Elvis was always a part of my musical life. My dad is a huge Elvis fan, and it most certainly rubbed off on me and my brother. There is a story (apocryphal, possibly) that I was to be named Elvis because of the proximity of his death (8/16/1977) and my birth (9/9/1977)...as if I was replacing Elvis in the population.
But, and let's be serious, who could ever replace Elvis? He, throughout his life, represented American life, good and bad. He grew and changed with us, for better or worse.
His music was such a part of my young life, and became a part of my adult life. In my opinion, two of his greatest concerts were the 1968 Comeback Special (for musicianship, this is unparalelled) and 1972's Aloha From Hawaii (the first TV show to be simulcast from a satellite feed). Those concerts never fail to entertain, and they show Elvis at his best.
What has been said before should only be repeated briefly here...that he was the most influential pop artist of the 20th century, I'll buy that (excepting Frank Sinatra, but they were both symbols of their ages)...he died too soon (well, sure, but if you ingest as much perscription medication as Elvis did, something bad WILL happen.
I always liked Elvis's spirit, giving jobs to his relatives, handing out Cadillacs like they were breath mints...he was everything that was good and bad about post-war America rolled up in one man. He was, however, generous to a fault and he loved his momma...what could be better?
His best song? I guess this vaires between people, but for me, it is "Kentucky Rain." I could hear that a thousand times and call for it again.
So, let's all raise a glass to Elvis...America has had 43 Presidents, but only one King.
TCB, baby, TCB. If we could all be so dedicated.
Thank you, thank you very much and Elvis HAS left the building, but he has not left us.