Happy 75th, Elvis
I’ve never been a particularly huge fan of his, but it’s a rare person who isn’t at least a little bit of a fan. Had he lived, he’d be 75 today.
Had he lived, I wonder what Graceland – no doubt renovated and redecorated many times over by now to fit his changing tastes – would look like today. Would he have done more albums, had more hits, done more movies, more concerts? Would he have ridden out his old age in Vegas or ridden off into the sunset of Branson? Would he be looked at as an elder statesman or a has-been who squandered it all? Would he have written tell-alls (you know he knew where some bodies were buried) or gone to the Betty Ford Center?
Would he have gone on American Idol?
It’s interesting, thinking about him in the context of today’s pop culture. He will always be everywhere, but the Elvis we knew doesn’t seem to fit in here anymore.
As most of us think about him in terms of the ’50s or early ’60s, or the ’70s white jumpsuited years (sideburns ahoy) here’s El in a time period I’m not used to seeing him in the context of either; 1968 (but without a guitar, a mike, or a black leather jumpsuit), singing the original version of my very favorite song of his:
and here’s the version I love, one that he had no hand in besides contributing vocals:
A Little Less Conversation
A few of his other hits:
Viva Las Vegas
Such a Night
Change of Habit
And finally – of course – Mojo Nixon’s Elvis is Everywhere. Because, as I mentioned above, he is.
I can’t believe I forgot! You must hear this if you haven’t already. It’s a live version of Are You Lonesome Tonight in which he starts laughing about halfway through and cannot stop. It’s hilarious.