Tuesday will be the 39th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, the boy from Mississippi credited with popularizing rock 'n' roll. Presley passed away on Aug. 16, 1977 of heart failure. He was 42.
Presley's career was an illustrious one. The iconic singer was famously suggestive but also prolific, lending his baritone voice to songs like "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Suspicious Minds" and "Burning Love." "At his death, Mr. Presley had been an indelible part of the nation's musical consciousness for 20 years," the New York Times wrote in his obituary.
Fans may remember him primarily for his music, but he also spoke eloquently in interviews. Here are 11 quotes by the King to read while you jam out in his honor on Tuesday, collected from Goodreads, Esquire and Elvis.net:
"I don't sound like nobody."
"When things go wrong, don't go with them."
"You only pass through this life once, you don't come back for an encore."
"I ain't no saint, but I've tried never to do anything that would hurt my family or offend God ... I figure all any kid needs is hope and the feeling he or she belongs. If I could do or say anything that would give some kid that feeling, I would believe I had contributed something to the world."
"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away."
"I never expected to be anybody important."
"All my life, I've always had a nice time. We never had any money or nothin', but we never were hungry, you know. That's something to be thankful for."
"They put me on television. And the whole thing broke loose."
"The image is one thing and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image, put it that way."
"I'm still afraid to this day that one morning I'll wake up and find out that everything was a dream and that we're all still back in Tupelo with no hope of getting out from under the poverty."
"I watch my audience and listen to 'em, and I know that we're all getting somethin' out of our system. None of us knows what it is. The important thing is we're getting rid of it and nobody's getting hurt."