Elvis is still one of the greatest artists ever – I never listened much to him except the obvious songs that everyone has heard, but I recognize that he was incredibly talented and one of a kind. We may never see someone like Elvis in this century, so here is an article to see if someone still cares this many years after his sad demise.
As always – it is the readers of this blog and the interest shown in various artists that decides which articles I decide to print. For example – in early March I had more than 600 hit counts in one day on an article about Chris Squire from Yes (someone probably shared a link to the article on a site or a Facebook page), and the result is that they are guaranteed more Yes articles when I find them.
That`s the way you do it. Demand and supply!
Two word-pictures of Elvis
from NME`s Tracy Thomas
WE all know what the music business thinks of Elvis Presley – he’s still the King! He has sold more records and made more money-making movies than any pop star (or stars) to date.
Publicly, he has always conducted himself like a gentleman and has made no visible enemies, perhaps because he meets so few people, thanks to his self-imposed isolation from the world at large.
This young, sexy, vibrant hipster who critics predicted more than 10 years ago would disappear in months is still producing hit discs and hit movies ad infinitum.
But what do they think of El in his home town of Memphis. This is where he grew up and where he resides still. Is he just another face? Or is he a star there, too?
The following information comes from Mrs. Mabel Rutherford, who lives just one house away from El’s famous home at Gracelands. She has been a Memphis resident since before El’s early days of stardom. Her eldest son and El were classmates.
She has met El only once, but has kept tabs on her famous neighbour through her son, the local newspapers and her hairdresser, who takes care of Elvis when he’s in town and used to do his mother’s hair before her death.
Elvis is well liked in this community and in Memphis; his behaviour as we find it is above reproach. When he is at home he sleeps in the daytime and goes out for entertainment at night.
When he is here, he sometimes rents a movie theatre at midnight for himself and all his friends (and their friends) and they see several movies at one sitting.
Occasionally he rents the whole fairground for an evening and his crowd will ride on all the rides. This way they are not bothered by the public. That’s what he has to do to have a good time.
Elvis still likes the simple food he was brought up on – mashed potatoes and gravy, steak, kraut, black-eyed peas, corn bread, etc. His grandmother lives in his home and his girl friend, Priscilla Beaulieu, has been living there, too. El’s father and stepmother and her three boys live in a house on the street behind Elvis’ house and, of course, help to look after his home.
A few little things I remember about his early days: My son, Gary, now 28 years old, was in high school with Elvis and told me Elvis used to go up to parked cars in drive-in restaurants and say: “Let me sing something for you.” He just wanted to sing for the pure pleasure of it for anyone who would listen.
His mother belonged to a Holiness Church and I think he got his style of singing from the emotional type of music that that church has. He was very devoted to his mother. He bought her a pink Cadillac and when she was in the hospital just before she died, she had it parked so she could see it from her hospital window.
Elvis has given so much to charities here, often $50,000 at a time, to be divided among several needy causes. No wonder people here write editorials to the paper requesting different new buildings, streets, etc., to be named after him.
He never forgets anyone who had ever been kind to him in his boyhood, when he had absolutely nothing. The Presleys lived in a government housing project here and his father never earned much money, so Elvis barely had the necessities of life.
A neighbour woman with children his age used to give Elvis 25 cents every Saturday to go to the movies. When Elvis came back home once after he started making big money, he completely refurnished her house.
His barber on Main Street used to cut his hair whether he could pay or not. On one of his more recent visits here, he walked in, got his haircut, laughed and said: “Put it on the cuff.” Then he handed him the keys to a new Chevrolet car parked in front. He’s quite a character – he has a heart of gold, I think!
Elvis’ girl friend, Priscilla Beaulieu, was his steady date in Germany for six months. She was 16 when he completed his tour of duty and returned to the United States.
Soon after she moved into Gracelands and continued her schooling from there. El’s father or stepmother drove her to classes in a Continental until she was 18. Then El gave her a fire-engine-red Chevrolet.
There are many rumours that they are secretly married, but nothing definite has been announced in Memphis.
I don’t know much else about her, except I do remember one incident. There is a women’s clothing store here (the plushest in Memphis) and the saleswoman there told us that one night, after they had closed the store, they saw Elvis and Priscilla looking longingly in the window.
They recognised him, so asked them to come in. He bought the girl 3,000 dollars worth of clothes! That was a few years ago. She was just a child, they said.
So far, Memphis has done nothing as a memorial to Elvis, but I can’t help thinking that it won’t be long before they do. Through his exemplary behaviour while he is at home, his kindness to old friends and his generosity to those less fortunate than he, Elvis has earned the respect of nearly everyone. He is truly a “favourite son”.