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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

















































































































































































































































































- by Jim Piazza

- Book review -

Click here, August 2006 is Book Month @ EIN

Book reviewed by Piers Beagley.

‘THE KING’ - by Jim Piazza
With design by Matthew Bouloutian & Andy Taray.
ISBN 1-57912-462-3
160 pages. 600 photos, colour & black & white.

‘THE KING' by Jim Piazza has to be the biggest Elvis coffee-table book ever released.

In the introduction he says..

"Pick out one of his CDs at random, from the early years, the later, troubled times, it doesn't matter. You'll hear the fervent immediacy of a man who can't disguise how much he can hurt, what he needs from love, what he dreams about. Elvis never lost that."

(Photo above: The gigantic photo from 'Jailhouse Rock'. Note the 'Elvis at Sun' CD as a size reference)

If you are looking for something extraordinary amongst a zillion Elvis books then this is it. Way over-the-top and so large that it will never fit on your bookshelf, this 160 page glossy high quality, high-style book is an immense 15 inches by 17 inches. That means a double-page photo (see above) is a gigantic 2½ feet by 1½ feet! Not only that, but the front cover has the name 'THE KING' written large in diamantes!

The book is packed with magnificent & huge images of Elvis that will blow you away, all presented in a lovely modern design, it is a real winner. But for exactly the same reason it is almost too big to read. It certainly is a coffee-table book - but only if you have a large coffee-table!

(Note: All the images in this review have the ‘Elvis at Sun’ CD cover placed on the page to give you a reference as to the size of the photos)

(Above: Another double-page spread of glorious photos)

However if you can find the right place to read it, then the writing does contain plenty of interest and author Jim Piazza includes some pertinent observations outside the usual scope.

The design by Matthew Bouloutian & Andy Taray is particularly impressive, well laid out and with every main page nicely set-off with a relevant quote including …

"Man, if I could ever get people to talk about me the way they talk about Liberace, I would really have it made" - Elvis 1954
"Everyone of those Elvis sessions was like I was filming Gone With The Wind" – Sam Phillips
"After Gladys died he didn’t seem like Elvis ever again" – Aunt Lillian

And although the text is fairly brief you can still find plenty to ponder about.
Another nice touch is that along the top of every page there are relevant dates and information to highlight Elvis’ time-line.

Another amusing touch is the off-the-wall lists of information that are included on each page.
For instance ‘Elvis' Girls’ with a selection of very different comments..

  • Dixie Locke (his first real love) "We were saving ourselves for marriage."
  • Barbara Leigh "He had this thing for white cotton panties."
  • Ann-Margret "He touched something deep within my psyche."
  • Natalie Wood "He can sing, but that's about it"
  • Tuesday Weld "He walked into a room and everything stopped. I was gaga about him."
  • June Juanico "He was a wonderful kisser. How do you describe soft lips, slightly parted, not too much, just perfect?"
  • Tempest Storm "... made me hornier than a goat in a pepper patch."
  • Dottie Harmony "We'd read the bible together - out loud.'

There are chapters on the Army, Priscilla, a look at Graceland, The Memphis Mafia etc, along with an interesting section on Colonel Parker, cleverly titled ‘Colonel of Truth’. Exploring more than a lot of Elvis books there are even photos of The Colonel looking decrepit in his old age. The highlight of this chapter is Priscilla’s speech at The Colonel’s memorial service:

"Elvis and the Colonel made history together and the world is richer, better and far more interesting because of their collaboration. And now I need to locate my wallet, because I noticed there was no ticket booth on the way in here but I'm sure that Colonel must have arranged for some sort of toll on the way out."

All Elvis' films are represented in a colourful & enjoyable way and the chapter includes this clever insight that goes against what we often believe …

It's been argued, interestingly, that Elvis's movie career kept him
freezer-fresh and in the public eye during the sixties thus preventing
him from being flattened by a musical revolution that threatened to make
him irrelevant. When he re-emerged for his "comeback" TV special in 1968,
the world was awed by what it had been missing.

Along with a selection of photos & quotes, the ‘Great Songs’ from each film are listed.

However fourteen films are listed as having ‘None’! This point is extremely debatable since most Elvis films managed at least one classic song. ‘Rock-A-Hula Baby’, ‘Please Don’t Stop Loving Me’, even ‘Baby I Don’t Care’ aren’t listed yet ‘Puppet On A String’ is!

However I have to agree with one quote about one of my least favourite films ‘Kissin Cousins’ and it is from Elvis - "What can you do with a piece of shit like this?"

(Right: Design of the Movie pages)

So as you can tell there is plenty to enjoy and ruminate over, but more than anything it is about THE PHOTOS, LARGE photos – (see more examples below) and splendid they are too.

With everything going so nicely it is a disappointment that the book continues beyond the touching image (right) of Vernon at Elvis’ grave.

This seems a waste of quality ink with images of yet more impersonators & Elvis trinkets. These should have been left for lesser books.


However, as usual, minor factual errors are all too easy to spot including...

  • Elvis did not record a song called ‘Again’ nor ‘Evening Party’ nor ‘Daddy Don’t Cry’ etc
  • ‘All Shook Up’ did not play on the jukebox in G.I. Blues.
  • ‘Love Me’ was never a 45rpm single.
  • Linda Thompson is identified as ‘Ginger Alden’ in a 1974 photo!
  • Elvis was not 6 foot 2 inches tall.

But the text is basically a sideline to the images – and to be honest the book is a little big to read easily!


Verdict: The biggest Elvis book you will ever own! While the text is very enjoyable, this is basically a top-quality coffee-table book with a brilliant stylish design. It is most enjoyable to dip into - and did I mention that the photos are HUGE!? If you see it at a good price, and if you are strong enough to carry it home - you won’t be disappointed.

BELOW - more great images from the book.



Left: Young Elvis.



How big do you want your Elvis photos to be!



Below: Aloha.


Left: A life-size photo of Elvis dreaming.

Review by Piers Beagley.
-EIN Copyright, August 2006-

Click to comment on this article.


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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