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The King

Elvis Presley's 'gospel side' is commemorated in a new book celebrating his first and deepest musical love.

The new book, The Gospel Side of Elvis, was written by Joe Moscheo, Elvis friend and member of The Imperials, part of The King's back-up band for several years. In this book, Joe talks not only about the special place of gospel music in Elvis' heart, but also shares photos of memorabilia from shows, stories previously known only to those in Elvis' inner circle and information on many of his favorite gospel singers, quartets and groups.

Here are a few not-to-be missed elements of this fascinating book.

The Foreword

Priscilla Presley, Elvis' wife for six years, writes about what it was like living in the King's world, sharing his musical passions—including attending the National Gospel Convention and spending Sunday mornings (beginning at 6 o'clock) listening to the Happy Goodman Family, the Blackwood Brothers, the Statesmen Quartet, the Stamps and other gospel greats.

Quotes from fellow entertainers

"Before Elvis, there was nothing." —John Lennon

"The lowest point in Elvis' life was when his mother died." —Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires

"He was an intensely lonely person, so alone with his fame and his thoughts." —T.G. Sheppard

Pictures from Joe's personal collection, including:

  • The souvenir menu from the International Hotel in Las Vegas during Elvis' 1969 appearance there
  • Backstage crew passes from 1969 to 1971
  • An after-show musical gathering in Elvis' suite in 1972, incuding "Mama" Cass Elliot, comedian Marty Allen and Linda Thompson

Great stories of the King interacting with other performers

The time he heckled Jimmy Dean into letting The Imperials—including their young fill-in baratone singer, Larry Gatlin—sing in Vegas

For more on The Gospel Side of Elvis, check out the Aug. 27 issue of Country Weekly.