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Elvis March7 to31, 1960


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When Elvis returned to Memphis after two years in the Army, both he and the media questioned if he could re-establish his career. However, neither party need have worried as his arrival home sparked frenzied scenes and intense media interest. In his latest photo-journal, Paul Belard has compiled another impressive set of photos, reviews and other archival material recording the 25 days after Elvis' arrival back in Memphis and up to his successful appearance on the Frank Sinatra Times "Welcome Home Elvis" television special.The addition of a fascinating article by John Davidson will please many readers. Davidson's thought-provoking article includes: Presley's arrival remains the single most significant jolt in the history of popular music. In a certain sense the Beatles were a seismic after shock to Presley, albeit one whose impact produced arguably more wide-ranging long-term effects.The book features a feast of visual highlights, a number of which are very rare. They include:

  • Elvis with Wallace Dorritt who was injured in a motor vehicle accident and Elvis stopped to help
  • Elvis at the Holiday On Ice show "Performance for Negroes", and as Belard rightfully comments: Elvis once again showing he did not share the prejudices of his city towards African Americans.
  • Elvis with children visiting Graceland
  • a great color image taken from above of Elvis seemingly staring into the sky behind the gates of Graceland
  • the large and eager crowd greeting at the Miami Railway Station to see Elvis
  • Elvis at the Rainbow Rollerdome in Memphis
  • Elvis meeting children at Lansky Brothers in Memphis
  • Elvis with "Grandma" Winders, a Presley family neighbor in Tupelo
  • magazine covers from March 1960

Given the age and nature of some of the photos, their quality is variable. Publicity images are in excellent quality. Belard devotes 60 pages to Elvis' appearance on the Frank Sinatra Timex "Welcome Home Elvis" special. It includes numerous color images as well as b&w shots, all in great quality. Readers will have seen many of the photos before but not all together in one volume. As a collection, they are an important and comprehensive visual record of their subject matter.

Verdict: Paul Belard has published yet another strong photo-book on a particular time period in the multi-layered and fascinating Elvis story. Elvis historians and those interested in a pictorial record of Elvis' life will welcome and thoroughly enjoy this release. Review courtesy of the Elvis Information Neywork.

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