Sunday, March 4, 2012

Influences #2: Elvis Presley

What can I possibly say about the king of rock and roll that hasn’t already been said and documented? Born on January 8th, 1935, he died August 16th, 1977. Son of Vernon and Gladys Presley, his twin, Jessie Garon, died at birth. Could you imagine two of Elvis?

You would be hard pressed to find any writer or musician not influenced by Elvis Presley. Even if somebody says they were inspired or influenced by the Beatles, you have to consider that they were inspired and influenced by Elvis so …. The connection is still there. It always will be.
The man could do it all. Rock, pop, country, blues, you name it.

He had what every man wants, persona defined. He had a presence to him unlike anyone before or since. His southern charm and handsome good looks left women helpless and wilting.

As cheesy as his movies are, you have to remember that back in the day, that was the thing that separated him from the rest. He was a true entertainer.

I got exposed to him through my mother and my Aunt, Cindy. (Mostly my Aunt.) She told me a story of when she got to see him in concert a time or two, and throwing her panties on the stage and …. Yeah, Cynthia, I don’t need the visual, thanks.

His death rocked not only the nation, but the entire world. Amazing when considering that he never once performed a concert outside the United States. Mostly due to the fact that his manager, the Colonel Tom Parker, could never get a visa to leave the country and he always went with Elvis on tour. He never stopped promoting the man, even in the closing days of his life, Colonel Parker was always involved with everything Elvis.

Side note: Tom Parker got the nickname “Colonel” from his younger days of when he was a carnival barker, shouting out like a Colonel would to his troops going to war.

I am only a few DVD’s short of owning his entire movie collection. And recently purchased over 70 of his CD’s. (Yes, I said 70)

I know he didn’t write, but he did have that something special that drew people in and kept them. His body of work with that amazing voice is the envy of any performer. A true rags to riches story, Elvis embodied the boy next door image. He served his time in the United States Army when many artists of the day would have tried to back out of it. He, instead, embraced it and led by example. This was just another reason for at the time, the people to embrace him even more.

His daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, is best known perhaps for marrying the king of pop, Michael Jackson, another influence of mine that I will feature later, but did you also know she has released a few CD’s of her own? I have her first one, called “For Whom It May Concern” and it is often played in my CD player. I love it!

I also remember shortly after her releasing that CD when I went to California with a friend of mine and was invited to a record label party where she made an appearance. Meeting her was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Obviously, being as close as I could ever get to meeting Elvis himself.

There never was and never will be another Elvis Aaron Presley.



  1. You have some werid inspiration. LOL

  2. What would you think if I told you I was lucky enough to see Elvis? More, would you even understand what I'm saying??

    When I was a little girl, as we drove from Arizona to Vegas, and the billboards came up again and again, I said over and over to my daddy: "I wanna see Elvis, I wanna see Elvis!"

    I had seen Aloha from Hawaii on TV in 1973...he was sooooo cute!!!!

    So, now Elvis was playing at Caesar's. After we checked into our hotel, my mother called to try to get tickets; of course it was sold out. My father called and charmed some woman in the box office, so we were at least "in."

    That night we arrived to a long line snaking all around the lobby and into the casino. Obviously, even with our reservations, we were gonna be standing.

    I don't know how much loot my father gave the maitre 'd; but it was enough to get us out own banquette, my parents champagne, and me a couple glasses of Coke.

    It was everything I hoped it would be--although I don't know exactly what it was that I "hoped" at that age; but it felt just like the Aloha from Hawaii show looked, and I was soooooo happy.

    I guess it was the first real concert I saw. (I didn't see another one till a few years later--Bowie.)

    It's really sad how today, so many younger people have no idea just who Elvis was. Or w-h-a-t he was. I get met with blank stares when I say, hey, I saw Elvis. And they say, oh, you mean an impersonator? Pathetic that they have no idea what an Elvis impersonator is, never mind the man himself.

    Really n.o.t. Anonymous Lori

  3. I so envy you, Lori. It was just a thrill to meet Lisa, I could only imagine what it would be like to watch Elvis up on stage. I would probably compare it to seeing Tom Jones x a million? Haha (I did get to see him in Vegas) And wayne Newton. Both of them put together couldn't even come close to how it would feel to watch the king himself in action. Not even if you threw in a little bit of Celine Dion.

    Thanks for sharing that.

    I have the 'Aloha From Hawaii' concert on video.


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