Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Long Live the King

Twenty-nine years ago this afternoon Elvis left the building for the last time.
I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I learned the news...as clearly as I remember when I heard JFK had been shot.
I remember the first Elvis record I bought....the EP for "Love Me Tender."
The three shows he did for Ed Sullivan (for the unheard of sum of $50,000) are etched in my memory. It was a seminal moment in American pop culture.
52 Million people watched the third show in 1957---1/3 of the available audience!
I cannot forget joining in the applause at the end of "King Creole" at the Carefree Theater in West Palm Beach during the 4th of July holiday in 1958.
When I learned the movie was based on "A Stone for Danny Fisher" by Harold Robbins, I read all his books.
Elvis did as much to alter the landscape of popular music as Frank Sinatra did preceding him and the Beatles who followed.
Certainly once there was Elvis, my time spent listening to Top 40 radio took a quantum leap.
If there had been no Elvis, I doubt I would have taken my path to the record business.
Quote: "Before Elvis there was nothing."---John Lennon
Elvis my have left the building, but we will always have the memories.

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