The man who was to become “The King of Rock ’n’ Roll” was born on this day in 1935 in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. During his childhood he was influenced by pop, country music, gospel and R&B, which he fused together to create a pioneering sound that propelled him to international stardom.
He starred in his first movie, Love Me Tender, in 1956 and went on to star in over 30 more. It has been estimated that he has sold one billion records, more than anyone else in record-industry history.
He supposedly died at his home in Graceland, aged just 42... though various 'sightings' since might suggest that he is still among us today! Delusional/wishful thinkers aside, why not make a Velvet Elvis tonight to celebrate the King's legacy.
Born David Robert Jones this day in January 1947, David Bowie constantly reinvented himself. He was in turn psychedelic folkster, glam rocker, electronica pioneer, actor and, well, icon. Bowie's unique, compelling style shaped looks and fashions in the 1970s as decisively as Madonna would a decade or so later. And the opening salvo of Space Oddity remains recognisable to folk of all ages.
Bowie sadly died of cancer on 10th January 2016 just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his twenty-fifth studio album Blackstar.
Happy Birthday, Major Tom. We are toasting you with an Oddball Manhattan.