Every One Has a Story: Mama saw Elvis on the street corner!

Mama saw Elvis on the street corner!



Today is Elvis’s birthday and he would be turning 80 years old – I can’t even begin to imagine him at that age – and what he would be doing! But hey, Chuck Berry is still out there doing concerts! So, you’re as young as you feel – or so they say….

Elvis-on-FilmWhen I think about Elvis, I remember looking for his newest album or 45 at Lawhorn’s Music Store or those Friday night movies at the Perry Theater. But most of all, I remember being glued to the movie screen watching his latest movie – just wishing I was that girl he was kissing on screen. Didn’t we all sit there wishing that? No matter who was really sitting next to you… come on girls, you can tell the truth now! How could you Not watch Girls! Girls! Girls – or Blue Hawaii and not be on the edge of your seat, drooling over him. Elvis starred in “31” movies from 1956 – 1969!

elvis young boy

Elvis Aaron Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi to parents Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Smith. He was born a twin, with his brother, Jesse Garon Presley, born thirty-five minutes before him – but stillborn. Elvis ended up being an only child.

elvis shotgun home

The “shotgun” house where Elvis was born…

Elvis grew up in a two-room “shotgun” house on 306 Old Satillo Road. My mother has often called some of the houses in her town in Georgia by that name, and it always fascinated me, but I never really knew what she meant. The name “shotgun” means  a narrow and long house with the second room directly behind the first – you can see in the front and out the back door at the same time.

Mama was living in Memphis, Tenn. late 40’s into the early 1950’s as my father was stationed at nearby Millington Naval Base. Being a young Navy wife, she often took the bus into town to shop and often passed the Army-Navy store on main street where she remembered seeing a young boy strumming and singing. He’d be standing outside there with his foot propped up on the corner light – and to this day she will swear on a stack of “anything” that – he was Elvis! All the girls stopped to listen and look – as she said he was quite cute with that look he had going on. Who knew he would become so famous? Maybe if she had insight – well who knows what might have happened.

elvis armyIn 1958, Elvis was drafted into the Army; he felt it was his American duty to serve and was proud to do so. On the day he arrived at Fort Chaffee, near Fort Smith, Arkansas, he stepped off the bus to a swarm of girls – it looked like a movie production! And right behind the the girls were the photographers – in hot pursuit of that first picture of Elvis heading onto the Army base. Just like one of his movies – Girls, Girls, Girls everywhere!

As I searched for a couple of Elvis pictures, I was certainly given quite382279articlerbnyt2md79 the selection. My Yahoo search turned up 139,000,000 results! After flipping through a few pages, and seeing many that I never saw before – I gave up looking. What would Elvis think of all those photos? The Google search of Elvis in the Army only turned up 9,580,000! So if you have a few minutes, and want to look at Elvis photos, just google him; be prepared to spend some time looking!

Where were you on September 9, 1956?

Were you one of those 60 million viewers who watched his debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show? Eighty-two percent of the viewing audience was tuned in that night and I bet all the young girls were crowed around the TV set, if they were lucky enough to have one in their homes at that time. I was only six years old at that time, so I don’t have any early memories, but my mother remembers! All I have to do is mention Elvis and I hear, “I saw him on the street in Memphis.”

Dont be cruel

And if you missed him on the Ed Sullivan show, well you can go check out that performance of Don’t Be Cruel – when America came to truly know him as “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sGZm7EOamWk

I wish it was Friday night again at the movies – and I was that girl sitting on the edge of my seat!




Elvis at the gates of Graceland


Elvis’s grave on the grounds of Graceland

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Daily Writings and funnies..., Family Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Every One Has a Story: Mama saw Elvis on the street corner!

  1. oh my gracious! I love Elvis, you are not going to believe all the paraphernalia of his I have! In one of my elementary autograph, yearbooks, I have “I love Elvis” writen in large bold lettering, i was ten! LOL I thought about writing a blog post about him also, I am kin to him! But this is such a great one, I can’t compete, except to show my obsession which will have to just wait for facebook!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Evelyn Smallwood Smith says:

    No, never was an Elvis fan. I enjoyed his music but he never thrilled me the way he did everyone else. My oldest brother is a fan. If I’m not mistaken, he still owns every recording Elvis ever put out.
    Our Aunt Evelyn, Mother’s sister, was visiting from California in 1964 and took us to see Viva Las Vegas and Mary Poppins. I enjoyed Mary Poppins more. Could be because I was only 10 years old at the time.
    I do know I worked at the Hilton Hotel restaurant in the mid 1970’s and that Elvis stayed there, when he performed at the Coliseum but I never met him. Of course, he probably had meals in his room at this stage of his career.
    A favorite movie of his? Can’t say I have one. He was never one of my favorite performers and I really didn’t consider him an actor. Am I strange? Possibly but Elvis was never one of my favorites.


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