[ReviewAZON asin=”1589806956″ display=”inlinepost”]New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Attending theme parties, lighting candles and listening to his music – that’s how Indian fans of Rock n’ Roll star Elvis Presley are planning to celebrate his 75th birth anniversary Thursday.
For Kolkata-based writer Biswadip Mitra, 30, Elvis was the king in communicating sentimental feelings through music and he plans to listen to his songs on his 75th birthday.
“Presley has a special place in my playlist. I’m particularly fond of his slow romantic songs like ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. For the younger generation used to mindless loud noise in the name of Rock, Elvis’s songs could be passe. But for slightly old-fashioned folks like me, Elvis remains the king in communicating sentimental feelings through music,” said Mitra.
“I am fascinated by the sadness that Elvis brings out with his deep voice. I will listen to his songs the entire day on his birthday as a tribute to the legend,” he added.
Sucheta Saigal, an advertising professional in Pune, has big plans for the special day.
“I have organised an Elvis theme party on Thursday so that all Elvis fans I know can have a good time and remember the singer, who has given us many beautiful renditions to hum,” she said.
[ReviewAZON asin=”0061699845″ display=”inlinepost”]Elvis fans in Delhi aren’t far behind. While Leena Joshi, a chartered accountant, has decorated her office desk with pictures of the legend, yoga expert Yatharth Sehajpal plans to light candles and listen to his music in his remembrance.
“It’s Elvis’s 75th birth anniversary and how can I not remember the king on this day? Elvis was not just a singer, an actor, but an icon. He was not a jack but a master of all trades. His style too is something that is still unmatched.
“I will light candles and pray that he rests in peace and listen to my favourite Elvis songs in his remembrance,” said Yatharth.
Born Jan 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis began his career in 1954 as one of the first performers of rockabilly – an uptempo fusion of country, rhythm and blues.
With his commercial breakthrough in 1956, Elvis was recognised as the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock n’ roll. Elvis had a versatile voice and unusually wide success encompassing many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues.
He became a national and international sensation in 1956 with hits like “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Hound Dog”, and “Love Me Tender”. Appearing on America’s top television shows, his unique vocal style, his visual swagger and provocative gyrations drove teenagers wild and conservative critics wilder.
After making it big in the music field, he entered movies in 1956 with “Love Me Tender”. He also became the first rock star to also be a movie star. He made four hit films that year before he was drafted for a two-year army stint in 1958 that took him to Germany.
Prescription drug abuse severely compromised the singer’s health and he died suddenly in 1977 at the age of 42.
Bollywood composer Leslie Lewis, an ardent fan of Elvis, said that the singer was at one time what Michael Jackson is to people and music lovers today.
“He was huge at his time just like Michael Jackson is for today’s generation. He was the king of rock ‘n’ roll of his time. If you have watched his stage performance, you will understand why he was such a great performer.
“He was a white, but grew up in a black locality and that combination of rock ‘n’ roll became his brand, which was highly acclaimed across the world. He didn’t restrict himself to singing, he was also into acting,” said Lewis.
He feels that Elvis influences almost all rock n’ roll artistes directly or indirectly.
“Anybody who is doing rock ‘n’ roll is directly or indirectly influenced by him. I am influenced by his music as I have heard lots of his stuff. As a musician he had brought a great era of rock ‘n’ roll to the world,” he added.
Said music director Shantanu Moitra: “I think he was the man who took songs to a visual art. With the whole act – singing, dancing, performing, eye contact with the audience and the way he moved – he took it to the performance level. He brought an altogether different genre of music to the youth. He was a great artiste.”