I cannot remember a time before I loved Elvis. My mother said she didn’t even know that I knew who he was until one day at a drug store, I saw an Elvis Album and I just started saying “Elvis, mom” Over and over again.
It’s true but it’s also hard to admit. I have a fear of categorizing myself as one of those crazy Elvis fanatics who think he’s still alive. Although, I have secretly wished it were true in the past.
I used to listen to my dads 8 track of Elvis’s greatest hits with headphones on and sing every song until my mom would ask me to give it a rest for a while. I watched all his movies and wished I knew him. My parents said they were going to take me to see him because he was scheduled to perform nearby in Binghamton, NY but he never made it. He passed away that summer before. I remember my parents reading about it in the newspaper and I cried when I found out.
As I got older, the impersonators started popping up. I despised them. They always over did it and made me begin to hate hearing even the real Elvis saying something in a movie that one of them might use. I also did not like the fanatics that cried and collected all sorts of Elvis memorabilia. Even though I understood their fascination with him, I always felt like I was the only one who truly appreciated him.
When I got married, my husband was a truck driver and for our honey moon we traveled in his truck to Memphis, so we decided to visit Graceland. It was hard to believe Elvis actually lived there. It was a dream come true to have gone there. But if only I could meet him.
A few years ago, my husband wanted me to watch a YouTube video of an Elvis impersonator. He was scouting out some for a talent agency he was working for. But I kept saying no because I just knew I was gonna hate him and then I’d be angry about it. There could never be another Elvis.
Finally after days of persuasion, I finally watched. In the video I saw he was wearing makeup that gave a little more of Elvis’s facial appearance but I was still skeptical. Then he started singing. I kept watching in disbelief. And at times because I knew it wasn’t really Elvis, I closed my eyes to concentrate on the voice. Every note was genuine. He didn’t have to force himself to replicate Elvis’s voice. It was very natural. I couldn’t believe it.
So eventually, we went to go see him perform live. Unfortunately, he was performing with a couple other Really bad Elvis Imposters and I had to fake smiles and pretend to enjoy myself until the reincarnated one finally came out. He was the real deal.
After the show, my mother in law made him sing In the Ghetto. And instead of the tracks he usually sings to, he took out his guitar and actually knew how to play. When you watch the video that I took, it’s dark and hard to make out his face, but that was ok because, I got to hear Elvis sing in person after all.