This week marks the 30th anniversary of the day that Elvis Presley died (and I think it’s time that everyone just accepted the fact that he is indeed singing in the choir eternal in whatever you think Heaven is and let him rest in peace.)
And yes I remember where I was when I first heard the news (fresh out of college, I was toiling away in the administrative bowels of Max Factor & Co. and the ladies in the accounting department were buzzing about it. At first I thought it was just a silly rumor but, of course, it turned out to be true.)
My first exposure to Elvis was through those (mostly) dreadful movies he made (thanks a bunch, Colonel Parker) so I didn’t really get the “king of rock and roll” thing when I was boy. But I came to understand it better as I got older and got exposed to the music not cranked out for those movies.
However strange the man’s life might have gotten in his latter days, Elvis could flat out sing and work a crowd like no one’s business. From the plaintive balladry of “Are You Lonesome Tonight” to the potent soul of “Suspicious Minds” to the rock and roll joy of “Burning Love” (see live video below), Presley was in a class all his own when he was on his game.
30 years…it seems amazing that it’s been that long…but, of course, thanks to the music and the impersonators and, most importantly, the memories of everyone who ever enjoyed his music or loved him, Elvis is never going to be truly gone.