Stole his style from Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley died 35 years ago
Maybe Elvis Presley is living with Kurt Cobain and Tupac Shakur on a secret island today, maybe he will appear in Las Vegas as an Elvis impersonator. Or, and most likely, he died 35 years ago today, on August 16, 1977, on his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee.
The cult of Elvis Presley is still unbroken 35 years after his death. Some see him on a burnt piece of toast, others even on the street. According to the broadcaster CBS, seven percent of Americans believe that the King Of Rock’n’Roll is still alive. Seven percent of Americans are 20 million people. A few days ago, a plastic can containing Elvis ‘antibiotics in 1975 was auctioned for $ 6,875.
There is probably no other person whose empty drug cans are worth so much. And there is probably no other person who was more important in popularizing rock'n'roll.
Elvis may be the most famous rock musician of all time, but he certainly wasn't the first. Bill Haley was a white musician before him who played a wild mix of blues, country and bluegrass, not to mention numerous Afro-American musicians who invented the style in the forties. To this day there are quite a few critics who accuse Elvis of stealing “black” music. "Elvis was a hero to most / But he never meant shit to me you see / Straight up racist that sucker was", for example, in the song "Fight The Power", Public Enemy vented their anger that Elvis had become famous with the music, who played African-American musicians long before him - but who, because of their skin color, had no chance of being played by the major radio stations in America in the 1950s.
In 2002, Chuck D. of Public Enemy was more conciliatory in an interview. "As a musicologist - and I consider myself one - there was always a great deal of respect for Elvis [...] My whole thing was the one-sidedness - like, Elvis' icon status in America made it like nobody else counted [...] My heroes came from someone else. My heroes came before him. My heroes were probably his heroes. As far as Elvis being ‘The King,’ I couldn't buy that. "
A fact that Elvis himself was very well aware of, as he stated in an interview in 1956. "The colored folks have been singing it and playing it just like I'm doin 'now, man, for more years than I know. They played it like that […] and nobody paid it no mind 'til I goosed it up. I got it from them. Down in Tupelo, Mississippi, I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang his box the way I do now and I said if I ever got to a place I could feel all old Arthur felt, I'd be a music man like nobody ever saw . "
It is undisputed that Elvis Presley was largely responsible for rock’n’Roll arriving in the middle of society - from which the musicians whose style he copied also benefited. "Hey what about integrator. Elvis was a blessing, "says Little Richard about Presley. "They wouldn't let black music through. He opened the door for black music. "
Elvis' first single was a cover of a song by Arthur Crudup, whom he so adored, in 1955. With "That's All Right Mama", the then 20-year-old Presley had his first hit in his homeland of Memphis and in the same year he was number 1 in the country with the single "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" / "Mystery Train" Charts. A year later, Presley became famous across America for his legendary live appearance on the Milton Berle Show. His hip movements on the song "Hound Dog" became a national scandal and at the same time made him an icon of American teenagers. At the time, it was self-evident that rock’n’roll spoils the youth, and Elvis Presley, as the king of rock’n’Roll, was primarily responsible for the decline of western culture. But Presley could live with the wrath of various parenting associations and religious groups, and although from then on he was only shown from the waist up on his television appearances, none of this hurts his success - on the contrary. He also started a career as an actor - extremely successful with films like "Love Me Tender" or "Jailhouse Rock".
Even two years in the army did not detract from the Elvis hype and Presley concentrated more on his film career in the 1960s. He made two to three films a year, the quality of which is consistently very questionable, but that was secondary at the time, since Elvis Presley was involved. Elvis ‘discography in the sixties consisted mostly of mediocre soundtracks, but with singles like" Return To Sender "or" Little Sister "he proved that he had anything but lost his talent.
After bands and musicians like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan had gradually overtaken him in the sixties, Elvis Presley made an impressive return in 1969. He freshened up his style with soul and pop references and was back at the top of the charts with the album “Elvis in Memphis” including songs like “Suspicious Minds” or “In The Ghetto”.
In his final years, Elvis was less noticeable for his music than for his personal life. His marriage fell apart, he put on weight, became a drug addict, and when he wasn't touring, he holed up on his Memphis estate. There Elvis Presley was found dead on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42. In 2002, on the 25th anniversary of his death, 40,000 people visited Elvis ‘grave in Graceland. This year it shouldn't be much less.
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