By the early 1970s ELVIS PRESLEY had weathered the British Invasion, a decade of lackluster motion pictures, exile from the Pop Charts and critical assaults by the media to re-assert his position as the dominant figure in entertainment and as a cultural icon of unpreced-ented stature. He not only sold out concert halls, arenas, stadiums, coliseums, forums and show-rooms, he set attendance records that still stand after more than thirty years, from the Hilton Hotel to Madison Square Garden to the Houston Astrodome, back home at the Mid-South Coliseum and finally at Market Square Arena. In every city, town and hamlet, throngs of adoring fans cheered him, mauled him and worshipped him. He recorded platinum albums of golden hits, filled movie houses to capacity with his award-winning rockumentaries, and played a concert via satellite from Hawaii that was seen by the whole wide world. For good measure he was even voted one of the "Ten Most Outstanding Young Men In
America," by The Jaycees and was made a Drug Enforcement Agent "at large" by the President of the United States. Yet in spite of this, he was time and time again knocked out of his hometown headlines by the local high school football team that was blazing its own path to glory. It may have been ELVIS' World, but in Memphis he was just a part of the scene; and it was a scene that he was very much a part of . . .
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THORNE PETERS is an exciting author of unlimited range. His lyrical prose dances off a page with an epic undercurrent that compels readers to immerse themselves in his tales. This is his first work of non-fiction, but he makes the transition effortlessly with his raconteurial narrative. Thorne captures the essence of this iconic Pop Culture crusader by simplifying his complexities and traveling down the rural paths and mean streets that led ELVIS PRESLEY to unprecedented world acclaim. By telling his story through the eyes of a local man who grew up AROUND ELVIS, Thorne successfully straddles the line between investigative journalist and worshipping fan in a unique way. No historian has ever been so close to their subject and the result is an intimate portrayal that is as unvarnished as it is candy coated. Thorne draws fascinating conclusions as to the inner-workings of ELVIS and speaks to the controversial aspects of his life and death with great sapience. Thorne also weaves ELVIS' story into the fabric of his era and his region, and does an amazing job chronicling the role ELVIS played in the social, racial and cultural upheaval of his time and beyond. In the end AROUND ELVIS is the only novel from written from a ground level perspective that tells the story of ELVIS PRESLEY as part of the history of the world.From the Inside Flap:
As President of the Yours In ELVIS Forever Fan Club, of Memphis TN., I have been privileged to meet many wonderful, fans, friends, acquaintances and family members of ELVIS PRESLEY’S. When I moved to Memphis from Los Angeles, in October of 1998, to live next door to fabled Graceland Mansion, I sought out anyone that’d had any connection or contact at all with ELVIS. I soon found out that he had gotten around; from Beale Street to Tupelo, the area is paved with paths that were crossed by "THE KING."
If ELVIS’ first love was music (tied with women) his second love was certainly football—playing it or simultaneously watching all the games on his three screen television consol. In many interviews he daydreamed aloud of his desire to play professionally and could rattle off the numbers and positions of most every player in the NFL. Also well-documented was how ELVIS would slip away to anonymously catch local high school games, while standing under the bleachers or sitting in his car—often in disguise. He was proud that his stepbrothers acted as "Team Managers" for the Hillcrest High School football team that was the toast of the town in the early ‘70s; in fact when the team eventually played for the state championship, at Memphis Memorial Stadium, on December 7, 1973, ELVIS was watching the game from the press box . . . or so went the rumor . . .
Age-old school rivalries were passed down across generations around here like it was a religion . . . or a feud . . . In the small, Mid-South media world of the early ‘70s, high school football teams enjoyed unusually high visibility in the press and were given star treatment on radio and television and written about with reverence in the papers—often as the lead story in the headlines. They played in front of crowds of over 10,000 people, so they were recognized around town and given access to excess . . . in restaurants and clubs, and at parties, the food, women, liquor and drugs were laid at their feet like spoils of war . . .
This is the story of that team and that era in Memphis, told to me by a man who has lived his entire life around the corner from ELVIS and, because of his friendship with the Stanley Brothers, not only got to meet ELVIS, but was presented to him as the star running back of the football team—to his great surprise, ELVIS already knew who he was . . . ELVIS may've been the "THE KING of the Whole Wide World," but he was a citizen of Whitehaven, TN., known as the "Beverly Hills of Memphis" in his day, and after living both places he chose Whitehaven to be his home. When asked, what he missed the most about Memphis, while away in the Army, ELVIS replied breathlessly: "Everything." Now you'll know why . . .
For 30 years I've been an ardent fan that has studied in detail the aspects and the happenings of ELVIS’ life and career—reading book after book, watching special after special . . . but I learned more about ELVIS while writing this novel than I knew before I started. I discovered grand moments in simple events, earthy tales of the soil he trod, and I discovered the paths he traveled to reach his artistic center. I walked a mile in the shoes of his neighbors through the city that he put on the globe and saw how they looked upon their hometown hero and his stately manor, and through their eyes witnessed the social upheaval, cultural implosion, civil unrest and societal decay that engulfed their beloved community, until ELVIS’ lifelong home and eternal resting place became the most dangerous Metropolitan area in the nation—where high school football games often have final scores and death tolls . . .
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Book Description Legend Enterprise, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0970833253