"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)


"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, an unstoppable, fundamental and primordial 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
















































































































































































































































































Elvis' Bad Break

by William F. Buckley Jr.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- If you think you were hurt by the stock market, think about what happened to Elvis Presley. ... So you don't care what happened to Elvis Presley? But you would care if you stopped by at Graceland, which 700,000 people do every year, one-quarter of them foreign-born.

So that's all very interesting, but why the economic blues? Did they cause him to sing a song or whatever about how lonesome he became one day after his market went down?

Slow down -- even if you care not at all about Elvis Presley, never listened to one of his songs; or if you did, certainly didn't intend to listen to another. Yes, he was an important musical figure, but he blanked out in the mid-'70s from drug-bloat, so why can't we get on with somebody else?

We can and do, but how to account for 700,000 people going to Graceland every year? And here's something else. He died on Aug. 16, 1977, and a year after that, a few fans began to congregate on the eve of the anniversary of his death, carrying, each one, just one candle. They would walk up and down in front of Graceland. But in 1981 the property was opened to guided tours, so beginning then, the candlelight vigil made its way in and around the Graceland preserve, passing by the little graveyard where Elvis is buried, alongside his father, mother and grandmother.

What nobody was able to control was the number of people who came by with lighted candles. Jack Soden, who is the chief executive officer of the Graceland operation, tried trimming the crowd down, but after a few years had no alternative than to permit the earliest arrivers to begin their walking vigil at 5 in the afternoon. By dawn the succeeding day the pathways were drenched from the wax of the memorial candles. Are they older people? Elderly folk who just never got over the Elvis they grew up with? After all, he was born in 1935, became famous in 1954 -- are these old baby-boomers who come to Graceland?

You'll have guessed that the answer is No. There are still many teen-agers who come every day. Graceland doesn't anticipate ending its operation when contemporaries of Elvis die off, which will begin to happen about 10 years from now.

But what was his economic crash, that could distract attention from our own free-fall? The man who managed Elvis' affairs was a mysterious, assertive marketer who called himself "Colonel" Parker. He was a libidinous patron of the casinos. The speculation is that when he made the proposal to Elvis in
1975, the Colonel terribly needed some cash. He persuaded (or simply instructed) Elvis to sell to RCA all of his recording royalties as of that moment. The deal was $5 million, and the Colonel got his customary 50
percent. Well, those royalties now earn $25 million per year. The bummest deal in musical history.

The same curiosity that brings visitors to Graceland inevitably prompts them to ask to see the second floor, where Elvis lived in the grisly stupor that ended his life in his bathroom asquat his toilet. The answer is a flat No. That is the deal, imposed unsparingly by Lisa, the daughter and heir. "Even Al Gore we had to say no to. Even Peter Guralnick (the renowned Presley biographer)." Why should anybody want to visit those quarters and to ogle at the 7-foot-diameter shower in the bathroom and the voluptuous bedroom, an
extension of Elvis' resoundingly vulgar tastes?

A silly question. Why do people want to poke into the spot in the warehouse where the killer waited for President Kennedy? Why the allure of the balcony on which Martin Luther King strolled, awaiting the fatal bullet? Elvis Presley is something of a legend, and it is in very full display at Graceland. There is his pink Cadillac, and his motorcycles, and his big jet airplane and his little jet airplane, and the costumes he wore, which would have dazzled the pharaohs, and the tractors he bought, having zero use for them -- he just wanted to have a few tractors.

But there also, in dazzling numbers, are the gold records he won from the industry. What seems thousands of them, authentic memorabilia of a voice and manner and style that dumbfounded, enthralled and repelled the largest musical audience ever got together by a single musical artist.

What are they there at Graceland to venerate? A relevant thought, on the Christian holy week. An aspect, perhaps, of the spiritual inclination of the American people, who do not require that the memory being venerated should have been a martyr or a prophet. Just someone truly singular and mythogenic, who contributed to his own legend his suicidal ending as a victim of the drugs he inveighed against with the strange, disquieting, appealing innocence that marked his entire life.



Latest Reviews
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Elvis on The Creative Edge - Part 2 - The CD
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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)


"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 Menphis touch football league. In the 1962 final, EPE narrowlt 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 ofered $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