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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
















































































































































































































































































The Ger Rijff Elvis Book Library

One name is synonymous with quality photo-journal books showcasing Elvis at the peak of his powers in the 1950s, and that name is the legendary Ger Rijff.

EIN presents a look at the fascinating Ger Rijff catalog of Elvis books and offers you tips on how to find these much sought after collectors items.

The essence of Ger Rijff's success is his exceptional design skills and offering fans stunning visuals offset with historical press clippings and reviews from the time. It is this balance in Ger's books which offers the reader viewer a value added experience.

Many of the Ger Rijff titles have been released through his publishing company based in Amsterdam, Tutti Frutti Productions. Ger's legacy is an important one in the Elvis book world.

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Book Cover
Title & Details
Year Published (Format)

Elvis Presley Echoes Of The Past

(with Poul Madsen)

Cover artwork is of the US reprint

1976 (Softcover)

Long Lonely Highway: A 1950's Scrapbook

Cover artwork is of the US reprint

1985 (Hardcover)

reissue 1987 (Hardcover)

Faces And Stages - An Elvis Presley Timeframe
1986 (Softcover)
cover not available

Elvis Aron Presley Baby I Don't Care

(Japanese reprint of "Faces and Stages - An Elvis Presley Timeframe")


1986 (Softcover)

Florida Close-Up (Hardback & Softcover)

aka: Elvis Close-Up: Rare, Intimate Photographs of Elvis Presley in 1956 (Softcover only)

(commercial release with strong sales published in both the US and Japan and distributed to countries such as Australia)

(with Jay B. Leviton)


1987 (Hardcover)

1988 (Softcover)

Memphis Lonesome

(with Jan van Gestel and Lloyd Shearer)

1988 (Hardcover)

Elvis The Cool King

(with Jan van Gestel)

(subsequent reprint edition by Atomium in the US)
1990 (Hardcover)

Fire In The Sun

(with Jan van Gestel)

1991 (Hardcover)

The Elvis Album

(features photos from the Bill De Night, Sharon Fox & Ger Rijff collections)


1991 (Hardcover) - reissued 1997
The Voice of Rock 'n' Roll - Elvis in Times of Ultimate Cool
1993 (Softcover)

Inside Jailhouse Rock

(with Jim Hannaford)

1994 (Softcover)

Growing Up With the Memphis Flash

(by W.A. Harbinson and Kay Wheeler)
1994 (Softcover)

Songs Of Innocence

(with Alfred Wertheimer and Jan van Gestel)

1995 (Hardcover)
Studio B Blues
mid 1990s (Hardcover)

Uncensored Elvis - 60 Million Viewers Can't Be Wrong

(with Gordon Minto and Andrew Solt)
1995 (Softcover)

Steamrolling Over Texas

(with Linda Jones and Peter Haan)

1997 (Hardcover)

Talking Elvis

(Trevor Cajiao/design & photos by Ger Rijff)


Shock, Rattle & Roll

(with Michael Ochs)

1998 (Softcover)

Inside King Creole

(with JeanPaul Commandeur and Glen Johnson)

1999 (Softcover)
The Hottest Thing That's Cool
2001 (Hardcover)

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years – My Wish Came True Volume One

(with JeanPaul Commandeur and Trevor Cajiao)

2003 (Softcover)

Inside Loving You

(with Chris Giles)

2003 (Softcover)
not yet available


Jailhouse Rock 50th Anniversary (working title)

release appears to have either been cancelled or postponed


due for publication in 2007
Inside Love Me Tender (research contribution)
mid 2008


Most Ger Rijff titles are very hard to find. Several titles can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A number of Ger's books are regularly listed on eBay so we recommend you keep an eye out there for them. In most instances be prepared to pay a substantial price for a Ger Rijff book. With the exception of the commercially released Elvis Close-Up, most titles are not cheap. Elvis Unlimited in Denmark often stocks a few of the Rijff titles.


Ger's older brother has also released a book about Elvis. Lodewijk Rijff's hardcover book, Elvis Presley: de biografie van een fenomeen, was published in Holland in 1977 and also in Belgium in 1985 as Herinneringen Elvis Presley. Lodewijk also provided the liner notes for the 1997 BMG CD release, Always Elvis.

Mini reviews of several Ger Rijff books

(Source: "Elvis In Print: The Definitive Reference and Price Guide")


FLORIDA CLOSE-UP , Ger Rijff and Jan van Gestel

Tutti Frutti Productions, Holland, 1987, Hardback/Soft cover, 120 pages, Illustrated, ISBN: none (Elvis Close- Up: 0712629394).

Synopsis: A Rijff/van Gestel release which received mainstream release (being issued in softcover as ‘Elvis Close-Up’). The book features photos by Jay B. Leviton taken over 10 to 12 August 1956. A mix of Elvis: the dynamic, brooding, happy and at rest. The text by van Gestel makes the reader feel they are actually part of the action:

This is a show with a difference, however, because he’ll be working two crowds at once by roaming ‘cross a double stage.

What more can I say. Recommended.

MEMPHIS LONESOME, Ger Rijff and Jan van Gestel

Tutti Frutti Productions, Holland, 1988, Hardback, 120 pages, Illustrated, ISBN: none.

Synopsis: The fifth Rijff book and just as good as his others. Includes some of the earliest photos of Elvis live on stage (circa 1954-55). From the photo archives of Lloyd Shearer - other shots include the Presley family together, movie scenes and Elvis having his hair cut. The reflective Elvis in bed will appeal to younger female fans (and older ones too). Solid and interesting text by van Gestel:

The subject of a million dreams seems to be drifting off into his own dreamland, where the cares and troubles of daily life are forgotten, and a heavenly bliss reigns.

The cover shot of Elvis with a hands on hips cop conjures up all sorts of stories. Recommended.

FIRE IN THE SUN, Ger Rijff and Jan van Gestel

Tutti Frutti Productions, Holland , 1991, Hardback, 144 pages, Illustrated.

Synopsis: Finding enough superlatives to describe the Rijff/van Gestel releases is difficult. Another great publication with over 200 rare photos taken by various photographers (J. R. Hamilton, Charles Trainor Jr., Fred Ward, Alan J. de Lay, John Greensmith and Robert Coldwell) in the 1950’s. Fantastic color cover shot of a young, brown haired Elvis in pondering mood and inside the lens runs the full spectrum of the Hillbilly Cat cutting up the stage to reflective moments alone and mixing with fans. van Gestel’s text is evocative, a perfect complement to the engaging photographs:

Sounds like its strung with cat-gut. It would need to be strong to take that kinda punishment.



Running Wild Productions, London/Amsterdam/New York, 2003, Soft cover, 132 pages, Illustrated, No bibliography, No index, ISBN: none.

Synopsis: In the new millennium. The King of Elvis photo-journals continued to put out exceptional pictorials of Elvis in the 1950s. With higher production and design qualities than the 1970s focused Joe Tunzi photo books, Rijff struggled to find a substantial audience for his latter releases. Fans appeared to relish the less interesting and more prolific 1970s photo accounts of The King put out by Tunzi, Curtin et al. Inside Loving You is a first rate release with many rare photos and historic reproductions. The 150 plus photos in stunning color and vibrant b&w were from the Chris Giles Collection while the fascinating narrative is an interview with film producer/director, Hal Kanter.

More praise for Ger Rijff titles

Robert Bowman (Memphis Star) on "Long Lonely Highway": The articles provide a fascinating glimpse of the attitude of mainstream America towards Elvis and rock and roll in the 1950's. It is wonderful at this late date to feast upon ads and reviews for events such as Elvis' famous Shell concert.

Roy Carr (New Musical Express) on "Faces and Stages": At a time when Elvis fan-worship is festooned with mock-religious trappings, Ger Rijff's Faces and Stages makes its subject matter genuinely interesting.

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Many thanks to Ger Rijff for providing EIN with information clarifying details in our article. Ger, we, and many fans, look forward to your next Elvis photo journal!


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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