I don’t like to talk, or blog, about Elvis’ death, but of course, with the anniversary approaching, I felt I must. Sunday will mark 38 years since he passed, and it goes without saying that his legacy remains in full force.
Even though I’m a huge Elvis fan, it has always amazed me at how people, even those who aren’t big fans, remember the exact moment they heard of his death. I would venture to guess, even though it’s much more recent, only die hard Michael Jackson fans recall the moment they heard about his death, same for John Lennon, or any other number of entertainment icons. Elvis, like him or not, is in a class all by himself.
Side note: Today is the anniversary of Elvis’ mother’s death, August 14, 1958. I’m sure everyone knows how close Elvis was to his mother. He grieved for her the rest of his life. After he passed, there were stories circlulating about how Elvis died at the exact same age as his mother, but she was actually 46, and he was 42.
Before we get into the sadness of recalling the day we heard the news, I’d like to share a song that is one of my favorites, but you don’t really hear much about it. His voice in this song is bluesy and beautiful and emotional. I swear, you can feel what he’s singing all the way to your soul. And, as a bonus, the pictures are gorgeous. 🙂
I posted on Facebook and asked people to tell about learning of Elvis’ death. I’ve shared some below, but first, even though I’ve told it before, I’ll share mine…
I was 16 and working at A&W drive-in. The boys I worked with always gave me a hard time about Elvis. Rob, one of the car hops was off that day, but he came into the store and he saw me and, quite cheerfully, said, “Hey, Elvis died.” Thinking he was joking, I said, “Haha, shut up, Rob.” He said, “No, really he died. I’m not kidding.” About that time, my manager, Harold, came out of the office with this baffled look on his face. (I later learned that Mom told him that I would need to leave once I heard, and he said he didn’t think that would be necessary, and she said, “Oh, trust me, it will definitely be necessary.” Once he saw my reaction, he knew she was right.) He said, “Your mom called and said you need to go home.” My insides froze. I looked back at Rob and I must have had a horrified expression on my face, because his expression suddenly turned serious, and more quietly and with less enthusiasm, he said, “He really did die.” I looked out the window and my sister, Janis, had pulled into the parking lot. She was crying. And then, I knew. The bottom dropped out of my world. My sisters and I grieved for weeks. Looking back, my parents were very understanding. They let us hang posters on the outside of our house and yellow ribbons around the porch columns. Although, after a month or so of us carrying on, my dad said we needed to snap out of it, or something along those lines. 🙂 However, even though he used to tease us unmercifully about Elvis, he was sad, too, and he promised he would never make fun of him again. As far as I can recall, he never did.
Now, for some other accounts of that day…
Elizabeth Jeeves I was in hospital for a small op and I saw it on the front of someone’s newspaper the king is dead and when I read it I saw that it was elvis the king
Judy Allen Jankowski OMG, I remember it so well ~ I was at work and the announcement came on the radio; I just busted out crying. Could not believe that it had happened…that is all that was on the radio and TV stations when he passed. No one gets that much press time unless it is the President. I was glued to all the news media all the way through his funeral. What a sad day for all of us who loved this man for who he was and what he gave to his fans
Alison Henderson I was in Disneyland on a delayed honeymoon. I remember being shocked by the news. Very sobering.
Wendy Kendrick I was bartending and when I heard it on the t.v. I had to leave work I got so upset
Janice Anderson Sitting in a bay house in Sargent Texas
(My sister) Ruth Robertson-Zimmerman You KNOW I remember! Momma had just fixed HB Patties w/Mushroom & Cheddar soup. Sheri came out of her bedroom saying :Elvis died between her sobs. Momma thought she said Alice died but I knew what she had said! Then…Janis wanted to come & get you from work before you found out. So…I said I had to go with her! Most bosses would have thought that was crazy! But 3 of us Robertson giels were working for the same guy @ A&W…& he KNEW it was smart to get you away from there! One of the saddest moments of my life!
Lisa Dolan I was only 6 but brought up with everything Elvis I adore him. Elvis is a unique individual xxx
Kristi Brandon Ribble Watchin’ Flipper and they broke in. I cried all night long.
Janet Carter Beam I was standing in the front yard in Graford, TX and a girl about 13 yrs old came running down the street screaming “Elvis is dead”! She was just hysterical…..I think I was in shock…
Kelly Fennell-Cox I was at my mom’s house & saw her neighbor ran into the house screaming & crying, “He’s dead! He’s dead!” My mom & I thought she was talking about her husband. Finally, She said, “No! Elvis is Dead!” I was in shock!!! I think I cried for several days!!! I still can’t believe he’s gone!!! So thankful for his movies & music.
So…what about you? If you were old enough, do you remember the moment you heard of Elvis’ death?
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Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.
Learn more here, including how to donate:
END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!
On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.
All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?
10 responses to “Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 57 – The Day that Shook the World”
Admittedly and a bit shame-faced, I was not an avid Elvis fan in my early years. Call me anti-pretty much anything… Stones over the Beatles, Republican rather than Democrat, but in my own defense in ’77, I was working full time and attending university full time. Life was pretty intense. But, now, thanks to you, dear A.D., I have a much greater understanding and appreciation for Elvis, indeed the King, loved and never forgotten by millions. He gives a whole new significance to “Only the good die young.” Because I in fact don’t remember where I was when I heard of his sad, untimely death on the 17th, I will play some of my favorite videos, watch a movie if I can find one or two, and thank God Elvis made such an impact on my generation. Even if I was too busy (or stupid) to take notice.
I am so glad I was able to open your eyes to his magnificence. 🙂 I would imagine it would be difficult NOT to find an Elvis movie playing this weekend. (Just a quick correction, it’s the 16th, not the 17th). 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Hugs…
Thank you Alicia for another great read.
You’re welcome…thank you for stopping by!
I wasn’t a die-hard fan, but I still loved Elvis’ music and watched every one of his films. Priceless. My sister was the big fan. I remember once when I was 10, living in Washington, at Christmas time we were playing little girl games and White Christmas came on the radio. She left our play and sat over the radio, chin on hands, staring into space until Elvis stopped singing. Since his death that has become such a poignant memory for me. I was 15, living in Oklahoma when he died. I was listening to the tv while cleaning house when the announcement came on. I started crying and staring at the tv. Honestly, I don’t know if I cried more for him, or because it would break my sister’s heart. I called her that evening (at our mother’s in Wash. state) and she hadn’t heard yet. She refused to believe me until she turned on the tv and heard for herself. I felt her pain over the 1800 miles of phone line.
Wonderful post, Alicia, loved the song! Sorry for the long post.
Oh wow, I got chills reading this. What a poignant memory. I grew up ‘Elvis buddies’ with my sisters, so I know what it’s like to share that, although I don’t know what it’s like not to be a mega fan. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your memory.
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He died far too soon and will always be missed!
Absolutely! Thanks for joining me.
I was 13 when Elvis died. I didn’t remember our bosses name at A&W….I just knew he was pretty understanding too! Momma & daddy were great! But remember in the beginning where we got our love of Elvis from??? Momma! Daddy didn’t ever tease us about Elvis again that I remember either! Good thing he found plenty of other material! 🙂 Also…I want everyone to know that we are ‘girls’ not ‘giels’! 😉 Other than being my sister…Alicia & I have always been super, duper close. I truly believe our deep, undying love of Elvis contributed to that! I thank God for Elvis and I thank God for my sister!!!
Ha, yes, his name was Harold Ezell. Remember, he looked like Alan Ring? Anyway…I also thank God for our closeness, and yes, I believe our shared love for Elvis played a big part in that. LOL. I didn’t notice the ‘giels,’ I just copied and pasted. I won’t correct it because then, your comment won’t make sense. 🙂 Love you bunches, sister!