In August 1990, when Spin magazine was still an edgier cousin to Rolling Stone, it published a list of the 35 Greatest Moments in Rock 'n' Roll Television. [more inside]
Elvis: King of the Rock 'n' Roll Jews? Unlike George Allen, Elvis proudly embraced his Jewish heritage. Through his mother's side of the family, Elvis could trace his lineage back to his Jewish great-grandmother, Martha Tackett, which makes Elvis Jewish by matrilineal descent. A former shabbos goy who did chores on the Sabbath for a rabbi in Memphis, Elvis had his biggest-selling success with a #1 hit by a Jewish songwriting team. Known to wear a Hebrew Chai pendant and to donate to Jewish charities in Memphis, Elvis also put the Star of David on his Mom's gravestone.
The Afghan Elvis (with YouTube clip), the Soviet Elvis (played by Tom Hanks), the French Elvis (now seeking Belgian citizenship), the Mexican Elvis, the Swedish Elvis, the Filipino Elvis, the Chinese Elvis, the Sikh Elvis, the Japanese Elvis who became a Prime Minister, and other foreign Elvii.
Since it's Elvis Presley's 68th birthday today and Richard Nixon's 90th birthday tomorrow, it's only natural to herald the December 21, 1970 meeting that has inspired a novel, a Showtime made-for-cable movie, musical novelties, and a mini-memoir from a Nixon staffer. The National Archives has received so many requests for photos of Elvis shaking hands with Nixon that they posted this online exhibit.