Happy Anniversary to Andrew and Elvis

8 Jan

See that date on the left. It represents an important day in the lives of two people who lived in Tennessee.

On January 8, 1815, Andrew Jackson led a force of amateur soldiers against a British force intent on capturing New Orleans. It was a dominant victory by the Americans and led to an interesting song by Johnny Horton. It also brought made Jackson famous throughout the land. That fame would take Jackson into politics, and the Tennessee lawyer would trade the Hermitage, his home in Tennessee, for the White House.Jackson

President Andrew Jackson is a controversial figure in American history. He kept the nation together when South Carolina threatened to secede, which is something Abraham Lincoln could not do. However, Jackson also pushed through the Indian Removal Act, which led to relocation and death of thousands of people.

People either love or hate Andrew Jackson, but one thing is certain. He brought a power to the presidency that remains. After all, how many presidents have had an entire age named for them? He has the Age of Jackson.

Concerning Jackson, there was not much middle ground among his contemporaries. Like historians, they either loved him or hated him. The latter called him King Andrew, and that leads me to another Tennessee resident who had the same moniker.

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was born on this day in 1935. I have written about Elvis on a couple of occasions. My first concert was an Elvis show, and it was also the night that my mom got into a fight. Then, there was the weekend that my wife, my stepdaughter and I spent in Memphis. Heck, I even wrote about Elvis and the idea of myth.Elvis Presley

All of that means that I am not going to spend much time on Elvis in this post. I am writing about two anniversaries that affected American history. One affected national politics and the policies of the nation. The other affected popular music and its artistic direction.

Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans and the 80th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth.

6 Responses to “Happy Anniversary to Andrew and Elvis”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2015 at 19:06 #

    Yay to Elvis who brought us music. Boo, hiss to Jackson who slaughtered entire Native tribes down to the last babe in arms.

    • Rick January 8, 2015 at 19:14 #

      That pretty well sums it up.

  2. Andrew Petcher January 8, 2015 at 20:00 #

    Whilst I understand the history of Jackson I never really got the Elvis thing. He always seemed very overrated to me. Bad actor (very bad actor) and never wrote any of his own songs, crazy person who ate lots of burgers and shot his TV! Weird.

    • Rick January 8, 2015 at 21:55 #

      His movies leave a lot to be desired, but his influence in music is something else. He took music (R+B, Blues, Country) that was not part of the mainstream and made it popular. Although, I will say that his handlers (manager, producers) were probably more talented than he was.

  3. Kentucky Angel January 9, 2015 at 01:40 #

    Elvis wrote the words to Love Me Tender, not exactly high poetry, but used the music to an old English folk song for the music, probably because it was no longer copyright protected. He couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag, but for some reason I saw every movie he made. He couldn’t carry a tune, but I collected his albums. He grew fat and ugly, but I watched his concerts. I have no idea why. There was just something about him that made me keep going back thinking he couldn’t get worse, so maybe he would get better.

    Andy Jackson? That one is tough. Totally uncouth, yet I’ve visited the Hermitage and loved it. Love the Johnny Horton song, but maybe it was just the song and not the man it was written about. Before he wiped out the Indian nations, he and his friends totaled the White House, tearing up furnishings, floors, furniture and objects of art worth millions that could not be replaced. He was a destructive person, yet he was responsible for bringing land into the US, Louisiana and the states around it. And my memory is failing, but didn’t he buy Alaska? 55 years since my last day of class, and although American history was my favorite subject, that is a long time to remember something when I can’t even remember my neighbor’s name.

    • Rick January 9, 2015 at 16:10 #

      It is difficult to find a connection between Elvis and Andrew, but one similarity is charisma. Both of them had the ability to make the public love them.

      By the way, Alaska was purchased by William Seward, Secretary of State for Abraham Lincoln.

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