THE KING PRIMPS: "Elvis at 21" exhibit, opening Saturday at the Clinton Center, features photographs of Elvis at the start of his career.
Elvis and Bill Clinton go way back. The Secret Service code-named the charismatic 42nd president of the U.S. "Elvis" and Clinton wrote about his affection for the King in his autobiography, "My Life," that he "thought he had a good heart." Clinton Presidential Center supporters (and Elvis' fanatics) have been looking forward to an Elvis exhibit there ever since the library opened in 2004. Now, they're all shook up: Not one, but two exhibits about the man who invented rock 'n' roll (John Lennon: "Before Elvis, there was nothing") open Saturday, June 4, at the library.
"Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer" is a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit of photographs made in 1956, when Elvis was on the first step of his ascent to the throne. Wertheimer was hired by RCA Victor to shoot promotional images of Elvis after they'd signed him on; the exhibit includes 56 images Wertheimer made of Elvis on the road, in the recording studio, in concert and backstage, and at home, including one of an unrecognized, pre-fame Elvis buying lunch at a vendor, just another face in a crowd.
The second exhibit, "Elvis," includes one of his white leather outfits and artifacts from Elvis' movies, including the red MG he drove in "Blue Hawaii." It's being brought to the library through a partnership with Graceland in Memphis.
"Elvis at 21" runs through Sept. 11; "Elvis" runs through Aug. 21. Admission to the Clinton Center is $7 for adults, $5 for college students, seniors and retired U.S. military; $3 for youth 6-17 and free to children under 6 and active military. The library is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to clintonpresidentialcenter.org.