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"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)



"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image"


(Elvis Presley, Madison Square Garden press conference, 1972)


"Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something"

(David Bowie)


"No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"

(Mick Jagger)


"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother...there'll never be another like that soul brother"

(Soul legend, James Brown)


"Before Elvis there was nothing!"

(John Lennon)


"There were rock 'n' roll records before Heartbreak Hotel, but this was the one that didn't just open the door…it literally blasted the door off its rusted, rotten, anachronistic hinges...producing, no propelling, a fundamental, primordial and unstoppable shift in not only musical, but social, political and cultural history"

(JNP, BBC website)


"Elvis, the musician, is largely a relic belonging to the baby boomer generation...Elvis, the icon, is arguably one of the most potent symbols of popular culture"

( Dr. John Walker)


"It [rock & roll] was always about Elvis; not just because he was Elvis, but because he was the big star"

(Bono from U2)


"If they had let me on white radio stations back then, there never would have been an Elvis"

(Little Richard)


"Elvis loved opera, and he especially liked Mario Lanza. He would watch The Student Prince which was set in Heidelberg, over and over again. He loved the power of the big voices. And he loved big orchestras. He liked real dramatic things"

(Marty Lacker in 'Elvis and the Memphis Mafia')


"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead"

(Johnny Carson)

Elvis' #1 Pop Singles on Cashbox, USA:

Heartbreak Hotel (1956)

Don't Be Cruel (1956)

Hound Dog (1956)

Love Me Tender (1956)

Too Much (1957)

All Shook Up (1957)

Teddy Bear (1957)

Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Don't (1958)

Stuck On You (1960)

It's Now Or Never (1960)

Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1960)

Surrender (1961)

Good Luck Charm (1962)

Return To Sender (1962)

In The Ghetto (1969)

Suspicious Minds (1969)

Burning Love (1972)

(The Cashbox chart is now defunct)

Elvis Facts:

Elvis was 5' 11" tall


Elvis' natural hair color was dark blond


Elvis' blood type was O Positive


Elvis' shoe size was 11D


One of Elvis'( maternal) ancestors, Morning White Dove (born 1800, died 1835), was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian


Elvis' uncle, Noah Presley, became Mayor of East Tupelo on January 7, 1936


The Presley family moved to Memphis on November 6, 1948


Elvis was issued a Social Security card in September 1950 with the # 409-52-2002


In 1954 some of the shows played by Elvis & The Blue Moon Boys were at the Overton Park Shell; the Bel-Air Club; Sleepy-Eyed John's Eagle's Nest Club and the Louisiana Hayride


Elvis' first manager was Scotty Moore, then Bob Neal, before signing with Colonel Tom Parker


The first DJ to play an Elvis record was Fred Cook (WREC), not Dewey Phillips (WHBQ). However, Dewey had the distinction of being the first DJ to play an Elvis record in its entirety


Elvis once dated famous stripper, Tempest Storm


Elvis was filmed from the waist up only during his 3rd and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show


In the 50s Elvis was friendly with rising stars, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and Ty (Bronco Lane) Hardin


Gladys Presley was 46 years old when she died, not 42, as many books suggest


The Roustabout album sold 450,000 copies on its initial release, 150,000 copies more than any of the preceding three soundtrack LPs. It was Elvis' last "soundtrack" album to reach #1 on the major album charts in the US


Elvis received $1m for filming Harum Scarum (aka Harum Holiday). The film grossed around $2m in the US


Elvis and Priscilla married on May 1, 1967


They were officially divorced on October 9, 1973


Elvis earns nearly $3.5m in 1968 and pays just over $1.4m in income tax


Elvis' return to live performing in Las Vegas on July 31, 1969 was in front of an "by invitation only" audience. Stars in attendance included Wayne Newton, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson


On January 9, 1971, the national Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) announced Elvis as one of "The Top Ten Young Men of the Year". Elvis spoke at the official awards ceremony on January 16


"Elvis: Aloha From Hawai" made entertainment history on January 14, 1973, when it was beamed around the world by satellite. In the Philippines it drew 91% of the audience, in Hong Kong 70%. The viewing audience was estimated at more than 1 billion


For his 4 week Hilton Vegas season in August 1973 Elvis received $610,000

Sales of Elvis' 1973 album, Raised On Rock, were less than 200,000 units on its initial release


Elvis paid $2,959,000 in income tax in 1973


In December 1976 Elvis was sworn in as a special deputy sheriff of Shelby County (Memphis) by Sheriff Gene Barksdale


Elvis' final live concert was in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977

When Elvis died, he and his father Vernon, were embroiled in an FBI investigation called Operation Fountain Pen

More than 1,500 books have been published about The King in more than 30 languages


At Dec 2005 Elvis' biggest selling album in the US is the budget priced, Elvis' Christmas Album, with accredited sales of 9 million units (fingers crossed it reaches 10 million to give Elvis his first "Diamond" award)


By early2006, Sony BMG's "collectors label", Follow That Dream, had released more than 50 Elvis CDs


During the 1980s, tour guides at Graceland stated that Elvis' biggest selling album (globally) was Moody Blue, with sales exceeding 14 million


While Sony BMG estimates Elvis' global sales exceed 1 billion, the company is unable to substantiate this figure. Accredited sales worldwide are estimated to be less than 400 million
















































































































































































































































































Book Review

"The Blue Moon Boys: The Story of Elvis Presley's Band"

Ken Burke and Dan Griffin

Foreword by Brian Setzer

Chicago Review Press, USA, 2006, Illustrated, ISBN: 1556526148.

Until this book, The Blue Moon Boys story has never before been told in such vivid, riveting detail.

Treating its main characters as sublimely talented individuals with human flaws, Ken Burke & Ken Griffin paint a complex portrait of an innovative threesome/foursome, the template for the rock 'n' roll band, who produced a surging new musical force which laid the early foundations of a bourgeoning youth culture and would eventually transform our society.

While most author's focus essentially on Elvis in this process, Burke & Griffin strip away layers of journalistic bias to reveal the often anionic nature of what occurred in the mid to late 1950s. It is a journey through the organic, and one which is richly rewarding in its detail, color and feeling.

A strength of "The Blue Moon Boys" is the way the author's draw out the individual and collective roles of its chief protagonists, presenting them fairly and parallel, allowing the reader to judge the relative intrinsic merits of each player and The Blue Moon Boys as a the "original" rock 'n' roll band.

Another strength is the author's penetration of the psyche of each character, bringing to the surface the emotional elements and tensions which affected each of The Blue Moon Boys during and after their direct association with Elvis.

There are many candid revelations on the character and emotional responses of Scotty, Bill and D.J. For example:

Presley's death forced a rare crack in Moore's stoic manner, causing his voice to break as he spoke about it to his fourth wife, Emily. There were too many things left unsaid between them, too many hurts and slights that should have been forgiven. In the years to come, he would bury his conflicting feelings in compulsive hard work and a lot of scotch while avoiding everything that had to do with his days as a musician. When people would ask for interviews, he would refuse by simply shaking his head and saying, "Elvis is dead".

While the professional split between Elvis and the band has been well covered in earlier books and magazine articles, Burke and Griffin give it added potency as they explain in detail, using firsthand accounts, the circumstances which led to the split, the reconciliation, and beyond.

Taking the reader behind the scenes of the recording process, Burke & Griffin offer us tantalising insights into the dramas and successes often bubbling below and above the surface. On the positive side:

The result was sensational. The transformation of Bill Monroe's bluegrass standard [Blue Moon of Kentucky] into an R&B-fed rocker is one of the undisputed highlights of Elvis Presley's recording career. Oozing low-register sex appeal on the tension-building hooks ("Blue moon! Blue moon! Keep a-shin' bright") and yelping in joyous release on the verses, Monroe's mournful waltz-tempo ditty was reinvented into an R&B-tinged country rocker

On another incident:

Still struggling with his new electric bass (which was easier to hear during concerts) Bill Black reportedly couldn't master the song's intro. Frustrated, he thre the instrument down and walked out of the studio. without saying a word, Presley picked up the bass and, with Leiber recording a guide vocal, recorded the part himself - and he did a pretty good job of it, too.

The inability of RCA studio technicians to replicate the Sun Studio sound, sex crazed girls, concert riots, DJ Fontana's early days playing in strip joints, all these and a lot more are deftly woven into the luminous fabric of The Blue Moon Boys. It is eye opening stuff blending the ups, downs and stimulating adventures of a band which, at the time, could not have known that it was creating musical history.

The mention of drugs in 1956 and one incident where Elvis was apparently hospitalised to have his stomach pumped, may surprise many readers as it lends credence to the story, most recently promoted by the Denson brothers, that Elvis was a pill popper before he entered the Army. However, this is hardly a material issue in a narrative which reveres its flawed protagonists and eloquently stamps their place at the forefront of rock 'n' roll history.

The author's are blunt in their assessment of Elvis sans The Blue Moon Boys in the late 60s-early 70's, observing:

In the world of late 1960s-early 1970s pop, Presley was actually better off without his old gang. It's hard to imagine Moore, Fontana, and the Jordanaires executing some of the material he would hit the charts with over the next few years: "In The Ghetto", "Suspicious Minds", "Kentucky Rain," and others...

They are also blunt in their observation of the public's reaction to relative Elvis recordings:

Despite the confidence Presley displayed in performing the newer material in concert, the much-hyped studio LP these songs were drawn from, Elvis Is Back, was a relative failure. One of Presley's finest blues-drenched achievements, its initial run sold around two hundred thousand copies. In contrast, the mediocre soundtrack to Blue Hawaii (whicj features the romantic ballad "Can't Help Falling In Love") became his biggest selling-album of all-time.

What "The Blue Moon Boys" lacks is a recurring injection of humor. That was an important element which helped make last year's release, Dewey & Elvis, the best of 2005.

As it stands, Burke & Griffin's book is scholarly and well researched, shedding important light on the usually overlooked role of Scotty, Bill and D.J. in the Elvis Presley story and the crystallisation of a new form of popular music.

Verdict: "The Blue Moon Boys" is an overdue entry in the Elvis book world. Well written and illuminating many little known or previously unknown facts in the rise of Elvis, it is an important release which adds to our understanding of both the emotional responses of its characters and their pivotal role(s) in the story of Elvis Aaron Presley and the growth of rock 'n' roll.




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"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"

(Dr. Gary Enders)


"Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"



"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)


"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")


"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)


"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"

(Carl Perkins)


"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"

(Bob Dylan)


"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"

(Sir Paul McCartney)


"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"

(Johnny Cash)


"And don't think for one moment he's just a passing fancy....he's got enough of it to keep him on top for a long time"

(R. Fred Arnold, Fury magazine, Aug 1957)


"It isn't enough to say that Elvis is kind to his parents, sends money home, and is the same unspoiled kid he was before all the commotion began. That still isn't a free ticket to behave like a sex maniac in public"

(Eddie Condon, Cosmopolitan)

Elvis records reaching #2 & #3 on the Cashbox Pop Singles chart:

#2: A Fool Such As I (1959)

#2: A Big Hunk Of Love (1959)

#3: Hard Headed Woman (1958)

#3: One Night (1958)

#3: (You're The Devil) In Disguise (1963)

Elvis Facts:

Tickets for Elvis' show on March 29, 1957 in St. Louis cost $2.00 to $2.50

While in Germany Elvis was hospitalised with tonsillitis in October 1959

Despite being an illegal immigrant, photographic evidence shows Colonel Tom Parker traveled to Canada with Elvis in 1957

Elvis strongly believed there weren't enough good songs in King Creole to justify releasing a soundtrack album. RCA initially agreed, releasing two very successful EPs from the movie. A soundtrack LP eventually followed

During the 1960s Elvis had his own football team, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which played in the Memphis touch football league. In the 1962 final, EPE narrowly lost to Delta Automatic Transmission, 6-13

In Clambake, (Elvis) Scott Hayward's driving licence shows February 23, 1940...taking 5 years off Elvis' real age

In the 1970s Elvis was offered $5m to stage a concert in front of the Pyramids in Egypt. When the Colonel declined the offer, Saudi billionaires raised the offer to $10m