The End of Elvis Was Only the Beginning

While the soundtrack of my life has varied over the years, there has been one constant – Elvis Presley.

Some of my earliest memories involve listening to 45-RPM Elvis records that Mom played loudly on her record player console. I was about 2-years-old.

This was not only a record player, but also a massive piece of wooden furniture with record storage and integrated speaker(s). You could also stack albums or singles so that it automatically played the next record after one finished.

Years later, that console finally gave out, and we dumped it to free up space. How I wish we had saved it.

I must have fancied myself quite the Elvis impersonator as a toddler, because I remember singing along to those records while holding a blue stick with a red ball on top – a toy’s handle that served as my “microphone.” To “dance,” I simply turned around in circles. Sadly, my dance moves have not improved since then.

Another early memory is Mom crying as she told me that Elvis had died. At 2, I did not really understand death. I believe she explained it to me as a kind of permanent sleep. She probably mentioned Heaven, too. I do not remember for sure.

What I do remember for sure, though, was the innocent question I asked next, “Will his voice still be on the records?” My heart sank as I imagined playing records of silence.

“Yes, his voice will always be there,” Mom said. This made me feel better.

I remember our family watching press conferences and tributes that night. There was more talking than music, and I understood little of the talking.

I remember watching the funeral procession with Mom a couple of days later on TV. Reporters wore large headsets with microphones, as if covering a sports event.

Surrounded by motorcycle officers, a white hearse led a trail of white cars from Graceland, while thousands of people lined the streets of Memphis trying to catch a final glimpse.

From that moment on, Elvis was gone forever.

Gone, but the story continued.

Goodbye From Elvis

Goodbye From Elvis

Yesterday marked 38 years since Elvis passed away. Along with millions of others, that little 2-year-old is still listening.

Due to alternate takes, outtakes, and live recordings, exponentially more Elvis music has been released since his death than ever came out during his lifetime.

I own over 4,000 different Elvis tracks. If I were to play Elvis constantly without sleeping, I could go for over a week without hearing a duplicate track.

This is a staggering number, yet I do not even have every Elvis track officially available. Not even close.

When it comes to the music, it truly is as if Elvis never died.

After 38 years, that magic vault of unreleased music is no doubt starting to look barren. However, I believe there will still be a few genuine Elvis surprises to emerge in coming years.

If I am wrong, and all the valuables have already escaped, it is hard to dispute that 38 years makes for a long encore.

Besides, as a wise woman once said, “His voice will always be there.”

14 thoughts on “The End of Elvis Was Only the Beginning

  1. I first heard Elvis’ voice on a radio, riding in a car with my Daddy as a thirteen year old, on a very large Blvd aptly named ‘King’shighway. I turned and said, “I don’t know who that guy is. I just know that he will be someone special’. It was November,1954. The song was ‘That’s All Right’. It turned out to be an understated truth. Not so, the wise words of your mother!

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  2. Good read Troy, welcome back. Would love to here your views on Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I personally really enjoyed “If I Can Dream” and look forward to the full CD release.

    Cheers Ray

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    • Thanks, Ray!

      Regarding the upcoming If I Can Dream release, I have no problem with the concept. I was one of only two Elvis fans in the world that actually liked Viva Elvis: The Album (I had no interest in the actual show). I think those kinds of projects are fun. I don’t want them to replace the true masters, of course, but as an alternative listening experience, why not? And if it helps to interest a few new fans, all for the better.

      There are apparently several samples floating around. The one I listened to was “What Now My Love.” As to not “spoil” the full album, I’m not going to listen to any other samples. “What Now My Love” was okay. It almost sounded like two different versions of the same song being played at the same time (which, I suppose, technically is true). I only played it once, so it is possible that repeat listens will alleviate this effect. Despite the slight disconnect, it was pretty. I’m intrigued by the album. I’ll probably review it once it comes out – or at least provide some kind of comments about it.

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  3. elvis and science fiction – hey he had battlestar galactica connections too dykewriter.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/elvisworld-the-elvis-battlestar-galactica-connection/

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  4. Troy, I don’t think any of our dance moves have improved over the years. I do think that we have heard the last new song by Elvis. Yes, there may be many different takes and live versions to be released, or escape over the years, but sadly no new songs. I’ve had Little Mama since it was released but have never listened to it, because I still want there to be a new Elvis song for me to listen to someday. I too have heard What Now My Love and think it’s not been done very well with the music sounding totally separete to Elvis’ vocals. It amazes me the RCA (or BMG or Sony, whatever they are called this week) think they will sell enough copies of the album to recover their costs as I’m sure it was an expensive project. I guess that Elvis has earnt them enough over the years that they can take a loss every now and then.

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    • Maybe… but if another one does surface, does that mean you will let yourself hear “Little Mama”?

      As for If I Can Dream, the jury is still out for me. I’m looking forward to hearing the full album, including playing it through a few times.

      Thanks for commenting.

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      • It’s not that I don’t want to listen to Little Mama, it’s more of a case that I’m saving it for a special occasion. I also think it will be a very sad day when I know there will be no more new songs to discover by Elvis, so I’m also holding off that sadness.

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