“Black Velvet” was a song that came out in the early 1990s to describe the incomparable Elvis Presley. There were two versions of this song. Elvis’ loyal fans just recognized the 40th anniversary of his passing. There are only a few miracles: his short time on earth and his voice.
The songs are still with me. They remind me of a time of my youth and are inspirational. When I was coming up, everyone listened to all the songs no matter if they were black or white artists. We bought the songs no matter what.
His earlier songs were not among my favorites; his later songs were deeper and his message was soundly delivered in such hits as “The Wonder of You” and “Suspicious Minds”. Elvis was the first artist to realize the plight of the inner-city children within the ghetto and tell the story about the Chicago Black youth and their struggle to survive. Elvis was a given since he was from a very poor upbringing.
A story was told about him bringing a green Cadillac to an elderly black couple. As Elvis was waiting for his Cadillac delivery, he saw this couple wishfully looking at the Cadillac and and he bought it for them.
Elvis had his favorite singers like everyone else. His was Jackie Wilson of “Lonely Teardrops” and “Higher and Higher” fame. If Elvis had lived a little longer he would have given his friend Jackie a deserving funeral.
Elvis recognized the immerse talent of his friend who happened to be black. Jackie was on several sets of Elvis shows and movie recordings. They were close friends.
The 40th anniversary of Elvis’ passing hardly got noticed from the media, and that is a shame.
Turner Movie Classics showed his movies to honor him. I tried to record them, to look at them and remember how lucky we are to hear all the great songs by him and all our favorite singers and to celebrate a time gone by.
It’s good to remember; it keeps the memory of those long since passed alive.
H Glenn Thornton