“Before Elvis there was nothing.”—John Lennon
“It was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody’s ear, and somehow we all dreamed it.”—Bruce Springsteen
That voice, those eyes, that hair, the cars, the girls. Elvis Presley revolutionized American pop culture when, at age twenty-one, he became a modern superstar. He had a personal style that, like his music, had an immediate impact on his audience that continues to influence us today.
“Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century,” proclaimed Leonard Bernstein. His appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show “ripped the 1950s in half,” writes the author. By any measure, Presley’s life was remarkable. From his modest beginnings to his meteoric rise to fame, everything about his life clamored for attention—and he got it. Keogh examines Elvis’ life and style to reveal the generous, complex, spiritual man behind the sunglasses and answers the question, “Why does Elvis matter?”