Elvis Presley Termed ‘Whirling Dervish’ By Village Pastor


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December 19, 1956, Vol. II, No. 8

Presley Termed Whirling Dervish By Village Pastor

“This too shall pass,” said the Reverend Charles Howard Graf, speaking of the current Elvis Presley craze among the younger generation, in a sermon at St. John’s in the Village last Sunday.

Calling Presley a “sad sack reminiscent of the late James Dean” and a “whirling dervish of sex,” Mr. Graf commented that a woman who would “shake and bump the way he does…would be a success only on the burlesque stage or the midway.” The singer represents for young people, especially young women, the “doctrine of the emancipation from sex continence as established by the Church and society,” the minister said.

“Moral theology may be tardy in its answers to modern problems,” Mr. Graf said, and suggested that we “restate the ultimate moral standards in terms of 1956-57 — perhaps in rock-and-roll parlance, if we must.”

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