[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]
Over the decades, there has been much discussion about the Beatles vs. Elvis, the dynamic between them, their meeting, etc. Some of the stories differ, and who knows the actual truth. Regardless, I find the history of these rock and roll icons fascinating. Obviously, I am in the Elvis camp. But this post isn’t about the comparison between the two. Instead, I just wanted to share some of the facts that I find interesting.
The Beatles greatly admired Elvis, although there was a slight controversy when Elvis met Nixon and said the Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit. He said the Beatles came to this country, made their money, and then returned to England, where they promoted ‘an anti-American theme’.
Ringo later said that Elvis had tried to have them ‘banned’ from America, which is a bit of an exaggeration. Regardless of this slight hitch in their past, for the most part, Elvis and the Beatles greatly admired one another. Elvis sang 5 Beatles songs. And, in his ’68 special, when he was naming the new groups he liked, he named the Beatles.
There are copious Beatles quotes about Elvis, especially by John Lennon, who was apparently the biggest fan of the four:
John Lennon: “I always wanted to be this tough James Dean type, but Elvis was bigger than religion in my life. When I heard Heartbreak Hotel it was so great I couldn’t speak, I didn’t want to say anything against Elvis, not even in my mind.”
George Harrison: “Elvis had an incredible impact on me, because I’d never heard anything like it.”
Ringo Starr: “I felt I was more thrilled to meet him than he was to meet me.”
Paul McCartney: “Elvis is a truly great vocalist, and you can hear why on this song [Heartbreak Hotel]. His phrasing, his use of echo, it’s all so beautiful. It’s the way he sings it, too. As if he’s singing it from the depths of Hell. It’s a perfect example of a singer being in command of the song.”
Just over fifty years ago, on August 27, 1965, the Beatles met Elvis at his home in California. When I was younger, I heard that Elvis was so unimpressed, that he left them sitting in his living room and went to bed. However, I learned that wasn’t accurate. The truth is, that the Beatles were a bit star struck and didn’t speak. Elvis said, “If you guys are just going to sit around and stare at me, Im going to bed.” Everyone laughed, and the mood relaxed after that. It’s funny, but there are different accounts of exactly what took place. Some people claim they had a jam session, John Lennon included, but the other Beatles say they didn’t.
Here, the Beatles talk about that meeting:
The Beatles also had some less than flattering things to say about Elvis, critical of his music after his army days and the fact that he took such a long break from touring. I must STRONGLY disagree. Elvis’ music was fabulous and successful, from the beginning to the end. “Suspicious Minds” from 1969 sold 40,000,000 copies, so SOMEONE must have liked his music after the army days. 🙂 And, his concerts all over the world sold out quickly, up to the day he died. I’ll close with this more positive tidbit:
Paul McCartney made his first visit to Graceland and left a gift behind. The former Beatle, dropped a personal guitar pick on Elvis Presley’s grave and said it was “so Elvis can play in heaven.”
Pretty cool, am I right? What do you think of the Elvis/Beatles saga? Can you name the 5 Beatles songs Elvis sang?
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:
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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?