All Shook Up

by Kim P.

“The image is one thing and the human being is another. It’s very hard to live up to an image, put it that way.”–Elvis

2017 marks the 40 year anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Widely regarded as the “King of Rock & Roll,” Elvis’ life has grown into a mix of myth and legend. Despite dying on August 16, 1977, some fans continue to believe he’s still alive somewhere. To this day, you can’t visit Las Vegas without running across numerous Elvis impersonators. (I even learned you can book an impersonator right out of Seattle!)

Although I’ve missed the annual Elvis Festival, and live too far away to visit Graceland, I’ve been using our Beyond Bestsellers: True Stories theme to read up on Elvis’ fascinating life (and shamelessly watch all his movies).



In Being Elvis: A Lonely Life, rock journalist Ray Connolly takes Elvis out of the megafame of a twentieth-century pop icon, and places him back in the South. I find Connolly’s ability to explain how poverty, class and fame had profound effects on Elvis both enlightening and relatable.








All the King’s Horses: The Equestrian Life of Elvis Presley by Kimberly Gatto and Victoria Racimo offers a rare look at Elvis’ love of horses. Gorgeous pictures accompany stories of his tireless pursuit of a Golden Palomino who would later become Rising Sun, his favorite companion.









I mentioned shamelessly watching his movies, and my favorite is Jailhouse Rock. It is ranked 495th on Empire’s 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. It was also selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Jailhouse Rock is “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” particularly for its title number.

But really, it’s just plain fun. Hard to imagine the scandal it caused in his day.



I could go on and on about Elvis, including his ties to one of my other favorite artists Michael Jackson, but I’ve decided it’s better to put together a (super) brief highlight of some of his work.

What’s your favorite Elvis movie, song or book?

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2 responses to “All Shook Up”

  1. Erin says:

    Of course there’s “It Happened at the World’s Fair” set in Seattle but I actually like “Change of Habit” with Mary Tyler Moore. Interesting combination of the two actors and more dramatic than most of his other work.

    • KP says:

      Yes! If I remember correctly, Change of Habit was one of the only ones I remember him playing a doctor, and I think it was the last actual film he did. I’ll have to go back and rewatch that one. I remember enjoying it. And I loved “It Happened at the World’s Fair.” At the time, I’d never been to Seattle, and I was determined I’d get out of the South and go someday. . .

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