For the House of Adams’ baby boomer trained to duck and cover at City School in the 1950s, it’s been easy to hunker in the bunker going on 11 months.
Recent days have been spent celebrating Elvis’s 86th birthday.
The party started Wednesday and ends next Thursday, except at Mary Ann’s house where it’s always Elvis.
Elvis A. Presley was born Jan. 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, in a house your scribe finally visited in 2019.
But that’s getting ahead of the story that began in early March 1956, when Elvis’s song, “Heartbreak Hotel,” debuted on Billboard charts, beginning a friendship with baby boomers that continues unchecked.
It’s likely your scribe first heard Elvis sing on WIRB or at older cousins’ houses in Midland City, Echo or Dothan.
It’s a certainty, when we went to Michigan in August ’56 and stayed in a low-slung, family-owned motel in Shelbyville, Kentucky, Elvis was IT!
Elvis’s “Don’t Be Cruel” alternated with the Platters’ unforgettable “Only You” and Gogi Grant’s haunting “The Wayward Wind” on the motel café’s jukebox a booth overflowing with teenagers kept feeding.
Must’ve been a certain peckerwood-looking teenager, snickering in the corner, who loosened the top on our table’s salt shaker, but his plot was foiled since the salt was easily wiped off - a world-class hamburger headed for your scribe’s mouth - with a napkin.
A little spilt salt scarcely scars.
Regardless, after almost 65 years, Elvis continues entertaining us with songs he wrote and recorded.
That, friends, is almost a lie.
While Elvis recorded more than 710 songs with titles starting with every letter of the alphabet but “X” and “Z,” he co-wrote, with Ken Darby and wife Vera Matson, only FOUR of them: “Let Me,” “That’s Someone You’ll Never Forget,” “We’re Gonna Move” and “You’ll Be Gone.”
Long before his estate reached its estimated current $350 million, Elvis, who allegedly died Aug. 16, 1977, paid to move the small Tupelo church he attended as a young’un to the property with the two-room, shotgun house where he lived with his parents, Vernon and Gladys, until they moved, in almost total darkness, to Memphis in November 1948.
Elvis’s rags-to-riches story and decline into the dark side of prescription drug addiction, is one everyone who wants to, knows.
inside the Tupelo church, his childhood friend, Sarah, explained that Elvis came there throughout his career, sometimes with family and friends, other times alone, including his last trip just weeks before he died.
“He sat right here, silently, head bowed, 30 minutes, got up and drove back to Memphis,” Sarah said, touching the pew. “I believe he knew he was about to die.”
Wonder what Elvis would think about the fate of the rest of us living in the unknown today?
A song Scott Davis and Billy Strange wrote Elvis charted in 1969, “Clean Up Your Own Backyard,” seems fitting as we’ve begun 2021 preparing to inaugurate a new U.S. President after a bitter election:
“Armchair quarterback's always moanin'
“Second guessing people all day long
“Pushing, fooling and hanging on in
“Always messing where they don't belong
“When you get right down to the nitty-gritty
“Isn't it a pity that in this big city
“Not a one a'little bitty man'll admit
“He could have been a little bit wrong”