Forty-four years and immeasurable amounts of muddy Mississippi water have passed by what everyone, at that time, thought everyone would never forget.
Elvis, the "King of Rock-n-Roll" is dead.
Although mostly forgotten, Elvis and his music still carries faint memories of earth breaking and parent shaking performances from the 1950's on through his "comeback" years in the late '60's and early '70's. The King's remembrance has diminished with the aging of generations who enjoyed his trend setting rock-n-roll moves made in his famous but now faded "Blue Suede Shoes."
The historical film footage captures an up and coming Elvis as he performed two sold out shows at Oklahoma City's Municipal Auditorium in 1956 and made a getaway exit with fans chasing him down the street.
Jack Jones of the Daily Oklahoman reported:
"You'd have to see Elvis Presley to believe it. Not since the swooning craze of the Frank Sinatra days have Oklahoma City teen-agers given an entertainer the reception they gave Presley in Municipal Auditorium Thursday night.
While 6,500 youngsters packed the auditorium for his first show, another 6,500 waited impatiently outside to get in for his second performance. The moment the young rock-and-roll singer leaped onto the stage and grasped the microphone, the youngsters started screaming. And they kept screaming until two shows were over.
Some 40 policemen watched the screaming teen-aged audience anxiously as Presley whipped them up into frenzies with such songs as 'Long Tall Sally,' and 'Blue Suede Shoes'."
It is very interesting to hear from another friend and eye witness who was actually present at one of the Municipal Auditorium sessions. Award winning and most prominent Hollywood media strategist Stan Rosenfield was a Junior at the new Northwest Classen High School when Elvis found his way to Oklahoma City in 1956. Mr. Rosenfield not only remembered the highly anticipated '56 appearance in Oklahoma City but said he was there as a seventeen year old fan of Elvis and his music. "All I remember is all the girls screaming during the whole concert."
Just a fourteen year old nonchalant country kid in 1977, I can remember feeling some sort of loss as the news spread on radio and tv about the death of Elvis. Seeing my sister cry probably sparked that emotion more than anything else.
Elvis' 45 r.p.m. records are the initial sounds of music that I can remember listening to. "Hound Dog" is a single on RCA records that stands out as being the first actual Elvis song that I can personally recall hearing and singing along with. From there and from the small town of Lookeba, Oklahoma, all of his hit songs were mostly borrowed from the sound waves of WKY AM Radio out of Oklahoma City.
As a youngster, it was most enjoyable to hear one of Oklahoma City's most iconic record spinners of all time announce that "Elvis is coming up next" on my hand held transistor radio. Ronnie Kaye has been in the radio and television business in Oklahoma City quite a bit longer than Elvis has been forgotten. I share his personal emotion from a poetical piece he penned upon the loss of The King. This with confidence of truth of such emotion coming from Ronnie Kaye's elder knowledge and experience relative to Elvis and what was considered a shocking loss of life on August 16, 1977.
This unique and historically written piece revives many memorable thoughts in rhyme while concluding with the one mournful moment that everyone has seemed to have forgotten in time.
On this 44th Anniversary of The King's passing, maybe everyone or maybe just someone who has forgotten will remember Elvis as his rock-n-roll filled soul rests in peace at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.