"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)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)






Elvis By The Presleys - "the ABC TV preview"

EIN previews the ABC TV special that airs June 5th in Australia, and finds an insightful and touching documentary that will enthrall the general public - and move you to tears. 

Obviously a programme made for the general public, this 90 minute TV special is a delightful exploration of the lesser known, family side of Elvis. A genuine and loving, intimate look into the real Elvis, as opposed to the usual familiar stories from Elvis’ old cronies.

There is no doubt that this special does provide a new insight into Elvis the superstar, nicely demonstrating his human side, often showing his insecurities and also generosity in a very open way.

While I would have loved to have seen the inclusion of family member Billy Smith (Elvis’ cousin & best friend in later years), Priscilla’s parents do provide some new and very genuine opinions on the whirlwind situation that they all found themselves in. Priscilla’s mother tells of the time that Elvis phoned her up pleading for Priscilla to come back to him, and the sadness in both parents’ eyes at the end is extremely touching.

Appropriate music is used throughout the documentary although almost all the songs are clipped far too short. However the positive side is the fast pacing of the show that should keep everyone captivated. Elvis’ music is also used for lyrical reference to the story, rather than in chronological order, which is confusing at times & occasionally a little corny.

There is great use of rare & unpublished photos of all the family. The clips of Lisa Marie as a very young baby while Elvis sings "I’m loving my Baby, and my baby loves me" (‘C’mon Everybody’) had me laughing with delight.

There are multiple new stories to discover and enjoy; Lisa Marie still racing around Graceland on those Golf-Carts, the loving grandparents pointing out the similarity between Lisa Marie & Elvis, Elvis’ cook Pauline who has been at Graceland since 1965 still cooking the family meals. There are observations on Elvis’ terrible temper, & later unstoppable mood-swings, as well as some surprisingly candid talk about his unacknowledged dependency on prescription drugs. This inclusion of the tragedy of Elvis in his last few years is a credit to the honesty of thedocumentary and in no way takes away from the legend of Elvis, since it only shows more of the fragile side of his personality.

Cousin Patsy also tells some charming anecdotes – Can you imagine being the young cousin being allowed to play ‘dress-up’ with Elvis’ real stage costumes!
For true Elvis fans there are plenty of all-too-short rare home-movies and unseen footage. There’s even a glimpse of quality Madison Square Garden and also unseen 1977 ‘In Concert’ material.
However it only leaves one wanting more, and salivating over those 3 extras hours on the DVD!

Lisa Marie very movingly describes the final years and she even mentions her fear that Elvis would die and saying to him, "Daddy please don’t die on me." This comment followed by the profound ‘American Trilogy’ - "You know your daddy’s bound to die" - is very touching.

"Non" Elvis fans at the preview commented very favourably on the programme since it illustrates an alternate, more humane side of Elvis. His routine home life and family holidays make him a more accessible & sympathetic character than the usual ‘Aloha’ white-jumpsuited figure that is usually portrayed by the media. From an Australian viewer’s perspective, it is also a bonus to be getting the complete programme without any commercial breaks.

From a hard-core fan’s point of view it would be easy to point out the over emphasis on Priscilla; i.e. There was no mention of Elvis’ long-term girlfriend Linda Thompson, nor what Lisa Marie or Priscilla thought of her important role. After all it was Linda who looked after Elvis for 5 years, even sleeping next to him when he was in hospital.

No one could watch this programme and not be emotionally moved. It just breaks your heart that such a generous man, who had so much to give, and who had so many people who loved him, could let it all slide away. How did it all go so wrong, so quickly? Dying at just 42 years old was a tragic waste – which this programme only emphasises. If you are not crying tears by the end then you can’t be human.

I was moved, enthralled and can’t wait for the complete DVD.
**** Previewed by EIN's Piers Beagley.



Book: Elvis by the Presleys
CD: Tom Green
Show: Sonny West
CD: A Legendary Performer Vol. 5
CD: Young & Beautiful (TV Guide)
DVD: Elvis by the Presleys "Target" bonus disc
Mini-series: Elvis
FTD: Big Boss Man
VCD: Joe Esposito's Home Videos of Elvis
Book: Complete Guide to Elvis Presley
CD: Now What (Lisa Presley)
CD: In The King's Shadow
Show: All Shook Up
DVD: Elvis In Concert (3 hour version)
Priscilla - "no angel"
Elvis in the 1970s
More on Elvis on TV
"Orion" gunned down!
Elvis Is Back
Elvis - Hero with 1000 faces
Elvis Film Guide
Elvis rules on television! (updated May 2005)
Elvis & other major artists miss out on Grammy Awards
How did Elvis die?
Priscilla Presley
Marshall Terrill
Lisa Presley on Larry King Show
Tony Joe White
Stanley Oberst
Bud Glass (part 2)
Bill Burk
Lisa Presley on EPE sale
Red & Sonny West
Ed Bonja (Part 2)
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Listen to the Elvis "strung out" in Vegas audio
View video of "All Shook Up" opening night on Broadway
View EPE Graceland tourism ads
The "Real" Elvis off-stage
Unreleased Elvis audio now online
Did you miss?
Truth about Elvis (documentary)
Sale of EPE "Archives"
6th Elvis Website Survey
Online Elvis Symposium
All about Graceland