- Term Papers and Free Essays

Elvis Presley: King Of Rock And Roll

Essay by   •  March 11, 2011  •  2,035 Words (9 Pages)  •  4,271 Views

Essay Preview: Elvis Presley: King Of Rock And Roll

Report this essay
Page 1 of 9

Elvis Presley: King of Rock and Roll

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935, to Vernon and Gladys Presley. Elvis had a twin brother, Jessie Garon Presley, who died at birth. Elvis was raised in a small two bedroom house in Tupelo, Mississippi. The towns people called Tupelo, which was located near the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi Hills. Elvis grew up in a very poor side of town and where he mingled with the black culture. This exposed him to rhythm and blues, gospel, bluegrass, jazz and pop. Elvis didn't dress like a typical white middle class young man. He dressed with a rebel edge which included leather jackets, open shirts, and upturned colors. He slicked his hair back and grew long side burns. Elvis was a mixture of the black and white cultures that he grew up with. Elvis began singing at an early age in church, at local assemblies, camp meetings and revivals. While in elementary school his teacher convinced him to participate in a talent contest at the Mississippi/Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. Elvis wore a cowboy suit, had to stand on a chair to reach the microphone, and he sang a Red Foley song, "Old Shep". Elvis won second place and a $5.00 prize. Shortly after this Elvis' uncle bought him a guitar and gave him lessons. The Presley's moved to Memphis when Elvis was thirteen. He graduated from L. C. Humes high school in 1953. Elvis went to work for Crown Electric Company as a truck driver. He was planning to get a job as an electric repairman and took evening classes towards that end. During 1954 Elvis recorded a disc with two songs on it to give to his mother for her birthday. He paid $4.00 at Sun Records to do this disc. Sam Phillips, head of Sun Records, heard the disc. Sam was looking for a white man who could emulate the R&B and jazz sounds of the black artists and knew he had found that in Elvis. Phillips made Presley an offer and this was the beginning of Elvis' career. Sun Records released Elvis Presley's first single as "That's All Right Mama" and it sold 20,000 copies. Elvis would record five records with Sun Records before RCA bought out his contract. During this time Elvis connected with Colonel Tom Parker who became his manager. In 1958 Elvis was drafted and was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas; and then stationed in Germany where he remained until his discharge. Presley was known as a good and dedicated soldier. While Elvis was in the military his mother, whom he was very close to, died. Elvis met Priscilla Beaulieu while stationed in Germany. Elvis and Priscilla were married on May 1, 1967 and their only child, Lisa Marie, was born February 1, 1968. Elvis and Priscilla were divorced in October of 1973 and agreed to share custody The late 50's brought Elvis international status. He was known by his first name, and was becoming a living legend. Elvis was a new sensation. He brought a new rockabilly sound, rock and roll dance songs and ballads to his music and his stage presence was one that had not been seen before. His unique sound and style brought a diverse musical influence that blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, He ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture. Presley laid a foundation upon which other rock and roll lmusicians could build. Black performers such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard came to national notice after Presley's accepyance among audiences of white teenagers. Singers such as Jerry Lee Lewis, the EVerly Brothers, Rob Orbison followed in Elvis's wake. Elvis continued to make music until his death in the 80's. Elvis crossed over into television and movies, where he also was a success. Elvis appeared on shows such as The Steve Allen Show, The Milton Berle Show and The Toast of the Town. Presley's most sensational appearance though was The Ed Sullivan Show. The camera operators were instructed to stay above the waist and not show his dancing hips. Presley became known as "Elvis the Pelvis", which horrified the parents and excited the youth. Elvis was fresh and new and he became a pivotal figure in the history of rock mucsic. He defined rock and roll's new sound and he also established a youth culture and the symbol of teenage rebellion. Elvis was also triumphed in movies. His movies, which contained his singing, as well as his acting were well accepted though never received critical acclaim. In a twenty year period Elvis was often a top box office draw. He made over 32 movies and it's estimated he grossed over $175 million. The movies further extended Elvis's image and increased



Download as:   txt (8.2 Kb)   pdf (98.9 Kb)   docx (11.6 Kb)  
Continue for 8 more pages »
Only available on