The Life of Elvis Presley - HFP
Elvis Presley- Background Info/Interesting Facts
- Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8th, 1935
- He was an only child because his twin brother, Jesse Garon, was a stillborn
- Receives his first guitar at the age of 11
- 1948- Moves to Memphis, Tennessee
- 1953- Graduates from Humes High School
- 1954- Elvis walks in and, after the recording of "That's Alright (Mama)", starts recording with Sun Records, a label in Memphis
- 1955- Contract sold to the label juggernaut RCA Victor
- After spending 3-or-so years performing, being praised for songs such as "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Hound Dog", he is drafted into the Army in 1958
- Elvis' mother, Gladys, also dies in 1958
- Once in the US Army, Elvis is assigned to the Second Armored Division's "Hell on Wheels" unit, stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. This was the division formerly led by General George Patton, famous WWII General.
- While away in Germany in 1959, Elvis meets Priscilla Beaulieu
- After being discharged and coming home, Elvis eventually marries Priscilla in 1967
- 1968- The TV show ELVIS Premieres on NBC, And Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, is born
- 1968-1977- Elvis is recognized for more hit songs- "In the Ghetto", "Don't Cry Daddy", and "Suspicious Minds" are among the many
- Elvis continues from '68-'77, performing his last tours and accepting awards from the media
- On August 16, 1977 Presley dies at the age of 42
Book Trailer- Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley
As a child, Elvis was known for his attachment to his parents. Especially his mother, Gladys, who was more like a best friend to him than a mother. Because Elvis was an only child, he developed a deep relationship with his mom. Even when he was in his 20's and already a performer in the big world, he would go to her with any problems or concerns that he had. Gladys taught Elvis how to show love and compassion unto, as well as how to treat women. She was such an influential figure in his life that when she passed away, Elvis was inconsolable. "Everything I have is gone", he said... His passion for her was so intense, and throughout his young adulthood that passion overflowed into his performances as well as throughout his life as a whole. In addition to Elvis' parents, another influential person in Elvis' life was his manager, known as Tom "Colonel" Parker. He had a major impact on Elvis' celebrity life, but usually not in the best ways. He was an incredibly controlling manager, taking a massive cut of Elvis' money. He looked constantly for ways to cheat the system in order to get extra money for himself. Luckily, he didn't take away from Elvis as a performer.
Elvis' love for music was the sole motivation for him to become a singer and performer. Ever since he was a little kid, he had always loved EVERY type of music there was. He listened to everything from gospel to classical, from pop to the black-inspired R&B of the early 50's. When he got a guitar in his hands and started to play for people, he began to realize that that's all he wanted to do with his life... So he chased after the dream.
"Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it."
"The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year."
"A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It's my favorite part of the business, live concerts."
Compare/Contrast to a Different Time Period
If I had the skills and voice of Elvis Presley in today's world, I would use the majority of it in a Gospel setting, much like he did. Elvis had a passion for Gospel music that showed up in a lot of his works, which I find inspiring. Another thing that I would do similar to Elvis is give back to others. He provided many things for his family, friends, and anyone else who helped him along his journey to stardom. He gave out Cadillacs as if they were toys! I would try to perform for charity concerts, give extra money to philanthropies, and volunteer myself whenever possible(that is, if I am popular enough to make enough money!). I would budget a small amount to spend on myself as well, but I feel like it wouldn't be much. Another characterizing aspect of Elvis was his good looks. If I had that, I feel like I would be a little more cautious than him when it comes to girls. Elvis was so popular for his looks that the amount of girls he had to deal with seems almost overwhelming.
Political Cartoon- "Elvis Presley - A Dual Threat"
In terms of tone, Williams goes from doubtful and hateful to admiring towards Elvis Presley. At first, Williams uses harsh diction such as "blatant racist" and "certainly never meant sh** to me". However, as the article goes on, he slowly begins to unravel the truths that he has learned about Presley. In the end, the author turns from his attitude of doubt to one of confidence. He uses new, less hurtful diction, proving many of his old claims as "patently false". By giving his readers the advice to "ignore the hearsay and conjecture" surrounding Elvis, Williams concludes his article with a respectful tone.
At this time in America, and in the world as a whole, there were two very distinct cultures between whites and blacks. They each lived in their own communities in town, did their own jobs, and listened to their own types of music. With the release of Elvis' "That's Alright (Mama)", however, things were changed forever.
The words of the song itself are simple and fun, nothing too serious. Elvis sings about dating a girl he shouldn't, and how he's taking the issue up with his mama. The actual words of the song weren't really what had an impact, though. It's how the song was sung. When it was released, and gained popularity, it created a new genre of music called "rockabilly". It fused the country-western style music, so popular in the white culture, with a sped up R&B sound that found popularity within the African American culture.
In a time where the cultures of blacks and whites were completely separate, this song stuck out like a sore thumb. Although it wasn't immediately accepted by all, it nevertheless provided the next step towards whites and blacks having a shared interest over something.
If this song had been released in the time period of the 21st century, its style would have been fully accepted. In the music industry today, there are plenty of white artists that use the black culture as inspiration within their music.
In terms of stylistic devices, the repetition of the phrase "that's alright" appealed to audiences by creating a feeling of care-free relaxation. It provided the catchy hook that got listeners tapping their toes to the beat.
One of the most interesting aspects of Elvis Presley is that all of his work, including this song, was different from every other musical artist that had ever existed until this time in history. In the past, music had been either soaked in white culture or black culture. White artists such as Bing Crosby and black artists such as Louis Armstrong had their own distinct styles, specific to their own cultures. Elvis, however, differed from them because he paved his own way; fusing the two sounds to create an entirely new genre. With the new style that he had created, he was able to accomplish amazing things in the music industry that ultimately changed it forever.