In Search of Elvis: Music, Race, Art, Religion

In Search of Elvis: Music, Race, Art, Religion

In Search of Elvis: Music, Race, Art, Religion

In Search of Elvis: Music, Race, Art, Religion


Bringing together the best and brightest essays, artwork and photography from the International Conference on Elvis, this book covers topics including Elvis as redneck, Elvis' religious roots and Elvis' multi-cultural audiences.


On the Road with Elvis, Scotty, and Bill


I was born November 19, 1950, in a suburb of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. The country was then, and is now, one of the safest and wealthiest places in the world. I never knew hard times, and everything seemed to prosper in our country.

The Danish people survived World War II with only minor scars. Led by a social democratic policy, a welfare system was quickly established in what would become an open-minded and tolerant society. So when rock 'n' roll finally hit us in the early sixties, it was without the drama of its American debut. Although the older generations did not necessarily like it (my mother did), it was hardly anything to get upset about. My parents were middle-class, but coming from broken working-class homes they always tried to steer me toward a safe life. "Work hard and don't be too ambitious," they would tell me. Apparently I didn't pay much attention.

My parents had a record player, but it was very seldom used. A collection of classic music on 78s and a few others were all we had. In the fifties and sixties Denmark had one radio station for the whole country, and there was no American rock 'n' roll played until the early sixties. There was hardly even a show that would play German-influenced oompah pop music or local covers of the top tunes of the day, including Tommy Steele (the British pop sensation). Elvis Presley's record company, RCA Records, did not have a Danish affiliate or licensee until late 1959, and the few who owned an Elvis record had ei-

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