Skip to content

One Day In Bad Nauheim – March 1959

 

By Bob Pakes
 
 
z5 1959kopiec
A 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!
 
Or maybe not all photos were actually shot in color?
19 different photos are presented in this topic. But do more exist? Probably.
The outdoor-shots are pretty easy to spot, but how about the indoor-shots?
 
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 appears not to be the case. The photographer is unknown. It is also unknown on exactly which day of the month/week this shoot took place. Even though photo-shoots were quite uncommon during the army-years, not much is known about this day.
 
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! Thanks.

 
 
 
 
 

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
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

*²

LOCATION NUMBER 1

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:
 
elvis-presley-germany-soldier-boy-vik-epa-1058--41733-p

 

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.
 
singlesEP

 

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)

LOCATION NUMBER 2

Just around the corner of the Burgpforte, in the Burgstrasse, is the restaurant (Gasthaus Zur Krone) that Elvis is passing here.
Presley 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

 
Till this day 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.
 
IMG_0591

 
 
 
 
 

Nauheim - 50c

LOCATION NUMBER 3

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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

1959
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”

 

EPE2006c
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 - 30c

LOCATION NUMBER 4

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

 

Nauheim - 31c

 

Nauheim - 32c

 
 
 
 
 

Nauheim - 20 (larger pic)ccc

LOCATION NUMBER 5

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 (like the Soldier Boy EP, 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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

17 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

    Bruno

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

    July 27, 2013
  5. phil #

    Wonderful research, went there on a German tour 6 yrs back, local tourist office v helpful, bought the tasty Date With 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 a elvis fan from 56 . 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

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS