The date January 8 probably doesn’t have much significance to many readers. . . unless you happen to be the kind of person who makes Graceland pilgrimages and sings “Jailhouse Rock” in your sleep. Yep, you guessed it: Today is Elvis’s 75th birthday!
If you love The King, you’re in luck; there are many, many books out that chronicle his life, music, girlfriends. . .
Peter Guralnick’s two-volume biography of Elvis, Last Train to Memphis followed by Careless Love, is one of the most definitive texts. (Guralnick’s Dream Boogie, about Sam Cooke, is also excellent.) BookPage reviewer Alden Mudge called Careless Love an “excellent and exhaustive” account. The biography’s most important contribution, writes Mudge, is to document “what a truly extraordinary—and wide-ranging—musical sensibility Elvis possessed.”
Also look out for Adam Victor’s The Elvis Encyclopedia, an A to Z reference that “covers seemingly every person, place and thing that touched Elvis’ eventful life.”
Photographer Alfred Wertheimer has a new book out called Elvis 1956, which will serve as the catalogue for a nationally traveling Smithsonian Show, “Elvis at 21,” which opens today at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The book documents Elvis’s early career, and the transition of America from the post-war 1950s to the 1960s. In BookPage, reviewer Ron Wynn called the book “a showcase for. . . dazzling, frequently surprising photos.”
In honor of Elvis’s birthday, what’s your favorite Elvis book? (I’ll vote for Guralnick.) Song? (“Suspicious Minds”!)