Tracing the King's Path to Greatness NON-FICTION in Search of Elvis by Charlie Connelly (Little, Brown, [Pounds Sterling]12.99)

Article excerpt

Byline: HARRY RITCHIE

Tracing the King's path to greatness WHEN Elvis died in 1977, there were only 185 Elvis impersonators in the world. In 2005, there were 186,000. At this rate, by 2050, one in four people in the world will be an Elvis impersonator.

Thirty years after his death, Elvis still earns [pounds sterling]25million a year in royalties. And the cult of Elvis continues to thrive, with often near-religious intensity, all over the world.

Charlie Connelly sets off to explore the be-sequined, lip-curling, hip-wiggling world ruled by the King, travelling to outposts of Elvism from Tashkent to Porthcawl, and making his own pilgrimages to Graceland and other sites held sacred by the faithful.

Connelly's whistle-stop tour of the King's domain starts in a ruined church in Aberdeenshire, where Elvis's great-great-greatgreatgreat-greatgrandparents were married. Thence to an Elvis-themed cafe in Uzbekistan by way of the Porthcawl Elvis Festival.

Then Connelly sets off on his pilgrimage to the United States, starting with Tupelo, Mississippi, and the little house where Elvis was born in 1935. …