Elvis Presley, ‘Blue Cadillac, Backstage’Regular price Price on Request
© Lew Allen
Cleveland, U.S.A. 23 November 1956
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity
This photography work depicts singer and actor Elvis Presley, widely known as the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ and one of rock music’s dominant performers from the mid-1950s until 1977. Lew Allen’s body of work delves into a wonderful and nostalgic bygone era that captured the meteoric rise of the ‘King of Rock’; The year was 1956, a defining year for Elvis Presley, with the singer being on the brink of superstardom. A young Presley was coming to play live at the Cleveland Arena in Ohio and an amateur photographer named Lew Allen, whose only professional experience was working for his high school newspaper at Cleveland Heights High School, was invited to capture him. All three Cleveland newspapers were on-strike so Lew Allen was given unfettered access to photograph Elvis both backstage and during the performance.
This series of stunning images were captured by Lew Allen in Cleveland and New York from 1956 to ‘58, Allen’s work features a stellar assemblage of early rock ’n’ roll icons. His lens embodies one of the last links to visually document those early days when rock was just beginning. This remarkable work takes you back to a time before these rock pioneers rose to legendary status.
‘No honey I don’t have a blue Cadillac. I’ve got a pink one, a black one, a white one -oh yeah I do have a blue one.’ Elvis Presley said, when he held up his performance to speak over the phone with a seriously ill girl who could not attend the gig because she was in hospital.
About Lew Allen
Currently residing in America, Lew Allen received a Bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1961 and studied with photographers Minor White, Ralph Hattersley and attended lectures from Ansel Adams and other noted photographers. Lew Allen’s photography was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London -in conjunction with a BBC documentary featuring his story of Elvis. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery selected his work for their permanent collection.
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