by Joan Kayse
Ok, so it was between a blog about the Olympics or the anniversary of Elvis’ death which will occur in three days.
Which one, which one?
Well, as you can see The King won.
Oh, sure even as I type those athletes are dazzling the world with great feats of skill, training, prowess and talent.
But have they sold over a billion records? Been immortalized on thimbles, T-shirts, purses, black velvet? Have they gained renown for being the leader of a new era of American music and pop culture?
I watched the 4 man American relay swim team win the gold last night and cheered loud enough to be heard in China…or at least by my next door neighbors. I admired the physical effort, the dedication, (the, uh…swim attire), the determination of that last minute kick by the anchor to beat out a boastful French team by mere seconds. (And yes, I could identify as I aim for my goal of publication). A memorable moment in the 2008 Olympics.
But will this feat be remembered every year? Immortalized, honored and yes, even revered? Will they be known as The Kings?
Now, I’m much, much too young to remember Elvis in his “early” years (Do I hear sniggering?). I was aware that he existed. I remember watching the TV Special “Aloha from Hawaii”. I heard his music played on the radio and could recognize him as he sang “Hound Dog”, “Kentucky Rain” (my fave), “Blue Christmas” and countless others.
I passed many a weekend afternoon enjoying his uncomplicated, fun, predictable movies. I mean who wouldn’t want to imagine themselves as Ann Margaret shimmying on stage to “Viva Las Vegas”? (Nancy? Suz? Cassondra? Oh surely you have Anna?)
I think Elvis had some major talent when it came to acting. It was reined in, trivialized and manipulated by those around him in most of those iconic '60’s films. But watch him in King Creole and in my favorite “Change of Habit”. This was his last film where he played a doctor in a ghetto trying to make a difference who falls in love with a nun questioning her vocation. HINT: It has a HEA. ;-)
I can still remember the shock, the sadness when it was announced on Aug. 16, 1977 that he had been found dead. As details warred with speculation it became pretty apparent that factors such as drug use had contributed to the loss of a true star.
He is remembered by the fans who visit Graceland each year. (1/2 of who are under the age of 35). I’ve never thought I’d want to go there but I thought that about the Book Depository in Dallas too. (An experience that touched me deeply.)
Yes, he’s also remembered by key expressions such as “Elvis has left the building” and it boggles the mind to see how many Elvis “tribute artists” there are. Elvis sightings continue to this day not only in Burger King but also in Finland, Italy, and…I kid you not…Area 51. (There are some, um...INTERESTING websites out there.)
So what about you? Do you remember Elvis? If you’re a youngling like me (:-)) have you heard of him? Do you have a favorite Elvis song? Movie? Have you seen him in the Piggly Wiggly? If you did meet Elvis, what question would you ask him?