Last Train To Memphis: The Rise Of Elvis Presley

Paperback | September 1, 1995

byPeter Guralnick

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From the moment that he first shook up the world in the mid 1950s, Elvis Presley has been one of the most vivid and enduring myths of American culture.

Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley is the first biography to go past that myth and present an Elvis beyond the legend. Based on hundreds of interviews and nearly a decade of research, it traces the evolution not just of the man but of the music and of the culture he left utterly transformed, creating a completely fresh portrait of Elvis and his world.

This volume tracks the first twenty-four years of Elvis' life, covering his childhood, the stunning first recordings at Sun Records ("That's All Right," "Mystery Train"), and the early RCA hits ("Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel"). These were the years of his improbable self-invention and unprecedented triumphs, when it seemed that everything that Elvis tried succeeded wildly. There was scarcely a cloud in sight through this period until, in 1958, he was drafted into the army and his mother died shortly thereafter. The book closes on that somber and poignant note.

Last Train to Memphis takes us deep inside Elvis' life, exploring his lifelong passion for music of every sort (from blues and gospel to Bing Crosby and Mario Lanza), his compelling affection for his family, and his intimate relationships with girlfriends, mentors, band members, professional associates, and friends. It shows us the loneliness, the trustfulness, the voracious appetite for experience, and above all the unshakable, almost mystical faith that Elvis had in himself and his music. Drawing frequently on Elvis' own words and on the recollections of those closest to him, the book offers an emotional, complex portrait of young Elvis Presley with a depth and dimension that for the first time allow his extraordinary accomplishments to ring true.

Peter Guralnick has given us a previously unseen world, a rich panoply of people and events that illuminate an achievement, a place, and a time as never revealed before. Written with grace, humor, and affection, Last Train to Memphis has been hailed as the definitive biography of Elvis Presley. It is the first to set aside the myths and focus on Elvis' humanity in a way that has yet to be duplicated.

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From Our Editors

Elvis is such an integral part of our culture that we just can't let him go: Elvis sightings continue throughout the world. In this comprehensive biography Peter Guralnick takes a revealing look at the myth of Elvis Presley and far beyond. Travel way back in time to the mid-50s, when Elvis first rotated his hips on a stage, then follow...

From the Publisher

From the moment that he first shook up the world in the mid 1950s, Elvis Presley has been one of the most vivid and enduring myths of American culture.Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley is the first biography to go past that myth and present an Elvis beyond the legend. Based on hundreds of interviews and nearly a decade o...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:576 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.38 inPublished:September 1, 1995Publisher:Little, Brown And Company

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316332259

ISBN - 13:9780316332255

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 13

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very intimate look I absolutely loved this Elvis book(s). I've read so many and this one is by far my favorite because there is SO much information. The Elvis legend sometimes seems to have taken over the man but this book, there are lots of very intimate, personal stories that I had never heard before. Very detailed information that really takes you closer to knowing the man than some of the other sensationalized books. I love Elvis, but I also love the psychology of ELVIS which is what impressed me about this book. There is the good mixed with the bad and I got a totally new understanding of what happened with his life. If you are an Elvis fan, if you are a music history fan, if you love a good story, this is the book for you.
Date published: 2013-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Elvis has not left the building I read this book a couple of years ago, and I was completely addicted to it. I literally read it from morning til night until I finished it. This is the first part of a two part Elvis biography. I consider this to be the difinnative Elvis biography. Throw all the others out. This is all you need. It ends when Elvis gets drafted intio the army. It chronicles his rise in such detail, it's intrancing. A definate must have for Elvis fans.
Date published: 2008-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comprehensive & Compelling A terrific and unbiased look at Elvis's early life . This book presents a great deal of background and information leading up to Elvis' phenomenol success, in a clear and comprehensive way and should satisfy any Elvis fan. The book is very well researched and includes some very good black and white photos of Elvis that I haven't seen before.
Date published: 2006-07-15

Extra Content

From Our Editors

Elvis is such an integral part of our culture that we just can't let him go: Elvis sightings continue throughout the world. In this comprehensive biography Peter Guralnick takes a revealing look at the myth of Elvis Presley and far beyond. Travel way back in time to the mid-50s, when Elvis first rotated his hips on a stage, then follow his career as he rose to super-stardom. The author spent almost a decade researching and interviewing people for Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley. The result is a stunningly complex and complete look at the artist's first 24 years of life.