Thursday, January 8, 2009
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.
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.