Happy 75th birthday to the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Elvis often gets a bad rap because he allowed Col. Tom Parker to turn him into a caricature in the years before his death but calling him an incredible artist is a tremendous understatement. If you can listen to his From Elvis in Memphis album without being amazed then there's nothing can I say to you because you obviously have no soul.
If you're somehow unfamiliar with Elvis, this NPR link has a nice little roundup of Elvis songs from around the web. If you're feeling indulgent then I recommend the new 4-disc Elvis 75 comp that was released last month. If I had to choose one song for you to sample, it'd have to be his 1975 cover of Chuck Berry's "Promised Land." Check it out on iTunes and if you don't like it, I'll personally reimburse you for it. It's fitting that I recommend that song because as innovative as Elvis was as a performer, he wasn't nearly as original with his actual songs. Many of Elvis' best songs were covers of previously released songs, "Hound Dog," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Are You Lonesome Tonight," "Mystery Train," "That's All Right, Mama," among others. The main reason for that is because his manager Col. Tom Parker flat out refused to pay quality songwriters for their music, figuring that Elvis was the "biggest star in the world" so any song Elvis sang would be a hit so why pay top dollar to the top lyricists. Which sort of makes sense until you learn that Elvis once released a song called "The Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce."
I briefly toyed with the idea of an all Elvis podcast but I honestly didn't feel there'd be enough interest in it. I mean, I'd enjoy it but that's probably about it. Besides, I'm not so sure how well an Elvis podcast would go over so close to a episode dedicated to his former son-in-law, Michael Jackson. The technical difficulties that forced me to cancel my Christmas podcast eliminated the chance of it happening.
For more Elvis, those of you who live in the Los Angeles area should try to make it down the Grammy Museum for the Elvis exhibit. It looks really cool. The exhibit runs through March 28. The Grammy Museum is an awesome place anyway, you should check it out regardless if you haven't already, Elvis exhibit or no Elvis exhibit.
Anyway. Happy birthday to Elvis, the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Now go listen to From Elvis in Memphis. Just make sure you forward through the song "In the Ghetto," haha.
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