Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy Birthday To The King

Today would have been Elvis Presley's 78th birthday. Happy Birthday to the King of Rock and Roll.

I've always been a big Elvis fan. Back when I was young and dinosaurs roamed the earth, there was an ongoing debate over who was better - Elvis, or the Beatles. To me it was no contest. Yes, the Beatles made beautiful music, and had a profound influence on subsequent generations of musicians. But Elvis is the King. His impact on not just music, but society and culture, was much greater.
It is impossible to overstate Elvis’s cultural impact.  At a time when being black kept many from voting, Elvis became the most famous man in the world by performing music largely influenced by black music, paving the way for mainstream acceptance of the style along with its black performers.
He defined the genre of rock-n-roll. He was a much more vibrant entertainer in person than the Beatles. He became an icon.

His fans are legion.

Compare the number of Elvis impersonators to the number of Beatles impersonators. No contest.

Plus Elvis has the added advantage of being made in the USA. He's also a veteran.

Here's his story in a nutshell.
Elvis was born on January 7, 1935 in Tupelo, Miss. His twin brother, Jesse, was stillborn.

Elvis grew up in poverty. His parents couldn’t afford a bicycle that he wanted so they gave him a guitar when he was 11 years old.

In 1948 Elvis and his family moved to Memphis, TN looking for a better life.

In 1953, he graduated from Humes High School.

That same year, Elvis visits The Memphis Recording Service and makes a demo of “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” for $4.00.

Elvis records “Heartbreak Hotel” with RCA in 1956. His first album is released several months later.

Elvis appears on several television shows, and then makes his first movie “Love Me Tender” in 1956.

In 1957 Elvis purchases Graceland for himself, his parents and his grandmother.

In December, 1957 Elvis receives a draft notice and joins the Army in 1958.

He arrives in Germany on October 1, 1958.
By March, 1960, Elvis is discharged from active duty and goes back to making movies and hit songs.

(In the 1970s) Elvis’ health begins to deteriorate mostly due to his overuse of prescription drugs and is hospitalized several times in the next few years.

He dates Linda Thompson from 1972-1976. In 1976 he begins to date Ginger Alden who his with him to his death.

August 16, 1977 – Elvis, unable to sleep and having taken several doses of medication, takes a copy of “The Face of Jesus” into his bathroom. Ginger finds him curled in a fetal position sometime later. He is taken to Baptist Hospital where he is pronounced dead at 3:30 pm.
Even to this day, there are some who claim Elvis is still alive.

In fact, there are reports that he ran for president four years ago.

If only...


Bag Blog said...

I know the man who buried Elvis. He is dead.

In NM, my husband worked for a trash company that was based out of Houston (at that time). One of the board of directors was a wealthy Houston man who had made his living in the funeral business. He told me about finding a silver casket for the King.

CenTexTim said...

Oh c'mon, BB, let us have our fantasies...

Old NFO said...

Dead and gone, but the legend lives on (along with a lot of other things)... :-)

CenTexTim said...

Brings to mind the final line from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence: "This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."