Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Turner Classic Movies is running an Elvis Presley movie fest. I just watched Elvis spank a girl's bottom on Blue Hawaii. Yes, his movies were cheesy, but the music takes me back to my childhood.

Today would have been Elvis' 74th birthday, if he had lived. If he hadn't abused his body with drugs, eating a diet of crappy food and surrounding himself with self-serving yes men who couldn't, wouldn't and didn't ever say "No" to the King.

Elvis was a big part of my life growing up in the fifties and sixties. My sisters, especially Judy, were crazy about him. Judy is nine years older than I am and was a teenager at the height of Elvis' popularity. She hoped at one time that Elvis would marry her someday. I'm glad he didn't, because now she might look like Priscilla with her freakish plastic surgery results.
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As strange as Elvis' lifestyle was, he was a great entertainer. And until the last few years of his life, when he was in declining health, he gave it his all when he was onstage. Judy attended a couple of his concerts, once in Las Vegas and once in Cincinnati or Columbus (can't remember which one). She told me that the pre-concert crowd would be wild with excitement and continued when Elvis came onto the stage, but as soon as he opened his mouth to sing, those screaming women were so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. She had tickets to see him in Huntington, West Virginia, the last week of August. But he never made it to that concert. He died on August 16, 1977. The arena offered to refund ticketholders' money. Judy kept the tickets instead.

In 1968, Elvis' staged his famous Comeback Special. He was at the top of his game and this video is reminiscent of his raw, early style.

And just for good measure, one of my favorite Elvis songs.

Happy Birthdays also go out to two nieces who are celebrating today. Shanna, Judy's daughter, and Melissa, our brother's daughter.


Ruth said...

The time I loved Elvis was in those old beach movies. Sounds like you and your sister were serious fans. Strange about that last concert!

Funny about Love Letters, I've been listening to Diana Krall's version of it lately - I hadn't really listend to it before that, even though I've heard the tune before.

It's really very nice coming here and seeing flowers on your header.

Susan said...

Ruth, I have that Diana Krall CD! I love her version and I never knew it had that little intro verse at the beginning.

I was listening to Girls, Girls, Girls while I was posting and one of the 'girls' was singing The Nearness of You that is on Norah Jones' first CD. I love that song.

Thank you, the photo of the rhododenron is one I took at San Simeon, William Randolph Hearst's castle in California. The flame azalea was on the Blue Ridge Parkway and all the rest are from my yard. Well, the orchid was in the house :)

Ruth said...

I'm trying to remember if we went to San Simeon or planned to go. We moved to CA in 1979 and the following year drove up the coast. I'm thinking I'd remember it, but that was a long time ago. Nah, I'm sure I'd remember.

Don't you just love the name "Blue Ridge Parkway"? My parents lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains when they were first married. Dad was an itinerant preacher for four different parishes.

Susan said...

The "Blue Ridge Parkway" is one of our favorite places to go. We've stayed at a couple of the lodges and hiked to the top of Peaks of Otter, which was quite a haul.

Another connection! One of David's great uncles was an intinerant preacher in Virginia. In fact, Jaye found out that he actually performed the marriage ceremony for two of my ancestors. Also, David's 7th great-grandfather (I think) on the Hinkle (Henckel) side, established the oldest church in Philadelphia in Germantown. We went there to Christmas Eve service in 1998 or '99. I can't remember for sure.

tipper said...

I've been enjoying the Elvis festivites on tv too. Last night my daughter who is only 12 was thinking how neat it'd be if Elvis was still living-of course if he was YOUNG like her!

Loved your post about your Aunt the farm girl and the Gypsies-sounds like something my Granny would have been afraid of-if she'd only thought of it!

Susan said...

Hi Tipper! Thank you! It sounds like we have things in common. You're welcome to come over and visit anytime! I've visited your blog several times and have enjoyed your old-timey tales and your family's music. I come from southern Ohio across the river from Ashland, KY, so I'm more hillbilly than midwesterner.

I can't remember where I found your blog, but was attracted by the title. That was one of my husband's grandpa's favorite sayings. "Sometimes even a blind pig finds an acorn". He was born and raised in Milton, WV.

Ruth said...

Wow, yet another connection between us, Susan. This is nuts! In a good way.

That church sounds awesome and must have created a wonderful atmosphere for you on Christmas Eve. All that history. Wow.