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It Was Thirty Years Ago Today

Posted: Aug 15, 2007

I can remember exactly where I was when I heard that Elvis was dead. I was in my Barracuda, turning left into the Westgate Mall in Spartanburg, SC. I used to go to that mall a lot, haunting the record and book stores.

The guy on WORD-AM sounded genuinely broken up as he announced the passing of one of our greatest entertainers of all time. It shook me to the core. Besides Johnny Cash, Elvis was my other main influence. It was The King that made me want to sing and play guitar. In my opinion, he was simply the best.

I remember going to the drive-in movie as a child. My parents took us, my sister and I. I remember seeing Elvis movies on those huge out door screens while my sister and I played on the swing set that sat to the left of the screen.

The night Aloha From Hawaii aired live world wide, I was front and center. James Burton was playing that pink paisley Telecaster, one I would one day own a copy of. Elvis was putting on a huge rock and roll show. I had never seen anything like it. While I, like many others, was blown away by the first appearances of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, it was Elvis in Hawaii that really lit a fire underneath my soul. I was going to sing and entertain,  just like the King.

I never met Elvis. Heck, I never even saw him perform live. But one thing is for certain. He was my hero. And thirty years ago, we lost one of the world’s greatest entertainers. The original Southern Rock star.

For all the music and movies you gave us Elvis, I just want to say “Thank you. Thank you very much.”

We miss you King.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

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