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Presley, Elvis, 1935-1977

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26 Segments




Transforming Country to Rock and Roll

Rock historian Ed Ward looks back at Elvis Presley's early recording session, which show that the singer borrowed as much from white country music as he did from the blues.


The Best of the Elvis "Sound-Alikes."

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles Gene Vincent, an early rocker who, it has been said, "sounded more like Elvis than Elvis." After Elvis burst onto the scene, record companies scrambled to find Elvis look-alikes and sound-alikes. He became a bigger hit in England than America, but he's easily remembered for his hit "Be-Bop-A-Lula."


Elvis Gets His Own T.V. Series.

Television critic David Bianculli previews "Elvis," the new ABC series based on the life of the King of rock and roll. David says you would expect it to be horrible, but it turns out to be pretty good.


When the Message is More Important than the Music.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new albums from The Residents and Kris Kristofferson. The Residents are a bizarre California-based art band, who make spooky, dreary, multi-layered music. Recently, the Residents have been releasing a series of albums paying homage to great American composers and performers. After having covered artists such as John Phillip Sousa and Hank Wiliams, the group has just issued "The King and I," their homage to Elvis Presley (it's on Enigma). Kristofferson's new album is called "Third World Warrior," (on Mercury).


David Bianculli Reviews Two Shows that Haven't Been Shown Yet.

Television critic David Bianculli goes out on a limb, and reviews two live shows before they air..."Paul Simon Live in Central Park," which airs Thursday night on HBO, and "The Elvis Files," a syndicated show that tries to prove that Elvis Presley is still alive.


Rock Critic Greil Marcus Discusses Elvis After Death.

Terry interviews writer Greil Marcus about his new book, "Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession." (see above) Marcus has written a biography of Presley that begins at his death. He documents the many-faceted cultural obsession with Elvis that has arisen since his death.


A Good, but Not Great Book.

Critic-at-Large Maureen Corrigan reviews Greil Marcus' new book, "Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession." (Doubleday)


Defending Elvis Presley.

Rock critic Ed Ward, in honor of Elvis' birthday, looks into the rhythm and blues roots of his music.


Singer, Actress, Dancer Ann-Margret.

Singer, actress, dancer, Ann-Margret (no last name necessary) has written her autobiography, "Ann-Margret: My Story," (with Todd Gold, Putnam). In the book she writes about her relationship with Elvis Presley, her battle with alcohol abuse, and the stage accident that almost ended her career. Ann-Margret has appeared in the movies, "Bye Bye Birdie," "Carnal Knowledge," "Tommy," and others.


Marshall Crenshaw Brings His Guitar to Illustrate His Guide to Rock and Roll Films.

Rock musician Marshall Crenshaw. According to The New York Times, many critics have ranked Crenshaw"among the finest rock artists of the last dozen years." Now he has written a book. It's a reference guide to Rock 'n' Roll in the movies ("Hollywood Rock" HarperPerennial). According to his longtime bass player Graham Maby, Crenshaw has an encyclopedic knowledge of rock music. And he knows about the rock and roll movie genre from first-hand experience. He played Buddy Holly in the 1987 movie "La Bamba" about musician Ritchie Valens.


Revisiting the Early Life of the King of Rock and Roll

Author Peter Guralnick has written the first of a two part biography of Elvis Presley, retelling the story of the King's childhood "soberly, thoroughly and unsensationally" (says the ALA Booklist). "Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley" tells much of the story through quotes both from Elvis and people who knew him then. It attempts to portray Elvis' human side, rather than the mythical figure he has become.


Elvis Lets Loose While the Tapes Roll

Rock historian Ed Ward takes us behind the scenes of the Million Dollar Quartet session, which featured Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and others playing in the Sun Records studios in 1956.


Scotty Moore Remembers Elvis.

Guitarist and record producer Scotty Moore, was Elvis Presley's first guitarist and manager and one of the early influences of the rock guitar sound. He has co-written an account of his work with the King of Rock'n'Roll, entitled "That's Alright, Elvis." (Schirmer Books) He also has a new CD out of collaborations he and drummer DJ Fontana did with various musicians including Keith Richards, Tracy Nelson and Cheap Trick, among others. The CD is entitled "All the King's Men." (RCA)


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