Today is September 9, 2010. Elvis Presley vaulted to fame and fortune on September 9, 1956. I watched it live on my black-and-white set in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and wondered what the big fuss was all about. It may not have been his first national television appearance, but it was the one for most of us who thought of Ed Sullivan in the same breath as the news reels at the movies and traveling plays that occasionally brought Broadway culture to our civic auditorium.
I played my Beethoven and Chopin on the piano and dreamed of challenging the technically difficult Concerto No. 3by Sergei Rachmaninoff (also spelled with “v”). Somehow Elvis passed me by until I read the book by Paul Pullen, Contract with the King, in which some seriously wacky students in Austin, Texas, kidnap the rock star in order to cure him of his addictions. After reading Paul’s book, I realized that Elvis Presley was a serious icon to a generation of young men who felt as if they had somehow lost their way. If I were too late to belong to the Elvis crowd, at least I had connected with the way so many of my classmates felt about the greatest rock-and-roll star of my generation.
Which is why I was so pleased that Paul said he would do a review on our book about Callie Houston. I hope you will read his detailed review of A Matter for Survival on the Fat Squirrel Publishing website. If you haven’t read his book about Elvis Presley, I hope you read Contract with the King, also.
Also, enjoy the anniversary of Elis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show.