Today's number, if you are still keeping track, is 32250. And History is foremost in my mind today. History, AS I SAW IT, 32 years ago. I ask you to tax your memories a bit. IF you were old enough, where were you when you heard?
It was a warm and lazy day in 1977 where I was. It was a day typical of the dog days of August. The kids are rowdy, but still moping over the pending start of school which is only days away. I'm at my parents' cabin in Buffalo, MN. It's sometime in the afternoon. I have an old, blue, AM radio. I'm tuned to WCCO. (Before you laugh at "AM" radio, remember, it was still very popular, Music would be found on any channel to which you tuned!). I turned on the radio to hear the music of THE KING blaring over the speakers. That's unusual. He's not popular with the WCCO crowd. The next song was also a song by Elvis Presley. Very strange, and very little talking. I'm on the bed, half-dozing, when another Elvis song comes on. THAT really puzzled me. Then at the end of the song, was the announcement: Elvis Presley, the "Pelvis," the man many proclaimed to be the King of Rock and Roll, had died. He had been found dead in the bathroom. And he was 42 years old.
At the time, I was not a huge Elvis fan. I'm still not. I was more an Olivia Newton-John fan. I hated the Stones, was indifferent to the Beatles, wrote country like Conway Twitty and didn't mind Dolly Parton. I would be a senior in High School when it began just a few days later. I was no "rebel," but I was unique in my music tastes. I had records by the Beatles, Al Stewart, Olivia. Singles were my game. Billy Joel, the Beatles, David Geddes, Chicago, America: all of those were in my collection of 45's.
I was in a band we called the "Howlers." We didn't do Elvis songs. We did the Beatles, and our own. (HI, LARRY! Found a new drummer for your group yet?)
I went out to find Elvis records. They were gone. All of them had sold out barely hours after the announcement of the King's death.
To this day, I have only one record by The King of Rock'n'Roll. That's his Christmas Album. My wife has a few by him, I think, but I'm not sure which, or how many.
I still have the old vinyl records. I don't have more than 2 or 3 CDs. But I can't hear anymore--not well enough to talk on the phone, barely well enough to hear voices when I have my hearing aid on. Once in a great while I will try to listen to music. But the feel of it is no longer there.
I'm still not a big Elvis fan. But I'll be among those who acknowledge his importance in Music History.
Yes, I remember where I was. On my bed, in my room, at my parents' place in Buffalo MN. Do you remember where YOU were?