Elvis Presley’s home Graceland deemed ‘unimpressive’ by American singer
When Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, the world was devastated. The star inspired countless musicians over the years, and his funeral was attended by the music industry’s greatest, as well as tens of thousands of his fans. Former flames even attended, including his ex-wife Priscilla Presley and even his ex-girlfriend Ann-Margret. The funeral was held at his home, Graceland, which later went on to become a tourist attraction for fans of Elvis, and shortly thereafter, the legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon (of Simon and Garfunkel) visited the mausoleum to pay his respects – but he didn’t get what he expected.
The mere sight of Elvis’ enormous gravestone was enough to move Simon to tears. He revealed how much the King of Rock and Roll meant to him, and his fans.
“He had a God-given talent that he shared with the world,” Simon waxed. “And without a doubt, he became most widely acclaimed, capturing the hearts of young and old alike.”
He confessed: “I just started to cry, and I thought: ‘It’s really true. This guy was loved by everybody.’ Being in the crowds at Graceland… it’s almost like a religious thing.”
After Simon left Graceland, he decided he would write a tribute album to the King: Graceland.
Simon’s seventh studio album, Graceland, was released on August 25, 1986, and was the star’s first successful record. It sold more than 16 million copies worldwide and won the 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
It was praised by critics, who gave it various four and five-star ratings, including The Independent, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and Uncut.
In 2006, Simon’s Graceland album was added to the USA’s National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important”.
It’s no surprise that Simon’s record was so successful, as he put a lot of work and effort into it.
And, as he had previously confessed, Elvis was one of his heroes.
Simon reflected on hearing Elvis for the first time during an episode of Omnibus.
He said: “I remember in that parking lot being in the backseat of my parents’ car when they went shopping, and hearing Elvis Presley for the first time on the radio.”
Elvis’ 1954 hit That’s Alright, Mama hit the radio, and Simon was blown away. The radio DJ said: “Now here’s a singer named Elvis Presley, every time he performs in the south, there’s a riot every time he sings.”
From then on, Simon was hooked.
Published at Tue, 28 Mar 2023 15:26:00 +0000