elvis presley

Long Live the King: Elvis Presley and the Spirit of Tribute

Sandra Canosa

“The issue isn’t that the younger demographic doesn’t like Elvis,” Rosemarie O’Brien, General Manager for the Collingwood Elvis Festival, told me. But the challenge of attracting newcomers still weighs on organizers’ minds. “I just don’t think [younger people] have ever been educated on what Elvis did for music history and how it impacts and influences what they get to listen to now.” The animated zeal of tribute festivals, however, has the potential to engage neophytes in a way that static museum displays or textbooks cannot. 

Exploring the Roots of One of the World’s Most Famous and Kitschiest Songs

Benjamin Wright

It’s a number that has been sung by many diverse artists: Elvis and Bob Dylan, Connie Francis, Harry Belafonte, Chubby Checker, Allan Sherman, Josephine Baker, Regina Spektor, Dick Dale, Glen Campbell and countless others. Harry Belafonte glorified it. Campbell viewed it as an essential tool to earn extra money playing the wedding and bar mitzvah circuit when he first arrived in Los Angeles. Dylan’s version, scholar and music critic Josh Kun explains in the documentary, “is an embrace and a refusal. It’s the smartest song about Jewish identity I’ve ever heard and it only lasts 30 seconds.” Sherman mocked it as he celebrated it, singing “Harvey and Sheila.”

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