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He was the first, true master of rock n roll.
Now I sit at my keyboard and pause, not wondering what to say next, but where to start...
I will begin with a song he wanted to record fror his mother, called 'thats all right'. He was heard, found and shoved in front of a microphone with a three piece backing band as the producers were aching to find a white singer with a black sound. I personally didn't think he sounded black at all. The key was that rock and roll had originated from black blues. It had been mixed with country (we have Bill Hayley to thank for that) and the white record makers at the time realised it could sell. Segregation in the mid southern states of America was strong and fierce, the music makers only hope to make money was Elivs Presley.
Along came a string of songs one after the other. If you were to go out and buy the very recent 'Elvis 2nd to none', it gives the best cross section of music by him and is the best buy for any young curious Elvis first time listener.
My favourites were the late fifties, early sixties, when the music was pure gold..'I got stung', 'I need your love tonight' and the quick paced 'King Creole' are still very much heard in party play lists even today.
The seventies saw a turn in his life, after the death of his mother, a real blow whilst serving in the army, he had found it hard to regain his position in the music industry as music had changed for profoundly while he had been away. The Beatles had taken a strong hold but happily also held a place for their mentor, Elvis Presley.
So, we heard a more serious, heartfelt side to Elvis with tracks like 'don't cry daddy', 'memories', 'an American trilogy', and of course, 'always on my mind', a song, most timely around the break up of his marriage to his beloved Priscilla.
After illness and a massive weight problem, he collapsed and died of a heart attack at the age of only 42, august 1977. A day, I believe, I was at school, but also a day that my mother cried and went out and bought a newspaper the following day. A paper, though yellow and frail, she still has....
There will never be another Elvis, who touched so many hearts, through teenage years, love and losts, then a more mature, serious side to then eventually leaving us with silence.
Music lives on strong and so do people so long as there is someone to remember them. Elvis will continue to be passed down through generations, so in that case, he will never die.