Images of Elvis Presley in American Culture, 1977-1997: The Mystery Terrain

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Psychology Press, 1997 - Social Science - 334 pages
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Was Al Gore only half-kidding at the 1992 Democratic Convention when he compared Bill Clinton to “the King?” Why does Elvis's name and image still pop up in so many movies, television shows, and songs? From black velvet paintings, comic books, and postage stamps to impersonators, movie characters, and sports stars, Images of Elvis Presley in American Culture, 1977--1997 provides a surprisingly broad vista from which to view American popular culture. An insightful exploration of America's overwhelming and enduring cultural fascination with the expanding and elusive Elvis myth, this book combines historical, textual, and sociocultural analysis with a wide range of resource materials to examine the many images of Elvis in American culture.

Focusing on the period following his death in 1977 up to the present, Elvis Presley in American Culture, 1977--1997 informs and entertains popular readers and academicians in American studies, popular culture, radio/television/film, sociology, music, and 20th-century American history. Elvis fans (“Elfans”) and collectors of Elvis Presley materials and memorabilia also need to add this perspective-enhancing book to your personal libraries. Author George Plasketes shows us how representations, reflections, responses, and references to Elvis in art, artifacts, film, video, television, music, performance, literature, memorabilia, and alleged sightings, continue to make American culture a “mystery terrain” of endless “Elvistas.” The repetition of these images is a link to our cultural identity. Elvis Presley in American Culture, 1977--1997 provides the necessary critical analysis and the resource guide to the various representations of Elvis during the past 20 years, to give readers an engaging and informative way to pursue and interpret the expansive and ever-evolving Elvis myth and its importance to American popular culture.
 

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Contents

Endless Elvistas
1
The King Is Gone but Hes Not Forgotten
21
Presley Pulp Fiction Swimming
63
Lord Byron An Automatic God
69
Thats All Right Throw Mama from the Mystery Train
80
Elverses
93
Hopeless Necromantics
101
Blue Christmas
107
Elvis Dont Like Football?
145
Elvis Has Left the Stadium
153
Commercials Cards Collectibles and Karate
160
The Athletic and Aesthetic
167
Elvis II The Sequel The NeverEnding Story
203
From Post Office to Oval Office Idolatry
255
Epilogue
287
Discography
303

Absence Makes the Art Grow Fonder
117
Primitive Presley
124
Serious
139

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