New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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Channeling Elvis
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New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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My new book, Channeling Elvis: How Television Saved the King of Rock 'n' Roll, will be published this fall by Beats & Measures Press LLC, and is the first in-depth look at the King's little-explored television career.

Elvis Presley was a virtual unknown when, in 1956, he strutted his stuff in front of a national television audience for the very first time. By year’s end, following a dozen TV appearances, he was an international superstar. Over the next two decades, Elvis turned to TV whenever his career required a boost or a complete makeover. Channeling Elvis: How Television Saved the King of Rock 'n' Roll takes a close-up look at his 20-year career through the unique lens of television.

Based on more than a decade of research, dozens of fresh interviews, and careful review of hours of television and other footage, this book focuses on Elvis' TV career and the role it played in creating, sustaining, and reviving his unrivaled popularity. Only television captured the full arc of the King's career, from his initial steps on the national stage and highly anticipated return from the U.S. Army, to his resurrection in the wake of some lame recordings and lousy movies, renewed acclaim as a concert artist, and premature, self-inflicted 1977 exit. Television captured it all. And Elvis Presley's TV appearances also provided us with the most extensive visual record of this incredible man doing what he loved best: performing live.

Featuring the insights and observations of some of his closest associates, Channeling Elvis: How Television Saved the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll places us behind the camera as well as in front of the small screen to explore one of the most fascinating and revealing aspects of a legendary career.

Early Praise for Channeling Elvis:

“Allen Wiener puts a new charge into the story of Elvis and his rise, namely television. It's arguable that television had more to do with Elvis' meteoric streak to the top than radio. Channeling Elvis is something new under the Elvis sun.” -- Allen Barra, author of Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, the Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden Age

Channeling Elvis is the first book to exclusively focus on Presley’s television performances. Allen J. Wiener knows his way around icons, and ably makes the case that TV transformed the greatest recording artist of the early rock ‘n’ roll era into a unique cultural phenomenon. Even though Presley too often allowed others to control or shape his destiny, the Elvises that emerge in Wiener’s account always command the spotlight.” -- Paul Cool, former program director and disc jockey, KUSF Radio, San Francisco, and author of Salt Warriors: Insurgency on the Rio Grande.

ALLEN J. WIENER is the author of The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide as well as co-author of David Crockett in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man’s Friend—winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award for Best Regional Non-Fiction—and Music of the Alamo: From 19th Century Ballads to Big-Screen Soundtracks. He has also written for the Washington Post, People, the Nashville Tennessean, Musician, Goldmine, Discoveries American History, Western Clippings, the Alamo Review, the Alamo Journal, and the Crockett Chronicle, while providing the liner notes for several CDs. He lives in Maryland.


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

Post by rjm »

Sounds promising. (I just re-read: it's YOUR book! Congratulations. :D )

Except that television caused more trouble than it was worth in 1977. But even that may be an interesting read.

Thanks!

rjm

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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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rjm wrote:Sounds promising. (I just re-read: it's YOUR book! Congratulations. :D )

Except that television caused more trouble than it was worth in 1977. But even that may be an interesting read.

Thanks!

rjm

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Thanks for your post and your interest in the book!

I'll post more as we get closer to publication in a few months, but you hit on a very interesting topic here. Elvis in Concert, the 1977 TV special, occupies three chapters in my book. It has not really been explored in any detail up until now and I hope that the book will bring a new understanding of it. However, you are right in saying it wasn't pretty.

I also provide entirely new takes on the Steve Allen Show and Aloha From Hawaii, and observations about Elvis from those who worked on the TV shows, both his musicians and the TV production teams. Each of Elvis' TV appearances is covered in far greater detail than in any previous book. With the exception of the interview program Hy Gardner Calling!, which occupies a single chapter, all shows are given at least two chapters and some even more. The 1968 "Comeback Special," Elvis, is covered in four chapters, for example. There are connecting chapters between the television shows, since many years passed between some TV appearances. These chapters cover Elvis' years in the army, his film career, and his return to touring in the 1970s, and are designed to lend context to the TV show chapters by describing what transpired in Elvis' life and career during the interims.

All Best,

Allen


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

Post by roustabout2014 »

Sounds like it will be an excellent read, congratualtions. I look forward to finding out more as you get closer to publication.

I'm a 70s nut so some indepth study of his 2 TV shows of that decade will be essential reading for me.

In particular the workings of the 77 special should be fascinating, no one working with Elvis can really have thouhgt it was a good idea.


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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roustabout2014 wrote:Sounds like it will be an excellent read, congratualtions. I look forward to finding out more as you get closer to publication.

I'm a 70s nut so some indepth study of his 2 TV shows of that decade will be essential reading for me.

In particular the workings of the 77 special should be fascinating, no one working with Elvis can really have thouhgt it was a good idea.
Every person I spoke to was opposed to that show being aired and, as you know, it has never been officially released on home video. I also found very little discussion of it in Elvis literature, so I built the story of how that show came about pretty much from scratch, based on several interviews with Gary Smith, Dwight Hemion, Joe Guercio, Bobby Ogdin, editor Andy Zall and others, and hours of going over the Omaha and Rapid City concert footage and the final program as it was aired. It's quite a story and I'm sure you'll enjoy it when you see the book.

I'll share one interesting aside from my interviews with Jerry Schilling. Jerry also opposed airing the special, but when he was producing the "Great Performances" video, someone suggested that he take another look at Elvis doing "Unchained Melody," and Jerry reluctantly agreed to give it another viewing. He told me that he had tears in his eyes while watching it and decided it did belong in "Great Performances" and he did include it.

All best,

Allen


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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I can't wait to get this book Allen!!


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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Joe Car wrote:I can't wait to get this book Allen!!
Thanks Joe! I'm just as anxious to see it printed and ready to go! Should be out within the next couple of months.

All best,

Allen


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

Post by Tony Trout »

Joe Car wrote:I can't wait to get this book Allen!!
Me, either, Allen!!!


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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Tony Trout wrote:
Joe Car wrote:I can't wait to get this book Allen!!
Me, either, Allen!!!
Thank you, Tony!

I hope the word gets around about the book and I'll keep posting when we are ready to publish.

Best,

allen


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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Channeling Elvis wrote: Elvis Presley was a virtual unknown when, in 1956, he strutted his stuff in front of a national television audience for the very first time.
.

that statement right there makes me doubt the credibility of anything else you might say in the book.


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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vbgt wrote:
Channeling Elvis wrote: Elvis Presley was a virtual unknown when, in 1956, he strutted his stuff in front of a national television audience for the very first time.
.

that statement right there makes me doubt the credibility of anything else you might say in the book.

Sorry to hear that. I was 13 in 1956 and recall quite clearly how little Elvis was known outside the south prior to his first television appearances that year and he was getting no real national press coverage. His records were being played on the radio and a buzz had started about them, but he did not achieve national celebrity or stardom until he appeared on national television. Prior to 1956, he was touring almost exclusively in the south and promoting his Sun recordings there, and he had become recognized regionally. But it was not until Colonel Parker took over his management and signed him with RCA that he started his national rise. Parker insisted that the RCA contract obligate the record company to get Presley on national television because the Colonel knew he could reach millions of people in one appearance that way, rather than going from town to town, doing only live concerts. Parker knew television was the internet of its day. He worked with the William Morris Agency to get Presley national exposure and even battled Harry Kalcheim at William Morris over this strategy. Kalcheim wanted Presley to tour throughout the north and establish a following there, but Parker overruled him. It was only after Presley got this kind of management and representation that he was able to begin establishing a national presence. Elvis did not have a record reach the top 40 in Billboard until March of 1956, two months after his first national TV appearance.

I hope others will read the book before making up their minds. It will be out by the end of the month, available on Amazon as both a paperback and a Kindle e-book. I will post a notice and a link to the book's listing on Amazon, which will include a preview feature so that parts of the book may be read before purchasing.


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

Post by keninlincs »

Channeling Elvis wrote:
vbgt wrote:
Channeling Elvis wrote: Elvis Presley was a virtual unknown when, in 1956, he strutted his stuff in front of a national television audience for the very first time.
.

that statement right there makes me doubt the credibility of anything else you might say in the book.

Sorry to hear that. I was 13 in 1956 and recall quite clearly how little Elvis was known outside the south prior to his first television appearances that year and he was getting no real national press coverage. His records were being played on the radio and a buzz had started about them, but he did not achieve national celebrity or stardom until he appeared on national television. Prior to 1956, he was touring almost exclusively in the south and promoting his Sun recordings there, and he had become recognized regionally. But it was not until Colonel Parker took over his management and signed him with RCA that he started his national rise. Parker insisted that the RCA contract obligate the record company to get Presley on national television because the Colonel knew he could reach millions of people in one appearance that way, rather than going from town to town, doing only live concerts. Parker knew television was the internet of its day. He worked with the William Morris Agency to get Presley national exposure and even battled Harry Kalcheim at William Morris over this strategy. Kalcheim wanted Presley to tour throughout the north and establish a following there, but Parker overruled him. It was only after Presley got this kind of management and representation that he was able to begin establishing a national presence. Elvis did not have a record reach the top 40 in Billboard until March of 1956, two months after his first national TV appearance.

I hope others will read the book before making up their minds. It will be out by the end of the month, available on Amazon as both a paperback and a Kindle e-book. I will post a notice and a link to the book's listing on Amazon, which will include a preview feature so that parts of the book may be read before purchasing.
good luck with the book Allen


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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keninlincs wrote:
Channeling Elvis wrote:
vbgt wrote:
Channeling Elvis wrote:

good luck with the book Allen
Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing it out in the next few weeks.


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Re: New Elvis Book Coming This Fall!

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It's finally here! My new book, "Channeling Elvis: How Television Saved the King of Rock 'n' Roll," has been published by Beats and Measures Press LLC and is available from Amazon in the U.S. (http://tinyurl.com/mhyaouz) and in the U.K. (http://tinyurl.com/kyolbnm)!

Amazon has not loaded the "Look Inside" feature yet, but here is a sample chapter from the book, posted on my blog. Hope you like it!

http://tinyurl.com/nau2oxy

The Kindle e-book edition also will be available soon.

Please pass the word and the links to all of your Facebook friends and give the book a buzz on Twitter as well!

Also, please “Like” my Facebook Author page: http://tinyurl.com/pofg47v

Many thanks!!

http://tinyurl.com/po638bd