Elvis: “Conflicted by the spirit”

Via SGBlognews, an article by historian James Goff (of Close Harmony fame) in Assemblies of God Heritage about The King and religious ambivalence: “Conflicted By the Spirit: The Religious Life of Elvis Presley” (.pdf).

Email this Post

Trackbacks & Pings

  1. Religious Life of Elvis « iFPHC blog on 02 Apr 2008 at 3:36 pm

    […] article has┬ácaused a stir in the blogosphere. See the following blog discussions: Averyfineline: Criticism and commentary on southern gospel music and culture ; […]


  1. Ernestine Williams wrote:

    I don’t know about (Conflicted by the Spirit), but if Elvis was saved as a young person, I’d say he was ready to meet his maker at death.I pray that he was…
    I would like to get some of the bumper stickers from channel 34 enLIGHTen (Southern Gospel) or any Gospel stickers
    that we could use on our two automobiles, for the channel, we have it on our truck and on our internet, I use it all time while cleaning house & its not such chore to get it done, Thank God!!
    If you could get the message to the right people I would appreciate it. Thanks

  2. Philo wrote:

    If you possess an open and free-thinking mind you’re going to experience’conflict of the spirit’ie some serious doubting’. Now before i hear ‘all you need is a simple child-like faith’ all i will say is that some people are not made that way. If i sound arrogant i appologise, i do however uphold straight-fowardness and above all, honesty.

  3. Tele D. Trooth wrote:

    The following comment has absolutely nothing to do with Elvis or anyone else but the person typing the comment…moving on: I know for a fact when you are gifts from God for use in His Kingdom and do not walk in those gifts, your life can get miserable at times. Whether it is singing Gospel songs at all hours of the night or investigating other types of “religion”, you somehow have the feeling like you have ants crawling on you…just can’ t seem to get comfortable. Can someone say “conviction”? Yet somehow He (God) keeps calling you back to Him…perhaps Proverbs 22.6 coming to life. Interesting article…a lot of food for thought.
    *Elvis-related comment: He indeed had the chops and the pipes…would have been interesting to see how his career would have turned out if he indeed turned from rock to Gospel.*

  4. Tele D. Trooth wrote:

    Sorry, I meant to say when you are GIVEN gifts from God…

  5. A. Nonemus wrote:

    If Elvis had nothing but gospel music, he would’ve died with nowhere near the money he had. ‘Nuff said.

  6. LuckyDog wrote:

    #5, That may be the greatest understatement in the history of commentary. LOL!

  7. Bubba wrote:

    What does it profit……….

  8. not a grammarian wrote:

    “money” vs. “riches” there’s some food for thought!

  9. cdguy wrote:

    #5 — Don’t forget that Elvis was so deeply in debt at the time of his death, the estate nearly had to sell Graceland. Pricilla and company have made a whole lot more since his passing than he had at the time of his demise. He didn’t really have much money. He had STUFF.

    “He who dies with the most toys is still dead.”

  10. Scott wrote:

    Let’s face it–careerwise, moneywise, Elvis saved the day by dying.

    Phyrric victory.

  11. BobB wrote:

    The multiple references in the Elvis article to Jim Hammil reminded me that Mickey Gamble at Crossroads was going to try to do a Hamill project with profits going to the Hamill family (post #56 on the link below). Anyone heard an update on this idea?


  12. Mickey Gamble wrote:

    To BobB:
    As you are probably aware, all of the important Hamill performances on “live” Kingsmen recordings were and are the properties of Word and Benson. Crossroads neither owns nor controls any of them. Our hope was to be able to lease or license rights to reproduce these in some form at a cost which would allow that to happen.
    At this time we have not been able to do that. We may pursue this further in the near future.

  13. Dean Leach wrote:

    Elvis is getting far too much attention in the industry of Gospel music and in the church.

    He was hooked on drugs, he slept with women not his wife, he sang rock and roll music, he lived the life of a sinner not a saint.

    It’s’ time we tore the evill Elvis altars down, for pete’s sake.

    and JD, he left the industry of Gospel music and came crawling back when Elvis died.

    It’s time we honor greater men.

  14. quartet-man wrote:

    Dean, to say that J.D. left the industry is absurd. He still sang gospel, even in Elvises concerts. In fact, they could have easily done country songs or what have you on their featured spot, but J.D. chose to take gospel to people who might not hear it otherwise. Saying that is about the same as saying that Christians who go to secular places or work secular jobs are leaving their ministries. (We are all called to be ministers whether we do it as a vocation or not.)

  15. jb wrote:

    Amen Dean #13. When I think of gospel music, the thought of Elvis does not ooze to my brain. I think you said what a lot of us are thinking.

  16. Leebob wrote:

    We certainly aren’t afraid of golden calves around here are we. I must be careful here as some family members who loved Elvis come here.

    I do not argue his greatness when it comes to his rock and roll. Elvis was also not afraid to try different things. Anybody remember the Elvis Country album?

    When it comes to gospel, Elvis does not immediately pop to my mind either. I have felt for a long time that the American public has placed Elvis and others way too high on the pedestal just slightly shy of idol worship. The one aspect of gospel music that gets lost and thus harms us all is the personal testimony to go along with the singing. This is another answer to the question, “what is wrong with SG?” that we are afraid to delve in to. Certain groups at the NQC won’t be near other groups because of personal issues, rumors float about “fixing” sound for perhaps a lesser group, the occassional swig of rum to help a bass reach an otherwise unreachable note, some looking like the “Mr. T” of SG with their adorning jewelry, etc. All of these leave a bad taste in the mouth, especially for the pastor who would like to have a group into their church.

  17. Ted wrote:

    I have to agree with quartet man on the Elvis JD issue. JD, brought Gospel music back to Elvis concerts. It was Elvis real love. I have a secular job. If I can bring half the Christianity that JD brought to his secular venues such as Vegas, then my mission work would be a success. I know that things went on that were not Christlike with Elvis and Co., but that is why we have a Risen Saviour. JD used Elvis Concerts as a mission field. JD, Elvis, and myself are not worthy of Christ’s forgiveness, that is why we are saved through Grace.

  18. RDB wrote:

    I must agree with #10. If Elvis had lived he would have been considered merely at a par with other “have-beens” that fell off the wagon. By dying an new dead Elvis industry was born and his legend has endured.

    # 9 - or maybe Elvis isn’t actually dead after all. Seems to me I heard something the other week . . .

  19. wackythinker wrote:

    I’ve seen the footage of Elvis asking JD & The Stamps to sing “Sweet, Sweet Spriit” in his Vegas concert, and I’ve always thought there was some disconnect in there. Did they really feels God’s Sweet Holy Spirit in that place, as they were singing the songs that had nothing to do with anything of spiritual nature?

    And did JD take the Elvis gig as a “mission”, to bring sg to the masses, or as a paycheck to support his gospel habit?

    Either way, we may never know.

    Food for thought.

  20. quartet-man wrote:

    #19, I can’t say what J.D.’s intentions were in taking the gig, but my point was that after being there for a while and then getting the slot of their own he could have chosen country or pop music, but chose gospel. i can’t say if that were because he wanted to grow the style or go into it as a mission field. However, if he had wanted to grow their own career, pop or country might have been a better choice. No matter what his intentions were, the end result is that a lot of people heard the gospel who wouldn’t have. Before we get into it, no, I am not trying to say the end justifies the means. :)

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.