Thursday, 16 August 2012

Elvis: Still the King!

I have such vivid memories of the night of August 16th 1977. There was a heck of a thunder storm, and the windows were literally shaking in their frames. It was very impressive - I do love a good storm.

Then about midnight the storm ended and my father came into my room. He had bad news: "Elvis just died", he told me.

Its a bit of a generational thing, I know, but folk raised on the manufactured garbage that passes for popular music today cannot understand the power of Elvis. After his death RCA Victor had an entire factory working around the clock just producing his albums. On the morning of the 17th every radio station was playing his music, and the story of his passing was on every front page. I remember that evening a tearful Joe Brown talking about his memories of Elvis and playing I don't care if the sun don't shine. Joe was always a better guitarist than a singer, but he did ok. A couple of days later Carl Perkins - who wrote Blue Suede Shoes amongst other great tracks - appeared on Roger Scott's excellent Cruising on Capital Radio (back in the days when Capitol broadcast on 194 mw). Carl and Roger have also left the building now, and both are much missed.

35 years on, although it is impossible to be precise, Presley's estate claims that his record sales have now topped 1 billion. That's a hell of a fan base!

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