings To You From Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.”




Nauheim - 32c


Elvis on the first of two bridges he posed on that day.


Nauheim - 31c


Nauheim - 30c




Nauheim - 20 (larger pic)ccc


On the second bridge.
In the backgorund we can see the ‘first bridge’.


Nauheim - 20 (different color)c
This is the same photo, in a lesser quality, but also less heavily cropped.
The excellent Greetings From Germany bootleg (another release on the Vik label) caused quite an uproar when it was released in 1998.
the boot




101 102 100As noted, some of the pics in this article were scanned from these wonderful books.




32 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sheila #

    The picture with Elvis, Vernon and some guy with a German Shepherd is new to me!! Thanks!

    July 20, 2013
  2. Great pictures, thanks.
    I wonder if there are any more pictures from this date.
    Strange there is not more known about the exact date or protographer.

    July 20, 2013
  3. Great photos … thanks


    July 21, 2013
  4. Great research! Well done!

    July 27, 2013
  5. Phil #

    Wonderful research.
    Went there on a German tour 6 years back, local tourist office was very helpful, bought the tasty Date With Elvis book from them. Recreated the 45 sleeve pic, info on wall at spot and yes sadly we sang Frankfurt Special on the train back there.
    Love this era.

    July 27, 2013
  6. What Trevor said!

    July 27, 2013
  7. Paul Richardson #

    Terrific! I was going to add that the lack of people indicated a Sunday shoot. But then I noticed that you’d suggested this already. Are there other photos from the various locations as they look today?

    July 27, 2013
    • Bob #

      Hi Paul,

      Yes, I took many pics of all locations as they look today (plus other Elvis-Nauheim locations that were not used in the March ’59 shoot, like his house, the hotel, the restaurant, etc), in both wintertime and summertime. Most have my kids in them posing as Elvis though. :-)

      Maybe I’ll do a follow-up with then-now pics. It might even include the little town of Idstein, not far from Nauheim, where some filming for GI Blues was done.

      July 27, 2013
      • Paul Richardson #

        Sounds great, Bob. I’ve got to get myself over to Bad Nauheim soon.

        July 27, 2013
  8. Hello, thanks for them great Elvis photos of Bad Nauhelm. I cant wait to go there on the 14 aug-19, it will be my frist time there. I am looking forward to Bad Nauheim.

    July 28, 2013
  9. EXCELLENT research and photos. I wish Australia wasn’t quite so far away and I would be checking them out myself … One Day!

    July 28, 2013
  10. Glyn Bateman #

    BRILLIANT ! This site just gets better and better.

    July 28, 2013
  11. Paul Pearce #

    Wonderful! Must pay Bad Nauheim a visit one day.
    I have the original German EP “A Big Hunk O’Love” in
    mint condition, i’ve always liked that cover. Excellent
    job research and keep up the good work!

    July 28, 2013
  12. Bob, after you had a well deserved rest and holiday,
    I would love to see a follow up topic with the snapshots
    of you & the kids on location in Bad Nauheim.
    You could present it as a genuine holiday scrapbook !
    I love them then and now topics. Yessiree Bob!

    August 6, 2013
  13. Good stuff never thought of going there and I am an Elvis fan since 1956.
    Over there in May 2014 so will have my photo taken there, long live the King!

    August 13, 2013
  14. I have read that the photographer was Don Cravens. He had spent a month with Elvis in Bad Nauheim.

    November 24, 2013
    • Bob #

      That would be new to me. I’ve seen Cravens’ photographs of Elvis, but never in connection with the pics of this day in March 1959. What is your source for this, Jove?

      November 25, 2013
    • Josep #

      This 1986 article seems to confirm this :

      “(…) Cravens has another cache of pictures for which the market is unlikely to decline: color transparencies of Elvis Presley taken during the singer’s Army service in Germany in 1959. Cravens had met Presley’s manager, Col. Thomas A. Parker, in Nashville. (They are still friends.) Parker commissioned him to accompany Presley to Germany.

      Cravens spent a month with Presley at Bad Nauheim, Germany. Elvis, who had a house in the area, would often ask him to breakfast. “I hated to go to breakfast with Elvis,” Cravens says. “His grandmother was there with him, and two or three cronies–the ‘Memphis Mafia.’ She cooked great rashers of bacon, and he would take the toast and soak it in the bacon grease and eat it–and that made me sick. But Elvis would insist; so I had fried eggs swimming in bacon grease, with mounds of toast.”

      For some weeks, Cravens could not persuade Presley to pose for photographs. “It was hard to get him to stay still,” Cravens says. “I’d tell Elvis: ‘The Colonel’s going to raise hell.’ And Elvis would answer: ‘Don’t worry about it. He hasn’t called me yet.’ ”

      Eventually, Cravens managed to take some good color pictures: Elvis driving a tank; Elvis shaving in the woods, with his mirror hanging from a tree; Elvis strumming a guitar or kissing a girl who was wearing a German peasant costume. Parker liked the work so much that later, after Cravens had moved to Hawaii, Parker called and asked Cravens to help choose Hawaiian locations for a Presley telecast that was going to be beamed by satellite from Honolulu to Europe and Japan as well as to America.(…)”

      May 2, 2015
  15. Klaus Platter #

    Beautiful photos.
    I wish we still had 1959 and I was in Bad Nauheim.
    Thank you again, and again, Bob.

    January 20, 2015
  16. Frank Kasper #

    Hi Bob,

    Looks as if you have absolutely unique photos of Elvis here in Germany. The one with the restaurant “Zur Krone” is the one, I prefer. Do you have any idea, whether Elvis was in the “Zur Krone”? Are there any pictures or does anyone have information about this?
    One more information: My Mum saw Elvis in Deilinghofen, Germany (in the Area called Sauerland). He visited an army (CDN-USA Army Teams) icehockey game there. Do you have any information of that, or any picture? Does anyone has any pictures or information about this?
    Thanks a lot.


    January 28, 2015
  17. Judith #

    Walking around Bad Nauheim today is a lot of fun, not only because it’s a lovely town but mostly because so little has changed since Elvis lived there.

    May 11, 2015
  18. Glenn Elkins #

    Elvis, the King then. And the king now. Although he didn’t like being called that!
    My boy, my boy!

    September 3, 2015
  19. Owe Spies #

    For a cd cover I need a photo Elvis in the army in Germany.
    Anybody who can help?

    November 25, 2015
  20. Nadine Van Battel #

    Would love to see the places were Cilla lived when they met. Where she went to shool, etc.

    December 31, 2015
  21. Glyn #

    Great article and excellent research that gives us an insight to Elvis in Germany. Thank you.

    December 31, 2015
  22. Robert #

    Feel better on each article, great job!
    I’ve been away from the web too long.

    January 16, 2016
  23. As Ger said recently (which I agree with) there are some great photos here, but the research is superb …

    April 16, 2016
  24. Colin Bowling #

    Once again fantastic photographs, but your detective work is outstanding Bob!

    April 23, 2016
  25. André Drees #

    Beautiful pictures Bob.
    Last year I was in Bad Nauheim and Friedberg with my girlfriend, and it was wonderful. But at the same time it was also a little strange to stand on the same spots where Elvis once stood. We have visited them all, and it was so nice that we are going back this year to do the same route again …

    February 25, 2017
  26. Diana #

    How wonderful to see these photos and read your commentary. I have been an Elvis fan since 1956. Thank you so much for this excellent presentation. I love all the details about this day in the life of our Elvis! Thanks so much.

    September 25, 2017
  27. Andre #

    Looking forward to see all these places this upcoming weekend :)
    Thank you so much!

    October 9, 2018
  28. Tim #

    I greatly appreciate the pics. As an Army brat living in Bad Nauheim, age six or so… my mother and I ran into Elvis as the post barber shop. His best friend was John Hodge, if I recall correctly. My mother’s best friend’s daughter, Rhonda, was hooked-up with John, and used to hang out at Elvis’ private quarters, walking distance from the base housing where we lived. Some memories… some stories of old…

    September 30, 2019

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