Elvis Presley

NEWS: America finally honours officer 53 310 761

41 years after his death, Elvis Presley is given America’s highest honour.

by Christopher Smith

President Donald Trump has honoured Elvis Presley with the highest award for US civilians, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, 41 years after the singer was found dead at his Graceland home. Stranger things have happened but its anyone’s guess as to why it’s taken so long for this honour to be given and posthumously too.

Jimmy Carter was President when Elvis died and all those who followed him have failed to recognise Elvis’  colossal contribution to the world. Nor even any of Carter’s predecessors, Ford, Nixon, Johnson et al acknowledged Presley’s chart breaking feats or sheer presence within the industry.

What can be said about the King of Rock and Roll’s career that hasn’t already been documented or discussed? Well did you know that one in seven people own an Elvis record? So he’s not just the King of Rock and Roll, but the King of music. The best selling recording artist of all time by a landslide. Elvis’ films have collectively grossed over $1 billion (adjusted for inflation) at the cinema and many more video cassettes, DVD’s and Blu Ray can be added on top of that too.

So how will all this happen and what if Elvis were still alive today? Well for a start he would be 83 years old, so would he attend the ceremony standing up or wheelchair bound? Or maybe the medal will just be delivered to Graceland and be gratefully received? And IF Elvis were alive today, what would he of thought of the endless cover versions, reworking’s of his songs, remixes and tributes to him? Let’s explore…

Well for a start he would of ‘heard’ Fine Young Cannibals’ version of “Suspicious Minds”, then there’s The Pet Shop Boys UK Christmas number one from 1987 “Always On My Mind”, UB40’s chart topping “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” or maybe ZZ Top doing “Viva Las Vegas” or JXL’s number one “A Little Less Conversation”.

He would also of cast an eye on Paul Simon’s album “Graceland” and maybe even sang his own version of Mark Cohen’s “Walking In Memphis” and what would he of thought of Kirsty MacColl’s “There’s A Guy Down The Chip Shop Who Swears He’s Elvis”?!

Either way 41 years on, Elvis will finally be ‘admitted’ to an elite group of people who are bestowed with America’s highest award that recognises “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”. The award was established in 1963 by President John F Kennedy, shortly before he was assassinated and replaced an earlier award that was founded in 1945 by President Harry Truman.

Elvis Joins like likes of Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Irving Berlin, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and many other gifted and distinguished musicians in receiving the medal for excellence and contribution to American music on a global scale. Well done Elvis!

There is an official Elvis website for more about this and the King’s career

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

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