When Gladys Presley brought little Elvis Presley into the world, only Heaven could have known what was in store for her little baby.
Indeed. Few could have guessed that his shy boy from Tupelo, Mississippi would rise to royalty to become The King of Rock and Roll. He changed the landscape of American Music during his life. Even today, his soulful music continues to reverberate through time.
An intoxicating blend of rock, country, and glorious gospel, Elvis was the gold standard for what rock was meant to be that no other singer has since matched. All who claim to sing rock follow in his footsteps and owe Elvis a debt that will never be able to repay. They can only try.
It’s hard to believe he’s been gone so long. It seems only like yesterday when we all heard the shocking news of The King’s untimely departure, but few know the details of the last hours of his life.
Elvis had plans. This was the period of his famous comeback where The King once again was setting the charts on fire. He spent the last morning of his life planning his upcoming tour in Portland, Maine and he was planning another gig in New York later that week.
An infamous night owl from birth, Elvis’ sleeping habits were further complicated with his tedious performance schedule. After a long night, he turned in at 7 AM. Despite being exhausted, he couldn’t get to sleep.
Restless Elvis told his fiancee Ginger Alden that he was going to the suite’s opulently appointed bathroom to read. When Ms. Alden woke a few hours later to find Elvis not next to her, she checked the bathroom and found him unresponsive on the floor. She called an ambulance, but alas The King was declared dead at 3:30 p.m. at Baptist Memorial Hospital, the result of a fatal heart attack. He was only 42 years old.
41 years after Elvis said goodbye, we can’t imagine what rock music would be like today without The King’s influence. To be honest we don’t even want to try. Call it what you will, God put Elvis in the right place at the right time. The rest is musical manifest destiny; he was meant to be. Long live The King.