Talk:Elvis Presley/Archive 20

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Presley's ancestry

I'm not sure about this. We've got multiple citations covering his roots, yet the latest version omits what seems like an equally valid claim that he also had Jewish roots (included in an earlier version). If we keep finding out more, how long are we gonna let the list grow? I suggest, as I actually have done so before, that in the main text, details of his ancestry are limited to the origin of his surname, which limits him to being of mainly Scottish and German roots. Additional details can be put in the Notes. Otherwise there's a danger the article will look very boring right at the beginning. Rikstar 03:25, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I have a tendency to agree here. I think Elvis was like many Southerner's of Scots-Irish ancestry through his surname. I do know he also had Native-American in him or 'Indian' as his maternal grandmother was this and was called 'Morning Dove'. --Northmeister 23:10, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

To the person who says only Elvis' "predominant" ancestry should be included: If you check the sources, his last German and Scottish ancestors were in the early 1700s (and there's no indication that they kept marrying other German or Scottish people over in the United States). His last Cherokee ancestor was his great-great-great-grandmother (whose name was "Morning Dove"; not the name of his grandmother), which is one generation less than his Jewish ancestor, his great-great-grandmother. Thus, of the ancestry listed on the page, the Jewish one is in fact the most recent, not the most distant. If you want to delete all his ancestry, that may be a valid argument. But deleting the Jewish part and saying it's because it is more distant of the ones listed is in fact the exact opposite of being factually accurate. Mad Jack 18:47, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Can o worms! I tried to undo the bit about "that makes him Jewish according to the Jewish religion" bit. (v e r r .... slow response from the server) Let's leave religion out of it, shall we? I think things were ok until the religion bit was added. Maybe he's entitled to tribal rights, too, but so what? Steve Pastor 21:35, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, that can be removed - I never said I supported that part of the sentence (about the religion). However, there is zero to no reason for deleting the fact that Elvis had Jewish ancestry, especially since the other ancestry groups listed comprised even less of his heritage. There is even a full book written about his Jewish ancestry - [1], which does not appear to be the case for his Cherokee, Scottish, German (or other) ancestry. Mad Jack 01:35, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
As far as I can be bothered about this issue, the main thing of interest is the origin of his surname. We know his pa was a Presley, but how far back does the name go? Is it Scotland, 1745? Or does the rather unsatisfactory 'Pressler', of 1710, win the box of candy? This is different, admittedly, from listing his most recent (Jewish?) ancestry. BTW, there is a whole book on Presley's Scottish origins - The Presley Prophecy, by Allan Morrison. Whatever people decide, I propose to severely limit prose in the main text about this issue, and keep all references and any discussion/controversy on the matter well out of the way, in the Notes. It needs cleaning up at this moment. Like I wrote above, this is a Good Article that could look quite messy, or boring, right at the beginning, because of multiple listings and references, as if certain races/religions are fighting to 'own' his ancestry. If it isn't resolved, deleting the whole section might be the kind thing to do. Rikstar 05:10, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm really flabbergasted (spelling?) at the constant removals of this one part of his ancestry. Can't all of Elvis's multiple ancestry groups get along? I actually don't think his last name is that interesting - "Presley" isn't that uncommon a surname, and many Americans are quite far removed in ancestry and culture from what their original surname was. This one sentence also isn't that lengthy or intrusive. But again, I am not necessarily opposed to the entire sentence's removal, just to this odd game of pick-and-chose that seems to be fairly randomly played. Mad Jack 05:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I totally agree about all ancestry groups getting fair mention somewhere (main text or Notes); it's either that or nothing at all. I think the bit about him being technically Jewish, according to its customs, is extraneous, and should be in the Notes. As for his name not being that interesting - now I'm flabbergasted! People heard his name in the mid-Fifties and couldn't get their heads round it. Both parts of his name were often mispronounced, notably by DJ Dewey Phillips. Most significantly, people couldn't 'work out' which ethnic group/colour to associate it with, or just assumed that, with a first name like 'Elvis', AND a surname like 'Presley', he must be black. So I tend to feel the name origin is interesting. Rikstar 05:51, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I've removed the ancestry mention entirely. There's no evidence that Presley was "mostly" Scotch-Irish (in fact, I would guess he was mostly English). And there appears to be a disagreement on the origin of his surname, "Presley", because this source says the first Presley was Scottish, not German [2]. Also, I am not quite sure what Tellerman agrees with Ulritz about, since Ulritz simply removed the Jewish part, and not, in fact, Presley's more distant ancestries, i.e. Cherokee and German. Mad Jack 06:37, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Donald Presley said that Elvis assumed his ancestry was mostly Scotch-Irish, so if we were to put any ancestry, I guess that would be the best. As for "Pressler," what Mad Jack put doesn't really conflict with that trivia. It only says that the "Presleys" were of Scottish origin, meaning the Presley family, not the Presley surname. I think that should be added back. Tellerman 06:55, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
These sources state that Elvis' first American ancestor arrived in North Carolina in 1745, the son of two Scots-people who were married in Scotland in 1713.[3][4] This source, on the other hand, says that Elvis first American ancestor was Johann Valentin Pressler, a German or Prussian who immigrated stateside in 1710.[5] Clearly, there is a conflict of information here - either Elvis is descended from the Scotsman - or from the German - or perhaps none of the above... As for what Presley assumed or thought of his own ancestry, this states that he "was well aware of his Jewish ancestry" and put a Star of David on his mother's grave "in honour of his Jewish heritage"[6]. You could probably find some similar statement for his Cherokee Native American ancestry, which brings us back to the game of pick-and-chose. Mad Jack 07:07, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
According to this, btw, his Jewish maternal ancestor was from Lithuania.[7] That is a new piece of info. Mad Jack 07:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Most Southern whites native to the South are of Scots-Irish ancestry - a group that almost entirely immigrated to the USA and most of whom refer to themselves on census forms as American - see the wikipedia related links for the census to confirm. That said - regarding Elvis - he seems to certainly be of Scots-Irish ancestry, with small amounts of Jewish, German, and Cherokee mixed in - seems to be distinctly AMERICAN to me - but that is a caveaut(sic) - Why not compromise here with a mention of all these ancestry in a well worded sentence or two so that it fits with the format of the article? I have no objections to including the whole lot of them if they are done something like: Presley lineage traces to several ethnic backgrounds being predominately Scots-Irish in origin. His other ancestry's include Jewish, Cherokee Indian, and German. -- Or something better than that. I think we can come up with a worthy compromise here. --Northmeister 23:19, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Northmeiser, your suggestion about how this should be placed sounds good to me. However, I will note that it is not clear if he actually had German ancestry or not. The story about his immigrant German ancestor (Presler) seems to conflict directly with the story about his immigrant Scottish ancestor (Presley). Mad Jack 08:57, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I still think the majority of any details should be in the Notes, with only a brief sentence about his ancestry/origin of surname in the main article. If we stick to mentioning the earliest record of an ancestor with his surname emigrating to the US, which seems to be Andrew Presley of Scotland (1745), we can then include any weblinks to ancestry articles in the Notes. Readers of those links can decide for themselves what his ancestry was predominantly, or whether he was Jewish, or whatever. I don't think we have to (try to) spell everything out, just give people the facts. Rikstar 09:06, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that the disagreement centers around words' (not the song - lol) such as "Predominate" or the inclusion of some ancestry and not others. The sources seem to indicate that one: Presley is of Scottish Ancestry (Scot-Irish as he assumed per D. Presley and which makes considerable sense considering he was from the deep south); two: Presley is of Jewish Ancestry due to his mothers line (which is factually accurate either way you look at it); three: Presley is of Cherokee Indian Ancestry (Morning Dove is well documented being in his mothers line as well); four: Surname is of German? ancestry. The surname Presley stands for "Priests Meadow" in old English by the way. I really don't see where it hurts that we include Socts-Irish, Jewish, Cherokee Indian as his ancestry as definative in the introductory paragraph or sentence to the Biography. Doing so in a concise way without insisting on which ancestry is predominate would be helpful to the reader who wishes to know something of Elvis' ancestry. Rikstar - I understand your arguments against inclusion - but I really don't think it would be all that bad to include a well constructed sentence mentioning Elvis' origins and staying neutral as to which is predominate or not. The list is simple enough: Jewish-Indian-Scots-Irish (or Scottish) - leave a note on the German possibility in notes. --Northmeister 22:25, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Good argument - I agree with you. Rikstar 02:58, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed with Northmeister and Rikstar. Many Wikipedia articles state even more distant ancestry then some of Elvis's, plus, there are books written about his Jewish and Scottish ancestry (probably Native American too, if one looks hard enough) so clearly it is a notable enough subject. Mad Jack 05:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Anyone wanna have a go at this? I'm doing Notes cleanup. A couple dozen Web sources need work. Rikstar 08:43, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

I think his ancestry is interesting and the fact (if so) that he put a star of David on his mother's grave is really interesting. That almost makes Elvis Jewish by his own estimation. But having said that, the four part list (Jewish-Indian-Scots-Irish) is probably enough.--Timtak 20:02, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Interesting, but remember that, in Judaism, he'd be Jewish if his mother was Jewish - unless he became a Christian. So the Star of David on his mother's grave indeed becomes an important clue for geneologists to wrestle with. Does anybody here have enough endurance to sort this out? 06:35, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Clean up

Just done a few edits to ready the article for a Featured Article nomination. Notes still need work, in addition to any other edits recommended by anyone else. Rikstar 19:06, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I'll go through the article to see what I can do over the next few days - prob. starting tomorrow. --Northmeister 23:11, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The article looks great. Save the controversy above which I feel can be resolved. Looks like once we work out that issue we might be able to move onto featured try. --Northmeister 23:22, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Glad you think so ("It's been a long time, baby..."). Rikstar 23:44, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Have done some more cleanup of the Notes, and added some details I thought should be included. I feel like there should be something else (only a Note late in the article so far) about Presley's more cerebral interests - philosophy, religion, and all the reading he did. It should tie in with the fact that he was fundamentally unhappy in some ways, and that he started a kind of 'personal journey of meaning and discovery', not disimilar to the Beatles, Dylan, Beach Boys, et al, even before them. What do you guys think? Nothing too long, but I'm still aware that some other music biographies of featured article status are 100kb in length. Rikstar 18:48, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
We should be careful with the length of the article. Although such information is relevant to the man and of interest to readers I think. As long as the important stuff about his music and music career don't get truncated as a result of including the above - I say give it a shot. It's August already and we should be looking to try getting this article as a 'featured' one. --Northmeister 20:35, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed - nothing should 'spoil' what we've already got. I saw an opportunity in the Hollywood section and gone for it. Like you say, it's the kind of thing that helps to make things interesting, even surprising, to many readers. I think this is the way to go to increase the article's appeal (bearing in mind length). Rikstar 07:46, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Recently-discovered film?

According to the IMDB, an unreleased Presley/Parker martial arts film was discovered in 2003, along with footage of a Bruce Lee demonstration of martial arts. Sounds notable enough to include in this article if anyone has any other knowledge or sources and info. -- 23:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Could be a footnote of interest. The making of a documentary about Karate is fully covered in Guralnick's Careless love. Rikstar 05:52, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
A note on the karate filming has been added to the Military service section. Rikstar 09:30, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Hollywood years

Your statement, "Presley was a big movie fan and admired Marlon Brando, James Dean and Tony Curtis. He returned from the army eager to continue - and improve - his acting." is a comment on the thoughts of Elvis rather than a provable fact.Goodpaster 15:36, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Good point: the statement is not so much just a comment on his thoughts, but more a valid observation that should have had a citation to support it. I'm sure a citation can be found to support the statement - otherwise it can be edited out and the intro to 'Hollywood years' rewritten. Rikstar 19:26, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Done. Rikstar 06:54, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Elvis Presley, Films made between 1965 and 1969 Elvis Says:"The Colonel made me do it! But I have to admit…after King Creole, I totally phoned it in."

I see a Filmography section has been added. This simply duplicates what already exists in a wikilink in the Hollywood section. I think the new addition should be deleted. Didn't spot it earlier. Rikstar 21:18, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I have removed the Filmography section and put it in place of the film list in the wkilink, because the new one is formatted better and contains more info. Rikstar 06:54, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
RogueGremlin has reinstated the Filmography section in the main article. The wikilink to 'List of Elvis Presley films' is now redundant. Needs cleanup or deleting. Rikstar 12:07, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I note that the Bob Dylan Featured Article has a separate wikilink for Discography and Film. We need to follow successful formats if Featured status is going to be achieved. Rikstar 17:52, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

A new source claiming that Elvis had homosexual leanings

In his recent autobiography, One Gay Man (2007), Donald Taylor claims that Elvis blew him one time. He swears that he has had sex with Elvis Presley and some other stars of the period, among them James Dean and Orson Welles. Taylor met the singer at a coffee shop where Elvis would come in to eat. He said that they kind of clicked when he told Elvis he was from Tennessee. One night Elvis offered to drive him home from the coffee shop he was working at. The author writes,

I had no idea that we would wind up spending the night together. It was just a very spontaneous thing. However, it was one of the most super-ultra-romantic nights I've ever spent with anyone. We started out just talking, having a couple of drinks, listening to music. He liked Jo Stafford, Kay Starr, and Patti Page but the music that he really loved was Richard Rodgers' score from the TV series Victory at Sea. I think it's the most beautiful piece of music ever written in the 20th century. We listened to it again the next morning while we had coffee. I told him that if he wanted anything to eat he could go into the kitchen and make whatever he felt like having. He came back with the weirdest sandwich I ever seen. Bologna and blackberry jam on white bread. I still have his shirt, it's the color that I really loved (I love any color as long as it's green). He left the shirt with me and left only wearing his jacket. This was when Elvis was still young, thin and pretty. Twenty years later, after he lost the battle with banana creme pies, you couldn't have got this shirt around his neck. Elvis was the opposite of Orson [Welles]. While the sex was unforgettable, I honestly never cared for him as a performer. The only one of his pictures I saw was Love Me Tender, which was atrocious. I never bought one of his albums or saw him in concert. This was sometime in 1956. I don't remember the exact date.

This book is the first written by a gay man who says he had a homosexual affair with Elvis in 1956. Onefortyone 01:14, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

This article has no credibility at all. Enough with the "Elvis was bisexual" crap. I'm sure if he did have those type of affairs, it would of all been out in the open by now.

I am not so sure. The author sounds reasonable, as the account of his homosexual affair with Elvis is not written in a sensational style. In his book, Elvis Inc.: The Fall and Rise of the Presley Empire (1997), Sean O'Neal says that EPE was founded to create the icon Elvis Presley, and since then it has controlled his image. The author describes EPE as a "well-run marketing machine" that runs on tight regulation of Elvis's images and lawsuits, when necessary. EPE "absolutely refuses to licence a product picturing an overweight Elvis." And you can be sure that they also suppress any information concerning a bisexual or gay Elvis, as they want to keep the image of Elvis as a heterosexual sex symbol intact. They even file lawsuits "to assert the estate's exclusive right to Elvis's name and likeness." Onefortyone 03:06, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I think we can all agree that Elvis indulged in anything he wanted , whenever he wanted. If he was truly bisexual then I think it would be safe to assume that as he got older he would've shown less self control. I'm sure at least one of his close friends or associates would've reported on it(they told us about drugs and him wanting to have a man killed). We all know he was straight, anyone who tries to insinuate otherwise just makes a laughingstock of himself. Surely, they would only do it with the safety of the internet and not in a public forum where they could be viewed. I challenge anyone to go on a national tv show and tell the world that Elvis was bisexual and show proof. They would be laughed into embarressment and obscurity. You can keep deluding yourself about it but NOBODY takes those claims seriously. To his fans, Elvis' iconic image is truly unblemished for all times!!mfbinc 8-20-2007 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mfbinc (talkcontribs) 02:39, August 21, 2007 (UTC).

It should be taken into account that at that time outing as homo- or bisexual was not an option. Will Hays, for instance, author of the Hays Code which censored "indecent" references in films, notably references to homosexuality, admitted to keeping a "Doom Book" of actors he considered "unsafe" because of their personal lives. Featured in Hays's list instantly could end a star's career, with studios dropping those on the list from their employment for fear of criticism from Hays and the Roman Catholic League of Decency. The same would have happened to a megastar such as Elvis. "The important thing to remember about 'gay influence' in movies," observed homosexual screenwriter Gavin Lambert, "is that it was obviously never direct. It was all subliminal. It couldn't be direct because the mass audience would say, Hey, no way." Bill Dakota says,
During the fifties, there was no gay-lib. Homosexuality was a "whispered" about subject, although still more open in Hollywood than in the rest of the country, even though it was practiced as widely then as it is now. But, it was more underground. There were a lot of gay bars but people led two lives--straight at work and gay at night. ...
Referring to Elvis and the Memphis Mafia, the author adds,
that all of those so called cousins that surrounded and traveled with him, weren't all cousins. Some were alleged to have taken turns sleeping with him. And when someone, in print, alleged that Nick [Adams] slept in bed with Elvis at Graceland, it was said to the press or the writer, that Elvis had a cot brought into the bedroom and that Nick slept on that. Elvis's bed was big enough for a "dozen people." See [8].
By the way, in a 2004 BBC special on Elvis including interviews with four members of the Memphis Mafia, they confirmed that there were rumors concerning their alleged homosexuality. Onefortyone 18:47, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Self-published (if you can even call it that) vanity e-book - reliable source? none on your nelly! --Fredrick day 22:21, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Here are some interesting additional remarks by Jack Marx. He says:

Elvis was gay. He left messages all through his songs, outing himself to anyone who could hear, though the truth was hidden from the public in the lyrics that were published on his records and in fan magazines. Here's a few to hum in your head...
You know I can be found, sitting all alone
If you can't call me, Ralph, at least please telephone...
- Don't be Cruel
Love me tender, love me true
All my dreams for Phil...
- Love Me Tender
When caught in a chap
I can't walk out...
- Suspicious Minds
I'm into Richard, out in the hall...
- Stuck On You
Sure would be delighted with you pumping me
C'mon into the jailhouse, Rock, with me...
- Jailhouse Rock
When I sent you a tie clasp
Well that was just a lie!
- Hound Dog
Makes no difference where I go or what I do,
You know, Bert, I've always been loving you, just you...
- Loving You
Bud, I can't help
Falling in love with you...
- I Can't Help Falling In Love
There's no strings upon this love, oh Brian,
It was always you from the start...
- Wooden Heart
Won't you please be my Owen
Never leave me alone...
- I Want You, I Need You, I love You
I don't want my heart to be broken
It's the only one I've got
Saladin, please be careful
You know I cramp a lot...
- I Beg Of You
Well since my Barry left me
I've found a new place to dwell...
- Heartbreak Hotel
I wanna' good luck, John, a-hanging on my arm...
- Good Luck Charm
It's now or never
Come hold me, Tadgh
- It's Now Or Never
Let me hold you in my arms, Dick...
- Surrender
In don't want to be a tiger
"Cos tiger's play to rough
I don't want to be a lion
'Cos lion's ain't the kind you rub a lot
- Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear

It seems to me that the topic is much discussed in several independent publications and on the internet. See also [9]. So it may be a good idea to briefly mention the rumors in the Wikipedia article and to cite Kathleen Tracy: "It has since been speculated in Hollywood gossip that Presley and [his friend Nick] Adams may have shared some sort of intimate encounter. But there's no definitive evidence one way or another." See Elvis Presley: A Biography (2006), p.123. Onefortyone 18:47, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Quote: "But there's no definitive evidence one way or another" If there is no evidence, there's no independent credible verifiable source. If there is no independent credible verifiable source it doesn't go into WP. What's your problem Onefortyone? Those lyrics you have quoted are not genuine and I doubt that anything you have published here is genuine. Have a laugh if you want; but the laughs are on you. If he was gay he was gay; if he was straight he was straight; if he was bi he was bi; but wtf does it have to do with this article and where is any credible evidence to support the claim? There is none. The existence of rumours is just that - an existence of rumours. Rumours are not published in encyclopaedias. 08:23, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
More than a dozen independent sources say that Elvis may have been bisexual or gay. Fan sites and other Web sites are frequently discussing the claims. On Wikipedia, we REPORT on controversy. We do not get to decide which side is right or wrong. It is certainly of some importance whether the singer was gay, bi or straight, because he was a sex symbol, and it could well be that sexual problems with women were jointly responsible for the star's early death. I am more interested in the man behind closed doors and his personal problems, I am not admiring the star as portrayed by the media (and EPE], as most contributors to the Elvis article do. Be that as it may, there is plenty of material which reports that there is something of a debate over Elvis's sexuality. Gender studies published by universitiy presses are discussing Elvis's obvious feminization during his Las Vegas jumpsuit era. Given that Elvis lived in a spectacularly closeted and repressed time, clearly there aren't going to be any statements from him one way or another. However, the fact that today his sexuality is a subject of debate would be encyclopedic. The fact of the matter is, some biographers think he was straight and some others, such as Professor Goldman, think he was bisexual or even gay. Wikipedia only reports. The reader may decide. There are allegations printed in several different published works and Web sites, by several different people, among them alleged eyewitnesses, none of whom seem to have anything to necessarily gain by saying it. In my opinion, there is enough material that it would violate NPOV to omit it, if there isn't a short note in the article. We have a duty to report verifiable claims, no matter how disputed. The fact that there is a dispute over his sexuality is, itself, encyclopedic in itself - one could probably write an interesting article about the politics of homosexuality in Hollywood over the years. Such an article would include the fact that there were closeted actors, that some actors never came out of the closet, that some actors may have been gay but may not have been, and that their sexuality is a matter of dispute among biographers. I am historically interested in these facts, and Elvis may be part of this important discussion. Onefortyone 21:56, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a collection of unverifiable speculation.
This pertinent, too. Steve Pastor 22:38, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
You say: "More than a dozen independent sources say that Elvis may have been bisexual or gay." If they say he may then they are not authoritative. As for the rest of your response, WP is not a fansite so it doesn't matter what they are discussing as to whether something is relevant here. WP reports on controversy when that controversy is a fact. It doesn't make controversy, which is what you appear to want to do. You are right in that WP does not try to "decide which side is right or wrong" but WP does try to decide what is credible and what is not credible. You go on to say: "it could well be that sexual problems with women were jointly responsible for the star's early death." That is a personal opinion for which there are no facts to support. WP is not about supposition and your personal views. It is about verifiable articles. Your opinion (or my opinion) is not a verifiable article. You may be interested in "the man behind closed doors" but by its very nature; things behind closed doors are not verifiable. You go on to say that there is "plenty of material which reports that there is something of a debate over Elvis's sexuality" yet you quote only somebody who claims to have had a relationship with him. Why, if this claim is credible, has it not been reported in any news media? You go onto talk of university studies; but you cite non as a source; and I would question whether "discussing Elvis's obvious feminization during his Las Vegas jumpsuit era" is a credible evidence to support your claim that he was gay or bisexual. Dramatic performances, whether feminine or not, do not provide evidence that the person giving them was gay or bisexual. The two are entirely different. You say: "clearly there aren't going to be any statements from him one way or another" - well, that isn't proof either. But you go on: "the fact that today his sexuality is a subject of debate would be encyclopedic". My issue with your insistence of including it is this: I am not aware that there is a genuine debate over the subject of his sexuality. You conclude: "There are allegations printed in several different published works and Web sites, by several different people" - are any of these sources credible? You continue: "none of whom seem to have anything to necessarily gain by saying it." Well, the source you quote certainly had something to gain - he wrote a book, presumably to make money. Whether somebody had something to gain or not, doesn't make them a credible source. Fooey-fooey-flop-chops 05:48, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Are you a new sockpuppet of my old opponent Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo ? Just for your information, I have used the following sources for my contributions:
  • Martha Bayles (ed.), Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music (University of Chicago Press, 1996)
  • Roger Beebe, Denise Fulbrook, Ben Saunders, Rock Over the Edge (Duke University Press, 2002)
  • Helen Bevington, The World and the Bo Tree (Duke University Press, 1991)
  • Michael T. Bertrand, Race, Rock, and Elvis (University of Illinois Press, 2000)
  • Roger D. Blackwell, Tina and Kristina Stephan, Brands That Rock: What Business Leaders Can Learn from the World of Rock and Roll (John Wiley and Sons, 2003)
  • David Bret, Elvis: The Hollywood Years (Robson, 2001)
  • Andrew Caine, Interpreting Rock Movies: The Pop Film and Its Critics in Britain (Manchester University Press, 2004)
  • Paul A. Cantor, "Adolf, We Hardly Knew You." In New Essays on White Noise. Edited by Frank Lentricchia (Cambridge University Press, 1991)
  • Buzz Cason, Living the Rock 'N' Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Cason (Hal Leonard, 2004)
  • Vernon Chadwick, ed., In Search of Elvis: Music, Race, Art, Religion, Proceedings of the first annual International Conference on Elvis Presley (Westview, 1997)
  • Alexander Cockburn, The Golden Age Is in Us: Journeys and Encounters, 1987-1994 (Verso, 1995)
  • Jim Curtin, Elvis: Unknown Stories behind the Legend (Victor Gollancz, 1992)
  • Linda Deutsch, "Elvis' Gal Pal Shares Memories", CBS News, Los Angeles, August 12, 2002
  • Erika Doss, Elvis Culture (University of Kansas Press, 1999)
  • Elaine Dundy, Elvis and Gladys (Futura, 1986)
  • Jerry Eden, Against the Wind (Xlibris Corporation, 1999)
  • James Elkins, On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art (Routledge, 2004)
  • Curtis W. Ellision, Country Music Culture: From Hard Times to Heaven (University Press of Mississippi, 1995)
  • Philip H. Ennis, The Seventh Stream: The Emergence of Rocknroll in American Popular Music (Wesleyan University Press, 1992)
  • Thomas Fensch, The FBI Files on Elvis Presley (New Century Books, 2001)
  • Suzanne Finstad, Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley (Century, 1997)
  • Suzanne Finstad, Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood (Century, 2001)
  • Joel Foreman, The Other Fifties: Interrogating Midcentury American Icons (University of Illinois Press, 1996)
  • Joshua Gamson, Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America (University of California Press, 1994)
  • Marjorie B. Garber, Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety (Routledge, 1997)
  • Albert Goldman, Elvis (McGraw-Hill, 1981)
  • Albert Goldman, Elvis: The Last 24 Hours (Pan Books, 1991)
  • Earl Greenwood, The Boy Who Would Be King: An Intimate Portrait of Elvis Presley by His Cousin (Dutton, 1990)
  • Peter Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (Little, Brown, 1994)
  • Peter Guralnick, Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley (Little, Brown, 1999)
  • Boze Hadleigh, Conversations With My Elders (GMP, 1989)
  • Steven Hamelman, But is it Garbage? (paper): On Rock and Trash (University of Georgia Press, 2004)
  • C. Lee Harrington and Denise D. Bielby, Popular Culture: Production and Consumption (Blackwell Publioshers, 2000)
  • John Harris, "Talking about Graceland". The Guardian, March 27, 2006
  • Jennifer Harrison, Elvis As We Knew Him: Our Shared Life in a Small Town in South Memphis (Universe, 2003)
  • Jerry Hopkins, Elvis in Hawaii (Bess Press, 2002)
  • "How Big Was The King? Elvis Presley's Legacy, 25 Years After His Death." CBS News, August 7, 2002
  • Patrick Humphries, Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics (Ebury, 2002)
  • Connie Kirchberg and Marc Hendrickx, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, and the American Dream (McFarland, 1999)
  • Gavin Lambert, Natalie Wood: A Life (Faber, 2004)
  • Lisa A. Lewis, The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media (Routledge, 1992)
  • Reina Lewis and Peter Horne, eds., Outlooks: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities and Visual Cultures (Routledge, 1996)
  • Peggy Lipton, Breathing Out (St. Martin's Press, 2005)
  • Tom Lisanti, Fantasy Femmes of 60's Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies (McFarland, 2000)
  • Tom Lisanti, Drive-In Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties (McFarland, 2003)
  • David Lowenthal, The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
  • Kate McGowan, Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, Volume 5 (2002)
  • Greil Marcus, Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternative (Faber, 2000)
  • Carol Martin-Sperry, Couples and Sex: An Introduction to Relationship Dynamics and Psychosexual Concepts (2004)
  • Gerald Marzorati, "Heartbreak Hotel", The New York Times, January 3, 1999
  • James Miller, Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947-1977 (Simon and Schuster, 1999)
  • Mark Crispin Miller, Boxed in: The Culture of TV (Northwestern University Press, 1988)
  • Scotty Moore, That’s Alright, Elvis: The Untold Story of Elvis’s First Guitarist and Manager, Scotty Moore (Schirmer, 1998)
  • N. Allan Moseley, Thinking Against the Grain: Developing a Biblical Worldview in a Culture of Myths (Kregel Publications, 2003)
  • Alanna Nash (with Marty Lacker, Lamar Fike, and Billy Smith), Elvis Aron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia (Harpercollins, 1995)
  • Alanna Nash, The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley (Simon and Schuster, 2003)
  • Sean O'Neal, Elvis Inc.: The Fall and Rise of the Presley Empire (1997)
  • Annalee Newitz, White Trash: Race and Class in America (Routledge, 1997)
  • George Plasketes, Images of Elvis Presley in American Culture, 1977-1997: The Mystery Terrain
  • Priscilla Presley, Elvis and Me (Century, 1985)
  • Byron Raphael with Alanna Nash, "In Bed with Elvis," Playboy, November 2005, Vol. 52, Iss. 11
  • Gilbert B. Rodman, Elvis After Elvis: the posthumous career of a living legend (Routledge 1996)
  • Samuel Roy, Elvis, Prophet of Power (Branden Publishing Company, 1989)
  • Robert A. Segal, Theorizing About Myth (University of Massachusetts Press, 1999)
  • Robert Segal, Hero Myths: A Reader (Blackwell, 2000)
  • Patricia Juliana Smith, The Queer Sixties (Routledge, 1999)
  • Ruthe Stein, "Girls! Girls! Girls! From small-town women to movie stars, Elvis loved often but never true," San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 1997.
  • Harry Stecopoulos and Michael Uebel, Race and the Subject of Masculinities (Duke University Press, 1997)
  • Carol Tator, Winston Matthis, Frances Henry, Challenging Racism in the Arts (University of Toronto Press, 1998)
  • Donald Theall, The Virtual Marshall McLuhan (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001)
  • Time Out at Las Vegas (2005)
  • Kathleen Tracy, Elvis Presley: A Biography (2006)
  • Cameron Tuttle, The Bad Girls' Guide to Open Road (Chronicle Books, 1999)
  • Leo Verswijver, Movies Were Always Magical: Interviews with 19 Actors, Directors, and Producers from the Hollywood of the 1930s through the 1950s (McFarland, 2002)
  • David S. Wall, “Policing Elvis: legal action and the shaping of post-mortem celebrity culture as contested space”, Entertainment Law, vol. 2, no. 3, 2004
  • Robert Walser, "The rock and roll era", in The Cambridge History of American Music (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
  • Lana Wood, Natalie – A Memoir by Her Sister (Columbus Books, 1984)
  • Bonnie Zimmerman, ed., Lesbian Histories and Cultures. An Encyclopedia (Garland, 2000)
  • and others. You claim you are "not aware that there is a genuine debate over the subject of his sexuality." You are wrong. Apart from Goldman, authors such as Alanna Nash, Bret, Greenwood and others deal with Elvis's homosexual leanings, not to mention his stepmother Dee Presley. It is a fact that one of the most frequent points of criticism is the obesity and androgyny of the late Las Vegas Presley. Time Out says that, "As Elvis got fatter, his shows got glammier." See Time Out at Las Vegas (2005), p.303. It has been said that the star, when he "returned to Las Vegas, heavier, in pancake makeup, wearing a white jumpsuit with an elaborate jeweled belt and cape, crooning pop songs to a microphone ... had become Liberace," a well-known homosexual. See Marjorie Garber, Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing & Cultural Anxiety (1992), p.380. According to several modern gender studies, the singer had, like Liberace, presented "variations of the drag queen figure" in his final stages in Las Vegas, when he excessively used eye shadow, gold lamé suits and jumpsuits. See Patricia Juliana Smith, The Queer Sixties (1999), p.116. Although described as a male sex symbol, Elvis was "insistently and paradoxically read by the culture as a boy, a eunuch, or a 'woman' – anything but a man," and in his Las Vegas white "Eagle" jumpsuit, designed by gay costumer Bill Belew, he appeared like "a transvestite successor to Marlene Dietrich." See Garber, p.368. Indeed, Elvis had been "feminized", as Joel Foreman put it. See Joel Foreman, The Other Fifties: Interrogating Midcentury American Icons (University of Illinois Press, 1997), p.127. No wonder that "white drag kings tend to pick on icons like Elvis Presley." See Bonnie Zimmerman, Lesbian Histories and Cultures (1999), p. 248. 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" and "Elvis never made love to her again after the birth of his daughter ... He did not remarry after his divorce from Priscilla and did not have any more children." See Carol Martin-Sperry, Couples and Sex: An Introduction to Relationship Dynamics and Psychosexual Concepts (2004), p.24. We have already discussed these facts several times on this talk page. You cannot deny that Elvis's sexuality is widely discussed in reliable sources. This means that the topic is encyclopedic. Onefortyone 23:08, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I think Onefortyone weakens his argument by referring to the notorious muckraking character assassin Albert Goldman as "Professor Goldman", as if to suggest that Goldman's sensationalist biographical work has any academic rigour. (I assume that's the Goldman he means.) Without more solid evidence, the suggestion that Elvis was bisexual belongs with the post-mortem supermarket sightings and the rumours that he was spirited away in a UFO. Rodparkes 07:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think so, as Albert Goldman was indeed an American professor. He has written a well-researched however critical biography of Elvis. Onefortyone 23:08, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Goldman may indeed have been a professor, but to refer to him here by that title suggests that his Elvis biography has some degree of academic integrity. On the contrary, while you may disagree, the vast majority of critical opinion suggests that it was poorly researched, often inaccurate, focused on smearing Elvis's character rather than attempting to assess his musical contribution (which is, after all, his true claim to fame), and slanted the facts to fit Goldman's theories. Citing Goldman as a reliable source is therefore distinctly questionable.
And glamming up on stage does not make someone gay. Bob Dylan wore mascara during the Rolling Thunder tour - would you also try to recruit him into the hidden gay army? British glam rock star Gary Glitter may have dubious sexual tastes, but they lean towards little girls, not boys.
Like Gary Glitter, Elvis was a pedophile, as his predilection for underage girls shows. When he began dating fourteen-year-old Priscilla, Elvis had an even younger girl living in his house. See Scotty Moore, That’s Alright, Elvis: The Untold Story of Elvis’s First Guitarist and Manager, Scotty Moore, p.162. Reputed 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 his own age. Onefortyone 01:28, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
There you go again, presuming things. Wikipedia is not a forum for amateur psychoanalytic presumptions; it is supposed to be a storehouse of verifiable facts. Rodparkes 01:47, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I have only cited what is written in published books, the one by eyewitness Scotty Moore, the other by reputed Elvis biographer Alanna Nash. Onefortyone 01:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
You are clearly obsessed with this topic, but the weight of opinion is against you. Give it a rest. Rodparkes 04:15, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not involved with this article or the talk page, but I thought, in addition to Rodparkes' message, I would add that it's not only the weight of opinion, but the weight of consensus, too, from a quick scan through this section. And to use hidden messages that are based on suppositions (either on the part of yourself or on the part of any particular speculatory source) as evidence of any particular sexual preference, is ridiculous, and not acceptable. Especially when it means mishearing "We're caught in a trap" as "when caught in a chap"... --Dreaded Walrus t c 11:10, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I never heard any of this speculation until I read Onefortyone's posts on this talk page. People can write and get published whatever they want; that doesn't make it fact. - Maria202 17:19, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

In his review of Peter Guralnick’s book, ‘’Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley’’ (Little, Brown, 1999), Robert Baird complains that "Guralnick does not address the rumors of Presley's homosexuality," However, "he does offer straight reporting of the smarmier aspects of the Elvis-In-Decline story—the singer's promiscuity and rampant drug use—as well as of Parker's gambling..." And the reviewer cites Guralnick’s opinion of Elvis and Colonel Parker: they "were really like, in a sense, a married couple, who started out with great love, loyalty, respect which lasted for a considerable period of time, and went through a number of stages until, towards the end of Elvis' life, they should have walked away. None of the rules of the relationship were operative any longer, yet neither had the courage to walk away, for a variety of reasons." Onefortyone 01:28, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

New sources kind of suck. If you've noticed, just recently (conspiracy theories) have there been sources saying "This guy was gay." The sources you use have no sources themselves. They are in pure speculation. Another thing. You are speculating. I've been on Wikipedia long enough to know that there is always someone out there saying someone else is gay. There are people who swear that James Dean, Sir Alec Guinness, Herman Melville, and a handful of others are gay. their sources come from either people who ahte the actors, or people who say "Oh, I had sex with them!" It's really annoying for the most part. For one thing, it annoys me that everyone has to add a little conspiracy to people who's image has either been ruined enough already, or their iamge just needs to be left alone. Bah, there I go, shouting opinions again. Don't mind that last sentence there. Anyways, they use a few sources, however, their sources are pure speculation themselves. It reminds me of how so many conspiracies start. IronCrow 01:04, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

three music 'Halls of Fame'

This article states that Elvis is the only performer to have been inducted into three music 'Halls of Fame'. However, an article on Wikipedia about Brenda Lee says she has been inducted into three as well. Richnrich04 23:51, 11 August 2007 (UTC)Richnrich04

Good call. I just amended the article, Presley is in four halls of fame - Rockabilly hall added. Rikstar 10:42, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Wow, I can't believe we have to protect this article from vandalism!

What's the world coming to? I mean, people don't appreciate good music anymore! I don't feel safe anymore knowing that there's people who would like to vandalize "the king"! I mean, I just can't believe people are that immature to make fun of a music star/legend. Gosh, the guy is DEAD people! Have some respect!

Well, the racist only became famous because he stole black music. (Daer11 12:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC))

-Damn your stupid, Elvis was not a rasict —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I could probably say the same about other dead brunette celebs who's pages have a lock on them. Punkymonkey987 03:38, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Time to archive?

Anyone else agree we need to trim this page? Rikstar 07:38, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Yup. Went ahead with archive. --Northmeister 20:18, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


The following originally posted to my talk page Lara♥Love 01:41, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

The posting to LaraLove has been deleted. Already included in archives, with appropriate responses. Rikstar 16:34, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I do not think that your response to my critical remarks was appropriate. That's why I posted a summary of these remarks on LaraLove's talk page. Significantly, you have deleted LaraLove's contribution, thereby preventing my statement from being discussed. Onefortyone 03:07, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Warning: disruptive behavior

LaraLove: "The following [above] originally posted to my talk page Lara♥Love 01:41, 16 August 2007 (UTC)" All of this was posted originally in the Presley discussion page by user Onefortyone. It was discussed and dealt with at the time. Much of it is pointless, because the issues raised had already been covered in the main article. Other issues, like the implied homosexuality of Presley, are part of a pattern of behavior by 141 in this and many other articles to inject dubious content about unfounded or tenuous homosexual claims. I note the posting is unsigned. All editors should familiarize themselves with user Onefortyone's editing history and tactics. The fact that old, disruptive issues are being raised is evidence itself of disruptive behavior, the kind that has gone on for far too long.Rikstar 08:38, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I want to second Rikstar's observations on onefortyone. This user should of been banned long ago for his disruptive behavior and non-compliance with Wikipedia rules of conduct. --Northmeister 14:20, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Northmeister. Rikstar 00:45, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

This contribution was only a summary of some points which were insufficiently discussed on this talk page some weeks ago. As anyone can see, my behavior was not disruptive. However, it seems that I have still some problems with Rikstar and Northmeister, as their reactions show, because I have a more critical view of Elvis, the Elvis cult and the world-wide Elvis industry than most other contributors to the Elvis article. See also [10] and [11]. On the other hand, I must admit that Rikstar, during the last few weeks, has improved the Elvis article and even included some of my suggestions, but the objections I have raised against the present state of the article are still valid and not minor. It seems as if some users endeavor to suppress more critical voices and unpleasant facts. Onefortyone 02:58, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Elvis and Jews

It's been said that Elvis recorded a song called The Truth About the Jews (or The Truth About the Jew), which was banned due to its anti-semitic nature. I've heard this song myself, and it does indeed sound quite a bit like him (although Elvis' voice is not that difficult to imitate). The lyrics go:

Judeo Christians everywhere,
They think they really care,
As for myself I can't conceive,
All the things that they believe...
My one and only prayer,
Is that some day I'll share,
My hopes my dreams come true,
The truth about the Jews...
None of us can ever know,
How much they hate us so,
My only prayer will be,
Some day they all will see,
But its all only make believe...
My heart and wedding ring,
Jesus is all my everything,
He sets my heart on fire,
To find out who's a liar...
Some of us already know,
How far we have to go,
My only prayer will be,
Some day they all will see,
But its all only make believe...
My one and only prayer,
Is that some day I'll share,
My hopes my dreams come true,
The truth about the Jews...
None of us can ever know,
How much they hate us so,
My only prayer will be,
Some day the rest will see,
But its all only make believe...

However, I can't find any really credible sources to back it up. I do believe this is worth mentioning in the article though, if the proper sources can be obtained. --MosheA 01:44, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Elvis's anti-Semitism is mentioned in Mark Crispin Miller's academic study, Boxed in: The Culture of TV (Northwestern University Press, 1988), p.191. The chapter on "The King" is partly based on accounts by the members of the Memphis Mafia who reportedly spent day and night with Elvis. Certainly these guys must have known whether Elvis had anti-Semitic tendencies.Onefortyone 03:56, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Well i doubt elvis was an antisemite since he was didn't try to hide the fact he had some jewish ancestry, especially later in his life. he was known to wear a star of david pendant as well. this sounds alot like an internet myth, the kind snopes deals with alot.Duhon 06:06, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Have no knowledge of this whatsoever. The lyrics are a reworking of "It's only make believe" by, amongst others, Conway Twitty. Sounds like another smear tactic by those who hate Presley or think he's overrated. Rikstar 16:19, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. I've had the song on iTunes for the longest time, and I've always doubted whether it was real or not. --MosheA 17:39, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Since one of the Memphis Mafia (Larry Geller) was Jewish, I doubt Elvis had any problems regarding Jews. Of course, that doesn't stop some people from saying that he hated African-Americans without a shred of evidence, however. Jtmabat 23:57, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

This is complete nonsense and worthy of deletion. I have listened to the song above myself... It can be found with a quick search of the internet. Any person who believes that it is indeed Elvis singing the preposterous lyrics really ought to spend a little more time studying the Presley voice. Whoever is singing here is a poor impersonator and a very poor one at that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:46, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Elvis middle name 14:09, 16 August 2007 (UTC)Elvis middle name is spelled Aron

Read the first Note in the main article!!! Rikstar 16:04, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Haha, you're right. Didn't they do the same thing on his grave too?

Elvis is alive!!!!!

He is alive in pacific island!! Elvis not dead a doll was used in the burial.

Please don't leave comments like this in these talk pages, unless you have his current address and we can send CNN or the BBC out to verify. Thank you.Rikstar 16:30, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
That said, the "Elvis is alive" meme should at least be mentioned in the article (see below). --Hyperbole 07:29, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

"Elvis" and "Presley"

I think wiki convention is to use the surname throughout the article, except where it affects quotes and readability (e.g. Tupelo Hardware purchase of first guitar). It may look formal, but it is better than looking biased, as if star-struck "Elvis Fans" have done the editing. Rikstar 18:17, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


wasnt he originaly blonde?

Ash blonde, I think. Dyed hair darker/black from 1957. Occasionally had more natural hair color, army, post-army, in Kissin' Cousins and off screen/stage e.g. 1967. Rikstar 19:38, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


Under The Hollywood Years, Elvis is listed as recording "Suspicion"...maybe "Suspicious Minds"?? I think an artist named Terry Stafford recorded "Suspicion".Tfath 20:07, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Elvis did sing a good version of the Terry Stafford song. Rikstar 21:18, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Actually, Elvis recorded Suspicion a few years before Terry Stafford ever sung it. It was originally released in 1962 on his Pot Luck album. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:32, August 22, 2007 (UTC)


Before looking, I was absolutely sure there would be an entire article dedicated to the death of Elvis. I was surprised to find that there isn't even a section of the main article dedicated to the topic. 11:24, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I think there is adequate coverage of Elvis' death at least for this article whch covers his entire life and legacy in a truncated encyclopedic manner. However, I am curious as to what you feel is excluded or not covered sufficiently? --Northmeister 14:18, 17 August 2007


The following two sections were part of the Elvis article in May 2007, but they have been removed, together with several other critical paragraphs, on May 5th by Northmeister:
Death and burial
On August 16, 1977, at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, Presley was found lying on the floor of his bedroom's bathroom by his fiancee, Ginger Alden, who had been asleep. A stain on the bathroom carpeting was found that indicated "where Elvis had thrown up after being stricken, apparently while seated on the toilet. It looked to the medical investigator as if he had 'stumbled or crawled several feet before he died'."[1] He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital, where at 3:30 P.M. doctors pronounced him dead. Presley was 42 years old, and when he died, "he weighed 159 kilograms" (350 pounds).[2]
At a press conference following his death, one of the medical examiners declared that he had died of a cardiac arrhythmia from an intake of a large amount of drugs. ...
Controversy surrounding death
In her 1987 book Elvis and Kathy, friend and backup vocalist Kathy Westmoreland wrote "Everyone knew he was sick, that each public appearance brought him to the point of exhaustion." Kathy has been known to counter common misconceptions concerning Elvis's lifestyle and health leading up to his death.
According to Peter Guralnick's book, Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley (1999), "drug use was heavily implicated in this unanticipated death of a middle-aged man with no known history of heart one ruled out the possibility of anaphylactic shock brought on by the codeine pills he had gotten from his dentist, to which he was known to have had a mild allergy of long standing...There was little disagreement in fact between the two principal laboratory reports and analyses filed two months later, with each stating a strong belief that the primary cause of death was polypharmacy, and the BioScience Laboratories report...indicating the detection of fourteen drugs in Elvis's system, ten in significant quantity."
Michael M. Baden and Judith Adler Hennessee say, "Elvis had had an enlarged heart for a long time. That, together with his drug habit, caused his death. But he was difficult to diagnose; it was a judgment call."[3]
In his book, Elvis: The Last 24 Hours, Albert Goldman even went as far as to suggest that Presley committed suicide by overdosing on a stash of drugs that he stockpiled. David Stanley, Presley's stepbrother, who was at Graceland the day Presley died, is alleged to have removed the needles and drug packets near Presley's body before the paramedics arrived, suggesting that he didn't want to see Presley's name tarred with the brush of suicide. These rumours have been strongly rejected by some of Elvis's family and friends such as Joe Esposito during past appearances on the Larry King Show.
On the other hand, some of his closest family members, friends, band members, and background singers have long disputed stories concerning Presley's alleged prescription drug abuse and "self-destructive" lifestyle. At the same time, they haven't denied that he did take prescription medications for bona fide or suspected health problems. For instance, Vernon Presley, Kathy Westmoreland, Charlie Hodge, and J.D. Sumner pointed out that Presley also suffered from severe health problems unrelated to drug abuse. These health problems included glaucoma, chronic insomnia, and perhaps even bone cancer. The illness may have increased his dependency on prescription medication. In 1977 alone, his personal physician Dr. George Constantine Nichopoulos (usually referred to as "Dr Nick") had prescribed 10,000 doses of amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives, and hormones.
See [12] and [13]. Onefortyone 00:37, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
WARNING (See also "Warning: disruptive behavior" on this page): The above comments by Onefortyone (141) are an excellent example of 141's tactics: he claims that whole sections of critical comments have been removed, when in fact, some of same, significant (and critical) comments have NOT been removed. Anyone can see this if they look at the current article on Presley. Some of it was edited for reasons of space, and for the inclusion of different observations. Goldman's "suicide" claims lack support. Readers can judge for themselves if all this has resulted - as 141 regularly implies or states - in an unacceptably biased rewrite by 'Elvis fans'. 141's needless contributions and unfounded criticisms of editors are probably designed to irritate those editors into making inappropriate remarks (and breach wiki policy) - and to tie up their precious editing time by provoking them to address his claims in detail. You have been warned... Rikstar 06:53, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Are your "warnings" meant to intimidate? They are telling me that you do not accept alternative versions of the article, if they are not in line with your personal opinion. However, Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), representing fairly and without bias all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. You say that some "significant (and critical) comments have NOT been removed." So you admit that several other critical (and well sourced) comments have been removed. This is not NPOV. Where multiple or conflicting perspectives exist within a topic each should be presented fairly. Professor Goldman's suicide theory has been discussed in several other publications. For instance, Steve Warner says, "Some think Elvis committed suicide," and he adds that some even "argue Elvis foreshadowed suicide in his 1969 movie, The Trouble With Girls when he says, 'It's easy, I just go kill myself.' I don't rightly know. But Elvis brought on death by his drug use." See Steve Warner, Elvis and the Apocalypse (2000), p.178. One can only think of unbiased writing if a fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate is given, including the mutual perspectives and the published evidence. I am always citing the sources I have used, among them mainstream biographies and university studies. Where there is disagreement between the sources, their views should be clearly attributed in the text. In some sections of the Elvis article this has not yet been done. It is certainly no coincidence that another user was "surprised to find that there isn't even a section of the main article dedicated to the topic" of Elvis's death. Onefortyone 02:42, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Hello Onefortyone, how are you? First off, you shouldn't feel intimidated by any warnings, certainly from me, because I haven't warned you. But I have warned others to become familiar with your editing history. Anyway, I've been thinking (I know, you might not think I do much, given the crummy, biased state of this article)... If this article is so POV and controlled by biased Elvis fans as you claim, then feel free to make all the edits you like. You are obviously intelligent, erudite and can write excellent prose that is unimpeachably cited. Other people are freely editing the article, so why don't you? If there is a problem that does not allow you to do this, please state what it is, and maybe I, and others, can help. Rikstar 11:40, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
"However, there is little doubt that long-term drug misuse, combined with his obesity, caused his heart to fail." The phrase in bold has been added twice and remains. Although obesity may well have played a part, there is only a lack of doubt about drug misuse causing his heart failure. The citation supporting this quote also does not refer to obesity undoubtedly causing his death, so I'm gonna remove it. Rikstar 06:01, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

what about the grave robbers

there should be more info on that

German ancestry is a proven fact

Elvis' ancestry - even if many americans don't know or won't admid it- is german - and that is a proven fact!

The Pressler families still live in Rheinland Pfalz. Sources are the documentary ELVIS-O-Rama filmed in 2007 (Austria/France). They showed several birth certificates and the german ancestry is proven since 2005. There is no scotish, irish or jewish ancestry. ---Franco, Deutschland

His mother had Jewish ancestry - that is a "proven fact!". "Presley" is and was a Scottish name. There is no suggestion that Americans won't admit he might have German ancestry; you should be careful casting such aspersions. Rikstar 07:39, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
One more point about the german ancestry. I am not a native english speaker. When I was talking about Elvis' ancestry I thought Elvis fans or other interested people might want to know where his roots are. I read about his ancestry often but these articles which had proven facts like birth certificates for instance usually reached back only some generations (2 or 3). What I meant when I was talking about the ancestry was his oldest known relatives - the root. And a man named Valentin Pressler who lived in Rheinland-Pfalz in a village named Niederhochstadt was born there in 1669. He immigrated in 1709/10 to Maryland where he died in 1736 in a town named St. Stephens Parish. Valentin Pressler had four children all born in Germany. One son Andreas born in 1701 moved to Ohio /Indiana. He did not changed his name and all the Presslers who still live there are his descendants. Valentin's youngest son Anton married and settled in North Caroline. Being the only German there he changed his named first to Preslar what was proably more common to the mostly english-speaking immigrants . The Presslers are and were catholics like most people of that area in Germany. In the documentary which I mentioned before named ELVIS-O-RAMA was an interview with the Genealoge and Heimatforscher Gerd Pressler. He or better his family come from a vine-dresser dynasty and wanted to know how far this tradition reaches back. He is no Elvis fan, no music writer or musician. He found about Valentin Pressler out still not knowing about his connection with Elvis. He got in contact with Donald W. Presley from Little Rock, Arkansas who has family relation with Gerd Pressler and with another man who did research and has some far family relation named Edwin C. Dunn(e) from Albuquerque, New Mexico. They had found out that not only Anton changed his name Pressler to Preslar but one of Andreas sons, too but in Presley. All this is confirmed.
What it makes the facts so believeable are the different ankle from where the research began:

1.It started in Rheinland-Pfalz not in the U.S. 2.There where researchers from different countries working together. 3.The researches had nothing to do with Elvis (no fans, music historians or writers) 4.It happened by accident. 5.It is so unspectacular

And sometimes I suspect that Elvis-fans and some music researchers don't like that unspectacularity.

The "king of rock and roll" has german roots? That does not fit together - even in Germany. I heard of the german ancestry before but thought it was made up. The documentary changed my mind. No old indian Chief or Rabbi or scottish sailor who fought John L. Sullivan but a catholic german vine dresser and grower from a little village in Germany are Elvis' roots. That sounds so boring it has to be true!

So that is what I meant when I was talking about proven facts ( without quotation marks)! I told you the sources - just take it or leave it. If you like to write about your fantasies and wishes in wikipedia instead of the facts it's all right with me. I am a fan of Elvis and can understand this 100%. But I only like to inform the open minded music lovers about my discovery who did not have the chance to see the documentary and want to know facts.
To the user Rikstar: Instead of warning me to be careful with something you call aspersions and what I call my opinion (even if you don't agree with it or/and don't like it) you should ask yourself if people generally have a tendency to believe what they like to believe. I think many people who like to do serious research are caught in a trap that they have some things on their mind they like to find out or like to accept at least before starting the research. And exactly this things they will find out. They are doing research to confirm their existing opinions. Other traces which do not confirm their already existing opinion will be ignored - someone might have to change his or hers opinion. I think Elvis is an american legend and rock and roll is an american art or pop art. I think many admirers wish him a spectacular background ( like blues fans who are talking about Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil etc.). Maybe if Elvis had indian ancestry he would be a real american hero having his roots in America not in old Europe or being jewish like Bob Dylan he would be a great link in a long history of fantastic musicians. It would be fantastic and would make sense but reality sometimes doesn't make sense.

Best Regards---Franco, Deutschland —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:51:32, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

I am no expert on Elvis's ancestry, but this material sounds reasonable. The main points should be included in the article. Onefortyone 18:48, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Elvis Presley was a distinctly American mixture of several ethnic groups, including: Scottish, Jewish, Cherokee, and possible German ancestry

That is not 100 % correct. It is more the other way around : the german roots (as already mentioned Valentin Pressler) are confirmed. The other ancestry could be possible but are not confirmed. Every generation could be traced back til Valentin Pressler (at least on paper - what really happened only god knows). The link you set in the article about the scottish roots are almost 100% wrong. The mentioned Andrew Presley was a son of Andreas Pressler and the grandson of Valentin Pressler. As User Rikstar already mentioned Presley is an english/scottish name and because of that obvious resemblance with the german name Pressler it was changed. It would not have made sense to change a german name into russian or chinese.

In a radio feature about the before mentioned documentary ELVIS-O-RAMA on german radio it was stated that it is proably impossible to find about Elvis ancestry starting the research with Elvis' parents. The last confirmed (100%) generation considering Elvis ancestry are Elvis' Grand parents. To find out more about his roots a research had to start in Europe and lead to Elvis Grand parents. The big problem is where to start?!

The other point is who wants to know? As long as nothing (or only the paternal side) is confirmed everyone can speculate, fantasize or write books about unconfirmed theories and people will be interested and maybe buy the fanzines, books and newspapers or watching documentaries. The legend Elvis has outgrown Elvis the man by far. People are interested in the legend not in the facts. And if all facts would be known (not only about his ancestry) the legend Elvis would be dead and gone.

To come to an end: The radio feature stated that Elvis has german roots. And that is the only thing that is confirmed. He has much anglo-american ancestry on his paternal side,too. On his mother's side everything is possible and almost nothing confirmed. The jewish and cherokee connections can't be confirmed but could be possible as another theory that there could be gypsies in his ancestry. I hope some people did find my infos helpful to improve the article about Elvis ---- Greetings from Deutschland, Franco —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Elvis' ancestry - even if many americans don't know or won't admid it- is german - and that is a proven fact!

The Pressler families still live in Rheinland Pfalz. Sources are the documentary ELVIS-O-Rama filmed in 2007 (Austria/France). They showed several birth certificates and the german ancestry is proven since 2005. There is no scotish, irish or jewish ancestry. ---Franco, Deutschland

Pure German blood! Heil Hitler! ---Franco the Nazi, Deutschland 20:56, 23 August 2007

Thank you for calling me a nazi and not putting your name or country to your comment - that matches perfectly the quality of your statement! And don't "Heil Hitler" me even if I am German, was born in Italy like Mussolini and my first name is Franco like the name of the dictator from Spain! 22:28, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Franco, Deutschland even if you don't like it!

Elvis the "unpredictable monster" (Mark Crispin Miller)

Mark Crispin Miller's academic study, Boxed in (1988) includes several critical remarks on Elvis based on eyewitness accounts by the Memphis Mafia members. In his chapter on "The King", the author writes:

Elvis gradually became an explosive megalomaniac as his wealth and boredom increased over the years. His body was ravaged by pills. He loved guns, and regularly shot out television sets and light fixtures, sometimes nearly killing various acquaintances. He was obsessed with law enforcement, tagged along on narcotics investigations in Memphis, and was so intent on getting himself a real narc's badge (an honorary one wouldn't do) that he finally went to see another maniac, then this country's president, and got what he wanted. He was cruel to his "friends" (it is hard to find an accurate word for hired companions), intolerant to other performers, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, and contemptuous of women, causing at least three of them serious physical injury.

See Mark Crispin Miller, Boxed in: The Culture of TV (Northwestern University Press, 1988), p.191. Similar accounts can be found in the book, Elvis: What Happened? These important details concerning Presley's personal life are not mentioned in the article. Onefortyone 03:47, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Hello Onefortyone, how are you? I've been thinking (I know, you might not think I do much, given the crummy, biased state of this article)... If this article is so POV and controlled by biased Elvis fans as you claim, then feel free to make all the edits you want, like including the quote above. You are obviously intelligent, erudite and can write excellent prose that is unimpeachably cited. Other people are freely editing the article, so why don't you? If there is a problem that does not allow you to do this, please state what it is, and maybe I, and others, can help. Thank you for your contribition.Rikstar 13:34, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Do you remember what Northmeister, who seems to be identical with my old opponent User:Ted Wilkes, recommended on 20 May? He said, "I proposed ... that he [Onefortyone] submit his contributions on the talk page and allow other editors to comment or revise before putting them in - thus showing good faith with us that he wishes to help and not obstruct our intentions..." See [14]. This is exactly what I am doing in order to show good faith. That's why I have not yet included additional or alternative material in the article. I am certainly not free from prejudice against some contributors such as Northmeister, but I have watched the article, collected some additional material and tried to make some suggestions on the talk page. However, I am not satisfied with the reaction of the Elvis fans who, in my opinion, still dominate the article. Northmeister has still a biased view. Although I must be thankful that you, Rikstar, have considered at least some of my suggestions, your view is not neutral. As several of your contributions (including "warnings" and attacks against me) show, you are still on Northmeister's side. I have not yet seen you posting a critical remark against this user, though he has a rather dubious contribution history. See his frequent edit wars with, and personal attacks against, administrator Will Beback and other users whose opinions are not in line with his personal view: [15], [16], [17], [18]. He was even blocked several times by different administrators for WP:3RR, incivility, disruptive behavior, etc. in the past. See [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25]. See also these comments: [26], [27], [28], [29], [30], [31]. In the last arbitration case concerning the Elvis article, the arbcom has clearly confirmed that my "editing has substantially improved" and that a "sampling of edits shows reference to reliable sources without overstating of their content." The arbcom also said that my opponent "has removed large blocks of sourced material from Elvis Presley" and that he "shows evidence of misunderstanding of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view." Therefore he was "banned indefinitely from editing articles which concern Elvis Presley." This should make all Elvis fans think before removing my edits or posting attacks against me and my well-sourced contributions on this talk page. The problem is that most unbiased Wikipedia users are not interested in Elvis Presley, his music and personal life. Query: who is still interested in the singer? It is certainly not the younger generation. It is primarily our grandfathers' and grandmothers' generation who grew up with rock 'n' roll music. When this generaton dies out, EPE will have real problems to make money, that's for sure. Be that as it may, I will contribute additional material to the Elvis article in the near future. But you can be sure that Northmeister will be the first to remove these additions, and it is to be feared that the former edit war will continue. Onefortyone 14:27, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I do admire your tenacity and patience. With all the knowledge you have, and you keep your contributions confined to the talk pages. Forgive me, Onefortyone, but if we were to make all the changes and inclusions you (and others with similar intentions) have suggested, the Presley article would give the impression that he was a singer and musician who couldn't sing or play an instrument and a gay, Jew-hating, pop-pilling, racist bigot who had sex with his mother, strangers, his Memphis Mafia buddies and for all I know, his pet chimp. And kids don't like him. Try as I might, I have not been able to find - in my vast search of similar 'neutral' encyclopedic-style works on Presley - a single one that comes close to this bizarre assessment. Now why is that? PLEASE don't tell me EPE are behind it; lots of these 'facts' would have come out before EPE started throwing its weight around. Rikstar 15:48, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, what are you talking about? We are writing a biography. I have contributed much material to most chapters on Elvis's life and career, some of these contributions are still in the article, others have been removed, although they were well sourced. If there are some unpleasant details that deeply affected Elvis's life, then this material should be mentioned in the article, especially if it is supported by several independent sources. For instance, here are some interesting additions I found in Jerry Schilling's book, Me and a Guy named Elvis. Schilling relates that one way to really arouse the wrath of Elvis was to play one of his own recordings at his parties - "Get that crap off," was his reaction on one occasion when someone had the temerity to put "All Shook Up" on the jukebox. Concerning the "prescription" drugs, Schilling says that, as early as 1964, Presley and company were regularly taking Dexedrine, or "speed", to keep them awake at night while driving between venues, then resorting to sleeping tablets to rest up the next day. The Dexedrine, he adds, "was also a diet thing, if he was getting back to making another movie and had put on some pounds". However, he still thinks it wasn't these pills that affected Presley so badly as the painkillers, upon which he became dependent, for chronic complaints such as a twisted colon. He doesn't believe that it was drugs that helped kill Presley at the age of 42, so much as his acute sense of creative disappointment and frustration. The price of being one of the highest-paid performers in Hollywood was the second and third-rate film scripts and other material with which he was landed. "I believe the drugs were just the Band-Aid," says Schilling. "You can't take a genius like he was and just give them the same old stuff." It wasn't until he saw a posthumous screening of a CBS TV special filmed shortly before the singer's death that he realized how much Elvis had become a bloated caricature of himself. "I never, in all the years I knew him, saw him look anything close to that," he says. "I was furious with the Colonel and said, 'How could you have let him even walk on stage, let alone in front of a camera, like that?' Presley, Schilling concludes, "was not about being normal. He was either hot or cold, no in between". Onefortyone 17:07, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
It is accepted that Presley was a drug misuser, I've actually gone to some lengths to detail its effects on the singer. I don't know why or how you missed the point I was making about the negative, sexually and gay oriented, mother-loving stuff you have dwelt on before, and which I fear you will return to when you actually do some editing. We are indeed writing a biography - one that it is NPOV Rikstar 17:26, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I still do not understand what you are talking about. I have contributed to many different topics. It is interesting that you are only harping on the "negative, sexually and gay oriented, mother-loving stuff", although nothing of this was mentioned in the article's long version in May, shortly before Northmeister started removing lots of paragraphs, including the critical "Elvis cult" section. As for the drug sbuse, these are some additional remarks by an eyewitness. Onefortyone 17:52, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

"Christian" musical influences

I posted this on hoserjoe' talk page: Your "Christian" additions have been noted. I was wondering: is there a difference between "Christian" music and "Gospel" music, which is already mentioned as being a very significant musical influence? If their isn't, your additions, specifying Christianity, look rather odd. I think such additions, like the reference to the Blackwood Brothers, need citations to support them. Thank you. Rikstar 11:16, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

No problem. Christian music is the larger set, and Gospel music is the sub-set. Gospel music is a type of USA Christian music that is focused on the gospel, or "good news", with some kind of racial twist. My guess is that non-believers appear to try to sort out Christian music into "black" (i.e. gospel) and "white" styles, but this seems to happen more in the USA than elsewhere. Perhaps it's a style issue, but possibly it's also a racial issue? It's a difficult distinction to make and a distinction that is not important to Christian music fans. How Great Thou Art and Crying in the Chapel for example, are not likely "gospel" music, whereas When the Saints Go Marching In possibly is? It's theoretically possible to separate Elvis' Christian recordings into "gospel" and "white", but I'm not sure it would add anything to the record except an unpleasant racial/style element. I've added a Google link to Terry Blackwood and the Imperials, a Christian (or gospel, for those of that mind) group that Elvis greatly admired and sang with (when Colonel Parker wasn't interfering). Hoserjoe 07:49, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Several months ago, there was the following paragraph in the article:
Gospel roots
Ironically, for all the controversy surrounding his early career, Elvis Presley's roots in religious music ran deep. In Tupelo, Mississippi, Vernon and Gladys Presley were what was disparagingly referred to as poor white trash from the "wrong side of the tracks" at the east end of town. Their Depression-era home (where Elvis was born in 1935) was a two-room shack on one of several dirt tracks forming a small community off Old Saltillo Road. They belonged to a local Assembly of God Pentecostal church which played an important role in their lives. For Elvis Presley it provided an environment from which he would instinctively adopt the music, sound and accompanying body movements in his later rock and roll singing performances. The African American form of music that became known as Rhythm & Blues (which also evolved from gospel songs) was also a part of Presley's childhood world and he probably heard it on a regular basis in the black section of Tupelo known as "Shakerag" (which was between Tupelo and East Tupelo, and was demolished in the 1960s as part of an urban renewal project). The church is said to have brought the Presleys, along with the rest of its desperately poor congregation, a message of hope wrapped around "Hell, fire, and brimstone" sermons. For nearly a quarter century the Pentecostal movement was interracial and during the 1930s and 1940s many of these poor churches did not adopt the growing policy of racial segregation.
Although Vernon Presley's family was Pentecostal and his sister Nash Presley became a minister, his wife Gladys was Elvis's devoutly religious parent. Her uncle Gains Mansell was also a Pentecostal preacher in East Tupelo whose interracial church services began with revival meetings held in a tent. Pentecostal church services started, centered and ended with music and everyone was encouraged to "make a joyous noise unto the Lord." According to Presley biographer Peter Guralnick, Gladys Presley said that by the age of two her son was already trying to sing along in the church. A Pentecostal preacher would typically lead the congregation in prayer and both singing and prayer were accompanied by the waving of hands, the swaying of bodies and dancing about in the Holy Spirit. As it almost always did in those settings, "when the Spirit strikes" the body would jerk as though hit by a bolt of lightning and frequently the worshipper would fall to the floor, rolling around and praying aloud (this is why outsiders referred to church members as "Holy Rollers" and their services as a "religious frenzy"). For instrumentation, these church services used a guitar, a tambourine or two and if they could afford one, a well-worn piano and perhaps a used piano accordion. Church services lasting three hours and held several times a week were filled with music as Pentecostals gyrated their hips, shook their legs, clapped and waved their arms while belting out pounding, rhythmic songs such as Down By the Riverside, When The Saints Go Marching In and Standing On The Promises. There were also more serene songs sung with great emotion like Old Rugged Cross and Softly and Tenderly (Jesus is calling).
In 1948 the Presley family left Tupelo, moving 110 miles northwest to Memphis, Tennessee. Here too, thirteen-year-old Elvis lived in the city's poorer section of town and attended a Pentecostal church. At this time, Presley was very much influenced by the Memphis blues.
While Elvis Presley was a teen cataclysm with millions of American girls screaming at the sight of him, his own church viewed Presley's gyrations on stage as an affront, labelling it the Devil's work and a mocking of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Presley records were condemned as wicked and Pentecostal preachers thumped their pulpits with Bibles, warning congregations to keep heathen rock and roll music out of their homes and away from their children's ears (especially the music of "that backslidden Pentecostal pup, Elvis Presley"). People who decades later would be considered part of the religious right spoke out vigorously against Presley including Cardinal Spellman. In its weekly periodical, the Roman Catholic Church added to the criticism in an article titled "Beware Elvis Presley."
In August, 1956 in Jacksonville, Florida a local Juvenile Court judge called Presley a "savage" and threatened to arrest him if he shook his body while performing at Jacksonville's Florida Theatre, justifying the restrictions by saying his music was undermining the youth of America. Throughout the performance Presley stood still as ordered but poked fun at the judge by wiggling a finger. Similar attempts to stop his "sinful gyrations" continued for more than a year and included his often noted January 6, 1957 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show when he was seen only from the waist up.
His Hand In Mine (1960) was the title of Elvis' first gospel album. During his '68 Comeback Special Elvis said his music came from gospel. As heard in the 2005 televised special, Presley told a reporter that he "knew every gospel song there is." Despite his church's attitude, gospel music was a prominent part of Presley's repertoire throughout his life. From 1971 to his death in 1977 Presley employed the Stamps Quartet, a gospel group, for his backup vocals. He recorded several gospel albums, earning three Grammy Awards for his gospel music. In his later years Presley's live stage performances almost always included a rendition of "How Great Thou Art," the 19th century gospel song made famous by George Beverly Shea. More than forty-five years later (and twenty-four years after his death) the Gospel Music Association finally inducted him into their Gospel Music Hall of Fame (2001).
Much of this material has been removed. Onefortyone 14:52, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Elvis is known to have listened to a huge variety of music, including people like Dean Martin. Getting into too many specifics will result in the article becoming, once again, too large. I already disagree with the Rolling Stone reference and would challenge them or anyone to back up that claim. Look at what the man recorded the first few years. Also, the term "Christian music" describes practically any kind of music no a days. The term "gospel music" was widely used in the late 40s and 50s and still has the same meaning. I could easily beef up the info on the country and crooner influences. I would be happier to see the paragraph on Christian music gone.Steve Pastor 20:15, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
The term "gospel music" still carries the racial connotation that is now more widely recognized, regardless of the discomfort it causes to some listeners. Likewise, the term "Christian music" makes non-believers uncomfortable. But that was Elvis. there's no way that the term "Christian music" means practically any kind of music, as you say. It's not easy to cover up the huge number of Christian songs that he recorded, and not all of them were "gospel music" - only a few were. I'm sorry that this makes you uncomfortable; Elvis didn't mind one bit. If it makes you feel any better, "Colonel" Parker didn't like Elvis' Christian music, either. I recommend we face up to Elvis' Christian beliefs and leave it as it is out of respect for the man's faith and life's work. "Colonel" Parker is gone and we don't have to worry about him having fits any more. Hoserjoe 08:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Right now, we have as the first sentence of the musical influences section the following - "Initial influences came exclusively through his family's attendance at the Assembly of God, a Pentecostal Holiness church.[17] Rolling Stone magazine wrote that: "Gospel pervaded Elvis' character and was a defining and enduring influence all of his days."" (BTW I could not find this quote in the article at this link ) Then, at the end of the section we encounter the new paragraph, which has a tacked on feeling, and has the same assertion, and also the same link to the article that does not have that text.

People should know that Elvis listened to gospel music as sung in churches with black congregations, as well as gospel music sung in churches with white congregations. The more general term Christian music is, as far as I can tell, a recent term that came about as the result of marketing forces. It includes various styles of music, some of which didn't even exist in the 40s and 50s. Using this more general term rather than "gospel" is therefore misleading. Please note that there were no gospel tunes released by Sun Records, either, before Col Parker was around.
"If it makes you feel any better, "Colonel" Parker didn't like Elvis' Christian music, either." You are making quite an assumption here, and an incorrrect one at that. I am completely comfortable with Elvis' faith. But, from the perspective of an article that is supposed to be encylopedic, and is addressing "musical influences" rather than "religious beliefs", I think it is both more accurate and more objective to address this musical influence in terms of music rather than faith. and I think this influence is better described as gospel, rather than Christian.Steve Pastor 16:01, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I understand that you're uncomfortable with this, but others may also be uncomfortable with the American term "gospel", which appears to be applied to Christian music sung by African-American people. This is not a distinction that should be maintained in an enyclopedia unless there is a clear reason. If there exists a clear and compelling distinction that says that Elvis' music was consistently "gospel", I can't see that all his Christian music should be labelled "gospel music". It wasn't all "gospel". Much of it was plain old Christian music that has been with us for centuries. I don't mind the definition being refined to Christian and gospel music, but certainly it wasn't entirely gospel music. The dictionary definitions of "gospel" are vague and wobbly, and usually boil down to something like this: "The proclamation of the redemption preached by Jesus and the Apostles, which is the central content of Christian revelation". So music which makes this proclamation can also be seen as "Gospel"; but, again, not all Christian music does this, nor does all of Elvis' Christian music.Hoserjoe 18:58, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

More than two years ago, I contributed some material to the gospel section of the article (see [32]):

Presley was deeply religious, raised in the Pentecostal faith. Therefore, he loved the Southern gospel tradition and spent many hours singing hymns with his friends. Throughout his career, gospel played a prominent part of his repertoire. He recorded several gospel albums. His three Grammy awards are all for gospel music. He even angered Ed Sullivan by insisting on performing "Peace in the Valley" on one of his shows despite Sullivan's instructions not to. Gospel sensibilities can also be found in some of his hits, for instance, "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "In the Ghetto". In his later years, his live stage performances almost always included a rendition of "How Great Thou Art."

This section may be reinstated. It should be added that young Elvis had his heart set on joining the Blackwood Brothers, who changed the face of American gospel music, and that he was a regular backstage visitor to their concerts at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Memphis. When William Herbert Brewster opened his church to whites, Elvis was one of his congregants. In November 2001 Presley was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. On the other hand, Elvis also recorded Christian pop songs composed by Ralph Carmichael. Carmichael's Christian folk rock musicals, during the late 60s, played a major part in the acceptance of pop music into the church. However, most Elvis biographers are using the term gospel when they are talking about the singer's predilection for this kind of music. It should also be mentioned that there was a poet, lyricist, and composer named Luther Presley (1887-1974), who composed more than 600 gospel songs in the Southern tradition. As far as I can see, his possible influence on Elvis has not yet been discussed by the biographers. Onefortyone 14:09, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

As a young man Elvis had his heart set on many things, including being a movie star. He is known to have attended performances by musicians of several to many stlyes of music, and to have "hung around". His friends included musicians of many styles of music. This being an overview of Elvis, there should be a balance that reflects the wide range of music he absorbed. The paragraph on "Christian music" influences, including a sentence about what Elvis would do in the future, has already thrown things out of kilter. Steve Pastor 20:10, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
What Elvis liked most was gospel music. This is an undisputed fact and must be mentioned in the article. As Elvis was not a songwriter and only interpreted other people’s songs, he certainly didn't reflect such a wide range of music as you claim. He didn't absorb any style of music, in most cases he simply sang songs that Colonel Parker thought to be commercially successful. For Blue Hawaii and its soundtrack LP, "fourteen songs were cut in just three days." See Jerry Hopkins, Elvis in Hawaii (2002), p.31. Julie Parrish, starring in Paradise, Hawaiian Style, says that Elvis hated such songs and that he "couldn't stop laughing while he was recording" one of them. See Tom Lisanti, Fantasy Femmes of 60's Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies (2000), p.19, 136. (I do not understand why this important quote has been removed from the article.) In his book, Me and a Guy named Elvis, Jerry Schilling relates that one way to really arouse the wrath of Elvis was to play one of his own recordings at h

Barnes & - Music: Peace in the Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings [Box Set], Elvis Presley, CDis parties - "Get that crap off," was his reaction on one occasion when someone had the temerity to put "All Shook Up" on the jukebox. This is what Elvis himself thought about most of his songs. You can be sure that he personally favored gospel music all of his life. Onefortyone 20:59, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Elvis was a Christian and loved Christian music. 'Gospel' is a minor variation only. Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn, for example, written by Englishman John Newton in the 18th century. It's nowhere near Gospel. Wikipedia describes it thusly:
The melody is believed to be Scottish or Irish in origin; it is pentatonic and suggests a bagpipe tune
If this fact throws things 'out of kilter', you'll just have to get used to it. Documented historical evidence always surfaces and can't be hidden just because it's puzzling or unsettling to the non-Christian contributors. Hoserjoe 07:40, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

His CDs were labeled as Gospel, not Christian. Interviews, articles, books, etc. all say Gospel. Pull out the "document historical evidence" that says Christian.

  • reads "Elvis scored some 105 Top 40 hits, a string of those hitting number one, yet it was Gospel, and Gospel music alone, that earned him the coveted Grammy awards."[33]
  • Scott Schnider wrote "Elvis never won a Grammy for his rock-'n'-roll work, but he won three for his gospel performances," in his editorial review for Barnes & Nobel.[34]
  •'s review by Jon Pruett reads "Elvis freaks will enjoy this comprehensive set, which gathers every gospel track he ever recorded and unearths a handful of alternate versions to seal the deal. Presley made no effort to hide the fact that his heart lay in gospel music, and this compilation is testament to that."[35]
  • featured a story titled "Gospel music and Elvis: Inspiration and consolation".[36]

Searches for "Elvis Christian" and "Elvis Christian music" were not as yielding. LaraLove 11:52, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

That's all very interesting, especially for American contributors. But the rest of the world doesn't apply this racial twist to music categories quite in the way that America does. Wikipedia itself says "The music popularized by urban contemporary gospel pioneers had its roots mostly in spirituals sung by southern slaves during the 18th and 19th century." That's OK for that sub-set, but not all of Elvis' music was "gospel" in this sense. Much of it was plain old English European Christian music. Amazon has various descriptions such as "Although Elvis has gone to the Lord for 30 years, [his] contribution to contemporary Christian music will be remembered forever. Forever and ever, Amen." and "With nearly 30 spiritual and traditional hymns on each of the three discs . . ." and his Amazing Grace CD is described as "His Greatest Sacred Performances". It's apparent that his music is described variously as "Christian music", "hymns", "spirituals", "sacred music", and "gospel", depending on who was writing the PR blurb or review. But it's all "Christian", including the "hymns", the "gospel", the "spirituals", and the "sacred" Hoserjoe 09:40, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
    • ^ Guralnick, Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, p.651.
    • ^ Great Moments in Science: Fat Dead Elvis.
    • ^ Michael M. Baden and Judith Adler Hennessee, Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner (1992), p.35.