Sunday, August 16, 2015

Calling Elvis

I was the oldest of my parent's six children and didn't really have older cousins to shape my musical tastes growing up. Mom and Dad, if they liked any kind of music, it seemed to be show tunes and Broadway songs kind of stuff played on a large piece of furniture Mom polished at least once a week ('it's a dust magnet' she used to explain to Dad) from Liberty Music Stores in New York City that had everything, turntable, a Garrard gear-driven model, and an amplifier/receiver combination and speakers of some kind on either side hidden behind mesh. It cost a fortune at the time and as I grew up I realized it was just awful for listening to rock and roll on.

I was in the Air Force, working for American Forces Network, when today, thirty-eight years ago, Elvis Presley died. My nominal roommate, Mike, and his girlfriend, Ann (whom he married decades ago) were rushing through the station, grabbing Associated Press wire copy, rummaging through the record library and basically conducting their own memorial on Elvis' passing when I arrived after an evening with my affianced, Sigrid, whom I married that fall (and with whom I am still married; all her effort and very little of mine unless you count showing up for meals as work).

The joint was jumping and Mike was magic on the air. We lost sight of one another many, many years ago and if he and Ann are still he and Ann, all the best to them and sorry I haven't written. I thought about all of this again just the other day when the Post Office unveiled its next Forever Stamp (and his former wife looks and sounds spectacular, does she not?). The King would approve, I'm sure, as would Mike as well.

I'll skip the Return to Sender jokes, because as I said, it wasn't Elvis' music with which I grew up though what I didn't fully appreciate was how much his music would influence the sound of those with whom I did grow up and everyone else's sound as well. So if you were one of those "50,000,000 Million Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong" when you see him, 'tell him I was calling, just to wish him well.'
-bill kenny

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much.