Bob Gray, a major leader of southern Fundamentalism, died Sunday of an unspecified cause. A picture of Bob Gray preaching against the sensuality of Elvis Presley’s music appears in a 1956 edition of Life magazine. Elvis marked a “new low in spiritual degeneracy” according to Gray. Gray died one week before he was to stand trial for molesting several girls while he was a pastor.
This is what Elvis said about him:
When Elvis rolled into Jacksonville, Florida, on August 10, 1956, Judge Marion Gooding had prepared an arrest warrant for Presley charging him with impairing the morals of minors in the event that Elvis swiveled his hips.
Young people at the Murray Hill Methodist Church heard Elvis denounced in a sermon entitled, "Hotrods, Reefers, and Rock and Roll." Elsewhere in town, the Rev. Robert Gray, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, offered up prayers for Presley's salvation after declaring that the singer had "achieved a new low in spiritual degeneracy."
Elvis later confessed frustration at the Baptist preacher's actions. "I think that hurt me more than anything else at first. This man was supposed to be a religious leader, yet he acted that way without ever knowing who I was or what I was like," said Presley. "I believe in the Bible. I believe that all good things come from God.…I don't believe I'd sing the way I do if God hadn't wanted me to. My voice is God's will, not mine."
Source: Various / Updated: Nov 13, 2007