... a smart and zippy account of the watershed moment when the King of Rock ’n’ Roll came to Sin City to reclaim his squandered talent ... Mr. Zoglin is in his element outlining Vegas’s glory years ... In Mr. Zoglin’s view, Presley’s true legacy is the way he opened up Sin City to a broader range of music styles and ultimately to a new sort of spectacle.
oglin's smart and entertaining book combines genuine affection for its subject with a keen sense of show-biz history and a lively style ... The book's title is slightly misleading: at least half of it is taken up with a breezy history of Vegas in its Rat Pack glory years that sets the stage for Elvis's arrival. This is no loss, though: Zoglin's survey of Vegas from its postwar years has snap and verve ... provides appreciative accounts of the considerable craft that went into the ainstage casino shows, often dismissed as a wasteland of tacky shlock ... This is outstanding pop-culture history, even before it gets to the King. When it does, Zoglin's canny revisionist flair ratchets up into high gear.
This is more about Vegas than Elvis, but the King’s fans should slurp it up anyway. Showbiz maven Zoglin is such a slick pop writer that his prose goes down like rainwater. He depends as much on living performers’ testimonies as on historical newspapers and other books ... What [Elvis] changed Vegas from and to constitutes rich, fascinating context in Zoglin’s smart book.
Zoglin’s fascinating tale of how the king got his groove back and Las Vegas refreshed its own image, together supersizing live entertainment in America’s adult playground. Blending new interviews with top-drawer research focusing on how Las Vegas evolved as the pleasure capital, Zoglin produces a gem of pop culture history.
Peter Guralnick has already covered a lot of this ground in his landmark two-part biography, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love, and Zoglin cherry-picks some of Guralnick’s choicest quotes ... The real achievement of the book, then, is how Zoglin traces the evolution of Vegas itself ... At the book’s core are the shows. Zoglin delves into the Rat Pack’s boozy 'broads-and-dagos' routine that, for all the crude antics, were intimate affairs aimed at a sophisticated audience and high rollers. Elvis changed that calculus.
We know that Elvis’ 1969 Las Vegas comeback began his life’s twilight—but from the purple haze of Nevada’s western desert, Zoglin recaptures the horizon-filling blast of that spectacular sunset ... Ultimately, Elvis in Vegas is like what Myrna Smith said about her trio, the Sweet Inspirations, which opened each night’s show with a 20-minute set: 'The audience was very good to us. We knew that they were there for Elvis, and we knew they wanted us to get off the stage as fast as possible'.
Elvis in Vegas is author Richard Zoglin’s fascinating tale of how the king got his groove back and Las Vegas refreshed its own image, together supersizing live entertainment in America’s adult playground. Blending new interviews with top-drawer research focusing on how Las Vegas evolved as the pleasure capital, Zoglin produces a gem of pop-culture history.
Richard Zoglin’s fascinating book, Elvis in Vegas, places Elvis’s Las Vegas years in the context of the history of entertainment in that city from the first nightclub in 1931 to the present ... Zoglin is as interested in the musicians and entertainers who turned the smaller lounges into popular spots, from the first great lounge act, Louis Prima and Keely Smith. He also discusses the different styles of comics that opened for the singing stars ... Elvis in Vegas is a must-read for fans of Elvis and for all who are interested in the history of popular entertainment in America. Zoglin has a lively style and his chronicle is generously documented.