A King in the Making

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 17 Oct 2017 | Archive Date 15 Feb 2018

Talking about this book? Use #Elvis #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


This volume contains a true treasure trove of spontaneous and completely unrehearsed photographs of The King of Rock n Roll. Elvis both famous pictures and some that have never before been published.

In 1956, a twenty-one-year-old Elvis Presley was at the beginning of his remarkable and unparalleled career and photographer Alfred Wertheimer was asked by Presley’s new label, RCA Victor, to photograph the rising star. With unimpeded access to the young performer, Wertheimer was able to capture the unguarded and everyday moments in Elvis' life during that crucial year. 

This was a year that took Presley from Tupelo, Mississippi to the silver screen, and to the verge of international stardom and to his coronation as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll.” As Alfred Wertheimer photographed Elvis during 1956, and again in 1958, he created classic images that are spontaneous, unrehearsed and completely without artifice.

Wertheimer’s photographs of Elvis are extraordinary and he appears almost ethereal, whether reading a newspaper while waiting for a cab, or washing his hands during one of his many train trips. After 1958 and Elvis’ induction into the army, the world seemingly forgot about Wertheimer’s magical photographs - for nineteen years - until Aug 16, 1977, the day Elvis died and Time Magazine called. “The phone hasn’t really stopped ringing in the last thirty years,” observes Wertheimer.

Many of the photographs in this visual treasury are previously unpublished and some have become almost as famous as the man himself.
This volume contains a true treasure trove of spontaneous and completely unrehearsed photographs of The King of Rock n Roll. Elvis both famous pictures and some that have never before been published.


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780785833031
PRICE $24.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

Average rating from 8 members

Featured Reviews

Great book of photographs of Elvis. And the writing is very interesting. This is a very nice book. Great present for any Elvis fan. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book in return for my honest reivew.

Was this review helpful?

This book is a must-have for any Elvis fan. I was too young at the height of his fame to be one of his rabid fans (I have several friends who were - and still are) but I came to appreciate his music. The photographs in this book are excellent!

Was this review helpful?

Arthur Wertheimer and Peter Guralnick have lovingly put together a series of photos of Elvis from his early days which create a very special collection indeed. With behind the scenes and intimate pictures that have been remastered to really pop off the page has really done the fans of Elvis an excellent service.

The text found within the pages are lovingly put forward and though the seasoned fan of Elvis will not really learn anything new, they will have a testament of Elvis in 1956 and 1958. It shows the innocence of a man on the brink of infamy. To Wertheimer’s credit, he has really captured pictures of Elvis that you will seldom see. This is Elvis being relaxed, happy and enjoying the beginning of his career.

When viewing through these pictures, it left me feeling kind of sad because you look at someone as they once were and you have the history of who this man is to be and what kind of life this will lead him. The text is thought provoking and this is really a treasure trove of excellent catalogue of an Elvis that most people seldom see. If you are a fan of Elvis, this book will be a true asset to their collection. If you know very little about the man, then this will simply be a curiosity piece. Overall, I will rate this as an Elvis fan and give it a solid five stars.

Was this review helpful?

Wonderful pictures. Fascinating stories. A great special look at Elvis' early shows and fans.

Was this review helpful?

This is basically a book of photographs, so there isn't a lot to say about it. However, it is interesting to read Mr. Wertheimer's recollections of Elvis, before he was Elvis. At the time these photos were taken, he was a young 21-year-old man, who had no idea of the fame that lay in front of him. He was probably one of the most beautiful men I've ever seen, and these photos are raw, candid, heartfelt and exquisite; showing Elvis at his most vulnerable.

They show Elvis at one of his first television appearances, in a recording studio, at a concert, and at home in Tupelo. They show a young man who wants to be somebody, who stops and talks to people, always signing autographs and listening to them. A man who was attracted to and attractive to women, who loved his family and enjoyed being with them.

The photos of Elvis at home are particularly telling; they show him at his most relaxed, with family and friends surrounding him, and the gentle, courteous young man who was nice to everyone and didn't mind sharing his life. You can see in these photos the elemental soul of Elvis; watching him sleep, eat and read.

This is the Elvis who was; the Elvis before stardom hit and everything changed. The photographs are nothing if not incredible; for anyone who has ever listened to Elvis, ever watched one of his films, ever heard him speak - these will make you fall in love with him all over again. He was indeed remarkable and there will never be another like him. Highly recommended.

Was this review helpful?

The photos in this book are AMAZING! They take you through the life of Elvis Presley and I feel like I am able to see a little bit into the life and career of such an amazing talent. Just beautiful

Was this review helpful?

This was such a fun read! I love anything having to do with Elvis and this was just so fun to see all of these pictures! How fun to have been assigned this job and to get to just follow Elvis around and see what he was like. I liked haring the stories as well that were put in there because you got to hear stuff that was more behind the scenes then what you read in magazines and stuff. I thought the whole Elvis walking around on the train with a stuffed panda was super funny. I would definitely recommend this to any Elvis fan!

Was this review helpful?

A wonderful collection of early photographs of Elvis before he was famous. The photographer offers his recollections of taking the photographs. I really enjoyed reading these early memories. Enjoy

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: