Elvis Presley would’ve been 78 today (or he is 78, if you believe some of the crazy theories out there). In spite of the way he was used and exploited by Colonel Tom Parker, the music and movie industries, and countless other “suits” out there, he managed to remain a charismatic and powerful performer. Even in the white jumpsuit years, his talents obviously in decline, he could command the stage like no other.
The comeback special from 1968 showcased his talent and charm, reminding us all why we fell in love with him in the first place. It wasn’t just his physical beauty, or his ability to sing. There was some indefinable magic to Elvis. Watch this whole thing if you have the time. You’ll see a still young man who’d been imprisoned by his image and fame for over a decade reclaiming a little piece of himself. You’ll also see one of the iconic performers of Rock & Roll give one of his most iconic performances. (Special thanks to motzendorfer for posting this to YouTube.)
Happy Birthday, Elvis, wherever you are.
Note: Today is also the incomparable David Bowie’s 66th birthday, so best wishes to him. Dangerous Minds posted today that Bowie is releasing his first new album in a decade. Here’s hoping it’s as fascinating as the rest of his music.