"Well, it's a satanic form of religion, Satan-inspired. I saw the Devil in Elvis' brain one day and his Momma told me to look. She said,
"Well, it's a satanic form of religion, Satan-inspired. I saw the Devil in Elvis' brain one day and his Momma told me to look. She said, "Jimmy, look at Elvis' eyes," and "Elvis," she said, "show Jimmy what you showed me" and he flashed his eyes and his skull looked like… his eyes looked like two pissholes in the snow. And back in his brain I saw Lucifer in there. July 5th, 1956. He was stoned out of his head"On November 6th 1948 the Presley family left Tupelo and relocated to Memphis were they settled on 370 Washington Street before moving to 572 Poplar Avenue, which was not too far from the Denson home. Jesse Lee's father, the Reverend Jesse James Denson, ran the Poplar Street Mission which was of the Pentecostal denomination. This was the church that Gladys, Vernon and Elvis Presley attended. The two families became close friends, especially the two mothers who got along very well. Gladys Presley received a lot of welcome advice and care from Mrs. Denson, who was a significant factor in helping the Presleys' obtain a home in the housing project at Lauderdale Courts. They moved into their new apartment, #328, in September 1949 and lived there to early 1953 before the Presleys' relocated. Lee remembers: When Jim and me got out of the backdoor to go to Humes High School one day, we saw Gladys and this young skinny guy who was taller than her, It was Elvis. We had not met him before but knew Gladys as she was around the mission and the house quite often. But the strange thing to see was that Elvis had his head on his mothers shoulder while walking hand in hand to the school. A couple of days later my mother said to me in the kitchen, "Jesse Lee, Gladys has begged me if you would show Elvis how to play the guitar". I said, "Mama, I'm not teaching that little chicken nothing, he's so fragile and so afraid of everything: If I would start to teach him how to sing and play, the other kids would tease me. It's hard enough already, but after that I would be in a fight every day". My Mother did not accept that and looked right into my eyes and told me: "Whatsoever you do, Jesse Lee, to these the least of my brothers that you will do on to me, and that's exactly what Jesus said". That really got me and I replied "Okay mama send him over". That afternoon I started teaching Elvis. He was 13 years old and he was slow, but he was better than most people thought. That's how it begun. We then got to his place, or in the basement to practice becouse there was a nice echo there. We lived there for about four years with the Presleys'. This building still stands, but the neighborhood has deteriorated. Over the next two or three years Lee geve Elvis, who was about two years younger, informal guitar lessons. He also introduced him to some of his friends like the Burnettes and brother Jimmy, but Elvis does not seem to have made a lasting impression on these guys at the time. Lee later liked what Elvis recorded but said: I know by my heart that Bill Haley & The Comets started that all and to me he was the King. Elvis had all the breaks in the world because of his manager (Colonel Tom Parker). I got into music when I was really small. My father played guitar in his mission but couldn't tune the guitar which I could do already at the age of 6. That's when it started for me. I thought it's better to sing and play than to get into more trouble as some of my friends out on the streets did. In my early days, I was country. I liked to sing smooth like Eddy Arnold. Coming from a very religious family, Lee always kept his faith with God and so it was a natural thing for him to write gospel music.When Lee heard that Elvis was in Hollywood to film a movie, he visited with him at his Bel Air residence. Knowing that Elvis had retained his passion for gospel music, Denson was determined that Presley should hear his composition. At the house, Denson was warmly welcomed and had the opportunity to perform the song to Elvis and his Memphis Mafia. Lee remembered: After I finished this little girl stand up and said "It's the most gorgeous song I ever heard in my life" and it was Priscilla. This was the last time Lee saw Elvis in person. He later received a telephone call from one of the Presley sidekicks who inquired about the publishing for the song. The guy was told that the rights had been assigned to Dorsey Burnette's publishing company. Dorsey later sold his catalogue to Acuff-Rose and where it still resides. Seemingly, nothing was happening with Elvis on the song and so Denson recorded a version for the Enterprise label in the sixties. Unfortunately from a commercial viewpoint, this release was stillborn. Lee finally tired of the west coast scene and returned to Memphis in 1971 whereupon he signed with Stax Records, It was one evening that year when Lee got a call from his old school mate Red West who was then based in Nashville. Lee remembers the telephone conversation vividlyIn 1960 he wrote an English version of Ave Maria
"The Miracle Of The Rosary".
Denson attempted to get publishers interested in the song but it was of a religious nature, enthusiasm was not forthcoming.
I have not heard from Red in quite a while. He told me to sit down which I did and he started telling me that Elvis has recorded my song "Miracle Of The Rosary" that day. I was glad he told me sit down. I couldn't believe it after all those years. The version by Elvis has been on several of his albums and I still get royalties from airplay and records. I have been very fortunate and this money helped me doing what I wanted to do.
(Jesse Lee Denson is James Samuel Denson's brother. Jesse Lee Denson is a successful, professional guitarist. He is the one who taught guitar to Elvis.)In Chapter 12 of 'Elvis Through My Eyes' the paragraph starts:
'An eclipse is obstruction of light, darkness, a casting of shadow. When a light 'goes out' early, there cannot be fullness of life and it is then obstructed.'
When reading this book it is not hard to imagine something has obstructed the vision and memory of Jimmy Denson. This could well be the book to rival Albert Goldman's mean spirited and much reviled, 'Elvis'!Like the widely denigrated Goldman biography, separating fact from fiction in this totally over the top account of the Elvis story is challenging. It is a book well suited to the now, largely defunct Elvis "underground", with its sensational, colorful and fantastic claims, observations and beliefs, all neatly wrapped within a somewhat out of place spiritual texture. At times you will laugh out loud, at other times you'll want to wring Denson's neck!
Both books are a revisionist dream. Interspersed with some solid research, Goldman set out to destroy the existing Elvis legend and replace it with one of the most damming and depraved accounts one could imagine. Jimmy Denson's account, as told to writer Heart Lanier Shapre, approaches its subject in a strange, hybrid manner where the narrator professes great love for Elvis and then details him as a pitifuly scared, drug addicted youth with rotting green teeth.
After so many mundane and repetitive biographies piecing the Elvis story together in the same one-dimensional jigsaw puzzle like mosaic, this books hits you right in the face with its 'out of left field' rancid picture of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
Denson traces Elvis' drug addiction to his days living in the Lauderdale Courts in Memphis. Starting out as a typical youth experiment with glue sniffing it progressed through the inhalation of gasoline fumes to amphetamines.
If you believe Denson (and a small number probably will), Elvis was a certified drug addict during his teenage years. This makes it seemingly consistent with the use of pills by Elvis, et al, during Sun Studio days (as portrayed recently in the critically acclaimed film, 'Walk The Line'), a claim very much at odds with the usually told story that Elvis' pill problem started when he was in the Army.
Despite its often repulsive narrative, 'Elvis Through My Eyes' threads a spiritual theme replete with biblical quotations. It is a strangely concocted brew!
Heart Lanier Shapre's narrative is also unusually structured, its text flowing in a generally chronological timeline but punctuated by hundreds of quotes and biblical diversions. Many of the quotes are from Jimmy Denson and his bother, Jesse Lee, while others are from members of the Memphis Mafia, third party authors, Al Dvorin, and a female Elvis impersonator.
The litany of amazing claims is staggering and hard to comprehend, as are Denson's gems of wisdom and observations, all of which continue to flow like an unstoppable, raging torrent careering down a stream.
Jimmy Denson outside the
On the night of May 15, 1971, RCA's Studio B had been decorated for an early Christmas. A tree with beautifully wrapped empty boxes stood in the center of the room, but Elvis brought real gifts for the musicians and his associates---gold bracelets engraved "Elvis 71." All the players from the June 1970 sessions were back, and again there were no backup singers present. With no personal changes and as few distractions as possible, Felto Javis expected to be able to get all of Elvis's recordings done in a short order and save all the sweetening for later. As the group was getting started the old question of material came up, and there was some talk about the mysterious process new songs had to go through to make it to an Elvis session. But Elvis rendered the debate moot by choosing the first song himself: "Miracle Of The Rosary." Writer Lee Denson was an old Lauderdale Courts compatriot, and he'd brought the song directly to Elvis, who put it at the top of his agenda. As soon as they'd worked out an introduction on the organ the first take flowed beautifully, and Elvis led the musicians confidently through the four takes it took to complete the song. First released on Elvis Now 1972.This was a request from Debbe who's Mom died a year and a half ago from Cancer. She was given 3-6 months to live and baffeled the Doctors by living almost 4 years. Her Mom was 71 when she died and very devoted to the catholic church and liked the song Elvis did titled "Miracle of the Rosary." Debbe says. "She would love to hear me sing in the church choir." She was born and raised in Calif.Debbe's Dad was Rip Russell who died in 1976.
He was a former baseball player and he died on the golf course doing what he liked best. If you put his name into a search engine it will come up and you can see his baseball stats as well as his picture.Mary Lou Russell
Dec. 23, 1929 to Jan 23, 2001
Jan. 26, 1915 to Sept 26, 1976
"Every day of his life he was pitiful, pathetic and no-one on earth to worship and idolize. He was to be pitied every day of his life. He was a victim every day of his life. He was being victimized before I met him, the day I met him and every day of his life he was being victimized. He was the only human being I know that had to be protected, physically, every day of his life by other human beings. He's the only one I've ever seen. He's the only totally genetic infantile baby that I ever knew."