Elvis Presley is Dead, Long Live the King

July 31, 2007 by

North America, Places to Go, Travel News & Alerts, Viator Exclusives

Editor’s Note: August 16th marks the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death.

I was a week shy of my 8th birthday when Elvis Presley died, and I still remember being in the playground at school with my friends when I heard the news. Even at that young age, I was shocked that such a prolific singer was gone.

Once I had grown up, I was reintroduced to Elvis by a friend and discovered his music all over again. I became addicted to his voice – I just couldn’t get enough of that deep, sexy voice. My I-pod today has over 40 of his songs, and I’d be hard-pressed trying to list my top 5 favorite songs – they’re all fantastic.

Elvis in Concert with the TCB band
Elvis in Concert with the TCB band

I thought all my Christmases had come at once when they announced that “Elvis in Concert with the TCB band” was coming to Sydney last year. I was almost front row for the concert, and it was as close seeing Elvis in concert as I was ever going to get. All the same band members were there, just a few (well, 40 or so) years older. Elvis, naturally looked as good as ever!! The band and backup singers performed live while Elvis joined in via a large screen, center stage. The musical selections ranged from Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii (which was the first satellite program beamed around the world), to his Vegas concerts (from the movie Elvis: That’s the Way It Is) performed in the late ’60s. I’m not ashamed to admit I got goose bumps when he sang An American Trilogy.

Graceland tours, activities and things to do
Graceland in Memphis

I also once made the trek to Graceland, and stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis. If you’re not an Elvis fan, it may be a little much, but there are a lot of hardcore fans out there and for them, it was probably not enough. There is nothing like submersing yourself for days in something/someone you admire so much. There is so much to see and do (and buy) to help keep the memory of Elvis alive and some amazing stories to hear. His generosity was unmatched, and the sheer number of awards he received for his music was quite astounding.

But all this is just a reminder that this legend is no longer with us (unless you believe all the stories of Elvis working in a laundromat in Boise!). This year marks the 30th anniversary of his passing – on the 16th of August (ironically the same day, although not the same year, that my own father passed away). Every year, Elvis fans from around the world join in to celebrate the life of Elvis with special concerts, candlelight vigils, conferences and more. The week of celebrations is not just for the die-hard fans, but also for new fans to learn about the singer, his music and his life.

Elvis introduced rhythm and blues to mainstream America and the rest of the world. Although he was considered shocking at the time with his gyrating hips and sultry voice, he opened the door for performers like Chubby Checker, Fats Domino and Little Richard, and melded popular music and rhythm & blues into a new musical genre. His music styles ranged from rock, country, gospel and blues to rockabilly – he could easily do it all. And lets not forget (even though he tried to at times) the list of movies he made – all 31 of them!

Everyone has a story that seems to involve Elvis – whether it’s swinging your hips and curling your lip to Heartbreak Hotel or donning a wig and jumpsuit for the staff Christmas party, or cooking your roast leg of ham with Coca Cola – just like Elvis did, there is no denying that he left his mark on all of us in one way or another. That is a true cultural icon.

-Jenny Crossling

5 Responses to “Elvis Presley is Dead, Long Live the King”

  1. Sue W. Says:

    I really enjoyed this blog….it brought back some good memories. I wonder if the author has ever seen the Cardboard Elvis Oracle or calculated the Elvis factor of her favourite movie star!! Elvis has such a deep rooted history in music – it’s about time someone wrote a fitting tribute.

  2. Deborah Swain Says:

    I also really enjoyed this post…I’ve seen the “Elvis in Concert” show twice – both times in London – and with the new improved digital images and sound it just gets better! Have yet to make it to Graceland but it’s VERY high on my list of MUST dos in life!!

  3. Ashvan Says:

    I thought that you all might want to know about an upcoming Elvis event. The details and website are as follows: It’s been 30 years since the passing of the King and it’s time to celebrate in his honor. Put on your rhinestone jumpsuit and join Elvises from across the nation in downtown Minneapolis on Friday the 17th. Be part of history. Imagine the media coverage. Local. National. World. Blogs. YouTube. Helicopters. Elvis fans alike will be dressed up as the King himself on Nicollet Mall in the heart of the city, competing in the Running of the Elvises (it’s only 2 blocks, the way the King would have wanted it). The event is free and you just might win a trip to Las Vegas. Get all the details at: http://www.RunElvisRun.com Know other Elvis fans? Please forward this on. Thanks!

  4. Bel Says:

    If you love the Elvis song Loving Arms you have to listen to Shane McLeay’s version of Loving Arms. It gave me goose bumps!

  5. Elvis Presley Says:

    elvis will never die he is the king and will always be

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