Forty years ago today Elvis Presley passed away. Yes, The King may be dead but in so many ways he still lives on.
His music is timeless. The songs Elvis sang changed the music industry forever. He could and did sing everything: country, rock, pop, gospel. If he were still alive today he’d probably be giving Jay-Z a run for his money. And he’d probably be wondering what possessed UB40 to do a cover version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love”.
His movies still entertain us. Sure most of them may be hokey, but along with the cheesiness of an Elvis movie, you get to hear some great tunes. I’ve heard more than one person say that if they had taken a lot of the music out of those films and gave them an actual storyline, Elvis would have had great acting potential. I note that Elvis’ last film was made in 1969. I wonder if he’d made some in the 70’s if he would’ve been wearing the sideburns and the sequined jumpsuit…
Graceland is still a tourist attraction. Elvis’ home is visited by more people every year than the White House. The huge estate is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. It’s also the very home where Elvis died, where he and several family members are buried, and the same one that thousands flock to on the dates of his birth and his death.
His legend lives on. In his daughter, Lisa Marie, also a singer, and his grandchildren. In Vegas impersonators. In his fans and their love for him. In his memorabilia, which is endless and can be found around the world. Everything from autographs to Zippo lighters. If it exists, it probably has an image of Elvis on it.
As far as icons are concerned, the music industry will always have “the next big star” male performer: the Justins, the Brunos, the Ushers. But there will never be another Elvis. He may be physically gone but he lives on for an eternity in the hearts of many.