Sunday, November 11, 2018

This One Makes a Lot of Noise

Song 433: The week the playlist features Hound Dog by Elvis Presley, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and you can find a YouTube video of it by clicking on the title. This early Elvis hit was the only one of his that I knew in my younger years. I had some awareness of the man's career and stardom, but had no contact with any of his output, other than hearing this single once on the radio. When the Fab Four rocked my world in the winter of 1964, they immediately got me hooked on RnR, but it surprised me, a few years later, to learn, from their official biography book, that Presley had been their original inspiration. I had guessed, from the sound of this record, that EP was some kind of hillbilly singer, but when the early 1970s unfolded a sort-of 1950s RnR revival, I got to know Elvis' music much better, and thereby, to appreciate his place among the early rocking musical pioneers. At some point in that era I acquired an LP of his greatest hits, which included this track along with a lot of other fun stuff, so that by the time he left the land of the living, I understood what a gem the music world had lost. Only in recent years did I learn that my best friend's mother has been a life-long Elvis fan - during our teenage years, living in a highly-religious home where the parents and grandparents despised the devil's music, I attended a church where the older generations expressed this same outlook, so it would have astounded me to learn that any of my friends' parents were actually fans of a rocker, let alone my closest buddy's mom. On my visits to his home, we would often listen to his Simon and Garfunkel collection, but I never got to witness his mother enjoying the music of Mr. Presley. I may very well get to share a meal with the two of them, plus some of their other family members, a week from Thursday, and if I do, I imagine that the topic of Elvis and his music might animate our conversations.

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