Personal relationships of Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley had many close relationships throughout his career.
Devotion to his mother
In a newspaper interview with The Memphis Press Scimitar, Elvis himself was open about the close relationship to his mother. "She was the number-one girl in his life, and he was dedicating his career to her." Throughout her life, "the son would call her by pet names", and they communicated by baby talk. Presley even shared his mother's bed "up until Elvis was a young teen", simply because the family was so extremely poor that they couldn't afford the luxury of two beds. According to Elaine Dundy, "it was agony for her to leave her child even for a moment with anyone else, to let anyone else touch Elvis." Presley himself said, "My mama never let me out of her sight. I couldn't go down to the creek with the other kids." His father talked about Elvis's close relationship to his mother "after his son became famous, almost as if it were a source of wonder that anyone could be that close."
During Presley's rising career, Gladys became despairing, depressed and lonely and began to neglect her health. She put on weight and began to drink every day. She'd wanted Elvis to succeed, "but not so that he would be apart from her. The hysteria of the crowd frightened her." Doctors diagnosed liver problems, and Gladys's condition eventually worsened so much that she was admitted to hospital in August 1958. At that time, Elvis was in Fort Hood, Texas, to fulfill his military obligations, but he got emergency leave to see her, and a special plane was chartered to bring him home on August 12. Gladys died on August 14. Elvis and Vernon were deeply upset by her death, with Elvis "sobbing and crying hysterically", and eye-witnesses relate that he was "grieving almost constantly" for days. During and shortly after the funeral, Judy Spreckels and Nick Adams, Presley's best friends at that time, attempted to comfort the singer.
High school and early stardom
Presley's early experiences being teased by his classmates for being a "mama's boy" had a deep influence on his clumsy advances to girls. He didn't have any friends as a teen. Beginning in his early teens, Presley embarked upon the "indefatigable pursuit of girls", but was totally rebuffed. At school, anyone wishing to provoke a little girl to tears of rage had only to chalk "Elvis loves -" and then the girl's name on the blackboard when the teacher was out of the room." However, according to Greil Marcus, Elvis, "whatever his mother might have thought", seems to have spent some time "as a teenager in Memphis's black neighborhoods, having sex with black girls."
His first sweetheart was the fifteen-year-old Dixie Locke, whom the singer dated steadily since graduating from Humes and during his Sun Records time. While still a rising star, Presley also had a relationship with June Juanico, who is said to have been the only girl his mother ever approved of, but according to Juanico's own words, she "never had sex with Presley." In June Juanico's book Elvis in the Twilight of Memory she stated she was afraid of getting pregnant. However, since the singer's death many claims to relationships have been made by women who were no more than acquaintances or had short affairs which were exaggerated for personal gain. Juanico even blames Elvis's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, for encouraging Presley to go out with beautiful women only "for the publicity".
Between 1954 and 1956, when his stardom began to rise, Presley became the subject of adulation and adoration of young Hollywood starlets such as Natalie Wood, Judy Tyler, Shelley Fabares, and Connie Stevens. His mother believed that Wood was a schemer who hoped to "snare" the singer only "for publicity purposes." When a columnist wanted to know if the romance with Presley was "serious," Natalie's cool answer was, "Not right now." "But who knows what will happen?" One of her judgments of Elvis was, "He can sing but he can't do much else."
The women in his life
Several authors have written that "Elvis busied his evenings with various girlfriends" or that his "list of one-night stands would fill volumes." Actress Anne Helm, for instance, has stated that Presley "really liked sex." "I had fun", she says. "And it was special." She has further claimed that Elvis loved the flouncy, yellow baby-doll nightie he had bought her and that he gave her pills after having made love to her.
However it is unclear whether the "sex symbol" actually had sex with most of the women he dated. His early girlfriends Judy Spreckels and June Juanico say that they had no sexual relationships with Presley. Though in an interview in the movie: Elvis 1956 June Juanico did say: "I will not say what happened between us. It is personal." Byron Raphael and Alanna Nash have stated that the star "would never put himself inside one of these girls..." Albert Goldman speculated that Elvis preferred voyeurism over normal sexual relations with women. Goldman went on to suggest that during his military service, Elvis had "discovered prostitutes and picked up the intense fear of sexually transmitted diseases which led to claims that he had a morbid fear of sexual penetration." Alanna Nash, in her book, 'Baby, Let's Play House': Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him (2010), reveals a need in Presley to play Pygmalion and father to very young girls, whom he delighted in making over. A late-blooming "Mama's boy," she argues, young Elvis was a flop with girls and super-religious. Because of a fear of sexually transmitted diseases, he wouldn't actually go "inside" women, never undressed, and was more into watching elaborate tableaux, often involving feet.
June Juanico "recalls a time when she stood up to Elvis in front of his band of hangers-on, who even then were beginning to accompany him everywhere. He grabbed her arm, took her into the bathroom and declared: 'Look, you are so right, I am really sorry.' He kept her there for five minutes, then swaggered out, his image intact." Julie Parrish, Presley's co-star in Paradise Hawaiian Style, relates, "One time on set I had a real pain in my side - a side-effect, I think - and Elvis scooped me up, carried me into his trailer and shut the door. Outside the crew was waiting and wondering, but Elvis was oblivious to the innuendo. He placed his hand over my side and tried to do some healing on me." Playboy star and actress June Wilkinson remembered that she "met Elvis on the set of King Creole. He invited me to dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. ... Then Elvis gave me a tour of his suite, sat me on the bed in his bedroom and sang to me for two hours. That was it. The next day ... we had dinner again. He was very sweet, and he was friendly. He had more than sex on his mind. He got me to the airport on time, and our paths never crossed again."
However, the singer was not always sweet and friendly towards women. When Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of Joan Crawford, visited Presley, they were watching Bonanza in the TV room. "Elvis had been puffing on a cigar ... as Christina tickled him and kidded around, apparently seeking more direct attention." Suddenly, as Buzz Cason relates, "she slung the contents of her cocktail glass right into Elvis's face. ... The cigar went 'phhhtttt' and he jumped up. ... He grabbed her by the hair. 'Get this bitch out of here!' he screamed, leading her toward the front door as she struggled to keep up with the rather quick pace as he was pulling her locks. Turmoil ensued as the 'boys' scrambled to assist trying to prevent too big of a scene."
Peggy Lipton claims that Presley was "virtually impotent" with her. She attributed his impotence to his boyishness and heavy drug abuse. Cassandra Peterson, better known as "Elvira', says she knew Presley for only one night and all they did was talk.
These claims are directly contradicted by comments from actresses like Cybill Shepherd, who acknowledged her affair with the singer and said to have introduced Elvis to certain amorous techniques. However, the "much-quoted claims that she taught him the joys of oral sex is viewed with skepticism by other lovers of the King." In an interview, Shepherd reveals that Presley kissed her all over her naked body - but refused to have oral sex with her. His slow tender kisses ended at her bellybutton. Elvis explained to her, "Me and the guys talk and, well, we don't eat pussy." She always knew their relationship was doomed and they wouldn't last as a couple. She says, "The fact is, Elvis got hooked on speed in the army. ... Then it got out of control. Did I want to be with someone who would have dragged me down? The only way to have stayed with Elvis was by doing drugs.".
In her memoir, Ann-Margret (Presley's co-star in Viva Las Vegas) refers to Presley as her "soulmate", but very little is revealed about their long-rumored romance, only that "in a moment of tenderness" he bought her a round bed in hot pink colors.
On the other hand, Elvis dated many female co-stars from his movies primarily for publicity purposes. 17-year-old actress Lori Williams and the singer, for instance, went together for a while "between the making of Roustabout and Kissin' Cousins." She says their "courtship was not some bizarre story. It was very sweet and Elvis was the perfect gentleman." She also claims that Ann-Margret "was the love of his life." Significantly, there was a great publicity campaign about the romance between Elvis and Ann-Margret during the 1963 filming of Viva Las Vegas and the following weeks, which helped to increase the popularity of the young Hollywood beauty. Ann-Margret remained close to Presley for the remainder of his life and also attended his funeral.
The vast majority of books (including both of Guralnick's books) on Presley contain details of his many romances and alleged affairs including many while he was married to Priscilla. It has also been reported that Presley "adored to fondle and suck women's toes, and those in his entourage who were given the job of choosing companions for him would often be asked to check the girls' feet." However, according to Alan Fortas, an all-Memphis football halfback who became a bodyguard and part of the Presley entourage, "Elvis needed someone to baby more than he needed a sex partner. He craved the attention of someone who adored him without the threat of sexual pressure, much as a mother would." Furthermore, "Elvis befriended some of the young girls who used to cluster adoringly in his driveway, or outside the fence ... Some of the girls were as young as fourteen. Fortas said they were frequent houseguests who attended his concerts as part of 'Elvis's personal traveling show.' Out in the backyard, they romped with Elvis in the Doughboy pool and challenged him to watermelon-seed spitting contests. They also slipped into his bedroom ... for rambunctious pillow fights. Sometimes they would all sit cross-legged with him on the bed, flipping through his fan magazines or admiring his stuffed-animal collection. Often they would all lie down together and cuddle. But what went on was horseplay, not foreplay." Therefore, Guralnick writes that for "the more experienced girls it wasn't like with other Hollywood stars or even with other more sophisticated boys they knew." Although they offered to do things for Presley, "he wasn't really interested. What he liked to do was to lie in bed and watch television and eat and talk all night..."
Dolores Hart was the female love interest from Elvis's second and fourth movies, and was his first onscreen kiss. She asserts that she did not have an intimate relationship with her costar. Five years after her last movie with Elvis, she left Hollywood to become a Benedictine nun. The 2011 documentary God Is the Bigger Elvis covers their relationship.
Anita Wood, another girl whom the singer's mother hoped Presley would eventually marry, was with him as he rose to superstardom, served in the US military and returned home in 1960. If he was planning to marry a girl, he wanted her to remain a virgin. Anita Wood lived at Graceland for a time, though the star, according to his own words, didn't make love to her. She moved out after confronting him over Priscilla Presley, then known as Priscilla Beaulieu.
Elvis and Priscilla Ann Wagner first met in 1959 while Elvis was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. Priscilla was only 14 years old when the singer began dating her. He was 24, and at that time, he even had a younger girl living in his house. As a result, authors such as Albert Goldman labeled Presley as a "pedophile" or "pervert." Indeed, Elvis' relationships were usually with relatively young women: "In his love life," Reuben Fine has observed, "he quickly became attached to teenage girls, and he loved to have them wearing white panties in bed with him. For a long time he would not have sex with them, whom he described as 'jail bait.' " In similar terms, Brent D. Taylor has stated that "Elvis's closest female relationships were usually with young girls of around 13 or 14, ending as they reached late teens. He didn't have sex with these young girls, but had pajama parties, pillow fights and indulged in 'girl talk', just as he did with Gladys." "As a perpetual youth", Elvis was "attracted to young women", and "Elvis felt comfortable with these adolescent girls" because he "was so insecure ... That’s why he needed younger girls." Elvis biographer Alanna Nash also confirms that the singer had a predilection for young adolescent girls. The author says that Presley was overly attached to his mother and could not relate normally to mature women; presumably, Presley sought out very young girls because he felt threatened by women who were older.
In 1962 or 1963, Elvis managed to talk the understandably reluctant Beaulieus into allowing their teenage daughter to live with his father, Vernon, and stepmother, Dee Presley, at a home Elvis purchased on Hermitage Drive in Memphis located at the back of Graceland. However, that arrangement lasted only a matter of weeks, Priscilla slipping back and forth between Vernon’s house and Graceland. In her 1985 autobiography, Elvis and Me, written with author Sandra Harmon, Priscilla describes Presley as a very passionate man who was not overtly sexual towards her. According to her account, the singer told her that they had to wait until they were married before having intercourse. He said, "I'm not saying we can't do other things. It's just the actual encounter. I want to save it." Priscilla says in her autobiography that she and Elvis did not have sex until their wedding night. However, this claim is questioned by biographers such as Suzanne Finstad and Alanna Nash.
They married on May 1, 1967, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and daughter Lisa Marie was born nine months later on February 1, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. In her book, Elvis and Me, Priscilla describes her daily life with her husband. She also says that Presley became fascinated with the occult and metaphysical phenomena and an addict to prescription drugs, which dramatically changed his personality from playful to being passive and introverted. "Her sex life with Elvis still consisted largely of foreplay or videotaped sex games between herself and another girl. It was not Priscilla's ideal. 'At first I took this personally, but even the relationships he had after me ... were not consummated. Long-term relationships. Like the relationship with Ginger [Alden] ... there really wasn't sex involved.' " The Presleys separated on February 23, 1972, and divorced on October 9, 1973, agreeing to share custody of their daughter. When Priscilla left him for her karate teacher Mike Stone, the singer's "ego was damaged beyond repair. ... Considering Presley's status as a universal sex symbol ..., it is unlikely he was able to put this situation in any type of perspective other than having not been 'man enough' to hold his woman." According to Billy Stanley, he "wasn't the same person" as before. Priscilla says that she confronted Elvis about the divorce. According to her account, he forced himself upon her; "'This is how a real man makes love to a woman,' he said."
Freudian and other sexual psychologists say that Presley is a "classic example of the mother/Madonna/whore split". He "adored his mother and never recovered from her early death." He met Priscilla "when she was 14. She became a mother at 23. It is said that Elvis never made love to her again after the birth of his daughter, and would never have sex with a woman who had had a baby. He did not remarry after his divorce from Priscilla and did not have any more children." However, Priscilla Ann Wagner states in her autobiography that they did make love again after the birth of their daughter, and actress Barbara Leigh, who had a relationship with the singer after the birth of her own child, claimed that they made love often, despite Elvis' being aware of her child. Both accounts contradict claims made that Elvis would not have sex with a woman who had had a child. The above account from Priscilla would also contradict the claim.
Linda Thompson and Ginger Alden
Six months after Priscilla left, Presley dated beauty queen Linda Thompson. Although she was supposedly a virgin when they met, it has been claimed that they "started with marathon love-making sessions in Vegas hotel rooms." According to her own words, however, they did not consummate their relationship until after a few months of dating. She shared Presley's passion for gospel music and higher religious understanding, moved into Graceland in August 1972 and remained the singer's steady companion for roughly three and a half years. However, their relationship "disintegrated into a sexless and gloomy existence." According to Thompson, "There were times when he was very, very difficult. There was a lot of heartache and he exhibited a lot of self-destructive behaviour, which was very difficult for me, you know, watching someone I loved so much destroy himself." In 1976, she left Presley as Elvis wanted her to. "Some doubt he ever had sex again," and his "Fiancee" beauty queen Ginger Alden, the woman Elvis had allegedly planned on marrying and who found Elvis's lifeless body on August 16, 1977, "is too polite to say."
The Memphis Mafia and other male friends
Apart from his relationships with women, Presley had many male friends. He reportedly spent day and night with friends and employees whom the news media affectionately dubbed the Memphis Mafia. Among them were Sonny West, Red West, Billy Smith, Marty Lacker and Lamar Fike. Gerald Marzorati says that Elvis "couldn't go anywhere else without a phalanx of boyhood friends." Even the girls he dated deplored, "Whenever you were with Elvis for the most part you were with his entourage. Those guys were always around..."
According to Peter Guralnick, for Elvis and the guys "Hollywood was just an open invitation to party all night long. Sometimes they would hang out with Sammy Davis, Jr., or check out Bobby Darin at the Cloister. Nick Adams and his gang came by the suite all the time, not to mention the eccentric actor Billy Murphy ..." When Buzz Cason asked Lamar Fike "how Elvis did it – this partying nearly every night," he "answered, 'A little somethin' to get down and a little something to get up.' Obviously, he was referring to the pills that started a trend that sadly in only a few years would lead to Elvis's untimely death."
Samuel Roy says that "Elvis' bodyguards, Red and Sonny West and Dave Hebler, apparently loved Elvis—especially Red ... ; these bodyguards showed loyalty to Elvis and demonstrated it in the ultimate test. When bullets were apparently fired at Elvis in Las Vegas, the bodyguards threw themselves in front of Elvis, forming a shield to protect him." The author adds that the people who surrounded Presley "lived, for the most part, in isolation from the rest of the world, losing touch with every reality except that of his 'cult' and his power."
According to Presley expert Elaine Dundy, "Of all Elvis' new friends, Nick Adams, by background and temperament the most insecure, was also his closest." Guralnick says that the singer "was hanging out more and more with Nick and his friends" and that Elvis was glad Colonel Tom Parker "liked Nick." June Wilkinson also confirms that the singer "had an entourage who spoke with Southern accents. The only one I remember was Nick Adams, the actor." In her recent Elvis biography, Kathleen Tracy writes that Adams was Elvis's regular friend and often met the singer backstage or at Graceland. "He and Elvis would go motorcycle riding late at night and stay up until all hours talking about the pain of celebrity." Both men also enjoyed prescription drugs, and Elvis often asked Adams "to stay over on nights." According to Alanna Nash's Baby, Let's Play House (2010), one of Presley's most bizarre relationships involved Adams and Natalie Wood. "When Nick took Elvis to a hotel in Malibu where Natalie was spending the weekend with her bisexual boyfriend, actor Scott Marlowe, Natalie got along well with Elvis - and Marlowe was soon out of the equation," says the source. "Nick, who was also rumored to be bisexual, Natalie and Elvis became a hot threesome, having a lot of fun together." Therefore, Tracy writes that "It has since been speculated in Hollywood gossip that Presley and Adams may have shared some sort of intimate encounter. But there's no definitive evidence one way or another," although, according to Hollywood celebrity biographer Darwin Porter and former New York Times reporter Danforth Prince, actor Sal Mineo had confirmed that Adams and Presley "were having oral sex and mutual masturbation" and William Dakota, who for some years worked as a fan mail secretary for Nick Adams, claims in his recent book, The Gossip Columnist (2010), that Elvis was bisexual and had a relationship with Adams. According to Billy Smith, George C. Nichopoulos, Elvis's personal physician for the last 10 years of his life, "hinted to an editor at one of the tabloids that Elvis was gay." However, Smith suggests that these claims were made because Nichopoulos thought it would "sell his story" and because he needed the money. In the book Revelations from the Memphis Mafia members of the Memphis Mafia, who were sometimes rumored to be gay themselves, more than once insisted that the "gay rumors" that "got going when Elvis started hanging out with Nick Adams" were false, suggesting that it was not uncommon for gay men to be attracted to Presley, but that he was "prejudiced about homosexuals."
In Albert Goldman's biography of Presley, a segment focuses on the feminine traits of the singer. It goes on to suggest that Presley may have been "a latent or active homosexual." "What Elvis projected through his epoch-making act," Professor Goldman says, "was not just the enormous sexual excitement of puberty but its androgynous quality. Much of Elvis' power over young girls came not just from the act that he embodied their erotic fantasies but that he likewise projected frankly feminine traits with which they could identify. ... When you dig down to the sexual roots of an Elvis Presley, you sense a profound sexual ambivalence." This opinion is supported by academic gender experts such as Marjorie Garber.
"Many teen idols were rumored to be gay, or 'funny,' as the slang of the day might term them. The teen magazines seemed to actively encourage such rumors, ... characterizing each teen idol ... as shy, quiet, sensitive, artistic – all code terms for gay. Elvis performed with swiveling hips and fluttering wrists, gestures so flamboyant that he had to be surrounded by a dozen girls at all times just to minimize suspicion."
All of the singer's friendships are documented by many photographs.
- The writer called Elvis "a hillbilly cat", poked fun at Elvis's closeness to his mama and insinuated Elvis was "talented but simple." Summarized by Earl Greenwood, The Boy Who Would Be King, p.155.
- Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis, p.13.
- Patrick Humphries, Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics, p.117.
- Elaine Dundy, Elvis and Gladys, p.71.
- See Guralnick, p.13.
- Robert Rodriguez, The 1950s' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Rock & Roll Rebels, Cold War Crises, and All-American Oddities (2006), p.87
- See Rodriguez, The 1950s' Most Wanted, p.87.
- Guralnick, p.478.
- Guralnick, p.480.
- In a personal letter of August 25, 1958, to his secretary, Colonel Parker wrote that "Nicky Admas [sic] came out to be with Elvis last Week wich [sic] was so very kind of him to be there with his friend ... Judy Spreckels also came all the way to Memphis to be with Elvis for the Funeral [,] this was very kind of her also. And I know Elvis did appreciate this so very much."
- Elaine Dundy, Elvis and Gladys, p.125. For interviews with teachers and former fellow students at Milam Junior High school in Tupelo, Mississippi, see Dundy, p.124.
- Greil Marcus, Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession (Harvard University Press, 1999), 58.
- Quoted in Ruthe Stein, "Girls! Girls! Girls! From small-town women to movie stars, Elvis loved often but never true," San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 1997.
- According to Ruthe Stein, "So many women, famous and not, have been linked to Presley that you wonder how he found time to have a career." The author also cites June Juanico who said, "I doubt Elvis was sleeping with those showgirls, either. The colonel had told him, 'For God's sake, don't get anyone pregnant' -- and Elvis wouldn't go against the colonel." See Ruthe Stein, "Girls! Girls! Girls! From small-town women to movie stars, Elvis loved often but never true," San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 1997.
- Stein, "Girls! Girls! Girls!" San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 1997.
- Gavin Lambert, Natalie Wood: A Life, p.205.
- Lambert, p.206. The author adds, "By this time, Natalie had learned an important lesson in handling the press. Titillating curiosity without satisfying it was always more effective than the standard denial of 'We're just good friends.' "
- Lana Wood, Natalie – A Memoir by Her Sister (1984).
- Connie Kirchberg and Marc Hendrickx, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, and the American Dream (1999), p.62.
- Jim Curtin, Elvis: Unknown Stories behind the Legend, p.119.
- See Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske, Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley (1998), p.242-244, 449.
- See, for instance, Byron Raphael with Alanna Nash, "In Bed with Elvis," Playboy, November 2005, Vol. 52, Iss. 11. Ruthe Stein, "Girls! Girls! Girls! From small-town women to movie stars, Elvis loved often but never true," San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 1997.
- Byron Raphael with Alanna Nash, "In Bed with Elvis," Playboy, November 2005, Vol. 52, Iss. 11, p.64-68, 76, 140. The article claims that "the so-called dangerous rock-and-roll idol was anything but a despotic ruler in the bedroom ... He was far more interested in heavy petting and panting and groaning" and "he would never put himself inside one of these girls ... within minutes he’d be asleep."
- Tracy McVeigh, "Elvis Special: Love me tender." The Observer, Sunday August 11, 2002.
- Paul Parla and Charles P. Mitchell, Screen Sirens Scream!: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction, Horror, Film Noir and Mystery Movies, 1930s to 1960s (2000), p.235.
- Buzz Cason, Living the Rock 'N' Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Cason (2004), p.81.
- In her memoir, Breathing Out (St. Martin's Press, 2005), p.172, Peggy Lipton further relates that Presley was like a "teenage boy". "He didn't feel like a man next to me - more like a boy who'd never matured." When he tried to make love with Lipton, "he just wasn't up to sex. Not that he wasn't built, but with me, at least, he was virtually impotent."
- Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 1997.
- In her book, Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think, Cybill Shepherd talks about an affair with Elvis who "charmed" her by telling her in one of his pill-popping hazes about the time a doctor gave him an injection directly into the pupil of his eye.
- See "Hollywood Actress Reveals Her Elvis Sex Secrets" WENN, April 25, 2000, and October 31, 2001.
- Ann Margret with Todd Gold, Ann Margret: My Story (1994)
- Ruthe Stein, "Girls! Girls! Girls! From small-town women to movie stars," San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 1997.
- Tom Lisanti, Drive-In Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties (2003), p.207.
- See Priscilla Presley, Elvis and Me, p.175 f.
- In his critical study on the "dream machine" that publicists, tabloid newspapers, journalists, and TV interviewers use to create semi-fictional icons, often playing with inauthenticity, Joshua Gamson cites a press agent "saying that his client, Ann-Margret, could initially have been "sold ... as anything"; "She was a new product. We felt there was a need in The Industry for a female Elvis Presley." See Joshua Gamson, Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America (University of California Press, 1994), p.46. See also C. Lee Harrington and Denise D. Bielby, Popular Culture: Production and Consumption (2000), p.273.
- See Peter H. Brown and Pat H. Broeske, Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley (1997), p.69.
- Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis, p.415.
- "You mean you didn't make love to [Anita Wood] the whole four years you went with her?" "Just to a point. Then I stopped. It was difficult for her too, but that's just how I feel." See Priscilla Presley, Elvis and Me, p.98.
- See Scotty Moore, That’s Alright, Elvis: The Untold Story of Elvis’s First Guitarist and Manager, Scotty Moore, p.162
- Albert Goldman, Elvis (Tim McGraw- Faith Hill, 1981), p.346.
- Reuben Fine, Love and Work: The Value System of Psychoanalysis (1990), p.129.
- Brent D. Taylor, The Creative Edge: 17 Biographies of Cultural Icons (2012), Chapter 1: Elvis Presley.
- David H. Rosen, The Tao of Elvis (2002), p.xxi.
- Suzanne Finstad, Child Bride (1997), p.94.
- Alanna Nash, "The Secret Sex Life of Elvis." Penthouse, August 1997, 22-29.
- See Alanna Nash, The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley (2003), p.206.
- Elvis And Me, p.130.
- "In her book and in other public forums, Priscilla, perpetuating the myth, would say that her first night of marriage in the upstairs master bedroom of the Palm Springs house was the moment when she lost her virginity - conveniently overlooking her previous sexual relationships with ... Tommy Stewart, Peter von Wechmar, Jamie Lindberg, and possibly Ron Tapp." Yet "Priscilla's tale of being a virgin bride until her wedding night, after having lived with Elvis for over four years, was given a patina of credibility by the birth of Lisa Marie, uncannily, nine months later." See Finstad, Child Bride, p.211. In an interview, Nash has stated, "Suzanne Finstad helped me see that Priscilla's story of being the virgin bride just doesn't hold up under scrutiny."
- Finstad, Child Bride, p.194.
- Connie Kirchberg and Marc Hendrickx, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, and the American Dream, p.109.
- Cited in Connie Kirchberg and Marc Hendrickx, p.109.
- Wayne, Jane Ellen, The Leading Men of MGM (2005), p.394.
- Carol Martin-Sperry, Couples and Sex: An Introduction to Relationship Dynamics and Psychosexual Concepts (2004), p.24.
- Presley, Priscilla (1985). Elvis and Me. Putnam Pub Group. p. 259. ISBN 978-0-399-12984-1.
- Guralnick, Peter (2000). Careless Love: Unmaking of Elvis Presley. Abacus. p. 409. ISBN 978-0-349-11168-1.
- Tracy McVeigh, "Elvis Special: Love me tender." The Observer, Sunday August 11, 2002.
- For more details, see Connie Kirchberg and Marc Hendrickx, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, and the American Dream, p. 109-110.
- Although Alden and Larry Geller claim that the singer planned to marry her and that she was engaged to Presley at the time of his death, their story is somewhat contradicted by Presley's close friends. Charlie Hodge says that Elvis "had made up his mind to end things with Ginger." According to his account, Elvis himself said, "I'm never going to marry her." See Kirchberg and Hendrickx, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, and the American Dream, p. 157-158.
- McVeigh, "Elvis Special" The Observer, Sunday August 11, 2002.
- For the guys around him, see, for instance, Alanna Nash, Elvis Aron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia (Harpercollins, 1995).
- See the many sources cited in the Wikipedia article on the Memphis Mafia.
- Gerald Marzorati, "Heartbreak Hotel", The New York Times, January 3, 1999.
- Tom Lisanti, Drive-In Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties (2003), p. 80.
- Peter Guralnick, Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, p.72.
- Buzz Cason, Living the Rock 'N' Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Cason (2004), p.80.
- Samuel Roy, Elvis, Prophet of Power (1989), p.87.
- Elaine Dundy, Elvis and Gladys, p.250.
- Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley, p.336, 339.
- See Kathleen Tracy Elvis Presley: A Biography (2006), p.122.
- Tracy Elvis Presley: A Biography,p.123.
- See Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince, Hollywood Babylon, It's Back (2008).
- See Alanna Nash, Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia (1995), p.752
- Nash, Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia, p.162, 196, etc.
- Cited in Greil Marcus, Dead Elvis (1999), p.50.
- Goldman, Elvis, p.345-346.
- See Marjorie Garber, Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety (1997), p.423, note 46.
- Jeffery P. Dennis, Queering Teen Culture: All-American Boys and Same-sex Desire in Film and Television (2006), chapter 5, "Heartbreak Hotel: The Teen Idols," p.69.
- Emma Cowing, "Love me tender"
- Official site (Elvis Presley Enterprises)
- Elvis Presley at the Internet Movie Database
- ElvisPedia - Elvis's own wiki
- Complete Elvis Bio and Discography at Music.com