Thursday, August 16, 2007

30 YEARS AGO, ELVIS LEFT THE BUILDING! FOREVER!!!

If you were a fan of "The King", you know where you were when you heard the announcement that he had died. I had a job as the morning radio host on KKSS, a station in St. Louis. I was also programming that station. On the afternoon of August 16, 1977, I was walking down the hall when I heard the news.

Elvis Presley is dead?!? Hell, he had gained a bunch of weight, but....Dead?

In 1969, Elvis began what would be a non-stop record setting series of concerts at The International in Las Vegas. It was actually The International Hotel, but people called it, "The International". I wasn't there opening night, but I was there opening week and I saw him often. I spoke with him (very briefly) only once. I never had the opportunity to interview him on the air, but Elvis was very nice to me. I don't know how many times I saw him sing (it was many), but every time except twice, I brought a date and I was given the first and second seats, center stage. My dates sat in the first seat. Those seats weren't that great because you had to strain your neck to see the action, but Elvis looked out for my "action" by kissing every date I brought while he was singing. Dates who (then) never even knew I was alive for about a day and a half until they remembered who was responsible for her getting that kiss.

Thank you, Elvis!

Oh...the two times I didn't bring a date? The first time was when I'd made one of those last minute decisions to go. Unfortunately, the plane landed late, I arrived at the hotel late, the show was about to start, the place was packed and just when I thought I wouldn't be able to get in, I was told to, "Follow that person right there!" A table was brought out and placed in the center of the lower level. Everyone else was almost finished eating and the show was about to start. My food was brought to me and I gobbled it down while Sammy Shore did his opening act thing.

Memories.

The other time when I didn't bring a date was a special show sponsored by RCA that I flew out for from St. Louis with Ralph Stieferman, a guy who was a skirt chasing buddy of mine. Elvis had gained a lot of weight, he was doing a lot of rambling on stage, but Ralph had never seen Elvis and he thought the show was great.

A few weeks later, Elvis was dead.

Since then, a lot of books have been written and movies have been made.

I only know what I saw!

Elvis, thanks for the memories. And long live The King!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't forget! You can HEAR this blog! The links to the stations broadcasting today's blog can be found at the bottom of my links section which is to the right of what you're reading now. It's the last links.

A new blog is written every morning. Monday through Friday and is posted between 7 and 7:15, Pacific Time. Sometimes earlier. Questions and comments can be sent to scottstjames@sbcglobal.net. I do write back.

TOMORROW: We'll tell you about some new films that will be opening, why you should catch up with FX's hot new show, "Damages" and anything else that makes me say, "Whaaaaat?!?"

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