I've read plenty of books about Elvis Presley, and have looked through tons — okay, dozens — of websites devoted to Memphis history, and of course many of them invariably include photos of the King of Rock-and-Roll at various stages of his career.
Well, here's a photo I've never seen before, and I found it by accident — looking through the hundreds and hundreds of photos that have been compiled on a Facebook page called, rather simply, "Old Photographs."
The photo is identified simply as "Gladys and Elvis Presley in the 1940s." No mention of when, where, or why it was taken. I assume, since dad Vernon Presley isn't in the picture, he snapped the shutter, but there's no way of knowing.
And considering how desperately poor the Presleys were, where on earth did young Elvis get such a fancy suit?
There's something a bit haunting about this shot, if you ask me. Anyone familiar with Elvis knows how much of a "mama's boy" he was (and I don't mean that in a bad way), and also how much Gladys doted and fretted and worried about her son. That all comes across in this single image. Look how protectively (almost possessively) she has her hand around the young Prince of Rock-of-Roll, as if to cling to him once last time before fame pulled him away from her.
And poor Gladys? Did she ever smile — not even for the camera?
Or maybe I'm reading way to much into a simple snapshot. But I'd never seen it before, and thought I'd share it with you. When I posted this on my Facebook page, it immediately drew something like 400,000 "likes" (I didn't really count them, but there were a lot of "likes" and "shares") so obviously I'm not the only one struck by this image.