'Elvis: One Night In Toronto, April 1957'

by Paul Sweeney, Jean-Marc Carisse,Erik Lorentzen

In-Depth Book Review by Piers Beagley

'Elvis Presley In Person 'One Night In Toronto' April 2 - 1957' is the new book by Paul Sweeney, Jean-Marc Carisse and Erik Lorentzen which has caused a great deal of interest among Elvis fans with some stunning new images appearing in the promotional material and some delicious promises ...

A historical document - the 60th Anniversary.
* interviews
* backstage stories
* private moments
* hundreds of never before published photos
* Photos taken from original negatives



Read EIN's Piers Beagley in-depth review to see whether a book about just one day in Elvis' life in 1957 can really be that good.... - (Hint: Yes, It Is!)

'Elvis Presley In Person 'One Night In Toronto' April 2 - 1957'

Elvis Presley was the most photographed entertainer in the world and there have been an inundation of photo books over the years. But how often is it that several hundred previously unpublished photos from Elvis' golden fifties era are newly discovered?

It seems nigh impossible that hidden in a vault somewhere are a pile of high-quality professional photos of Elvis yet to be unearthed. The photos used in FTD's ‘A Moment In Time- 4 Days in '56’ is the last major discovery I can think of.

But this new book by Paul Sweeney, Jean-Marc Carisse and Erik Lorentzen kicks major goals on several levels over its 352 pages....

- It includes over 300 photos that fans will have never seen before, some as wonderful double-page spreads.  
- It captures Elvis in his full "Gold Lamé” 1957 glory – and by a wonderful coincidence the last time Elvis would ever wear the full suit on stage
- With over 100 pages of Elvis on-stage action, you can relive the whole concert in photos.
- Sensational close-ups of Elvis deep in thought during the press conferences
- Wonderful off-stage candid photos capturing a relaxed Elvis fooling around between shows

The book captures "a day in the life of Elvis" in the same way that Alfred Wertheimer's wonderful photos did the previous year.

In fact the book’s preface explains how photographer John Sebert worked in the same way as Wertheimer, employing low light / long exposure and no flash. While this may result in some occasional dark or blurred images the advantage is that the subject is not aware of the photos being taken. The candid photos really benefit from Elvis' relaxed nature and the blur of some concert shots also add movement and power to the images.

John Sebert was hired to take Elvis’ photographs as part of an assignment for the Chatelaine magazine to accompany a June Callwood article. Sebert took 345 photographs that day of which unbelievably only three would be used in the final article.

When I first started buying Eric Lorentzen’s Elvis Files volumes, - with each volume featuring only a couple of years  of Elvis' life spread over 500 pages - I thought I would never need to buy another photo book again. However Lorentzen’s expanded follow-up ‘A Touch Of Gold Lame ’ - 420 pages about Elvis’ 1957 tours - showed collectors just how much more there was to discover and now this book provides even more!
Once again it is incredible how little content is repeated and with the photos previously used in the wonderful ‘A Touch Of Gold’ presented here in stunningly better quality.    

In April 1957 Elvis was in the middle of a two week tour of one-night-stands and you can see some tiredness in his eyes. But the close-ups off stage wonderfully capture Elvis in a thoughtful and at times pensive mood - while the onstage images show him full of energy and rockin' out..

Elvis' look is also very different to the skinnier greased-hair style of Wertheimer's photos from a year earlier. Here Elvis has that wonderful tousled hair look of 1957 and even if tired, his face looks more mature and less punk/angry than the year earlier.

1957 was the year that cemented Elvis as the world’s number 1 entertainer and with the tours, two movies and four Billboard number ones Elvis would have been under incredible pressure. It is totally unbelievable that his money-making manager never thought of professional recording of one 1957 concert.  

The book sets-the-scene with short articles on Elvis' astounding impact in Canada - "Sales of Elvis' records continue to soar and set new sales marks" - as well as the fact that Elvis' Montreal concert was cancelled due to pressure from the Catholic Church. Of course Elvis' later wild concert in Vancouver where the 16,000+ crowd broke barriers and rushed the stage in their enthusiasm would not help his cause!

The first fifty pages work as a clever build-up to the main event featuring some contemporary articles such as "Where Is Presley - Can't locate him", "Elvis Arrives Alone" and "Elvis Also Rocks Merchandising" as well as some fine Buffalo and Vancouver photos.

The images of the keen fans gathering at the Maple Leaf Gardens capture the innocent post-war era with most people wearing old-fashioned clothing and simple styles - (How things have changed!)

There are two marvellous photos of Elvis' friend Arthur Hooten chatting to Col Parker who is wearing a fabulous "Elvis Is The Most" tie.

The first Toronto Press Conference is then featured over sixty pages.

You can truly feel the tension as Elvis is shown walking in the door and then swinging his legs up to sit on the bench.

The wonderful close-ups show Elvis considering his answers and with a real innocence in his eyes.

Elvis seems oblivious to Sebert's camera and with the images being shot in low-light the film's grain adds a real warmth. These really are high-quality negative transfers
As author Paul Sweeney explained, these photos were taken from the original negatives - accept no cheap substitute!

Beautiful double-page spread with Elvis' Loving You CD to demonstrate the impact of these stunning images


"He wore a silver lamé shirt, ruffled down the front and studded with rhinestones, a black belt studded with rhinestones set in gold, black trousers, gold shoes with tassels speckled with sequins, and a red windbreaker. He sat on the table, linked his hands around his knees and, completely relaxed, waited for questions."

The story of Canadian super-fan Carol Vanderleck is a lovely bonus - along with all the new photos capturing Elvis' remarkable look.

The fact that the general public, and newspaper journalists, thought that psychologists and psychiatrists were needed to explain the adolescent desires for Elvis is astounding. (No one seems to worry about explaining Justin Bieber etc nowadays - why not!)

The book includes the marvellous...

"As child psychologists and psychiatrists were steadily pointing out throughout the hubbub of derision and disapproval, Carol Vanderleck and her associates were exhibiting normal symptoms of adolescent growth. They were banded together within their own cult to give themselves a feeling of solidarity. This is a natural stage of development in the early teens, where the sense of strangeness and apprehension is acute. They had selected a symbol to admire, one who combines everything prohibited them-untidiness, garish dress, exhibitionism, defiance of rules, wealth, and freedom enough to buy purple Cadillacs at whim."

Elvis' first Toronto performance is then featured over an amazing 100 pages even though this is a show that would have only lasted about half-an-hour!  

The real joy being that almost every significant moment of the concert – Elvis’ last ever performance wearing his full gold lame suit – was photographed by John Sebert.

“Cries of 24,000 drown out Elvis.
Twenty-four thousand teenagers, some adults and a scattering of screwballs saw rock'n'roller Elvis Presley's first Canadian appearance last night - but nobody could truthfully say they heard the hound dog man. The rangy ex-truck driver from Memphis drew such ear splitting shrieks, handclapping, foot stomping and whistles that he was drowned out through two performances that packed Maple Leaf Gardens.
It was Presley à la pantomime all the way, but nobody seemed to mind. Tousled-haired and perspiring he ended his performance looking like a kid staggering after a tough basketball game..”

From Elvis’ stage entrance through his set list - great to see him playing Scotty’s Gibson L5 for ‘One Night’ - to his final bow, it’s all here. A hundred photos with twelve pages dedicated to double-page spreads, they truly capture the impact of Elvis on stage in 1957!    

Of course several of the newly found images are a little dark and blurry but they all help capture the action and excitement of the performance.
There are also a pile of unbelievably sharp great quality photos which catch the flash, glamour of Elvis in his gold suit and the power of him being on stage.


It’s also nice to see photos of the band conferring during the show and to note the small loudspeakers they had to use.
You have to wonder how any of Elvis’ performances could ever have been heard above the crowd’s appreciative roar – as is often noted in newspaper reviews.

“Elvis cuddles the mike as he sings, tilting it at weird angles and dragging it along behind him, and he wanders back and forth across the stage. At the start of the first performance last night he grabbed the mike with such eagerness it came off in his hand.”

Of course the only disappointment is that we don’t have a soundtrack of the concert to accompany the photos - Damn that Col Parker!

The best one can do is play Elvis’ final Louisiana Hayride concert from December 1956 and bask in the rock’n’roll action. MRS’s ‘50’s Complete Concert Recordings’ third CD is perfect since it also includes the fragment of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ recorded in Toronto!  

After the first concert is another of the book’s highlights showing Elvis relaxing between concerts.

‘Between The shows’ features ten pages of Elvis and the band relaxing and fooling around with a trolley that they found in the holding area. It's a lovely insight into how Elvis would pace himself during the day, even playing some childish games between concerts while relaxing with the group.

Parker is nowhere to be seen but one wonders what he would have thought of his million-dollar property dangerously fooling around while still wearing his priceless Gold Lamé pants.

Several pages of a publicity photo shoot (fascinating in itself) follow before 30 pages featuring the second Toronto Press Conference.
This time Elvis is still wearing his gold lamé trousers and perfectly at ease with his interrogators.

The images here are stunning and can see that Elvis’ hair style is indeed halfway between ‘Loving You’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’ styles.

The newspaper article on whether Elvis' music could be jazz is fascinating. It includes…

“Elvis Presley made an earth shattering statement last night. He hinted he considered himself a jazz singer. This reporter, after cornering the rock 'n' roll king alone for a few minutes, just about flipped when Elvis explained matter-of-factly that he not only liked jazz actually thought tunes like ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and “Hound Dog’ represented some sort of jazz. “I don't actually know too much about it,” he admitted with an apologetic grin, “but I'm pretty sure my songs are part of jazz.”

The insightful article written by June Callwood for Chatelaine Magazine’s June 1957 edition has been seen elsewhere but here it is wonderfully presented along with along with close-up photographs of Elvis and Callwood. You can see Elvis carefully considering his answers - it is a marvellous insight.
The use of lowlight and no flash works wonders here.

It is astounding how close Sebert could get to Elvis and yet still get candid shots.

Some of the newspaper article and reviews included are a revelation.  The Hamilton Spectre review includes..

“Presley Brings Delirium Tremors to 25,000”
Centuries ago they had the so called Children's Crusade when, for unexplained reasons thousands of children perished in a wild dance across Europe into the Holy Land. Today we have Elvis Presley - also for unexplained reasons. What was the show like last night? Mystifying, frightening, absolutely astounding…  “

The second Maple Leaf concert is surprisingly represented by only nine photographs. By this time Elvis had ditched his gold pants so have perhaps Sebert had got what he needed - or had run out of film! After all he was really there just to take a few photos to go with Callwood’s interview.

The book ends with a segue as Elvis moves on to Ottawa, along with Toronto/Ottawa Disc-Jockey Gord Atkinson’s interview with Elvis.

Rounding up the book author Paul Sweeney then interviews Atkinson, who is still alive today, to get his memories of meeting Elvis and looking back 60 years from 2016, including...

“Elvis was a prisoner of his young fame, he couldn't leave the building, literally, so they had him in the old hockey arena.. It was really incredible when I went to meet him.. That he was a prisoner in this old sweaty hockey dressing room, and cordoned off by guards and everybody else.. When I went in he was very polite and called me ‘Sir’ all through the conversation we had, but he was eating at that time, and, as I recall, he had a plain cheese sandwich and a milk. Unthinking this kid is a phenomenon of the entertainment business and he is making millions of dollars, and this is the worst food you can probably have..”


Atkinson's reminisces are an interesting look back to a golden era of radio – less about Elvis then you might expect – and it is interesting to realise that Atkinson is far more of a Bing Crosby fanatic than an Elvis fan!

The quality of the photo restoration, as well as the general presentation and proof-reading, needs to be highly commended. Congratulations to Paul Sweeney, Jean-Marc Carisse for their hard work and for finding the negatives in the first place. (If you want to know more about how the book came together please see our interview with author Paul Sweeney below)

An indication of just how impressive the newly discovered images of Elvis in this book are is that there were a massive number of photos I wanted to add to this review but had to leave out.

Please note that the low-res personal scans used in this review do not show the true quality of the images.

Overall Verdict: How extraordinary to discover over 300 unpublished photographs of Elvis in the glory of the fifties. 1957 was such a key period in Elvis’ legacy and his gold lamé suit was such an iconic representation of Elvis at the time. The book wonderfully presents ‘a day in the life of Elvis Presley on tour’ and if you play Elvis’ live concert while reading through the book you too will be exhausted.
It's hard to believe that these photographs have remained undiscovered for so long and author Paul Sweeney, along with Jean-Marc Carisse and Erik Lorentzen, has done a marvellous job in putting together this book.
The newspaper articles, the interviews and viewpoints from the time combined with such an array of impressive photographs make this an essential purchase for any fifties Elvis fan.


Book review by Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN April 2017 - sixty years on!
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

Click to comment on this book review -

You can buy direct from the Elvis Files - send €120 By Paypal To: Sales @Elvisfiles.No .- this includes Shipping All Over The World. - Or CLICK HERE to www.Elvisfiles.No

'Elvis: One Night In Toronto': Paul Sweeney Interview: Paul Sweeney is a name that you often see in the credits of quality Elvis photo-books and is the main author behind the new book 'Elvis Presley In Person 'One Night In Toronto' April 2 - 1957' soon to be published by Erik Lorentzen. The book is a historical document for the 60th Anniversary featuring interviews, backstage stories, private moments, hundreds of never before published photos and with the images taken from original negatives.

Elvis fans have recently contacted EIN wanting to know more about the up-coming book - especially as there has been some odd negative publicity from another publisher - and Paul Sweeney kindly agreed to answers some of our questions and to clarify a few issues.

Go here to EIN's interview with Paul Sweeney plus some great sneak-peak Elvis photos from the book

(Interviews, Source;ElvisInformationNetwork)

You can buy direct from the Elvis Files - send €120 By Paypal To: Sales @Elvisfiles.No .- this includes Shipping All Over The World. - Or CLICK HERE to www.Elvisfiles.No

(PLEASE Note- Your local Elvis dealer MAY have it even cheaper - so do ask around. EIN cannot know exactly what all international dealers are charging.)

Or if in the UK click here to The Elvis Shop London

Interview by Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN March 2017
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

'The World of FTD' In-Depth Review: The new deluxe book 'The World Of FTD' has been received by some lucky fans and Elvis collector Mike Lodge has provided EIN with a very detailed review - of well over 3 thousand words!

The book was authored and designed by Keith Flynn with input from a large number of other Elvis specialists including EIN's Piers Beagley, EM&HM's Trevor Cajiao, Geoffrey McDonnell, Gordon Minto and many others.
It is 1,200 pages, hardbound three book set, chronicling every release by FTD.The book also features 100s of high-quality photos from the collection Erik Lorentzen
KJ Consulting are proud to publish this Box Set which weighs 8 kilos.

Unfortunately the book has not arrived in Australia yet so I have not seen the final product!
Go here to see his very detailed review - plus more new preview pages - EIN thanks Mike Lodge for the review
(News, Source;ElvisInfoNet)

- 'Ultimate Elvis' Book Review: 'Ultimate Elvis – The Complete And Definitive Recording Sessions' is a this three-volume, deluxe set that not only comprises all the session information available to date, based on Keith Flynn's incomparable website and includes comprehensive notes on each session, discographies, letters, original sheet music covers plus huge index all included in its 1,800 pages.
The book includes around 3,000 stunning high-quality photographs many of them previously unseen, relating to the time period in question.
The promotional publicity for this three-volume set was very impressive with the original publishing date of August 2014 missed as more photographs were discovered and the content expanded. Finally published in December 2014, Elvis enthusiast Brian Quinn checks out this astounding deluxe package to discover if it is as good as promised.
Go HERE to check out Brian Quinn's review - Now updated with some detailed comments from author Shane Brown and Elvis expert Jordan Ritchie - -
(Book Reviews, Source;BrianQuinn/ElvisInfoNet)

Go here for other relevant articles:

'Elvis-The King Of The Jungle' In-Depth Review:

'The Elvis Files Vol. 6 1971-1973'  Book Review

'The Elvis Files Vol. 1 1953-56' In Depth Book Review:

'The Elvis Files Vol. 5' Book Review:

'The Elvis Files Vol. 4' Book Review:

'The Elvis Files Vol. 2' Book Review:

'The Elvis Files Vol. 3' Book Review:

EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.
Elvis Presley, Elvis and Graceland are trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
The Elvis Information Network has been running since 1986 and is an EPE officially recognised Elvis fan club.





















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