Today Is Elvis’ Birthday

Elvis would have been 75 today. See that album cover over there on the left? That’s the first record I ever owned.

It was picked out by me and purchased by my grandmother at the Mongtomery Ward/Jefferson’s department store which was located on 8th Avenue (now a Kmart) in North Miami Beach, FL. I still own this and my little kid handwriting of “Gordon Lamb” scrawled in the yellow box on the cover is still visible. I listened to this record hundreds of times and still have it all memorized. Even the in-between-song chatter.

I got this, I guess, around 1978 or so and even though his passing was the biggest news in the entire world the previous year it had somehow passed me by. I remember being so excited by this record and asking my mom if we could go to Las Vegas and see Elvis because he played at hotels there. She had to sit me down and explain that Elvis wasn’t playing anywhere anymore.

This was recorded in 1969 when he was hot off his ’68 Comeback and had yet to don his karate suits and jumpsuits and cover himself in rhinestones.

I never cared much for the cult and comedy that surrounds Elvis as a cultural icon. I sure do love the music, though, as much as I ever did.

(Buy Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada here.)

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