When Sunday, August 16 arrives this year, Elvis Presley fans around the world will pause to mark the 38 years that have passed since the King died. As you know, singer-songwriter Ronnie McDowell is one of the biggest Elvis fans of all time. He can trace much of his success to his 1977 blockbuster, “The King is Gone,” which catapulted Ronnie into the spotlight.
Early in his career, Ronnie was already a successful songwriter scoring hits for Porter Waggoner, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Eddy Arnold, Tanya Tucker, Chet Atkins, George Jones and many others. He often describes that afternoon as when he wrote his own life story. With the huge reaction and requests made to radio stations from Elvis fans, Ronnie received a phone call from Dick Clark and the next day performed on American Bandstand. Since that day, multi-million copies of “The King is Gone” have been sold.
Ronnie’s Elvis connection doesn’t stop there. When Dick Clark produced a television movie featuring a young Kurt Russell as Elvis Presley, Clark turned to Ronnie to record 36 songs for the movie’s extensive soundtrack. He would reprise his turn as the voice of the King when Elvis’s wife, Priscilla, tapped him to sing for the television movie “Elvis and Me.” Over the years, Ronnie’s vocals would be showcased on the ABC-TV series about the early years of Elvis’ career titled simply “Elvis,” as well as the 1997 Showtime special “Elvis Meets Nixon.” Today, Ronnie often features Elvis Presley’s original sidemen Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana, along with Millie Kirkham and The Jordanaires when he stages tributes to Elvis Presley’s music.
To date, one of Ronnie McDowell’s most popular and best-selling prints is his painting titled “Reflection of a King.” The life-like image is of Elvis as a young boy looking into a mirror and envisioning Elvis thesuper-star. The print is available at ronniemcdowell.com or on Amazon.