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 Post subject: Sandi Pichon writes about her life as an Elvis fan
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:22 pm 
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A Big Hunk Of Burning Love : Sandi Pichon writes about her life as an Elvis fan

Ann Barks / Times-Picayune

Pichon, who now lives in the Bayou Liberty community near Slidell, is keeping her love for the King alive by writing a book, 'Raised on Elvis', that details how her teen and adult years were impacted by Elvis. Pichon is president of an Internet-based fan club that is holding an event Saturday in Slidell to honor Elvis and his generous heart. 'He made a difference. He changed music. And once he touched your life, you were never the same', Pichon said. Pichon's relationship with Elvis began during that summer visit in 1956, just as his rocket rise to international stardom was launching. It was the briefest of encounters in Elvis' backyard, Pichon recalled, but before he roared off on his motorcycle he told Pichon and her best friend to come back whenever they wished. That invitation was taken to heart and the girls visited every chance they could, Pichon said.

After her family moved from Memphis the following year, it wouldn't be until 1972 that Pichon saw Elvis again. Serendipitous meetings and crossing paths for several years finally resulted in a chance for Pichon to tell Elvis she was that same little girl from all those years ago in Memphis.

She went to a few concerts and before she knew it, she and a good friend started becoming regulars at both the performances and the get-togethers after the concerts -- thanks to getting reacquainted with several of the people she'd met as a young girl and who were still working for Elvis. 'We became more friends than anything', she said of her relationship with Elvis staffers, known within the inner circle as the 'Memphis Mafia'. They seemed to enjoy that Pichon and her friend, while fans, were not of the screaming variety. They were more and more accepted into the fringes of the inner circle. For the last five years of Elvis' life, Pichon and her girlfriend devoted themselves to attending his concerts, eventually seeing more than 150 performances.

'I didn't think he could sing without me in the audience', she joked.

She still marvels at the continual polish of his performances, and in her book she describes her feelings as she watched the drugs and health problems affect her music idol and friend. Her perspective on the more controversial aspects of his lifestyle at the time, she said, is tempered knowing that 'he was sick and we could see it was a sickness and he was taking pills to help the pain' of bone cancer. While Pichon said she was told in 1974 that Elvis had the disease, it 'only came out probably last year to the general public that he had bone cancer'. 'It broke my heart to see him going down', she said.

The last time she spent time with him was in 1976. Shortly after that, she moved from Georgia to Covington, where she had moved to be near a friend and open a shop with her in Metairie. A few months later, she went to see an Elvis concert in Baton Rouge. The change in the King was more than just physical; none of the Memphis Mafia she knew so well and who had been with him for so long were working for him anymore.

It was the first time in five years that she had no inside connections, no front-row seat, no special invitation to visit before or after the show. She sat in her seat, watched him perform and knew something was wrong. 'I was crying because he looked terrible', she said. She contacted several former inside people she knew but no one felt there was anything they could do. Not long after that, she was in her shop in Metairie when she heard Elvis had died. She flew to Memphis, was admitted inside Graceland by Elvis' uncle to pay her final respects and was able to say a private farewell at his open casket.

When she returned home and the impact settled in on her, she packed up all the things she'd gathered over the years -- scarves Elvis had given her at concerts, autographed pictures, pictures of concerts, pictures of her and Elvis, guitar picks he used -- and never told anyone about her connection to the superstar. Even her husband, Stanley, whom she met a few years later, didn't know about her and Elvis until they'd been married more than a year. She didn't return to Graceland until about five years ago, when she did so at her husband's suggestion. While there, a chance meeting with the owner of an Elvis gift shop who recognized her name led to her desire to start writing a journal to record her memories. She also again got involved in the life of Elvis fan clubs and reclaimed past friendships with former staffers, including backup singer Kathy Westmoreland, she said. They encouraged her to share her journal, telling her that it was a rare look inside from a fan's perspective. Once she decided to do it, it didn't take her long to find a publisher interested in the book she could write from the journal. As she was putting it together, a friend and fellow Elvis fan helped by filling in with details of the concerts and other historical perspectives, she said.

Source: Elvis Australia

"Value are like fingerprints. Nobody's the same, but you leave them all everything you do" ELVIS AARON PRESLEY
 Post subject: Re: Sandi Pichon writes about her life as an Elvis fan
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:14 pm 
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Thanks for posting this Liliane at first I thought, here we go again with Elvis being a Drug Addict. Which really Surprised me because of Sandi Pichon was around Elvis a lot, she should have known Elvis better that he would Never took anything unless it was Prescribed by a Doctor. Has for Elvis having Bone Cancer, like Sandi says he had. Will Elvis had so Many Things Wrong with his Health, he could of had Bone Cancer to that might be why he Cried from the Pain he felt in his Legs.

Without you I am nothing an could never be so bold. The times we've shared, the laughter and the tears. Priceless memories, treasures all. How could I ever fail? With you I don't fear that at all. Elvis Presley!
 Post subject: Re: Sandi Pichon writes about her life as an Elvis fan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Yes, thanks for posting Liliane! I think she will do a good book, and she has a lot of material to add like photo's and memories. People tend to say he had "bone cancer" when in fact it was Pernicious Anemia which destroys the red blood cells of the body and allows too many white ones to exist as if it were actually a type of bone cancer. Elvis did have pain in his legs and sometimes couldn't sleep because of it in his last year or so. Nothing, he said stopped it for long. His body wasn't strong, his momma was right when she worried about him and the long hours on the road he kept in those early days. She knew he had issues that were "hidden" by him from the public; she took care of him from birth and so was not worrying needlessly. Elvis was like a beautiful race horse, who ran to win every race, until finally the body broke down. A race horse who loves to run will keep trying until finally, they break down and some die on the track so great is their desire to win. I told him that he had to slow down, he didn't need to keep convincing his fans he was best; he laughed, saying, it's not only them I have to's me!" He was so hurt when he began to be
unable to continue to look "good" as he'd always tried to do; and he was so elated he would cry and amazed that his fans continued to fill those arenas and big rooms, time after time across the country. I said, "They come to see you Elvis, like we'd go see those films, it's to see you, the man." He couldn't believe that, mainly because it touched his heart and soul so much that his fans, still cared even
though in his mind, he had become ugly, old and unable to give the mind blowing performances he used to do. Across the US "we" came anyway, to see Elvis, listen to his voice and feel the love that was almost tangible in every arena, every concert and every outside, horrid speakers and all, event. HE was
still the one we came to share the air with, to touch with our eyes and memory. for ever. I wish he was still here...78 years what...IT's ELVIS! wjh

Wanda June Hill
author of "We Remember, Elvis" & "Elvis - Face to Face"
 Post subject: Re: Sandi Pichon writes about her life as an Elvis fan
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:10 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:12 pm
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Location: Brasstown/Murphy, NC (USA)
If Elvis would have had bone cancer, it would have shown up in the autopsy, it's that simple. You want to know who started that myth? Vernon Presley, Dick Grob, Charlie Hodge & Kathy Westmoreland.

As far as the drug issue, I'm not getting into that, for obvious reasons. Lets just say that Elvis didn't try only prescribed drugs but he also tried harder stuff near the end from 1974-1977. Most everybody in the business in that time period were doing hard drugs. Proof? Watch the November 20, 1972 presss conference he gave in Hawaii prior to the "Aloha From Hawaii" benefit show. His slurred speech is a direct result of downers or sleeping medication.

Elvis wasn't a saint. Yes, he believed in God and I truly believe he's in Heaven but -- he wasn't an angel with wings. He was a human being who got caught up in a degree of fandom and stardom @ 21 that I don't think I could even handle. Even Dr. Nick, during the dangerous overdose in June of '73, admitted: "I don't think he's just a medical addict - I think he's a hard addict."

BTW, Sandi's book has been out a very long time. It's not new.

It's just sad to watch a man go from extremely handsome to....very unwell and unhealthy. :( The ones that tried to even help, Red and Sonny, were fired. And, no, they didn't truly write the "bodyguard book" - that was all written by Steve Dunleavy. He sensationalized that entire book - that's why you don't read about a whole lot of the good parts of Elvis's life.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandi Pichon writes about her life as an Elvis fan
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Hi Tony!!! Nice to see you are still around... a lot of people who used to post are still around, but they have found other places to reach more people, and that's a good thing in many ways.

Yes, it is true that Elvis was a "hard nosed addict" to prescription drugs in his last few months of life-but he was trying his best to still be ELVIS and go out and do his job, which paid the bills for a heck of a lot of folks! Including
those people who "bad mouthed him", "didn't see for their own needs" and who
"jumped at the chance to make money from their "stories" as "they recalled them"...and who were also doing the "hard stuff" most of the time. Blackie calling pot etc... again. Saddly that is usually the way things are, celebritiy or not. Only your real friends stick by you come what may...sometimes they seem few and far between, but when the going is the toughest, real ones turn up.
Unfortunately, Elvis was one of those who turned the other cheek, looked the other way and found an excuse for his friends. It hurt him deeply that those guys sold their stories but he even forgave them though he only mentioned Red's
name. He said sometimes people have to do things, even when they don't want to, it just happens that way. He felt that they needed money and so he didn't begrudge them trying to take care of their families. I could never, ever be that forgiving... he was a far better human being than I ever could be.

Elvis was dying from the moment of birth; the physical condition which was a deformity of his transverse colon was not in those times, something that could be fixed. Most babies born with that would die, wasting away because their gut didn't work; Elvis was lucky, his mother found a way to keep him alive. I believe it was meant that he would live, he had a job to do and he did it. He lived a very long time considering what he had going on in his "big gut" and he suffered constantl pain and misery from that gut NOT working right. Thus his entire life he was always looking for doctor's who might know more than others,
trying to find something to make his gut work like it should, "like normal" as he would say of himself. It was sad that he chose to keep it secret from many of his "close friends" and his fans; especialy so as it grew more difficult to control as that is how people who did live with it, would end up...just as he did...totally blocked up, bleeding and unable to manage or control it. John Wayne didn't have Elvis' birth problem, but they ended up the same way. Both men had several pounds of
what they'd eaten etc, blocked behind a severe kink or blockage of their colon.
Wayne's was caused by cancer, drinking and smoking and wrong eating no doubt, Elvis' was from a birth defect (mega-colon) that probably was
why his brother didn't live or take a breath when born. Elvis said that his grandmother said his brother was "dried up and blue" at birth. So once he was born, he did not breathe and Elvis was smaller but perhaps more developed internally; he did breathe. He always felt he had a "mission" in life but was not sure exactly what he was to do, but in the end, he did it through his vocals and his kindness to his fellow humans, rich or poor, educated or not, regardless of skin color or any other stigma to many people's way of thinking. He loved us all, right or wrong, silly or not, we were all his "family" and he loved entertaining us. He began to feel really badly back in 72; it became worse; his colon was in sad shape soon, as was his health. He didn't have what we think of as "Cancer" but he had something similar in how it affected the bone morrow. He had pernicious anema which causes deformity in the red blood cells and also in how they should do their job. He had way too many white cells and they too were not up to par as protectors for his body, in other words his immune system was failing him.... PC is often said to be "like a cancer of the blood" thus the "
cancer of the bone" recollections and comments. Once one hears the word "cancer" they often don't hear anything sticks, it's deadly.
He also had liver problems caused from a diease (the same one his mom had) and from his gut not working right. That would have killed him sooner or later on its own...not much could be done for livers in those days. Probably what everyone who says it now "heard" was the word cancer and that probably came about when the doctors tried to explain what was wrong with his blood and bone morrow. Pernicous A. also causes severe pain in the long bones that have the most morrow in them. Elvis complained of his legs hurting him, keeping him awake and so he'd take sleeping pills...that were regulated and switched from time to time to help him get less addicted to them....the same went for other pain meds. Elvis suffered intense internal pain, plus migraine headaches he'd had since being a young kid, and he had to work under lighting that was a
killer for eyes that were sensitive to bright was his. He was after all a blond, blue eyed man beneath that black hair and tan.
No Tony, Elvis was not perfect in any sense, he was a guy who loved to laugh and have fun, he wasn't a prude nor was he evil in nature. He gave us a lot of laughs, fun and left his sense of humor and his gifted vocals for us to enjoy.
So many of his friends/coworkers are dying, he's got them together and they
are singing for the one who he admired and tried to copy in how he treated his fellow humans, Jesus, the Christ. When I asked him if he could be anyone else who would he like to be he said, "I don't know anyone who's got a better life than I do now, but if I could choose anyone I'd pick Jesus; he got it all together an' what he says works." Elvis never went anywhere without his favorite book, The King James Bible...orignial version not the new revised editions. it was not for show, it was in case he needed to know "what Jesus would do".
Elvis was a child like spirit living in a grown man's body; it was a constant fight
for him to deal with his fame, the glory and turmoil and choices, of which he often said, "Man, that ol devil don't ever let up!" I am proud of him for how he managed to live and do as much as he did in such a short span of time, even though many forces were always trying to throw snares beneath his feet.
All I want to do is let people see and understand the behind the scene reasons
that Elvis slipped up from time to time as do we all, that he was a normal guy trying to "get by" with a load of problems on his shoulders and people standing by to "load them up some more" with their problems. And he seldom ever turned anyone away... "like Jesus at the mountain...a crowd there to hear him speak, hungry and being Jesus he fed them! Being Elvis, he also "fed them" via his music, his God given talent, and his sense of humor and good lessons in how to "get along in this life".
I miss him very much, and at my age...I know I'm gonna see him pretty soon!
What a happy day that will be!
Love always,
wanda june

Wanda June Hill
author of "We Remember, Elvis" & "Elvis - Face to Face"
 Post subject: Re: Sandi Pichon writes about her life as an Elvis fan
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:03 pm 
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I think that I was login and I began to work my text, and when I had finished it. And I press the buttom submit and all fly away in this air and I lost everything and so I had to redo my text.

Thank you Wanda you are the best doctor ever to explain Elvis illness. You know him very well, even he didn't talk much about it. But when you saw him the last time because he add time to share piece of his life with you for the the interview. You know that the time that something was very wrong in him.

I understand better why his mother was so protective when he was very young no knowing about his illness even at a child.

I understand why he keep his secret to being know from the public. And later in life when his illness began to show how difficult for him to deal with it. Because in the entertainment field the image is very important more than the person.

After seven years to do music, and the comeback special, Elvis want to return to his love his fans. How he was able to do 2 concerts a night for 57 days, after that the Colonel book him solid including tours, and recording sessions, and no vacation. And so little time to be with his family.

For me, I read book and I know about a little about his illness, but when I found his traveling tours, Las Vegas and much more. No artist today would do a concert every night for five or six days on the road.

Elvis love to entertain his fans so much , even at the cost of his health.

YEAR 1969
01) LAS VEGAS 1 : July 31 to August 28 DAYS; 29 SHOWS :57

YEAR 1970
02) LAS VEGAS 2: January 26 to February 23 DAYS: 29 SHOWS: 57
03) TOUR 1: February 27 to March 3 DAYS: 3 SHOWS: 6
04) LAS VEGAS 3: August 10 to September 7 DAYS: 27 SHOWS: 57
05) TOUR 2: September 9 to 14 DAYS: 6 SHOWS: 8
06) TOUR 3: November 10 to 17 DAYS : 8 SHOWS: 9

YEAR 1971
07) LAS VEGAS 4: January 26 to February 23 DAYS: 29 SHOWS: 57
08) LAKE TAHOE 1: July 20 to August 2 DAYS: 15 SHOWS: 28
09) LAS VEGAS 5: August 9 to September 6 DAYS: 29 SHOWS: 57
10) TOUR 4: November 5 to 16 DAYS: 12 SHOWS: 14

YEAR 1972
11) LAS VEGAS 6: January 26 to February 23 DAYS: 29 SHOWS: 57
12) TOUR 5: April 5 to 19 DAYS: 15 SHOWS:19
13) TOUR 6: June 9 to 20 DAYS: 12 SHOWS: 14
14) LAS VEGAS 7: August 4 to September 4 DAYS: 32 SHOWS: 64
15) TOUR 7: November 8 to 18 DAYS: 11 SHOWS: 11

YEAR 1973
16) TOUR 8: January 12-14 DAYS: 2 SHOWS: 2
17) LAS VEGAS 8: January 26 to February 23 DAYS: 29 SHOWS: 54 CANCEL SHOW: 3
18) TOUR 9: April 22 to 30 DAYS: 9 SHOWS: 12
19) LAKE TAHOE 2: May 4 to 12 DAYS; 13 SHOWS: 25 CANCEL SHOWS: 8
20) TOUR 10: June 20 to July 3 DAYS: 15 SHOWS: 17
21) LAS VEGAS 9: August 6 to September 3 DAYS: 29 SHOWS: 59

YEAR 1974
22) LAS VEGAS 10: January 16 to February 9 DAYS: 15 SHOWS: 29
23) TOUR 11: March 1 to 20 DAYS: 20 SHOWS: 24
24) TOUR 12: May 10 to 13 DAYS: 4 SHOWS: 5
25) LAKE TAHOE 3: May 16 to 27 DAYS: 12 SHOWS: 22
26) TOUR 13: June 15 to July 2 DAYS: 18 SHOWS: 25
27) LAS VEGAS 11: August 19 to September 2 DAYS: 14 SHOWS: 27 CANCEL: 2
28) TOUR 14: September 27 to October 9 DAYS: 13 SHOWS:15
29) LAKE TAHOE 4 : October 11 to 14 DAYS: 5 SHOWS: 8

YEAR 1975
30) LAS VEGAS 12: March 18 to April 1 DAYS: 15 SHOWS: 29
31) TOUR 15: April 24 to May 7 DAYS: 14 SHOWS: 18
32) TOUR 16: May 30 to June 10 DAYS: 12 SHOWS: 17
33) TOUR 17: July 8 to 24 DAYS: 17 SHOWS: 21
34) LAS VEGAS 13 August 18-20 DAYS: 3 SHOWS: 5
35) LAS VEGAS 14 December 2 to 15 DAYS: 13 SHOWS: 17
36) TOUR 18: December 31 DAY: 1 SHOW: 1

YEAR 1976
37) TOUR 19: March 17 to 22 DAYS: 6 SHOWS: 8
38) TOUR 20: Apri 21 to 27 DAYS: 6 SHOWS: 8
39) LAKE TAHOE 5 : April 30 to May 9 DAYS: 10 SHOWS: 14
40) TOUR 21: May 27 to June 6 DAYS: 11 SHOWS: 13
41) TOUR 22: June 22 to July 5 DAYS: 14 SHOWS: 13
42) TOUR 23: July 23 to August 5 DAYS: 19 SHOWS: 15
43) TOUR 24: August 27 to September 8 DAYS: 13 SHOWS: 16
44) TOUR 25; October 14 to 27 DAYS: 14 SHOWS: 14
45) TOUR 26: November 24 to 30 DAYS: 7 SHOWS: 7
46) LAS VEGAS 15: December 2 to 12 DAYS; 11 SHOWS: 15
47) TOUR 27; December 27 to 31 DAYS: 5 SHOWS: 5

YEAR 1977
48) TOUR 28: February 12 to 21 DAYS; 10 SHOWS: 10
49) TOUR 29: March 23 to April 3 DAYS; 10 SHOWS: 8 CANCEL SHOWS: 4
50) TOUR 30: April 20 to May 3 DAYS: 13 SHOWS: 13
51) TOUR 31: May 20 to June 2 DAYS: 14 SHOWS: 14
52) TOUR 32: June 17 to 26 DAYS: 10 SHOWS: 10

I included a little video about Elvis and his fans and kids too

"Value are like fingerprints. Nobody's the same, but you leave them all everything you do" ELVIS AARON PRESLEY
 Post subject: Re: Sandi Pichon writes about her life as an Elvis fan
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Elvis didn't had bone cancer! This rumor is like a plague that refuses to go away.
To set the record straight: Dick Grob stated that in his book he put a "poison pill". He wrote: In 1979 I wrote the very first synopsis of my book. I wrote in the last paragraph of the synopsis that Elvis was dying of bone cancer, that the
autopsy revealed that fact. First - since the autopsy was secret I could not legally disclose its contens. Second - this was something I made up, knowing that the press would leap at something of this nature. And they did. 20/20 took me to court to give a depostion about what I knew regarding the autopsy. Their two "cracker jacks" investigate "reporters" later wrote a book using all this information. They spent a lot of tme and money on this "poison pill".(book: Death of Elvis - from Thomson and Cole).

Dr. Nick stated: The bone cancer theory came from a doctor on the autopsy team, who thought there were signs of bone cancer evident at autopsy. After further tests were performed it was determined that Elvis did not have bone cancer.

The first theory was told Vernon whom told it as a "secret" to Charlie Hodge, maybe Kathy Westmoreland and Larry Geller. All three of them used this "information" in their books. Kathy wrote in her book on site 211: Not long after I met Elvis, he told me in confidence that he had a cander-like condition....
Also she stated that she with Hodge and Geller were told in strict confidence that the autopsy revealed that Elvis had bone cancer...

That's the way all this rumor starts..... from a first, wrong conclusion of a doctor.

About the slurred speech in Elvis' press conference on November 20, 1972 - just read the whole interview of my post "Elvis in Hawaii 1972". For me it didn't seems that he was "drugged" - even his slurring speech is taken as a sign that he's been under the influence of "drugs".
One side effect of pain killers is drowsiness/dizziness. Painkillers relax the pain messages sent to the brain and the brain reaction to those messages. This can cause a complete relaxion of the body, resulting in drowsiness or dizziness and may also affect the language.

About Dr. Nick's statement " .. I think he's a hard addict: I never ever read such a statement from Dr. Nick - not in his book, not in inteviews.

About Red and Sonny West: Tried to help him by having written this infamous book with Steve Dunleavy? Yeah - just for helping him :roll:

Dr. Nick revealed some of Elvis' illnesses: Intestinal problems, basically from a diseased colon, hypertension, mild diabetes, Reiter's syndrom which includes glaucoma, arthritis, muscular disease and urinary track symtoms, migraine headaches and allergies, which caused sinus and throat problems, adrenal deficiency as a result of a acupuncture treatment in 1973. Did this sound as if Elvis had been a healty man and has only "just for fun" thrown in his medication?
I doubt it.
Also Dick Grob stated: Several medical men tried to take advantage of whom their patient really was. One doctor talked Elvis into taking a form of acupunkture as an going treatment (this happend during a Las Vegas Engagement in 73). After the very first treatment, Elvis remarked how great he felt for about 3 hours, then he began to complain about the pain and that he really felt tired. As Dr. Nick arrived in Las Vegas, he talked into demanding to Elvis, that the doctor come to the suite to give him a treatment and Dr. Nick stood by and watched. This fine upstanding member of the medical profession had been injecting small amounts of demerol, a very strong addictive narcotic, into Elvis each time he inserted a needle. (one of the doctors of Hollywood)
Elvis was completely unaware, all he knew was that it helped his pain for a sort period of time. He had become slightly addicted and that has been the reason that Dr. Nick having him hospitalized.
Elvis had once again been taken advantage of because of his trustworthness.

There have been altogether too many books written about Elvis, trying to portray him as a drug-crazed, mean, hot-tempered and way other trails. Most of these derogatory "books" were written by so-called "friends" and close associates. Other books have been written by many who never were close to Elvis and some never met the man. These "authors" made their money without care for any decency toward Elvis or his family.
Even if the autopsy were made public, there would still be controversy. There would still be those, saying that the autopsy was faked and that something was hidden - just as they do now. The fact that the results are not full public is beeing used to fuel the controversy that something was covered up. This would not change regardless. I think that Elvis has suffered enough at the hands of so-called "friends". Neither he nor his family deserves to have the very gruesome facts paraded in front of the world.

All what I like to say is: Without Elvis the world would not have the benefit of his music nor his charity. Without him the world would not be the same. He touched so many, his music transcended national boundaries, racial lines and religious beliefs as a universal language of love and joy, pleasures and relaxation, asking nothing in return.
He will live forever through his music. Elvis left his mark upon mankind, without hurting a single soul, yet he has suffered greatly at the hands of others. :(

The biggest part of Elvis Presley was his big heart. It was full of love for everyone
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