By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, Elvis Presley was the undisputed king of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Decades later, some people think he still is.

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The King had sideburns that Joe Mauer would kill for. Women wanted him, men wanted to be him. His voice was one-of-a-kind and so were his dance moves. From “Hound Dog” to “Jailhouse Rock,” even Vikings All-Pro Jared Allen has nothing but love for the King.

“I wasn’t around to enjoy his music, but he rocked,” Allen said. “He paved the way for great American music to come.”

So why do we celebrate Elvis like he’s still rocking out hit after hit?

Mary Ellen Everhart is the owner of Mountain Mudd Espresso in New Hope, which she’s turned into a mini-Graceland.

The third Thursday of every month, she brings in an impersonator.

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Everhart has studied Elvis’ life and isn’t sure we will ever see another King.

“You’ve got a man who at 42-years-young with his life made 30 some movies on top of all those gold records,” she said.

She said Elvis could appeal to Hollywood because he was in movies, veterans because he was in the military, and every-day people because he came from humble beginnings.

Elvis was also versatile, singing pop ballads, country, gospel and blues.

Much like bands are compared to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, solo acts are compared to Elvis — to the delight of his more than 65,000 impersonators.

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“There are no strong answers for it other than he created something and it just stuck,” Everhart said.

John Lauritsen