Friday, January 8, 2010

The King & I: In Dixieland where we were born....

image by Andy Warhol

Whenever I hear Elvis sing his An American Trilogy...and the words

"in Dixieland where I was born
early, Lord, one frosty morning"

...then I must admit, I really do miss the boy! If you have had a TV or radio on or read the paper today, you know it is his 75th birthday. The TODAY show had a feature on him, and the day is young yet. I am sure America will never get over him, but some years these features have been sparse, like one birthday when all I heard of him was on a local radio station: "This morning an Elvis impersonator was spotted at the Dunkin' Donuts Shop in Columbus, GA." I remember sharing with The Colonel ( mine not Elvis's Col. Parker) that it was an all time low for the King, and his reply was pointed: "How do they know it was an impersonator?" The King lives!

Elvis has just always been part of the rock and roll musical scene, a backdrop to my tastes as I cut my teeth on the likes of Bob Dylan and The Beatles. I do remember playing his Heartbreak Hotel on my older sister's RCA 45 rpm little record player when I was a pre-schooler, and she was a classic fifties teenie bopper! I think I was in the first grade when I used to entertain my family with my own version of You Ain't Nothing but a Hound Dog!

Indeed, it was a frosty morning today. By the time I drove out for school, the temperature was 18 with a wind chill factor of 9! And that was at 10:00 because school had been delayed two hours! As usual, all the speculation about impending snow and ice, scared it away! We were just on the line BELOW it all! As I drove toward Georgia, I thought of all the places that did have snow and even colder temperatures in the South. I thought of the tiny one room shotgun house I had seen in Tupelo, Mississippi: The Elvis Presley Birthplace. I thought of his twin brother who died. And I thought of the little hospital near Birmingham where I was born. And I thought of my mother, who very nearly died in the weeks before she delivered me. Then I remembered that it was Andy Warhol who had said that every one has his fifteen minutes of fame. But because of the sun, the moon, and stars and January 8th, I get that fifteen minutes every year!
You see, dear readers, the King and I share a birthday.

self-portrait by FireLight
in the style of Warhol
Happy Birthday, Elvis Pelvis ...


Thank YOU very much!


Aven said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! I hope it's a wonderful day for you. Did you get any snow?

Lyn said...

The King lives, and doesn't age..he found the way..Andy Warhol did right by Elvis..and Happy 15 minutes and more to you...and a very Happy Birthday!

FireLight said...

Aven, I am so glad you stopped by here! What a faithful birthday reveler you have been. Readers, meet Aven: nurse, wife, mother of three boys, and once seventh grade student of mine. She introduced me to the music of Loreena McKennitt! She is one of the true and lasting joys of being a teacher!

Lyn, yes Andy did do right by Elvis and many others. I was taking a course focused on a local collection of his works & his life in general when I attempted to use his process...I did not do right by him...but it was fun!

willow said...

Hey!! Happy Birthday!!!! Hope you had a lovely, lovely day, my friend. xox

Rowan said...

Belated Happy Birthday to you! I grew up with Elvis and had pictures of him on the wall in my bedroom - my favourite song of his was always Blue Suede Shoes. It was so sad that he ended as he did. In the world of rock 'n roll he'll always be king. We're in good company between us, I share my birthday with Buddy Holly.

FireLight said...

Rowan, "Rave on!" Buddy was such a unique artist and another one gone too soon and too tragically! Now I have to check that date! {wink, wink}

Electricwitch said...

Happy Birthday (belated) i can't believe Elvis would have been 75, seems like only yesterday we lost him. They've been showing a lot of Elvis on tv in the UK this week. He'll never be forgotten will he? Much check out that sting cd as well.


FireLight said...

Willow, I had a great day...a leisurely morning thanks to the delay. It is the beginning of a whole week of late Fifties Fun!

Electricwitch, thank you! It is the same here, especially on Turner Classic Movies channel...I think it was Elvis all day on the 8th!

Mmm said...

Firelight, happy belated birthday then! Yes, you do rather share your 15 mins each year, don't you?

Thanks you for your kind words on my blog--if they gave you a bright moment, well then I am very touched indeed.

My mother and older sister LOVED Elvis, as English as they are, and carried him, as it were, in vinyl all the way back to England. Thy had tons of his albums.

BTw, thank you but please do feel free to take down the Xmas Tea icon now. Still, if you want to replace it with Creative Tuesday and contribute to that, being that you obviously are quite the artist, well that would be lovely. :)

Rebecca said...

Happy Belated birthday and thank you for your kind words on my blog. I am so happy that you're enjoying that tea cup. I am convinced it was destined for you:)..I hope this new year brings you great joy and happiness..

Betsy said...

Happy, happy day to you! Hope you enjoyed your birthday..and how fun to share it with Elvis! Many more happy ones to come, too, I'm sure! :)

FireLight said... you noticed I like to hold on to things? {chuckling} I don't put away any Christmas items until the Epiphany...but that was last consider it done! The self-portrait was just a matter of slathering on layers of black outlines and paint via transparencies...sort of like putting on make-up...all laid over a black and white artist I am not!

FireLight said...

Rebecca, thank you! I have been having a wonderful birthday week! The older one gets, the more there is to celebrate! Yes, the cup was meant to be mine!

Betsy, the King & I like to drag this out, so you are not at all late! There was a special feature on this CBS Sunday Morning all about Elvis...but I was even luckier than that...
I received messages here. Thank you!!

Derrick said...

Hello FireLight,

Belated birthday wishes to you! Fancy sharing your day with Elvis. I'm kinda glad that he isn't still here at 75 because aging rock stars are rather sad! I flew to start work in Venezuela on the day his death was announced and didn't know about it until next day. When my work colleague saw the newspaper headline she burst into tears.

I notice on the video that Elvis has rings to rival Liberace. I hadn't realised that before despite the sparkly jumpsuits.

FireLight said...

Derrick, I agree...he does remain forever young even if a bit chubby in our minds! God bless him!

About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat