By 1966, Presley, having lost any real interest in the movies he was doing, had started to get interested in philosophy, religion and books. During the filming of Frankie and Johnny, he broke with tradition by not dating his co-star Donna Douglas. Instead, Presley took a genuine intellectual interest in her.
Sonny recalls: “She was quite religious and talked a lot of sense. Elvis would talk to her and he started to get interested in books. He was always quite self-conscious over the fact that he was not well-read. From there on in, he really started getting into books, all kinds, religion, the occult, the meaning of words, everything. So instead of dating, they just sort of talked books and religion.
Text: Red West, Sonny West, Dave Hebler as told to Steve Dunleavy, Elvis: What Happened?, New York, Ballantine Books, 1977.