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Elvis Author Elaine Dundy Died

May 04, 2008 | People

Elaine Dundy author of the marvellous book 'Elvis and Gladys' passed away on May 2nd. She was aged 81. In her early years Elaine Dundy was a significant part of the Hollywood and theatre scene with friends such as Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams.

As an author Dundy was well respected for her inspired writing, as well as her attention to detail and thorough research. Her 1958 novel 'The Dud Avocado' was a massive seller world-wide and has never been out of print. For 'Elvis and Gladys' she lived over 5 months in Tupelo befriending many of Elvis' Tupelo acquaintances and returning multiple times to continue her investigations. As she noted in the book, "I arrived in Tupelo Friday night and by Sunday I was listening to a sermon delivered Brother Frank Smith at the Assembly of God." Brother Frank Smith was of course a key player in Elvis' musical development.

In our articles section you can read our 2004 EmailInterview with Elaine Dundy.

Source:Elvis Information Network
ext_mnx wrote on May 04, 2008
I read her book. A bunch of lies. God forgive her.
Harvey Alexander wrote on May 04, 2008
You're obviously confused. 'Elvis & Gladys' is one of the few books of this sort I would recommend. Why do you say it was "a bunch of lies"?
Elvisnites wrote on May 04, 2008
This was a very good book. The lady did her research. Learned alot from the book. Friends and relative in Tupelo who refused to talk to other writters talked to her. The only thing in the book that was questionable was whether or not Scotty and Bill knew Elvis from Lauderdale Courts. She said he did. Guess we'll never know cause Scottys not talking. I don't understand your statement that it is a bunch of lies. She gave us a very fine book. May she rest in peace.
Matthias Kuenzer wrote on May 05, 2008
Elvis and Gladys is a very informative, well-written book, based on a thorough investigation. May she rest in peace.
Ian R Bird wrote on May 05, 2008
Evidence uncovered in subsequent years has shown a few of her statements to be untrue, but her book was based on the facts available at that time, and as such it is an excellent book with a wealth of good information. The same could be said of the Jerry Hopkins book, and indeed, many others. Isn't this part of the fun of discovering the real Elvis, finding new evidence to prove or disprove stories that have circulated for many years? Read the book and enjoy it.
Cher wrote on May 08, 2008
I actively search (pine is more like it) for the real Elvis behind all the bling and the junk that sells so well. So I've just now ordered this book and the Jerry Hopkins book. Thank you Ian for the tip although I'm not sure I can take another trip down the road to 1977 again. I still grieve. Call me loopy. ;-d Can you briefly outline which facts she presented that proved questionable? So I know when I read them. Any other tried and true reading suggestions are gratefully received. I've even considered reading every spiritual book that Elvis supposedly read just to get close to what he must have been thinking. But some of them are just a little too out there for me so...
Ian R Bird wrote on May 08, 2008
It has been a few years since I read the book, but one that sticks in my mind is when she talks about Elvis having his hair cut short for the earlier prison scenes in Jailhouse Rock. We now know that he had a hairpiece made to cover his own hair. I know it is an trifling matter, and there is certainly nothing to put you off buying the book. It is one of my favourites, and one which dignifies the name and memory of Elvis.