'Elvis Through The Ages'

- Images from the Hollywood Photo Archive -

Text By Boze Hadleigh

Book Review - By Piers Beagley

The publicity promised... "From the beginning of his career to his death as the Hollywood icon Elvis Presley sang and enchanted thousands of people. Publicity photos and behind-the-scenes shots from the Hollywood Photo Archives include scores of long been forgotten or abandoned images in neglected studio archives.

This book collects 100 of the rarest of the rare, seldom previously seen images of his career. For the Elvis fans who think that they have seen it all, this book will provide a new lens on a beloved American icon...

EIN's Piers Beagley felt tempted by the offer of "100 of the rarest of the rare hollywood images" but now feels a fool for buying such a terrible collection of generic photos and a book full of so many UNFORGIVEABLE mistakes.. EIN readers should not get themselves "caught in this trap"..

The publicity for ‘Elvis Through the Ages: Images from the Hollywood Photo Archive’ stated..  "From the beginning of his career to his death as the Hollywood icon Elvis Presley sang and enchanted thousands of people. Publicity photos and behind-the-scenes shots from the Hollywood Photo Archives include scores of long been forgotten or abandoned images in neglected studio archives. This book collects 100 of the rarest of the rare, seldom previously seen images of his career. For the Elvis fans who think that they have seen it all, this book will provide a new lens on a beloved American icon...


It has been a while since a “main-stream” Elvis photo-book has been released promising “100 of the rarest of the rare, seldom previously seen images” and with the additional note that one of the image sources was “The Hollywood Photo Archive is a treasure trove of prints for film buffs”.

This created some anticipation for Elvis fans that previously unpublished photos of Elvis working on his movie sets have been tracked down. After all there were thousands of photos taken of Elvis for the MGM  / Paramount publicity files and surely a fair few are still not published.

However the T.R.O.U.B.L.E. at the very outset, when this book was first publicised, was that the stunning front cover featured an Elvis IMPERSONATOR! (Shawn Klush on stage)  

EIN was quick to track down the publisher and inform them of the terrible mistake to which they replied ….
"Lyons Press Editorial staff are aware of your complain. While the photo in question was meant to be that of an impersonator, to alleviate any confusion the editors have elected to replace it.
Please rest assured that when the book publishes this September, it will have a photo of the real Elvis on it. Once the new cover is completed, it will be uploaded to our database, from which it will feed out to all online retailers.
Thank you again for your time."

Now four months later the book is finally published – and, guess what, it still has the IMPERSONATOR on the front cover!

This is obviously disturbing for a true Elvis fan but surely the inside content / photos with text authored by Boze Hadleigh (Hollywood historian and author of 26 books) can’t be as bad as the cover mistake. (It is!)

The book is divided in to four short chapters …
Part 1: Young Elvis
Part 2: The Idol Maker
Part 3: The Icon
Part 4: Enduring Fame

Being only a 120 page book the text has to be succinct and to truly impress the pictures needed to be impressive and hopefully “the rarest of the rare”.

However the first impression is that the publicity is total B.S. as a quick flip through the book reveals all the standard Elvis photos and posters that any fan would have seen before.

Possibly worse than that, of the 107 photos 35 of them (presumably from the Hollywood Archive) are not a ‘treasure trove of prints” but routine posters / lobby cards for Elvis’ films.
And unfortunately a fair number of them are also presented in terrible quality.

By Googling "Elvis Presley Movie posters" almost every image is available for free on the internet and often in better quality.

To be honest there is one image in the whole book that I do not remember seeing before - a lobby card from 'Double Trouble' hardly my favourite Elvis period - but the vast majority of the photos are the standard images of Elvis that any fan would have already seen before.

No fan cannot already know the 'The Million Dollar Quartet' shot, 'Jailhouse Rock' with Elvis dancing on his toes, 'Elvis Is Back' album cover, 'Blue Hawaii' beach photos, Graceland, the generic Priscilla Elvis and Lisa Marie photo, Madison Square Garden press conference etc etc. these are definitely not the "rarest of the rare, seldom previously seen".

Interestingly four of the photos on the front cover - including the three gorgeous photos of Elvis with Ann-Margret are NOT in the book itself! How could the publisher explain that?

However it gets worse - much, much worse.

With only fifty or so Elvis images that are not movie posters all the authors had to do was make sure the date and text was correct. Surely with so many Elvis reference books around that would not be so hard!
Yet the book is littered with errors and some truly BAD mistakes.


With so few photos to check the author Boze Hadleigh has made some MAJOR errors and seemingly does not know a lot of facts about Elvis' life. The fact that he has a degree in journalism but is involved in such a shoddy production beggars belief.
- The book states that "Boze Hadleigh is a Hollywood historian and author of 26 books and holds a master’s degree in journalism."

EIN notes that Boze Hadleigh might not have personally added the description to the photos - Colin Slater is also mentioned - but Hadleigh is the only author noted in the credits and surely he would have checked the finished product before publication.

Any Elvis fan can describe the stunning photo on the cover of his first million-selling album when he is rocking out with such energy you can almost see his tonsils -

well, it certainly isn't this photo as featured on page 7.


The photo was actually taken December 1956, seventeen months after the noted July 1955 (easy to tell due to Elvis' post-major-success 1956 slick hairstyle) and was actually from Elvis' last performance at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport.


The book states -


Another photo where Elvis looks nothing like the date noted in the book's text. Placed towards the start of the "Fifties" section in the photo Elvis looks relaxed and has his post-army fluffy natural coloured hair. Indeed it is in fact from March 1960 when he returned happy to Graceland after his two-year army stint.


Moving on to 'Enduring Fame', page 96 features this stunning-in-concert photo.

It states that it is from "Elvis' On Tour" concerts and that "Elvis had removed his big-buckled belt earlier during the show".

Looking at the photo you can easily see that Elvis is wearing belt, his white macramé belt! Looking splendid in his Chain-Suit the photo is obviously from the well-known MGM 'That's The Way It Is' concerts in August 1970 - years earlier than the book suggests. (August 11 Dinner Show to be precise)


Image Left: The book states..





Right: A photo comparing Elvis in his white two-piece suit truly from May 1975. this image is NOT from the book!

This truly terrible photo above is from February 12, 1977 - Elvis was a sick man with only 6 months to live.
On the suggested May 1 1975 an easy google search proves that Elvis was wearing his "White Two-Piece suit" that day. In fact Elvis wore his blue or white two-piece suits throughout his April-May 1975 tour and never jumpsuits - and Elvis looked pretty good!

For such a low-brow book using the adjective 'ZAFTIG' to describe Elvis (Dictionary definition "plump and voluptuous") is not only silly but also demeaning - especially as the date is incorrect by two years and would in no way be appreciated by Elvis fans who bought this book.

Finally having informed the book's publishers that the image on the front cover was an Elvis impersonator - the book then repeats the mistake inside on a full-page spread describing the photo as "on stage, Elvis liked to move and strike poses including some inspired by karate". There is no mention at all that this photograph is actually Elvis impersonator Shawn Klush.

And being a photo book of  "100 of the rarest of the rare, seldom previously seen images of his career" why is there a photo of a modern plastic lamp on page 37?

While the above mistakes are certainly enough to put off most Elvis fans, the text, albeit a very condensed run through of Elvis' life, is also patchy and poorly proof-read.

This sentence bemuses me …
“He’d gradually widened his musical arenas from rural and Southern to the teenagers’ rock to, eventually (in the ’60s), ballads and music for all ages” page 3

What about... (pg38)
"Radio listeners demanded more Elvis and later that month he performed his first concert, as the opening act for country singer Slim Whitman. By December he was successful enough to get a manager, Tom Neal."

Elvis' early manager was of course BOB NEAL!

Another thought is that while the Overton Park Shell concert with Slim Whitman is famous for featuring Elvis' shaky-legs, it wasn't Elvis' first performance since his first acknowledged performances were actually at the Memphis Bon-Air club.

I also noticed that the photo of a young-looking SUN era Elvis (page 8) is noted as being from January 1955, yet it was actually from a December 1954 photo session!

Elvis' movie 'Kid Galahad' did not have as stated an"inevitable soundtrack album" - only a six track EP. (page 52).

And if the text has obvious errors, the quality of the images also disappoints.

< From the book.


> From a google search

The image of Elvis from Girl Happy (pg66) intrigues me as it looks as if it the photograph was taken in a glass frame since it has some sort of reflection in it over Elvis' hair-line. While in poor resolution, the photo certainly isn't the "rarest of the rare" as a rather snappy colour version can easily be sourced on the Internet.

Above the book's Spinout lobby card image -

Below the original from 'Alamy' Spinout stock photos


Similarly if the book is going to feature film lobby cards, why not use the crisp original photographs rather than washed-out versions. The photo of Elvis in the '68 Special' is another one of the lowest quality photos I have ever seen! I cannot believe I paid for a book using low quality photographs such as these when a quick Google finds the delightful looking, high quality originals.

In the end I had to give up trying to enjoy the book and realise that I was a total sucker falling for some truly dishonest publicity.  The publishers should be ashamed.

The book costs US$24.95 Hardcover and US$10.92 Kindle. I wasted my money.

Overall Verdict: There have been so many other truly enjoyable "mainstream" Elvis photo books published in the past such as 'The Elvis Album' - Millie Ridge, 'Elvis a celebration' - Mike Evans, 'Elvis Presley Unseen Archives' - Marie Clayton, while nowadays Elvis fans have the luxury of beautiful coffee-table books available through Amazon such as Wertheimer's glorious 'Elvis: A King in the Making' or the 'BoxCar' Elvis publications ('Elvis Presley's Graceland' etc). Looking at my Elvis book collection there really little excuse in today's era for rubbish such as this book.


Book Review by Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN August 2019
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

Click here to comment on this Review


"Elvis: A King In The Making" (Book Review): The Alfred Wertheimer photo archives is arguably the most famous Elvis visual collection in the world. And while the master photographer was only with Elvis for a relatively short time, the visuals he captured offer a timeless exposition of the young King of Rock 'n' Roll Elvis at his peak.

And finally, Wertheimer's magnificent photographs have been released in a way which does them proper justice.

Elvis: A King In The Making was recently released in Australia and New Zealand. What EIN found was the best photo-journal release of 2007 and one of the strongest Elvis book releases in many years! Read our full review

(Book Review) Elvis on Television 1956-60 - new Boxcar deluxe production another winner!: Joseph Pirzada and his Boxcar organisation return with their new deluxe, coffee table examination of Elvis' early television performances. Elvis On Television 1956-60 impacts the reader on several levels – it not only informs, but it entertains and also delights as a potent narrative-visual record of Elvis on 50s-early 60s TV, highlighting its importance in propelling his career beyond being contained only to a regional footprint.

Read Nigel Patterson's detailed review of another winner from Boxcar - including some great Elvis photos !

(Book Review, Source: EIN)

'Elvis - Aloha Via Satellite: A 40th Anniv Release': Getting rave reviews from Elvis fans - "this book is just nothing short of incredible!", "Beautiful packaging and quality all the way through", "my first thoughts on the book are WOW the photos are incredible so sharp, many I have never seen before", "Really enjoy following the whole story in chronological order, and some of those black and white rehearsal show shots are astounding" - are just some comments on FECC.

The latest release celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Aloha Via Satellite from Joseph Pirzada’s Boxcar label dropped into the EIN mail box.  With considerable pre-publication hype, a stunning 440 pages and more than 1,000 visuals, many of them "alternate" shots or unpublished, can it really be as good as we all hope. Is this the ultimate photo-journal about Aloha? GO HERE AS EIN brings you the first on-line detailed review.

Click here for our detailed review by Nigel Patterson - including plenty of fabulous Aloha Elvis images

(Book Review, Source: ElvisInformationNetwork)

‘Elvis On Tour’ E-book Review: ‘Elvis On Tour’ is EPE’s first official E-book subtitled ‘An exploration of Elvis’ 1972 Spring Tour’. You can download the Kindle App to your home p/c and while there are plenty of other E-books out there about Elvis, this is the first "official one" and so is probably an indication of future releases.
Released in August last year EIN thought it worth waiting to review it in comparison to the other fabulous SONY/EPE release of 2012 ‘Prince From Another Planet’.

Utilising the resources of the Graceland Archives, EPE promised readers would get backstage access to the 15-city, 15-day tour with rare photos of Elvis on stage, press clippings and reviews of the concert tour, and an up-close look at artefacts from both the actual tour and the awarding winning “Elvis on Tour” documentary film.
Also an in-depth look at the tour schedule, song lists from each concert and the jumpsuits Elvis wore on stage.
(Book Reviews, Source;ElvisInfoNetwork)

'Graceland Through The Years 1957-1977' Book Review: The latest release about Elvis’ Memphis mansion from Joseph Pirzada’s Boxcar label dropped into the EIN mail box last week.  With considerable pre-publication hype, an impressive 450 pages and more than 1,000 visuals, did it impress EIN as an expansive top floor view or as a depressingly damp basement?

Click here for our detailed review by Nigel Patterson - including plenty of Graceland Elvis images and example pages - Now UPDATED with more photos


(Book Review, Source: ElvisInformationNetwork)

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.

























Did You Miss these Popular Interviews?
Linda and Sam Thompson in Australia:
John Wilkinson Tribute & 1972 Interview:
Interview - Dr. Gary Vikan:
'Elvis: Walk A Mile In My Shoes' - Arjan Deelen Interview:
RIP - Bernard Lansky talks to EIN:
Allyson Adams 'The Rebel and The King' Interview: 
Joseph A. Tunzi
David Stanley (2012)
Author Chris Kennedy Interview about D.J. Tommy Edwards:
Vernon Presley Interview:
EIN interviews John Scheinfeld director of  'Fame & Fortune'
Jerry Leiber Interview for EIN
Elvis Paradise Hawaiian Interview - with Peter Noone
Sam Thompson, Elvis' bodyguard, 2011 Interview
James Burton Interview - Rick Nelson & Elvis:
Elvis Drummer Jerome "Stump" Monroe EIN Interview:
Donnie Sumner Remembers his friend Sherrill Nielsen: 
Lamar Fike EIN Exclusive Interview
Jamie Aaron Kelley - EIN Interview:
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more:
D.J Fontana Interview - Elvis Week 2010 special: 
Red West Interview:- 2010 Elvis week special
Linda Thompson - Interview Special:
Elvis in 1969 - Ann Moses & Ray Connolly Interviews:
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'On Stage' and Elvis' Legacy in 2010:
Paul Lichter
Dr. Nick talks to EIN
Alanna Nash
Ernst Jorgensen (2009)
Joseph Pirzada
Jeanne LeMay Dumas
Larry Geller
Mac Davis
Roger Semon
Ernst Jorgensen
Wayne Jackson (Memphis Horns)
Ernst Jorgensen (Record Collector)
Did You Miss these Popular EIN articles
'The Nation's Favourite Elvis Song' Spotlight
Linda and Sam Thompson in Australia:
Elvis Passwords - We’ve Hacked them all! 
Fourteen Key Elvis Singles:
Remembering ELVIS in 2013:
Elvis And The Vocal Group Tradition:
Happy Birthday EIN EIN turns 100 – a retrospective!:
Aloha From Hawaii - The Concert 2013- EIN Exclusive
Elvis at Madison Square Garden 40 Years Ago
'The Wedding' Elvis & Priscilla EIN special Spotlight:
'Elvis In Ottawa' Spotlight & Elvis Interview:
'Elvis: Live at the International' Book Review:
Book Review: Elvis in Vegas
'Promised Land' FTD CD Review:
'The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956’ Review:
Elvis By Special Request '71 At 40 (Book Review):
"Kissed By Elvis" Janet Fulton Interview:
'1956, Elvis Presley’s Pivotal Year':
"ReBooked At The International'- in-depth Review:
EIN Spotlight on Alfred Wertheimer:
'Elvis Memphis to Madison 1977' The Gas Station Incident:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 2' Book Review:
'Elvis In Concert' 1977 TV special; Should it be released officially?
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more:
Dark Side of the Colonel
Did you miss these Reviews
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 5' Review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 6 1971-1973'  Book Review:
'Love Me Tender' Blu-Ray Edition Review:
'Houston We Have A Problem' - CD review:
‘Elvis At Stax’ [Deluxe] Reviews:
‘The King Revealed’ Magazine Review:
'Hot August Night' FTD CD Review:
‘The King Revealed’ Magazine Review:
'Elvis - The Man & His Music'#100 review:
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 4' - Review:
'Elvis - Aloha Via Satellite: A 40th Anniv Release' Book Review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 1 1953-56' In Depth Book Review:
'Aloha From Hawaii' 40th Anniv LEGACY CD Review:
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 3' - Review:
Aloha From Hawaii - The Concert 2013- EIN Exclusive Review:
‘Elvis On Tour’ E-book Review - with Great jumpsuit photos-
'From Elvis Presley Boulevard' FTD In-Depth Review:
'Prince From Another Planet’ In-Depth Review:
'Elvis: Walk A Mile In My Shoes' - EIN Review:
‘Greatest Live Hits of the 50s’ MRS CD Review: 
Once Upon A Time: Elvis and Anita (Memories of My Mother) - Book Review:
'A Boy From Tupelo' special In-depth Review:
Bootleg Elvis (Book Review)
'G.I.Blues Vol.1' FTD Soundtrack - CD review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 5 1969-70'  Book Review:
'From Hawaii to Las Vegas' FTD CD Review:
'Blue Hawaii - The Expanded Alternate Album' Review:
'Elvis: Live at the International' Book Review:
'The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956’ Review:
'48 Hours To Memphis' FTD CD Review:
Elvis By Special Request '71 At 40 (Book Review):
'The Elvis Files Vol. 4' Book Review:
'Young Man with the Big Beat' In-Depth Review:
'Fashion For A King' FTD in-depth Review:
"ReBooked At The International'- in-depth Review:
'Stage Rehearsal' FTD Review:
Best of Elvis on YouTube
Graceland cam
EPE's Multimedia Elvis Gallery
Sirius Elvis Satellite Radio
Elvis Radio (ETA's)
Elvis Express Radio
Ultimate Elvis Radio
Elvis Only Radio
"Images in Concert" PhotoDatabase
Radio Interview: Vernon & Gladys Presley
Sanja's Elvis Week 2007 Photo Gallery
'EIN's Best of Elvis on YouTube'
The Music of Elvis Presley - Australian Radio Show
All about Elvis
All about Elvis Tribute Artists
All about Graceland
All about Lisa Marie Presley
Ancestors of Elvis
Art Archives
Book Releases 2009
Contact List
Elvis and Racism
Elvis as Religion
Elvis CDs in 2007
Elvis DVDs in 2006
Elvis Film Guide
'2007 New Releases'
Elvis Presley In Concert "downunder" 2006
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Research Forum
Elvis Rules on Television
Graceland - The National Historic Landmark
How & where do I sell my Elvis collection?
Is Elvis the best selling artist?
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Links to other Elvis sites
Marty's Musings
Online Elvis Symposium
Parkes Elvis Festival 2009 (Australia)
Presley Law legal archives (Preslaw)
Presleys In The Press
Sale of EPE (Archives)
6th Annual Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis biography