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ISBN: 978-1-59962-073-2

Elvis 1956

In 1956, a twenty-one-year-old Elvis Presley was at the beginning of his remarkable and unparalleled career. Photojournalist Alfred Wertheimer was asked by Presley's new label, RCA Victor, to photograph the rising star for a one-day assignment that quickly developed into an odyssey. With unimpeded access to the young performer, Wertheimer was able to capture the unguarded and everyday moments in Elvis' life during March and July of that year, the pivotal year that made Elvis' career—taking him from virtual obscurity to the verge of international stardom and his crowning as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll."

Wertheimer's unobtrusive photographs of Elvis in performance, with his fans, in the recording studio, and at home with his family presentt a unique look at one of the world's most famous cultural figures. These images represent the first and the last unguarded look at Elvis, and are an extraordinary portrait of a charismatic young man who would go on to become a legend.

Published on the occasion of the Smithsonian exhibition, "Elvis at 21," which will travel to more than 10 cities, beginning in January, 2010 at the Grammy museum in Los Angeles and continuing through the end of 2012.