The current issue of Elvis International, The Magazine has an article titled “Elvis… Where Are You?” It is by a man I haven’t met but would like to. Robert Alaniz owns Soundz Good Records, and he organizes huge memorabilia shows at each Elvis Week. He also writes good articles.
Robert’s title question, “Elvis… Where Are You?” refers to his concern that Elvis’ spirit in Memphis was fading this year. Robert noted that many of Elvis’ original entourage were absent from the festivities in 2005, and said, “Elvis’ spirit is strong with them and when they’re not there, his presence is weakened.”
I agree completely. Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, and The Jordanaires were not at the last Elvis Week, and it just didn’t feel right without them. These guys give off oodles of great Elvis Karma, because they were there in ’54, ‘55, & ‘56 when it all began. Scotty helped shape the sound of Elvis’ music from the very first second it existed. DJ came on board in 1955, and Gordon Stoker was one of the four men in the Jordanaires in 1956 who provided vocal accompaniment for Elvis. Ray Walker joined the group in 1958, so his connection with Elvis is long and deep.
These four men — Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, Gordon Stoker, and Ray Walker — are the real deal. And we are lucky to still have them with us. Scotty is 74, DJ is 71, Gordon is 76, and Ray is 71. To me, these four men are national treasures, which makes it all the more sad they weren’t at Elvis Week this year. Robert Alaniz presumed they were likely in Europe, where the international fans wanted them. He said he understood that everyone has to make a living, but “you’d think that Elvis Week in Memphis would be the place for them to be.”
Boy, do I agree with that. It would be terrific if somehow they are all at Elvis Week 2006. If so, you should plan to go and soak up some of that genuine Elvis spirit, while it is still strong.
Here’s some good news. The odds are great that Scotty, DJ, Gordon, and Ray will be at Elvis Week 2007, because Darwin Lamm, Editor of Elvis International, will present a two-day, 30th Anniversary Tribute and Concert. Darwin has done similar Elvis Week events since 1988, and he always has Scotty, DJ and The Jordanaires at his concerts. This one will probably be called something like The Last of The Legends, and it will be the one absolutely-don’t-miss event of Elvis Week 2007. I will be backstage.
© 2005 Philip R Arnold