Last Train to Memphis : The Rise of Elvis Presley
by Peter Guralnick
Editor: Little, Brown & Company
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From the time he first shook the world in the mid-1950s, Elvis Presley, was one of the most vivid and enduring, myths of American cultureLast Train to Memphis: The birth of Elvis Presley is the first biography to go beyond this myth and present an Elvis beyond legendBased on hundreds of interviews and nearly a decade of research, it traces the evolution not only of man but of music and culture, it has left completely transformed, the creation of a completely new portrait of Elvis and his worldThis volume follows the first twenty-four years of Elvis’ life, covering his childhood, the superb first recordings at Sun Records (“C’est bon,””Mystery Train”), and the beginning of the RCA hits (“Heartbreak Hotel”, “Hound Dog”, “Ne soyez pas Cruel”)These were the years of his improbable and unprecedented self-invention of triumph, when it seemed that all Elvis tried succeeded wildlyThere was not a cloud in sight, through this period of until, in 1958, he was enlisted in the army one his mother died shortly afterThe book ends on this dark and poignant noteLast Train to Memphis takes us deep inside Elvis’ life, exploring his passion for music of all kinds (from blues and gospel to Bing Crosby and Mario Lanza, his passionate affection for his family, and his intimate relationships with girlfriends, mentors, gang members, co-workers and friendsHe shows us the solitude, the frankness, the voracious appetite of experience, and above all the unshakable, almost mystical faith that Elvis had in himself and his musicFrequently drawing on Elvis the words and memories of those closest to him, the book offers anemotional, complex portrait of the young Elvis Presley with a depth and dimension that, for the first time allow his extraordinary achievements sound real
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