As always, for many years now, it is hard to get through early January without thinking about Elvis Presley. January 8th, 2009 he would have been seventy-four. Those of us who grew up with Elvis and his early success can’t help but realize we are not too far behind that age.
I was listening to the radio show Coast to Coast AM the other night and a discussion by George Noory and his guests of the theory that Elvis never died. These gentlemen all concluded Elvis died. Funny, how after all these years since his death in 1977, there is still that conspiracy theory out there that he staged his own death to escape the public or that he was in the Federal Witness Protection Program. I was looking at a couple of youtubes about this theory. Facts can be easily distorted, and I saw nothing credible to indicate that Elvis was not dead. Isn’t it somewhat amusing that some, for whatever reasons, won’t give up on the idea that he faked his death.
Many of us who were fans of Elvis and his charismatic personality, his sensuality, his music, his spirituality, and all, are still fans. He’s a part of us. Part of who we are, who we were. President Jimmy Carter said it well shortly after Elvis’ death in August of 1977:
"Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable. More than 20 years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture."
It’s interesting how certain events, certain people, stay in our minds: people we’ve never met, never known personally, but despite that, they become very much a familiar figure, a friend, a hero, even someone who gives us comfort in reading their words, or hearing their voices, seeing their image. Although it could be viewed as a one-sided relationship, each gain something from it on some level, conscious or unconscious.
A meeting of the minds, a meeting of the heart, a meeting of the soul.
You may want to read more of what I previously wrote of Elvis in my August 2007 archives.
This song, Old Shep, written by Red Foley (1910-1968) is said to be the first song Elvis sang in public, at the age of ten.
And this song, The Wonder of You, was written by prolific songwriter Baker Knight (1933-2005).