Local author featured in Elvis radio documentary in France

Published 3:09 pm Friday, August 2, 2013


MONTEVALLO – When Montevallo resident Gregory Reece published “Elvis Religion: The Cult of the King” in 2006, his book was named one of the top five pop music books of the year. Seven years later, Reece thought his book had run its course, but he was wrong.

Several months ago, French journalist Michel Pomarede contacted Reece about traveling to the states to interview him for a 15-hour radio documentary that would air on Radio France. The documentary is scheduled to air Aug. 5-9.

“When I read Gregory’s book, I found it more than interesting,” Pomarede said. “Gregory is the leading voice on this documentary, (and) he gives us clues on the other people who speak about their beliefs.”

Reece said he and his family were excited to say the least. His daughter and son were excited to have international visitors in their house, and he was flattered to have someone so interested in his book, he said.

“It’s very flattering, as an author, to have someone stick a microphone in your face and ask you to read several pages of a book you wrote,” Reece said.

The book focuses on Elvis as a religious figure, and Reece said the idea came about when he was asked to teach an introductory religious studies class at the University of Montevallo.

He was timid to apply psychoanalysis and other theories to Christianity for fear that some students might feel attacked, so he decided to focus the class on pop culture religions, such as flying saucers and of course, Elvis.

From the class grew a paper, and from the paper grew a book.

“I presented a paper about Elvis as a religion at a conference in California, and there was a book publisher at that presentation who approached me afterwards and asked if I’d be interested in publishing a book,” Reece said. Reece published the book in 2006.

About the upcoming documentary, Reece said he is excited that so many people interviewed during the 15-hour show are people Radio France producers discovered through reading his book.

While writing and doing research the book, he said he came across some “wonderfully talented people.”

“I’m glad they will finally get some recognition,” he said.

For more information about books by Reece, covering topics as varied as Bigfoot and vampires, visit Ibtauris.com.