Whitney Houston & Elvis Presley legacies linked (by Jeff Schrembs)
February 11, 2012 Whitney Houston died.
August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley died.
Two of the greatest singers, and by singers I mean could sing without the need for digital enhancements, who ever lived. Two singers who died far too soon for those who knew, were fans of, loved, etc. The latter part of their lives dissected by the glaring light of the media and individuals who carried with them inner torment that we can only speculate about but they, individually and collectively, carried with them the burdens.
There will be those who will mock, and try to mimic, the facts about their deaths occurring in bathrooms(confirmed in the case of Elvis and “insiders” state the same about Whitney Houston) and endless innuendo about “what if” and “what really happened” etc. The harsh reality is that God grants us life, which is an ordained blessing, without any guarantees of the; length, quality, etc. To the Whitney Houston family, friends, and loved ones my God grant you the strength to endure and to (after ample time for mourning) gradually replace the hurt/sorrow/regret with fond memories…and love.
Interestingly, one of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits was the Dolly Parton song “I Will Always Love You”. During the last few years of his life Elvis himself wanted to record this song and had it not of been for the greed of Colonel Parker asking for a higher percentage of royalties/credits (note: in fairness Colonel Parker did a lot for Elvis’ career but failed Elvis in many respects). When Elvis learned that the “deal fell through” he was justifiably upset as he fell in love with this song and was looking forward to recording it.
Many people do not know that Whitney Houston’s Mother, Emily “Cissy” Houston, was part of Elvis Presley’s’ legendary backup singers (i.e. The Sweet Inspirations) as well as an integral part of Elvis live performances. Elvis and Cissy had a very good relationship and were mutually respectful of one another and admired each others singing talents.
To Whitney Houston fans around the World you will now embark on a path similar to what Elvis Presley Fans set upon in August of 1977. There will be a flood of emotions, and buying of anything/everything relating to Whitney Houston, and once the “dust settles” then the rumor mills will begin in earnest.
Be forewarned that there will be attempts to undermine the accomplishments, and the facts, by focusing on the shortcomings and the struggles. This is the true injustice for words linger and in the computer age live on well beyond the drying of the ink on the “limited edition newspapers”.
I have always enjoyed the songs Whitney Houston recorded when she first earned national praise and each year thereafter. There is something “true” about ones talent, especially when it comes to someone singing, for the vocal chords of the artist transfer from (in this case Elvis and Whitney’s) the singer directly into our ear….landing in our very soul. It is an exchange that is deeply personal, moving, and truly unique. It it something that can’t be defined but you sure know when you hear it.
May God bless the Whitney Houston family as well as every other family who today, and each day hereafter, deals with the loss of a loved one. Each life is truly precious and when the time is applicable for reflection perhaps, in some ways, it will cause us to tell those who we admire/love/respect/etc. just how much they truly mean to us. For one of the lessons of Elvis, and Whitney, is that their passing closed the door to this world and our ability to verbally convey our true thoughts/feelings.
Where one goes, when they leave this earth, can be speculated by many and debated by those with more degrees than a thermometer. But as is the case when one “hears” true talent, and discerns the truth, if we look deep enough inside we will find the knowledge that what we do on this earth carries with us in the life hereafter and that no matter how “smart” we think we are to deny our maker is to deny the blessing of life.
Whitney Houston left behind a body of work that, by any standard, was…remarkable. She was a person, with hopes and dreams, and she left behind her family that now will try to put their lives…together. She was a mother, a daughter, a wife, a cousin, a celebrity and a woman who shared her talents for all the World to see. May future generations look to her and find the strength to use whatever talents God has bestowed upon you and persevere even in times of turmoil.
February 11, 2012 is the day that Whitney Houston died. I will remember this day but I will choose to remember her more for the life she lived and the talents she shared. May she finally find peace and she be remembered in full context and her name, and legacy, be one simply of…truth.