• 66°

He's got them all shook up

By By Leada Devaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Aug. 16, 1977.
I was sitting in the living room of my mom's friend, Pat. We were watching television, probably cartoons or some other educational material.
During the show, a news announcer interrupted the program to announce Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was dead.
Pat got upset and started crying. Mom got upset because Pat was upset. I got upset because the news had interrupted my cartoons.
Life is all about perspective. And in Pat's perspective, Elvis was the greatest.
She loved – and still loves – Elvis. She had his picture all around her house and lots of his records. I didn't ever see anything specifically in black velvet, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was, even if it was only kept in the closet.
She and my mom even went to his final concert in Birmingham. When they returned from the concert, my mom commented on the backup singers and the crazy women in the audience.
Those Elvis-crazy women included Pat, she said.
After his death, Pat would go to his home, Graceland, for candlelight vigils to mark his death.
She's not alone.
Right now, Memphis, Tenn. is in the grips of Elvis Week, commemorating the 25th anniversary of his death.
Thousands of people are flocking to Graceland, Elvis' home. For only $16.95 ($25.25 for the premium package, which includes a tour of his airplanes and garage) you, too, can see such things as:
– The jungle room, featuring the finest in leopard print interiors.
– The trophy room, where all the gold records and other awards are kept.
– The meditation garden, where Elvis and his family are buried.
They get to look at the splendor (even if it sometimes jumps across the tracks of tackiness) and be with other Elvis fans. They even get to see the Elvis impersonators, some who have come from as far away as Japan.
"All Shook Up" with an Asian accent is a unique thing to hear.
I don't get it, but I guess that's OK. I doubt me understanding Elvis-mania is really important. For the thousands of Elvis fans like Pat, a visit to Graceland for Elvis Week is what being a fan is all about.
During a press conference for his record-breaking Madison Square Garden shows in New York City in 1972, Elvis said "…the image is one thing and the human being is another…it's very hard to live up to an image."
For thousands of Elvis fans – and Pat – living up to the image is what it's all about.

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