required listening

my dad grew up one street over from graceland in memphis, so when i was a kid i would hear all these unbelievable elvis stories.  my dad said he would try to play football with elvis and his buddies and they wouldn’t let him because he was younger and smaller.  he remembers when elvis came back from the war and drove his motorcycle up and down his street (usually with a babe on the back).  my grandmother was a dental hygienist for a couple of years and cleaned his teeth once or twice.  he would come in after hours and then invite everyone bowling.  she said he was extremely nice.  hearing all these stories peaked an early interest in elvis.  i can’t remember what album i started with but “heartbreak hotel” and “blue suede shoes” were the songs i knew the best.  as i grew older and began really paying attention to music, i discovered that elvis didn’t write any of his own material and it pissed me off.  how could you be the king of rock and roll and not write your own tunes?  i thought he was a scam.  it wasn’t until the remastered sun sessions came out that i gave elvis another shot.  i started there and moved to elvis presley elvis presley.  holy shit.  this is what i had been waiting for.  i read all these biographies on the beatles and the stones and they talk about how much of an influence elvis was for them.  i get it now.  elvis presley elvis presley is the first accessible rock and roll record.  until then rhythm and blues was housed on the other side of the tracks.  elvis brought it to the masses.  check out his version of “i got a woman”, “just because” and “blue moon.”  long live the king.

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