Time goes so quickly and it’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since Elvis passed into the spirit world. Gone but never forgotten and he always will be the King of Rock And Roll! John Lennon once said, “Before Elvis there was nothing.” He of course was referring to Elvis’s music and style.
Elvis Presley certainly shook up the world 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 say from that moment on I was a rock and roll fan.
Every Christmas my family played his Christmas album repeatedly. To this day I play Elvis Christmas album, as it takes me back to many fond childhood memories.
In 1969 when Elvis made his big comeback in Las Vegas my best friend and I saw him perform the first week at the International Hotel. He came out in a plain black karate suit. He didn’t have elaborate jewelry or glitter. He didn’t need it because he was so dynamic you could not take your eyes off of him.
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. This young man went to Vietnam and never made it back. To this day when I hear that song I still remember that young man.
Early on August 16 my mother called me crying and told me about Elvis dying. She still loved him very much. She kept a portrait of him on her bedroom wall till she died in 1987.
I felt a great loss when Elvis passed in 1977. He was so young and so much ahead of him. He lives on through his music and movies. 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.
I am enclosing my favorite song “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley. Please share your memories and thoughts about Elvis.