Elvis ’57: The Final Fifties Tours

By ElvisNews.com/ LexAug 23, 2007
Elvis ’57: The Final Fifties Tours
In a big anniversary year like this a lot of (re)issues see the light of day. Actually a lot of them darken the sky, but there are some pretty stars among them. In which category belongs this book? Design The 329 page book is printed on plain paper. That’s no problem at all for the text, but it would have been great if they had used glossy paper for the pictures. The very best picture in the book, from the show in the Conroy Boxing Bowl (Nov. 11, 1957), is unfortunately a reprint of a newspaper photograph. How I wish I had this shot as a real photograph. The layout is perfect, paragraphing and citing are well done, so it is very easy on the eyes. The finishing touch is the index, which is often missed in books like this. Content The fact that I prefer reading about the artist more than reading about the human being makes me a little biased. Obviously this book is well researched and you can recognize the teacher in the author. Tons of footnotes point you to the sources he, Alan Hanson, used for his book. Next to this accuracy it is well written in a lively style, therefore the book never gets boring. The facts on the 28 shows Elvis did in 1957 are decorated with memories of fans, writings from 50 years ago like newspaper columns, articles and letters. Some of them are still somehow shocking; it is hard to imagine that people were so square, especially if you are born even later. There are funny pieces to, like the professor who studied Elvis as an anthropological phenomenon and concluding Elvis was “a delightful entertainer”. Other bits that come to mind were about the “Presley Special”, a train from Montreal to Ottawa because the show in Montreal was cancelled, or about the girls that wanted to walk from Montreal to Ottawa. Also Jimi Hendrix – who saw / heard Elvis’ show in Seattle from outside the stadium, and the meeting with Ricky Nelson in L.A. must be mentioned. All together this book is literally setting some records straight and a very pleasant read. The only minor I found in the book was the “in between” chapter about the split with Scotty and Bill and the army. This chapter caused some unnecessary repeating, but that is only a minor remark. Conclusion This book by Alan Hanson is a bright star in the dark sky of rubbish that surrounds an anniversary year like this.
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Reactions

Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 12, 2007report abuse
Precisely, EspenK. I mean what's wrong with The Frantic Pavements, Painted Cheese, The Frightening Puddings and my favourites, Shocked Plastic Seaweed? Their mix of acid jazz tinged folk rock with a hint of pseudo garage funk makes for a great sound, don't you think?
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 4, 2007report abuse
"it is hard to imagine that people were so square, especially if you are born even later" - much like many of todays Elvisfans view on music of today... :D
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 2, 2007report abuse
This is an excellent book. Loads of facts and solid information. Elvis in gold lame in 1957 - baby, that is rock n roll!
Flippar1954 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 24, 2007report abuse
A good addition to your Elvis library shelf, "does exactly what it says on the tin" written by a retired history teacher (and lifelong Elvis fan ) so the research is very thorough and sound,written in a balanced and detailled style with plenty of quotes from fans, the establishment and the media of the time, amazing how negative most adults were ( convent school girls expelled in Canada for going to see Elvis live), each chapter has good b& w pics of the tours,both onstage and informal with fans and press. A glossy centre section of proper photos would have been the icing on this tasty cake but I accept that the cost of the book would have been increased . You can of course refer to other pictorial books on Elvis in conjunction with this , and of course the music of the time blasting out adds flavour. This would make an excellent audio book. Have enjoyed this far more than recent well publicised Memphis Mafia members biogs

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