It was a Saturday afternoon in the spring of 1956, and Pitty and I were doing the dishes, giggling and snapping each other with dish towels every now and then. Our little Philco radio, perched on top of the gigantic hot water heater in the corner, was going full blast.
"And now, guys and gals" squalled DJ Ed Hill, "Y'all are gonna looove this one! It's Elvis the Pelvis's latest!"
Like most teenagers, I loved all of Elvis's songs. But this one struck a chord, shook me to my toes. Pitty loved it as well, and we were soon singing along: Ha-ho-hold me close, hold me tight, make me thrill with delight...
It has been over fifty years since I first heard I Want You, I Need You, I Love you. And each time I hear it I am fifteen years old again, back on the farm in that little kitchen, dishes piled on every surface, Mother's flowered curtains fluttering in the gentle breeze.
We sway from side to side, moving to the center of the kitchen, whirling around and around on the blue-and-yellow tile floor, singing at the top of our lungs. I am weak in the knees, euphoric, longing for something I cannot not define. As the song nears an end, we stop and stare at each other, waiting to join Elvis in the conclusion: With all my hear-r-rt...!
Happy 75th birthday, Elvis. And thanks for the memories.