Since Elvis Presley died in 1977 his legacy has been obscured by a cult of kitsch, born of Vegas impersonators, dubious convenience store sightings and cheesy Graceland tours.

Lost in all this is the fact Elvis was the first true pop culture superstar – he changed the nature of celebrity. Without Elvis Presley, there would be no Robbie Williams.

With this in mind, this collection of photos, taken when Elvis was still in his early 20s, is a revealing tribute to the man before he became mythic yet ubiquitous.

Shots of Elvis in the back seat of a cab on the way to a concert or in his living room show an improbably good-looking, nonchalant kid. In these, his Cherokee heritage is strikingly apparent.

Shots of Elvis on stage, on one knee and with arms wide open, complete a captivating collage of an idol on the rise.


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