He died thirty-four years ago today. If he were living, he would be 76 years old. In the minds of a lot of us he still is. Living that is.
Those of you from my time and generation probably remember the first time you heard him. One of the earliest times I heard him was at Bert and Fenn's Truck Stop on old Highway 41 near Shelburn, Indiana. My date, if you would call it that, was Mary Lou. It was one of those I will meet you there dates. I was still well shy from a driver's license at the time. We stood at the juke box, dropped a quarter in (you could get five plays for a quarter), and the very first song I heard him sing was "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold." It was an old song, but he sang it like no one ever before. Over the years I got to see him. Oh my, in his heyday there was no one like him: Elvis Presley with the Jordanaries doing the vocal back up. (Hum, Mary Lou, wonder whatever happened to her.)
I have a good friend whose mother was a big fan, and he often quoted what his Mom would say about Elvis, "Well first, when he sang you could understand the words, and secondly, he loved his Mama." Guess one would have to say that is pretty credible.
In 1958 Elvis was drafted into the Army, and on that very day I remember I was sitting in the barber's chair getting a haircut - flat top, combed back on the side, remember? My ole barber, Bob, with a touch of sarcasm said, "Well that's the end of him, when he comes out nobody will remember him, he won't sell anymore records. He won't even draw flies." Sorry Bob, you got that one wrong big time. He's been dead thirty four years and this week in Memphis there will be thousands of people gathered outside what once was his home, Graceland! In remembrance...
learned to dance to the beat of rock-n’- roll
Television was my friend, I Love Lucy, Rin Tin Tin
Kissed my first girl when I was 10 years old.
Took a turn for the worse in the sixties,
saw some real people die on TV
Learned love's hard cold facts, paid my first income tax
One small step for the man I'm gonna be.
I'll never feel bad 'bout the times that we had,
I'll never look back in regret
The heaven you gave I will treasure and save,
cause it might be as close as I get.
The 70s’ were 10 years of reruns;
news of Watergate was nothing new
The Democrats got in, we fell in love again
When Elvis died we all knew that we could too
August 16, 2011