Peter Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley. This is the first installment of a two-volume biography originally published in 1995. In it, Guralnick follows Presley through the death of his mother in 1958. Last Train to Memphis might just be the best book ever written about an American musician, and it definitely belongs at the top of the short list of first-rate rock biographies, not just because Guralnick’s research is impeccable but because his gifts as a storyteller are extraordinary. I reread it before starting work on Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong in order to remind myself of how good a musical biography can be (TT).