Title : Elvis Like Any Other Soldier
Author(s) : Jerry Osborne & Barbara Hahn
Published : Osborne 2010
Rating : **** ( 4 Stars Classic)
In 1958 Elvis Presley became a member of the U.S. Army. Not going into special services, Elvis reported for duty “Like Any Other Soldier”.
The hope with any new Elvis book, is that it is going to have new information based on factual research. Like Alanna Nash’s “Baby Let’s Play House”, “Elvis Like Any Other Soldier” by Jerry Osborne & Barbara Hahn has lots of it, making 2010 a good year for Elvis literature.
The book has the that ‘extra’ bit that any good Jerry Osborne book has such as “Presleyana” or “Word For Word”. No stone is unturned, and nothing is overlooked. With a book such as “Like Any Other Soldier” it is essential to pack it with as much as possible. In doing so, the book is a mother load for Elvis enthusiasts.
The mammoth 500 plus page publication set for release in August 2010 is filled with such goodies, in color and black and white. As well as fascinating and new insight provided by Elvis’ army buddies. As first hand accounts of Presley’s life and times begins to fall victim to time, it is wonderful too see these memories and moments preserved forever.
For the first time, instead of being provided with glimpses and publicity shots of G.I. Elvis, we see him as he really was in heavy, heavy detail. There have been books focusing on Presley’s time in the U.S. Army before, however “Like Any Other Soldier” is the first time we’ve ever seen the subject like this!
A collection of press photos and rare candid shots give us a unique perspective on his time served in the U.S. Army from Boot Camp, to Germany, and back. All in extraordinary detail and documentation. In many cases, we are seeing a lot for the very first time. And that seems to be almost every turn of the page.
The book has a particularly unique angle in that it follows Elvis’ army career as to what kind of a soldier he was. The focus of the book in fact, is his ‘career’ in the army. Not so much his ‘music career interrupted’ by the army. The latter is often the focus of Elvis military literature. “Like Any Other Soldier” will become the definitive book for researchers in the future when dealing with this topic. Every aspect of that era is here for you to explore.
One particularly fascinating part of the book is the first publication of photos depicting the impromptu concert aboard the U.S.S. Randall en route to Germany.
For years it has been a topic of debate as to whether the show took place and if Elvis actually performed. To our great surprise we see the show did take place and Elvis did perform. However, he was the piano player in the band while another soldier did singing duty instead.
It’s small details such as this that provide us with a glimpse of ‘reality’ in Elvis World. People naturally assume he gave an all star concert due to his larger than life image. Seeing the photos of him hitting the keys shows us Elvis did not always have to be the center of attention as we are constantly told otherwise.
The book also takes us back to a time that was far different than things are now. In today’s world, would the biggest star in music be drafted if there was a draft? If so, would they be like “any other soldier” and do their duty leaving their life of fame and fortune behind?
The commentary in the book is absolutely fantastic and it is welcomed to hear other accounts of Elvis’ time in the army from those who served with him. But the massive collection of photos provided to aid in the story telling is the books crown jewel.
This book is of high recommendation to any and all Elvis fans of any scope or age. Even someone who is not normally an Elvis fan might enjoy the book because of it‘s ‘one of a kind‘ angle. It’s just an interesting historical book whether Elvis is in it or not. Veterans who served in the armed forces during this era and enjoyed their service will likely find the time capsule presented fun to look at.
Source: By Steven B. Roberts - http://discoveringelvis.wordpress.com / EpGold.com