Intimate Photos of Liberace and Elvis Presley at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, 1956

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“Elvis and Liberace had two things in common, other than the fact that they were both musicians. They were both twins who lost their brothers at birth, and they both loved opulence.” Lamar Fike in Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia.

On the surface, it seems unlikely that Elvis and Liberace would have had anything in common. They were born a generation apart. The latter catered to a conservative adult audience in the mid-fifties, while Elvis appealed to a youthful generation trying to escape the conformist world of their parents. Yet, through mutual respect, the two men, who were each savaged by the press for different reasons, were able to bridge the generational and cultural gaps between them.

This combination is surely enough to bring down upon us a mass epidemic of teenage swooning spells. Doing the double switch are Liberace, just back from a European tour, and Elvis Presley.

Liberace gave up his piano and gold sequined jacket to Presley for the latter’s guitar and striped sports coat in an impromptu jam session backstage after Liberace’s appearance at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas on November 16, 1956.

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