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Elvis on the train taking him from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956. On the way home


Elvis was very focused on everything he did. He didn’t care if he was combing his hair, with a girl or singing. He didn’t care what was happening around him and that made him perfect for my way of understanding photography. I like to become invisible. There came a time when I could be 90 centimeters away from him, and he wouldn’t even greet me.”

At that time everyone told him what to do. I was the only one who let him be him. It was my first year as a professional and I didn’t dare to direct him. If he had caught me two years later he would have done it. “That’s why the photographs have aged so well.”

I was just a name on a list of photographers. The freelancer who answered the phone when they called from RCA. The one that was available on March 17, 1956. And in the end it has become the longest order of my life.

Alfred Wertheimer

Wertheimer’s photos are not only photos of the myth, of the boy who was crowned as the artist who had already convulsed America that year; They are at the same time a portrait of everything that was the America that Elvis was turning upside down, the America of the year 1956… the food counters in the restaurants, the racial segregation, the train stations and their cafeterias, the stores where Elvis He looked at the shop windows with great excitement, thinking if he would ever be able to buy those clothes that he liked so much, the flavor of that year in full change, so important in his life and career. And in addition to being a portrait of that America, his photos have gone down in history as the most beautiful, the closest and as the oldest, most important and most intimate graphic documents of Elvis’s life and artistic career.

Wertheimer photographed the soul of the boy and the artist. No one ever got as close to Elvis as his invisible photographer did.

And really, just as he said, that’s how it was. The longest assignment of his life… since March 17, 1956 and on the way to eternity.

On the train from New York to Memphis. July 4, 1956. Elvis takes a break.

Information provided by Rosa García Mora https://www.facebook.com/rosa.garciamora.12

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