So I am at work the other night, and a customer...one that does not participate much, but makes the rounds, asks me to sing a request. He requested a good 'ol Elvis song. I oblige him, so I look thru my titles to see what Elvis songs I have that I could do...looking for something out of the box and not done to death.
As I am scanning over my page and a half of Elvis songs, I realize that out of ALL the titles I have, only a handful are really done regularly and worn out. Many have never been sung at all. And I am pondering his body of work, and I realize that Elvis probably never actually wrote a song. Elvis was a mere performer. Of course, his performances were legendary and he had a trademark look and sound and style, so you can give him kudos for that.
BUT...should his body of work be held up to proclaim him as the King? When will we dethrone him? Have not or will not others come along and exceed his impact on the music world? Havent others shaken the world more than Elvis, without the recognition?
Elvis was the worlds greatest Karaoke singer.
But having felt all that, I picked a song and did it up for my customer. He thanked me, and asked me to do another. This got me ever so slightly bent, so I politely declined. My reason to him was that there are 2 other karaoke hosts within a few miles who make their living as Elvis impersonators, and stake their claim as to how wonderful they are doing Elvis songs. I did not want to do multiple Elvis songs any more than the Elvis KJs want to sing the songs that I do. I am far more versatile and will choose just about any group once and try it. I dont pigeonhole genres or bands or eras...on any given night I will do anything from the Beatles, Bee Gees, Zeppelin, Tool, System of A Down, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and on and on with no rhyme or reason. But I digress...
Elvis was a great performer, but does that fact allow us to overlook his bad points? He was a drug addict, he was a pedophile, he was unfaithful. But, he was good to his mama, and man, the guy could sing huh?
So it just strikes me as peculiar, that a man can be a great performer and be reviled by so many willing to overlook the realities, yet there are others who have contributed far more, created more and been better humans that are overlooked. Yes, he became larger than life. He has also become a caricature of himself. I just have a hard time getting my head wrapped around the concept that so many people celebrate him as the greatest ever...and that karaoke hosts dress up like him all over the world, and that men in their 60s and 70s still wear his hairstyle, yet all he has really contributed is his performance. He has no body of work that he has created...just his performances. His image has become a marketing bonanza...his estate is probably worth more now than when he died from licensing arrangements. And dont say nuthin bad about the king. In the south he is as revered as Jesus H. Christ hisself.
F'in ponderous. Elvis was a great singer...and testament to his great abilities is how many people choose to imitate him...because it is easy perhaps? Lets see the troops of Roy Orbison singers come out...they would kick the Elvis singers asses, LOL! I would take Roy over Elvis any day as the king of EARLY rock. Wrote his own stuff, an octave range unsurpassed in rock...
I wont tell anyone what to believe...just speaking my mind. If I am wrong, I am welcoming that debate.
Thankyewvermuch. Harryoke has left the building.