Thursday, August 16, 2012

1977: I heard the announcer say...

Elvis died 35 years ago today. Hard to believe it's that long ago. Do you remember it?

I remember it well. Elvis was certainly on my radar. I wouldn't say I was a fan per se, but I we enjoyed his films which were sometimes shown in the mornings during the school holidays and I knew the odd song. He was in the charts constantly right up to his death, and I think we'd just seen off Moody Blue. It was a song we sang after Mum told us off, which was often, but obviously when she was out of earshot. We were much more scared of her than we were of Dad.

So when Elvis died it was a big deal to everyone. Some people were devasated. I glimpsed my brother through the window watching some Elvis-related show a few days later. He was crying. He was nine-years-old. I was 12. Elvis was 42. Old to me then, but younger than I am now. But people looked so much older back then, didn't they?

It was Elvis all the way for the rest of '77 really. Way Down was number one for what seemed like ages. I didn't like it at all. I thought it was a shit song, and I still think it's a rather workaday Elvis also-ran. Like Starting Over, it only got to number one because it was in the charts and everyone needed to buy it in case there was never another Elvis record released ever again, or to assuage their guilt about not having bought it in the first place. Chartwatchers will recall how the Lennon song was plummetting down the charts when he was shot and then rocketed back up the charts, from No.21 all the way to No.1 if memory serves.

And once all that was over there was this awful tribute record by this Dutch guy with the made up name. They played it to death on Radio Luxembourg. The day the music died indeed.

1 comment:

  1. I'd been parked in Ireland with my rellies as I was most summers, and this was the most exciting thing to happen in the entire holiday. I heard it on Radio Luxembourg, listened to on my tiny tinny tranny, and ran down the stairs shrieking "He's dead! He's DEAD!!".

    My aunt and uncle thought I must have been talking about the Pope, and were quite relieved when it was only Elvis.