Today’s musical trifecta

Today is the 45th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. It overshadows two other important musical events which took place well before The King fell asleep and never woke up at Graceland.
Elvis almost died at 15 months, thanks to a massive tornado on 5 April 1936 which flattened much of Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley’s birthplace. At least 216 people died and more than 700 were injured in what remains the deadliest tornado in Mississippi history. One day later, another tornado killed over 200 in Gainesville, Georgia. Surprisingly, Kansas has never had a tornado kill in triple digits; the highest was in Udall in 1955 which took 83 lives. The Greensburg tornado in 2007 killed 12. Twelve deaths are 12 too many, but how only 12 died in a storm which flattened 90 percent of the town is a minor miracle.

This isn’t a weather post. Back to what made 16 August so important in the musical world.

First, Madonna Louise Ciccone was born 16 August 1958 in Bay City, Michigan. In 1983, she hit the music scene as Madonna and hasn’t looked back.
Other than her music, Madonna was great on the big screen in A League of Their Own, portraying Rockford Peaches center fielder Mae Morabito, the quintessential party girl (at least, as much of a party girl as 1943 would allow). Certainly 180 degrees on the party spectrum from Peaches superstar catcher Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and grinder first baseman Helen Haley (Anne Elizabeth Ramsay).
Fittingly, the superstar singer contributed a No. 1 single, “This Used to Be My Playground”, to the soundtrack.
Madonna contributes the funniest line of the movie when Peaches manager Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) stumbles into the clubhouse after another night of heavy drinking and immediately needs to use the facility. That line is something I haven’t been able to forget 30 years later. Much like “no shirt, no shoes, no dice!” from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which I watched twice this past weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its release.
Ironic I should mention those two movies in the same paragraph. Between those movies, Madonna and Sean Penn were married for four years.

Four years following Madonna’s birth, and 11 days following the death of one of Madonna’s idols, Marilyn Monroe, The Quarrymen, a band in Liverpool, England, replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr.
Starr joined a lineup which featured John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney. The Quarrymen soon renamed themselves The Beatles, and the rest is history.

I enjoy listening to Elvis, Madonna and The Beatles. I loved Madonna from the first time I heard her as a seven-year old in late 1983 and early 1984, but I wasn’t as sold on Elvis or The Beatles. Both grew on me.

I’ll give you my lists of top songs from each artist. You might be surprised.

First, my top 10 from Elvis:
1. Burning Love
2. Jailhouse Rock
3. Kentucky Rain
4. Little Sister
5. Return To Sender
6. Don’t Be Cruel
7. Viva Las Vegas
8. Suspicious Minds
9. All Shook Up
10. Hound Dog

Next, my top 15 from The Beatles:
1. Drive My Car
2. Day Tripper
3. Come Together
4. Revolution
5. A Hard Day’s Night
6. Twist and Shout
7. Hey Jude
8. I Saw Her Standing There
9. She Loves You
10. Magical Mystery Tour
11. I Want To Hold Your Hand
12. Get Back
13. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
14. Can’t Buy Me Love
15. Got To Get You Into My Life
BONUS: top 10 by solo Beatles
1. My Sweet Lord (George)
2. Jet (Paul)
3. Whatever Gets You Through the Night (John w/Elton John)
4. It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo)
5. Silly Love Songs (Paul)
6. Got My Mind Set On You (George)
7. No. 9 Dream (John)
8. Let ‘Em In (Paul)
9. Live and Let Die (Paul)
10. Ebony and Ivory (Paul w/Michael Jackson)

Finally, my Madonna top 20:
1. Who’s That Girl
2. La Isla Bonita
3. Material Girl
4. Live To Tell
5. Borderline
6. Causing a Commotion
7. Deeper and Deeper
8. Dress You Up
9. Express Yourself
10. Into The Groove
11. Holiday
12. Keep It Together
13. Lucky Star
14. I’ll Remember
15. Vogue
16. Like A Prayer
17. Crazy For You
18. Angel
19. Take A Bow
20. Open Your Heart
There’s someone I know who loves a lesser-known Madonna hit, “Bad Girl”.

That’s all for now. Rest in Peace, Elvis. Happy birthday, Madonna.

About David

Louisiana native living in Kansas. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, addictions to The Brady Bunch, most sports, food and trivia games.

Posted on 2022-08-16, in History, Music and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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