August 16 not a good day in Music history.

According to legend, as a young man living on a plantation in rural Mississippi, Robert Johnson had a tremendous desire to become a great blues musician. One of the legends often told says that Johnson was instructed to take his guitar to a crossroad near Dockery Plantation at midnight. (There are claims for at least a dozen other sites as the location of the crossroads.)There he was met by the Devil, who took the guitar and tuned it. The Devil played a few songs and then returned the guitar to Johnson, giving him mastery of the instrument. This story of a deal with the Devil at the crossroads mirrors the legend of Faust. In exchange for his soul, Johnson was able to create the blues for which he became famous.

The story was initially told of an older bluesman, Tommy Johnson (no relation), but he died in 1956, aged 60. It was more hauntingly apposite for Robert Johnson, who died in 1938, aged only 27, after a troubled life and an itinerant career. His only recordings, made a year before his death, still have a spooky quality even 80 years on.

His death was as mysterious as his life. He died on August 16, 1938, at the age of 27, near Greenwood, Mississippi, of unknown causes. His death was not reported publicly; he merely disappeared from the historical record and it was not until almost 30 years later, when Gayle Dean Wardlow, a Mississippi-based musicologist researching Johnson’s life, found his death certificate, which listed only the date and location, with no official cause of death. No formal autopsy was done; instead, a pro forma examination was done to file the death certificate, and no immediate cause of death was determined. It is likely he had congenital syphilis and it was suspected later by medical professionals that may have been a contributing factor in his death. However, 30 years of local legend and oral tradition had, like the rest of his life story, built a legend which has filled in gaps in the scant historical record.

Elvis Aaron Presley, aka Elvis, aka the “King of Rock and Roll”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, led him to both great success and initial controversy.

Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8,1935.

On the evening of Tuesday, August 16, 1977, Presley was scheduled to fly out of Memphis to begin another tour. That afternoon, Ginger Alden discovered him in an unresponsive state on a bathroom floor. According to her eyewitness account, “Elvis looked as if his entire body had completely frozen in a seated position while using the toilet and then had fallen forward, in that fixed position, directly in front of it. … It was clear that, from the time whatever hit him to the moment he had landed on the floor, Elvis hadn’t moved.”[295] Attempts to revive him failed, and his death was officially pronounced at 3:30 p.m. at the Baptist Memorial Hospital.

I remember that day as if it was Yesterday. I was 9 at the time. I came home from school and my mother asked me “Guess who died today?” I asked who, she replied Elvis. Trying to be the tough guy I said “What is it to me?” . But when I went to my room, I cried for the rest of the day.

Joseph Ronald Drew, or Ronnie Drew was an Irish singer, folk musician and actor who achieved international fame during a fifty-year career recording with The Dubliners. He is most recognised for his lead vocals on the single “Seven Drunken Nights” and “The Irish Rover” both charting in the UK top 10 and then performed on TOTP. He was recognisable for his long beard and pale blue eyes and his voice.

On 25 October 2007, Drew—now bald and beardless—appeared on Ryan Confidential on RTÉ 1 to give an interview about his role in The Dubliners, his life since leaving the band and being diagnosed with throat cancer. Later in 2007, he appeared on The Late Late Show, where he spoke some more about the death of his wife and his ongoing treatment for cancer.

Drew died in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin on 16 August 2008, following his long illness. He was buried three days later in Redford Cemetery in Greystones.

Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Referred to as the “Queen of Soul”, she is regarded as the most influential female vocalist of the 1960s. Franklin began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister.

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront Towers, Detroit.[She was under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson and former husband Glynn Turman visited her on her deathbed. Aretha Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76, without a will.The cause of death was a malignant pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET),which is distinct from the most common form of pancreatic cancer.[Numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry and politicians paid tribute to Franklin, including former U.S. President Barack Obama who said she “helped define the American experience”.[ Civil rights activist and minister Al Sharpton called her a “civil rights and humanitarian icon”.

Elvis’s last concert.

Anyone who tells me they like rock music but don’t like Elvis, are either lying or don’t like rock or pop music at all. The fact is that without Elvis Rock N Roll would have never been as popular as it is.

He always will have a special place in my heart. However there is no denying that his end was tragic and I still believe totally avoidable. But I will not go into that this time.

As the title suggests, this is about Elvis’s ever last concert which was held on June 26,1977. The venue was the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was his 55th show of the year.

His final show brought in a crowd of 18,000 fans at the Indianapolis’s Market Square Arena and was a must-see gig for Presley fans.

Despite his poor health condition , and at times sickly appearance, his presence alone was still enough of a draw to sell out shows nationwide.

While Elvis was overweight,158 kg, and pale at this point in his life, he still appeared on form and put on a great show.

This was his setlist; “Also Spoke Zarathustra (opening) “”C.C. Rider,” “I Got A Woman/Amen,” “Love Me,” “Fairytale,” “You Gave Me A Mountain,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “It’s Now Or Never,” “Little Sister,” “Teddy Bear,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Release Me,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Early Mornin’ Rain,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “I Really Don’t Want To Know,” “Hurt,” “Hound Dog,” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”

As he left the stage for the final time, on June 26, 1977, the King of Rock n’ Roll told his fans “We’ll meet you again, God bless, adios” He ended the show with this song.

He truly was the King of Rock N Roll

Sources

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/on-this-day-elvis-presley-last-concert

https://www.smoothradio.com/artists/elvis-presley/final-performance-video/

https://www.thecoast.net.nz/videos/watch-elvis-presleys-final-song-at-his-last-ever-concert/

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The time Michael Jackson became Elvis’s son in law.

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This is something that had slipped my mind but on this day in 1994, Michael Jackson married Lisa-Marie Presley.

They first met nearly 2 decades before they got married.He was introduced to her when he was 16 ans she was 6.at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nevada by her Elvis.

Elvis head brought her there to see the Jackson 5 perform.

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The pair picked up their friendship many years later in 1992,at a private dinner held at the home of their mutual friend the artist Brett-Livingstone Strong.  and two years after that, the ruler of Neverland and the heiress of Graceland were to be wed.

Although no one knew at the time. They got married in secret in n a secluded part of the Dominican Republic. The news about the wedding only leaked 11 weeks later.

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Lisa Marie had been a great support to Michael Jackson,when he became the subject of child sexual abuse accusations in 1993.

Michael Jackson had proposed to Lisa Marie while she was still married to actor Danny Keough. Jackson and Presley wed on May 26, 1994, at a ceremony in the Dominican Republic.Presley had divorced Keough only 20 days before.

The whole ceremony only lasted for 15 minutes and was held by was held by Judge Hugo Francisco Alvarez Perez at his home.

The marriage only lasted for 2 years. They got divorced on August 20 1996.

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Bride

 

 

 

Graceland-Memphis Tennessee

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Graceland is of course forever associated with the King of Rock N Roll, however it wasn’t always the property of Elvis.

Graceland Farms was originally owned by Stephen C. Toof, founder of S.C. Toof & Co., the oldest commercial printing firm in Memphis.

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He had previously been the press room foreman of the Memphis newspaper, the Memphis Daily Appeal. The “grounds” (before the mansion home was built in 1939) was named after Toof’s daughter, Grace. She inherited the grounds from her father in 1894. After her death, the property was passed down to her niece Ruth Moore, a Memphis socialite, who together with her husband, Thomas Moore, built a 10,266 square feet (953.7 m2) Colonial Revival style mansion in 1939.

 

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With a $1,000 cash deposit against a sale price of $102,500, Elvis Presley agreed to purchase the home called Graceland on March 19, 1957.

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It has now become a shrine for many Elvis fans(including me although I haven’t been yet).

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Graceland

Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair? Elvis Laughing.

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Ever since I was a kid I have been a fan of Elvis-The King of Rock N Roll. Not  only was he  a great singer and performer he had also a great sense of humour.

Elvis would often ad lib lyrics during live concerts, as he did during a Las Vegas gig in April 1969. While he was doing a version of “Are you lonesome tonight” he changed one line from “Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?”  to “Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair?”

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As he sang it he started giggling not realizing what was about to happen next. A man in the front row happens to remove his wig and begins swaying to the music. At that point Elvis loses it and can’t stop laughing.

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Elvis- the younger years

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Elvis, the younger years, not only for him but also for me. I was 9 when Elvis died and to me it felt like losing a close family member, His music meant a lot to me in my younger years and even to this day.

Born on January 8,1935 Elvis Aaron Presley was born as part of a twin. Unfortunately his twin brother Jessie Garon Presley did not survive the birth.

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Elvis was haunted by this his entire life.  His mother Gladys used to say Elvis had the energy of 2 people.

For Elvis Presley, childhood and adolescence were difficult and often involved working to help the family with finances. He picked up music early from local gospel groups and picked up the guitar when he was only 11 years old.

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Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Love (née Smith; 1912–1958) and Vernon Elvis Presley (1916–1979), in the two-room  house built by Vernon’s father in preparation for the child’s birth. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered stillborn 35 minutes before his own birth. Jesse was buried in an unmarked grave at Priceville Cemetery in Tupelo

Elvis grew up within a close-knit, working class family, consisting of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who all live near one another in Tupelo. There is little money, but Vernon and Gladys do their best to provide for their son, who is the center of their lives.

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They moved from one house to another in Tupelo. Elvis attends the Assembly of God Church with his family, and the music and preaching register deeplywith Elvis Presley. Childhood influences include black blues-men in the neighborhood and country music radio programs enjoyed by his family.

In September 1941, Presley entered first grade at East Tupelo Consolidated, where his instructors regarded him as “average”.He was encouraged to enter a singing contest after impressing his schoolteacher with a rendition of Red Foley’s country song “Old Shep” during morning prayers. The contest, held at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, 1945, was his first public performance. Ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy; he stood on a chair to reach the microphone and sang “Old Shep”. He recalled placing fifth.

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A few months later, Presley received his first guitar for his birthday; he had hoped for something else—by different accounts, either a bicycle or a rifle. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family’s church. Presley recalled, “I took the guitar, and I watched people, and I learned to play a little bit. But I would never sing in public. I was very shy about it.”

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In November 1948, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. After residing for nearly a year in rooming houses, they were granted a two-bedroom apartment in the public housing complex known as the Lauderdale Courts.Enrolled at L. C. Humes High School, Presley received only a C in music in eighth grade.

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When his music teacher informed him that he did not have an aptitude for singing, he brought in his guitar the next day and sang a recent hit, “Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Me”, in an effort to prove otherwise. A classmate later recalled that the teacher “agreed that Elvis was right when he said that she didn’t appreciate his kind of singing.” He was usually too shy to perform openly, and was occasionally bullied by classmates who viewed him as a “mama’s boy”. In 1950, he regularly began practicing guitar under the tutelage of Jesse Lee Denson, a neighbor two-and-a-half years his senior. They and three other boys—including two future rockabilly pioneers, brothers Dorsey and Johnny Burnette—formed a loose musical collective that played frequently around the Courts.

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That September, he began ushering at Loew’s State Theater.Other jobs followed, including Precision Tool, Loew’s again, and MARL Metal Products.

Elvis worked at Parker Machinists Shop right after graduation. That summer, he dropped by The Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun label, and makes a demo acetate of “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” for a cost of about $4.00 asa birthday present for his mother, Gladys. Sam Phillips recorded Elvis singing “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin,” and afterwards tells his assistant Marion Keisker something that made her write down in her notes, “Good ballad singer. Hold.”

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The rest is history.

Finishing with one of my favourite Elvis songs.

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Elvis Presley and Robert Johnson

 

Why did I use the names of these 2 artists as the title of this blog? Because they had nothing in common.

Well that is not entirely true. Both were born in Mississippi and both died on the 16th of August, Elvis 42 years ago today and Robert Johnson 81 year ago today. Both were pioneers in their music genre.

Also they both shaped my musical taste. It is a simple fact that there will never be any stars of their magnitude again.

Elvis was and is the undisputed King of Rock N Roll.

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Whereas Robert Johnson was and is the undisputed King of the Blues.

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Both men were legends and met untimely deaths and both were victims of circumstance.

I will not go to deep into their lives because there is nothing more that I can add to their stories. Below are 2 blogs though I have done in the past.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/02/23/elvis-and-the-colonel/

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/04/27/did-robert-johnson-sell-his-soul-to-the-devil/

Let’s celebrate their lives with some of their music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIP Elvis and Robert. Thank you for the music

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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