E

One sure sign of old age is when one starts dwelling in the past, so I’d better watch myself, however, my alphabet will be incomplete if I do not include Elvis in this challenge. I first “met” Elvis when I entered my terrible teens. In those days we did not have television, social media, internet or any of those informative channels to keep us in touch with the rest of the world. The world was a big place then.

What we had, was an 0ld Echo valve radio and LM Radio (if you don’t know that one, you’re not from Africa or younger than 60 years, so don’t worry about it or follow this link to Wikipedia). Catching the news or any music, let alone the Top Ten Music Chart, through the hissing and crackling of the radio, required a practiced ear. Mine was very practised. I listened to that radio morning, noon and night.

Oh yes, I also had parents who lived by the strictest possible religious code and Elvis … well, according to that code Elvis was a direct descendant of the devil. His music was forbidden in our house, until that one special day when my father walked into my room and found me listening to the song “Take my hand, Precious Lord.” He just stood there, listening to the song until the end, then turned and walked away without saying anything, but thereafter I was allowed to listen to this wonderful music whenever I wanted to.

Selfs vandag nog, nadat ek kennis gemaak het met ‘n groot verskeidenheid musiek en sangers, is my antwoord op die “gunsteling sanger”- vraag nog altyd: Elvis. Sy stem laat my dink aan donker sjokolade, die soort wat so sag en glad word in jou mond en dan in jou keel afglip, sodat jy lank nog daardie soet smaak behou.

Ten spyte daarvan dat die media, wat nou so toeganklik is vir almal en geen geheime meer onoopgevlek laat nie, sy tragiese lewensverhaal tot vervelens toe uitbasuin het, behou Elvis se stem nog steeds sy bekoring. Ek glo nog steeds elke woord en nuanse wanneer ek na een van sy liedjies luister. Dis geen wonder dat baie van sy bewonderaars weier om sy dood te aanvaar nie.

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