Being Elvis: A Lonely Life


Being Elvis: A Lonely Life Author Ray Connolly
ISBN-10 1631492802
ISBN-13 9781631492808
Year 2017-03-21
Pages 384
Language English
Publisher Liveright
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On the fortieth anniversary of Elvis Presleys death comes this rocking biography of an iconic artist who fundamentally transformed American culture Elvis Presley is a giant figure in American popular culture a man whose talent and fame were matched only by his later excesses and tragic end A godlike entity in the history of rock and roll this twentieth century icon with a dazzling voice blended gospel and traditionally black rhythm and blues with country to create a completely new kind of music and new way of expressing male sexuality which simply blew the doors off a staid and repressed 1950s America In Being Elvis veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly takes a fresh look at the career of the worlds most loved singer placing him forty years after his death not exhaustively in the garish neon lights of Las Vegas but back in his mid twentieth century distinctly southern world For new and seasoned fans alike Connolly who interviewed Elvis in 1969 re creates a man who sprang from poverty in Tupelo Mississippi to unprecedented overnight fame eclipsing Frank Sinatra and then inspiring the Beatles along the way Juxtaposing the music the songs and the incendiary live concerts with a personal life that would later careen wildly out of control Connolly demonstrates that Elviss amphetamine use began as early as his touring days of hysteria in the late 1950s and that the financial needs that drove him in the beginning would return to plague him at the very end With a narrative informed by interviews over many years with John Lennon Bob Dylan B B King Sam Phillips and Roy Orbison among many others Connolly creates one of the most nuanced and mature portraits of this cultural phenomenon to date What distinguishes Being Elvis beyond the narrative itself is Connollys more subtle examinations of white poverty class aspirations and the prison that is extreme fame As we reach the end of this poignant account Elviss death at forty two takes on the hue of a profoundly American tragedy The creator of an American sound that resonates today Elvis remains frozen in time an enduring American icon who could seamlessly soar into a falsetto of pleading and yearning and capture an inner emotion perhaps of eternal yearning to which all of us can still relate Intimate and unsparing Being Elvis explores the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology ultimately offering a thoughtful celebration of an immortal life 8 pages of color 16 pages of black and white photographs

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