Question:

What does an 85 year old man from China; a 63 year old woman from Brazil; a 44 year old man from Poland; and an 18 year old teenager from Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. Have in common?

In a single word… Elvis.

In his wildest dreams, the poor kid from Tupelo, Mississippi (who just wanted to be a singer), could never have imagined what was eventually to come to pass. Not only did he go on to become a pioneer in music, a multi-millionaire, actor, sex symbol and the greatest entertainer the world has ever known; he became something FAR greater.  He did something that transcends all of his personal milestones and notable accomplishments; Something even greater than being the single largest influence on other future entertainers like the Beatles, the Stones, and even a young Bruno Mars, who started as the World’s Youngest Elvis Tribute Artist and is the current top recording artist in the world.  Incidentally, Every person who is entertained today by an artist who was first influenced by Elvis is a living testament to the powerful ripple effect of the Presley magic and influence. As if his own fan base were not large enough, a piece of Elvis continues to live on through these other talented performers over the decades, and is passed on through them to countless new generations to this very day.

…Quite an accomplishment for someone who has passed away over 40 years ago. Just think – anyone who is younger than 41 years old was born after Elvis’ death, yet his personal fan base is growing just as if he never left us. We collect his records and movies, join fan clubs, go to Elvis conventions, and at Elvis Relics, we preserve Elvis history by collecting Elvis owned, worn and used artifacts.

Books, films, documentaries, Broadway plays and more have told the incredible story of the life and times of Elvis Presley. His many accomplishments in his short life have been documented and illustrated in countless forms over the years.

But his GREATEST accomplishment is something that few ever talk about and is most likely something that you never even considered. It is something that most dedicated Elvis fans subliminally understand, but few have really pondered its tremendous impact; To me it is essential to explore deeper.

The FULL Elvis Presley story is not complete without it. To NOT acknowledge this magical feat is akin to telling the the complete life story of George Washington, and leaving out the part about how he became the first United States President.

So what is this great thing? What could Elvis possibly have done that could top the accomplishments we already well know, respect and adore about him? Simple …he introduced ME to YOU.  Elvis is the single largest catalyst to uniting people from around the globe for over 60 years now. And by globe, I mean the entire planet Earth that we all call home. Try to wrap your head around the sheer enormity of that for just a moment. Picture the entire solar system and all of the planets for a moment. Now focus in on the only planet that we know of that can sustain life. Now zoom in on that blue marble as it spins on its axis. As you continue to zoom in through Earth’s atmosphere and the individual continents begin to become defined in your vision- take in the massive nature of it all. As you move in even closer, you can see the tiny bright dots radiating from the luminous lights of the densely populated cities. It may be difficult to fully comprehend, but nearly every place that has a pocket of people on planet Earth – has someone who has been personally touched by the music of Elvis Presley. An accomplishment that in and of itself can arguably be categorized as “the EIGHTH wonder of the world”.

I have many friends in this world, and most of them I met through Elvis – and I know that you can most likely say the same thing.  No, he did not personally introduce us, but he is the sole catalyst that brought us together. He is the connective tissue that joins us together as a single family of fans that share the same passion. Every Elvis fan knows an Elvis fan who knows an Elvis fan. Many of us are friends with each other – simply because of Elvis. And it’s not just domestic friendships, it’s international and world-wide.  Many of us are friends with people in other corners of the globe. Elvis has unwittingly bridged the gap between cultures and nationalities and united us as human beings in one of the greatest displays of solidarity in the history of the human race. Regardless of our nationality, color, creed, gender, religion, political affiliation or any other difference… we all have one thing in common… our love and passion for Elvis. This one common thread has united individuals from the entire world and created friendships and even relationships that would have NEVER happened otherwise.  Just take a moment and try to fully grasp the enormity and complexity of it all.  We have all been put on different paths that have literally altered the course of our lives.  The ripple effect is staggering.

The greatest thing that Elvis Presley ever did is something that he could have personally never fathomed that he would accomplish in his short 42 years on is earth. His gift to us was so much more than just his music, films and an exciting career; it is the connection with other individuals that has forged life-long friendships with those whom we would have never known otherwise. It is the connection with other kindred spirits who have been likewise touched by the Elvis magic that is impossible to explain to those who have not experienced it.

Forces like Elvis Presley come along “just once in a lifetime”.

This was the inspiration for the theme song in which I wrote the words and music – for my book and DVD documentary series ELVIS: BEHIND THE IMAGE.

Just once in a lifetime, can a man come along

That changed the world forever by giving us his song.

That man became a legend – Still adored by countless fans.

And though the legend proudly stands …behind the image, there’s a man.

We made him our king – We loved him to sing – It melted our troubles away.

But the price that he paid, was the image he made was so hard to live up to each day.

Long live the memory of how it all began – and thought the legend proudly stands,

Behind the Image there’s a man.

Elvis did many incredible things in his lifetime; and now, over 40 years since his passing, he continues to bring us all together; You would not be reading this now and you and I would most likely never have crossed paths.  Without Elvis, I would never have even met those who went on to become my best friends in life.  How do you put a value on that?

Bud Glass 

 

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