Hello and thank you for stopping by and checking out the Elvis Archives. I want to say hi to all of you from all over the world following this Elvis and Nick journey that began when I published The Rebel and the King by Nick Adams. Visit The Rebel & The King Official Website
Watch a short video by Roy Turner about my journey to Graceland with never before seen photos of Elvis and Nick.
I found the manuscript in a box that I had been carrying around for 45 years since my Dad died when I was seven. Finding the manuscript changed my life because it let me get to know my father during his early Hollywood heyday as a young, struggling actor.
My Mom said the story is the last glimpse of innocence before the end of an era. Which is so true. Later, both Elvis and my Dad would die of overdoses during difficult times in their lives.
The innocence of 1956, when Elvis was rising to fame and his loving relationship with his mother, really touched my soul. It blows me away how many people love his music to this day and find such love and inspiration from Elvis’ life story.
Here are some photos and past posts from The Rebel & The King journey! Enjoy the ride!
Breakfast with Gladys.
Nick Adams was treated like family by the Presley’s and privy to the adoration between Elvis and Gladys while enjoying her plentiful, southern home-cooking. Before cholesterol warnings and vegan doctrines, those two boys liked to chow down and Nick gives details.
(Excerpt from The Rebel and The King by Nick Adams)
The next morning Mrs. Presley came in and woke Elvis and myself and said, “Time for breakfast, son. You and Nick wash up and come on in and eat because I have everything just about ready. I’ve got eggs, ham, pork chops and bacon. Fried potatoes, and hot biscuits. Milk and coffee and sausage.” And Mrs. Presley went on and on and I never got ready so fast in the morning as I did that one.
After hearing that lineup of food, I couldn’t wait to finish showering and dressing. Elvis and I sat down to breakfast and it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had. I must have had about five helpings of everything and Mrs. Presley kept coming in from the kitchen with freshly cooked eggs and sausage and everything else.
In all my life I have never had such a wonderful and such a delicious breakfast. And Elvis kept saying, “Boy, there’s just no place like home.” And every time his mother would come in with something from the kitchen, Elvis would put his arms around her and kiss her on the cheek and say, “This sure is good Mamma.”
His mother makes the best southern cooking in the world and the greatest biscuits you ever tasted in your whole life.
I had never had a biscuit before going to Memphis, and for a long time I called them “those things.” Elvis’s mother and father got a big laugh whenever I would ask if there were anymore of “those things” around. They’re a lovable, wonderful, sincere, honest people. I really love them and believe they love me too. Mrs. Presley really made me feel good when she said, “Nick, I wish I had another son just like you.” I know she meant it. She reminds me a great deal of my own mother.
Daddy was a frequent visitor to Graceland, as well as to the earlier Presley home before the mansion was purchased in 1957. He brought my grandmother, Catherine Adamshock, there to meet Elvis’ parents. Grandma fixed Ukrainian dishes and hung laundry on a clothesline pictured in a casual family portrait with Gladys and Vernon Presley sitting in lawn chairs.
So much would happen so fast with Elvis’ meteoric celebrity and induction into the army, that the toll would weigh heavy on Gladys Presley. She would pass away in August of 1958. Daddy immediately flew to Memphis to be with his friend. Elvis was devastated by the death of his beloved mother, and Nick slept on the floor at Elvis’ bedside because the grieving star didn’t want to be alone.
That’s what friends are for.
January 8, 2015 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELVIS!
Elvis has not left the website! He’s here in all his glory on my Elvis Archives page. Please enjoy the photos, book excerpts and some of the highlights of my journey with publishing The Rebel & The King by Nick Adams. I will be adding more photos and stories as time goes by. You can visit The Rebel & The King website to order the book. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I have!
Elvis would be 80 today and here’s where he was born in Tupelo MS. They don’t call it “humble beginnings” for nothing. Elvis was a twin, and his brother, Jesse, died at birth. Gladys had a tough time but welcomed what would be her only son, Elvis, with love. Did you know Gladys’ middle name is Love? Gladys Love Presley. birthplaceThank you Gladys for giving birth to a star that keeps on shining.
Gladys Presley with Sweet Pea, the dog Elvis gave her.
Elvis Archives Page
The new, expanded edition of The Rebel & The King is now available on Amazon! 33 classic photos, introduction by historian Roy Turner and an amazing essay by bestselling author, Elaine Dundy, who wrote Elvis and Gladys.
The upcoming July 19 book signing and screening of Love Me Tender at the Agoura Historic Center have inspired me to share the stories that I have discovered since I first launched the book two years ago. I’ve mentioned before that this is my first Elvis rodeo and the fans and experts have schooled me well.
When I went to Elvis Week in 2012, I discovered photos of Nick and Elvis that I had never seen before. It was funny because I had seen some of these Elvis photos through the years, but my Dad had been cut out. People in Memphis remember Elvis carrying around a typewriter with my Dad that Homecoming week, and when they asked what they were doing, Elvis replied, “We’re writing a book!”
Elvis wanted to set the record straight after a whole lot of slander from his critics. People forget how controversial Elvis was in his early career, and Nick and he were in cahoots to punch back. Here is an excerpt from The Rebel & The King by Nick Adams.
(From the chapter Don’t Be Cruel)
“While my blood is boiling I have one more thing I’d like to say regarding someone else who made a public statement about Elvis. Namely, Baptist preacher Robert Gray, whose picture appeared in Life magazine, August 27th of this year. He said, and I quote, “Elvis Presley has achieved a new low in spiritual degeneracy. If he were offered his salvation tonight, he would probably say, “No thanks, I’m on top.” End of quote.
I could go on for hours regarding how I feel about your statement, Reverend, but I think I can sum it up (God willing) in a few paragraphs. And just so you don’t get the idea that I’m a non-believer I want you to know that I’m a Catholic and was educated in Catholic schools. I don’t feel that one religion is better than another. I feel that faith, and God (which is salvation) is present in all our religions and churches whether they be Protestant, Jewish or Catholic.
But getting back to the statement you made about Elvis, I don’t think you had any right to slander someone you know nothing about. Especially when it’s detrimental not only to the individual, but to his family and friends as well. Even a Baptist preacher doesn’t know what Elvis Presley would say in such circumstance. How can you make a statement telling the entire world what Elvis Presley would say if he were offered his salvation? You’ve never even met Elvis!
I can tell you what he’d say Reverend, because I know him. I’ve lived with him and his family and I can safely say that salvation means more to him than selling records. He and his family believe in and love God, and were hurt very badly by the statement you so rashly made. If they didn’t have so strong a belief, they wouldn’t care what you said. But when Elvis read what you said about him, tears formed in his eyes and I think you hurt him worse than any other single statement made about him.
I think after you read this story you should make a public apology and hope that God is listening. While I’m on the subject, Reverend, how many young men in your congregation around the age of twenty-one do not drink or smoke, and how many love their mother and father so much that they work twenty hours a day, seven days a week, so that they can give their parents everything they’ve ever dreamed about?”
(End of excerpt)
I get a real dose of my father’s passion when I hear him defending Elvis. That’s my favorite thing about finding the manuscript. I get to hear firsthand what was happening right at the time. My father didn’t write this years later from memory. He was there in the moment. Many of the Elvis passages in the book are taken straight from recordings Nick and Elvis made. Roy Turner mentions in his introduction how the southern vernacular of the time is imbedded in the natural dialogue between Elvis and his homies.
Elaine Dundy’s magical essay about Elvis is a poetic portal into the Kings destiny.
During my trip to Memphis, I met a man who still had a teddy bear my Dad gave him when he was a little boy in ’56. And the memories continue…
Enjoy the ride.
58 years ago on September 26, 1956, Elvis Presley performed at his Tupelo Homecoming Concert in Mississippi. Daddy was there to lend support and open Elvis’ concert doing comedic impersonations of Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Marlon Brando. Elvis wowed his hometown and this was to be one of the most important moments in his life.
“When Elvis came up on that stage I thought someone had just dropped an Atomic Bomb. They cheered so loud I thought I was going to lose an eardrum. Someone told me the population of Tupelo was 12,000. Well there were close to 50,000 people at Elvis’ Homecoming.” (The Rebel and the King excerpt by Nick Adams)
Elvis was about to give a show to many who had only thought of him as the poor boy with a bad Daddy. Elvis, ten years earlier, a gangly 11 year old with glasses and a dimestore guitar he bought at Tupelo Hardware, had won fifth place in a talent show singing Ole Shep.
“Elvis told everyone what a great thrill this was for so many reasons. One of them was because he used to sneak into this very same fair when he was younger because he didn’t have any money to buy a ticket. Elvis said, “Last time I was here, I didn’t even have a nickel.” (Excerpt by Nick Adams)
Make sure to pick up a copy of THE NEW, EXPANDED edition of The Rebel and The King by Nick Adams. http://therebelandtheking.com/buybook.html The new edition includes “Elvis and The Mississippi-Alabama Fair” written by Elaine Dundy on April 17, 2005 before her death when she was practically blind from a degenerative disease and still writing with a special keyboard. This never before published essay is a key insight into the significance of the Tupelo Homecoming on Elvis. This new edition also includes an introduction by ROY TURNER! Roy is the “go to guy” for the history of Elvis. Roy Turner InterviewThere are 33 photos in this one! So check it out. Feel free to write a review of the book and let me know how you like it! Thank you to everybody who keeps making this journey an adventure.
Most of all, here’s to The King Elvis!
One of the things we all love about E.P. is his love for Mamma. Gladys Presley was born on April 25, 1912 and died on August 14, 1958. A very unlucky day for Elvis. RIP Gladys. Her middle name was Love, and we love you Gladys!
EXCERPT from The Rebel & The King by Nick Adams. In this passage Nick tells us what he and Elvis did after they arrived in Memphis.
“As we drove Elvis pointed out various points of interest to me. Then he told me about his dog, which died just a short time before and how his folks and he sure missed him. He said, “Nick, keep your eyes peeled for a pet shop. I’m going to buy Mamma and Daddy another dog.”
Elvis spotted the pet shop before I did. He pulled up in front of the place and we both went in. We went from stall to stall and in each one were the cutest little puppies I’ve ever seen. Elvis finally turned to me and said, “Gee Nick, I don’t know which one to get. They’re all so cute and friendly and I wish I could buy everyone in here and give them all a home.”
By this time the man who owned the place came over to us and he recognized Elvis (as does everyone no matter where we go) and he said, “Welcome home, Elvis. We sure are proud of you son.”
Elvis smiled and said, “Thank you sir. I’m interested in buying a puppy for my Mamma and Daddy but they’re all so blamed cute I don’t know which one to pick.”
The man took us over to one of the stalls near the rear of the store and showed us the cutest litter of puppies you ever laid your eyes on. They were real tiny and sort of blondish, reddish type of hair. The man said that these puppies wouldn’t get much bigger than what they were now and that they were wonderful house dogs.
Elvis picked up one of them and held him in his arms and the poor little thing was shaking and trembling. Elvis patted the pup gently and said, “The poor little thing is scared stiff. And he looks so lonely and homeless. Golly he’s cute. I’ll take this one, sir. How much do I owe you?”
Elvis paid for the puppy and held him gently in his arms and put him down on the seat between both of us in the Continental, and away we went.”
AND HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED…
“And as we drove home Elvis had a wonderful expression on his face and every now and then he would say, “I can hardly wait to tell Mamma and Daddy about the new furniture, and wait until they see the puppy.”
It was dark by the time we pulled into the driveway and entered the house. Mrs. Presley was in the kitchen getting supper ready and as Elvis approached her he hid the puppy behind him. He kissed his mother on the cheek and said, “Look what I have for you Mamma,” as he handed her the puppy.
Mrs. Presley’s pretty face lit up like a neon sign and she said, “Well if that isn’t the cutest little thing I ever laid eyes on.”
And Elvis stood there and had the greatest smile you ever saw on anyone. Mr. Presley walked into the kitchen and said, “Well whatta you know. That’s the cutest little rascal I ever saw. Where did you get him son?”
“I bought him for you and Mamma. He was the cutest puppy in the whole shop.” And with that Elvis reached over and petted the pup that was being held very lovingly by Mrs. Presley. It was a beautiful scene watching the three of them standing lovingly around the frightened, trembling little puppy. I couldn’t help but think how I wished that some of these conscience-less reporters and writers could only be there to see what Elvis and his family were really like so that they could see how wrong they were when they printed lies about Elvis and his family.
“What do you think we should call him, Nick?” asked Mrs. Presley. And I suggested a few names and so did Mr. Presley and Elvis. Finally, Mrs. Presley said, “Golly, he’s so sweet looking and everything, I think we’ll just call him Sweet Pea, because he’s so tiny and sweet.” And that was the way Sweet Pea got his name.” (End of excerpt)
If you haven’t already read ELVIS AND GLADYS by Elaine Dundy, you may want to check it out. Elvis and Gladys by Elaine Dundy available on Amazon
Everybody wants to be a rock star. The pay is good, the sex, fame and fancy hotels all point to a fabulous lifestyle. If you peek behind the curtain your apt to find regular Joe’s worrying about their hair. Something Elvis did a lot. But how does one reach those rarefied heights?
With Elvis Week approaching, I want to salute all the beautiful FANS who keep the whole ball rolling. Elvis loved his fans and he spent hours signing autographs wherever he went, especially in the early days. I met so many wonderful and kind people while down south during my Book launch, that I want to share some of them with you.
FANS MAKE SUCCESS SWEET.