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.