Elvis Presley

Topics: Elvis Presley, Rock and roll, Blues Pages: 7 (2080 words) Published: April 21, 2013
In the United States, during the 1950s the rise of rock and roll and popular black Rhythm-and-Blues were converged together. Elvis Presley also referred to the King of Rock was one of the most successful and popular artists of the mid-1950’s who explored the musical genre of rock and roll and the Blues. He was an influential American singer, actor, and guitarist who had an immeasurable impact of world culture. Elvis Presley was and still is the most significant figure or idol in rock and roll history, who revolutionized the way American music sounded, looked, and was preformed through his sexually and seductive performance and dress styles till this day on.

When Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on Tuesday, January 8, 1935 to Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Smith Presley, no one would imagine that he had a chance to be famous (Gentry 11-16). His young parents were in poverty and have been raised as farmers in northern Mississippi. Elvis had a twin brother, Jesse Garon Presley, who died shortly after birth (Isaacs 1). During his youth in Tupelo, Elvis had a lot of passion towards music and was exposed to music, which shaped and influenced his music style such as, gospel, country music, and rhythm and blues (Rubel 1). The Presleys joined the new Assembly of God church, where Elvis’s musical abilities were shared in the services. The young Elvis took up guitar at the age of eleven. In 1953, after Elvis graduated from L.C. Humes High School in Memphis, he worked at Precision Tool Company and then drove a truck for the Crown Electric Company paying his own way into the Memphis Recording Services studio to produce his own records (Isaacs 1). Less than a year later, Elvis had recorded “That’s All Right Mama” for Sun Records, which was his first commercial release, selling twenty thousand copies. This was the first step towards Elvis Presley’s moving career.

Elvis finally felt confident enough about his singing career to quit his job as a truck driver. He was free to travel all over the South, preforming practically every night. As word spread about Elvis Presley, more and more teenagers began to crowd into the audience (Gentry 11-16). Elvis inspired rebellious teenagers who were experiencing their own adolescent rebellion through his proactive hip wriggling tease movements (Music Educators Journal 60). One of Elvis’ first most popular hit “Hound Dog”, which was a rhythm-and-blues tune was the birth of the rock ’n’ roll era. When Elvis preformed the song his arms pumped the air, one of his knees kicked in at the other, and the audience was astounded when he quickly shouted, “You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog!” Before the audience could blink, the guitarist played a loud, metallic solo, while Elvis shuffled sideways, surprising himself with his own dance movements. The guitarist bore down heavily on the strings and Presley was nodding powerfully beside him. Suddenly, Elvis leaped back to the microphone and began to speed up the verse. He grinned at his own legs as they moved in uncontrolled spasms. The audience was bewildered and dazed. He was known for his totally spontaneous move of dragging the teetering microphone stand along stage with him. As he sang those strange lyrics again, he pumped his hips with each word along with shrugging his shoulders. It took about one minute and fifty-six seconds for Elvis to transform the meaning of music (Gentry 11-16). Presley’s sexually charged performances throughout the Southeast provoked positive and astonishing responses and also influenced other musicians of the 1950. For example, by the end of 1955, performers such as Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash had arisen with a style that bore a strong resemblance to Presley’s (Brackett 1). Elvis’s songs, a mixture of white country and-western music, black rhythm and blues, and gospel sounds of both races brought a change in popular music that eventually accepted the interaction of black and white music in American culture...
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