The king of rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis Presley, is now the subject of a forthcoming HBO documentary, Elvis Presley: The Searcher, set to air Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m. EST. The two-part documentary takes a look at Presley’s life and musical evolution, following the musician’s creative journey from his childhood to his final recording at the Jungle Room in 1976.
Directed by Thom Zimny and produced by Jon Landau, the three-hour doc features commentary from notable artists such as Tom Petty, Scotty Moore, Emmylou Harris and Bruce Springsteen, among others, as well as Presley’s former wife Priscilla Presley. From the documentary’s trailer, audiences can except a film that focuses on Presley’s initial inspirations, taking his iconic sound from the gospel music of a deeply segregated South to the creative impact of serving in the U.S. Army, as well as the darker side of the music world that undoubtedly took a toll on the legendary artist—as the trailer suggests, “Elvis is a big business.”
The documentary is said to include never-before-seen photos and footage from private collections worldwide, including atmospheric shots from Presley’s iconic Tennessee home, Graceland, and 20 new interviews with primary sources such as session players, producers, engineers and directors who personally knew and were deeply influenced by the artist. An original musical score to the documentary was composed by Pearl Jam’s guitarist, Mike McCready. The musical companion to Elvis Presley: The Searcher is set to release via Sony Music Entertainment on Friday, April 6.
At SXSW, Priscilla Presley will be joined on stage alongside Zimny, Landau, Memphis producer David Porter and moderator John Jackson (SVP A&R, Sony Music) to discuss the film and the cultural significance of Presley in a panel discussion.
Again, Elvis Presley: The Searcher, a comprehensive documentary on the life and legacy of the “king of rock ‘n’ roll,” is due to air April 14 on HBO. Watch the moving trailer for the documentary below, followed by an “Elvis Presley Remembered” radio interview from Graceland, circa 1989. Then revisit Paste’s list of the best forgotten Presley songs right here.