Remembering Elvis

36 years ago today marks the anniversary of the day Elvis Presley passed away. He was just 42 years old. I see now more than ever how young he was. His was an unfinished life. There was more he could have done in his career, as well as in his personal life. He spent his final years in torment, plagued by overeating and drug abuse. He seemed to be, in a way, trying to find himself. Sadly, he did not have the chance.

I was 6 years old when Elvis passed away. At the time, I did not know who he was, had never heard one of his songs. This would change that day. News coverage about the death of Elvis was intense, the grief immeasurable. I had not seen anything like it before. I wanted to know more about this person who caused such of an extreme reaction by dying. I watched everything about his life that came on TV that night. I found myself captivated by this man who in his heyday was known for shaking his pelvis, the snarl of his mouth, and slicked back black hair.

A special came on after the 10 o’ clock news. I remember sitting on top of the kitchen table watching it with my grandparents on the black and white TV. It ended at 1 Am, which was very late for me. At the end, a slow, haunting version of “That’s Alright, Mama” played in the background, as women cried and wailed over Elvis. Many were comforting one another. That expression of deep sorrow frightened me to the core. When my Mom came to get me for bed, I was literally trembling. I got no sleep that night. I was overwhelmingly relieved to see daylight come.

Every August 16th, I think of Elvis, and remember the very unique way I was first introduced to him. I think about all he accomplished in his brief life, and the possibilities before him. He left an indelible mark on music, and upon us.

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~ by kmnnz on August 16, 2011.

2 Responses to “Remembering Elvis”

  1. What a memory; I loved Elvis, and while I was only 14 when he died, he left a large impression on me b/c of his talent, good looks and charisma. Growing up with only 3 channels, 1 of them in French, it was a delight to have an Elvis movie come on as the “featured programme.” *(I grew up in Canada).
    Still a fan, still love his music, and still think he was one of the hottest men that ever lived. Cheers! MJ

    • Thanks so much for your comments! I love your blog, btw 🙂

      I know how you feel. Elvis made a big impact on me, too. He was definitely very talented and sexy, with such of a strong presence. I’m glad I can call myself a fan.

      I also remember the days of having only 3 channels!

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