This week began with a royal flush of “birthday” frenzy, as the longest-reigning monarch of the British Empire celebrated her 93rd birthday...and, in June all of the British Empire will "officially" honor Her Royal Highness! But, that's not the ONLY royal birthday this week, as young Prince Louis (third child of future King and Queen, William and Catherine) turns one year old this Tuesday. And, of course, the entire Empire is definitely "chuffed" over the impending birth of Her Majesty's newest great-grandchild, Baby Sussex, expected VERY soon. But, this week ALSO marked some other “royal” landmarks!
This week, 63 years ago, "The King" of Rock & Roll, Elvis Aron Presley took a major first step toward his eventual "throne" as – 12 weeks after its original release – "Heartbreak Hotel" became Presley's first number-one pop hit single. While Presley and rock-and-roll were still "iffy" territory for the major music labels, his self-titled debut album released earlier this month (which included "Heartbreak Hotel") proved this "new music" could mean BIG bucks! It became the FIRST rock and roll album to top the "Billboard chart" – a position it held for 10 weeks – and the first RCA Victor pop album to earn more than $1,000,000 and just in 1956 it sold over ONE MILLION copies, not to mention that the "Heartbreak Hotel" single went on to become his best-selling recording EVER…with 10 MILLION copies worldwide and the gold records to go with it!
So, today as we salute these royals, let's take a look at all the glitz and glam that accompany these VERY different cultural icons – including a detour into some 24-karat "golden" and lofty realms.What might Elvis and these royals have in common? Well, persistence immediately comes to mind! While told he had absolutely NO musical aptitude and "couldn't sing," Elvis' innate ambition carried him to the top of the “Billboard” charts…where he still holds the record for the most Number 1 hits. But our royals have also consistently shown determination throughout their lives – leading to some REAL royal payoffs!
Gold records aside, Elvis still did his level-best to keep up with his British counterparts. Obviously, our Queen and the Princes have literal access to the REAL "Crown Jewels," festooned with gold and gems. But, The King also enjoyed a 24-karat lifestyle and his love of "bling" was well-documented!
Today, his famous "Gold Cadillac" sits on display in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, where tourists can view his over-the-top opulence – much like visitors to England can view royal treasures. Our "King" would settle for nothing less than the FULL "royal treatment" with 24-karat gold plated detailing on his prized Cadillac limousine, complete with a real gold television, wet bar, telephone and personalized name plate – all in a 1960 Series 75 Fleetwood!
The luxurious customization continued on the exterior where no less than 40 COATS of a specially-developed paint gave it a golden luster. The finish consisted of actual ground diamonds and fish scales and became dubbed Diamond Dust Pearl…leading us down a rather unique path!
Since this IS a Dental column, you can't expect us to completely ignore teeth...frequently referred to as our “Pearly Whites!” But, the "bling" comparisons don't stop here. As we all know, gold has been used for years in Dental procedures – long before the advent of gold grilles. We might remember our grandparents' gold fillings, but the use of gold by Dentists dates back to the Etruscans in 166 A.D. when this advanced civilization employed gold "crowns" and fixed bridgework!
It's easy to see where the term "crown" first originated, since these Dental appliances sit atop the tooth…just as a royal crown sits atop a ruler’s head. Even today, gold is considered THE "Gold Standard" in Dentistry, with gold crowns and fillings providing the very best in durability and fit...and are even called "high noble!"
The lofty comparison continues, with an even more unique connection. Around the turn of the 20th Century a relatively unknown Dentist, practicing in Detroit, invented a unique Dental appliance we continue to use today – with very few changes! Circa 1901, Dr. George H. Land created the very first porcelain crown jacket, enabling modern Dentists to completely cover the tooth with an aesthetically-pleasing protective crown. Later scientific advances would allow this innovation to gain widespread use.
And while his revolutionary invention failed to earn Dr. Land widespread recognition within his profession, his legacy did not end here. As a devoted family man, he remained close to his only daughter and completely doted on the grandson she bore him. Young Charlie, named for his grandfather, became the apple of his grandfather's eye. Crafting handmade toys in his kiln and lavishing him with attention, Dr. Land fervently hoped his namesake would follow in his footsteps as a Dentist.
While he did inherit his grandfather's extraordinary mechanical aptitude, young Charles chose to pursue a different path, first as an engineering student at the University of Wisconsin, then dropping out after his second year to follow his REAL passion. He began as a daredevil barnstorming pilot, then entering the United States Army to train as a pilot (right HERE in San Antonio), little Charlie had found his true calling.
Unfortunately, his grandfather never lived to see where this adventure led his grandson. Piloting a little plane, called the Spirit of St. Louis, Charles A. Lindbergh flew nonstop across the Atlantic from America to Europe…and into the history books!
And, here we are, right back where we began "across the pond"...with the Queen of England, Prince Louis, Prince Harry's forthcoming heir, and the “King” of Rock & Roll! So, we at Best Choice Dental celebrate our high-flying royalty…in ALL of their crowning glory. Thanks to modern innovations, you don’t need to be a “royal” to wear your OWN golden – or porcelain – crown!