Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Remembering Elvis!

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. The anniversary of his death is this week. This is my tribute to him.

 May 30, 1975 Huntsville Concert
Although, I am only 17, I grew up knowing Elvis Presley. When my Mom was 11, she saw  Elvis' first concert in Huntsville, Alabama,  on May 30, 1975, at the Von Braun Civic Center. Elvis Presley appeared May 30 through June 1, 1975, for an unprecedented five performances. It was the first time Elvis had played that many consecutive performances in a venue outside of  Las Vegas. I started listening to his music as an infant while buckled-up in my car-seat in the back of the car.  My Mom, Dad, Uncle and  Grandmother played Elvis' music.  I suppose I have heard every song and  seen every movie he made. Need-less-to say, I am a big Elvis fan! 

Early Years

"Elvis Aron Presley entered the United States Army at Memphis, Tennessee, on March 24, 1958, and then spent three days at the Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Reception Station. He left active duty at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on March 5, 1960, and received his discharge from the Army Reserve on March 23, 1964. 

During his active military career Mr. Presley served as a member of two different armor battalions. Between March 28 and September 17, 1958, he belonged to Company A, 2nd Medium Tank Battalion, 37th Armor, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. During this assignment he completed basic and advanced military training.

Mr. Presley's overseas service took place in Germany from October 1, 1958, until March 2, 1960, as a member of the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32nd Armor. For the first five days of that period he belonged to Company D of the battalion, and thereafter to the battalion's Headquarters Company at Friedberg. While in Germany Mr. Presley wore the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 3d Armored Division. Center of Military History"

Elvis on Ed Sullivan show

“Although at first Ed Sullivan said he would never want Elvis on his show, Sullivan changed his mind when The Steve Allen Show with Elvis as a guest had about twice as many viewers as Sullivan's show that night (They were competing for the same audience since they were in the same time slot.). After negotiating with Elvis' manager, Ed Sullivan paid Elvis the huge sum of $50,000 for appearing on three of his shows: September 9, 1956, October 28, 1956, and then on January 6, 1957.By Jennifer Rosenberg, About.com Guide

Elvis sang these songs on his first appearance of there on the “Ed Sullivan Show” on September 9, 1956. Sullivan could not host the show as he was recuperating in the hospital from a recent car accident. Noted British actor Charles Laughton stood in for Ed Sullivan. Laughton, himself was not in the New York Studio due to movie commitments in Hollywood. My grandmother watched this first show. The camera would not show his hips as his gyrations were very controversial at that time!

Last Photo of Elvis
"He was all alone in the long decline" lyric from "Elvis Presley Blues" by Gillian Welch

"Elvis Presley Blues" Gillian Welch Cover 
Performed by MaryJustice Lucas at The Rutledge - Nashville, August 5, 2012