Tag Archives: Elvis Presley

Remembering Elvis

They were born on the same date, the same month, twelve years apart. It could be just a coincidence that two of the most important cultural figures of the last hundred years share the same birthday, but we like to think it has to be a deliberate plan of the gods to make January 8th the birthday of Elvis Presley and David Bowie. This year at Life Elsewhere, we focus in on the man who dared to wear makeup and flashy clothes while still only eighteen-years-old and a truck driver – Elvis. Two favorite guests join the show to share their thoughts on The King. First up, frequently referred to as a cult artist, singer-songwriter and all-around nice guy, Ronny Elliott recalls being fourteen when he met and took photos of Elvis in rural Florida. Ronny was an affirmed fan after he first heard Elvis on the radio. He persuaded his mother to drive before daylight to where he believed Elvis was filming on location. A pink Cadillac with Tennessee plates, parked outside of an unassuming house told Ronny his hunch was right, they were in the place. Elvis suddenly strolled out and up to his fan and began nonchalantly chatting. Ronny insists the star “had an amazing aura as he almost seems to float, not walk toward me”. The young fan told his idol about how neighborhood kids had made fun of his adulation of the Memphis rocker. Elvis quietly leaned in close and told Ronny he could help him with his problem, “Listen, kid,” Elvis said, as he made a few chopping movements with his hands, “I’ll teach you Karate!” All these years later, Ronny Elliott is starry-eyed as he fondly remembers the softly spoken and seemingly shy Elvis behave like a comforting big brother. You’ll be touched by Ronny’s memories and amazed at his photos, shown above.

By 1968 Elvis Presley was the King of Rock `n’ Roll, and for many, a has been. Rock music had moved beyond and transcended him. He spent his post-army years making movies and movie soundtracks of lessening quality with each passing one. Gillian Gaar’s “Return of the King: Elvis Presley’s Great Comeback” spotlights Presley’s December 1968 “Comeback Special” that revitalized Elvis and his career for a brief few years until Elvis fell back into old habits and relied on management that increasingly took for granted Elvis’ creative needs, and an entourage of yes men. Gaar shares inside stories about the comeback special from her meticulously researched and elegantly written book based on interviews with colleagues, friends, fans, and observers of The King.

The photos of Elvis Presley and Ronny Elliott are the copyright of Ronny Elliott.

The Podcast is available at NPR One, Apple Podcasts & Mixcloud

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Life Elsewhere Music airs:
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Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week
You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Show #307

Birthday Boys

Elvis & Davis Mugshots

John Lennon famously said,  “Before Elvis there was nothing.” Lennon was correct, of course, which may have prompted David Bowie to remark, Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something.” It is curious to remember that two of the most important and influential figures in popular culture were both born on January 8th, albeit just twelve years apart. The legend that is Elvis continues with more enthusiasm today than when he died in 1977. Meanwhile, the very much alive Mr. Bowie releases, Blackstarhis 25th studio album on his 69th birthday. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, we pay tribute to ElvisDavid with Helen Ma, the President of The International Elvis Presley Fan Club in Hong Kong. Author, and journalist, Gillian Gaar will talk about her book, 100 Things Elvis Fans Should Know & Do Before They DieChris O’Leary, who wrote, Rebel Rebel the definitive book on Bowie songs (volume one), will give his critical opinion of Blackstar. Plus, Norman B will share moments from a rare intimate conversation with David Bowie. Make sure you do not miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Listen to David Bowie chatting with Norman B here

Life Elsewhere airs:
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Mondays 7.00pm ET at WROM Radio
Mondays 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio


Life Changing Music

Music That Changed My LifeIn the latest edition of Life Elsewhere, Norman B looks back at the music that changed his life. He tells of buying his first album at Woolworths, not knowing anything about the music. He was captivated by the brooding Greek-god like visage on the cover. It was the Memphis FlashElvis Presley. From there Norman discovered the Blues and  Elmore James which led to the new R & B sounds coming out of the USA, including early Tamla Motown and  Marvin Gaye. It was no coincidence that fledgling London bands were also being inspired by the same music. The Rolling Stones being no exception, fronted at that time by Blues aficionado and masterful musician, Brian JonesVan Morrison with his R & B and Irish Show-band roots were all but absent when he released his landmark album, Astral Weeks, a momentous life-changing release, says Norman B. Reggae has been another important part of Mr. B’s life and he cites  Cornell Campbell and Gregory Isaacs as fine examples. The consistently adventurous music of David Bowie is included in the story as are the The Smiths, The Only Ones are acknowledged for their timeless ode to addiction and  Killing Joke with their formidable melding of rock, dub and even metal in their debut release. A.R. Kane, remain still relatively unknown but their music caused Norman B to reevaluate his thinking in some areas. Finally, Canadian musician and poet Barzin is singled out because his beguiling lyrics and enchanting arrangements signify another change in life and a new way forward.

Also in the program our regular contributor on film and media Bob Ross, pays tribute to a unique, genius performer, Robin Williams. Plus the Hit That Never Was features a high-school friend of Norman B, the legendary virtuoso guitar player and singer-songwriter, Peter Green.

Life Elsewhere air every Monday at 9.00am EST (1400 GMT)

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streaming: www.wmnf.org




“Cock & Balls!” Said The Professor

Julie LangfordJulie LangfordAssociate Professor of Roman History at the University of South Florida, joined the Birthday edition of Life Elsewhere. Ms Langford described in explicit detail how the ancient Romans celebrated birthdays and rites of passage, “Romans marked out children from adults by their dress, in particular by an amulet that citizen children would wear around their neck. Very often, this had a phallus and testicles…it was in the shape of a cock and balls” the Professor cooly announced, causing Norman B’s producer to have an instant deer-in-the-headlights moment as she readied herself to hit the “bleep” button. Julie Langford went on to describe how a phallus was the symbol of life  and crucial in averting the Evil Eye. The Professor continued with stories about sacrifices, honey cakes, the age girls became women and much more.

Listen to the complete Podcast of Life Elsewhere’s Birthday edition, which also includes Norman B retracing momentous changes in his life through music. His musical selection includes, Elvis Presley, Elmore James, Marvin GayeThe Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Cornell Campbell, Gregory Isaacs, David Bowie, The Smiths, The Only Ones, Killing Joke, A.R. Kane and Barzin.

This is the song Norman B heard at the age of ten, that changed his life. Hear the complete Podcast of Life Elsewhere’s Birthday edition here or here

Elvis Changed My Life.


Has music changed your life? Do you think about getting old? In the next edition of Life Elsewhere (Monday, May 19 at 9.00am EDT), Norman B, with a birthday just days away, reveals his thoughts on aging and the music that changed his life. With a surprising soundtrack, he’ll take you on a journey from the age of ten when he first discovered rock and roll to the present day. Plus, we learn about celebrating birthdays in ancient Rome with Julie LangfordAssociate Professor of Roman History.

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Podcast available at Stitcher

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