photo via Pinterest
"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away,"
Happy 80th Birthday, Elvis Presley. I remember distinctly the day that the sun went deep beyond the clouds for his billions of fans. I was 11 years old when news reached the four corners of the globe that Elvis had died. School was out for summer and I was visiting a neighboring family down the street in the small, rural English market town where I grew up. Marion, my friends' mum, was just one of those billions of die-hard, world wide adorers. All sorts of Elvis memorabilia was on display on her mantlepiece. She was clearly devastated.
I recall wondering why she was so saddened by the loss of someone she had never met, nor was ever likely to hear perform in person. So remote were we, it seemed that Elvis might have belonged to another planet. Now he did, another realm at least. Years later, Princess Diana evoked the same sort of mourning on an International scale.
In my late teens, as a fledgling newspaper reporter sent out to some rather rustic and colorful outposts in pursuit of stories that called for personal interviews in remote living rooms, I came across several more scenarios in which the Elvis ashtrays, mirrors and framed photos had been elevated to super-shrine status. It still fascinated me, not that rock & roll’s first real star and, in the words of Rolling Stone: "one of the most important cultural forces in history, a hip-shaking symbol of liberation for the staid America of the 1950s," but that a white American Southerner: "Singing blues laced with country, and country laced with gospel" not only united American music lovers but so many otherwise isolated people in so many far-flung places around the world.
"Do something worth remembering,"