Elvis Presley is called "the king." The king of rock and roll. Of course rock and roll has been dead for some time. Rock replaced it. (And some would argue rock is dead.)
Elvis got to be the king by shocking (on 50s TV pelvis thrusts, especially from a man, were shocking), by possessing a plush singing voice that so many just wanted to roll around in and by singing a large number of hits.
"Jailhouse Rock" is probably my favorite of all his songs. I'm not big on ballads but if I had to pick, I'd go with "Can't Help Falling In Love With You."
Along with hit records, he branched out into movies. I couldn't tell you the plot to any of them -- okay, Change of Habit I know the plot to (Mary Tyler Moore and two other women are nuns) -- but I know I can still hum along to the theme to /Blue Hawaii. I also know the best co-star he had was Ann-Margaret and that Viva Las Vegas is a strong rock musical.
Elvis wasn't really my generation. Granted, he has his big Las Vegas comeback while I was a teen but that's not exactly Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, is it? The Beatles were the 'kings' of my childhood and teenage years. 'But Elvis left such a mark that he's still known today by just "Elvis." There are other Elivses. Many parents were inspired to name their children after him. And there's Elvis Costello. But to this day, if you say "Elvis," most people will immediately picture Elvis Presley.
And that probably says more about his stardom, talent and staying power than anything else, 35 years after he passed away.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"