IT’S QUORA QUESTION TIME and the question was “Was Elvis Presley as talented as people portray him to be?” I’m afraid that I have little or no truck with—and isn’t that a wonderful idiom, “have no truck with?” (look it up here)—questions of this nature, but I took what I hope is the polite and humorous approach in answering it.
So I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that the answer posted on Quora is the indented text between the two images of the two picture sleeves for the Do The Clam / You’ll Be Gone single from early 1965.
This is the American picture sleeve for Do The Clam. The flip-side You’ll Be Gone is one of the few songs that Presley actually took an active and creative hand in writing. It’s derivative but allows him to show off his bel canto style of singing, making for a fine B-side.
Am I missing something?
Asking the question Was Elvis Presley as talented as people portray him to be? is kinda like asking was Ernest Hemingway as talented as people portray him to be, or was Aretha Franklin as talented as people portray her to be, or was Philip Seymour Hoffman as talented as people portray him to be!
Unless you’re being rhetorical to make some point, the questions are just plain dumb.
When I hear someone ask a question like Was Elvis Presley as talented as people portray him to be?, what I hear is someone saying, “I just don’t get what so many people see in Elvis Presley—am I missing something?”
But they just don’t want to say that out loud and appear dumb or ignorant But, as I said, asking the question sounds dumb.
It’s okay if you don’t get or dig the talents and accomplishments of Elvis or Ernest or Aretha or Philip. Hell’s Belles, there are people who still don’t appreciate Mendelssohn or Mahler or Monk or Miles!
Just say “I don’t get it” and be willing to listen to someone who does.
There are usually very good reasons why people get to be the leader of the pack and stay there year after year.
When someone asks me a question like Was Elvis Presley as talented as people portray him to be? I usually respond with, “Hell, yes—the man invented The Clam!”
Consider giving these two articles a read (and yes, of course I’m shamelessly plugging my blog):
This is the Japanese picture sleeve for Do The Clam. The image of Elvis was lifted from one of the posters for the movie.
If you’re interested
I’m posting this immediately following answering the question on Quora. How readers will respond is unknown, but if you’re interested, keep checking here.
FEATURED IMAGE: While it has long been hip to make derogatory remarks about Elvis in the mid ’60s—heck, I still make them!—Presley was getting to make movies with and make out with (and sometimes go home) with gorgeous actresses like Shelly Fabares and Mary Ann Mobley! And all the while he was pocketing a million bucks for doing it!