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 Post subject: Joe Moscheo's New Book
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:26 am 
Sun Dial
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Got this in my weekly Elvis email newsletter. Should be interesting and a very positive portrait of Elvis.

Quote:
New Book Marks 30th Anniversary of Elvis’ Death with Rare View of Entertainer’s First Love: Gospel Music 7/16/2007
Elvis’ Back-Up Singer and Long-Time Friend Reveals Never-Before-Seen Details, Stories of Life with Elvis

Biographical Account Fully Supported by Elvis Presley Enterprises - Foreword by Priscilla Presley

“When he left the building, most nights, Elvis wanted nothing more than to go somewhere with a few friends and a piano, a place they could gather to sing and listen to the gospel music that nourished the heart and soul of this American musical and cultural icon.” --Joe Moscheo, from the introduction

NASHVILLE, TENN—“Adored by millions, but known only to a few,” writes Elvis friend and Imperials member Joe Moscheo in his new book The Gospel Side of Elvis (Center Street, August 2007) on the true Elvis Presley. First meeting Elvis backstage at a gospel concert at which he was playing with his group The Harmoneers, Moscheo was stunned to find the star was acquainted with his work. Later, with the group The Imperials, Moscheo became part of Elvis’ vocal back-up band for a time and remained a friend until the artist’s death. Sharing a rarely known side of Elvis glimpsed only by close friends, Moscheo highlights the icon’s near-addiction to gospel and how it influenced his music as well as his life. Breaking his silence now, after thirty years, Moscheo shares the story of the Elvis he knew because, as he writes, “ …you can’t love the man as he really was until you’ve seen the gospel side of Elvis.”

Of the over 1,000 books written about Elvis, none explore in depth the legend’s inspiration from, and devotion to, gospel music. In The Gospel Side of Elvis, Moscheo reveals intimate, never-before-published details of Elvis’ life—including a host of documents and photos—allowing readers to experience the artist from inside the inner realm of friends with whom Elvis encircled himself. Rather than repeat well-known stories or dwell on Elvis’ failings, Moscheo instead focuses on the singer’s positive traits including intimate moments and occurrences known only to a few which makes this book a must-have for fans. Moscheo’s view of Elvis begins, and ends, with the influence of gospel on the King and his transference of the medium to millions of fans worldwide—a number which grows every year even though the artist himself is gone.

Elvis’ life-long desire to be a gospel singer prompted him to audition for a spot with gospel group The Songfellows in 1954. Destiny intervened, propelled by his first recording at Sun Records, which instead launched his solo career. Despite Elvis’ global success through his signature-style of rock music which today, 30 years after his death, surpasses most other recording acts in earnings, the star never forgot the gospel music which inspired him, and gospel never forgot him. He was inducted posthumously into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

Throughout his life, Elvis stayed faithful to the gospel music he loved, even to the irritation of tv studios, movie producers, and record executives. Defying the all-powerful Ed Sullivan, Elvis performed “Peace in the Valley” instead of a non-gospel number during his last appearance. During rehearsals for “Jailhouse Rock,” Elvis would spend time by gathering the Jordainaires and signing gospel songs that were certainly not in the script—and walked out when studio executives tried to refocus him. RCA records at times urged Elvis to record something more mainstream but the entertainer insisted on recording the gospel music he loved.

Describing Elvis’ affection for gospel as an “addiction,” Moscheo says the fondness also directly affected all the other band members who, he says, “discovered that performing for two audiences per night—starting at eight o’clock and midnight—was only one part of our job description.” “ ‘We did two shows a night for five weeks,’ Elvis once recalled in an interview,” writes the author. ‘Lots of times, we’d go upstairs and sing until daylight—gospel songs…’ Indeed, most nights, at some point, Elvis would make it a point to ask us if we were coming to his suite after the midnight show.” Moscheo and Elvis’ other chosen few never turned down the King’s requests, knowing how much comfort their friend derived from the sessions.

Moscheo details Elvis’ deep faith and personal convictions in the book, including two spiritual experiences which profoundly affected the star. First, upon hearing of a band member’s cancer, Elvis stopped everything and summoned everyone to pray for her. Amazingly, the next day the doctors could find no sign of the malignancy. Second, Elvis’ favorite minister, Rex Humbard, visited the performer during a performance in Alabama in 1975 and prayed with Elvis which elicited a ground-shaking response from the singer, outwardly transforming him—if only for a short time.

Of discerning Elvis’ true beliefs, Moscheo writes, “Of all the records by Elvis Presley, the only three Grammy awards he ever won were for gospel music. He recorded more gospel and inspirational songs than any pop performer before or since. Could these details possibly be due to mere coincidence, or is there a deeper reason, one that tells us something about the deepest motivations and interests of the man beneath the legend?”

Moscheo contends that Elvis the performer was just one facet of Elvis the man, and the man he knew—failings and all—was an admired and trusted friend. Through his words, Moscheo writes that he hopes readers “may come to see, as I did, that there was more than one side to this man who was adored by millions but known by only a few…Let me try and reveal to you the gospel side of Elvis.”


The Gospel Side of Elvis
Joe Moscheo
Center Street
1599957299
978-1599957296
224 pages, Hardcover
$19.99


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:11 pm 
Rainbow
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i interviewed him yesterday . he is a great guy. i like his book because of the topic. elvis and his faith. there are some great storys in it.
i will have his interview up soon on my site
joe krein
www.elvis2001.net



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 Post subject: Review of Book
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 3:07 am 
Sun Dial
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My daughter found a review of Joe Moscheo's book in the Religion section of The Birmingham News, though it's from the Religion News Service, so it's not local. It's a good review. Here are some highlights:

Quote:
In his forthcoming book, The Gospel Side of Elvis, Moscheo writes, "When he left the building, most nights Elvis wanted nothing more than to go somewhere with a few friends and a piano, a place they could gather to listen to and sing to the gospel music that nourished the heart and soul of this American musical and cultural icon."


The writer notes that although Elvis is more thought of as a rocker, that he is in the Gospel Music Assn. Hall of Fame as well and that he won Grammys, not for his secular music but for his gospel recordings.

Quote:
Even if his swiveling hips unsettled conservative parents of his screaming teenage fans, his boundary-breaking music also got civil-rights era America "all shook up." Just like the Jordanaires, one of the first southern gospel groups to incorporate rhythms and syncopations from black gospel, Presley embraced the music he loved without regard to color.

"Some of the people he admired most were African-American gospel singers, said Moscheo, 69. "He admired them, embraced them, bragged about them. He was a student of their music. He learned a lot from them and gave them credit."


Elvis is credited with facilitating the integration of black music into white society by making it more mainstream and acceptable.

Quote:
Presley, who was raised in a soul-filled Assembly of God church in East Tupelo, Mississippi, eventually had to abandon regular church attendance as his popularity skyrocketed. After he nearly started a fan frenzy one Easter Sunday at the First Assembly of God in Memphis, he decided to limit his spiritual diet to gospel music recordings and Sunday sermons from his favorite TV preacher, Rex Humbard.


Joe mentions Elvis's interests in learning about things such as numerology and astrology, but says Elvis never strayed from his foundational faith that his mother had taught him. He tells of a time in '75 when he knew Elvis was troubled and Joe took him a copy of the Living Bible in his hotel room and says, "I told him, 'I know you're having trouble, it's obvious. You don't need to keep looking around, all your questions are answered here in simple language.'" And Elvis was appreciative. He calls Elvis "the greatest gospel singer that ever lived."

Quote:
And it's not just because he connected with fans like no other performer could. It's also because the words, the inflections, the timing of his songs showed he connected with a higher power. "When you're praising God through a song, it comes through at the right time, with the right phrasing," Moscheo said. "When it's time for a word to be important, it comes out."


So overall it was very positive about the book and Elvis. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:20 am 
Jewel in the Lotus

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Thank you, Wanda Mac for posting!! :D



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:18 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus
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Quote:
And it's not just because he connected with fans like no other performer could. It's also because the words, the inflections, the timing of his songs showed he connected with a higher power. "When you're praising God through a song, it comes through at the right time, with the right phrasing," Moscheo said. "When it's time for a word to be important, it comes out."


Certainly Elvis connected! :)



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