'elvis presley 'Un fenomeno mondiale nelle cronache italiane' (Volume 1) 1956-1959

compiled by Luca Casteellino and Ernesto Zucconi

Book Review by Nigel Patterson

Book Review:
elvis presley Un fenomeno  mondiale nelle cronache italiane (Volume 1) 1956-1959
compiled by Luca Casteellino and Ernesto Zucconi
Novantonu Editrice, Italy, 2021, Flexi-cover (dj) (20.9 x 29.7 cms), 155 pages, Illustrated (b&w), ISBN-13: 978-8898996889
Reviewed by Nigel Patterson, February 2022
Due to our lack of non-English language skills, Piers and I rarely review non-English text books. However, in our wonderful Internet age with easily accessible online language translators and a little bit of time and perseverance, reviewing non-English text publications is achievable.
elvis presley Un fenomeno  mondiale nelle cronache italiane (Volume 1) 1956-1959, however, with its “scrapbook” nature featuring media archival material, lends itself to easy review by even those lacking non-English, multi-lingual skills. The book is an impressively designed release. The abundantly rich archival material assures your attention on every page and can be enjoyed even if you cannot read Italian.
The content is a diverse array of Italian published articles, reviews, ads, other newspaper clippings, etc, from the period – with several hundred presented! Each page features an eclectic collection of images and text. The use of high-quality gloss paper stock means both the words and images shine, and  Claudio Clapier’s page design is first-rate, with excellent use of white space ensuring the often many items on each page do not look cluttered, thereby facilitating a pleasing reading and viewing experience.
All aspects of the young King of Rock and Roll at his heady 1950s peak are on display. On stage, relaxing off-stage, the first films, scandal on television, entering the Army, the records, record sales, record charts, the fan hysteria.....the book is an excellent record of how Italy celebrated Elvis’ first years of international super-stardom.

Some of the many narrative highlights in elvis presley Un fenomeno  mondiale nelle cronache italiane (Volume 1) 1956-1959 are:

  • Le Ragazze Americane Delrirano Per Elvis (American Girls Rave About Elvis)
  • I fianchi di Elvis (Elvis’s Hips)
  • La Voce La Chitarra E Poi L’inferno (The Voice The Guitar Then Hell)
  • Fratelli Rivali (Rival Brothers – overview of Love Me Tender)
  • E Immorale R’NR? (Is Rock and Roll Immoral?)
  • Perche Urlo (Why I Scream)
  • Le fanatiche del rock and roll si disperano (Rock and Roll Fanatics Despair)
  • Il Marmittone Elvis Presley (The Big Dump Elvis Presley)
The text elements are strong, as this (translated) excerpt from a fascinating article, Elvis the Pelvis, by Giose Rimanelli, attests:
America had seen a manifestation of tears and threats and chaotic confession like this only on one other occasion: at the funeral of Rudolph Valentino, an American newspaper wrote. And the columnist, feigning astonishment, wondered what the girls found so exciting there.

The controversy caused by Elvis in America is well recorded in the Italian news article, Censurato A Los Angeles Il Canto Di Elvis Presley (Elvis Presley’s singing censored in Los Angeles) – while my translation is less than perfect it highlights the point:

The censors found Presley's attitudes inconvenient and summoned him to admonish him, to moderate or silence his movements (on stage). The singer performed the second concert walking and sang while standing correctly. Naturally it has disappointed the admirers who, having known the intervention of the police, have rebelled against the censorship.


Some early newspaper articles such as ' "How do you dance to this stuff?" The first chills felt in Rome due to the "rock and and roll" virus' are fascinating.




The photos in the book are equally engaging. Despite their age, the images are crystal clear (only a few show the vagaries of time) and offer an often, mouth watering, visual treat. Seeing how European countries featured Elvis’ image on magazine covers and in the press is always interesting.


The visual highlights include:

  • several evocative images of fan hysteria (eg. pages 26, 41 and 74)
  • a striking young woman wearing only an item of licensed Elvis clothing around her waist (p52)
  • a seated Elvis with guitar in between takes on the set of Love Me Tender (p53)
  • RCA Italy promotional Elvis photo (p73)
  • Elvis with an unnamed military soldier (p89)
  • Elvis on the cover of the magazine, bolero film (p95)
  • rare image of Elvis kissing a fan (p114)
  • Elvis in full Army uniform relaxing on a military tank in Germany (p117)
  • a striking drawing of G.I Elvis in his room with a young girl climbing a drainpipe to get to him while Army MP guards remonstrate to her on the ground (p120)



The book title translates to Elvis Presley A World Phenomenon Italian Chronicles 1956-1969 (“Volume 1” does not appear on the cover but is included on the internal title page). The content was sourced from 31 Italian newspapers, magazines, and other sources. The book also contains articles not solely about Elvis, but about rock and roll in general. These are equally interesting as a window to the seismic shift in popular music in the mid 1950s.

elvis presley Un fenomeno  mondiale nelle cronache italiane (Volume 1) 1956-1959 is the first of five proposed volumes, the remaining titles to cover the periods, 1960-1964, 1965-1969, 1970-1974, and 1975-1977.
Verdict: Scrapbook releases can be a lot of fun and in this respect, what Luca Casteelino and Ernesto Zucconi have produced, is a wonderful tribute to Elvis and a terrific addition to the voluminous Elvis book library. Elvis bibliophiles will love this release, even for those of us who are not conversant in Italian (and it is definitely worth spending time using an online translator to read the interesting content of many of the articles and clippings). Books such as elvis presley Un fenomeno  mondiale nelle cronache italiane (Volume 1) 1956-1959, are an important record of the incredible socio-cultural impact that Elvis had, and continues to have, around the world.

Note: Apart from the book cover, we are unable to scan any images from the book due to the tight binding. Other images in the review are purely our examples.

Comment on this Book Review




Book Review by Nigel Patterson.
-Copyright EIN February 2022
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.




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