Anita Wood Book Signing Set at Music Highway Crossroads

September 17th, 2012

Music Highway Crossroads to Host
Book Signing of the memoir of
Elvis Presley's Girlfriend Anita Wood

(Jackson, TN) Music Highway Crossroads in Casey Jones Village is hosting a book signing with Elvis Presley’s first steady girlfriend, Anita Wood, Friday, October 12th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, October 13th from Noon to 2:00 pm. Anita was born and raised in Jackson, Tennessee and now resides in Mississippi. She met Elvis in Memphis in 1957. The book Once Upon a Time: Elvis and Anita: Memories of my Mother was written by Jonnita Brewer Barrett, Anita Wood's daughter. It reveals poignant details of Wood's life with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, while also taking readers back to the early days of the entertainer’s storied career.

It tells the story of the five-year romance between Wood and the King from 1957 through 1962, before Presley met Priscilla Beaulieu. The book provides a window into a period of time that many believe to be among the best years of Elvis’ life when his career had just taken off, he had just purchased Graceland (where Wood once lived), and his beloved mother, Gladys Presley, was still alive.

For years, Presley fans have encouraged Wood to write her story, but until now she has resisted. “Elvis never wanted me to talk to the media when we were together, and I have honored his wishes most all my life,” she writes in the preface of ELVIS AND ANITA. “Nor have I ever wanted to diminish my memories of him in any way. But with the encouragement of family, and the persistence of my daughter, I finally decided the time was right," she added.

Author Jonnita Brewer Barrett recounts many key moments that Wood shared with Presley and his family during their years together, including the shocking news that he had been drafted by the Army in 1958 (just as his career was taking off), and the devastation he felt later that year by the sudden death of his mother, Gladys. But Barrett also traces her mother’s own path in show business, which included the release of such popular singles as “I’m Liking This,” many appearances on The Jack Paar Show, plus fond memories of her work with such entertainment legends as Buddy Hackett, Andy Williams and Dick Van Dyke.

A heartfelt memoir of Wood’s life with Elvis Presley, ELVIS AND ANITA also provides readers with a rarely seen, very personal look at the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. More than 100 images complete the volume, including many of Wood and Presley relaxing together.

Music Highway Crossroads is dedicated to celebrating the musical heritage of the Tennessee Delta region. The live music venue features a performance stage, music themed shop and cafe and is located at 40 Casey Jones Lane in Jackson, Tennessee. For more information visit or call 731.660.4243. Visit the author’s web site at

Brooks Shaw's Old Country Store
56 Casey Jones Lane
Jackson, Tennessee 38305
1.731.668.1223 1.800.748.9588

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