If you’re not an Elvis Presley fan and not crazy about hearing news about the legendary entertainer, you could probably hide away deep in the woods in a log cabin without a television, or radio so you don’t hear anything about Elvis this August.
August 16, 2007, will mark the 30 year anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Elvis passed away 30 years ago on August 16, 1977. Other anniversaries of Elvis Presley’s death were important. However, in August, fans will be celebrating a special time marking the king of rock-and-roll’s death.
Most radio stations will be playing songs recorded by the king of rock-and-roll. This includes classical, country, and hip-hop radio stations, alike.
Since Elvis’ passing, millions of his records have been sold, and millions have toured Presley’s mansion, Graceland, in Memphis Tennessee. It is said that there are so many Elvis impersonators because of the huge number of fans who desire to remember the king on stage. There is certainly no shortage of Elvis impersonators to go around for everyone. In fact, Elvis impersonators now have an official organization. It seems that Elvis, and even Elvis impersonators, have become part of American culture.
The US government has even issued a postage stamp in memory of Elvis. Numerous people have claimed spotting the king at different places around the world, as well. However, this may be wishful thinking. One cannot argue with the fact that millions of people are still smitten with the former truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi.
Over the years, people have wondered, and often argued, with the fact that Elvis has been given the title, king of rock-and-roll. Why not another artist? Why not James Brown? Why not little Richard? Why not Chuck Berry?
However, most fans would not dispute who the title belongs to. I believe that Elvis was given the title for two reasons. The first reason is that he simply was a great singer and entertainer. For example, when you watch him sing and dance in the movie Viva Las Vegas, it is easy to see that Elvis had great musical rhythm. He didn’t just clap his hands, snap his fingers, and try really hard to move his feet along with the music, like many others do.
Singing and dancing came natural to Elvis, that’s why he did it so well. He simply felt the music, and moved according to the music. The second reason Elvis has the title king of rock-and-roll, is that he is part of an enigma and mystery in our culture. From been named Elvis, to the jet black hair, and mysterious personality, Elvis was unique in every way. He had charisma beyond compare. When he walked into a room, people could not keep their eyes off him. His talent, along with his enigmatic personality, ultimately crowned him with the title, king of rock-and-roll.
Elvis fans encompass men, women, and children of all ages, and culture. However, when Elvis first appeared on the American scene, most of his fans and followers were females. A female Elvis fan confesses that Elvis was something for the girls, and he’s what every guy hopes to be.
One of the things that sky rocketed Elvis in popularity in America was due to the fact that Ed Sullivan insisted on filming him from the waist up. When Elvis seemed to overcome this obstacle by moving his hands and upper body around in wild gyrations, his popularity increased among the American people. It was front-page news that Elvis was filmed from the waist up, but overcame the challenge.
Although many people argue that Elvis’ movies were not the best products Hollywood has ever put out, most people have watched at least one of them. Many argue that Elvis had the potential to be a good actor. His part in King Creole is said to have been his best acting role ever. However, Hollywood just wanted to make as much money, for the least amount, as possible. Putting Elvis on film, with a guitar, simply guaranteed money in the bank for Hollywood executives.
When Elvis arrived on the music scene, he delivered a potent mixture of rhythm-and-blues, gospel, and rockabilly, combined with good looks, and visual stimulation. There was no trend in music in the mid-fifties when Elvis made his debut. Most of the entertainer’s were carried through from the forties from the World War II era. Rock-and-roll was just beginning to take form.
Most of the rock-and-roll songs at that time were “candy and lollipop” songs. Most of the entertainers were told to smile pretty and look nice for the camera. Elvis turned everything upside down by looking straight into the camera, raising one eyebrow up, and sneering with a crooked lip. He wasn’t afraid to display a teenage rebellious attitude on stage.
Even though Elvis was good at curling his lip, sneering at the camera, and making the older generation think they knew what he was all about, he turned around and sang gospel songs and displayed a personality of humility. This is where Elvis’ mysterious, enigmatic personality began.
I think most people would conclude that Elvis is part of American culture, just like baseball and football. His 30-year anniversary will certainly be a special occasion for fans all around the world and no doubt be talked about by other musical artists and entertainers.
Elvis is gone, but not forgotten. He was a good entertainer and made us feel happy when we watched him.