Elvis - 30 Years Ago Today, RIP

What an icon!

My first memorable exposure to 'The King' was the 1968 comeback TV special. I was only 4 but I can remember the EXCITEMENT in the house more than the show itself - my mom and her sisters all making cat calls. To this day it is my most favorite performance.

Anyhow, hats off to the legend. A little something on Youtube I enjoyed in rememberence:

Elvis 1968
I remember that show. I was 5 and my biggest memories were of my mom and dad's coments of how Elvis looked strung out. Huh, imagine that! Thanks for the link, really took me back. Music the time transporter
Thanks for posting - enjoyed the clip. I was 18 at that time and he sure spoke to the hormones and existential angst.
I was seven when the "comeback" was broadcast, but I never knew it existed until a rebroadcast years later (at the time of his death?) Looking at the clip, it's hard to believe he died the way he did. Only the Ramones made a cooler statement with leather.
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I'm 40 so I was 10 when he died. The event is similar to my generation what JFK's death was the the prior generation... everybody remembers where they were when they heard. I was sitting on my bike on the corner of Wayne talking with Richard Henry and I laughed when I was told because I thought it was a joke...At that age I couldn't imagine what death was or that someone like Elvis could suddenly be gone. I've sadly come a long way since then.

What was Elvis doing in Portland? When he filled my car up with gas last summer he was still in Kalamazoo. He said he'd worked at the WalMart there but had to quit because the health care benefits were lousy, what with his high blood pressure and diabetes. Maybe there was a greeter shortage in Oregon and they talked him into coming back - he was always great with the public. Not a bad singer either.

I first saw Elvis on the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey summer replacement show for Jackie Gleason. It was 1956 and I was ll years old. I laughed so hard watching his gyrations that I almost had an accident. My 7 year old brother did not help either. He was on the floor laughing and rolling around gasping for breath. By the fall-winter of '56, I was buying his records. I still have an extended play 45 of songs from his first album.

His death was so unnecessary. It still greatly saddens me.
32 years ago now as of yesterday.

We did a jaunt to Memphis this year and visited Graceland as well as the Sun Studio, (and the Peabody Ducks).

It was a very enjoyable trip. Visiting Sun studio was the highlight for me, but I did enjoy Graceland as well.

One of the first records I ever bought with my own money was a set of the Johnny Cash Sun Recordings from an add run on TV back in the 60s, so Sun Studios holds a special place of honor in my musical world.

My 8 year old daughter has been obsessed with Michael Jackson since his death as a result of all the hype. My wife is an Elvis fan and my daughter and son both seemed to really enjoy our visit as well.

Both my kids like the Beatles. My daughter has been playing the "Say Say Say" video off Youtube repeatedly since she heard it on the McCartney "All The Best" CD that got some play time during our 900 mile jaunt to MEmphis.
I never, ever, understood the appeal of this man. Yeah, the Sun recordings are good. But what happened after the late 50's makes no sense to me. I just do not understand why people like it so much. Maybe someone can explain it to me.
Hi Chasmal.

My wife is the Elvis fan. She just likes him I think more so than his music. He was apparently a very charismatic person.

To me, his early recordings were good and I like acouple of his later 60's hits. He also did some very good gospel I suppose in that that was supposedly the music he related to most.

I understand why he is regarded as the "King of Rock" despite the fact that only his early groundbreaking stuff is truly "rock and roll". His sixties movie related output is generally regarded as fluff and my understanding is that he was not very happy with his movie career. HE had a lot of well documented personal issues apparently, as did Michael Jackson. Perhaps that is part of his and MJs appeal? Despite their tremendous successes, they still had demons that haunted them and people relate to that perhaps as much as anything?

After all, isn't much of rock, blues and R&B music typically about the various demons that haunt us? Isn't that a good bit of popular music's appeal in general?

BTW, my perspective in going to see Graceland was much as related by Paul Simon in his tune "Graceland":

"For reasons I cannot explain
There's some part of me wants to see
Map: as good as the Sun recordings are, I think I prefer Jerry Lee Lewis for that era. If he only hadn't of married his 14 year old cousin.
I have always maintained that you cannot truly understand America until you've been to Graceland. About halfway through the tour, when we were ushered into one particularly ridiculous room (among many impressively ridiculous rooms), I started laughing uncontrollably and feared that I would be beaten to death by the huge posse of solemn pilgrams who were staring darts at me.

Chas, make the trip and you will see what it means to be young, rich, gifted and stupid. The guy could sing, he could exude both rebellion and sex, and he personified a certain kind of American dream that was shared by the youth of the country in the late '50s. It's an eye opener.

BTW, I saw one of Elvis' last concerts (in Ann Arbor, Mi) during my college years (late '70's). There were some recreational chemicals involved and Elvis was certainly well into his terminal (bloated) stage as a performer, but my memory of the show is his charisma. Even in this phase, which approached self-parody, he commanded the room. He was at once silly and riveting - an enigma, at that time. At an earlier time, when he was at his peak and the country was a bit more innocent, it's easy for me to understand how he was a mega-star.

I picked up the 3-CD Sun 50th anniversary box set at Sun Studio's shop while there.

Lots of eye opening nicely remastered performances there that register strongly with their rawness and energy.

"The Killer" is well represented, as are many lesser known Sun artists, and a hot version of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" by "The GEntrys", I think.

No Elvis in that particular collection though. Probably a recording rights issue.

It was simpler times back in those days indeed!
Elvis,Jesus and Coca Cola the three most well known words in the world according to Kinky Friedman.
"Elvis,Jesus and Coca Cola"

Wow. I hate all 3.

American culture must be better than that!!!!

Being the audio kook that I am, at Graceland, I tried to identify the components in Elvis's audio systems.

I saw two systems, 1 in his "TV" room and one in the lounge in the racquetball building which I think is where he was found dead.

Not sure what brand they were from a distance. The rig in the racquetball/lounge building looked like Crown separates perhaps? Anybody know for sure?

Couldn't identify the speakers.

Elvis had some nice gear for the time, but nothing earth shattering compared to what a lot of us have these days.

He also had some nice vintage bookshelf speakers located throughout his jet.

Yes, I'd say Elvis qualified as an audiophile in his day, so we should probably give him some love here for that....
That is cool that you took note of the audio systems Elvis had when visiting Graceland. I have never been there yet,but I will hae to look myself. It is not surprising that he had some good systems (for that time period).