The year was 1957. Elvis Presley was on top of the world. Just twenty-two at the time, he was not just the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll but a handsome prince who had his choice of all the fair maidens in the land, and yet, like a true fairy tale, he fell in love with Anita Wood, a rising musical talent with the looks of a beauty queen. Anita put her own career aside to be with Elvis, her first love and his steady girlfriend for the next five years. ONCE UPON A TIME: ELVIS AND ANITA is a heartfelt memoir of Anita’s life with Elvis from 1957 through 1962. Written by Jonnita Brewer Barrett, Anita’s daughter, the book takes readers back to a magical time that many believe was among the best years of Elvis’ life: His career was taking off, he had just purchased Graceland (where Anita lived with Elvis for most of their time together), and life seemed incredibly good. Through her daughter, Anita recaptures the joy and excitement of two young people in love. She shares many key moments that bonded her with Elvis’ family, including the shocking news that he had been drafted by the Army in 1958, and the devastation he felt later that year by the sudden death of his beloved mother, Gladys. ONCE UPON A TIME traces Anita’s own journey in show business which included appearances with such entertainment legends as Jack Paar, Buddy Hackett, Andy Williams and Dick Van Dyke. But it also revisits some of the most painful memories of Anita’s life, from the lengths that Elvis’ manager took to shield their relationship from the public, to the heartache and betrayal that made her realize that the fairy tale had to end.
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