Where Were You When You Heard Elvis Had Died?


Today, 16 Aug, is the date in 1977 that Elvis left this mortal coil.

I was in my early twenties, headed into Texas City with my best and oldest friend. We got together after work, loaded up his old International Harvester SUV “The Goose” and were bound for an inlet to Galveston Bay for some crabbing.  My best bud, a pharmacist, had grown up a fisherman and sportsman, as had I.  I was a student at UT-Austin, working a summer job in Houston as a painter’s helper on the Galleria II project.

As we were rolling into Texas City and turning off IH-45, the announcer on the big Houston rock’n’roll radio station stated, with a somber tone, “The King Is Dead.” Being in a party mode since leaving Houston, we looked at each other with blood shot eyes and went…whaaaa?  I said, seriously, who cares about the monarchy? Then the announcer stated it was Elvis who had died of congestive heart failure. That new information clue-batted us and we both expressed our shock and disbelief.

Elvis had been a part of our lives since we were toddlers.  My parents would drop us boys off at my grandparent’s farm on Saturday afternoon and go into Shreveport to have dinner, then go see this new singing sensation at the Louisiana Hayride, a young man named Elvis.  Of course my grandparent’s didn’t approve of this new “devil” music, no more than my parents approved of my Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin music, years later.

I can remember, even though I was only about four at the time, being scooped up and loaded in my Dad’s Buick Special for the midnight ride home, trying to understand where my parents had been and asking questions.

Years went by, I heard all of his songs and saw all of his movies(silly as most were), but it was Elvis, no one else looked like him or acted like him.  In the late sixties his star was waning and his Las Vegas era replaced the hit making young hip shaker. I was now into hard rock and paid little attention to his now faded glory.

But on this day, when I discovered he had passed away far too early, his impact on my life came flooding back with many memories.

*PS*  Elvis’ spirit was with my bud and I that afternoon and evening, we filled two large ice chests with huge blue shell crabs and made it home safely without injury or a DWI.

5 Responses

  1. Great topic!!!

    I’ve got to go out of town for several hours, but I’ll be back late afternoon with my story.

    Anyway. Elvis ain’t dead.

  2. I had just come home for lunch and the phone was ringing. It was my cousin who asked me “Guess who just died?” I thought maybe my Grand Daddy has passed, but it turned out to be Elvis. I had a joint and a beer in memoriam.

  3. Where were you when you got the news?

    It was several months before my seventh birthday. The whole family loaded up in the car and headed out for the Drive-In theater. We were well prepared: tuna fish sandwiches, pimento cheese, and a pitcher full of sweet tea went a long way toward making sure that we wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money at the concession stand. We also packed a couple of empty Coke bottles for the back seat – just in case. Follow that Dream was playing; the latest Elvis movie, and though I’m sure we had done it before, this is earliest memory I have of going to the movies with my family.

    We went to more Elvis movies in the next few years. But, 1964 changed everything. Suddenly, Elvis was old, and going nowhere. Plus, going to the picture show with the folks wasn’t near as cool any more.

    Before we knew it, Elvis needed a “comeback tour” in order to gain attention. In 1968, we were gathered at Uncle Pal and Aunt Doris’ house when the show began. That meant we could watch “in color”. Those words, along with “air-conditioned” meant we would watch a memorable evening of entertainment in comfy surroundings. And, what a show it was.

    Here is the intro from that show.

    **

    Red Ridenour left his workshop of his Clarinda, Iowa home in a hurry. He had some important news to deliver.

    “Keith … hey Keith, come here. Did you hear about your fellow Mississippian?”

    “Who?” I asked.

    “It’s about Elvis Presley. He died today.”

    “Whaaaa?” I sat down on the curb. I didn’t want to believe it.

  4. […] NUKE’S: Where Were You When You Heard Elvis Had Died? […]

Comments are closed.

Der Komödiant - Magazin / Blog / Zeitung

Das Onlinemagazin - Der Komödiant schreibt aus Berlin über die diversesten Themen - stets mit Humor und einer ganz persönlichen Note

1 SIGFRIDSSON

ON = TIME

TIME NEVER DIES

Sercan Ondem

Father Says...

one dad's thoughts on life

Resultize

knowledge-sharing platform about career, self-development, productivity & learning for ambitious young people

TIME NEVER DIES

The Circle Is Not Round

WiseDrugged

Share Wisdom. Live Abundantly.

The Traditionalist

Revolt Against The Modern World

raulconde001

A topnotch WordPress.com site

My life as Atu's Blog

a small thougt for a big planet of daydreamer

Taffy Toffy's Blog

太妃糖的博客

%d bloggers like this: