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If I Can Dream

Elvis Presley's Influence on His Fans

Elvis Presley performing "If I Can Dream" during his 1968 Comeback Special

Elvis Presley a name that is known all over the world.

 Over 20 million people over the last 35 years that have visited Graceland Elvis' home and the other millions who have not, the name brings to them a thought of someone who was more than just a singer/entertainer. To us fans, the name Elvis Presley is a man who went for a dream and eventually achieved it. From his humble beginning, to his untimely death, Elvis gave the world the gift of not only his voice, but his story.

Elvis Presley started out with a dream. A dream to give his parents a life that they deserved. Elvis' mother was a seamstress and his father worked doing odd jobs and also got in trouble for forging a check when Elvis was only five years old, but that is a whole other story entirely.

 The young Presley was ridiculed daily of his style of dress and the way he fixed his hair. "Hey there sideburns!" they would call out and laugh. They even went so far to ganging up on him in the school bathroom to shave his head. Thankfully one of the football jocks (who would later to be one of Elvis' closest friends) stopped them in their tracks. "If you want to cut his hair you'll have to cut mine first!"

 No matter the ridicule or the obstacles that were laid before him Elvis carried on trying to pursue his dream of doing what made him feel most alive. 

Being alive is a wonderful gift, but feeling alive makes it all worth the while. I can only imagine him saying that.

That motivation and perseverance is what Elvis held onto for his 20 year career. Elvis fans from around the globe can tell you Elvis is not just a singer. Elvis is a way of life. In many ways Elvis’ story has become their story. It can be a song or a handful of songs that can bring back certain memories, pressed between the pages of their mind.

I myself, was born 10 years after Elvis departed from the mortal world. So I can't say I ever got to sit in at a concert. Though I have gotten to sit in at home listening to records. I have also had the pleasure of listening to tapes and CD’s with his voice echoing in my car. 

I remember the first time I got to see Elvis’ home Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Nestled upon that hill not too far off the main highway. The shuttle took us from the old Graceland Plaza, across the street through the iconic green iron gates. “Welcome to my World, won’t you come on in? Miracles I guess, still happen now and then,” played through the headphones that were snugged against my ears.

It was then I realized what Elvis Presley meant to me as an Elvis fan. Graceland though a mansion in the 1957 is not as gargantuan as today’s celebrity mansions. It is more like a humble southern plantation house. Frozen in time where the spirit of Elvis Presley still lingers.

We live in a time where our dreams can take off faster than they start. Motivation and endurance work hand to hand if you have just a mustard seed of faith. From a Jack to a King. From Rags to Riches. All can describe Elvis Aron Presley, but the thing that defines him the most is that he was a regular guy with dreams to share and he reached for the stars, when the stars were not there.