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Elvis Week in Memphis: Among the Pilgrims

Every August, those who just can't let go of the King's memory descend on Memphis, Tennessee to pay tribute to His memory.

Every August, those who just can't let go of the King's memory descend on Memphis, Tenn.,
to pay tribute to Him. Photo: ThisIsIt2/Flickr (CC)

This half-hour documentary originally aired in 1997 on the program Soundprint, which was part of NPR at the time. Soundprint had sold more tapes of this show than any other episode ever – at least as of the last time I checked.

MEMPHIS, TENN. — What is it about Elvis Presley that causes so many otherwise seemingly normal people to devote themselves to his memory? In this program, we take a visit to Memphis along with these pilgrims to ask certain questions:

Is there an Elvis religion?

What is it about Elvis, anyway?

What do the “faithful” get out of it? What are they seeking?

Mark Muesse, a professor of comparative religion, guides our journey and helps draw parallels between Elvisism and other, more established world religions.

LISTEN NOW: [Total time: 29 mins]

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