Found in an amusing slim music trivia paperback Rock's Follies: Soundbites from the world of rock this collection of (mostly) eulogistic quotes about Elvis Presley, oddly titled 'The father of us all?' The book was given away with the April 1996 issue of men's lifestyle magazine Maxim. Amongst the quotes were these (1-11) and we were inspired to find a few more (12-22) by this excellent book (illustrated by the late, great Ray Lowry, R.I.P.) The last entry by Nik Cohn would probably end up in Pseud's Corner in the cynical U.K. but it addresses the King's spiritual side.
The father of us all?
1. Without Elvis, none of us could have made it. - Buddy Holly
2. I didn't think he was as good as the Everly Brothers the first time I ever laid eyes on him. - Chuck Berry.
3. It took people like Elvis to open the door for this kind of music, and I thank God for Elvis Presley. - Little Richard.
4. Gosh, he's so great. You have no idea how great he is, really you don't. You have no comprehension - it's absolutely impossible. I can't tell you why he's so great, but he is. He's sensational. He can so anything with his voice. He can sing anything you want him to, anyway you tell him. The unquestionable King of rock 'n' roll. - Phil Spector.
5. When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail. - Bob Dylan.
6. Elvis had animal magnetism. He was even sexy to guys. I can't imagine what the chicks used to think. - Ian Hunter.7. Elvis is my man. - Janis Joplin.
8. God, it was awful. He can sing, but he can't do much else. - Natalie Wood after her first stay in Graceland.
9. He was the greatest living pop idol in the whole world. - Marc Bolan.
10. His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid-smelling aphrodisiac. - Frank Sinatra (1956)
11. There have been many accolades uttered about his talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. - Frank Sinatra (1977)
12. Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution the 60's comes from it. -Leonard Bernstein.
13. No one will ever touch Elvis. - Garth Brooks.
14.The highlight of my career, that’s easy… Elvis recording one of my songs. - Bob Dylan.
15. No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme. - Mick Jagger.
16. Before Elvis, there was nothing. -John Lennon.
17. Elvis is my religion. If it were not for him I’d be selling Encyclopedias. - Bruce Springsteen.
18. I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland, We sang 'Old Blind Barnabus' together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There'll never be another like that soul brother. - James Brown
19.I don’t know of anybody that doesn’t like Elvis or heard anybody say, ‘Oh, I don’t like his singing.’ Everybody loved Elvis...He was so different in every way — his voice, his style, the way he moved, the way he looked. He just had this charm and charisma and a lot of sex appeal.- Dolly Parton
20. The voice is so melodious, and - of course, by accident, this glorious voice and musical sensibility was combined with this beautiful, sexual man and this very unconscious - or unselfconscious stage movements. Presley's registration, the breadth of his tone, listening to some of his records, you'd think you were listening to an opera singer. But…it's an opera singer with a deep connection to the blues.- Jerry Wexler, co-founder of Atlantic Records.
21. Very, very hot. - Ex lover, quoted at Bookride.
21. He treats the song as a private meditation, full of pain and the yearning to believe. Though the lyrics speak of hope, Elvis turns them into a cry, as if reaching for one last sliver of light in engulfing darkness. 'I am alone', he seems to be saying. But maybe, just maybe, we can find someone or something to cling to. In his case, it's God. But each of us, hearing him, reaches for our own salvation; if great art needs nakedness (then), those few minutes of Elvis alone at the piano amount to the most naked performance I've ever witnessed."
- Nick Cohn, on Elvis Presley's rendition, alone at the piano, of 'You'll never walk alone' , at the Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, (1975) in The Guardian 2007 'The 25 best gigs of all time'.