Friday, January 8, 2010

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Today is Elvis Presley's 75th birthday.

I'm not sure where he is, or if he'll show up at the Graceland celebration.  If he does, it'll put a lot of speculation to rest.  If he doesn't, it'll be like every other year since 1978.

I was an Elvis fan when being an Elvis fan wasn't cool.  I grew up with that Black Velvet voice, that curled lip, and that one of a kind charisma.

I saw all his movies, went to concerts, and imitated him at every opportunity.  I was laying on the beach at Daytona Beach one day when I felt a shadow between me and the sun.  I opened one eye to see a lady standing over me, and she asked, "Does anyone ever tell you how much you look like Elvis?"

I said, "Thank you.  Thank you very much."

My father-in-law called me when a documentary aired the year after Elvis' death.  He said, "There's a show on TV saying Elvis is still alive."  In my best Elvis voice, I said, "You sound surprised."

I hardly ever hear an Elvis song without seeing him again.  In Atlanta, at the Omni, in the early 70s, in his prime.  In the documentary "That's The Way It Is", long before that guy they called the King of Pop was remembered in "This Is It".  I have to tell you, Elvis was "it".

In Macon, Georgia, at the Coliseum, in June 1977.  I was shocked at his appearance, and told my date I didn't think he'd live six months.  He made it until August.

There will never be another like him.  Countless impersonators imitate, but cannot duplicate, that voice and persona.  Most of his fans are in their twilight now, but to them he'll be forever young.

I'm almost always humming one of his songs.  He sang to generations and changed music forever.  He earns more dead than he did while alive.  His body of work is timeless.

He'll always be dressed in black leather, attacking the microphone, captivating his audience.

And yes, I'm lonesome tonight.

1 comment:

bella said...

I would have been obsessed with him had I lived back then... good thing. You probably would have a completely different daughter :)

And yes, you favor him. So do I.