Connect
To Top

Check Out Kees Mouwen’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kees Mouwen.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have been a lifelong Elvis Presley fan and have been writing about the Memphis Flash for over twenty years. The first 10 years on ElvisNews.com, which he co-founded, and since 2010 on my Elvis blog ‘ElvisDayByDay.com‘. 

My main subjects are today’s Elvis news and reviews of new books, music, and movie releases. 

When I talk to people about my Elvis Presley hobby and mention I blog on a “daily basis” about Elvis news the common reaction is “Elvis died a long time ago, what is there to tell?” Looking back on the last twenty years I tell them “pretty much!”.

The close to 4000-plus blog posts with close to 6000 combined news updates, posted since 2010 on my Elvis Day By Day blog alone, clearly show that the Elvis world and Elvis’ memory are very much alive today.

Elvis Presley may have been gone for more than 45 years this year, but he left a permanent mark. Hardly a day goes by without some news item, magazine article, new movie, or advertisement that features Elvis as a reference point. The new Elvis biopic by famed director Baz Luhrmann, starring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and Oscar winner Tom Hank as his manager Colonel Tom Parker, will only reconfirm this.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
In this day and age you can do a lot of things online yourself, but in the old days, say before the year 2000 when I started out, you had to do everything yourself, including building your own online presence through writing the HTML code yourself.

The only tools available back then were basic tools like ‘Geocities’, remember those? Today you can do pretty much anything online with a few clicks from your phone using Blogger.com or share the latest news and updates through your social media channels.

And if you wanted to write and publish a book, Microsoft Word was pretty much your only friend, even if you managed to find a publisher interested in publishing your book. But 20 years later companies like Blurb.com and Amazon.com turned things around offering tools to publish and sell your own books worldwide. Moving along with the development of the internet, tools, and especially social media, those challenges became enablers of my dream. Thanks to these modern tools I was able to publish my first Elvis Presley yearbook two years ago. Since then, three volumes have been released since then, and two other volumes are in the works.

But besides the tooling, it is the concept and the content that counts. With a daily news site on an artist who had a global presence, but has also been gone for 45 years, the news is scattered all over the place. And with news, I mean serious news on everything that happens in the Elvis Presley world, not stuff related to impersonators.

It is hard work and it takes discipline to bring the latest news and review new releases every single day. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Some readers asked me why I started the ‘Elvis Day By Day’ yearbook series, especially with everything available online. The answer is simple: the things we take for granted today, are the collectibles of the future. And in this digital day and age, we take pretty much everything online for granted.

Being an Elvis Presley fan, don’t you just love to read original Elvis Presley magazines, newspaper clippings, advertisements, flyers or concert or LP reviews from the fifties, sixties or seventies? Or, as the late great Ger Rijff used to call it, read those “smelly papers”.

And aren’t old scrapbooks and diaries great time capsules? Some of them are used by renowned biographers and curators of Elvis’ legacy like Peter Guralnick and Ernst Jorgensen, as fans wrote down all the songs Elvis Presley performed at the Louisiana Hayride or they kept the little newspaper advertisement of a young singer touring the southern states of the United States. If you check a few of the Elvis books, CDs, or LPs in your collection, many will be illustrated with original memorabilia, placing the content of that release in the correct historical context.

Almost everything “Elvis Presley” is still collectible, and new material is still being discovered and documented each year. Just look at the number of discography books released just recently; you could have bought a new discography book almost every month if you wanted to. And there is so much still to be discovered!

But what about the collectibles of the future? Where in the “old days” everything Elvis Presley had a physical appearance, so the chance that it was preserved was considerable, nowadays everything is shared digitally on the world wide web. It’s here today but gone tomorrow.

In the ‘Elvis Day By Day – The Year In Review’ yearbook series I try to capture everything Elvis Presley “day by day, and year by year” as we don’t always realize how soon we forget. Do you remember what you did three years ago, let alone what happened in the Elvis Presley world?

I kind of consider myself an “artist” as I do everything myself, I do the research write the texts, articles, and reviews myself (also inviting guest writers from around the world), do the complete design and layout of the website/blog www.elvisdaybyday.com, my online shop www.poplartunes.com and of course the design from front to back of the Elvis Presley yearbooks I publish.

I love being factual (no fake news!) and creative in how to present my writing. Fortunately, the reviews of my work acknowledge that, giving me the energy to continue.

This book series preserves Elvis Presley’s modern legacy, the future collectibles. All the news, as it happened, detailed all the new books, music, and movie releases, including in-depth reviews of the most important ones. The Day By Day yearbook series is your Elvis Presley reference, today, tomorrow, and forever. 

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
A job like this isn’t something to do all alone. Talking – online and in-person – with like-minded people, and those who were there when Elvis Presley still lived, gives much energy and inspiration!  

Besides that, to keep a legacy alive and interesting it is good to include the perspectives of many people, which keeps it interesting as we all have our points of view, opinions, knowledge, and so on. We’re all different, but we come together around this Memphis musician who touched our lives in some way.

The last yearbook on 2021 contains contributions by Carlos R. Ares (Argentina), Piers Beagley, Nigel Patterson and Geoffrey McDonnell (Australia), Andy Pendl (Austria), Robert Gilbert (Canada), Michael Sander and Thomas D. Weiß (Germany), Rogier van Luyken (The Netherlands), Giuseppe Castiglia (United Kingdom), Phil Gelormine and Trina Young (United States), making this a real international edition. 

I’m especially proud that some big names in the Elvis world were willing to write a foreword for my book. Acclaimed author and biographer of Elvis Presley and his manager Colonel Tom Parker, Alanna Nash wrote the foreword for the 2020 edition, visual biographer Paul Bélard the foreword for the 2018 edition and Elvis Presley songwriter Michael Jarrett did the last edition.  

To keep this memory alive, we need to connect and help each other out. As said before, Elvis Presley is a global phenomenon so to be complete on ‘everything Elvis Presley that happens, day by day, I need to cover the world.

So people from all corners of the world can help out by keeping me informed on the latest news on Elvis Presley like-new books, movies and music releases, people that knew or worked with him, the latest relevant news from his hometown, and so on. Together we can keep his memory alive. I hope Elvis Presley Enterprises picks one of these up one day.

Elvis Presley still matters today, when you have one of the Elvis Yearbooks, you hold the proof in your hands.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageMemphis is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories