Baby, Let's Play House: Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him by Alanna Nash
As we first reported in August 2008, Alanna Nash is working on a new book titled, 'Baby, Let's Play House - Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him'. Today, we have received the cover-art for this massive 658 page hardcover book which is due for release January 5, 2010. Hardcover; 6" x 9"; Pages: 658; 70 photos.
In August 2007, Alanna Nash interviewed a number of Elvis' female co-stars, family members, and friends for a Ladies Home Journal article titled 'The Women Who Loved Elvis'. Now she's turning the idea into a book for It Books, to be published in time for Elvis' 75th birthday in January 2010. Nash reports the book will be the first comprehensive look at Elvis purely from the female prospective. 'For all his maleness, Elvis was a very woman-centered man, because of his closeness with his mother', she says. 'It was women he could really talk with, and from whom he drew much of his strength. The book will look at a number of his relationships, both platonic and romantic. And part of it will consider how his status as one of the greatest sex symbols of the 20th century informed his stage act and his interactions with the opposite sex'.
By far the best study of Elvis Presley I have read. 'The King' emerges more clearly from this mosaic of his troubled love life than from any linear biography to date ... Impressively researched, written - and felt'. - Philip Norman, New York Times bestselling author of John Lennon and Shout!
Thirty-two years after his death, Elvis' extraordinary physical appeal, timeless music, and sexual flamboyance continue to fascinate, titillate, and excite. Though hundreds of books have been written about The King - one of the premier sex symbols of the '50s and the prototype, in all his sex-and-drugs excess, for all the rock idols who came after him - no book has solely explored his relationships with women and how they informed
his art and life. 'Baby, Let's Play House', named after the 1955 song that was his first to hit the national charts and his mother's favorite Elvis recording, does just that.
Based on exclusive interviews with the many women who knew him in various roles - lover, sweetheart, friend, co-star, and family member - veteran music writer Alanna Nash's fascinating new book explores Presley's love affairs with, among others, Ann-Margret, Linda Thompson, Sheila Ryan Caan, June Juanico, Barbara Leigh, Joyce Bova, and Cybill Shepherd, as well as his friendships with actresses Raquel Welch, Barbara Eden, Mary Ann Mobley, Yvonne Craig, and Celeste Yarnall. The book also spotlights important early girlfriends (Regis Wilson, Carolyn Bradshaw, Wanda Jackson, and Barbara Hearn) and the women who dared turn him down (Cher, Petula Clark, Karen Carpenter, and Tanya Tucker).
In 'Baby, Let's Play House', Alanna Nash: Alanna Nash presents Elvis in a new light: a charming but wounded Lothario who bedded scores of women but seemed unable to maintain a lasting romantic and sexual relationship. His problems, rooted first in the death, at birth, of his twin brother and his unhealthily close relationship with his mother, and later in his reliance on prescription drugs, drove him to channel much of his emotional and sexual energy into his performances which defined the erotic dreams of his generation. While fully exploring the most famous romantic idol of the twentieth century, 'Baby, Let's Play House' pulls back the covers on what Elvis really wanted in a woman, and was tragically never able to find.
In 'Baby, Let's Play House', Alanna Nash: Offers the most comprehensive female viewpoint of the life and career of Elvis Presley, through interviews with Elvis' girlfriends, lovers, and co-stars, as well as female family members, record company executives, and platonic friends. Examines how both the death of Elvis' twin, and the extremely close bond he shared with his mother, set him up for remarkably close, yet ultimately doomed relationships with women. Presents, in a bombshell of reporting, never-before-published legal information about Priscilla Presley's lawsuit against Currie Grant, the man who introduced her to Elvis. Grant challenged the fairytale myth Priscilla cultivated; he has claimed that Priscilla (at fourteen) set out to meet, bed, and marry Elvis, and he dispels the myth of Priscilla as the virgin bride. His claims were met with Priscilla's allegations that Grant tried to force himself on her. Nash examines both sides of the story and the subsequent legal settlement. Dispels a number of myths, including the story that Elvis would never been intimate with a woman who had born a child. Includes recently discovered letters from the 1938 prison file of Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, including one from Gladys Presley, who pleads for Vernon's early release ('I have a little boy three years old. Please send [my husband] home to his wife and baby'.) Examines the two categories into which Elvis separated his women: the girls at home (virginal innocents to be protected and molded into his ideal of young womanhood), and the girls on the road (sexually eager fans, showgirls, and strippers).
With 70 photographs, many of which have never before been seen by the public, 'Baby, Let's Play House' is a stunning, intimate look into the hidden thrills, fears and needs of the most iconic performer in rock n' roll.
About the Author
Winner of the 2004 Country Music Association Media Achievement Award, Alanna Nash is the author of six books, including The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley (winner of the 2004 Belmont Award for the best book in music), Dolly: The Biography, Behind Closed Doors: Talking With The Legends Of Country Music, and Elvis and the Memphis Mafia. She also co-edited Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Country Music in America, for which she won another Belmont Award.
She has written about music for such publications as Vanity Fair, People, The New York Times, USA Weekend, TV Guide, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, Ladies Home Journal, and Reader's Digest, where she was a contributing editor from 2004 to 2008. Nash, whom Esquire magazine named one of the 'Heavy 100 of Country Music', was the first journalist to see Elvis Presley in his casket. She lives in Louisville, KY.
Interviews by Alanna Nash
Linda Thompson Remembers Elvis Presley + Elvis' chow, Getlow
June Juanico Remembers Elvis Presley
Interview with Barbara Eden
Mary Ann Mobley Remembers Elvis Presley
Wanda Jackson Remembers Elvis Presley
Articles by Alanna Nash
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.