Introduction: The Boy from Tupelo

Who is Elvis?

Wikiquote writes this on Elvis; “Elvis Aaron Presley (8 January 1935 – 16 August 1977) was an American singer, musician, and actor. He was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the 'King of Rock and Roll' or simply 'The King'”.

On January 8th, 1935 Gladys Presley gave birth to twin boys in the house that her husband Vernon had built with the help of his father and brother in Tupelo, Mississippi. The firstborn Jesse Garon, was delivered stillborn at 4.00 a.m. and was buried the next day in an unmarked grave in the Priceville Cemetery, near Tupelo. Half an hour later, at 4.35 a.m. the second twin was delivered. They named him Elvis Aron Presley. In 1948 the Presley family moved to Memphis, and he completed Humes High School there in 1953, the first one in his family to do so. Elvis found out early that he wanted to pursue a singing career, and he was influenced by gospel music, rhythm & blues and country music. In 1954 he began his career by recording his first single in Sam Phillips’ SUN studio in Memphis; “That's All Right, Mama” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky”. His career took off immediately, and within one and a half year he became a world sensation.

From 1958 to 1960 he served in the US Army, much of the time in Germany. In the fifties and sixties Elvis starred in 31 feature films, besides recording lots of music. Elvis married Priscilla Beaulieu in May 1967, and after exactly nine months they had their only child Lisa Marie. His classic TV show in 1968, where he appeared in a black leather suit, is widely known as one of the greatest moments in the history of pop music. On January 14th 1973 he held a concert at the Honolulu International Center Arena in Hawaii that was broadcasted live to over 40 countries via satellite (in addition, there were approximately 30 European countries that saw the concert slightly delayed). It is estimated that more than a 1 billion people watched the TV show; that was significantly more than those who saw the lunar landing live. Elvis died at his beloved Graceland in Memphis on August 16, 1977.

His record company RCA released more than 70 LPs, 100 singles and 30 EPs during his career. No other artist has sold as many records as Elvis. Elvis was nominated for a Grammy Award 14 times and won 3 of them. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 36 years in 1971. Also in 1971, Elvis accepted the honor of being named “One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation”, an award given by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (The Jaycees).

His immense talent and unique charisma made Elvis the world's greatest artist.

Admin; Admin ELVIS the ICON / Source; Wikiquote – “Elvis Presley” (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley), Peter Guralnick – “Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley” and “Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley”

Elvis the Icon

Elvis: Artist or Icon?

Leonard Bernstein once said; “Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution the 60's comes from it”. As we all know… Bernstein wasn’t just anybody. Bernstein (1918 - 1990) was an American composer, conductor, writer, music teacher and pianist. He was one of the first American composers who became known worldwide. New York Times wrote about Bernstein; “Leonard Bernstein was one of the most prodigally talented and successful musicians in American history”. Bernstein was no Elvis fan, but he recognized the enormous impact Elvis had and still have on American culture. Such a statement from Bernstein is surely a huge recognition.

And there is no doubt ... Elvis is everywhere. "Everyone" knows the "King of Rock'n'Roll", although not everyone necessarily identify the singer, the musician and the actor in the same degree. The hairstyle, the sunglasses, the sideburns, the white jumpsuits, Graceland, his footwork ("dance") and the characteristic be-bop phrasing are all universally known codes of Elvis, and almost everyone draws parallels to him if you mention, mimic or use one of these symbols.

As of today, Elvis' cultural impact is far greater than his musical power. Indeed… he is the world's bestselling artist, and he still holds a fair share of the top achievements related to record charts. In addition … Elvis is still selling more records in 2015, 38 years after his death, than most other artists out there. My statement is founded on the fact that many teenagers is not able to mention the name of one single song he performed, but if you put on sideburns and golden shades, they immediately comprehend that you are imitating Elvis.

The image of "ELVIS" has become greater than man Elvis. He holds an unparalleled iconic status in pop culture. More than 600,000 fans are visiting Elvis' home (Graceland) in Memphis every year. This tells us a lot about his unique place in pop history; Elvis extends far beyond the boundaries of pop music.

Author; Admin ELVIS the ICON / Sources; Pamela Clarke Keogh – “Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend” (2004), The New York Times – “Leonard Bernstein” (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/leonard_bernstein/index.html)