“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”
This summer we went to Graceland. The part of Memphis you drive through to get there is rather unimpressive at best. It’s busy dirty rundown city. And then you come to Graceland in the midst of that, with its stone gate, guitar fence, and large stone house with white columns. You park across the street in a very touristy place shops with restaurants and a shuttle that runs you across the road after you’ve purchased your tickets and stood in line. Of course you have to get your photo taken in front of a painting of Graceland for the opportunity to buy it at an exorbitant rate on your way out. And of course we did buy it, although it wasn’t our best by any means since we were travel weary and in our comfy travel clothes and all. Hm.
I think I’ll let a few photos talk, along with a few Elvis quotes…
“I never expected to be anybody important.”
"I’m trying to keep a level head. You have to be careful out in the world. It’s easy to get turned.”
“I’d like to just be treated like a regular customer.”
”I’m not trying to be sexy. It’s just my way of expressing myself when I move around.”
“I sure lost my musical direction in Hollywood. My songs were the same conveyer belt mass production, just like most of my movies were.”
"I like to sing ballads the way Eddie Fisher does and the way Perry Como does. But the way I'm singing now is what makes the money.”
"After a hard day of basic training, you could eat a rattlesnake."
"The army teaches boys to think like men."
“Man, that record came out and was real big in Memphis. They started playing it, and it got real big. Don't know why - the lyrics had no meaning.”
”Those people in New York are not going to change me none.”
"The Lord can give and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year."
"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away."
What more is there to say? It’s not his talent that made him great. His talent only caught attention. What made him great was his strength of character, his humility, his duty to others, and his love for people.
A few little facts that aren’t little things:
Elvis got a C in eighth grade music only because his teacher didn’t like his style.
He paid to record his first few songs, with his own funds.
See an invoice here.
He gave a lot of money to charities, particularly to children’s charities. He didn’t make a big show of it. He just did it.
Happy Birthday, Elvis! May your true spirit continue to live.