I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Remembering Elvis

The thirty-first anniversary of Elvis Presley's death came and went over the weekend. There wasn't as much of a buzz about it this year as there was last year, but I still heard a few of his songs and caught a few of his videos. And it brought back a lot of memories for me.

I was a huge Elvis fan when I was young. I probably got interested in him because my mom adored him. But I became a genuine fan all on my own. I had a blue tee-shirt that I used to wear that had a picture of him during his concert in Hawaii. And I once drew a picture of him that turned out pretty well. I have no idea where that picture is now, but my grandma hung it on her bedroom wall and it was there for many, many years.

I was too young to understand the problems in Elvis' life. I was just eleven when he died. But his problems wouldn't have deterred me from liking his music anyway. In fact, I think his problems were what drew me to his music--especially after he died. I always had the feeling that the words he was singing were some sort of cry for help, or least a way of telling others about the pain he was feeling.

Growing up, I purchased many of his LPs with my allowance and I'd sit in my bedroom and listened to them over and over again.

One such LP was called Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden Live. It was originally released in 1972. I always got goosebumps when the album started with the "Theme from 2001: Space Odyssey" because it meant that Elvis was about to take the stage. He ripped right into "That's All Right" and a couple of songs later did a cover of "Never Been to Spain." I still catch myself humming this song once in a while. Another song I really love on this album is "Suspicious Minds." And toward the end of the album, I loved listening to "Can't Help Falling in Love."

Another of his albums that I purchased and listened to over and over was called Elvis in Concert. It was originally released a couple of months after he died in 1977. It too started with Space Odyssey, but then it transitioned to "See See Rider." I love his version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" on this LP. One of the more obscure songs on the album that I was drawn to was called "Hurt."

I also listened to an album called Elvis: A Legendary Performer, Volume 1. It was a short album, containing a number of his big hits, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don't be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," and "Can't Help Falling in Love."In general, I'm usually not drawn to hit songs by performers I like. I usually find other songs from them that I am drawn to for various reasons, but with Elvis, I found myself drawn to nearly all of his songs--including the biggies on this LP.

Maybe I was just fooled by the quality of his voice and his ability to sell himself, but I don't think so. His music has endured and even now his music doesn't sound dated. It still has a certain quality to it that makes you stop and listen.

Somewhere in my basement, these three albums lie covered in dust. I've never upgraded them by purchasing the CD or the MP3, but I'll do so at some point. I'd love to have these albums in MP3 format so I could play then on the next long drive I take.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...