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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The King of Rock & Roll

Elvis Aaron Presley
The King of Rock & Roll

Born: 1/8/1935 Tupelo
Height: 6'0"
Died 8/16/1977

Songs, albums, and movies too many to mention on this blog (this won't the last on this subject)

Anyone can Google Elvis and get enough material to choke a horse. As usual what you are about to read is my first hand experience and perspective. Before today, you couldn't read this information on the Internet.

September 9, 1956 was the first appearance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show. I will never forget that event for the impact that Elvis made in the music world, but equally important I will always remember because at that very young age, I experience mass hysteria. 1956 was one year before my family bought our very own black and white Phillco television set. Due to that fact we used to go visit with a family that lived a half block away most every Sunday after early dinner, and catch a couple of television shows with them. I loved going because they had three daughters and a son. One of the girls was my age (Norma), and the other two girls were teenagers 13 and 16. The son was younger than me by two years, and he kept telling me that Norma liked me. I guess it was an ego builder nothing else.

On the night of the Elvis performance, Mr. Sullivan was in the hospital due to a car accident during the week prior. Some performer from England stood in for him. For this particular program the girls had invited about 6 or 7 of their close friends. When Elvis was introduced all the girls started screaming and pulling their hair, it seemed fake except that they all had tears streaming down their faces. I was amazed at what I witnessed, and it took me a long time before I could make sense of Mass Hysteria. That day Elvis performed Ready Teddy, and Hound Dog. I went on to become a devoted fan of Elvis (to this day). I even traveled to Las Vegas specifically to catch his performance in 1975 at the La Vegas Hilton. I wish I had saved the ticket stub, but how was I to know that he would die within two years.

When I arrived in Washington State from Texas, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my new sister-in-law was also an Elvis fanatic. She had the full Elvis collection, which at the time consisted of five albums (1956-58)

Another sad note: my wife and I were married in 1977, three months after getting married we were driving the highways of Easter Washington when a song was interrupted to report that the King of Rock & Roll had died. I felt a sense of loss almost as if I had lost a close relative. In the future I will also post about other great artist, and even attempt some music comparisons across the time spectrum. Do you have any special memories or stories of Elvis? Stay tuned the best is yet to come......

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I am also a big Elvis fan and I have a wall size frame of him and two others that take up 1/4 of my bed room wall. I still remeber that day as if it was yesterday. I remember it was a hot summer night and I was riding my 10 speed bike and our whole neighborhood were sitting in our drive way listening to the radio and I come up on my bike and asked what's going on? My mom turns to me and says Elvis died and everyone had tears and I drove my bike off as I started to cry and was trying to ride as fast as I could.