Yesterday was the 75th birthday of Elvis Presley.
While Elvis was almost universally known, with countless fans world wide, he seems to have a certain special place in the hearts of people of the south. I think the reasons for this are varied, of course his talent, and ability to perform had a great deal to do with it. But I think that there were other things that impacted on his fan base such as his modest demeanor and his ability to reach out to the common person. But the most important thing was that he was a rags to riches story. Elvis came from nothing, and became a very rich and famous person. He made it by pulling up on his own bootstraps, which just showed that with work, talent and luck anyone could make it big. That is very comforting to someone in a dead end job, a poor person, a person who is down on their luck, they could say, "Hell, if 'ol Elvis could make it as tough as he had it, I can too" (You could also see a lot of this same mindset about Dale Earnhardt who was killed at Daytona a few years back, Dale being another rags to riches story)
Elvis's life was also a cautionary tale, about what happens went some one gets too much, too fast and doesn't have any safety net or support network. Elvis never had anyone to say no to him. This lead to his death at 42 from drugs. We see this over and over again, Michael Jackson, John Belushi, Jim Morrison, and so on. People just don't seem to learn from the past and to a degree we all suffer. What would have Elvis have contributed to the world with future music had he lived? What would have any of these artist who died too soon have contributed? Who knows.
As for myself, I will remember the Elvis of his early career. The days of Sun Music and the raw talent that just seemed to pour out of his every pore. He was like a meteor in a cloudy sky, and burned out much too soon.
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