Was the late Colonel Thomas A. Parker a visionary genius or master of exploitation? Music historian Peter Guralnick argues that the answer is both. Parker was the mysterious, controversial manager who guided Elvis Presley’s career from 1955 on. Before he ever met Presley, though, he had revolutionized the art of management and promotion, particularly in his long association with Eddy Arnold. In this hundredth-anniversary year of the Colonel’s birth, Guralnick will show rare early images and play the only song Parker ever asked Presley to record.
Guralnick has written extensively on American music. His books include the prize-winning two-volume biography of Presley, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love, as well as Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. The Massachusetts-based author has been a Writer in Residence at Vanderbilt University since 2005.
After the program, Guralnick will sign books in the Museum Store. Included with museum admission. Free to museum members. For more details, contact the Country Music Hall of Fame at 615-416-2001.
Peter Guralnick Lecture on Colonel Parker at Country Music Hall of Fame
Saturday, April 18
Country Music Hall of Fame - Nashville, TN
I wish we can get a transcript of that lecture. Peter is a very competent writer and an expert on Blues and naturaly on Elvs. Looking foward to it.
I hope he lectures better than he writes. I have read both of his Elvis books twice. I had to so I could pick my way through the punctuation. I am not saying he isn't a good author, but he would be better if he would just write & quit trying to impress readers with his vocabularly.
Ruthie, how about giving some examples of what you mean? Guralnick is the greatest Elvis author we've ever had. I suspect the reason you have a beef with him is because he tells it like it is and some people can't accept that, can they?
I read his 2 Elvis-books too. I don't think he's trying to impress his readers, just his way of ( very good ) writing . Hats off to Peter, great author ! Always El.
Ruthie, I agree with you. I found Guralnick's writing to be short on common language and long on minutia to the point of boredom. Reading about every detail of a contract Elvis signed in 1973 made my head swim. I was bored stiff. I think one of the reasons that Guralnick stands out in the Elvis world is that he had no personal connection to Elvis from which to make a profit, i.e. the members of the Memphis Mafia, nor does he simply hate Elvis like Albert Goldman did. However, there are other writers that are in the same position as Guralnick and do a better job of moving the Elvis story along. Jerry Hopkins comes to mind. For me, he remains the most enjoyable Elvis biographer.
I have read his books twice but for different reasons than Ruthie. I did so because they are the best books written about Elvis, period. In fact I sold all the others and kept his two volumes which are the definitive books on Elvis. I wish I lived near Nashville so I could meet him. He also has written great liner notes on various albums. Talented guy who tells it like it is.