Elvis Is Dead

My father hated Elvis. He resented this white artist stealing/exploiting/ profiting from performing black music. (But then half of the musicians in the ’50s and ’60s from Pat Boone to Led Zeppelin “borrowed” from black music). So I never owned any Elvis music as a child or teenager.

Still, I did like some of his songs (Jailhouse Rock, Little Sister). So I watched the ’68 “comeback special” and became grudgingly, a mild fan.

When Elvis died, I thought, “Oh, that’s too bad.” The Elvis cult that’s developed since 1977 I view with fascination and utter bemusement.

I swiped the above from REMEMBERING ELVIS RECOLLECTIONS OF THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF THE KING ARE SWEETENED THROUGH THE AGES FOR LOYAL FANS by Mark McGuire, Times Union, The (Albany, NY), August 16, 1997. But since I was stealing what I wrote at the time, I guess it’s OK. I’m sure I wrote more, but it was edited down. I probably wrote about feeling as though I were sneaking behind my father’s back listening to the music, and how I never actually owned any Elvis until Elvis died.

I remember being on a city bus a year or two ago listening to some kids dissing Elvis as old news. I wanted to cut in and tell them that Elvis made $37 million the year before, but chose not to. In 2006, Elvis was only the Second to the Top-Earning Dead Celebrity with $42 million, after being #1 for 2001 through 2005. He was supplanted at the top by Kurt Cobain with $50 million.

Anyway, here are the lyrics to the appropriate Living Colour song and the video.
Passing last month, Allan Pottasch, the creative guru of this:

Also passing last month, the jinglemeister in this video, Jerry Ringlien:


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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