Inside the Mind of
the King of Rock and Roll
Sylvia M. Marquez
January 18, 2001
Elvis Personality 2
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a rock star? What exactly do you lack in your personality that prohibited you from becoming the next Michael Jackson or Madonna? It is well known that everybody has specific personality traits that are unique to him or her. Whether they are inherited, learned or developed during the course of a person’s life, these traits will inevitably shape us as individuals. We are going to look at three of the personality theories: Biological, Cognitive and Social Learning, and how they applied to a person who was even more popular than both Michael Jackson and Madonna. It could only be the one and only Elvis Presley. Now, have you ever stopped to think of how great an impact Elvis Presley has had on our society? Even though he has been dead for over 23 years, the impact that Elvis continues to have on our society is astonishing. From the thousands of participants in annual Elvis look-a-like contests to people who go as far as fashioning their homes after Graceland, Elvis Presley’s spirit is alive and well in the year 2001. What types of personality traits did this rock-n-roll icon possess? What were some of Elvis’s early influences, which eventually led him to become known as the King of Rock and Roll? Did these influences eventually lead to his untimely death? Often when we think of celebrities, we associate only what we know of them from the media. We do not consider that regardless of their status in society, they are just flesh and blood like the rest of us. We may even have the misperception that their lives were without the same pitfalls or influences that we, as ordinary people are exposed to. As you will see, Elvis was by no means privileged, at least not in the beginning. In fact,
Elvis Personality 3
he came from very humble beginnings and faced many struggles early on in his life. Circumstances that most of us were very fortunate not to have experienced.
When people consider Elvis Presley, the entertainer, the memories are filled with remembering a great singer who changed the direction of music. The public named Elvis the King of Rock and Roll and through his music, he lived up to this title. But aside from the public persona people were so familiar with, there was a great deal of Elvis that was obscure. The biological aspects and biological personality traits of Elvis’s life are probably the most unfamiliar as these factors are not as obvious as others. However, there is a considerable amount of biology that has contributed to how Elvis Presley evolved into the icon still revered by many to this day.
Basic biological facts of Elvis that can be rattled off by any true Elvis fan are that he was the second born twin on January 8, 1935 at 4:35 a.m. in Tupelo, Mississippi to Gladys Love Smith and Vernon Elvis Presley (Elvis, 2001). His twin brother, Jesse Garon was stillborn. Additionally, there were specific biological traits that Elvis inherited from his parents. For example, although Elvis’s mother, Gladys grew up in a strict household, she had a great deal of passion for singing and dancing. Gladys was considered a great dancer and loved to perform, soaking in the applause and smiles of her admirers. She had a strong sense of rhythm and loved to abandon herself to music. Gladys was also an extremely outgoing person and had a positive personality. It is obvious to see where Elvis’s musical ability, outgoing personality, and love of show business came from. Contrary to the personality traits Elvis inherited from his mother, those characteristics inherited from his father, Vernon, were of a different nature. Elvis Personality 4
Vernon Presley grew up in household lacking...