ELVIS PRESLEY by Roger Tomlinson


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Tomlinson brings it all back home: Elvis in the early '50's, rock n' roll's first multimillionaire in blue suede shoes gyrating his way to musical immortality. Tomlinson traces the astounding career from Tupelo and Memphis to the Ed Sullivan Show which only permitted half of him -- the top half -- on the home screen, through those musically dreary ""movie years"" which signalled his ""demise as a direct cultural influence"" to the current Presley renaissance. But for 'all the new artistry (Rolling Stone recently called him ""better than ever""), what continues to fascinate is his initial impact on the greaser '50's and Tomlinson does an excellent job scrutinizing the shaking torso as an object of social significance. ""Elvis on stage simulating intercourse, while the little girls in the audience screamed, spiralled into hysteria, wet themselves and (according to legend) masturbated, was one of the Great Moments in Pop History."" It's not an intimate or anecdotal biography of the shy introvert who shook up black and white musical styles -- Tomlinson's approach is too coolly analytical to make anyone swoon, but Presley's unfailing charisma and the new nostalgia for the days of the pink and black Cadillac could carry this to the charts.

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 1972
Publisher: Macmillan