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Elvis Essay, Research Paper

Elvis by Albert Goldman is a book about the life and

times of the king of rock and roll. It shows how a country

boy rose up and ruled the world of music, and also showed

his downfall. It starts by telling about Elvis’ childhood, and

moving to his teenage years. Elvis was always a

wholesome country boy no matter if people considered him

leud, or outrageous. In fact, Elvis was discovered when he

made a record for his mothers birthday, Elvis always

respected his parents. Next it moves on to the first few

records that Elvis cut at Sun Records with his first producer

Sam Phillips. What made Elvis different from other singers

was that he was “a white boy who could sing like a nigger.”

as Sam Phillips described his style. It then moves on to

detail his breakthrough year of 1956 in which he had such

hits as Heartbreak Hotel, and Hound Dog. 1956 was the

year that Elvis took America by storm, and earned him the

title “The King of Rock and Roll”. After that, it states the

hardships that Elvis faced over the next few years in the

military. These few years were not very good for Elvis, for

the first time he had to leave the US, and his beloved

mother passed away before he left for his assignment in

Germany. Moving on it tells us about his glorious return to

the United States, reclaiming his title as “King”, and

moving on to something bigger and better the movies.

Over the course of the next few years Elvis made a lot of

movies, but none were liked by the critics, but they did

make money. After his less than stellar movie career Elvis

came back to music with a blast the 68′ Comeback Special.

Once again Elvis was on top of the music industry. After

the 68′ Comeback Special Elvis moved on to very

successful shows at Las Vegas. Elvis played in Las Vegas

until his death. He also started to tour again. It was during

this time that he and his wife of only a few years, Priscilla,

got a divorce. This is the main reason Elvis was soon very

heavily addicted to drugs. Elvis was always addicted to

drugs, but it was after his break up with Priscilla that led

him on a downward spiral leading to his death.

In my opinion this book is just great. I really enjoyed

reading this book very much. It was very informative, and

gave good insights into Elvis’ personal life. The aspect of

this book which I loved the most though, is the honesty.

The author, Albert Goldman, pulls no punches when he

talks about Elvis very eccentric personality outside of the

spotlight. One example of this strange behavior is that

when Elvis played in Las Vegas, he was so paranoid that

someone might kill him, he went through a long drawn out

ordeal just to walk to the ballroom that was only a few

floors down from his suite. And when he went he carried

about 3 to 4 loaded guns with him. This is one of the many

strange aspects of Elvis’ personal life in his later years.

One more thing I like is the honesty of Elvis’s drug

addiction. Like most Americans I didn’t think of Elvis as a

big time drug user, until I read this book. It tells about how

Elvis spoke out against drugs to kids, and even met with

then President Nixon about the drug problem in America.

The funny thing is that Elvis was probably one of the

biggest junkies in the entertainment industry.

As for the authors point of view, I think Albert

Goldman was very very honest in this book. And that is

one of the best features of the book. To take some one who

is a national hero, and tell the vivid details of his chronic

drug abuse, his abuse of his money, and the abuse of the

people around him must have been hard, but is was just the

facts. I think that most of the people who have read this

book had no clue what the real Elvis was like. Don’t get

me wrong, the author takes nothing away from Elvis the

singer, he was, and still is one of the greatest entertainers of

our day, but Elvis the person was a totally different person.

A classic case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. So

inconclusion I would just like to say to any Elvis fans read

this book to find out what the “King” was really like.


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