THE FIRST OF THE MAJOR PROPHETS EXPLAINS THE AMERICAN PRESENT (Hint…He Died in 1977)

Among hundreds, Here’s the most interesting “exit” poll I’ve seen.

For those who don’t care to click over, it’s a Reuters poll (from what I can tell, they are no better or worse than any other organization that does this…which means it can be taken with a grain of salt but probably isn’t off by any wild number). The poll asked the respondents to agree/disagree with the following:

” I feel like a stranger in my own country”

47.1% YES.
33.5% NO
19.2% UNDECIDED/DON’T KNOW

Another blogger, who evidently has access to deeper metrics, has a further breakdown, by race and party, which suggests that a strong majority of every demographic but one of the YES/NO respondents said YES. Even if you take the main poll at face value, though, it’s strange to contemplate. (For the record, the one exception is White Democrats. I’m not linking to the blogger because I don’t know how good his info is, but the numbers he posts are a logical enough conclusion.)

Nearly 50% of the voting public–i.e., the most politically engaged part of the populace–feels alienated, while another 20% are ambivalent on the question.

When, after decades of experiencing virtually unprecedented Peace, Prosperity and Progress while residing in the heart of the mightiest empire to ever bestride the Earth, nearly 70% of voters feel either alienated or disengaged, these United States of America are really just Memphis in ’69.

You know, without all the great music, or any Prophets roaming around, cursing (literally in this case) the darkness.

 

12 thoughts on “THE FIRST OF THE MAJOR PROPHETS EXPLAINS THE AMERICAN PRESENT (Hint…He Died in 1977)

  1. For your readers who aren’t familiar with Elvis, here’s the version that he actually released. And oh my would I have loved to have seen this issued as the follow-up single to “Suspicious Minds”:

  2. I think anything Elvis released in 1969 would have been a hit, especially following “Suspicious Minds.” Until he went big ballad country in 1970, Top 40 radio was his!

    Following “If I Can Dream” and “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” and “In the Ghetto,” many people (like me) would have interpreted “Stranger In My Own Hometown” as being philosophically linked to those first three.

    Even if it wasn’t the Christmas hit that the schmaltzy “Don’t Cay Daddy” was, it could have opened doors to both black and college radio stations that would’t ever play “Daddy.”

    And Elvis needed to keep taking chances—he got bored rather easily …

    • That sounds like a good analysis to me. Interesting to think the he could have broken back into black radio (who weren’t playing too many white artists in those days)…and how that might have changed things going forward.

      Although, if “If I Can Dream” and “Suspicious Minds” and “In the Ghetto” didn’t do it, I have to wonder if it was really possible.

  3. I think “Stranger” might have received some play on black radio; there were jocks there trying to beach the gap/chasm between whites and blacks and they might have seen Elvis doing a slinky version of Percy Mayfield as cool. I don’t think it would have been a hit, but it could have been played.

    Alas, everyone played it safe with “Daddy” and “Kentucky Rain” and “I’ve Lost You” etc . . .

    • For this, and many other reasons, Father Time should give us a do-over…I’ve thrown the red flag and sent my request to the replay booth in New York and am anxiously awaiting the results!

      (Okay, I’ve stopped holding my breath….)

  4. After “Wearin’ That Loved-On Look” and “Only The Strong Survive” and “Stranger” I think Elvis should have gone right back to American Sound in 1970 and cut a contemporary soul album! Brought in a cuppla black Memphis singers to share a lead vocal or two.

  5. They are my faves, absolutely! But I love a lot of the stuff he did in Nashville in 1970. I don’t think it was the location as much as it was the drugs. I don’t read a lot about the personal stuff: after Guralnick’s books, I don’t need a whole lot more.

    I recall that several people—and I think Priscilla was one of them but also musicians and friends—said the turning point was the September 1970 session in Nashville where he showed up f*cked up and not a lot got done.

    The difference between the 1969 and ’70 sessions and those in ’71 and most that followed are remarkable.

    Oh wee, if Father Time (Wholly Grommett in disguise with glasses) ever grants you any wishes, after wealth and world peace, consider going back and getting Elvis straight . . .

    • Just musically speaking, I hear the seventies as mostly Elvis settling into the new space the Memphis Sessions opened up. There’s a risk in settling, but there’s a risk in being constantly at the edge, too, and I think he did plenty in the seventies that was memorable (not as fond of the production style, but that’s true for a lot of the decade’s music, not just his). Still, I’ll keep getting him straight in mind if Father Time ever takes any more requests….I’ll even move him ahead of wealth and put him right after world peace.

      All this reminds me I really need to get back to writing about Elvis ind depth…I meant to be through his whole career by now and I ain’t even out of the fifties!

  6. Find the video on YouTube of Elvis on stage in 1970 doing a brief, off-the-cuff version of “I Was The One” and you’ll realize you that maybe you weren’t meant to be out of the ’50s yet … if ever.

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