Are You Lonesome Tonight?
On a cool night in Memphis, high on a grassy
hilltop, Elvis Presley fell in love with a beautiful
teenager of French descent with sparkling green
eyes, a melting smile - and a haunted existence. This
love ignited a passionate romance hidden from the
world for twenty-four years.
When they met in 1953, Lucy de Barbin was a
troubled sixteen-year-old who begged God nightly
to free her from a physically and psychologically
tortured life. Elvis Presley was an eighteen-year-old
dreamer filled with an intense desire that would fuel
an unparalleled rise to fame, fortune, and,
eventually, to a legendary status too heavy to bear.
Their love was born of necessity, grew in secrecy,
and was fraught with impossibilities. Yet for nearly
a quarter of a century -- it remained unbending.
Elvis inspired Lucy to shake off the chains of despair
and hopelessness and free herself from the brutal
husband foisted upon her at age eleven by a family
in the Deep South. She repaid him by sacrificing
herself and her love so he could initially achieve, and
then maintain, the fame he cherished.
She gave birth to his first child, but her desire to
shield Elvis from scandal forced her to conceal their
baby. And to conceal the father from the child. The
single legacy that Lucy allowed their daughter was
her name Desire. This was the endearment Elvis
bestowed upon Lucy, the name he chose as the
most romantic way to express his love.
Though Lucy ran from Elvis to protect him, he
always found her. They met secretly in parks, by the
banks of rivers and ponds, and in hotel rooms across
When the roles were reversed and Elvis was
emotionally crumbling, Lucy was there. Her love
comforted him in the fog of his final years and
provided an intermittent oasis that might have
given Elvis the only peace he ever knew. But
Lucy's scars never completely healed. Driven by
her protective instincts and terrified by a past that
could never be forgotten, she delayed in agreeing
to the marriage Elvis had intently pursued from the
Now, after a decade of guilt and anguish, Lucy wants to tell
her daughter the story she has never been able to voice, a
heartbreaking recounting that reveals who Elvis Presley
really was. Through Lucy's eyes, we learn his deepest
longings, experience his greatest victories and painful
disappointments, and finally understand why he was so
lonely, unhappy and empty.
Are You Lonesome Tonight? is a tragic and
touching love story -- the most compelling portrait
of the 'King' ever published.
Lucy de Barbin, a mother of six children, now lives in
Texas, where she currently works as a fashion