Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Elvis and Andrea!

If Elvis Presley had not died he would have been seventy-five today.

Back in the Sixties my sister Irene had dated a young man named George who was a huge Elvis fan. He took my siblings and I to the Starlite Drive In on Fremansburg Avenue just outside of Easton, PA to see several of his movies. George worked as a projectionist at the State theater and we saw several movies there too. One day he set up a projector in the basement of our parent's store on the corner of E. Central and Third Avenue in Alpha, NJ and several of the neighbors joined us in watching an Elvis marathon of movies.

I guess his obsession with Elvis brought Elvis a little closer to me, even though I was a Beatles fan. The day he passed away, I was driving around Easton Center Square when I heard the news on the radio in my car. I was on my way back home from visiting with my friend Jan where I had helped her make a Marching Mickey Mouse birthday cake for her son Michael. They played Suspicion, and I cried. I felt as though a good friend or family member had passed on.

Elvis is known as the King Of Rock N Roll. His mixture of black and white sounds, coupled with sensual body gyrations made him controversial, especially after his appearance on the Milton Berle Show, when Ed Sullivan declared him unfit for family viewing and didn't want him on his popular show. He then appeared on the Steve Allen show, which drew more viewers than the Ed Sullivan show, thus sparked an interest in the powers that were in charge of the Ed Sullivan show. On September 9, 1956, one third of our country's entire population at that time were tuned in to see Elvis perform for the first of three scheduled appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show at a whopping fifty thousand dollars an appearance. On that day he became an icon of our generation.

He was deeply spiritual, and served in the U.S. Army from 1958-60. He loved his mother and built the Graceland Mansion for her. He was known for his generosity, and was surrounded by family and friends at Graceland.

I never realized before today that my cousin Paula's daughter Andrea shared the same birthday as Elvis. Happy Birthday to Andrea, and a fond remembrance of my childhood memories of Elvis!

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