Books

Return Of The King: Elvis Presley's Great Comeback

In 1957, Elvis Presley was the epitome of cool. But what a difference a decade makes. By the Summer of Love, the still-pompadoured singer was - at the ripe old age of 32 - a musical anachronism in a year that brought the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Monterey Pop and Sgt. Pepper's.

Plus, he'd been churning out shitty movies with lame soundtracks for the entire decade, and the only live performances he gave were for the Memphis Mafia and various underage female guests behind the gates of Graceland.

But two events happened before decade's end that would poise the King for a great comeback: The 1968 NBC-TV special and the 1969 recording sessions at Chip Moman's Memphis studio which resulted in amazingly mature and creative work like "In the Ghetto," "Suspicious Minds" and "Kentucky Rain."

Author Gillian Gaar did exhaustive research for the book, including many contemporary interviews with Presley's bandmates and associates. Her most interesting chapters delve into the background behind the TV special - simply titled Elvis, but universally known as "The Comeback Special."

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero