- Jeffrey Schrembs, Elvis Presley historian, expert and collector (as published in www. ElvisCollector.info on March 26, 2009)
Having watched Elvis onstage during his entire career, I was always amazed how Elvis was able to adapt to his audience and always rise to the occasion. Elvis was the most exciting stage performed who ever sat foot on a stage. He never allowed his music to be "manipulated" and his "light show" consisted of a handful of color lights masterfully choreographed by Lamar Fike. He had the vocal mastery to take a contemporary iconic song such as "Bridge Over Troubled Water"´ ( starting in 1970), and make it is his own. As of 1971, for instance, he would pour out his heart out onstage and could go from the buildup of "2001 A Space Odyssey" to "Johnny B Goode", to the gospel song "How Great Thou Art" and, before the audience could recover from the emotional experience of hearing/seeing Elvis perform these songs with vocal excellence, he would turn to singing one of his hits such as "Suspicious Minds". He surrounded himself with the best of the best, pertaining to the orchestra to the band, to the backup singers etc., and everyone who worked with him has confirmed that Elvis' vocal range has never been equalled. Even when Elvis' health problems were the most dramatic (i.e. visually, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.), he sang his heart out and if you listen to the "CBS 1977 Concert", which aired after Elvis died sadly, Elvis' talent and vocal range is almost a "spiritual experience", touching something wonderful inside of our soul and leaving its imprint for all time. Hence, our ears after hearing the exceptional talent of Elvis' voice long for the time when Elvis sang live and/or put out a new album, and hearing him sing was a true blessing. (In fact), not a day goes by that I don't' miss Elvis Presley as a performer - as a Father to his daughter - and as a charitable man - and as a beloved friend surrounded by lifetime friends (i.e. Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West, Lamar Fike, Billy Smith, etc.), leaving us three decades of exceptional music. Elvis Presley took the talents that God gave him and shared them with the world, gave us his time and did so with grace. These are lessons that all of us can learn from and celebrate from generation to generation.