Books: In Search of Pelvis Redux

ELVIS by Albert Goldman; McGraw-Hill; 598 pages; $14.95

"Before Elvis there was nothing," John Lennon stated in one of his last interviews. The exaggeration was permissible; Elvis Presley, a Memphis hillbilly shouter, did, in fact, radically transform popular music in America. Prior to "the Pelvis," the rhythms of rock were buried in the funk of "race" music. In his wake came the generations of rock compounds: -abilly, acid, punk, and, inevitably, Beatlemania. The first to mesmerize the millions of white teen-agers of mid-'50s America, Elvis all too soon degenerated into rhinestone rumbling, and...

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