"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)


"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)








Elvis was a racist?

- Elvis was NOT a racist -

- The Facts -

'Elvis was not a racist' EIN sets the record straight

EIN's archives of news stories and articles debating one of the most emotionally charged issues in the Elvis world...EIN does not in any way believe Elvis was a racist nor do we believe he stole "black" music. This series of arguments "for" and "against" is published to highlight an important issue which refuses to go away.

'Elvis was not a Racist'- A Spotlight Revisited: Back in 2005 EIN's Piers Beagley wrote an in-depth look at Elvis' background & cultural influences, discovering a man that not only helped the local black community but who was also key figure in the racial integration of popular music. As James Brown said, "I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There’ll never be another like that soul brother" and Muhammad Ali, "Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd want to know."
Now in 2012 EIN's good friend Bernard Tanner, Jr. sent us a wonderful letter explaining his reaction when faced with young adults in his hometown of Altanta Georgia accusing Elvis of being a racist.

He says.. "My refusal to back down against their impassioned but wrong-headed and false accusations of Presley's race bigotry shocked them.... .. And (often) lost in these arguments is the fact that Elvis was supernally gifted as a performer and as a vocalist. And that he marshaled those rare gifts to the African-American cultural and musical construct and helped to give those musical idioms, not only a much wider acceptability, respect and legitimacy - but supernally so!
CLICK HERE to see this excellent article re-visited.
(Spotlight Article, Source: ElvisInformationNetwork)

Why Mexicans hated Elvis!

Read articles on how Elvis alienated many Mexicans....plus the day Beach Boy, Brian Wilson, was picked up as a vagrant while in Mexico

Rapper Chuck D on Elvis

The following interesting posting was made on the FECC message board by Lekeisha:

“I was channel surfing when I came across this discussion with Chuck D about black music and pop culture and while talking about Elvis, race and pop culture, he called Elvis a brilliant musical genius. Chuck D is the same guy who made the famous "Elvis was a racist" comment in his song "Fight The Power".

D was sayin how he wasn't calling Elvis in general a racist but more the image that white Americans painted Elvis as this white music God. Anyway he gave Elvis props and said that the REAL Elvis story has yet to be told. He wants to know why the roots of Elvis gets ignored but the man gets glorified. In other words, he wanted to know why the black musicians who paved the way for Elvis and inspired him always gets pushed to the back and is ignored while his country music influence gets all the attention when we all know that it was black music and culture that was his biggest influence of his life and career.

D said he recently heard a never before released interview with Elvis done in the mid 60's and that he was interested in something Elvis said about wanting to do a blues album as a tribute to his idols before he dies. He said that Elvis did some great blues covers and that they get hidden by the company when marketing his "American idol" status but instead point at his hits that he covered from other artists who were black. He said when he thinks of the "real Elvis" he thinks of Sun and Elvis' comeback. That was when he was real to his craft. He called the '69 Memphis sessions his greatest work after Sun because it was real music and not manufactured. I think he meant it was not "hit making" music but more of a collection of Elvis searching for his roots. At least that's what it sounded to me.

I do agree with what all he said. The black music influence does get pushed aside and somewhat ignored when telling the Elvis story in documentaries. Maybe D will want to tell the "true story" himself and clear the air about Elvis and the racist image he has been portrayed as being in our community. The only way the it will ever be accepted as positive in the black community is if it's told by a black person with historic knowledge. Chuck D seems to have that.

And before some of you attack me as being some type of supporter for him....I'm not. I don't care for his music or any other rap music. I am not a fan of rap.” (Source: FECC, 15 Dec 2005)

Elvis was a racist? (#1):

article supporting Elvis published in The Village Broadsheet

Elvis was a racist? (#2):

article criticising Elvis by Steve Hammer (NUVO Newsweekly)

Elvis was a racist? (#3):

False rumor taints Elvis

Elvis was a racist? (#4): 

Susan MacDougall 

(Susan MacDougall has a BA from London in Chinese, and Graduate Diploma
in Librarianship and Master of Arts in Information Management from the University of Canberra.  She also is a registered indexer with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers and a Member of the Australian Computer Society.

Susan has been involved in the Elvis world since about 1998 and has
developed several online websites relating to Elvis Presley.)

Yes, Elvis and racism is a sensitive topic. There are some Afro-Americans who may want to believe Elvis was racist because of resentments about unequal treatment of Afro-Americans by the music industry.

For myself, I wouldn't be a fan if I believed Elvis had been a racist.  My views on this are that we shouldn't act defensive about this, but point out the positives. Rumours are impossible to trace back to precise sources, so we should judge a person, not by what other people said about him or her, but by his or her deeds and actions.  Racism is out of character for Elvis. There are examples of his black employees' opinion from first hand experience, his refusal to perform at the Houston Astrodome without his black female singers, and plenty of examples of his compassion for others, regardless of colour, etc etc.  Given the roaming bands of racist whites in the south in the 1950s, maybe he was lucky not to have been lynched as a"white nigger" / "nigger lover" to use the horrible terminology of the time.

Elvis was a racist? (#5):

How did Elvis get turned into a Racist? (by Peter Gurlanick) (August 2007)

Comment on this topic

'Elvis was not a racist' EIN sets the record straight

'Elvis was not a racist' EIN sets the record straight



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"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"

(Dr. Garry Enders)


" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"



"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)


"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")


"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)