Friday, January 20, 2012

Today in Pop Culture History: Mostly Memphis Edition

Depends Who You Ask:
20 January 1958: The Memphis draft board ordered Elvis Presley to report for duty, though he scored a deferment so he could finish shooting King Creole. A Pyrrhic victory, perhaps. However, those of you well-versed in the King's personal history know that the time he spent in Germany as a soldier stuck with him for the rest of his life. He was introduced to amphetamines, karate, and one fourteen-year-old named Priscilla.

20 January 1973: Goodness gracious. Fellow Sun Records alumnus and former Memphis resident Jerry Lee Lewis made his Grand Ole Opry debut on this day. Despite the official objections, he played his rock 'n' roll hits including, of course, "Great Balls of Fire." Though the Dennis Quaid biopic is a wild ride, I prefer Waylon Payne's embodiment of The Killer from Walk the Line.

20 January 1993: Audrey Hepburn died in Switzerland of appendiceal cancer at age 63. Not only was she a gifted actress but also a style icon and a celebrity activist for UNICEF before that was the hip thing to do. Hepburn's pop culture legacy is as strong now as it was when she was starring in cinema classics like Sabrina (for which she won an Academy Award)

Roman Holiday

Breakfast at Tiffany's

and My Fair Lady

Dude, she was even in a Gap ad thirteen years after her death!


1 comment:

  1. Now you can add Etta James to your Downers list for next year .