Sunday, August 16, 2015


Long Live Rock and Roll

“Nobody sings a love song quite like you doAnd nobody else could make me sing along
And nobody else could make me feel
That things are right when I know they're wrong
Nobody sings a love song quite like you.”
                       Sweet Music Man by Kenny Rogers

By Doc Lawrence

MEMPHIS-Rock and Roll was born here. And the man who started it all just happened to be in the right place and time to put a fusion of Southern music into one of Sam Phillip’s Sun Studio recordings.

On that July day, some felt the earth tremble.

Elvis died on this day when the world was a different place. The outpouring of grief still lingers and that included my dear now departed mother who called me to break the news on a morning that was lovely for August. I turned on the radio and instead of weather and sports, heard the hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” the recording by Elvis with the incredible harmonies of The Jordanaires. The sad news was confirmed.

The legendary folk artist Reverend Howard Finster painted and constructed art based on visions he maintained were from God. If you knew Rev. Finster, you would never doubt him. I have one painting called “Winged Elvis,” showing a young boy with a farm hat, coveralls and angel wings. Finster explained to me that he had visions of Elvis as a child in the rural South, a decent boy who was aware that he was about to embark on a mighty mission.

The painting is on a prominent wall in my home and it brings me comfort.

I met Elvis before I was old enough to drive a car. It was brief but I knew something big was ahead for him. One other time I saw him perform on the eve of fame and fortune. My world would  never the same.

Remembering is de rigueur down here. It stimulates something deep inside replacing turmoil with peace.

Light a candle tonight. Say a prayer. Feel the embrace.

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