FROM ELVIS PRESLEY’S FIRST RECORD in 1954 through 1968, the major national pop charts were tallied in such a way that both sides of a single could make the chart as individual hits independent of one another. This greatly benefited Elvis, as his singles usually carried two strong sides, each capable of being an A-side. This was definitely not a universal practice in the music business at the time. READ MORE
WITH THE RELEASE of If I Can Dream in October 1968, Elvis began a string of superb singles and albums that lifted him from the doldrums of the lifeless Hollywood movies that had defined his career for years. These new records lifted him back to the toppermost of the poppermost across the planet. His return to live performing in July 1969 cemented his superstar status. READ MORE
FORTY-TWO YEARS AGO, I was sitting in Vispi’s Lounge in Edwardsville, Pennsylvania. I was sipping a Johnny Walker Black neat waiting for my girlfriend to get off of work. It was slow and quiet, with only a few others in the bar—mostly guys having a couple of drinks before heading home. Not unusual in most bars in the middle of the day. READ MORE
THE QUESTION ON QUORA was “Which was better, 60s Elvis or 70s Elvis?” I was surprised to see that the first two answers were “70’s” as I can’t imagine any serious student of Presley’s recorded output would prefer his declining years over his mature middle years. Oh well, that’s why Wholly Grommett gave us free will and individual taste.
ANOTHER DAY, another question about Elvis on Quora needing a sane answer. And there are a lot of questions about Elvis. This one was “What was it about Elvis that captivated his millions of fans?” First please notice that the person who asked the question placed it in the past tense, which I addressed.
I didn’t intend this to be a long answer: just short and to the point. READ MORE
THIS TIME, the question on Quora allowed me room to speculate something that, unlike so so many others, I just do not like doing. For one reason, just like so so many others, my speculation is so often inaccurate. Despite my love of science fiction literature—esoecaiily time travel stories—thinking about what might have been, or making predictions based on what currently is, usually holds no attraction for me. READ MORE
EARLIER TODAY I fielded another question on the Quora platform: “What made Elvis Presley great and was he the best rock and roll singer ever?” Rather than tax my mind trying to come up with something clever, instead I recalled to the best of my ability—keeping in mind that I may be suffering with incipient Denny Crane Syndrome—a review that was forty-six years old. READ MORE
AUGUST 16, 1977, was the day the Earth stood still: Elvis died. Very few fans were aware of his deteriorating health and we were unprepared for our own response to his death. Fans were aware of Elvis in general: his latest album, MOODY BLUE, had been released four weeks earlier and was selling better than usual. READ MORE