There was a man on the radio with the strange American name of Elvis who had blue suede shoes and a hound-dog.
“Oh dear, he’s so loud,” my mother complained. “Why can’t he sing nice songs like Bing Crosby and Perry Como?”
Why not indeed. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but if the grown-ups disapproved, it had to be good. Little did I know that in the years to come he would eventually sing more hits than anyone (149), spent more time in the top ten than anyone (80 weeks) had the greatest number of consecutive hits (10) although he ran second to the Beatles with the actual number of number one hits (17).
In fact they reckoned he was a white man who could sing like a black man, but really he was a prisoner all his life of his avaricious manager Colonel Parker. Women were mesmerised by his jiggling hips and one day the cruel Julie Burchill would call him ‘the sneer that ate the world’.
His first film was originally titled The Reno Brothers, and was supposed to be a fairly serious story of the failing out of brothers, but when the theme song was a big hit, the title got changed to Love Me Tender and so did any prospects Presley might have had as a serious actor. Thereafter he made a long series of truly second-rate movies (with a couple of notable exceptions that will be dealt with in their place) that were really only intended as promotional devices for his latest record. The Kentucky Fried singer would come to know greater success than anyone and he would die horribly of excess.