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Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend
Keogh, Pamela Clarke
Atria Books ,
New York (NY)
ISBN 0-7434-5603-3 ,
, 1.115 kg
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This link added: 27 January 2005
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That voice, Graceland, the cars, the girls, the hair… Elvis Presley revolutionized
American pop culture when, at age twenty-one, he became the world's first modern superstar.
A Memphis Beau Brummel even before he was famous, Elvis's personal style, like his music,
had such a direct impact on his audience that it continues to permeate our world to this day.
With Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend (Atria Books), Pamela Clarke Keogh compellingly
examines Elvis's life and style to reveal the generous, complex, spiritual man behind the
fourteen-carat gold sunglasses and answers the question "why Elvis matters."
From his modest beginnings in a two-room house to his meteoric rise to fame, Elvis
Presley is the story of one man's life. An American story, it tells of a man, a boy,
really, born poor in Tupelo, Mississippi. But he could do one thing: he could sing to
break your heart.
Elvis was the first. Before the Beatles, before the Rolling Stones, before U2, before
Eminem, there was Elvis. The original Slim Shady, he was black and white, rhythm and
country, hot and cool. His appearance on Ed Sullivan ripped the 1950's in half, and
America was never the same. In the beginning, Elvis did not understand the audience's
ferocious response to him. But he quickly learned to harness it, toying with his screaming
fans like a lover. Onstage, something came over him. He was a different person - freer,
able to express himself, musically articulate as he never was in conversation. People loved
him and he gave their love back to them in kind.
The first modern superstar, Elvis was almost pure style. Tolstoy believed that one
way to judge art was if it got a response - either good or bad. Everything about
Elvis was provocative. His clothes, his hair, the way he sang, the way he moved on
stage, his half kidding sneer. Adults, church leaders, the great dull morass that
makes up acceptable society considered Elvis a joke but Leonard Bernstein saw his impact:
"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the Twentieth Century," he proclaimed.
"He introduced the beat to everything and he changed everything - music, language,
clothes. It's a whole new social revolution - the Sixties came from it."
In addition to his extraordinary talent, physical beauty and the sheer fun of being
the biggest entertainer in the world, Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend
explores the shadows of Presley's life - which were as necessary to his stardom as
the spotlight. While exploring his ambition, desire, fame, life on the road, women
and money, Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend also examines the cost of being
an artist in today's society.
Written with the assistance of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Elvis Presley: The Man, The
Life, The Legend draws on extensive research and interviews with Presley friends and
family, including Priscilla Presley, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, Larry Geller,
Bernard Lansky, famed Hollywood photographer Bob Willoughby and designer Bill Belew.
Granted access to the Graceland archives, Keogh culled thousands of images to choose
the over 100 color and black and white photographs in the book, many of which have
rarely been seen before.
In Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend, Keogh introduces readers to the distinct
Elvises that emerged throughout his career, complete with fascinating insights into his
life and times. The result is both an entertaining exploration of the King of Rock and
Roll and a timely, provocative celebration of what Presley means to America today. It
is a book no fan - or future fan - should be without.
10 October 2004
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