Early Rupert Murdoch Hatchet Job Had Elvis All Shook Up

It took a few days, but other media outlets are starting to catch up to Nashville columnist and Country Music Channel editorial director Chet Flippo‘s amazing July 14 item.

His incendiary “Nashville Skyline” entry has been picked by the Vancouver Sun, the LA Times, and will no doubt reverberate in the coming days as yet another pie-in-the-Murdoch-face. Flippo connects the dots between the media baron’s early U.S. newspaper handiwork in San Antonio and the 1977 book Elvis: What Happened? written by trenchcoat tabloid legend Steve Dunleavy. Writes Flippo about content also serialized in the New York Post:

For the first time, the book revealed the full extent of Elvis Presley‘s complete and total dependence on a long list of prescription drugs. And it was not a pretty story. It was a virtual pharmacopia of drugs and other sundry and tawdry personal details about Elvis.

Close Elvis associates have said the book had a devastating effect on Presley. He read portions of an advance copy of it, became alternately depressed and enraged and was agitated to the point of talking about luring [former bodyguards and two of the book’s three interview subjects] Red and Sonny to Graceland and then killing them.

Flippo notes that Elvis died just a few weeks after the book was published.