Graceland's Mystery Man was published two years and appears to have generally slipped under the radar.
George Baugh had a front-row seat to pop culture history. Initially a teenage friend of Elvis' in Memphis, he would later work at Graceland as a security guard.
In this slimline memoir, Baugh fondly recounts his friendship with, and working for, Elvis, in narrative and visual format. At only 35 pages there is not a significant amount of material in the book.
The stories include:
- Elvis and his entourage enjoying a roman candle fight one 4th of July when Elvis bought $10,000 worth of fireworks;
- Elvis' boat named "Karate";
- Elvis' generosity;
- target shooting at Poplar Pike (Elvis owned a Thompson sub-machine gun);
- the author's own musical experience drumming for stars such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Conway Twitty; and
- a young pony gifted to Lisa Marie which Elvis took upstairs at Graceland for his grandmother Minnie Mae to see, and which promptly got too excited and messed the floor.
The generally routine and dark photos are varied and range from the late 1940s to the 1970s, including:
- one of Elvis' favorite places, the Fairgrounds in Memphis;
- Elvis with fans;
- Elvis playing football;
- Elvis in the Army;
- Graceland; and
- Elvis with Lisa Marie.
While some of the anecdotes are interesting and several of the photos are rare (for example, Elvis with DJ Dewey Phillips and the owner of the Pop Tunes record store in Memphis, Joe Caughi), the book's price tag of US$17.00 suggests it is not great value for money. The Kindle edition costs US$8.39.
Verdict: Graceland's Mystery Man would have benefitted from a larger number of stories and at times much greater detail. It is a book best read in a library as it will take you less than half an hour to read from cover to cover.
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