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Book Title: Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley|
The author of the book: Peter Guralnick
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Loaded: 1691 times
Reader ratings: 5.3
Date of issue: November 2nd 1995
ISBN 13: 9780349107813
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 11.46 MB
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From the moment that he first shook up the world in the mid 1950s, Elvis Presley has been one of the most vivid and enduring myths of American culture.
Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley is the first biography to go past that myth and present an Elvis beyond the legend. Based on hundreds of interviews and nearly a decade of research, it traces the evolution not just of the man but of the music and of the culture he left utterly transformed, creating a completely fresh portrait of Elvis and his world.
This volume tracks the first twenty-four years of Elvis' life, covering his childhood, the stunning first recordings at Sun Records ("That's All Right," "Mystery Train"), and the early RCA hits ("Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel"). These were the years of his improbable self-invention and unprecedented triumphs, when it seemed that everything that Elvis tried succeeded wildly. There was scarcely a cloud in sight through this period until, in 1958, he was drafted into the army and his mother died shortly thereafter. The book closes on that somber and poignant note.
Last Train to Memphis takes us deep inside Elvis' life, exploring his lifelong passion for music of every sort (from blues and gospel to Bing Crosby and Mario Lanza), his compelling affection for his family, and his intimate relationships with girlfriends, mentors, band members, professional associates, and friends. It shows us the loneliness, the trustfulness, the voracious appetite for experience, and above all the unshakable, almost mystical faith that Elvis had in himself and his music. Drawing frequently on Elvis' own words and on the recollections of those closest to him, the book offers an emotional, complex portrait of young Elvis Presley with a depth and dimension that for the first time allow his extraordinary accomplishments to ring true.
Peter Guralnick has given us a previously unseen world, a rich panoply of people and events that illuminate an achievement, a place, and a time as never revealed before. Written with grace, humor, and affection, Last Train to Memphis has been hailed as the definitive biography of Elvis Presley. It is the first to set aside the myths and focus on Elvis' humanity in a way that has yet to be duplicated.
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Read information about the authorPeter Guralnick is an American music critic, writer on music, and historian of US American popular music, who is also active as an author and screenwriter. He has been married for over 45 years to Alexandra. He has a son and daughter, Jacob and Nina.
Guralnick's first two books, Almost Grown (1964) and Mister Downchild (1967), were short story collections published by Larry Stark, whose small press in Cambridge, Larry Stark Press, was devoted to stories and poems. Mona Dickson, writing in MIT's The Tech (May 13, 1964) gave Almost Grown a favorable review.
After Guralnick graduated from Boston University in 1971 with a master's degree in creative writing, he began writing books chronicling the history of blues, country, rock and roll and soul.
His two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis in 1994, followed by Careless Love in 1999, placed the story of Presley's career into a rise and fall arc. Encompassing more than 1,300 pages (including 1,150 pages of text), the work countered earlier biographies such as Albert Goldman's Elvis from 1981 with an in-depth, scholarly examination of Presley's life and music. Guralnick had previously written on Presley in the The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, starting with the first edition in 1976, said article having been reprinted for each subsequent edition.
Larry Stark Press published Peter Guralnick's second book in 1967. A first edition is currently valued at $200.
In contrast to contemporaries such as Lester Bangs, Ian Penman and Nick Tosches, whose music writings are marked by idiosyncratic, self-referential and highly personal styles, Guralnick's writing is characterized by a colloquial approach that is clean and understated by comparison. In his best passages, he has an ability to simultaneously empathize and remain objective. Writing as a music fan, his enthusiasm powers his writing but doesn't overpower it.
Guralnick wrote the script for A&E's documentary, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll, narrated by Billy Bob Thornton, and he also scripted Sam Cooke - Legend, narrated by Jeffrey Wright.
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