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Remembering Elvis

By Christy Riggs

Published July 21, 2022 in The Burg

Have you felt an Elvis vibe lately? I have and I attribute it to the hype from a new movie out in theaters entitled Elvis. If you haven’t seen it, you most definitely need to. It’s truly a phenomenal, hands down a 5 star movie starring Austin Butler who gave an fantastic performance as Elvis. I personally have a new appreciation for Elvis - (aka “The King of Rock and Roll”, “The King”, “Elvis the Pelvis”, “Fire Eyes” and many others).

I vividly remember my Mom pulling in the driveway the day Elvis died. She tearily closed the door of her brown Toyota Corolla. My sister and I were quite young, playing outside with the neighborhood kids and asked her what was wrong. “Elvis died” she said, and went promptly in the house. We shrugged our shoulders, wondered who Elvis was, and went on about our day. (Apologies mom for our lack of compassion back then because I get it now.)

Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley, January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. He did have a twin named Jesse Garon who was stillborn.

At a young age, Elvis had a passion for music, especially gospel music. As a young child, his love for music brought him to the front of his church choir, imagining a time he'd be on stage. Despite asking for a rifle or a bicycle for his 11th birthday, his mom took him to a hardware store in Tupelo to pick out his first guitar instead. In 1947, a local radio show offered a young Elvis (at age 12) a chance to sing live on air, but he was too shy to go on. When he was 13, he and his family relocated to Memphis.

At 18, Elvis paid $4 to make his first record, a gift for his mama. In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. His first song was “That’s All Right”. Then in 1955, a deceitful and controversial man named Colonel Tom Parker entered in Elvis’ world as his manager, and was until the singer’s death.

Elvis married Priscilla Beaulieu on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas. She was 21 when they married; he met her when she was just 14. They had one child, daughter Lisa Marie, now 54. “Elvis was absolutely the love of my life, and there's no sadness about it because I have my memories, and they're delicious and they're all mine”. ~ Pricilla Presley

Fun facts:

Just like his personality, Elvis had a larger-than-life appetite and is famous for his food cravings. Some of his favorites were cheeseburgers, pork chops, sauerkraut, and a giant sandwich with a loaf of Italian bread, one jar of peanut butter, and a jar of grape jelly!

Elvis recorded more than 600 songs, but did not write any of them.

He was never known for being an academic while in school, once even earning just a C in his 8th grade music class.

His distinctive jet black hair was actually dyed that color with his natural color being a shade of medium brown.

Elvis never performed outside of North America.

He bought Graceland when he was 22.

Elvis was 6 feet tall and wore a size 11 shoe.

Elvis had 18 number 1 records. Some of his most famous songs include:

Don’t Be Cruel - (Elvis’ favorite)

Can’t help falling in love

Are you lonesome tonight

Memories - (my personal favorite)

Always on my mind

Suspicious Minds

Hound Dog - (his biggest hit)

Elvis sadly died August 16, 1977 at the age of 42. His official cause of death was listed as cardiac arrhythmia. It’s no secret he abused drugs, specifically opiates. On the day of his death, he went to the bathroom “to read” and was warned not to fall asleep as he often did. Elvis' last words were, "I won't."

Elvis Aaron Presley was a true American icon. Between his music, his moves, his movies, his eyes, his smile? Everyone loved him, women in particular. All we have now are his “Memories…sweetened through the ages just like wine…”. There’s SO much to Elvis’ life story and this article has barely touched the surface. I strongly encourage you to run, not walk, to a theater and see the new movie Elvis. You won’t be disappointed, however take kleenex. I leave you with a few profound quotes by The King of Rock and Roll:

“If you let your head get too big, it'll break your neck.”

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away.”

“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”

“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do.”

“I want to entertain people.

That's my whole life. To my last breath.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building…

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