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Elvis Memories

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Elvis Memories

Almost anyone who has ever loved music has had something to say about Elvis Presley, it seems. His music and his star power live on in our memories and those of the celebrities who were his contemporaries and his followers. Here are some of their memories and impressions of the King. What are your favorite Elvis memories? Share them in the comment section below.

"Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been an Elvis, there wouldn't have been a Beatles." John Lennon

"He was the firstest with the mostest." Roy Orbison

"It was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody's ear, and somehow we all dreamed it." –Bruce Springsteen

"It’s rare when an artist’s talent can touch an entire generation of people. It’s even rarer when that same influence affects several generations. Elvis made an imprint on the world of pop music unequaled by any other single performer." Dick Clark

"I wanted to say to Elvis Presley and the country that this is a real decent, fine boy, and wherever you go, Elvis, we want to say we've never had a pleasanter experience on our show with a big name than we've had with you." Ed Sullivan, following Presley's final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, January 1957

"Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than 20 years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense. And he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country." –President Jimmy Carter, following Presley's death in 1977

"Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail." –Bob Dylan

"He broke the ice for all of us." –The Rev. Al Green

"I remember Elvis as a young man hanging around the Sun Studios. Even then, I knew this kid had a tremendous talent. He was a dynamic young boy. His phraseology, his way of looking at a song, was as unique as Sinatra's. I was a tremendous fan, and had Elvis lived, there would have been no end to his inventiveness." –B.B. King

"That's my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house, you'd see pictures all over of Elvis. He's just the greatest entertainer that ever lived." –Eddie Murphy

"He was just amazing and spectacular. He really opened the door to my whole love of music. Because of him, and because of the choice of his material, I found Smiley Lewis (and) all those great singers." –Robert Plant

"His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac. ... It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people." Frank Sinatra, 1957

"There have been many accolades uttered about Elvis's talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend. He was a warm, considerate and generous man." Frank Sinatra, 1977

"You have no idea how great he is, really you don't. You have no comprehension - it's absolutely impossible. I can't tell you why he's so great, but he is. He's sensational." –Phil Spector

"When Elvis was there, they were stopping everything. Elvis had the moment for real. While I'm here, it’s not all about 50 Cent, but it was all about Elvis." –50 Cent

"A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man's music, when in fact almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis." –Jackie Wilson

"Elvis is iconic; a lot of performers today look to that for inspiration." –Beyonce

"There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home. ... He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock ‘n’ roll singers." –John Landau, in a review of Elvis's 1968 TV special

"You know, (George H.W.) Bush is always comparing me to Elvis in sort of unflattering ways. I don't think Bush would have liked Elvis very much, and that's just another thing that's wrong with him." –Future president Bill Clinton, during the 1992 presidential campaign

"It's always been my dream to come to Madison Square Garden and be the warm-up act for Elvis." –Future vice president Al Gore, in his 1992 vice-presidential nomination acceptance speech

"Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution - the ’60s comes from it." –Leonard Bernstein, 1960s

"There have been a lot of tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king." –Bruce Springsteen

"Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps." –Rod Stewart

"He was a unique artist - an original in an arena of imitators." –Mick Jagger

"This boy had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager and the talent. And he didn’t look like Mr. Ed like a lot of the rest of us did. In the way he looked, way he talked, way he acted - he really was different." Carl Perkins

"I wasn’t just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland. We sang “Old Blind Barnabas” together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There’ll never be another like that soul brother." –James Brown

"He had total love in his eyes when he performed. He was the total androgynous beauty. I would practice Elvis in front of the mirror when I was 12 or 13 years old." –k.d. lang

"I'm sitting in the drive-through and I've got my three girls in the back and this station comes on and it's playing ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ the original version, and my girls are jumping up and down, going nuts. I'm looking around at them and they've heard Dad's music all the time and I don't see that out of them." –Garth Brooks

"Ask anyone. If it hadn't been for Elvis, I don't know where popular music would be. He was the one that started it all off, and he was definitely the start of it for me." –Elton John

"The first concert I attended was an Elvis concert when I was 11. Even at that age he made me realize the tremendous effect a performer could have on an audience." –Cher

"I learned music listening to Elvis's records. His measurable effect on culture and music was even greater in England than in the States." –Mick Fleetwood

"I don't think there is a musician today that hasn't been affected by Elvis' music. His definitive years - 1954-57 - can only be described as rock's cornerstone. He was the original cool." –Brian Setzer

"It’s insane the charisma he had. I’ve never seen anything like it to this day." –Faith Hill

"People think that we’re crazy because we do six nights a week. I would physically not be able to take it, especially when you see how much he put into every show. ... He created this larger-than-life style and he pulled it off." –Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20

"Woman wanted him, men wanted to BE him or just hang out with him." –Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson 

"You couldn’t take your eyes off of him." –Joe Perry

"When I saw Elvis on television, I just fell in love with him completely. As a singer, I want to be able to relate to an audience like this man does. Of course, nobody can – he was the best there ever was." –Faith Hill

"Elvis, to me, is a symbol of tremendous promise and that kind of American hopefulness, where you can come from nowhere and have nothing and build yourself up and chase that American dream." –Patti Scialfa