The first book in the “Early Elvis”-trilogy by Bill Burk was “The Humes Years”. After we reviewed the “chronological first” “The Tupelo Years” last year, it’s time for a closer look to the book that was originally published in 1990.
The book has a drawing by the well known artist Betty Harper on the front. The page lay-out is very clear, and a good paragraph division makes it very easy to read. The pictures are collected in two sections of glossy paper and are printed well, especially regarding the age of the originals.
Knowing Burk’s style of writing from his magazine “Elvis World” and “The Tupelo Years” we knew beforehand that it would be a “catchy book”. Our expectations were met and most will read the book in one breathe. After a humorous foreword Burk shines a light on Elvis’ high school years.
The chapters are mainly based upon interviews with people who were there as e.g. neighbour, school mate or coach. Try to imagine to describe a school mate of 30 plus years ago, and you understand how difficult it is to recall everything, even if the subject is Elvis Presley. Sometimes you have that “hmmm”-feeling when reading, “Are you kidding? Do you really remember such a small detail?”.
Still this collection of impressions is a great read, especially the chapter where James Blackwood recollects his “Elvis-memories” is marvellous.
Between the lines some Elvis myths are uncovered (Elvis was a mama’s boy, Elvis got tossed from the football team because of his sideburns, Elvis was a sissy needing protection).
Just like “The Tupelo Years” this book is a must to any Elvis fan that wants to know all ins and outs of The King. We are looking forward to start reading the last part in this series, and we’ll review it soon for you.