Remembering Elvis

I wasn’t a person one would call an Elvis-freak.
But we were contemporaries and I could not help but admire his talent, once he burst upon the scene.

Elvis' birthplace
Elvis' birthplace

When he was born, I was just shy of 3 years old.

He was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935, whose birth anniversary this is, in fact.

I recommend checking out his family's history, which is extensive and interesting:

Elvis with his parents.

Elvis as a youth with his parents, Gladys and Vernon
Elvis as a youth with his parents, Gladys and Vernon

When he hit the airwaves beyond Memphis, his adopted home, I was a new bride living in Waco, Texas, where my husband was an Air Force officer stationed there at James Connally Air Force Base. In fact we’d been married in September of 1954 at the base’s chapel. Our music tastes ran to the likes of “Ebb Tide”, “Tenderly”, “Mona Lisa”, “You Belong to Me” from artists like Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Frank Clacksfield’s Orchestra, Dean Martin and that genre.

I was not aware of the phenomenon brewing over in Tennessee.  I was focused on making a home.  But on a grocery-shopping outing about that tme, my husband turned on the car radio and called my attention to an amazingly different singer named Elvis Presley, whose music was being recognized and played by the DJs at the local station. He was singing “Hound Dog”.

Considering the music we were used to, this was quite a shock, as you can imagine! - - But we liked his sound and predicted he’d be a success. :-)

Elvis on TV

Of course we were to follow his blossoming career as he was introduced on early TV on our tiny little round screen one could hardly see in the daytime! But at least at night the likes of Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle and Steve Allen, even in fuzzy black and white, were visible making a big fuss over this new singer.  

Elvis the Hearthrob

On Tour

He started touring across country in 1955 and 1956 and visited Waco during one of the tours. He was very sensitively interviewed by a local newspaper reporter in 1956 on one of these cross-country, where he made several other stops not that far away, in Wichita Falls, Texas and in Oklahoma and Arkansas. He was still just the Elvis who had gotten a first real break, rather than the glittering celebrity he became. But there was no mistaking the voice, the looks and the manners. All he had to do was start singing and slinging his anatomy around and audiences were mesmerized. Yet people were astonished at his humility and real courtesy.

He never failed to address people as “Sir” and “Ma’m”, to say “please” and “thank you” and all the other niceties which were still expected of a respectable young man. He had an almost vulnerability about him - until he began to sing and rotate “The Pelvis”- and magic footwork and legwork. He was extremely talented.  One had to like him!

And He Came To Waco

In the spring of 1956, he visited Waco where he performed at the Heart O' Texas Coliseum, and - I'm sure - to a sell-out audience. We were not among them, however. One might think, from the price of the tickets, we surely could have afforded it. But that was when I had to very carefully budget our food for $10 a week and we had a young son and soon would have a daughter on the way.

At the time of this visit to Waco, Elvis was growing in fame but as a person he was still “wet behind the ears” when it came to the massive adulation and controversy he set off wherever he appeared. He was still vulnerable and overwhelmed with wonder, amazement, and - insecurities as he strode forth in public, though he was confident when singing, strumming and performing.

It was during his stay for this performance that a reporter named Bea Ramirez from the Waco newspaper was able to manage an interview only shortly before he appeared on the stage of the Coliseum. She was able to catch the feelings of that moment, when he was only 21. I can only imagine the excitement there on both sides of the footlights. And it is my understanding that he always remembered this reporter and called her "Honey".

Here are excerpts from her interview:


Shortly before he was to go on stage at the Heart O’ Texas Coliseum, Elvis Presley, the 21-year-old king of the nation’s rock ’n’ roll set, sat in a darkened Cadillac limousine for an interview—well hidden from the sight of nearly 4,000 screaming, squealing teen-agers who were on hand to welcome him Tuesday night.

All the hep cats were there and not enough fuzz (cops). Out in the stands and on the floor, his audience of idolizing teen-agers did all but hiss and boo to rid the stage of a group of other hillbilly entertainers and bring Presley out behind the microphone that he handles more like a limp blonde than a mechanical gadget.

Still Elvis made them wait … and he stared out at them, half scared and half unbelieving. Then with some sort of spasmodic movement, he turned to talk about himself. “What do you want to know about me, honey?”

“Elvis, have you any idea at all about just what it was that started the girls going crazy over you?”

“No, I don’t. I guess it’s just something God gave me. I believe that, you know. Know what I mean, honey? And I am grateful. Only I’m afraid. I’m afraid I’ll go out like a light, just like I came on. Know what I mean, honey?”

Presley has a way with that “honey” business. When he talks, he looks straight ahead, or sort of dreamy like in no direction at all. Then he turns with that “know what I mean, honey?” His face is close, real close. Right in your face—almost.

“When do you start making your first movie, Elvis?” (Everybody calls him Elvis.)

“Oh, early in June, I think, because … ”

At this point he stopped talking and stared ahead into the crowd. He squinted his eyes, jerked up a pencil (which had no lead) and began scribbling on the dash of the car. Then he turned and said: “Huh, did you say something?”

“Elvis, when you start acting, will you keep the sideburns?” (The sideburns come down below his ears.)

“Oh, I don’t know, it depends on what type part they put me in. You know, I’m supposed to do ‘Billy the Kid’ pretty soon.”

“But Elvis, ‘Billy the Kid’ has been done to the ground.”

“Yeah, I know, but this time it will be different.” The way he says “different” it really will be.

“Elvis, will you sing in your first movie?”

“No, honey, sure won’t. Going to be in it with Katharine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster, and I won’t sing. I don’t want to, I want to be an actor.” Then he turns and stares into the crowd again, listens to one of the other entertainers singing and grins slowly.

“But Elvis, have you thought how unhappy all these girls are going to be if you stop singing?”

“Huh, what was that? Oh, I’ll never stop singing, honey, never.”

He was beginning to make me wonder if I knew what I was talking about, so I changed the subject: “Elvis, I hear you walk in your sleep.”

“Well, I have nightmares.”

“What kind?”

“I dream I’m about to fight somebody or about to be in a car wreck or that I’m breaking things. Know what I mean, honey?” (I don’t have any idea what he means.)

“Where are you from?”

“From Memphis, Tenn.”

“Oh, yes, that’s where all the hill-billy singers come from, isn’t it?”

“Maybe so, but I’m no hill-billy singer.”

“Well, have you typed yourself … I mean your type of singing?”

“No, I don’t dare.”


“Cause I’m scared, know what I mean, honey? Real scared.”

“What of?”

“I don’t know … I don’t know. Know what I mean, honey?”

“At this point I thanked him for his time and started to make a beeline for the door. He grabbed my hand, sat there looking sleepy-eyed into my face and fanned his long lashes while he said: “Write me up good, will you honey?”

And he drove out to meet the hysterical adoration of young girls and boys whose emotions he has found are easy to stir up with a song.

I found no video of the Waco interview, so I included these excerpts.  But I did find a video of one he gave in another Texas town of my acquaintance, Wichita Falls, probably his next stop after Waco, being just a couple hundred miles north of Waco:

Fort Hood & The Elite Circle Cafe in Waco

His familiarity with Waco was re-awakened when he was a private in the Army and stationed at Fort Hood, at Kileen, not far from Waco in 1957. I had just given birth to our second child and we were leaving the Air Force and Waco that summer. But the traditions Elvis started didn’t go unnoticed. He frequented a favorite eatery called the Elite Circle Cafe, which was then downtown - where everything was and all the through traffic passed right through the heart of towns. Later the building burned and has since been rebuilt near the Interstate. In fact, we’ve stopped and eaten there a few times en route to Austin. One of their famous featured sandwiches is the “Elvis Sandwich” - which is quite a - ahem - mouthful, I’m sure. I’ve not tried it. But its description sounds like food he’d have loved.

One of their famous sandwiches.
One of their famous sandwiches.

My Tribute

So on this, what would have been his 76th birthday, I’m pausing to remember him with this small tribute.

Unless otherwise attributed or self-evident, all design, graphics and written material herein are original and copyrighted by Nellieanna H. Hay.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This material is protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Nellieanna H. Hay.

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Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

My memories of Elvis were more of a legend,to me,though I'm old enough to have been a fan while he was alive,but what I remember were his campy,teen-pop movies,dare I say,his music was teen-pop,but authentic for its time,I guess I was never a teen,lol.;)

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

We were kids living in small town Iowa at the time. My cousin visited from Minneapolis and asked us what we thought of this new Elvis Presley guy.

We said, "Who?"

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Aw, MA - thank you for reading it anyway. As I said, I was never a devotee. But I am eclectic and have to appreciate that he had such an impact, representing, as he did, a blend of country music, pop, gospel and the black music he heard on Beale Street in Memphis growing up. His was a unique sound, for sure. Almost like American folk music, modernized. I made it a point to focus on those early years of his fame, though there are many more facets to his reign.

:D So perhaps you were never a teen, hum? Well I was a teen but not in Elvis' teeny-bop era. My day was for Frank Sinatra, though my exposure to all that was rather limited and I was expected to play the classics mostly.

I couldn't agree more that Elvis' movies were impossibly teeny-boppy-silly and my exposure to them was quite limited - mosty to "Previews Of Coming Attractions". His music was an early start on the music of the 60s, a little before the Beetles, at least in this country. As for being campy - that was probably much too sophisticated a genre for him. He really arose from simple country folks, who originally settled in the Appalachians. What is odd is that they are all still legends and the teens who loved them then still adore them though they have teen-age grandchildren of their own in many cases.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Will - ah - well, it's understandable. It was before the internet and instant information whether or not one seeks it and wherever one happens to be located. I guess it was pure chance that I heard of him when I was 22

Thank you for the visit, as always. I appreciate it!

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Oh, we quickly became devoted Elvis fans and fans of all early rock 'n roll!

I actually went to one Elvis appearance in Iowa before he became a mega-star. I also remember when local radio announced that Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Richie Valens had died near Clear Lake, Iowa, some 90 miles away.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Since I was born in the Stone Age, I remember seeing Elvis on his first television appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show." I also recall not being too impressed by his singing - he sounded average - but blown away by his gyrations on stage.

After he started making movies, I saw almost every one of them. There was something about his shining charisma that drew in the viewer even if you were not a teenager. He would appreciate this pleasant tribute, Nellieanna.

KristenGrace profile image

KristenGrace 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

I really enjoyed reading through your tribute here - Jailhouse Rock is one of my favorite songs :P

My aunt danced to Can't Help Falling In Love With You at her wedding, which was also the song, coincidentally that was released and topped the charts the year she was born.

Elvis passed long before I was born, but my mom was a huge fan, and that love of music was one gift she passed on to me. Thanks for the memories here :)

Scarlett My Dear profile image

Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

Love Me Tender ~ All time favorite.

I was too young to appreciate Elvis in the 1970's, having just been born in the late 60's. I didn't understand what all of the excitement was about when my mother and my aunts laughed and squealed like little girls anytime his name entered the conversation ~ and I couldn't possibly grasp the depth of their emotions when they learned that he had died unexpectedly.

I grew up with Elvis, listening to his records on our stereo, watching my mother on a Saturday morning, as she danced to his music with a dust rag in her hand. Some of my most cherished memories surround him and his music. Later, as a teenager, I played those same albums in my room and always hoped he would get the girl in his movies!

Through his music ~ his heart pounding, feet moving, heart stirring music ~ Elvis Presley changed everything.

Thank you, Nellieanna for the stirring history lesson and your tribute to his memory.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah, Will. Thanks for writing back and clarifyiing!

But my, oh, my. What a tragedy that was when all those rising stars went down in that plane. "The Day The Music Died". And sad that it was that close to where you were. I can imagine that it must have shaken the entire community.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

drbj - I think we may have shared the same cave 'burb. I saw his first TV Ed Sullivan appearance too, if that's the gauge. LOL. In fact he and I shared the same graduation year - 1953 - only his was high school and mine was college! Soon after he was on the way to fame and I wasn't. LOL

Perhaps my background being from Del Rio, Texas - where all the radio music as I was growing up was real-l-l-ly country (& not really my favorite at the time, except for Gene Autry) - gave his sound a step-up kind of glow. I thought he was good. But I was comparing it to The Texas Doughboys, perhaps. hehe

In researching a bit, I learned how MANY movies he made - 33! I was amazed. Fact was, though his rise to fame was all within the same 18 years as my first marriage - when my activities, including movie-going, were incredibly limited. I can count on one hand those we saw in movie theaters, though I watched some late-night ones on TV. Those were the days when Diane Sawyer was a small-scale newscaster on a Louisville channel, which was what we got across the Ohio River in Southern Indiana after we moved up there.

But his was a most successful career - globally he sold over one billion records & in this country, the sales netted him 131 gold, platinum or multi-platinum wards. Both records topped any other artist, ever. Many more awards came his way in his brief life, in fact. One of the few artists known the world over by his first name.

Thank you so much for your kind words! (One of these days this Mac's determination to call you "derby" will sneak through! If I don't happen to see that it's been changed, it will!)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

drbj - I think we may have shared the same cave area. I saw his first TV Ed Sullivan appearance too, if that's the gauge. LOL. In fact he and I shared the same graduation year - 1953 - only his was high school and mine was college! Soon after he was on the way to fame and I wasn't. LOL

Perhaps my background being from Del Rio, Texas - where all the radio music as I was growing up was real-l-l-ly country (& not really my favorite at the time, except for Gene Autry) - gave his sound a step-up kind of glow. I thought he was good. But I was comparing it to The Texas Lightcrust Doughboys, perhaps. hehe

In researching a bit, I learned how MANY movies he made - 33! I was amazed. Fact was, his rise to fame was all within the same 18 years as my first marriage, when my activities, including movie-going, were incredibly limited. I can count on one hand those we saw in movie theaters, though I watched some late-night ones on TV. Those were the days when Diane Sawyer was a small-scale newscaster on a Louisville channel, which was what we received from across the Ohio River in Southern Indiana after we moved up there.

But his was a most successful career - globally he sold over one billion records & in this country, the sales netted him 131 gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards. Both records topped any other artist's, ever. Many more awards came his way in his brief life, in fact. One of the few artists known the world over by his first name.

Thank you so much for your kind words! (One of these days this Mac's determination to call you "derby" will sneak through! If I don't happen to see that it's been changed, it will!)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Kristen - Ah, yes. "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" was another of his really lovely romantic ballads. Lovely as your aunt's wedding song. Memorable.

Yes, he died in 1977, very young. Good that your mom shared her love of music with you. Thank you so much for commenting!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Scarlett - what a sweet tribute you have written too. It is so amazing how his fame and following surpassed his own lifetime. That's so cute about your mother dancing around the house to the music with a dust rag in hand. I sometimes used my dustup as a partner. hehe. Thanks for the heart-warming comments.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

He was a truly great talent, but he was hampered by bad management. He could have been a brilliant actor as well but he was put into some really rotten films.

Still his like will never be seen again.

Thanks for the tribute Nellieanna.

saket71 profile image

saket71 6 years ago from Delhi, India

I discovered Elvis quite late in my life, what a voice he was. Moreover, within one life his life tell us how crazily great and wretched the same life can be. Saw the video of an event before his death on youtube, and it was pretty sad to see an overweight middle aged star struggling to remember the lyrics, heartbreaking, what age does to all, and we have so less of a time to do it all. Thanks, Nellieanna, my daughter wakes up and "I have to be her teddy bear."

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Tis true, christoheranton - - he was sort of an innocent, too easily misled, probably. Out of the 33 movies he made, perhaps there were a few better ones. I notice one was titled "Charro!" and shows him with a beard and mustache, looking quite impressively rugged - like a handsome and more convincingly-in-character John Wayne. (sorry JW fans - that King always seemed to portray only himself). There are several other links on the link I included in the hub about his family history. This photo came from:

As I said in a previous reply, though, I saw so few movies during the years he was making them. I saw "Sound of Music", "Love Story", "M.A.S.H.". "Catch22", and "Rashomon", in fact. If there were one or two others, they escape my memory. But it was a rarity to go to a movie theater. But I suspect Elvis did have untapped acting talent. He was so plainly dramatic in his stage presence and, combined with good looks which would have served any kind of period piece, a srong voice and general charisma, he surely could have excelled with better guidance. He was exploited, instead. His popularity guaranteed ticket buyers in any silly film, and it was used for that and little else in his films.

Thank you for your comments. Always thought-provoking!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

saket - thanks for the comments.

Yes, sadly, he became a tortured soul, indeed. At the time of his death, TV covered many sad facts of his latter days. So sad and such a waste of talent.

But I have been reading more from the link I provided in the hub above about his family background and there are some clues in it as to his overall stability. This family history goes back many generations and finally comes closeup with the fact that on both sides there were some extremes and his mother was quite emotionally insecure - even unstable. But he grew up as a decent person. Possibly without the poor guidance of his mentors and unresolved frustrations, things might have been different. He still gave his gift to the world and one hopes he was not deprived of a sense of value. But he was actually only 42! Age doesn't condemn us. Poor choices and persistent bad habits do. I consider age a friend. It's allowing me to continue long past when many have succumbed.

Give your daughter my love. We must have teddy bears in common! I'm a teddy bear person who has some really cute ones all about.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Nellieanna, I really enjoyed your hub about Elvis. It is too bad he was a tortured soul. It has always been said that his manager did a terrible job in manging his career. Regardless, I loved his voice and watching him sing was a real treat. Excellent hub/ rated up.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Pamela. It's regrettable how many young talents get caught up in poor managements, bad influences and dangerous life choices. We seem to see it more and more these days and the damages seem to be striking deeper and deeper.

Too much, too fast seems to be a major ingredient of the downfalls, too. But it is sad when they've given us so much pleasure with their talents.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago is so cool that you got to talk to him!! Too bad there was no record of it.

He is a nice guy!!

Thank you for sharing, Nellieanna..!!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

I loved this.Your tribute is wonderful.I have two pictures hanging above my computer,one is Michael Jackson,the other is Elvis.I remember so well the day he died.I was living in Houston.I literally ran to a store to buy a picture of him.I remember i paid twenty five dollars for it,quite a lot back then.I really loved him.I still do.He was so troubled.I know he's with God.

Thank you


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana

I'm from the bronze age, so I don't remember Elvis on Ed Sullivan, but I remember hearing his voice in our house from the time I was little. This was a beautiful tribute to someone who, I believe, was ahead of his time.

Voted up, beautiful, liked and bookmarked. :O) (My kid loves Elvis too.)

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Oh, I thought all along it was you..apologies..and thank you for including that interview, Nellieanna.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California

Interesting I just saw on 60 minutes that Elvis is the biggest selling dead celebrity of all times. Nellieanna this is a very interesting hub, loved it.

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

What a smile he had!!! His music was the bonus! :)

Thanks for this tribute, Nellieanna...Elvis will always stay somewhere at the top of my list of favourites!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Melinda - ah - would have been wonderful to get to talk to him. He was personable enough to talk to people. It seems he chatted with the folks at the Elite Circle Cafe when he ate there. He wasn't self-important, - for sure, not early-on. Maybe he should have been, so he wouldn't have been so gullible in the hands of his agents.

I see you realized it was not I who interviewed him. I was barely yet aware of his rising star then. But it was good to be able to retrace the time and place, with what he said to the interviewers. Thanks for both of your comments!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Always exploring - As I've mentioned to several folks who talked about his troubled life and soul - - I found that reading his family history that is on that link I posted -(plus some further links it has about his life) - helps me understand his psyche a little better. His lineage had more than one troubled person and his own mother was quite a troubled soul.

Thanks for that tidbit about the day he died, too. I remember it though at the time he was not a big factor to in my life beyond awareness of the loss of a great talent, and of course, the news coverage was gigantic. One could not avoid being aware of it! I hated seeing him in such a sad state of being as he had become. Both he and Michael Jackson ended having become such tortured beings, surrounded by exploiters and doubtful friends vying for a piece of them.

Thanks for your contribution!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Sueroy - - yes, he was ahead of his time - and he all but created the immediate future at the time. Between him and the Beatles, there was a landslide. He truly was a big influence on the culture - and not everyone agreed it was for the better. But time has vindicated him. He may not be 100% role model, but he had a good heart and probably too trusting a mind. That is a story in itself. Thank you!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Fastfreta - Yes, he has been a top earning celeb since he first hit the major stages and airways. And death seemed to multiply it exponentially. He possibly has more fans now than he did then, if only because of greater exposure with the internet to the most remote corners of Earth! I really enjoyed presenting him from a sort of different perspective.

I just realized that he had his collar turned up in that top picture, - very early in his public exposure, before the Napoleon-uniform costumes with the extreme upturned collars. What's funny about it is that it was a style at SMU when I was in college earlier in the 50s - and probably at colleges across the country. So he was following the fad of the moment. LOL

Thanks for your comments!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Feline Prophet - thanks! He did have a sweet smile. In fact, he had an amazingly "clean-cut" countenance. It seemed free of artifice or malice. What a shame that fame and bad influences ruined his idealism and/or innocence - whatever that was which shone through that face. Glad you enjoyed the tribute! I always love reading your slant on things. And it is surprising a little that you have been an Elvis fan! But good to know!

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Nellieanna, thinking about Elvis on the current context reminds me of Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus.

When one is young, unless they have very solid family upbringing, fame and fortune become like a sword.

One is bound to injure oneself handling it unless they first train to handle it.

That is why in sword fighting they are first trained to handle wooden swords, then they can handle the real swords.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Exactly, Melinda. I have been thinking the same thing. And I love your metaphor. One thing I've been impressed by with the young Prince William's fiancée is that she seems to have her feet firmly on Terra Firma, which i s rare for any bride and should be a requirement - but how much more so for a young woman destined to be under media microscopes from now on! These young talented performers and t heir parents have no time or means of preparing, it seems though one would think Miley Cyrus should be better prepared, coming from a famous family. But perhaps the ambitions of parents for their kids is partly to blame, though in Elvis' case, I don't get any hint that they pushed him. However, the parents themselves had struggled with psychiatric issues, it seems, and possibly intermarriage as well.

But fame brings whatever issues there are to the fore and challenges them unmercifully. Thanks for bringing this out. All the time I was researching this - these issues struck me as significant.

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Sophia Angelique 6 years ago

Wonderful hub, Nellie. I still think he's the king. :)

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Sophia Angelique - I think you are right! Thanks for your compliment about the hub, too! :-)

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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Was he not the most attractive man? Actually he was more beautiful than attractive. I’m a big fan of Elvis Presley. I will never get tired of his music. So-so sorry he went down in his personal life instead of up. Nellianna, this is one of the best articles about Elvis I’ve ever read. Take care, ma’am. For us here in the hubs you are very much like Elvis. Very unique and amazingly talented :)) Hugs.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

You "do me proud", as we southerners say, in the flattering comparison!

I must admit I'm glad to be past the age of endangerment which brought him down. Of course, the differences in our other qualities also protect me. hehe. Actually -- I think he was quite an attractive man and this is also something for which he could thank some beauties in his heritage. There were some beauties of both genders, from what I can ascertain.

Surely less well-known internationally, some of the best renditions of some our our country's patriotic music are performed by him, along with his various other types and styles of music. He was actually a versatile singer. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. It is from a slightly different perspective. Thank you, dear friend. Hugs.

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ralwus 6 years ago

Wonderful tribute Nellie, honey. He would have loved you so. xox Charlie

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Wow. Now that would have been something to crow about! It is possible we would have been friends - amazing thought! Thanks, sweetie. Hugs.

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Nellieanna, I thought you might wonder how I was an Elvis fan - but I enjoy a lot of the music that was 'before my time'! :)

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Well, I guess when a musician's fame outlasts his lifetime, it is because the music goes on, is remembered by his contemporaries and passed along to their children so that people on down the line later than his own time also like his stuff. It is quite a phenomenon, even so! But in Elvis' case - it doesn't seem to be unusual! Thanks for following up!

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quicksand 6 years ago

Remembering Elvis? In first place how can someone simply forget him?


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

What a lovely tribute, Nellieanna. Interestingly, the first time I ever heard his voice, as you, the song was Hound Dog. My older teenage cousin played that 45 on her record player and alternately swooned, screamed, and cried as the song went from beginning to end. I thought she was having some kind of fit. It would be a few years before I myself locked onto his silken voice and found myself doing the same thing as my cousin. Your tribute brings back many wonderful memories. Thanks so much for putting this interesting and beautiful information together.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

I know - that would indeed be difficult, quicksand! However, some folks may have absorbed him more thoroughly and deeply than others. I confess that I rarely think of him under ordinary conditions.

It was that it was his birthday that the early memories came flooding back when I thought to commemorate him and it. I must admit that his deterioration as a person was painfully distressing to me, enough that I simply felt sad and ready to lay him to rest when he passed on.

But recalling how he'd begun with so much promise and - really - with such a kind and sweet disposition was more pleasurable for me to remember, as I did in this hub. I'm glad to get back to that.

And - I'm so pleased that you came and visited! Thank you!! Hope it was worthwhile for you!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Sally - ah. This is one of the many stories of people's early exposure to Elvis, depending on each of our stages in life during his reign - and other factors.

I have some of his MP3s on my computers, and several of his u-tubes, but I honestly don't think I have a single record, either 45 or 33-1/3 rpms - in an extensive record collection I haven't brought myself to part with. I have no CDs of his hits, though I have re-doings of many earlier artists I have loved. It wasn't that I didn't like him, but somehow he just didn't make it into any of my must-have "physical" collections. Most of the ones on my cyber collections have been his lovely renditions of patriotic anthems - up till I found these oldies I included in this hub, which was a real pleasure. When I first thought of making a little remembrance for his birthday, I didn't visualize how extensive it would become and how much fun it would be. It just sort of blossomed. And I'm really enjoying the input from other fans of different circumstances!

Thank you so much for your comments!! Nice!

Shyla's Nana profile image

Shyla's Nana 6 years ago

Nellieanna, thank you for such a wonderful story and tribute. Elvis had such a warmth about him. Well, in my opinion anyway lol. He appeared to be what us "Southern Belles" would refer to as a "Southern Gentleman". He always seemed very polite, well-mannered, and courteous, which is something you don't find much of in this day and time. He seemed to love his family and his friends, as well as his fans. Not like some of the artists today.

I love to listen to his gospel songs and Christmas songs. So peaceful and heart-warming. His song, "In the Ghetto" is such a sad but beautiful song. I love to watch videos of him singing and laughing and joking around with his band and friends. He was a man that just wanted to be loved for him, not the "idol" some made him out to be. He must have led a very lonely life. But then again, that is all anyone wants, just to be loved for who we are and not what others make us out to be.

Thank you once again for such a beautiful story and tribute. Take care my dear.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes, Shyla's Nana - he did seem like a good guy, almost a "boy next door" type, really, certainly when he started out. And he learned to sing by singing gospel, so he always sang spiritual music with depth and understanding.

I try to avoid judging & comparing people, especially those from different times and backgrounds. But his example as a person did represent him well - up till when he became mishandled by unscrupulous people, which can happen - and probably does happen- with any young performer whose fame is sudden and huge. We have all too many examples of that today among our current young artists, as you mention.

In all the research I did about Elvis and his background & life , no mention of his being rude or unkind surfaced. With his fame, it would be the kind of negative someone would like to raise about him, but I didn't find any. That says a lot about him and his character.

The tragedy in his brief life was that his frustrations, as they began to gather, while not lashing out at others, seemed to turn in on himself, ruining his health and relationships. So there is a sad side to his story, in spite of his basic goodness.

It was in order to focus on how he was as a real person that I focused my tribute on the early years before the pressures got to him. One can look at that photo of him at the top of the page and perceive his sweetness.

I'm glad it touched your southern heart. I, too, am a southern lady who appreciates the gallantry of a southern gentleman. Thank you so much for your comments!!

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you fro the trip down memory Lane. When Elvis hit the big scene I was 16 and I went like an express train including hairstyle and clothes and shoe. My brother being five years older was walking around in blue or grey suits while everybody else was wearing blue jeans. Can you imagine the disgrace and shame. The town we lived was a small town and everybody knew everybody. I was dying of shame every time I saw him hahaha

Something else is funny looking back. The area was staunch Roman Catholic and in those days it was staunch. Now there comes Elvis rigling his hips. Oh, you should have heard the priest on Sunday Morning. Hell and damnation was nothing in comparison to what they yelled down onto the congregation. The doctors contempt the shoes because hardly had any heals. According to them we'll be grow up with twisted feet and completely ruined legs. Good thing nobody listen to any of them.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, hello - you bring up issues which were prevalent when I first encountered the Elvis phenomenon, too - but I was in my early 20s, a new bride, husband in the Air Force and living in a town of neither of our families, though nearer to mine. But I doubt whether my parents even heard of Elvis then. They weren't onto pop culture at all and I don't believe they had a TV for another decade or so.

Probably my husband's family, who were members of a fundamental religion, surely became more aware, especially since he had a teenage sister who definitely became an Elvis enthusiast, wore the poodle skirts and all the other fads of the 50s. But they were in Indiana and we were in Texas. But Waco, where we did live, is a quite religious community, the home of Baylor University, a strict Southern Baptist school. The radio DJs who played the music were attacked by the local churches and their radio shows.

Even though we were "outside" the local community, being armed services people, we heard frantic resistance to & condemnation of Elvis' influence on the "youth of America" with predictions of doom it was expected to bring. Nothing about Elvis was approved by the establishment. However, as always, youth's enthusiasm flourishes in the glow of "old fogies' condemnation of their new excitements. Elvis' popularity not only survived but grew like wildfire anyway.

Whether or not it's a good thing is always debatable but the way things work continues as it has since Aristotle was a pup. LOL

Thanks for your insight and comments.

amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

My all-time favourite Nellieanna. I also like the Jordanaires. Great harmony. (They haven't a clue nowadays.)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hi, amillar - Thank you! I'm pleased to have freatured your favorite! I like the Jordanaires, also. Great harmony groups characterized my hey-day, in fact. The Lettermen, The Ames Brothers, The McGuire Sisters, The Modernaires and on and on. Andy Williams originally began in a harmony group with his brothers.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

Nellieanna...I really enjoyed the varied info in your hub about Elvis, especially the excerpt from his Waco interview. Since I visited your Oasis site and caught a peek of your George doing the Elvis hip wiggle, this hub is even more meaningful. (By the way, I bookmarked your Oasis to visit any time I'm feeling even the slightest bit "down", as it's the most positive, feel-good site I've seen on the Web.)

I wrote a song for my then-teen daughter who was devastated by Elvis' death and recently posted it on HP. You may want to check it out, but don't expect great song lyrics. A poet I'm not.

I'm following you now and will begin reading your past hubs, as I really like your writing style. Like your style of embracing life, too. JAYE

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Jaye - I'm happy you found the Elvis hub. It was such a pleasure to put it together.

Yes - My George and his performances at those get-togethers were something to behold. He also performed his recitation of Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Olde English (from memory and with gestures). It was so endearing. I miss him mucho.

How lovely that you investigated my Oasis! I appreciate that and you give me inspiration to perk it up for spring. Since I've been on HubPages, I confess that the website gets less attention these days. But it is very dear to me.

I will definitely check out your HP post of the original song you wrote for your daughter after Elvis' death! If you can write music, you are vastly talented! And I'm afraid my poetry, while it has a sort of music of its own, would make poor lyrics set to music.

Thanks for the follow and I'm sure I will enjoy following you, as well!

Hugs - Nellieanna

Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

One of the best hubs ever Nellieanna. The Wichita Falls interview was great. The interviewer was cracking me up in his attempt to be hip, but they were just beginning to figure out what 'hip' was. Elvis defined it. He is, and will always be the King of Rock and Roll. Thank you.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Stan, trust me, - the country was barely emerging from a stiff, self-conscious decade in the 50s. You're right; - Elvis - and some of his other colleagues - began to stir it up and a new era was begun. He was a good guy, too. Thank you much for a great comment!

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CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Dear Nellieanna:

Fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches...are you kidding me?! :0)

Elvis sure had his own style...I'll give him that, and he knew what he liked. I read once that he really liked jelly-filled doughnuts, but not any jelly-filled He liked them from a specific doughnut shop a few states away and would, in the middle of the night, jump in his jet and fetch them. Wow...must be nice.

I also read that Elvis had an identical twin brother who died at birth. Elvis said that every time he looked into the mirror, he saw his twin. He felt guilty throughout his life, that he had lived and his brother had died.

Well you certainly put together another great hub here, Nellieanna, and I learned some things about Elvis the Pelvis that I never knew before.

By the way, I just ran into a man about 3 days ago from Memphis. He told me a story about 3 men who stole Elvis's dead body and in their haste to get away, Elvis fell out in the street. They were all caught and went to prison, but I never heard about that little caper in 1977, but the man said it was big news back there. Did you hear anything about that?

Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer

Voted up...up...and away!!!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

CJ, I kid you not! Fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches are served in his honor at the Elite Restaurant in Waco, Texas. I can see the combination without the frying, but along with jelly-filled doughnuts, no wonder his health deteriorated! Amazing that he''d jet off in the night to satisfy his craving, both that he would and that he could!

I hadn't heard all these facts you've brought out before. I'll bet there are cameo stories about him strewn all around! The one about his corpse falling out of a moving vehicle tops them all, though. Whew. Wonder what happened to Elvis' body? Surely it was rescued and buried in his tomb!

Thanks for an interesting addition to the lore and the visit to my hub!

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CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Dear Nellieanna:

I would not do this for Elvis, but I will do this for you: Sometime within the next couple of days, I shall endeavor to eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich in your honor. :0)

I do like peanut butter and pickle relish, but I never thought of the banana as a worthy companion. Who knows, maybe I'll like it.

Best wishes to you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah! I AM honored, indeed, CJ! Wow - and rated over Elvis, too!

It is tasty, though nowadays I don't combine fruit with other foods and I've become HOOKED on Sunbutter, from sunflower seeds, even more yummy than peanut butter. It coms in both crunchy and smooth. I prefer crunchy.

I've never tried peanut butter and pickle relish, though I love 'em both.

My best to you, as well!

Scarface1300 profile image

Scarface1300 4 years ago

Hi Nellieanna.

I loved this hub it was great. The interview was something and obviously Jailhouse Rock is Brilliant. As an Elvis lover this was not only charming but also educational. Thanks Chris

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Chris! I'm pleased you visited this hub! Elvis is such an icon of a generation - or several. From the time we heard him on a local Waco radio station till his death - and ever after, he's a phenomenal artist and performer. Can't overstate his talent, his work and his effect on the musical scene. Thank you for coming and leaving a delightful comment!

MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 3 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

Nellieanna ~ when you Google '68 com' that's all you need to enter to get as your first suggested link '68 Comeback Special'. In 1968, after The Beatles had changed the direction of American Popular music, when Elvis was discarded by teens and counted as a passé' joke by many, Paul McCartney and John Lennon and Ringo Starr and George Harrison say transfixed to their TVs and talking to each other on the phone 'how can he do that?!". When it originally aired on NBC it was titled 'Elvis' - it's impact on so many who never realized just how good Elvis was has caused it to be simply referred to as 'the 68 comeback special'.

The special had various performance types; there was a big Vegas-like show number, a gospel flavored mini-musical, etc - but it was when Elvis sat down with his original band-mates (Scotty Moore on guitar and D.J.Fontana on drums, here on a guitar case and a chair) and they did some of the early Elvis music, no frills or showbiz stuff, it was stunning, arresting how good Elvis was . . . you watch him do these songs ('One Night With You', 'Trying To Get To You', etc) you instantly realize why he's Elvis, why people call him the king, why what he did started a whole new thing, namely, Rock & Roll.

Anyone who loves Elvis, anyone who thinks they don't like Elvis, everyone needs to see these sit-down sessions - the entire special, with numbers not seen in the original airing, is available, but you can get a DVD of just the sit-down session released under the title 'One Night With You'. This session demonstrates just how good Elvis was and it demonstrates what Rock & Roll really is - it's breathtaking.

ha ha, I win - I commented on one of yours first.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Mickey, lad! What a delightful pleasure to find you've visited my hub site! I concede that you win (after all, you ARE a winner!) in the first commenting exchange. My excuses include my usual racing from one site to the next and to emails and back, trying to keep up with comments, replies to comments and replies to them again - & even to a couple of emails which affect my life & fortune. This typical routine is further typically interspersed with hunting for my glasses after washing their smudges, following forgetting to remove them while doing my daily exercise of touching my toes 10 times with my eyelashes and getting the lenses glomped up with the dew therefrom! hehe.

The main thing for me is that you DID visit & you found a hub to your liking & of interest to you! I'm most gratified!

I couldn't start to reply to your comment without first following your instructions to Google up that incredible '68 Comeback Special' you recommended. WOW. I couldn't take time before replying to your comment to hear the whole 72+ minutes of it but I listened to enough to know I want to hear it all, bookmarked it & will hear and share it!

Thank you for the link and for your own insight into what-all is involved in the special. AS you say - it's a breathtaking session of great musicians with their 'hair down' and their talents in full play! That DVD would be a great treasure & addition to my collection. Thank you for the great review and recommendation! Hugs

MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 3 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

. . . my youngest son and I watch (listen to) that DVD often . . . such intensity, such unmatched urgency about this music - Elvis grew-up on Country music in the house, but would trot down the road and sit at the window of the Black church, and that's just what Rock & Roll is, White kids singing the Blues with passion and urgency. And, Elvis plays the guitar better than I've ever seen him, and he even looks better than I've ever seen him - that session is legendary and a treasure for American music.

And, at nearly 60, I'll bet I actually can touch my toes, with my actual eyelashes - I'm not nearly as strong as I used to be (I was herculean) but my mom passed on an agility that's noteworthy . . . I'm not in nearly as good a shape as I should be, but I can put the palms of my hands fully flat on the floor with ease. It's almost kind of weird.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hi, Mickey! What a pleasure to see you here again so soon. Thank you!

Have I been granted special dispensation, - or is it a spontaneous response of the sort I most prize? Either will please me, btw. You cannot lose!

You're certainly whetting my appetite to own that DVD! I agree just from what I've seen that Elvis never looked or sounded better! He's truly an American treasure! I'm glad he's not forgotten. Having had the radio tuned in to some of his very first broadcasted recordings, I've always appreciated his contribution. He and others of his musical generation changed the entire nature of 'popular' music and it was great that the wonderful world of N'wahlins and Memphis and all the music of the 'south' - of which Elvis was a part - wielded a direct effect on music even when many of their own voices were still generally being kept obscured to 'all the world'. How we've grown since then!

Well, now- I'm impressed with your agility and 'herculean' brawn! I had but little of the latter, except I've always been a very strong walker; but have always had much of the former. I'm still limber. Nothing weird about the demonstration you describe! I also easily touched the floor with open palms up into my mid 70s; though I just tried it, but my knees bent a bit, which ruled it out. However, they remained straight-but-juicy for my fingertips touching the floor, - and I've 21 years on you! "Juicy knees" were what my aerobics instructor shouted out when the class was working out - and I continued that class till in my late 70s. But after George was unable to go, I had to gradually let it go to attend to him. He still remained pretty active and agile, though.

I used to be called upon to do my 'water-trick' at parties - -no - no - not what you might be thinking! This was a physical feat! I balanced a glass of water (or wine if I were really confident) on my forehead with my head tilted back so the forehead was flat. Then without touching the glass, once it was in position, I was able to take a sip of the liquid in it without ever touching it with my hands - or any body part or 'thing' other than my mouth! Try it sometime! I'd seen a neighbor's son form the A.F. Academy demonstrate it and thought, "I can do that!" - and I did, easily! (if you'd like a more thorough description of this process, I'll be happy to supply it!) I might be able to do it still, but living alone, I'm not sure I oughta risk it, in the unlikely event of the worst case scenario! hehe

joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

Really a great talent, not that I think he is one of the greatest of all time, but still a wonderful talent who shined in film and music. He deserved the love he gets because he was a man of great talent.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, joedilphin. I want to thank you for following me and leaving me fan mail. I peeked at your hub site and see you've written some interesting hubs. And thank you for visiting my hub here!

Yes, Elvis was a great talent. He was a good singer and musician. He was unique and helped change the music world in his time. He came along during my lifetime after I was through college and embarking on marriage. It was like, "Whoa, there - hey- what is this?" when we first heard him, it was so different from the customary music in any of the popular genres then. So it was quite dramatic.

I had my old favorites as well as my newer favorites by then and was never an Elvis worshiper; but I do admire him. When I wrote the hub, we'd just eaten at that cafe in Waco which he'd frequented while he was in the military and stationed in the region. So it was appealing to write about him from my own meagre perspective.

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