Elvis, Take One

This was posted on the groaners listserv. The author is not known.

It is always interesting to look back on the careers of the greats of the entertainment world and see their first, stumbling efforts on the path the greatness. This is the case with Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley was a young lad fresh from the farm when he first started trying to cut a record. He was, in those days, accompanied everywhere by his pet pig. Virtually all of his songs were ballads eulogizing this porker of whom he was inordinately fond.

There were those who tried to say that he would never make it to the big time unless he changed his subject matter. How wrong they were!

One day Presley turned up at the studio without the pig. They asked where the animal was.

Tearfully, he explained that his pick-up had broken down on his way into town. He had put a leash on the pig and started to walk the rest of the journey. Just where the road runs closest to the river, the pig had broken free and rushed onto the verge in search of something edible. Losing its footing on the wet grass, it slid into the river and became embedded in the mud. Try as he might, young Presley could not free his pet. Time and again he struggled into the waters – a raging torrent after recent rains – but despite his best efforts, the animal had sunk deeper and deeper in the mud, its panic-stricken struggles to free itself only making matters worse. Eventually just its snout could be seen above the water, and then even that disappeared.

Furiously, young Presley castigated himself for his failure to save the creature closest to his heart. “Maybe you’ll sing about something else now?” they asked.

“The hell I will!” he shouted, and defiantly propped a picture of the pig on the music stand. Immediately he struck the first chord of the song which was destined to be among his greatest hits, and sang, “You ain’t nothing but a drowned hog…”

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