Elvis Presley

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The image is one thing and the human being is another... it's very hard to live up to an image.

Elvis Aaron Presley (8 January 193516 August 1977) was an American singer, musician, and actor, one of the most popular of the 20th century. Among the century's most significant cultural icons, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King" and is the best-selling individual recording artist of all time.

Quotes[edit]

The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn't know what all the yelling was about...
  • I like Brando's acting … and James Dean … and Richard Widmark. Quite a few of 'em I like.
    • When asked to name his favorite male actors, in "Elvis Exclusive Interview" with Ray Green in Little Rock, Arkansas (16 May 1956), as published in Elvis — Word for Word : What He Said, Exactly As He Said It (1999)
  • I'd like to thank the Jaycees for electing me as one of their outstanding young men. When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed, has come true a hundred times... And these gentlemen over here, these are the type of people who care, they're dedicated, and they realize that it is possible that they might be building the kingdom of heaven, it's not just too far fetched, from reality. I'd like to say that I learned very early in life that "Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain't got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend — without a song." So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you.
    • Acceptance speech for the 1970 Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Award (16 January 1971), published in Elvis — Word for Word: What He Said, Exactly As He Said It (1999) by Jerry Osborne, p. 188
  • The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn't know what all the yelling was about. I didn't realize that my body was moving. It's a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said, "What'd I do? What'd I do?" And he said, "Whatever it is, go back and do it again."
    • Interview (March/April 1972), as quoted in The Leading Men of MGM (2006) by Jane Ellen Wayne, p. 406
  • The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image.
    • Press conference (June 1972),also quoted in Elvis Culture : Fans, Faith, & Image (1999) by Erika Lee Doss, p. 218
  • Man, I was tame compared to what they do now. Are you kidding? I didn't do anything but just jiggle.
    • Press conference (June 1972) as quoted in Elvis — Word for Word : What He Said, Exactly As He Said It (1999), by Jerry Osborne, p. 208
  • A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It's my favorite part of the business — live concerts.
    • Press conference (5 September 1972), also quoted in Paranoia & Power : Fear & Fame of Entertainment Icons (2007) by Gene N Landrum, p. 60
  • 'To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave.'
    • Handwriten message on Elvis' King James -Bible
  • 'There is a season for everything, patience will reward you and reveal all answers to your questions.'
  • 'Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away.'
    • Another handwriten message on Elvis' King James -Bible [2]
  • What honey? What is that? It's a sign, I can't see it, wait a minute. Oh, thank you darlin', thank you very much. Oh, thank you. The thought is beautiful dear, and I love you for it, but I, I haven't been caught up in this thing and I can't accept this kingship thing because to me there's only one, which is Christ.
    • September 30, 1974. South Bend, IN. Notre Dame Ath Center. [1][2]
  • I had too much praise, too much flattery and fawning over and I needed to remember who I was, where I came from. One time I called a relative in Tupelo. It was Christmas and they were havin' dinner. I asked, 'What?' and she was kind of quiet, then said, 'Meat loaf.' I was shocked as we'd had the best, you know, turkey, ham, steak, everything. She said that it was near the first and they'd run out of money so they just had meat loaf. It hurt me. and so, I ate meat loaf for about eight months, every night, so I'd remember where I came from and to remind me of how many people were unable to have what I did. It was kind of a penance...

Song lyrics[edit]

  • Baby, if I made you mad
    For something I might have said,
    Please, let's forget the past,
    The future looks bright ahead.
    Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.
    I don't want no other love,
    Baby it's just you I'm thinking of.
  • When you looked into my eyes,
    I stood there like I was hyp-notized.
    You sent a feeling to my spine,
    A feeling warm and smooth and fine.
    But all I could do were stand there paralyzed.
    When we kissed, ooh what a thrill,
    You took my hand and, ooh baby, what a chill.
    I felt like grabbin' you real tight,
    Squeeze and squeeze with all my might.
    But all I could do were stand there paralyzed.
    • Paralyzed, written by Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley (1956)
  • A well I bless my soul
    What's wrong with me?
    I'm itching like a man on a fuzzy tree.
    My friends say I'm actin' wild as a bug.
    I'm in love,
    I'm all shook up.
    Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!
    • All Shook Up, written by Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley (1957)
  • Sweetheart we're alone
    And you are mine.
    Let's make this night a night to remember.
    Don't make our love a cold dying ember,
    For with the dawn, you'll be gone.


Disputed[edit]

  • Love me tender, love me sweet,
    Never let me go.
    • "Love Me Tender" (1956), the lyrics of this song are credited to Presley and co-writer Vera Matson, but were primarily written by Matson's husband, Ken Darby, who when asked why he credited his wife as co-writer with Presley replied "Because she didn't write it either."


Misattributed[edit]

"Tracing that rumored racial slur to its source was like running a gopher to earth", Jet wrote. Some said Presley had said it in in Boston, which Elvis had never visited. Some said it was on Edward Murrow's on which Elvis had never appeared. Jet sent Louie Robinson to the set of Jailhouse Rock "When asked if he ever made the remark, Missisissippi-born Elvis declared: 'I never said anything like that, and people who know me know I wouldn't have said it.'"


Quotes about Elvis Presley[edit]

The last names, or names by which people are best known and whose quotes are included below are arranged alphabetically, for ease of referenceː


A


  • When I was five years old, they again showed "Aloha from Hawaii" here in Norway. I had my parents wrapped around my finger, so they would let me stay up and watch it, because it was on after midnight. I was so amazed by the performance...
    • Abbath, Norway’s globally renowned black metal superstar, as told to Tim Dawson of Team Rock, and published on 15 November 2016.
  • I am reminded of a comment made shortly after the death of Elvis Presley by a musician he had worked with. He pointed out that despite an impressive vocal range of two and a half octaves and something approaching perfect pitch, Elvis was totally willing to sing off-key when he thought the song required it. Those off-key notes were art.
  • He was an extraordinary figure of his and our time, his legacy tremendous in terms of the music he created, his films, and as an entertainment personality. The generosity that he showed toward others is simply remarkable and I think it's these aspects of his character, his persona, that make him such a special person.
  • I didn't know very much about him, and those in the business knew very little about him. But, he was in the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, so I saw this kid and it was hard to say what he had, but there was something unusual about him. He had an interesting quality and his sound wasn't that important. It was the way he conducted himself, the way he put a song over. Anyway, I made a note immediately to book him for our new show, and we just had the good fortune that between that night and when he appeared a few weeks later suddenly there was a lot of controversy and media attention.
    • Steve Allen's answer as to how did the Elvis appearance in his ABC.TV show, which drew 40 million viewers following the NBC TV Milton Berle controversy came about, as told in an interview on June 30 of 1996.
  • It was like a country show back then and we got to open it and we did a couple of his songs, which was just stupid because we thought we'd impress him and he'd like us. The first time I saw him play - I'd seen him one time before that particular tour came to town where we opened the show for him- I just couldn't believe it. He was such a rocker. I'd never seen anything like that before. Buddy was terribly impressed as well. All of us the same. Turned into a big fan. Buddy tried to sound like him for months. And personally, he was as charismatic as he could be...
    • Jerry Allison, drummer for Buddy Holly, as well as the Crickets, recalling the early days when they opened for Elvis at Buddy Holly's hometown of Lubbock, Texas, as published in Classicbands.com
  • Obama is like Elvis, there will always be demand for impersonators of such popular and historical people.
    • Ilham Anas, Indonesia's most successful Obama impersonator, as reporter in This week in Asia, on November 5, 2016.
  • I discovered the blues in a funny kind of a way, from the age of seven when I was listening to my father’s war-time collection of big band jazz. It had that thing about it – I didn’t really know what it was –, that set the pulse racing a bit; and then I heard echoes of it again, with early Elvis Presley.
    • Ian Anderson, singer, flautist and leader of Jethro Tull, explaining to G.Brown, of the Denver Music Examiner, his first experience with hearing the blues, starting at the age of 7, as published in that newspaper's online edition, on August 11, 2008.
  • His knowledge was even more extensive than mine. I prided myself on knowing all that stuff. And man, we'd be hanging out and Elvis would be talking about singers I didn't even know about!!!.
    • Sherman Andrus, Gospel Music Hall of Famer and one of the first African Americans to be integrated into a Southern Gospel group, (Elvis' personal group The Imperials), attesteng to Elvis' deep knowledge of African American Gospel music, from the Gospel side of Elvis.
  • In Vegas, we’d meet and we’d talk about everything. Slowly he started coming over to see my show; he’d sit up there and I’d come back after the show and we’d talk music. He would show up, this incredible God-like figure. He had everything, and the voice —what a great voice he had. Then, on August 17, 1977 I happened to be in Las Vegas, so when I turned on the news and learned of his death, I cried all day. He was a cool, nice man.
  • I want to celebrate his life. He was so gifted, I just cherish his memory, his generosity, and he was so private, like I am. He knew about honour, and respect, and was so considerate, and his manners, and the way he was so civilized. And as an entertainer he will never be repeated. I wanted him to know all that, and I did tell him, but very few others did...
    • Actress and entertainer Ann Margret, in an interview with Charlie Rose, as broadcast on February 11, 1994.
  • It was the early 1970s. I was 22, working in some little show in a hotel that’s now gone, and he was doing a gig at the Las Vegas Hilton. We met backstage at a Tom Jones concert, then he showed me some karate moves, with a small party of folks ending up at his penthouse suite. There, he turned to me and said he had something to show me in his bedroom, so I thought, 'Oh, here comes the cliche,’ ” Turns out, he just wanted to read to me from Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet.” It was a sweet moment, as he sat on a footstool beside me and read like a child, his finger following the text. He signed the book, gave it to me and told me to have a blessed life. He was so sweet, that’s what struck me the most. In retrospect, I view him as a prisoner of his fame. That, and his roots in gospel music and the church, fueled his desire to seek out more knowledge about the world and self-realization.
    • Actress Susan Anton, as told to Michael Grossberg at Dispatchcom.
  • If anything, it's a lot of people here right now. It's like my record collection is actually sitting in this room. I'm truly fortunate. You know, I've always loved rock & roll music. I always have. Soon as I opened my eyes and took my first breath, I was a fan. With my brother David, we listened to Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Mötley Crüe and Cheap Trick and Pyromania by Def Leppard. My oldest brother Alan, he had the Beatles and the Stones and the Kinks. My sister Hollie was like "Kool and the Gang." My sister Anna for that record collection that turned my world inside out. And my sister, Marci, who's pretty much the person who showed me Elvis Presley for the first time. Thank you so much.
    • Excerpted from Billie Joe Armstrong's acceptance speech, as the founder, lead singer and frontmant of the US punk supergroup Green Day, one of the 5 artists being chosen as performers at the 2015 edition of the inductees gala for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as published in its entirety by RollingStone magazine on April 18, 2015.
  • I'm definitively going to make a record with him. You would be surprised what we could do together. You ask me if I think he is good. How many Cadillacs was it he bought.? That boy's no fool...
    • Louis Armstrong, interviewed by Memphis Press Scimitar, March 1, 1957 edition.
  • Arguably some of the most important tracks in the history of Rock and Roll, Elvis' SUN recordings demonstrate what a dynamic and talented vocalist he was; the young, raw, unadulterated Elvis whom musicologist Francis Davis once called "the greatest white blues singer”; I’m not one to argue with Mr. Davis.
    • Art's Strange World review of the CD "The Sun Sessions" (15 August 2007)
  • Elvis changed the country music scene quite a bit; he almost put country music out of business. He was white, but he sang black. It wasn't socially acceptable for white kids to buy black records at the time. Elvis filled a void.
    • Chet Atkins, Pop Chronicles, Show 8 - The All American Boy: Enter Elvis and the rock-a-billies. Part 2, interview recorded January 1968.
  • When Elvis came back from the service and he was greeted by all the publicity, the press, the photographers, reporters, and so forth, someone said to him "Well, what do you think now that you're not number one but Avalon is ?" And he said " Oh, I love his song "Venus" and there's room for everybody." And I thought that was really genuine, nice compliment.


B


  • i) We can even hazard a little analysis as to what made his voice so appealing. "That curious baritone," one critic called it. Actually, that is inexact. The voice had mixed propensities, hovering between tenor and bass and everything in between. Even a convincing falsetto lay within his range. One thing he was not, ever, was "Steve-'n-Edie", the polished, professionally accomplished Vegas artistes who once pronounced on an afternoon interview show (Mr. Lawrence enunciating the sentiment for himself and his partner/wife, Ms. Gorme), "We don't really think of Elvis as a singer. But he was a star." It is only when, years later, one gets past the indignation of hearing such apparent ignorance, that the sense of the observation becomes clear. A singer is someone like Steve Lawrence rolling effortlessly (and meaninglessly) through a shlock-standard like "What Now, My Love?". More or less like doing the scales. A star is the persona in whom one invests one's vicarious longings, a being who is constantly hazarding — and intermittently succeeding at — the impossible stretches that every soul wishes to attempt but lacks the means or the will to. It's not a matter of virtuosity. ii) Take My Baby LeftMe (1956) by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, the black Mississippi sharecropper whose That's All Right had literally been Elvis' first recording, in 1954. Crudup kept his blues in a bucket; Elvis put the lid on, and cooked; bar by bar, the song comes together; first comes D.J. Fontana's rapped-out drum riff, then a top-to-bottom run from Bill Black's stand-up bass, then the controlled gallop of Scotty Moore's lead guitar; then, last of all, Elvis singing in that imperious velvet growl of his, "Yes, my baby left me! Never said a word"; it is the most underestimated song in the canon; there is lightning in that bucket, and it could drive a train, any train. It literally took us into a new age. Endow a university! Elvis was a university. Whoever those mystics are who teach that the universe began with sound could use him as their full curriculum"
    • Jackson Baker,i) in "Memphis Magazine" (July 2002) ii) as published in "The Memphis Flyer", August 8-14, 1996 edition
  • Presley's voice was remarkable in the sense that, through it, he touched people in a way only great artists can do. (In fact), the people he touched are as diverse as humanity itself and, because of that his popularity has transcended race, class, national boundaries, and culture. There is no simple answer about why that is so, all I can say is he had that magic. When Elvis Presley was first popular, many people said that he did not have a good voice. Almost everyone, today, knows that he did, but more people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul.
    • John Bakke, professor emeritus of the University of Memphis, in an interview with the US State Department, transcripted by UNUSINFO on July 18, 2006 on the legacy of Elvis Presley
  • He was fantastic. When he danced, the people danced, the girls would actually faint because of what he was doing. The people didn’t care if he was white or black, he was a good artist and they felt his music.
    • Lavern Baker, commenting on her covering one of Presley's best early 60's songs, with a few changes in the lyrics, which she recorded in late 1961 as a answer to Presley's "Little Sister".
  • I mean, don't tell me about Lenny Bruce, man - Lenny Bruce said dirty words in public and obtained a kind of consensual martyrdom. Plus which Lenny Bruce was hip, too goddam hip if you ask me, which was his undoing, whereas Elvis was not hip at all. Elvis was a goddam truck driver who worshipped his mother and would never say "shit" or "fuck" around her, and Elvis alerted America to the fact that it had a groin with imperatives that had been stifled. Lenny Bruce demonstrated how far you could push a society as repressed as ours and how much you could get away with, but Elvis kicked "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window" out the window and replaced it with "Let's fuck." The rest of us are still reeling from the impact. Sexual chaos reigns currently, but out of chaos may flow true understanding and harmony, and either way Elvis almost single handedly opened the floodgates.
    • Lester Bangs, "Where Were You When Elvis Died," originally published in "The Village Voice", August 29, 1977. Republished in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung pg. 215-216
  • Then, in 1954, Elvis happened. The influence that the softly spoken Mississippi native had on popular music - and in particular rockabilly - is incalculable. First billed as 'The Hillbilly Cat' (again a nod towards black and white influences), the boy with the seemingly rubber limbs sang both blues and country songs infused with elements of this new rockabilly movement to the bemusement of a music industry not yet aware of the significance of what they were listening to. They didn't know it at the time, but the music establishment had just changed forever.Two years later he signed with RCA and the ensuing exposure he received on national television introduced rockabilly to its widest audience yet and, like fire to kindling, there was no stopping its spread. Other labels swooped to sign up any artists who sang even vaguely similar to Elvis and there was a bona fide musical gold rush underway and record executives and studio bigwigs fell over themselves to capitalise on this musical trend which was now sweeping the nation - ultimately playing a big part in rockabilly's eventual downfall, as more and more people tried to make money from it, (thus) watering down its raunchiness as they tried to make it appear to as large a market as possible, and (finally) taming its sound beyond recognition.
    • Excerpted from an article entitled "The Roots of Rockabilly: Examining the origins of a rock n' roll movement", by John Balfe, and as published in www.entertainment.ie
  • I might be the biggest Elvis fan you’ve ever met. I mean, I’ve seen it all. And I just loved him. I don’t know what it was. I mean, probably the same reason everybody loved Elvis. Cause he was electric. He was just electric, the greatest entertainer I’ve ever seen, and I think the reason why was because — and I heard him say it many times in interviews — , he always did what he felt. Genuinely did what he felt. It wasn’t choreographed. It wasn’t, OK, well, I’m gonna do this move at this time. It was coming up from inside of him, and it was coming out. That’s what it was, and that’s why people connected with it. Cause it was the real deal.”
    • Country music songwriter and singer Frankie Ballard who, along with a few others, voted Elvis as the top entertainer in CMT Top 40 artist countdown, as published in CMT´s online edition of November 21, 2014.
  • Elvis' lowest effective note was a low-G, as heard on "He'll Have To Go"(1976); on "King Creole" (1958), he growls some low-F's; going up, his highest full-voiced notes were the high-B's in "Surrender"(1961) and "Merry Christmas Baby" (1971), the high-G at the end of "My Way" (1976 live version), and the high-A of "An American Trilogy"(1972); using falsetto, Elvis could reach at least a high-E, e.g, as in "Unchained Melody" (1977), so, it was very nearly a three-octave range, although more practically two-and-a-half.
    • George Barbel, as a follow up to a question on what was Elvis' range, as published in All Experts.com, on 20th May, 2007.
  • He had a musically textured rhythmic voice that had emotional intelligence; concentrate on his voice: sweet, remorseful, defiant, suggestive.
    • Eileen Battersby, literary correspondent, citing the reasons for her being hooked on Elvis after "discovering" him inadvertently as she changed the dial looking for her favorite classical music radio station, as published in the "Irish Times" in August of 2002.
  • He started drawing on my front all the way down to my navel, doodling as I spoke to him, in front of hundreds at his dressing room after his August 1970 opening show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. Incredible sensation, he used a biro!!! That night back at my hotel, alone, I undressed and there they were, the doodlings. I did not wash until they wore off...
  • In "Mystery Train" (1955), he rocks out with an astounding depth, Elvis' voice never sounding so rich, nor so pleading; best of all is his final spontaneous laugh & whoop of excitement, worth its weight in gold.
    • Review of the CD "Elvis at SUN", by Piers Beagley, as published in EIN, on 30th June, 2004
  • Different as our sounds were in 1956, I could see that we were in parallel tracks, Elvis was interpreting one kind of black music, R&B, while I found my inspiration in black folk songs, spirituals and calypso. ( A year passed, and while in Las Vegas) Elvis came backstage to say hello and he couldn't have been more decorous, insisting in calling me Mr. Belafonte. Only later would I learn that he had hung out for years with a lot of black musicians and had come by his style legitimately. (Alas), he performed with such put on flash that over the next years, I noticed, he inspired a whole generation of R&B players who thought they could put that flash on, and become Elvis, too..
  • I think she's going to become as big as Elvis Presley. He was, incidentally, the handsomest guy I ever met in my life, and a very nice person too.
    • Tony Bennett, referring to singer, songwriter, and actress Lady Gaga in an article on Billboard published on August 17, 2011 and during an interview with the Guardian, on 17 October, 2013.
  • He never understood the artistic claims that were made for him, probably thought very little of the nature of his appeal, or his music; yet, as author Greil Marcus points out in "Mystery Train", it is possible to see (all that) as a positive factor; Presley viewed "rock and roll" as for the body, not the mind, so he recorded and performed accordingly; and, if much of his rock music sounds superficial, it was thanks to his undoubted vocal talent and extraordinary charisma that, at least, it was all gloriously superficial and celebratory; he knew better than to take it seriously and, in doing so, he become the consummate rock figure, one that defined its spirit by delighting in its very limitations.
  • Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution - the 60’s comes from it.”
  • i) When you think of Vegas, of show business, of flash, of those performances, you think of Elvis. He is iconic; a lot of performers today look to that for inspiration ii) You have to have soul to sing like Elvis, and Elvis had soul" ”
    • Beyonce, i) as published in www.graceland.com and ii) Elvis Viva Las Vegas documentary.
  • Intensity of communication, emotion, how the fusion of poetry is related to me as a listener. I’m disappointed by the bland and perfect vocal accomplishment, which I hear on so many recordings. Which is not to say that classical singers shouldn’t try to become vocally masterful. I take my cue more and more from good pop singers. The other day I was looking at an early concert of Elvis Presley. It was fascinating to watch, the body language, the vocal suppleness
    • Conor Biggs, Irish bass/baritone classical singer, explaining to Michael Dervan, of the Irishman, for tips he looks for, in a recital, as a way to better communicate with a listener, as published on that paper on February 1, 2013
  • So I said "Why don't we turn out all the lights so we don't see this vast empty looking studio the size of a football field and make it as intimate as we can?" We could barely make Elvis out through the glass from the control room into the studio when we cued him the backing-track. And then, Elvis started to sing. It was magic,. Next thing I know he's curled on the floor in almost a fetal position singing with a microphone next to his mouth. The hair on my arms were standing up. And that's the take that we wound up using on the soundtrack album. I did not use it in the TV show because I'm a total believer that if you're doing television I don't want anyone lip-synching. I want the real thing. And to be completely honest, as great as the sit-down shows are, had I been able to get cameras and tape him there, it would have been even greater.
    • Steve Binder, director of the 1968 NBC/TV Special explaining how Elvis recorded "If I can dream", on June 23, 1968, in an interview for The King's court, on February 6, 2010
  • I was in a friend's studio when a buddy of his called and told him. 'I got some news for you. Do you want me to tell you now or later?' I said later because I was in the studio when President Kennedy was killed and also when Martin Luther King was killed, so I knew the effect bad news can have on a session. When the session was over he told me and I thought he was joking and it didn't hit me until I lay down to sleep. The one other time that I experienced that was when my mother and my son died. It wasn't because he wouldn't he doing any more of my songs. It was like a piece of the whole business. I mean some people you just figure are never going to die. Inside, they'll always live. When they're gone, a certain piece goes and you just can't believe it.
    • Reaction of Otis Blackwell, the African-American songwriter, singer, and pianist, whose work significantly influenced rock and roll, to the death of Elvis Presley
  • He would probably be considered a baritone, but he could reach notes that most baritone singers could not. Much of his abilities emanated from a very intense desire to execute a song as he wanted to do it, which meant that he really sang higher than he would normally be able to. When the adrenalin is going, and the song is really pumping, you can get into that mode where you can actually do things, vocally, that you couldn’t normally do. So he had a tremendous range because of his desire to excel and be better, and that’s why he could do a lot of things that most people couldn’t.
  • But better Elvis should pay those multimillions in taxes (thereby doing as much for the War on Poverty) than you or I. The Colonel remains a hell of a character. Says Goldman 'If he had sheltered his income from the taxman and invested it intelligently, Elvis Presley could have been as wealthy as Bob Hope.' Well, I ask you. But I think we can be grateful to Elvis for his grin, his pelvis, his leap, and for the punky, biracial, engaging, ineluctably erotic and still mysterious tenor of his voice.
    • Roy Blount Jr., reviewing Albert Goldman's Elvis, for the NYT in 1981.
  • He is a huge fan of Elvis Presley
    • Reba McEntire, speaking about italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, when discussing their joint collaboration on ‘Blue Christmas, for the Boot, on September 25, 2009.
  • i) I recently met with Coretta Scott King, John Lewis and some of the other leaders of the American civil rights movement, and they reminded me of the cultural apartheid rock & roll was up against. I think the hill they climbed would have been much steeper were it not for the racial inroads black music was making on white pop culture. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival were all introduced to the blues through Elvis. He was already doing what the civil rights movement was demanding: breaking down barriers. You don't think of Elvis as political, but that is politics: changing the way people see the world. ii) In Elvis, you had the whole lot; it's all there in that elastic voice and body. As he changed shape, so did the world. His last performances showcase a voice even bigger than his gut, where you cry real tears as the music messiah sings his tired heart out, turning casino into temple. I think the Vegas period is underrated. I find it the most emotional. By that point Elvis was clearly not in control of his own life, and there is this incredible pathos. The big opera voice of the later years -- that's the one that really hurts me.
    • Bono lead singer of U2, for Rolling Stone Magazine, as published in their April 15, 2004 edition.- 2004 Issue Rolling Stone
  • When Bob King and I hosted our radio shows on WBMK and WKGN in the 1980s, we played R&B music of the 1940s through 1969, talked about the music, the artists and stories related to the music industry and revealed the real names of the performers while taking requests from the listeners. We would chuckle as we introduced “The Twist” by Ernest Evans. How could our audience know that the real name of the man who recorded “It’s Just a Matter of Time” was Benjamin Franklin Peay? I believe I would have changed my name to Brook Benton, too. Yet one could go from bad to worse. I don’t know why Otha Elias Bates McDaniels changed his name to Bo Diddley. Dinah Washington had 34 top 10 records. She didn’t like her birth name, Ruth Jones, and changed it. Some of the others were James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, with 107 hits during the time we were on the air. Billie Holiday, the great jazz singer changed her name from Eleanor Gough. Many referred to her as Lady Day. Ella Fitzgerald, the most honored jazz singer of all time, won the Down Beat Magazine poll as top female vocalist more than 20 times. Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul with 60 numbers on that chart during our broadcast. Although we did not play any Bessie Smith, we knew she had been dubbed Empress of the Blues. Finally, on our shows we recognized Elvis Presley, who had 33 numbers on the R&B chart, as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
    • Robert J. Booker African American freelance writer and former executive director of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, in an article published by the Knoxville News Sentinel on 11 October 2016.
  • We became very good friends, leased homes in Bel Air and visited each other. And back then, in the early 60's of course, I had a wife, and four little children, he was not married, and would come over some afternoons unannounced and visit with me, my wife and my children. They would maybe jump out of the swimming pool, and come running up and get in his lap, and he would become soaking wet, you know, and I would say, 'Girls, don't do that'. And Elvis said, 'Oh, no, let them, let them'. And I knew that he wanted a family.
    • Pat Boone, in an exclusiv3e interview with David Adamas, for elvisaustralia
  • Apparently Elvis heard my demos, because we were both on RCA, and Colonel Parker thought I should be introduced to him and maybe the two of us start working in a production-writer capacity. But it never came to pass. I would have loved to have worked with him. God, I would have adored it. He did send me a note once, which read "All the best, and have a great tour." I still have that note. He was a major hero of mine and I was probably stupid to think that having the same birthday as him meant something LOL.
    • David Bowie, commenting on what could have taken place had he and Elvis worked together, as published in interview bowiewonderworld and wwwelvisnet
  • Winston Churchill would add wisdom, war stories and outrageous comments. As a dyslexic, and I love to learn from people with very different minds to my own, English mathematician and early computer developer, Ada Lovelace would be my second of six guests. Elvis Presley, one of the greatest entertainers of all time and an example of people with great talent, along with Nelson Mandela, would bring magic to the evening. Finally, the only person on my list whom I have already met is Princess Diana, the most delightful company, her presence at my dinner party spreading joy, laughter, and kindness around the room.
    • UK Billionaire Richard Branson's ideal dinner party, albeit partial, list, as published in Real Clear Life's edition of September 30, 2016.
  • Heartbreak, jealousy, loneliness-, Elvis Presley gave luxuriant voice to these less than cheerful emotions, but did you ever think of him as a balladeer of the unbearable bleakness of being, of the horror of existing without purpose in a godless universe? In the improbably vivacious London-born production of "Woyzeck", vintage Elvis recordings provide much of the background music for Daniel Kramer’s adaptation of Georg Büchner’s great, prophetic drama of existential emptiness from the 1830’s. Dolly Parton and, more predictably, Beethoven, make aural guest appearances but it’s the voice of the Pelvis that sets the rhythm of life. And if the "wedding" of Presley and Büchner is more shotgun marriage than natural love match, at least you leave the theater feeling less suicidal than you normally do, after two hours with one of the grimmest heroes in Western literature.
    • Ben Brantley, Chief Theater critic for The New York Times, in his article "Where Existential Despair Meets Elvis" (18 November 2006)
  • Like most black people in the South, and to whom God has pressed down the harp of a thousand strings, that harp only needed tuning. Elvis' voice was that type of voice that agreed with the thought of Calvary. He had that type of bent and that type of inclination, AND ATTITUDE, that suggested that God could use him. I gave the music a different approach, a new beat, one beat, two beats, high or low, it didn't matter. So, I said come on in here and put your things together. And it was a glorious experience and Elvis was in that group. And when Elvis passed away it was a saddening thing. It was as if the clouds themselves started crying.
    • W. Herbert Brewster, African American Baptist minister, composer, dramatist, singer, poet and community leader, explaining both how he changed the format of many gospel composed songs that led to him writing legendary Gospel songs many iconic Gospel legends such as Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin and others would go on to record, as well as the chance of fate that led to him meeting a yet unknown teenage Elvis Presley when radio DJ Dewey Phillips reached out to him in the early 1950's to integrate his All-Black Church services with some of Dewey's White listeners of his R&B music station, and as quoted in both "Elvis Presley & The Black Community - That Echo Will Never Die" and in his book "People Get Ready!: A New History of Black Gospel Music".
  • In early 1969, at American Studios in Memphis, I had a secret entrance made from an underground garage, a trap door coming from underneath the basement, so Elvis could drive in and the people wouldn’t chase him. Girls would pull his hair, as well as his clothes off and all that stuff, which was fun, but eventually it got to be a pain. So I told him how he wouldn’t have that problem, he could just go in, come up the steps, and we would record..
    • David Briggs, in an article published on Billboard Magazine, November 25, 2016 and entitled "As Nashville Grows and Gentrifies, David Briggs Sets About Preserving Music Row History"
  • I'm sitting in the drive-through and I've got my three girls in the back and this station comes on and it's playing "Jailhouse Rock," the original version, and my girls are jumping up and down, going nuts. I'm looking around at them and they've heard Dad's music all the time and I don't see that out of them."
  • I like what he's doing. He’s rocking the blues, that's all he's doing. Rock and roll is here to stay because it comes from natural people. Rock and roll is a natural steal from the blues, and the blues will never diem and the blues can't die because it's a natural steal from the spirituals.
    • Bluesman Big Bill Broonzy, considered a profound influence on numerous African American musicians, including Muddy Waters, all of whom admired him, not just for his musicianship, but for having the courage to write several songs dealing with the injustices African-Americans suffered, particularly in the Jim Crow era, as stated in one of Studs Terkel's Chicago radio shows, sometime in 1957. Also equally important, perhaps even more important, were Big Bill Broonzy's blues songs of protest (he wrote a number of them) about African-Americans and what they were dealing with in the Jim Crow era.
  • I named it Planet Elvis (17059) because I had discovered a similar one, just two days before and which I called Rock and Roll (17058). It just seemed befitting...
    • Australian astronomer John Broughton, after having discovered a couple of small planets at the Ready Creek Observatory, located at the Gold Coast, in Queensland Australia, on April 13 and 15 of 1999, both of which now duly inscribed in Wikipedia's List of Minor Planets.
  • As a vocalist, Elvis Presley possessed the rare ability to give the melodramatic a genuine authenticity; it's easy to take Elvis Presley for granted and yes, we all know that Elvis had a huge role in defining rock in the beginning, but few of us really know what that means; but then there's that voice, which Elvis uses to cut through to the most complex meaning of the song — the meaning that the song's writers might not even know exists — and lay it bare. On "From Elvis In Memphis", he takes the longing sentiment in "Any Day Now" (1969), his voice lending it a certain buoyancy that most artists would never even think belongs, and in doing so he embeds a deceptively simple pop song with depth and mystery, all through inflection; a craftsman at heart, his experimentation didn't manifest itself in innovation, but in refinement of his already incomparable technique; as a result, "From Elvis In Memphis" documents what happens when an artist who instinctively personalizes the songs he sings decides to get even more personal; the outcome is raw, stripped of all pretense, and dedicated to the idea of the song, his voice bringing with it a grave amount of weight; if you want an indication of why Elvis deserves a place in current pop culture, pick up "From Elvis In Memphis"; the music speaks for itself; authenticity never goes out of style.
    • Marty Brown, music critic for Culture Cartel.com, reviewing "From Elvis in Memphis", on 15 August 2002
  • I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland, We sang 'Old Blind Barnabus' together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There'll never be another like that soul brother.
    • James Brown, Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died, p. 30
  • Elvis Presley, at age 13
    • Argentinean singer and director of the the Espacio Malaver Singing School Francisco Bruneta's answer as to who was his first and greatest influence, and at what age that took place, as published in Queen's Chronicle's edition of September 15, 2016. Brunetta was born actually 5 years AFTER Presley's death.
  • I hold no brief for Presley and I’ve never seen him, but when police are allowed to set up cameras and be judge, that’s an invasion of an artist’s rights and should be looked into, mighty carefully, by every artist and actors’ agency in our business.
    • Yul Brynner Oscar winner for Best Actor in 1957, defending Elvis after the Los Angeles police set up cameras to watch his second show at the Pan Pacific Auditorium and ostensibly have some kind of proof should his behaviour be deemed inappropriate, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, on 29 October, 1957.
  • I think that soul has little to do with the colour of your skin or where were you born. It's the same with acting, if the actor believes in the story, so does the public, so I thank Elvis, who is one of my favourites singers in both the R&R and R&B fields, for doing the music I love the most.
    • Canadian superstar Michael Bublé, in an interview to the Diario La Razon, in Buenos Aires, prior to his performing in his wife's country, and as published in that daily's online edition on 10 September 2014
  • At first his Vegas career didn’t go quite as planned. In fact, Elvis’s first appearance in the gambling capital was in 1956 at the New Frontier Hotel. However, he didn’t receive the support from local publications, with many believing that his rough sound wasn’t what the middle-aged audience in Vegas at the time wanted. Therefore his two-week residency was cut short after just a week. Nevertheless, he made the perfect comeback with hundreds upon hundreds of consecutive sell-outs from 1969 until December 1976. He opened the then-International Hotel Casino, with more than 2,000 fans turned out for opening night in July 1969 which saw the line that lead into the city’s largest showroom stretch to the hotel’s front lobby. No one has quite made as much of an impact since.
    • Brett Buchanan, in an article entitled "Who Is The Biggest Celeb To Perform At Vegas?" published at Alternative Nation on October 14, 2016
  • Presley brought an excitement to singing, in part because rock and roll was greeted as his invention, but for other reasons not so widely reflected on: Elvis Presley had the most beautiful singing voice of any human being on earth. Presley, for some fans, was primarily a balladeer. "Don't Leave Me Now" (1957), is a love song given distinctiveness by Presley's twangy enunciations, and sustained by the guitar and rhythm sections designed perfectly to complement the balladeer, filled out towards the song's end - as with so much of Presley- ,with what one conveniently calls the heavenly choir, which wafts him home but never overwhelms the country lilt Presley gives his music.
    • William F. Buckley, Jr.in his article "The Crooner, R.I.P.: Perry Como and the casual mode," published by the National Review on June 11, 20
  • I think it’s a little harder to churn out interfaces with sociology. When I was a kid and Elvis broke through it was a sociological phenomenon that lasted through the Beatles and even a bit through Fleetwood. I grew up in Atherton, California, with my two older brothers, one of whom, Jeff turned me onto Elvis. Without Jeff, I probably wouldn’t be here today, so damn you, Jeff!!!.”
    • Lindsay Buckingham, lead singer and guitarist for the UK/American band Fleetwood Mac, speaking at the University of Southern California after a two-hour performance and Q&A session at the University's Bovard Auditorium and as published by Billboard on May 1, 2015
  • I will release my tax returns if Donald Trump does too and yes, I will again wear my Elvis costume and even dance with Hillary in the streets of Omaha, as she wants, if she wins.
    • US Mega Billionaire Warren Buffet's promise, as delivered in an interview following an article published on the Washington Post on August 1, 2016.
  • Rock and roll then, is a combination of gospel songs, blues, bebop, the love ballad, the folksy material of the hillbilly or western type song, and things based on personal experience. Rock and roll today has no color lines in its listening appreciation or in its development.
    • Dan Burley, African American musician and journalist, as quoted in a chapter detailing the mass reaction to the early Elvis by the black community and as noted in page 135 of the book entitled "Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race"by Brian Ward.
  • As we continue our celebration of 60 Years of Rock 'n' Roll, one prominent member of the original rockabilly family shares his experience working with the king. In an article on the WashingtonTimes.com, guitarist Sonny Burgess tells the story of seeing Elvis perform live for the first time.
  • He stepped onto the stage, the band started to play, His hips began to move. He sang 'Good Rockin' Tonight' and before he was done, the crowd was whirled into a frenzy. Boy, he was different. As soon as he walked into the building you could feel his energy. He had the looks, the songs and the charisma. Whatever a star has, he had it - more than anyone else.”
    • Guitarist Sonny Burgess, talking about seeing Elvis perform, in 1955, in an article on the WashingtonTimes.com
  • We never played together but I went to where he was playing and doing the blues. He took the blues and made rock 'n' roll out of it. And he give an account of everything he did. He said this is so-and-so's music. You know down in Birmingham, I can't think of the guys name, but Elvis did one of his numbers. Had it on a record, ya know. He went down there where Elvis was playing and walked up and his car had quit on him on the highway.After he got done with his album, he bought him a brand new car. He would do things like that. He made 2 or 3 people down in Atlanta and Birmingham rich, ya know. He had been doing their music and they didn't think they were gonna get nothing out of it, but he went down and found 'em, in fact bought 'em homes, gave them money and everything. I think he helped the black people. I sure enough do...
    • R.L Burnside, African American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, as published in Rockmattares, from an interview in 1996 entitled "One bad ass bluesman".
  • When at last I made my journey to the land of the blues, I never dreamt for one minute that I'd actually become friends with the guys who were my mentors, heroes and my cultural icons. (Witherspoon's) voice held a great mysticism for me, like when I first heard the voice of Elvis Presley—you knew it was coming from the source.
    • Eric Burdon, lead singer of "The Animals", commenting on his meeting bluesman Jimmy Witherspoon, as published in Gadfly's March 1998 edition.
  • He's Elvis. We've found Elvis and he looks like Tiger.
    • Rick Burton, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Centre at the University of Oregon, comparing Tiger Woods with Elvis Presley.
  • You Memphis politicians had better watch out if Elvis Presley ever decides to enter politics.
    • Former President George H.W Bush, during a speech at a luncheon previous to the Jaycees ceremony honoring Elvis, in 1970.
  • I heard Elvis Presley and I knew what my life was meant to be.
    • Robert Butcher, English born photographer, best known for his American Madonnas and Liars, as published in Geeks of Doom.


C


  • I met him in Alburquerque, NM, in 1956 and I got to see him on the raw, with Bill, Scottie and DJ. They were just awesome, so electrifying, with so much energy. I could understand why he was becoming so big then, and become even bigger later. He was a very handsome man, his aura and his honesty. His charisma was huge, but his was very special.....
  • Had Presley never sung a note he might have still caused a stir, but sing he did. Watershed hits such as "All Shook Up" (1957) or, for instance, "Are You Lonesome Tonight", (1960), were eminentely Presley's from the moment he put his stamp on them. His jagged, bubbly highs, and Southern baritone jump from those recordings like spirits from a cauldren. Elvis crooned romantically, then screeched relentlessly, always pouring his heart into the lyric and melody. After Elvis, the male vocalist could no longer just sing a song, especially in the new world of rock-n-roll. The "feel" of a performance far out-weighed the perfection of the take.
    • James Campion, in his book "The 25 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century", published in 1996.
  • The first thing I think of when I think about coming to Las Vegas and playing is always Elvis, it's always the first thing on my mind.
  • I almost died when I was told I would be his co-star. He was an extraodinary handsome person with a very down to earth personality and a velvet voice. When he sang in the film I would melt. "Why is this happening to me?" I would say. I just couldnt believe it...
    • Elsa Cardenas, Mexican actress who starred with Elvis in 1962's Paramount-produced "Fun in Acapulco".
  • Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than twenty years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense. And he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country.”
    • President Jimmy Carter' official statement following Elvis' death, as reprinted by graceland.com
  • The success of posthumous duets is often indirectly correlated to the respect with which the dearly departed is treated: the higher the pedestal, the less convincing the result. Wisely, the female country stars on “Christmas Duets” try to match Elvis Presley’s mood, whether it’s Carrie Underwood’s tenderness on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (1957), or Wynonna Judd’s brawn on “Santa Claus Is Back in Town.” (1957), On a wild eight-minute “Merry Christmas Baby,”(1971), Gretchen Wilson saunters up to the song, full of attitude, before giving in; it sounds as if she’s flirting with Mr. Presley just across the bar.
    • Jon Carmanica, reviewing the "Christmas Duets" album for the New York Times, as published on 4 December, 2008
  • As the "The Times" correspondent reminds him of Elvis Presley, he pauses, then reconsiders, "Oh yes, I think he was a fantastic artist and the best in his field. Absolutely.
    • Spanish tenor Jose Carreras, in an interview for the Times in which he had suggested that no pop singer can take on operas, except perhaps for Elvis.
  • I listen to a lot of Elvis Presley. He is one of my favorite musicians of all time.
    • Singer Sofia Carson' s answer to Parade as to who does she listens to the most on her ipod, as published on November 25th, 2016
  • That night at the "Eagle's Nest", I remember, he was playing a D-18 Martin acoustic guitar and he was dressed in the latest teen fashion, but the thing I really noticed though, was his guitar playing. Elvis was a fabulous rhythm player. He'd start into "That’s All Right", with his own guitar, alone, and you didn't want to hear anything else.
    • Johnny Cash, in "Cash, the autobiography", recalling the first time he saw Presley perform, at the "Eagles Nest", in Memphis (1954)
  • We are seeing disruption, and it is freaking out the news media and the old establishment in Washington, Its like watching Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show.
    • Alex Castellanos, Cuban American Republican strategist, speaking about the situation after the US 2016 election at an ABC Sunday News Powerhouse Roundtable hosted by George Stephanopoulos and broadcast on December 4, 2016.
  • At 4225 Beach Drive SW, stands the Chambliss House, a bright blue home on the Puget Sound with a plaque above the doorway that states "Elvis Presley Slept Here, May 18, 1962." The plaque speaks the truth, according to Alan Chambliss, building owner and 30-year resident. He wasn't around to witness Elvis, but tells the story like it happened yesterday. About 15 years ago, Chambliss noticed a man and woman filming his house. Wondering what the fuss was about, he asked them what they were doing. Their father, dying of cancer lived in the upstairs apartment years before and loved it so much the family wanted to document it as part of a remembrance video. While making their keepsake, the family mentioned that the dying man was Elvis Presley's army buddy and that Elvis once spent the night in the upstairs apartment. As proof of their story, they showed Chambliss pictures of their father with the music legend.Elvis and his chum kept in touch throughout the years. In 1962, Elvis came to Seattle to film "It Happened at the World's Fair" and the friend picked him up from Sea-Tac and drove him to the house on Beach Drive. "He didn’t expect to stay the night at first," Chambliss says. Perhaps the Rock-and-Roll Legend was a sucker for water views Chambliss let the dying man's family film the upstairs apartment. About three weeks later he received the plaque, now mounted above the doorway, along with a thank you note for being so welcoming.
    • As told by tenant Bob Castonguay, who now rents the upstairs apartment that Elvis slept in, as published in the West Seattle Herald
  • Many of our vagabonds, the sons of the burgoise, can be seen gallivanting around with their tight trousers, some of them with a guitar heralding Elvis Presley attitudes which lead them to erroneously believe they will be able to freely attend rallies where they can lobby their gay and effeminate ways.But we will not allow such degenerate feelings.
    • Fidel Castro in a speech delivered in front of 100,000 at the steps of the University of Havana on 13 March 1963, the day that signalled the last nail on the coffin of rock music as an art form in Cuba, until at least the first decade of the 21sty Century.
  • Elvis had a center of gravity that was low, but also set back and deep; his sexiest moves – legs lolling back and forth, smooth like jelly, hips rolling and tossing everywhere – were performed as if there were a paperweight on a string tied around his waist, and hung from his lower back; with his own weight adjusted to the back, he could free one leg to twist, pop, and jerk while maintaining perfect balance; Elvis’ glory was in the shifting of his weight; when he gets going fast, the force of the shifts make his shoulders jerk so hard he looks like he is being electrocuted.
    • New York Sun columnist Pia Catton, explaining the reasons for Elvis' star quality, as a stage performer, (16 August 2007)
  • You can't be both Elvis Presley and Miles Davis", I once said to him. But then when someone recently asked me what his dreams were when he was young he answer to me was that he wanted to be Elvis".
    • American entertainment producer and business owner Bob Cavallo, former manager of Prince, explaining his client's longings, as published by both the Texas Public Radio's online page on Saturday, December 6, 2014 and by the Examiner, on April 26, 2016.
  • I’ve always loved Elvis, how he entertained, how he performed, so that’s where I try and take inspiration from
    • Jake Chamberlain, discussing "Miss Trouble", his first album in an interview with Amanda Hill and as published in the Standard Journal's online edition of March 13, 2015.
  • Charlie was always aware of the public. While at the Manoir in the 1950's, a friend visited him and brought him a record of a new singer called Elvis Presley. Charlie hadn't heard of him. "This man has made a sensation in the States," his friend said. "I can't understand it. He wiggles his hips and sings and people go mad." "If he's made such an impact," Charlie replied, "he must have something. You can't fool the public." --
  • The first concert I attended was an Elvis concert when I was eleven. Even at that age he made me realize the tremendous effect a performer could have on an audience.
    • Cher, as published in www.graceland.com
  • And the singer explodes, no longer laying back, now letting it fly. It is a raw, ragged sound, but the singer is so far into the moment that he doesn't care, and neither does anyone else. "When I read your lovin' letter, my heart began to sink," he roars with ache and ardor in his voice. "There's a million miles between us, but they didn't mean a thing." This glorious minute of "Trying to Get to You" is from Elvis Presley's 1968 television comeback special, one of 77 previously unreleased performances collected on a new four-CD box set, "Platinum: A Life in Music" (RCA). It affirms that 20 years after his death on Aug. 16, 1977, after countless books, albums, tabloid stories, imitators and Graceland tours have wrung seemingly every drop of mystery from his legacy, there remains plenty to learn about Presley. Or, perhaps more precisely, relearn. For in the last 20 years, the essential truth about Presley has been lost. But the truth of his 23 years of public music making is this: He was the most quintessentially American of singers, an artist who drew no boundaries between Saturday night blues and Sunday morning gospel, middle-of-the-road schmaltz and dirt-road hillbilly country. And he could swing a tune like nobody's business. More than anything else, those two factors--his openness to just about any kind of music and his ability to personalize that music with his unique feel for rhythm--are why Presley mattered, and still matters.
    • The Chicago Tribune's review of Platinum, published on August 3rd, 1997
  • Recorded at the Beatles' old Abbey Road Studios, it offers one more chance to enjoy Presley's voice in a different context, deliciously backed by a world-class orchestra geared toward the nuances of his delivery. It's a new twist on a very familiar, and treasured, body of work. This one is a tried and true concept, basically a variation on last year's quite successful posthumous pairing of Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, but the fact that it's been done once before doesn't diminish the pleasure. There are few surprises, but it's a reminder of Presley's range and vocal dexterity.The orchestral style suits Elvis well: taken out of the rock and roll context, there is no need for his swagger or his snarl, as the orchestra is restrained and understated, allowing Presley's vocals alone to carry the day. The orchestral format also gives rise to "live" concerts with Elvis singing on screen while the Royal Philharmonic performs. A series of six British shows in major arenas this fall is expected to draw thousands of the faithful — the number doesn't seem to be dwindling, even 39 years after his death in a country, the UK, where he never performed.
    • The China Post's review of the album The Wonder of You, as published on 21 October 2016.
  • i) Then, in mid 1968 he taped a television special in a black leather suit, in front of a select live audience, opening with "Guitar Man" and closing with a mild social-conscience song, "If I Can Dream". But it wasn't until Greil Marcus brought out the recording of that performance for me, almost three years later, that I realized how significant it had been. Marcus has spent as much time listening as anyone who is liable to be objective, and he believes Elvis may have made the best music of his life that crucial comeback night. It's so easy to forget that Elvis was, or is, a great singer. Any account of his impact that omits that fundamental fact amounts to a dismissal. ii) Elvis made a great many major recordings, and no matter what jaded undergraduates think, few rock and rollers of any era have moved with such salacious insouciance. But it's my best guess that rocking or romantic, young or old, thin or fat, innocent or decadent, inspired or automatic, Elvis touches the millions he touches most deeply with that ineffable chestnut, the grain of his voice; from the pure possibility of "Mystery Train" and "Love Me Tender", to the schlock passion of "In the Ghetto", no singer has ever duplicated his aura of unguarded self-acceptance. The very refusal of sophistication that renders him unlistenable to Sinatraphiles is what his faithful love most about him. (In fact), listeners with looser standards in cultural articulation have a clearer pipeline to the meanings that voice might hold.
    • i) Rock critic Robert Christgau, from his article entitled, "The King and I", as published in www.robertchristgau.com and ii) in his 1973 book "Any old way you choose"
  • Elvis was a brilliant artist. As a musicologist — and I consider myself one — there was always a great deal of respect for Elvis, especially during his Sun sessions. As a black people, we all knew that. (In fact), Eminem is the new Elvis because, number one, he had the respect for black music that Elvis had.
    • Chuck D explaining how his feelings for Elvis' legacy are much more complicated than it was suggested by the lyrics in his song, "Fight The Power", which was written 12 years earlier (published following an interview with the Associated Press in connexion with the 25th Anniversary of Presley's death)
  • I came late to the Elvis party. I never grabbed on to his shooting star in the ascendancy of his career. I was more into groups. And then a strange thing happened. Either Elvis changed or I did. Almost two decades ago, I began my oldies show on Thursday nights on WSRK in Oneonta and this is where I had the epiphany that Elvis Presley possessed one of the best male singing voices to ever climb the charts. Deep, passionate, powerful, no frills, no twang, no screaming. Classic. In the 1950s, nobody knew what he was. Still, it is the voice. I’m in awe of it and am a little embarrassed that I jumped on the bandwagon so late. But now that I am on it, I’m in the front seat, cheering all the way. Elvis is the King, let nobody doubt it. And if you are still a parade straggler, take my suggestion. Find yourself a copy of “An American Trilogy” (1972). It was recorded live before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden. This is Elvis’ magnum opus. As he slides from “Dixie” to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” you will be swept away. The orchestra provides the fanfare, the urban sounds of the background singers will mesmerize you and Elvis’ vocals will lift you up. This one performance can actually be transformative. It is powerful yet sensitive, subtle yet bombastic. I don’t know how, but it all works. And his voice was never better than on this song. “American Trilogy” is a Master Class. By a truly great artist.
    • Big Chuck, radio personality, WSRK in Oneonta. NY, as published in the Daily Star, on January 12, 2015.
  • From 1952 to 1980, we called it the industrialization generation. From 1980 to 2000, it was the democratization generation. Post-2000 we call it the millennial generation. I came of age in the 1980s and I have been very much influenced by American culture. In fact, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley were the biggest stars for the Korean people.
    • Phillip Chun, Chairman of the Paradise Group, a market-leading integrated resort (IR) developer currently building Korea’s first IR near the international airport in Incheon at a cost of more than $1 billion, in an article published on September 19, 2016 on the Worldfolio.
  • Who the hell’s limousine is that?” That was Elvis Presley’s reaction to the sight of a long, black limo parked in front of the General Cinema in Memphis–one of Elvis’s favorite spots for personal midnight movie screenings. The limo happened to belong to me. In fact I had made a special pilgrimage to meet him, at the special request of Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis’s entourage. “I think it’s probably Eric’s!, Schilling later told me how he answered Elvis question. Now, inside the theatre, the chance for a great summit meeting seemed to diminish when Elvis walked in and saw me and Pattie Harrison (George’s ex), sitting about 12th row center--right in Elvis’s seats. There was some tension, until Schilling made the introductions, and right away I made it really clear how much respect I had for him. Seeing that, he relaxed and turned into a charming host, and we fell into a really nice, friendly conversation.
    • Eric Clapton in an article published in EC MUsic News, dated December 27, 2010.
  • It’s rare when an artist’s talent can touch an entire generation of people. It’s even rarer when that same influence affects several generations. Elvis made an imprint on the world of pop music unequaled by any other single performer.”
  • I met him in 1969 with Karen Carpenter, neither of us had ever met him before, so we went so see him perform at a show in Las Vegas. He was on great form and then we were invited back to his dressing room and, well, he was flirting with us. In the end I got us out of there and that really amused Elvis and when I saw him again after that we both had a good laugh about it.
    • Petula Clark, her meeting Elvis, as noted in petula-clark-on-meeting-legends-of-stage-and-screen-13004/#ZUtve4JAGDc7XYvu.99
  • Prince had great respect for Elvis, the Bar Keys, Al Green and the influence on the music world from the Memphis' sound.
    • Kurt Clayton, Adrican American music producer and University of Memphis professor whose spouse, R&B singer Cherrelleis Prince's cousin, in an interview was from WREG News Channel 3 Memphis.
  • You know, Bush is always comparing me to Elvis in sort of unflattering ways. I don’t think Bush would have liked Elvis very much, and that’s just another thing that’s wrong with him. He was the first and the best, and is my favorite of all time.
    • Bill Clinton, during the 1992 presidential campaign, obviously unaware that Bush was a Presley admirer, and had in fact met him at the 1971 Jaycees ceremony, during his time as US Ambassador to the United Nations.
  • No element of the South's culture has had more influence on the culture of the U.S. and other nations than its music. While the ballads and fiddle tunes brought by British settlers provided the foundation for what would become country music, the work songs and field hollers that were a vital part of the slaves' African heritage formed the basis of the blues. These musical forms did not always respect the South's racial divisions. There was more interaction than many realized as both the blues and country music grew more commercialized and, as members of both races left the farm in droves, more urbanized as well. When local radio stations and recording studios in cities like Memphis and New Orleans began to feature the work of both black and white performers after World War II, the closer contact and familiarity bred the revolutionary new sound that would become "rock 'n roll." Elvis Presley quickly won an enormous youthful following as a white singer who sounded "black," but if he succeeded by borrowing heavily from black stylings, he also helped to open the door to white audiences much wider for a host of black performers ranging from Little Richard to Chuck Berry.
    • Author James C. Cobb, in an article entitled History of the South, Abbreviated: The Ol' Bloviator Boils It Down, published in "Flagpole" Magazine's 17 February 2016 edition.
  • The "Shrine" Auditorium in Los Angeles, was his first California stop, then Long Beach. He’s the cat man...
    • Eddie Cochrane, who turned to rock after seeing Elvis at a concert at the Sportatorium in Dallas, TX on April 16, 1955, correcting his wife Alice, who had said she had attended Elvis first concert in California, at the Long Beach Arena. The exchange took place in London, during Eddie's last tour there.
  • Sometime in the mid seventies, Elvis befriended a young black woman who was having trouble purchasing a car, struggling as a student in college at the time, so he went into the dealership got the car, then asked her to report to him the next day saying she would get a steady job answering the phones at Graceland (where most of her time was spent doing very little), thereby allowing for her to both have a place to study and focus on her school work and grades. She was ONLY required to report him every quarter showing him her grades. So not only did he buy a car for her, but he purposely *created* a job for her, where she could receive a steady paycheck while studying.
    • Marion Cocke, Elvis' nurse, in an interview for the documentary "Why Elvis"
  • Elvis is the greatest blues singer in the world today.
    • Joe Cocker, who started his career imitating Elvis under the name Vance Arnold, circa 1961, as noted in about education.com
  • I have plans to sing an Elvis song on stage soon. I was a huge fan of Elvis. In fact, I was in town until today and bought a compilation LP of the man. Soon you will hear me sing “Don’t” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” – but not at the plate. My voice is too deep, with 20,000 cigarettes leading my tone of voice three to four notches down too far.
    • Leonard Cohen, as told to Bard Oses in an interview published on March 26, 2012 at "Leonard Cohen Jukebox" internet page. )
  • He treats the song as a private meditation, full of pain and the yearning to believe. Though the lyrics speak of hope, Elvis turns them into a cry, as if reaching for one last sliver of light in engulfing darkness. 'I am alone', he seems to be saying. But maybe, just maybe, we can find someone or something to cling to. In his case, it's God. But each of us, hearing him, reaches for our own salvation; if great art needs nakedness (then), those few minutes of Elvis alone at the piano amount to the most naked performance I've ever witnessed.
    • Nik Cohn, commenting on Elvis Presley's rendition, totally alone at the piano, of "You'll never walk alone", as witnessed by a full house of 17,500 gathering at the second of his two shows at the Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, on 19 July, 1975, as published on the Guardian's Sunday edition, on January 21, 2007, in an article entitled "The 25 best gigs of all time".
  • Elvis Presley did more to change the course of popular music and youth culture than any other entertainer in the twentieth century, beginning with his meeting Sam Phillips in 1954, at the Sun Records label, in Memphis. In 1956, for Presley's first single at RCA, producer Steve Sholes was adamant that Phillips' sonic treatments be adhered to, as closely as possible. So, in attempting to recreate the Sun echo sound, Sholes relied on the ambiance of RCA's then-cavernous recording studio in Nashville, rather than the tape-delay method; the major problem facing Sholes was Presley's tendency to get carried away with the music and wander away from the microphone; so, rather than spoil the singer's fun, Sholes decided to position three microphones around Presley to capture his quivering voice, no matter where he strayed; the results were breathtaking.
    • Columbia University's "History of Record Production" (Part II of syllabus)
  • The generosity and public spirited zeal with which you donate your services to the Arizona Memorial Fund are appreciated by all of us in the Navy.
    • Secretary of the Navy John Connally's words, read by Rear Admiral Robert L. Campbell, just prior to Elvis entering the stage to deliver his promise to donate all the proceeds, and more, towards the cobstruction of the Arizona Memorial, on March 25, 1961.
  • The black leather concert from Elvis Presley’s 1968 Comeback Special
    • Mezzo soprano Sarah Connally's answer to the question of what would she consider to be her musical guilty pleasure, as published in the Guardian's March 6, 2016 edition.
  • Elvis Presley changed my life. He was like nothing on Earth: nothing in my world anyway.
    • Ray Connolly, Evening Standard, Tuesday (23 August 2011), p. 16
  • In the mid fifties, Presley initiated a new phase in the popularizing of African American vocal techniques, combining them with influences from country music to create a unique style full of hiccups, between the beat accents, and strking register shifts, from chest voice baritone to falsetto. First, when writing about the echo effect in his early SUN recordings, Richard Middleton, in his "Studying Popular Music", says the effect is largely used to intensify star presence, in fact, Presley becomes larger than life. Conversely, as Henry Pleasants noted in his book "The great american Popular singers¨¨, Presley was said to dominate a vocal style appropriate to different generic contexts, thereby developing a vocal multiplicity, a sound for country, a sound for gospel, a sound for ballads and a sound for R&B.
    • Continuum Encyclopèdia of Popular Music of the World, Volume II (Performance and Production),section pertaining to relevant vocal techniques in modern music.
  • He was wearing giraffe skin pants and Aladdin shoes and a pair of socks that Elvis gave him …
  • On his live versions of songs like "How Great Thou Art"(1975),"Unchained Melody"(1976) and "Hurt" (1977), you will be able to hear how high he can go; but, it is essentially on "What Now My Love" (sang live at his "Aloha from Hawaii" global telecast, which reached 1 billion viewers when first aired in 1973), where he goes up three octaves at the end of the song, that you can really hear his true vocal power.
    • Cory Cooper, vocal connoisseur, on Presley's vocal range, as published in ALLEXPERTS.com, on 4 February 2005.
  • We are startled, on the amazing "Blue Moon,"(1954), by his trick of shifting, in a heartbeat, from saloon baritone to pants-too-tight wailing and by his near Hawaiian avoiding of consonants ("Ya-hoo A-know Ah can be fou'/ Sittin' home all alo'"), from "Don't Be Cruel" (1956), a song that comes close to redefining the art of the pop vocal; So, what's left? A terrific crooner who was closer, in intonation, vocal virtuosity and care for a song's mood, to Bing Crosby, than to any top singer of the rock era. Toward the end, he still had it as a Gospel balladeer, the choir-soloist power of the hymn "He Touched Me" (1971) — his voice breaking poignantly at the end of the hymn, as if he had just seen Jesus — still thrills and haunts. So does his desire to please an audience of kids and grandmas, instead of comfortably occupying a niche, as almost every pop star has done since.
    • Richard Corliss, TIME magazine`s Music Editor, reviewing the "Platinum", box-set, as published in the magazine`s January 8, 2003 edition.
  • He stood for rock 'n' roll at a time when rock 'n' roll was rebellion, but I think he stood for so many more things than that. He was a southern kid, came from very humble roots, became very popular and very rich and very famous. In this country, that's the American Dream. And that's the Elvis story.
    • John Covach, Professor of Music Theory at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music in an article for the Atlantic, published on January 8, 2016.
  • He helped to kill off the influence of me and my contemporaries, but I respect him for that because music always has to progress, and no-one could have opened the door to the future like he did.
  • I still really don't know to this day what the fuck that was all about. All I know is, I arrived in LA, got to my hotel, as I'd done umpteen times before, started unpacking, and there was a knock at the door and a team of FBI guys wanted to sit down and discuss something with me. And then, for nearly two years, they were always around. I remember going to the Golden Globes and having, like, 16 security guys with me. I don't even know why…and of course, people were like: 'Look at him, he thinks he's fucking Elvis'
    • Russell Crowe, in an interview to the Daily Mirror, discussing the time he was targeted as a possible kidnapping subject by Al Qaeda, sometime in 2001.
  • Yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard
    • Ted Cruz, in a tweet to Donald Trump, who suggested his father had been a friend of Lee Harvey Oswald,sent on May of 2016
  • I wasn't thinking and thought I must press the suit and since it was a gold lamé, it wrinkled like the face of a modern Keith Richards!!!
    • Manuel Cuevas Mexican born designer best known for the creation of Elvis' US$10,000 Gold Lame suit for Nudie's in Hollywood. He was actually recalling, in 2016, what happened moments before Elvis and Col. Parker picked up the suit at Nudie's, in the spring of 1957, as told in the book "Manuel, the Rhinestone Rembrandt".
  • Vocally is where I see him as this great synthesiser of American traditions; his voice is something of a shape shifter, it can sound high and mournful and soulful, and he can also sound like a preacher, or be quite gruff, or be a sweet crooner; it’s not the tone, it’s the technique, like he had to adopt all these other techniques and put them together to make something extraordinary; the reason there are so many Elvis impersonators is because the voice is undoable – it’s a mystery.
    • Justin Currie Scottish songwriter and singer, explaining Elvis´art to staff writer Graem Thompson, as published in the Scottish Herald, on 26 July 2010.
  • I was making 'The Rat Race' at Paramount and he was also on the lot, shooting "G.I. Blues". So I happened to be walking by a trailer when its door opens, I look up, and there he was, so he grabs me, pulls me in and he says, 'Mr Curtis, I want you to know what a fan I am. I used to watch your movies in Tennessee'. And I said, 'Please, don't call me Mr Curtis'. And this handsome kid looks at me and says, 'So what do you want me to call you?' And I said, 'Just call me Tony'. And I said, 'So what do I call you?' And he said, 'Mr Presley'. Bam, was he funny. We had a great time together.
    • Tony Curtis, as ´published in For Elvis Fans Only on May 18, 2008
  • When I was asked to direct Elvis and after a few conversations with him, I began to sit up and take notice. This is a lovely boy, and he's going to be a wonderful actor, thought and I could guarantee that his acting will amaze everyone. He just shows formidable talent. What's more, he'll get the respect he so dearly desires.
    • Two time Oscar winning Director Michael Curtiz, focusing on Elvis acting capacities in King Creole, which he directed, as published in the Daily notes, on April 9, 1958


D


  • Elvis Presley's incendiary vocal performance of "Baby, let's play house"(1955), hails from rockabilly's formative era, when the rules hadn't yet been cast in stone, and Elvis was still experimenting in overdrive, searching for the compelling sound that would catapult him to icon status in little over a year. Presley's slapback, echo laden hiccuping - briefly rendered "a cappella" before the snarling low end guitar of Scotty Moore enters -, segues into an irresistibly lascivious declaration of lust, and a not-so-subtle hint of violence. Both of Scotty Moore's immaculately conceived, and executed solos were monstrously influential to the rockabilly idiom, copied by countless Southern axe-wielding teens. And Bill Black slaps his thundering upright bass so percussively, that no drummer was necessary.
    • Bill Dahl, reviewing Elvis' fourth release at the Sun Records label, for AllMusicGuide.com
  • You cut the hair of the greatest singer and now you can say you cut the moustache of the greatest artist.
    • Salvador Dali' s words to Larry Geller, Elvis hair stylist, after spending with him en entire week in Paris, during which he insisted he trimmed his animated and eccentric moustache, as published in Geller's Leaves of Elvis Garden.
  • When I saw Elvis on Ed Sullivan, I knew he was having more fun than any other human being up there, actually he was having cosmic fun, and I wanted to do it, too. I didn’t want to be no rock star, when I was young I didn’t even know what that was. I just wanted his job, whatever it was.
    • Jim Dandy, lead singer and frontman for the American Southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas, in an interview published on September 7, 2016 at TEAMROCK.COM
  • It was just before Christmas 1962 and as I was driving from El Paso to the East Coast, I began forming the idea that would become this song; not very long afterwards my long-time friend Bob Johnston invited me to Nashville, and we finished this one together; Bob did a demo on it and when Elvis came to town, he picked it up and held it for almost a year in what was then called his portfolio; so, anyway, he recorded it and it was by far the biggest thing that had ever happened to me in my life.
    • Charlie Daniels, explaining how the power ballad "It hurts me" came into being, and what it meant to him, as published in SONGFACTS.com
  • I just loved Elvis. We had a couple of pictures together from 1969, so I put the first near the bar, at my club. But they kept stealing it, in fact it and the other, as well as numerous copies, disappeared twice a week for a period of thirty years. They had to be replaced hundreds of times. Anyways, one day, a cute girl walked up to me, and then asked me whether she could take a picture, so I got all excited and just as she got real next to me to have our picture taken, she just took the Elvis picture, left the club and said "Thanks Rodney. What was also hilarious was when my wife discovered that Elvis had a handkerchief that was apparently stained with his sweat and it went for a lot of money. So I had a 'eureka' moment. I sweat more than anybody, so my sweat has to be as good as Elvis' sweat, right? So my wife went right to work, ordering hundreds of perfume-sample bottles and setting about farming my perspiration. She was the 'sweat collector, taking a sponge and spoon and collect my sweat -- about an inch at a time.. She thought we could water it down but I said, 'No, that wouldn't be right.' " Ultimately, the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, where I performed a lot in my later years, put the brakes on the operation: "They said, no, we couldn't offer that sweat. An insurance issue. I was crestfallen." My wife still keeps the cloudy fluid in a Tupperware container, which she'll transfer to a crystal decanter for special occasions. "It means a lot to her, she knows how hard I worked to make people laugh."
  • He always wore his affinity for Elvis Presley like a batch, covered "Trouble" on his eponymous band's Thrall-Demonsweatlive EP in 1993 and most recently, filmed a Danzig Legacy concert video that stylistically recalled Presley's '68 comeback special, playing in the round with guitarists from throughout his career and singing in front of his name lit up in red. Although he credits director Mark Brooks with the theme for the film, he said he loved the idea himself and is even in the midst of recording an LP of Elvis covers. "Elvis is actually how I got into music, since I was a kid, I was cutting school pretending I was sick and I would lie at home watching old movies, and "Jailhouse Rock" came on and I was like, 'I want to do this. This is great.' And that's how I veered to music. But the thing that has connected all of his sessions is his desire to record new versions of Elvis songs for the upcoming Danzig Sings Elvis LP. "I'm stripping some of the stuff down to the bare bones, very old-school Fifties echoey slap-back vocals," he says. Every time I go back into the studio to work on a new Danzig record, if we have time, I'm like, 'Let's do another Elvis song.' So I keep adding and we'll see what ends up on the record." Some of the songs he has recorded, he says, include "Home Is Where the Heart Is" and the Faron Young–composed "Is It So Strange?"It's a connection that has been a part of him for years. "We have been stopping by Graceland and Elvis' grave since my days in [goth-punk group] Samhain," Danzig says. "Just, you know, hanging out."
    • Glenn Danzig, during a visit to Rolling Stone, recalling how Elvis Presley influenced him and how, coincidentally, he went on to write songs for Presley's one time Sun Records label-mates Johnny Cash ("Thirteen") and Roy Orbison ("Life Fades Away"), as published in the magazine's online edition on July 1, 2015.
  • Elvis was never short of any stage performance. There is still a lot to be learned there. It gives you an idea of how to work a stage. He drew people in, you know, defiantly. He had that look; he looked like a star. At any rate, I can’t compare myself to Elvis, not even a little bit. People put you on a pedestal; it almost feels like you’re being worshiped sometimes which is not normal for a human being to deal with, not even a little.”
  • He loved all of the well-known performers, but the one that really brought him out of his shell was Elvis Presley.
    • Ronald C.Davidson's son, describing the musical taste of his namesake father, a pioneer of fusion power and Professor Emeritus of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University.
  • i) While writing a song in 1977, I learnt that Elvis had died, which influenced its lyric. Staying in New York at the time, I looked out my window late at night, saw a single light on in one of the buildings, then imagined that light being the apartment of an ardent Elvis fan, which became the character Dan the Fan in the song. In fact, the line, "The King is dead, rock is done," is a reference to Elvis. ii) In fact, Elvis turned up one night during our 1969 gig at the Whiskey a GoGo. He sat in the corner with his wife. I didn’t know until after. I wouldn’t have been able to cope...
    • Ray Davies, leader of the Kinks, on the writing of ROCK 'N' ROLL FANTASY, which he called a "Method acting songwriting job", as published in SONGFACTS.com and ii) in an interview with actor Mark Hamill and published on April 20, 2016
  • i) I think Elvis took a huge chance in doing "In the Ghetto". It was a big risk. ii) The first time I saw Elvis in person I knew he was special. Number one he was the prettiest man you ever saw in your life, he was really beyond handsome. There was something electric about him. Coming along when he did, moving the way he did, jumping around the way he did, plus the fact that every woman was totally mesmerized by him. Everything came to standstill when you saw Elvis. This was when he was 19 and again when he was 30. I saw him at both instances and there was the same reaction both times. You couldn't have wiped the smiles off their faces with a hand grenade. He knew what he could do and what he had and he played on it. He came along at a time in the Fifties, him and James Dean, it was the two of them. They were everything.
    • [Mac Davis, i) in an interview to EIN, published on July 31, 2013. ii) idem, in 2006
  • I have a respect for Elvis and my friendship. It ain't my business what he did in private. The only thing I want to know is, 'Was he my friend?', 'Did I enjoy him as a performer?', 'Did he give the world of entertainment something?' - and the answer is YES on all accounts. The other jazz just don't matter'. 'Early on somebody told me that Elvis was black. And I said 'No, he's white but he's down-home'. And that is what it's all about. Not being black or white it's being 'down-home' and which part of down-home you come from. On a 1 to 10, I would rare him an 11
  • After I'd seen through Christianity, I was still influenced by the elegance of the living world, what appeared to be intelligent design. And that was reinforced when I discovered that my great hero, Elvis Presley, had done a religious album, called Peace in the Valley. Elvis was kind of a minor God to me and my companions, so when I discovered that he was religious, it felt like a call from heaven. This is Elvis, personally calling me.
    • Richard Dawkins, English author and scientist, on how his world was changed by Elvis Presley, as published on MPR news, on October 7, 2013.
  • But then there’s Elvis. I love Elvis Presley, in a totally non-ironic way.
  • Elvis Presley`s talent as a musical artist was double barrelled and more; his voice, on the one hand, was extraordinary for its quality, range and power, as well as being a unique stage performer with instinctive natural abilities in both areas; he was the master of a wide and diverse range of vocal stylings and ventriloquist effects, from the clear tenor of his C&W heroes, to the vibrato of the Gospel singers he loved, his voice invariably possessing an aching sincerity and an indefinable quality of yearning virtually impossible to pigeonhole.
    • From the U.S Department of the Interior`s paper on criteria for greatness as a vocalist, which, together with all aspects of his life and legacy, led to the inclusion of his home, Graceland, in the National Register of Historic Places, in 2006.
  • Sam Phillips originally drafted Elvis to replace an absent ballad singer but, after pairing him with ambitious guitarist Scotty Moore and his upright bass-playing friend Bill Black, the music quickly veered in another direction entirely; the SUN Sessions began as an impromptu jam, the absence of drums being purely incidental given it was a small studio, but the light echo the producer used to compensate, inadvertently had an effect on Presley’s own voice which was far more interesting; Elvis himself was a raw talent, but his singing prowess was immediately apparent, with a vocal range of roughly three octaves, perfect control and ability to jump between bass, baritone and tenor with the greatest of ease; over fifty years after the fact, we can see that what teenagers saw in him, was a genuinely brilliant vocalist that could just as easily convey a soft ballad, as it could a wild rock song; as a rule, the importance of an album is completely separate from its actual quality but, invariably, albums this influential are influential because they’re genuinely great recordings, and "The Sun Sessions" , though not formally compiled until 1976, were certainly great, great classic recordings.
    • Dave De Sylvia reviewing "The Sun Sessions", and Elvis' vocal abilities, for SPUTNIK Misic, on June 1, 2006
  • The voice of Elvis Presley is perhaps the most contested acoustical phenomenon in modern culture. I can understand why some listeners may prefer the original versions (of R&B artists) to Presley’s covers, but it is more difficult to claim that these were immoral or unethical. In terms of vocal style and instrumental arrangement, Presley actually borrows relatively little, his appropriations (being) more straightforward, taking from the materials already protected by copyright: lyrics and melody. So, unless he can be criticized for not imitating an original R&B artist’s rendition, we have to reevaluate Elvis’ transgressions.
    • Joanna Demers, in her book “Musical appreciation, musical meaning and the Law”, published in 2007.
  • Anyways, after his opening show, and a press conference, I spent about fifteen minutes with him, in the hope to take him to bed, but there is a limit to what a woman can say to arouse a man, even for a French woman, especially as his then wife Priscilla was in the proximity. I have yet to see, to this day, a more strikingly beautiful man..
    • Catherine Deneuve, in her autobiography "My life behind the camera", recalling the time she met Elvis on August 1, 1969.
  • I went down to Vegas, had never met him, I was awed, amazing live performer, electric, and halfway through the show he introduced me and it was like, worshiping a God, and then that God says, hey stand up, take a bow, so I stood up and the audience started to cheer, and some telling me to get on the stage with him. Over the years, I thought of it, but I am glad I didn't, it wouldn't have been a good idea. He was warm, very generous to me and I think it was best left at that.
    • Neil Diamond, in an interview with Andrew Denton on "Enough Rope"
  • Tonight, I want to introduce the greatest entertainer of all time. Mr. Elvis Presley. He was Las Vegas and if it wasn’t for him, so many performers like myself would not have the chance to do what we do in this town. He really was the king.”
  • I feel like I'm not the only rapper here, Elvis was like a rapper, wore fancy clothes, he drove a Cadillac!!"
    • DJ Paul, youngest member of the Oscar winning rap group Three 6 Mafia, in accepting their inclusion as members of the first class of inductees to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, as reported by the Jackson Free Press, on November 30, 2012.
  • I fell in love with this song, mostly because of Elvis' superior voice, not really thinking about the true meaning behind the lyrics, but rather how the title relates to the music genre I play as DJ house music.
    • Progressive Italian DJ Spankox, on his re-mix of Elvis' classic "Baby Let’s Play House"(1955), as published on an UPI wire relayed worldwide on the day of the song's release, June 3, 2008
  • His was the one voice I wish to have had, of all those emanating from singers in the popular music field.
    • Placido Domingo, in an interview given to "Hola" Magazine (Spanish version), as published in June of 1994.
  • i) When I was playing at the Flamingo Hotel, in 1969, I went to his room and played for him. I remember him telling me, “You know, Fats, I’m opening up tomorrow but when I first came here I flopped!" But when he got back there it was all gold and every night it was sold out. Boy, he could sing. He could sing spirituals, country and western, everything he sang I liked. Elvis Presley did a lot before he passed. He made movies, he was traveling, everything. I don’t see how he did it; you’d have to stay up day and night. ii) Elvis came to see me before he got a record deal. I liked him. I liked to hear him sing. He was just starting out, almost. He wasn't dressing up. Matter of fact, he had plain boots on. He wasn't wearing all those fancy clothes. He told me he flopped the first time he came to Las Vegas. I loved his music. He could sing anything. And he was a nice fellow, shy. His face was so pretty, so soft. I'm glad we took this picture.
    • Fats Domino, recalling his relationship with Elvis in an interview with Michael Hurtt for the magazine Backtalk and published on June 1,2004 ii) referring to the picture they had of each other, it was taken minutes after Elvis himself called Fats “the King of Rock ’n’ Roll.” in a 1969 press conference when he diverted the attention of members of the press from calling him "King" and directed attention to Fats, who was also at the press conference. Rewinding to 1956, it was a time when musicians borrowed from each other in creating this new sound, leading to a bridge over the nation’s racial divide being constructed from the rockabilly crafted in Memphis by Bill, Scotty and Elvis.
  • What he actually did was take 'black' and 'white' music and transform them into this third thing; (in the final analysis), no one sang so many different kinds of music - rock, gospel, country, standards -, as well as Presley sang them, at such a high level, and for such a long time.
    • Greg Drew, world famous voice coach whose clients include Lenny Kravits, Avril Lavigne, and Corey Glover, as quoted in Mike Brewster`s "The Great Innovators: Birth of a Rock star", published by Business Week in its September 24, 2004 issue.
  • One day, I got a phone call and the guy said "Hey look what Elvis Presley has done, he's covered your masterpiece". I was all shook up, first because I was his fan, and also because I would do covers of his songs, albeit in my terrible English. Years later, i went to graceland and saw the RIAA Award for "You dont have to say you love me" and naturally, I again felt so honoured.
    • Pino Donaggio, Italisn singer-songwriter, in an interview with quelliche...ilcinema, dated 26.05.2016
  • Elvis, what he had was this unique quality, remember I described the sensation of people in that geographic location of the United States at that particular time being a mixed culture artistically? They were playing country, gospel, jazz and the blues and you did not know whether they were black or white, or who's playing what, because you're not looking at a tube, all you're doing is listening to a radio, and they are so good at emulating each other's styles that you don't know what's happening. Elvis blotted up as close as any white man could, the black culture. And he was sensitive to the black culture. If he heard something that he fancied doing and it was white, he didn't make it sound black. If it was black, he didn't make it sound white. He kept it in its tradition. That was one of Elvis' unique facilities.
    • [[w:Tom Dowd|Tom Dowd], record producer for Atlentic, credited with being amongst those who shaped the very sound of popular music through his studio work with the likes of Ray Charles, Otis Redding, the Drifters, the Coasters, Ruth Brown and even Bobby Darin, whose cover of "Mack the Knife" he captured marvellously, as was the case with John Coltrane Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker compositions.
  • Elvis wore a halo. Otis Redding did, too. You knew you were playing with a star when you played with them.
  • i) When I first heard Elvis' voice, I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail.ii) Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun didn't think much of my songs. He produced some great records, no question about it, like Ray Charles, Ray Brown, just to name a few. But Sam Phillips, he recorded Elvis and Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. Radical eyes that shook the very essence of humanity. Revolution in style and scope. Heavy shape and color. Radical to the bone. Songs that cut you to the bone. Renegades in all degrees, doing songs that would never decay, and still resound to this day. Oh, yeah, I'd rather have Sam Phillips' blessing any day. iii) You feel like an impostor, when someone says something you know you're not, like you're a prophet, or a saviour. Elvis, yes, I could easily want to become him. iv) I went over my whole life. I went over my whole childhood. I didn't talk to anyone for a week after Elvis died. If it wasn't for Elvis and Hank Williams, I couldn't be doing what I do today. v) Elvis Presley recording a song of mine, yes, that’s the one recording of mine I treasure the most… It was called “Tomorrow Is A Long Time"
    • 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature Bob Dylan i) speaking about those who influenced his life and music, as part of his acceptance speech after being named the 2015 MusiCares's Person of the Year and as delivered at the Gala organized by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences at the Los Angeles Convention Center on 6 February, 2015. iii) in response to a question from CBS correspondent Ed Bradley, who asked him how he saw himself in his early years, as told in a one hour special retrospective on his life, entitled "Dylan looks back" and broadcast in the December 5, 2004 edition of "60 Minutes" iv) as published in www.graceland.com v) Rollingstone magazine interview June, 1969
  • Kim Jong-il was obsessed with Elvis Presley, his mansion crammed with his idol's records and his collection of 20,000 Hollywood movies included Presley's titles. He even copied the King's Vegas-era look of giant shades, jumpsuits and bouffant hairstyle.
    • Tom Newton Dunn, as published in Jong Il' obituary in the Sun, on 20 December 2011.
  • Well, you might have known trouble was coming if you were here in 1957. That was the year Elvis Presley paid us a visit. I think we might have made him famous, too."
    • Sam Durham, from "A Ghost Tour of Jerome, America's Largest Ghost Town" 1989, Creative Video Productions, Sedona AZ.


E


  • I remember him working on the next stage, always with an entourage of about 15 guys. And I also recall that everybody was doing fast draw – that was the gimmick then. Who was the fastest gun? I was particularly good at it and I can remember taking on Elvis. He was a good guy. And we knew each other and, at that time, we both felt were on the brink of REAlly going somewhere.
    • Clint Eastwood, recalling his early friendship with Elvis, in an interview with Marty Palmer for the Mail, on Sunday 17 January 2011
  • A musician who also felt the power of Presley's Madison Square Garden shows was Paul Stanley, the rhythm guitarist and primary lead vocalist of the rock band Kiss who, as a struggling musician and part-time cab driver at night took numerous customers to, and from the Garden during the three days of Presley's NYC engagement. Hearing about and feeling the excitement directly from those who shared his numerous rides made him think very seriously about his future career, promising himself to one day fill the Garden, something which he accomplished with his band in early February 1977, some 5 months before Presley's death.
    • Bruce Eder, as noted in Wikipedia's page on the 1972 album Elvis as recorded at Madison Square Garde
  • He could sing good. Good singer"
    • Delta Blues singer and guitarist David "Honeyboy" Edwards, a friend and contemporary of bluesman extraordinaire Robert Johnson, speaking about the white boy that came out of Mississippi and went on to become famous, at a concert the Hale House, in Matunuck, RI on Oct 7, 2010.
  • My girlfriends and I are writing all the way from Montana. We think it's bad enough to send Elvis Presley to the army, but if you cut his sideburns off, we will just die. You don't know how we feel about him, I really don't see why you have to send him in the Army at all, but we beg you please please don't give him a G.I. hair cut, oh please please don't! If you do, we will just about die!
    • Letter, one of thousands, sent to US Pres. Dwight Eisenhower after Elvis was drafted and signed by then 8th graders Linda Kelly, Sherry Bane and Micky Mattson. Original now at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC
  • Now tell me all about Elvis Presley? Will he come to England?'"
    • Queen Elizabeth II's question to UK actress Suzzanna Leigh, whom she knew had recently co-starred with Elvis, who in turn she admired tremendously, as Her Majesty greeted guests on the line-up to the Royal Film Variety Performance Gala in 1966. Almost thirty years after Elvis died, she confided to UK TV and radio personality Terry Wogan her favourite Presley song was the laughing version of "Are you lonesome Tonight", as told in an interview held at the HQ of the BBC's Broadcasting House on April 20, 2006.
  • And here this entity was standing in the doorway, this black suit on, and there was absolutely a dead silence in the room, just like somebody had sucked all of the air out of it. And he came in and stood behind a chair, and Dad got up and walked around and shook hands with him, and he sat down at the end of the table. And then the sergeant-at-arms from the legislature, they were meeting in a joint session, which meant that the Senate and the House of Representatives all came together there. And the galleries were filled with people screaming. And when the sergeant-of-arms came down and said it was time for Dad and Elvis to go on upstairs to the legislature, that was when Elvis came up and sat down next to mAs the sergeant-of-arms said, 'Okay, time to go,' Elvis says, 'You're going, aren't you?' And I said, 'No, I'm not gonna be a part of this'. And he says, 'Yeah, I need for you to go'. And I said, 'I don't think I'm supposed to go. There's not seats arranged up there for me, and seats were a premium, believe me'. And he said, 'Yeah, you've got to go'. He grabs my hand, and Dad gives the nod, it's okay, go ahead, you know. And here we go, out through the crowd, down the hallway, up the steps, and then into the opening, and the Speaker of the House, Mr. James Bomar announced that Elvis Presley would be presented to the House of Representatives. At first I was somewhat nervous around him. I mean the persona was so immense, you know. And then it didn't take long though, when he became comfortable with you, that all of that just dissipated. And it was just like you had known him forever...
    • Ann Ellington, daughter of Tennessee Gov. Buffort Ellington, describing her delight after being asked by Elvis to accompany him during his address at the TN State Legislature on March 8, 1961.
  • Yes, life has taught me not to leave anything for tomorrow. I've made a list, some are personal, intimate, others are places I have to visit before I die, like going to Japan, which I did two weeks ago. And, it all actually started when I was at the intensive care unit, and all I kept thinking was that I wasn't going to make it to see Elvis' house.
    • Mikel Erentxun Spanish/French songwriter and singer, after successfully undergoing bypass heart surgery and as published in the Spanish daily "La Razon" on 18 March, 2015 in an article entitled " I thought I would die without seeing Elvis' house"
  • I would occasionally miss the bus that took me from my post back to my living quarters. When that happened, a fellow soldier in my battalion, the most celebrated soldier in the Army, Elvis Presley, who lived a few doors away would offer me a ride. And despite all the hoopla surrounding his military service, he remained remarkably humble and grounded. I'd first met him at Fort Hood in Texas and saw each other every day while we finished training in a M48 tank battalion. After six months, our company was then shipped off to Germany. There Elvis lived a few doors from me. In fact, throngs of German girls camped out in front of his residence. If he revelled in all the attention, he didn’t show it, was kind of on the shy side and wasn’t one to shout out, ‘I’m Elvis Presley the superstar.’ He just kind of kept to himself. But keeping to himself also didn’t mean he was aloof. Out in the field, he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and never shied away from the work that was expected of him, and the rest of the tank company. After our two-year enlistment ended we parted ways and wouldn’t see each other again until 1972, a short time before he was to play a concert at the old Chicago Stadium. I knew a Chicago police watch commander who was working security that night and although the police tried to stop us, my wife and I, from getting backstage at first, Elvis saw them and talked with them for a few minutes. It was the last time we would see or talk to him.
    • Bob Errant, who served in Elvis' Army tank battalion in Germany
  • i) And as a human being? As long as I live, I know I will never see anyone have such a profound effect on people. He could make anyone feel like he was the most important person in the world just by talking with him. He had charisma and charm that is just indescribable and he didn’t even have to sing. When Elvis entered a room, you could feel the energy of his presence tingle at your nerves because the power of his magnetism was that intense and Elvis was just as perplexed by this phenomenon as you or I. He was a humble man but keenly aware of his unique gifts and spent most of his life searching the spirituality, over and over throughout his life asking himself, Why me? Since his death I have asked myself the same question, “why me?” and why, of all the people Elvis met in the service, did he pay special attention to me? In fact, why was I even in the Army? Did destiny lead me into the Army for the sole purpose of meeting Elvis Presley? Why was I selected to become “right hand man to the most celebrated entertainer in history, and to be chosen by Elvis Presley as a best man at his wedding? ii) When you worked for Elvis it wasn’t eight hours a day or 10 hours a day. It was 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because we did everything together. went on vacations together, traveled together. Everything we ever did we all did it together.
    • Joe Esposito, right hand man to Elvis since their return from the Army, in 1960, until Elvis' death in 1977 ii) New York Times obituary, November 27m, 2916.


F


  • The moment I first saw him, the prescence he had, wow, he was so beautiful, and had such a carisma that no one could even utter a word. Anyways, a couple of days later, at the MGM Commisary, which was a gigantic place, you know, full of stars, directors, I was seated in a table, my back was facing the door, and then everybody started to get up, and they were all rushing outside, so I turned around and you know, when you are trying to look through a glass, with the sun behind you, so you kind of cover your face, and it was Elvis, outside, looking for me, inside, so there he was, at one of the lowest times in his career, and all 700 people, many celebrities themselves, rush and try to meet him. He almost didn't have a chance to survive THAT kind of celebrity...
    • Shelley Fabares, telling interviewers at MGM how, even in 1965, when they were filming "Girl Happy", Elvis would cause a riot...
  • Teenagers dominated the mid-20th century, the term being invented only in the 1930s, and no one gave them more visibility than Elvis Presley, who began his own career at 18, embodying the teen desire for liberation from their parents’ culture and mirroring their more open sexuality, as he gave youth everywhere in the world music to call their own.
    • Paula Fass History Professor at the University of California, at Berkeley, answering "The Atlantic Magazine" 's Big Question, on who was the most influential teenager of all time, as published in their April, 2015 edition.
  • I met him in Lake Tahoe. He was playing the Sahara in 1974 and, after shows, he would jam in his dressing room. And I just sat there, taking it all in, then told him how much I loved his music. It was great to have had the chance to do that. I have been his fan since I was 11 years old.
    • Jose Feliciano, in an interview for Pressreader, as published on November 12, 2011.
  • I was actually writing a novel that was about a suspicious death, and it made me think that I wish that I could go back in time and reinvestigate this. That gave me the idea of going back and finding a cold case to write about and investigate within the sports world. Working for ESPN and having written about boxing in the past, it didn't take me long to reach Sonny Liston [as a subject]. The idea of spending time in Las Vegas and recreating that era and then the world that Sonny lived in was really appealing to me. It turned out to be fascinating because it was a trip into the past with Elvis Presley and Howard Hughes and all these larger-than-life men, sports figures, even mobsters. Everybody in the book is larger-than-life...until they're dead.
    • Seth Ferranti, explaining what led to his interest in Sonny Liston and why did he decide to investigate his death as a cold case murder, as published in Vice, on October 17, 2016.
  • Nobody ever asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and all I wanted to be was Elvis Presley. But listening to Elvis was not allowed.
    • Top Israeli cantor and performer Dudu Fisher, as told to the audience at the Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe, LA, and as reported by The Cranbury Press on September 29, 2011
  • It's like people saying Elvis Presley was only famous because he was white. He had, y'know, the rhythm of James Brown but he had his own thing. He was Elvis, he wasn't just a white man. Things like that are going to be picked up between black people and white people and anybody, it doesn't mean a person is or isn't great because they're influenced by something associated with another race. It doesn't matter. Anyway, that period was different, like when he was there, they were stopping everything, and he had the moment for real. While I’m here, its not all about 50 Cent, but it was all about Elvis.”
    • Rapper 50 Cent, in an interview with Noisey to talk about his upcoming album, Animal Ambition, as published at Noisey.vice.com on March 19, 2014.
  • I learned music listening to Elvis' records. His measurable effect on culture and music was even greater in England than in the States."
  • Elvis Presley caught the public's imagination through two things: his unique ability to synthesize all American music styles and his fantastic interpretive qualities as a vocalist; that he managed to keep the public's attention after the music began to suffer, is due to his remarkable charisma, an unparalleled force that was stronger than any ten other men in his peer group; (while) it's the charisma that allowed him to get away with covering substandard songs like "A Little Less Conversation," (1968), it's his musical ability alone that elevated it to a status it didn't deserve, creating something so endearing that the simplest of remix jobs could make it sound contemporary, a quarter-century after his death; he may always be a punchline to some people, but the continuing evolution of our fascination with the King has to do with his ability to reinvent himself every time he's heard; even, apparently, from beyond.
    • Robert Fontenot, music historian and critic at www.about.com, commenting on JXL's re-mix of "A little less conversation", which topped the world's charts in 2002.
  • We are still considering names but since the twins were born on Elvis' birthday, I guess that for now we can call the little boy Prince Elvis.
    • HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, in jokingly speaking to the press on the day his wife HRH, Crown Princess Mary gave birth to twins. Moments later, the press asked Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II (who incidentally had met Presley at the Paramount Studio in 1960) if she, as the grandmother, alas, as the Queen, could confirm what her son had just said. She was noncommital, but it was later learnt that no Prince or Princess in line to be King or Queen of Denmark can be given any name which is not that of another King or Queen, respectively.}, and as reported on january 8, 2011, in Hola magazine.
  • He’s really the only white man who can sing the blues. He's got a real feeling to it, which comes from the contact he had as a child with negroes
    • Alan Freed, disc jockey and radio personality credited with launching the term "rock and roll", circa 1950, as excerpted from an interview with Anita Behrnam in an article entitled “What Alan Freed really thinks about Rock and Roll", published on the October 1958 issue of the "People Weekly" magazine, (p.22), and in response to Ms. Behrnam's question on how he felt about Presley, then serving in the US Army in Germany.
  • I was discharged today and I'm doing very well, feel real good. I just would like thank the staff at Elvis Presley Trauma Center and many, many thanks to all the well-wishers. It's great to know people care about you.
    • Morgan Freeman in an interview to E Entertainment News, just after his release from treatment and full recovery at the EP Trauma Center in Memphis, TN, on August 5, following a car accident three days earlier.
  • Freddy had two people in a pedestal, Elvis Presley and John Lennon. Those were the people he thought made a difference in music and he would never had dreamed he would be put in the same pedestal alongside them. I think he got his wish...
    • Peter Freestone, personal assistant to Freddy Mercury, in an interview with El Nuevo Dia and published on September 4, 2016
  • He has sung for years about murder and biblical torment and characters who hurt one another just for the philosophical kick. It's a nasty congruence that his lyrics set him up to sing about a death he knew nothing of, until it was time to record, something of a ham — possibly down to thinking Elvis Presley is as biblical as anything else.
    • Sasha Frere-Jones, speaking about Nick Cave in an article for the Village Voice and entitled "Navigating the Darkness with David Bowie, Nick Cave, and Leonard Cohen" as published on November 9, 2016.
  • At Sun Studio in Memphis Elvis Presley called to life what would soon be known as rock and roll with a voice that bore strains of the Grand Ole Opry and Beale Street, of country and the blues. At that moment, he ensured — instinctively, unknowingly — that pop music would never again be as simple as black and white.
  • Fifty-six years ago last April, in a studio on Fifth Av in Nashville, a 25-year-old Elvis Presley spit out another platinum-selling record. “It’s Now or Never” hit the airwaves one day after the 4th of July, and topped the charts for weeks. It sold over 20 million records worldwide and became one of his most successful releases. Studios up and down Nashville’s famed “Music Row” have cradled the genius of America’s music masters for generations. For Elvis Presley and many others, that six-block span has been a place where dreams really can come true.But today, in a global internet economy rife with piracy and wanton copyright violations, the future of America’s music industry is threatened. For many musicians, songwriters, and the more than 56,000 Nashville workers whose jobs depend on the resilience of America’s music industry, the time to fight back against those threats truly is “Now or Never.”
    • U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and how it affects Tennessee, as published in the Tennessean, on November 4, 2016.


G


  • After Trump-Clinton, the Vice-Presidential Debate Isn’t Exactly ‘the Return of Elvis’
    • Trip Gabriel's headline to his New York Times article of October 1, 2016
  • In the early going at the Charlotte Coliseum, there were scattered notes here and there that made you wonder if finally he was gonna do it but, always, he would pull up short, rely on the grins, the charisma and the legend, until finally a little before 10:45, he came to the gospel classic, "How Great Thou Art"-. And that was it. As he came to the part where he belts out the title, he sounded like Mario Lanza with soul, cutting loose a series of high notes that would tingle the spine of even the diehard skeptic; but crescendo came on a song called "Hurt"; it's an old song that Elvis didn't record until a couple of years ago, and the key ingredient is its range, an awesome collection of notes that could leave a normal set of vocal chords in shreds; he finished in what seemed his most potent style, but wasn't satisfied, and mumbled to the band, "Let's do that last part again."; he did, and if there was anyone among the packed-house crowd who had thought Elvis was a fluke, they no doubt came away converted.
    • Frye Gaillard, reviewing his February 20, 1977 show at the Coliseum, for the "The Charlotte Observer"
  • There is only Elvis and me, and I couldn't say which one of us is the best.
  • I am an angry man, so angry I burn myself and I heat up the air around me. This is the nuclear fuel I use to make my music. In a world so full of pain and madness we need to be better than ever, to evolve not devolve, to become masters of our fate and stop listening to the snake talkers who would steal our last breath. It’s time to go Elvis and shoot the cursed TV.
    • Duke Garwood, UK multi-instrumentalist, in an interview with Live4Ever, published on November 3, 2016.
  • The Elvis tattoo on my chest? I started listening to 'Jailhouse Rock' and loved it.
    • Rapper Kevin Gates as published on November 24, 2016, at ppcornon.
  • One time, Elvis was in town and invited folks to his suite for a party. His idea of a party? Eating food and having his backup singers belt out gospel songs...
    • Jack Gaughan, President of the Musicians Union of Las Vegas, in an interview with Jan Hogan of the Las Vegas Review Journal on December 2, 2016.
  • Well, it started when I saw him was as a little kid at a 1957 concert at LA's Pan Pacific Auditorium concert. 'Then, I beceme a hairdresser, so the first time I cut his hair, which was in 1964, it took about me 45 minutes to finish it and the whole time Elvis didn't say a word, but his eyes would follow every move I made. I was then already working with people like Warren Beatty & Paul Newman and the most handsome guys of the movies, but I can tell you Elvis eclipsed them all. He had the face, the voice, the career, the fans, the fame, the money and he had.... the hair, which was unbelievable to work on. He insisted that I trim his animated and eccentric moustache.
    • Larry Geller, Elvis ' hairdresser, as noted in his autobiography.
  • Religion in and of itself and spirituality are the absolute pure tools of a songwriter. For instance, if you listen to mountain music or immigrant music or bluegrass music, religion was the only subject. So when you listen to that kind of music, you realise they didn’t have anything else but religion. So religion over the years and through rock ‘n’ roll and through people like Elvis Presley, hey, just listen to him singing gospel music, c’mon…. It never went away, it never will and the idea of true faith is behind every artist that ever gets to the place they want to be.
    • Barry Gibb, in a 2016 interview for New Zealand's Roxborogh Report
  • In the collective memory of his fans, he reigns as the sleek musical genius who soaked up the multiple influences of America's vernacular music -gospel, country swing, rhythm 'n' blues—, and made them his own; Bob Dylan, one of pop's favorite poets, put it best: Elvis, he said, was "the incendiary atomic musical firebrand loner who conquered the western world.
    • Gwen Gibson, in his article "The Top 10 Pop Stars, Ever", published in the AARP's May 2003 edition
  • i) I don't really think Elvis' voice was significantly lower than those of any other baritones. The colour of the voice and the sense of warmth and richness of tone gave the sense that the voice was much deeper. Elvis, in fact, did not force his lower register, comfortable as he was with it, which in turn gave the impression that it was lower than those of other baritones. ii) People will often say that opera singers sound too stiff and operatic when singing contemporary music. This is because the vowels in an operatic style tend to be more open, whereas in a rock style singers tend to thin out the vowel. There is nothing wrong, and everything right, in opening the vowel in the higher register so that the higher notes can be sustained. Elvis Presley was very open in his singing style even though he was 'the' rock and roller.
    • i) and ii) Brian Gilbertson, world-famous voice teacher, explaining the deepness of Elvis' lower registry.
  • Along with the rest of "Deep Purple", I once had the chance to meet Elvis. For a young singer like me, he was an absolute inspiration. I soaked up what he did like blotting paper. It's the same as being in school — you learn by copying the maestro. His personality was also extremely endearing, his interviews were very self-effacing (and), he came over as gentle and was generous in his praise of others. He had a natural, technical ability, but there was something in the humanity of his voice, and his delivery. Those early records at the Sun Records label are still incredible and the reason is simple: he was the greatest singer that ever lived.
    • Ian Gillan, lead singer and frontman of the UK hard rock band "Deep Purple", interviewed by Classic Rock magazine, explaining why Presley belongs in the list of rock icons ( as published in blabbermouth.net, on 3rd January, 2007)
  • I was living in France about five years ago, and that's when I discovered the Elvis Sun Sessions recordings. To me, most people know the later Elvis stuff, you know, "Blue Suede Shoes" and what he later recorded at RCA. But this stuff just has the energy and modesty and integrity of where he came from. It's his start and it was really the start of rock and roll, holding on to the roots of American music in every way, the blues, rockabilly. I think these recordings represent really the discovery of one of the greatest singers and performers of all time. It's the beginning".
    • Katie Glassman, singer and fiddler, explaining to Nathalia Velez, of Westword, her interest in Elvis' earliest recordings and as published by www.westword.com on 17 January, 2013.
  • Presley’s long-time manager admitted it to me, over tea, that the real reason why my attempts to bring Elvis to London had failed, was his own uncertain immigration status. Parker was an illegal and didn’t want to risk leaving the US – so it was him, not Elvis,”
    • Top world rock concert promoter and entrepreneur Harvey Goldsmith, laying to rest the long-running rock’n’roll mystery of why Elvis never performed outside North America, as published by the Guardian on 31 May,2015
  • I remember having a conversation with some of the older artists at STAX about when Elvis was breaking in the mid 1950's like the Reverend Bishop Dwight Arnold “Gatemouth” Moore, a disc jockey who had been a huge blues singer in the 1920´s and 1930's and became a gospel singer thereafter. In fact, it was he who said, 'Elvis gave us a second career'. That's what some people thought, but it's like you hear, some thought he was doing great things for African-Americans, bringing a respect to that music. I've read the newspaper articles of the time and the sense of fear and anger that Elvis instilled and the way he was despised was a real jolt, and it remains an amazing representation of America at the time. At the same time, the fact it was a white guy doing it made it different and I think a lot of people did get a new life.
    • Writer and film director Robert Gordon, interviewed by Graham Reid for the Elsewhere magazine and published on November 7, 2013
  • In the music world, there had always been a distinction between black and white music, the assumption being that black was R&B and white was pop. But with the explosion of Elvis and rock and roll those clear distinctions began to disappear. In fact, Elvis Presley was the first white artist to blur the lines of color among artists.
    • TAMLA and MOTOWN's founder Barry Gordy's description of what Presley meant to the blurring of the colour lines, as mentioned in autobiography entitled "To be loved"" (pp 180-81)
  • It’s always been my dream to come to Madison Square Garden and be the warm-up act for Elvis.
    • Then Senator Gore, accepting the nomination for vice president at the 1992 Democratic Convention & prior to Bill Clinton's (aka "Elvis" by his security staff) acceptance of the presidential nomination, as publisshe in www.graceland.com
  • My uncle Perry came in, when I was six and started to create this character in the mirror. Because he was putting on this show, all my family were in the act so I was head of security, wearing this little official gold jacket, and suddenly there are all these screaming people, and my uncle - who has a moustache, a birthmark on his face and no hair - becomes Elvis and he's amazing. When the show was over, it felt like this weird emotional storm had taken over our house and sometimes when I try to figure out why I'm acting, I figure that had to be it.
    • Actor Ryan Gosling, crediting Elvis and his uncle Perry, who was an Elvis impersonator, with starting his acting career, as published on Janaury 8, 2013 at the Belfast Telegraph.
  • That the prime exponent of this new style of music should be a singer who possessed no prior professional experience was an anomaly; (in fact), not only were most of the mannerisms that would define his vocal style present at the creation — from the sudden swoops in register to the habit, derived from gospel singing, of starting his lines with a throat-clearing "well" that gave whatever followed the feeling of a retort, but what was even more impressive was the extent to which his first professional recording was marked by the trait that has characterized every great popular singer: the absolute assertion of his personality over the song; from this, it might be concluded that Presley was simply a "natural.", but the truth, as ever, was more complex than that.
    • Jonathan Gould, on his Beatles-inspired book, "Can't Buy Me Love", referring to Presley's early SUN Records label recordings and their influence on the Liverpool rock and roll scene" (2007)
  • We were shooting a musical number on a merry-go-round where he's taken this little girl to the park and she's riding around and Elvis is singing to her. Well, she was a very young girl and she could only work for a few hours a day with us getting into all kinds of penalties and overtime. So when it came time to do Elvis' close up the little girl wasn't available to do the offstage. So Elvis said to me, 'I always feel better if I can sing to somebody'. He says, 'I wonder if you would mind standing beside the camera and let me sing to you when I do my close ups'. So I had Elvis Presley sing a song directly to me in a movie, and that was quite a thrill. (In fact), of all the people I've ever worked with in my entire life, and I've been a director for 47 years, Elvis was wonderful, the politest and nicest actor I ever worked with. A great guy."
  • As sound leaves the body, it needs to resonate against something specific. There are options – you can direct that flow of sound to the nose, the throat, the jaw or to the sinus cavities in the face-, but I think what Elvis did – as evidenced by his lip curl – was to aim the vibration stream right at his teeth.
    • Renee Grant-Williams, voice coach, and author of "Voice Power: Using Your Voice to Captivate, Persuade, and Command Attention", explaining where some of the power to please the ear, in Elvis' voice, may have come from, as published in Newsreleasewire.com, on December 12, 2006
  • i) I loved Mahalia Jackson, all the great gospel singers, but the most important music to me was those hip-shakin’ boys, like Wilson Pickett and Elvis Presley. I just loved Elvis Presley. Whatever he got, I went out and bought. But I liked “Love Me Tender” the most. In fact, Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us ii) Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, you know, I liked them all. See, we were used to the Motown era and the Stax era. And I really had an Elvis Presley collection of records, myself. I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I liked all the Elvis records, had no idea I would move to Memphis, Tennessee, and (in fact) I didn’t know Elvis lived in Memphis.
    • Al Green's answer as to what music did he listen to as a 13 year old kid, growing up, as published in Al Green's Wikipedia page ii) his replky as to which singers influeced him the most, from interview with Wax Poetics
  • Elvis manages to pull off exponential, seismic shifts in energy, unleashing hoards of it through his voice whilst, within the space of a second, racing up the highest, most absolute vocal intensity; it's almost voyeuristic to see a single performer put so much energy; you look around to see if it's really possible; the voice just becomes a big tank panzering through the screen, punching in chorus after driving chorus and it is insanely, inexplicably thrilling seismic TV, bigger than the moon landing, a one-man volcano of energy; he makes it seem so damn effortless and, despite all the waiting and expected attention during the solo numbers, he always puts in an on-performance, the three unflagging takes of "If I can Dream" all intense, committed; and he does this through vocal performance alone, not moves; this is probably one of the few times where the vocals mattered most to him, and it shows; after days of intense singing, he hardly even loses his voice; I challenge any current pop singer to match this three-day heavy intensity, this sheer rock and roll energy.
    • Francis K. Green, as excerpted from his review of Elvis' TV Special, shot at the NBC Burbank Studios over three days in the summer of 1968, and as published at SLOWREVIEW.COM
  • Ok, so I think Elvis would've dug Bruce, because he not only sings from his gut and heart, he paints really deep canvases with his words. Even if you can't stand his voice, no one, but no one, can take away his incredible talent of writing. Man to get Elvis singing a Bruce song, WOW!! Anyways, so I was in Hollywood shooting an escape from a straitjacket hanging upside down on the hollywood sign, and my photographer said let's eat at George Santo Pietro's Restaurant. We got there and it was sparsely occupied a few tables, very private and next to me and just behind me sat Bruce Springsteen eating with someone else (I was told later it was a guitarist from the Stones) I got nervous and my date said go up and say hey. I waited for the guitarist to leave while others in the restaurant left. Here's my chance, should I? should I? Oh shit. So I said "Hi I'm Michael Griffin Im in town shooting a show and I love Elvis music and yours". Holy crap Bruce said sit down. We were talking and ordered another pizza, US$34 for that pizza and stuff. We kept going on and on about Elvis and the feel of music in the gut and how when I was given a Bruce record (the River) I finally found that OTHER guy who sings from the gut and writes it perfectly too. Bruce was incredibly nice, just down to earth cool guy no airs about him. Dinner ended and I thoroughly enjoyed my expensive pizza with The Boss at Santo Pietro's...
  • Elvis got that number and made it famous, but I didn’t get a chance to shake his hand
    • Arthur Gunter bluesman who wrote "Baby let's play house" in 1954, a song covered by Elvis at SUN, in 1955 with the latter being on the one hand, the main inspiration for Jimmy Page's decision, at age 12, to take up a life in music, as well as the source of one of the verses of a Beatles's composition, namely "Run for your life", on the other.
  • But the core of the album, and perhaps the core of Elvis' music itself, are the soulful gospel-flavored ballads. Well, it's often seemed as if Elvis bore more than a passing resemblance to soul singer Salomon Burke. The way in which he uses his voice, his dramatic exploitation of vocal contrast, the alternate intensity and effortless nonchalance of his approach, all put one in mind of a singer who passed this way before, only going the other way. And here he uses these qualities to create a music which, while undeniable country, puts him in touch more directly with the soul singer than with traditional country music. It was his dramatic extravagance, in fact, which set him apart from the beginning, and it is to this perhaps, as much as anything else -- to the very theatrics which Elvis brought to hillbilly music --, that we can trace the emergence of rock & roll.
    • Peter Guralnick, who wrote major biographies on Robert Johnson, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley, reviewing the album Elvis Country (1970), for Rolling Stone Magazine in 1971.
  • When one studies the properties of atoms one found that the reality is far stranger than anybody would have invented in the form of fiction. Particles really do have the possibility of, in some sense, being in more than one place at one time. Thus, and essentially, anything that can happen does happen in one of the alternatives which means that superimposed on top of the Universe that we know of, is an alternative universe where Elvis Presley is still alive. This idea was so uncomfortable that for decades scientists dismissed it, but in time parallel universes would make a spectacular comeback. This time they'd be different, they'd be even stranger than Elvis being alive. There's an old proverb that says: be careful what you wish for in case your wish comes true. The most fervent wish of physics has long been that it could find a single elegant theory which would sum up everything in our Universe. It was this dream which would lead unwittingly to the rediscovery of parallel universes. It's a dream which has driven the work of almost every physicist.
    • Alan Guth, physicist at MIT, and narrator Dilly Barlow, as extracted from the BBC-TWO documentary "Parallel Universes" originally shown Thursday 14 February 2002


H


  • I think and my roots are blues, country, soul and rock. Rock is fourth believe it or not. I did not start out playing rock; I started out playing blues and R&B. When I was going back – my first musical experience with my father was listening to Hank Williams. And then Elvis Presley came along and my big sisters went with that, so that's really country/rockabilly/blues. So those are my roots and they are really starting to come out even deeper...
    • Sammy Hagar, frontman andf guitarist for bands Montrose and Van Halen, the latter when replacing David Lee Roth.
  • I once had a personal visit with Elvis Presley following his 1972 concert here in San Antonio. He had a deep sensitivity for the Lord, received Grammys for his religious recordings, "How great thou art", and "He touched me", sang abuut heaven with a real passion and touched the lives of people even through a record. I know some of you are going to start writing me nasty letters for saying such nice things about Elvis Presley... Please... when you get to be perfect... then send me the letter.
    • Sermon by John Hague, Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas and also CEO of the non-profit corporation, Global Evangelism Television (GETV).
  • He became a part of my life, he had a great voice, was the first rock star I saw in the cinema, was moving like anyone, and even his hair was a part of the whole thing, but it was the really the sexy voice he had, that was what no woman could resist it.
    • Johnny Hallyday French rocker since 1959, in a an interview for Canadian television in 2002.
  • The point of Elvis Presley was that, after a dismal eight years on the screen, he returned to the stage where he always belonged and to the grinding treadmill of being on the road, which has killed so many of America's artists; he may not have pushed the boundaries of music farther but when he opened his mouth to release that baritone - the only white voice that could ever match the blues-, all you could feel was his longing and your own stirrings.
    • Adrian Hamilton, writing for "The Independent", on August 14, 2002
  • I went to Alana and told her that if she wanted to get married we’d have to get married right there and then. So we got married in Elvis’s suite at the Las Vegas Hilton. Elvis was smart, would come over and sing gospel music and we’d have dinner. And I was at his funeral some years later. I flew in on his airplane "Lisa Marie" with the Sweet Inspirations. That was a freaky day when we took him out of Graceland to the cemetery and we were all in the white limousines. A very, very freaky day. Things happened that I’ll never forget. The stewardess on the plane told me that his milkshake mug broke that day on landing. And when they picked me up they said the blanket in back, in his bed. had caught fire. And I saw for myself, when they brought his body out of Graceland this huge branch of a tree just cracked. Not some little willow. There was a weird energy happening there and you could feel it.
  • When healthy and serious, he was flat-out the world's greatest singer. In his voice, he possessed the most beautiful musical instrument, and the genius to play that instrument perfectly; he could jump from octave to countless other octaves with such agility without voice crack, simultaneously sing a duet with his own overtones, rein in an always-lurking atomic explosion to so effortlessly fondle, and release, the most delicate chimes of pathos. Yet, those who haven't been open (or had the chance) to explore some of Presley's most brilliant work - the almost esoteric ballads and semi-classical recordings -, have cheated themselves out of one of the most beautiful gifts to fall out of the sky in a lifetime. Fortunately, this magnificent musical instrument reached its perfection around 1960, the same time the recording industry finally achieved sound reproduction rivaling that of today. So, it's never too late to explore and cherish a well-preserved miracle, as a simple trip to the record store will truly produce unparalleled chills and thrills, for the rest of your life; and then you'll finally understand the best reason this guy never goes away.
    • Mike Handley, narrator and TV/radio spokesman, in the 'The Jim Bohannon Show', airing on 600+ radio stations on the Westwood One Network.
  • I believe he was already assured of his ability as a performer since he had been perfecting his style on the road for more than a year. If you look at that first appearance on Stage Show, you'll witness a young confident singer with his own unique style. He would enhance his popularity with five more appearances on Stage Show (February 4, 11, 18; March 17, 24) and would become a superstar by the end of that year. On that historic television debut of January 28, 1956, the spotlight was first shown on the two people who had made it happen - the promoter and the performer - disc jockey Bill Randle and the new singing sensation, Electric Elvis.
    • Roger Hall, music preservationist and songwriter, in his essay "Shake, Rattle and Roll: Bill Randle and Electric Elvis", Elvis Symposium (2003)
  • I’ve heard some musicians say, ‘That man ain’t sayin’ nothing.’ It’s just a matter of rival performers trying to detract from those who are doing business. As far as I’m concerned, a man that sells that many records must be saying something to somebody.
    • Jazz pianist and bandleader Lionel Hampton's laud of Elvis Presley, as noted in a December 19, 1957 article in Variety.
  • At auction, there are many names with a stellar multiplication factor beyond the obvious entertainers, people who have influenced history as leaders, politicians, captains of industry, artists, musicians, sportsmen, people with personal qualities that resonate with a very large marketplace. Therefore, items with a connection to Princesses Diana and Grace, as well as to Audrey Hepburn, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali and Yves St Laurent all command big prices at auction.
    • Mike Hanlon, auction expert, in an article entitled "The world's most valuable scientific books and manuscripts - an overview of the marketplace" and published in the New Atlas, which he founded, in its edition of October 7, 2016.
  • A style and panache that come close to pure magic. Lithe, raunchy, the sweat pouring down his face, he now moves with the precision of an athlete, the grace of a dancer, flamboyant and flashy, sexy and self-mocking, he works with the instincts of a genius to give poetry to the basic rock performance.
    • W.A. Harbinson, from his 1975 book "The Illustrated Elvis" in a passage reflecting upon Elvis' 1969 Vegas engagement
  • Atheism is not a philosophy, not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, 'atheism' is a term that should not even exist. No one needs to identify himself as a 'non-astrologer' or a 'non-alchemist.' We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”
    • Sam Harris, author, philosopher, and neuroscientist, in A Letter to a Christian Nation
  • I met him later at Madison Square Garden. And at that time, I had my uniform, the worn-out denim jacket and jeans—looked like a rag-man and I had a big beard and moustache and long hair down to my waist. They took me to meet him and I’m sitting there, thinking "Well, where’s Elvis, then?" And finally he came out of the back and he was immaculate. I felt like a real grubby little slug and he looked like Lord Siva or something, seemed to be about eight feet tall and his hair was black and his tan was perfect and he had this big white suit, a gold belt about four feet wide and he was towering above me so I just put a hand out and said "Hello, Elvis, how are you?"—just cowering like this little rag-man. (In fact) we all loved him and he’s still there in his spirit and in his music...ii) Jesus Christ said " Put your own house in order"' and Elvis said "Clean up your own backyard" so if everybody tries to fix themselves up, rather than trying to fix everybody else up, there won't be a problem.
    • George Harrison's account i) of talking to Elvis, backstage on June 10, 1972, from a Creem Magazine interview in 1987 amd ii) from Paul Simpson's The Rough Guide To Elvis p. 215
  • If it once was assumed that Elvis fans defined themselves by class, and were predominantally from the lowers stratas, this is an assumption that has long been confounded.

His fans are also Presidents, Prime Minister and royals. In May 2014, Prince William and his brother Prince Harry and their cousins went to Memphis for a friend's wedding. In spite they were born after Elvis death, the power of Elvis mystique made them pay their respects just like millions have...

    • Ted Harrison in his biook the Death and Resurrection of Elvis Presley.
  • He was on the NBC set of "Laugh in" in June of 1968 because he used to rehearse in the studio for his NBC special that year. Anyways, in walks this guy, and he was soooo beautiful, that it just took my breath away, everybody's breath away. And he walked up to me, and he tussled my hair, and he said 'You look like a chicken that's just been hatched'. 'And I didn't know what to think, I thought it was a compliment. But my god, I've never met a guy with so much charisma in my life'
    • Goldie Hawn, in an interview with UK show-host Jonathan Ross
  • Elvis was a giant and influenced everyone in the business.
  • I just loved him!!!
    • Hugh Hefner's laud of Elvis on the day after he introduced Hefner to the audience at the Las Vegas Hilton, on January 29, 1974.
  • I remember the revelation it was to me when I realized I'd rather be smart in the way Elvis Presley was than in the way, say, Ludwig Wittgenstein was. The thing was, you could imagine you could be smart like Wittgenstein by just thinking hard enough, but Elvis just had it. It was almost spiritual. A kind of grace.
    • Richard Hell, singer, songwriter, bass guitarist, and writer, as noted ingoodreads.com
  • One of his favourite musicians to watch was Elvis Presley. In fact, Jimi specially idolized him, loved his music but more than that he liked the passion he showed on stage ii) He'd play for me all the time when I was a kid. After our mother was gone it was hard on me, and I had a hard time sleeping some nights. Jimi would hear me crying sometimes and come sit on the bed next to me and play me songs on the guitar to help me relax until I could fall asleep. He played a lot of Elvis songs to me, especially "Love me tender" and Heartbreak Hotel." iii) My uncle Al at the time was having financial difficulties so Jimi came to live with us, for about a year, and he would play the guitar on a broomstick, so at that time we are all listening to Elvis Presley iv) In 1969 I was sitting next to Jimi when Elvis Presley's new Soulful recording of 'Suspicious Minds'had just came out and the DJ started playing it. Jimi reached for the radio, turned up the volume and started singing along. 'Great song'. He was excited Elvis was coming back with new music and live performing.v) Back at the BBC, he chose a bluesie list that included his tribute to Elvis Presley, with Hound Dog, a crowd pleaser which would start to creep into many of his later live shows.
    • Elvis' huge influence on the 15 year old Jimi Hendrix, in particular after seeing him live on 1 September, 1957 at Seattle's old Sick's stadium, as published in Hendrix's biography by Lora Green ii) Leon Hendrix, recalling his older brother Jimi putting him to sleep, in 1957.iii) Hendrix's first cousin, from an interview included in 'The Jimi Hendrix Story episode 1'. iv) as told by Sharon Lawrence in his book Jimi Hendrix: The Intimate Story Of A Betrayed Legend
  • At first it was funny, but then just sad. That'€™s pretty much how many Indonesians felt when they saw pictures of politicians Fadli Zon and Setya Novanto at a 2015 press conference held by American presidential hopeful Donald Trump. It was hilarious because it was so unreal. First, how did they get there, and why? Of all the places to visit in New York, why choose Trump'€™s campaign headquarters? Second, what'€™s with the star-struck faces? Couldn'€™t they play it a little cooler? It'€™s Donald Trump, for heaven'€™s sake '€” not Elvis!
    • Ary Hermawan, in an article dated September 8 2015 for the Jakarta Post.
  • I visited eleven countries with Pres. Eisenhower during a massive 1959 peace-building campaign, took a helicopter tour of Washington with Pres. Johnson to see the devastation from the riots after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, and stood on the South Lawn as a disgraced Pres. Nixon boarded Marine One for the last time and left the White House. I met Arnold Palmer when Eisenhower played golf with him at Augusta National, got the word that Elvis Presley had showed up unannounced at the White House’s northwest gate to talk to Nixon and was at Cape Canaveral to watch the Apollo 11 launch, which first put men on the moon.
    • Clint Hill, from his autobiography "Adventures of a Secret Service agent who served under five presidents".
  • It’s insane the charisma he had. I’ve never seen anything like it to this day. When I saw Elvis on television, I just fell in love with him completely. As a singer, I want to be able to relate to an audience like this man did. Of course, nobody can – he was the best there ever was.”
  • I wear glasses anyway but I wear slightly different ones, and when I'm not working, I tend to grow a bit of a beard or stubble. I very rarely get spotted, but if I'm shaved and I've got a suit on, then I do. But there are ways of not being recognised, just by not catching people's eye and walking fast," he explains. But I'm not Elvis Presley, I'm just some comic and I haven't been on TV for a while.
    • Harry Hill, irish comedian in a interview for the Irish Times pubished on 10 October 2016
  • I don’t know about you, but when I see Bill Clinton I think of Elvis Presley. Tonight,the former president tried to ease the suspicious minds of Bernie Sanders’ supporters and make them feel burning love for Hillary Clinton.It was a complicated challenge: Improving the public perception of his wife, who is–in a word–unliked, while he’s liked much more. Recounting how they met in college, he was charming. He credited her with inspiring his interest in public service. He made her sound committed, and tireless, while making himself sound like the second banana in their marriage.He called her the best mother in the world, his best friend, a change maker. But Bill Clinton has lost some of his Elvis: This wasn’t his best speech; and I don’t know if it will change a single vote. If Hillary Clinton wins, then Bill will also be moving back into the White House. So both are applying for jobs.In 1992, when he was a candidate, he told voters they’d “get two for the price of one” if he were elected. In 2016, that will be true again, if she is.
  • Even in his laziest moments, Presley was a master of intonation and phrasing, delivering his rich baritone with a disarming naturalness. And when he caught a spark from his great T.C.B. Band, Presley could still out-sing anyone in American pop. You can hear it here on inspired versions of Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Working"(1971), Wayne Carson's "Always on My Mind"(1972), Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" (1975), McCartney's "Lady Madonna"(1970), Percy Mayfield's "Stranger in My Own Hometown"(1969), Dennis Linde's "Burning Love"(1972) and Joe South's "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" (1970).
    • Geoffrey Himes, reviewing the "Essential 70's masters" box-set, for amazon.com
  • Elvis Presley had an 8 year exclusive run at the Hilton, entertaining some 2.5 million people, enough to fill the Rose Bowl 25 times over, the city's all time most succesful performer.
    • Hotelier Barron Hilton's words, as displayed at a plaque affixed to Presley's statue, now located at the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel.
  • I am indebted to Scott W. Johnson, my fellow at the Claremont Institute, for many things over the years, but not many rate higher than his "introducing" me to Elvis Presley. I came of age (i.e., reached the 9th grade), just in time for the "British Invasion" and, despite my childhood memories, soon came to think of him as the ultimate in passe; so, I was astonished when Scott told me, a year or two ago, that in his opinion Elvis Presley was the greatest male vocalist of the 20th Century; I had never thought of him in that light, to put it mildly, but that conversation caused me to realize that I had never actually 'listened'; starting then, I did - with the aid of Scott's encyclopedic music collection -, so if you have never gotten past a cartoon image of Elvis, do yourself a favor and 'listen'.
    • John H. Hinderaker, of the Claremont Institute, a Harvard Law School Graduate and expert on public policy issues, including income and race, as published in Power.Line, on January 09, 2007
  • It begins and ends in Sept. 1956 when he returned to his hometown to perform before an adoring, screaming crowd at the state fair. The documentary spends most the time delving into his childhood days in Tupelo, which included sneaking peeks into late-night blues joints and singing at black gospel tent revivals. It’s clear that Elvis Presley lived the music before he became a recording sensation.
    • Mark Hinson, Democrat senior writer of the Tallahassee Democrat reviewing what he calls the nothing-fancy documentary “Elvis: Return to Tupelo” (2008), as published on 6 October 2016
  • When I met him, I had a very small role in his movie, “Live A Little, Love A Little,” but he was very kind to me. He didn’t mind when I had to do 5 or 6 takes of a very simple scene. I guess I had expected him to be kind of wild and boisterous, but that was not the case. He ran lines with me, worked out a realistic way I was to knock him down in one scene, was friendly every day, liked jokes and told some good ones. I was smoking a Dutch cigar one day and, when he asked about them, I gave a few to Elvis. The next day, there was a whole pack of those cigars on my chair on the set. We talked about karate and he showed me some moves – even had the prop man set up a brick for him to break. He liked my square-toed boots and asked me where I got them – I heard he bought a half-dozen pair like them in all available colors. We also talked about things we did back home in Mississippi, like squirrel hunting. His boys were around him all the time – I talked a lot with Charlie Hodge. It was a memorable time. I never had any contact with him after that. I could not help but be impressed with how down-to-earth and laid back he was.
    • Singer and actor Eddie Hodeges, recalling the time he met Elvis at the MGM set in Los Angeles.
  • Sometimes I feel my life is very surreal (like when) I looked back the time we wanted to have a tour of Graceland and once there got what we were told was a special tour that was only given to rock bands. So we got to see things that everybody didn’t get to see and had our own tour guide dedicated to us. The eternal flame at Elvis’ tomb was out that day, so we stood around and sang “Heartbreak Hotel” ala Spinal Tap. Later on I recounted the story to Billy Steinberg and he said, wait-wait, stop-stop, it’s a great story but why don’t we write a song called “Eternal Flame”? And I said okay. So that’s how it started. And along with "Walk like an Egyptian" they both songs went to #1 which was pretty amazing.
    • Susanna Hoffs, singer, guitarrist and founder of the US all-women rock band The Bangles, explaining to Classic Rock Music Reporter Ray Shasho how their biggest worldwide hit, "Eternal Flame" which in early 1989 topped the charts in 9 countries in three continents came into being and as published in their online page on June 28, 2014
  • Riding a streamlined rock-and-roll beat, the singer's vocal swoops, slurs, hiccups, moans and growls added up to a new pop singing vocabulary that was instantly memorized by scores of imitators. The antithesis of a relaxed conversational crooning, Presley's style was fraught with tension and animated by an attitude of self-conscious melodrama, woving the whole unwieldy spectrum of pop singing - country-blues, Italianate crooning, Gospel, soul shouting, and honky-tonk yodeling - into an integral personal style. His crowning touch was to accentuate the spontaneously exuberant humor that had always been an ingredient of country, and the blues, but singing it in a way that seemed to poke fun at his own accomplishment.
    • Stephen Holding, in the article "A Hillbilly who wove a rock and roll spell", published by the New York Times on Sunday, July 19, 1987.
  • This song I'm dedicating to a really good friend of mine who has passed on. One of the greatest ever entertainers. The song 'Tupelo', it was his favorite song of mine, and it's where he was born. Dedicating this to Mr. Elvis Presley. And I hope wherever he is, he's resting at ease."
    • Blues Legend John Lee Hooker's intro to his touching tribute to Elvis, in September of 1977, from his live album "Cream"
  • I spent my 71 birthday at his home, my wife decided it would have in his car museum in Graceland and I even played on his last piano. In fact, President Clinton, who is also a great Elvis fan, recommeded on the last time I saw him, to read "Last Train to Memphis", and I have. I Love Elvis...
    • Anthony Hopkins, in an interview at Jay Leno Tonight Show, broadcast on November 4, 2013.
  • It was on a Sunday, on September 15, 1967, when a yardman who had worked at Graceland, went to Vernon Presley's nearby home to see about getting his job back at Graceland. Vernon told him the job was not available anymore as it had been a temporary one only, while the regular man, an African American was sick. The yardman complained that it was pretty raw to give his job to "a negro", then left Vernon's home, after threatening both Vernon and Elvis. A half hour later, according to police reports, he appeared at the Graceland Gates, drunk, arrogant, cursing, then taking a shot at Elvis. He missed his target, and Elvis then knocked him to the ground with one punch.
    • Jerry Hopkins, in his book, "Elvis", detailing the story of yardsman Troy Ivy,
  • I can close my eyes and remember the day my friend died. It was a hot summer day. He was someone I had never met, who never even knew that I existed. But he was someone who touched my life in a profound way, possibly even saved it in those lonely wee hours of the silent mornings when the demons made their play for my soul. My mom died in February of 1976, when I was 15. I felt lost, depressed, unwanted. I felt my mom was the only person that loved me, and that I would never know love again. And it got worse.I had never gotten along particularly well with my father, and that relationship withered and died in the years that followed. He told me he wished I had died instead of my mom, told me when I fell asleep that he was going to kill me. I spent many nights sleeping under my bed, or trying to surround myself with boxes as I slept sitting up in a corner of my bedroom. The time he stuck a shotgun in my mouth and said he was going to blow my head off, I no longer cared. I just closed my eyes and waited for the gun to go off. The truth is I wanted to die. I used to sleep with a loaded pistol pointed at my head, hoping that I would accidentally shoot myself in my sleep.I thought that I would never know sunshine again. But, through it all, when my thoughts darkened and I'd cry and wish I was dead, there was always one ray of happiness that winked through the storm. It was that friend, Elvis. When I was depressed—and that was often—it was usually the sound of Elvis's voice that brought me back from the edge of the abyss. Yeah, we never met, but he was my friend all the same. He helped walk me through a difficult time in my life and he's been there ever since.Elvis may have left the building, but he'll never leave my heart. I love you, Elvis; and thanks for being a friend.
    • John Christian Hopkins, member of the Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island, author of Carlomagno, and currently living on the Navajo Reservation as published on indiancountrytodaymedianetwork, and published on Aug 31, 2014
  • Elvis invited me out to the studio, it was at 20th Century Fox,and I went out and he recorded 'Love Me Tender'. I was standing about five yards away from him, and he was singing into a microphone and I couldn't hear him. I thought how strange it was. And then he asked for a playback and his voice came out and I thought 'Wow!' I knew so little about music, it was a different world to me, that he could be actually recording something that would come out that clearly, and yet I was like in touching distance off him and I couldn't hear his voice. I showed him around Hollywood and we got to know each other pretty well for the two weeks. He was a very sweet and innocent naive kind of guy
    • Dennis Hopper, on being present during the recording of "Love me tender", as told to Trudie Forsher, engineer at the sessions, who kept it in her diary.[citation needed]
  • Elvis loved gospel music, he was raised on it, and he really did know what he was talking about; we would jam with him for an hour, and he had a feel for it and was "tickled" to have four "church sisters" backing him up; he was singing Gospel all the time, (in fact), almost anything he did had that flavour. You can’t get away from what your roots are.
    • Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney Houston, and a founding member of the "Sweet Inspirations", one of the Gospel Groups who backed Presley in his live performances, from 1969 until his death, as told to Jerry Helligar in an interview published in "True Believer", at classicwhitney.com (10 August 1998)
  • We were all in a room with my mom and the Sweet Inspirations and this man walks in, with a mink coat, glasses and it wasn't like you say "Nice to meet you, Elvis". In fact, you don't really JUST meet Elvis, you LOOK at Elvis. Amazingly beautiful
    • Whitney Houston, recalling his meeting Elvis as a 6 year old for Access Hollywood, on November 10,2011.
  • Elvis' early vocals, was a witches' brew of gospel swoops, falsetto shrieks, growls, howls, and scat...an anthem to human cockiness, to the healing, transcendent powers of the life-force...
    • Edwin Howard, of the "Memphis Press Scimitar", on Elvis' first recordings at the Sun Records label, as published in "Q" magazine
  • So what it boils down to was Elvis produced his own records. He came to the session, picked the songs, and if something in the arrangement was changed, he was the one to change it. Everything was worked out spontaneously. Nothing was really rehearsed. Many of the important decisions normally made previous to a recording session were made during the session. What it was was a look to the future. Today everybody makes records this way. Back then Elvis was the only one. He was the forerunner of everything that's record production these days. Consciously or unconsciously, everyone imitated him. People started doing what Elvis did.
    • Bones Howe. recording engineer, as quoted in Elvis, A Biography (1971) by Jerry Hopkins.
  • Now, to skip a half century, somebody is going to rise up and tell me Rock and Roll isn’t jazz. First, two or three years ago, there were all these songs about too young to know—but. The songs are right. You’re never too young to know how bad it is to love and not have love come back to you. That’s as basic as the Blues. And that’s what Rock and Roll is— teenage Heartbreak Hotel—the old songs reduced to the lowest common denominator. The music goes way back to Blind Lemon and Leadbelly—Georgia Tom merging into the Gospel Songs—­Ma Rainey, and the most primitive of the Blues.(2) It borrows their gut-bucket heartache. It goes back to the jubilees and stepped-up Spiri­tuals—Sister Tharpe—and borrows their I’m-gonna-be-happy-anyhow-in-spite-of-this-world kind of hope. It goes back further and borrows the steady beat of the drums of Congo Square—that going-on beat­—and the Marching Bands’ loud and blatant yes!! Rock and Roll puts them all together and makes a music so basic it’s like the meat cleaver the butcher uses—before the cook uses the knife—before you use the sterling silver at the table on the meat that by then has been rolled up into a commercial filet mignon. A few more years and Rock and Roll will no doubt be washed back half forgotten into the sea of jazz. Jazz is a great big sea. It washes up all kinds of fish and shells and spume and waves with a steady old beat, or off-beat. And Louis must be getting old if he thinks J. J. and Kai—and even Elvis—didn’t come out of the same sea he came out of, too. Some water has chlorine in it and some doesn’t. There’re all kinds of water.
    • Langston Hughes, African American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright and columnist, from Jazz and Communication: Poetry Foundation.
  • Interest on Elvis has helped generate $3.2 billion in tourism and create 35,000 jobs in our city. In fact, it was the opening of Graceland that was the beginning of tourism as we know it today, in Memphis...
    • Jeff Hulett, director of public relations for the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, as published on the Star Tribune, on August 31, 2016
  • I have been praying for you for many years, you are my bellsheep, I said to him. He didnt know what that meant, so I explained, that in a Holy Land there is one sheep with a bell, so when he moves, the bell makes noise, and they all go his way. So I then told him that I will be praying so that he will have the spiritual experience to lead million of people to our Lord. And it was at this time that he was so moved that he began to weep and his body began to tremble, and I had a prayer with him, asking the Lord to give him strenght and peace, through the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, his daughter Lisa Marie came in, and she asked me, "Why is my dad crying" , and then he gently touched her head, asked her to wait outside, and closed the door. I told him that there were many people outside waiting for him, and he said. "No, not now, I want us to stay here, please don't leave me.
    • The Reverend Rex Humbard's recollection of the first time he and Elvis prayed together.
  • When I first met him, he didn't shake my hand, he embraced me. And I thought "My god, I couldn't believe it. We became friends. He was one of the greatest, most affectionate people I have ever met.
  • In the end, though, it is his voice above all, that lives on; from the very beggining as a bright and eager youngster capering around the SUN studios, excitedly hammering together two musical styles to create an unforgettable allow, all of his own, right up until the later years, spent booming out ballads in the massive auditoria that were his domain during the seventies - even during the frequently written-off Hollywood years-, his voice never let him down; it is impossible from this perspective to imagine a world without Elvis, his voice booming out from radios and computers, from spaceships circling the further reaches of the galaxy, his voice echoing back; (in fact), it is almost inconceivable that any single individual could have made such a mark.
    • Patrick Humphries discussing Elvis' voice, in his introduction to his book "The Secret History of the Classics"
  • One thing Cary did admit when we worked together in 1966, – the two of us, sitting talking between scenes, was that he had a crush on Elvis Presley.
    • Jim Hutton, as quoted in Cary Grant, the loves of his life, by Hitorian Alan Royce.


I


  • Sinatra and Elvis were geniouses, I am not. In fact, I analyzed the singing of Sinatra, Elvis, Nat King Cole, and Marvin Gaye, and they all sang from the gut. They are my favourite singers. In fact, I haven't bought an album in thirty years but you can always catch me listening to Elvis and Marvin Gaye.
    • Julio Iglesias Spanish biggest music superstar in an interview with El Periodico, published on August 1, 2016
  • At a certain point, the absurdities pile one on top of the other to such a height, that any form of denial of history is legitimated by the UNESCO approach. If there are no Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, one might as well say that Elvis Presley signed the American Declaration of Independence, such is the level and the type of discourse UNESCO is engaging in.
    • Abridged from an editorial by the Intermountain Jewish News, strongly remonstrating how UNESCO is now handling the affairs of the Jewish state, as published on their online page on October 20, 2016.
  • While in Italy, my brother Ira got a guitar and visited a teacher for an introductory lesson. He saw the teacher’s long nails on his right hand and was told that he would have to practice classical music. Absolutely not, said Ira, I want to be Elvis Presley. So then I volunteered to take his place and had an instrument custom-made, just to know that it was something personal, that I wasn’t sharing it with other kids, like a piano, and that impressed me. It was something I could cradle and caress. When you hold a guitar, it becomes part of you. You can feel the vibration. I was a shy kid. So being able to play something that wasn’t loud and bombastic, it expressed my own feelings.
    • Sharon Isbin classical music guitarist and founder of the Juillard School's Guitar Department, explaining to reporter Michael Anthony of the Minnesota Post how she came to love the guitar, during her early years in Italy, as published in the 21 November 2014 online edition of the MINNPOST
  • Chinese President Jiang Zemin, at the close of his state visit to the Philippines, showed a taste for American songs during a two-hour pleasure cruise around Manila Bay, as the guest of Philippine President Fidel Ramos. The trip on Ramos's presidential yacht was the highlight of the second day of Jiang's three-day state visit to the Philippines. Apparently aware of Jiang's penchant for songs, Ramos brought with him a string quartet, so after a breakfast of porridge and fruit, the 68-year-old Ramos invited Jiang to sing, so the two leaders then ended up performeing a duet of Elvis Presley's hit "Love Me Tender" which prompted Ramos into remarking: "That's the favourite song of Bill Clinton, so you have to prepare. When he visits you, you will surprise him.
    • [ITN Source]], dated 26 November 1996
  • Elvis' initial hopes for a music career involved singing in a gospel male quartet. His favourite part was bass baritone, and he himself had an almost 3-octave vocal range... Yet to posterity's surprise, such a superlative and magnetic natural talent always remained humble --perhaps too humble to keep performing forever.
    • IMDb's review of his appearance in Frank Sinatra's 1960's "Welcome Home Party for Elvis Presley" TV special.


J


  • I consider Elvis an unacknowledged pioneer in the black rights movement. Elvis had to fight with racism too, at the beginning of his career, with the major radio networks refusing to play his music because it was black music. Elvis broke the barriers and ever since, black musicians had a door open.
    • Jesse Jackson, Elvis and Civil Rights - History.com Video, with the Reverend also mentioning Elvis late 60's and 70's backup band being The Sweet Inspirations, led at one time by Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother
  • I’d done my show (in 1955), and I was back in a room. My daddy was in there with me, and we’re hearing screaming, and it was kind of scary. Daddy said, ‘Well, heck, there might be a fire or something. I’ll go check. You get your purse and stuff gathered up. So I did, and daddy left. And in a few minutes, he came back, stood there in the doorway and said, ‘Wanda, you’re not going to believe this. You’ve got to come see it for yourself.He took me to the wings of the stage, and I look out and here’s Elvis doing all these gyrations and all these girls around the stage screaming and reaching for him and crying, and I thought ‘What in the world?’ That was a first for me.
    • Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson, remembering her touring with Elvis and the moment she realized music had changed forever, as published in CMT´s online edition of November 21, 2014.
  • After months of neglect, the U.S.S. Potomac was in poor condition and had to be cleaned up for the ceremony. A few days before the event, in early February of 1964, Presley's people contacted the Long Beach Port authorities asking how much it would cost to have the boat cleaned up and painted for the dedication, the answer being that it would take at least three days and $18,000 to make it presentable. There wasn't that much time, so then it became a question of how much it would take to just paint the side that faced the dock and the international press waiting therein? It was $8,000 so they did it"
    • Excerpted from Walter Jaffe's book, "The Presidential Yacht Potomac", detailing the last moments prior to the ship's dedication at Long Beach Harbor, the result of Presley's decision to gift the former FDR's Presidential Yatch, to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, in Memphis, TN, for its eventual sale to raise funds for the construction of a new wing in the hospital, an endeavour to which Presley had already committed his time, back in 1957 when he drew 11,000 contributors to Memphis' Russwood Park for that year's Danny Thomas organized fundraiser and benefit gala. The Yatch is currently anchored at Oakland Harbor, and can boarded and toured daily for a trip up to the Golden Gate bridge, and back.
  • He was a unique artist – an original in an area of imitators.
  • I have to respect Elvis accomplishments. He took R&B and made it respectable to white people. Plus it was B.B King, who knew Elvis personally, explained to me Elvis was quick to respect and acknowledge the black artists who influenced him.
    • Funk, soul and R&B composer, musician and actor Rick James, from his autobiography "Glow", quoting BB King as the person who set him straight about Presley's true love and respect for the blues.
  • It is a weakness of the mind to preconceive a judgment of your thought, before the act is done. Despite the acid hemlock stirred by "The Las Vegas Sun" , Mr. Presley will survive and live to sing some more. Perhaps this cat should have studied grand opera, or the fiddle (but), I don't join that school of thought. You see, he's a natural and any dope knows what a natural is. His vocal is real and has a hep to the motion of sound, with a retort that is tremendous. Squares who like to detract their imagined misvalues can only size a note creeping upstairs after dark; this cat can throw them downstairs, or even out the window, with a depth of tone that can sink deeper than a well. He can wilt into a whisper faster than a gossipmonger can throw down a free drink and he really makes them cry. Presley's voice is that of American youth looking at the moon and wondering how long it will take to get there, something new coming over the horizon, all by himself, and he deserves his ever-growing audience. Yep, this boy's sails are set and he's got wind. Good luck and the best of everything. I hope they hold you over! After all, ten million cats can't be wrong.
    • Ed Jameson, President and CEO of Bancorp, Las Vegas, writing a letter to the Editor, as a then teenager, and as published in the "Las Vegas SUN", on May 12, 1956
  • "Bob King's", the nightclub, was packed and it was filled with anticipation. Even a seasoned musician like Sonny Burgess knew the vibe in the club was different that night. As Elvis Presley stepped onto the stage and the band started to play, his hips began to move and as sang "Good Rocking Tonight" the crowd was whirled into a frenzy. Burgess has witnessed hundreds of musicians and bands and played before millions of fans throughout the United States and Europe during his long career that has spanned more than 50 years, but the guitarist has never experienced the energy and emotion he felt the night he heard Elvis play that tune, back in 1955. "Boy, he was different," Burgess told The Jonesboro Sun. "As soon as he walked into the building you could feel his energy. He had the looks, the songs and the charisma. Whatever a star has, he had it — more than anyone else."
    • Excerpted from an interview by seasoned columnist George Jared with rockabilly musician Albert "Sonny" Burgess, and posted on The "Jonesboro Sun" on Sep. 2, 2014.
  • Bruce Johnston and I met Elvis in the late ‘60s. He was working in the studio across the hall from us so Bruce and I went over and introduced ourselves and he was very delighted to see us. He was trim and great looking, just like his album covers. He hadn’t gone back out on the road yet. We encouraged him to get back to work and he took us up on it.
    • Al Jardine, of the Beach Boys, recalling when he and his bandmate Bruce met Elvis, as published in the book, Elvis from those who knew him best.
  • It is when Guralnick shows how young Elvis made his way through this cultural briar patch, that we get what we need. He got voluptuous phrasing and ecstatic self-confidence from gospel, wit and menace from the blues, homespun sincerity from country and, from what we can now call gay theatrics, he got glamour and self-parody. He played the outlaw and the good son. How he flirts with his audiences, first being casual, fervent, sneering, then inviting us to laugh at, or with him. ¨As you desire me¨, he is saying, ¨so shall I be¨. Was he a great performer? Yes and yes again. He galvanized rock-and-roll and made you feel the fun and the risk and all the contradictions. That's self-invention, and that's entertainment.
    • Margo Jefferson, reviewing Peter Guralnick's biography of Elvis Last Train to Memphis, The Rise of Elvis Presley for The New York Times (26 October 1996)
  • Elvis was singing "That's All Right" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky". The sound went straight up your spine. The way he sang, the singer sounded black, but something about the songs was really country". I was crazy about Elvis, loved that churning rhythm on the bottom. He didn't have drums yet, but the rock and roll part was unmistakable.
  • When I was in third grade, I got up on the stage and I did my Elvis impression and I sang ‘Hound Dog'. And the girls in the fourth grade started screaming, and I said to myself, ‘There’s something going on here. This is kinda cool if the girls in the fourth grade are screaming for a kid in the third grade. One day, my mentor told me that I should consider becoming a professional musician. And for a teacher, an adult, to tell me that was very important, that was an epiphany. It was a real eye-opener. Elvis was great.
    • Billy Joel, in a New Online Video Series, with Joel recalling the first time he made girls Scream, as recorded by ABC News Radio, on November 2, 2016
  • No other white artist but Elvis was the greatest Ambassador for black artists. Not only was he legitimate and came from the same background as many of us, but he had an integrity and class that most whites at that time did not. For that matter, many whites today don't have it. He publicly and privately treated us as equals. And his actions ultimately set a public example for many others to follow. This is the only place on Earth you will get the most truth about that. Everywhere else around this country folks got it twisted. It's a disrespect to not only Elvis, but to us. Anyone wants to discredit that man send them on down here to me! Myself and some friends will be glad to set them straight."
    • Bluesman Big John, commenting on Beale Street.
  • Elvis Presley changed everyone’s life. I mean there would be no Beatles, Hendrix or Dylan. I mean, he just was the man who changed music without question. When they had a Rolling Stone poll about who was the most influential people in rock n roll, I think The Beatles were number one and I just said, you know, “What? No, Elvis was number one. I know he drew his influence from Gospel and Blues and Country Music and Black Soul music whatever, but he was the one that started it all. I was looking at an old Life magazine and there was a picture of him and I thought he was from Mars or something. And then that weekend my mother came home with ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and that changed my life. Years later, I saw him in Las Vegas and I mean he was fantastic at the Hilton. But the only time I met him was very briefly before he went on stage in Washington DC, a year before he died. And it was very sad but even though it was very sad, even on stage and my mother, who was with me, said, “Well he’s not going to be alive much longer, is he?” She was really sad. And I was too, he was my idol too. But even though he went through the motions and was not really there at the scene at the end of that concert, there was still flashes of brilliance, in spite of being hugely overweight, but when he actually sung a couple of lines it was magical. You don’t lose that magic, no matter how fucked up you are, you know, you just. If you’re brilliant, snatches of that brilliance will come through. And later in my life I end up a recluse in my own bedroom, you know, taking cocaine, so I’d kind of did become HIM. But what happened to him, you forget he died when he was only 42, for Christ’s sake. I mean he was only 42. And it’s one of the great tragedies. I don’t think anybody actually said “Elvis, you can’t do that, you mustn’t do that”. Rewinding back, I played piano at a very early age, it got me attention and I liked it, but music wasn’t my dream until I discovered him in 1957. I was sitting in the little barbershop in our village, waiting to have my hair cut, and I saw this picture of Elvis. He looked like an alien — really weird but amazing. And after I saw Elvis and heard his music, there was no going back.
    • Elton John, addressing the NYT's Philip Galanes's question on what was his first dream, as published in the New York Times on November 28, 2014, as well as from in an interview with Andrew Denton's Enough Rope, dated July 9 2007, when asked to explain how he felt about his biggest idol's death in 1977, shortly after meeting him in 1976.
  • Woman wanted him, men wanted to BE him, or just hang out with him.”
  • The Bee Gees for their harmonies, the Beatles because they were so ahead of their time and Elvis, who was indeed ,an amazing swagger, had incredible moves and his voice is so iconic.
    • Joe Jonas, member of the band DNCE, in an interview with CelebMix, and in answer to a request from the interviewer to name a Hall of Fame of three artists throughout the decades who inspired him.
  • I think Elvis and BB King both did as much for the world of music coming through Memphis as anyone.
    • Booker T. Jones, Stax records Legend, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer and arranger, best known as the frontman of the band Booker T. & the M.G.'s being interviewed by Virgin Magazine 2015
  • Now and then in a magazine, you will come across one of those features about your dream dinner party guests, encouraging you to wonder whether, inter alia, you could sit Elvis Presley next to Mother Teresa. I saw one in a mid-market woman’s magazine the other day. Well, all I can say is that I'll be at the top table, after scrubbing John Lennon from the list ( after all, one's dream dinner party should be all about THEM appreciating your genius), and certainly leaving Elvis, Mother Teresa, Ian Dury, Orson Welles and Peter Sellers. Incidentally, I wouldn't want to sit down with Karl Marx unless he was genuinely interested in what I'd been doing at work all day...
    • Dylan Jones, editor of Gentlemen's Quarterly, choosing his ideal dinner guests, as published in the Mail online, on 17 January 2009
  • So we left that CREATIVE era of jazz, bebop, bigband and went into the '50s. It was like coming from modern jazz to poop tunes like "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window," and so on. It was unbelievable. But then..... Elvis Presley changed that whole thing for white America because he opened the way for black music to come in.
  • Blues, country, pop, rock and roll, gospel, and beyond, this man could sing anything. From the rockabilly of the Sun Sessions, to the MOR of "Wooden Heart"(1960), to the later day "Burnin' Love"(1972), Elvis proved that he had the skills as a vocalist that few have, or will ever have.
    • Rob Jones, Canadian musicologist, writing in "Helium: Where knowledge rules".
  • Not any big ones, but I had a picture taken that haunts me to this day. I’d just come off stage at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to be greeted by Elvis Presley, Merv Griffin and Norm Crosby. Elvis knew how to work himself up for pictures and he ended up looking like, well, Elvis, any doubling of the chin magically concealed. So naive, grinning me, however, clearly had an extra chin, later to be surgically eliminated. It was something to do with the singing. I had it cut out, now I’ve got the mark of Zorro under my chin, that’s why I grew this beard. Never have your photo taken with Elvis Presley.
    • Tom Jones's zany answer to Bryan Appelyard, who interviewed him and asked he tell the readers of The Times of London what he regretted the most in his career, as published in the said newspaper on October 3, 2015.
  • Elvis is my man.
  • The Presley, Beatles and Castro appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show have one thing in common: at the conclusion of the appearances, Sullivan stands at center stage and declares them all to be upstanding citizens of their countries...
    • Chris Jordan, for Arbury Park Press, on the day after of Castro's passing away, November 26, 2016.
  • Your CD is wonderful, and you have a great sounding voice. Reminds me of an Elvis jazz sound. I just I always loved Elvis's sound, but you're definitely an original and certainly are my taste. You have a jazz sound. Just great!!
    • Sheila Jordan, NEA Jazz Master and vocalistspeaking to baritone E.J Decker, as published on wwwejdeckercom
  • I wanted to look at Elvis the non-saint, as well as the nature of songs from the ‘50’s, all that postwar optimism; he’s iconic, a wonderful singer with an amazing body of work, but he’s a bit like Billie Holiday, you’re not ‘allowed’ to be critical.
    • Barb Jungr, UK-based singer, composer and writer of Czech and German parentage, explaining why she fell in love with the voice of Elvis Presley, went searching for the essence of a dozen of her Presley favourites, as well as her particular predicament in choosing the right ones for her album "Love me tender", as published in the Herald, Glasgow, on August 5, and on the April 13-20, 2005 issue of "Time Out, London".


K


  • From the darkest of backgrounds, Elvis' voice emerges with such realism that you could take singing lessons, his vocals so irresistible and smooth, and with such startling definition, that the clearest and most concise way I can describe the experience, is that I never felt as though I was listening to a recording.
    • Danny Kaey, a top audio & music writer, reviewing the Duke loudspeakers, as he listened to "Fever", a track found on the "Elvis is back" album, and as published in POSITIVE FEEDBACK, ONLINE.
  • During his rendition of "Hurt", (1976), he was in even better voice, singing in a register that gave more impact to his phrasing, and even hitting notes that could cause a mild hernia. And, after they drew a good crowd reaction, he offered them in a reprise that was tantamount to masochism.
    • Mike Kalina, reviewing Elvis' 1976 New Year's concert for the "Pittsburgh Post Gazette", January 1, 1977.
  • The young Elvis Presley, without any doubt.
    • Kiri Te Kanawa, top New Zealand opera star and soprano's answer to UK show-host Michael Parkinson ( who probably expected her to name Luciano Pavarotti, or Maria Callas), when asked whose was the greatest voice she had ever heard (as published in Blabbermouth.net, 3 January 2007)
  • Elvis is the one man that stands alone in the history of Rock-N-Roll. He was the first and the best, shook the world by its very foundation. Over the years I’ve seen stars come and go, but never have I seen a star match the impact of Elvis Presley. Elvis may be gone, but the echo will never die
  • He was criticized for turning down the role of Sundance in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", after insisting unsuccessfully on doing the film with Elvis Presley as Butch.
    • Sam Kashner, in reference to Warren Beatty, who her interviewed for Vanity Fair's November 2016 edition.
  • In 1969, hitched from New Englangl to Nevada to see him, to meet him, so I showed at the Las Vegas International Hotel's delivery room, I hid in a closet, until Elvis and his entourage passed by, so that is when I jumped out and told him I was one of his biggest fans, to which Elvis replied, "I believe that will happen, son". I got his blessing...
    • DJ Andy Kaufman, speaking through his aler ego, Jimmy Clfton.
  • He was out for fun, he never rehearsed. He was 19 and he had a motorcycle and he liked to ride the streets, looking for excitement. So often I'd see him zipping along Union Street, a new girl on the back of that motorcycle, or walking with two or three girls at once. Later he'd tell me, 'I'm sorry I didn't introduce you, Marion. I didn't know their names'."
    • Marion Kaisker, the radio show host, station manager, U.S. Air Force officer, and assistant to Sam Phillips at Sun Records best remembered as the first person to record Elvis Presley on July 18, 1953.
  • Elvis was almost pure style, his clothes, hair, the way he sang, the way he moved on stage, his half-kidding sneer. The first superstar...
    • Pamela Keogh, as published in Larry Geller's E. Crowning glory.
  • i) While they were civil, they never really had much to say and I might feel a chill between them and me. But Elvis was different. I remember him distinctly because (inter-alia) he was friendly, polite to a fault, spoke with this thick molasses southern accent and always called me 'sir'. I liked that. When he appeared at the Goodwill Revue, a yearly benefit for needy black kids sponsored by WDIA, he did himself proud. Remember this was the fifties so for a young white boy, by then a big, big star to show up in an all-black function in 1957 took "guts". I believe he was showing his roots and he seemed proud of those roots.................ii) I hold no grudges. Elvis didn't steal any music from anyone. He just had his own interpretation of the music he'd grown up on, same was true for me, the same true for everyone. I think Elvis had integrity (In fact), more than anyone, he was the guy who kicked the revolution into high gear. (Moreover) what most people don’t know is that this boy was serious about what he was doing, he was carried away by it. When I was in Memphis with my band, he used to stand in the wings and watch us perform. As for fading away, rock and roll is here to stay and so, I believe, is Elvis. He’s been a shot in the arm to the business and all I can say is ‘that’s my man’..................iii) In the 1970's, I decided to try my luck in Vegas and Frank Sinatra helped get me into the lounge at Caesar's Palace. That was my first venture into big-time Vegas. But my second involved Elvis. It was Elvis who encouraged the Hilton to book me in the lounge while he was playing in the showroom. My band and our lounge act was strong and if it had been any other entertainer other than Elvis, we might have even drained business away from that showroom. But it was Elvis...
    • From BB King 'autobiography "Blues all around me", where the King of the Blues manages to make a distinction between those white males he was acquainted with, at SUN Records, namely Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis on the one hand, and Elvis on the other, thus giving Presley extra credit for both his personal and musical integrity (pp 141,185), explaining how people in the modern era mistakenly assumed Las Vegas was the place great artists went to die, but with the reality being the opposite
  • Elvis did the Miami Beach Convention Center in 1970, arriving in Miami International Airport, where a helicopter brought him over to Miami Beach at the helipad. A limo picked him up there and drove him 10 blocks to the Convention Center, where he performed. He got back in the limo to go back to the helicopter and on the way there he said to the limo driver, "Do you own this limo, or do you work for the company?" And the driver said, "I work for the company." And he said, "Now, you own it." The limo driver's tip was the limo.
    • Larry King, who admittedly regretted never having met Elvis, recalling an Elvis story showing his immense generosity, as originally told to him by Col.Parker (Story broadcast by King himself on January 14, 2005, on CNN's Larry King Live).
  • Elvis Presley's talent brightened millions of lives. He widened the horizons of my world certainly. The first record I ever owned was a 78 rpm of "Hound Dog" backed by "Don't Be Cruel" and when I listened to those tunes I felt about ten feet tall and I grinned so hard that I felt like the corners of my mouth would meet in the back and the tip of my head would simply topple off. All I know about R&R is that it makes people feel good. Elvis Presley more than made me feel good, he enriched my life and made it better.
  • In 1970, once Ray had seen Elvis in Las Vegas, now that was what you could call flash, he would say, that was the start of a huge rift between him and the rest of Kinks. Now it was going to be Ray's dressing room, his bottle of champagne, his limo. He obviously had got it in his mind that he was going to be like Elvis and that the rest of us were HIS band.
    • The Kinks's keyboardist John Gosling, in the book "Ray Davies, not like everyone else". pp 153
  • I was ushering here in Los Angeles at the "Vogue Theater", that's how I supported myself before I started acting, and about ten o'clock one night a Mercedes Benz 600 Limo bigger than this room, with Elvis in it, pulled up. And I guess at one point in his life Elvis must have made a deal with God, that God would let him be Elvis if Elvis promised he never let anyone forget seeing him. And I say this because when he got out of the Mercedes he was decked out in such a way that, you know, Priscilla Presley is a beautiful woman, right? And she was standing next to him, right? Well, I never saw her. I didn't see anybody and there were 24 people with him. As I was telling you earlier, I was in show business since I was a kid and I was never thrown by any celebrity, but when I saw him walking towards me, I went limp. I froze. And all I could say was "It's the King, It's the King, It's the King, the King's here". And he said, "Thank you very much..."
    • Actor and comedian Bruno Kirby when asked by a caller watching Tom Snyder's "Late Late Night New year's Show, on 31 December 1995, to recall the time he met Elvis Presley, in 1968.
  • This mission, or the extension of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) will let implement such provisions of the Minsk agreement as the disarmament of illegal armed groups, the formation, monitoring and verification of the withdrawal of Russian troops and military hardware, ensure distribution of humanitarian aid, ensure proper conditions for local elections under the OSCE standards. I urge the Security Council once again to take the lead in establishing such a mission. Just two weeks ago, we exchanged a Russian major for one of our hostages. Of course, the Russian side can also claim that Elvis is alive, but no amount of lies will change the facts."
    • Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's Foreign Minister, in his speech at the UN Security Council on the the Russian/Ukraine question, as delivered on December 12, 2015
  • I’m in awe of people who’ve accomplished wonderful things and succeed. It was really something when I met Walter Payton. He was just the most humble person that I had ever met and I just met Beyoncé and I really have a lot of respect and admiration for her and the success that she’s had. And when I ran across Elvis Presley"
    • Gladys Knight, when asked to name people she had had the desire to meet, then got her wish and absolutely loved it, as twitted to New York Jet's Coach Todd Bowles, in an article published by the New York Post on September 25, 2015.
  • Watching Elvis perform on the Ed Sullivan Show with my father, I saw how he looked at me, with real horror, that I liked it.
    • Mark Knopfler, singer and guitarist for the band Dire Straits, for elvisblog
  • Love me tender, love me true...
    • Japanese PM Junishiro Koizumi s response to the members of the international press, who asked him to sing a few lines of any Elvis song to President and Mrs. George Bush during their visit to Graceland and which, by virtue of their meeting there, became the only private home in America other than the White House and any of the Presidential retreats to host an official meeting between a sitting President of the United States and the head of a foreign Government.
  • Beyond the ambiance, it really is all about the wine, the so-called "one-off" reds, whites and rosés all bottled with artistic labels sold at the winery, online, and as part of Tank Garage's wine club. The production facility doesn't host customers but they do have a special guest in there: Elvis!! They have installed a 40-foot mural of Elvis Presley overlooking the cellar and they often ask themselves while putting together the blends, 'What would Elvis do?
    • Melissa Kravitz, focussing on the Tank Garage, a hidden winery inside a California gas station, as published on December 06, 2016
  • It’s almost like seeing Elvis.
    • Kristen Krikorian, on meeting democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as told to Kathleen E. Carey, of the Delaware County Daily Times on 24 September, 2016.
  • When I was first becoming a songwriter, I never would have dreamed that Elvis would sing not just one of my songs but three of them and with so much soul. I feel a lot of gratitude for that.


L


  • Do you think I'm at that level? It's within sight. Well, then, that's more terrifying that you think that."
    • Singer, songwriter Lady Gaga's exchange with Brian Hiatt, who had interviewed her in Nashville, TN, where they had discussed the twin fates of Michael Jackson and Elvis, in an article published on RollingStone on June 9, 2011
  • Perhaps the only other voice to touch me (Luciano Pavarotti's voice being the first), was the voice of Elvis Presley; to watch him perform as I did along with Carl (Palmer), and Keith (Emerson), both in 1971 and again later in 1976 was an absolutely awesome and breathtaking experience; like Pavarotti, Presley had the power to reduce most people to tears very quickly and indeed to move them to think very carefully about their inner spiritual beliefs; as far as singing is concerned, the human voice is a matter of the expression of passion in the understanding of the human condition and, upon seeing both of them perform, I very quickly came to realise that they were each capable of expressing more feeling, with their voices, than I had ever thought possible.
    • Greg Lake, lead singer and bass player for the UK progressive rock super-group "Emerson, Lake and Palmer", as published on www.greglake.com, on September 7, 2007.
  • Number one for me and no one else comes close; ignore for a second that Presley was the most beautiful human being of all time and that he was easily the most electric performer ever; in his prime, he could sing anything (rock, opera, metal, soul, blues, country – no problem); all the wonks will tell you he did his best work at Sun Records, but for me his immense '50s RCA output is so explosive that it puts everyone else to shame; it’s not just that Elvis had an amazing instrument, no one ever had so much fun putting it to use; whirling back and forth from low to high, from raspy to angelically pretty, the only singer ever that could take any song and transform it into something that sounded like it came from somewhere else, a galaxy or two away.
    • Brad Laidman, music writer for BLOGCRITICS, reviewing RollingStone Magazine's listing of the 100 "Greatest Singers of all time", as published on 17 November, 2008
  • There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home... He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock 'n' roll singers. While he sings in a lower voice than ever -and what I liked about the early records was that beautifully vulnerable high voice-, he opened his Boston concert (1971) with "That's Alright Mama" (1954), singing it with enough verve to scare the unsuspecting. It was his very first record, and although it doesn't sound quite the same as when he did it 17 years ago at the Sun studios in Memphis, I was moved by the fact that he was doing it at all. It was a tour de force of theatrics, professionalism, and, happily, music. (In fact), he sings so well, the audience hesitates to press him for more, his purpose being to please himself by pleasing them, never to please them by pleasing himself.
    • Jon Landau, for "Rolling Stone" magazine, reviewing his November 10, 1971, concert at the Boston Garden.
  • He had total love in his eyes when he performed. He was the total androgenous beauty. I would practice Elvis in front of the mirror when I was twelve or thirteen years old."
    • K.D.Lang, as published in www,graceland.com
  • I was awed by "the presence" and was a wonderful caring person and he was fit, slender and couldn't be nicer to me. It was really wonderful...
    • Angela Lansbury, detaling hs relationship with Elvis during the filming of Blue Hawaii.
  • I'll tell you something, last Christmas I saw Elvis do something. The Salvation Army kettle at Main and Beale Streets wasn't getting any money. Elvis watched the people passing by for a while not putting money in, then he went over and put a bill in, then he began to cut up and told the people 'Let's help the poor folks out so they can at least have a Christmas dinner'. He got complete strangers to smile and then the money started dropping. So, give the boy a break. Memphis will be proud of him. He's a grand boy. I'm 53 and I grew up in the Jazz Age, so we never thought much about the Charleston or the Black Bottom crazes. I don't like rock and roll, but Elvis is different. They talk about juvenile delinquency and here is a boy who didn't have much except what was inside himself. He just has Rhythm in him and it has to come out. I think he has done a pretty good job of lifting himself. He's full of life and already I can see the rough edges being smoothed out. That dance he does, nobody said anything when Marguerite Piazza did the 'St. Louis Blues'.
    • Joyce Lansky, wife of Bernard Lansky of Lansky Brothers, Memphis Beales Street- clothiers for numerous celebrities, most notably Isaac Hayes and Elvis Presley, talking to Memphis reporter Robert Johnson in an article published in 1956.
  • When I came on the sound stage and met him for the first time, he was like a mannequin, sitting there, so still and I thought, “Wow they have a mannequin that looks just like Elvis!” He got up, shook hands with me, and said “Nice to know you, Sir.” He was just as polite and nice as he could be. We talked about a lot of different things. He was interested in karate, which I had studied with Chuck Norris many years before. He was also interested in many of the books and writings I was involved in. He told me about his reading of Gibran’s The Prophet, as well as certain things I had no idea I was going to use later, years after he passed away. I did a lot of the things that he told me in the Kurt Russell TV biography, where I had to write in an annotated script, which meant you had to take note of where each thing came from in the margins (almost like a bibliography). The legal department didn’t know how much could be done without being sued, so they wanted to have every part of it locked down. It was a lot of Elvis...
    • Producer Tony Lawrence, who met Elvis in Roustabout and again in Paradise Hawaiian Style,as published in Quora on July 14, 2014
  • It seems almost inexplicable that the human race, with its ravenous appetite for entertainment, should have failed over so many decades to produce another Callas and Elvis. Neither Pavarotti nor Madonna come close, nor ever will. The desperate efforts of a universal music industry have yielded nothing more enduring than Cecilia Bartoli, the mini-voiced mezzo who tops the opera charts, and the high-kicking, faintly archaic Kylie Minogue, who belongs more to the smiley era of the Andrews Sisters than to the grim virtual reality of Bill Gates. In fact, when we commemorate the Presley and Callas anniversaries, one month apart, we confirm a catastrophic failure of cultural renewal.
    • Norman Lebrecht, for the Evening Standaed
  • He had an incredible, attractive instrument that worked in many registers; he could falsetto like Little Richard, his equipment was outstanding, his ear uncanny, and his sense of timing second to none; (in short) he could sing...
    • Jerry Leiber, who with Mike Stoller, co-wrote some of the greatest R&R and Pop hits of the 50's, and early 60's
  • Elvis's music is the one true gift he's left behind, and it is continually being shared with the world. The music will never die, but apart from that, it's the other intangible things that keep him alive- his love, his laughter, his films, all the photos that we see and have access to will keep him alive, for generations to come.
    • Actress Barbara Leigh, from her autobiography "The King, McQueen and the Love Machine"
  • Ali was my idol, Bruce Lee was my idol, Sugar Ray Robinson was my idol and Elvis Presley was my idol, so I combined those 4 to make Sugar Ray Leonard.
    • Ray Leonard, explaining how the making of his persona was influenced by two boxers, a martial artist and one Elvis Presley.
  • i) Elvis was the thing. Whatever people say, he was it. I was not competing against Elvis, Rock happened to be the media I was born into. He was the one, that's all. Those people who picked paint brushes like Van Gogh, probably wanted to be Renoir, or whoever went before him. I wanted to be Elvis. ii) Before Elvis, there was nothing.
    • John Lennon's i) words of appreciation, as read posthumously by his son Julian on his own behalf and that of his younger brother Sean, both of whom were chosen by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to induct Presley in 1986 ii) as published in www.graceland.com
  • In any case, there's something beautifully uncomfortable at the root of the vocal style that defines the pop era, the simplest example coming at the moment of the style's inception, i.e. Elvis Presley: at first, listeners thought that the white guy was a black guy and it's not too much of an exaggeration to say that when Ed Sullivan's television show tossed this disjunction into everyone's living rooms, American culture was thrilled by it, but also a little deranged, in ways that we haven't gotten over yet; ultimately, the nature of the vocals in post-Elvis popular music is the same as the role of the instrumental soloist in jazz; that's to say, if it isn't pushing against the boundaries of its form, at least slightly, it isn't doing anything at all; so, we judge popular vocals since 1956 by what the singer unearths that the song itself could never quite, and (this) explains why Elvis is always rock, even when singing "Blue Moon"
    • Excerpted from the lead article by Jonathan Lethem, as published on Rolling Stone's magazine's December 2008 issue, honoring the 100 greatest singers in the Rock era, in an article entitled "What Makes a Great Singer"
  • As our Chief Investment Officer opined on the morning after the Brexit vote, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that uninspiring economic outcomes lead to unexpected political outcomes— or at least those considered outside the mainstream... So, with apologies to Elvis Presley, 59 million Donald Trump voters and 13 million Bernie Sanders supporters can’t be wrong.
    • Brian Levitt, Senior Investment Strategist and Paul Blease, Director of CEO Advisor Institute, as published on Forbes' edition of 12 November, 2016
  • He never lost that Southern, genteel, gentlemanly persona. Of course, that came from his mother. I loved that about him. He was that way to the end
    • Singer Brenda Lee, whose 1st appearance at the Grand Ole Opry had Presley, then the world's biggest star, in the audience as reported by the Tennessean on December 16, 2015
  • I said, ‘Elvis, I’m going to ask you one thing before we part company here. If you die, do you think you’d go to heaven or hell?’ And he got real red in the face, and then he got real white in the face, and he said, ‘Jerry Lee, don’t you ever say that to me again.
    • Jerry Lee Lewis, in an interview with Simon Hattenstone, for the Guardian, and published on 8 August 2015.
  • I knew him when we were both making movies at Paramount, where he made his presence quite well known at the studio. He was a really nice kid, one of the nicest people I have met in show business. We had our own projects to work on, of course, so we didn't see each other a lot, but when we did it was always good. Elvis seemed very humble, and he had great respect for other actors
    • Jerry Lewis in an interview with James L. Neibaur on February 26, 2014 -
  • A lot has been written and said about why he was so great, but I think the best way to appreciate his greatness is just to go back and play some of the old records. Time has a way of being very unkind to old records, but Elvis' keep getting better and better.”
    • Rocker Huey Lewis, as published in www.graceland.com
  • I really got interested when I got into high school, about grade nine. I heard "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley and I went and bought a guitar and so did a friend of mine. We both bought guitars and we practiced Elvis impersonations, way back when we were 15-years-old. And that was how I learned how to play the guitar. Elvis Presley has a great recording of my song "Early Morning Rain". He did such a good job on it too, and it was probably the most important recording that I have by another artist.
    • Gordon Lightfoot, answering interviewer Matt Wake on what got him interested in music,as published on the February 17, 2015 edition at Advanced Digital.
  • Growing up during the pre-rock ‘n’ roll era, I fell on the ground when I heard “Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956. I thought, ‘Man this is happening. Years later I met him while rehearsing for his ’68 Comeback Special. Our road manager was Jerry Williams, a promoter who knew Elvis so one June evening Jerry asked us to go down and see him. When we arrived between 9:30 and 10 o’clock that night, Elvis decided to take a break. He came out right on Sunset Boulevard, standing on the sidewalk leaning against the building. Jerry exclaimed, “You can’t stay out there!” And this is Elvis Presley, right? He looks like Elvis Presley. Elvis replied, “Look, nobody is gonna believe it’s really me”. It was the truth. We’re just rapping back and forth. People came by, and they’d do a double take—‘Nah it can’t be Elvis’—and they’d walk on. Nobody will ever be like him. I would have given anything to have seen him at the Overton Park Shell [renamed the Levitt Shell] in Memphis when he was about 20 years old. Elvis rocked harder than almost anybody. If he’s in heaven right now—and I’m sure he is—he’s probably smiling as he looks down and says, “Look how many people are trying to do what I did”.
    • Singer Mark Lindsay formerly the leader of the 1960's group Paul Revere & the Raiders, as excerpted from in an interview given to the Examiner, and published on their online edition on 26 January, 2015.
  • Here is a nonchalant phenomenon whom, as yet, no one has accurately described, a young man who has an inherent ability to arouse mass hysteria (or should I say ecstasy?) wherever he goes, yet is unassuming and completely untouched by the fabulous success he has achieved almost overnight.
    • Bud Lilly Publicity director for the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, in a letter to the Las Vegas SUN, which had requested the hotel management to provide the paper with more information on Presley, as published on April 26, 1956.
  • i) Elvis? Thank God for the goodness and the glory! I knew Elvis could do today what he's doing cos he's real. He's a champion who's has lived and kept the title, he's for real. Elvis is a southern child that is down to earth, he's beautiful just beautiful. I saw him, not too long ago, when I was singing I can't stop loving you on the stage, and I heard someone yelling and clapping, and I looked and I saw Elvis waving to me. He is true, a real pioneer ii) Like, see, when Elvis came out a lot of black groups would say, "Elvis cannot do so and so and so, shoo shoo shoo" And I'd say, "Shut up, shut up." Let me tell you this—when I came out they wasn't playing no black artists on no Top 40 stations, I was the first to get played on the Top 40 stations—but it took people like Elvis to open the door for this kind of music, and I thank God for Elvis Presley. I thank the Lord for sending Elvis to open that door so I could walk down the road, you understand?. iii) he was God given, an integrator, a blessing, they would not let black music through, a Messiah comes every thousand years and he was it this time. iv) Elvis was a good friend. One of the sweetest gentleman, and a good singer, ESPECIALLY with gospel.
    • Little Richard, i) NME 10-13 June 1969, referring to his engagement at the Aladdin in Las Vegas ii) in an interview with RollingStone's David Dalton, published in that magazine on May 28, 1970 iii) as published in http://www.elvis.net/whattheysay/theysayframe.html iiv) a nod from one gospel and soul singer to another, particularly as many rock and roll, R&B and soul singers from that era came from the church, from a 2010 jazz wax interview.
  • He closes with a song called "If I Can Dream," a late contribution from vocal arranger Walter Earl Brown -- a plea for peace and understanding that in the murderous year of 1968 had a timely urgency --; dressed all in white, planted before his name in lights forty feet high, he folds his body into the song as if in pain, a pain he means to kill with hope; it is as raw and real as any performance I've ever seen, the beginning of the last phase of Presley's career and, if much of what followed look like decline, it was also an apotheosis; he had only nine years to live.
    • Robert Lloyd, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times in his article entitled "The night Elvis reclaimed his crown", published on March 11, 2008, on the eve of the 40th Anniversary of his 1968 TV Special, and its special screening at Los Angeles' high Cinerama Dome.
  • I taught him some lyrics in Spanish and he learned them. I wrote it for him the way it was sung (phonetically). He was very talented. It was very difficult Mexican music.
    • Manny Lopez, RCA vibraphone recording artist known as the "King of the Cha Cha", explaining how, under his tutelage, Elvis sang the Mexican standard, "Guadalajara", (1963) in Spanish, like an authentic Mariachi, as published in Las Vegas' "The Desert Sun", on March 16, 2007
  • I bet you wish they would stop screaming...
    • Actress Sophia Loren telling Elvis she understood what fame brought in terms of fan's reactions, as recounted by photographer Bob Willoughby, present during their ad hoc meeting at the Paramount Pictures Commissary and as published in the London newspaper 'The People' in 1994.
  • Since the awards are all about history, I put together a few facts from the past that range from visits from famous political people such as President Kennedy and Winston Churchill to the following story about Elvis Presley staying in the hotel. He had ordered a hamburger cooked well-done and loved it so so much he went to the kitchen, found the cook and announced with a broad grin: “I just wanted to thank the person that made the best burger I have ever had.
    • Bob Louis, Director of sales and marketing at Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, a finalist for the elite hotel national award, in an article by Brent Coleman, a WCPO contributor and published on November 2, 2016.
  • The other recording session I always think of was Elvis. Not in my wildest dreams — I mean, it was like how is this little girl singing background for Elvis Presley? How do things like that happen? The stars lined up, everything was in order, and Elvis fell in love with me because of my gospel background. Whenever he would get a chance he would go to me, 'Do you know this song? Come on, let’s go sing it.' Gospel music was the closeness that we had. "If I Can Dream" is my all-time favorite Elvis song. It was a big record, but not as big as it could have been. It was one of those records where you’d think it sold 10 billion copies, but it didn’t. I did that song in my show a couple of times, but it’s a really hard song to sing, it really is, the meter is really difficult. You have to really study hard to learn how to sing that song. That’s why I don’t sing it anymore.
    • Actress and singer Darlene Love, in an interview for "Vulture", published in the magazine's online edition on September 23, 2015 in an article entitled "9 Behind-the-Scenes Stories from the Greatest Backup Singer Ever"
  • He was in the big room at Western Recorders, and had his cape on at the time (laughs). He was preparing to go back out on tour and he was asking us, “Well, what’s it like?” He was a really kind gentleman, couldn’t have been nicer and definitely knew who The Beach Boys were. We saw him play live in Vegas at The Hilton and he was darn good. I mean, what a voice...
    • Singer Mike Love,of the Beaxh Boiys, recalling the day he met Elvis, as published in the book, Elvis from those who knew him best.
  • As an artist, he always personified total unrestraint...
    • Singer Luis Miguel, Mexican singing superstar, a huge Elvis fan, as noted in page 195 of the book "The rituals of chaos".
  • This cat came out in red pants and a green coat and a pink shirt and socks, and he had this sneer on his face. He stood behind the mic for five minutes, I'll bet, before he made a move. Then he hit his guitar, a lick, and he broke two strings.So there he was, these two strings dangling, and he hasn't done anything except break the strings yet, and these high school girls were screaming and fainting and running up to the stage. Then he started to move his hips real slow, like he had a thing for his guitar.For the next nine days, he played one-nighters around Kilgore, and after school every day, me and my girl would get in the car and go wherever he was playing that night, in Gladewater, Alpine, Gonzales, and Lubbock, were other country singers witnessed the spectacle and heeded his call – Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings. That was the last time I tried to sing like Webb Pierce or Lefty Frizzell.
    • Singer Bob Luman as told to journalist Paul Hemphill in 1969
  • During my long career in broadcasting, I’ve had the chance to interview lots of famous people; it was late summer in 1976 when I was sent out to the Arena to cover some sort of special announcement from manager Bob Kunkel, whose look, as soon as we entered the room, told us that this was no hunting and fishing extravaganza he was promoting but an Elvis Presley concert; before leaving, I cornered him to ask about helping arrange an exclusive interview; he laughed and said, 'Good luck with that'; so, instead, I managed to get six tickets, at 15 dollars each, with each of our daughters having to come up with five bucks each, on their own, to help cover the cost; the show itself was memorable for the music, and his voice was strong but he looked tired and not well. A few months later, Elvis was back; this time, his voice was even stronger but he looked worse; two months later, he was dead and that's when my family and I went to see him, one last time, in a memorable trip where we and thousands of others, walked slowly through those gates to view his grave. That 'show' was for free...
    • Doug Lund, Director of KELO/TV, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, recalling his sad, albeit memorable experience of not being able to interview Elvis twice, and his attending his funeral, all in a period of less than nine months, as published on 23 March, 2007 in KELOLAND.COM
  • Elvis did the Comeback Special in '68. He was falling in the ratings and it brought him right back onto the throne and, when you watch him sing - and "Baby, what do you want me to do" in particular, which is a cover of an R&B song by Jimmy Reed, Elvis makes it his own - you see this music is HIM, he's got every inflection, every feeling 100 per cent out there for all to see, it's so thrilling to watch, it's infectious. With singers and musicians, there's the surface of something and then real deep levels of being IT, and nobody gets close to Elvis because he gets that thing at the deepest level and it comes alive with him and everybody feels it, and it's like magic. He looked so great in his black leather, but even if he looked weird he'd still be King. Elvis is the total package, he was born for it."
    • Director David Lynch, who recently voted the 1968 Comeback Special as his number one musical performance of all time, as published in EIN´WWW page.
  • After playing the ukulele I told my mother I wanted a solid body guitar, because I would then be able to sing Elvis. I really liked his songs, was determined to play guitar, and ended up recording “Don’t Be Cruel”, In fact, in grade schools they started calling me Elvis Presley, the black Elvis, - they said I was trying to wear my hair like Elvis. lol. Then I formed an all an all girls band, Bobby Lynn and the Idols.
    • Barbara Lynn, R&B singer songwriter and left handed guitar player, in an interview for New Orleans public Radio, as published on November 11, 2016.


M


  • Performing a few more classics like "Crossroads" and "Vincent" from his "American Pie" album, he takes a break between songs to talk about setting off from his hometown for the first time to pursue his music in California and witnessing the the MGM Studio auctions in the late 60's. Moving on, he took a step back in time to "And I Love You So", from his debut album, Tapestry, released in 1970. The song became an instant classic at its release, and was covered by many of the greats including "my favorite", McLean revealed, "Elvis Presley", who recorded it and used it in 125 of his live performances from 1975 until his death in 1977.
    • Shawn Costa, reviewing for Mass Live a performance by singer songwriter Don McLean in Hartfort, CT on October 15, 2016
  • My next book is about how the U.S. Army tried to ‘transform’ itself to meet the challenges of the atomic bomb, as well as the American experiment with a large peacetime, short-service citizen-soldier force and conscription. The idea that someone as famous and controversial as Elvis Presley could be drafted and become a symbol of the U.S. military and the nation’s commitment to the defense of the free world fascinates me. His exemplary military service was well chosen, for that young man quietly accepted the call to duty, raised his hand and took the oath, wore the uniform and performed soldierly tasks as well as he had cavorted on the stage before adoring teenyboppers. Thus, after years of unremitting effort, the all-volunteer force that many call “the best Army this or any other nation has ever fielded” has come to face new enemies, new challenges with, if not sublime confidence, at least sturdy resolution. In considering the long hard period of transformation, one ponders the profound commentary of Elvis Presley’s first sergeant: “By submitting to the draft and entering the Army as an ordinary private, Elvis accepted the discipline of an institution that had come to play a vital role in transforming men from assorted backgrounds into soldiers and Americans. A condensed version of those lines might stand as a pretty good inscription on the Pelvis’ tombstone.
    • Review of Military historian Brian McAllister Linn book, "Elvis Army, Cold War GIs and the atomic battlefield" (Harvard University Press), as published in the Roanoke Times, on 23 September 2016.
  • Oh, they can kiss my ass,” she says of critics who might accuse her of borrowing other cultures’ fixtures. It's a topic she seems interested to discuss. “I’m not appropriating anything. I’m inspired and I’m referencing other cultures. That is my right as an artist. They said Elvis Presley stole African-American culture. That’s our job as artists, to turn the world upside down and make everyone feel bewildered and have to rethink everything.”
    • Madonna, in an article by Michael Jacobs entitled "To hell and back, Madonna lives to tell", as published by the Huffington Post on 13 March, 2015.
  • In "Clambake", Elvis was going to do a scene in a bar with Shelley Fabares, and in the back these waiters were wearing —you know, the tasseled cup hats and also wearing vests with gold trim and stuff, so I went and put one of those on, as a joke, and then they put a moustache on me. So I’m cleaning up a table, and Elvis is about 5 or 10 feet away from where I’m cleaning, and as he’s talking to her, I’m knocking over glasses and finally they said, “Cut!” And he didn’t look around —he just kind of shrugged— but I did it purposedly three times in a row, and on the third time he turned around and said, ““What the hell are you doing over there? Well, anyways, I did the next take right, and you can spot me back there. He used to called me “Double Trouble,” actually because they did a movie where he was playing cousins and he had to play a blonde, so his Memphis Mafia kept teasing him: “You look like that guy on The Big Valley! LOL. So we used to play tricks on each other all the time. He’d be on stage at the International Hotel in Las vegas, and I’d come off the other side from where he’s leaning down and singing, and I’d get some scarves and bring ’em out, and he’d hear this roaring over there from the other side of the stage, and he’d see me and go, “What the hell are you doing over there?” We’d do stuff like that all the time. We had a good time and yeah, well, Elvis and I were friends. It’s too bad he died so young.
    • Lee Majors, in an interview with A.V. Club on Nov 28, 2016
  • Ever since I was a kid, I was just glued to the record player. I would save allowances to buy Elvis records every week and still remember when I first heard "It's Now or Never". I thought that was the greatest rock 'n' roll record I ever heard. It just blew my mind. But it blew my mind even more when my mom showed me it was actually an Italian aria (O Sole Mio, which remains part of Malo's performance repertoire to this day). It was like, 'There you go. There is a connection with all of this music.' It all started from there."
    • Songwriter and singer Raul Malo, explaining to Walter Tunis how he became a music aficionado, as published on November 27 at Lex.go.co
  • I never met him, although I saw his show in Las Vegas, and the great feeling I had after listening to his version of "Somos Novios" ("Its impossible") was always so well known in music circles that the other day I received the main master, in acetate form, from a friend who just passed away. It's without a doubt my most valuable treasure.
    • Armando Manzanero, Mexican singer songwriter's opinion on Elvis and of his having recorded one of his songs "Its impossible", as related in NP25TV 2015
  • He was ahead of his time because he had such deep feelings and had the privilege of deep feelings because he was deeply loved by his mother, Gladys. He was able to appreciate profound beauty in sounds and he started a musical revolution. In fact, they say all revolutions start from love.
    • Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Phillippines, as published in www.graceland.com
  • If any individual of our time can be said to have changed the world, Elvis Presley is the one. In his wake more than music is different. Nothing and no one looks or sounds the same. His music was the most liberating event of our era because it taught us new possibilities of feeling and perception, new modes of action and appearance, and because it reminded us not only of his greatness, but of our own potential. As to his comeback in 1968, it was the finest music of his life. If ever there was music that bleeds, this was it.The second edition of my book came out after Elvis died, and I was asked to put the whole Elvis chapter in the past tense, and I said no. The reason was that Elvis' presence was so powerful, I felt he's always in the present tense. When you listen to anything that says Elvis Presley to you, whoever you are, whether it's "Long Black Limousine" or "Jailhouse Rock" or "Milkcow Blues Boogie" or "Any Day Now" — I could go on forever — but the physical presence is so strong that death walks away. There's an obscene Elvis outtake of "Stranger in My Hometown". Elvis is singing and suddenly it becomes completely autobiographical, and he explodes — he says "I'm gonna start driving my motherfucking truck again. All them cocksuckers stopped being friendly, but you can't keep a hard prick down." He just goes off, yet it's completely musical, not just breaking down and screaming. He's right there. Every one of his greatest performances is in a way unfinished, because the emotion in them is so rich and so strained, in the best way, trying so hard to say what you mean emotionally, though you can never say everything, so as you listen, you add to that, you're engaged, you're taking part in the dialogue. So that will always be the present tense.
    • Greil Marcus, discussing the 40th anniversary of his book "Mystery Train" in a retrospective interview with Rob Sheffield of RollingStone published in the mazazine's online edition on October 19, 2015.
  • Critiques of the [Ed Sullivan] programs assumed that the Presley appeal was strictly telegenic—not vocal. His vocal style, in fact, was every bit as mobile as his hips. Since most of the journalists on the Elvis beat denied him any artistry, his two-and-a-third-octave range was never mentioned and the music itself was rarely analyzed.
    • Author Karal Ann Marling, as noted in her 1996 book, "As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s (Harvard University Press).
  • The biggest thing Elvis had was the command he had on stage, how he could control the crowd and the band. There’s a performance on the Ed Sullivan show where he does ‘Hound Dog and at the end he slows it down, and - to me - it looked like an improv moment, not like something they rehearsed. It was like Presley saw girls in the audience freaking out and said to himself: ‘Watch me slow it down - and then really go nuts.’ And he slows it down at the end and then starts his little dance, and he had them.
    • Bruno Mars, speaking to reporters on his love of Elvis Presley's music, as reported by the AP
  • Elvis Presley was an explorer of vast new landscapes of dream and illusion. He was a man who refused to be told that the best of his dreams would not come true, who refused to be defined by anyone else's perceptions. This is the goal of democracy, the journey on which every American hero sets out. That Elvis made so much of the journey on his own is reason enough to remember him with the honor and love we reserve for the bravest among us. Such men made the only maps we can trust.
  • There are some things — football, particle physics, heavy metal, and constitutional law among them — that I love, but don't love nearly as much as I love the way people love them. Give me a choice between watching the Super Bowl and watching people talk about the Super Bowl for two hours, and I'll always pick the latter: Listen to someone explain their passion, and eventually, they'll show you their soul. But at the very top of this list of loves, there can only be one man, Elvis Presley. I love him, I think to myself as I leave Graceland, as much as I can love a human being I have never truly known. But, maybe more than anything else about him, I love him for the fact that both his presence and his absence created a space for people to come together and try to comprehend the capacity for destruction and redemption, the sheer power, of their love. I love the potential for intimacy and revelation such a space allows. I love that it has lingered long enough for me to find it....
    • Writer Sarah Marshall, contributing for The Week, on 23 August, 2013
  • I never sang to people. I sang for them, so in 1956, I told that to Elvis Presley. After that he sang not to but for the audience. A subtle difference.
    • Singer [[Tony Martin|Tony Martin] as noted in rainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/elvis_presley_2.html
  • After Ann Margret's show, which I had opened for, Elvis came up to see her, they were friends, so there were in a suite and I see this beautiful woman, Priscilla, his wife, coming in, and then I see Elvis, he looks wow, lean, great, so he walks by me, sees me, and says.... "Son you have an oblique sense of humor....
    • Comedian Steve Martin, at the Dave Letterman Show. Years later he wrote a play where Presley, along with Einstein and Picasso, are the main characters, called "Picasso at the Lapin Agile":
  • If there is one small glimmer of good news, it is that decent, thoughtful and sane voters slightly outnumber the bigots and lunatics. I want to live in an America where that victory is not only mathematical, but political — the America of Walt Whitman’s imagination, Elvis Presley’s voice and Martin Luther King’s oratory.
    • David Masciotra, for Salon, in an article entitled White Flight From Reality: Inside the Racist Panic that Fueled Donald Trump's Victory and published on Noivember 12, 2016.
  • Two months ago scarcely anyone but economists had even heard of mechanism design. Suddenly, it has notoriety worthy of an Elvis Presley ( a man who) somehow manages to attract a huge public following without even trying. Indeed, he can't very well try since he's been dead for 30 years. Yet, isn't it remarkable that, for one week a year, that kind of attention is focused not just on economics, but on physics, chemistry, medicine, and literature. And for that astounding accomplishment, I'd like to express my warmest appreciation to the Nobel Foundation and the Nobel awarding bodies.
    • Eric Maskin, US economist and one of three 2007 Nobel laureates, as stated in his acceptance speech at the Nobel Foundation, in Sweden and as published by nobelprize.org
  • He was an instinctive actor, quite bright, very intelligent, not a punk. In fact, he was very elegant, sedate, refined, and sophisticated.
    • Actor Walter Matthau who co-starred with Elvis in "King Creole," from a 1987 interview
  • I found that I could do Elvis's "Jailhouse Rock", and that’s the great thing, you could pick it up and in a few hours, you could get to something that makde you feel good...
    • Brian May, Queen's lead guitarist, detailing some of the riffs that influenced him the most, for the Irish Examiner on November 18, 2016
  • Toyota, the Japanese automaker, said yesterday that it would invest $1.3 billion to build its eighth North American assembly plant just outside Tupelo, in northeastern Mississippi. The plant will build the Toyota Highlander, a crossover vehicle, and will employ 2,000 workers. Production is expected to begin in 2010, and reach 150,000 vehicles each year. The decision brings Toyota to an area best known for being the birthplace of Elvis Presley.
    • Micheline Maynard, in an article for the New York Times, entitled "Toyota to Build $1.3 Billion Plant in the Land of Elvis" published a few months after US Pres. George Bush took Prime Minister Junishiro Koizumi (a huge Elvis fan who was also born on a January 8) to Graceland, in Memphis, and on Air Force One, a gesture which may have influenced the Japanese car maker to choose Tupelo as the site of the plant.
  • A rise in the number of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases has highlighted the growing trend for parents not to have their child vaccinated. Could the activities of a group of teenagers against polio in 1950s America inspire a fresh look at the effectiveness of pro-vaccine public health information campaigns? Well, today, thanks to a 50 year global effort to eradicate polio, only two countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan) remain polio-endemic. It was a very different situation when the Salk vaccine was licensed in 1955. Even in 1957, as many as 30% of people still had no inoculations, and a third of all new cases were in teens, its use threatened in the USA by ‘vaccine hesitancy" And then young people themselves – and Elvis Presley – became the answer to the problem, in what might be the first, largest and most successful case of teen health activism of the time. The fight waged against vaccine noncompliance in 1950s America, he suggests, could provide important lessons for the world today.
    • University of Cambridge historian Dr Stephen Mawdsley, in a film entitled "Teens Against Polio, (released in World Immunization Week, 24-30 April 2016), describing how the activities of a group of teenagers against polio in 1950s America, spearheaded by Presley, if studied carefully, may 60 years later inspire a fresh look at the effectiveness of pro-vaccine public health information campaigns.
  • I can still remember when you visited me in my humble home at Beatrice Cottages and we listened to Elvis and sang along and laughed together, then you revealed your soul to me, your dreams, your hopes - and I wrote your first biography...
    • Will Mbanga, in a personal letter asking for the resignation of his former friend and comrade, President Robert Mugabe, a huge Elvis fan whose home in Harare is filled with Elvis nemorabilia, and as published in Open Democracy on 25 February 2008.
  • I’m primitive on music. I don’t want to learn it, it’s too serious, too like homework. And nothing about my childhood inspired me with a love of classical music. My dad was a bit of a jazzer so if a symphony came on the radio he would immediately turn it off. School was no better, you would have just had to play one Elvis record and we would have been hooked. We’d have turned up in droves to that lesson. (In fact) I’ve got so many vivid memories of being a kid in Liverpool. Like everyone I suppose, I have millions of memories of those days. I remember John and I going up to the airport on our bikes to watch the planes. It makes me smile to think that they named the airport after him. So then I think back to getting the bus with George, going to school. And then the memories go beyond that, to getting the bus to "The Cavern" or the "Grosvenor Ballroom". And then the memories go beyond that and beyond that, and I have to remember that I was one of the guys that all that was happening to. You have to pinch yourself and say ‘did that REALLY happen?’. Did I REALLY meet Elvis?”
    • Paul McCartney, reminiscing about his early years with the Beatles, as published on the Liverpool Echo's online edition of 24 May, 2015 and as extracted from the book "Conversations with McCartney" by Paul DuNoyer.
  • He was a precious gift from God we cherished and loved dearly. He had a God-given talent that he shared with the world and without a doubt, he became most widely acclaimed, capturing the hearts of young and old alike.He was admired not only as an entertainer,but as the great humanitarian that he was for his generosity, and his kind feelings for his fellow man. He revolutionized the field of music and received its highest awards and became a living legend in his own time, earning the respect and love of millions. God saw that he needed some rest and called him home to be with HIM. We miss you, son and daddy. I thank GOD that HE gave us you as our son. Elvis Aaron Presley January 8, 1935-August 16, 1977. Son of Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Presley and father of Lisa Marie Presley
    • Elvis epitaph as seen on his tombstone, written by *Janelle McComb, and commissioned and directed by Vernon Presley in 1977.
  • Elvis Presley. It's a big, all-American icon with a sense of duty...
    • David McCowen, describing what the Grand Cherokee woud be, if it were a celebrity, for Drive, as published on 23 October 2016
  • Dylan heard the news while he was at his farm in Minnesota, with his children. I was playing with the kids and planning a birthday party for Samuel Dylan’s 9th birthday. Dylan was writing songs for his next album, which turned out to be Street Legal. When Dylan told me that Presley had died, and I said I was not a fan, he didn’t talk to me for a week. He really took it bad, was really grieving and said that if it wasn’t for Elvis he never would have gotten started. He opened the door, Dylan told me, then went over his whole life, his whole childhood and didn’t talk to anyone for a week
    • Faridi McFree, art teacher for Bob Dylan's children, on the day and week after Elvis' death, in an interview with NSF, Music Station.
  • Growing up, I could sing every Elvis song. In first or second grade, I’d wrap a scarf around my neck, put a big hibiscus flower in my shirt pocket, and perform Live From Hawaii. He came through Monroe, Louisiana, on one of his last tours, and my mom was going to take me, but I got mumps. When she was getting ready for the show, I was lying on the floor kicking and screaming because I couldn’t go. In fact, every artist puts a bit of the King into every performance. We’re all just trying to be Elvis, aren’t we?
    • Tim McGraw, on his first influence, as published in CMT News online page on July 14, 2016.
  • No, we all started with rock ’n’ roll, Elvis Presley and the whole Sun Records gang.
    • Roger McGuinn's answer to the question of whether folk music had been his and the Byrds' first influence, in an interview with Variety, and published on November 6, 2016.
  • The headline news of "Platinum", which can be appreciated by fans, scholars, critics and religious fanatics alike, is the inclusion of a newly discovered 1954 demo of the unsigned Elvis singing a lilting wisp of a pop song called "I'll Never Stand in Your Way". His unsophisticated performance is mesmerizing; clearly indebted to the style of the "Ink Spots", Elvis' airy tenor floats delicately above his own guitar accompaniment, aching and somewhat pinched in its feeling; you sense the singer itching to cut loose, to really swing the lyric, open it up; it is in those moments, when the pentimento of the blues vocalist reveals itself, that the melding of styles that soon would change the course of popular music is on fleeting display; it's rare when a single song can be said to make a pricey box-set worthwhile, but this particular "Rosetta stone" of a rare cut, does precisely that. Big time.
    • David McGee, reviewing the Platinum box-set for RollingStone Magazine
  • For me, it all started with Elvis. I must've been six, maybe seven years old when I saw him on the Ed Sullivan show, wasn't supposed to be watching, raised as I was in a strict Catholic family, and Elvis the Pelvis was sin. But like most Catholic parents, they watched to see just how sinful Elvis was. He was shot from the waist up, I could see that from my hiding place behind the couch. But Elvis' music and energy ignited my first desire to rock 'n roll. My father was a professional magician with a love of movies, and that’s where my childhood creative energies were directed. In fact, through my entire teen life my dream was to be a rock and roll rebel.
    • DirectorTom McLoughlin, former lead singer of the garage band "The Sloths", explaining what first turned into rock music, in an article published in BoeigBoeing's online page, on 17 March 2015
  • But it is Presley's singing, halfway between a western and a rock 'n' roll style, that has sent teen-agers into a trance; they like his wailing in a popular song like "Blue Moon" or such western tunes as "I'll Never Let You Go", but they go crazy over the earthy, lusty mood of such rock 'n' roll numbers as "Money Honey"; and the reason is simple enough: Presley sings with a beat; and you can be certain that there'll always be music with a beat and that, whether you like it or not, there will always be an Elvis Presley.
    • Helen MacNamara, Canadian Music writer and book author, writing on Presley's future impact, as published on the June 9, 1956 issue of "Saturday Night Magazine"
  • Hanging out with the British Royal Family didn't faze me —I called them all by their first names. In fact the only time I ever got that way was when I met Elvis. He checked out the pre-movie stage version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where I played the motorcycle-riding Eddie. I felt like, Oh my god, I can't believe where I am!—
  • I'm a very non-religious person. I think everybody has the right to believe in any religion they want. Whatever makes you happy is absolutely fantastic. That's a perfect question to say 'no comment' to, because I don't really wanna hear anybody else's opinion, and I don't think anybody should wanna hear my opinion, because it's very, very personal. And nobody knows anything anyway. So it's, like… If I had to choose a religion, it would be the Elvis Presley religion.
    • Megadeth's lead guitarrist Marty Friedman, expressing his views on religion in an interview with the Impact Metal Channeland as published by Blabbermoputh on January 26, 2014.
  • It was one of just 254 built between 1955 and 1959. The original owner was the German race car driver Hans Stuck, who piloted it to win several hill-climb races in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 1957. During his ownership, it also won an award at a well-known "automotive beauty" competition and was used in the feature film "Hula-Hopp Conny." In 1959, Elvis bought it from a dealer in Frankfurt, then was given a registration from the U.S. military, which changed every year, resulting in the car getting "lost." After extensive research by both BMW Group Classic and American journalist Jackie Jouret,the car's history started to being verified. Presley had used the 507 between his home in Bad Nauheim to the U.S. Army Base in Friedberg, but when he returned to the US in 1960 he traded it at a Chrysler dealer in New York, which, in turn, sold it to radio moderator Tommy Charles. After outfitting the car with a Chevrolet engine, Charles launched a successful racing career with it, winning a major race in Daytona Beach before selling the car in 1963. The car eventually ended up with space engineer and car collector, Jack Castor. He drove it occasionally before storing it in a pumpkin warehouse with plans to restore it. Though he had collected numerous parts for the car's restoration, it was still in storage when he happened upon a magazine article by Jouret, about Elvis' lost BMW 507! Castor realized that the car he owned had the same chassis number Jouret had uncovered and the pair met at the warehouse to look at the car. Very quickly, Jouret became certain that this car was, indeed, the car owned by Elvis. After further investigation, the car's full history was traced and BMW Group Classic embarked on a 2-year project to restore the BMW 507 to its original condition, you sing many of the parts that Castor had gathered, as well as building a complete 3.2-liter V-8 engine from spare parts to the specifications of the original engine. Today, the 150 horsepower, all-aluminum engine sits under the bonnet of the Feather White BMW 507, and is the star of the Show at the BMW Museum in Munich.
    • Tara Baukus Mello, for Cars Blog, published on 24 September 2016.
  • I'm going to be like him one day...
    • Freddy Mercury, telling his mother what he felt about his future, as he watched Elvis and as recounted by Mrs. Bursara herselgf, at age 94, for an article published by to Mid Day, on November 21, 2016.
  • But it was on the gospel numbers, such as the stunning "How great thou art", (1977) that Presley showed the awesome power of his voice. The fact that he has one of the greatest voices in popular music has been obscured by the mystique that has surrounded him.
    • Steve Millburgh, writing for the "Omaha World Herald", on one of Presley`s last concerts, on 19 June 1977.
  • My sister could sing opera if she wanted, and we used to sing duets together like the Ponselle Sisters, and I also enjoy classic Bette Midler, Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Judy Garland. Of today's voices, Madonna, Mary J. Blige -- people who know how to communicate--. And I love Elvis Presley. Quite a nice mix!".
    • Top US soprano Aprile Millo, when asked by the Playbill staff to name her favourite female and male non-classical singers, as published in Playbill, on 17 November, 2009.
  • And he came from East Tupelo, jumping at all of us, a carnal, metallic hero shamelessly imitated, a glorious founder. Even today it seems like I remember everything about him, especially how he defined the myth and monument of the culture of contemporary expressionism. He invented everything and led a ship which we could all board, and led many to sing everything when all we would have done without him is sing boleros. He was rock and roll, is today and shall always be tomorrow. God bless Elvis Presley.
    • Mina, legendary Italian singer as inscribed in Presley's italian Fan Club online page.
  • Elvis loved karate and his moves on stage, in the 70s, were karate inspired. One day in 1971 he went to see my show, then invited me to go see his at the International, so on the way there, at the elevator, I found myself in the company of Alice Cooper, Chubby Checker and the most popular porn star at that time, Linda Lovelace, all of whom were also invited by Elvis. So there we were in the biggest suite in Las Vegas, waiting for him to greet us when he finally came out, but dressed in a karate gi. He did a couple of moves until, out of nowhere, another man jumped in front of us, like the butler in the Pink Panther movie who comes our of the closet and attacks his master and I said.. Gee, that's great!!!
    • Liza Minelli, telling Graham Norton how and when and with whom she met Elvis.
  • At his big New Year's Eve party, I got to sit and talk with him and it was just great. He was the voice of my generation and I had a million questions to ask him, but all he wanted was to talk about that session of 'Kentucky Rain,'. "More thunder on the piano, Milsap,' he had said when we recorded it. I then asked him if he would like to get up and sing and added that we knew all his songs. 'No, I want to sit here with my friends and not have to worry about singing". He knew we did know how to play his songs, and all, but he didn't want to get up and sing and that was fine with me. It was his party.
    • Ronnie Mislap C&W musician, blind since birth, who played píano on Presley's "Kentucky Rain", as told to Rolling Stone Country, and published on www.theboot.com on December 8, 2014.
  • Lesson #1 is that rock music is in the fighting spirit, not in the amperage of the guitars; indeed, some of the toughest rocking has come from all, or mostly acoustic bands; Elvis presented a primer lesson from the famous Sun sessions, with a simple blues song through the most famous faux false start in rock history; he and the boys start out all slow and bluesy, before stopping the band cold and calling it out like the hippest beat poet: 'Hold it fellas. That don't... move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change'. Then they did, let it loose, turned every bit of intensity in their beings into a jumping arrangement, much faster and more rhythmically nuanced a performance than the opening. Much of the intensity is in the fast and furious, but precisely laid out detail work; there is a strong sense of spontaneity and discovery, but what ultimately makes this a hall-of-fame performance is the vocal performance; Elvis doing tricks, making sudden octave wide jumps. "If you see my milkcow..." There is a charismatic determination of spirit that Nietzsche would no doubt have recognized as the will to power; when the King got through with it, it was no longer anything to do with a high calcium drink, but about the singer's assertion of his place in the universe.
    • Review of "Milkcow Blues" (1954), Elvis third single for the Sun Records Label, by MoreThings.com
  • He’s all for love and who else can give you this? Elvis Presley for President!
    • Lou Monte's words heard in RCA's "Elvis Presley For President" single from the summer of 1956. In that year's otherwise inconsequential Presidential election, no less than 5000 people, by write-in, voted Elvis...
  • Frankly speaking, I don't know much about rock and roll music and I enjoyed some when I was in high school and college. But I stopped listening after Elvis Presley...
    • Ban Ki-moon, eight Secretary General of the United Nations, a national of South Korea, as noted in brainy quote/quotes/keywords/elvis_presley.html
  • To me Elvis Presley’s best records came after he got out of the Army. I mean, just his delivery. “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” and “Surrender” and “Little Sister,” “His Latest Flame,” “She’s Not You,” even some of the early movie songs like “Follow That Dream” and “King Of The Whole Wide World” that I list among my all-time favorites. But, rock ‘n’ roll purists think that after 1957 there isn’t anything any good. I think this is so far off base it’s laughable.
    • Craig Moore, in an interview with singer Bobby Vee as published by Goldmine on May 14, 2009
  • Elvis gave us a second career'.
    • Bluesman, the Reverend Bishop Dwight Arnold Gatemouth Moore, speaking about the impact of ther early Elvis Presley on African American musicians, as quoted by Robert Gordon, for Elsewhere, on November 7, 2007.
  • I thought anyone who had been the center of all that insanity for so long would have some of it rub off on him. But, after working in "Change of Habit" with him, I realized I'd never worked with a more gentlemanly, kinder man. He was gorgeous.
  • Sam Phillips used what we call 'slapback' or 'tape delay', which lent an otherworldly patina to Presley's voice. And I don't know if Sam was really conscious of it at the time, but if you listen to old pop and country records back then, the voice was always so much farther out from the music; Sam kept Elvis' voice close to the music, so, in essence, Elvis' voice became another instrument.
    • Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's lead guitarist from 1954 until 1968, as published in The "Virginia Pilot", in an article entitled "The rising of Sun Records cast music in new light", as written by Sue Smallwood, and published on December 15, 1994
  • Dot continued to travel between Britain and America when I was out there, in between her tours and engagements. In Los Angeles, she once appeared at the 'Moulin Rouge' club in Hollywood, one of her biggest fans being a young Elvis Presley, who attended most of her performances and repeatedly asked her to sing 'This Is My Mother's Day!' He came backstage and, being very nervous, introduced himself to me - as though I didn't know who he was.'Hello, I'm Roger,' I said.'How are you, sir?' he asked.'Lovely to meet you, sir.' He insisted on calling me 'sir' throughout our chat, and acted as though he was in awe of me. Him! In awe of me! Elvis ten told Dot how much he admired her and hoped he might have just a little of the success she had achieved. If only he knew. If only I knew!
    • Roger Moore, recounting the time he and his first wife, entertainer Dorothy (Dot) Squires met Elvis (page 135 of his autobiography)
  • Elvis, yes! Elvis was my man. You know, I used to go up and view his shows.
    • Derrick Morgan, known as the precursor to Bob Marley, the first big reggae star in early 1960s in an interview reaggeavibes
  • Representing Elvis is something only dreams are made of...
    • Super model Kate Moss, speaking about her appearing in a video filmed at the Abbey Road Studios in London, in connexion with the re-release of the song "The Wonder of you", which had topped the UK singles charts for 6 weeks in 1970, and again hit the Top Five, at #4, in 2007, as reported by the Sun on 29 November 2016.
  • I have to say I had some very good scenes with him in "Loving you", but I found myself going to every shot, every scene in which he sang because I was completely taken by listening to him sing. I could not believe the charisma. Incidentally, my uncle was the opera star Mario Lanza (married to my dad´s sister Betty) and I knew what it was like to encounter not just an actor or a singer, but somebody that you knew was going to be a legend. Mario was going to be the next Caruso and Elvis, I thought, ´he is in that class´. This man is going to live forever because that voice is not just for us, but for the people of God.
    • Rev. Mother Dolores, formerly actress Dolores Hart, speaking about Presley´s voice, in an interview to Sirius Radio, in Memphis, TN, on the 36th anniversary of Presley´s death (August 16, 2013).
  • I don't admire nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd want to know. Singing ability, he a had everything and he was pretty, I know. And when it comes to boxing nobody has the class, the style, the wit, the speed and beauty of Ali. When it comes to singing nobody had everything like Elvis. And the last thing, he did lot for poor people, he cared for people, he had a good heart, he just wasn't a person who was great with talent but great in spirit and with God in his heart, and this is great too. I realise how good I am in my profession, I don't praise nobody if he don't deserve it, cos I am the greatest of all time in boxing, in boxing. I said boxing! I'm telling you, not just you all, the Elvis fans, so naturally you praise Elvis, he's of European race as you are, but I'm black, I'm a Islamic, I'm 100% different from you. And I tell the world Elvis was the greatest of all time. I'm a Muslim who's black who stands up for what he believes. I don't have to say what I don't feel, I'm not false I don't have to say this.I'm free.He to me is one of the greatest singers, actors and all round men of all time. With all the brothers together, none are better than Elvis Presley
    • Muhammad Ali, as published in numerous magazines and biographies, including Saladin Ahmens's online page, as well as from a speech in Memphis, TN,honouring Elvis life on the 8th anniversary of his passing (August 16th 1985, https://www.youtube.com/watch?
  • The board meets every Wednesday at the old courthouse in Inverness. Last week I walked into the old courthouse and there was a portrait of Elvis Presley on the wall, greeting me. “Good morning,” I said to Elvis as I entered the building.I did a double take because he appeared to wink at me. Later in the meeting we had a visit from Paul Perregaux, a Citrus Hills resident who has qualified to run for the Citrus County Community Charitable Foundation board, the nonprofit organization that will decide how the proceeds from the lease of Citrus Memorial Hospital will be used. I asked Paul to give us some background on his life experience so we could let residents know why he was running for the office. The longtime banker pointed out that he had an Army career before he worked for the financial industry in New England and noted he was once assigned a driver by the name of Elvis Presley. And yes, it was that Elvis Presley. “He was a very nice young man” said Paul.Later that same day, back at the Chronicle office in Meadowcrest, we had a very extraordinary visit from April Royal, the widow of Phil Royal I sat for a few minutes with April and as we sat there talking, April Royal explained to me that her recently deceased friend Dorothy Jean’s absolute favorite musician was Elvis Presley. Her residence at the Key Center was adorned with photos and paintings of Elvis.In July of this year, April and Phil attended the Key Center’s annual auction. Phil had been on the Key Center board for 20 years and had a special relationship with Dorothy Jean Cole.At the July charity event, what comes up for auction but a large velvet portrait of Elvis Presley? According to April, Phil took one look at Elvis and said he needed to purchase the velvet masterpiece for Dorothy Jean. “I don’t care what it costs,” Phil told April. “We need to buy Elvis.” The Royals were the top bidders. Phil wanted to wait until after the Run for the Money to give the present to Dorothy, but fate got in the way. Phil died during the run at a very young 47 years old. His family and our entire community have been rocked by the tragedy. April Royal has been an incredibly strong woman during the aftermath of the tragic events. Just last week she saw the Elvis portrait at her home and decided she had to go visit Dorothy Jean. So she loaded Brelyn and Elvis into the car and went to the Key.She presented the Elvis portrait to Dorothy as a last gift from Phil. Dorothy was delighted to spend time holding Brelyn and she had a big smile on her face.And now, just a few days after that visit, Dorothy Jean Cole has passed away.The irony was almost too much to comprehend.In a very strange way, the velvet King helped me better understand what courage looks like
    • Gerry Mulligan. Publisher of the Citrus County Chronicle, published on October 1, 2016 at 11:45 pm
  • That’s my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house, you’d see pictures all over of Elvis. He’s just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And I think it’s because he had such presence. When Elvis walked into a room, Elvis Presley was in the f***ing room. I don’t give a f*** who was in the room with him, Bogart, Marilyn Monroe.”
  • I was the twenty-seventh person on standby, on the last flight out of New York City to Memphis the night before the funeral. Miraculously, I got to Memphis and took a cab to Graceland- They'd stopped letting people into the house at that point but everybody was trying to get a photograph of Elvis in the casket, and there was a $50,000 bounty on it.. But the actual funeral was a spectacular thing. I still have incredibly powerful impressions of it, to drive the route and see all the hundreds of thousands of people waiting for him to roll by. It was incredible—very powerful and was about 90 degrees. Waiting in the shade, and all the signs said "God bless you, Elvis. When the hearse rolled out on the street, and it reached the speed it was going to go at, I burst into tears. It was like the long, slow walk And it was just so poignant, then all the helicopters converged on the cemetery, overhead, and there was a riot at the other gate, you know, at the back gate—people were trying to storm into the cemetery. The hearse was arriving, and I started racing, running from where we were. We started running towards where I thought the riot was coming from. On the way I encountered the hearse being led by 24 motorcycle cops. It was one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen, because these cops they were guarding Elvis. And all of the sudden there was one man standing in the cemetery right where they were passing by, and there was not supposed to be anybody there. There's one guy, and it's me. And this cop gave me a look that said, "If you move, I will shoot you right through the heart." I mean, I just froze—you know, like when your hair stands on end. Anyway, as they tried to carry it up the steps, they almost dropped it—it fell like sideways. But then there was a very strange moment when Priscilla actually left. Because you could feel Elvis. You could absolutely feel his presence everywhere. And when she left, it was almost like you could feel his real love went with her, as she rode out of the cemetery. It's was an amazing feeling. I'll never forget it. Well, you gotta have role models. He was an extraordinary guy.
    • Comedian and actor Bill Murray' full interview on his attending Elvis' funeral, published on August 9, 2004 at Permalink
  • In 1959 (during his time in the Army), he came under the weather and military doctors diagnosed tonsillitis and suggested that the vocalist, then the biggest performer in the universe, have his tonsils removed. Presley, already more trustworthy than most modern performers in his pleasant acceptance of military duty, agreed. The problem was that no doctor nearby wanted to risk operating on the star, fearing that malpractice would leave him without his golden voice and either a lawsuit or an an angry fan could ruin any medical career and/or life. They gave him penicillin instead and fortunately everything worked out.
    • Published on the December 1, 2014 online edition of "Music Times", in an article aptly entitled "Tonsillitis and musicians, it aint no joke"


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  • The Postal Service is being wasteful in spending nearly US$300,000 to promote its Elvis Presley stamp. To break even, they would have to sell more than one million stamps to collectors who do not then use them.
    • Ralph Nader, a few months before the USPS's announcement that it had netted US$36 million in profits, its highest ever, as a result of some 124 million stamps being purchased and kept by collectors, more than a third of those 500 million originally issued and sold.
  • The first time he was booked at the International, in July of 1969, some of us had our doubts. I mean, we opened July Fourth with Barbra Streisand, who’d just won an Oscar, had three pictures going. She was one of the hottest entertainment properties in the world. We knew we had something. Elvis [who was the second performer at the new hotel] was an unknown stage property who hadn’t appeared live anywhere in eight years. We knew he’d be something of a draw, but my God! Elvis was a blockbuster, turning out to be an even bigger draw in subsequent runs at the International. I’m not sure how this figure was verified, but it has been reported the Maitre d’ and head waiters split $10,000 in tips per night when he performed the following February.
    • Nick Naff, executive at the International Horel in Las Vegas, for elvisdblñog.
  • My dad was with me one time in Vegas and we were allowed to go backstage where I introduced Elvis to my father. He took my dad and sat down on the couch and they sat there for about 30 minutes just talking and that. Boy, I tell you what, that was something. I'm standing there and Elvis is spending time with my dad. He was the only person I was really thrilled by, always appreciated his taking time out to talk to my dad, and I do to this day.
  • In the aftermath of Elvis Presley Estate litigation flurry, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted the Personal Rights Protection Act of 1984, providing clear statutory language ensuring personality rights are not extinguished at death and their descendibility to others. Additionally, the Tennessee Court of Appeals confirmed the descendibility of personality rights under common law in another case brought by the state against the “Elvis Presley International Memorial Foundation” for their unlicensed use of Elvis’s name. The foundation argued there was “no descendible right of publicity in Tennessee and that Elvis Presley's name and image entered into the public domain when he died. The court made a clear distinction between the right to privacy and right to publicity, highlighting the economic value of a celebrity’s image, and in reviewing the Sixth Circuit's previous opinion on the matter, found their prior decision was made “without considering Tennessee law. Instead, the court recognized Tennessee has an “expansive view of property” and concluded a celebrity's right of publicity is a “species of intangible personal property” protected in Tennessee. Specifically, the court found descendability of personality rights promotes “an expectation that the investment in valuable capital assets will benefit one's heirs after death, the protection of contract rights, the discouragement of consumer deception, and the policy against unfair competition.Thus, the court held “Elvis Presley's right of publicity survived his death and remains enforceable by his estate and those holding licenses from the estate.
    • National Law Review, as published on October 10, 2016, in an article entitled 'Elvis and Prince: Personality Rights Guidance for Dead Celebrities and the Lawyers and Legislatures Who Protect Them by Peter Colin, Jr, the Review's 2016 Law Student Writing Competition Winner.
  • Imagine Elvis Presley watching our show. He repeated episodes I'd even forgotten about, even remembering them word for word. And he gave me some great tips about things to do on my tour. You'll never know how much tonight has meant to me..
    • Rick Nelson, as told to Photoplay editor Maria Borie the night he and Elvis met after Nelson attended Presley's second Pan Pacific Auditoium concert on October 28 1957.
  • In his heyday, when he was really hot, there was an explosion of energy between Elvis and his audience. I wasn't a wild fan of Elvis's, but put the man onstage doing his music, and you got something more powerful than the sum of its parts. You got magnetism in action. Maybe it was sexual, I don't know, but if ever a performer could get up onstage and turn a crowd into crashing waves of energy, it was Elvis. Yet Elvis couldn't really whip up a Las Vegas dinner-show crowd on a regular basis. I went to see Elvis one night on the Strip and I slipped in at the back of the room and listened a minute and thought: what is going on here? There was Elvis up there working his ass off, and the crowd was just kind of politely exhausted. They clapped and whistled, but you couldn't feel them giving anything back. I felt like jumping on top of a table and yelling, "Hey everybody, that's Elvis Presley up there! You should be jumping and screaming"
    • Willie Nelson (Nelson, Willie; Bud Shrake; Edwin Shrake (2000). Willie: An Autobiography. Cooper Square Press. p. 277. )
  • I feel that Elvis' success actually broke the ice for civil rights, because that was the issue during that time, the fact he sent the black idiom all over the world in his music.
    • Calvin Newborn African American Jazz guitarrist, whose gigs at the Plantation Inn Club, as well as his home, Elvis frequented, in an interview for the documentary "Why Elvis"
  • It was huge. I was terrified, I remember that I had my little white lace dress. It was very scary, invited as I was to see Elvis's show and to meet him afterwards and even more intimidating, if incredibly flattering, as he was covering one of my early country hits – If You Love Me, Let Me Know. I went with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber backstage and Elvis was supposed to come and meet us. But something happened, he had an emergency and he had to leave. It was one of those 'Almost!' moments...
    • Olivia Newton-John in an interview with the Brisbane Times, published on October 22, 2016.
  • From the first quavering notes of the song, it was obvious that there was something different about him -- you could detect his influences, but he didn't sound like anyone else. There is a quality of unutterable plaintiveness as Elvis, in 1953, sings "My Happiness", a pop hit,in 1948, for Jon and Sandra Steele, and a sentimental ballad that couldn't have been further from anyone's imaginings of rock-and-roll. It is just a pure, yearning, almost desperately pleading solo voice reaching for effect. The guitar, Elvis said, "sounded like somebody beating on a bucket lid," with an added factor of nervousness that Elvis must surely have felt. But even that is not particularly detectable -- there is a strange sense of calm, an almost unsettling stillness in the midst of great drama. When he finished, the boy looked up expectantly at the man in the control booth. Mr. Phillips nodded and said politely that he was an "interesting" singer. "We might give you a call sometime."
    • Description of the-then 18-year-old Elvis paying $4 to make a personal record at Sam Phillips's Memphis Recording Service in 1953, as published by the New York Times on October 9, 1994, in an article entitled "The stirrings of a King"
  • Recently, someone asked the question of who had been the one individual who'd helped save the most money in the US healthcare industry in the last century. The answer – surprisingly – is Elvis Presley. On October 28, 1956, Elvis got a polio vaccination on national TV. That event was responsible for raising immunization levels in the US from 0.6% to over 80% in just 6 months. No other single individual has had that kind of impact on healthcare in the US.
    • NEXUS, a Dimension Data Company's laud of Presley's influence on the eradication of polio, as published in their online page in an article entitled "U.S. Healthcare Needs Another Elvis" on February 6, 2015.
  • I knew little of him before we met at the White House. But, as I talked to him, I felt he was basically a very shy man. People say that because he had trouble at the end of his life, that he could not have been a good example, but they overlooked the fact he always used medication prescribed by his physician, so I think that he was always a very sincere and decent man.
    • Richard Nixon, as detailed in the PBS program "We were there when Elvis and Nixon met".
  • Elvis Presley is my spiritual father and, as you may know, Maria Callas is my spiritual mother.
    • Klaus Nomi, German countertenor noted for his wide vocal range and an unusual, otherworldly stage persona, as noted in azquotes.
  • Nowadays, with the cult of celebrity so firmly ingrained in western society, it seems obvious that having a leading star flash their wrist at a large audience would see a brand's sales go through the roof. But when Elvis Presley wore the Hamilton Ventura in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii, the then American brand couldn't have imagined the enduring effect of Presley's contribution.
    • Rob Nudds's laud of Presley's selling power, even in 1961, when using the first electric watch to have ever been made, a truly unique piece then owned by Paramount and which sold, years later, to the Swiss watchmaker Swatch, for US$1million


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  • There are certain figures in our popular culture, Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Frank Sinatra come to mind, that just capture peoples' imagination, and in death they become even larger
    • US President Barrack Obama, upon learning, while on an official visit to Russia, of the death of Michael Jackson and the outpouring of grief he received, as noted in an interview with by CBS'Chip Reid, later wired from Moscow, and published on July 7, 2009...
  • When I was at Harvard, and it’s the 80s, and I had sort-of come of age with 60s and 70s music, so Elvis wasn’t a big interest of mine. And, then in 1983, I listened for the first time to The Sun Sessions, Elvis’ earliest work that he did with Sam Phillips. It blew my mind. It was like a drug. I couldn’t get enough. It made me go out and buy a guitar. It made me try and play that music. And, in a sense, I’ve never gotten past that music. I can’t get past early Elvis. I appreciate other music, but I’m always drawn back. It’s just this energy. What I’ve always noticed about Elvis is there’s nobody more talented, or better looking. He’s a rare example of the complete package and he is at the right time. He’s got it all. I listen to Elvis nearly every night on Sirius. I love it. Yet, there’s always part of me that’s very sad that Elvis couldn’t have lived to see how great his work was. He was someone who was revered. To see that whole generation come out and play with him and support. And let him know that his work meant something in the American tapestry, but he never got that chance.
    • Conan O'Brien, television host, comedian and producer, speaking with Elvis' foremost biographer, Peter Guralnick, as published on Elvisblog on May 31, 2013.
  • She has a taste in music that almost perfectly reflects her style, having been in politics for longer than a large portion of the electorate has been alive, and her musical tastes appear to be just mainstream, contemporary Top 40 radio music. Another large portion of her playlist features Jennifer Lopez, Marc Antony and Juanes. But like her opponent, Clinton also professes a love for the music of her youth, including her being a fan of Elvis Presley,
    • Waylon O'Day, in an article entitled Music and the 2016 Election: Trump and Clinton, pubished on November 3, 2016
  • (In fact), Elvis Presley was a fan. I was thrilled by that; I really was. We never know how we affect the people we come in contact with. We cannot decide how it is we affect anybody. It makes me feel wonderful when I feel that it is something I have done that makes them go on.
    • Odetta, African American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and civil and human rights activist, speaking at the First Amendment Center on Presley's recording of Bob Dylan's Tomorrow is a long time", where she expressed pleasure in finding out Elvis was a fan of hers, as told on March 25th 1999.
  • O’Keefe was deeply depressed by Elvis Presley’s death. He was his idol and O’Keefe would keep telling friends that he would be next. Six days after appearing on the Seven Network Show Sounds (which was a little over a year after Presley's death) , O’Keefe passed away from a heart attack.
  • About Johnny O’Keefe's lasting impact on Australian music, as noted in Stars at 60, on December 3, 2016.
  • The first thing he did when he came out in 1955 in texas, it seemed like he was spitting on the stage. It all affected me like the first time I saw that David Lynch film. There was just no reference point in the culture to compare it too. In fact, he was the firstest with the mostest.
  • I got a letter from Elvis in 1961, I was 16, and the letter said, “I just want you to know I put "Halfway to Paradise" in my jukebox.” When I finally met him in the ‘70s, I was headlining the Hilton in Las Vegas and was actually following him a week later. I sat with him in his dressing room and then I said, “Let me ask you a question. Do you remember writing a letter to me, saying that you liked "Halfway to Paradise?” And he calls Priscilla into the room, and he said, “Tell Tony what my favourite song is.” And sure enough, it was "Halfway to Paradise",
    • Tony Orlando,in an interview with Shawn Conner with the Vancouver Sun, published on April 6, 2016-


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  • It was in Vegas in '73 and it was really something to see. They really didn't know what to do with each other. Obviously Elvis was enthralled to be in Ali's presence, but so was Ali, he loved Elvis. Elvis came in to Ali's hotel room with the robe, 'The People's Champ' written on the back in jewels. Ali sees Elvis coming in and says, 'Hey, that's Elvis, man. He looks pretty good!' And both of them looked at each other like good-looking women would look at each other to appraise how they look. At that time, Ali was at the height of his good looks, so this was probably the best-looking black guy and the best-looking white guy on the planet in that room, and they were looking at each other like roosters. 'You look good, Ali.' 'Yeah, you're looking good, Elvis'. So here they are and they really wanted to be friends with, and respected each other and the love was there, but they couldn't quite get as close as they would have liked. But the robe Elvis presented to Ali that night was the only one he ever kept..
    • Ferdie Pacheco, Muhammed Ali's perspnal physician and cornerman, on the day Ali and Elvis met, as published in the Sabotage Times, 8 January 2016 edition.
  • But the last side, recorded during rehearsals for his 1968 television special, is another treat, as fine and tough and overflowing with heart and soul as any of his 50's recordings. Playing an electric guitar, rather than his customary acoustic model, he traded fluid rhythm and lead parts with Scotty Moore, their interplay almost telepathic. And with his original drummer, D. J. Fontana, stoking the fires, this music moved, from the ferocious version of Rufus Thomas's Sun Records label blues "Tiger Man" to Jimmy Reed blues shuffles, to smoldering New Orleans triplet-style blues-ballads like "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "One Night". This is rock and roll as good as it gets.
    • Robert Palmer, reviewing Elvis' boxed set, ¨A Golden Celebration¨ , for the New York Times on Nov. 18, 1984.
  • I remember that all my music listening had to be from the single family wireless receiver, which was built like a piece of furniture and took up an entire corner of the front room. It was from this Ekco set that I first heard Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel". It was a musical epiphany for me. His moody syncopated delivery was astonishing, daring, disrespectful. My father came in while I was listening and he asked, "Something wrong with the set?". He was going to check the valves at the back but I told him that it was Elvis Presley and that he was meant to sound like that.
    • UK Comedian and actor Michael Palin, of Monty Python fame, describing his early affinity with the arts, entertainment and music in an interview publshed by Australia's Sidney Morning Herald, on November 13, 2014
  • We got to meet Elvis on May 11, 1974. He'd been the one who'd done so much for so many, setting everyone alight and flighting right under the radar with all of this black music, doing numbers by country blues artists like Arthur Crudup and Sleepy John Estes. It was unbelievable. He was one of us. And think about it! He started in 1954 - that was more than ten years before we arrived. It's miraculous that he made it through! He had the hand of God over him, he really did. He was the one that brought it all together. He brought blues and race music to the white culture. Rewinding to 1974, we were invited to see him play and then invited back to a party afterward. We went up to his suite. There was just a few other people. I can tell you we were really nervous when he came in the door. He really moved as naturally cool in real life as he did on film. That wasn't an act, that's just how he really was! It was real cool to us. It was a little awkward at first because his music meant so much to us but then somebody said 'You know that hot rod you drove in the movie 'Loving You'? And that was that everybody just drove into the conversation relaxed and had fun. He was wonderful a fantastic man!!!
    • Jimmy Page, lead guitarist for Led Zeppelin, telling reporter David Frickle how it felt for a child a of post-war Britain, to meet Presley as published in RollingStone magazine's October 28, 2014 edition, as well as from the book "Light and Shade" published in 2012.
  • When he turned it on, Elvis sang with the spiritual fervour of one who spoke in tongues, not so much communicating with the listener, as communing. Our continuing fascination with Elvis is a testament to both his charisma and his voice. The details are secondary. To paraphrase the literary critic and poet Al Alvarez, all that matters is that you hear the voice. When this happens, Elvis Presley doesn’t just hold a mirror up to nature, he creates an eternal moment, leaving the sound of his voice on the airwaves as distinctly as Leonardo Da Vinci forever fixed the Mona Lisa smile in time.
    • Richard J Parfitt, Senior Lecturer in Music and the Performing Arts at Bath Spa University, as abridged from an article entitled "The Quasi religious significance of Elvis", published in the online edition of The Comversation, on December 11, 2014.
  • Donald Trump and Bill Clinton were born two months apart in 1946 into a revolutionary culture that soon would embrace a hip-swiveling crooner named Elvis Presley and Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine. Basically, everything you need to know about them can be found in these two mid-century icons. A fellow Southerner, Clinton saw himself as Elvis. Even now, his face sometimes betrays Elvis’s smoldering glance with the slightly curled lip. Trump, a New York City boy, was Hefner. He collected all the toys of the Playboy lifestyle — boats, planes, cars — the best of everything a guilt-mongering rich boy would seek to glam up his sex appeal. Mar-a-Lago was his Playboy Mansion. All three of his wives have been bunny quality, and Trump Tower isn’t just a tall building.
    • Kathleen Parker, Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary in 2010, in an article for the Washington Post entitled Who is worse, Trump or Clinton, published on October 12, 2016
  • The news I could bring is that I met up with The King
    • Gram Parsons on meeting Elvis backstage after a concert in his hometown of Waycross, GA, on February 22, 1956 following which he decided to become a musician. He was 9 years old.
  • I don’t know of anybody that doesn’t like Elvis or heard anybody say, ‘Oh, I don’t like his singing.’ Everybody loved Elvis, and I just think that’s incredible. He was so different in every way — his voice, his style, the way he moved, the way he looked. He just had this charm and charisma and a lot of sex appeal.
    • Dolly Parton who, along with a few others, voted Elvis as the top entertainer in CMT Top 40 artist countdown, as published in CMT´s online edition of November 21, 2014.
  • As with the first time we stepped into this amazing world — it is the extraordinary intimacy of Elvis's vocal performances that is truly breathtaking, the exquisite and effortless way he takes us on an emotional journey with him, through delicate sensitivity to power and grace all within a magical 3-minute song. You can't imagine how often we heard these songs during the course of this project but I can honestly tell you that every single time Don Reedman and I played each song it really did feel as if we were listening to a private performance held just for us in our own home. Our home is the Abbey Road studio and we were listening to the greatest artist that ever lived.
    • Nick Patrick, co-producer with Don Reedman for both "If I can dream" and "The Wonder Of You", the two albums dovetailing the voice of Elvis Presley with live recording and playing by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • "Whether one is an Elvis fan or not there is no doubting that no church in Grimsby or any other town, possibly, has ever seen anything like it before, the most moving and joyful service I have ever officiated at. Some people used to think rock and roll was the devil's music but Elvis was a devout Christian."
    • The Reverend Ray Patston's tribute to Elvis' passing, as excerpted from an article entitled "Tributes to Vicar who famously mourned Elvis' death" and published at the Grimsby Telegraph on 19 March, 2015.
  • Designer Peter Blake worked with The Beatles to stage the cover of the "Sgt. Pepper's" album, which was filled with life-size cardboard likenesses of famous figures including Mae West, Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Edgar Allen Poe, Fred Astaire, Sonny Liston, Dylan Thomas, Laurel and Hardy and Karl Marx. John Lennon even requested the inclusion of Hitler and Jesus in the artwork, but he was turned down. (As to) Elvis, he did not appear on the album cover because it was felt by the Beatles he was too big an icon to be included.
    • Calum Patum, discussing the auction sale, for 29,000 UK pounds, of the gnome which featured on The Beatles' iconic "Sergeant Pepper's" album cover, as published in the Mail's online edition of 21 April, 2015.
  • I went in, in 1957, and was soon stationed in Germany with Elvis Presley and Gary Crosby - Bing Crosby's son. We were there so I said why don't we start a band, so we didn’t have to do any hard work in the service. We tried to get Elvis to join us and I used to see him every day but he wanted to get away from music for a while, while he was in the service. So me and Gary Crosby, we started it and called ourselves the Jazz Blues Symphony Band.
    • Billy Paul, on his time in the Army, as told in ourrockandrollhalloffame
  • By the early 1960s, only half of the total goal of $500,000 had been raised, so journalists from Hawaii reached out to newspapers across the country for support. Elvis Presley was inspired, and decided to put on a show in remembrance of the men aboard the Arizona and veterans as a whole. There were 4000 available seats for the show, 100 VIP ringside seat tickets which sold for $100 apiece. Using values adjusted for inflation, a VIP ticket cost nearly $800, in 2016 dollars. All of the profits were to be used for the construction of the USS Arizona Memorial. Over 3000 people greeted Elvis upon his arrival at Honolulu International Airport. The concert alone raised $52,000, which was 17% of the total goal for the memorial. While it wasn’t enough to completely fund the construction, the performance spread awareness about the fundraiser with an additional $10,000 being personally donated by Elvis and Colonel Parker. Today, people visiting the Arizona Memorial can see the plaque that thanks Elvis and his fans for their contributions to the monument, which was dedicated and built over the next year. The Arizona Memorial today is a symbol of the men aboard the USS Arizona who now stand eternal watch. Attracting over a million visitors annually, the Arizona Memorial makes for an exciting morning of activities....
  • In America, Elvis Presley and Martin Luther King have wonderful memorial museums...
    • Pelé, in his autobiography, after whose release, the idea of a museum of his life was finally born, its opening a year later taking place in Santos, the city that first saw him play.
  • In the 1962 film "Kid Gallahad", Presley portrayed a young man just out of the Army, training to be a prizefighter. He was helped on set by boxing trainer Al Silvani and former welterweight champion “Mushy” Callahan. Since the film’s release, the location has drawn Presley fans from around the globe. Real estate broker Robin Oates was one of 50 Idyllwild Elementary School students who were extras. He remembers meeting Presley at age 11 and recalls that it was a “big thrill, pulling three or four kids out of our school and have us for the day. We’d go into one of the local restaurants that the film crew rented. Elvis and others from the film crew would throw a football in the street nearby during breaks. One time, several of us were told to stand in a certain area. Then, he appeared out of nowhere and gave us each an autograph. At night, fans would hang out in front of the house where he was staying. In 2016, 54 years after the movie was shot there, visitors continue to come on tour say, from the UK, to see the lodge. Bob Smith, volunteer archivist with Idyllwild Area Historical Society, escorted them. “It was a pilgrimage,” says Smith, with a smile.
    • [[[w:Julie Pendray|Julie Pendray]], published on Novemnber 13, 2016at Palm Springs life.
  • It was precisely the creation of my chocolat Eiffel Tower, when I was 21, that led me first to Paris, then to Frankfort, in Germany. There I met Catalina Liz, a Spaniard in whose cafeteria I worked, and which was visited several times by Elvis Presley, then with the US Army. He loved my pastries, really.
    • World renown Spanish pastry chef and baker Santiago Perez in an interview for his hometown's Diario de Leon, published on 31 October, 2016
  • This boy had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn’t look like Mr. Ed like a lot of the rest of us did. In the way he looked, way he talked, way he acted - he really was different. We have sadly lost the most popular man to have ever walked on this earth since Christ. But even back then, when people would laugh at his sideburns and his pink coat and call him 'sissy' -- he had a pretty hard road to go. In some areas motorcycle gangs would come to the shows. They would come to get Elvis, but he never worried about it. He went right out and did his thing and before the show was over, they were standing in line to get his autograph too. God intended for Elvis Presley to do what he allowed him to do. That's why he made him so good looking. I used to get close to him, tried to find a fault so I could go out and tell the world that he had a big mole back here, but, nah, he had no mole back there. Rock and roll is where it is today because the front door of this studio was opened and that kid walked in here and moved an awesome mountain that sat in the way for people like me who might never have gotten anywhere. And he was my friend..
    • Carl Perkins, as published in www.graceland.com and about education.com
  • I felt there was a man there who truly cared about people. But his life was on a level that my life was not on. I felt like Phillip Dunne [director] fawned all over Elvis. Elvis' attitude was - I saw Elvis looking around that set and summing up people faster than anyone else could have, and I felt that after a short period of time he was disappointed in Phillip Dunne, but he was too polite and well behaved to say anything. He tried very hard to make this film better than his other movies, and you saw him trying and asking questions. And I just believe the sad thing is that [the director] did not have the ability to help Elvis through it. I remember one scene; we were sitting in the truck, and we were supposed to be driving home from a dance or going to a dance, and in the script he was supposed to break into song, turn on the radio and start singing. And to me it was like "yuk," I was very young and I thought, " my sisters are going to tease me, this is so embarrassing and tasteless." You see, I was a snob, too. But - and this was the nicest thing - while we were rehearsing, finally the director walked away, and Elvis looks at me and says, " God, this is so embarrassing. Nobody would ever do this in real life. Why are they making me do this? He never used his star power - never. Maybe he should have. Maybe he did it on some level, but he sure didn't do it on the set. I felt like he was younger than me, this very humble person who would make statements that he believed in. All I know is that there was a person there with a refined heart and soul, and I say refined on any level you want to look at it. When you meet someone like that, you know they're there,The essence of Elvis was a fine person as I've ever met.
    • Actress Millie Perkins, Elvis 'co star in the 1961 film Wild in the Country and who played the role of Gladys Presley in the 1990 TV Miniseries "Elvis".
  • You couldn’t take your eyes off of him.”
    • Joe Perry, lead guitarrist for Aerosmith, as published in www.graceland.com
  • He phoned me and asked me if I would mind if he recorded 'The Wonder of You.' I said, 'You don't have to ask permission; you're Elvis Presley.' He said, 'Yes, I do. You're Ray Peterson.
  • I'd never thought much about rock 'n' roll until that moment, when I both caught the Elvis fever and kicked off my love of music. And I never got rid of it. There was a huge crowd, the biggest crowd I've ever seen in the streets of Ocala and then, I swear to God, a line of white Cadillacs pulled in, and I was standing up on a box to see over everyone's head, because a big roar started up when the cars pulled in. Guys in mohair suits began bounding out of each car. Is that Elvis?, I muttered every time. He finally stepped out radiant as an angel. He seemed to glow and walk above the ground. It was like nothing I'd ever seen in my life. At 50 yards, we were stunned by what this guy looked like, and then he came walking right towards uncle Earl, aunt Ellen and little old me!!! I still don't know, to this day, what he said to us, because I was just too dumbfounded. And then he went into his trailer. The day after, I learned all of those early Elvis songs and having that kind of background in rock 'n' roll, of where it had come from, has served me to this day. It became an invaluable thing to have. So for that, I thank him.
    • Tom Petty, recalling how at age 10, he met face to face with Elvis during the filming of "Follow that dream", in Ocala, Florida, in July of 1961.
  • After the Second World War's boosts, top tax rates wouldn’t dip below 90% until 1964, when they plunged to 77%, remaining in that range until 1982, when they dropped to 50%. In comparison, for the tax 2013, the top tax bracket is 39.6%, kicking in at $400,000. Elvis remained in the spotlight since 1956 until his death, and he continued to tour despite health problems related to his lifestyle. Even when he didn’t tour, he made money, as was the case in the early 60′s, when despite having no personal appearances, he earned $5 million a year ($40,000,000 in today’s dollars). By 1973, he was still raking in money and, as if to give credit to his manager's assertion ("I consider it my patriotic duty to keep Elvis up in the 90 percent tax bracket", was Col. Parker's motto), he was allegedly the top taxpayer in the country.
  • But what struck me most was his quality of genuine humility – humility mixed with intense determination. He was, innately, one of the most introverted people who had ever come into the studio, but for that reason one of the bravest, too. He reminded me of many of the great early blues singers who had come to SUN, in fact his insecurity was so markedly like that of a black person. On July 5, 1954, he sang everything he knew – pop stuff, spirituals, just a few words of [anything] he remembered. He watched me intently through the glass of the control room window – I was no longer taping, and in almost every respect this session had to be accounted a dismal failure, but still there was something. Every so often he looked up at me, as if for approval: was he doing all right? I just nodded and said "You're doing just fine. Now just relax. Let me hear something that really means something to you now." Soothing, crooning, my gaze locked into his. Finally they decided to take a break. It was late, he was clearly discouraged, and everybody had to work the next day. Maybe, I thought, they ought to just give it up for the night, come back on Tuesday and try again. Scotty and Bill were sipping Cokes, not saying much of anything. I was doing something in the control room and, as Elvis explained it afterwards, "this song popped into my mind that I had heard years ago, and I started kidding around with [it].It was an up-tempo song called "That's All Right, Mama", an old blues number by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. "All of a sudden," said Scotty, "Elvis just started singing this song, jumping around and acting the fool, and then Bill picked up his bass, and he started acting the fool, too, and I started playing with them. I think I had the door to the control booth open so I stuck my head out and said, 'What are you doing?' And they said, 'We don't know'. 'Well, back up,' I said, 'try to find a place to start, and do it again.'
    • Producer Sam Phillips, on what took place at the SUN studios on July 5, 1954, the day the unusual and timeless musical talent of one Elvis Aaron Presley was discovered, as detailed by writer and Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick in an article on the Independent, published on October 30, 2015.
  • Forty years ago, I had the privilege of studying for a doctorate, at this same university, where you and your wife studied law and I still feel nostalgic about Harvard, about Elvis Presley, about Edgar Allan Poe, and about Martin Luther King. So I toast to you, Mr. President.
    • Chile's President Sebastian Piñera, toasting US President Barack Obama, at the VIP state dinner he offered his opposite number, held at their alma mater in March of 2011, and as recounted and published by Josh Gerstein of POLITICO 44, also present at the dinner.
  • Once upon a time, all we knew about Elvis was that he sang like a motherfucker; and that was all that mattered; you know, when you gas up and you go to pay inside the gas station and you hear Elvis singing Surrender, (1961), you know that the mystery of that guy, was everything; the voice, and the mystery, and the not knowing; and I think the great thing about anything that you hear over the waves is, you don't want to know too much, you know?
    • Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin, explaining to critic Rub Trucks why he loves the mystery of the southern United States, and his debt to Elvis, whose music influenced him the most, as published on the Village Voice, on June 3, 2008
  • We stayed in the elegant suite with a king-sized bed up on a platform, and sat right in the front row to see the King reclaim his throne. He was wearing black and looked like ten Greek Gods as he tore through "Love me Tender,"Don't be cruel, and "Jailhouse Rock". He was sweating, in the flesh, alive, inhaling and exhaling. And there I was, breathing the same air sitting with Robert and Jimmy Page, completely and entirely beside myself. Some sideburned grease monkey appeared after the show, asking Jimmy if he would like to meet Elvis. He said "No, thank you," and I never quite got over it....
    • Maureen Plant, former wife of Led Zeppelin's lead singer Robert Plant, blaming the band's legendary lead guitarist Jimmy Page for declining to meet Presley on August 12, 1969, ostensibly in reference to the fact the two were able to meet Presley in 1974, by which time although still married to Plant, she was not present when they met and therefore missed her only chance to meet her former husband's greatest hero, as told in the band's official page online at Planet Page.
  • I taught him to to play golf, in 1961, told him it was all in the hips. “Hips?” Elvis asked. “Aw, baby, I’m your man.
    • Gary Player, a national of South Africa widely regarded as one of the best player in the history of golf, as reported at kansascity.com/sports/golf/article104157116.html#storylink=cpy
  • Elvis Presley has been described variously as a baritone and a tenor. An extraordinary compass- the so-called register-, and a very wide range of vocal color have something to do with this divergence of opinion. The voice covers two octaves and a third, from the baritone low-G to the tenor high B, with an upward extension in falsetto to at least a D flat. Presley's best octave is in the middle, D-flat to D-flat, granting an extra full step up or down. Call him a high baritone. In "It's'now or never", (1960), he ends it in a full voice cadence (A, G, F), that has nothing to do with the vocal devices of R&B and Country. That A-note is hit right on the nose, and it is rendered less astonishing only by the number of tracks where he lands easy and accurate B-flats. Moreover, he has not been confined to one type of vocal production. In ballads and country songs he belts out full-voiced high G's and A's that an opera baritone might envy. He is a naturally assimilative stylist with a multiplicity of voices - in fact, Elvis' is an extraordinary voice, or many voices.
  • Growing up, Elvis Presley's quasi-gospel ballad "Crying in the Chapel" was the first secular recording allowed inside their strict "Church of God in Christ" home in West Oakland, California. Ruth, Anita, Bonnie, and June were only allowed to listen to the radio on Sundays and on top of that, it had to be gospel stations. Years later, Anita, reflected on the fact that it was "so unbelievable that someone like Elvis Presley could relate to the story in their song 'Fairytale' and want to record it". She thought Elvis "did it beautifully and was very pleased with his version, capturing the emotion in the song", as he did. Ruth "also spoke positively of Elvis's final album 'Moody Blue' and defended him against charges of any cultural appropriation"
    • About the Pointer Sisters and their love for Elvis music, ever since they heard "Crying in the chapel", a gospel song whose Elvis version their mother liked very mnuch, following an interview with Ken Sharp, for his book "Writing for Elvis".
  • When I was a kid, we moved from Canada to the US, first to Pasadena, then to Palm Springs. This guy who lived across the street was the PS's airport manager and he really liked us, so he’d tip us off when famous people were flying in. One day, he told us Elvis Presley was flying in at 3 p.m. and if we showed up we could meet him. He let us ride with our bikes on the tarmac and then, this private plane landed, the steps came down and... there was Elvis. We ran towards him and he picked me up and swung me around, hugged my sister, signed autographs, and talked to us. Finally, one of his guys told him they had to go, but as they drove off, he rolled down his window and waved goodbye to us all the way down the road. He was so nice, really cool and it was so great to meet him and shake his hand..
    • Singer Steve Poltz, reflecting on his younger days and on songwriting, in an interview with Tom Lounges for 2ONE9, as published on November 10, 2016.
  • Steve Sholes, who produced the session, said, “Roll the tape.” And I said, “But I haven't heard the song yet!” And he said, “Roll the tape, Bill!” and I look and the studio is totally black out there. I can't see a thing. I said, “You're kidding!” He said, “No, roll the tape!”. So, I roll the tape and I don't know what's going to happen. And a guitar starts off, and then a bass comes in, and Elvis starts singing. And I still can't see a thing in the studio. And I'm afraid to turn any mikes off because somebody may come in and start playing. All of a sudden, Elvis stops singing and just starts talking. And I say to myself, “This is awful!” because you don't normally put a lot of echo on dialogue. And I thought, next take I'll just turn it down, so we just did the take all the way through. If you listen to the dialogue, the echo matches the effect, because he says, “And the stage is bare, and I'm standing there…”. Later, I said, “How about that echo?”. Sholes said, “Screw the echo, that's a hit!”. And it was done in one take...
    • Bill Porter, RCA`s foremost recording engineer and one of the creators of "The Nashville Sound", explaining to Michael Fermer how "Are you lonesome tonight" (1960) came into being, with the lights totally turned off, at Elvis´ insistence so as to create the best atmosphere possible, but without Porter knowing about it. (Published in MusicAngle.com)
  • Elvis was a (Gospel) singer par excellence. On "Milky White Way", (1960), he' got the strength of a bassman and the sweetness of a tenor. The heritage we have in Elvis' gospel music is a gift to the world.
  • There was a real threat of danger, a cold war with an iron curtain and there was a Soviet army stacked up on the other side, so those were serious times. He was just another soldier, he was Elvis Presley but at the same time they assigned him in accordance with the needs of the service and unlike others who have gone in the military from celebrity life and essentially used their talents to entertain troops, he was a scout. Despite living in a house "off post", when it came to the field Elvis Presley was not a celebrity and I think his fellow soldiers respected him for his dedication even though he was as famous as he was. When I met him, he was out in the field and he was recognised for his professional performance in the Third Division which I, interestingly, subsequently commanded 28 years later and it occupied the shallowest part of NATO battle front. Elvis' unit and my unit were in that division and we had the toughest job and it was a time of heightened tension. Anyway, we were in this wooded area and I was driving along in my jeep and somebody noted that, there he was. When I walked over to him he saluted and was very proper and what struck me was that he looked just like another GI. Other than the fact that he was REALLY Elvis Presley, he acted, and I saw him, as just another soldier, in the woods, kind of dirty, doing a job..."
    • General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff and Secretary of State, abridged from his autobiography My American Journey and a BBC interview, in 2005.
  • Elvis recorded “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” and, at every show, he played it. The Beatles, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Fats Domino, James Brown —all the big acts who have ever recorded rock ‘n’ roll at one time recorded it. It was the first rock ‘n’ roll song that made me a teenage idol with both blacks and whites. In 1952, it was called race music. What opened the gate here in America for race music was that generation of young white boys and girls, but when Elvis got in, he opened the door that much wider. In fact, all the chords are the same, they’re not black and white, unless it’s on paper. The music and melodies never change.
    • Lloyd Price, discussing Elvis in Sumdumhonky: Chatting With Lloyd Price, for tyhe Huffington Post on 08/26/2015.
  • It hit home when I turned 42 as that was the age when my father died. I have moments when I wish he had lived to see my children, and I speak to my little ones about him. I tell them who he was and we all love his music
    • Lisa Marie Presley, wishing her children Danielle, Benjamin, Harper and Finley had met her dad, in an interview with Leah Simpson of Digital Spy, and published on 17 October of 2012
  • i) I still find myself captivated by many of Elvis’s songs, his style of translating lyrics with music giving the listener the sense that even though he’s singing, he’s speaking his feelings and living them throughout the song. When I listen to “Don’t,” which he recorded when he was only 22-years-old, I can’t imagine anyone else singing this heartfelt song with such an emotional connection to the words. ii)his taste was so diverse. Yes, country, rhythm and blues, black music, but he also loved opera and Bach and Brahms. By setting his vocals in a pop-classical context, I wanted to expose him in a way that he never had the opportunity to — wanted to, but never was able to...
    • Priscilla Presley, explaining her decision to produce the two albums which dovetail Elvis voice with the sound of Royal Philarmonica-
  • I never saw a guitar player that was worth a damn...
    • Vernon Presley,'s retort to his son the moment he found out he had SERIOUSLY decided to pursue a life in music, in an interview for "Elvis on Tour", in 1972.
  • I was about 10 years old, the first time I heard Elvis Presley's voice, pouring from my father's car radio, in East St. Louis, Illinois; I can't recall the song, whether it was a ballad or a rocker (but), what I remember is how his voice, that smoldering rumble of a voice, made my skin tingle; I don't know why, but I just loved his voice, his sound just did something to me.
    • Ilva Price, an African American now living in West Memphis, TN, recalling how her father, angry about rumours (later found by "Jet" magazine to be fabricated), that Presley had stolen their music and was a racist, quickly turned off the radio when he noticed her daughter's reaction to his voice, then called him a "cracker", a racial epithet as disgusting as any other, as told in an interview with Boston Globe staffer Renee Graham, and published in that paper on August 11, 2002
  • i) I realize I'm part of a musical history and I revere the legacy of my predecessors, so, for instance, when playing live I'll do some of their bombs, or say, we play "Jailhouse Rock" as a tribute to Elvis. So why Elvis you ask? Well, I was brought up in a black and white world. I dig black and white; night and day, rich and poor, man and woman. I listen to all kinds of music and I want to be judged on the quality of my work, not on what I say, nor on what people claim I am, nor on the color of my skin. ii) I met Elvis Presley at the Dick Clark show at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, a place where a great musical extravaganza with some of the greatest artists of the day always would appear. We were sitting in the audience and Jackie Wilson had just finished his set and then Dick Clark came out, but before he introduced the next act he wanted to announce someone special had arrived, "Ladies and Gentlemen" The lights went down and all of a sudden spotlights went to the back of the room. I looked around and it was Elvis, He was looking cool and wearing shades. He snatched his shades off as if saying "Hello Everybody!, then came walking down the aisle to his table and he saw Louise, stopped said "Hi Louise. Hi Nikki" and they started talking. I stood up and he said "Hi." I said "Hi, I'm Pepe. It's nice to meet you." I shook his hand. He said something else to Louise, and then said "See you later" and went to his table. By the time I was in Las Vegas, I had already met tons of celebrities-- Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells, Dionne Warwick and Wayne Newton. I also met Ike and Tina Turner. I drank champagne with Adam Clayton Powell and I met Redd Foxx but, when I saw Elvis, I said, now that man's a star. It was a different kind of thing."
    • Prince, answering a reporter on why would he cite Elvis Presley as one of his influences, from an interview with "Guitar World", published in October of 1998.* about Prince's former mentor, Pepe Willie, talking in a phone interview on May12, 2013
  • ( That night) after eleven o’clock, Tony Prince took over on ( Radio) Luxembourg. Dazed, frequently in tears, just quietly playing Elvis records and reminiscing into the small hours, as long as it took him to negotiate his grief. The world stopped for a little while. Not long afterwards, it was time for me to return to school, for the start of my third year, when we were supposed to start taking this education thing seriously. There was some gentle mocking on the part of my classroom peers over Elvis' passing, and it struck me that, for nearly everyone my age (or so it seemed), Elvis didn’t speak for them, or to them. It’s fair to say that the girls in my class tended to like Abba, Boney M, ELO and David Soul, whereas the boys went for Genesis, Queen, AC/DC and Rush. Elvis was somebody your parents liked, regarded as something of a square. I am not sure whether any of these artists came close to sniffing E#lvis shoes, never mind filling them, and in any case nor could they have done; as only Elvis could have unbolted the door, made the impact on life – not just on music – that he did. If the postwar generation wanted to burn, not just forget, “the war,” and not grow up as robotic replicas of their parents, Elvis was the active agent who forced newness through to that society." ii) When in 1972 I was made president of the Elvis Presley fan club, we took 200 fans to Vegas to see him. Parker invited 11 of us down to the dressing room and suddenly there he was, leaning against the wall. He had a black suit on, and the first thing that hit you was how handsome the guy was. He came over and was very polite, and I started to interview him for my show, The following year I went back, taking my programme director Ken Evans with me. Elvis was one of the few stars Ken had never met. To return the favour, when we arrived in LA, he took my wife Christine and I to spend an afternoon with Mae West. She gave us some carrot cake and tea. Elvis yesterday, Mae West today. We were buzzing! Tony Prince for the Guardian, published on 4 December 2016. Unquote
    • i) About Radio Luxemburg's Tony Prince' reaction to Elvis´ death ii) Tony Prince, for the Guardian, published on 4 December 2016.
  • My biggest influence because of his charisma and sheer, pure talent was Elvis Presley. He still influences me today, actually, and with the help of the internet I can watch videos of him performing live anytime I want.
    • Canadian Country Music artist Aaron Pritchett, when asked who were his early musical heroes and what inspires him, currently, as públished on the 15 January, 2015 online edition on 24Hrs, Vancouver,
  • Elvis had the biggest impact on me, he captured and embodied the whole thing. He had that rockabilly, rock and roll, pop and ballad thing. He was all wrapped up into one for me. I loved listening to “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” and I just looked forward to each and every new song that came out.”
    • Gary Puckett lead singer of the Union Gap, explaining to interviewer Rob Nagy, how Presley struck a musical chord for him, early in his career, as published by "The Mercury", on September 8, 2014
  • He had gone through the divorce with Priscilla, but he was definitely there to work. And this guy could do anything vocally. He could croon with Sinatra or scream with Little Richard. And what (I) admired the most about Presley -- then and now -- was his intelligence. especially when it came to human emotions.
    • [[[w:Norbert Putman|Norbert Putman]], speaking to the Houston Press, on what it meant to play bass with Presley at his 1974 Stax Studous sessions, in Memphis, as published on August 1, 2013.


Q


  • The greatest voice of all time.
    • "Q" Magazine Judging panel´s laud of Elvis Presley, from a poll published on their March 4, 2007 issue.
  • My own musical ambitions were born when I was five, watching the Ed Sullivan Show on TV. When Elvis Presley burst on to the screen, singing 'Don't Be Cruel,' I felt my first sexual thrill, though I didn't know what it was at the time.
    • Suzi Quatro, as noted by brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/elvis_presley.html


R


  • At age 25, Lennon wrote “Run For You Life,” a jealous, immature rant inspired by Elvis Presley’s recording of Arthur Gunter’s “Baby, Let’s Play House,” a song written from the perspective of a spurned lover who wants his former girlfriend with college aspirations to return to him. Elvis performed it live with hips a-thrusting, leaving little doubt as to what he had in mind by “house play.” In the last verse Elvis delivers this dire warning: “Now listen to me, baby, try to understand, I’d rather see you dead little girl than to be with another man.” Lennon's song picks up where “Baby, Let’s Play House” finishes, Most disturbingly, at the end of the song Lennon emphasizes his seriousness: “Let this be a sermon, I mean everything I’ve said; baby, I’m determined and I’d rather see you dead.
    • Joe Raiola, Senior Editor, MAD Magazine, as published in The Huffington Post on 10 October 2016
  • I grew up playing sports and listening to Elvis Presley, whose music I favored, along with that of Pat Boone; in fact, when an opera singer came on the "Ed Sullivan Show", I'd think 'Turn this off,'"
    • Samuel Ramey, the world's top bass baritone, as told to "Opera News", and published in ENotes.Com
  • A singer, at work, is usually thinking only about making it through the song without flubbing it. Look what's involved:breathing plausibly, remembering the lyrics, nailing the high notes, staying with your band or chorus, maintaining a soulful facial expression and looking good. You might also be whacking a guitar. And -- because Presley did -- you also have to move, oscillate, arm-wrestle with the microphone, throttle it, skid across the stage on your knees, fling your head back and spread your arms; and then you want to salt it with what you possess of art...he flings his voice up beyond the grip of gravity, and then surrenders, like a skater in a leap.
    • Catherine Rankovic, poet, essayist, instructor, as well as manuscript editor and music and writing coach, as excerpted from her review of Presley`s live performance of "I want you, I need you, I love you", in the "Steve Allen Show", (1956), and as published in "The Missouri Review", Volume XXIV, Number 2, 2001
  • I would have loved to sing a duet with my childhood idols, Elvis and Piaf. And I will soon, thanks to new technology
    • Raphael in an interview with Europa Press, on 06/10/2014
  • i) In the early 1950's I Dj'ed in a radio program called Hillbilly Bandwagon. This was before country music was called country music. So, one day, a guy walks in by the name of Elvie Presley. This was before he was really famous, age 19 I guess. He had come to plug his records at our station, so I had a brief conversation with him. Of course, I was always very proud to have met him, but my wife when I told the story too often, she finally looked at me, smiled as only a wife can smile, and said "I can beat that, HOG...."", Thast is how she calls me when she is gtoing to tell me something awesome and that was when I found out my wife had dated Elvis when she was 16 years old. And now she never ceases to remind me, you know, that if rhings had gone differently, Elvis Presley would be alive roday and anchoring the CBS News. ii) Fidel Castro could have been Cuba's Elvis.
    • Dan Rather i) in an 1994 interview with David Letterman and ii) in Townhall, published on the day after Castro's passing.
  • When I think about my family, I listen to André Rieu, a violinist and conductor who is very popular in Europe ( but), when I think about living like it’s my last day on earth, I listen to Elvis Presley
    • Gabriele Rausse, Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s former home and experimental farm in Charlottesville, Va, in an interview to the New York Times and published in the paper's Sunday Review on March 14, 2015.
  • I’m inclined to sympathize with Presley in the controversy he’s stirred up. He’s accused of inciting juvenile delinquents. That’s ridiculous. You can’t tie a delinquent kid to a hit record by Presley. Charges against him are unfounded, unfair, and bigoted. People resent his success. He’ll be around a lot longer than most of them think. And his records have stimulated a controversy that’s helped the whole record industry—we have Elvis to thank.”
    • Johnnie Ray, in an interview in Germany, later published by Variety on its August 21, 1957, issue.
  • One Friday night, Tapp and the "Hee Haw" honchos were flying to Hollywood, with the flight stopping in Memphis. So they were sitting in first class, taking up almost all the seats and on came Elvis Presley with his entourage including Col. Parker, with Tapp now sitting beside Presley. He sat across from them, kept looking and finally said, ‘Why do I know you? Is it from on a show?” Presley told Tapp. Yes, Tapp said, It is ""Hee Haw". “You hear that?? They’re from Hee Haw!!!!” the King told his court. “We stop our show everyday until Hee Haw’s over, then we proceed,” Presley said. “It was quite a compliment,” Tapp said, smiling.
    • James Reany, recalling Gordie Tapp'encounter with Elvis Presley. Tapp was a Canadian producer, entertainer, and better known as the writer of the television program "Hee Haw", as published in IFP Press, on 9 September 2016.
  • In 1958 at the age of 17 Otis started his professional singing career, briefly touring with the “Pat Tea Cake” band before forming his own band, “The Pinetoppers” in 1959, with well known Macon guitarist Johnny Jenkins. The Pinetoppers performed Elvis songs and country music songs in the Macon area. They also toured on the “Chitlin’ circuit,” a network of black nightclubs throughout the Southeast and the white frat house circuit across the Deep South.
  • The first time I met him I was blown away, I just looked at him and said, 'damn, you about the best looking thing I ever did see, kinda wish I was a girl right now, Elvis.
  • As a student of the martial arts, he was physically strong, his technique was excellent, one of the best. He was a master entertainer and a master showman, but he was also a Master human being. He demonstrated love and respect with sincerity and humility. In fact, Elvis taught me more than I taught him.
  • In the mid-60s, when Elvis was making those godawful movies and my friends and I were buying albums by the Stones and the Yardbirds, a mate and I would always go to see Elvis on the big screen; we knew the formula and always used to laugh about them afterwards, but what I also remember is what used to happen in the cinema: not long after the opening credits the audience would start talking and laughing through the dialogue - but the second Elvis sang everyone would stop and listen; Elvis’ voice had that effect, even when he was considered as a joke by a generation grown up on tougher music and rock musicians who seemed much more rebellious, dangerous and innovative; so, for me, it has always been about the music and even when he was all but lost to us, in those final years, you can still hear that raw passion flare up; and I defy anyone, knowing that he had just separated from his wife and was heartbroken, to listen to "Always on my Mind" and "Fool", and not be moved; you can hear a man whose heart is breaking; listening to the best of his music, whether it be raw rock’n’roll or those genuinely heart aching ballads, confirms for me that Elvis has never left the building.
    • New Zealand Herald's columnist and writer Graham Reid, on his recent visit to Graceland, as published at KIWIBOOMERS.COM
  • Take a track like "One Sided Love Affair"(1956), and really examine every nuance of his voice, every caress, every tease and every growl that he lets loose for the song's duration, and you`ll you come to understand that the reason Presley's voice has been so often imitated is because it was unique and, furthermore, fuckin' great; no phony piano intro, not even a puerile lyric could have ever stopped him from turning this song into a real classic; imagine, then, how great it is when Elvis gets to sing material that is up to his standards — like on the Sun Records label song "Tryin' To Get You" (1955) - , probably the bluesiest song on this record, where Presley shows a sense of determination, not just a combination of nobleness and sex, but an expression of guts as well; quite simply, this is a guy who knows what he wants, and knows he's gonna get it, and his confidence - never arrogance -, is so contagious that by the end of the song, you believe it too.
    • Daniel Reifferscheid, reviewing Elvis' first album, for Toxic Universe
  • My orchestra shall always aim to create a vibrant atmosphere bringing Sostakovich, Ravel, Elvis and Sinatra together.
    • André Rieu, Dutch violinist and conductor best known for creating the waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra, as noted in an interview with Cafebabel, published on June 7, 2016.
  • For me, he was always "Saint Elvis", so when I had the chance to sing in las Vegas at a luxury hotel and as back up to the Smothers' Brothers act, I immediately rushed to the Hilton, where he was appearing. Just his entrance was out of this world, indescribable and peerless, and, as singer he always pushed the envelop, an amazing performer all the way to the end".
    • Miguel Rios, in his biography "Cosas que siempre quise contar" (2013)
  • I was just a kid when a country music show came to Baton Rouge, LA. This friend of mine and I got tickets for a couple of bucks apiece. In the middle of the show, they announced a special guest sensation from Memphis. So this guy comes out in a pink suit – he didn’t even have a drummer – and starts jumping around while they’re setting up the amp and a big acoustic bass. Then he started in with, “Well that’s all right, mama,” and we all went, “Hey, that’s the song we like on the radio,” because the station was playing it in Baton Rouge. There was Elvis. He did That’s All Right and Blue Moon Of Kentucky, the B-side of his first record. We went to the back of the school afterwards, where he had this little Cadillac pulling a trailer, and they were loading the bass and stuff into it. He was talking to some of the country music guys about cars. He was probably 18 or 19, and I was 12 or 13. I’m just looking at him, thinking this guy is really cool and different. Little did we know...
    • Johnny Rivers on seeing Elvis Presley for the first time, in his hometown of Shreveport LA, speaking to Jim Clash, of Forbes on May 14, 2015
  • Anywhere in the world, not before, during or after has there been a bigger music star than Elvis Presley. I always wanted to record one of his ballads, but in English, and I chose the title track for his second movie, "Loving you" ...
    • Roberto Carlos, Brazilian biggest music superstar, in an interview published on 26 December, 2014
  • Robinson was a harbinger of an important shift in American life, one of the first of a burgeoning black culture, held in check by legal and social stricture that was about to burst forth and dominate the mainstream. He and Elvis Presley both played black, brought black style into the mainstream and were demonized as polluters before they were lionized as cultural heroes. Would Presley have been possible if not for Jackie Robinson? Perhaps, but it is probably more correct to see Robinson and Presley as historical inevitabilities, as the first cracks in the cultural dam.
    • About Jackie Robinson, who waved to the audience and took a bow on January 6, 1957, as requested by Ed Sullivan on Elvis third appearance at his show, and as noted by writer, ex-baseball player, musician, and journalist Phillip Martin for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and published on blooddirtandangels on April 15, 2011.
  • Elvis was the best looking, nicest, most down to earth man I have ever met, funny to say that, but it's true, it was like a guy you went to school with, anyone who spend any time with him would tell you. He cared how he looked, but no conceit.
    • Red Robinson, Canada's foremost disc jockey, known for his having introduced both Elvis abd the Beatles at their Empire Stadium shows in Vancouver, BC, in 1957 and 1964, respectively, as told to David Wylie, in his program One on one, as broadcast on 16 November, 2016.
  • Not only did blacks know Presley, he also knew blacks. “I always wanted to sing like Billy Kenny of the Ink Spots. I like that high, smooth style. I never sang like this in my life until I made that first record—That’s Alright, Mama. I remembered that song because I heard Arthur (Big Boy) Crudup sing it and I thought I would like to try it. Presley was making more money singing rhythm and blues than black performers of the day, with Elvis’s nearest competitor, Fats Domino, expecting to earn $700,000 in 1957. (In fact) Otis Blackwell, writer of two huge Presley hits “Don’t Be Cruel” and “All Shook Up.” confirmed, “I got a good deal. I made money and I am happy.-
    • Louis Robinson, African American reporter, after interviewing Presley for Jet magazine on the racist allegation.
  • In "T.R.O.U.B.L.E", (1975), his baritone was still as solid as ever, with its humorously cavernous bottom and its nasal vibrato on top. When he is putting out, reaching for the top notes and shaping phrases with the same easy individuality that has always marked his best work, he is still the King.
    • John Rockwell, reviewing one of his two 1975 concerts at the Nassau Coliseum for the "New York Times".
  • Well, here we go again. Like Elvis in 1968 we eagerly await for the Tiger Woods Comeback Special. We’ve been here before, of course. Only last month, the former world's No 1 who is now 898 th, called off his return at the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open just three days before the start of the event...
    • Nick Rodger, writing in the Herald Scotland (28-12-2016), in direct reference to the current decline experienced by Tiger Woods, the outstanding African American golfer who TIME magazine once, albeit too hurriedly, forecast to have the capacity to become a bigger icon than Elvis.
  • In 1991, Graceland gained a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, keeping Elvis Presley ahead of his time even in death. The National Park Service now honors the place Elvis called home from 1957 to 1977 when he died. It’s very, very rare that a site is placed on the register when its the home of a famous person whose achievements are less than 50 years old, said George Berklacey, chief spokesman for the National Park Service. But the keeper of the national register, Jerry Rogers, felt Graceland and Presley were “an exceptional significance,” Berklacey said.
    • Laud on the importance of Elvis Presley and Graceland by Jerry Rogers, keeper of the US National Register of Historic Places as published by the Conmercial Appeal on November 7, 1991.
  • It had been a sensational interview and I knew I had everything I needed for an excellent story for Rolling Stone. I truly felt a real connection with Paul Rogers and his new band Band Company which gave me the courage to do what I did next: invite the singer to see Elvis Presley, who was performing on the night of May 11, 1974 at the Inglewood Forum. And I knew Rodgers was a huge fan, even trying to sneak into Graceland one time back when he was with his previous band Free. As we made the 45-minute drive to the Inglewood Forum —a huge 20,000-seat arena where the Los Angeles Lakers played— Paul couldn’t stop talking about finally seeing Elvis. We parked and I handed Paul his ticket. He looked at it like it was the Holy Grail itself. We walked inside, found our seats and from the moment Presley took the stage, Rodgers could barely contain himself, screaming, shouting and jumping up and down like a kid, acting the way I did when I first saw his previous band, Free, so many years earlier when they opened for Blind Faith. Watching Paul while he watched a then-34-year old Elvis do his thing felt like an out-of-body experience. It was like some perfect circle. When the lights came up and as everybody was exiting the arena, Paul saw various members of Led Zeppelin along with Peter Grant, who by then managed both Bad Company and Led Zeppelin, going backstage. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go there myself, but I didn’t really care, all I wanted was for Paul to get to meet his hero. However, we were stopped by a pair of burly bodyguards guarding the backstage entrance. I tried to explain to them that this was Paul Rodgers, but they weren’t bulging. Eventually, we had a message relayed backstage and when Peter finally came back out, he told Paul he couldn’t get him in. If Paul was hurt by being treated so selfishly —it felt as if Led Zeppelin wanted an audience with the King all by themselves— he didn’t show it. Paul was still jubilant so when we returned to the hotel, that's when Paul told me, “I’ll just tell my friends I talked to him anyway. LOL" He had purchased a souvenir booklet and would use that as evidence though Paul and I would always know the truth.
    • Excerpted from Steve Rosen's article entitled "Behind the curtain: Taking Paul Rogers, (then frontman for the UK supergroup Bad Company and formerly of the band Free) to an Elvis Presley concert in Los Angeles, as published in Rockcellar Magazine's March, 6 2015's edition.
  • i) Q Magazine bravely attempted to name the best and worst singers ever. They did a good job, wisely going big with Elvis as the to choice. ii) There was no model for Elvis Presley's success; what Sun Records head Sam Phillips sensed was something in the wind, an inevitable outgrowth of all the country and blues he was recording at his Union Avenue studio; enter Presley in 1954, bringing with him a musical vocabulary rich in country, country blues, gospel, inspirational music, bluegrass, traditional country, and popular music -- as well as a host of emotional needs that found their most eloquent expression in song; his timing was impeccable, not only as a vocalist, but with regard to the cultural zeitgeist: emerging in the first blush of America's postwar ebullience, Presley captured the spirit of a country flexing its industrial muscle, of a generation unburdened by the concerns of war, younger, more mobile, more affluent, and better educated than any that had come before; (as such), the Sun recordings were the first salvos in an undeclared war on segregated radio stations nationwide. iii) At Sun Studio in Memphis Elvis Presley called to life what would soon be known as rock and roll with a voice that bore strains of the Grand Ole Opry and Beale Street, of country and the blues. At that moment, he ensured - instinctively, unknowingly - that pop music would never again be as simple as black and white.”
    • Rolling Stone Magazine, focusing on the importance of Elvis' Sun Records label recordings [specific citation needed], ii) published on 5 March, 2007 and iii) as published in 1986.
  • After Maria Callas, Elvis Presley is the #2 of the Holy Trinity for taking blues, gospel and spirituals, and sexing them together while also desexualizing the more rough-edged and raunchy root ingredients (ie: removing the black stigma) to make it into rock n' roll and music for the masses. Elvis had an undeniably great voice and incredible moves...
    • Drew Rowsome, writer, musician, editor and pop culture critic, in an article entitled Elvis Presley: the second of the Holy Trinity
  • Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman's "Viva Las Vegas"(1963), was custom-written as the title song for Elvis Presley's 14th film, a rollicking tribute to the city of gambling given a spirited performance by Presley and his session musicians; strangely, it remained an underrated Presley song for a long time, finally beginning to gain some recognition from an unexpected quarter when the "Dead Kennedys" recorded it in 1980, their radical recontextualization of it helping the song to an independent life beyond its origins; on its own, it can now be appreciated as a tribute to Las Vegas that probably deserves to be the city's official anthem.
    • William Ruhlmann, reviewing "Viva Las Vegas" for AllMusicGuide.com, before the Office of the Mayor of Las Vegas requested Elvis Presley Enterprises to allow it to become the city's official song; the price demanded by EPE was too high, so Las Vegas remains, to this date, without an official song.
  • After his show, Sammy Davis Jr said he would arrange for my wife Joyce and I to see the best entertainer in Las Vegas which, considering Sammy´s fame, was quite a compliment (Once at the show), the audience was enthralled as the singer sang songs of every genre. And that evening I became a fan of Elvis Presley. Even today, particularly on Sundays when we do not get to church, Joyce and I listen to Elvis singing gospel songs.
    • Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, as cited in his memoirs "Known and Unknown", published by the Penguin Group (pp 128-29)
  • They decamped to Munich in June 1979, and he had just checked in at the glittering Bayerischer Hof Hotel and stepped into the bath to wash away the travel grime, when a melody came to him. It was a hiccup-y rockabilly number, somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It had affectionate elements of the recently departed Elvis Presley, who had been a major vocal influence on him. Calling for assistant Peter Hince to fetch him an acoustic guitar, he wrapped a towel around his body and began to bash out the skeleton of what might be the most uncharacteristically simple song he ever wrote, which took him five or 10 minutes, doing it on the guitar as he did, and in one way it was quite a good thing because he was restricted, knowing so few chords.
    • Jordan Runtag, for RollingStone magazine, on how Freddy Mercury came about to writing Queen's #1 hit 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'
  • Entertainment-wise Elvis Presley played a big part for me because I'm out kicking my foot across the stage, but Elvis Presley did the same thing I do. He can get away with it. (It) kind of opened the door for me, along with B.B. King and all the guys who have come before me (Chuck Berry, Little Richard) who set a trail for me to come through the door. Now I'm one of the top five who are left to do this and I thank God for putting me in this position. I never thought that I would be an icon as the leading role of the blues cats, man, especially the black blues cats. I never thought I'd be here.
    • Bluesman Bobby Rush, in an interview published by the Huff Post on 6 February 2015.
  • In the '50s, listening to Elvis on the radio in Bombay - it didn't feel alien. Noises made by a truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi, seemed relevant to a middle-class kid growing up on the other side of the world. That has always fascinated me. I suppose what's interesting about rock and roll is it was the first cultural phenomenon that was about, for, controlled by and made by young people. And your mother didn't like it. Certainly my mother didn't, though she got used to it, eventually. In fact, I think Elvis was the one who got to her.
    • Sir Salman Rushdie, UK/Indian novelist and essayist as published in branyquotes.com
  • For me it goes back to Elvis. The reality is, my experience with Elvis and ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ as a wonderful revelation is exactly the same experience that Paul McCartney had, that Keith Richards had, that Mick Jagger had, that they all had because they’re all just sitting in England wondering what they’re going to do. And Elvis comes over the airwaves and changes everybody’s life.”
    • World renowned rock photographer Ethan Russell, describing his early years as an eleven year old kid in San Francisco, and as published on September 23, 2015 in the online edition of "The Townsman".
  • It's funny – because we didn't talk a great deal about him. That was one thing we never got around to. When I played Elvis, in 1979, then in 2001, a lot of people said to me “Boy, you must be a great Elvis fan”. When you play a real person you have parameters. When you play a famous person that everyone knows, now the parameters become very finite. It’s your job to go right up against the edges of those parameters. I said I worked with him, as a child, in 1962, but I did not know that much about his career or anything. I remember him distinctly, because I worked with him for two weeks on the movie and most of it was with him. I saw him off-camera a lot. But in 1979, I learned about him. And when I learned about him, I became a pretty decent Elvis fan. But nothing like Quentin, he probably knows everything about him. He knows about his music, he's probably seen all his movies. Yeah, so someday I'll say hey, tell me some of your feelings about Elvis.
    • Kurt Russell, from an interview with Sebastian Haselbeck, a writer for the Quentin Tarantino Archives' who asked him whether he and Tarantino had discussed Elvis during the shoot of "The Hateful Eight", as published in the QTA' online page in March of 2015.
  • I'm a big Elvis fan, so I went to see him when he was playing in Las Vegas and, after the show, I was invited up to his room to meet him. I was very excited so I blurted out: "Why did you make all those stupid movies?" I couldn't believe I've said that and felt so embarrassed but Elvis just said, "Last thing I remember I was driving a truck" So now every time I say something stupid, I think of Elvis."
    • Rocker Leon Russell, talking about the time he met his idol, after starting off his concert in Denver, on April 26, 2015, with Presley's cover version of Ray Charles' "I got a woman"
  • Elvis Presley summed it up perfectly when filming the musical "Roustabout". The director, John Rich, wasn't particularly impressed with his entourage hanging around and playing practical jokes on one another. When Rich approached him about his traveling companions clowning around and disrupting, he didn't back down from his director. He told Rich, "When these damn movies cease to be fun, I'll stop doing them." Cheers, Elvis. Couldn't have said it better myself.
    • Peggy Ryan complaining about the political madness arising out of the 2016 Presidential election in an article entitled ""It Finally Happened: Politics Has Ruined Everything Fun"", published in The American Thinker on October 3, 2016


S


  • Elvis Presley was more influential as a performer than sany other musician in world history. In some respects he resembled other influential performers, including the famous Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) and the Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Like them Elvis was exciting, charismatic, and enormously successful. Unlike Liszt and Paganini,however, Elvis did not compose any of his own music, yet the ways in which he performed the songs he sang transformed twentieth-century popular music worldwide. At his best, was most influential as a Southern White singer who introduced audiences throughout the United States and around the world to Black American music, especially to rock ‘n’ roll, a form of rhythm and blues. He was also influential because he combined in his performances elements from different American singing styles, including gospel, rockabilly, country-western and standard’ pop numbers; he even employed bel canto singing in a few songs borrowed from Italian music. His stage persona was extremely influential as well, simultaneously glamoriseing, as he did, rock music and making it seem ‘dangerous’, thus even inspiring aspects of punk rock in the 1970s. Later, his performances as a touring artist and a Las Vegas entertainer contributed to the birth of glam rock.
    • Michael Saffle's introduction in The Musical Characteristics of Elvis Presley, written in 2009 at the request of Government of the Hong Kong's Special Administrative Region.
  • I was publishing a book with the title "The case against Muhammed", dealing with the founder of Islam, from a critical point of view, and many people were asking me "why do you do that? And my answer was always "because you are asking me". Because you wouldn't if the book had been called "The Case against Elvis Presley". You would accept any criticism of any historical figure, you will consider it as freedom of art, of research, of opinion, but in the case of Muhammed, you say "The Prophet is the Muslim's world last stone of identity, so why do you attack HIM, let him in peace". And I then always answer my Muslim friends, that maybe he became the last stone of their identity because they left him in peace, alone, for fourteen hundred years.
    • Egyptian writer Hamed Abdel Samad, in a speech at the Folkemode, on 17 June 2016, in the Danish town of Bornholm.
  • I suppose you'd had to call him a lyric baritone, although with exceptional high notes and unexpectedly rich low ones. But what is more important about Elvis Presley is not his vocal range, nor how high or low it extends, but where its center of gravity is. By that measure, Elvis was all at once a tenor, a baritone and a bass, the most unusual voice I've ever heard.
    • Greg Sandow, Music professor at the Juillard School, as published in "The Village Voice".
  • I just wanted to be like my dad. He was absolutely charming, adorable and irresistible. I looked at him the way other people looked at him, like if he was Elvis. I was like: ‘Man I want what he’s got!’ I didn’t realize I was born with it.
    • Carlos Santana, in reply to a question as to how he recalls growing up in Tijuana, as published by the San Diego Union Tribune on 22 September, 2016.
  • But my generation did not ONLY love America because she defended freedom. We also loved America because for us she embodied what was most audacious about the human enterprise, because America for us embodied the spirit of conquest. We loved America, because for us, America was a new frontier that was continuously being rolled back, a constantly renewed challenge to the inventiveness of the human spirit. My generation, without even coming to America, shared all of your dreams. In our imaginations, our imaginations were fueled by Hollywood, by the great conquest of the western territories, by Elvis Presley, and you probably haven't heard his name quoted often here -- but for my generation, he is universal.
    • French President Nicolai Sarkozi, during his speech at a Joint Session of Congress,delivered on November 8, 2007, explaining how Elvis and American values influenced all French people born in the immediate aftermath of the end of the Second World War, as was his case.
  • Having watched Elvis onstage during his entire career, I was always amazed how Elvis was able to adapt to his audience and always rise to the occasion. Elvis was the most exciting stage performed who ever sat foot on a stage. He never allowed his music to be "manipulated" and his "light show" consisted of a handful of color lights masterfully choreographed by Lamar Fike. He had the vocal mastery to take a contemporary iconic song such as "Bridge Over Troubled Water"( starting in 1970), and make it is his own. As of 1971, for instance, he would pour out his heart out onstage and could go from the buildup of "2001 A Space Odyssey" to "Johnny B Goode", to the gospel song "How Great Thou Art" and, before the audience could recover from the emotional experience of hearing/seeing Elvis perform these songs with vocal excellence, he would turn to singing one of his hits such as "Suspicious Minds". He surrounded himself with the best of the best, pertaining to the orchestra to the band, to the backup singers etc., and everyone who worked with him has confirmed that Elvis' vocal range has never been equalled. Even when Elvis' health problems were the most dramatic (i.e. visually, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.), he sang his heart out and if you listen to the "CBS 1977 Concert", which aired after Elvis died sadly, Elvis' talent and vocal range is almost a "spiritual experience", touching something wonderful inside of our soul and leaving its imprint for all time. Hence, our ears after hearing the exceptional talent of Elvis' voice long for the time when Elvis sang live and/or put out a new album, and hearing him sing was a true blessing. (In fact), not a day goes by that I don’t' miss Elvis Presley as a performer - as a Father to his daughter - and as a charitable man - and as a beloved friend surrounded by lifetime friends (i.e. Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West, Lamar Fike, Billy Smith, etc.), leaving us three decades of exceptional music. Elvis Presley took the talents that God gave him and shared them with the world, gave us his time and did so with grace. These are lessons that all of us can learn from and celebrate from generation to generation.
    • Jeffrey Schrembs, Elvis Presley historian, expert and collector (as published in www. ElvisCollector.info on March 26, 2009)
  • Elvis, to me, is a symbol of tremendous promise and that kind of American hopefulness, where you can come from nowhere and have nothing and build yourself up and chase that American dream.
    • Patti Sciaifa, member of the E Steet band and Bruce Springsteen's wife.
  • There comes a point when the voice starts to wash over you. You get inside of it, start to really hear what he's doing, and you realise his singing has this extraordinary, effortless quality to it. Sometimes it's like listening to a stream of honey. It's a very smooth ride, the voice of Elvis Presley. I don't think you focus on the words when he's singing. I think he's doing what bel canto singers do - you don't listen to the words, "just" to the beauty of his voice-. When I say "just", that makes it sound as if he's denying you something else but, actually, that's quite enough.
    • "The Scotsman", review of the album "Love", as published in its 25 June, 2005 edition
  • We went backstage and he told me he used to play me on the jukebox when he was in the Army in Germany. He admired the high tenor male voice – he was a baritone. I was and remain a huge fan of his. He was a phenomenon.
    • Neil Sedaka in an interview for the Nottingham Post, on October 30, 2014
  • Little Richard...he was the first one that really got to me. He and, of course, Elvis Presley.
    • Bob Seger as noted in the Seger file, an unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger, dated June 1999
  • The book, by contrast to "White Rage", offers an extended view, spanning from pre-colonial plots to relocate Britain’s human rubbish, to Thomas Jefferson’s notion of “whiteness as an automatic badge of superiority,” to modern use of adjectives like “redneck,” “cracker” and “country boy,” such as in the specific case of Elvis Presley. Isenberg’s greatest historical and sociological intervention is not just the idea that divide and stratification exist between races, or that such divisions habit within them, but that it has always been this way. American democracy has never accorded all the people a meaningful voice. The masses have been given symbols instead,,,
    • John Semley, reviewing for the Globe and Mail, writer Nancy Isenberg's book "White Trash", which accordong to the reviewer, undermines the myth of American exceptionalism and as published on November 29, 2016
  • He valued his fans and he treated them with respect. If anybody had a reason to be arrogant it would be him, but it’s a great lesson for other musicians and people in general and that is the better you get, the more humble you should be. His music resonated with everyone and that’s what made him so special, like Elvis Presley or Mozart"
    • Jack Semple, Canadian blues musician, interviewed the day after the death of B.B. King, who influnced his career tremendously, and as published by The Leader Post, on May 15, 2015
  • I don't think there is a musician today that hasn't been affected by Elvis' music. His definitive years - 1954-57 - can only be described as rock's cornerstone. He was the original cool ii) That was the standard in my house, he's the only rock 'n' roll guy that dabbled in Christmas
    • Brian Setzer, as published in www.graceland.com ii) referring to "The Brian Setzer Orchestra's 13th Annual Christmas Rocks," a concert heavily influenced by Elvis 1957 Chrittmas Album, on 28 November 2016, as published by the Daily Press.
  • i) I spoke to over 140 songwriters whose work Presley recorded, and most remarked about his uncanny ability to capture the essence and make it his own; like a musical geneticist, he drew from every strand of DNA in a songwriter's work, which ultimately helped shape his own distinctive personal interpretation; just listen to the wide stylistic swath of genre-hopping material he recorded during his career - from Junior Parker's amphetamine-paced rockabilly classic "Mystery Train" and the poppin-perfect panache of Otis Blackwell's "All shook up", to the down and dirty blues swagger of "Reconsider baby" and the operatic grandeur of "It's now or never"-; and then there were more controversial and socially conscious anthems ("If I can dream" and "In the ghetto"), and introspective 70's fare like "Separate ways" and "Always on my my mind"; right away, you can hear the breath of a master stylist who breathed new life into every song he cut" ii) Growing up, Elvis Presley's quasi-gospel ballad "Crying in the Chapel" was the first secular recording allowed inside the Pointer Sisters' strict Church of God in Christ home in West Oakland, California. Ruth, Anita, Bonnie, and June were only allowed to listen to the radio on Sundays. On top of that, it had to be gospel stations. Thank God their mom fancied that song. In an extensive 2006 interview one of the sisters, Anita, reflected on the fact that it was so unbelievable that someone like Elvis could relate to the story in their song 'Fairytale' and want to record it. She thought Elvis did ir beautifully and very pleased with his version, capturing the emotion in the song as he did. Ruth Pointer, also spoke positively of Elvis's final album 'Moody Blue' and defended him against charges of any cultural appropriation
    • Author Ken Sharp, in his book, "Writing for the King: The songs and writers behind them", as published in American Songwriter.com
  • I loved him. There were two icons who changed our life in the 1950's, James Dean and Elvis. He was the first singer who was loved by both girls and guys. He brought us together, boys and girls, a revolutionary, had a profound effect on all of us, culturally, musically emotionally, spiritually, still miss him...
  • i) I didn’t like Elvis before I went to work with him in the summer of 1969. I mean, I didn’t know him. I just didn’t like his music. I was into black music mostly and jazz so when I went to work for him on the first rehearsal I told my ex-wife, I don’t think I’m going to do this gig, but I’m going to go down and check it out, see what’s going on.’ I came home that night and said, you gotta come down and hear this guy tomorrow night.’ She said, you’re kidding.’I said, no, you got to come down and hear him.’ She came down the next night to the rehearsal and she walked away a fan. It was that immediate. When I walked in and I heard him I said, Oh, oh, I believe that I’ve been missing something. ii) In some ways Elvis was Conservative and in other ways he was very Liberal. He wasn't someone that was following some political line, you know he'd figure out for himself what he thought was right
    • Jerry Sheff, Elvis' bass guitarist from 1969 to 1977.
  • It was 1972, and all the guys wore cheap cologne, apart from him. He smelled soapy, and sweet, like sugar and sweat. But there was a sort of alchemy going on. At the time I thought he was too old for me, but there was this chemistry between us. I felt a lot for him. I knew his tragic side, and I wish I could have been a better friend to him.
    • Cybill Shepherd, on her relationship with Elvis, as published in the Guardian.
  • We never saw energy like that coming off a stage before and meeting Elvis afterwards I found him to be a friendly, happy guy. Nice to everyone".
    • Top producer and guitarist Louis Shelton, a member of the Musician's Hall of Fame known for his extraordinary recording session contributions to Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston, amongst numerous others, answering a question on those who inspired him to become a musician, from an interview by John Reid on Jazz Radio.
  • The first time I heard his music, back in ’54 or ’55, I was in a car and I heard the announcer say, “Here’s a guy who, when he appears on stage in the South, the girls scream and rush the stage”. Then he played ‘That’s all right, mama’. I thought his name was about the weirdest I’d ever heard. I thought for sure he was a Black guy. Later on I grew my hair like him, imitated his stage act – once I went all over New York looking for a lavender shirt like the one he wore on one of his albums. I felt wonderful when he sang ‘Bridge over troubled water’, even though it was a touch on the dramatic side – but so was the song. It was unbelievable,and I thought to myself, how the hell can I compete with that?
  • He rarely over-sang when recording, delivering a vocal to suit the song. So, he can loudly accuse in "Hound Dog" (1956), rasp and rage for "Jailhouse Rock" (1957), bare his soul and beg on "Any Day Now"(1969) and sound quietly, sadly, worldly-wise on "Funny How Time Slips Away". (1970). This gift may explain why his music endures so powerfully and why his performances remain so easy to hear.
    • Paul Simpson, in his book "The Rough Guide to Elvis".
  • Elvis' songs can be heard everywhere worldwide, which is perhaps why everyone is familiar with his voice. When you hear a deep tuneful voice with a Southern drawl in a rock 'n' roll song, it can't be anyone but Elvis (in spite of that voice actually being that of someone else "successfully" mimicking him).
    • Matthew Simpson, in his article "The Top 10 distinct voices in music", for ask.men (2007)
  • At the risk of being sad for two seconds, I drink a toast to a wonderful fellow who left yesterday and did much for American Music. I knew him for maybe 12 or 14 years and we know, what he did in his career, but I knew him as a man, a gentle, good, fine man, gracious and generous in every sense of the word. Things which people never heard about him helping organizations, and children's hospitals but I knew all about that. He was some kind of cat and I hope God's good to him ii) I am just a singer. Elvis was the embodiment of the whole American culture. Life just wouldnt have been the same without him. There have been many accolades uttered about his talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend.
  • My heart melted when I saw him in person but when he and my dad met for the taping, they were both nervous...
    • Nancy Sinatra, reaccxling the moments they shaed with Elvis and his father, in Miami.
  • Mr. Presley has a very definite form of dance rhythm and this may well be what creates the hysteria.
    • Mia Slavenska, Croatian-born prima ballerina and star performer for New York’s Metropolitan Opera, in an interview for the Toronto Sun in April of 1957.
  • Most singers have their idols. I remember Elvis Presley when I was about sixteen, I always said I wanted to do 'Love Me Tender.'
    • Percy Sledge, as noted in brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/elvis_presley_2.html
  • Each singer (of the so-called folk variety), is recognized as much from its characteristic sound, as from what they actually sing or play, and they manipulate tone colour with a virtuousity that owes nothing to either the classical, or the Tin Pan Alley tradition; one thinks, for example, of the voice of Elvis Presley, an expressive vehicle, shifting from high to low tones, groaning, sluring, and producing breathless changes of rhythm; to many listeners, the voice may have seemed crude, but its folk inmediately resided in its crudeness.
    • Christopher Small, in his book "Music, Society, and Education", published in 1996
  • i)The Houston Rodeo people didn't want us to come. There was a message sent to leave the black girls, they didn't need the black girls. And so Elvis responded with, 'Well if they don't come, I don't come'. But he was really upset about it. There was one person in particular who had sent the message. So when we got there, we were greeted by this little blonde in a convertible and she had to drive us around and she was his daughter. So Elvis always made sure he got even. I'm sure he said, 'And I want your daughter to drive them'. But, when it was happening we didn't know. We learned that later ii) When in true form, he was fabulous, his voice and vocal pitch a lot more remarkable than it ever came off on record; in fact, Elvis was a much better singer than could ever be captured; you know, some singers' voices are just too big, and Elvis' was like that.
    • Myrna Smith, singer of the gospel group "The Sweet Inspirations", who performed with Elvis for a number of years in the last phase of his career, as published in i) an interview with ElvisAustralia ii) an article entitled "Elvis, musical prodigy" in www.elvis.com.au, on 6 July 200
  • In some ways, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) can already be called a success due to its democratic accountability and the active involvement of civil society, but I would like to quote the famous philosopher Elvis Presley, in one of whose timeless hits he asked for “A little less conversation, a little more action -please”. So let’s listen to Elvis – and act now!
    • Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, from her speech at the UN on how best to make the SDGs work, as published by Norway's mission to the UN on September 25 2015.
  • The budget is $269 million and Montpetit thinks it will finish under budget. We’re in the middle of a resurgence in the capital, and called the old train station part of a cultural landscape, a national landscape that once saw soldiers leave for war and return years later and one that welcomed Winston Churchill, the Emperor of Japan, and Elvis Presley.
    • Tom Spears, for the Ottawa Citizen, in an article its old conference centre slowly becoming the Canadian Senate
  • He's a great singer. Gosh, Elvis is so great. You have no idea how great he is, really, you don't. You have absolutely no comprehension—it's absolutely impossible. I can't tell you why he's so great, but he is. He's sensational. He can do anything with his voice. Elvis can make some masterful records and can do anything. He can sing any way you want him to...
    • Phil Spector, record producer, the originator of the "Wall of Sound" technique in an interview with Rollingstone magazine in 1969.
  • The “Hamilton” fiasco, with members of the hit Broadway show berating Vice President-elect Mike Pence from the stage, brought to mind another New York event from 44 years ago, when entertainers – at least some of them – had a vastly different idea of their place in American culture. On June 9, 1972, Elvis Presley, about to perform a series of sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden, held a press conference. It being 1972, it was inevitable that he would be asked about what was then a new phenomenon: the politicization of the arts. One questioner asked him, “Mr. Presley, as you’ve mentioned your time in the service, what is your opinion of war protesters and would you today refuse to be drafted?”Elvis answered: “Honey, I’d just sooner keep my own personal views about that to myself cause I’m just an entertainer and I’d rather not say. Asked next “Do you think other entertainers should also keep their personal views to themselves, he answered: “No, I can’t even say that!” Elvis was right. The cast of “Hamilton,” and the legions of their virtue-signaling followers are wrong. Elvis, unlike them, grasped that audiences might enjoy “Heartbreak Hotel” or “Suspicious Minds,” or “Hamilton” or any other work of art of any genre, without necessarily subscribing to, or caring about, or even knowing, the political views of the artist. . The performing arts are growing increasingly politicized, and that is why it is harder and harder to find apolitical entertainers like Elvis. It will take performers of courage to remember that no one own the culture, and to regain the spirit of Elvis and go back to being simply entertainers. Until those performers emerge, the stage and screen will find their audiences steadily diminishing, and fewer and fewer political enemies in the audience to lecture. If the “Hamilton” cast doesn’t want them around, there are plenty of Elvis records to play to while away the evening.
    • Robert Spencer, for Canadian Free Press, published on 22 November, 2016
  • It remains a camp and cult classic and was one of my favourite films during my formative years.
    • Multi-Oscar winning Director Steven Spielberg, referring to Elvis' 1963 MGM film "Viva Las Vegas", which he saw as a then 17 year old film student, and as published in neraroramacom
  • Even as a young man, that's what Presley sounded, like a man. I wasn't of a culture nor a region that found Presley appealing, and I've never seen a Presley movie through but, a few years ago when in a tribute to him various modern singers covered some of his originals, followed, or enclosed by, his versions of the same songs, I was struck by how much fuller, deeper, and richer his were.
    • Al Spike, explaining to North Africans why Presley's manly baritone rang true, in the web`s "Chicago Boyz".
  • I'd seen Elvis seated on first class as I entered the plane, so when he came to the coach section before the plane landed and went up and down the aisle signing autographs to all of us there I said “Hey, would you sign this for my girlfriend Allison, you know, Steve Binder manages me,” and he said, “Yes, Yes, I love Steve, Steve’s great,” It didn't then mean much to me (1972), but it was all pretty cool and he was a very sweet guy. In fact, I wasn't a big Elvis fan at the time, but I am now.
    • Australian singer and songwriter Rick Springfield, recalling his meeting Elvis, who he feels is one half of the most celebrated couple of individuals he ever met, the other being Paul McCartney. In Elvis' case, it was on a commercial airplane Springfield's had taken en route to his native Australia but with a layover in Hawaii where Elvis was headed for a vacation in May of 1972. Abridged from two interviews, one published by the AV Club's online page on April 2 of 2016, the other from the Chicago Tribune, dated December 01, 2011, where Springfield recounted how his girlfriend was later crushed, the autograph never reaching her, stolen as it was a bit afterwards along with a a recorder he always travelled with, during that long, long Springfield flight from Los Angeles.
  • FUN … it is waiting for you, Mr. and Mrs. Everyday American, and guess what? It is your birthright,” writes Springsteen of that galvanic Elvis moment. Springsteen’s familiar stage voice, his corny carny barker way with action verbs, leaps from the page in assessing what Elvis promised: “The life-blessing, wall-destroying, heart-changing, mind-opening bliss of a freer, more liberated existence. ii) Somewhere in between the mundane variety acts on a routine Sunday night in the year of our Lord 1956, THE REVOLUTION HAS BEEN TELEVISED iii) There have been a lotta tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king.iv)it was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody’s ear, and somehow we all dreamed it.
  • If Elvis were playing through a stack of amplifiers, he would be called a heavy metal singer today. The problem is aome of the kids who grew up loving everything he stood for, are now journalists who have become what they feared most, parents.
    • Paul Stanley, of the band Kiss, in an article published in People Magazine's October 31, 1988 edition.
  • It's because you reminded me so much of Robert. He was gorgeous, and so are you...
    • Actress Barbara Stanwyck, explaining to Elvis, on the set of"Roustabout", why she didnt like him at first, Elvis' physical appearance somewhat reminding her of her second failed marriage, nanely with actor Robert Taylor, from an interview with Sonny West, who was present at the Paramount stage when the conversation took place.
  • I didn't know him personally, but I was a fan of his, loved his music, energy and his voice: he had that fast vibrato that was so nice. At that time you weren't allowed to express yourself in those ways, so they showed him from the waist up, not the waist down. I mean, he was a little sexy guy! I was a little kid, but I asked 'Why won't they show all of him?' He would wiggle all the way down, and the girls would be screaming, and when I saw him on TV, I would be screaming too! And I loved the way his hair would shake when he got so emotional, you know? So when I got the chance to do his music, I welcomed it. (The racist controversy) never troubled me, because he wrote me a note. it was at the time I was divorcing Clarence Carter, and my stuff ended up all over the place, so I don't know what happened to the note, but.he told me he really, really, really loved my version of 'In The Ghetto".
    • Soul singer Candi Staton commenting on their duet video in an interview with Simon Price, from Oct 16 2014
  • My father, who was at the time Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and worked at the White House, often took me for lunch there where top dogs were allowed to have delicious meals, served by Navy Mess NCOs. We saw many famous people there, but one day, roughly three years before I myself started working there, he leaned towards me confidentially and said, “If you saw Elvis Presley in person, would you recognize him?” “I think so,” said I. “Well, look behind you.” I swiveled my hairy head around, and to my total shock, there was Elvis Presley eating with President Richard Nixon’s Chief of Staff, Bob Haldeman, a much feared but extremely pleasant and smart man. I got up, made my excuses to Mr. Haldeman, and said to Elvis, “Sir, everyone in the world is your fan, but I am your biggest fan.” In a voice and with a phrase that is incredibly famous, he simply said, “Thank yew ver’ much.” I was dazed. But I did not forget. And if you were to ask me to cite a lesson from it, it would be a line from a great Joan Didion novel called "Play It As It Lays: “You can’t win if you’re not at the table.” “Connections are golden.” Well worth remembering.
    • Ben Stein, explaining how his telling that story, over the years, led to his playing the role of the professor in John Hughes's “Ferris Bueller’s Day off", as published in the American Spectator's March 16, 2015 edition in an article entitled "Love is strange, but so was the effect of meeting Elvis"
  • Certainly the most famous performer to be attached to a tongues-speaking fellowship was Elvis Presley; shortly after the Presleys arrived in Memphis, from Tupelo, a First Assembly of God bus swung through their rundown neighborhood, so they climbed aboard and became regulars of Pastor James Hamill's congregation; Hamill remembers Elvis attended Sunday school and was exposed there to the best in Pentecostal music; in 1957, after he achieved international acclaim, Presley said 'We used to go to these religious sing-ins all the time, and there were these perfectly fine singers nobody responded to, but there were also these other singers who cut up all over the place, jumping on the piano, moving every which way, and all of which the audience liked, so I guess I learned from them'; uninhibited Pentecostalism gave young Elvis ideas about music and performance and, from then on, he was sometimes called the "Evangelist" by his inner circle of friends.
    • Randall J. Stephens, American Religion historian, recounting how Elvis got attached to Gospel and Christian Music, years before he decided to take up a music career, albeit heavily influencing it, as excerpted from in his book "The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South", published in 2008
  • I’ll never forget it. We were in the rehearsal hall, and all of a sudden, we heard this commotion coming down the hall and there was this entourage of people coming into the room, When Elvis walked into the room, my mouth dropped. I’m like, Wow, I now understand why this guy is the biggest star in the world. He had magnetism. He filled the room. He really did. And to be able to sing with him for about a year and a-half of my life was an amazing experience. He was just a great singer. When you listen to Elvis’ records, back in the day when he recorded, everything was recorded analog. There were really no computers to tune your voice or anything. He just had a natural talent. And he recorded in a recording studio just like he sang on stage. He held a microphone in his hand. He walked around the recording studio, and it was like he was doing a live performance. And he hardly ever shaded a pitch. He was just so talented, he really was.”
    • Richard Sterban, bass singer for the Oak Ridge Boys, who, along with a few others, voted Elvis as the top entertainer in CMT Top 40 artist countdown, as published in CMT´s online edition of November 21, 2014.
  • Elvis was big for me, even from a very young age; That was the music that was around my house; I love that stuff, great songs and, as a singer, he was 'The Great' rock and roll singer.
    • Rogers Stevens, guitarist for the rock band Blind Melon, answering Ben Bounds's question as to whose artist influenced him the most, and the earliest, as published in the Starkville Daily news (11 August, 2008)
  • i) I mean, they treat me like I’m Elvis there, they really do. ii) Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps.iii)Bloody Elvis, beating me to the top from the grave.
    • Rod Stewart i) tells ABC News Radio.[4] ii) as published in www.graceland.com iii) jocking about the fact his 2015 album was stopped from topping the UK charts by Elvis' If I can dreram
  • More than 30 years ago, the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Fraternity joined the fight against childhood cancer when Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and fraternity member from the Gamma-Nu chapter at the University of Toledo, asked his fraternity to help him with his cause. Before Thomas could make his dream of building St. Jude a reality, he garnered the help of, inter-alia, Rock 'n' roll legend and fellow Tau Kappa Epsilon member Elvis Presley, who instantly became one of Danny's supporters by lending his talents to help raise funds for cancer-stricken children.
  • Elvis Presley is a means of seduction, a tool of US imperialism, to make the Communist youth lose its values in the misdt of a possible atomic war.
    • Willi Stoph, the then East Germany's Minister of Defense, in a communique signed in April of 1959, coinciding with the time Elvis was serving with the US Army in the then West Germany.
  • I never understood his records at first, and then many years later, I thought, "God this guy is good". He had that wonderful sexuality about him, and energy, he was a star, you know, he was bigger than life. Anyways, because I'd met him a couple of times, singing with him was kind of easy, it felt like our spirits were kind of touching...
    • Barbra Streisand, on singing "Love me tender" with Elvis, thirty seven years after he had passed away, for her album "Partners", as explained on a clip published in her Facebook page, on 6 September, 2014
  • Growing up in Beverly Hills in the 1960s, there was no such thing as being star-struck — my neighbors were movie stars. Going shopping one day, after coffee crunch cake at Blum’s, I found myself in front of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel staring at a man so beautiful and charismatic that I was magnetically drawn to him as if by a tractor beam. As I approached, he was swarmed by large burly men in Hawaiian shirts. ‘Let her through,’ he said. As if in a dream, I found myself in the magnificent presence of Elvis Presley! He signed my hand and a $5 bill. He spoke to me kindly and gently in soft Southern tones. The autographed bill? I spent it in my college tuition when I ran out of money
    • Rosa Sue, in the Newsletter section of the LA Times, October 11, 2016
  • In 1956, even the youngest of his fans knew that the 21-year-old Elvis Presley was unquestionably the whole package; and, obviously, his great three octave tenor voice, with a lower register close to bass, seemed to vibrate on the inner scale of every teenager in America; they loved the high tenor, but when he "got down" with that lower register, fans exploded; Elvis translated this into his moves on stage, so it was a 10.0 assault on the senses.
    • Sugarpie Productions essay on Elvis Presley, as published in Clay´s.Daily.Double.com
  • I wanted to say to Elvis Presley and the country that this is a real decent, fine boy, and wherever you go, Elvis, we want to say we've never had a pleasanter experience on our show with a big name than we've had with you.
    • CBS TV personality Ed Sullivan, closing his show on the night of January 6, 1957.
  • When Elvis' daddy had a heart attack, Elvis wanted him to have a private room. That was not the problem, but before getting there, rules made it impossible for him to have a private intensive care room, inspite the unit was totally empty. So Elvis spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and booked the entire intensive care unit...
    • Bassman J.D. Sumner, of the Stamps Quertet, as noted in starsmeetthestars
  • I may be the only person who knows Colin Powell and Elvis Presley...
    • Major General William K. Suter, then Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States, as published on May 29, 2013 by the Harlan Institute. In all candor, Gen. Suter may have been unaware that, after meeting Presley in Ft. Hood, there WERE indeed hundreds of soldiers who knew both Powell and Presley, the former having led the latter's unit as a Lt. Col in Germany, during Presley's entire Army tour in that country.


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  • The reasons for honouring Elvis are not sentimental but political. I don't own a single Elvis album but he was a champion for those amongst our people who turned against our country's Soviet-backed Government in October 1956. And although the revolution was quashed, Presley saluted the uprising in January 1957 during his last appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and performed "Peace in the Valley", a gospel standard, as a tribute to our plight. At his request, Sullivan solicited the TV audience to donate towards our relief efforts, raising US$6 million ( the equivalent of US$ 49 million in 2012 dollars), or about 26 million Swiss francs.
    • Budapest Mayor István Tarlós, explaining why Presley was named a citizen of Budapest and a Park named after him, following the International Red Cross' handling of some 26 million SFR sent by his fans, which they distributed to the thousands of Hungarian families affected by the Soviet invasion in both Vienna and London,where the refugees were allowed to settle, and as published in The Guardian's online edition of March 11, 2012.
  • Before Elvis, white America was shackled by crippling conservatism. Then, four years into the 1950s, a singer from Tupelo, Mississippi, had what record producer Sam Phillips was looking for, a “white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel”, language that makes us cringe now — but at the time, Elvis' "sound" and "feel" did more to break down color barriers in popular music than any white singer ever had. Elvis’ low, trembling transmission to teenage America was emancipation in the form of rockabilly, gospel, schlocky love songs, Christmas standards and muddy blues. In the ’60s, his voice was muted by forgettable films, but in 1968, wearing a leather jumpsuit, he reminded America that the suffering in his voice was sex in a sexless society — a pink Cadillac crashing into daddy’s station wagon. —
    • Art Tavana, for LA Weekly, in an article entitled the 20 best singers of all time.
  • Presley was very classically orientated with his voice, and diction, and very sincere and wanting to get everything perfect.
    • Bryn Terfel bass baritone citing one of the reasons why Elvis is the only soloist whose music he listens in his iPod, as told to NYT's Classical Music critic Vivien Schweitzer, and published on that paper on November 10, 2007
  • Elvis Presley trascended his being called the King of Rock and Roll, even the music he made famous, in favour of his later becoming one of the XX Century's greatest cultural icons. But it is his versatile voice and his unusual delivery of numerous musical idioms, as well as the attraction he held, physically, and sexually, that led him to his being the greatest solo artist in the history of popular music.
    • Terra, a Spanish online publication's views on the power of Presley's voice and it's being ranked as one of the ten most imposing in the history of recorded sound, the latter in conjunction with the celebration of the "Day of the Voice" and published in their online page, on April 15, 2015.-
  • For some people, they are just cars from the past. But classic cars represent an important market segment for investors. With their rising by more than 500 per cent in the past decade, the 2016 Motorworld Classics Fair in Berlin is a good chance for anyone interested in that kind of investment. A perfect example is a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado showcased here. It is not a very rare car, nor is it in a good state, but it was once owned by Elvis Presley, which bumps up the price tag to about half a million euros.
  • People think that we’re crazy because we do six nights a week, and then you see how much Elvis put into every show, for which he created this larger than life style, and he pulled it off.
  • There is nothing that could force Donald Trump to release his tax returns, but precedent and Hillary Clinton's willingness to release hers would have nudged most other presidential hopefuls into taking the action. All this reminds me of the fact that accountants for Elvis Presley begged him at times to take advantage of the legal loopholes available to him. It would have saved him millions. He demurred on the basis that the patriotic thing to do was to pay for the privilege of his success.
    • Dan Thomasson, columnist for Tribune News Service, commenting on the 2016 presidential election, as published in the Commercial Appeal on October 3, 2016.
  • One day in the 70s, I talked Elvis into going with me to the local McDonalds restaurant near Graceland. I was sick and tired of us never going out together. So I made a bet with him — I said no one would recognize him and he could relax a little. Elvis said he not only would be recognized but mobbed as well. We walked in the McDonalds, approached the counter, and put in our orders. Elvis ate his meal in wonder at the situation but really enjoyed his quiet night out. So far, so good. Then a man walked up to our table, looked at Elvis, and said he hated how men tried to look like Elvis Presley. He said there was only one Elvis and the others should give up. Shocked at the man’s assumption that he was as impersonator, Elvis informed the stranger that he was indeed Elvis. The man would not believe him, and said he pitied him for thinking he was. Elvis tried again but could not convince the man. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole situation and had an inspired idea. I turned to Elvis and said, “Okay, Bob, enough is enough. Stop playing". Elvis told me to confirm who he was and I replied, “Will you cut the crap, Bob.” My ruse worked. The man left their table. Elvis was totally dumbfounded by what had happened, but he and I had a good laugh..
  • As the lad himself might say, cut my legs off and call me Shorty! Elvis Presley can act.Acting is his assignment in this shrewdly upholstered showcase, and he does it
  • They’re talking ‘bout the hood, talkin’ ‘bout where we all come from. My mother always listened to Presley' song when I was young. It talk about the things she went through, you know. She had a bunch of kids, like 9 kids, you know what I’m sayin’. That’s how you get somebody to listen to your song, you talk about what they know about and what they want to hear.”
    • Three 6 Mafia members, Paul Beaureguard and Jordan Houston, discussing their version of In the Gueto.
  • I had taken my song "Dreamy Eyes" to George Klein, Memphis DJ and Elvis friend and said to George: "I can really hear Elvis singing this song," because I felt Priscilla had the prettiest eyes I'd ever seen. About eight months later I got a call that Elvis had recorded one of my songs, and I assumed that it was "Dreamy Eyes," but it turned out to be "It Keeps Right On a Hurtin." When Elvis was in Germany getting ready to work, he was listening to Country Music and heard my song, and he wanted to record it. That's the way Elvis picked his music, when he heard something that he liked, he recorded it. Elvis put his song in one of his albums "From Elvis In Memphis", and I couldn't have been more thrilled and proud, because Elvis was my idol.
  • i) A double voice that alternates between a high quaver, reminiscent of Johnnie Ray at his fiercest, and a rich basso that might be smooth if it were not for its spasmodic delivery. 'Heartbreak Hotel', yelps the high voice, is where he's going to get away from it all. Answers the basso: 'he'll be sorry ii) Without preamble, the three-piece band cuts loose. In the spotlight, the lanky singer flails furious rhythms on his guitar, every now and then breaking a string; in a pivoting stance, his hips swing sensuously from side to side and his entire body takes on a frantic quiver, as if he had swallowed a jackhammer; his loud baritone goes raw and whining in the high notes, but down low it is rich and round. As he throws himself into one of his specialties— "Blue Suede Shoes" or "Long Tall Sally", his throat seems full of desperate aspirates or hiccuping glottis strokes, but his movements suggest, in a word, sex.
    • i) TIME Magazine's review of an early 1956 concert and entitled "Teeners' hero", as published on its May 14,1956 ii) and April 02, 1956 issue.
  • And I see Elvis back there!! Elvis, this is the last chance we'll get!!
    • Donald Trump, Republican Party nominee for the 2016 US Presidential elections, acknowledging the presence of an Elvis impersonator at a Las Vegas rally after spotting him in the audience, and encouraging him and thousands others to vote, as published on the Daily Mail on October 5, 2016
  • Listening to these songs today, their most remarkable feature is Presley's voice itself. He takes the Platters' Tony Williams's techniques, and any other predecessor's, to new, uncharted pinnacles. For a singer who was only just encountering widespread popularity, his singing resonates with amazing fortitude and confidence, especially on "Heartbreak Hotel," (1956), where Presley alternately shouts words with full lungs, then gulps the following back, as if under water but without missing a beat. In "Loving you" (1957), Presley's baritone on this, the ultimate slow dance number, is almost too powerful, virtually rumbling the floor...
    • David N. Townsend, in his essay "Changing the World: Rock 'n' Roll's Culture and Ideology".
  • i) Making their second appearance at Worthy Farm, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey delighted the crowds as the sun set on the final day of Glastonbury 2015 by performing a number of hits from across their career. They also referenced Kanye West's claim during his own headline slot the night before that he was "the greatest living rockstar on the planet", with Townsend and then Roger Daltrey saying, "We're gonna send you home now with a rebellious 'who's the biggest fucking rockstar in the world?'It must be Elvis Presley. ii) We have to focus on his early work, and just one or two of his movies, and elements of his TV shows, to keep his memory pure. People now know that Elvis could play a mean rhythm guitar himself, and needed no other musicians to perform a great song. But Elvis was not just a rock star, he was an all-round entertainer.
    • i) Excerpted from an article quoting Pete Townsend, of The Who, as he and Roger Daltrey were quick to make light of Kanye's antics the previous night, reminding everyone that Elvis Presley was still the King of Rock - despite what Mr West may have said, and as published on Digital Spy on June 29, 2015. ii) as noted in theelevisexpress
  • I mean Elvis made us move, instead of standing mute he raised our voice. And when we heard ourselves something was changing, you know, like for the first time we made a collective bdecision about choices, America hurriedly made Pat Boone a general, in the army they wanted us to join, But most of us held fast to Elvis and the commandants around him Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent, you know, like a different Civil War all over again. Man, like he woke us up, and now they’re trying to put us back to sleep. So we’ll see how it goes, Aayway, look at the record, man, Rock ’n’ roll is based on revolutions, going way past 33⅓, you gotta understand, man, he was America’s baby Boom Ché. I oughta know man, I was in his army
    • Native American author, poet, actor, musician, and political activist John Trudell's words of wisdom, as annotated in ‘Baby Boom Ché’, a song he dedicated to his idol Elvis.
  • Well, this was during the time that Elvis Presley was driving a gravel truck and we were playing on 11th Street and they didn't allow whites there. It was a whole black street. And at that time I didn't know who Elvis was, whether he was a musician, he was just a guy that I liked. He liked music, so I liked him because he liked music. I'm assuming that was it and we had some form of rapport together. So I would slip him into the back of the club, the piano sitting like this and the back door was sitting there and I would sit him and have him behind the piano, because in those days I would stand up to play the piano, and I'd play the piano backwards and just clowning with the piano. But I never knew that this guy was even an entertainer. But meantime, I'm just assuming a year or so, I hear this "Blue Suede Shoes" but I never put this with this guy at all. I don't even connect the two. And many years later, in Las Vegas, I was playing the lounge room at the International Hotel, and Elvis was in the main room, but you know I never was interested in other acts, you know, I always was interested, like if I get to know you, OK, but for me to go over there, Red Foxx was in the lounge also at that time. And one night, I won some thousand dollars, and I was coming down through the back, had all this big old rack of chips and stuff and this white guy says, "Hey you don't remember me?" And I said no. So that's when he [Elvis] told me that he was the one that used to come to West Memphis and hide behind the piano, in this black club. You know, it was amazing, you know?
    • Ike Turner, in an interview with Open vault, from WGBH, trying to say that as far as ther Las vegas encounter is concerned, that this was the ice-breaker for him to become reacquainted as a friend with Elvis, after all those years.
  • The pace could be brutal between touring and schedules, but Vegas was best. The Turners' annual stays at the International, later the Hilton, allowed them to bring the kids along, sometimes taking all four of them to the big room to catch Elvis' extravaganza and he would have the whole family stand for a round of applause.
    • Tina Turner, in her autobiography "I Tina: My life story Tina Turner", written with Kurt Loder
  • So I picked up the two Guralnick biographies and started reading them, and as you do if you’re reading books about music, you start listening to the tracks as you’re going along. Before I’d finished the first book I became a diehard Elvis fan, and by the time I’d finished the second one I had an Elvis tattoo. He might not have written his own songs, but he was the master producer and engineer of his generation. It’s also popular opinion to say that the original Hound Dog is better, but no it fucking isn’t. That’s just bollocks. Elvis’ version of that song is lightyears ahead, and if you listen to the two of them back-to-back you can hear what he was doing. This was obviously the ‘50s so it was all cut live, and he’d stand in the middle of the room with all the musicians around him and they’d do 60 takes in a row. He’d be like, ‘Bar three, verse two; drop that F sharp to an E. Now let’s do it again.’ He was in full control of his vision. It’s taken me until my mid-30s to realise it, and when I was younger I didn’t really get it.
    • Frank Turner English folk singer-songwriter from Meonstoke, who began his career as the vocalist of post-hardcore band Million Dead, in an interview to Rock Icon{s Matt Stocks, and published in their online edition on 1 September 2016.
  • This is the best way to hear Elvis the Superstar, with "Hound Dog," (1956),"All Shook Up,(1957), "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (1960), and the ever zany "Suspicious Minds" (1969), still sounding fresh and immediate —impressive given how many times most the world has heard them —, and showing off the diversity of Elvis' singing, from the purity of his gospel falsetto to his rock and roll purr.
    • Josh Tyrangiel, reviewing "Elvis 30 Number One hits", for TIME magazine`s "The All Time best 100 albums", as published in its November 13, 2006 edition.
  • Blue laws began in Texas in 1863 and were still being passed in 1961. Many states prohibited the selling of alcoholic beverages on and off premises in one form or another on Sundays, or at restricted times.Also, blue laws of Texas did not prohibit most businesses being open on Sundays, but all of the restrictions made it impractical to open.Can anyone imagine when some Sunday shopping was a crime?If this blue law was still in effect today,we would all go to jail and cause a Jailhouse Rock with an 8.6 magnitude on the musical Richter scale like Elvis did back in his heyday.
    • African American columnist Chris Tyson, as published in an article entitled "Never on Sundays", and published in the Huntville Item, on 24 September 2016.


U


  • It has something for everyone, except perhaps Irving Berlin, who attempted to get Elvis's recording of "White Christmas"banned from radio play, deeming it "vulgar and disrespectful". And it was, which is part of the reason why the drastically rearranged tune is so memorable, as the then-young singer masticated the contemporary classic, adding his idiosyncratic dynamics and trills ( the so-called educated yodels of one's vocal chords); equally irreverent and just as riveting is the King's gritty take on Leiber and Stoller's "Santa Claus Is Back in Town", one of the most sexually suggestive holiday tunes ever, and his rollicking "Here Comes Santa Claus". And who can forget the song that changed the hue of Yuletide, "Blue Christmas", or his wistful, definitive version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas", which cemented his reputation as pop's top dreamboat. Along with Phil Spector's "Christmas Gift for You", this is arguably the finest Rock & Roll Christmas album of all-time, a seasonal yet essential recording belonging under any Christmas tree.
    • Jaan Uhelszki and Bill Holdship, reviewing "Elvis Christmas Album (1957 version), for AMAZON.COM
  • Elvis was one of the prime architects of rock and roll music. As such, he influenced several generations both musically and socially. The urgency in Presley's voice is just one part of the equation, and the ease with which he swings tells the rest of the story. Equal parts balladeer and rockabilly king, Elvis played both sides of the fence. He was both tender-love-man and hard-hitting rebel. As this collection proves, his genius was in the way he made it work.
    • UK Channel 4's review of "Elvis Golden Record, Volume II"
  • Elvis Presley, for example, became a key supporter of Father Don Mowery’s work, having grown up in Lauderdale Courts, one of the many Memphis housing projects well served by Youth Service during this period. Interestingly, Elvis’ donations always came with a catch, namely that they never be put into the general-operating fund, but instead set aside for “special projects.” By 1985, Memphis-style programs were operating in dozens of cities all across America, father Mowery’s concept generally considered the most innovative social-service effort developed between the military and civilian sectors in the late-twentieth century. And although no one knew at that time how much of an impact Elvis’ contributions would have on the future of the organization, much of the funding for this national expansion came precisely from that “special projects” fund that Elvis Presley had supported in the 1960s.
    • Excerpted from an article on the life and times of Father Don Mowery, the founder of Youth Service, USA, written by Darrell Userton, published on Memphis Magazine on May 1, 2015.


V


  • I was really happy about his success, because acceptance wasn't really too great in those days unless you were a schooled singer, so it opened up a whole new thing for young performers who had not studied voice but just had feel. It made me a little sad to think that here was a man who came along and probably made one of the greatest contributions to rock n roll music ever, and people would come in and criticise his shows, (In fact), for someone to have given that much joy to that many people, he shouldn't of had to do anything but walk out on that stage and just stand there. And I sometimes wonder if people in that sense are sadistic and wait to see you fall or hope to see you fall.
    • Frankie Valli 'comments to reporter Heather Bernard at News Center 4,, and as broadcast on August 17, 1977.
  • There was a time when the B-side might save you. You put all that effort into making records and then not to give people an A-side and a B-side, I loved that. I used to go into someplace in Fargo and put the nickel in the jukebox, listen to Elvis on the jukebox for 4 days and then flip the record over. A lot of my stuff was B-sides and I was glad to have them. They paid the same as the A-side.
    • Bobby Vee, in an interview with Craig Moore, of Goldmine, as published on May 14, 2009
  • While I was recuperating at Veterans’ Hospital in Portsmouth, VA, I went to nearby Norfolk, where I first saw an up and coming singer named Elvis Presley perform at Hank Snow’s All Star Jamboree. This experience changed my life. Seeing him on television, as well, I practically launched out of the hospital bed and onto the stage...
    • Singer Gene Vincent, from the archives of the Rockabilly Legends.
  • I saw "Jailhouse Rock", where Elvis gets out of jail and makes his own records and takes them to the radio stations himself. And then, he puts records in the store. After seeing that, I made records and put them in stores.
    • Singer Bobby Vinton as noted in brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/bobbyvinto241039.html?src=t_elvis_presley


W


  • I grew up with singers, dancers and comics. At 15, I discovered Elvis Presley. A girl whom I wanted to take to the prom showed me a magazine clipping of her "boyfriend." It was Elvis. This guy looked like a Greek god, and then I saw him on television. I loved everything about him, so I became a fan. I always wanted to stand in the same place he stood the night he caused all the commotion at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. May I?
    • Oscar winner Christopher Walken, in an article entitled The Religious Affiliation of Christopher Walken, as published in Adherents.com and a couple of years later, explaining to Dave Letterman the reasons why he wrote "Him", a play about Elvis.
  • In fact, I first provided clothing for her during her first pregnancy in 1981, and continued to do so until her death in 1997. One such outfit, which Diana herself called her ‘Elvis Dress’, was worn by her both to the British Fashion Awards in October 1989 and then on an official visit to Hong Kong. The year of her passing away, the dress was bought for £81,203 at a benefit auction by The Franklin Mint, a company which produces memorabilia such as a portrait doll featuring her wearing this dress, thus making it one of the best-known of Diana's many outfits, and the second highest prized. The Mint returned the dress to the Diana Estate a few years later.
    • Designer Catherine Walker, describing the white silk strapless dress encrusted with pearls and sequins with a matching bolero jacket, which she designed with Elvis specifically in mind,as commissioned by Diana, the then Princess of Wales, and as noted in V&A Search the Collections online page.* The berst
  • I had a 45 rpm record player, one of those that accommodated little records with big holes in the middle and with the capacity to hold, what, 10 or so records, to drop down one at a time, until all 10 had played. But that’s too general for what I’ve been thinking about. Specifically, it’s one of the songs, really the only song I can say with certainty that I played, over and over and over again. “Lavender Blue” by Sammy Turner. And it, and others, made me know I loved music — most all kinds excusing jazz and opera. And then, it was Elvis. Controversial Elvis Presley. Would my folks let me listen to his music or watch him on our little black and white television? Then, before we knew it, Elvis was too big to be avoided or ignored. You had to watch him...
    • Larry Walker, in an article for the Telegraph entitled "Just another silly love song", and published on Nov. 5, 2016.
  • i) One day we are in a recording session, here at RCA B, and he was talking to one of the clean up guys. Then three RCA people from New York, with suits and they walked up to Elvis, but he paid no attention to them. The clean up guy stopped talking, but Elvis said "Go ahead, Sir". When he finished, the clean up guy shook his hand and thanked Elvis for talking to him. Then Elvis approached the guys from New York and said "Gentlemen, if you see me talking to somebody, don't interrupt me, dont even walk up to me, I know when it{s your turn and I will walk up to you. And that was the end of it ii) The best I have ever seen him look was in 1967, at the Circle G Ranch. His hair was black to blonnde like it was naturally, the colour of a fawn. Just as shiny aa could be. He had a suit and shoes the same color of his hair, so he walked in and we were stunned. He had been out riding his horses, was tanned and his eyes shunned like diamonds. We couldn't believe it. We just stood there and looked at him. Finally, he said "Shall we dance?"
    • Singer Ray Walker of the Jordainaires, who backed him from 1956 onwards, i) in an interview in 2016, and ii) as published in the book, Elvis from those who knew him best.
  • Arguably the finest recording found in all the Sun sessions, "Trying To Get To You"(1955), is a song that Presley made his own due to his hugely committed vocal, and the simple carefree abandon with which he performs it; at first, it feels like a classic country song with simple, elegant lyrics; but it is at the bridge - where Elvis really lets fly -, that the song is transformed from a lovely country lament, into deep blues; although the 1955 version is magnificent, Elvis manages to better it on his "1968 Comeback Special", in which he sings the song with so much intensity, it prompted critic Greil Marcus to exclaim "this is probably the finest rock and roll ever recorded.
    • Thomas Ward's review, for AllMusicGuide.com, of "Trying To Get To You", whose original version has now been confirmed, by BMG/RCA (which owns all the Presley Sun catalogue), as having been sang and recorded by Elvis while simultaneously playing the piano, with Sun Records' Sam Philipps immediately arranging the mix so that his rather loud (and then still amateurish) piano playing could not be heard in the final master take.
  • A Presley motion picture is the only sure thing in Hollywood.”
    • Hal Wallis, Producer of nine of Elvis' films, as pubished in www.graceland.com
  • Well, now wait.You say he has no talent and yet I think that you'll agree that he has been taken into the bosom of America in a certain sense and has been very well paid for it...
    • Mike Wallace, defending Elvis in an interview broadcast on November 16, 1957, with syndicated gossip columnist Elsa Maxwell, who seconds before had labelled Elvis as a "young, no talented, utterly unattractive man with a horrible face and with that lank hair that falls down driving young women all over the country in some sort of ecstasy"
  • With the way he was marketed, he didn't even need to be able to sing the way he could. But Elvis had talent, plain and simple. The guy had a thousandth-octave range, and a variety in his vocal styles and approach, he could make more vocal tones, with just his voice, than a guitar player with 50 pedals and gadgets. If you never even saw the guy, you could plain feel, not just hear, the emotion and passion in his voice, and you are immediately taken in, one hundred percent. On the merit of vocals alone, he had more talent in the barbecue stuck in his teeth than the singers who sell millions of records do today.
    • Country singer Roger Wallace, in the web`s "Soapbox"
  • Elvis Presley existed not only as a flesh-and-blood person but also as millions of pictures on album covers and movie screens, in newspapers and magazines. He was infinitely reproducible. Similarly, through use of the silkscreen printing process, Warhol could produce as many Elvis paintings as he pleased.
    • The Andy Warhol Museum's official laud on Elvis Presley as a subject of Art.
  • Elvis' range was about two and a quarter octaves, as measured by musical notation, but his voice had an emotional range from tender whispers to sighs down to shouts, grunts, grumbles and sheer gruffness that could move the listener from calmness and surrender, to fear. His voice can not be measured in octaves, but in decibels; even that misses the problem of how to measure delicate whispers that are hardly audible at all.
    • Lindsay Waters, Executive Editor for the Humanities at Harvard University Press, in his essay "Come softly, darling, hear what I say"
  • In my seventeen years as doorman to the #1 hotel in Hollywood, the biggest star that ever stayed there was Elvis Presley. He was indeed one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. If I introduced any person to him, he would show the utmost courtesy and respect that they ever encountered. Sometimes, over the long years I felt that God had put him on this earth for a very special reason. When you use the phrase "a very special person", that was Elvis Presley, in my opinion.
    • Earl "The Pearl" Watson, African American doorman, in his bio entitled " Doorman To The Stars - Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel, 1945-1962" In the book, he also talked about wanting to write an ENTIRE book dedicated to his positive memories of Elvis
  • Everything is collectible, it seems, even human hair. Outbidding an international field of collectors, an unnamed Londoner paid $13,000 last week to purchase a lock of Napoleon's hair, reportedly snipped a day after the Emperor's death in 1821. For those in the know, that's a relative bargain, particularly in view of what collectors have spent on strands from another famous head, namely that of Elvis Presley, whose small jar of hair sold for $115,000 in 2002. (In fact), Presley's barber had reportedly saved his hair in a bread bag. "I have no idea what [the collector] intends to do with it," said a representative from the Chicago company, MastroNet, that held the internet auction.
    • The Week's collective answer to the question making up the headline of their article of July 6 of 2010 and entitled "Strands of glory: Is Napoleon's hair worth more than Elvis'?
  • I put Elvis Presley up there with Jolson and Sinatra, and I’ll go one step further: Elvis was the greatest pop entertainer of the 20th century. Like Al Jolson, he gave his all when performing: He sang from his heart, his body, the very essence of his total being, when sharing what he felt."
    • Mort Weiss, Jazz clarinet musician, recalling his having shared a train with Presley when they were both 21 years old, as published on the February 25, 2012 online edition of Something else. at www.somethingelseviews.com
  • He played the San Diego Arena in the spring, and my family lived in nearby La Jolla, so I went to the concert. "Heartbreak Hotel" was already a radio hit, and I couldn't get enough of it. Hearing that song was a real turning point for me as a teenager. When I saw him in action, he was mesmerizing, dressed as he was in a pair of loose trousers, loafers, a shirt and open jacket. When he moved, he was smoldering, his hair falling over his eyes, his tone sensual. His delivery on "Heartbreak Hotel" was also in a minor key, which always triggered a reaction in me. But it was when he slipped in those low-register Elvis-isms— you know, the huh-huh thing— it came from his body, not from his head. He had that emotional intensity that was impossible to resist.
    • Raquel Welch, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 25, 2013
  • It's our responsibility as musicians to keep pushing each other, to keep competing with each other. It's a really great competition. I see here artists like Beyonce and Alicia Keys and Rihanna and Chris Brown and Chris Martin, all in the same room, and we're going to push this music to the point where it was like in the 1960s and '70s, when the talk was about Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles. We (all) will be the new Beatles. We (all) will be the new Hendrix; (in fact ) in any other industry, they'll tell you that you're supposed to do better than those in the past, so when you say, 'I want to be Elvis,' they say, 'What's wrong with you?' Well, I wanna be Elvis.
    • Kanye West, in accepting Best Album honors in the Rap & Hip-Hop category, at the American Music Awards, on November 23, 2008
  • I once met a young man from Mexico who asked me why Elvis didn’t like Mexican people because he’d heard the rumours that he had critiziced his countrymen. I told him it was all lies and that Elvis loved Mexicans. He told me that Elvis was supposed to have said Mexicans were greasy haired people. I told him to remember that Elvis was the one who put stuff in his hair to make it greasy and he even died it black too. There were many reports about things Elvis was supposed to have said that he never did, in fact he was upset that he wasn’t allowed to go into Mexico because of riots. On the set of Fun In Acapulco, Elvis got upset with the director ( Richard Thorpe, who had already directed him in "Jailhouse Rock") because he got onto a couple of the actors because they spoke broken English and even yelled, “Jesus Christ, can’t you get the lines right?” . Elvis took him aside and said, 'Sir, those people were hired by the producer and he knew how they spoke and also knew their language, but he wanted them and they’re doing the best they can. Rehearse with them more or whatever but please don’t be doing that. I don’t like you doing that to them' and the director stopped it.
    • Sonny West, who was Elvis' bodyguard until 1976, in his autobiography Fame and Fortune.
  • We had crew cuts, wore tee-shirts and blue jeans, Elvis had the long duck-tail, the long sideburns and he wore the loud clothes, and naturally he was a target for all the bullies. One day luckily I walked into the boys' bathroom at Humes High School and 3 guys were going to cut his hair just, you know, to make themselves look big or make them feel big or whatever, and I intervened and stopped it. And I guess that stuck because a couple of years later after Elvis had his first record he came over and asked me if I would like to go with him, I think it was Grenada, Mississippi or somewhere, and I went and I was with him from then on, except for a couple of years in the Marine Corps.
    • Red West, who went to high school with Elvis, then became one of his bodyguards until 1976, as told in an interview with Elvis Australia on May 29, 2008
  • He suffered from insomnia. I think a lot of geniuses are like that. "I just can't turn it off", is what he would say. I miss him terribly.
    • Soprano Kathy Westmoreland, the little girl with the high voice, as Elvis used to call her during the tours she accompanied Elvis in the 1970's, from an interview with Larry King on CNN, broadcast on December 5, 2007
  • The voice is so melodious, and - of course, by accident, this glorious voice and musical sensibility was combined with this beautiful, sexual man and this very unconscious - or unselfconscious stage movements. Presley's registration, the breadth of his tone, listening to some of his records, you'd think you were listening to an opera singer. But…it's an opera singer with a deep connection to the blues, which leads me to the role of the great enunciator, because he delivered us the greatest cultural boon. Nobody ever did more for the American people. He gave them the great present of black music transmitted through his own sensibility, his own sensitivity. Of course Elvis was a different kind of white purveyor of black music because it was naturally black and it was real and he was a conduit. And America was really changed. I'm talking about American music and our culture in general. We owe far more to Elvis Presley than all the British groups put together."
    • Jerry Wexler, co-founder of Atlantic Records, whose bid of US$30,000 came up short of the US$35,000 offered by RCA, for the purchase of Elvis' contract with SUN Records in November of 1955.
  • If Rock and Roll were a religion, Elvis was its most prolific disciple, responsible for more converts than anyone before or after him; if it had been country, Elvis was a Founding Father and his lyrics were the documents of freedom that helped to birth the nation; if it were a sickness, Elvis-itis would be the most potent and contagious virus known to man, infecting victims who just looked at his image, heard his voice or saw him perform in person or through a recording. But since Rock and Roll is music, we’ve all decided the world over to just call Elvis…the King.
    • A. C. Wharton African American Mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee, in commemoration of what would have been Elvis' 74th birthday, at the Graceland mansion, and as published by www.elvis.com, on 8th January 2009.
  • It came down to one moment that changed a life, albeit coming at a price with initially Barry, then barely sixteen having found himself and his brother in a gang life. Tragically, his brother was shot and killed and Barry was arrested and sent to jail after being caught with stolen car parts. While sitting in his jail cell head, Elvis Presley song "It’s Now or Never" played on the radio and it was then that he decided to dedicate his life to music.
    • About R&B singer Barry White's decision to change his life altogether, as told by White himself at the Oxford Union, and reported in Life at 60's edition of December 4, 2016.
  • An 18-year-old Elvis Presley walked through the doors of the Memphis Recording Service at 708 Union Ave. in the summer of 1953. He carried a beat-up guitar that he'd had since the age of 11 and enough money to make a $3.98 record of his own voice. He sang two '30s ballads -- "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" -- hoping to catch the attention of Sam Phillips, who had started his own label, Sun. When he was done, Marion Keisker, who helped run the place with Phillips, typed his name on the back of a label for Sun act The Prisonaires, and Presley left with his acetate. For more than six decades, that record of Elvis singing "My Happiness" was kept by the family of the high-school friend Presley left it with, Ed Leek. As part of an auction, it was valued at approximately $100,000. It sold to an unknown Internet bidder for $300,000...
    • Identifying the bidder, musician Jack White, who had also appeared in a cameo role portraying Elvis in the movie "Walk Hard", as published by Billboard, on Jan. 15, 2015.
  • Go ahead, moan all you like about Elvis. (But) this is still the single greatest rock & roll Christmas record ever made. Elvis’ slurred, dirty, wailing delivery and Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana’s walloping primitivo accompaniment put this over with a licentious zeal that never wears out its welcome. Although he favored gospel above all else, Elvis genuinely excelled as a blues singer (there simply ain’t another white cat who can pull ‘em off as convincingly) and this wildly unlikely collision of atmosphere and theme rates as a minor, and altogether irresistible, masterpiece —
    • Jonny Whiteside's laud of "Santa Claus is back in town", as published in an article at LA Weekly, on December 2, 2016. The extraordinary piano playing heard on the recording is that of Dudley Brooks, the African American musician who worked with Presley in an additional 10 recording sessions, both before and after this particular one.
  • Elvis Abbruscato, (born 1981), Italian footballer, Elvis Andrus (born 1988), Venezuelan baseball player, Elvis Brajković (born 1969), retired Croatian football player, Elvis Dumervil (born 1984), African-American NFL defensive end, Elvis Fatović (born 1971), Croatian water polo playerElvis Grbac (born 1970), former NFL quarterback, Elvis Hammond (born 1980), Ghanaian footballer playing in Britain, Elvis Marecos (born 1980), Paraguayan footballer, Elvis Martínez (born 1970), Venezuelan football defender, Elvis Peacock (born 1956), former NFL running backElvis J. Perrodin (born 1956) American jockey, Élvis Alves Pereira (born 1977), Brazilian footballer, Elvis Scoria (born 1971), Croatian football manager, Elvis Sinosic (born 1971), Australian Mixed Martial Artist and UFC Veteran, Elvis Trujillo (born 1983) American jockey, Elvis Stojko (born 1972), former world champion figure skater from Canada, Elvis Vermeulen (born 1979), French rugby player, Elvis Merzļikins (born 1994), Latvian ice hockey player, Elvis Vieira Araújo (born 1990), Brazilian footballer, Elvis Khiangte (born 1990), Indian footballer, Elvis Costello (born 1954), the stage name of Declan Patrick MacManus, an English musician and singer, Elvis Crespo (born 1971), Puerto Rican Merengue singer, Elvis Maswanganyi, South African DJ, better known as DJ Mujava Elvis Otieno (a.k.a. "Sir Elvis") Kenyan singer of U.S.-style country music, Elvis Perkins (born 1976), American singer/songwriter, son of actor Anthony Perkins, Elvis J. Kurtovich (born 1962), the stage name of Mirko Srdić, a Bosnian musician and singer[9], Elvis Blue (born 1979), stage name of South African Idols' season 6 winner Jan Hoogen, Elvis Schmiedekamp, the former Cal Fed Vice President of Customer Relations, Elvis Duran (born 1964), host of Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, Elvis Mitchell (born 1958), American film critic, formerly with the New York Times, Elvis Polanski, son of director Roman Polanski
    • Wikipedia's listing of known people who were named after Elvis by their parents, or who changed their names to Elvis attract notorierity
  • He was a mild tempered, quiet, nice guy who treated everyone the same. I overheard one of Elvis' friends at the time ask Elvis 'Why do you call him 'mister' -- he's just a barbecue guy?' Elvis looked at him and said 'He's a man'. 'That', Withers says, 'Was the humility in his temperament'. 'Elvis was a great man and did more for civil rights than people know.
  • The first line of the record is sung without accompaniment, punctuated at the end by two beats, two chords on the piano. Exquisite. And this pattern is repeated through the verse, a cappella singing, piano crash, more a cappella singing; and then Elvis sings the chorus backed only by the beautiful, lonesome sound of a walking electric bass. The risk —only a great voice can hang out there that naked — is impressive and the payoff is phenomenal. None of which would matter, I suppose, if it weren’t that the voice that this perfect and daring bit of accompaniment supports is nothing short of awesome; spirit is walking throughout this recording, just put it on the phonograph, and the room fills with ozone. Darkness and gloom drip joyfully from every rafter. This "Heartbreak Hotel" voice is an instant old friend; it intimately and unforgettably announces the arrival of something big.
    • Paul Williams, writing about Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel", which ranked in fourth place in Crawdaddy Magazine's list of "The 100 best singles of all time"
  • I am not a part of that. To Louisville, I am f-ing Elvis Presley. So why would I pay anybody for anything?
    • professional basketball player Terrence Williams, as told to TMZSports, when questioned to comment on his being mentioned in Katina Powell’s “Breaking Cardinal Rules” book, as one alleged to have paid $500 for sex.
  • I met Elvis Presley at the "Dick Clark Show" at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, a place where a great musical extravaganza with some of the greatest artists of the day would always appear. So, we were sitting in the audience and Jackie Wilson had just finished his set and then Dick Clark came out, but before he introduced the next act he wanted to announce someone special had arrived, "Ladies and Gentlemen" The lights went down and all of a sudden spotlights went to the back of the room. I looked around and it was Elvis, He was looking cool and wearing shadess, snatched them off as if saying "Hello Everybody!, then came walking down the aisle to his table and when he saw Louise, he stopped and said "Hi Louise. Hi Nikki" and they started talking. I stood up and he said "Hi." I said "Hi, I'm Pepe. It's nice to meet you." I shook his hand. He said something else to Louise, and then said "See you later" and went to his table. By the time I was in Las Vegas, I had already met tons of celebrities, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells, Dionne Warwick and Wayne Newton. I also met Ike and Tina Turner. I drank champagne with Adam Clayton Powell and I met Redd Foxx. But, when I saw Elvis, I said, now that man's a star. It was a different kind of thing."
    • [[w:Pepe Willie|Pepe Willie] African American Soul/Funk/R&B Singer/Musician/Producer and President of Pepe Music Inc who was Prince' former mentor, talking in a phone interview on May12, 2013
  • I was recording with Terry Melcher at RCA Victor Records in 1975, so were We were working on the song "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" when suddenly Terry said, “Hey, Elvis is in the next studio recording.” That was a big surprise to hear he was in the studio next to me. So I walked into the studio and said, “Hi, I’m Brian Wilson” and he goes, “Hello Duke.” I don’t know why he called me Duke. I said, “Would you like to hear what I’m doing in the studio?” and he said yes. So we walked over to my studio and listened to what I was doing and then said he had to leave. It was a thrill to meet him. I liked Elvis Presley’s songs, but never saw him live. I thought he was a very underrated singer, more of a star. He was really known more for his fame than his voice. I think he deserved more credit for his voice.
    • Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys, on meeting Elvis. as published in the book, Elvis from those who knew him best.
  • A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man’s music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.”
  • Boris Yeltsin was best known for his role as the President of Russia, but he also had another unique claim to fame: Moscow’s biggest Elvis Presley fan. According to sources, Yeltsin was a huge fan of Presley and would often listen to his recording of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” during times of stress, such as in August, 1991, when he prevented a coup by standing on top of a tank. But while Yeltsin loved Presley, he hated staples with an equal amount of passion, as reflected in a memo from a Yeltsin aide demanding that no one use staples on any papers given to their fearless leader, as "this practice holds up the President’s very decisions.”
  • It was like an EARTHQUAKE!!! In my neighborhood the whole place was shakin' when he came on. And I said how can a person possess that kind of power that it even comes off the tv and grabs me in this ghetto neihborhood? Back in those days if it was a white artist doing some of our music many would say "Well, they don't like our blacks so we don't like their singers either. They're nothing but copy-cats anyway.' But with Elvis we ALL were going crazy over him. And I said 'Man, this cat's really got something!"
    • Bobby Womack, singer-songwriter, musician, producer, instrumentalist, sideman in the Gospel, R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, funk, soul blues, rock and jazz categories, as noted in the documentary The Echo will never die.
  • In essence, because at that time the backward mental capability that many people had of judging a person because of their skin color,and it does still exist, but back then it was even worse, BUT because he actually was a Caucasian brother, Elvis was able to do away with all that thinking towards music.
    • Stevie Wonder, Soul, Funk and R&B prolific singer/songwriter,as quoted on the documentary 'Elvis Presley & The Black Community - That Echo Will Never Die'
  • Every morning when I woke up and looked out the window, there were at least two hundred kids lined up on the sidewalk outside, staring at the house. Some of them would stay there all day long, just trying to get a glimpse of him. And when he would go out, he was very sweet to them. A lot of people I know would get angry, or impatient -- but Elvis was very nice to them, spent as much time with them as he could.
    • Actress Natalie Wood, as published in quotes about education.com
  • X-ray records felt like the real thing to (Soviet) rock-starved kids. When doing national service in Berlin, I came across a couple of bedraggled teenage Soviet soldiers who had just climbed over the fence. "Why did you want to take this risk?" I asked them, as they could so easily have been shot. ‘Because our officer won’t let us listen to Elvis Presley,’ one of them answered.
    • Excerpted from the book "How the Beatles rocked the Kremlin", by Leslie Woodhead, and as published by The Mail Online's 25 April, 2013' edition.
  • You didn’t make it before we came along, and if I wanted to back somebody, I would have picked somebody who can sing, like Elvis Presley.
    • Drummer Mick Woodmansey's way of telling David Bowie, with whom he then worked during the Spiders from Mars era, that they were not just a band, as he had suggested. From his autobiography published in October of 2016
  • That boy made his pull from the blues, and if he stopped, he stopped, but he made his pull from there..
  • Go into any Thai restaurant the world over and there will very likely be portraits and photos of King Bhumibol gazing down at diners with his benevolent smile, but one of the more common actually features him with Elvis Presley. The meeting came when lifelong music fan Bhumibol and his wife, Queen Sirikit, visited Hollywood’s Paramount Studios in 1960, while Elvis was filming G.I Blues. The king had been a fan of Presley for several years and was by then an accomplished saxophonist who later performed alongside jazz legend Lionel Hampton. In 1987, the late Hampton told the Thai magazine Sawasdee: “He is simply the coolest king in the land.”
    • Adam Wright, for the South China Morning Post, in an article published the day following King Bhumidol's death, at age 88, on 14 October 2016.
  • The Frank Lloyd Wright fans!! Undoubtedly. Why? Because they're on the side of Nature and the others are on the side of an artificiality that is doomed.
    • Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's nonsensical reply to Mike Wallace's question on which group of youth, the Lloyds Wright fans, counted at the most in the thousands, or Presley fans, counted in the tens of millions, did Lloyd Wright think were to "inherit" the country in 1972, in an interview which took place on January 9, 1957. He had less than 2 years to live.
  • Elvis was the kind of guy never looked past you, he looked right at you, was the warmest, most twinkling. He made you feel comfortable and at ease, which was amazing.He did not have any of that stuff where 'it's all about me'. He was a perfect gentleman. And he made you feel comfortable right away, at least he did with me. I'd go further and say that Elvis was clearly a guy with a rural or country attitude about life. He had that simple kinda point of view that said you stand up, you're polite to people. In spite of the money and the Cadillacs and all that, it was he and his pals, he never changed. And you could see that the minute he said hello to you. He was not a guy that would talk to you and look over your shoulder to see who else was in the room. Elvis Presley had a genuineness that was very noticeable and quite impressive the first time I met him. And Elaine and I went home really liking him and thinking 'what a terrific guy'. And everytime I saw him after that, he remembered everything, was always gracious and complimentary to people. It wasn't easy to get to see him, I mean, he had a very limited circle of friends. But when you did get in his company it was a real pleasure.
    • Steve Wynn, businessman and art collector and according to Wikipedia, one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, in a 2009 interview


X-Y-Z


  • My mother took me to see "Jailhouse Rock" when I was three. She loved Elvis. I guess I thought, like John Lennon, that that looked like a pretty good job. I bought my first Elvis record at seven. I got an old tennis racket and I'd go around the house playing it like a guitar, playing Elvis songs. I'd turn my collar up and do the lip sneer, the whole thing. I was a little boy being Elvis! I knew I was a little girl, but I was being myself. I never understood the gender difference, frankly. It never stopped me: I never thought, 'I'm a little girl, I can't do this.'
    • Susan Yasinski, lead singer and founder of Susan and the Surftones, explaining what drew her to rock music, at an early age, as published by Curve, a lesbian magazine on 20 September 2016.
  • I was always mesmerized by strong, pure, beautiful voices, (and) Elvis' voice, the emotion in it, was unbelievable; I’d never heard anything like it, and I was listening to my parents’ records, like "Heartbreak Hotel" and all the ’50 s stuff, the real raw Elvis...and that's how I gravitated into Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.
    • Tricia Yearwood, Country music superstar, telling Martin Bandyke of the Detroit Free Free Press who are her four biggest influences, as published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (27 May 2008).
  • I knew him when he was a kid. He used to play the guitar and go around with quartets and to Negro ‘sanctified’ meetings. He lived near the colored section, and people around here say he’s one of the nicest boys they ever knew. He just doesn’t impress me as the type of person who would say a thing like that.
    • W.A. Zuber, an African American, as told to reporter Louis Robinson and quoted in the latter's article debunking the rumor that Elvis was a racist, as published in Jet Magazine's issue of August 1, 1957
  • I shall always regret not having seen Elvis Presley live...
    • Canadian politician Gene Zwozdesky, answering the Edmonton's Star question on what would it be a concert he would have liked to attend, as published in that newspaper on 20 August, 2016.

IN FICTION AND SONG

Do you know how hard it is to fake your own death? Only one man has pulled it off — Elvis...
  • Do you know how hard it is to fake your own death? Only one man has pulled it off — Elvis.
  • Elvis are you out there somewhere
    Looking like a happy man?
    In the snow with Rosebud
    And King of the Mountain.
  • I'd like to wake up in the morning
    and hear on CNN
    that Elvis lives again
  • Little hellions, kids feelin' rebellious,
    Embarrassed their parents still listen to Elvis.
  • And as Charles de Gaulle made it into power, promising the colonial population in Algeria "the 1,001 nights", and even as the Bastille seemed like it was never, ever to be taken again yet, in spite of it all, the voice of Elvis kept singing "Good Rockin tonight"
    • portions of Claude Moine`s adaptation, in French (see below), of Eddy Mitchell`s cover of "Elvis' "Good Rocking tonight"
  • Et Charles de Gaulle prenait le pouvoir, promettant les milles-et-une-nuits au pieds-noirs, et la Bastille en a tellement vu, qu'on ne l'y reprendra jamais, jamais plus, et la voix d'Elvis chante "Good rocking tonight"
    • "Et la voix D'Elvis" released by Eddy Mitchell (1977)
  • So you were an artist. Big deal! Elvis was an artist. But that didn't stop him from volunteering for the military in time of service. And that's why he's The King, and you're a schmuck.
    • "Serendipity" in Dogma (1999)
  • Elvis is everywhere. Elvis is everything. Elvis is everybody. Elvis is still the King.
    • Mojo Nixon in "Elvis is Everywhere"
  • In Jailhouse Rock, he was everything rockabilly's about. Nah, nah, I mean, he is rockabilly: mean, surly, nasty, rude. In that movie, he couldn't give a fuck about nothin' except rockin' and rollin', livin' fast, dying young, and leaving a good-lookin' corpse, y'know?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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