Sunday, 6 July 2014

Elvis 60

All together now,

Well, that's all right, mama

That's all right for you…

Would you believe that Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right" sixty (yes 60, 6-0, zestig, soixante, sesenta, trigain!) years ago yesterday?

The story of how the number came to be recorded has been told many times and can easily be found online, should you be interested. But it was then that popular music took its first steps to becoming desegregated: no longer was there the artificial divide of music for blacks and music for whites; from now on it would at least endeavour to be music for the people.

The recording had enormous social impact.

But the event and its repercussions also had huge impact at the individual level.

I was a mere whippersnapper of five going on six in the Rhondda Valley of south Wales at the time that Elvis was struggling to prove to Sam Phillips that he was a good ballad singer (and then, quite unexpectedly broke into "That's All Right"), but within a few years I was an Elvis fan. In 1966 I went to Belgium to take part in an Elvis fans convention and whilst in that country, though separate from the convention, I met a girl and decided there and then that she was the one.

Five years later I moved to Belgium and Elise and I got married. We're still married and now live in the south-east of Spain. It wouldn't have happened if Elvis had not recorded "That's All Right" 60 years ago.

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