An historic Bible up for sale in a British auction, sheds new light on the faith of Elvis Presley, the King of Rock-n-Roll.
(c) Omega Auctions
The singer, whose hits began in the 1950s, and continued after his death in 1977, is widely revered as a master of song, having ushered in a new wave of popular music shortly after the end of World War Two.
As well as various pop standards, Elvis sang many Gospel tunes, recording more than 80 of them - with standards like ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘How great thou art’, taking their place in his repertoire along-side less known classics like ‘Where could I go but to the Lord’.
As well as having hits with ‘Crying in the Chapel’ and ‘Peace in the Valley’, all of his three Grammy award wins were for Gospel music.
But despite this, Elvis encountered harsh criticism from Church leaders, who were convinced his gyrating hips and gravelly tones were sinful.
Although Elvis stopped going to Church regularly in the 1950s, he maintained that he was still a Christian, telling reporters: “All good things come from God. You don’t have to go to church to know right from wrong… you can be a Christian so long as you have a Christian heart.”
Now annotations in the margin of the Bible, which was gifted to him by his uncle Vester and Aunt Clettes Presley for Christmas in 1957, reveal something of the depth of Elvis’ personal convictions, and give an insight as to how he must have found the criticism he faced at that time.
One note reads: "To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave."
On another page Elvis wrote: "For what is a man advantaged if he gain the whole world and lose himself or be cast away".
Elsewhere he jotted: "There is a season for everything, patience will reward you and reveal all answers to your questions". And on another page he simply prays: "May our souls join the spirit of One God".
Auctioneer Karen Fairweather said: "The collection was consigned by a British collector, who contacted us with a view to selling it to coincide with Elvis' 35th Anniversary.
"There are 70 Elvis related items in the auction, all from the same collector, which is part of a larger collection of music memorabilia."
"The Bible is very fragile and was obviously well used. The cover obviously shows signs of its age and use, but both the cover and pages are all intact. There are many pages with sections underlined and annotations, probably around 20-30 annotations.”
The Auction, which will take place in Stockport on September 8th, is thought likely to raise tens of thousands of pounds, with estimates of around £20,000 for the Bible alone.
The Bible, which is leather-bound with gold lettering, and 1600 pages long, is currently owned by an unnamed British collector, it was in Elvis’ possession until his death from a heart attack on the 16th of August 1977, aged only 42.
August 22nd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross