Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Party Fit For A King ......

Last year Elvis Presley's 76th birthday was celebrated at Evansville's McCullough Library and it was a grand celebration indeed.  Recipe Records was there along with a local Elvis enthusiast and collector, Ruth Salley, a Newburgh middle school teacher.  She recalled the exact moment when she fell head over heels in love with the King of Rock & Roll and told  delightful accounts of various moments when she felt connected to him.   

Lanea & Mags were there in a "tiz" as I call it ..... Mags & Annie coming in on Friday night, we baked & baked & cooked & cooked for the celebration & we concocted our program for the next day.  At the party we had the time of our lives not just talking rock & roll, but meeting Elvis Presley fans and listening to the stories of when they saw him or how many records of his that they own, etc. That has always been the enjoyable thing about Recipe Records ... it is a time for us to converse with music lovers that we might never have the pleasure of meeting otherwise.

Elvis Presley's story is pretty familiar to most people.  The tale of a poor boy born in Tupelo, Mississippi who makes it big...however, this poor boy didn't just "make it", he defined a genre of music forever.   He introduced blues, rock & roll, shaking hips, Southern charm and a voice that was unlike anyone before him, to the world.  He was a gentleman who loved his mom and dad, taking care of them like royalty.  This fellow had so many great qualities about him, but you can't ignore the depth of Elvis' natural musical talent.

 So, if Elvis were still alive today.... would he be creating music...what kind, who with, where at?  One of my "folks" quickly suggested that he'd probably do a duet with Lady Gaga or perhaps Adele.  I wondered if he'd dabble with Christian music or even with country.  That was the intriguing thing about Elvis, his diversity in genres and his honest interest in different styles made him versatile and unique; although I doubt that he'd care for hip-hop/rap music or the heavy metal stuff.....

When Elvis died in 1977, he was only 42 years old and obviously wasn't in a healthy state at that time.  His career was waning and he was consumed by vices which controlled his life.  It's such a tragic story that you hear of all too often, especially with talented, trusting artists.  If he were alive today I would love to see him with a healthy body, with healthy relationships around him and producing great music and more.  I think he would've blown the socks off the likes of the Simon Cowell's of today and perhaps he would raise the bar on some of the talent that corporate America sees as the future of popular music.  I'd also like to think he'd build a recording studio in Memphis and get back to basics.  Recording some Christmas compilations or simply finding new talent and springboarding them to stardom.  His experience and knowledge in the music world would've provided endless opportunities to himself and others; we'd also see him getting back to the core of his

Barring health issues, I think that Elvis would spend his twilight years giving occasional shows, in the same vein as Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond & Paul McCartney.  Perhaps giving an occasional Vegas TV special or cameos in movies.  As someone pointed out to me, his physical health was rather a wreck, but his voice never left him and what enjoyment he would've given us in the world today.

Don't miss Elvis' 77th birthday party THIS Saturday, January 7, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Newburgh's Ohio Township Central Library (that's the beautiful new white building off of Bell Road)  Ruth Salley & myself will be there to entertain you with Elvis stories, trivia, memorabilia and food samples - featuring his favorite grilled peanut butter & banana sandwich.  Call the library to register  812-853-5468  x 301 . 

Don't be cruel......join us on this cold January day ....  !

Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records

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