(CBS Local)– In order to understand Elvis Presley’s career, you need to understand his relationship with Las Vegas.
Sin City had a huge impact on the King of Rock & Roll at both the beginning and end of Presley’s career. Author Richard Zoglin’s details all of this in his new Simon & Schuster book called “Elvis in Vegas: How the King Reinvented the Las Vegas Show.”
While the book initially started out as a look at the history of the golden age of entertainment in Las Vegas, Zoglin quickly realized he needed to be the one to tell the story of Elvis’s life in Nevada.
“Elvis took over the book because I realized what a strong connection and long connection Elvis had with Vegas,” said Zoglin in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “He was first in Vegas in 1956, which a lot of people don’t know, when he was first coming up. He didn’t do very well and he was not what the Vegas crowd was looking for. Elvis loved Vegas and he came back often and it was his favorite getaway.”
Presley made movies in Las Vegas and even got married there in 1967. He wasn’t the only artist that benefited from performing in Vegas. While stories are told about The Beatles and Frank Sinatra in Zoglin’s book, Presley’s impact on the entertainment world is still being felt decades later.
“Elvis brought rock & roll to Vegas,” said Zoglin. “It’s amazing the longevity that Elvis has had. In Vegas, he is still a presence there all the time… from the Elvis wedding chapels to the Elvis impersonators that are still all over the town. He changed the nature of Vegas entertainment and laid the groundwork for what Vegas has become today.”
“Elvis in Vegas: How the King Reinvented the Las Vegas Show” is available now wherever books are sold.