Elvis Presley – What he means to me

By Vicki Kanakaris

Elvis Presley! Wow his name alone sends my heart racing and I am transported to a time of youth, innocence, romance, movies, music and ‘happily ever afters’!

Elvis was born 8 January 1935, Tupelo, Mississippi, U.S. and died 16 August 1977, Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 42. Although I was only 11 years old, I have a recollection of his death and the uproar it caused through the media.

As I entered my early teenage years, I have very vivid memories of sheer joy when I happen to turn on our T.V. and see that an Elvis movie was on. With squeals of excitement, I would call my sister to join me. During the entire movie I distinctly remember the thrill of both of us singing along to Elvis songs and truly feeling the screen characters in their roles. No matter what the dilemmas of the story were, I always knew in the recesses of my mind that there was going to a ‘happily ever after’ ending! In my eyes Elvis was the epitome of extremely handsome and abundantly talented.

In my music collection I had a double album of Elvis’ greatest hits and often played it. I remember my mum humming along to what became very familiar songs in my home. Although now we all listen to msic via digital flat forms, I still have my beloved albums and a turntable. I can profess to know all the below and more!

Elvis recorded more than 600 songs in his music career. Below is just a sample of his songs that I still remember and sing:

  1. Suspicious Minds (1969)
  2. Can’t Help Falling In Love (1962)
  3. In The Ghetto (1969)
  4. Always On My Mind (1972)
  5. A Little Less Conversation (1968/2002)
  6. Jailhouse Rock (1958)
  7. Hound Dog (1956)
  8. Love Me Tender (1956)
  9. Return to Sender (1962)
  10. Are You Lonesome Tonight (1961)
  11. The Wonder of You (1970)
  12. Blue Suede Shoes (1956)
  13. All Shook Up (1957)
  14. It’s Now or Never (1960)
  15. An American Trilogy (1972)
  16. Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
  17. Viva Las Vegas (1964)
  18. Don’t Be Cruel (1956)
  19. If I Can Dream (1969)
  20. King Creole (1958)

Elvis made 31 films as an actor. It would be remiss of me not to include some of Elvis’ world hit movies:

  1. ‘King Creole’
  2. ‘Paradise, Hawaiian Style’
  3. ‘Speedway’
  4. ‘It Happened At The World’s Fair’
  5. ‘Tickle Me’
  6. ‘Kid Galahad’
  7. ‘Wild In the Country’
  8. ‘Flaming Star’
  9. ‘Girl Happy’
  10. ‘Kissin’ Cousins’
  11. ‘Fun in Acapulco’
  12. ‘Roustabout’
  13. ‘Follow The Dream’
  14. ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’
  15. ‘Viva Las Vegas’
  16. ‘G.I. Blues’
  17. ‘Blue Hawaii’
  18. ‘Loving You’
  19. ‘Jailhouse Rock’
  20. ‘Love Me Tender’

I always have and will always look forward to replays of Elvis movies. They still invoke beautiful memories and I still enjoy watching him and singing along to his songs. He truly was the ‘King of Rock and Roll’.