I have to admit to spending a lot of time in the past few months researching the songs Elvis made famous during his incredible career. *I can’t say I’ve ever enjoyed that particular chore more.* Since my aim is to write stories for some of his songs, the words are important. Listening to them has taken me back in time where I’ve revisited some wonderful memories.
While listening to Love Me Tender, I travelled back in time to 1956. I was very much a tomboy of ten back then, hadn’t even reached those mind-blowing teen years. I’d gone to the local movie theatre near where I lived in Winnipeg. In those days the 10cent admission and 10cent bag of popcorn could only be had once a month as we weren’t all that well off. But, this particular Saturday my favorite actor, Roy Rogers, was on the billing and I had whined my way into my dad’s pockets – he’s still a sweet, giving man.
Off I went with friends and thoroughly enjoyed the cowboys and Native Americans blockbuster. (Sorry – but that just sounds wrong!! 🙂
Because there were two movies back to back, even though I knew I was expected home, I got caught up in the one following the stereotypical western and stayed glued to my seat. Love me Tender was the very first Elvis movie I ever saw. Serious trouble awaited me with my mother, but I remember thinking that watching him would be worth it. I hung out until the last scene where I bawled my eyes out. Totally smitten, my heart now belonging to the boy with the incredible smile, I faced the music. When I tried to explain why I stayed, it flew over their heads like smoke from the cigarettes they both enjoyed. Mom yelled, dad winked – no bigggie:-)
Not long after, it was announced that, on the coming Sunday, Elvis would be appearing on the Ed Sullivan show. For the first time, I ignored my parents when they admonished me to get away from the television, not to sit too close or I could go blind. When he appeared and began to sing Hound Dog, I went berserk. I screeched along with the audience and fell back in a heap at the end. Tears clogged my eyes while I’d watched my fantasized boyfriend appear live. Mom laughed at my performance and Dad grumbled about idiots with ants in their pants.
From that day on, every chance that came my way to get my hands on teen magazines added another photo to my overcrowded wall in the small bedroom I shared with my sister. In fact, I remember one she finally made me take down because she said she felt his eyes watching her while she undressed for bed. It bugged her so much, she’d cover it with a scarf. After she said that, I also began to get the weird sensation he was peeking and down it came. Hey, I was ten!!!
You know, as much as my young heart adored my idol, I believe I loved his music even more. The rock and roll beat lit a fire in me and still does to this day. My feet can never stay still when I hear that sound. As the years rolled on, I perfected the jive and every chance I got; I’d be bopping with whoever would get on the floor with me – boy or girl. Sometimes even the doorway when I was alone and the rhythm would make me move. Still happens once in a while. OMG – can’t believe I’m blabbing that.
The best thing about that gift??
I eventually married one of those buddies and he’s still my husband today.
Do you have any memories about those times in your life that changed you forever?
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Renee Pawlish says
I love Elvis! I first fell in love with his music when I was in high school and saw some of his early television appearances on PBS. I just connected with him in some way, and those times stay with me still. I can hear one of his songs and it takes me back to what I was doing years ago. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the King.
Mimi Barbour says
Hi Renee, I'm glad to know others still have a fondness for the idol. For me, remembering him brings back such happy memories of years when the aches of age hadn't attacked yet 🙂
I love Elvis and became a fan at the age of 9. I was about 13 years behind you, but his music moved me like none did before or since. I was heartbroken when he died. I do believe a part of me died that day, too. Thank you for sharing your memories of him. He was one of a kind and I'm glad I got to see him three times in concert before he passed away. Now he's singing to the angels. Kind of makes Heaven seem even more of a lovely place to go. (that is, if one believes in that sort of thing.) 🙂
Mimi Barbour says
Hi Jenny, your are so lucky to have seen him perform. Must say, I still get that same old rush when I watch his videos today…..hummmmm 🙂
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