It's hard to believe he would be 74 today.
I'd always loved him. Not just his striking good looks but his finesse. His style. His unabashed confidence. And, of course, his relentless talent.
When I met my husband whilst knee-deep in my fascination and devotion to all things rockabilly, it was no shock to find that we shared a mutual love of Elvis. But, what I didn't realize until I met him, was that I knew very little of Elvis. Sure, I knew facts about his life (did you know he had an identical twin brother? Not sure the world could have handled that) but I had very little knowledge nor a true appreciation for his musical history. I was so caught up in the beauty and mystery of this man...I'd never taken the time to school myself in the deeply complex makeup of his musical path.
Case in point:
This album changed my life. That may sound melodramatic to most people but it's the truth as I know it. The soulful pleas of "Anyway You Want Me" and "Love Me", the raucous ultimatum of "One-Sided Love Affair" with his signature hiccup-y style, the bluesy echo of "Anyplace is Paradise" - an exhilarating example of his natural-born grasp of rhythm and blues and, the ultimate in my humble opinion (and theme song for the Hubs and me), "So Glad You're Mine". All of these songs, and I mean each and every one, are riveting representations of what Elvis embodied as a musical artist.
Sure, I love all of his other stuff. I even love the "fat" Elvis. But, to me, Elvis 56 will always be the essence of his true self. His true talent.
Happy Birthday, Elvis. Thank you for knocking us for a loop. For changing our concept of music. Thank you for forever changing our lives.
I may not have known you personally but I definitely know you musically. And I'm better for it.