|BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE
ELVIS PRESLEY AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVED HIM
A Review By Lee Dawson
Alanna Nash has written, in my honest opinion, two of the best ever books about
Elvis Presley. First was the 1995 ‘Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations From The
Memphis Mafia’ with Marty Lacker, Billy Smith & Lamar Fike (Reissued in 2005)
and then there was ‘The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story Of Colonel Tom
Parker' in 2003.
Well, she is back in 2010 with her latest Elvis offering ‘Baby, Let’s Play House:
Elvis Presley & The Women Who Loved Him’. So, is this new 700 plus page
book set for release on January 5th 2010 in the U.S. (March 25th in the UK) up to
the same standards as her previous offerings?
‘Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley & The Women Who Loved Him’ sets
out to do what no other book on Elvis has done before, to solely explore the Music
Kings relationship with the woman in his life. Based on exclusive interviews with
those woman who knew Elvis as either lover, sweetheart, friend, co-star or family
member. Some of the woman interviewed for this new book include June Juanico,
Ann Margret, Cybil Sheperd, Linda Thompson, Sheila Ryan Caan, Barbara
Leigh & Joyce Bova.
We also get to hear from actresses who sparked up friendships with Elvis – Raquel
Welch (Roustabout), Barbara Eden (Flaming Star), Yvonne Craig (It Happened
At The World’s Fair / Kissin Cousins), Mary Ann Mobley (Girl Happy / Harum
Holiday), & Celeste Yarnall (Live A Little, Love A Little).
But the book also features those few women who turned the King down…Cher,
Karen Carpenter, Petula Clark & Tanya Tucker.
Alanna Nash gives us Elvis in a new light: an extremely charming but terribly
wounded lothario who through his life bedded tons of women yet seemed unable to
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maintain a long lasting relationship, both sexual and romantic. She also examines how the death of his twin brother and the extremely
close bond with his mother would ultimately set him up for close, yet doomed relationships with the women in his life.
The book isn’t all about Elvis’ love life, we also get a glimpse of how those who knew him in his younger days saw changes in him that
were not happy ones; “He [Elvis] could see no change in his life. It was just going to be Vegas, going back to the house, maybe renting
out a movie theater, and that’s it. No interests. That’s what keeps you going. No one said to him, ‘Look, we’re going to get out of this rut.
We’re going to charter a plane and fly to Capri or Nice, and we’ll have plenty of security, and you’ll see new places.’ What good is it to
make all that money and to have the following he had and not be excited to get up every day?” - Mary Ann Mobley
There are also moments that bring a smile to your face, like when Elvis was chasing co-star Shelley Fabares. Sonny West tells the story;
“He went after her from the first picture [Girl Happy]. He thought she was adorable. But she said to him, ‘I’m dating someone,’ and she
said it was serious, so he backed off. But that chemistry was still there. So the next picture [Spinout], he went after her again. He said,
‘Are you still goin’ with that same guy?’ She said, ‘No, I’m not.’ Elvis said, ‘Great!’ Then she said, ‘I’m engaged to him now.’ So the final
picture [Clambake] ‘Are you still engaged to that guy?’ She said, ‘No, I married him.’ After a while he said, ‘You were weakening, weren’t
you?’ And you had to get married to stop it, right?”
There’s no surprise that Priscilla did not agree to be interviewed for this book, but ‘Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley & The
Women Who Loved Him’ delivers, a brilliant bombshell of reporting as we get to share in the NEVER-BEFORE-PUBLISHED legal
information regarding the lawsuit Priscilla Presley filed against Currie Grant (he is the man who introduced her to Elvis). Grant would go
and challenge the fairytale myth that Pricilla has cultivated over the years. ‘The handsome King, the beautiful young princess who would
become the virgin bride who conceived on her honeymoon. The fairytale is so romantic that even today Priscilla is often called Elvis’
widow….Not the EX-wife who got nothing in the will’.
Grant claimed that in return for meeting Elvis, little sweet innocent 14 years old, Priscilla would give him a nice time alone up in the hills of
Weisbaden. It was on the 4th date that she went all the way with Grant, to which he claims she was certainly no virgin? Priscilla set out in
her plans to be introduced to and ultimately bed and wed Elvis Presley. She claims her father was “Very Strict”, but I cannot imagine ever
allowing my 14 year old daughter to date a 24 year old man, let alone a 34 year old rock star.
Naturally, Grants claims were met with allegations from Priscilla that he tried to force himself on her, and in the book, Nash examines both
sides of the story and reveals the subsequent legal settlement.
The book also includes recently discovered letters from the prison file of Vernon Presley from 1938 including a letter from Gladys Presley
pleading for Vernon’s early release stating “I have a little boy three years old. Please send my husband home to his wife and baby”.
‘Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley & The Women Who Loved Him’ features 70
photographs, many of them NEVER BEFORE SEEN by the public.
I have to say, I really did enjoy this book, it gives us a glimpse of the side of Elvis we don't really
hear about, the tender side and also the tragic side that brings a lump to the throat as you read it.
It is inevitable that some fans will not like this book, but I did. I thought it was fantastic and was
certainly equal to Alanna Nash's previous works. 2010 will see a plethora of books about Elvis
Presley, but I doubt many, if any, will be able to top this one. As a fan of Elvis Presley I would like
to say thank you to Alanna Nash for giving us 3 of the best books ever written about the life and
career of Elvis Aaron Presley.
Unfortunately we in the UK will not be getting this until March 25th 2010 but our fellow fans in the
U.S.A only have to wait until January 5th, in time for what would have been Elvis’ 75th birthday. 2
Elvis Express Radio will be holding competitions on future editions of the ‘Elvis Request Show’
to win copies of this excellent new book by Alanna Nash.
Also, on January 6th, to mark the release of the book, the TCB show will be 'Baby, Let's Play House: Elvis & The Women In Song' the
Wednesday show will feature songs from the King that are women orientated.
You can order your own copy of ‘Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley & The Women Who Loved Him’ through Amazon.com or
other good book stores. UK FANS - You can Pre-Order your copy from Amazon.co.uk