It is one of my earliest and clearest childhood memories…. 30 years ago today, Elvis Presley died and his death stunned America and changed popular culture forever more.
I remember watching our local TV news (Philadelphia suburbs) where the other big story that day was a state budget impasse in Harrisburg. Like now, back then our “mainstream media” didn’t seem to “get it” either — our local NBC affiliate pre-empted network coverage of Elvis’ death in favor of “Special Reports” on the state budget. As now, the media seems to think the end-all-and-be-all of America is our Government. Wrong… it is our People.
And one of our most searing American icons was one of We, The People: Elvis Presley.
Yes, he got caught up in the fame (many of our fellow We, The People have also suffered that fate throughout our history) and he isn’t exactly a role model of good living for our youth. But my goodness…. talk about the “small town boy makes it” story coming true!! The man individually changed American music and many of our current artists in many genres have been inspired by, or pay homage to, Elvis Presley.
I think there is another reason Elvis’ music and memory are linked to my childhood. My Mom was (is) an adoring Elvis fan and she introduced me to his music and life story. Thanks Mom!
So, I had to pause a moment to acknowledge this important American historical and pop culture moment. For more on “Elvis Week” and marking the “Summer of Elvis”, CLICK HERE.
Elvis Presley would have been 72 had he lived. Some say he is 72.
Long live The King.