Monday, January 09, 2012

Happy 77th Birthday, Elvis!

This past Sunday, January 8th, fans the world over gathered to celebrate and remember the life of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, on the anniversary of his 77th birthday. Thousands of guests visited the Heartbreak Hotel and other Graceland attractions, as well as the Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi to honor the King, who passed away in 1977. In Memphis, the historic city where Elvis’s prodigious talents first came to light, officials proclaimed the date a new city-wide holiday, Elvis Presley Day.

Elvis has the largest and most dedicated following in the history of show business, and this year’s birthday festivities jump-start what will undoubtedly be a moving year for Elvis fans worldwide, as it commemorates the 35th anniversary of his untimely death at the age of 42. For Presley enthusiasts searching to learn more about the life and career of the biggest name in show business during this historic anniversary year, Overlook offers a wide range of books about the King, ranging from encyclopedic compendiums detailing his dual careers on the stage and on the screen, to original fiction inspired by the Presley legacy.

Elvis first performed in Vegas in 1958 and bombed. His rockabilly act was considered too uncouth for an older audience used to show tunes, and he didn’t return until 1963. By the late 1960s, however, the King had won over the city of sin, and would ultimately perform more than eight hundred sold-out shows throughout the city’s hotels and casinos before his death in 1977. Elvis in Vegas, the latest addition to the Overlook Elvis collection, spotlights the King’s life and career in Las Vegas. Published in late 2011, it features over 300 full-color and black-and-white photos, as well as concert and set lists, news clippings, and interviews. Written and compiled by Elvisologist and long time Presley friend Paul Lichter, Elvis in Vegas is the missing volume in any Elvis aficionado’s collection.

For a more comprehensive guide to all things Presley, The Elvis Encyclopedia by Adam Victor is “a valuable one-stop source of all things informational about the King. The A-Z reference covers seemingly every person, place, and thing that touched Elvis's eventful life” (Bookpage). A visual compendium of Elvis’s career, featuring more than four hundred photographs ranging from never-before seen candid moments to the extraordinary iconic images the world has come to love, Elvis in Vegas is the definitive one-stop resources for fans and scholars of the King.

Elvis’s Hollywood years are rigorously documented in The Elvis Film Encyclopedia, a guidebook to Elvis’s more than thirty iconic appearances on the silver screen, as well as the original music he wrote and recorded for his films ranging from fan favorites Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock, and King Creole to the golden-globe winning documentary Elvis on Tour. With an unbiased view, one-to-five star ratings for all his movies, as well as complete credits, synopses, and soundtrack details, The Elvis Film Encyclopedia offers a fresh look at the cultural phenomenon and the distinctive place Elvis’s movies hold in film history.

Part mystery, part love story, part commentary on America’s waning presence throughout the world, P.F. Kluge’s Biggest Elvis tells the story of a trio of Elvis impersonators working out of a club called Graceland set in the Philippines. Biggest Elvis revives and re-envisions the life of America’s leading twentieth-century folk hero in an edgy and compassionate novel that NPR calls, “highly entertaining.”

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