Nobody sings Glory, Glory Hallelujah like Elvis.
Nobody sings My Way like him, either.
Or, That's Alright, Mama...
Or, Suspicious Minds.
Or, How Great Thou Art...
In a few days, it will be the 31st anniversary of his death.
As on other dreadful days over the years, I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news.
...doing inventory in the municipal library in my home town...
I heard it on the radio.
Elvis Presley dead?
No, not Elvis...
"It can't be," I thought.
He'd been a part of my life since I was 10 years old and it seemed impossible that he'd died at 42.
But, the radio station was playing all of his gospel music, in between the news broadcasts of his passing and the updates from Memphis. So, it must be true.
I have so many memories that are coloured by his music...
...I was 10 years old when Love Me Tender hit the charts, and that was also the first Elvis movie I saw. I remember the older kids at the movie screaming when he sang, screaming when he walked and screaming when he smiled. I remember wishing they'd shut up so I could hear him singing!
...My about-to-be husband was a singer in a band with his best friend and they sang every new Elvis song in perfect two-part harmony. My favorite was always Are You Lonesome Tonight? Second favorite...Can't Help Falling In Love With You.
The funny thing is there is this crazy perception in the world that Elvis Presley was more a guy with an addiction than a guy with a string of successes, but the truth is that he remains one of the top selling recording artists, even after his death 31 years ago.
...Elvis starred in 33 successful films.
...He has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist.
...He earned gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 150 different albums and singles, which is far more than any other recording artist.
...He was awarded 14 Grammy nominations, of which he had 3 wins, from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences
...He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36.
...He was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation in 1970 by the United States Jaycees.
...He sold out countless tours and performances in Las Vegas.
...Elvis' total album sales in the United States had climbed to 100 million copies, up from a previous tally of 80 million.
He had the most amazing voice coupled with the best sense of musicality and an absolutely perfect pitch...no one can top him, in my opinion.
So, 31 years later, I can tell you it's true!
Elvis lives...at least, he does for those of us who adored his music and thought he was the hottest thing since friend peanut butter and banana sandwiches!
"Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity." ~ Elvis