Elvis Presley- aka The King Of Rock and Roll- died 43 years ago today. He has been dead longer than he actually lived- dying at 42. /
I double checked because sometimes your memory does play tricks on you- but this time it was correct. I was at my uncle and aunts visiting that Tuesday- and my uncle and I were outside listening to the Pirates game at Chicago playing the Cubs. They broke into the game and said “A bulletin from Memphis, Tennessee- Elvis Presley the King of Rock and Roll is dead at 42.” I was sixteen. I wasn’t an Elvis fan at the time. Of course I knew who he was- knew some of his songs and all but to me he was a relic from another generation. My first thought was “42- he was old.”- Heck he was he was just a kid. What a sad, tragic life in many ways.
A friend of my parents- who at the time was in his late 60’s was a huge Elvis fan- I knew this. He was broken up over this- still mourning his death weeks later. I didn’t understand this. A few years later I did- when John Lennon was assassinated.
below- Sam Phillips and Elvis-
I would later become an Elvis fan- not a fanatical Elvis fan but a fan. I’ve been to Graceland a couple times, his birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi a couple times and Sun Studio’s six times. I think the best Elvis music was made back in Memphis with Sam Phillips- at Sun. Years ago when I was a single Hans- I was dating a very intelligent woman- one day we were going somewhere- a concert I believe and I had Elvis’s Sun Sessions playing in the car. Her comment was – “I know this is Elvis but why are you playing this bad Elvis stuff.”- that was a turning point in the relationship- [along with shortly after that when I had John Coltrane’s ” My Favorite Things” playing and she hated that. It was time to move on- Thank you- Elvis and Trane.
Bob Dylan as the story goes once pulled up to Sun Studio. There is an X on the floor where Elvis stood when when he was singing. Bob walked in- went to the X on the floor- knelt down and kissed the floor where Elvis had stood -then got up and walked out.