I was twelve years old when I first heard Heartbreak Hotel sung by a twenty-one year old singing sensation from Tupelo, Mississippi. Although not his initial recording, it was the first to hit the charts of a brand new genre known as Rock ‘N Roll.
Fifty years have passed, The King is (allegedly) dead and I still enjoy cranking up his tunes on my trusty CD player.
Elvis was an immensely talented musician. But more than that—he was meticulously managed by marketing genius, Colonel Tom Parker. As good as Presley was, he would never have become such an icon without Parker’s shrewd management techniques.
Elvis went through the ups and down that every entertainer experiences. More than once his fan appeal waned. He entered the army and fell out of the limelight for a couple of years. After his discharge, he made a series of forgettable movies and recorded songs that no longer topped the charts. The Beatles came on the scene and Elvis suddenly became yesterday’s news.
But that was all before he moved to Las Vegas! A new Elvis with a new image and gaudy costumes emerged. Old fans returned and new ones ‘discovered’ him. He resurrected his tours playing to packed auditoriums. That’s when someone, perhaps Parker, came up with one of the most memorable lines ever created. The King would wind up each performance with a particularly rousing song—take a bow—and disappear as screaming fans shouted for more. Then a voice boomed through the sound system, "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building!" That was it. No more show. No more Elvis. Come back next tour. In the meantime—buy his records and souvenirs.
What does this little piece of Rock ‘N Roll history have to do with you?
Simply this: Each one of us ‘leaves the building’ every night after giving it a shot. But is it our BEST shot? That’s a question that only you and I can answer. I’ve always thought that it would be cool to be missed at day’s end as much as The Big E was at the conclusion of his concerts.
Think about it. If someone installed a sound system near the door where you exit your workplace each evening and boldly announced to the world,
“(Insert your name here) has left the building!"
Would you be able to jump into that waiting Limo/Lexus/Chevy/Ford Pickup knowing that you had done your very best with the many talents that you have to offer? Would there be people hoping that you come back again tomorrow to do it all again?
Bill Sheridan/Sheridan Writes/8106 Brookview Drive/Urbandale, IA 50322
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