'The King' of my music loving heart.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Well no, not really, but my mom does. She was 26, with a five year old son and was home at the time that the news broke and scrolled across the bottom of her television screen. She couldn’t believe it. Elvis Presley was dead. Mom wasn’t a crazy big Elvis fan and little did she know that some eleven years later, she would give birth to her eldest daughter who would become an enormous fan.
I don’t remember when or what exactly it was that drew me to the charismatic performer. I do know that I was seven. Seven years old. I can trace my memory as far back to my reckless days of partying at Chuck E Cheese’s. Among the various animatronics was a lion dressed in a jumpsuit. His name? The King. I recall staring up at the large singing robot, yet I still don’t recall what did it for me.
In August 1997, I celebrated the 20th anniversary of his passing along with the rest of the world. I had just turned eight. I had memorabilia galore and a special collector’s edition of TV Guide. I was in love. To this day, I still don’t remember if I heard “Hound Dog” or another song that drew my interest. My favorite song of his was and remains to this day, “Suspicious Minds,” his 1969 smash hit that would become his first number one song in seven years and also the final number one song he would have until his death eight years later. My new found fascination also drew the attention of my older brother who would eventually become a big fan (though not as big as I.) One afternoon, during the time of the anniversary, I was at my brother’s apartment watching the ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ special. It was during this performance that Elvis gave an unforgettable presentation of “An American Trilogy.” As Elvis belted out the final line of the powerful medley, I found myself sobbing. I was in awe of the voice, but even more so, the energy the man released. Fast forward twenty years, and not much has changed.
I am twenty-nine and just as in love with Elvis Presley, if not even more. Whenever I’m feeling off, I put on Elvis and let the worries disappear. Over the years and through the discovery of thousands more talented musicians, no one has ever affected me the way that he has. His daughter and an idol of mine, Lisa Marie Presley has said that he was a larger than life figure even to her. Now, forty years have passed since he died and it’s been over twenty years since I joined the legion of Elvis fans. No one has ever come close to being bigger than the man they called The King and he is second to none in my music loving heart. I am certain that he is beyond proud of the legacy he left behind.
Thank you, Elvis. Thank you very much.
© 2017 Kimberly D King