01Radio 2 Elvis Season20100104Paul Gambaccini explores the continuing potency of the Elvis brand. Made to commemorate what would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday, this is less the story of his music (though we will hear some of that), more an enquiry into his undiminished fame and power as an American icon.

In the first programme, Paul unlocks the components of the brand as they evolved in Elvis's lifetime. Paul Gorman (author of The Look) considers Presley's changing but always identifiable styles - from the pink and black suits of the rockabilly years, to the comic book jumpsuits of the Vegas years.

Paul also reflects of the mythology of Elvis' life, with the help of "Memphis Mafia" member Jerry Shilling; former girlfriend Betty Burger; and critics Greil Marcus and David Hepworth. He covers the early poverty, Presley's encounter with Sam Phillips of Sun Records, his army career, the profligacy and, of course, the music, to give an account of why Elvis is STILL a highly bankable brand.

Tomorrow: Dead Elvis...has not yet left the building.

02 LASTRadio 2 Elvis Season20100105Paul Gambaccini continues his exploration of the Elvis brand by looking at how, though the King may (arguably!) be dead, the Elvis brand is still alive and gyrating.

He considers some of the latest attempts to reinvent, package and market Presley such as the Cirque du Soleil show, Viva Elvis, which has just opened in Las Vegas. He looks at the ingenious, and some argue exploitative, branding strategy of the almighty force that is Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Contributors include die-hard British fan, Peter Phillips, who talks about plans for launching the first Elvis Presley Tribute Artist World Cup; and branding guru Jasmine Montgomery, who considers whether the brand could go on thriving forever.