Tan Jing Ming, my old buddy in Kuala Lipis, my hometown, sent me a sms yesterday:” How about an Elvis article after the good one on Bob Hope?” Well, both of us were faithful fans of Elvis Presley since our schooling days in Clifford School. As for me, I even used Elvis Loh as my nick name to look for pen pals in the popular “Movies News” magazine. Those were our young golden days!
For those too young to have experienced Elvis Presley in his prime, he is remembered by his fans as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll” or “The King.” But Elvis once said,” I am not the King. Jesus Christ is the King. I'm just an entertainer.” He was a born again Christian who loved to sing gospel music.
Elvis Presley, born on January 8, 1935, was an American singer, actor and musician. His life was a classic American success story. “I want to entertain people. That's my whole life. To my last breath,” that’s what Elvis said.
Elvis was so alive in live performances. No wonder he once spoke out, “A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It's my favorite part of the business - live concerts.” He was just good because: “Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do 'em all together, I guess.” Yet Elvis respected his mother: “I wiggle my shoulders, I shake my legs, I walk up and down the stage, I hop around on one foot. But I never bump and grind. Why? That's vulgar! I'd never do anything vulgar before an audience. My mother would never allow it.”
Visiting Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, was indeed an opportunity for us once in a lifetime. I was there with my wife and our two children (Sue Jen and James Wen Min). After attending Sue Jen’s graduation day in University of Arkansas at Little Rock, our eldest daughter’s boy friend (Joshua Goh Chon Siew, now her husband) drove us there on December 21, 2002.
Graceland was opened to fans and tourists in 1982. It seemed that the spirit and taste of Elvis Presley infused every part of Graceland. We had to buy tickets (about USD 25.00 per adult) to enter the mansion where we could see and view Elvis' living room, music room, his parents' bedroom, the dining room, kitchen, TV room, pool room, and jungle den in the main house. Elvis’ racquetball court and original business office behind Graceland Mansion were also opened to tourists.
During the Graceland tour our greatest excitement was viewing the extensive collection of Elvis Presley's leather and lamé stage costumes and Elvis’ trophy building, which housed his collection of gold records and awards. Career mementos, jewelry, photographs, and other Elvis memorabilia were also on exhibit. The tour ended when we came out to the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his family were buried.
Elvis died at age of 42 on August 16, 1977 at his home Graceland in Memphis. His tombstone gave his name as "Elvis Aaron Presley", whereas he was in fact named "Elvis Aron Presley". Although this fueled conspiracy theories that he had faked his death, it was generally believed he changed his middle name so it would be the same as the Biblical Aaron.
Elvis is a legend. The sun never sets on a legend. For the past 32 years after Elvis’ death, the “The King of Rock 'n' Roll” lives on for millions of fans of all ages!Click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpzV_0l5ILI to watch and listen to Elvis Presley singing 'Jailhouse Rock' on YouTube.