Talk:Elvis Presley/Archive 14

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This is an Archive. Do not edit it. Thank you.


Mass deletions

If you're going to delete a wodge from this or any article:

  1. Explain yourself in the discussion page
  2. Be candid and informative in the edit summary
  3. Clear up any mess after yourself (please see the end of the footnotes)

Thank you. -- Hoary 06:55, 29 April 2006 (UTC) (Footnote problem fixed Hoary 07:53, 29 April 2006 (UTC))

List of controversial subjects

Heh, saw this article on the list of controversial subjects, and wanted to make an offer to be a neutral party here when appropriate. I have never edited this article, nor do I care to. I don't care whether Elvis is gay or straight, Fat Elvis or Skinny Elvis, obsessed or not obsessed with James Dean. I just don't care. For that reason, I can be neutral about whether Wikipedia rules are being applied appropriately here. Why am I interested -- because I DO edit on controverisal 9/11 conspiracy theory articles, and know that a neutral would be useful there, but seldom seen. Call it my offer to be a good Wikipedian. Cheers. Morton devonshire 02:34, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Splendid! Stick around. -- Hoary 03:45, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Further Reading and other minor changes

I made a slight change to the description of Peter Guralnik in the Further Reading section. The existing text was not NPOV. I also edited the text in the Misc. section regarding Groucho Marx as the previous text seemed somewhat biased.--Lochdale 06:01, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Editors much work

Elvis Presley, for all his flaws as a human being, deserves better than to keep putting material refuted by himself, Jet magazine, and others into this article - it does not belong - it gives the apparence of a false notion - it is non-notable (ie. racism allegations). Further, I would like to find editors who wish to help improve this article and do right by this man, to make is biography accurate, non-POV and worthy of such an American legend. --Northmeister 00:04, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Critical remarks on the singer and his audiences should not be deleted. They are part of Elvis's history, especially in view of the fact that they were widely discussed. In his peer-reviewed study, Race, Rock, and Elvis (University of Illinois Press, 2000), Michael Bertrand, for instance, says that "no subject associated with Presley causes greater controversy and conflict than that of race". See above.Onefortyone 00:31, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
User Onefortyone seems to be confused as to what 'peer-reviewed' actually means. It means that a particular piece of work has met minimum standards of academic credibility. It does not mean that the reviewers agree with the content of the work. Put another way, there have been peer reviewed works on UFOs but that does not mean those works are accurate or credible. So saying that there was a paper about Elvis that mentioned race (though did not mention that Elvis was a racist) and that said paper was peer reviewed is simply not relevant and is an attempt at distortion. Lochdale
What are you talking about? Did you read the positive reviews of Race, Rock and Elvis I have cited below? Of course, you didn't read them. Otherwise you would not have written such things. Instead of constantly denigrating peer-reviewed studies and other books on Elvis, you should provide direct quotes from books you have used. That would be more helpful. Onefortyone 16:29, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm talking about your use of the term 'peer-review'. Just because something is peer-review it is not a reflection on the premise of the work itself. You seem to be confused by this concept. Lochdale


That is in your fantasy. They were refuted and should not be in this encyclopedic article. If you wish to pronosticate then do so elsewhere, maybe on myspace. --Northmeister 05:19, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Northmeister, my contributions are based on several independent books written on Elvis. On your user page, you are admitting that you are "an American by heart (and birth)" and that you have been "a lifelong fan of Elvis Presley." Could it therefore be that you endeavor to remove critical voices from the article which put Elvis in a negative light, although these voices are based on several independent sources, among them Elvis biographies by reputable authors and a critical study on Elvis's alleged racism published by a university press? Onefortyone 12:50, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
What I am trying to do is reorganize this article to be presentable. I would like to see this page reduced in size, and to cover what an encyclopedia should cover, this is not a book to cover everything about Elvis, if there is to much information, then sub-articles are needed on that stuff. I am a fan, that is true, although I am young (was three when he passed), so I accept your balance here. The racism cruft, needs to be notable, and since the actual source provided actually refutes the claim of racism, it does not warrant a header, nor as much coverage as it gets. I can work on language and where some of it might belong. I am not your adversary here - I liked some of the edits you just made. But, we must discuss what is controversial here, and gather a consensus before it makes the page. Working together, a proper article can be completed. What do you say? --Northmeister 04:21, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I hope we can work it out. However, I am not of the opinion that the page must be reduced in size, as Elvis is one of the most popular musicians of the twentieth century and therefore needs a thorough article on the man, his life, his music, his personal relationships and his audiences. Many people are interested in details concerning his life. Unfortunately, there are too many low-quality websites run by Elvis fans available on the Internet which have a tendency towards supporting primarily a favorable view of the singer. Most of these fans endeavour to suppress critical, unfavorable voices. To my mind, Wikipedia should give a balanced survey of all the diverse viewpoints discussed in books and essays on the star. Onefortyone 13:03, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a launching ground for any viewpoints that are not credible enough for inclusion or for a vast array of information unrelated to Elvis life and times. Much of the material is repetitious; and extensive quotes from books, that are unverifiable and do not pertain to the header are not acceptable. We are interested only in what can meet Wikipedia standards - SURVEY is right however. Any criticism of Elvis, ought to be in a part of the article labeled as such, not strung throughout the article. Than man is dead, he can't defend himself - all we have is the facts, and we must present them accurately in encyclopedia form. Further we should stay within Wikipedia guidlines for article length - much of the information you keep throwing in belongs in a separate article about the books and their criticism, with a brief synopsis of this material here. --Northmeister 13:47, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Would you please stick close to the facts. All of my contributions are supported by Elvis biographies, many of which written by reputable authors, and by peer-rewiewed studies. They are not "unverifiable," as you falsely claim. Did you read the books I have cited? Where are the sources you have used? In my opinion, you are trying to push an agenda here. Onefortyone 14:06, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Just because Presley denied making those remarks doesn't mean he didn't say them. Just as his critics cannot prove he said those things, his defenders cannot prove he didn't. They can only say it seems unlikely or would have been out of character. Presley has long been accused of making racist remarks, and he was strongly mistrusted by the black community because he was a white singer who became famous by singing black music. The article must mention these controversies, otherwise it is not balanced. (195.93.21.67 17:12, 16 June 2006 (UTC))

Those statements above need sources, when sources that I can check are provided, then we can consider a section on this. Jet magazine - refuted these claims. The statement, that blacks didn't trust hims because he was a 'white singer' is itself racist - judging someone based on their skin color or race. The article should mention controversy when it is real, this one is not. If so, lets have the evidence for it being a real allegation with real evidence. --Northmeister 01:02, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Did you read what I have written above? I have quoted from Michael T. Bertrand's peer-reviewed study, Race, Rock, and Elvis (University of Illinois Press, 2000), which is certainly a reliable source. See [1]. Onefortyone 12:12, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
I haven't read, or even read reviews of, Race, Rock, and Elvis. That it was published by a university press strongly suggests (but alas does not prove) that it is a sound work. That it's sound of course does not disable people from mischaracterizing what it says. Onefortyone and I agree on rather little, but I think he will agree with me when I say that he and I have had strenuous (and tiresome) disagreements in the past. (They'll probably continue in the future, too.) I am open to claims that the book he cites is unreliable in whole or part, and to claims that he has mischaracterized the book. But until I see those claims, I tend to give more weight to what he says the book says than to what anyone says an unspecified article in Jet says. Meanwhile, to say The statement, that blacks didn't trust hims because he was a 'white singer' is itself racist - judging someone based on their skin color or race seems absurd to me. Whether you like it or not (and I don't like it at all), a large percentage identify themselves as "black" or "white"; for "blacks" to distrust somebody because he was a "white" singer does indeed seem racist; to state that "blacks" (in context obviously meaning "a substantial majority of blacks") distrusted him for this reason may or may not be true, but it does not seem racist at all. Meanwhile, I fully agree that the article shouldn't waste bytes on any fictitious "controversy". -- Hoary 04:23, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Here are some reviews of Bertrand's peer-reviewed study, Race, Rock, and Elvis:
  • "Michael T. Bertrand has managed to argue more cogently and with more evidential authority than any previous commentator that the music that Elvis Presley and his rockabilly cousins fashioned in the South in the 1950s represented a serious threat to various national and regional social conventions, particularly those relating to race, class, and gender." (Brian Ward, Journal of American History)
  • "With his meticulous research and elegant, concise prose, Bertrand explains the class and racial origins of rock 'n' roll, situates the music within the larger context of the turbulent 1950s South, and explores the firestorm of debate that swirled around the music and its chief promoter, the hip-swiveling Elvis." (Patrick Huber, History: Reviews of New Books)
  • "Convincingly argues that the black-and-white character of the sound, as well as Elvis's own persona, helped to relax the rigid color line and thereby fed the fires of the civil rights movement." (Karal Ann Marling, American Historical Review)
  • "A major contribution to our knowledge of the cultural importance of early rock and roll." (Craig Morrison, Journal of American Folklore)
Bertrand teaches history at Tennessee State University. His book was the winner of the annual Book and Essay Award given by the Shelby County Historical Commission (Memphis, TN), 2001. Onefortyone 12:45, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

There is no doubt Presley was racist. Stealing black music and showing support for Nixon was the height of racism. No wonder he was so close to John Wayne. The fact is most black people today hate him, the racist quotes were widely reported and may well be true, and his entire career was created from stealing black culture. The racist section must be restored now and the article should be protected so no more Elvis obsessed freaks can remove well known facts.(195.93.21.67 13:30, 17 June 2006 (UTC))

Mr/Mrs AOL IP, we have heard all this from you before. Until you have evidence, do please shut up about it. Many thanks. -- Hoary 01:18, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Hoary, you said it well. --Northmeister 04:23, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Marlon Brando, Michael Jackson, Chuck D, Eminem and many others are on record as hating Presley because he only became famous as a white singer who stole black music. Most of the black community in America today hate his overblown legacy. Apparently Jackson wanted to buy Graceland so he could destroy it. ... This nugget contributed by Mr/Ms AOL IP

You're repeating yourself, AOL. And you're still providing no evidence that Presley "stole black music" (whatever that might mean), or that "most of the black community in America today" have any opinion about Presley. As for your statement about Jackson's purposes for Graceland, even if they were true they'd probably say less about his opinion of Presley than about his own megalomania. -- Hoary 03:08, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Another peer-reviewed source dealing with the allegations of racism

There is another peer-reviewed study dealing with the allegations of racism: Richard Iton, Solidarity Blues: Race, Culture, and the American Left (University of North Carolina Press, 2000). The author says on p. 218-219, "A certain ambivalence existed in the responses of blacks to Presley and rock and roll which reflected the different economic, gender, generational, and political concerns brought to the table by different constituencies." According to Iton, there were some African American youths who "responded enthusiastically to the new culture" and some others who "also read rock and roll's emergence as supportive of the integrationist movement, therefore viewing the form's dependence on black music as something to be publicized and celebrated. ... On the other hand, there was resentment, particularly on the part of those in the black music industry who felt their work was being exploited..." In view of the fact that there are at least two independent peer-reviewed studies dealing with the controversial topic, a somewhat revised version of the "allegatios of racism" section should be reinstated. Onefortyone 23:14, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Neither paper (again, please see my point on what 'peer-review' actually means) suggest that Presley is a racist. They discuss the effects of rock & roll and the cultural forces at play. They do not, however, say that Presley was a racist. Please stop distorting these articles. Lochdale
Sorry, two books significantly entitled Solidarity Blues: Race, Culture, and the American Left and Race, Rock and Elvis and published by two different university presses are clearly discussing the allegations of racism. The authors are not explicitly saying that Elvis was a racist. They are dealing with African American resentment against Elvis and his music. These are historical facts that must be mentioned in the article. Would you please stick close to the facts. Onefortyone 15:54, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
What relevance do these allegations of racism, even if true, have to the article? It's supposed to be a brief summary of the man's life and notability, not an in-depth biography. Michael Dorosh 18:51, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Such allegations are part of the singer's history and, according to the authors and several other sources, they were widely discussed. Therefore, some critical remarks concerning this topic must be in the article. Onefortyone 00:22, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
These works speak to the notions of racism in rock music as well as Preleys'perception in the black community. The do not, however, say that he is a racist. Moreover, when you have magazines like Jet and website like snopes dismissing the claims that Elvis made racist remarks then we should be comfortable not including them in this article. Lochdale

Sorry, Northmeister

A few moments ago I was thinking that we may be able to work out the dispute. You call your contributions "improvements". But now I see that you are totally deleting well-sourced paragraphs I have written which are not in line with your all too positive personal view of Elvis. See, for instance, my contribution concerning Elvis's movies: [2] or the sections on Elvis's relationships, the FBI files and the allegations of racism: [3]. These paragraphs, which are supported by many independent sources, have all been deleted by you. This is not the way it works here. Therefore, I have decided to revert all of your contributions. Onefortyone 13:55, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

We need a criteria or some form of going over each paragraph in the article. I deleted material from the movies section because it did not fit the timeline and was a repeat of material used earlier. This article should be straight-forward about his life, that the vast majority of biographies agree on. What you are constantly quoting are fringe views from fringe authors, that although they have a place as a brief mention in criticism; do not warrant as much coverage as you give them. We come from two sides it seems - however, if your intent is the same as mine, to ensure a fair, accurate, balanced article, that meets wikipedia standards - then lets work out a gameplan from the top down to get the job done. The first thing I was doing actually was re-organizing this article timeline wise. - I propose we work on the opening paragraph first and move on down from there - you and I can offer improvement to that section - work out any disagreements and produce together a fine article. What do you say to that structure? --Northmeister 16:20, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Northmeister, you are wrong. What I am quoting are not "fringe views from fringe authors", as the books and essays I have used are written by reputable Elvis biographers, among them Peter Guralnick, Elaine Dundy, Alanna Nash, Albert Goldman, Greil Marcus and many others. I have also used peer-reviewed studies as the one written by historian Michael T. Bertrand, Race, Rock and Elvis. As you are repeatedly removing paragraphs which are well sourced, I do not think that it is really your intent to "ensure a fair, accurate, balanced article." However, I will give your proposition a look, and a last try. My first question is: What sources are you using for your improvements? I hope you can provide direct quotes from books and essays on Elvis in order to support all of your contributions. Otherwise your improvements are insignificant. Onefortyone 16:43, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Good thing Onefortyone, people should remember this is an article about Presley, not a fan page, and therefore all the controversies must be mentioned. Right from the first time I heard "Hound Dog" my father played Big Mama Thornton's version so I could see how Presley just ripped it off black culture and desexualized it. Whatever changes our new guest makes, please revert them at once. (195.93.21.67 14:44, 18 June 2006 (UTC))
Just a question, 195.93.21.67. Are you an active member of the African American society? Perhaps you may also have a watchful eye over the "improvements" made by user Northmeister. I think it is not acceptable that this user has totally removed several paragraphs from the article, among them the racism section, which seems to be your favorite paragraph. Onefortyone 14:50, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Maybe I am, what difference does it make? Presley's version prevented Thornton from becoming a major star, and she lived in poverty while he got fat on the profits of his stolen music. (195.93.21.67 15:31, 18 June 2006 (UTC))

The article on Thornton says Unfortunately for Thornton, Elvis Presley's smoother and bowdlerized version [of "Hound Dog"] was a major pop hit in 1956 and successfully eclipsed her biggest claim to fame. I'd like to see an explanation of for whom it eclipsed her song and how this was unfortunate. I have Thornton's "Hound Dog" on CD. I have great trouble imagining that it could ever have been a major hit among pale people: it's way too strong and way too good. Was any song as, uh, "nasty" as this a hit among large numbers of pale people in the wholesome 50s? Meanwhile, AOL, if your constant repetition of "steal", "stole" and "stolen" is intended to persuade by some kind of brainwashing, it's failing miserably. Still, thanks for the little joke about Presley getting fat -- in the context of Big Mama Thornton. Hoary 03:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Brainwashing? Not hardly. It is a fact that Presley stole black music to become famous, and even many of his fans are able to acknowledge that truth. That is why he is so hated to this day, as shown by the words of Eminem, Marlon Brando, Chuck D etc. This contribution made at 20:28, 23 June 2006 by our rather repetitive AOLusing chum 195.93.21.67

Dear AOLuser, your mindless repetition of unexplained claims, together with your mindless repetition of the names of three celebs (none of whom is or was an IP lawyer or similar) is getting extremely boring. Do consider directing your talents elsewhere. Thank you. -- Hoary 03:06, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

These are no "unexplained" claimst at all. Presley stole black music, he made stupid movies, he made a brief comeback and then gave a series of obese performances in Las Vegas wearing gay clothes before dying on the can. All of this is fact, and YOU can't argue with it.

Some troll removed the Accusations of racism section. I suggest it is restored and the article protected. (195.93.21.67 02:29, 19 June 2006 (UTC))

Why don't you get an account? Your comments have been nothing but personal attacks and hysteria. --Northmeister 05:08, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Onefortyone has been notorious for pushing his fringe agenda into multiple articles across wikipedia, so it is no surprise to see him pushing his pet project here as well.Michael Dorosh 05:17, 19 June 2006 (UTC)


My Proposal (accepted above by Onefortyone)

Thank you for accepting my proposal to work on this article, section to section. The first section to work on and come to agreement, is the opening. I will post the original as it exists per my last post. Let's work from my last reversion, and go from there. I am open to inclusion of material relevant and sourced then onward, in the proper context and section. My main objections on viewing this page originally was the way it was formatted and all scattered about. So, my first efforts have been towards format, some material deleted, not to take it out in the long run, but to help in this organization I was doing. I am glad Onefortyone has decided to hop on board and help out. Together a fair, accurate, and well-sourced article can emerge that is neither an attack piece (which it was) or a fan-appreciation piece. Let us begin with the opening below. --Northmeister 00:37, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, Northmeister, you have again deleted nearly two-thirds of the Elvis Presley article, including passages and paragraphs on Elvis's youth, his movies, his relationships, the FBI files and the allegations of racism. See [4]. Before we can start the process of working on the article the content of all these well-sourced sections which have been removed by you should first be restored. Furthermore, you have not yet answered my question above: What sources are you using for your improvements? Onefortyone 12:26, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, in an opening for collaboration, we will work from the version you reverted to, which needs a great deal of work. First, I am using Elvis by the Presley's, Elvis.com official website on the man (for balance and fairness), and then a book I read "Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley" which I found was one of the best bio's on his life and relatively balanced. Like I've stated often, everything that book covers needs not be covered here, nor from your sources. What is important is an overall survey of this man, his music, and his affect on rock n roll and America in general. We don't need every fact about his sex life, or every facet of speculation thereof (which most of it is hearsay evidence by fringe authors). What we need is clear evidence, conclusive about the man's: BIRTH, RISE, MUSIC and MOVIES, LAST YEARS, and LEGACY. That is the format I was working out when you reverted. That is the format I will accept (VOICE CHARACTERISTICS included), no further headers to start with. I will make such changes in 24hrs, keeping your material in the appropriate place for now. We will start with the OPENING, offered below, which you as yet have failed to comment on or offer improvement to, I am waiting your response..lack of response indicates an approval for restoring my efforts thus far as a breaking of our agreement. You have 24hrs to respond, otherwise our agreement is broken and your seriousness towards an accurate article is highly suspect. --Northmeister 23:34, 19 June 2006 (UTC) -SEE BELOW, AFTER READING THIS USERS TALK PAGE, HISTORY OF ABUSE, CONSTANT INSERTION OF FALSE MATERIAL from BOOKS, and non-relevant material REFUTED by the actual source (ie. Racism section) in a personal agenda to smear not only Elvis but other celebrities and to accuse them of a number of things, including homosexuality on numerous occasions. I think Arbcom should seriously look into this users behavior past and PRESENT. --Northmeister 00:04, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I've been in a serious attempt to work with you, not knowing your history of abuse and constant stalking of other users, making information up, use of poor sources, getting into constant personal attacks on those who disagree with you and more. My attempts to placate you have failed, as you do not wish to work in collaboration, but as evidenced above wish to use wikipedia as constant source of false, badly sourced, agenda driven - material on Elvis and other celebrities. You were both blocked and brought to the attention of mediation and arbcom in the past. I highly recommend you update your sources, learn to use wikipedia properly, and learn what collaboration means. You were also banned from the Elvis page this year, and I can see why. You are a disruptive user who is pushing an agenda with FALSE, MADE UP, and MISLEADING quotations from FRINGE books. The sources I listed above, including many others available, some you CLAIM to use, will be used to fix this article. I am asking all credible editors to censor this individual for the disharmony and use of false material he is engaged in now and in the past. Read the commentary here and on his talk page. --Northmeister 00:04, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
These last statements, which seem to be personal attacks, clearly indicate that it was not your intent to work with me on the Elvis article. Your deleting tactics were all too transparent. Onefortyone 00:19, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I gave you a fair chance, and all you can do is make remarks like above rather than respond to the below opening and work from my truncated organized version, which in the end may have included much of what you thought belonged if sourced. You inherently charged that I was not well sourced and reverted to your version I have repeatedly stated was lacking in organization was not up to wikipedia standards....so I checked your user history and I see what you've been up to here and elsewhere. I don't play with facts, sir, I simply report them. --Northmeister 00:23, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Indeed you are not well sourced. You are using information from a fan site, a book written by Priscilla Presley, who has been accused by another biographer of having created a "web of lies" in her publications, and a flimsy pro-Elvis book by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske, which includes little new and undoubtedly is too kind to Dr. Nick and Priscilla. It seems as if you are not familiar with the most important Elvis biographies written by Peter Guralnick, Greil Marcus, Elaine Dundy, Alanna Nash, Albert Goldman, and others. Onefortyone 00:38, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
You continue to post disruptive comments as you have in the past - even though I have continued to state that if you use information from the sources you say you use, I will accept it in context and if it is proper to include for an encyclopedia, especially in summary of literary criticism. What you give is long-winded quotes (highly circumspect I might add) in personal essays, that are out of order, and not well written - then you ask that sections like homosexuality in the past and racism be included when sources refute those things. You are not attempting to do a fair and balanced article to wikipedia standards, your attempting to smear celebrities across wikipedia with false information or use of information in misleading way. This has been your continued editing pattern, even before I arrived at this article. My attempts to clean-up this article where fromt he beginning challenged by you (even with my overtures to you!) in the harshest terms - thats not giving me the benefit of the doubt or following the wikipedia standard of Assuming Good Faith - which I gave to you and you broke our arrangement - I still gave it, and you continued your personal attacks and assumptions on your talk page. Enough is enough - someone should ban you from editing celebrity pages as your only here to be disruptive and add misleading and false material - not to work in harmony towards a well sourced and accurate article up to wikipedia standards. --Northmeister 00:50, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Truth be told, Northmeister, you are the person who has repeatedly deleted nearly two-thirds of the article, including well-sourced paragraphs. It seems as if I am the only contributor who frequently provides direct quotes from Elvis biographies written by reputable authors. Do you really think that the text you are presenting in the "opening" section is a clean-up of the article? In my opinion, this is only what an enthusiastic Elvis fan wants to read. Onefortyone 01:02, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Once, again, I gave an opening below for your version to the OPENING. Once again you provide the above comments. Can anyone see anything wrong with this? Look at the Louis Armstrong page, it is a wiki-standard page, and was a featured article. That is the model I have for this page and that is how this page should be. You've made it a personal essay for every crackpot theory about Elvis - you do this on other celebrity pages as well. Please stop the insanity and work to make this a credible article with relevant material. I did not write the opening as it exists now, another accusation you make which is false - it was already there. It needs improvement, thus my overture to you originally. It should be more like the Beatles opening or Louis Armstrong opening. Give us your version, AGF towards others, and stop the negative attacks on other editors who challenge your editing. --Northmeister 01:08, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
All I can see is that you continue to post disruptive comments. You are repeatedly deleting my well-sourced contributions which include relevant material supported by reputable Elvis biographers, and you are calling these contributions "insanity". Onefortyone 01:29, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
The fact is that your comments are not well-sourced. You've used comments from an unpublished manuscript (that clearly no publisher wants to touch) and a book by a cousin who never lived with Presley and barely knew him. You fail to mention that the 600 plus page FBI file makes no mention of any of your allegations. That in the more than 2,000 books on Presley all you have is an unpublished manuscript and not much else. You quote Griel Marcus' book (a compelation of articles to be accurate) to support wild notions when Marcus devotes an entire chapter to Evlis' relationship with his mother and never suggests anything unhealthy. You do not mention Marcus' utter dismissal of Goldman's work or the fact that he lauds Guralnik as the only definitive biographer of Presley (note, Guralnik makes no mention of racism or incest in either one of his books). You selectively use sources to push your own agenda and it just does not belong here. Lochdale
You are constantly repeating yourself, Lochdale, once again endeavoring to denigrate my sources. But this tactic is all too transparent. Truth be told, Lochdale, you are falsely claiming that the FBI file makes no mention of any of my allegations. Would you please provide evidence for this false statement. Did you read what Thomas Fensch has written in his book, The FBI Files on Elvis Presley (New Century Books, 2001) ? I don't think so. Otherwise you would not have written such things. For Fensch's book, see [5]. The FBI files are now also available on the Internet. See [6]. For your information: we are currently talking about the first paragraphs of the article and the movies section. Onefortyone 16:05, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I have to repeat myself because you continue to push a fringe agenda. I have read the FBI files and they do not suggest any sort of incestual relationship. Lochdale
I'm tempted to protect the page. Please don't strip out the {{citation needed}} tags when revert-warring; some of this stuff really does need citing. Jkelly 00:52, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree. --Northmeister 01:08, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


The Opening

THE ORIGINAL:

Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935August 16, 1977), known simply as Elvis, and also known as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or just "The King" was an American singer, music producer and actor. Elvis was a giant in the modern entertainment industry and of American culture. His image is iconic.
Graceland, the estate in Memphis, Tennessee where he lived for 20 years, and died, was designated a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006.[1].
Long after his death at age 42, Presley remains a popular and enigmatic star. Throughout his musical career of over two decades, Presley set records for concert attendance, television ratings and record sales. According to the RIAA, Presley remains the biggest selling solo artist in U.S. music history in 2006, more than a quarter of a century after his death. [2] He had 104 singles in the US top 40, almost twice as many as the runner-up, with 17 of these reaching number one according to Billboard's 2005 revised methodology.[3] Presley's continuing worldwide popularity has resulted in his global sales reaching an estimated one billion records to date.[4]

The opening is above, feel free to make any edits to it, until we get it right, after my sentence here. I'll let you start Onefortyone. Once we agree with the content we will move on to the next section, and one by one, tackle each issue. --Northmeister 00:37, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

This opening section sounds as if it is constantly singing the praise of Elvis:
  • giant in the modern entertainment industry
  • His image is iconic
  • enigmatic star
  • biggest selling solo artist ... more than a quarter of a century after his death
  • continuing worldwide popularity
  • global sales reaching an estimated one billion records
Is this really encyclopedic? Onefortyone 00:48, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


Well that is better, but you criticize without your version, give us your version below. Although our heated exchange above, if you are willing to work on this hereon-out I am still willing to work with you as one last chance of AGF on your part. Give us your version, and we will work with it. Make no further edits to the article...until we come to agreement. --Northmeister 00:56, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Here is my version of the opening:

Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935August 16, 1977), known simply as Elvis, and also known as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or just "The King" was an American singer, music producer and actor.
Elvis was one of the most successful singers of the twentieth century entertainment industry and remained a popular star long after his death at age 42. Throughout his musical career of over two decades, Presley set records for concert attendance, television ratings and record sales. He is certainly one of the biggest selling solo artist in U.S. music history. He had 104 singles in the US top 40, almost twice as many as the runner-up, with 17 of these reaching number one according to Billboard's 2005 revised methodology.[5] It is said that Presley's global sales are reaching an estimated one billion records to date.[6]
Graceland, the estate in Memphis, Tennessee where he lived for 20 years, and died, has become a Mecca for fans.

I hope this is satisfactory to all. Onefortyone 01:17, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Well done, My version is below, which is very similar to yours:

Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977), known simply as Elvis (also known by the nickname "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or The King ) was an American singer, music producer, and actor. Elvis was a giant in the modern entertainment industry, an icon of modern American culture, and represented the American Dream of rising from rags to riches through talent and hardwork. Throughout his musical career of over two decades, Elvis set records for concert attendance, television ratings, and record sales. He had 104 singles in the US top 40, with 17 of these reaching number one.[7] Elvis' material continues to sell worldwide resulting in global sales reaching an estimated one billion records to date.[8]

Graceland, Elvis' estate in Memphis, Tennessee where he lived for twenty years, was designated a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006.[9].

I actually like your version better...I think we should include the part about rising from rags to riches, which is a big part of his biography - he was born in poverty and rose with his talent to stardom - thus the American Dream. With that sentence we can add your version to the article. Thus my copy-edit of your version below, if you concur, lets move to make it THE version for the article.

Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935August 16, 1977), known simply as Elvis, and also known as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or just "The King" was an American singer, music producer and actor.
Elvis was one of the most successful singers of the twentieth century entertainment industry and remained a popular star long after his death at age 42. Throughout his musical career of over two decades, Presley set records for concert attendance, television ratings and record sales. He is certainly one of the biggest selling solo artist in U.S. music history. He had 104 singles in the US top 40, almost twice as many as the runner-up, with 17 of these reaching number one according to Billboard's 2005 revised methodology.[10] It is said that Presley's global sales are reaching an estimated one billion records to date.[11]
Elvis has become an icon of modern American culture representing the American Dream of "rising from rags to riches" through talent and hardwork. As a result, Graceland, the estate in Memphis, Tennessee where he lived for 20 years, and died, was designated a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006.[12]. It has been a Mecca for fans since his death. --Northmeister 01:46, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Some comments on this. First, "icon" does not seem meaningful to me. Secondly, the claim that Presley sold a billion records is from a company making money off Presley-related merchandise: hardly a disinterested source. Thus "it is said that" here seems worse than merely vague. Thirdly, the photos I've seen of Graceland and what I've read of it make the "Mecca" comparison seem hyperbolic -- and for what it's worth the sole truly dedicated Presley fan among my acquaintances (who may of course be atypical) does not regard Graceland with anything like religious fervor. Lastly, we don't read in this preamble anything about the kind of music or movies that he made; isn't this important? -- Hoary 02:09, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Sure, it is important (Mecca might be replaced with another word or taken out, I see your point, I don't think that was his intention of meaning, the billion quote can be checked, and isn't absolutely necessary) to mention something of his music style or whatnot. The opening should be a brief summary of the articles content, it should not be overly long. Please offer us your version below my statement based on the latest version above, so we can work out a good opening. --Northmeister 02:14, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I think Hoary is right here. Passages such as "Elvis has become an icon of modern American culture representing the American Dream of 'rising from rags to riches' through talent and hardwork" and that Graceland "was designated a National Historic Landmark" should be removed. This is the same old fan stuff we already had in the article. Therefore, here is a shorter version:
Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935August 16, 1977), known simply as Elvis, and also known as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or just "The King" was an American singer, music producer and actor.
Elvis was one of the most successful singers of the twentieth century entertainment industry and remained a popular star long after his death at age 42. He had 104 singles in the US top 40, almost twice as many as the runner-up, with 17 of these reaching number one according to Billboard's 2005 revised methodology.[13]
Do we need more text in the opening section? I don't think so. Onefortyone 03:03, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Now your shortening our agreed to version, rather than work out the one problem sentence and to include what Hoary wishes, and is right about, some comments on his music? Also - It is a fact Graceland was designated as a National Historic Landmark, and that should be included. The icon statement is also correct per President Jimmy Carter's statement upon his death and people recognize this - Graceland is visited by more people outside of the White House than any other place - these are all facts - not fan stuff - actual facts that an encylopedic article should contain. He rose from poverty to wealth, which is a part of the America Dream and many biographies comment on this. Maybe the sentence needs re-wording but to discount it because you feel it is "old fan stuff" is wrong. Maybe it doesn't belong, but let's argue the merits of its inclusion in the opening, not continue attacks on material as "fan stuff". What you are doing is denying President Carter said what he said about Elvis' place in Americana, and to deny that he represented the rags to riches story. The later is a major theme of his life - as so many other successful people in America - like Sam Walton for instance. Give us good reasons to oppose its inclusion. I've accepted your version as well done - AGF on my one sentence or structure it anew if you think it is worded wrong or offer a good reason for not including the material or do you think it is false; if so why? Or do you think it doesn't merit inclusion in the opening - if so why? I am open to your suggestions, that is all collaboration is about - to work together, as I've stated I am not opposing your efforts so much as trying to work with you and others for a better article that meets wikipedia standards in length and content. --Northmeister 03:12, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
We don't need a reference to Graceland in the opening section. References to people visiting Graceland may be included in the "Lasting legacy" section, together with a discussion of the parallel industry, mostly kitsch, that continues to grow around the singer's memory. Onefortyone 03:23, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


I'm not so sure - the opening is a summary of the article (brief summary) - which is about his life, music, and impact. It should have three paragraphs. The first paragraph: "a summary of his birth, titles, role". Second paragraph on his impact and music. The last paragraph: "about his legacy and graceland declared by US government a national historic site." Don't you agree that is the best format for an opening summary of the article? I think the last sentence to my re-edit to your original version should be taken out and some more about his music included in paragraph two, like Hoary notes, and the word icon taken out and possible first part of that sentence. --Northmeister 03:37, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
In my opinion, the opening shouldn't have three paragraphs. We don't need a passage about Elvis's legacy here, as it is already said that he was a very popular singer who had many number-one hits and that he remained a popular star long after his death. Instead of referring to Graceland we need some information about the kind of music Elvis made in the opening. Hoary seems to be of similar opinion. Onefortyone 03:48, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I am, yes. On the other hand (and to turn devil's advocate for a moment) I suppose it could be argued that Presley is now primarily a dead celeb, and what celebs actually did is less important than how they are marketed. According to this argument, Presley resembles Carl Perkins less than he resembles Hello Kitty. Still, if this were indeed so (and I wonder), it would say more about present-day society/marketing than about Presley. Hoary 05:56, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Here's a sketch:

Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935August 16, 1977), known simply as Elvis and also marketed as "The King" was an American singer, actor, and music producer.
Presley started as a singer of rockabilly and ballads, was for some time the most commercially successful singer of rock and roll, and then moved toward country music. He was also the lead in a large number of lightweight movies, most now largely forgotten. As a singer, his popularity survived his death at 42.
Throughout his musical career of over two decades, Presley set records for concert attendance, television ratings and record sales. He is certainly one of the biggest selling solo artist in U.S. music history.[14]
The young, lean Elvis has become an icon of modern American culture, sometimes held to represent the American Dream of rising from rags to riches through talent and hard work, more often representing teen sexuality with a hint of delinquency. The older, heavier Elvis

blah blah blah. I'm not sure how to put that last part fairly.

Yes, I'm not necessarily against the more or less metaphorical use of the word "icon". I just think the word is meaningless (or PR gush) unless readers are told what the icon is of. We read that he was an icon of rags-to-riches success and I wouldn't deny this, but I think this was minor in comparison with the (probably commercially devised and honed) image of rebel, menace, etc. As for the older Presley, of course to non-fans such as myself he was grotesque at times, but I have an uneducated hunch that to fans he was more avuncular -- at least if uncles can wear rhinestone-encrusted capes.

Note that I haven't deleted the stuff about the number of his top 40 (etc.) singles; I've simply chucked it into the footnote.

Was he ever actually called "the King of Rock 'n' Roll? Guessing that he wasn't, I deleted that bit. -- Hoary 06:25, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

In From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century (2005), David Mansour states that "Elvis Presley was the dark-haired, lip-sneering, handsome 'King of Rock 'n' Roll' whose blues-inspired music and hip-swiveling stage performances made our mothers overheat from excitement." On p.280 of his book, Sacred Places North America: 108 Destinations (2003), Brad Olsen says about Elvis, "Because of his early contributions to rock music he has been declared 'The King of Rock and Roll.' " Michael T. Bertrand's study, Race, Rock and Elvis includes a chapter on "The King of Rock as Hillbilly Cat". On p.24, the author writes that "by 1958 the media had crowned him the undisputed 'King of Rock 'n' Roll' ". On p.222, it is mentioned that the early rhythm and blues star Wynonie Harris "had apparently grown to appreciate his younger competitor for 'King of Rock 'n' Roll' ". In his book, Rockabilly: A Forty-Year Journey (1998), Billy Poore says on p.765: "When Elvis hit that Vegas stage, he once again proved he was still the King of rock 'n' roll as well as the first King of pop music..." However, on p.146, the same author also writes: "By 1964, Bobby Fuller had become the "Rock n Roll King of the Southwest." On p.156 of Patrick Humphries's book, Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics (2003) we read, "It must have been midnight when a BBC newsreader announced that Elvis Presley – 'the king of rock'n'roll' as he helpfully reminded us— had died..." In Paul Tomassi's study, Logic (Routledge, 1999), there is an interesting analysis for what is called "Type 2 identity statements". See p.251-253. According to the author, "the expression, 'The King of rock 'n' roll' is not a name but a definite description." The author explains that the eminent classical logician Bertrand Russell argues, "definite descriptions cannot have meaning in virtue of picking out objects just because there need not actually be anything in the world which corresponds to the description. Therefore, it is always possible to deny the existence of anything so described quite meaningfully, e.g., 'The King of rock 'n' roll does not exist'... So, what is Russell's analysis of a sentence such as 'Elvis Presley is the King of rock 'n' roll'? According to Russell, the use of any sentence containing a definite description entails that the described thing exists, i.e. that there exists one and only one such thing. Hence, in the present case, it is entailed that there is exactly one thing in the world which is the King of rock 'n' roll."
On the other hand, there are also many critical voices: On p.26 of Ty Roseynose - A Documentary (2005), Ty Rosenow writes, "I was making a statement throughout the album that Elvis Presley wasn't as good as most people say that he is. To me, he was never the real king of rock and roll." And Reading Attainment System/Book 3 (1987) says about Elvis: "For almost four years he was the King of Rock and Roll. Then he was drafted. Elvis was King. But there were other great rockers too. Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis were top stars. Their music is still played today. ... From England came new kings of Rock and Roll, the Beatles." (p.13-14) On p.8 of his book, The Truth about Rock Music (2000), Hugh F. Pyle writes that "Elvis Presley was called the King of Rock'n Roll. He managed to live to be forty-two, unusually long for rock musicians. But he was bloated, sick, overweight; and toxicologists found twelve drugs in his ravaged body."

Query: the first sentence claims that Elvis was a "music producer". I don't think that this was the case. He was a singer, he didn't write songs and he wasn't a professional producer. And should we call him an actor? Onefortyone 22:56, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The above statement is ridiculous, it shows one thing - your not here to help out - your here to promote an agenda. To even consider not calling Elvis Presley an actor? What nonsense, whether you like his acting, I thought he had bad roles, is irrelevant and POV, he was in fact for a period in his life an actor. There is no sense trying to work things out with you if you are only here to disrupt the editing process. You ought to be banned from any celebrity articles for the nonsense you cause editors, over and over again. --Northmeister 23:24, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Would you please stick close to the facts without personal attacks. Why not saying, "He also acted for a period of time in B-movies"? Onefortyone 23:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I call them as I see them. I am not working with you any longer. You are here to promote a POV agenda and have been abusive of wikipedia in the past. Enough said and no more needed beyond that. Your edits will not be accepted here. --Northmeister 23:37, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think so. You are not the only editor, Northmeister. As you can see, User:Hoary partly seems to be of similar opinion. Parts of his version of the opening sound O.K. to me. In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting (2004), Skip Press says, "When rock 'n' roll exploded mid-decade, ... it was inevitable that music stars such as Elvis Presley would appear in films..." (p.56) The author does not say that Elvis was a serious actor. You can say that Frank Sinatra was a singer and an actor, but Elvis was a rock 'n' roll singer who for a period of time also appeared in some movies. Elvis was an enthusiastic James Dean fan and returned from the military eager to make a career as a movie star, but he had limited talents as an actor. Pop film staples of the late fifties and early sixties, such as the Presley musicals and the AlP beach movies were mainly produced for a teenage audience and called a "pantheon of bad taste" (Andrew Caine, Interpreting Rock Movies: The Pop Film and Its Critics in Britain, p. 21). In the sixties, at Colonel Parker's command, the singer withdrew from concerts and television appearances in order to make such movies. "He blamed his fading popularity on his humdrum movies," Priscilla Presley recalled in her 1985 autobiography, Elvis and Me. "He loathed their stock plots and short shooting schedules. He could have demanded better, more substantial scripts but he didn't." Instead, the singer "continued to make the movies and record the dismal soundtracks, putting forth less effort with each new release. Artistically speaking, no one blamed him. The scripts were all the same, the songs progressively worse." (Connie Kirchberg and Marc Hendrickx, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, and the American Dream, 1999, p.67.) Indeed, the movies-songs were "written on order by men who never really understood Elvis or rock and roll, such as 'Rock-a-Hula Baby', 'Beach Boy Blues,' and 'Ito Eats.' " (Jerry Hopkins, Elvis in Hawaii, 2002, p.32.) It must be admitted, however, that, although Elvis was definitely not the most talented actor around and most film critics chastised these B-movies for their lack of depth, they managed to be profitable all the way. Many of the fans loved them. You seem to be one of these fans, but a Wikipedia article is not your personal fan site. Onefortyone 23:57, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

If you like Presley's movies then you're stupid. Btw, "Wild in the Country" flopped. 195.93.21.67

What is your opinion, AOL user? Should Elvis be called an "actor" and a "music producer" in the opening? What we need is some kind of consensus here. Onefortyone 00:21, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

As there is no consensus concerning the very short version of the opening section above, what about this version (mainly borrowed from User:Hoary):

The Opening

Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935August 16, 1977), known simply as Elvis and also marketed as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or "The King", was an American singer. He also acted for a period of time in lightweight movies.
Presley started as a singer of rockabilly, borrowing many songs from rhythm and blues numbers by black bluesmen. He was for some time the most commercially successful singer of rock and roll, but he also sang ballads, and then moved toward country music. Personally, gospel was the music he cherished above all.
Throughout his musical career of over two decades, Presley set records for concert attendance, television ratings and record sales. He is certainly one of the biggest selling solo artist in U.S. music history.[15]
The young, lean Elvis has become an icon of modern American pop culture, sometimes held to represent the American Dream of rising from rags to riches through talent and hard work, more often representing teen sexuality with a hint of delinquency. During the 1970s, when his taste had drifted away from rock, Elvis reemerged as a somewhat androgynous nightclub performer in Las Vegas, Nevada, wearing bizarre, elaborate costumes. As he got heavier, his shows were less successful. He died, presumably from a heart attack combined with drug abuse, at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. As a singer, his popularity survived his death at 42.

I hope this balanced version of the opening is now satisfactory to all. Onefortyone 01:44, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

No it isn't. By 1977 Presley's career was finished, he was dying and only had $5 million in his bank account. His death at 42 saved his career and ensured he would not be forgotten like Bing Crosby, who died two months later at 74. Presley should be referred to as a "movie star" because he certainly starred in 31 dreadful stupid movies, but couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. ...contributed by AOLuser 195.93.21.67, who apparently can't find the "~" key on his or her keyboard

I think the opening is far too narrow. For example, Presley had significant success with country tunes that the "rockified". Moroever, Peter Guralnik amongst others notes the significant influnence white country musicians and pentacostalist preachers had on Presley. It's both too simple and too narrow to say Presley was merely a white man playing black music. Here's an interesting cite to a summary of Presley at Allmusic.com [7] It really gives a deeper and more detailed discussion of Presley's career and influences. Lochdale

Would you please provide direct quotes from Guralnick's book so that we can include a new passage concerning the influence of white country musicians etc. in the opening of the article. Thanks. Onefortyone 16:18, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Lochdale, I welcome your input. There is a sandbox for this page, and any improvements you can make would be helpful. Thanks for the information on the FBI. Is there a source online we can check this? Maybe the Black Vault? --Northmeister 00:02, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Northmeister, what Lochdale says isn't true. I have cited my source. Would you please read what is written in Thomas Fensch's book, The FBI Files on Elvis Presley (2001) before deleting a whole paragraph. Onefortyone 16:12, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Again, user Onefortyone is pushing his agenda. You cited to an amazon.com link. We can read the files and they say nothing of an incestuous relationship. Furhter, you and I have discussed the extortion attempt before on this page and you were wrong then just as you are wrong now. Lochdale

SEE NEXT: Talk:Elvis Presley/archive15

  1. ^ Graceland, Secretary Norton Designates Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion National Historic Landmark (March 27, 2006)
  2. ^ RIAA, Elvis Presley Now Best Selling Solo Artist in U.S. History (January 8, 2004).
  3. ^ Billboard, How They Got to 17 (December 22, 2005).
  4. ^ "All about Elvis." (This figure refers to combined sales of both long-playing albums and singles, in either vinyl or compact disc format. NB technical faults in this page may render it impossible to read.)
  5. ^ Billboard, How They Got to 17 (December 22, 2005).
  6. ^ "All about Elvis." (This figure refers to combined sales of both long-playing albums and singles, in either vinyl or compact disc format. NB technical faults in this page may render it impossible to read.)
  7. ^ Billboard, How They Got to 17 (December 22, 2005).
  8. ^ "All about Elvis." (This figure refers to combined sales of both long-playing albums and singles, in either vinyl or compact disc format. NB technical faults in this page may render it impossible to read.)
  9. ^ Graceland, Secretary Norton Designates Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion National Historic Landmark (March 27, 2006)
  10. ^ Billboard, How They Got to 17 (December 22, 2005).
  11. ^ "All about Elvis." (This figure refers to combined sales of both long-playing albums and singles, in either vinyl or compact disc format. NB technical faults in this page may render it impossible to read.)
  12. ^ Graceland, Secretary Norton Designates Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion National Historic Landmark (March 27, 2006)
  13. ^ Billboard, How They Got to 17 (December 22, 2005).
  14. ^ He had 104 singles in the US top 40, almost twice as many as the runner-up, with 17 of these reaching number one according to Billboard's 2005 revised methodology. Billboard, How They Got to 17 (December 22, 2005).
  15. ^ He had 104 singles in the US top 40, almost twice as many as the runner-up, with 17 of these reaching number one according to Billboard's 2005 revised methodology. Billboard, How They Got to 17 (December 22, 2005).