When I was a teenager everybody in my school thought Elvis was a hot sensation. The night Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show (1956) I got up close and personal with our TV set, ready for the performance. When the show came on, I began to scream. Tears ran down my face. He was so real, so alive, so exciting, so gorgeous, singing a new flava called Rock-N-Roll.
As the TV cameras rolled, I got a taste of what thrusting from the waist looked like. My mom had less concern than my dad about this guy. Mom understood you move with time, for yesterday is gone. Dad turned the TV off. Dad saw Elvis as an overtly sensual being. I played Elvis’s “Don’t Be Cruel” on my RCA 45 record player one hundred times. I played it loud enough to let my dad and the neighbors know I could listen to Elvis a hundred times and not end up in the fast lane. I played the song every day after school, including weekends. I counted down from 100, as I played the song again and again, as torture for all concerned.
The last year of Elvis’s life he came to town for a concert. I went with my teenage daughter at midnight with lawn chairs and stood in line till 9:00AM the next day to buy tickets in the 6th row.
I learned from sources close to Elvis that his manager, Col. Tom Parker, robbed him of 50% of his earnings. Parker was an illegal immigrant. Unbeknownst to most people is the fact that many labels, publishers, lawyers, accountants, managers, and the like have drained wallets of a lot of celebrities.
The New York Times reported that Elvis’s doctor, “Dr. Nick,” prescribed 19,000 doses of narcotics, sedatives, and stimulants for this King over a period of 32 months. Dr. Nick had to know the results would be death. Elvis died at age 42. A lesson wasn’t learned: doctors today still over-prescribe drugs. Elvis lives in the hearts of those who claimed him King…