Elvis Presley made a sound so different it ushered in a new kind of music: rock and roll. He was able to combine gospel, honky-tonk, country and rhythm and blues to create a unique sound that crossed racial and cultural divides. Though he was incredibly popular, at heart, Elvis was a shy and polite man, and the demands of fame began to take a toll. While his dependence on prescription drugs cut short his life, Elvis’s influence on music and popular culture endures to this day.
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Wilborn Hampton lives in New York City.From Booklist:
Elvis may have left the building, but interest in his life hasn't waned. This entry in the Up Close biography series records the familiar tracks in Elvis' life, giving slightly more attention to his assent to fame than the tragic descent into narcotics addiction and his extravagant lifestyle in the final years. The strained relationships with wife Priscilla and the controlling Colonel Parker are included, but daughter Lisa Marie is barely mentioned. Hampton provides plentiful examples to back up first girlfriend Dixie's assertion: "Elvis was just a nice boy who desperately wanted to please people." The language dealing with Elvis' exploits with girls is genteel as well--"The relationship became passionate very quickly, but both Elvis and Dixie agreed they would not go all the way until they were married." This didn't hold true for women he met on the road, but subtlety reigns there too, suiting this biography to a younger audience than most Presley picks. Source notes and bibliography are appended. Cindy Dobrez
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