was elvis more famous than you-know-who?

HOW FAMOUS WAS ELVIS? That was the ques­tion on Quora. Once upon a time, that it was fairly easy to an­swer: Ac­cording to Jerry Hop­kins, whose Elvis – A Bi­og­raphy (1971) was the first bi­og­raphy of the man, a global survey showed that more people in the world rec­og­nized Elvis by his first (or given) name—and that in­cluded you-know-who!—than they rec­og­nized anyone else with their given and family names com­bined.

But that was al­most fifty years ago, be­fore the Age of Celebrity and the coming of the world wide web made count­less pop stars ubiq­ui­tous wher­ever there was elec­tricity or a good con­nec­tion. So, as I haven’t seen a sim­ilar global survey about fame and fa­mil­iarity in the 21st cen­tury, I opted to an­swer the ques­tion with a bit of humor:

“Elvis was sooooo fa­mous that if you were to get lost in the deepest, darkest part of the Amazon, and were cap­tured by the last re­maining tribe of can­ni­bals — all of them starving after a weekend ayahuasca bender — and as they were preparing you for their bar­beque, all you would have to do is say ‘Elvis’ and somehow, like in a bad movie, there’d be a bongo sound, the in­sis­tent throb of a bass guitar, and a stinging elec­tric guitar riff from an in­vis­ible rock band in the back­ground.

“Then all those can­ni­bals would gather ’round and listen to that bongo sound. They’d grab their bare­foot ba­bies by the hand. They’d turn and tease, they’d hug and squeeze. And then they’d dig right in and do the clam!

“Of course, after doing the clam they’d have worked up an ap­petite and be even hun­grier and you’d look even tastier, so you’d never be able to re­turn and tell this re­mark­able tale about Elvis’s far-reaching fame and your, ahem, for­tune.”


Elvis Presley - Do The Clam

Wafer-sized portions

So far, there has been one com­ment left by a person of equally good mood and even temper: Marcus Lun­gren (who de­scribes him­self as very well-adjusted and not de­pressed at all, a rare thing in­deed) asked, “But would they eat Elvis?”

To which I replied by making an al­lu­sion to you-know-who: “Only if he was served in wafer-sized por­tions by a holy man with a dash of wine to help it go down.”

If you want to follow this thread and see if anyone else takes the time to com­ment, look here: How fa­mous was Elvis?

Fi­nally, com­paring the fame of the Bea­tles with that of you-know-who got John Lennon in a hel­luva lot of trouble below the fa­bled Mason-Dixon line in the United States. But this isn’t 1966 and I’m not one of the Fab Four.


CannibalHolocaust 2 1500

FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is from the little-known horror film (un­less you are a horror film afi­cionado, of course) Can­nibal Holo­caust. This scene shows what could be a holy man serving up someone in larger-than-wafer-sized por­tions with what could be a dash of wine to help it go down. Butcher Block (a weekly se­ries cel­e­brating horror’s most ex­treme films) calls Can­nibal Holo­caust an “un­com­fort­able watch.” If you are squea­mish, I sug­gest you do not rush on over to Google and type in “can­nibal holo­caust” and click on Im­ages.



Notify of
Rate this article:
Please rate this article with your comment.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I have been around & around the net about this Elvis stuff. Maybe YOU can find out?

The cur­rent 2020 Bill­board ‘all-time ’ album stats (starting in Au­gust 1963) notes Pres­ley’s No.1’s at 2-Aloha From Hawaii (1973) and Elvis 30 (2002). As Roustabout hit no.1 in Jan­uary 1965, why is it omitted?

Who, in any uni­verse, can get Bill­board’s ed­i­tors to cor­rect their error also noting more weeks on chart using these new rules?

It makes me wonder who else’s stats are over­looked?

A lot of young people look to Bill­board as ‘of­fi­cial’.

It could be per­haps?

Please ad­vise.

Thank you

Colin Bratkovich, au­thor of Just Re­member This

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x