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Elvis 1956 Hardcover – November 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Welcome Books; 1 edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599620731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599620732
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.7 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

These pictures look familiar not just because they’re a subset of Wertheimer’s album Elvis at 21 (2006). Several are among the most famous photos of anyone ever taken, which should ensure crowds for the traveling exhibition this book catalogs wherever it goes. The exhibition launches in Los Angeles on January 8, 2010, the day Elvis would have turned 75. Its organizer, Chris Murray, makes the most telling comment about it when he remarks that these pictures, starting with performance shots of Elvis on the Dorsey Brothers’ TV show and concluding with another of him in action at a homecoming show in a Memphis park attended by 14,000, capture the time during which Elvis became a celebrity. He walks New York’s streets and travels in trains from Penn Station to Tennessee, and no one notices him except right before, during, and right after shows. Wertheimer didn’t know that was what he was immortalizing, but he intuited something, because he went on his own dime to track Elvis. Presented full-page and larger, these images are history. --Ray Olson

Review

"Elvis 1956 offers black and white photos by Alfred Wertheimer taken during the year Elvis turned 21, and offer a fine visual record of a defining time for rock and roll. It was the year Elvis released his first record, made his first TV appearance, and more - and it offers a definitive visual portrait unavailable elsewhere.  Any music library strong in rock and roll history needs this, which pairs Alfred Wertheimer's photo with essays by E. Warren Perry, Jr. and Amy Henderson."
California Bookwatch

"This book features a beautiful collection of 72 tri-tone shots that expertly capture Presley's dramatic and electrifying journey to stardom."
Foreword Magazine

"Elvis 1956 vividly captures the year Elvis meteorically rose from obscurity to superstardom featuring Alfred Wertheimer's iconic photographs of Elvis - some never-before published or rarely seen - and his recollections...For a new generation of Elvis fans, the book provides an inexpensive edition of Wertheimer's memorable photos with spectacular tritone printing of the king's sensational impact in 1956 on the emerging popularity of rock and roll."
Elvis.com

"...In many way the most exciting and intimate portrait of the legendary entertainer...You don't have to be an Elvis fanatic to recognize the importance of this book.  It sheds significant light on the early days of one of the true legends of show business."
- Cinema Metro

"Remarkable...The times, they were a-changing, and changing quickly. Elvis and his music were both part of and a cause of that change. Collectively, Wetheimer's photos capture that time as if the photographer and his subject knuew that the moment would not last. Elvis 1956 will appeal to a broad segment of reader, including those who still carry a torch for Elvis, those interested in photography, and those with an interest in 1950s America."
-John Michael Senger, Foreword Reviews

"Wertheimer's photographs show Elvis in every aspect of his life — in performance, with his fans, in the recording studio, and at home with his family. The book is lavishly illustrated with 72 tri-tone photographs, and features an introduction by curator Chris Murray, along with essays by E. Warren Perry, Jr. and National Portrait Gallery historian Amy Henderson."
-THE Magazine

"Elvis 1956 is truly The King before he was The King, and the images are both insightful and stunning. Recollections by Wertheimer regarding time, place, and circumstances of each photograph offer further revelation into the daily events that paved the way for this true American idol."
Her Nashville Magazine.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
ELVIS 1956 offers black and white photos by Alfred Wertheimer taken during the year Elvis turned 21, and offer a fine visual record of a defining time for rock and roll. It was the year Elvis released his first record, made his first TV appearance, and more -and it offers a definitive visual portrait unavailable elsewhere. Any music library strong in rock n roll history needs this, which pairs Alfred Wertheimer's photos with essays by E. Warren Perry Jr. and Amy Henderson.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By BlogOnBooks on May 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
1956. It was the year My Fair Lady opened on Broadway; the year Jackson Pollock and Tommy Dorsey died while Sugar Ray Leonard and Johnny Rotten were born; the year Norma Jean Mortenson became Marilyn Monroe and the year of the chart debut of a 21 year old singer named Elvis Presley.

Now, in honor of the 75th anniversary of Elvis' birth (and the opening of a Smithsonian Exhibition celebrating the `King of Rock `n' Roll') comes `Elvis 1956: Photographs of Alfred Wertheimer.` Like the Beatlemania that was to arrive on these shores eight years later, the rise of Elvis Presley from unknown singer to generational icon, emerged in its near entirety all in one year. From the release of his `Heartbreak Hotel' single to his gold eponymous gold debut album to his still controversial hip-shaking appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, Elvis took the American music market by storm. It is that ascension that is so intimately chronicled in these photographs by Wertheimer; a photographer who had never heard of Presley when he was first hired and yet whose career would by inextricably tied to the singer's forever.

By being along for the ride, Wertheimer was able to capture what would be off limits in the years to come. Elvis in repose, Elvis preparing for an appearance or simply Elvis walking down the street as yet unrecognized are amongst the subjects of Wertheimer's work. Hired by the singer's new label (he had just switched from Sun Records to the larger RCA), the twenty-six year old photographer `tagged along' to come up with hundreds of photographs that would become a part of history in their own right. Never again would anyone have the same degree of inside access once the icon climbed to superstar status.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Le Compte on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great photo documentary on the King of Rock and Roll.
A must have for any Elvis or early Rock & Roll fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven DuVal on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has got to be one of my most favorite Elvis books, the photos are great, they really capture Elvis as he was just beginning to become a star. I took my copy to have it autographed by the photographer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gilbert G. Campbell on January 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is great. We recommend it for any true Elvis fan. Frankly we can not get enough good Elvis material. For those who don't know about it, we recommend the Elvis channel on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Perry on September 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I can't wait to read this book. It looks like it is going to have a lot of good stories and pictures.
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By robert w. rose on January 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
as a total elvis fan i was more than pleased to read something positive(as alfred always is) not only about elvis but the simpler times of the 50's and the prices of the items in the diner was really an education.great to see when ELVIS became KING.
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By Lynn on April 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book had photos in it I had never seen. It was a gift for a friend who was turning 59 and an Elvis nut. ;)

She seemed to love it. :)
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More About the Author

Warren Perry, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, holds graduate degrees in medieval literature and creative writing from the University of Memphis and in drama from The Catholic University of America. His one-man shows on Walt Whitman and Lyndon B. Johnson have been produced by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC (2006, 2007) while his research has been presented twice at the Byzantine Studies Conferences, once at Harvard University (2000) and a second time at Bates College (2003); his abstracts are published in those proceedings. Warren is a writer and researcher for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and lives in Washington DC with his wife, Shannon, the collections database administrator for Smithsonian American Art.

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