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Posts tagged ‘Ed Sullivan’

50 years of love from the Beatles to Us!

8th Aug 1969
It was 50 years ago today that Sergeant Pepper brought the band to play. Wow, I remember 50 years ago as though it was yesterday. For those of us who were alive then we all know where we were Sunday night February 09, 1964. We were in front of our black and white televisions watching Ed Sullivan introduce the Beatles to America.

My entire life changed at that moment when I was twelve years old and the Beatles opened up the whole world for me. Their music turned me on so much that it was just like I had gone into another dimension. I understood the music and found it waking me up as though my previous twelve years I had been asleep. For me the world became filled with colors whereas prior it had been only in black and white.

For those of you who were not alive when the Beatles exploded across America you won’t easily understand the significance of their impact upon not only on America, but the entire world. They changed the way we dressed, looked, acted, spoke… and even our culture. The Beatles arrived in America just under three months after the assassination of President John Kennedy. This assassination had pulled America into a massive depression and the freshness and lively spirit of the Beatles was exactly what the country needed to revitalize itself.

The power of their music was definitely inspired and I believe that the Divine Spirit was working with them, to deliver the message of love to the world. A world which was in such chaos in the 1960’s and still is today.

The first time I saw their photograph John Lennon struck me as someone unique. My girlfriends all were in love with Paul McCartney. I was not in love with John, but when I heard him in interviews I loved his wit and I bought his first book, “In His Own Write” and found his humor to be the same as mine.

I was fortunate to live in Los Angeles and saw the Beatles in person three different times. It was a lasting memory. I followed the Beatles faithfully until their breakup and from there I continued to follow John and George’s music. But as always John seemed to be expressing the feelings that I had.

What inspires so many people about a lot of the music of the Beatles is, I think, that it makes them feel happy. It’s fantastic music and it evokes good feelings. She Loves You! Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band! Hey Jude! Such enjoyable songs that inspire people around the world to join in and sing along with John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

I am glad that I was alive to experience Beatlemania full on as a teenager. Not only does their music bring me pleasure, but it reminds me of a time when my life was easier and more simple. I was safe and protected by my parents. My parents were quite special as they took me to the Hollywood Bowl to watch the Beatles the first time in 1964 and they waited patiently outside for me and they did the same the next two years that the Beatles came to Los Angeles.

So I send out all my loving to John, George, Ringo, and Paul for all that you contributed to my life and to the world. We love you yea, yea,yea,yea!

I will always love you guys,
Cherokee Billie

My Memories of the King of Rock and Roll!

Today in 1935 Elvis Presley came into this world. He certainly shook it up forever. I remember being five years old and seeing him the first time he was on the Ed Sullivan show. I stood in the middle of the living room dancing much to the delight of my family. My mother loved him from the moment she saw him because he came from a poor southern upbringing just like her. You can save from that moment on I was a rock and roll fan.

In 1969 when Elvis made his big comeback in Las Vegas and my best friend and I saw him perform the very first week at the International Hotel.

He was really on top of his performance in 1969. I continued to see him perform in Las Vegas over the years and his voice was always outstanding, but there was a change in him and I did not feel him connecting to the audience. Little did I know of his troubles.

In 1969 one of my best friends was in the marines and on the weekends he would bring his buddies to my apartment and they would play music and different games. I will never forget this one young man who kept playing my album “Elvis 68” over and over again one weekend. The song he would play the most was, “If I Could Dream.” It is a powerful song that Elvis felt was his message to the world about how it could change if it wanted to. He went to Vietnam and never made it back. To this day when I hear that song I still remember that young man.

Outside of seeing Elvis perform on stage the closest I came to a connection with him was through his medical doctor. I was in Las Vegas and had been very sick for several years. I call the hotel and asked for reference for a doctor. They recommended I see Dr. Elias Ghanem. I took a taxi from the hotel because I was so weak I could hardly walk. The office was very impressive. It was brand new and decorated in a colonial style-all white and gold inside and out. As I arrived at the front desk the receptionist gave me the usual paper work to fill out. Once I had finished the paper work I was taken into Dr. Ghanem’s office to wait for him. I sat down in front of his desk. Right next to his desk was a large wreath in the shape of a guitar made out of white carnations. It was from Elvis Presley! As I looked around the office I noticed photographs on the wall of a Middle Eastern good-looking man standing next to Ann Margaret, another with Glenn Campbell, and of course with Elvis Presley. Dr. Ghanem must be the doctor to the stars.

He entered the office with an air of grace. It was as though he floated rather than walked. He was in his early 40’s extremely handsome, black hair beautifully styled hanging below his ears, wearing a white smock, and huge gold rings with diamonds on every finger. He could have been a movie star. He shook my hand and sat down at his desk. I was intimidated by his incredible good looks. “Please, tell me about your medical history,” he asked me.

I gave him an outline of the last three years and all the doctors I had seen who were mystified by my problems.

“If you will stay here in Las Vegas for three weeks, I guarantee you I will find what’s wrong with you. Can you do this?”

Looking at his brown confident eyes I felt I had found the right doctor. “Yes, if it means ending this terrible pain.” He busied himself setting up a schedule of tests for me to undergo. I went back to the hotel and telephoned my mother telling her about meeting Elvis Presley’s Doctor and how he felt he could find the answers for me. She was very happy. She thought Elvis Presley was a good old Southern Boy and if the doctor was good enough for him, he was good enough for me. She was going to fly up to Vegas and join me since I had to be hospitalized for some of the testing.

Dr. Ghanem treated me like royalty. He made sure my mother and I got free passes to every show in Vegas. He even arranged for one of his employees to escort us. Some of the tests were very hard on me and I didn’t feel like going out very often. My mother went home after a week while I continued the tests. At the end of the three weeks he had found the problem and I had to have surgery.

It was a painful operation and afterwards when the doctor would come to see me I would ask if he could get Elvis to visit me in the hospital. At the time, 1976, Elvis was performing in Las Vegas. I begged because I thought it might be the only chance I would ever have to meet Elvis. Unfortunately he did not bring Elvis to the hospital. Later I realized Elvis was in no condition to meet many people.

I felt a great loss when he passed in 1977. He was so young and so much ahead of him. He lives on through his music and movies. The world was never the same after Elvis Presley. He definitely made a major impact that lasts even now. Not bad for a poor southern boy.

All I can say in summing up this little memoir is that I am glad that I lived to experience so many great musicians in my lifetime. There’s no question that Elvis Presley is the King of Rock And Roll. You will never be forgotten Elvis.

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