Last Train to Memphis

Last Train to Memphis

The Rise of Elvis Presley

From the moment that he first shook up the world in the mid 1950s, Elvis Presley has been one of the most vivid and enduring myths of American culture.

Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley is the first biography to go past that myth and present an Elvis beyond the legend. Based on hundreds of interviews and nearly a decade of research, it traces the evolution not just of the man but of the music and of the culture he left utterly transformed, creating a completely fresh portrait of Elvis and his world.

This volume tracks the first twenty-four years of Elvis’ life, covering his childhood, the stunning first recordings at Sun Records (“That’s All Right,” “Mystery Train”), and the early RCA hits (“Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel”). These were the years of his improbable self-invention and unprecedented triumphs, when it seemed that everything that Elvis tried succeeded wildly. There was scarcely a cloud in sight through this period until, in 1958, he was drafted into the army and his mother died shortly thereafter. The audiobook closes on that somber and poignant note.

Last Train to Memphis takes us deep inside Elvis’ life, exploring his lifelong passion for music of every sort (from blues and gospel to Bing Crosby and Mario Lanza), his compelling affection for his family, and his intimate relationships with girlfriends, mentors, band members, professional associates, and friends. It shows us the loneliness, the trustfulness, the voracious appetite for experience, and above all the unshakable, almost mystical faith that Elvis had in himself and his music. Drawing frequently on Elvis’ own words and on the recollections of those closest to him, the audiobook offers an emotional, complex portrait of young Elvis Presley with a depth and dimension that for the first time allow his extraordinary accomplishments to ring true.

Peter Guralnick has given us a previously unseen world, a rich panoply of people and events that illuminate an achievement, a place, and a time as never revealed before. Written with grace, humor, and affection, Last Train to Memphis has been hailed as the definitive biography of Elvis Presley. It is the first to set aside the myths and focus on Elvis’ humanity in a way that has yet to be duplicated.
Read More

Genre: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts

On Sale: November 1st 2012

Price: $19.98

ISBN-13: 9781611135275

Hachette Audio logo

Edition: Unabridged

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Praise

"Elvis steps from the pages, you can feel him breathe, this book cancels out all others."—Bob Dylan
"A triumph of biographical art...profound and moving...Even the minor revelations are positively spellbinding...Mr. Guralnick's narrative is rendered with an intimate, restrained intensity eerily reminiscent of the plaintive tone of Presley's ballads, that tremulous yearning of America itself."—Stephen Wright, New York Times Book Review
"Altogether splendid....It is the particular and spectacular achievement of Last Train to Memphis that holds both the making of the history and the beginning of the myth in firm, simple, and compassionate focus....Guralnick paints this world with perspective, respect, and great decency: it is one of the book's triumphs."—Jay Cocks, Time