Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Plasketes, George M. "The King Is Gone but Not Forgotten: Songs Responding to the Life, Death and Myth of Elvis Presley in the 1980s." Studies in Popular Culture 12, no. 1 (1988): 58-74.

In the 1980s, over one thousand songs have been written about Elvis Presley as an act of homage, parody, critique, commentary or interpretation, all of which use quotations from, references to, or imitations of his songs. These songs can be classified into four broad categories: deification, vilification, iconization, and demythification. The category of deification includes songs that juxtapose imagery of God or Jesus Christ with imagery associated with Elvis. The second category, vilification, includes songs that comment musically or lyrically on feeling betrayed by Elvis's drug use and subsequent demise. Iconization involves the stories, souvenirs, and songs of Elvis becoming associated as glorified, sacred, and permanent icons. Demythification involves songs and other media that comment on the commercialization of Elvis or counter popular Elvis myths.

Works: Paul Simon: Graceland (59, 62); Wall of Voodoo: Elvis Brought Dora a Cadillac (60); Mr. Bonus (Peter Holsapple): Elvis What Happened? (60, 65); Beatmistress/Diego [Death Ride]: Elvis Christ (60); Adrenalin O.D.: Velvet Elvis (60); Dead Milkmen: Going to Graceland (60, 70); Vandals: Elvis Decanter (61, 67); Mojo Nixon and Skip Roper: Elvis is Everywhere (61), Twilights Last Gleaming (61); Frank Zappa: Elvis Has Just Left the Building (61); Warren Zevon: Jesus Mentioned (61-62); Billy Joel: Allentown (62-63); John Hiatt: Riding with the King (62); John Fogarty: Big Train (From Memphis) (63); Elvis Costello: Brilliant Mistake (64); Robbie Robertson: American Roulette (64); Paul Westerberg [The Replacements]: Bastards of Young (64); Bono (Paul Hewson) and U2: Elvis Presley and America (64); Neil Young: My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) (65); Bruce Springsteen: Johnny Bye Bye (66); Chris Barrows and Dorsey Martin [Pink Lincolns]: Velvet Elvis (67); Scott Kempner: Listening to Elvis as performed by Syd Straw (68); Exene Cervenka and John Doe [X]: Back 2 the Base (68); Forgotten Rebels: Elvis is Dead (69); Pink Slip Daddy: Elvis Zombie (70); Sons of Ishmael: Elvis Incorporated (70); Elvis Hitler: Disgraceland (70); Peter Holsapple [dB]: Rendezvous (70).

Sources: Chuck Berry: Bye Bye Johnny (66); Otis Blackwell: Don't Be Cruel as performed by Elvis Prelsey (68); Lou Handman and Roy Turk: Are You Lonesome Tonight? as performed by Elvis Prelsey (68); Paul Simon: Graceland (70).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Victoria Malawey

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