This week marked the 35th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. For those of us old enough to remember, his death shocked and grieved a nation, and many mourned him the same as if we’d lost a president.
And why not? He was, after all, a king of sorts—the King of Rock & Roll.
Few would dispute the deep and lasting effect Elvis had on modern music, starting with his days at Sun Records. Even today, years after his death, his songs are part of the soundtrack of our lives, and we can instantly recognize his songs when they come over the jukebox or the coffee shop stereo. Our kids, who never knew Elvis when he was alive, can instantly recognize his voice. Never mind the conspiracy theories and the “Elvis sightings”—it’s obvious that Elvis is still very much with us.
In honor of the anniversary of his passing, this week’s Rock Rewind is devoted to Elvis. There are far too many songs to choose a personal favorite, but I’ve included two videos below, reflecting two different eras of Elvis. The first, “Jailhouse Rock,” is a precursor to the music video era, while “Suspicious Minds” captures a live show favorite of fans in the early 1970s. Enjoy!