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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Elvis Presley: Your memories
It is 25 years since his death but Elvis Presley's legend lives on, with his iconic status as the king of rock'n'roll continuing to go from strength to strength.
We know he has legions of fans around the world, and we want to hear from you.
Send us your Elvis memories, tell us why you are a fan - and the most die-hard fans amongst you are welcome to e-mail in photos of themselves dressed as The King.
This feature is now closed. Here is a selection of the e-mails we received.
I live in Aberdeen, Scotland. A long way from Memphis Tennessee, but Elvis had, and still has a huge influence on my life. I am 35, so unfortunately did not get the chance to see him live in concert. I have, however visited Graceland and Elvis birthplace in Tupelo Miss.
It is difficult to explain the reason for being an Elvis fan. My earliest memory is of watching Elvis on stage during the Aloha concert in 1973. The show was broadcast live to a television audience in excess of 1 billion people. I remember seeing him on stage and being so captivated by his charisma and stage presence. Even at age six, that was the start for me.
I now have a large Elvis collection worth thousands of pounds, and every time I listen to him or watch a video, I still cannot believe he is no longer with us.
Elvis still lives in my heart every moment of every day.
Charisma and "stage presence" are no substitute for musical talent and craftmanship, and the foolish-haired one, alas, had neither.
Can we just please lose all this ridiculous deification of Elvis? My memories of him are a bloated self-obsessed pill-popping burger muncher who lucked out off the back of Deep South Blues music and never repaid any of it.
Sure he never "held a gun to the head of black musicians" - but you have to ask why an inherently racist society as the American Deep South then used him as a vehicle for this form of music, and not the original creators and innovators. Are you seriously trying to say none of them were as good?
He never even wrote his own stuff: his success was far more down to astute management by his svengali Col Parker than his own talent. So what then separates him from Pop Star winners Will Young or Gareth Gates in this day and age?
His political opinions, including his support for Nixon, were dodgy to say the least. Want to celebrate the life of a musician who put others before himself? How about Bob Marley, who tried to mediate a peace when civil strife hit Jamaica in the late 1970s and early 1980s? The anniversary of his death was last year. Didn't quite see as much brouha then. Wonder why?
I was 15 and a half when I met Elvis in Germany. I was a big fan of his way back then. I was a very lucky young girl to have hit it off so well, that I was even invited into his house and also attended his last press conference in Germany, before his return to the U.S.A. I was also introduced to Priscilla Presley. They had just met. Many pictures of us were taken and they appeared in many different newspapers and magazines. As a teenager it was the most exciting thing to have happened and it left me with the nicest memories one could ask for. He was pretty gorgeous whilst in the army!
Now, that was 42 years ago. But would you believe all of this is history? Oh, no! For the past 10 months or so there has been campaign on TV advertising Elvis's Love Songs. And who should appear in one of the snippets? Yes, the lucky teenager of way back when! He was the King back then and even though my musical taste has changed greatly (R&B, Soul), I still feel nostalgic at the sound of his voice!
I had the pleasure to see Elvis live in Las Vegas in 1972. It was a fantastic experience to see an incredible performer at his peak. Elvis may have left the building, but his memory lasts forever.
I am 57 years of age and have been an avid Elvis fan since 1956.
I remember going to see the film Loving You in the 1950s and just being blown away at the audience recation to the KING singing on screen. It was just like attending a live concert.
Similarly in the early 1970s I attended the screening of the Elvis Docummentary Elvis - That's The Way It Is. Again the audience reaction was FANTASTIC.
Of course Elvis never visited the UK for a concert tour and therefore a lifelong ambition to experience the man on stage never materialised. However, I have been fortunate enough to see the virtual Elvis Concert Tour named Elvis - The Concert featuring all Elvis' old back-up musicians/singers some 14 times now and what a TREMENDOUS show it is. It is rumoured to be returning to the UK in May/June 2003 and everyone should take time out to see it. You will be AMAZED.
Elvis continues to grow in popularity with each successive generation of music lovers. Long may his influence continue.
The BBC documentary the other night showed a variety of reasons why people loved Elvis so much and was extremely interesting. My personal favourite Elvis moment was shown on the Frank Skinner show a few years ago. During a mid 70s Vegas show Elvis scared his pensioner audience by issuing direct, violent threats towards any journalist who made up a story about him or his family. To rapturous applause, Elvis finished his diatribe off with a curt "Thannyooverrmuch". Genius.
I'm a massive Beatles fan, and we have Elvis to thank for inspiring the Beatles...
I suppose John Lennon summed it up best by saying before Elvis there was nothing, he was like a hurricane in 1956, fusing black and white music to make something totally new and original, even now I still get goosebumps listening to Mystery Train, and all that great stuff from the Sun sessions.
I too have been to Memphis and visited Sun studios, Gracelands etc and it was amazing, if you haven't been, go, it's a real eye opener. Don't know what other people think but again I agree with John Lennon when he said Elvis died when he went in the army, to me he never regained that peak he achieved in the early fifties. Must admit though, still get a shiver when I hear Always On My Mind!
I was only a few years old when he died, my mum was a big fan, so I listened to his music and grew up watching all his movies on TV, he was absolutely gorgeous with the most beautiful voice there ever was!
I became obsessed with the King when I saw a recording of the 1968 TV Special about 10 years ago (probably around the 15th anniversary of his death). He was so talented, so powerful and yet self-effacing and human - and a voice like no other. Now I'm training to be an Elvis tribute artist....
Robert del Valle, USA
I have nothing different to say from all those thousands of fans out there but I just couldn't pass this chance of putting down a few words of a man that has and still makes a huge impact in my life - although I have never seen him perform live.
For me, Elvis has never died as he continues to live in my life and through his songs. I thought his performance of gospel numbers were the most moving. He sang with so much oomph that even drew me closer to God.
There will never be anyone else like him.
On the documentary last night they said that he was found dead in his bedroom. I am reliably informed that he was found dead in the toilet. If this is the case why not just say it?
Ellis, NYC, USA
Saying Elvis was one of the most overrated singers next to Bob Dylan misses the point completely. If Elvis had not come onto the scene in the fifites Dylan and many others would not have appeared. Imagine a time when black music wasn't allowed on the radio or television: Elvis broke that by combining the R&B, bluse and gospel music he heard black singers performing and brought it to a national audience.
Whatever you think of him as a performer or musician, you cannot deny him the huge place he holds in the history of popular music. I've been a fan ever since watching him in his movies when I was a child and I still watch in awe whenever I see concert or television footage of him.
I have been a massive Elvis fan since I was three-years-old. I remember watching his films on the telly and when I heard the news back in 77 I was inconsolable. I was six and it was my first experience of death, my parents didn't know what to do with me. I still shed a tear every year on the 16th of August, it was the saddest day of my life. Elvis still lives in my heart and in his music he was, and still is, the greatest performer the world has ever seen.
I too fell in love with Elvis as a result of the 1968 TV special. I was 5-years-old - it had nothing to do with his sex appeal, simply the voice, presence and magic in his eyes. I was mesmerised. People on here have spoken of his influence in shaping the direction music took in the 50s and later. I don't know - I wasn't there to really experience it. But I will always love, respect and remember that rich velvet voice, like hot creamy chocolate drunk by the fireside, touching my life and my heart - and the warm, human twinkle in his eyes that he never lost even as his beauty faded.
Stephen Butler, UK
Memphis is celebrating Elvis and his music. What do we have here in the UK? Popstars 2! ELVIS SAVE US!!
My brother and I were fortunate enough to have seen Elvis perform live on his very last tour, in Lincoln, Nebraska in June of 1977. Normally he would only perform in Omaha, so when the show was announced, there were no second thoughts on our parts. We were going! All we could afford were the cheap seats at the time.
Elvis wore the "Aztec Calendar" suit that night. He was in good voice and spirits and to hear him sing It's Now or Never, Unchained Melody and all the songs that night was fantastic. He did rock, country, pop, gospel and did it all so well. Somehow my brother and I worked up the nerve at the very end of the show to try to go from the balcony down to the stage. We saw Elvis up close, something neither one of us will forget.
When Elvis died, we were shocked and saddened. I remember that I had said prior to the concert that this may be our only opportunity to see him perfom in person. Little would we know that this would prove to be true.
The best Elvis song (in my humble opinion etc.) doesn't appear to be listed in the BBC's top ten choice and it's quite obvious that I Can't Help Falling in Love With You should be No 1.
Elvis' genius (yes, genius, for the idiots who have so much hate that they cannot comprehend greatness) was his unmatched ability to absorb ALL of his influences - not just rhythm and blues, but country, pop, gospel, and even classical songs - and combine them into something in a way no one else could.
What made Elvis great was that he could not only sing rock 'n' roll better than anyone, hence, earning the title of "The King", but could sing each one of the various genres mentioned above equally as well. Name another person who could. You can't. As each year passes, us fans are vindicated even more.
My first memories of Elvis were probably seeing GI Blues and Blue Hawaii on the TV when I was a boy. As I got older my cousin was always playing Elvis records and had a massive poster of Elvis above his bed. I started secondary school the same week that Elvis died and years later can still remember that week in August 1977.
From the local Western Union and Elvis Touch fan club events that I have attended since, I have enjoyed Elvis' music even more and love dancing to the early Sun stuff like Mystery Train and Blue Moon of Kentucky. My other Elvis favourites are Guitar Man and I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water.
Long Live Elvis Aaron Presley, our memories will always keep us smiling and his music will never die.
I have been a fan since 1977. I was 5-years- old and have never looked back.
I now run the Independent Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain and Europe and have stayed as the guest of Donna Presley (Elvis' first cousin) where I have been priviliged to hear some personal stories of the Elvis the family man and the private man. I will be remembering Elvis on the 16th by throwing a massive Elvis party at in Brighton. Long live the King's memory as he truly was the world's greatest entertainer.
I was only eight when Elvis died and I remember thinking what's all this fuss about - but after my Mom dug out old vinyls of King Creole and Blue Hawaii I was caught by the charisma, character and vocal emotion this man had on his music. I'm now 33-years-old and now I've go children of my own, I think how could an eight-year-old boy be so affected by a singer? The songs I loved most in 1977 are still the songs I love most now - that is the sheer essence of timeless music. No semi-god like larger than life character, JUST a great guy with a great voice - Nuff Said!
I am 18-years-old and have been a fan of Elvis for the last five years now. Became a fan due to the 20th anniversary. BBC's documentary Theres Only One Elvis was the way all things should be done. It was perfect. There was no typical jealous media poking fun at him. It's a pity The Radio Times, TV Times and millions of other magazines write mountains of garbage once we get this quality programme. It's also a shame that there has been more attention towards The Elvis Mob for BBC on Wednesday, which I can only guess will have the hangers-on talking about the part of Elvis that's nothing to do with what matters to the world.
Claudia van der Mije, the Netherlands (Amsterdam)
If you loved music, then you loved Elvis Presley. There was no-one before him, and we will never see another like him again.
I, like millions of others, can vividly remember where I was the moment I heard of Elvis's death. Listening to the Flash Bulletin on the radio in the hot August summer of 1977. The shock, tragedy and sadness was shared by many who admired the man. Long Live the KING!!
Elvis may have been a revolutionary performer at the beginning of his career, but now he is an industry - an industry in trouble. Elvis' aging fans have not been replaced by today's free-spending teens. Almost everyone who wanted to see Graceland has done it, and far fewer people make the journey and buy the merchandise. This anniversary hoopla is a calculated attempt by Elvis Presley Images (the company run by Elvis' daughter) to milk a dead man's earning potential while it still can.
Elvis had five no.1 records on the black R&B charts in USA. Black fans made Elvis King too! Elvis had 18 no.1s in US & UK charts. He had the greatest influence and impact on music in the 20th century. He has stood the test of time. Congratulations Elvis on EP25. Elvis is everywhere. Do I detect Pelvis Envy?
Linda Orme, UK
My favourite memory of Elvis was when I first met him in Memphis at his house on Audubon Dr. I was 12 and he was 22. He was so sweet, friendly and drop dead gorgeous! I was hooked from that moment and spent the last five years of his life following him on tour. I have 14 scarves, guitar picks, autographs and pictures. He will always be a part of my life.
In 1955 I was working as an office boy in London and another boy at the firm was always first with the news and any latest craze from the USA. I remember him telling me there was a record coming out called Heatbreak Hotel. It was all the rage in the States and the singer Elvis Presley was going to be the next craze. It wasn't long before my pal's prediction came true and the rest is history.
I'm a relativley young fan (26) and have been in total awe of Elvis's incredible voice since 1987, when the BBC were screening "Elvis on Tour". His version of Bridge Over Troubled Water came on and it literally blew me away! I'd never heard a voice like it before or since. I think everyone is aware of songs like Hound Dog Blue Suede Shoes etc. but the man recorded so much material, he is without doubt the only artist of the 20th century who could sing ANYTHING!
I think Jimmy Tarbuck got it spot on, on last night's There's Only One Elvis: "Most artists you have respect for, but for Elvis you had love, and Elvis felt the same, there was a relationship between Elvis and his fans like no other before or since, he truly loved his fans, perhaps too much!"
Maybe if he'd taken time off after the triumphant Aloha from Hawaii show in 1973 and finally undertaken a world tour then maybe he would still be with us, but Elvis worked right up till the end and I think that was what killed him. He was just burned out. Let's just be thankful he left us so much behind. Long live the King.
A few years ago I met the members of The Sun Rhythm Section, plus Elvis' conpemporary Sonny Burgess... they were a fantastic group of old lads who were enjoying themselves no end. They were of a different time in music, as was Elvis. But Elvis had the looks, as well as the talent, and that's how come he ended up in the totally weird mess he did, being used and seduced by all the worst of (at the time) fledgling new Rock 'n Roll industry. He was good at what he did, but could have been so much better!
Patricia Seneviratne, Los Angeles, USA
Come on, who's the clown who doesn't think Elvis or Dylan have/had talent? You may not like them but that's another issue. Elvis wasted a lot of his talent by signing a dumb contract with Tom Parker. Parker and RCA gave Elvis the wrong musicians, the wrong songs, the wrong career direction. He could have been the greatest ever but his legacy is spoilt by the really bad stuff and by his own desire to be perpetually "Elvis"', the icon. If only his judgement were as good as his voice, he would indeed be the King of Rock.
I'm 29 years old and one of my first memories of Elvis is his death. I remember walking downstairs from a nap and seeing my mother crying at the kitchen table. I looked to my sister Eileen, who is eight years older than me and she said "Elvis died". Then the sobs began to come even harder - and I started to cry as well. I then went to my room and put on the Beatles.
I can remember exactly where I was when I found out that Elvis had died even though I was only five-years-old. Mum came in to the lounge where I was playing looking pale and shocked saying "Elvis is dead" - she was so upset I thought he was a member of the family. I think that says a lot - he was so loved by everyone, even those who would not consider themselves fans. I myself have grown up loving the man - he truly was the King. I am pleased that A Little Less Conversation has done so well - maybe it will get the kids of today into the great classics of music again - into the originals behind the covers.
I'm from Memphis, though I haven't lived there in four years. If you live in Memphis, one HAS to remember Elvis! Elvis stuff is everywhere! I also worked on Beale Street, and during Elvis Week, it's terribly crowded. There would be lots of Elvis impersonators, singing and rotating their hips. Elvis is a legend, and will probably always remain so. He was a beautiful man with a wonderful voice. There has been no one else to date with his charisma and talent.
Jonathan Fox, UK
Be honest - Elvis is incredibly over-rated both as a performer and a pioneer. A handful of stunning releases at Sun Records can't hide the fact that the rest of his career was pure kitsch. I suppose that makes him a perfect icon for the modern era which equates wealth and celebrity with greatness, regardless of quality. He was lucky that Buddy Holly's plane crashed, because amongst the white rock 'n rollers Holly was the real original. How many songs did "the King" write?
I remember being 9-years-old and watching "Spinout" on BBC television, and seeing this fantastic guy who not only looked cool but also had this incredible voice but I did not know his name. My parents informed me that his name was Elvis Presley. That Christmas they bought me the Camden label album You'll Never Walk Alone. I played that album until the grooves wore out. I was told by my mum that it was a passing phase and I would soon grow out of it.
I remember that fateful day on August 16th, and being being told by my Mum that Elvis was dead. I was inconsolable. I never saw Elvis in concert, but I have been very fortunate to see Elvis the Concert which words can't express. At 41-years-old now, I am still a fan of the great man, and as a wise man once said to me "No one dies until the are forgotten". Long Live the King.
He may not have written much. This is true and people are entitled to their other personal views on his films and his drugs and his eating habits etc. People didn't see him for what he really was - simply another human being. He was always Elvis. Artistically he was truely unique and this should be the focus rather than what his uniqueness created (spiritually not materialistically) for him.
Elvis is not only a singer, musician and entertainer without parallel, he is also a kindred spirit. That part of him that makes dreams possible, that takes you out of this world and into another. That magical element that makes you feel a part of his life even if you've never met him. So many of his dreams and ambitions are the same as my own and many others. The fact that he was able to live out some of those dreams just adds to the superhuman aura that still surrounds him. I have seen some brilliant gigs over the years by many artists but I would give anything to be able to go back in time and see him live on stage - he just knocks the rest of them dead - watch the re-release of E - TTWII and it's gobsmacking.
When the "King" first appeared parents of the day were aghast at the possible influence this gyrating singer could have on their teens. As history shows it was not just the teens he had an influence on it was the music scene as a whole to this day.
My favourite is In the Ghetto or was it Love Me Tender.
Heather Laurin, USA
I'm 31 and never saw him in concert. Elvis has always been my refuge. Whenver I'm sad I listen to Elvis and he makes everything better. His voice soothes my soul. My earliest memory of him is singing along to my sister's Almost In Love album when I was four-years-old.
No true fan can explain why we love him as we do. Nor can we pinpoint a specific reason for being a fan. He was unlike any other performer. He was geniune, sincere and generous. He did not pretend to be something other than just himself. He never forgot what it was like to wonder where your next meal will come from. He was the most humble entertainer I've ever researched.
In many ways, we killed him. We loved him to death. He was larger than life and we made it to where he couldn't take a step outside his front door without being mobbed. What kind of love is that?
I`m sorry Elvis that we never met you, I`m sorry your life was so short. I'm happy for the time God granted you to be with us and I hope you've found all the answers you searched for.
Til we meet - take care my friend!
Wish he took care of himself better.What a great voice. Long Live the King of Rock'n'Roll.
Michael Lewis, USA
I don't mean to be a spoil sport, but if anyone thinks Elvis had "emotion" they never heard Johnny Ray sing.
The 68 special and the gospel recordings have a special place in my heart. But in general, his voice means everything and the way he sings right into the spinal cord.
I remember the excitement as a child of 10 first hearing Elvis. I have had laughs, been serious and had tears. A wonderful generous man to the end, and he has made me happy throughout my life, even when times were bad. The saddest day of my life was that fateful day of Aug 16th which is inbedded in minds throughout the world. 25 years later and still he makes fans but he will always be remembered for what he did for the music world.
We will always you Elvis!
As a little girl - 9-years-old, I remember running to the front door as I did every morning to bring my Dad the Financial Times. This paper at the time seemed to never, ever have photos or pictures on the front page, but the day Elvis died there was a large photo of the gates of Gracelands and the huge headlines. I don't remember too much from my early childhood years, but I remember this day and feeling so sad that he had died so young after such a great career and contribution to the world. I learnt of Diana's death from the news headlines here in Florida and remember thinking back to the sorrow of Elvis's headlines so many years before and feeling the same sorrow.
In 1962 when I was in my early 20s I had two months of annual leave to use and so it was off to the USA. Very few people travelled to the USA in those days for holidays especially from "down under". My last city to visit was LA, I had been invited out to Van Nuys Airport to see a new aircraft being built, a small jet amphibian.
After the visit my host said let me show you around the airport. In one idle part of the field some way in from the boundary fence it was obvious that a movie was being made. Lying back against the fence was a guy with a cowboy hat pulled over his face. My host who was disabled but able to drive a car said "I wonder what movie they are making" as the cameras were beside an old Stearman aircraft.
I got out of his car and went to the guy behind the fence to ask him.When he turned around I got
a real surprise. It was easy to recognise Elvis. The movie was It Happened at the World's Fair which came out in 1963.We talked about all manner of things and it was only a few moments later, on our way back to my host's office that I realised I didn't get his autograph.The date was 21 September 1962 and of course I have been a fan ever since.
Rob, New Zealand
I will always remember going to an Elvis concert in Jacksonville, Florida when the judge would not allow him to move his hips! All he could do was wiggle his shoulders....it was hilarious!
Like in China, Russia AND Iceland, Elvis had his fans. Our family was one of them. I´ll never forget when I heard the news that Elvis, the King of rock'n'roll is dead!!! We lived in the US-army base Station in Keflavik, Iceland. My father was in the Icelandic police force that worked with the government of USA.
He was off duty and my mother was doing the dishwashing, then we heard it on the radio that Elvis was gone... My mother cried a lot...I was always surprised, WHY? He was just a singer...Later on I came to know that he was more then a singer. He is a legend...
Elvis was special, no one can describe the magic he had, he may have had his faults and people tend to remember the last few years of his life rather then take an overall view, he brought life and engery in the form of rock'n'roll, every time I play a CD or vinyl it feels as fresh as the day he recorded it! He's the KING!
The only thing I didn't get the chance to see was Elvis perform live.
I can still remember my mum running into my bedroom crying that Elvis had died. I shall never forget the sadness it brought to my family. I was only 14 when he died and even at that young age a part of me died too. Such a great man taken from us so early in life, but will never be forgotten.
I met Elvis in Norfolk Va, first time there. He was very shy and very nice, I would say scared a little.When it was time for him, curtain was closed, they introduced him and you could here a pin drop. All of a sudden - all Hell broke loose and Elvis had them in the palm of his hand. Met him two or three times after that. Great person and very talented. Long live the KING.
Peter Paddon, UK, living in US
When Elvis started out I was a teenager, and was following popular music in minute detail. I was already a fan of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Muddy Waters and a host of other great R & B artists. I especially liked Elvis' earliest recordings (before he became a "star"). I thought his "big hit period" was pretty schlocky. He had a great voice without question, and his own compelling singing style.
On some of his later albums he also showed that he had good taste - for instance recording some blues in the style of Lightnin' Slim. However, commentators on US televison are now attributing to Elvis all sorts of things that he did not do. I heard one the other day claiming that "Elvis paved the way for Chuck Berry". Chuck Berry had his first hit in 1955. Elvis had his first hit in 1956. Elvis was great; but he did not invent rock n' roll.
If it weren't for Elvis, there wouldn't be an Arizona Memorial for the men and women killed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii when the Japanese invaded. Hawaii was having a hard time raising the money to build one. Then Elvis heard about it and did a free concert and donated all the money. He did many free concerts during his life and donating the money to charities. He was a very generous person during his entire life.
I am 57-years-old, author of six book titles. Saw Jailhouse Rock 11 times when it was screening on theatres. Saved a portion of my pocket money to buy postcards of Elvis when I was a kid. Let all try to sing like him, but I can always sense, "that's not Elvis....Young and Beautiful, Jailhouse Rock and Wanna be Free, I vote them the living songs till today. No one can sway and sing like Elvis...no matter how hard they try....that is the reason "he lives".
Tom Pedersen, USA
Elvis appeared in Champaign, Illinois the winter before he died. As a freshman in college I remember thinking Colonel Tom's $12 ticket price was too steep! So I spent my money to take the train home for the weekend instead. My twin brother and other friends stayed up all night standing in line to buy tickets. What a mistake on my part! My kids love his music today...but their dad missed his chance to see the King!
Also hailing from Aberdeen, Scotland, I have to echo Daniel's comments and point out that Elvis is just another in a long line of dead rock stars, who seem to become more famous after they die. More talented stars including Hendrix and Cobain thoroughly deserve the acclaim, however when someone who can hardly even play the guitar is given the title of 'The King of Rock and Roll', you have to admit there is something up with the world. Why are talented nobodies being immortalised in this way?
The Egyptians believed that as long as your name was spoken, you would live forever. Elvis indeed will live forever. Many have tried to claim the throne, but he will always be the King.
I always liked Elvis especially when my older sister would buy his records in the 60s. Strangely enough it was when I had my first real girlfriend that I became a great fan of his. We were sitting in her house one evening and she kept playing Can't Help Falling In Love With You. After that evening that became our song. I kept singing it at work, buying Elvis records and her name was Caroline and when ever we went to a dance or an occassion, we always asked them to play that song for us, they did. Many a time we had to lead on the dance floor.
It's strange how we can always associate an Elvis song with a particular event. But I was in love for the very first time and for nearly two years we were on the way to spending our lives together. However, times change, people change, when she left me for another, I felt my whole world collapse. I was in the Army and out of the blue received a "Dear John" letter. I hold nothing against her she was so beautiful that I couldn't believe she was going out with me. Caroline if you ever see this message, wherever you are, there will always be a special place in my heart for you. We had some real good times and I shall never forget her.
Over the years I collected a fine collection of Elvis LPs and videos, sometimes I can still see her through them. That was many years ago in Scotland and I live in England now, married with children and a wife who likes Elvis.
I was able to attend his last two concerts in Atlanta, and it was like being in the presence of a god because he was literally worshipped.
He was drop-dead gorgeous and had a beautiful voice. He's the King of it all, y'all.
Elvis Presley was far too overrated during his career and the fact that he is still worshipped 25 years after his death is a testimony not to his talent but to the clever marketing of those who handle his estate. I have one thing to say to all you Elvis fanatics: Get a life!
I live in Ontario, Canada. The first exposure I had to the King was going to an afternoon movie with my oldest sister, I was about 8-years-old. The movie was G.I.Blues. I thought he was SO handsome and Juliette Prowse...wow! This is my fave movie that the King made.
I had a collection of Elvis records when I was a little kid, but when I saw Viva Las Vegas when I was 13, then I was hooked! I never saw Elvis in concert, but I've been to Graceland twice. The first time was okay. It was a guided tour then and very limited. But we were there this last April and it's a self-guided headphone tour now and the whole house is open except for the upstairs. Very impressive. I know it sounds crazy, but I could feel his presence.
Having read a lot of the garbage written by all of you "Elvis groupies", I can't believe my eyes. Do you really expect us to believe that seeing Elvis as six-year-olds was a life changing experience? What rubbish!!! Ive got a six-year-old myself and let me tell you that he would be more liable to have life changing experiences watching the Tweenies!!
Do you really expect us to believe that your lives were altered by a big fat bloated oaf who sang covers of other peoples hits? In my mind to be called the "king" the least you should expect is that the man would be a singer and songwriter in the mode of a Burt Bacharach for example. Alas, you don't hear of anybody calling our Burt a character from a pack of cards. So my message to you overgrown teddy boppers is get real and start seeing Graceland for what it is, an American theme park were souvenirs are over priced and tacky like you may buy in Blackpool for example.
I remember I was listening (under my sheets - I should have been asleep!) to Radio Luxembourg when the presenter broke down and cried when he broke the news Elvis had died. Best ever record (in my opinion) is The Wonder of You.
What was he, why did he and still does effect people, causing people to have emotional outbursts? It is simple, he was a performer.
He had a great voice, great look and those eyes seemed to convey a private message to you.
Sure the songs were not all good. In fact, there were a lot of lame songs. There had to be, there were so many. The movies were not classics and spoilt the performer, in my option. They also say he died when he went into the army (J.Lennon).
However, there was something about even those songs of later years. The ¿68 television performance showed that the guy still had something.
You have to look at the songs and everyone has an Elvis song that touches them. Suspicious Minds, Wonder of You and In the Ghetto just to name a couple.
I have and always will be a Lennon/Beatles fan and I like some of the music now, but always, always there is Elvis.
My dad dies on Elvis's birthday and Elvis died on my dad's birthday. I like to think they are enjoying each others' company- with a bit of music thrown in.
I saw Elvis when I was about 11 or 12-years-old. He was the warm up act for Johnny Cash. They played in a small high school gymnasium in Charleston, MS. I went with my mother, grandmother and sister. Elvis was dressed quite colourfully; purple shirt, big yellow pants and a white jacket, which he didn't wear very long. He stayed after the show, as did Mr. Cash, to sign autographs and to talk to the fans. Mr. Cash was the main draw. No one had heard of Elvis.
My family group never forgot how gracious he was. He spent a long time chatting with us, playfully chatting with my sister and me and politely answering all of my mother's questions with yes ma'ams and no ma'ams. We were all quite taken with this young man in 1958 and remain so today. None of us had any idea that Elvis would become a mega star, but we were happy for his success.
He made a strong impression on our family. That gaudily dressed young man could sing! And how handsome he was. That he was so kind and polite made him even more alluring. I can still see him singing and dancing in that old, little gymnasium. He was happy, young and gifted. We were so pleased to have met him and thereafter followed his career as ardent fans until the sad day he died too young.
Sorry but I just think Elvis is an overhyped icon from yesteryear. OK, he was one of the first big musicians in the world who managed to crossover music types and different races but let's get real here - he is dead! Since then there have been hundreds of fantastic and innovative musicians that still keep music rolling along whether you like 'em or not - Mick Jagger, Paul MacCartney, Neil Young, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Manu Chao, John Lydon, Joe Strummer, Tori Amos etc. I am all up for the old bands a la Stones, Led Zep, Beatles but let's get a grip here and get REAL.
Elvis was THE performer of the century and no-one has come any closer since.
I live in Tennessee and have always been a Elvis fan. Elvis was so special, a multi-talented and very unique man and personality. But he was also kind and giving and never lost site of his roots. On July 13th of this year I was married at Graceland and it was beautiful. If you have not been to Graceland you much go someday, to many people it has a profound effect as did The King himself.
Elvis, the man, the legend. No one man has changed the face of music so much. Rest in peace oh king of mine.
Sorry, but I can't see what the fuss is about. Elvis is a classic case of how, with the right marketing machine you can sell anything. I'm not suggesting the man was completely without talent, but let's be honest, what is so great about him? No one has ever presented an intelligent argument to validate his supposed worth. What did he pioneer or innovate? Nothing. What did he revolutionise? Nothing. I just can't see it, I'm afraid.
To be honest with you, I don't see the big fascination in Elvis whatsoever.
Would Elvis have become as big an icon as he did if he hadn't been one of the best looking men the world has ever seen?
Ever since I was about six-years-old, I remember listening to my older sisters' records, which is how I came to be an Elvis fan.
An avid collector in my youth of Elvis memorabilia, I now have a massive collection which many people can't understand. "Why buy an album just because there is one track you have not got?" must be the most popular question I am asked, and one I cannot answer, only to say that I am obsessed with the legend, the man and his fantastic ability as a singer.
25 years after his sad death is a time for the fans of probably the greatest singing talent ever to grace this earth, to reflect and appreciate the wonderful memories and music he has left behind.
God bless you Elvis and thanks.
Elvis' influence on modern music and culture is and was overrated. American musicians and song-writers who did influence modern music are Louis Jordan, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, Ike Turner and Bob Dylan. Elvis couldn't handle a candle to any of the above. Okay, he may have had more charisma, but talent: No way! Most Elvis fans are like fans of modern boy bands. They fall for the hype but don't appreciate or understand talent.
Perhaps Elvis was the focal point for an interesting change in the nature of white pop culture, but so what? Why should the non-white influences that really matter be subsumed within "the King's" persona and history, simply because of that - the fact that they're not white?
Perhaps John Lennon and other giants of the century in pop culture all felt that Elvis was important. Perhaps he even was important in some historical, quasi-coming-of-age sense... But the 20th century has been about philosophical movements, about politics, about idea-craft. There is an essential conflict in calling a mere polished voice and manufactured persona - classic symbols of anachronistic class-bound music forms a "King" of music in this Century of the Common Man.
And let's be honest - beyond the well-honed voice and crowd-pleasing stage presence, there is nothing. No creativity, no originality, no message whatsoever. Elvis' music, unlike the music of John Lennon, does not stand the test of time. Witness the gleeful ignorance that my generation (Generation X, twenty-somethings) gives to Elvis today... Well-deserved, in my opinion, and about time. RIP Elvis, but the throne surely belongs to others now.
Growing up in rural South Australia in the 70s and 80s one of the most enduring memories of my childhood is watching Elvis movies on Saturdays (we only had one TV channel). My sister and I still fondly recount our favourites - they were brilliant movies. I hope we get some re-runs. Viva Las Vegas and Fun in Acapulco are the best.
Elvis was amazing but credit too to the really talented song writers and musicians he worked with along the way, he couldn't have made it without them.
I'm from Lahore, Pakistan. I have always been a great fan of Elvis, who drove people crazy by his rock'n'roll magic.
He made the history in music. As music lives on, Elvis will remain.
We can still hear his beautiful, mesmerising voice.
Elvis's continued fame rests on extremely shaky foundations. When one considers the situation in America in the 50s one is forced to conclude that Chuck Berry (the author of the majority of his own material) has been denied his rightful Rock n'Roll crown merely due to the fact that Elvis was white.
Promised Land mauled by Elvis during his Vegas years, must surely be closer to the spirit of Rock n' Roll than The Ballad of Old Shep.
Oh dear. Without a doubt the most over-rated artist of the 20th century.
It seems to me that the "Elvis Legend" only really came into being in the mid to late 60s as an American backlash to the Beatles - somehow trying to reclaim a rock'n'roll crown the Fabs had snatched.
In 1957 I went to an Elvis concert in Philadelphia and had a seat on the end of a balcony row. Before the show started, one of the fellows in Elvis' crew, came to the balcony to check the view and we started to chat. He told me how nice Elvis is and asked me to come backstage to meet him. As a young teenage fan, I became "too weak in the knees" and just couldn't accept the offer; I thought that I'd faint right there! That first memory of Elvis remains the sweetest.
I always notice that the ones that say "what is all the fuss about", are men! I think it's a touch of envy of something they could never have been. I'm not an adoring fan, but I do think he changed music in a positive way and gave us rock and roll as we know it. Yes, there are other talented individuals, BUT, have they lived on to such heights DECADES past their death? If you can't figure out "what the big deal is" why did you click on the talking point on Elvis in the first place?
Elvis was a modestly talented entertainer whose success was due, almost entirely, to a combination of timing and marketing and promotional efforts which made pop culture the mass commodity of the post-WW2 era. His tragedy was that he believed his own hype and became convinced that he really was the King of something. The tragedy of his legions of devoted fans is that they believed it too, and allowed a Mississippi backwater truck driver turned dime store pop icon to become a crucible for meaning and self-identity in their lives.
Elvis was the earthquake. All that's come since are aftershocks.
I am 62 years old and yes, I grew up with Elvis. Before Elvis, there was Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, etc. When Bill Haley and Elvis came on the scene, there was like an explosion going round the world. Elvis was of course making the biggest impact of them all. Every kid in those days just went mad, even here in Malaysia. Everyone started sprouting side burns and learning the guitar. If you really want to appreciate Elvis go for the early years and forget the later years of his music. Elvis was a rebel rouser until Col.Tom Parker changed all that. Goodbye Elvis. I will always remember you and everytime I here you sing The Last Farewell it brings tears to my eyes.
I disagree with the people who say that Elvis' popularity was nothing more than good marketing. Do you really think that the homes of N'Sync or Britney Spears will become shrines thirty years from now? The man had something pretty special going on and he will always be with us. Hail to the King, baby!
His step-brother answered your questions
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