I don’t get what so many people see in elvis presley!

IT’S QUORA QUESTION TIME and the ques­tion was “Was Elvis Presley as tal­ented as people por­tray him to be?” I’m afraid that I have little or no truck with—and isn’t that a won­derful idiom, “have no truck with?” (look it up here)—ques­tions of this na­ture, but I took what I hope is the po­lite and hu­morous ap­proach in an­swering it.

So I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that the an­swer posted on Quora is the in­dented text be­tween the two im­ages of the two pic­ture sleeves for the Do The Clam / You’ll Be Gone single from early 1965.


This is the Amer­ican pic­ture sleeve for Do The Clam. The flip-side You’ll Be Gone is one of the few songs that Presley ac­tu­ally took an ac­tive and cre­ative hand in writing. It’s de­riv­a­tive but al­lows him to show off his bel canto style of singing, making for a fine B-side.

Am I missing something?

Take 1

Asking the ques­tion Was Elvis Presley as tal­ented as people por­tray him to be? is kinda like asking was Ernest Hem­ingway as tal­ented as people por­tray him to be, or was Aretha Franklin as tal­ented as people por­tray her to be, or was Philip Sey­mour Hoffman as tal­ented as people por­tray him to be!

Un­less you’re being rhetor­ical to make some point, the ques­tions are just plain dumb.

Take 2

When I hear someone ask a ques­tion like Was Elvis Presley as tal­ented as people por­tray him to be?, what I hear is someone saying, “I just don’t get what so many people see in Elvis Presley—am I missing something?”

But they just don’t want to say that out loud and ap­pear dumb or ig­no­rant But, as I said, asking the ques­tion sounds dumb.

It’s okay if you don’t get or dig the tal­ents and ac­com­plish­ments of Elvis or Ernest or Aretha or Philip. Hell’s Belles, there are people who still don’t ap­pre­ciate Mendelssohn or Mahler or Monk or Miles!

Just say “I don’t get it” and be willing to listen to someone who does.

There are usu­ally very good rea­sons why people get to be the leader of the pack and stay there year after year.

Take 3

When someone asks me a ques­tion like Was Elvis Presley as tal­ented as people por­tray him to be? I usu­ally re­spond with, “Hell, yes—the man in­vented The Clam!”


Con­sider giving these two ar­ti­cles a read (and yes, of course I’m shame­lessly plug­ging my blog):

•  People Say Some Strange and Stupid Stuff about Elvis Presley
•  Saying Some­thing Stupid like “Elvis Was a Dumb Hick”


This is the Japanese pic­ture sleeve for Do The Clam. The image of Elvis was lifted from one of the posters for the movie.

If you’re interested

I’m posting this im­me­di­ately fol­lowing an­swering the ques­tion on Quora. How readers will re­spond is un­known, but if you’re in­ter­ested, keep checking here.


FEATURED IMAGE: While it has long been hip to make deroga­tory re­marks about Elvis in the mid ’60s—heck, I still make them!—Presley was get­ting to make movies with and make out with (and some­times go home) with gor­geous ac­tresses like Shelly Fabares and Mary Ann Mobley! And all the while he was pock­eting a mil­lion bucks for doing it!




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I would say he was MORE tal­ented than people por­tray him to be. To many, he was just a rock n roll singer that made a lot of duff movies even if they like him. I say he was much more than The King Of Rock N Roll. He was The King.

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