On January 8 next year Elvis Presley would have been 80.
It is a milestone that will be embraced by millions of fans touched by his genius the world over before his untimely death in 1977.
They nicknamed him The King and as with all kings his legacy lives on, not just through his timeless back catalogue of hit records which span decades, but also in the stories that continue to emerge about his life.
Trevor Simpson, a former building society manager, top flight soccer referee and music aficionado was entranced by Elvis from the moment he exploded onto the English music scene in the late 1950s with Heartbreak Hotel.
He was a schoolboy then and the love of all things Elvis has never diminished.
Trevor, who lives in Ripponden, has over the years contributed to magazines like Goldmine, Elvis the Man and his Music and the Graceland approved bi-monthly Essential Elvis.
He is also a published book author, his 2007 Small Town Saturday Night chartered music evolution in Halifax. It was well received and the follow up confirmed his expertise as a music author.
In 2007 Trevor began a huge undertaking with the first of what will eventually be a trilogy of books charting Elvis’s impact on the British and worldwide music scene.
The result was Elvis: The Best of British - The HMV Years, a huge tome that was sold all over the world.
Even more significant was a pre-order of 1,000 copies by Elvis’s estate Graceland, which later asked for 500 more.
It was a labour of love and had taken five hard years of research and writing before publication. But that was not the end.
Unsurprisingly it went down so well that Trevor was commissioned to write a second book (same title except this time it is the the RCA Years) - and now a third is already in the planning stage.
The latest offering - another mine of amazing facts, statistics, photographs and reminiscenses continues Elvis’s story through his transition from HMV to RCA record labels.
It is peppered with golden nuggets like how RCA’s first British Elvis release Teddy Bear was kept off the number one spot by the HMV distributed All Shook Up. Ironically as part of the deal which took Elvis from one company to the other HMV was allowed to continue distribution for 12 months.
Trevor’s research has brought him into contact with Wayne Mann, Elvis’s cousin (their mums were sisters), and he explains how Elvis learned to play piano at his home two doors away in Tupelo, Mississippi.
The book also reveals the time when Elvis was embarrassed (in the nicest possible way), on the Ed Sullivan Toast of the Town show.
Elvis finished his set singing the gospel song Peace in the Valley following which Sullivan said “this is a real decent, fine boy. We want to say that we’ve never has a pleasanter experience with a big name than we’ve had with you”. Apparently the CBS switchboard lit up with people desperate to know where they could buy the song.
And it also reveals
l The English pub that inspired an Elvis song!
l And The real life characters contained within the lyrics of Jailhouse Rock!
“The first book took five years of research, and there was plenty of material for this second one,” said Trevor who is now contemplating Elvis’s gospel influences to round off the trilogy. “It has taken eight hours a day, five days a week for a year to complete the latest book, but I’ve loved every minute of it.”
For more information on Elvis: The Best of British - The RCA Years (price £60)go to www.elvisthebestofbritish.co.uk or www.elvisthebestofbritish.com.
Or call 07799792893.